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.

The new, post-Wilson Ramos era, minor league rankings

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Twins Farm System, Twins prospects Updated: July 30, 2010 - 9:51 AM

Since Wilson Ramos is no longer in the organization, it's time to adjust the Twins minor league rankings. We have two newcomers to the list. And Joe Benson is starting to fulfill his potential.

1 Aaron Hicks OF S R 20 Beloit Mid 2013


Hicks was slowed for two weeks by injuries but is back and finishing strong. Over his last ten games, he's batting .364 with a .532 on base percentage. Interestingly, he's raised his average against righties 30 points, to .241, while his average against lefties has dropped from .361 to .333 in recent weeks. Not showing a lot of power right now, but it's still an improvement.

2 Kyle Gibson SP R R 22 New Britain Mid 2011

9-6, 3.13 at Fort Myers and New Britain, 33 walks, 106 strikeouts in 123.2 innings

Gibson took it on the chin a little bit but has had two encouraging outings recently. The Twins feel Gibson feel into a stretch where he was nibbling at the corners too much and got into trouble.Watch Gibson's innings. He might make 3-4 more starts before moving to the bullpen, as the Twins be careful with him coming off of forearm problems last year at the Univ. of Missouri.

3 Joe Benson OF R R 22 New Britain Mid 2012

.256/.336/.538 at New Britain and Fort Myers

Benson is the big mover this period. Toolsy prep outfielders sometimes take awhile to turn it on. While everything isn't perfect with Benson, this has been the season in which he's started to figure some things out. On Thursday, he hit is 16th homer in 74 games at New Britain (20th for the season). He's shown good speed and his on base percentage is about 80 points higher than his batting average, which is solid.

4 Ben Revere OF L R 22 New Britain Mid 2011

.288/.358/.339 28 steals in 39 attempts

Revere battled injuries leading up to the All-Star Futures Games, which might explain why his numbers have slipped a little recently. He's criticized for his below average arm and lack of power. But he can hit (just 36 strikeouts all season) and he can fly. That makes him a potential leadoff hitter in a sport where there teams are always looking for a table-setter. I have a theory about the Twins needing to sacrifice a bat (Delmon Young? Jason Kubel?) in order to find a front line starter. Speed is a cheaper tool, making Revere a possibility to impact the Twins next season.

5 David Bromberg P R R 22 New Britain Mid 2011

6-6, 3.76 37 walks and 83  strikeouts in 117.1 innings at New Britain and Rochester Bromberg is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA at Rochester since earning a promotion, losing last night (7/29) at Gwinnett Co. as his catcher deserted him (or was traded to Washington). He has the stuff to miss bats, namely a quality curve ball.He's been working on his change up, too.

6 Carlos Gutierrez RP R R 23 New Britain Late 2011

3-7, 4.88 41 walks and 61 strikeouts in 99.2 innings.

Gutierrez has been moved to the bullpen at New Britain, which the Twins planned to do all along. He was rolling along in that role until he gave up four earned runs last night (7/29) at Bowie. Still a good relief prospect. It will be interesting to see if the Twins have him start next season or make the bullpen move permanent. His power sinker is the truth, but needs to perfect other pitches.
7 Miguel Angel Sano 3B R R 17 Gulf Coast League Twins Mid 2015


Sano projects to have plus power with a chance to have plus-plus power. He dominated in Dominican Summer League play before moving to Florida. In the states, his plate discipline has been decreased markedly and he's committed a few errors at third. But this guy is 17 and super raw. The reason the Twins gave him $3.15 million to sign shows just how high his ceiling is.

8 Angel Morales OF R R 20 Beloit Late 2012

.284/.363/.420 at Class A Beloit and Class A Fort Myers.

Has been so-so since being promoted to Fort Myers - which can be viewed as a positive since he doesn't appear to be in over his head. No homers in 39 games is little surprising for someone who is supposed to have a little pop. His walk rate has slipped a little. Morales has played the corner outfield spots but can be used in center field if needed - as long as it's not all the time.

9 Liam Hendriks RHP R R 21 Fort Myers Early 2013

7-4, 1.76, 10 walks, 91 strikeouts in 97 innings at Class A Beloit and Fort Myers

Has been shut down since having an appendectomy that knocked him out of the All-Star Futures Game. But Hendriks stepped up his game this season to be another in a long line of command and control pitchers in the organization.

10 Oswaldo Arcia, OF S R 19 Elizabethton Early 2014


I know, another short season leaguer. But the Twins liked this barrel-chested switch-hitting outfielder ever since they signed him out of Venezuela in 2007. That many homers in the Appy League - in 37 games - is sick. He leads that league in average, OPS, hits and homers and is tied for the league lead in doubles.

On the fringe:
Adrian Salcedo, RHP, Elizabethton; Danny Valencia, 3B, Twins; Max Kepler, OF, GCL Twins; Jorge Polanco, DSL Twins; Rene Tosoni, OF New Britain; Bruce Pugh, RHP, Fort Myers, Billy Bullock, New Britain.

New to the top ten Hendriks, Arcia

Out Hermsen, Ramos


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