Thursday, January 7, 2010

Top Twins' Prospects: #2-5

#5: Wilson Ramos, C - Signed by the Twins out of Venezuela, Ramos debuted in 2006 and proved right away that he was a hitter. With the GCL Twins, Ramos hit .286/.339/.435 in 172 plate appearances, and followed that up with a solid .291/.345/.438 performance the next season in Beloit. As a 20 year-old in the Florida State League, Ramos batted .288/.346/.434 in 2008, with 23 doubles, 13 HR, and 78 RBI. Promoted to AA in 2009, Ramos battled injuries but still hit .317/.341/.454 in 214 plate appearances. The Twins have a solid catching prospect in Ramos, but they have a pretty good player there right now who is just four years older than Mauer. Still, having a young player with a .294/.343/.447 batting line in four minor league seasons is a pretty nice problem for the Twins to have. Ramos may develop more power as he develops, but he's a pretty good doubles hitter as it stands now. He'll likely repeat AA in 2010 and could use a healthy season to continue his development.

#4: Danny Valencia, 3B - The Twins took Valencia in the 19th round of the 2006 MLB Draft out of the University of Miami. Starting out in the Appy League right away, Valencia dazzled at the plate, hitting .311/.365/.505 with 8 HR and 29 RBI in just 211 plate appearances. Between Beloit and Ft. Myers in 2007, Valencia continued his solid hitting, notching a line of .297/.354/.462 in 521 plate appearances. He added 23 doubles, 17 HR and 66 RBI. The Twins chose to start him again in Ft. Myers in 2008 before promoting his mid-season to New Britain. However, Valencia continued to hit: .311/.366/.500 with 37 doubles, 15 HR, and 76 RBI between the two stops. 2009 began in New Britain and ended in Rochester for Valencia, and he managed a .285/.337/.466 batting line in 534 plate appearances, adding 38 doubles, 14 HR, and 70 RBI in the process. Overall, Valencia has hit .299/.354/.480 in 1,804 plate appearances, adding 111 doubles, 54 HR, and 241 RBI. He is the favorite to win the third base job should the Twins not sign a third baseman or middle infielder this off-season, and will compete with fellow prospect Luke Hughes (and Nick Punto and Matt Tolbert) for playing time in Minnesota. Valencia is a solid hitter who is clearly ready for MLB action. At age 25, he deserves at least a look.

#3: Angel Morales, OF - The Twins have three very solid prospects roaming the outfields of their low minor league affiliates, and Morales is the first one to appear in this countdown. Drafted by the Twins in the third round of the 2007 Draft, Morales made a good impression with the GCL Twins that summer, hitting .256/.357/.405 and playing a solid right field. His 2008 season in Elizabethton, however, was spectacular. In 218 plate appearances, Morales hit .301/.413/.623 with 12 doubles, 15 HR, and 28 RBI. The slugging percentage was just tremendous and had scouts thinking the Twins had found a power-hitting corner outfielder. He spent the 2009 Beloit, and Morales hit .266/.329/.455 with 13 HR and 69 RBI in 418 plate appearances. Morales has only one full season under his belt and has shown five-tool potential. He turned 20 in November and the Twins are in no hurry to rush him along. Still, the raw talent alone is enough to get Twins' fans excited for 2014. 

#2: Ben Revere, OF - The Twins were savaged when they selected Kentucky high schooler Revere with the 28th pick of the first round of the 2007 draft, and many believed signability was the main contributing factor. However, he has proven he can hit a bit in his three professional seasons. In 216 plate appearances with the GCL Twins in 2007, Revere hit .325/.388/.461 with six doubles and ten triples while leading off for the Twins. He skipped a rung and was sent to Beloit in 2008 (after spending time in extended spring training) and Revere hit .379/.433/.497 in 374 plate appearances, leading the Midwest League in hitting, and notching 17 doubles, 10 triples, and 43 RBI in a breakout year. He culminated his outstanding season by winning the Twins Minor League Player of the Year honors. In 2009, Revere spent the entire season in Ft. Myers and hit .311/.372/.369 in 517 plate appearances, adding 13 doubles and 48 RBI to the mix. In three seasons and 1,107 plate appearances, Revere has managed a .337/.396/.430 batting line and has managed to steal 110 bases in the process. He is probably the organization's most exciting player and is the leadoff hitter of the future. Along with Morales and Aaron Hicks, Revere has Twins' fans excited about a potential outfield featuring all three in a few years.

1 comment:

  1. Brian,

    I have the same top five prospects as you. The only difference is Morales #5 and Ramos #3 on my list. Nice job!!