35. Luis Arraez, 2B, Fort Myers
2017 Stats: .385/.385/.538, 13 plate appearances
Info: An under-the-radar signee out of Venezuela in 2013 for $40K, Arraez has done nothing but make exceptional contact since coming into the Twins organization, and after hitting .347 with Cedar Rapids in 2016, many were excited to see what he would do for a follow up, but Arraez was injured after just 3 games and missed the rest of the season with a torn ACL. With someone who based his game on speed, such an injury would be worrisome, but Arraez really uses his plus contact ability as his primary offensive tool, with below average power and average speed. He is also a fringe-average defender at second base due to a below-average arm and his average speed not exactly leading to a monster range. Really, Arraez needs to keep hitting to keep moving forward, and some believe he could fill out to more power, but that’s not a widely-held belief. He’ll get another shot at Fort Myers in 2018.
34. Daniel Palka, 1B/OF, GCL/Rochester
2017 Stats: .274/.330/.431, 12 HR, 2 SB, 29/81 BB/K
Info: The Twins acquired Palka from the Diamondbacks before the 2016 season for backup catcher Chris Hermann. He’s always been a guy who has tremendous power, but his defensive position is a struggle as he has a strong arm in right, but his ability to handle the position is below-average. He’s previously struggled with showing power but striking out a ton. This season, he saw his strikeout rate drop from around 30% to a more reasonable 22%, but he also saw his power production drop significantly, with his ISO dropping from a .250+ the past two season to .157 with Rochester this season. With Palka now entering his age-26 season, it’s hard to know where the Twins will go with him in their long term plans. The power is legit for sure, but the path in the organization is in question.
33. Nick Burdi, RHP, Chattanooga
2017 Stats: 17 IP, 0.53 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 4/20 BB/K
Info: Drafted in the 2nd round out of Louisville in 2014 by the Twins, Burdi is blessed with an arm that can pump out triple digit velocity when he’s healthy, but he’s struggled to remain healthy in his career with the Twins. Such was the case this season, when his production when he was on the field was incredible, possibly even better than the amazing numbers show, but then he ended up requiring Tommy John surgery in late May and will miss all or most of 2018. His path with the Twins is in doubt as he’ll be 26 before he has a chance to return to the mound, and even then he’ll likely need a season of building up arm strength to work his way to the majors, which could mean his earliest appearance in the major leagues could be in 2020 at age 27, certainly not what the Twins had in mind.
32. Aaron Slegers, RHP, Rochester/MLB
2017 Stats: Minors: 148 1/3 IP, 3.40 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 29/119 BB/K
31. Aaron Whitefield, OF, Cedar Rapids
2017 Stats: .262/.318/.414, 11 HR, 33 SB, 31/118 BB/K
Info: In raw athleticism, there are few in the Minnesota Twins that can match the Australian Whitefield. In his first full-season assignment in 2017, Whitefield had expected up and down moments, but overall, he was incredibly impressive for Cedar Rapids, and in many cases, he was the most obvious player on the field. Whitefield looks like a guy who is build to play safety on the football field at 6’4″ and 200-215 solid pounds. He’s got raw power that could be eventual plus power, his speed is certainly plus if not fringe double-plus. His pitch recognition still needs some work, but that’s not surprising from a 20 year old foreign player in his first full season. It will be fun to follow Whitefield as he moves up to the Florida State League in 2018 and see his progress.