Friday, December 25, 2009

Twins prospect list: 20-16

I will be continuing my look at the top 50 prospects in the Twins organization. Today, I will look at prospects 20-16 as I work my way all the way down to number one. I hope all enjoy and it will create a discussion if you agree or disagree with me. Check out my previous lists of 50-46, 45-41, 40-36, 35-31, 30-26, and 25-21. If you have any comments or questions you can either leave a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at Hope everyone is having a great Christmas and God Bless.

  • 20. Trevor Plouffe SS (6/15/1986) 23

2009 stats: .260 avg 10 homeruns 60 rbi's along with 23 doubles and 5 triples in 118 games. Walked 34 times while stiking out 68 times in 430 at bats along with 3 stolen bases. Had a .313/.407/.720 split.

2009 teams: Rochester Red Wings

  • Trevor Plouffe had a solid, but not spectacular 2009 season for the Red Wings. After getting off to a very slow start with the Wings he really picked it up in the second half. After hitting .247 in the first half with the Wings he really picked it up in the second half by hitting .290. His OPS improved from .673 in the first half to a very good .818 in the second half. He also contributed 38 xtra base hits and 3 stolen bases. Trevor Plouffe has made a career out of getting off to slow starts and then coming out like a gangbuster in the second half. However his great second half is often overshadowed by his bad first half. There are some that question how bad he wants to be a Twin because as a California kid he has a laid back personality and that rubs some people the wrong way. He doesn't get too excited and some people take it as he doesn't care. Trevor Plouffe has all the talent in the world as he has good size, a good arm, speed, quickness, extra base power and someone that should be the starting shortstop for the Twins. There are two main reasons why he is not in the majors with the Twins and there are serious concerns about his future. First, is his defense as it continues to be a problem. In 2009 Trevor Plouffe had 26 errors which is two times what he had in 2008. That is not going to get it done and his error totals have increased the last two years. The other problem is his OBP as he only had a .313 and that is not good enough for someone that won't hit a lot of homeruns. 2010 is a big year for Trevor Plouffe as the Twins need to figure out if he is the shortstop of the future with JJ Hardy under contract for two years so the Twins need to find out if Plouffe is the future shortstop. He can accomplish that by getting off to a better start and cutting the errors in half because all the tools are there.

  • 2010 projection: Starting shortstop for Rochester

  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2011

  • 19. Blayne Weller P (1/30/1990) 19

2009 stats: 5-1 1.58 era in 11 games including 10 starts. Worked 57 innings while walking 8 and striking out 49. Held opponents to a very good .216 batting average.

2009 teams: GCL Twins

  • After being a 14th round draft pick out of high school in Key West, Florida Weller had a successful first year. After paying him a nice bonus to sign instead of going to college the Twins did not really know what they were getting out of Weller and that had to be quite impressed. Weller showed a good fastball with great breaking pitches to have the kind of season in 2009 that get you noticed. In 10 starts for GCL Weller only gave up 10 runs in 57 innings which led to a 1.58 era. The most impressive stat to me was he only walked 8 batters while striking out 49. Weller is a typical Twins minor league pitcher in that he does not walk many and pitches to contact so he does not get a lot of strikeout. He is definately someone that Twins fans should keep track of as he moves up to Elizabethton this year. Weller just needs to keep improving as he moves further through the organization. It was a quality first year for Weller, but in the grand scheme of things his 2009 will not mean much if he struggles in 2010. However, it was a good start and it is something that he can build on for the future.

  • 2010 projection: Starting pitcher for Elizabethton

  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2015

  • 18. Luke Hughes 3b (8/2/1984) 25

2009 stats: .254 avg 12 homeruns 64 rbi's along with 23 doubles and 5 triples in 97 games. Walked 41 times while striking out 77 times in 346 at bats along with 3 stolen bases. Had a .335/.454/.789

2009 teams: Rochester Red Wings and New Britain Rockcats

  • After showing some promise in 2008 Luke Hughes had a rough year in 2009. If it was not struggling with his defense, then it was struggling with injuries. After coming back from the injury he had to spend the rest of the year in New Britain because of the emergence of Danny Valencia in AAA. Luke Hughes started the season in Rochester and did alright there in 37 games he hit .259 with 6 homeruns and 28 rbi's. He also contributed eight doubles and two triples. After missing much of the season with a hamstring injury he came back to New Britain and played in 56 games there. In those 56 games he hit .250 with 6 homeruns and 36 rbi's. He also contributed fifteen doubles and three triples. The bottom line is Luke Hughes can hit the ball as his 40 xtra base hits in 346 at bats which is a very high percentage. Luke Hughes will never hit for a high average, but if he can continue to hit extra base hits and show the power that he has the last couple years he is good enough to play in the big leagues. He has speed, strength, quickness, a strong arm which help him be a solid utility player in the big leagues. There are two main reasons why there is some question about his future in the organization. First, is his defense as he committed 19 errors in 97 games which is way to many. He has proven that he does not have the glove to play third base as he has 31 errors the last two years. The other has something to do with the former is that he does not have a position. His bat is good enough to play just about anywhere, but his defense is a detriment no matter where you put him. At the end of the day he is a utility guy that will hit 15-20 homeruns and have some good offensive numbers, but not someone you can put out there on a every day basis. Overall, Luke Hughes has a future with the Twins as a pinch hitter and utility player as he can play 3rd, 2nd, and the outfield. There is a market for that with the Twins so that is why I see him as a future Twin.
  • 2010 projection: Utility player for Rochester
  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2011

  • 17. Chris Parmelee 1b/OF (2/24/1988) 21

2009 stats: .258 avg 16 homeruns 73 rbi's along with 27 doubles and a triple in 123 games. Walked 65 times and struck out an unbelievable 109 times along with 2 stolen bases in 422 at bats. Had a .359/.441/.800 split

2009 teams: Fort Myers Miracle

  • After his three years in the minor leagues it is pretty clear what Chris Parmelee is good and bad. He will show good power, extra base power, and will walk a lot. However, with every good there is a bad as he had an incredible 109 strikeouts in 422 at bats. Parmelee hit .258 for the season and that is pretty normal for him as I don't think he will hit much better than that, but also won't hit much worse than that. The 16 homeruns in a pitcher's league was very impressive as FSL parks are known to be much bigger than other league's parks. The most impressive part of his season is two fold in that one he had 65 walks which is a very high total. Next, his .359 on base percentage is very good for a slugger of his capability. The bottom line is I think we have a very good idea of what he is going to be as he moves forward through the organization. He is a poor man's Adam Dunn who will hit 20-25 homeruns per year and have a very high OBP. There is nothing wrong with that as he could be a lot worse than being like Adam Dunn. There are two negatives that he is need to have to work on going forward. One, is his strikeouts as 109 strikeouts in 422 at bats is terrible. That is approximately 1 strikeout for every 4 at bats. With the better pitching going forward he needs to cut that down because his other numbers will go down if he doesn't cut down on the strikeouts. He will never be a low strikeout guy, but if he could get it down to 70-80 per year I think the Twins could live with that. His other problem is where is he going to play. Last year he played some outfield and some at first base, but was not very good at either one. When he is ready for the Twins I look at him as a DH who can play right field and first base. His future is bright because the Twins don't have another guy in the organization right now with his kind of power so if he can cut down on the strikeouts he has a bright future.
  • 2010 projection: play 1b/rf for New Britain
  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2012

  • 16. Joe Benson OF (3/5/1988) 21

2009 stats: .284 avg 5 homeruns 29 rbi's along with 10 doubles and 3 triples in 82 games. Walked 48 times while striking out 74 times along with 15 stolen bases in 268 at bats. Had a .414/.399/.813 split

2009 teams: Fort Myers Miracle

  • There is no doubt that Joe Benson has all the tools. As a five star prospect he has the chance to be a great player and a multi time all-star at the big league level. However, his 2009 season can be wrapped into two words, The Wall. All the hard work he put into his 2009 season in the offseason and the hardwork he put in after he came back were all for naught because in a rage one day he punched a wall and broke his hand that forced him to miss over half the season. He was off to such a good start that it makes a person wonder what would of happened to his 2009 if in a fit of anger he hadn't punched the wall. We will never know and because of that he is a step behind probably where he would of been had he played a full year in Fort Myers. With that said when he was on the field he was very good for the Miracle. Benson hit a very good .284 which is quite an improvement compared to 2008. Showed good power and speed as he had 10 homeruns and 15 stolen bases in limited at bats. Had a very solid 18 extra base hits in 268 at bats. He brings it all good defense, strong and accurate arm, hit for average, hit for power, steal bases. However, he needs to work on his strikeout total as he struck out 74 times in only 268 at bats. He just gets on base by his .414 on base percentage would tell you. 2010 is a big year for Joe Benson as he hopes to reestablish himself after a rough 2009 in more ways than one. Because of missing all that time in 2009 he will likely start the season back in Fort Myers while he would of likely been in New Britain had he played full year. However, I look for him to be up in New Britain before the year is up and be back up in the prospect lists because I expect a big year in 2010 out of Joe Benson. 2010 is going to be the year that Joe Benson goes from having all the tools to being the prospect that puts the numbers on the field.
  • 2010 projection: Start season in Fort Myers and join New Britain midseason
  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2013