Minnesota Twins Prospect Octopus: July 1, 2013
By Brad Swanson
Twins starter Gibson delivers a pitch inning against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Hello again, everyone! Taylor, the Prospect Octopus and I are back after a one-week sabbatical. We were off on important prospect and scallop business. Today, we want to highlight eight prospects who have recently started at a new level. It is past the mid-season point in the Minors, so more promotions may be coming, but the big names have likely already moved. And, boy are there some big names to discuss. Let’s waste no more time.
Gibson made his MLB debut on Saturday and looked great. Since he has barely any service time, he is still considered a prospect. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gibson exhausts his prospect status before the end of 2013. Gibson commanded his fastball very well on Saturday and showed good enough stuff to miss a few MLB bats. He also worked quickly and efficiently, which will endear him to his teammates and coaches. He’s probably the best starter on the Twins’ team right now, and I see no reason why he should be sent back to Rochester at any point going forward.
Darnell was a 6th-round-pick back in 2010 and has been working through the slow and long journey to Minnesota. This season, he finally showed that he could handle AA batters, after a rough season with New Britain in 2012. Darnell added some strikeouts, cut down walks and saw great results, earning a call-up to Rochester. His first start ended abruptly and Darnell will now miss at least one start with a blister, but simply earning the right to pitch one level away from the Bigs is a huge advancement for Darnell.
I’m going to let Baseball Prospectus’ Jason Parks and Baseball America’s Ben Badler tell you all about Miguel Sanoin a series of tweets:
So, yeah, he’s special. There are some rumblings that Sano could get a September call-up this season. To quote Chris Traeger, that would be literally amazing.
On the other hand, Parks had this to say about Rosario:
That is not to say that he cannot improve defensively and make it as a second baseman. However, he has work to do and while he is at AA with Sano, his MLB debut is likely to be much later. Offensively, he hasn’t quite caught up to AA pitching yet, but he will. Rosario can hit.
The third prospect called up to AA back in early June is having the most difficulty with AA pitching. Angel Morales has posted a .167/.231/.271 triple slash in 52 at bats. Morales played 273 games at Fort Myers before earning his AA promotion. That alone should preach patience, as Morales likely will need quite a bit of time to adjust to AA pitching. It’s entirely possible that he won’t adjust. His high A numbers were only really impressive in the 55 games he played this season. Before that, he wasn’t showing much. Keep an eye on him, but I wouldn’t have super high expectations.
Speaking of expectations, Buxton went from great prospect to the next Willie Mays in the past few months. Buxton had a breakout game of sorts on Sunday, going 3-3 with a double and a stolen base. He isn’t dominating high A just yet, but he’s only 19. When I was 19, I was sleeping through Astronomy. I’ll go ahead and guess that everyone is back to raving about Buxton and how he has adjusted to high A within a month. He’s just too special to hold down for any lengthy period of time.
The Twins have exciting prospects from all over the World! Max Kepler is from Germany, which would make him interesting enough. However, he is also a great athlete and baseball player. Kepler has taken over in center for Buxton and in 10 games, he has looked great. He is hitting for power, getting on base and showing that his breakout at Elizabethton in 2012 was not a fluke. Kepler is a top 10 prospect in the Twins system, but would likely be a top 5 prospect in many other systems. He’ll probably be representing the World at the Future’s Game in 2014, which will be held in Minnesota. He’s worth getting tickets to go see.
Minier might be the next big Twins prospect. He was signed out of the Dominican Republic at age 16 and is now playing for the Twins in the Gulf Coast League. He’s playing mostly third base and showing some great power. He has a .269/.333/.500 triple slash through his first seven games and looks to be holding his own as a 17-year-old in Rookie ball. He is obviously very young, very raw, and very far away, but he is certainly another interesting prospect to add to the Twins already stacked Farm System.
That’s all we have for this week. There are so many prospects to discuss and so little time. Next week, we will return with another octopus’s tentacle-load of Twins prospects. Have a nice week, everyone!