- 10. BJ Hermsen P (12/1/1989) 20
2009 stats: 6-2 1.35 era in 10 starts including 1 complete game. Worked 53.1 innings while walking 4 batters and striking out 42. Held opponents to .171 batting average.
2009 teams: GCL Twins
- BJ Hermsen was a 6th round draft pick by the Twins in the 2008 draft out of high school in Manchester, Iowa. The 6'6 230 lb right hander was a 1st or 2nd round talent, but he had a scholarship to Oregon St. and most thought he would go to college. The Twins gave him a very substantial bonus of 650,000 in order to sign. That should tell you how much the Twins thought of him. His 2009 did nothing to temper hopes that the Twins had for him when they drafted him in 2008. Hermsen started 10 games for the Twins and went 6-2 with an awesome 1.35 era. He worked 53.1 innings while walking only 4 batters and striking out a very good 42. The question becomes how much weight do you put in numbers at GCL. I think you put some weight into the numbers, but I don't put a lot of weight in numbers till he gets to Beloit which is a couple promotions away. BJ Hermsen is a big guy at 6 foot 6 inches and has a solid low 90's fastball. He also has a solid curveball and a changeup. His upside is huge as he just turned 20 years old and he possibly could get more velocity and his breaking pitches will likely get better. The big thing going forward for Hermsen is just to keep improving day by day. He has the ability to be a huge prospect and time will tell how good he can be. BJ Hermsen is definately a guy that all Twins fans should keep an eye on as he moves forward.
- 2010 projection: Starting pitcher at Elizabethton
- Estimated Time of Arrival: 2015
- 9. Adrian Salcedo P (4/24/1991) 18
2009 stats: 3-2 1.46 era in 11 games including 10 starts. Worked 61.2 innings and only gave up 10 earned runs. Walked only 3 batters while striking out 58 in his 61.2 innings of work. Held opponents to a .241 batting average.
2009 teams: GCL Twins
- Since this is the first time that Adrian Salcedo has made my list I want to start with a little overview of how he got to be where he is today. Adrian Salcedo was a free agent signed by the Twins on December, 13th 2007 out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 16 years old. Salcedo spent the 2008 season playing in the Dominican Summer League and posted a 4-4 record with a 1.65 era in 12 starts. Salcedo moved over to the United States for the 2009 season and spent the season with the GCL Twins at age 18. He put up just as impressive of numbers as he did with the DSL in the GCL. In 10 starts he went 3-2 with an impressive 1.46 era in 61.2 innings of work. Most impressive stats to me was he only walked 3 batters in 61.2 innings, but also struck out 58. His whip was an impressive 1.01 and had a 8.5 k's per 9 innings. So the question is what to make of all these numbers and like I said about BJ Hermsen you can't get too excited about these numbers until he gets to Beloit which will be a couple years away. However, in talking to some people that know a lot about him they all rave about his potential. They say he can be a staff ace in the future and is the top pitching prospect in the organization. I don't think his body of work is enough to put him that high yet and the key word is yet because if he continues to put up numbers I won't have any choice to rank him much higher. On the mound Salcedo has a great mound presence at 6 foot 4 inches and all he does is throw strikes. He pitches to contact as he just does not walk people, which is what the Twins like out of their pitching prospects. However, he can also strikeout some guys with his 8.5 k's per 9 innings. He will not overpower you, but he throws hard enough and hits his spots that he is very hard to hit. Going forward he just needs to keep improving and showing that he is willing to put in the work every day to be the prospect we all think he is going to be. At the end of the day Adrian Salcedo is worth keeping track of because his ceiling is through the roof.
- 2010 projection: EST and then starting staff at Elizabethton
- Estimated Time of Arrival: 2015
- 8. Danny Valencia 3b (9/19/1984) 25
2009 stats: .285 avg 14 homeruns 70 rbi's along with 38 doubles and 4 triples in 128 games. Walked 39 times while striking out 77 times in 487 at bats. Had a .337/.466/.803 split
2009 teams: New Britain Rockcats and Rochester Red Wings
- Danny Valencia had a pretty good 2009 season that has put him on the cusp of great things. As he is on the verge of getting his shot with the Twins, whether its this spring or sometime in 2010 there is no doubt that Danny Valencia will make his Twins debut in 2010. All I have to say about that is its about time as his hard work and determination will be rewarded. Danny started the 2009 season in New Britain after finishing the 2008 season there. In 57 games with the Rockcats Valencia hit .284 with 7 homeruns and 29 rbi's along with 14 doubles and 4 triples in 218 at bats. He also had a very impressive .373 on base percentage in New Britain. Those good numbers got him a promotion to AAA Rochester and one step closer to the big leagues. In 71 games with Rochester Valencia hit .286 with 7 homeruns and 41 rbi's along with 24 doubles in 269 at bats with the Wings. Overall, Danny Valencia is a very steady player that does multiple things good, but not really anything great. With the trouble the Twins have had at 3rd base the last 4-5 years the Twins could use a steady guy over there. At the major league level I believe Valencia could hit between .270-.280 with 15-20 homeruns and 70-80 rbi's. Those are not phenomenal numbers, but they are steady and with the Mauer's, the Morneau's, the Cuddyer's and the Kubel's you don't need spectacular. What you need is someone that is steady over at third who will give you good at bats just about every time he comes up and that is exactly what Danny Valencia brings to the table. With that being said there are some things Valencia needs to work on. First, his defense is not terrible, but it is also not great as he committed 20 errors in his 128 games at 3rd. His defense is probably the weakest part of his game and something that he needs to continue to work on as his offense will be fine, but something that if he commits a lot of errors he won't be up long with the Twins. I still think it is decent, but it needs to be fine tuned going forward. The other is his attitude as Danny Valencia is a very confident guy who believes that he is the best player on the field and sometimes that can be misconstrued as arrogance. From everyone I have talked to about him he is not an arrogent person and is sometimes misinterpreted. Overall, Danny Valencia is the top 3rd baseman prospect in the organization and I hope he is given an opprotunity this spring to win the job and show everyone that the third base worries for the Twins are over.
- 2010 projection: Split season between Rochester and the Twins
- Estimated Time of Arrival: 2010
- 7. David Bromberg P (9/14/1987) 22
2009 stats: 13-4 2.70 era in 27 games including 26 starts and 1 complete game. Worked 153.1 innings while walking 63 and striking out 148 batters. Held opponents to a .224 batting average
2009 teams: Fort Myers Miracle
- David Bromberg really established himself in 2009 after a somewhat disappointing 2008 as one of the top pitching prospects in the organization. After going through some growing pains in 2008 David Bromberg really showed what kind of pitcher he is and developed into the ace on the Fort Myers staff and vaulted himself into top prospect status in doing that he was named the Twins 2009 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. After going 9-10 with a 4.44 era in 27 starts. In 150 innings he walked 54 and struck out a organization high 177. There were some good things, but there were also some things that he needed to improve if he was going to be a top prospect and boy did he fix those issues. In 2009 Bromberg made 26 starts and went 13-4 with a very good 2.70 era. In a career high 153.1 innings of work he walked 63 batters and struck out 148. David Bromberg brings to the mound a very intimidating prescence at 6 foot 5 inches tall and 241 lbs. With that he throws a low to mid 90's fastball with a good curveball and an ever improving changeup. He is a strikeout machine that took almost 2 runs off his era in 2009. He seems to be getting better every time out there last year with the Miracle. It will be interesting to see how he does in 2010 as he likely will move up to New Britain and face better hitters than he did in Fort Myers. As good of a year as he had in 2009 there are a few things that he needs to keep getting better at. First, is the walks as he walked 54 batters in 2008 and increased it to 63 in 2009 in only 3 more innings. That walk total is a little bit too high for a pitcher as he is currently about 3 walks per 9 innings and I know the Twins would like to lower that to the two range as he moves forward. Other than that there really aren't a lot of things that he doesn't do well. It will be just a matter of continuing to improve on a daily basis and step up to the challenge that he will face in 2010 at New Britain. My money says David Bromberg is going to be a future and someone that the Twins will look at as a quality pitcher for the Twins for many years.
- 2010 projection: Starting pitcher for New Britain
- Estimated Time of Arrival: 2012
- 6. Angel Morales OF (11/24/1989) 20
2009 stats: .266 avg 13 homeruns and 62 rbi's along with 22 doubles and 5 triples in 115 games. Walked 30 times and struck out 104 times along with 19 stolen bases in 376 at bats. Had a .329/.455/.784 split
2009 teams: Beloit Snappers
- Angel Morales 2009 season could be broke down into two seasons as he was terrible in the first half and good in the second half. The main reason that he is so high on the prospect list is he just turned 20 years old and will probably be in Fort Myers this year which is way ahead of schedule. In the first half of the 2009 season Morales was not very good. In the second half though he turned it on and put up the numbers that will get him to Fort Myers this year. In 2009 Morales hit .266 with 13 homeruns and 62 rbi's which is pretty good for how he started off the season. He accumulated 40 extra base hits which is very good. He has all the tools in that he can hit for average, hit for power, run, steal bases, strong arm, accurate arm. There are though a few things that he needs to work on as he goes forward if he is going to reach his potential. First, his strikeout and walk totals as he struck out 104 times in 376 at bats which is way too many. Being that he will likely be a middle of the order guy you can expect some strikeouts, but he likely will have to cut his strikeouts in half going forward. The other is the walks as he only had 30 walks and that just needs to improve. Eventually, teams will realize he will swing at everything and not give him anything good to hit so he needs to learn to take a walk. The other thing he needs to work on is getting off to a better start. Morales was so dreadful in April and May that it took him the rest of the summer to pull himself out of it. I think part of it is the weather as its pretty cold in Beloit, but going forward the weather in April and May are not great in New Britain, Rochester, or most importantly Minnesota. So he needs to figure that out or he will be in trouble. Overall, though Angel Morales is a gifted player that is just learning how good he can be. If he continues to develop his game the sky is the limit. He has the ability to be a 30-30 type of guy at the major league level it is just up to him to make it happen for the Twins.
- 2010 projection: Outfield for Fort Myers
- Estimated Time of Arrival: 2013