La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Twins evening update: A look into the future

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: December 5, 2012 - 8:42 PM


The Twins are working hard to land starting pitching before the winter meetings end tomorrow. They were in on Joe Blanton (sorry for calling him Jeff earlier) before Blanton agreed to a two year, $15 million deal with the Angels. They have some other irons in the fire as the winter meetings wind down. Let's see what they come up with.

For now, I want to address the future and get your thoughts.

I ran into the Baseball America staff on Tuesday night and had a nice little session with them. They are very impressed with the Twins farm system, now that Alex Meyer is in the fold.

I quickly revised my top ten prospects list. It's not official (especially picks No. 2 and 3) but it does look impressive.

1. Miguel Sano, 3B
2. Alex Meyer, RHP
3. Byron Buxton, OF
4. Oswaldo Arcia, OF
5. Kyle Gibson, RHP
6. Aaron Hicks, OF
7. Eddie Rosario, 2B
8. Jose Berrios, RHP
9. B.J. Hermsen, RHP
10. Mason Melotakis, LHP

I might flip flop Meyer and Buxton, then Gibson and Hicks, then Hermsen and Melo and find a new No. 10. But even that unfinished product looks pretty good from 1-8.  The BA staff are very impressed with Buxton. He apparently played against Bubba Starling during the Appalachian League playoffs that they attended and it wasn't even close who was the better prospect.

My thing is this: If the Twins don't find suitable starting pitching this offseason, or they do but the team flounders the first half of the season, will they seriously consider backing off, trading veterans, giving Gibson, Arcia and Hicks a shot and start building for 2015?

By 2015, Hicks and Arcia should be on the path to being established. Gibson should be up to 200 innings. Meyer will be knocking on the door. Melotakis might be knocking on the door. Sano and Rosario might be kicking the door in. They will join Ben Revere, Chris Parmelee and Brian Dozier, all three who benefitting from major league experience.

And old man Mauer should still be around, heh.

That's a youth movement. Is that a movement you could get behind?

What say you?

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