Phil Miller's Baseball Insider: Baseball's a waiting game when it comes to prospects

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 17, 2014 - 4:55 PM

Outfielders Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano have been built up into franchise-saving prospects. Second baseman Eddie Rosario is one of the top hitters in the Twins’ farm system. All three were set to begin the season at Class AA New Britain, but none of them is there.

Buxton, the consensus pick as the top prospect in baseball at the start of the season, has played just five games this season because a sprained left wrist that he injured during spring training and reinjured just over a week ago.

Sano, considered the top power-hitting ­prospect in the minors, is out for the year because of Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Rosario is serving a 50-game suspension for failing a drug test (he admitted to smoking marijuana) and can’t play until May 28 at the earliest.

Three of the Twins’ top prospects are missing valuable development.

“It’s important time that they are missing,” said Brad Steil, Twins director of minor league operations. “Important at-bats, no doubt about that. They will have to make that up. We can supplement some of them with instructional league or Arizona Fall League and winter ball.”

It’s a reminder of what can happen to a ­prospect. And brace yourselves for the possibility that these prospects might never become what we expect. That’s just player development reality. History offers many examples.

The 2008 Huntsville Stars, the Class AA farm team of the Milwaukee Brewers, were loaded with prospects. Michael Brantley currently is an outfielder with Cleveland. Lorenzo Cain plays center field for Kansas City. Alcides Escobar is the Royals’ starting shortstop. Three solid players from one minor league team.

But look at other players from that team. Outfielder Mat Gamel was considered one of the Brewers’ better prospects but suffered ACL injuries. Catcher Angel Salome and outfielder Cole Gillespie were highly thought of but haven’t had much of a career. And there were two first-round draft picks on that Huntsville team — first baseman-outfielder Matt LaPorta and righthander Jeremy Jeffress — who haven’t stuck in the majors. Jeffress served two suspensions for drug use (reportedly marijuana) and later was diagnosed with epilepsy. LaPorta was the key player in the deal for CC Sabathia in 2008. It turns out that the player to be named later in that deal — Brantley — has served the Indians better.

Looking at Baseball America’s Top 20 prospects list from 2009, there are some impressive names, such as Matt Wieters, David Price, Jason Heyward and Buster Posey. But there’s also ­Travis Snider, Cameron Maybin and Lars Anderson. Waiting on prospects can be a torturous endeavor.

Twins fans are waiting for Sano, Buxton, Rosario, Alex Meyer and others to arrive and save the day. But, sometimes, that wave of talent never comes.

Central Intelligence

Third baseman Mike Moustakas is supposed to lead the Royals’ resurgence, but his batting average has dipped below .200. That has led to some speculation that he should go to Class AAA Omaha.

The Royals have said they have exhausted every angle in trying to get his swing going, but they won’t send him down.

“I’m not doing it,” manager Ned Yost said. “Simple as that. I’m not really discussing it. He’s going to stay here right now.”

Moustakas did come through with a three-run double to help the Royals beat Colorado 3-2 on Wednesday. Was it a response to the calls for his demotion? “Zero,” Moustakas said. “I come out every day the same way, trying to help the team win a ballgame. Just because of what happened yesterday doesn’t mean I came out to play harder today. I came out the exact same as I always do. I got a couple hits today, and that’s all that matters.”

While Moustakas is staying in the majors. Cleveland’s Danny Salazar is headed to Class AAA Columbus. He’s talented with a mid-90s fastball. But he’s 1-4 with a 5.53 ERA in eight starts and needed 98 pitches to get through four innings on Thursday against Toronto. Trevor Bauer is expected to replace him in the rotation.

  • related content

  • All-Star Game Insider: Looking through the record book

    Saturday May 17, 2014

    You can learn a lot about the history of the All-Star Game by looking through the record book.Players from the...

  • 10/30/2013 - #02 - Eddie Rosario - Arizona Fall League - Glendale Desert Dogs playing at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix, AZ Photo By Dave Cruz

  • Miguel Sano a power hitting prospect for the Minnesota Twins waited too hit during practice Friday Feb 21. 2014 in Fort Myers, Florida at Lee County Sports Complex. Note these photos go with Jim Souhan Sunday story and should not be used in the daily photo gallery .] JERRY HOLT jerry.holt@startribune.com Jerry Holt

  • will they deliver?Clockwise from above : Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario are all seen as bright spots in the Twins’ future.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: D. Holland 4
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 2
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 4 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Samardzija 8
San Francisco - WP: S. Casilla 5 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: E. Stults 1
Chicago 27 FINAL
NY Jets 19
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 9/22/14 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Dallas 4
Anaheim 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 5
Arizona 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Time left for great deals

Bid thru Sept. 29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close