Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Please Joel, don't retire. You may end up like me

On Saturday, new Twins relief pitcher Joel Zumaya tore his UCL after throwing just 13 pitches to live batters. A torn UCL requires Tommy John surgery. Given his injury history and the fact that he hasn't pitched in a major league game since 2010 has Zumaya thinking of retiring.

Zumaya was a sensation as a rookie in 2006. He went 6-3 with a 1.94 ERA and struck out 97 in 83.1 innings for Detroit.  He threw 103 miles an hour. He was going to be a star......

He has never thrown over 38.1 innings again!

Zumaya has had several injuries to his elbow as well as that unfortunate Guitar Hero injury. To pitch again he is looking at his 6th surgery in his young career. It may be perfectly reasonable for Zumaya to think retirement. He has a small child at home and he might not be thrilled to spend a full season rehabbing to come back to an uncertain future. He's made over $4.6 million in his career and assuming he has taken decent care of his money, he shouldn't need immediate work. So should Zumaya retire and become a professional fisherman?

Hell No!

I understand Zumaya looks at his baseball career and sees a potential no-win situation. He's young, he's made some money and he is frustrated. He also would have several months of grueling rehab in front of him and no guarantee of a job on the back end. He also has a flaw in his mechanics that could make an injury-free comeback difficult. So why should he keep trying? Why have another surgery if he doesn't need to?

What the hell else is he going to do?

Zumaya would only be 28 years old when he were to come back next year. Maybe the Tommy John surgery can fix his elbow. Maybe the rehab will allow him to start from scratch with his delivery, producing a more healthy future. Brad Radke retired rather than have shoulder surgery, but he was 34 and shoulder surgery is potentially more difficult to come back from than Tommy John.

What about the money?

Money is not the only thing in life but, where is Zumaya going to make anywhere close to baseball type money? I don't know Zumaya at all, but I know he was drafted straight from high school and doesn't have a lot of education to fall back on. (though 4.6 million could buy plenty of school) Trying to come back is a risk but there is a lot of potential financial upside to even a modestly successful comeback.

Most of my argument for Zumaya to stick around is based on my everyman life. I am a reasonable successful 38 year old businessman that expects even more success in my next 10 years. If the comeback allows Zumaya to pitch again at all, he will earn at least another chance at the league minimum which is over $400,000 a year. At 38 and successful, my life-time earnings are less than $800,000. It will take me at least 5 years to make the veteran major league minimum that Zumaya could earn at 28. Joel, working a real job isn't nearly as fun as hanging out in Florida or Arizona in the winter and then getting a chance to play a kids game for 162 summer days. Real work doesn't pay as well. (unless you are an executive) Real work doesn't provide travel etc.... Assuming that he isn't professional fisherman material, what will he do with himself for the rest of his life? How will he compensate for his lack of income? Look what real work has done to me!

Why give up? Sometimes the injury-prone come back. Carl Pavano is a good Twins example. After 2004 Pavano signed a 4 year, nearly $40 million deal with the Yankees. He started 17 games in 05, 2 in 07 and 7 in 08 due to many injuries. After 08, he was a free-agent and had to sign for $1.5 million plus incentives. Well, Pavano has been healthy since and has had a slight career renaissance. He's also earned at least $28 million since his disaster as a Yankee. Guys like Ken Griffey Jr., Chris Carpenter and many many more have comeback from many years of injury to post great seasons and great careers.

Joel, I understand you are frustrated. I know you have pride and there is a chance a comeback could fail. You are young and what else are you going to do? I don't want you to retire because I'll miss your fastball, but i really don't want you to retire because I don't want you to end up like me.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

2012 Minnesota Twins Prospects 25-21

As spring training rolls along, I have been counting down their top 50 prospects. Already looked at 50-46, 45-41, 40-36, 35-31 & 30-26.

25. Tyler Robertson Left-Handed Reliever 12/23/1987.
Robertson was drafted by the Twins in the 3rd round of the 2006 draft out of Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks, California. He went 10-3 with 16 saves and a 3.61 ERA in 55 appearances for AA New Britain. He struck out 88 and walked 29 in 89.2 innings. Robertson was considered a solid starting prospect coming into 2010. I had ranked him #20 as a 22 year old starter prospect in Fort Myers and some (more reputable sources) had him even higher. Unfortunately, his 2010 was miserable. He went  4-13 with a 5.40 ERA for New Britain, though his 4.80 FIP  suggests he wasn't quite as bad as his ERA. Even with the bad numbers, he was one of the Twins sent to the Arizona Fall League where he was used as a reliever. My half-assed scouting report on 2010 AFL Twins is here. Robertson had a really nice first year as a late inning reliever and it has jump started his career. He saw his K rate jump up more than 3 strikeouts per 9 innings and his walk rate improved as well. His season was good enough to get his career on track and was added to the 40-man roster. If Robertson can keep it up in his second year as a reliever, he could help the Twins in 2012. Especially in light of Joel Zumaya's latest injury.
2012 Outlook: Will spend the season in Rochester unless the Twins need some extra bullpen arms.

Robertson admiring my "Viva La Stache" shirt in 2010.

24. Tyler Grimes Shortstop 7/3/1990.
Grimes was drafted by the Twins in the 5th round of the 2011 draft out of Wichita St. He hit .225/.316/.406 with 4 HRs and 5 stolen bases in 7 attempts in 159 plate appearances for Beloit. He also had 4 triples. He got on base a ton his junior year of college but he also struck out a lot. The strikeouts carried over to his pro debut but his on-base skills haven't yet. He struck out 53 times and walked just 13 in 159 plate appearances. He may not stick at short, he has a strong arm at SS, but he committed 30 errors his junior year in college. He  also had 6 in 40 games in Beloit. If Grimes can stick at short, he could move up quickly in a system with few middle infield prospects. If he can hit for more average and cut the strikeouts, he will be elite.
2012 Outlook: He should start at Fort Myers and has a chance to move to New Britain, depending on #1 pick Levi Micheal's growth.

23. Niko Goodrum Shortstop 2/28/1992.
Goodrum was drafted by the Twins in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft out of Fayette County High School in Fayetteville, Georgia. He hit .275/.352/.382 with 2 HRs in 230 plate appearances plus 8 stolen bases in 9 attempts for Elizabethtown. Goodrum's numbers improved over his disastrous first pro season numbers. He's tall and skinny with a big arm but right now, Goodrum is still mostly tools. Most scouts feel his skill-set and body will eventually lead him to the outfield. Goodrum is predicted to add power as he fills out and he also has some speed. He's an intriguing prospect and it will be interesting to monitor his progress as he grows and plays in full-season leagues.
2012 Outlook: Goodrum may start in Extended spring training but should eventually report to Beloit.

22. Manuel Soliman Right-Handed Starter 8/11/1989.
Soliman was signed by the Twins in 2007 out of La Romana, Dominican Republic. He went 7-11 with a 3.97 ERA in 28 appearances (25 starts). He struck out 120 and walked 50 in 136 innings. Originally, Soliman was signed as a third baseman with some expectations, but he just couldn't hit. After 2 seasons of not hitting, topping out at a .640 OPS as an 18 year old in the Dominican Summer League, his live arm was converted to pitching. Soliman is a couple years behind in his pitching development and even though he throws hard, he hasn't been able to harnass his secondary pitches. As a 22 year old in High A ball, it will be time for him to start pulling everything together if he to become a good or even great pitcher. I ranked him #13 last year and Andrew Kneeland wrote it here.
2012 Outlook: Will probably spend all season starting for Fort Myers.

21. Max Kepler-Rozycki Outfield 2/10/1993.
Kepler was signed by the Twins in 2009 out of Berlin Germany. He hit .262/.347/.366 with 1 HR in 221 plate appearances for Elizabethtown. Max moved up a level of rookie ball and did modestly better than his first season. As an 18 year old, he was still very young for the level and he should continue to improve. He was regarded as one of the greatest prospects signed out of Europe, two years ago when the Twins signed him for $750,000, and there is nothing yet to doubt that. The one worry I have at this stage, is his strikeout rate went up a ton in 2011. I'm looking forward to seeing his continuing development. I had him at #15 last year. Andrew Kneeland wrote about him here.
2012 Outlook: Like Niko Goodrum, Kepler May start in Extended spring training but should eventually report to Beloit.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2012 Minnesota Twins Prospects 30-26

The Twins pitchers and catchers reported yesterday, which also happened to be my second wedding anniversary. Perhaps you remember the marriage post? I set it up right. Two of my favorite days each year are occasionally going to be on the same day.

Anyway, as the Twins players start to filter down to Fort Myers, let's look at 5 more guys that may be a part of the Twins future. Two exciting draft picks from 2011 are included in this next group. I look forward to seeing their professional debuts. Check out the other posts in the countdown. 50-46, 45-41, 40-3635-31.

30. Lance Ray Outfield/First Baseman 9/2/1989.
Ray was drafted in the 8th round of the 2010 draft out of the University of Kentucky. He hit .253/.335/.432 with 16 HRs, 34 doubles and 10 steals in 16 attempts.  Ray's numbers were decent, but it was also a tough year for him in Beloit. His power came a little but he struck out 132 times in 539 plate appearances. Ray has the reputation of being a good hitter with some power, but his huge spike in strikeouts could be a problem if he doesn't get it corrected. His season was decent, just not completely fitting his reputation. I ranked him #39 last year.
2012 Outlook: He'll probably spend a full season at Fort Myers.

29. Daniel Rams Catcher/Outfield. 12/19/1988.
Rams was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2007 draft out of Gulliver Prep HS in Miami. He hit .239/.310/.388 with 8 HRs in 342 plate appearances for Fort Myers. He also threw out 33% of would-be base-stealers. Rams came into Fort Myers with a power reputation and a strikeout reputation. Unfortunetly, it was the strikeouts that were more prevelant in 2011. As a catcher, Rams numbers still profile decent enough, but it looks like the Twins will move him to the outfield. If the Twins switch him to outfield, he will have to improve his contact if he has any chance of making the major leagues. His power potential at catcher is the only thing that keeps him ranked in my top 50. 2012 is a make or break year. I ranked him #28 last year.
2012 Outlook: He'll probably move up to New Britain and split time between outfield and catcher.

28. Hudson Boyd Right-Handed Pitcher 10/18/1992.
Boyd was drafted 55th overall in the first round of the 2011 draft out of Bishop Verot High School, in Fort Myers, FL. He signed too late to make his professional debut in 2011. He went 12-0 with a .46 ERA as a senior in high school. He also struck out a Whopping 123 in 73 innings. Being down the road from the Twins facility probably gave the team an advantage while scouting him. It also went against the Twins usual draft strategy. They took a high school power pitcher high in the draft instead of a polished college control guy. Kevin Slowey, Scott Baker, Kyle Gibson etc.... are the typical high draft pick pitchers the Twins draft. Usually a guy who throws strikes and is 2 years or less from the majors. It was refreshing to see the Twins grab a power arm due to the dearth of powerful starter arms in their minors. There are very few in this list. He has a fastball that can reach 95 with a potential dominant curve ball. Keith Law had him as his 40th best prospect pre-draft.
2012 Outlook: Will start in extended spring training before shipping out to either GCL or Elizabethtown.

27. Travis Harrison Third Base 10/17/1992.
Harrison was drafted 5 spots ahead of Boyd, #50 overall in the 2011 draft out of Tustin California High School. He also signed too late to make his professional debut in 2011. He hit .481/.643/1.130 with 13 HRs as a senior in high school. Harrison was considered "one of the best pure bats in the high school class" by Keith Law. A powerful hitter, Harrison once hit a 504 foot HR. Harrison may eventually out-grow third, or just might not be good enough to play there defensively. If his power progresses, he will still be valuabel at first base. Law had Harrison as his 37th best prospect pre-draft.  Below is video of his swing in 2010.
2012 Outlook: Will start in extended spring training before shipping out to either GCL or Elizabethtown.

26. Jose Gonzalez Left-Handed Reliever 2/3/1990.
Gonzalez was signed out of Tucupita, Venezuela in 2007. He went 5-3 with 13 saves and a 2.47 ERA in 48 appearances for Beloit. He struck out 63 and walked 23 in 62 innings. Gonzalez is pretty small and he doesn't throw super hard, though reports lead me to believe his fastball velocity increased, but he's had incredible numbers at every level. His numbers and ability seem similar to those of Nelvin Fuentes (without having ever seen either pitch), who I ranked 35th, but Gonzalez is 10 months younger and was the closer at Beloit. If he can keep striking out guys and keep his walk rate down, he has a good chance of being a relief option  for the Twins sooner than later. I ranked him #20 last year & #37 in 2010.
2012 Outlook: Probable closer for Fort Myers.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2012 Minnesota Twins Prospects 35-31

It is currently 45 degrees here in New Hampshire and spring is in the air. On the eve of spring training, I continue to count down the Minnesota Twins top 50 prospects. I have already counted down 50-46, 45-41 and 40-36.

Let's take a look at 35-31.

35. Nelvin Fuentes Left-Handed Reliever 4/7/1989.
Fuentes was drafted in the 16th round of the 2007 draft out of Puerto Rico Baseball Academy High School. Fuentes went 3-3 with a 3.29 ERA in 29 appearances for Beloit. He struck out 43 and walked 11 in 28.1 innings. He strikes out a lot of guys, even though his fastball is merely average. He is helped out be a good change up. I ranked him #19 last year and #43 in 2010. It will be interesting to see how he does as he continues to move up. Junk pitchers generally get more exposed as they move up, but he could become a crafty lefty in the vein of his namesake Brian Fuentes.
2012 Outlook: He'll spend most or all of 2012 in Fort Myers.

34. Michael Tonkin Right-Handed Pitcher 11/19/1989.
Tonkin was drafted in the 30th round of the 2008 draft out of Palmdale, California High School. Tonkin went 4-3 with 2 saves and a 3.87 ERA for Beloit in 48 appearances (3 starts). He struck out 69 and walked 24 in 76.2 innings. Tonkin is a big guy with a low 90s fastball and change up. He is probably better suited as a reliever who could use his size to intimidate even if his stuff doesn't fully back it up.
2012 Outlook: He'll start the season in Fort Myers.

33. Matthew Hauser Right-Handed Reliever 3/30/1988.
Hauser was drafted in the 7th round of the 2010 draft out of the University of San Diego. Hauser went 5-6 with 12 saves and a 1.98 ERA between Beloit and Fort Myers with one appearance in New Britain. He struck out 75 and walked 29 in 63.2 innings. He has a decent fast-ball, slider and also has a split finger. The split is supposed to be his dominant pitch. There aren't many prospects (anymore) that have the split in their arsenal. I look forward to seeing that picth as he moves to AA and AAA. (Where I can watch him pitch live)
2012 Outlook: Will probably start the season in New Britain and may stay there most of the season.

32. Pat Dean Left-Handed Starter 5/25/1989.
Dean was drafted was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft out of Boston College. He went 5-7 with a 5.00 ERA in 20 starts for Beloit, Fort Myers and New Britain. He struck out 76 and walked 25 in 108 innings. Dean missed some time due to injury in his first full season with the Twins franchise. He dominated in Beloit but struggled when he moved up. He has four pitches including a low 90s fastball and doesn't walk too many guys. He definitely fits the Twins mold of pitching prospects. I ranked him #21 last year.
2012 Outlook: start the season at Fort Myers with a mid-season promotion.

31. JaDamion Williams Outfield 11/20/1990.
Williams was drafted in the 10th round of the 2010 draft out of Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate HS in Tampa, FLA. He hit .324/.406/.465 with 4 HRs in 212 plate appearances with 10 stolen bases in 15 attempts for Elizabethtown. Williams has tools! He hit, walked, hit for some power and stole some bases. Reports are, he is lightning quick. He had a great season in E-town hidden beneath Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario's monster seasons. It will be interesting to see how he does when he levels up and plays a full season. He will have to work on reducing his strikeouts as he moves up.
2012 Outlook: He'll move to Beloit where his numbers may very well be hidden under Sano and Rosario's again.

Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 Twins Prospects 40-36

Here is my third installment of 2012 Minnesota Twins prospects. I recently posted 50-46 & 45-41. I originally had Pedro Guerra in this range, but he was recently released. It would be interesting to see why the Twins let him go, given that he his young and has had decent numbers. Oh well, let's continue the countdown.

40. Michael Gonzales First Base 6/16/1988.
Gonzales was drafted by the Twins in the 9th round of the 2008 draft out of Diablo Valley College. He hit .289/.371/.468 with 15 HRs in 477 plate appearances in his second year at class A Beloit. His walks have increased his strikeouts have decreased as he has matured. He looks to be rounding into a good all around hitter but in his age 24 year, he really needs to start moving up. Last year he did not make my top 50, but in 2010, I ranked him #39.
2012 Outlook: Will probably spend most of the season at Class A Fort Myers with potential promotion to AA.

39. Kennys Vargas First Base 8/1/1990.
Vargas was signed in 2009 out of Canovanas, Puerto Rico. He hit .322/.377/.489 with 6 HRs in 191 plate appearances for Elizabethtown. Vargas has shown a decent bat in both levels of rookie ball and at 6'5", he sure has the size. The interesting test will be once he plays a full season. He will not have a chance to play a full season in 2012, due to a 50 game suspension handed down in August for taking phentermine. Rumors are, he has problems keeping his weight down. Hopefully, he can shake off the suspension when he returns and continue his progression.
2012 Outlook: Should get to Beloit eventually upon completion of his suspension.

38. Matt Summers Right-Handed Pitcher 8/17/1989.
Summers was drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 draft out of UC Irvine. He went 1-1 with a .87 ERA in 20 appearances at Elizabethtown. He struck out a whopping 36, walked 5 and only gave up 2 runs in 20.2 innings. He started in college, throwing a no-hitter and going 11-4 with a 2.15 ERA in 2011. Big West pitcher of the year is one of the accolades he has earned.
2012 Outlook: Will probably head to Beloit or Fort Myers probably as a starter.

37. Kane Holbrooks Right-Handed Pitcher 6/8/1987.
Holbrooks was drafted in the 21st round of the 2009 draft out of Texas State University. He went 5-9 with a 4.87 ERA in 19 appearances for Fort Myers, 16 of them starts. He struck out 47 and walked 26 in 94.1 innings. He really struggled in his first full year as a starter, though injuries probably played a part. He might be better served as a reliever. 2012 will be a big year for Holbrooks who rocketed up the prospect charts last year and back down this year. I ranked him #11 last year and Andrew at TwinsTarget wrote the prospect profile here.  I also wrote something about him and Dakota Watts here. Holbrooks is a real character and the Twins could us someone like him on the big club to add personality to the room.
2012 Outlook: I would look for the Twins to send Holbrooks to New Britain and try him as a starter a little longer.

36. Bruce Pugh Right-Handed Pitcher 7/18/1988.
Pugh was drafted in the 19th round of the 2008 draft out of Hillborough (Florida) Community College. He went 2-7 with a 5.91 ERA and 17 saves in 43 appearances between Fort Myers and New Britain. He struck out 75 and walked 32 in 64 innings. His ERA was pretty ugly, but some of it can be traced back to the 8 earned runs in 1.1 innings he gave up on June 1st. This was his maiden voyage in AA. Pugh has a chance to be a useful pitcher, he has a good fastball and decent breaking pitch but he walks too many. He could be a decent starter or dominant reliever if he could control the walks. I ranked him 26th last year.
2012 Outlook: A full year at New Britain unless he starts really strong.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2012 Minnesota Twins Prospects 45-41

Today is the official beginning of spring. The Seattle Mariners pitchers and catchers report today. It's not the Twins, but its still baseball.

Recently, I counted down 5 prospects in my top 50. today it's time to knock out 5 more in a series that will probably take me up to opening day. :)

45. Rory Rhodes Third Base 7/28/1991.
Rhodes was signed in 2008 out of Brisbane, Australia for $220,000. He hit .261/.363/.389 with 2 HRs in 182 plate appearances for Elizabethtown. He's very tall, he strikes out a lot and he has a lot of power. He plays in the Australian Baseball League during the winter, where he was runner-up Rookie of the year in 2010-2011. He will eventually transition to first base due to his height, but his bat could someday make him a real force. Will be interesting to see how he he does in a full season league.
2012 Outlook: He should start the season in Beloit.

44. Phillip Chapman Catcher 3/28/1989.
Chapman was drafted in the 35th round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Memphis. He hit .308/.392/.442 in 124 plate appearances for the Gulf Coast Twins. He proved to be a doubles machine in college and had 12 in just 124 plate appearances in his first pro season. A catcher with gap power and a good on base percentage comes in pretty handy but, Chapman was pretty old for the GCL, so, it'll be important for him to continue to hit at the next level and move up pretty quick.
2012 Outlook: He may start in extended spring training, but should spend at least a decent amount of time in Beloit.

43. Lester Oliveros Right Handed Reliever 5/28/1988.
Oliveros came over to the Twins organization late in the 2011 season in the Delmon Young trade. He went 3-3 with a 4.12 ERA between AA Erie and AAA Toledo & Rochester. He struck out 58 and walked 21 in 48 innings. He struggled in his 21.1 major league innings for the Tigers and the Twins as he probably isn't yet major league ready. He has a good hard fastball and a good slider and has struck out more than one batter per inning every step of his minor league career. With his age and stuff, he could soon become an elite reliever in the majors, but he needs to improve his command.
2012 Outlook: Has a good chance of making the Twins out of spring training, though he could use more time in AAA. He will impact the major league club in 2012.

42. Deolis Guerra Right Handed Pitcher 4/17/1989.
Guerra has been in the Twins system since 2008. He came over in the Johann Santana trade and has never come close to the prospect hype (hope) that was bestowed on him. Many had him as a top 50 prospect at the time of the trade, but his fastball and raw numbers have never come close lived to the early hype. His 2011 stats look like a lot like those from 2010 on first blush. He was 8-7 with a 5.59 ERA for AA New Britain. Taking a deeper look, maybe the numbers really say more about Guerra as an awful starter. He gave up 43 earned runs in 10 starts and 43 innings, striking out 30 and walking 15. That's a 9.00 ERA. Since converting to reliever full time, Guerra was much better. He gave up only 16 earned runs, struck out 60 and walked 13 in 52 innings for a 2.25 ERA. I think Guerra's time as a starter has passed and he should stay in the pen! If he is used primarily as a reliever, he should move up the rankings as well as provide a late inning reliever for the Twins relatively soon.  I had him #47 last year and #19 in 2010.
2012 Outlook: Should spend most or all of the season at AAA Rochester in the bullpen.

41. Anthony Slama Right Handed Reliever 1/6/1984.
Slama was drafted by the Twins in the 39th round of the 2006 draft out of the University of San Diego. He went 3-2 with a 2.92 ERA for AAA Rochester. He struck out 42 and walked 16 in 37 innings. Slama continued to have great strikeout numbers with average stuff in AAA. For the second straight year, he spent some time in the majors. He didn't get much of a chance to show what he could do in the majors because of an elbow injury. After the season, he was dropped from the 40 man roster and at 28 years old, 2012 is probably Slama's last chance to find his way into the Twins bullpen. I ranked him #29 last year and #31 in 2010.
2012 Outlook: Will start at AAA, but will be available for a call-up if the Twins need a reliever added to the 40 man roster.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2012 Twins Prospects 50-46

This is one of my favorite times of the year. The Super Bowl is over and pitchers and catchers start reporting this weekend. What better time to look at the future of the Minnesota Twins. This year was tougher to rank the Twins prospects than the past two years. Several years of the big club raiding the system, questionable front office decisions and a little bit of bad luck have left the Twins system weaker than it has been in most seasons.

We'll start with prospect 50-46.

50. Luis Nunez Left Handed Reliever 9/26/1991.
Nunez was signed as a free agent out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 2008. Repeating Gulf Coast ball in 2011, Nunez continued to improve. He went 5-0 with 5 saves with a 1.67 ERA in 16 appearances. He struck out 37 and walked only 6 in 32.1 innings. He's a hard thrower. He's small at 5'11" 160, but is only 20. He could be a closer someday.
2012 Outlook: Will probably start the season in extended spring training and either report to Elizabethtown or Beloit.

49. Dakota Watts Right Handed Reliever 11/16/1987.
Watts was drafted in the 16th round of the 2009 draft out of Cal State-Stanislaus. He went 3-4 with 10 saves and a 6.30 ERA in 48 appearances between High A Fort Myers and AA New Britain. He struck out 53 and walked 33 in 65.2 innings. His strikeouts have slipped as he's moved up the system but he still walks WAY too many batters. I ranked him #33 last year. I also wrote about him here. He still has late inning big league reliever potential because throws hard, but he has to throw more strikes.
2012 Outlook: Will return to AA New Britain.

48. Matt Bashore Left Handed Starter 4/6/1988.
Bashore was drafted #46 in the first round of the 2009 draft out of Indiana University. He has pitched very little since being drafted and has just recently come back from Tommy John surgery. He went 0-0 with a 3.24 ERA in 12 appearances and 3 starts for rookie league Elizabethtown. He struck out 15 and walked 8 in 16.2 innings. If he can regain the form that made him a first round pick, he will move through the system quickly.
2012 Outlook: Will probably start in extended spring training and then report to Beloit.

47. Darin Mastroianni Center Field 8/26/1985.
Mastroianni was claimed off waivers today (February 9th) from Toronto Blue Jays. He hit .268/.353/.370 with 3 HRs and also stole 34 bases in 44 attempts for AA New Hampshire and AAA Las Vegas. Going into his 26th year, Mastroianni is almost as major league ready as he is going to be. He made his major league debut in 2011, playing in one game. He enters an organization set at starting OF in the majors and with many highly rated OF prospects that will be seen later in my countdown. Where he provides value is at the 4th OF spot. A backup who can play CF, get on base, steal some of those bases, be a late inning defensive replacement to Josh Willingham and provide a right handed bat off the bench (backing up two lefties) certainly has value. I like the pickup. If nothing else, he is younger and strikes out less than Jason Repko.
2012 Outlook: He is on the 40 man, so he may break with the Twins or spend time in AAA.

46. Jorge Polanco Shortstop 7/5/1993.
He was signed in 2009 out of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic for $750,000. He hit .250/.319/.349 with 1 HR in 193 plate appearances for Elizabethtown. He also stole 6 bases in 10 attempts.  I ranked him #37 last year. He is still very young and an excellent defensive prospect, but hasn't yet found a bat. He is the elite fielding SS prospect in the Twins system. If he finds a bat, he could become one hell of a ballplayer some day.
2012 Outlook: Due to his young age, I'd expect the Twins to start him in instructional league before sending him back to Elizabethtown or Beloit.