Pond Links (1/31): Prospects, Rankings, Projections and More


Since the prospect chatter and requisite rankings are starting to fly fast and furious I went ahead and created a new page on the site which I oh-so cleverly titled “Prospects.”

Sheer genius right?

Yeah, yeah whatever … So the plan is to keep this list updated as new rankings and lists come out. I will also do my best to try and track down any Twins lists I may have missed in the last couple of months and get ‘em linked up for reference.

Anyway, in addition to pointing out a few Twins prospect lists that came out in the last couple of days, I also wanted to celebrate the arrival of The Baseball Prospect Book 2011. Yay mail! Yay prospect books! Yay baseball!

Blizzards? Yeah those still suck …

Seriously though … John Sickels has once again turned out a gem. I strongly encourage everyone to saunter to his website and order a copy. If you purchase Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook every year, purchasing John’s book as its companion is quite simply the proper thing to do.

Over on Call to the Pen this weekend, Nathaniel Stoltz published his take on the Minnesota Twins minor league system. I respect his opinion immensely and – despite the claims of the occasional biased/offended commenter – he knows his stuff. Nathaniel is more well-versed on the prospects of all 30 organizations than anyone else I know personally. He’s also a good friend so instead of taking my word for it (yes I’m biased), click on the link and read what he has to say. Then you can form your own opinion. Here’s a little taste from his lead-in to wet your prospect whistle:

This system’s a bit thin on the infield (with one very notable exception), and although there are a few interesting catchers, all the backstops have significant warts.

Other than that, it’s great. Few teams can rival Minnesota’s outfield depth, and that’s coming from me, who’s more down on Aaron Hicks than almost anyone out there. The pitching is very solid, with four guys who could pitch in the first three spots of a big league rotation.

Nathaniel wasn’t the only site to tackle the Twins system on Friday. FanGraphs’ Reed MacPhail also covered Minnesota’s prospects, though he took the more traditional Top 10 approach.

Since the propect rankings are starting to fly fast and furious it’s surely time for sites to start ranking offseason moves and also start making preliminary predictions on the 2011 season.

I don’t like being let down so thankfully I found articles to fit both categories over the weekend.

Stan McNeal of Sporting News ranked the offseason moves of the teams in the AL Central.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports made my Saturday when he wrote the following about our Twins in the AL Central.

The Twins are fine without them for now and prohibitive favorites for AL Central supremacy over a refreshed White Sox team and revamped Tigers group. For the time being. We’ll know better in April. All we have to do is take a peek in the trainer’s room.

I found a few other things that I wanted to pass along from the weekend:

85% Sports recently had a chance to sit down with Jeff Manship.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale dropped his organizational report of the Minnesota Twins.

According to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, 95% of Twins fans have already renewed their season tickets for year 2 at Target Field.

Coming next is the second of ten 2010 Twins Debuts columns …

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Tags: Jeff Manship Minnesota Twins