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TwinsCentric: Top 50 Twins prospects: 6-10

Posted by: Seth Stohs Updated: November 4, 2013 - 11:55 PM

We are getting close now. Today, we enter into the Top 10 Twins prospects by looking at prospects six through ten. To give a heads up, the Top 5 prospects will be posted at Twins Daily on Thursday, so be sure to come back for that. And on Friday, I'll review my Top 50 and encourage all of you to post a Top 20 (or 30 or 50, or whatever you like). 

I would argue that the top five Twins prospects approach the 'elite' status. Prospects six through ten all have great upside, but each still has a question or two. It may be youth. It may be plate control or discipline. It may be development of a third or fourth pitch. These guys have a chance to be solid major league contributors. Likely they wouldn't be big league All Stars, but they can be big league regulars (and sometimes they do become All Stars). 

Part 9: Prospects 6-10

As we start the Top 10 Twins prospects today, this group is really pretty interchangeable (and I think that Josmil Pinto fits with this group). I think it's fair to say that Cedar Rapids is pretty well represented as four of the five players on this list spent at least most of the season. One was the Midwest League's Player of the Year, according to Topps. Two are hold-overs from last year's Top 10 while the fourth has jumped up prospect rankings over the last 18 months. The fifth is a hard throwing kid who would still be a senior in high school if he were from the US. 

#10 – Adam Walker – OF (22)

The Milwaukee native went down to Jacksonville University and put together three very good collegiate seasons. He posted OPS of 1.035, 1.168 and 1.007 in those seasons. He hit 52 doubles and 42 homers in those three seasons, plus he went 40-41 in stolen base attempts. After the Twins drafted him in the third round of the 2012 draft, he hit 14 home runs at Elizabethton, not mentioning the two playoff homers that helped the E-Twins to the Appy League title. At Cedar Rapids in 2013, he hit .278/.319/.526 (.844) with 31 doubles and seven triples. He led the Midwest League with 27 home runs and 109 RBI (which was second in minor league baseball to only Dalton Hicks). He was also 10-10 in steal attempts. At 6-4 and 225 pounds, Walker is built for power. If not for Miguel Sano, Walker has as much power and power potential as anyone in the organization. He didn’t walk too much in his first full season in the minors, which is a concern, so that will be the area worth watching. Defensively, he is solid in right field with good speed for his size. Yesterday, Topps named him the Player of the Year in the Midwest League.

#9 – Lewis Thorpe – LH SP (17) 

Last week, Lewis Thorpe was kind enough to participate in a Q&A, so be sure to check that out. We know he has grown a lot since signing last summer from Australia. He also now has the ability to throw a fastball at 95 mph. He has a good curveball and an improving change up. In his 44 innings pitched for the GCL Twins this year, he walked just six and struck out 66 batters. He then dominated Team USA  in international competition after the season. He is very young and has a long ways to go, but he has certainly, and very quickly, put himself on the Twins prospect map!

#8 – Max Kepler – OF/1B (20)

Since signing at the same time as Polanco, Kepler has slowly worked his way up the system. Whereas Polanco spent two years in the GCL, Kepler spent two years at Elizabethton. Unfortunately, he began this season with a bad throwing elbow. He moved up to Cedar Rapids for the season’s second half. He hit just .237/.312/.424 (.736) with 11 doubles, three triples and nine home runs. He really struggled against left-handers with the Kernels. At 6-4 and nearly 200 pounds, he has the build to hit a lot of home runs. He stands at the plate with his hands held high, and is able to get the bat through the zone very quickly. He is a solid outfielder with adequate range and arm. If he stays in the outfield, left field is his likely destination. He also plays a very good first base which could be a very good fall back option for him.

#7 – Jose (JO) Berrios – RH SP (19)

Berrios was the Twins supplemental first round pick in 2012 out of high school in Puerto Rico. After an impressive professional debut in 2012 between the GCL and the E-Twins. He combined to go 3-0 with four walks and 49 strikeouts in 30.2 innings. He showed up at Twins big league camp this year because he was selected to play for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Because he pitched out of their bullpen, he remained in EST after returning to the Twins. He was stretched out before being called up to the Kernels where he made 19 starts. He went 7-7 with a 3.99 ERA over 103.2 innings. He walked 40 and struck out 100. As pitching coach Gary Lucas told me, there were times when Berrios looked like a future star, and other times he looked like a teenager on the mound. He has the pitches to be very successful. His fastball is between 92 and 95. He has a very good breaking ball. His changeup is improving. He just needs to slow it up to get a good differential between it and his fastball. He is just 6-0 and thin. He’s very athletic on the mound. He should advance to Ft. Myers in 2014.
 
#6 – Jorge Polanco – 2B (20)

When the Twins signed Polanco as a 16-year-old in 2010 out of the Dominican Republic, he was a very skinny kid, known for his defense. It’s possible that his defense was a bit overrated because generally the belief is that he doesn’t really have the arm for shortstop. He is a solid defensive second baseman. The surprise is that he has grown into a really solid hitter. After really struggling with the bat his first two seasons, he had a strong showing at Elizabethton in 2012 and he proved himself again with the bat with a solid first full season campaign in Cedar Rapids. He hit .308/.362/.452 (.813) with 32 doubles, ten triples and five home runs. Although he is an aggressive hitter, he does have a good idea of the strike zone and puts together really quality at bats. He was the 3rd overall pick in the Dominican Winter League draft and began in that league this winter by hitting .359 in his first ten games.                                 

------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you for reading part Part 9 of my ten-part series with my Top 50 Twins Prospects. On Thursday, the Top 5 Twins prospects (in my opinion) will be revealed. In case you missed any of the previous installments, here are those links:

Part 1: 46-50
Part 2: 41-45
Part 3: 36-40
Part 4: 31-35
Part 5: 26-30
Part 6: 21-25
Part 7: 16-20
Part 8: 11-15 
 
Be sure to follow Twins Daily on Twitter, as well as the TwinsCentric writers: Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, Parker Hageman, and John Bonnes. Check out TwinsDaily.com each day for more Twins content. 

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Detroit 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 6 FINAL
San Francisco 8
Los Angeles 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
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Cincinnati 3
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LA Angels 3
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Boston 3
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Philadelphia 3
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Florida 3
NY Islanders 4 FINAL
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Arizona 3
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MD-Eastern Shore 89
Niagara 54 FINAL
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East Carolina 56
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Lehigh 62
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Marshall 50 FINAL
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TX-San Antonio 74
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Arkansas State 76
Alabama State 70 FINAL
Grambling St 46
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Jackson State 72
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Lamar 61
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Nicholls 77
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Northern Ariz 58
Southern U 77 FINAL
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Texas Southern 94
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TX A&M-CC 85
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Louisiana 75
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
New Orleans 85
California 60 FINAL
Arizona 99
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Connecticut 53
VA Commonwealth 55 FINAL
Davidson 82
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Miss Valley St 0
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Southern Utah 69
Northwestern St 66 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 92
North Texas 60 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 83
Colorado 64 FINAL
Washington 47
Idaho 63 FINAL
Weber State 74
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Long Beach State 69
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UC Davis 61
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(22) Syracuse 79
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(17) Chattanooga 78
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(18) Texas A&M 57
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Western Carolina 53 FINAL
East Tenn St 73
Arizona 62 FINAL
UCLA 80
FIU 30 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 79
Texas State 55 FINAL
Appalachian St 61
TX-Arlington 66 FINAL
Georgia Southern 41
SC State 57 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 56
Delaware State 51 FINAL
Coppin State 80
Portland 58 FINAL
Santa Clara 66
Norfolk State 49 FINAL
Hampton 64
Florida Atlantic 56 FINAL
UAB 59
NC A&T 67 FINAL
NC Central 46
Savannah State 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 51
Virginia Tech 51 FINAL
Pittsburgh 45
Central Arkansas 43 FINAL
Nicholls 53
Houston Baptist 48 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 73
Gardner-Webb 70 FINAL
Radford 56
Georgia 75 FINAL
Missouri 64
Old Dominion 67 FINAL
Marshall 55
Ark-Little Rock 68 FINAL
Louisiana 66
South Alabama 60 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
Georgia State 66 FINAL
ULM 61
Sam Houston St 73 FINAL
Lamar 92
SE Louisiana 75 FINAL
New Orleans 84
Northwestern St 45 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 56
Alabama A&M 58 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Alabama State 68 FINAL
Grambling 62
Southern U 78 FINAL
Prairie View 50
Alcorn State 55 FINAL
Texas Southern 73
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 54 FINAL
Mercer 75
Abilene Christian 72 FINAL
Incarnate Word 62
La Salle 60 FINAL
Rhode Island 65
Illinois 71 FINAL
Nebraska 86
TX-San Antonio 60 FINAL
Rice 49
Valparaiso 55 FINAL
Oakland 70
Missouri State 65 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Georgia Tech 64 FINAL
(15) North Carolina 84
Charlotte 72 FINAL
Western Ky 80
Texas-El Paso 69 FINAL
North Texas 61
Wichita State 77 FINAL
Evansville 63
Loyola-Chicago 64 FINAL
Northern Iowa 69
Bradley 70 FINAL
Drake 86
Presbyterian 62 FINAL
High Point 75
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(12) Kentucky 67
Colorado 75 FINAL
USC 63
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Pacific 64
Idaho State 58 FINAL
Eastern Washington 62
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Idaho 71
Purdue 78 FINAL
Minnesota 82
Cal-Irvine 54 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 66
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UC Davis 56 FINAL
UC-Riverside 61
Northern Ariz 79 FINAL
Portland State 62
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Sacramento St 107
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