Archive for the 'Twins' Category

Hot Prospects to Start May

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Many ballparks are promoting Star War giveaways on the fourth of May. These are the players who have the force with them as April turns to May.

Yandy Diaz 3B (Indians) - The first two days of May Yandy drove in 8 runs. He finished the first three days of May 6 for 11 to raise his average to the magical .400 spot. Yandy began the season with the Indians. With a 10/2 walk to whiff ratio he deserves another call back for his bat alone, though a .236 average and 5 for 14 walk to whiff ratio shows major league pitching is a little tougher than AAA. The 25 year old Cuban has been playing some outfield as well as third base.

A.J. Reed 1B (Astros) - Marwin Gonzalez has five more homeruns than A.J. and Gurriel is over .300 so there will not be a lot of first base action for Reed. He did have a 10 for 15 streak that raised his average to .306. He did not hit any homeruns during that streak and has only four for the year so the Astros would like to see more power from his bat before they promote him ahead of Gonzalez or Gurriel.

Rafael Devers 3B (Red Sox) - Red Sox third baseman have made 12 errors on the year, the most in the league. Rafael has only made three. A five for five day with two homeruns at AA shows a pretty good bat. With a .333 average and a .590 slugging percentage the Red Sox will only show so much patience before promoting him. They will wait for Pablo Sandoval to come back from the disabled list to see if he can perform better. They can always try to null and void the Travis Shaw trade that got them Tyler Thornburg.

Zack Granite CF (Twins) - The Marlins have got Stone but the Twins have got Granite. Myworld will take Granite. Zack started the year on the disabled list but two three hit games in his first five has put his average at .368. Only two of his seven hits have gone for extra bases. Power will be lacking but steals should be prevalent, with three already in his first five games.

Aneury Tavarez RF (Red Sox) - Aneury was a Rule V pick of the O’s. He failed to make the major league roster and the O’s returned Aneury to the Red Sox. After tearing up AA with a .377 average the Red Sox promoted him to AAA. In his first two games he was 5 for 8 with two homeruns for a .625 average. The Red Sox do not have a lot of room in their outfield, but if his bat keeps stinging they will find a spot for him.

Raimel Tapia CF (Rockies) - Raimel currently has a 11 game hitting streak. In his first 20 minor league games he has failed to get a hit in only one of them. The Rockies outfield is also a bit crowded, especially with Ian Desmond playing some outfield. Raimel had a streak of seven straight games in which he got at least two or more hits. He is currently hitting .376 with seven stolen bases in 9 attempts.

Yoan Moncada 2B (White Sox) - Yoan is in the stretches of a 10 game hitting streak that has raised his average to .340. The stolen bases are absent, with just six in 8 attempts but he has shown some pop with five homeruns and a .536 slugging average. Myworld doesn’t expect him to be the in minors for too long, especially with no one blocking him at second base.

Patrick Mazeika C (Mets) - An eighth round player to watch. Patrick hit .354 after being drafted in 2015, leading the Appalachian League in doubles with 27. The 2017 season is seeing some of the same with a recent 8 game hitting streak (14 for 28) raising his average to .361. With a .602 slugging percentage in the Florida State League this could be a player to watch.

Franklin Barreto SS (Athletics) - Despite Marcus Semian’s injury the Athletics have kept Franklin in AAA where he is raking with a .364 average. The strikeouts are high with 34 in 25 games but the need is there.

Franchy Cordero CF (Padres) - Franchy had the force with him on May 4 with a 5 for 5 day raising his average to .253. He drove in four runs on the fourth and has four triples, four homeruns and four stolen bases on the year.

Mike Gerber CF (Tigers) - Mike also had a 5 for 5 game, but that was the day before the fourth. That raised his average to .310. He has been playing CF in the 24 AA games he has played, giving the Tigers another option for the black hole on their major league club. Mike is better suited for right, but so are many of the other Tiger outfielders. They might as well put someone there with a bat.

Josh Staumont RHP (Royals) - Josh got his second 12 K performance on the first day of May. The whiffs are coming with 38 in 26 innings and the opposition is hitting just .188 against him. Too many walks (16) has left his ERA at 3.81.

Logan Allen LHP (Padres) - Logan is one of the obscure players the Padres got for Craig Kimbrel. In five starts for the Padres at Low A Logan has a 1.50 ERA with 34 whiffs in 24 innings and just a .146 opposition average. Manuel Margot is already making his presence felt on the major league roster but Logan could be there in a few years.

Hot Prospects to Watch

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Raimel Tapia CF (Rockies) - The Rockies outfield situation is a little crowded, especially with the return of Ian Desmond who may see some outfield time once he gets back from the disabled list. That has not deterred Raimel, who is in the middle of a six game hitting streak, with the last three games being multiple hit games. He has driven in seven runs during the streak and raised his average to .382. Raimel has yet to have a season in the minors where his average has fallen below .300.

Samir Duenez 1B (Royals) - If the Royals decide to rebuild and trade their veterans Samir could be called up to play first base. In a recent three game spin he drove in 8 runs, blasting his third homerun of the year. Samir has driven in 23 runs in 19 games, which leads the Texas AA League by five.

Rhys Hoskins 1B (Phillies) - Rhys has left the hitter friendly Reading park but the homeruns keep on coming. He had a two game homerun streak to up his total for the year to six. He is also showing a bit more diversity with a .343 average and only 14 whiffs in 21 games. That will get him a callup before the year is out with Tommy Joseph struggling to get past the Mendoza line.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr 3B (Blue Jays) - Vladimir has an 11 game hitting streak to prop his average up to .348. He has driven in seven runs in his last five games and had a streak in which he scored at least one run in five consecutive games. He has an impressive 14/11 walk to whiff ratio proving he is better at taking pitches than his father.

Braxton Davidson OF (Braves) - The Braves 2014 first round pick has been scuffling early in the season. A 4 for 4 game in which he also drew two walks brought that average back up to .200. He also socked his first homerun of the year in this game, driving in three runs. Last year Braxton struck out 184 times in 128 games. This inability to make contact continues with 33 whiffs in just 21 games to start the season.

Francisco Mejia C (Indians) - Francisco also hit his first homerun of the year, but his bat has still been hot with a .333 average. He has been filling the gaps with seven doubles.

Daz Cameron OF (Astros) - The son of Mike had a big seven RBI game with a triple and double driving in most of the runs. The 3 for 5 day brought his average to .208. Despite the low average Daz has been productive with 17 runs driven in and 16 runs scored in just 20 games.

Josh Naylor 1B (Padres) - Josh is starting to show the Padres his power. He has homered in two consecutive games, with multiple hits in five consecutive games. His hitting streak is now at 7 raising his average to .305. He is 15 for 31 during his hitting streak with three dingers and nine runs batted in. Josh has also shown some speed with four stolen bases in four attempts.

Max Pentecost C (Blue Jays) - Max was a first round pick of the Blue Jays in 2014. Injuries have prevented him from playing in more than 74 games. He is hoping this year will be different. A 14 game hitting streak has his average up to .328. The only game he has failed to get a hit was his first game. In his last eight games he has powered five of his six homeruns. That has given him 13 of his 16 RBIs for the year.

Tyler Mahle RHP (Reds) - Tyler followed his perfect game with six shutout innings, giving up just four hits. After five starts the opposition is just hitting .104 against him. Last year he started 14 games in AA and spun together an ERA of 4.92. This year he sits at 0.55. As putrid as the Reds starting pitching has been he could be called up as a solution to the rotation woes.

Jeff Hoffman RHP (Rockies) - It is just a matter of time before Jeff is called up. Last year the Rockies gave him six starts and he struggled with a 4.88 ERA. He threw seven innings of one hit shutout ball in his latest start to lower his AAA ERA to 3.86.

Jorge Lopez RHP (Brewers) - Last year Jorge was destined for the Brewers rotation. A 6.81 ERA in 16 starts got him a trip to AA Biloxi instead. That is where he is starting the 2017 season. After a 10 strikeout, six inning two hitter AAA is calling him. Last year he struggled to throw strikes. In five starts this year he has a 4/30 walk to whiff ratio in 26 innings.

Adalberto Mejia LHP (Twins) - Adalberto pitched well enough in spring to earn a spot in the Twins starting rotation to begin the season. He had trouble finding the plate, walking 8 in just over nine innings in his first three starts. That led to a demotion to AAA. In his first AAA minor league start Mejia didn’t walk a batter, striking out six in a seven inning two hit shutout outing. He needs to have a couple more outings like this to show the Twins that this was no fluke.

Another Perfect Game and Other Prospect Notes

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Domenic Mazza LHP (Giants) - Not really considered a prospect. Players drafted in the 22nd round as Domenic was in 2015 fall far from that criteria, unless large bonuses are associated with their name to get them to sign. Mazza did make some press by throwing the second perfect game of the year and the first nine inning perfect game in South Atlantic League history. For Domenic that is a welcome start after lasting under three innings and giving up seven runs in his first start of the season. During that game he gave up Tim Tebow’s first professional career homerun, publicity he would just as soon avoid. The lefty needed only 85 pitches to toss his perfecto.

Dane Dunning RHP (Nationals) - It was pay back time for the ex-National as he threw six innings of two hit ball against Low A Hagerstown, a Nationals farm team. For Dunning that was his third consecutive shutout outing to lower his ERA to 0.35. He has only given up two runs in four starts with only one of them earned. He has a 2/33 walk to whiff ratio in 26 innings and the opposition is hitting him at a .143 clip. He was traded to the Nationals along with Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito for Adam Eaton. Dane is making the Nationals begin to regret that deal.

Nik Turley LHP (Twins) - In his fourth appearance and second start Nik Turley gave up his first run. He also struck out 14 in the seven inning outing, at one point striking out eight hitters in a row. In 20.1 innings he has now struck out 36 hitters with a 0.44 ERA and a .076 opposition average. At age 27 his prospect status is sagging but the Twins starting rotation could use some help.

Michael Kopech RHP (White Sox) - Michael was throwing bb’s in his six inning one hit shutout. The 2014 first round pick of the Red Sox struck out eight in his outing. The opposition is only hitting .145 against him but 14 walks in just 18 innings have plagued him. During his one hitter he walked four. The Red Sox traded him to the White Sox as part of the Chris Sale trade.

Dinelson Lamet RHP (Padres) - Myworld remembers writing about Dinelson a lot last year. After a 13 K performance in his third start he came back with a 9 K performance, throwing seven innings of shutout ball. Like Kopech, Lamet does not give up a lot of hits (.171 opposition average) but his walks could be tapered down (9 in 20 innings). After four starts the Dominican has seen his ERA lowered to 0.45.

Ronald Acuna OF (Braves) - After dominating in Australia Acuna is wreaking his wrath on Florida State League pitchers. The Venezuelan banged out three hits, including his second homerun of the year and five RBIs. Acuna was a double short of the cycle. Strikeouts have been a bit of a problem with 25 in 17 games, but his last two games in which he went 5 for 9 have come without a whiff. He has 10 stolen bases in 11 attempts.

Alex Jackson C (Braves) - Another Fire Frog, Jackson has seen his bat come alive now that he is no longer a Mariner. In the same game Acuna banged out three hits Alex collected three hits including a homerun and two RBIs. Alex was a double short of the cycle. The three hits raised his average to .338. While with the Mariners he struggled to get his average above the .250 neighborhood. The Braves have returned Alex back to his high school position as a catcher.

Willie Calhoun 2B (Dodgers) - The homerun drought has ended for Willie with his first yesterday. Last year the 5′8″ slugger bashed 27 over the fence. Despite the paucity of homeruns Willie has been hitting with his average at .333.

Jorge Alfaro C (Phillies) - The Phillies don’t have room for Jorge behind the plate for their major league team. So they will show patience with him as he assaults AAA pitching. Back to back three hit games in which he hit a homerun in each game raised his average to .377. The Phillies would like to see some improvement on his 1/17 walk to whiff ratio (22/105 in 2016).

Edward Olivares OF (Blue Jays) - With the two perfect games comes the first cycle that myworld has become aware of in the minor leagues. Edward singled, doubled, tripled and homered in a four RBI event a couple days ago. His batting average needed the outburst as it was sitting at .172 before the game. Edward now has a four game hitting streak to raise his average to .231. He has driven in 8 of his 14 runs during that streak.

Jason Vosler 3B (Cubs) - Jason is not considered one of the more touted Cub prospects. Last year he hit three homeruns. In a game last night Vosler equaled his 2015 homerun out put with three dingers to give him four for the year. The third baseman drove in six runs to double his RBI output for the year.

More Prospects Raking from Walker to Palka

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Below are some more prospects doing it with the arms and the bats.

Christian Walker 1B (Diamondbacks) - He got knocked from first base to the outfield by Trey Mancini and this year the Orioles released him. Back at his normal first base position his bat has returned in the early season. Christian hit his fourth home run and drove in a season high four runs with a 2 for 5 performance. The 16 RBIs for the year have put him in a tie for first in the Pacific Coast League with Jeimer Candelario, another player featured here for his bat. At 26 years of age Walker’s prospect status is just a glimmer, but there are teams who could use a right handed bat off the bench.

Ian Happ 2B (Cubs) - Ian was already leading the Pacific Coast League in homeruns with five, but he added another one to the total to take a two homer lead. Ian has pasted two hits in five of his last six games to up his average to .311. He has also found a home at second base, with eight of his 11 games there, though he has made two errors.

Cody Bellinger 1B (Dodgers) - The Dodgers have been in talks with the Brewers for Ryan Braun. After kicking the tires for Braun they may want to move Bellinger to the outfield. Cody hit his third homerun yesterday and his 2 for 3 day raised his average to .395. He has also driven in a run in his last four games. Strikeouts have been a concern with 12 in his 10 games and at least one whiff in his last six games. The Dodgers have put Bellinger in the outfield for one of his 10 games. On Saturday night he played centerfield.

Daniel Palka LF (Twins) - Daniel is not going to make you notice him because of his glove in the outfield. It is the bat that defines Palka’s game and yesterday that bat was sizzling with a 4 for 4 day. He was a triple short of the cycle but in his fourth at bat he went deep for his second homerun of the game, his fourth of the season, rather than hitting that paltry triple for the first cycle of the 2017 season. He was in a 1 for 21 slump through Friday, a slump that began after his first two homerun game. The Twins hope another 1 for 21 does not follow.

Ofelky Peralta RHP (Orioles) - The Orioles have been criticized by their lack of international resolve in looking for prospects. Ofelky is one of the rare Dominicans signed by the Orioles. At 6′5″ he has good height for a pitcher. Yesterday he allowed just one hit in five innings of work in a game the Frederick Keys lost when their bullpen gave up a trio of runs each in the last three innings. Ofelky has had some issues with command, walking 9 in 9 innings. On the bright side he has also struck out 14 with a 1.00 ERA. The opposition has a batting average of .138 against him.

Francis Martes RHP (Astros) - Another pitcher who has trouble finding the plate. Francis walked 6 in 4.1 innings of work, but no one crossed the plate in his second shutout appearance of the year in two games. Francis has walked 9 in 9.1 innings but he has struck out 10 and left the game with his 0.00 ERA intact. He left the game after throwing 93 pitches.

Jonathan Dziedzic RHP (Royals) - In a game against the New Orleans Baby Cakes Jonathan no hit them for 6.2 innings. After striking out Destin Hood on his 100th pitch the Storm Chasers removed him from the game. The Baby Cakes got their one and only hit in the ninth inning. Jonathan walked one and struck out six. It was his third start, and second without giving up a run, extending his shutout string to 13.1 innings. His ERA is now a svelte 1.04. If the Royals are looking for a starter Jonathan could be their man.

Twins Blast Marlins in Spring Training Tuneup

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Myworld returned to Jupiter for our last spring training game of 2017. The next two games will be WBC. The Twins took it to the Marlins today 8-2 on the day Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich left to represent the United States in the WBC.

The Marlins scored the first run in the opening frame when Ichiro lined a single through the second base hole. J.T. Realmuto sliced a double down the right field line. Ichiro had to stop at second when the ball bounced over the fence. Justin Bour grounded a ball up the middle but right at the shortstop in the shift for the ground out, but Ichiro scored on the play.

That was the last lead for the Marlins. The Twins scored the next two runs, John Ryan Murphy hitting a solo shot over the left field wall in the second inning after two were out. Byung-Ho Park also hit a solo homerun in the third inning after two were out. For Park it is his third homerun of the spring.

The Twins put the game away in the last three innings scoring six runs. Kyle Barraclough hit a batter and walked four to score two runs in the seventh. Dan Rohfing grounded into a double play just as the bullpen was warming up to put the Marlins out of their misery.

The Marlins scored a run in the eighth on a walk and passed ball. Eduardo Escobar singled to drive in a run. Miami loaded the bases in the bottom frame but Brandon Barnes struck out to strand the runners.

In the top of the ninth Rohlfing made amends for his grounding into a double play with the bases loaded by crushing a three run homer over the left field wall to give the Twins a 8-1 lead. In his only at bat for the Marlins Brian Anderson hit a two out homerun off a J.T. Chargois three digit fastball over the centerfield fence to end the game at 8-2.

Game Notes: Byung-Ho Park seems to have trouble hitting any pitch that has a bend to it. His homerun came off a fastball…J.T. Realmuto had a nice throw to second to get Eduardo Escobar caught stealing. He has a nice arm…This game had its own WBC flair to it with Wei-Yin Chen (Taiwan) starting on the mound, Adeiny Hechevarria (Cuba) at short, Miguel Rojas (Venezuela) at third, Marcel Ozuna (Dominican Republic) in right field, Ichiro Suzuki (Japan) at DH, Byung-Ho Park (Korea) playing first base and Max Kepler (Germany) in right field…The Jupiter stadium has the best concessions on the East Coast. Tacos, bbq nachos, various types of hot dogs, sliders and the traditional flair…All spring training parks now charge $10 for parking. That may be standard now.

Myworlds Top 100 - 90 - 81

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

A compilation of the six top 100 lists rolled into one. Below is 90-81.

90. Matt Chapman 3B/SS (Athletics) 1.35 - Myworld does not think Chapman will be playing shortstop, but with so many corner infielders the Athletics will have to find room for them all. Chapman is probably the best defensive third baseman of the group and has a strong arm. His range is good for third base but would fall far short of what is needed for a shortstop. His bat also gives the Athletics power, with 36 homeruns last year. There is a tendency for him to swing and miss (173 whiffs) which could lead to averages falling below .250.

89. Max Fried RHP (Braves) 1.4 - He was drafted in the first round by the Padres. The Padres traded him to the Braves to acquire Justin Upton. Tommy John surgery has knocked some luster off his prospect status. Last year was his first year back and he averaged 9.8 whiffs per nine innings with a fastball that sat at 92-95. With a little more pitching that velocity could increase. His secondary pitches (slow breaking ball and change) need some improvement as does his control. He’ll start the season in High A and could see AA by the end of the year.

88. Chance Sisco (Orioles) 1.4 - Playing for so long at Bowie myworld has seen a lot of Chance. His defense behind the plate needs work and his power is absent. As he matures he may hit ten plus homeruns. The best part of his game is his ability to get hits and strike the gaps. He is not afraid to take walks and will give you OBAs of over .400. Being a catcher he does not have great speed but he will not clog the bases. Expect him to make his major league debut this year after at least half a season in AAA. With Matt Wieters gone the Orioles do not really have a viable catching option blocking him from making a contribution. His lack of power makes a move to first base questionable.

87. Cal Quantril RHP (Padres) 1.42 - The son of All Star reliever Paul Quantril and the 2016 first round pick of the Padres. Cal hopes to make it in the starting rotation with a fastball that slides between low to mid 90s. He also has a good change and is working to improve his slider to give him three pitches for the rotation. Tommy John surgery as a sophomore in high school is a concern. He should make his debut next season in full season Low A where he can work on improving his slider and his command of pitches.

86. Carson Fulmer RHP (White Sox) 1.43 - The White Sox may have rushed him last year. Fulmer only stands 6′0″ and with the recent acquisitions of Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez his best spot may be in the bullpen. Despite being the same height as Lopez he lacks his velocity, hitting the low 90s with his fastball. His best pitch may be his curveball and he does throw a plus change to give him three above average pitches. A 8.49 ERA, 7 walks in 12 innings and a .273 opposition average in eight relief outings in the major leagues is not what the White Sox were looking for but many top prospects struggle in their first exposure to major league hitters.

85. Brady Aiken RHP (Indians) 1.5 - The Astros drafted him as the first pick in the draft in 2014 but concerns over his arm led them to reduce his bonus leaving a sour taste in Brady’s mouth for not signing. Brady later had to undergo Tommy John surgery. This did not prevent the Indians from selecting them as their number one pick when he fell to them as the 17th pick in the 2015 draft. He struggled in his first professional debut in 2016 with an ERA combined of 5.83 between two rookie leagues with an opposition average of .274. The bright spot is his K rate was 11.1 per nine innings and his fastball sat in the low 90s but touched 97. He also throws an above average curve and change. This was his rehab year so 2017 should see greater velocity on his fastball and sharper breaks on his curve with improved command, at least that is how the Indians would like it drawn up on their blueprint.

84. German Marquez RHP (Rockies) 1.58 - Soon he will have to deal with pitching in the high altitudes of Colorado. German throws the ball hard with a mid-90s fastball touching into the high 90s. He also carries an above average curve with a changeup in the developmental stages. Last year he made his major league debut with three starts and three relief appearances, fashioning a 5.23 ERA. His strikeout rate has never been above 9 but has always been in the neighborhood, but against major league hitters it dropped to 6.5. Expect at some point the Rockies stick him in their rotation after he has success in AAA.

83. Willie Calhoun 2B (Dodgers) 1.6 - At 5′8″ you could compare him to Jose Altuve, except he does not have his speed and he is not a good defensive player. What he does have is the ability to carry the ball over the fence with 27 homeruns in AA. Ideally, he could fit in left field but slow foot speed and a below average arm make that a liability. His best position may be DH but they don’t have that in the National League so the Dodgers will keep him at second base and if he keeps on hitting bombs they will not complain.

82. Stephen Gonsalves LHP (Twins) 1.67 - Stephen is a pitcher the Twins used to thrive on putting in their rotation during their playoff years. He doesn’t throw hard with a fastball in the low 90s, but he is able to hit the corners, throw up and down in the strike zone and give hitters different looks. Despite the lack of velocity he still struck out more than a hitter an inning last year and kept opponents to a batting average at less than .200. He also throws a change and a curve with the changeup being his second best pitch. After dominating in 13 starts at AA expect him to begin next season in AAA with a shot at making his major league debut before mid-season.

81. Ian Anderson RHP (Braves) 1.83 - Anderson is one of many number one draft pick pitchers in the Braves camp. However, with Anderson he will be a home grown pick, drafted by the Braves in the first round in 2016. The New Yorker throws hard with a fastball sliding in to the mid-90s and touching 97 with the potential for an above average curveball and change. He made a promising professional debut and should start 2017 in Low A.

30 Teams in 30 Days - Twins

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

Overview - After finishing over .500 in 2015 the Twins came into 2016 with hopes of a playoff run. They went out and signed Korean slugger Byoung-Ho Park to provide some muscle at first base. After losing their first nine games the Twins lost over 100 games during the season, giving them the first round pick in 2017. They also recently waived Park one month before the start of the 2017 season, but because of his rich contract they fear no other team will claim him, keeping him in their minor leagues. Terry Ryan, the hero who gave the Twins a number of playoff runs, who had retired and come back to try to resurrect the Twins back to their winning ways of the past was fired after the 100 loss season. It will take the Twins a little while to compete in the AL Central, especially if they are successful in trading their one star Brian Dozier.

Strengths - Brian Dozier at second base gives them the best power at the position in the major leagues. Last year he slugged 42 homeruns. The Twins have been trying to trade him for prospects. If that happens they could turn to Eduardo Escobar or perhaps move Danny Santana to the position. This would no longer make this a position of strength. The outfield should provide excitement if Byron Buxton and Max Kepler reach their potential. The Twins have been waiting for Buxton to break out and he had a September team officials could get excited about. Max Kepler had enough punch to power 17 balls over the fence, but he hit only .235. He needs to improve the batting average to become an impact player. Miguel Sano has the potential to hit 40 plus homeruns. His poor defense makes first base his best position but the Twins will keep him at third as long as Joe Mauer is on the roster. Last year was a struggle for Sano with a .235 average and 178 strikeouts.

Weakness - The pitching staff lacks an ace and once you get past Ervin Santana you have a lot of back end rotation starters or unproven rookies. Jose Berrios provided promise but his 8.02 ERA in 14 starts screams for more development time in the minors. The starting rotation will be ugly. At one point Joe Mauer was one of the best hitting catchers in baseball. Now that he has moved to first base his lack of power makes him a liability. He also did not hit lefthanders well (.224). They could call up Kennys Vargas to platoon. He struggled against lefthanders in AAA (.131) but raked in limited major league at bats (.378). Jorge Polanco is a promising shortstop but he lacks the tools of many of the other top rated shortstops coming up through the minors. He lacks power and speed but provides good contact and steady defense, though he committed 11 errors in just 47 major league games last year at the position. His best position could be second base and he could slide over there if Dozier is traded. Left field is normally a power position. Eddie Rosario occupies that now and he lacks power. His alternative Robbie Grossman also lacks power. Both are probably better utilized as fourth outfielders.

Non-Roster Invitees - Byoung-Ho Park could still make the roster if he has a good spring. He needs to make better contact and show the power he did in Korea. Ryan Vogelsong came over from Japan in 2011 and had two good seasons as a starter for the Giants. Those years now seem to be a distant memory.

Break out Prospects - Like the White Sox the Twins are rebuilding so there will be a number of opportunities for rookies. The rotation is weak and Stephen Gonsalves has been invited to spring training. He had some dominating performances in High A and AA but the Twins will most likely start his season in AA. He could see some time by midseason. Like Twins pitchers of the past he is not overpowering but relies on command and the use of a change to retire hitters. Kohl Stewart is a rare Twins power pitcher who can hit the mid-90s with his fastball. The Twins drafted in the first round of 2014 but injuries have stunted his development. He did start 25 games last year but a walk to whiff ratio of 44/47 is cause for concern. Kohl had arm problems in 2015 and could be best suited for the bullpen if his fragility continues. Adalberto Mejia is another pitcher who could see the major leagues but his stuff is very pedestrian and he may be best used in relief. The bullpen could see some power arms light up the radar in Pat Light and J.T. Chargois. Both pitchers easily hit the radar in the high 90s. There are really no prospect position players ready to make an immediate impact with the Twins.

Prospects to Watch - Nick Gordon is the son of Tom Gordon and the half brother of Dee Gordon. He is the shortstop of the future for the Twins but his future is still a couple years away. He has the defensive tools for the position, could hit for average but will not hit for a lot of power. Alex Kirilloff is the Twins 2016 first round pick. The hope is the corner outfielder will provide some power for the position. Nick Burdi is another hard throwing reliever who can hit triple digits with his fastball. The 2014 second round pick was limited to three appearances last year so the Twins will be careful about his innings usage. Lewis Thorpe is an Aussie signing who missed the 2015 and 16 seasons because of Tommy John surgery. Wander Javier is a shortstop the Twins signed for $4 million, the fourth largest bonus they have paid for a player. Only 18 Javier is a long way from the major leagues.

Expected 2017 Finish - They will battle for the basement position in the AL Central. If they keep Brian Dozier it may prevent them from having the number one pick in the 2018 draft.

Breakout Prospects and Prospects to Watch AL Central

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Myworld continues to look at prospects who will have a major league impact in 2017 and other prospects to watch to see if they will find themselves on the cusp of making the major league team in 2018. Some of these prospects to watch are veteran minor leaguers trying to over come surgery, former top prospects who have tripped in their minor league ascension or Cubans who have no history at the professional level in the United States. Today myworld takes a look at the AL Central.

Chicago White Sox

Breakout Prospects - (Yoan Moncada 2B, Lucas Giolito RHP, Reynaldo Lopez RHP) - The White Sox are rebuilding which creates a process where prospects can make an immediate impact. Yoan struggled in his first exposure to major league pitching. The Red Sox used him at an unfamiliar position, third base because second base was occupied by Dustin Pedroia. The White Sox have no such blockage at second base. A good spring could get him on the roster when the season begins or the White Sox could save some service time by giving him more time in AAA. Yoan has power and speed that will have an impact on a major league offense. Reynaldo Lopez performed better at the major league roster last year than Lucas Giolito. The White Sox acquired both in the Adam Eaton trade. Giolito was considered the best pitching prospect in baseball last year as Moncada was considered the best offensive prospect, but Giolito has struggled when exposed to major league hitters. His fastball can hit the high 90s with his 6′6″ frame bearing down on hitters and his curve is above average. His command was non-existent with the Nationals resulting in a abhorrent 12/11 walk to whiff ratio in 21.2 innings. Reynaldo Lopez does not have as much upside and at 6′0′ does not have the size of Giolito, but he performed better against major league hitters. His mid-90s fastball had more swing and miss qualities than Giolito. The curve is of less quality and he struggled with his command as well when facing major league hitters (22 walks in 44 innings).

Prospects to Watch (Alec Hansen RHP) - It will be interesting to see if the 6′7″ righthander can replicate his 2016 performance. Alec was virtually unhittable with rookie league hitters batting below .100 against him. When promoted to a full season league he got tattooed a bit more in his two starts, giving up 11 hits in 11 innings. His fastball sits in the mid-90s but can tick close to three digits with an above average slider to mix in to confuse hitters. His season did end early because of arm soreness. With Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez also set for future rotation status the White Sox pitching looks solid for years to come despite the absence of Sale and soon to be disappearing Quintana..

Cleveland Indians

Breakout Prospect (Greg Allen CF) - Myworld is not enamored with the centerfield capabilities of Bradley Zimmer. He is probably best suited for right. Tyler Naquin also is not a centerfielder. This should provide an opening for Allen by mid-season. He has game breaking speed which allows him to cover a lot of ground. The fact that he is also an Aztec colors my bias. The power is lacking, but he has the plate discipline to take a walk (77/78 walk to whiff ratio) to stir the drink for the power hitters. He will probably start the season in AA with a major league call up expected once it is realized there is too much green for Naquin and Zimmer to cover in centerfield.

Prospect to Watch (Tristan McKenzie RHP) - Myworld was awed watching the 6′5″ lanky right hander with the prey mantis limbs have his way against Rookie League hitters. He was not quite so dominant once promoted to Low A, but overall the opposition could only hit him at a .195 clip. He also had a 22/104 walk to whiff ratio with his low 90s fastball which should continue to grow as he develops physically. He already has developed two above average pitches in the curveball and change. It will be interesting to see how his fastball velocity increases as he matures and whether that will be enough to continue has mastery over higher level minor leaguers.

Detroit Tigers

Breakout Prospect (Joe Jimenez RHP) - The Tigers are always looking for a closer. They thought they had one with a triple digit fastball in the name of Bruce Rondon, but he has not provided the answer. Now they are looking at the mid-90s fastball of Joe Jimenez, who saved 30 games at three different levels last year. Joe is built for the bullpen, with only two pitches in a fastball and slider. The start of the season will see him in a setup role, but if the Tigers continue their search for a closer the Puerto Rican righthander will be given an opportunity.

Prospect to Watch (Grayson Greiner C) - Not because he is a great prospect, but because his 6′6 inch frame is a bit unusual for a catcher. Despite his size he is not noted for his power. The bat has some potential, but he will sit around .250 with homerun numbers in the teens. His arm is solid and whether his tall frame can weather the assaults a hot summer day can bring upon a catcher will be the real test. Matt Wieters made it as a tall catcher, but the list is small.

Kansas City Royals

Breakout Prospect (Alec Mill RHP) - He has made his comeback from Tommy John surgery to have some success in the minors. The Royals are a little short on pitching from a depth perspective. It seems natural for the righthander with the low to mid-90s fastball to be one of the first to be called upon to help the rotation. Last year he dominated in AA but struggled a bit when promoted to AAA. In 9 less innings he allowed six more balls to leave the park which ballooned his ERA by two runs. Alec has an assortment of quality pitches to bode well to achieve success at the major league level.

Prospect to Watch (Meibrys Vilaria C) - The Colombian with the .376 average was exceeded by no one. He also complemented that with 28 doubles and a 1.042 OPS. The big question with Meibrys is whether his defense tools can develop enough to be used as a catcher. He was a shortstop when signed by the Royals in 2013 so his arm is strong. Whether he can block, frame and call pitches will be decided at the higher levels. If he doesn’t make it as a catcher the Royals will find another spot for him if he continues to hit over .350.

Minnesota Twins

Breakout Prospect (Stephen Gonsales LHP) - Last year Gonsalves dominated, with his ERA improving from 2.33 to 1.82 after a promotion from High A to AA. The opposition struggled to make barrel of the bat contact on the ball, hitting him at a .179 clip. He stands 6′5″ with a fastball that can buzz to the plate in the low 90s. His change may be his best pitch making the fastball appear to have more velocity. The Twins will probably start him in AA but their rotation is full of holes. Gonsalves is their most advanced pitcher in the minors who has achieved success at each level he has pitched. Since being drafted in the fourth round in 2013 he has yet to have an ERA higher than 3.19 and his career opposition average is .204.

Prospect to Watch (Aaron Whitfield OF) - The Orioles drafted a softball player out of New Zealand and tried to make a baseball player out of him but they had little success. Aaron Whitfield was a national team level softball player when the Twins drafted him. He has had a better transition to the game of baseball than Pita Rona hitting .298 last year at the Rookie Level. He has also shown some pop in the Australian Baseball League where he hit three homeruns in a double header last weekend, improving his average to .330 and his OPS to .933. The big test is when he gets promoted to full season ball and the adjustments pitchers make to him after they have seen him hit a number of times.

Twins and Rangers Roster from Domestic Draft

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Myworld takes a look at the last two teams to see what their roster would look like if they only relied on the domestic draft to build their team. Myworld only went back to 2005. The link these two teams have is they were both at one time located in D.C. We have to give our kudos to Allan Simpson and the Baseball America ultimate draft book for our research. Anything you want to know about any draft is compiled in this book that would put the Baseball Encyclopedia to shame.

The Twins find their roster filled with number ones who never fulfilled their potential, or who the Twins hope become late bloomers like Denard Span. The Rangers had a number of players on their roster from the 2007 - 2009 time period, but their offense is still lacking super stars. Chris Davis and Joey Gallo both exhibit light tower power that comes with lots of strikeouts. Gallo is still waiting to achieve some success in the majors and not turn into the second coming of Brandon Woods.

Minnesota Twins

2005 - Matt Garza (1) RHP, Brian Duensing (3) LHP, Steven Tolleson (5) UTL, Yonder Alonso (16 - DNS) 1B
2006 - Chris Parmelee (1) 1B, Jeff Manship (14) RHP, Danny Valencia (19) 3B, J.D. Martinez (36 - DNS) OF, Chase Anderson (42 - DNS) RHP
2007 - Ben Revere (1) OF, Seth Rosin (28 - DNS) RHP, Chase Anderson (40 - DNS) RHP, Chris Heston (47 - DNS) RHP,
2008 - Aaron Hicks (1) OF, Kolton Wong (16 - DNS), Aaron Barrett (20 - DNS) RHP, Michael Tonkin (30) RHP, Adam Conley (32 - DNS) LHP, George Springer (48 - DNS) OF
2009 - Kyle Gibson (1) RHP, Chris Hermann (6) C, Brian Dozier (8) 2B, Pat Light (28 - DNS) RHP
2010 - Eddie Rosario (4) OF, Ryan O’Rourke (13) LHP, Cody Martin (20 - DNS) RHP, A.J. Achter (46) RHP
2011 - Kyle Barraclough (40 - DNS) RHP
2012 - Byron Buxton (1) OF, Jose Berrios (1) RHP, J.T. Chargois (2) RHP, Tyler Duffy (5) RHP

Roster

C - Chris Herman
1B - Chris Parmalee, Yonder Alonso
2B - Brian Dozier, Kolton Wong
3B - Danny Valencia
SS - Steven Tolleson
OF - J.D.Martinez, Ben Revere, Aaron Hicks, George Springer, Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton
SP - Matt Garza, Adam Conley, Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Chase Anderson
RP - Brian Duensing, Jeff Manship, Seth Rosin, Chris Heston, Aaron Barrett, Michael Tonkin, Pat Light, Ryan O’Rourke, Cody Martin, A.J. Achter, Kyle Barraclough, J.T. Chargois, Tyler Duffy

Texas Rangers

2005 - Taylor Teagarden (3) C, Chris Dominguez (17 - DNS) 3B
2006 - Chris Davis (5) 1B, Jacob Brigham (6) RHP, Craig Gentry (10) OF, Derek Holland (25) LHP
2007 - Julio Borbon (1) OF, Neil Ramirez (1) RHP, Tommy Hunter (1) RHP, Anthony Ranaudo (11 - DNS) RHP, Drew Pomeranz (12 - DNS) LHP, Mitch Moreland (17) 1B
2008 - Justin Smoak (1) 1B, Robbie Ross (2) LHP, Joe Wieland (4) RHP, Joey Butler (15) OF, Justin Miller (16) RHP, Tanner Roarke (25) RHP, Nate Frieman (28 - DNS) 1B, Matt Andriese (37 - DNS) RHP, Brad Miller (39 - DNS) SS
2009 - Tanner Scheppers (1) RHP, Robbie Erlin (3) LHP, Jabari Blash (9 - DNS), Aaron Barrett (27 - DNS) RHP
2010 - Luke Jackson (1) RHP, Justin Grimm (5) RHP, Jared Hoying (10) SS, Alex Claudio (27) LHP
2011 - Kyle Hendricks (80 RHP, Andrew Faulkner (14) LHP, Jerad Eickhoff (15) RHP, Ryan Rua (17) OF, Nick Martinez (18) RHP, Phil Klein (30) RHP, Brandon Finnegan (45 - DNS) LHP, C.J. Edwards (48) RHP
2012 - Joey Gallo (1) 3B, Alec Asher (4) RHP, Keone Kela (12) RHP
2013 - Alex Gonzalez (1) RHP

Roster

C - Taylor Teagarden
1B - Chris Davis, Mitch Moreland, Justin Smoak, Nate Freiman
2B - Jared Hoying
3B - Joey Gallo, Chris Dominguez
SS - Brad Miller
OF - Craig Gentry, Julio Borbon, Joey Butler, Jabari Blash, Ryan Rua
SP - Drew Pomeranz, Matt Andriese, Eddie Butler, Tanner Roark, Kyle Hendricks, Branden Finnegan
RP - Tommy Hunter, Neil Ramirez, Jacob Brigham, Derek Holland, Anthony Ranaudo, Robbie Ross, Joe Wieland, Tanner Scheppers, Robbie Erlin, Aaron Barrett, Luke Jackson, Justin Grimm, Alex Claudio, Andrew Faulkner, Jerad Eickhoff, Nick Martinez, Phil Klein, C.J. Edwards, Alec Asher, Keana Kela, Alex Gonzalez

Right Handed Starting Pitcher Prospect Review

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Just like shortstops there were a number of right handed starting pitchers to review so myworld extended it to the top 20 prospects in this category. The below list was the top 20 prospects as rated by myworld.

1. Lucas Giolito (Nationals) - The top pitching prospect struggled with his command. He dominated minor league hitters splitting time between AA and AAA but when promoted to the Nationals struggled, walking more hitters than he struck out (11/10). When the Nationals picked a starter to pitch in the bullpen in relief it was Reynaldo Lopez, who myworld had rated 28th. Gio Gonzalez will probably be gone (the Nationals not picking up his option) so it will be a battle between Reynaldo and Lucas for the fifth spot, leaving the Nationals without a lefty in the rotation. Both throw in the mid-90s so it becomes a luxury of riches with the loser getting an opportunity to prove himself by mid-season, when Strasburg is due to go on the DL.

2. Alex Reyes (Cardinals) - A 50 game drug of abuse suspension delayed his appearance in the starting rotation for the Cardinals. If they had him in the rotation at the beginning of the year they may have made the playoffs. He was pretty dominating, first in relief and then in the rotation when he was promoted to the Cardinals. Command issues were a problem with a walk every two innings. Expect him to be in the rotation next season.

3. Tyler Glasnow (Pirates) - Another pitcher with command issues which prevented him from making the rotation at the beginning of the season. He had success in AAA (1.87 ERA) despite walking 62 hitters in just 111 innings. The opposition hit only .148 against him and he struck out 133. Those command issues did not do so well when promoted to the Pirates (4.91 ERA with more hits than innings pitched and not as great a whiff rate). In spring training he will compete for a spot in the rotation and the improvement he shows with his command will determine whether he makes the rotation. He has swing and miss stuff if he can improve the location of his pitches.

4. Anderson Espinoza (Padres) - The Red Sox best prospect pitcher was traded to the Padres for Drew Pomeranz. Drew was more damaged than the Padres medical records showed and A.J. Preller was suspended for not disclosing the complete medical history of Pomeranz. The Red Sox still chose not to nullify the trade and Espinoza is still a Padre. The Red Sox may have been troubled by the struggles of Espinosa in Low A (4.38 ERA). He was not better in his seven starts with the Padres (4.78). He stands only 6′0″ so there is some durability concerns but at 18 years of age he still has a lot of time to mature. Because of his short stature and his triple digit fastballs there are a lot of comparisons to Pedro Martinez.

5. Francis Martes (Astros) - Another pitcher short of stature (6′1″) who throws a fastball in the triple digits. He pitched well in AA (3.30 ERA) striking out more than a batter per inning. He should start the 2017 season in AAA but it should not take him long to reach the Astros rotation by mid-season.

6. Jose Deleon (Dodgers) - Julio Urias was our top rated lefthanded starter. With all the injuries to the Dodgers rotation this season both got opportunities to start for the Dodgers. Urias had a little more success so this could leave Deleon with another season in AAA or starting the season in the Dodgers bullpen. He dominated in AAA (2.92 ERA with a .181 opposition average) so he has nothing to prove by repeating AAA. A lot will depend on his performance in spring training and the Dodgers needs.

7. Jose Berrios (Twins) - His starts in AAA showed the makings of an ace (2.51 ERA and .171 opposition average) but his major league opportunities were a disaster. He had trouble throwing strikes, walking almost a batter per inning and baseballs left the park with great regularity, coughing up a homerun every four innings of pitching. A good spring could earn him another opportunity in the rotation but expect him to begin the 2017 season in AAA. Success or injury in the rotation will give him another big league opportunity.

8. Robert Stephenson (Reds) - Another pitcher who can hit triple digits with his fastball. The Reds are in rebuilding mode so despite his struggles when called up he could still make the rotation with a good spring. He also had trouble keeping the ball in the park, giving up more than a homerun for each four innings of work. The Reds would have liked to see more minor league success (4.41 ERA in AAA) but 71 walks in just 137 innings spells command issues.

9. Jon Gray (Rockies) - The third pick in the 2013 draft started 28 games for the Rockies. His 4.5 plus ERA is credible considering the hitters atmosphere in Colorado. He should be a foundation for the Rockies rotation, perhaps inserting himself in the ace role in 2017.

10. Michael Fulmer (Tigers) - He almost saved the Tigers season, becoming the ace in the rotation. He tired a bit towards the end of the season as his innings pitched increased. Expect him to win the AL Rookie of the Year Award for 2016. Fulmer will also be a foundation in the Tigers rotation for the 2017 season.

11. Kenta Maeda (Dodgers) - Not really a rookie because of his success in Japan. He pitched well early in the season but the length of the major league season may have caught up with him. He averaged just over 5 innings per start but was the one Dodger that got over 30 starts. He was the number two starter behind Kershaw until the Dodgers acquired Rich Hill. He will be an important cog in the Dodgers rotation for 2017 despite a fastball that barely breaks 90.

12. Jorge Lopez (Brewers) - Jorge had a season to forget in AAA (6.81). He walked a lot of hitters and gave up more hits than innings pitched. With a good season he could have been promoted to the Brewers by mid-season. Instead, he saw more time in AA to build up his confidence with a little more success. The 2017 season will probably see him begin it in AAA and with success he could see a mid-season promotion.

13. Aaron Blair (Braves) - Another pitcher who struggled in his 14 starts with the Braves. Blair was one of the players the Diamondbacks gave up for Shelby Miller. As hard as it was Blair had a worst season than Miller. His AAA numbers were not impressive and myworld saw a back end of the rotation pitcher when we watched him pitch in the spring. With all the talented young pitchers the Braves have in their farm system it would not surprise myworld to see the Braves attempt to trade him.

14. Luis Ortiz (Brewers) - One of the players the Brewers acquired in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. He pitched in AA and seemed to be pretty easy to hit (.290 opposition average) with less than impressive whiffs per innings pitched. He starred for the United States 18 and under team, winning the MVP award at the World Cup in 2014. Poor conditioning and weight issues could prevent him from achieving success as he gets older.

15. Brent Honeywell (Rays) - A screwball gives him a different pitch than other pitchers. He was the Rays 2015 version of Blake Snell without the shutout innings. Blake was rated as out second best lefthanded starter. Honeywell had success splitting his time between High A and AA, limiting the opposition to an average of just over .200. Expect him to join Snell in the Rays rotation by mid-season in 2017.

16.Jeff Hoffman (Rockies) - The first round pick of the Blue Jays, the Rockies acquired Hoffman last year for Troy Tulowitski. He made his major league debut late in the season but struggled, giving up lots of homeruns, lots of hits with a walk to whiff ratio of 1/1. Not a promising debut to see him start the 2017 season in the Rockies rotation. His minor league numbers were not impressive (4.02 ERA) so expect him to repeat AAA and get a major league callup upon the Rockies need and his success.

17. Dillon Tate (Yankees) - The Yankees picked him up in the Carlos Beltran trade. Tate was the Rangers first round pick in 2015. The Yankees used him in the bullpen to decrease his innings count. He struggled in the Rangers Low A rotation (5.12 ERA) but did better with the Yankees (3.12 ERA). Combined the opposition hit over .300 against him. He could repeat Low A, but expect the Yankees to promote him to High A. Don’t expect to see him in the Yankee rotation until 2018.

18. Carson Fulmer (White Sox) - The White Sox called him up early in the season to use him in the bullpen. His ERA neighbored a run per inning pitched so he was sent back down to AAA to finish his year in the minors as a starter. Expect him to spend the 2017 season in AAA until he can address his command issues. In AA he walked 51 hitters in his 87 innings of work. That will have to improve if he hopes to make the White Sox rotation.

19. Grant Holmes (Athletics) - The Dodgers traded their 2014 number one pick to the Athletics in the Rich Hill trade. At 6′1″ he is small in stature and his success in the minor leagues has been limited. After the Athletics acquired him they shifted him to the High A California League where the opposition tagged him for a .355 average. The Athletics could promote him to AA in 2017 but he is still a couple years away from making the Athletics rotation.

20. Jake Thompson (Phillies) - The Phillies are rebuilding and Jake could be part of their rotation next year. His numbers for the Phillies last year were poor with a 5.70 ERA and a 28/32 walk to whiff ratio. He also gave up one homerun for each five innings he pitched. Those kind of numbers will not keep him in a major league rotation. Expect him to start the season in AAA where he had success. His strikeout numbers are not impressive but he is not an over powering pitcher.