Well hello there! Taylor, the Prospect Octopus, and I were just reading some prospect reports. Would you like to hear about them? Sounds good to us. This week, we’re jumping right in with eight delicious young prospects. I hope your eyes are as big as your stomachs.
I feel the need to remind everyone that Niko Goodrum is my pet prospect. I fell in love when reading about him in the 2012 Baseball America Prospect Handbook and I haven’t looked back ever since. Goodrum is a good, but not great prospect. He’s a shortstop with a rocket arm and he’s athletic enough to at least look like a shortstop long-term. His bat will determine his future, as his defense, speed and and arm are all plus tools. He’s posted a .256/.362/.356 triple slash this season. He strikes out a lot, but he also draws walks. He’s 21 and might get a second season with Cedar Rapids next year. He’s raw, but interesting. I love him.
From interesting to downright engrossing, Kohl Stewart might be the most important prospect in the Twins’ system. He is probably one of two guys with legit ace potential (Alex Meyer being the other), but he comes with a better pedigree, a more reliable body type and four pitches. He’s a baby, but he’s already moved up a level as a pro. In his first start with Elizabethton, Stewart went four innings, gave up just one hit and one walk. He added eight strikeouts. Rookie ball stats are fun, but mean little. However, Stewart is too exciting not to dream on. There’s a chance he’s Justin Verlander. I mean, that would just be so nice.
From engrossing to just kind of gross, we have Trevor May. Giving up on a talented prospect too early is just about the worst thing an organization can do. I don’t want to give up on May at all. However, it’s hard not to be concerned with the 4.78 ERA that May has posted in 288.1 AA innings. His walk rate is down this season, but still above 4.0 per nine innings. His strikeout rate is good, but if he can’t command his pitches, that stat will mean next to nothing. There are quite a few prospect experts who consider May a late-inning reliever. I wouldn’t make that shift just yet, but by next season, I could change my mind.
From gross to… ok, enough of that. I read a few months ago that Paul Molitor thinks that Santana is a couple years away. You look at his stats, age and level, and that seems hasty. However, there are reasons to be patient. Santana has some pop in his bat and some speed in his legs. He’s got good motions at short, but makes mistakes. He has made great contact over the past couple seasons, which is always great to see. He may repeat AA in 2014, but that won’t mean that he isn’t a part of the organization’s long-term plans. The extra time in the Minors will do him well.
Well we haven’t talked about The Phenom in a couple weeks. Buxton is hitting a ridiculous .324/.410/.484 with Fort Myers. He’s nineteen freaking years old. There is not a report out there that would surprise me at this point. “Buxton hits five home runs.” “Buxton steals home twice.” “Buxton invents his own form of super baseball; wins all the Championships.” His hype is crazy at this point. He almost can’t meet that hype. But he will. He’s just so good. I hate to say “can’t miss” but Buxton is the closest thing to can’t miss as it gets. I’m so freaking excited.
Byron Buxton is so good. Wait, Felix Jorge now. Jorge is impressive is his own right. In 54.1 innings with Elizabethton, Jorge has 63 strikeouts and 17 walks. His 3.15 ERA is really nice, especially when you consider that he’s a teenager. Rookie ball numbers blah blah blah. They may mean next to nothing, but good numbers are always better than poor numbers. Jorge’s test will come next season, when he debuts with Cedar Rapids. If he can maintain his strikeout rate, as so many Rookie ball pitchers cannot, then he will become a truly interesting or engrossing prospect. Stay tuned. Not the movie.
The jump from Rookie to full-season ball can be rough. Just ask Jimenez. He posted a .095/.150/.122 triple slash in 80 plate appearances with Cedar Rapids. He was sent back to Elizabethton and he’s looked ok. He strikes out a ton and hasn’t shown any of the power he showed in the Appy League last season. He still keeps my interest because I love tools. However, if he can’t make the jump to A ball next season, then I’ll lose interest quickly. There are simply too many good outfielders in this system.
Do you like guys compared to Drew Butera? Turner was given that unfair comp, even though he was quite the accomplished hitter in college. At 21, he’s a youngish college guy, and he’s hit pretty well in the Appy League. .266/.349/.394 isn’t outstanding, but those are numbers you can dream on, especially for a catcher with good receiving skills. Turner may never be an exciting top prospect, but he could ultimately end up as a useful Twin. And really, isn’t that what the prospect game is all about?
Thank you spending some quality prospect time with Taylor and me. We will be back with a whole new set of eight prospects next week. Soon, we will be at the end of the Minor League season. When that happens, you can bet that Taylor and I will be recapping all of the major Minor Leaguers and how their seasons went down. Have a nice week, everyone!