Baseball America’s long-awaited and much anticipated Top-100 prospect list was unveiled this morning. The top fell as most expected with the Nationals Bryce Harper, Angels Mike Trout and Yankees Jesus Montero occupying the top three slots.
The litany of Royals farmhands to make the list also did not come as a surprise. Our divisional friends from Kansas City placed a healthy 9 players in the top-100 including five players in the top-20.
The Twins can’t match the top of the line talent that makes up the Royals system, but Minnesota still placed 4 players on Baseball America’s Top-100. That fact alone gives an indication of the health of the system relative to other organizations and the Twins have a good amount of depth as well.
- #34 RHP-Kyle Gibson: The Twins 1st round pick (22nd overall) in 2009 moves up 27 spots after being ranked #61 on BA’s 2010 Top-100. I’ll be stunned if he does make at least a handful of starts at Target Field this season.
- #45 OF-Aaron Hicks: As the Twins 1st round pick (14th overall) in the 2008 draft much was expected of him and he still possesses all the 5-tool athletic ability you could want in a player. After being ranked at #39 in 2009 and #19 in 2010, he has slipped a little bit in prospect circles as he has failed to progress as quickly as some would have hoped.
- #60 3B/SS-Miguel Sano: Signed as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic in October of 2009, he landed at #94 in BA’s 2010 top-100 despite the fact he hadn’t made his professional debut. Sano’s performance as a 17-year old in the DSL and GCL last year legitimized the initial ranking and the subsequent 34 spot climb heading into 2011. If he has another strong showing this season, Miguel could easily ascend into the top-20 when Baseball America unveils their list next year.
- #100 OF-Joe Benson: The Twins 2nd round pick in the 2006 draft, this is Benson’s 1st appearance on BA’s top-100. He is an intriguing prospect who took a huge step forward in 2010 and tapped into his power potential. He hit 27 HR last season after hitting just 19 in his first 4 minor league seasons.
Hicks and Sano are a ways away from the majors, but we should get to see Gibson up with the Twins at some point in this upcoming season. There is also a very real chance that Benson makes his debut as a September call-up or as an injury replacement.
Of the Twins quartet to make the Top-100, Benson is the one I will be following during the upcoming season with the greatest amount of interest.
As mentioned at the beginning, the Kansas City Royals are the class of the division in terms of prospects. They are rightfully regarded as the #1 farm system in all of baseball and may have the best collection to talent of any system in the last decade or more.
Here is a list of Royals that made the list:
Finally, BA’s Top-100 has been added to the Puckett’s Pond prospects page for future reference.