Sunday, January 12, 2014

Twins Prospects: 25-21

Here is part 6 of my prospect list I hope you enjoyed the earlier parts.  Today I will be bringing you prospects 25-21.  I will be bringing you 5 a day until we get all the way to number one.  This will take awhile so keep checking back here for daily looks at who I have in certain spots and what I think of them.  I am sure you will disagree with some and if so by all means leave me a comment in the comment section.  If you prefer you can also shoot me an email at  Also if you prefer you can hit me up on twitter @texastwinsfan so whichever way you prefer let me know what you think of my list.

25. J.T. Chargois RP 12/3/90   23 2nd round pick of 2012 draft from Rice
2013 stats: DNP
2013 teams: Extended Spring Training
2014 team: Extended Spring Training
ETA: 2016

JT Chargois was a 2nd round pick for the Twins in 2012 out of Rice and he stepped on the scene and dominated the rest of 2012.  However, 2013 was a whitewash for him as he had elbow issues from the start.  They tried the rest and rehab approach to get him healthy and like usual that approach did not work.  Therefore, in late July or early August, Chargois went under the knife and had the dreaded Tommy John surgery so he did not appear in 2013.  Rehabbing this injury is usually 9-12 months so he will miss most if not all of 2014.  So he will appear in 2015 as a 24 year old reliever.  His prospect status will be determined by how he comes back from the injury as some come back with more velocity and some with less.  Usually the first year back is a struggle and it is not till the 2nd year back that you see the old stuff again.  However, when healthy, Chargois has a big arm that can touch 99 and usually hitting in the mid 90’s.  He has a slider that is not great, but when he is able to control it can be quite nasty.  He only has 2 pitches so he is definately going to be a back end of the pen guy.  If he can regain his velocity there is no reason that he can’t fly through the system as he is the power arm that Twins fans want to see.  If he can become a little more consistant with his slider and be able to throw it in any count then he has the ability to be special.  2014 is not going to be a year you hear much about Chargois, but Twins fans should keep him in the back of their head because I precict big things for JT Chargois.

24. Amaurys Minier  SS/3b    1/30/96   18     Signed as Free Agent in 2012 from DR
2013 stats: 31 games .214  6 hr 17 rbi  5 doubles 2 triples  10runs  6bb 29k  .252/.455/.707
2013 team: GCL Twins
2014 team: GCL Twins
ETA: 2019

The Twins signed Minier out of the Dominican Republic in 2012 for a bonus of 1.4 million dollars so much was expected.  To put it kindly Minier was horrible in 2013, but there are a few things that Twins fans need to take into account.  First, this was his first year playing professional ball in the United States.  Second, Minier played the year at only 17 years old and when the Twins signed him the reports were that he was very raw and those reports were correct.  He will likely repeat the GCL in 2014 and the hope that he will show improvement.  A good comparison was Jorge Polanco who came to the United States and his first year he was equally as bad if not worse.  What people need to realize is he won’t turn 18 until the end of the month.  At this point people need to be patient with him and let his talents come out as there are plenty of that or you don’t get 1.4.  Minier is very talented and as a switch hitter has great power from both sides of the plate.  Like most 17 year olds if you throw him a fastball he will mash it.  However, also like most 17 year olds if you throw him off speed pitches he will struggle with it.  The Twins signed him as a shortstop, but everyone knew he would end up at 3b as he doesn’t have the quickness to play shortstop.  He struggled at 3b this year as he had six errors in 23 games at 3b, but in time I think he will be a solid 3b.  Let’s be honest though the tool that the Twins coveted when they signed him was his power potential.  The Twins view him as a possible 25-30 hr a year guy and you say that with thirteen extra base hits in just 31 games.  I am very excited about the potential of Minier and although he is not the class of Miguel Sano I think he can be a big time prospect in time.  The key word that Twins need to practice with him is patience as it is going to take him a while to figure it out.

23. Fernando Romero   SP 12/24/94   19      Signed as a Free Agent in 2011 out of DR 2013 stats: 2-0 1.60era  12 games 6 starts  45 innings 32 hits  13bb 47k
2013 team: GCL Twins
2014 team: Elizabethton
ETA: 2019

When the Twins signed Fernando Romero out of the Dominican Republic in 2011 the team paid 240,000 so there was not a ton of expections for the righty.  He has turned into one of more intriguing prospects in the system.  He did nothing to convince the Twins that he was a big prospect in 2012 while playing in the Dominican Summer League when he had a 4.65 era in 31 innings.  The decision was made to bring him over to the United States as a 18 year old and boy did they not regret that decision.  Romero went 2-0 with a 1.60 era in 45 innings for the GCL Twins.  More impressive than that though was in those 45 innings he only gave up 32 hits and struck out 47.  At six foot 210lbs, Romero can throw the ball quite hard consistantly in the mid 90’s.  He has a very good breaking ball that he gets his strikeouts on.  The only question going forward is whether Romero is going to be a starting pitcher or a reliever.  If he was a reliever he could throw in the high 90’s as he wouldn’t have to save any gas in the tank.  With that said a pitcher is much more valuable as a starter versus a reliever.  The determining factor is his changeup.  To be a quality starting pitcher you need to throw three pitches that you can throw for strikes.  Romero can already throw his fastball and breaking balls for strikes as he only walked 13 guys in those 45 innings.  The key is his changeup that right now is a work in progress.  If he can consistantly throw his changeup for strikes to get guys off his fastball than he will be a starter.  If he cannot he will be a shutdown reliever for the Twins.  The big thing with him is he has huge potential as he is only 19 and has more talent than anyone in the organization.  I really feel that 23 is too low for him, but I have not seen enough to put him any higher.  If he can develop his changeup I think he will be a borderline top ten prospect.  He is definately someone Twins fans should keep their eye on as he is part of the future with the Twins.    

22. Michael Tonkin   RP  11/19/89 24  30th round pick in 2008 draft out of  CA  HS
2013 stats: 2-4  3.04 era  61 games  21 saves  68.1 inn  63 hits  19bb  76k
2013 teams: New Britain, Rochester, Minnesota
2014 team: Rochester
ETA: 2014

Michael Tonkin took his spot as a huge part of the future of the Twins bullpen.  Tonkin had kind of been hanging around in the organization until he moved to the bullpen full time in 2011.  Tonkin was drafted in the 30th round as a starting pitcher and struggled mightily as a starter.  Then in 2011 the Twins made the decision to move Tonkin to the bullpen and that decision has come up gold.  He did alright in 2011 pitching to a 3.87 era in 76.2 innings.  The improvement really came in 2012 when he had a 2.08 era in 69.1 innings and improved his strikeout rate as he had 97 strikeouts in those 69 plus innings.  So going into the 2013 season Tonkin was on the map and started the season back at New Britain where he dominated.  Tonkin had a 2.22 era in 24.1 innings with 30 strikeouts with the Rockcats.  He then moved to Rochester and although the results were not as good as you would have liked it was good experience.  Tonkin had a 4.41 era in 32.2 innings for the Red Wings.  Tonkin has a smooth delivery for someone that is 6’7.  Tonkin can touch 97 with his fastball, but in the mid 90’s most of the time.  The good thing about Tonkin is that through his height he gets good sink on his fastball because he uses a good downward plane which leads to plenty of groundballs.  He gets his strikeouts with a sharp slider that can be downright nasty.  The slider can be inconsistant sometimes so if he wants to be a late inning guy for the Twins he needs to develop more consistancy with that slider.  He is a 2 pitch pitcher which limits him to bullpen work.  However with his mid 90’s fastball and nasty slider those two pitches can be quite effective.  I look for him to start the 2014 season closing back in Rochester, but it won’t be long until he is up with the Twins.  Eventually I think he ends up setting up for Glen Perkins in the Twins pen and has a long career as a setup guy who could end up closing down the road.

21.  Zack Jones    RP   12/4/90   23     4th round pick in 2012 draft out of San Jose St.  
2013 stats: 4-3 1.85 era  39 games  14 saves  48.2 innings  28 hits  28bb  70k
2013 team: Fort Myers
2014 team: New Britain
ETA: 2015

Zack Jones has established himself as the top relief pitching prospect in the organization with his big arm.  After getting drafted in the 4th round in 2012, Jones split the year between Elizabethton and Beloit in very limited action.  He only worked 20 innings so it is hard to tell how he was.  I saw him in Beloit in July of 2012 and came away so impressed with him.  He has the gas that Twins fans have been longing for as he consistantly was in the high 90’s and even touching 100.  I remember telling Seth Stohs that Jones was the pitcher I was most impressed with seeing as he was dominant.  There is a special noise the ball makes when it hits the catcher’s mitt when you are throwing really hard and Jones fastball has that pop.  Jones spent all of 2013 up in Fort Myers and had a pretty good, but not great year.  He went 4-3 with a 1.85 era in 48.2 innings with 70 strikeouts.  The problem and the only thing that I can

think that would prevent him from making it to the big leagues is his control.  Which is a big deal because throwing hard and having electic stuff are no good if you can’t throw strikes.  He walked 28 batters in 48+ innings which is not good.  What made it worse is he walked just as many hitters as he gave up hits too.  The crazy thing is guys did not hit him, but he had a lot of guys on base because of his lack of control.  Jones can consistantly hit 99-100 with his fastball and generally sits in the mid 90’s with it.  He also throws a cutter that is in the low 90’s.  He throws three different fastballs at different speeds.  He also throws a hard slider in the high 80’s and has been working on a curveball, but that curveball is a work in progress and there is no telling if he will continue to throw that pitch.  The bottom line in my opinion is if could control his pitches better he could pitch in the big leagues right now.  The fact that he struggles so much with his control leaves his future in doubt.  If he figures out his control he will be the Twins closer for years to come.  If he doesn’t I have a hard time seeing him having much if any future with the Twins.  It doesn’t matter how hard you throw if you cannot place your pitches.  So in my opinion Zack Jones is in a fork in the road and his control will determine which direction he goes.

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