Midseason Review of Minnesota Twins Preseason Top 10 Prospects

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 16: Twins fans help celebrate 'Prince Night' at Target Field by opening their umbrellas on June 16, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for Comerica)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 16: Twins fans help celebrate 'Prince Night' at Target Field by opening their umbrellas on June 16, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for Comerica) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 07: Felix Jorge
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 07: Felix Jorge /

Honorable Mention: Ben Rortvedt, C, Cedar Rapids

With each of my top 10 lists, I featured a “name to know” after the top 10, and for the Twins, my choice was Rortvedt. He was known well, appearing on three of the top 10 lists that I looked at, so I wasn’t crazy in that pick.

My comments on Rortvedt highlighted his offensive potential and raw defensive skills that were present at his drafting. Rortvedt was the most highly-regarded high school catcher in the 2016 class, though he ended up the second high school catcher drafted, as some were worried that he was going to have to move off the position to allow his bat to play.

Rortvedt has a compact, 5’10”, 200-ish pound build that works well in size behind the plate. His big raw power has certainly shown itself in batting practice this year with the Kernels, but his offensive production has not shown up in game, with a .221/.293/.303 line. The thing I have been pleased to see is that even with a big swing, Rortvedt has kept his strikeout rate under 20% on the season.

I am not sure that Rortvedt has moved up in rankings enough to be a certain top 10 guy in the system. The defense is still plenty raw, as evidenced by his 11 passed balls on the year so far, but there is plenty of promise here.

#10: Wander Javier, SS, Elizabethton

Javier actually broke the Minnesota Twins organization record for a bonus paid to an international amateur originally set by Miguel Sano’s $3.15M signing bonus when the Twins gave him $4M in July of 2015.

Javier has the physical frame to be a guy who can stick up the middle yet also provide offensive production that is rarely seen up the middle. He’s put on some weight coming into this year in a good way, and his frame could probably add a bit more to it, currently listed at 6’1″ and 165 pounds, but likely more like 175-185 with a solid frame that could probably handle near 200 pounds without losing much in the range of foot speed.

Javier opened the season jumping over the Gulf Coast League straight to the Appalachian League with Elizabethton. He’s not shown any issues as one of the younger players in the league usually filled with recent college draftees, hitting .303/.378/.424 with 4 doubles and 2 stolen bases in his first 10 games.

Javier will very likely be a consensus top 10 guy in the system after the year, and there’s a very good chance that he ends up working his way prominently into the top 5 for many people.

#9: Felix Jorge, RHP, Rochester

Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic in the 2010 international free agent class, Jorge has the sort of raw stuff that has always led to his being highly regarded in the scouting community, however, he’s seemed to struggle to put up strikeouts on the scoreboard in spite of high-movement stuff and excellent control.

After moving one step at a time over his career, Jorge really pushed himself forward in the prospect view when he opened the 2016 season with a 1.55 ERA and 0.94 WHIP over his first 14 starts for high-A Fort Myers before a promotion to AA Chattanooga.

Jorge opened the year with Chattanooga this season and has shown to be a solid inning-eating starter at the level. He’s still got work to do to be successful at the major league level, as has been seen in his two major league starts, and part of that is the change to major league hitters who are quite used to seeing a 90-ish MPH fastball with excellent movement and laying off it to require other pitches to work, and Jorge struggled to spot his slider and change, especially on Friday night.