Minnesota Twins 2017 Minor League Awards
Jermaine Palacios, 20, Cedar Rapids/Fort Myers
Palacios opened the 2017 season coming off of a very disappointing 2016 with Cedar Rapids, where he was only able to muster a .222/.276/.287 line. For a guy who had put up an .800+ OPS in each of his first two seasons, this was a significant step back.
The Twins certainly have a heavy wealth of shortstops in the system, so to stand out, one truly needs to do something outstanding, and Palacios certainly did that to open 2017 back with Cedar Rapids, as he hit .320/.362/.544, driving the ball throughout the field and becoming one of the most feared hitters in the Midwest League before he was promoted to Fort Myers in late June.
His time in Fort Myers got off to a rough start, but he rebounded by the end of the season to leave his season combined line at .299/.333/454 with 21 doubles, 10 triples, 13 home runs, and 20 stolen bases.
Palacios can get overly aggressive at the plate and on the base paths, as indicated by his 99 strikeouts and 15 caught stealing, but he’s shown a possible impact bat at an up the middle position, and whether that’s for the Twins down the line or if he’s moved in a deal to acquire a future piece, he should have a role down the line at the upper levels.
Others of note: Nick Gordon, 21, Chattanooga; Ricky De La Torre, 17, GCL; Agustin Marte, 18, DSL; Jordan Gore, 22, Elizabethton/Cedar Rapids; Wander Javier, 18, Elizabethton; Royce Lewis, 18, GCL/Cedar Rapids
When the top two prospects in the system end up in this bunch, you know you have a quality group of depth. In fact, it’s quite feasible that on many lists that 3 of the top 5 prospects in the entire system are in this “others of note” section with Gordon, Javier, and Lewis all feasible guys to rank that highly in the system. De La Torre is another raw Puerto Rican draft pick with incredible raw tools, but he could take a bit to climb the chain.