A week ago yesterday, not a single Twins minor leaguer cracked Baseball America’s Prospect Hot Sheet, but rest assured the organization didn’t get shut out for a second week in a row. The July 19th Hot Sheet featured not one but two Minnesota prospects in the Top-13 and another got a mention in the next grouping of seven. To make the future just a little brighter, none of the three players to make the list of twenty were named Buxton or Sano.
RF Adam Walker (21) was overshadowed by Buxton at the start of the season and then by Max Kepler when he finally made his Midwest League debut not long after BB was promoted to Fort Myers. That’s starting to change as Walker has elevated his production of late and given that he was already putting together a solid season it’s getting noticed. The Twins’ 2012 3rd round pick hit .370/.357/.889 (10-27) with 8 R, 2 2B, 4 HR and 11 RBI to land at #6 on the Hot Sheet which spanned the week of July 12th to the 18th. He added to his totals last night with his second 2 HR game in his last four and has a multi-hit game in six of his last seven. Walker has made noticeable strides at the plate and while there is more work to be done as far as his K% is concerned he has dropped it from 30.2% with Elizabethton last season to 21.9% with the Kernels. For those of you who don’t follow year to year K% changes that is a massive decrease and one that bodes very well for the futures of Minnesota and Walker. He now has 20 HR on the season which gives him a five home run lead over second place. His 83 RBI lead the circuit as well and he’s third in runs scored (60) behind the already promoted Buxton (68) and teammate J.D. Williams (65). If you’re looking for a league leaderboard littered with Twins prospects, the Midwest League is definitely one to check out. In addition to Walker’s surge, 3B Travis Harrison is tied for second in the league with 15 HR and 1B Dalton Hicks is currently 7th with 13.
2B Eddie Rosario (21) hasn’t been knocking the ball out of the park like Walker but he’s doing everything else asked of him with New Britain. He placed right behind Walker at #7 on the list with a 0.433/.452/.633 (13-30) week that included 2 R, 3 2B, 1 HR and 4 RBI. Rosario has gotten his share of pub serving as the sidekick to Sano’s superhero exploits since the two joined forces in 2011 with the E-Twins. Like Walker, he’s pushed his game to a new level of late hitting 0.400/.451/.631 during the month of July (16 G, 65 AB). Even with a steep decline in production the rest of 2013 (which seems highly unlikely), Rosario should still land comfortably on most – if not all – Top-100 prospect lists and has cemented himself as one of the top 2B prospects in the game.
The other Twins prospect to get a mention this week is LHP Lewis Thorpe who is still down in the Gulf Coast League. Despite the fact he’s still in rookie ball, the 17-year old Aussie is worth keeping tabs on as he continues to pitch exceptionally. He currently has a 3.05 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and off the charts 31-2 SO-to-BB in 20.2 innings of work this season – his first as a professional. Thorpe is surely shooting up the organizational prospect list and as a left handed starter who is actually producing at his level, he may be one of the more valuable prospects in the system at the present time. After all it’s slim pickings in the Twins major league rotation at present.