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 farm system in question

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Twins Farm System, Twins prospects, Vikings draft Updated: January 30, 2012 - 10:16 AM

The first of several prospect rankings have been released.'s Jonathan Mayo, who does an excellent job or covering prospects and the draft, has released his list of the top 100 prospects in baseball for 2012.

The Twins were represented by third baseman Miguel Sano, at No. 23 overall, and outfielder Aaron Hicks, at 72. And that's it.

So is that an indictment on the the Twins farm system? Class AAA Rochester is coming off of back-to-back 90-loss seasons, and we all saw what happened last year when the Twins started making calls to the Red Wings for players. If you ask Twins officials, they will argue that their farm system is closer to the middle of the pack, with most of their best prospects at the lower levels. There are a few players to watch who were at Class AA New Britain last year, but I'm not sure they would be considered upper-echelon prospects.

Two players you could make a case for the top 100 are outfielder Oswaldo Arcia, who was slowed by elbow surgery last season, and second baseman Eddie Rosario, Sano's buddy who is making the move from the outfield. I really think Rosario is an intriguing prospect and could zip up the charts in 2012. A healthy Kyle Gibson probably is on the list too.

Baseball America and ESPN's Keith Law should have their top 100 lists out over the next few weeks. It will be interesting to see how the Twins stack up there.

I swapped e-mails with Mayo this morning, and he's releasing his Top 20 Twins prospects list sometime next week.

Since we're talking prospects, here is my Top 10 Twins prospects list, as of today. I have dropped Hicks to sixth. There's still tons of upside there, but he could use a big season.

1. Miguel Sano, 3B. 2. Eddie Rosario, 2B. 3. Oswaldo Arcia, OF.  4. Joe Benson, OF. 5. Liam Hendriks, RHP. 6. Aaron Hicks, OF. 7. Adrian Salcedo, RHP. 8. Madison Boer, RHP. 9. Brian Dozier, SS. 10. Chris Parmelee, 1B. 



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