2013 Minnesota Twins Top 10 Prospects




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Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible.

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TOP TEN
PROSPECTS
1. Miguel Sano, 3b
2. Byron Buxton, of
3. Oswaldo Arcia, of
4. Kyle Gibson, rhp
5. Aaron Hicks, of
6. J.O. Berrios, rhp
7. Eddie Rosario, 2b/of
8. Max Kepler, of
9. Daniel Santana, ss/2b
10. Luke Bard, rhp
BEST
TOOLS
Best Hitter for Average Eddie Rosario
Best Power Hitter Miguel Sano
Best Strike Zone Discipline Aaron Hicks
Fastest Baserunner Byron Buxton
Best Athlete Byron Buxton
Best Fastball Zack Jones
Best Curveball Josh Burris
Best Slider Kyle Gibson
Best Changeup Deolis Guerra
Best Control B.J. Hermsen
Best Defensive Catcher Chris Herrmann
Best Defensive Infielder Levi Michael
Best Infield Arm Miguel Sano
Best Defensive OF Aaron Hicks
Best Outfield Arm Aaron Hicks
PROJECTED 2016
LINEUP
Catcher Joe Mauer
First Base Chris Parmelee
Second Base Eddie Rosario
Third Base Miguel Sano
Shortstop Daniel Santana
Left Field Denard Span
Center Field Byron Buxton
Right Field Aaron Hicks
Designated Hitter Oswaldo Arcia
No. 1 Starter Kyle Gibson
No. 2 Starter J.O. Berrios
No. 3 Starter Scott Diamond
No. 4 Starter Luke Bard
No. 5 Starter Liam Hendriks
Closer Glen Perkins
TOP PROSPECTS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos 2012 Org
2003 Joe Mauer, c Twins
2004 Joe Mauer, c Twins
2005 Joe Mauer, c Twins
2006 Francisco Liriano, lhp White Sox
2007 Matt Garza, rhp Cubs
2008 Nick Blackburn, rhp Twins
2009 Aaron Hicks, of Twins
2010 Aaron Hicks, of Twins
2011 Kyle Gibson, rhp Twins
2012 Miguel Sano, 3b/ss Twins
TOP DRAFT PICKS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos 2012 Org
2003 Matt Moses, 3B Out of baseball
2004 Trevor Plouffe, SS Twins
2005 Matt Garza, RHP Cubs
2006 Chris Parmelee, OF/1B Twins
2007 Ben Revere, OF Twins
2008 Aaron Hicks, OF Twins
2009 Kyle Gibson, RHP Twins
2010 Alex Wimmers, RHP Twins
2011 Levi Michael, SS Twins
2012 Byron Buxton, OF Twins
LARGEST BONUSES
IN CLUB HISTORY
Byron Buxton, 2012
$6,000,000
Joe Mauer, 2001
$5,150,000
Miguel Sano, 2009
$3,150,000
B.J. Garbe, 1999
$2,750,000
Adam Johnson, 2000
$2,500,000
TWINS
LINKS
Twins Team Page
Twins Top 10 Scouting Reports Premium
Last Year's Twins Top 10 Prospects
2012 Draft: Twins
Draft Report Card: Minnesota Twins Premium
Complete Index of Top 10 Prospects
Pre-Order the 2013 Prospect Handbook
Minnesota Twins

Losing has become the norm again for the Twins. Minnesota followed its 99-loss 2011 debacle with a 96-loss snore of a season that was over in April, when it lost its first four games and 15 of its first 20.

The team's pitching imploded almost immediately and the season became an audition for young players, some of whom responded. Recent farm products such as Trevor Plouffe (24 homers, second on the team), Ben Revere (.333 OBP, 40 steals) and Chris Parmelee (.755 OPS in his final 26 games) showed signs they could be low-cost contributors. Former Rule 5 draftee Scott Diamond turned out to be the team's top starter at 12-9, 3.54.

Other than strong seasons by Joe Mauer and free-agent signee Josh Willingham, though, that was about it for the good news in the Twin Cities. The team dropped 90 games in consecutive seasons for the first time in 12 years.

When that happened in 1999-2000, the Twins had the lowest payroll in baseball. This time, they had the highest (2011) and third-highest (2012) payrolls in franchise history, totaling more than $210 million. The losing has taken a hit on attendance at Target Field, which dropped nearly 400,000 to 2.8 million fans in 2011.
Terry Ryan had been brought back as general manager—technically on an interim basis, though that tag was removed in October—in an attempt to right the ship. Farm director Jim Rantz retired following the season, after drawing a paycheck from the organization for 52 years. Five major league coaches were fired or reassigned, and several changes were made in the scouting department. Manager Ron Gardenhire wasn't given an extension, meaning the 2013 season is the last on his current contract.

Minnesota's problems start on the mound. Twins starters posted a 5.40 ERA, worst in the American League, and Diamond's 173 innings led the club by a startling 64 frames. Twelve pitchers made five or more starts, and only Diamond and perhaps Cole DeVries earned spots in the 2013 rotation.

The picture isn't much prettier on the mound in the minors, where Minnesota has suffered from a succession of injuries and flameouts by top draft picks. Its top pitching prospect, Kyle Gibson, made his way back from Tommy John surgery and could factor into the 2013 big league rotation after a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League.

Low in power arms, the Twins made them a priority in the draft and added several. However, other than supplemental first-rounders J.O. Berrios and Luke Bard, most of them project as relievers.

In the first year of baseball's new draft system, Minnesota had the largest signing pool for the first 10 rounds at $12.4 million and spent nearly half of that on its top pick, outfielder Byron Buxton. The No. 2 overall selection got the largest bonus in franchise history and in the entire 2012 draft at $6 million and made an immediate impact, helping lead Elizabethton to the Rookie-level Appalachian League title.

Buxton is part of a passel of exciting hitting prospects who give the Twins hope for the future, starting with third baseman Miguel Sano. That group also includes outfielders Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks and second baseman/outfielder Eddie Rosario.

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