Last week I reported on the origins of the Pleiss brothers’ Twins prospect challenge. A year into the process, a year that saw eight Twins make their MLB debuts, Eric and I decided to make a change to the prospect challenge. A quick review of the rules for the prospect challenge, in case any of you here on the Pond want to join: Each person gets to select a position player for each position, three RHP and three LHP. Any player chosen who debuts in MLB within three years of selection will earn one point. The person with the most points each year is declared the winner. Last year I picked Scott Diamond as one of my selections, and as a Rule-5 draft pick, he was virtually guaranteed to get called up to the Twins for his MLB debut when theyheaded north out of Ft Myers. To prevent easy pickings like this, and to put more emphasis on projections and predictions we made a very simple, and yet very challenging rule change. Going forward, no prospect who has played above AA is elligible for selection in the prospect challenge. In addition to the rule change, a year of following prospects and REALLY following the Twins from the top of the organization on down, I learned a lot that I’ll be putting to use for this year’s prospect challenge.
Last year both Eric and I both went a little overboard and both selected Miguel Sano. A year later, I see that as without a doubt by worst pick of 2011. Even selecting Sano this year would be a reach, yes, but last year he was still playing in Elizabethton, and for him to debut this year or next would be nothing short of a miracle. Even for Sano to be playing in New Britain would put him well ahead of schedule. It’s hard not to pick the A+ prospects when you are unfamiliar with how the minor league system works. A year later I find myself looking hard at the Ft. Myers roster and the performances put in out of Beloit last year, looking for the hidden gems and looking for the guys I think have a shot at making it to Target Field. Last year I picked Tom Stuifbergen and he put in a good 2011 performance racking up a career high 121.2 innings over 24 appearances and was knighted in his native country. Sir Tom Stuifbergen would have again made my prospect challenge list in 2012 if not for a late season emergency start that he made for Rochester effectively removing him from contention for the 2012 prospect challenge. Prospect predicting is no easy game, even first round picks go bust, and yet most of those seemed like the right bet at the time.
The rule changes for 2012 have definitely made things more difficult. In 2011 the Twins called a lot of guys up to MLB before they probably should have been there, and those call-ups created plenty of holes in the AAA roster that needed to be filled, at least on a part time basis. With the new rule, all of those guys are now inelligible and trying to find propspects who are less than 3 years out at each position was tough.
Without further delay, I give you the 2012 Twins Prospect Challenge selections:
2012 Prospect Challenge Selections:
*players selected on my 2011 list
I invite Twins fans everywhere to join me in my prospect predictions. Post your selections below or on the Puckett’s Pond Facebook page.