Minnesota Twins Prospect Octopus: Week 7


March 7, 2013; Clearwater, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (32) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor the Prospect Octopus would like me to embed more tweets into these posts.  Not only does a tweet convey great information from an expert, Taylor feels that an embedded tweet is a tacit endorsement of the original Tweeter and that you should follow said Tweeter if we include them in the post.  I agree.  I also applaud Taylor’s use of the word “tacitly,” even if it was used in a run-on sentence.  So, we’re going to add more tweets and you should add these Tweeters to your feeds.  They all supply great prospect information.  On to the players!

Rochester Red Wings

Kyle Gibson was magnificent on Sunday, pitching a complete game shutout and taking a no hitter into the 8th inning.  Gibson gave up only three hits and two walks, while recording eight strikeouts.  Gibson has now thrown 52.2 innings this season, striking out 46 while walking only 14.  The Twins want Gibson to be more consistent, but I’m not sure what he has left to prove at AAA.  If the Twins have Gibson on a 130 inning limit, he may only have 12-15 starts left in his arm this season.  If that is the case, the Twins are running out of time to see what he can do against MLB hitting.  When you add the ineffectiveness of Pedro Hernandez and Mike Pelfrey, there is no reason to keep Gibson in Rochester much longer.

Another player trying to force his way to Minnesota is Chris Colabello.  Colabello went 4-5 on Sunday, with his 16th and 17th double.  More interesting is this fact:

Colabello getting reps in right is significant.  Not only is Aaron Hicks still not performing, but Chris Parmelee and Oswaldo Arcia are slumping as well.  If the Twins need an outfielder, Colabello might get the call.  The 29-year-old independent ball veteran certainly seems to be earning it.

New Britain Rock Cats

Daniel Ortiz went 2-4 on Sunday, raising his average to .299.  Ortiz has hit well in the past, approaching .300 in a couple different Minor League seasons.  The significant advancement thus far has been development of some power.  Ortiz currently has a slugging percentage just shy of .500, which is certainly his best showing in full-season ball.  Antoan Richardson was recently called up to Rochester.  If they end up needing another OF, Ortiz might get the next call.

Michael Tonkin has had an interesting season so far.  In 18.2 innings, he hasn’t given up a home run, but his walk rate is up from last season and the strikeouts he added in 2012 have dipped as well.  However, Tonkin still has only pitched about 50 innings above Low-A.  His results have been pretty good, as his ERA sits just below three.  If he keeps working on his command, he could see his walks decrease which would make his strikeout rate dip a little less significant.

Fort Myers Miracle

Just to remind everyone, Miguel Sano is really good:

Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus is not a guy who calls for promotions prematurely.  Often when fans ask about their favorite prospect moving up a level, he’ll respond with something along the lines of “what’s the rush?”  However, Parks, much like many Twins fans, recognizes that Sano is special.  He’s going to get to Minnesota at a very young age.  The jump to AA is a big one, but Sano has little left to prove in A ball, and might reach AA before the draft in early June.

AFL hero Nate Roberts returned this week, playing his first game of the 2013 season.  Unfortunately:

Roberts is 24, has now played just one game above low A and seems to be a little bit injury prone.  He hasn’t played more than 76 games in a season.  However, he is an extremely intriguing player, as he has a career .438 OBP in 180 games.  The man can take a walk.  That kind of plate discipline makes you wish that he could stay healthy and move up the ladder at a reasonable rate.  Hopefully, he comes back from this injury, has a huge month in Fort Myers, and heads to New Britain.  Otherwise, he’s a 25-year-old with no AA experience going into 2014.

Cedar Rapids Kernels

John Sickels of SB Nation profiled some Twins prospects this week.  Here is a tweet with a link to a couple:

Niko Goodrum is a pet prospect of mine.  Everything I read about him and every video clip I watch makes me like him more and more.  Goodrum is a great example of not scouting box scores.  He hasn’t really performed all that well, but when you read about his projected power and his crazy strong arm, you can’t help but think of what he can become.  It will be very exciting to watch as he develops as a player and as a man.  One development that I have noticed from box scores this season is what seems to be continued improvement in his plate discipline.  He has a .390 OBP and has taken 25 walks in 38 games.  Not bad for his first season in A ball.

Tyler Duffey doesn’t walk anyone.  He’s only surrendered four free passes in 49.1 innings this season.  Limiting baserunners via walk is going to help any pitcher.  Whether or not he can maintain an elite walk rate throughout his development will certainly tell the story of his success.  Duffey clearly can handle low A hitters, but more advanced hitters will be more patient and exploit mistakes.  It’s exciting to see Duffey have such success, but he has a long way to go.

Yet to Debut

As if the Twins prospect cup weren’t overflowing enough, Luke Bard, Max Kepler and J.T. Chargois, all top 20 prospects, have not made their debut this season.  I’m most excited for Kepler, as he had a breakout last season and is a physical kid with big tools.  Each of these players are worth remembering, and Taylor and I will make sure you are aware when they finally debut.

That’s all we have this week.  If you have a Twins prospect who you would like profiled in the future, send a tweet to @bridman77 with the #prospectoctopus.  We’ll make sure that you get a good profile.