Twins Chat with John Manuel

Moderator: John Manuel will begin taking your questoins at 2 p.m. ET

 Q:  Tim from MN asks:
Who are some of the prospects that just missed the Top 10?
 A: 

John Manuel: Thanks to everyone and welcome in to the chat. Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday.

John Manuel: The Twins have a loaded system. In many organizations, having as many high picks as the Twins had would mean a top 10 full of recent draftees. It tells you what the Twins think of Kyle Waldrop and Anthony Swarzak that both made the top 10, and their fellow '04 draft classmates like Trevor Plouffe, Glenn Perkins and Matt Fox were among those who just missed the top 10.

 Q:  Harmon from Minneapolis asks:
Can you rank the following Twins pitching prospects in terms of their ceilings: Adam Harben, Alex Smit, Glen Perkins, and Jay Rainville?
 A: 

John Manuel: Wow, lots of good questions. I'll take Smit here, he's a personal favorite who gets overlooked at times because the Twins have been very careful with him. He's a lefty with athletic ability who could have a plus-plus fastball and knockout curve before it's all said and done. Harben and Rainville have very big arms and would be next. Perkins is a polished lefthander who has solid stuff and knows how to pitch; he'd be fourth in ceiling and first in likelihood to reach it. This is the way to develop pitching--numbers. The Twins have them.

 Q:  Allard from Kansas City asks:
As a youngster with an advanced feel for pitching, how does Kyle Waldrop's development compare with Zack Greinke?
 A: 

John Manuel: If the Twins are lucky . . . Waldrop has some parallels to Greinke, no doubt. Both were highly thought of as two-way players in high school. Waldrop was just amazing at Farragut High, getting every big hit, it seemed, and winning every big game on the mound for the back-to-back state champs. He's taller and lankier than Greinke, but like him, Waldrop's strength is his feel for pitching. Whether or not he has Greinke's preternatural, precocious feel is yet to be seen. Thanks to Minnesota's system being light years ahead of Kansas City's, we won't see Waldrop in the big leagues when he's 20, as was the case with Greinke.

 Q:  Zoilo from St. Paul asks:
Other than Jesse Crain, are there any other relief prospects that could make a future impact in the Twins bullpen?
 A: 

John Manuel: I think most of the Twins' impact relievers are currently being used as starters. J.D. Durbin and Francisco Liriano both have the power arms managers covet out of the bullpen. Jay Rainville's aggressive nature and power arm could suit him to short relief as well.

 Q:  Andy from Chicago asks:
How far has Justin Jones' prospect status fallen?
 A: 

John Manuel: I left something out of my last answer. The reliever I think the Twins like best is Travis Bowyer, who has some command issues but throws a heavy sinking fastball in the upper 90s, touching 99. He's more of a setup guy than closer material.

John Manuel: Jones has a pretty big whammy on him in that he hasn't finished a season healthy yet. That's a prerequisite for being a prospect in my book. He'll make the top 30, but if you can't hack 140 games in the minors, how are you going to last 162 in the big leagues? The Twins haven't seen him at full strength yet, so he can change that perception by taking every turn in the rotation (probably at Beloit) next year.

 Q:  Mike from Neptune asks:
Mr. Manuel: How could Swarzak be #7 after finishing behind Juan Portes and Jay Rainville in the GCL Top 20? Which list do you agree with?
 A: 

John Manuel: Well, all these rankings we do are subjective of course. I usually go with the rankings in the organization list when we have discrepancies; the club has seen these guys during the year and then again during instructional league and has more to go on than league managers and scouts in those leagues. Swarzak has a high ceiling because of his pure velocity; his cockiness probably rubbed GCL managers the wrong way, but the Twins are closer to the situation and think they know him better. That's the short answer.

 Q:  Leo from Toronto asks:
Why would the Twins keep guys like Brian Wolfe and Colby Miller on the 40 man roster over Adam Johnson and Alex Romero?
 A: 

John Manuel: So many factors go into Rule 5 decisions. I think the Twins just decided Adam Johnson is expendable (and if his slider doesn't come back, he is), and they also are banking on teams having a tough time keeping Romero on a roster, because his bat is far from big league ready.

 Q:  Some numbskull from Billings, Montana asks:
JD Durbin hit 100+ in the AFL and clearly shows the stuff of a future dominating closer. Why do you think the Twins want to keep him as a starter...do you think he has enough quality pitches to be a dominant starter?
 A: 

John Manuel: Nice try on the name, by the way . . . The Twins are like most organizations in that they'd rather have a guy start if he can start. Durbin has had success as a starter at a high level (Double-A). They actually have more of a big league need for starters than relievers, so they're giving him a chance to see if he can help them in the rotation first. I admire their approach.

 Q:  Rip from White Bear Lake asks:
Who are some sleeper prospects for the Twins?
 A: 

John Manuel: I mentioned Bowyer . . . I like him as a closer prospect. Pat Neshek struggled this year, but he's funky enough to be an effective middle reliever down the line. I'm a David Winfree fan, he's got big power and is learning to make more consistent contact. I also wouldn't count out Arkansas alum Jay Sawatski making it to the majors quickly as a lefty reliever.

 Q:  Steven from Boston asks:
What does the future hold for Scott Tyler?
 A: 

John Manuel: A move to the bullpen. Tyler hasn't shown he can change speeds effectively and go through a lineup twice, but he's got plenty of power and intimidating size.

 Q:  Matt from Coon Rapids asks:
So much of the focus on Twins AAA pitching prospects is placed on J.D. Durbin and Scott Baker. Meanwhile, Dave Gassner slips under the radar as the workhorse of the Twins AAA rotation. What is the likelihood of Gassner pitching in the majors for the Twins? Is he ready for the majors? I would think that as a LHP, he would have a shot, but guys like Baker and Durbin continue to be the hot topic while Gassner goes unmentioned.
 A: 

John Manuel: If GAssner has a jump shot, he should go back to Purdue, they need him there. But seriously folks . . . I think Gassner is what he is, a finesse lefty who will have to prove he can get people out over and over and will never convince anyone totally that he belongs. I think he's a good minor league pitcher but will not be a factor in the big leagues, sorry. His stuff is fringy.

 Q:  Conan from New York asks:
It's 2008. Brad Radke has retired and Johan Santana has moved on to pitch for big bucks for the Yankees. What does the Twins rotation look like?
 A: 

John Manuel: Just to hazard a guess . . . I'll say four out of a group including Waldrop, Swarzak, Scott Baker, Glen Perkins, Matt Fox and Adam Harben; "veteran" Carlos Silva; and a pitcher to be drafted later. Or, the fifth guy could still be Terry Mulholland. I honestly think the Twins have a chance to have a very homegrown rotation deep into the future.

 Q:  Brian from San Francisco, CA asks:
Does Boof Bonser have the ability to fulfill the promise he showed in 2002, or was he just over-hyped?
 A: 

John Manuel: I think Bonser is more of a middle reliever or setup guy in the future for this organization. He's a power arm who needs refinement, and luckily for him, the Twins have the patience to wait and see if there's more than a middle guy there. He needs to refine his body as well; Mike wrote him up as "Reuschel-esque," and that's not a compliment.

 Q:  michael from st. paul asks:
Why is no one talking about Jason Bartlett's ascent up the system? He looks like a major league hitter from his BA and his understanding of the strike zone. He looks to be at least as good of a hitter as Cristian Guzman was. Is his defenserange suspect?
 A: 

John Manuel: Well, he's been talked about, you're just not listening, apparently. BA has touted Bartlett as the likely 2005 shortstop starter for a year or so now, knowing Guzman was an impending free agent. He should be a better hitter than Guzman, whose strike zone was too big and whose power was too small. Whether or not Bartlett can field adequately at shortstop is the big question. His range and footspeed are fringy for a championship-caliber SS, but that doesn't mean he can't get the job done.

 Q:  Tony from Eden Prairie asks:
What kind of progress is former Twins 3rd rounder Johnny Woodard making?
 A: 

John Manuel: Solid, Tony, you betcha. Woodard had a fine year at Elizabethton and will make the top 30. No one likes to give up on lefthanded power hitters, and Woodard is a lefty masher who's showing progress. He'll move up to Beloit next year, and he's in the Top 30.

 Q:  Andy P from Sarver PA asks:
Kevin West was recently put on the 40 man roster. Seems a lot of outfielders are ahead of him. Do you see him being able to break into the majors with the Twins?
 A: 

John Manuel: Well, two outfielders in front of him just went down, first Jason Kubel and now Michael Restovich with his broken collarbone. So West might have more opportunity to make the team; now he has to seize it. He's clearly got enough bat to be in the discussion, though his selectivity probably will need to improve for him to show the kind of power in the big leagues that he produced in Double-A. I don't see him breaking camp with Minnesota, but I wouldn't be shocked if he did.

 Q:  Paul from Canberra asks:
If you were running the Twins would you keep Grant Balfour in the bullpen, or give him a shot in the rotation?
 A: 

John Manuel: It seems they need help in the rotation, so I'd give Grant a shot there. He's got enough pitches for the task.

 Q:  Marshall from Vancouver asks:
Is Barlett a better shortstop prospect than Ploufee, or it's simply because he has much more experience?
 A: 

John Manuel: They're pretty similar players, actually; neither is a toolsy, make-your-jaw-drop shortstop. The edge rightfully goes to the guy who has shown he can hit in Triple-A in terms of the ranking, but Plouffe isn't far behind.

 Q:  Jerry from MN asks:
Is Matt Moses' lower ranking due to his injury, or was he just passed up by other prospects?
 A: 

John Manuel: Both; that's a serious injury, bto have a stress fracture in his lower back, and the fact that Moses has fewer than 200 pro at-bats and has yet to play a full season have to be factored into his prospect status. I think it says something about the faith the organization has in him that they spoke highly enough of him to have him ranked eighth.

 Q:  Josh Meyer from Fort Dodge (IA) asks:
Did JD Durbin really hit triple digits on the gun in the AFL?
 A: 

John Manuel: Nah, we were kidding.

 Q:  Ken from Chicago asks:
Where would the other top prospects in the AL Central (Billy Bulter, Adam Miller, Curtis Granderson, Brian Anderson) have ranked on the Twins list?
 A: 

John Manuel: Good question, Ken. I think all of them would have made the top 10; Billy Butler vs. Kyle Waldrop is an interesting debate, but I think Butler would be in the 6-7 range for the Twins. I'd take Curtis Granderson right up there, maybe at No. 3 because he's an everyday CF vs. a closer, and I'd value the everyday CF. Brian Anderson would be in about the same place, and Adam Miller probably would rank second for me behind Mauer but ahead of Kubel. I may not have said that before Kubel's knee injury, but that's an x-factor for me, you never know how he'll return, and Miller is one of the game's elite pitching prospects.

 Q:  Charles Berg from Houston, Texas asks:
Woodard and Winfree both hit pretty well for E’Town this year. What can you tell me about these young hitters?
 A: 

John Manuel: They rank next to each other in the Top 30 . . . they both have excellent raw power, and Winfree has more athletic ability, which has allowed him to try some other positions other than 1B, where Woodard is pretty much anchored. I think you'll see both next year in Beloit, and I'm a Winfree fan, area scout John Wilson, who signed him, has a knack for scouting hitters. He signed Matt Moses and Michael Cuddyer, among others.

 Q:  Tim from Minn asks:
Hey John, thanks for taking my question, in which order would you rank the farm systems n the Al Central, to me it looks like the Twins and Indiansad and shoulders above the rest, my only concern is do the Twins have any pitching prospects that can match the ceiling that a kid like Adam Miller has ? Thanks
 A: 

John Manuel: I think it's safe to put the Tigers and Royals at the bottom; I like the Royals' 04 draft better, so I'll go Tigers 5, Royals 4, White Sox 3, Indians 2 and Twins 1. The Twins don't have an Adam Miller, but they have more depth than even the Indians, especially on the mound, and I like their group of advanced hitting prospects.

 Q:  Josh Meyer from Fort Dodge (IA) asks:
Do you think Joe Mauer will ever fully recover from his knee problems?
 A: 

John Manuel: This is the $64,000 question, of course. The Twins certainly think he can remain behind the plate. They were cautious with him this year and I think they'll continue to proceed with caution. The don't need to rush Mauer back, and signed Mike Redmond as a stopgap, but I think if they were really, really worried about Mauer, they'd have done better than Redmond.

 Q:  Rob from Clearwater, MN asks:
Is denard Span another BJ Garbe? A high pick with good athletic ability that doesn't pan out?
 A: 

John Manuel: Span appears ready to be pushed after having a strong instructional league. I don't know that he'll be Garbe, he'll be better than that. But I wanted to take a second to note that the Twins have put together this impressive farm system and two-time division winner even after missing on three first round picks in a row in Ryan Mills ('98), Garbe ('99) and Adam Johnson (2000). They have been good at trades and other picks to make up for it, for example, getting Justin Morneau in the 3rd round in '99, or Durbin in 2000 in the 2nd round and Kubel in the 12th. You can make a draft with late-round picks, and the Twins have done that.

 Q:  Moosey from Minnesota asks:
Can the Twins succeed in 2005 with 2 rookies (Bartlett and Tiffee) on the left side? When was the last time a contending team had two side by side rookies? thanks
 A: 

John Manuel: Excellent question; I can't help you on the 2 rookies in the infield question, but I think the reason that won't happen is the Twins can't afford to have below-average range out of both infielders on the left side. I like Tiffee as an extra guy, he can hit enough for the major leagues, but the Twins may have to go elsewhere for a third baseman. The turf at the Dome may be slower, but Tiffee and Bartlett together would be a below-average infield, and that's not how the Twins have won in recent years.

 Q:  Josh Meyer from Fort Dodge (IA) asks:
Do you see Jesse Crain developing into a future dominant big league closer?
 A: 

John Manuel: Lots and lots and lots of questions from Josh today . . . Iowa represent! It's hard to project closers--I wrote a Prospect Pulse about that recently--but Crain is a guy who has everything you want in that role. He's poised, athletic enough to throw consistent strikes and he has big stuff. That said, makeup is the most important thing, and Terry Ryan and Rod Gardenhire know better than I do whether or not Crain can hack it in the big leagues. He was nails at the University of Houston, but HHH Metrodome is a long way from Cougar Field. Maybe Crain could be Bartlett's defensive replacement at short instead, the guy could really play shortstop in college.

 Q:  Charles Berg from Houston, Texas asks:
The Twins seem to have the best system in baseball, but what are their weaknesses?
 A: 

John Manuel: It's certainly in the top two or three, Charles (man, you also sent a lot of questions). Minnesota could use better health among its players, what with Mauer and Kubel both hobbled with knee injuries and Matt Moses' back woes. Otherwise, the Twins could use a pitcher from their upper levels to emerge. I'm not sure there's a big-league ready arm, and there's a need in Minnesota. I don't think Scott Baker is quite ready, but he'll get a shot. J.D. Durbin is a very important prospect for them, I believe, and so is Francisco Liriano. If they can stay in the rotation--and I'm not convinced they can--that would make me think even more of the organization's depth.

 Q:  Steven from Taipei, Taiwan asks:
Kevin West has a breakout season this year, making him yet another OF talent in the farm system. However, I find that he is not on the current 40-man roster, and since he's been in the minors for six years, I think he'd be eligible for the Rule V Draft. I can't think of a reason why the Twins decide not to protect him. What do you think?
 A: 

John Manuel: We had a question earlier about West that stated that he was on the 40-man; I answered it and didn't check the actual roster, my mistake. Steven is correct, West is not on the 40-man and is eligible. I think the Twins' well-chronicled outfield depth, while thinner now with Restovich's injury, was the primary reason. West is eligible, and I think the Twins are just hoping no one pops him in the rule 5. Sorry for my earlier screw-up.

 Q:  Tom McCullough from York PA asks:
Thanks for the chats. Am I overly enthusiastic about the quality and the depth of Twins pitching prospects? It strikes me that the Twins non-Top Ten starting pitchers like Adam Harben and Errol Simonitsch and Scott Tyler (and later Glen Perkins and Justin Jones) at low A in 2004 would have been in the running for Top Ten Prospects status even in the very good White Sox and Indians organizations. Do you agree?
 A: 

John Manuel: Tom, I think you're on to something there. That's pretty much what I think. The way to make sure you develop big league pitching is depth and numbers, and the Twins have plenty of arms, different kinds of arms, at different levels. Some of these guys are going to make it to Minnesota and contribute in a big way. We think Durbin, Waldrop, Swarzak and Baker have the best chance, but they certainly aren't the only ones who should help Minnesota in the future. This depth also positions the Twins very well for trades, as pitching is the best commodity in a deal. Terry Ryan has been very selective in the trades he makes, and now he has a lot of ammo to work with.

 Q:  Matt Wilde DFTC from Minneapolis asks:
Over the past 2-3 years, the Twins have had an abundance of outfield talent both from the minors and through acquisition. Is this the year where a move should be made to "sell off" some of the talent and attain talent at a different position?
 A: 

John Manuel: It's not very easy to trade minor league hitting; minor league pitching is a much easier commodity to trade for value, it's more rare, and minor league (and major league) outfielders are a lot easier to find. I think with the injuries to the likes of Kubel and now Restovich, the Twins are more likely than ever to hold onto their OFs, but I think Ryan will pull the trigger on a deal if he feels the teams needs external help and he has the pitching depth to do so.

 Q:  Zach from St. Francis asks:
How come Garret Jones and Kevin West aren't talked about more. They each had pretty good seasons for New Britain. KBB ratio didn't look too bad that these two shouldn't get any mention.
 A: 

John Manuel: West has been mentioned in this chat. Jones is an interesting story, because he had no success with the Braves and had been released without ever making it out of Rookie ball. He comes to the Twins, and lo and behold, he becomes a .311 hitter with 30 bombs; his career average coming into the year was .223, and he had 34 homers in more than 1,000 at-bats. He's a big strong guy (6-4, 230), but pardon me if I want to see him do it again before I really believe in him.

 Q:  Jason from Salem, OR asks:
Where does Anthony Swarzak top out at? Top of the rotation guy or towards the back end?
 A: 

John Manuel: He's touched 95, and he's projectable. I think the Twins think of him as a top of the rotation guy, 2-3 type of guy.

 Q:  Galen from Cedar Rapids asks:
What was the opinion on how Kubel's injury would hamper him in the future? Speed wasn't one of his strong aspects to begin with so I would think he could recover and be able to reach his ability.
 A: 

John Manuel: An astute observation; he's missing development time, but he's almost ready anyway (though he wasn't quite ready for Mariano Rivera), and speed wasn't his game, as you said. Well put, Galen.

 Q:  Scott Lindsey from Mesa, Az asks:
How is Denard Span progressing? Where will he play next year? Also, I've heard a variety of comparisons on his potential. From Juan Pierre, Kenny Lofton, to someone even comparing his body to Barry Bonds'. What do you think?
 A: 

John Manuel: He is when he stays healthy, and he had a good instructional league as I think. No Bonds comparisons, please, with anyone. He's a Lofton type, but he needs to play a full year before he earns big leaguer comps.

 Q:  Travis from Milwaukee asks:
Where will David Shinskie begin the year? Thanks!
 A: 

John Manuel: He's going to have to have a good spring to break into a very crowded Beloit rotation picture . . . maybe the Twins should go to the tandem starter system.

 Q:  Blair from Anaheim asks:
Hi John, Thanks for the chat! Where does Alex Romero fit in with the Twins plans? What kind of ceiling does he have? I think he can break out like Kubel and Choo did this past year. Any thoughts?
 A: 

John Manuel: We have lots of Alex Romero questions, I'll try to get to them now. Romero had an interesting season, more walks than strikeouts, but he's a high Class A outfielder who's still raw in several ways. He's going to be hard to keep for another club, despite all his skills. He doesn't run well enough to be retained as a pinch-runner or center fielder in the big leagues, and his power hasn't developed enough to be a corner guy. Would a team really want to Rule 5 a 4th OF? The Twins are betting no.

 Q:  Rich from Pa asks:
The Swing staff was loaded with Harben, Perkins ,Tyler & Simmonitach, where do they fall in the pecking order and what would be their ranking in a lesser organization .
 A: 

John Manuel: That's a darn good staff this year, just as Beloit will have a ddep staff next year. Harben ranks at the top of the list there, with Simmonitsch toward the back, but he's intriguing too.

 Q:  Jeremy from ND asks:
By leaving Adam Johnson off the 40 man roster, does that mean the Twins have given up on him, or do they feel he can slip through the rule 5 draft?
 A: 

John Manuel: I think he's done with this organization.

 Q:  Ghost of BBA past from Wondering about the future asks:
"Span is still unrefined in most aspects of the game. His speed disguises many of his mistakes in the outfield; his arm is below-average. . . . The Twins understand Span will need time to develop into a premium leadoff man. He’ll play in low Class A this season and likely will need a full year at each level." Boyd, BBA, 222004. Well, now he is rated best defensive outfielder, but is Span improving as a prospect. I see he is not Top Ten or even a "just missed."
 A: 

John Manuel: Nice to quote J-to-tha-Bizzo . . . I think one key to remember is, Best Def. OF doesn't mean great defensive OF. It means best in the system. there's not a Torii Hunter in this group is really all it means. Span can play CF and play it well, he's gotten better in center field, but he's not a Gold Glover waiting to happen.

 Q:  Noah from Flagstaff, AZ asks:
If you're another team with an open spot on the 40-man roster, do you take any of Twins players that are unprotected?
 A: 

John Manuel: West can hit enough to make a team; maybe he's another Jay Gibbons.

 Q:  Felipe from Jersey City asks:
Alex Romero has hit at every level, and put together an outstanding season at High A. At 21, he has continued the pace this winter in Venezuela, among the league leaders in hitting. He could have the highest ceiling among any of the Twins prospects, yet he is off the top 10. Why?
 A: 

John Manuel: Felipe, I just don't think you can say he has the highest ceiling with a straight face. He's a nice player, he needs more time to avoid being a 'tweener. He's in the Top 30, but he's not a top 10 guy.

 Q:  Rob from Clearwater, Mn asks:
What are your feelings on Frank Mata? I know he throws heat but does he any other pitches to back that great fastball up?
 A: 

John Manuel: Big arm, another example of the Twins' significant Venezuelan presence and inroads, developing hard slider. He had some injury issues in instructional league with his elbow that bear monitoring.

 Q:  Bill from Milwaukee asks:
How does the projected starting rotation for the Twins Fort Meyers team (Perkins, Simonitsch, Jones, Tyler and Harben)compare to other starting rotations in the minors?
 A: 

John Manuel: That's about as good as you'll get in the minors next year. Triple-A Tacoma for the Mariners also could be nice with Felix Hernandez possibly joining the likes of Travis Blackley, Cha Baek and Matt Thornton, and I like the group the Rangers have for Frisco, with Josh Rupe, Wes Littleton, Matt Lorenzo, possibly John Danks and either Nick Masset or maybe even Thomas Diamond.

 Q:  Jose from Puerto Rico asks:
How high are the Twins on catcher Jose Morales. His bat seems like it will eventually play in the bigs, and he has made apretty good transition from shortstop to catcher. Agree?
 A: 

John Manuel: They do like him as a solid average hitter and receiver. He'll be at Double-A next year and they'll know more about his bat. Exccellent player-development move to switch him to C, adding to their depth.

 Q:  Bob from Durham, NC asks:
Can you give me your impression of Errol Simonitsek. Thanks
 A: 

John Manuel: Big bodied LHP with good stuff, needs to stay consistent with his mechanics, a 3rd-to-5th starter type, Gonzaga represent, if his velocity returns to the 88-92 he showed in college, he could move quickly.

 Q:  J-Diddy from Minneapolis asks:
Out of curiosity, have you heard what clicked for Boof Bonser in the second half? And about where would he be on the Twins list?
 A: 

John Manuel: Boof was one of many players who didn't react well to being traded, and once he accepted his place in a new organization, his ability came out.

 Q:  Keith from Brainerd asks:
So is Joe Mauer still the number 1 prospect in baseball?
 A: 

John Manuel: If there were no doubts about his ability to come back and catch, I'd say yes. As it is, he's not for me, but he's in the top 5. It's a weak group of competition.

 Q:  Steve McGoldrick from Roseland, NJ asks:
Which Australian born player do you see making it with the Twins, following the lead of Grant Balfour?
 A: 

John Manuel: The Twins like infielder Luke Hughes, a scrappy 2B. And they just got IF Glenn Williams about 12 years later and $800K lighter than when they tried to sign him the first time. (Glenn's a 4-A guy.)

 Q:  Tommy from NY asks:
Everyone hypes the Minnesota system as being very close to if not the best in baseball. With the recent major injuries of Mauer and Kubel along with expected attrition of the pitching prospects, is it easy to keep the Twins ahead of, say, the Brewers, Dodgers and Indians?
 A: 

John Manuel: I think the Dodgers are the best comp in terms of having depth and impact players and some players having success at higher levels. Still, the Twins system will look a lot better if Moses and Span have healthy, productive systems, too.

 Q:  Kevin from Winona, MN asks:
Should we as Twins fans be concerned that over half of BA's top 10 Twins prospects (and 4 of the top 5) have had serious injuries in the past 24 months?
 A: 

John Manuel: I'd be moderately concerned, but not with the organization's approach. I don't think the injuries were related to how those players were handled.

 Q:  Jesse from San Juan Capistrano, CA asks:
Deacon Burns: just a dream, or can he be a quality player in the big leagues?
 A: 

John Manuel: He's reality, but he's not top 30 reality yet. He's got offensive potential and will have to hit his way to the major leagues. I think he's more of an org guy.

 Q:  Brian from New York asks:
It sounds like these rankings are based in large part on sources inside of organizations. Do you think teams are always honest in their evaluations? For example, a team like the Yankees might have incentive to talk up certain prospects to increase their trade value.
 A: 

John Manuel: We all try to talk to scouts from other organizations to cross-check what we're hearing from organization sources. Teams do talk up their players, but we hope we're savvy enough to know when that's happening. Talking to outside scouts and sources (which we do extensively when we're doing league Top 10s) helps us avoid flat-out sell jobs by organizations.

 Q:  Marshall from OH asks:
Did Doug Deeds make the Top 30?
 A: 

John Manuel: Not so much . . . sorry, Buckeyes fans.

Moderator: That's all the time I have right now. Thanks for all the questions, the Twins fans came out in force today. Well done.