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Down on the Pond: Top Prospects 10-15

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Last week I began my series on the top 20 prospects in the Twins organization, and along with fellow Puckett’s Pond writers we have been covering the organizations top talents quite heavily this month. You can check out Michael’s Bright Futures series, or get a look at who Brad values down in the minors in his series profiling the top 25. Prospects, prospects, prospects!

A quick recap from last week, prospects 16-20

20. Levi Michael.
19. Daniel Santana.
18. Mason Melotakis.
17. B.J. Hermsen.
16. Jorge Polanco.

Onto the new stuff!
15. Alex Wimmers. Last season I had Wimmers pegged as the Twins #9 prospect, but the injury bug stuck again limiting him to 5 innings before he underwent season ending Tommy John surgery on August 2nd. Wimmers is already 23 and will most likely most, if not all, of the 2013 season. I still believe in his stuff and while he missed development time will hurt his long-term value, I still think he has value. Maybe Wimmers will find his way back by being a relief arm, only time will tell. Kyle Gibson, who spent 2012 recovering from Tommy John surgery may be able to provide Wimmers with some words of advice and comfort as Wimmers fights his way back to the mound.

14. Niko Goodrum. I am drunk on Nike Goodrum, drunk on hope! Niko didn’t have a bad season in 2012, but he didn’t hit as well as he did in 2011, but looking at numbers alone in rookie league ball doesn’t tell the whole story. Goodrum took more walks and hit for more power in his second season in Elizabethon and should start 2013 with the Twins new low-A affiliate Cedar Rapids Kernels. Niko has a strong arm and I like him to stick at the short-stop position as he moves up through the system. At only 20 years old, he still has a long way to go before he makes it to the big leagues, but I’ve got big league dreams on him already.

13. Chris Herrmann. Herrmann has a plus arm behind the plate, and although he played mostly OF at the university of Miami, the Twins moved him behind the plate and the move has been a resounding success, culminating with a late season call up to the Twins this past season. While with AA New Britain Herrmann produced a slash line of .276/.350/.392 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 127 games and displayed his arm behind the plate throwing out 44% of would be base stealers (out of 51 attempts, the gunned down 27). I expect Herrmann to be getting reps at AAA to start the season but I would not be surprised to see him back with the big league club before the season is over. He provides the same stellar defense as Drew Butera, but his bat has some upside (despite his .054 average during last year’s call up).

12. Travis Harrison. Drafted in the sandwich round of the 2011 draft (50th overall) Harrison and spent 2012 with the Elizabethan Twins. In 60 games (59 at 3B and 1 DH) he hit .301/.383/.461, which is impressive for a guy just a year removed from high school, but he showed his rawness in the field, committing 24 errors in 143 chances. He struck out 51 times to go with only 24 walks, so despite good offensive numbers, there is still work to be done, but at only 20 years old that is to be expected. Much like fellow prospect Miguel Sano, Harrison may not stick at the hot corner; Harrison and his bat may be destined for first base, but given his potential upside and youth, the Twins will leave him at third as long as possible.

11. Adrian Salcedo. Salcedo pitched only 30.2 innings in 2012 after getting hit in the face during a game in late April that broke his nose. There was a lot of buzz surrounding Salcedo going into 2012, but the injury bug took its toll on the lanky right-hander, and after returning from the broken nose he was limited with elbow issues and then shoulder issues before ending the season on the DL. Salcedo has the ability to miss bats and has above average command, will he become the fenom scouts and fans saw in 2010 or was his diminished K-rate in 2011 (Beloit) closer to the real deal? With 2012 lost in injury and questions surrounding the health of his elbow, it’s a bit dangerous for me to have Salcedo this high, but I’m an optomisitc guy and I think he will bounce back in 2013. Fingers crossed.

Stop back next Thursday and we’ll take a look at the next 5 prospects in my top-20 list.

And if you really want to dive into the world of Twins prospects, make sure to check out Seth Stohs 2013 Twins Prospect Handbook when it comes out later this off-season. It is, without a doubt, the best guide for Twins prospects throughout the system, and has been an essential part of my off-season reading for the last couple years.
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