Thursday, December 19, 2013

2014 NFL Draft 1.0

It has been awhile since I blogged and not saying it will be an every day thing, but with the draft coming up in a few months I am going to start doing a mock draft every Thursday until draft day.  The order will change before now and end of the season so if you have any comments or questions either leave me a comment or shoot me an email at or tweet me@texastwinsfan. 

1. Houston- Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville

2. St. Louis(Washington)- Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M

3. Oakland- Anthony Barr LB UCLA

4. Jacksonville- Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M

5. Atlanta- Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina

6. Cleveland- Derek Carr QB Fresno State

7. Tampa Bay- Taylor Lewin OT Michigan

8. Minnesota-  Blake Bortles QB Central Florida

9. Buffalo- Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama

10. Tennessee- Ha Ha Clinton Dix S Alabama

11 New York Giants- CJ Mosely LB Alabama

12 Pittsburgh- Louis Nix DT Notre Dame

13 New York Jets- Sammy Watkins WR Clemson

14 St. Louis- Greg Robinson OT Auburn

15 Detroit- Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State

16 Dallas- Stephon Tuitt DT Notre Dame

17 San Diego- Khalil Mack LB Buffalo

18 Green Bay- Eric Ebron TE North Carolina

19 Philadelphia- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB Oregon

20 Baltimore- Mike Evans WR Texas A&M

21 Chicago- Ra'shede Hageman DT Minnesota

22 Miami- Timmy Jerigan DT Florida State

23 Cleveland(Indianapolis)- Jordan Matthews WR Vanderbilt

24 Cincinnati- Marqise Lee WR USC

25 Arizona- Vic Beasley LB Clemson

26 New England- Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State

27 Carolina- Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State

28 San Francisco- Jason Verrett CB TCU

29 New Orleans- Marcus Roberson CB Florida

30 Kansas City- Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech

31 Denver- Zack Martin OT Notre Dame

32 Seattle- Morgan Moses OT Virginia

Monday, July 15, 2013

What does the future hold for Aaron Hicks?

            From the moment that Aaron Hicks was drafted out of high school in Long Beach, California with the 14th pick in the 2008 draft there were expectations.  Hicks was supposed to be the next in a great line of modern day All-Star centerfielders that started with Kirby Puckett, and then on to Torii Hunter, who was followed by Denard Span, and briefly by Ben Revere.  It took him some time to figure things out as he didn’t make his Twins debut until opening day 2013.  With the drafting of Byron Buxton in the 2012 draft at 2nd overall and his struggles in 2013 the question has to be asked what the future is for Aaron Hicks.  Will the Twins move him to right field when Buxton arrives late in 2014, will they trade him for pitching, will they let him battle Buxton for the starting job or none of the above.  People should not forget how talented Aaron Hicks is and as a longtime supporter of his there is little doubt that whatever they decide to do with him he will be successful as he has star written all over him.

           Aaron Hicks came into the 2008 draft with dual options as he had a scholarship to USC waiting for him.  He also had the choice do I want to be an outfielder where he was a five tool outfielder or do I want to be a pitcher where he was clocked at 97 in high school?  He made it very clear prior to draft that he wanted to be an outfielder and some say that made him drop out of the top ten.  The Twins had no problem with him as a switch-hitting outfielder and snatched him up with the 14th pick in the draft.  He signed quickly with the Twins and finished the year with the GCL Twins where he hit .318 with 32 runs scored and 12 stolen bases along with an impressive .409 OBP.  After starting the 2009 season in extended spring training, Hicks got the call to skip Elizabethton and instead go up to class A Beloit.  In 67 games he hit .251 with 43 runs scored with 40 walks and a .353 OBP.  The decision was made that he would repeat Beloit in 2010 still at just age 20.  In his encore in 2010 he hit .279 in 115 games with 86 runs along with 88 walks and an impressive .401 OBP.

            In 2011 Hicks moved up to A+ Fort Myers and in 122 games hit just .242 with 79 runs and 78 walks along with a respectable .354 OBP.  In 2012 Hicks took his talents up to AA New Britain and had a breakout year.  In 129 games he hit .286 with 100 runs scored along with twenty-one doubles, eleven triples, and a career high thirteen homeruns with a career him thirty two stolen bases.  He had 79 walks and a very good .844 OPS at AA.  In the offseason going into 2013 the Twins traded both Denard Span and Ben Revere so Hicks was given the opportunity to win the CF job in Spring Training and that is exactly what he did.  He hit .392 with five homeruns and eighteen rbi’s to win the starting job opening day.  The start of the season could not have gone any worse for Hicks as he began the season in a 2-35 slump to get behind the eight ball.  After being horrible in April and May he has steadied himself in June and July hitting .271 and .280 respectively and having an OBP over.300 in both of those months.  He has shown power as well as his OPS have been over .800 both of those months as well.  He is still hitting just .197, but when you compare to when he was hitting .057 that is much improved and there is no reason to think that he can’t hit close to .250 in a tumultuous rookie season for Hicks.  

            When looking at what the future holds for Hicks can’t be told without talking about Byron Buxton.  Buxton currently is the top prospect in all of baseball right now and is drawing comparisons to Mike Trout.  As much of a Hicks guy I am there is no doubt that Buxton is the superior prospect.  He just is faster, makes better angles, and better instincts than Hicks and that is saying something.  So the question becomes do you play him in left field or right field.  The answer to that question can be answered in two words and that is Yankee Stadium.  Anyone who saw that throw the other night where he made a throw from near the warning track in center field to third base on the fly on a ball that he says slipped out of his hand is saying something.  You typically like to have your best arm in right field and there is no doubt that if you have an outfield of Arcia, Buxton, and Hicks that Aaron Hicks is your best arm.

            With that question out of the way, the real question for the Twins to decide is with Buxton about a year away from being ready should the Twins consider trading Hicks for pitching similar to the way they did Denard Span last winter.  Hicks needs to become more consistent before you consider this, but even now Hicks has value and if he continues to develop the way that I think he will there is little doubt you have to consider it.  With the Twins philosophy of not going into free agency to get big time pitching and the Twins with a plethora of outfield talent you have to consider it.  With guys like Buxton, Kepler, Walker coming up in the not so distant future along with Arcia there is outfield depth.  So the question is if you can get major league pitching in return for Hicks do you consider trading him?

            So if you decide to keep Hicks there are questions about Hicks.  I asked prospect expert Jeremy Nygaard his thoughts on Hicks and some of the same questions that I posed to you.  The first question I asked with the emergence of Byron Buxton what he thought the future held for Hicks and he responded, “Hicks will be the CF until Buxton is ready and then I think we'll see the Twins do what the Angels have done with two CFs, put one in the corner. Personally, I think that it will be Hicks moving over the RF. Regardless, CF is a premium defensive position, so having two elite-level defenders is a good problem to have. Puckett and Hunter both moved to a corner, Hicks will too.”  I then asked him, in your opinion when Buxton arrives will Hicks be used as trade bait and he responded, “There's a lot of moving parts that would have to settle before that question can be answered. I don't think it's as simple as "Well, Byron is coming up tomorrow, so we better trade Hicks."  If Arcia can hold his own in the outfield..?. If Rosario can stick at 2B...? If Sano can stick at 3B...? What about Kepler...?  Ultimately all of those questions would play into any answer involving moving any excess depth, which, again, would be a good problem.”  The final question I asked was based on questions about Hicks batting style as some view him as too passive at the plate.  He is often also accused of being a poor left handed hitter so maybe he should quit switch-hitting.  I asked Jeremy both of those topics and here is how he responded, “Having watched Hicks multiple times over his two years in Beloit, I've seen his left-handed hitting come a long way. It's going to continue to progress. He can be passive at the plate, yes... but I think it's easier to teach a guy to be aggressive than it is to teach him to be more selective.  As he continues to get comfortable, we'll continue to see improvement. In fact, I think we've seen some glimpses already.”

            Aaron Hicks has had his problems going up through the system as he is a very streaky hitter and many have questioned whether he will be the prospect that we all are hoping that he can be.  I think he can be everything that we all hoped he would be as he is a very patient hitter and the more comfortable he gets the walks will come up and the strikeouts will go down.  He has a cannon for an arm and can play elite defense at any of the three positions.  Whether he is in center or right, there is no doubt in my mind that Aaron Hicks future is very bright and there is no reason in my mind that he can’t be an all-star.  If the Twins decide to trade him which I don’t think they will because his ceiling is too high, but if they did they should be able to get elite talent in return.  Aaron Hicks is another piece to the puzzle to make the Twins relevant again along with Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer, Oswaldo Arcia, and Eddie Rosario.  With that line of guys coming up the future of the Twins is very very bright.

            Let me know what you think of this article by either leaving a comment in the comment box or shooting me an email at  You can also follow me on twitter @texastwinsfan.  Starting tomorrow I will be beginning my top 60 twins prospects with stats, estimated time of arrivals, and something Twin fans should know about them.  Check back tomorrow for prospects 60-51.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Who is the second baseman of the future for the Twins?

In 2014 the Twins are going to have a tough decision to make at 2nd base when Eddie Rosario is expected to be ready for the Major Leagues.  Do you go with the steady hand at second base that is Brian Dozier or do you go for higher upside who is less likely to reach that upside in Eddie Rosario.  They both have some positives and negatives to them so there is really not an easy answer to this.  It basically comes down to how much you believe in upside because if you are talking upside Rosario is the guy as he just oozes upside.  However, if you prefer a second baseman that will make all the plays at 2nd and put together solid at bats who is doing fine at the major league level this year than your guy should be Dozier.  The interesting thing about this topic is there is no perfect choice as each choice has some risk and each choice also has some reward so it will be very interesting to see which way the Twins will go in 2014.
            To start with the incumdent Brian Dozier was a 8th round pick in 2009 out of the University of Southern Mississippi as a shortstop.  He signed quickly and was sent to Elizabethton where in 53 games he hit .353 with 38 runs scored and a .417 OBP.  In 2010 he started the season in Beloit where he hit .278 with 24 runs scored and a .347 OBP in 39 games.  He was then promoted to Fort Myers where he hit .274 with 44 runs scored and a .352 OBP in 93 games.  In his first two pro seasons he was as solid as you could be and there were many that thought Dozier could keep moving through the system as the Shortstop of the future.
            Even after doing well in Fort Myers in 2010, Dozier began the year still in Fort Myers, but would not stay long.  In 49 games he hit .320 with 32 runs scored and a impressive .423 OBP with the Miracle.  Dozier then moved on to New Britain where in 78 games he hit .318 with 60 runs scored and an impressive .384 OBP.  He then came into Spring Training as a non-roster invitee and almost making team before going to Rochester.  In 48 games at Rochester he hit just .232 while scoring just 15 runs with a .286 OBP, but a lot of those numbers came after he got sent back down after a stint with the Twins and it did not go very well the second stint in Rochester.
            Then on May 5th, Dozier received the call that so many wish for and was called up to the Twins.  Things did not go real well in Dozier’s first taste of the major leagues as he hit just .234 with 33 runs scored and a OBP of just .271.  To make matters worse he was struggling at shortstop as he committed 15 errors in just 84 games with the Twins.  Finally, in August he was sent down and in the offseason the decision was made to make Dozier a full time second baseman.  The results have been mixed so far this season as Dozier is hitting just .235 while scoring 36 runs with an OBP of .315.  Brian Dozier has had good times and bad, but it feels like he is finally turning the corner and can make a good case why he should be the second baseman of the future.
            Eddie Rosario was drafted by the Twins in the 4th round of the 2010 MLB draft out of Puerto Rico as a centerfielder.  He spent the 2010 season in the GCL where he hit .294 and scored 34 runs with an OBP of .343.  He moved up to Elizabethton in 2011 and that is where his stock really took off.  He and fellow prospect Miguel Sano put on a power display unseen in years. Rosario ended up winning MVP honors in the Appalacian League when he hit .337 with 21 homeruns and drove in 60 with a crazy 1.068 OPS.  Being slight of build at only six feet tall and weighing 170 lbs you knew that wouldn’t last with the power numbers.  The Twins in the fall of 2011 did something that was unheard of and that is turn a good centerfielder into a 2nd baseman a position he hadn’t played since high school.
            Rosario came into 2012 season not only joining a full season league, but also a new position.  He did alright in Beloit hitting .296 with 12 homeruns and 70 rbi’s along with scoring 60 runs with a .835 OPS in just 95 games as he missed time due to injury.  This year he joined the Fort Myers Miracle and did really well hitting .329 with 6 homeruns and 35 rbi’s along with scoring 40 runs with a .903 OPS. This led to a midseason promotion to AA New Britain.  He got off to a slow start in New Britain, but started putting it together right before the All-Star break as he is hitting .275 in just 24 games.  Something that has to be mentioned that in Elizabethton and then again in Fort Myers he has been pulled from games for not hustling balls out.  He is very confident and that is something he is just going to have to overcome.
Now the fun really begins as we compare the two to determine who is the 2nd baseman of the future.  There are really two ways to look at this when deciding which is the better option.  If you look at defense then the option is clear as Eddie Rosario is not in Brian Dozier’s league as a defensive 2nd baseman.  That is not to say that Rosario is not a solid 2nd baseman because he is, but you have to remember he has only been playing second for two years.  Dozier has soft hands and good range for the position, while Rosario will still make the error that your like wow I can’t believe he made it and his arm is not bad, but Brian Dozier has a shortstop quality arm.  However, if you are going to talk offense there is no comparison as Dozier is a .256 career hitter while Rosario is a .310 career hitter.  So it comes down to offense or defense what do you prefer because Dozier is very good defensively, but Rosario has hit at every level he has ever played at showing gap to gap power who will hit a lot of double and possibly double digit hr years.
This was closer than I thought it would be when I started doing research so I went to the best prospect guide I know and that’s the great Seth Stohs and I asked him several questions about this two.  I asked him the strengths and weaknesses of the two and he started with Dozier and his strengths and weaknesses.  According to Seth, “Great defense, good 2B range, generally takes good at bats.  Based on minor league track record and what he did in June, he could be a guy who walks about as much as he strikes out and have some extra base power. He can be a league average or even a little better, starting 2B.  His weaknesses are Before June, his big league time had been pretty underwhelming. He struggled defensively at shortstop, and at the plate, he was admittedly a mess last year. His approach at the plate was much bettre this year but he numbers didn't come on until June. His "toolbox" isn't exceptional, but he is a ball player.” 
Now on to Rosario’s strengths and weaknesses starting with the strengths, “He is a line drive hitter who uses the whole field. He will have a little bit of power. He really has a quick, left-handed bat and a good, but aggressive, approach at the plate.  Then his weaknesses, “Although his defense at 2B is greatly improved, that will remain a question mark until we see him.”  I then asked Seth how big of an upside does Rosario have, “ I can see him being the type of guy who could have a few years where he hits .310 with 40+ doubles, 15-20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. HE could be an All Star second baseman.”  I then asked if he thought Brian Dozier could effectively play shortstop to get them both in lineup, “Effectively? Sure. He has played shortstop his whole life, and although he really struggled in his time with the Twins in 2012 didn't show it at all, I think he can be a solid defensive shortstop. That's not to say a Gold Glover, but a guy who can make the routine plays, for sure.”  The final question that I asked Seth was if he was making out the lineup who would he want at second base, “ Right now, I'd definitely say Dozier. He seems to have turned a corner and I would stand behind him. What will happen in 2013, who knows? We'll see how Eddie Rosario handles AA over the remainder of the season. He'll be added to the 40 man roster, and he'll go to spring training. He made a strong impression at spring training this year. By May or June of next year, that answer may change. I suspect fans will be clamoring for him by September.”   
            After taking Seth Stohs comments under consideration there is no way in my mind that Eddie Rosario is not the 2nd baseman of the future.  His upside is just way to much and he can be way to special.  His upside is unbelievable and he probably will not obtain the level that he possibly could, but I will take upside over projectability any day of the week.  That is not to say that Brian Dozier is not a very good defensive second baseman who has the ability to have a high OBP.  If I had to choose I would take the easy way out and tell Brian Dozier in the offseason start working on your shortstop game again so that I can have a middle infield of Dozier and Rosario.  How do you like that I refuse to pick between the two, but if I was forced to it would be an easy decision and that is Eddie Rosario is the Twins 2nd baseman of the future.  Let me know what you think of this article, whether you agree or disagree I want to hear about it.  You can either leave a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at  You can also follow me on twitter @texastwinsfan. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Debut of The Odd Couple Talkin Twins Podcast tonight at 10.

You don't want to miss out on the debut of The Odd Couple Talking Twins with myself and my cohost Fanatic Jack Steal as we debate Twins topics and trust me it will be a debate as we have as big of a difference of opinion on stuff as you can have.  So don't miss out every Tuesday night at 10pm on blog talk radio for a very entertaining show.

Miguel Sano: Future at a Crossroads?

Miguel Sano has been hailed as the future of the franchise.  He has been compared to a young Miguel Cabrera. He has had all of that pressure put on his shoulders and up until now has done an unbelievable job.  He came to the Twins in 2009 as a 16 year old kid who signed for 3.15 million, which still to this day is the highest amount of money the Twins have ever given to a International Free Agent.  After signing in October of 2009 with the Twins he split the rest of the season between the DSL and GCL where he hit .307 with 7 homeruns and 29 rbi’s.  

Then in 2011 is where he took off as fellow super prospect Eddie Rosario put on a show in Elizabethton trading homerun after homerun.  Sano ended up hitting .292 with 20 homeruns and 59 rbi’s along with 18 doubles and 7 triples.  His .637 slugging percentage and .988 OPS just shows the amount of power he has.  In 2012 Sano moved onto full season Beloit then the Low A affiliate of the Twins in Southeast Wisconsin.  With the Snappers, Sano showed that his numbers at E-town were no fluke as he hit .258 with 28 homeruns and a even 100 rbi’s along with 28 doubles and four triples.  He had a .521 slugging percentage and a very good .893 OPS.  

Then the question became how would he fare in the bigger ballparks in the Florida State League as he was promoted to Fort Myers to start the 2013 season.  He made those parks seem small as he had his best numbers to date.  In 56 games with the Miracle, Sano hit .330 with 16 homeruns and 48 rbi’s along with fifteen doubles and two triples.  He had a career high .655 slugging percentage and another career high of a 1.079 OPS.  With those numbers Sano was promoted up to AA New Britain at age 20.  The questions started to mount would Miguel Sano be the Twins opening day third baseman in 2014.  He had made leaps and bounds on his defense and there were many myself included that felt he could be a league average defensive third baseman.  Seemed like the sky was the limit for Sano as he was headed for AA and his time in the minor leagues seemed limited until he got bit by AA like so many other players do.

When Miguel Sano got to AA I did not think he would have any trouble adjusting to the new level at all.  I looked at how he adusted from short season to full season and how he adjusted from Beloit to Fort Myers.  Because of those reasons I did not think this adjustment would be very hard at all.  So far boy have I been wrong as Miguel Sano has run into a wall called AA.  So far in 26 games with the Rock Cats, Sano is hitting just .195 with six homeruns and seventeen rbi’s along with three doubles and two triples.  He is just 16-82 in New Britain and has struck out a whopping 29 times which is 35% of his at bats.  That percentage is a good 5% higher than his career average.  His slugging and OPS is not bad because eleven of his sixteen hits have been extra base hits so he is the classic all or nothing hitter right now as his on base percentage is just .289 after being at .424 at Fort Myers.  To make matters worse he is three for his last twenty-seven at the plate.  Also after only having 11 errors in 56 games in Fort Myers he has a whopping seven errors in just 26 games in New Britain so its obvious that he is pressing right now. 
I was curious why he is struggling now after not struggling at any other level before.  This is by far the worst slump of his professional career.  So I went to a guy that I trust when it comes to prospects the great Seth Stohs and find out why he thinks Sano is struggling.  I asked Seth what factor is leading to his struggles and Seth said, “He is a guy that’s going to strike out a lot.  As he moves up levels and pitchers get better, they will continue to be an issue.”  He is right about the strikeouts as he has always been a high strikeout guy as he had 144 strikeouts in 2012 in Beloit and already has 90 in half a season in 2013.  It is a proven fact that batting average is hard to maintain when you strikeout as much as Sano does.  Fellow prospect Eddie Rosario strikes out about half as much as Sano and that is why he has a higher career batting average.  It is hard to get on base when you are striking out a third of your at bats.  At the same time though when Sano is right he can carry a ballclub as he has 77 career minor league homeruns in three and a half years.  In his last 2.5 years he has 70 homeruns which is 28 homeruns a year which is very impressive so to get the homeruns you have to put up with the strikeouts.  I asked Seth how many at bats he would need to see before he would consider sending Sano back down to Fort Myers and he responded, “They let him struggle work his way out of it at the level for all intents and purposes means the most.” 
Miguel Sano has had a brilliant minor league career so far and Baseball America just ranked him as the 3rd best prospect in all of baseball at just 20 years old facing guys that are four or five years older than him.  So readers my question should Twins fans be pushing the panic button with Sano or is this a phase that we just need to let ride out and we will laugh when he is mashing homeruns out of Target Field in a year from now.  Let me know your comments by either leaving a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at     

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Should the Twins trade Glen Perkins?

                The Twins are doing better than expected in 2013, but after a five game losing streak they find themselves 36-46 and 9 games out of first place.  They hung in there for quite a while this year and that is commendable as even though nobody with the Twins was willing to admit it 2013 was always going to be a rebuilding year.  The Twins classically overachieved over the first three months and it left Twins fans wondering can this team be last years Baltimore and just shock everyone.  After the last week we pretty much know the answer to that question.  The Twins aren’t hitting and their bullpen has imploded from overwork caused by the Starting staff doing so horribly the first two months.  With that being said the reason for this article is to discuss whether the Twins should trade their best pitcher Glen Perkins.

            Glen Perkins was a 1st round draft pick out of the University of Minnesota in 2004.  He came up as a starter and had 43 strarts between 2008 and 2009 where he went 18-11 with a 5.15 combined era.  He then got injured and split 2010 between AAA and the disabled list and had problems with the Twins front office.  So when he came into 2011 most were counting the days until he would get traded as must felt it would happen either in Spring Training or soon after.  Instead he won a job out of the bullpen and really hasn’t looked back since.  Since opening day 2011 until today Perkins has went 8-5 with a 2.34era in 167 games along with 38 saves.  To now being if not the best than one of the best left handed closers in the game.  He has established himself as likely the second best player on the Twins behind Joe Mauer.  With the Twins having a losing record the question has to be asked should the Twins consider trading Glen Perkins?

            First, let me state the reasons you don’t trade Glen Perkins because there are many viable reasons why you say thanks, but no thanks.  The Twins are a year or two from contending for the playoffs again if you believe in the prospects like I do.  I believe they are playoff bound as early as 2015 so do you want to have to develop another closer when you have a developed one already.  The next one and likely the biggest two reasons are first his age as he is only 30 years old and has another 5-6 years of elite closing still to come.  It appears he is just hitting his groove and right now to be honest he is just about unhittable with a 95mph fastball and a slider that is just filthy.  Then there is probably the number one reason why you don’t trade him and that is his contract which is quite possibly the most team friendly contract in baseball. In 2013 he will make 2.5m, then in 2014 he will make 3.75m, In 2015 he will make the same 3.75m, and finally the Twins have a team option at a robust 4.5m with a 300,000 buyout.  So for you math wizzes out there he is guaranteed 10.3m the next 4 years, but more likely he will be paid 14.5m for the next four years.  Compare that the other closer name that is brought up in trade discussions and that is Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon who is owed 52m over that same four year stretch if his option vests.  I would have a hard time arguing that Papelbon is better Perkins straight up let alone the difference in salaries and I would much rather have Glen Perkins.  You may ask with all these reasons why are we even having this discussion.  For all the reasons why the Twins should not consider trading Perkins I have some compelling reasons why they should.

            At this point you must think I am crazy for even considering trading Glen Perkins and my reason is simple Law of Averages.  I firmly believe that every pitcher only has so many pitches in his arm before he is going to get hurt.  Perkins is 30 years old and has not gotten hurt in a major way and the Twins have been very lucky.  Next, value as Glen Perkins value will never ever be higher than it is right now.  He is under contract for four years and is a likely all-star and the Twins will never get as much for him as they can right now.  Twins fans are upset that the Twins did not trade Josh Willingham last winter and now they can’t trade him.  Just think for a minute the Twins decide not to trade Perkins and in August he blows out his shoulder or elbow and the Twins will be stuck with nothing.  Finally, what is the point of having a close down closer when the Twins are likely going to lose 90+ games again.  The biggest reason I would trade Glen Perkins is what you could get for him.  Buster Olney said if the Twins made Glen Perkins available he would be the number 1 trade chip on the market.  With that in mind the Twins could get a haul for a team looking for a shutdown closer or a unhittable set-up man.  We have heard the Tigers names mentioned and Reusse and Mackey brought up a package that would get me excited of super power outfielder Nick Castellanos and power closer Bruce Rondon for Perkins.  I don’t know if you can get both for Perkins, but I would definitely see.  You hear rumblings that the Rangers are letting teams know for the right package that super prospect Jurickson Profar could possibly be had.  You have teams like the Red Sox, Tigers, Indians, Rangers, Pirates, Dodgers, Giants, and Rockies that have some interesting pieces that would look really good in a Twins uniform.  I am not saying I would definitely trade Glen Perkins, but if you can squeeze some of those young players out of a team I would do it because to me seeing Nick Castellanos playing LF on a daily basis is more appealing than having a closer sit at the end of the bullpen waiting for chances that a young team likely can’t give him.

            I asked a few baseball experts their opinions on if I am crazy about trading Perkins and here is what they said.  Brandon Warne of 1500 Espn said, “No, I wouldn't trade Perkins. And while it's conventional wisdom that a shutdown closer is a luxury that should only be afforded to contending teams, it would be a PR mess to trade him.  Not only has Perkins turned into one of the very best closers the Twins have ever had -- this year's 12.5 K/9 is second-best in team history -- but he's signed to an extremely affordable contract that should allow him to be a part of the next good Twins run, which should only be a couple years away.”  That is an interesting take as I get what he is saying, but to me PR should have nothing to do this as I know he is a Minnesota guy and wants to be here, but sometimes you have to make tough decisions and this is one of those times you take the PR hit to make the future of the Twins brighter.  I then asked the draft expert Jeremy Nygaard of Twins Daily and he said, “I wouldn’t unless the return was mind blowing.”  I agree with Jeremy as Glen Perkins is the Twins biggest trade asset so they need to get this right so not trading him at all is better than trading him for a bad package.  Finally, I asked Jim Crikket of Knuckleballs blog his perspective and he said,” Not many players I’d refuse to trade, but would take something pretty good to let Perkins go.”  Pretty much everyone is in agreement that if the Twins are going to let Perkins go they need a huge return.  That is where we differ though as I feel the longer they keep Perkins the better the chance of him getting hurt is.  So at the end of the day if I am Terry Ryan and I get an offer that makes me say wow that sounds pretty good he needs to pull the trigger and worry about the fallout later.  Let me know if you agree or disagree with me.  You can leave me a comment on here or shoot me an email at  Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

top 20 Twins Prospects

I will have a more in depth top 20 prospect look during the all star break, but I wanted to give you guys the initial top 20 look with a sentence about each prospect.  I hope you will give me feedback on what you think of my selections and who you think I may have left out or what you think.  You can either leave me a comment here or email me at

        1         Byron Buxton- top prospect in all of baseball who can do it all and got promotion up to Fort Myers could be a Twin as soon as 2014.

        2         Miguel Sano- Having a breakout year with the power skill; still strikeouts a ton, but he has 40 homerun potential.  Likely will be a Twin in early 2014.

  3         Alex Meyer- Don’t let this shoulder strain get you down as this guy can miss bats and his control is fixed.  All this injury did was keep him from the majors for a year and in a way that helps the Twins as they will get another one of his peak years.  Likely make debut late 2014 or early 2015.

 4         Kohl Stewart- The Twins first round pick in 2013 is the real deal and will be really good as the top prep arm in this years draft.  They will take their time with him as he is so young, but look for him to split rest of 2013 between GCL and E-Town and make full season debut in Cedar Rapids in 2014.

 5         Eddie Rosario- Rosario has settled in nicely at 2nd base and he likely is the Twins 2nd baseman of the future.  He will never be a gold glove 2nd baseman, but the kid can hit and will be a fixture in Twins lineup early 2014.

 6         Jose Berrios- He has electric stuff and another guy who can miss bats with his low 90’s fastball and array of great breaking pitches.  His upside is tremendous and if he can stay healthy the future is bright.  Twins will take their time with him as his upside is so high so look for him in Target field around 2016.

 7         Kyle Gibson- I watched today’s game and don’t pay too much attention to it as like any pitcher when you leave pitches up you are going to get hurt.  Also not to put the blame on anyone else, but the Twins defense was not real great behind him today. With that said Gibson is a ground ball machine with a low 90’s fastball and a filthy slider that when on is hard to hit and if you swing all you can do is beat it into the ground.  This is likely the last time he will be on a prospect list as I believe his minor league days are over.

 8         Travis Harrison- Harrison a 2011 draft pick out of California is a very powerful man who is going to hit a lot of homeruns.  His first year and a half he didn’t hit many homeruns, but you knew the power was there.  Then this year in Cedar Rapids he has taken off by hitting 14 homeruns along with 24 more doubles and slugged at a .511 clip.  For clarification Miguel Sano slugged at a .521 clip in low A last year.  Harrison’s glove probably won’t keep him at 3rd, but they will find a place for him and likely will be the 1st baseman of the future for the Twins.

 9         Trevor May- The Twins received May in the Ben Revere trade from the Phillies.  He was held back by his control issues as at one time he was the top rated prospect for the Phillies.  When he arrived this spring his control was erratic and his April numbers would attest to that.  However he made some adustments and his numbers have been better ever since.  At best I could see him as 2-3 at the major league level which is great.  I see him being a September callup by the Twins this fall and gaining a rotation spot sometime early 2014.

Amaurys Minier- The Twins spent a lot of money to get him in the fold.  In the International Free Agent season last summer the Twins paid 1.4 to get Minier.  The great Seth Stohs has been quoted calling me Miguel Sano lite as he was signed as a shortstop, but his ultimate position will likey be third base.  This year in the GCL he has played mainly 3rd and has had his ups and downs.  You can see the power out of him, but he also strikes out a ton, but the reason he is rated this high is he is only 17 years old and has a boatload of potential and it will be interesting to see if he can reach that potential.

11     Max Kepler- Kepler was the highest paid bonus from Europe in the history of international signings until this year.  He has unlimited potential and is so young that everyone salivated about the idea of Buxton and him in same outfield this year, but Kepler got injured and just got to Cedar Rapids.  He has gotten off to a good start for the Kernels and he has limitless potential and it will be interesting to see how he does.

12     Kennys Vargas- After being suspended 50 games a couple years ago everyone kind of just forgot about him, but the last year in 117 games he has hit 24 homeruns and drove in 98 runs that is pretty impressive.  Given the nickname little Papi as his manerism’s are very similar to Big Papi David Ortiz he swings like him as well.  He has dominated the FSL offensively and is only still there to work on his defense.  I think he eventually becomes a DH, but his power is impressive and he should be a Twin in 2015.

13     Jorge Polanco- After signing with the Twins for 800,000 the same year Miguel Sano signed for 3.15, Polanco kind of got lost and took some time to find his stroke.  However, after dominating E-Town last year and Cedar Rapids this year it is time to take Polanco seriously as he has a good glove and can hit.  He is hitting 3rd on a really good Cedar Rapids team so the bat is there and the glove is there.

14     Mason Melotakis- Melotakis is a power arm that the Twins drafted last year and the big question has been is he a starter or a reliever.  As a starter he is consistently in low 90’s with 3 quality pitches.  But in the bullpen he was throwing in the mid 90’s with dominating stuff.  It will be interesting to see which way the Twins go, but for my money its hard to find a lefty with overpowering stuff so I would go with him in the pen.

15     Luke Bard- Luke Bard was another 2012 draft pick power arm.  However, he has had to deal with injuries all year and its doubtful if we will see Bard on the mound in 2013.  He has a mid 90’s fastball and good breaking pitches, but the question is can he overcome injuries.

16     Niko Goodrum- Goodrum is another guy that has had to deal with injuries as he had a concussion this year.  Niko a former 2nd round pick has had a up and down year in 2013 as he can hit and the potential to glove.  He has had a lot of errors this year and it makes you wonder if he can stick at SS.  Hitting in the high .260’s is ok, but I really believe that Niko is capable of so much more.  It will be interesting to see if he can live up to his potential and that is why he is rated so high.

17     Danny Santana- Danny Santana has come a long way from the skinny prospect he was a few years ago to a professional hitter and to some the shortstop of the future.  There is definitely a need for a shortstop that can hit.  However, 2013 has not been a good year for Santana in the field as he has committed 23 errors at shortstop.  I always thought the error totals would come down and because they haven’t a person has to wonder if he will make it.  It is still interesting as he has a ton of potential and if he could cut that error total in half he would be the heir apparent to Florimon.  So really it is all on Danny Santana’s shoulders because there is a job waiting to be won.

18     Alex Wimmers- People should not forget about Alex Wimmers who was a tough luck victim as after he overcame his case of the yips he hurt his elbow and had to have the dreaded Tommy John surgery.  However, much like Kyle Gibson a year ago Wimmers continues to work hard and make progress in his rehab.  He is throwing bullpens and getting closer to getting into a game.  This year is about getting a few innings in his belt so next year he could possibly contend for a rotation spot sometime in 2014.

19     Ryan Eades- Eades was a 2nd round pick by the Twins in this years draft out of LSU.  It is amazing that after what he went through in High School he is in this position.  When he was in High School he tore his Labrum which to many could be career ending.  However, he worked hard and got a scholarship to LSU and did well there.  He throws a low 90’s fastball and is very projectable and was thought of as a safe pick who could get to the majors the quickest.  He will report to E-town now that he has signed so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him in Minnesota sometime late 2014.

20     Zack Jones- I personally saw Zack Jones in person last summer when I was in Beloit and man can he bring it.  He throws in the high 90’s with decent off speed pitches.  The question mark is his control.  It will determine if he makes it or not and this year has been a work in progress.  His era is good and so is his strikeouts.  I suspect though that the reason that he is still in Fort Myers and not in New Britain is his control as he has walked 19 batters in just 30.1 innings.  That is way too many walks and that is the thing that will make or break his career.  If he can get his walk totals down the sky’s the limit for him as he does everything else very well.