Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2015 Twins offseason top 40 prospects list: 36-40

The Rule 5 draft is done, the Winter Leagues are in full blow, Catchers and Pitchers are 2 months away, which means that it is time for the Twins Off-season top 40 prospect list.  Like last year (you can find the summary list here with links to all the posts) I will do a count down 5 at a time starting from number 40.  I will give detailed descriptions of the players and justification why I ranked them where I did when needed.  In parenthesis, I am including their ranking in the last prospect list, which was the 2014 mid-season list, with "--" if not ranked.  You can find that list here.

Unlike several lists, in my list, once a player makes it to the show, it graduates as a prospect.  So, the following Twins' players have graduated last season (2014 mid-season ranking in parenthesis) : Trevor May (4), Kennys Vargas (5), AJ Achter (25).   The one player who is an exception to my rule, is Jorge Polanco, who, while called in the majors twice, barely played, thus I still consider a prospect and will be part of this list when his number comes.

As these posts add up, you can find all the rankings here

Here is the Minnesota Twins Prospects 36 to 40:

40. Luis Arraez (--) LHB, IF, DOB: 4/9/1997: 5'10", 155 lbs

Luis Arraez was signed from Venezuela before last season.  The diminutive 17 year old made his debut in the DSL in 2014 and in a pitcher's league he exhibited excellent ability to make contact and great selectivity on the plate, finishing with a .348/.433/.400 slash line.  He also stole 10 bases in 15 attempts.   Not much power, but he is just 17.  Likely will travel North and play in the DSL for 2015. He played mostly second base, but started 3 games in SS as well.  His fielding is a work in progress but he turned 20 double plays in 155 total touches, which is not a bad place to be.

39. Moises Gomez RHP (--) RHSP, DOB: 12/8/1997. 6'1", 192 lbs

Gomez is another 17 year old Venezuelan who will make the jump to the GCL in 2015.  In his first 26 pro innings in the DSL he allowed 6 runs (2.02 ERA), struck out 30 and walked 10.  Nice easy delivery, good movement in his fastball, misses bats and a good feeling for the change.  This is about as good as it gets for a teenager.  He dabbles with breaking stuff but need work.  Lots of potential, will be interesting to see how he responds in the GCL

38. Tyler Kuresa 1B (--) LHB, 1B, DOB: 11/17/1992 6'3", 190 lbs. 

Kuresa was drafted by the Twins on the 16th round of the 2014 draft from the University of California Santa Barbara and was assigned to Elizabethton.  He had no problem trading his metal bat for a wooden, hitting .298/.381/.478.  A big guy with room to grow and power to grow.  Good eye for a big guy, but fields like a big guy.  Reminds some people of a young Justin Morneau, and that is a heck of a compliment.  Likely will start in Cedar Rapids in 2015. 

37. Fernando Romero RHP (39) RHSP, DOB: 12/24/1994. 6'0", 215 lbs

Fernando Romero was signed to an Amateur Free Agent contract by the Twins on October of 2011 with a $260,000 bonus out of the Dominican Republic.  After spending the 2012 season in the Dominican Summer League, he made the jump to the Gulf Coast League in 2013.  He pitched in 12 games (6 GS) for 45 innings to a 1.60 ERA and had 47 strikeouts and only 13 bases on balls.  His WHIP was 1.00 and K% a very impressive 26, while his K/BB was 3.62. He missed 2014 with Tommy John surgery.   It will be interesting to see how Romero will rebound in his age 20 season. He had a heavy fastball is in the mid to low 90s and barely adequate supplementary stuff.  Romero does have mid rotation potential, depending on development of his secondary pitches and staying healthy.    He will likely begin 2014, his age 19 season, in Cedar Rapids where he will alternate between the rotation and pen until extended.

36. Jermaine Palacios IF (--) RHB, DOB: 7/19/1996, 6'0", 145 lbs.

Palacios is the third Venezuelan 17 year old in today's list, who will likely make his debut in the GCL next year, and was one of the most exciting position players in the DSL last season hitting .270/.404/.399 with 11 doubles and 6 triples (and 14 SB) in 49 games.  Very fast, thinner than Alexei Ramirez and still working with the glove (played mainly 3B with some 2B and SS,)  but projects more as a SS than a corner OF.

Next: 35-30.



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