Aug 20, 2013; Ft Myers, FL, USA; Fort Myers Miracle center fielder Byron Buxton (7) steals third base during the sixth inning against the Charlotte Stone Crabs at Hammond Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome back to the Prospect Octopus Year-End Blowout! Taylor and I are hard at work profiling 120ish Twins Minor Leaguers. This week, we have the Twins’ top prospect, a promising starter, an old guy, at TJ guy and four more! Buckle up, knuckle up.
Beyond #rig, Berrios possesses other qualities that make him an interesting prospect. He has great stuff and he’s gotten good results. At age 19, he posted a 100:40 strikeout to walk ratio in 103.2 innings in the Midwest League. He started out even stronger, but likely fatigued in his first full season. Berrios isn’t the prototypical starting pitching prospect. He’s short and somewhat slight. Body type isn’t everything. Berrios has three potential plus pitches and clean mechanics. He also seems to have swagger, which I know can’t be quantified. I don’t care; I like swagger. I like style. I like confidence. It’s not everything, but when you add it to an impressive arsenal, it makes me like the player even more. He’ll be just 20 in 2014, likely reaching high A in short order.
Speaking of short and slight, Bixler is even smaller than Berrios. He is listed at 5’11” and 170 lb, which is certainly not a common pitcher body type. The Twins’ 16th-round pick back in June, Bixler started with Elizabethton and quickly showed that he needed a greater challenge. He struck out 18 in 12.1 innings and only gave up one earned run. After his promotion to Cedar Rapids, Bixler posted a 4.66 ERA in just 9.2 innings. He worked exclusively out of the bullpen. As a college arm, he could move swiftly, but he’s not really a prospect and upper Minors hitters could do some serious damage against him.
The twins drafted Boer in the 2nd round back in 2011. His 2011 pro debut was a rousing success! He struck out 43 batters and walked just 3 in 25.1 innings. He looked like a potential steal. He converted to a starter in 2012 and quickly jumped to High A Fort Myers. In 111 innings, he posted a 6.41 ERA. Yikes. He had three poor starts in April of 2013, then missed over two months when he broke his non-throwing hand in an off-field incident. He returned in June as a reliever and has looked better, but has also not rekindled his dominant rookie ball debut. He’s got talent and stuff; hopefully he’ll take to relief pitching and play a full season in 2014.
The Twins took Boyd 55th overall in the 2011 draft. Boyd has hard stuff, a big body and seemed to be a starter-in-the-making. Of course, he might not be much of a pitcher and that’s a problem. In 103 innings with Cedar Rapids in 2013, Boyd only managed 72 strikeouts while walking 56 batters. That ratio is gross, and unprintable. He was better as a reliever, but still managed just an 18:10 ratio in 24.1 innings, although his ERA was 1.48. He’ll be 21 next season and the clock is officially ticking. Without some sign of progress in 2014, he’ll become an NP (non-prospect), if he hasn’t already.
Not much to see here. Burris was a 17th-round selection in 2011 and he hasn’t shown much of anything to this point, beyond the ability to give batters free passes to first base. He’s walked 62 batters in 87.1 pro innings. He started 2013 with Cedar Rapids, but quickly proved he wasn’t ready after posting a 10.80 ERA and walking 9 batters in 10 innings. He moved back to the Appy League, where he did get the chance to start some games. He posted a decent 3.70 ERA, but also an uninspiring 48:32 strikeout to walk ratio in 41.1 innings. He’ll be 22 next season and he’s never succeeded beyond Rookie ball.
Now we’re talking! What more can be written about Byron Buxton? He was chosen by Baseball America as their Minor League Player of the Year this past week. He went from second-overall pick in the 2012 draft to the consensus top overall prospect in baseball in just over a year. He’s exceeded all expectations. There is simply no way to look at Buxton and not see a monster. He has all the tools and he seems to have great makeup as well. I would have laughed at anyone who said this in April, but he’ll be in the Twins uniform in 2014.
Here are Chargois stats from 2013:
Yep, he didn’t pitch. He was hurt at the beginning of the season and it turned out that he was actually injured all along and missed the whole season. He’ll likely miss all or most of next season as well, after having Tommy John surgery. A second-round pick in 2012, Chargois looked to either be a fast-rising reliever or a potential starter convert. He might be neither now, as this surgery changes his long-term outlook significantly. I hope he can bounce back, as he had late-inning potential, even if relief was his ultimate role.
Arguably the best story of the Twins 2013 season, Colabello made his MLB debut back in May after nearly a decade in Minor League and Independent baseball. The 29-year-old first baseman had massive success with Rochester, posting a sick .352/.437/.639 triple slash. His 24 home runs were good for second in the International League, despite spending nearly two months with the Twins. He hasn’t enjoyed consistent MLB success, but he hasn’t really received consistent MLB playing time either. He’s played more regularly in September and he’s displayed some power, but little else. I have a feeling he’ll be the Twins’ starting first baseman next season and his right-handed power could play very well at Target Field.
That ends this chapter. I hope you enjoyed this part of the journey as much as we have. We’ll be back next week with eight more names for you to chew on. Have a nice week, everyone!