The Minnesota Twins have six players ranked in MLB.com’s top 100 prospects in baseball and one other prospect among the top 10 at his position.
Miguel Sano, an international free agent signing in 2009, continues to be the best prospect in the Twins system. The 6-foot-3-inch, 195-pound (still his listed height and weight on MLB.com’s prospect list – even though say both numbers are bigger now) Dominican ranks as the 12th best prospect overall. He posted a .258 batting average, 28 doubles, four triples, 28 home runs, 100 RBIs, 80 walks, eight stolen bases and 144 strikeouts in 457 at-bats last season in the single-A short season level. He projects to have middle-of-the-order power and bat. He is still a work in progress defensively.
Byron Buxton, the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2012, debuts on the prospect list as the 19th best prospect overall. The 6-foot-1-inch, 188-pound Georgia high school product split his first professional season between the two rookie level teams. He struggled for the Gulf Coast League Twins, but turned the season around for the Elizabethton Twins of the Appalachian League. He finished the season with a .248 batting average, 10 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 20 RBIs, 19 walks, 11 stolen bases and 41 strikeouts in 165 at-bats. He projects to be a five-tool center fielder.
Alex Meyer, acquired in an offseason trade, is the 40th best prospect overall. The 6-foot-9-inch, 220-pound former first round draft pick of the Washington Nationals posted a 2.86 ERA, 139 strikeouts and 45 walks in 129 innings for the team’s two single-A squads. He projects to have top-of-the-rotation stuff with a high-90s fastball and power slider.
Kyle Gibson, a first round draft pick in 2009, is the 49th best prospect overall. The 6-foot-6-inch, 210-pound University of Missouri product posted a 4.13 ERA with 33 strikeouts and six walks in 28.1 innings at the rookie, advanced-A and triple-A levels. He is about a year and a half removed from Tommy John Surgery, but has a chance to make the Twins rotation this season.
Oswaldo Arcia, an international free agent signing in 2007, is the 93rd best prospect overall. The 6-foot, 210-pound Venezuelan posted a .320 batting average (second best in the Twins system), 36 doubles, eight triples, 17 home runs, 98 RBIs, 51 walks, four stolen bases and 107 strikeouts in 469 at-bats at the advanced-A and double-A levels. According to MLB.com, he “profiles very well as a prototypical right fielder.” He will compete for a roster spot on the Twins roster this season.
Aaron Hicks, a first round draft pick in 2008, ranks as the 98th best prospect overall. The 6-foot-2-inch, 185-pound California high school product started putting his tools together at double-A last season. He posted a .286 batting average, 21 doubles, 11 triples, 13 home runs, 61 RBIs, 79 walks, 32 stolen bases and 116 strikeouts in 472 at-bats. He is expected to get the chance at being the everyday center fielder for the Twins in Spring Training.
Eddie Rosario, a fourth round draft pick in 2010, did not crack the top 100. However, a successful transition from the outfield has him ranked as the sixth best second base prospect. The 6-foot, 170-pound Puerto Rican posted a .299 batting average, 32 doubles, four triples, 13 home runs, 74 RBIs, 32 walks, 11 stolen bases and 71 strikeouts in 411 at-bats playing mostly at the short season single-A level. He projects as a “very good offensive-minded second baseman.”
Pelfrey expects to be full go
The Twins signed Mike Pelfrey on Dec. 20. The free agent right-handed pitcher underwent Tommy John Surgery on his pitching elbow on May 1 while pitching for the New York Mets last season. He is ahead of schedule and expects to be limit free when pitchers and catchers report for spring training in a couple weeks.
No payroll restrictions
Twins owner Jim Pohlad said on 1500 ESPN’s Sunday Talkin’ Twins Show that there are “no payroll restrictions.” He did go on to say that they were going to spend “within reason.” The Twins had an obvious need to upgrade the starting rotation, but outside of two pitchers (one did not want to play in Minnesota and the other was overpaid), there were not many options worthy signing.
Guardado and Mee named to Twins Hall of Fame
The Twins announced Friday that relief pitcher Eddie Guardado and former public relations director Tom Mee will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in a pre game ceremony on June 14.
Guardado played 12 seasons with the Twins from 1993-2003 and again in 2008. He is the team’s all-time leader in games (648) and is third in saves (116). He led the American League in saves in 2002 with 45.
Mee, a St. Paul native, is considered the Twins’ first employee, starting working for the team in 1957. He worked a variety of positions prior to retiring in 1991.