Minnesota Twins Prospect Octopus: Year-End Review Week 4
By Brad Swanson
Jul 28, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (44) pitches to the Seattle Mariners during the 1st inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome back everyone! I hope you like guys with last names that start with “G.” Today, we have eight more prospects to share with you as we continue our review of all of the prominent Twins Minor Leaguers. There are a few very significant prospects on today’s list, including my own personal favorite. Let’s dish!
Gibson somehow had an encouraging and disappointing season all at once. His return from major arm surgery was very encouraging. His time with Rochester was very encouraging. His MLB debut was very encouraging. Every start he made with the Twins after that was disappointing. We need to give him another chance. In fact, I wrote about 8 reasons why I am not worried about Gibson (and Aaron Hicks) just a couple weeks ago. Check it out! Gibson is still the same potential number 3 starter that he was when he was drafted. He had a rough rookie season like many rookies do and he’ll adjust and get better. I still pencil Gibson into the Twins rotation for the next 5-10 years. I like him.
The Twins’ 7th round selection back in June, Gilbert is a right-handed relief pitcher out of Seton Hall University. Gilbert had an impressive pro debut, issuing just one walk in 23 innings split between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids. In 17 innings in Low A, he only struck out seven batters. Obviously, the walk total is impressive. Gilbert can hit mid-90s with his fastball and was impressive after converting to relief to become Seton Hall’s closer in 2013. The Twins love to load up on college relievers, although it doesn’t seem that a move back to the rotation is planned for Gilbert.
Originally signed out of Venezuela in 2006, Goncalves just finished his ninth season in the Twins’ organization. Ninth! He’s never appeared in a game above AA and it doesn’t look like the Twins have much reason to retain him at all. In 302 career games with Fort Myers, Goncalves has posted a .242/.334/.313 triple slash. He has almost no power. He has 120 extra base hits in 2069 pro at-bats. His 2013 season was nothing special too. With the glut of outfield talent in this system, I can’t see much reason to keep him in the organization.
Ah, now we’re talking. Gonsalves was the Twins’ fourth-round pick this past June and he might just be an Onterrio Smith SOD without the fake urine device. Gonsalves pitched well in the GCL, so the Twins moved him up to Elizabethton. He pitched even better there. In 28.1 pro innings, he has a 0.95 ERA, 1.024 WHIP, 39 strikeouts and just 11 walks. He’s a big, 6’5″ lefty and he’s got some spunk too, tweeting about all the teams that passed on him in the draft, after pitching a great game. High school lefties with good stuff and good upside make great fourth-round picks. They make great first-round picks. The Twins seem to have done well at this spot.
Gonzalez just finished his sixth season with the Twins organization. The Good – he has a career K:BB ratio over 3, he has struck out over a batter per inning as a pro, he’s basically mastered A ball. The Bad – he’s 23 and everything he has done in AA. In 55.2 AA innings, his walk rate is almost five, his ERA is 5.34 and his WHIP is 1.563. He may just need more time to adjust to more advanced hitters. Or, he may just be an org guy with no upside. We’ll see, but he needs to conquer AA next season or what’s the point?
This Gonzalez is an 18-year-old right-handed pitcher out of the Dominican Republic. Gonzalez came to the States and pitched 25.2 innings in the GCL. He had a 1.05 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 33 strikeouts and just 9 walks. It’s enough to get you excited, but it’s important to pump the breaks on these young, Rookie Ball prospects until they prove something in full-season ball… Ah, screw it, let’s get pumped! This guy is the next Pedro, I’m calling it right now! I don’t care how irresponsible it is, I’m sick of responsible! Let’s jack it up in here! Watch out for Pedro 2.0, coming to Elizabethton in 2014!
If you follow The Octopus (which is what I’m calling it now), then you already know that Goodrum is my pet prospect. I love strong arms, shortstops and gangly frames. Goodrum has all three! Goodrum is all three? Regardless, this guy has major tools and has started to actually put them into performance. He faded a bit in the second half, but still posted a .260/.364/.369 triple slash for the season. His power dipped a bit as he moved to full-season ball, but he kept his plate discipline and slightly improved his contact. He also added 20 stolen bases, an element of his game that had been dormant, despite his great speed. All along, many felt he would fill out and move to third base. So far, he hasn’t. If he can stick at short and continue to develop, he could be a diamond in the rough. I just… I just love him so much.
Granite was the Twins’ 14th-round pick in this June’s draft. Granite is a centerfielder out of Seton Hall. He played 61 games with Elizabethton, all in center, and posted a .285/.362/.343 triple slash. He didn’t hit a home run, but did add five triples. Labeled as a “speedster,” Granite added 14 stolen bases, although he was caught seven times. Apparently, his nickname is “Kid Blast.” Interesting. There are probably 8-10 rock puns that I should include, but we’re 1000 words in and I need to get to steppin’.
There you have it, eight guys linked forever by the first letter of their last name. We hope you enjoyed this little trip down G Lane. We’ll be back next week, brought to you by the letter H, the number 3 and viewers like you.