The Twins have a long-established reputation for being cautious with their prospects -- moving them along fairly slowly through the minor leagues and, at the very least, erring on the side of development before rushing them to the big-league club.
We have to wonder, though, if all of that is about to change -- or, should we say, changing already?
Oswaldo Arcia destroyed pitching at Class A Fort Myers and Class AA New Britain last year. He was destroying pitching at Class AAA Rochester this year. The Twins brought him up to fill a need, and, while he hasn't consistently destroyed pitching (just six hits in 31 at bats) two of his hits have been three-run homers and he hardly looks overmatched at the plate from at bat to at bat.
Arcia is just 21 years old, due to turn 22 in early May. We often looked at Arcia as a 2014 arrival. Same with Aaron Hicks, 23, who instead made the jump directly from New Britain to the Twins this year. Hicks has struggled mightily, but lately he has at least shown signs of belonging.
Miguel Sano? He looked like a 2015 arrival. He isn't even 20 yet, reaching that mark soon with a birthday around the same time as Arcia. But with the way he is hitting at Fort Myers, he could follow the Arcia path -- particularly as the Twins search for permanence at third base -- and debut in 2014. Byron Buxton? Maybe he gets here sooner, too.
We're not sure if this is a shift in organizational philosophy, a team thin on talent filling a need or these players making themselves valuable at an earlier age than anticipated. It's probably a mix of all of them, but we'll say this: it makes thinking about the Twins' immediate future a lot more interesting.