Minnesota Twins: Under the Radar Prospect Part Two


Over the weekend, we looked at some outstanding prospects in the lower levels of the farm system that should be on the radar of Twins fans. Today, we’ll take a look at some exciting prospects at AA and AAA.

AA Chattanooga
Rarely has there been a more hyped minor league team than the 2015 Chattanooga Lookouts. Aside from sporting the coolest logo in baseball the Lookouts have a truly dominant offense and will continue to even after Byron Buxton’s promotion to the Twins. The Lookouts lead the league in 3B, HR (16 ahead of next best Montgomery), TB (861), OBP (.339), SLG (.434) and OPS (.772). Choosing two prospects from the litany of talent at Chattanooga was nearly impossible. For that reason I decided to ignore more heralded prospects such as Jorge Polanco, Miguel Sano and Jose Berrios. Chattanooga pitching has struggled, registering a league second to worst 4.03 ERA through Saturday. The Lookout bullpen features several high impact arms. Nick Burdi and Jake Reed have both been overpowering but erratic, but remain high upside arms for the Twins bullpen.

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Adam Brett Walker
Walker was drafted by the Twins in the 4th round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Jacksonville University. The son of a former NFL player, Walker is an absolute unit at 6’4 225lbs and can hit a baseball a long, long way. The concern with Walker has always been his ability to maintain a palatable average and keep his SOs down. He has been remarkably consistent thus far in his MiLB career. With Rookie ball Elizabethton in 2012 he hit .250 with 14HR and 45 RBI in 58 games. In 129 games for low A Cedar Rapids, Walker hit .278 with 27 HR and 109 RBI. At high A Fort Myers in 2014 he hit .246 with 25 HR and 94 RBI in 132 games. Walker has continued his consistency at AA. Through 58 games, he has hit .258 with 16 HR and 51 RBI. To put thing in perspective, if Walker was playing a 162 game schedule, he would be on pace to hit 44 HR and 142 RBI this season. If Walker can maintain his average, he could see meaningful time for the Twins, perhaps at DH.

J.T Chargois
Other than occasionally sporting an incredibly shady mustache, all J.T. Chargois has done this year is dominate hitters. Chargois was drafted by the Twins in the 2nd round of the 2012 draft (turning out to be an outstanding class) out of Rice. Chargois started the year at Fort Myers, where he pitched to the tune of a 2.40 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and SO 19 in just 15 IP. He was quickly promoted to Chattanooga. Through his first 4.2 IP at AA he has yet to give up a run and has 4 SO. Despite undergoing TJ surgery in 2013 Chargois has a fastball that hits 99mph and a curveball and change up to mix in. Chargois profiles as a back end of the bullpen arm at the major league level.

AAA Rochester
Rochester is a difficult team to evaluate this year. Currently 31-30 (through Saturday), the Red Wings have done well to maintain a winning record considering the revolving door that is their clubhouse. Due to the Twins have a number of inexperienced/young player on their big league roster Rochester has seen considerable turnover this year. Danny Santana, Kennys Vargas, Aaron Hicks, Eddie Rosario, Oswaldo Arcia, Tommy Milone, Ryan Pressly, Michael Tonkin, Tim (lasagna) Stauffer, Casey Fien and Caleb Thielbar have all seen time at AA A and with the Twins. Rochester in the lone Twins minor league affiliate with a dominant offense, maintaining the third best team average in the league at .267. Conversely, their pitching has struggled, combining for a second worst in the league ERA of 4.02 and a team WHIP of 1.36. Inherently there are few prospects at the AAA level that are ‘below the radar’, but there a few who have performances of note in 2015.

A.J. Achter
Achter is a fascinating pitcher. A lanky (6’5 205lb) righty out of Michigan State, Achter was drafted by the Twins in the 46th round of the 2010 draft. Achter has maintained a remarkable level of consistency over his MiLB career. Through 6 seasons, he has managed a 2.88 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and maintained a 9.4 SO/9 over 347 IP at various minor league levels. Achter deserves a chance with the Twins in 2015. If there is an opening in the Twins bullpen, expect Achter to be first in line.

Lester Oliveros
Oliveros doesn’t really qualify as a prospect anymore, more of a journeyman. The 27 year old right hander was originally signed by the Tigers as a free agent in 2005 and had big league stints with the Tigers (2011) and Twins (2011, 2012 and 2014). Aside from an incredibly ugly outing in a spot start last time up for the Red Wings (in which he gave up 5 runs without recording an out before being ejected for beaning an opposing hitter) Oliveros has had a tidy season at Rochester. Oliveros has a power arm and has recorded 38 SO through 30 IP in 2015. Due to his powerful arm and MLB experience, Oliveros is another candidate for promotion if any of the Twins RH relief pitchers are injured or struggle moving forwards.