Sunday, December 27, 2009

Twins prospect list: 15-11

I will be continuing my look at the top 50 prospects in the Twins organization. Today, I will be looking at prospects 15-11 as I work my way down to number one. As we are at prospects 15-11 we are starting to look at four or five star prospects with huge upside so don't be surprised to see these guys in a Twins uniform in the next few years. I hope all enjoy and check out my other lists of 50-46, 45-41, 40-36, 35-31, 30-26, 25-21, and 20-16. If you have any comments or questions you can either leave me a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at Thanks and happy holidays.

  • 15. Jeff Manship P (1/16/1985) 24

2009 Minor League Stats: 10-6 3.86 era in 21 starts. Worked 126 innings while walking 37 batters and striking out 75. Held opponents to a .260 batting average.

2009 Major League Stats: 1-1 5.68 era in 11 games including 5 starts. Worked 31.2 innings while walking 15 batters and striking out 21. Held opponents to a .310 batting average.

2009 teams: New Britain Rockcats, Rochester Red Wings, Minnesota Twins

  • Jeff Manship had a very good 2009 season as he established himself as a major league quality pitcher who it would not surprise me if he makes the team out of spring training this spring. Manship had to use his frequent flier miles as he made three stops in 2009. Manship started in AA New Britain where he made 13 starts where he went 6-4 with a 4.28 era. In 75.2 innings he walked 20 and struck out 45 for the Rockcats. He then received a promotion to AAA Rochester where he pitched much better than he had at New Britain. In 8 starts at Rochester, Manship went 4-2 with a very good 3.22 era. In 50.1 innings Jeff walked 17 while striking out 30. With those good numbers and the injury bug hitting the Twins, Manship got his shot with the Twins and did decently for his debut. In 11 games with the Twins including 5 starts, Manship went 1-1 with a 5.68 era. In 31.2 innings of work Jeff walked 15 while striking out 21. Jeff may not have been quite ready to make big starts for the Twins, but it is good experience for when Jeff returns to the starting rotation for the Twins and trust me he will be back. Jeff Manship's 2009 season should give him a lot of confidence going into 2010 as he is on the 40 man roster now and the Twins thought enough of him to have him make big starts for them last year. Going forward Jeff is one of the top pitching prospects in the organization. He has a good low 90's fastball with one of the best curveball's in the organization. He has command of all his pitches and when he is on he can paint the corners and hit his spots. The main thing that he needs to work on as he moves forward is his control. His control was not bad, but he walked 52 batters in just over 150 innings. That is 3 walks per 9 innings which is not terrible, but being the fact that he does not strikeout very many he can't get away with walking many. Overall, Jeff Manship is a quality prospect that will get a serious look this spring with the Twins and with a good spring he might find himself in the starting rotation with the Twins.

  • 2010 projection: Split season between Rochester and the Twins

  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2010

  • 14. Anthony Swarzak P (9/10/1985) 24

2009 Minor League Stats: 4-5 3.28 era in 13 starts. Worked 79.2 innings while walking 21 and striking out 45. Held opponents to a .261 batting average.

2009 Major League Stats: 3-7 6.25 era in 12 starts. Worked 59 innings while walking 20 and striking out 34. Held opponents to a .311 batting average.

  • Anthony Swarzak basically had a tale of two halves last year. At the beginning of the year he dominated AAA which led to a promotion to the Twins. He started out very good with the Twins and I don't know if he hit the wall or Major League hitters caught up to him. However, he got to a point and got drilled after that which led his demotion back to AAA. When he returned to AAA his confidence was not where it was when he left the first time as his 2nd round in AAA he got drilled. Swarzak started the 2009 season in Rochester where he dominated the competition. In 10 starts before his promotion Swarzak went 4-4 with a 2.26 era. That led to a promotion to the Twins and did good to start with as in July he went 1-1 with a 3.52 era. However, he fell apart in August as in four starts he went 0-4 with a 14.85 era. That led to his demotion to Rochester and his luck was not much better returning to Rochester. In three starts back with Rochester he gave up 12 runs in just over 14 innings. To put Anthony Swarzak's year in perspective he made his major league debut in 2009 and for a time held his own and that can't be viewed as anything but a positive. Swarzak showed that he compete at the major league level. All that happened in my opinion is when the hitters made their adjustments Swarzak lost some confidence and that ruined the rest of his year. It should not take away from the season he had though, because he had a very good 2009 season. Anthony Swarzak has a low 90's fastball with a very good curveball which he has good command over. The big thing he needs to work on is command because when he quit hitting his spots he got drilled because he is not overpowering. Going forward Anthony Swarzak had a very successful 2009 and he with Jeff Manship will be battling Brian Duensing and Francisco Liriano for the 5th starter job. Don't be surprised to see Anthony Swarzak come out on top because he has major league quality stuff and has the ability to make the Twins.

  • 2010 projection: Split season between Rochester and the Twins

  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2010

  • 13. Tyler Robertson P (12/23/1987) 22

2009 stats: 8-8 3.33 era in 26 starts. Worked 143.1 innings while walking 51 batters and striking out 103. Held opponents to a .259 average.

2009 teams: Fort Myers Miracle

  • Tyler Robertson had a solid if not spectacular 2009 season. After missing time in 2008 with an arm injury the big thing for Tyler in 2009 was to stay healthy and make all his starts. He did just that and put together a very solid season. Tyler made 26 starts for the Miracle in 2009 compared to only 15 starts in 2008 due to injury. He worked 143.1 innings compared to only 82.2 innings in 2008. Tyler Robertson has a lot of upside in that he has a good fastball in the low 90's and good breaking pitches that are getting better every year. When he is on he hits his spots that create ground balls which is important for someone that does not get a lot of strikeouts. The thing about it with Tyler Robertson is his upside is off the charts. As he continues to stay healthy I look for his numbers to go through the roof. I believe he has the most upside of any pitcher in the whole organization. He has the ablility to be an ace if he can continue to improve and get better as he moves through the system. There are a few things that he needs to work on as he continues to reach his potential. First, his 51 walks are too many for someone that does not strike out very many. He needs to probably cut them down to 30-35 going forward. Also he nibbles a little too much which gets his pitch count up. His average innings per start was just 5.5 innings a start which is too short for a starter. He needs to start getting into the 7th inning on more starts. Overall, the potential for Tyler Robertson is off the charts and there is no doubt in my mind that he will make it big. I look for Tyler Robertson to be leading a good Twins rotation in a few years.
  • 2010 projection: Starting staff at New Britain
  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2012

  • 12. Deolis Guerra P (4/17/1989) 20

2009 stats: 12-11 4.89 era in 28 games including 26 starts and 1 complete game. Worked 149 innings with 42 walks and 106 strkeouts. Held opponents to a .270 batting average.

2009 teams: Fort Myers Miracle and New Britain Rockcats

  • Deolis Guerra had an up and down sophmore season in the Twins organization. He made it to AA in 2009 and cut his walk total down. However, he also got hit a little bit more than you would think a pitcher with his talent would. Guerra started 2009 back with the Fort Myers Miracle and made 15 starts for the Miracle. He went 6-8 with a 4.69 era with 25 walks and 57 strikeouts. That led to a promotion to AA New Britain where he did alright for the Rockcats. In 11 starts Guerra went 6-3 with a 5.17 era with 17 walks and 59 strikeouts. After walking 71 batters in 130 innings in 2008, Guerra improved those totals to 42 walks in 149 innings. Guerra brings a high 80's-low 90's fastball with an ever improving changeup and a good slider. Quite honestly the biggest thing going for Deolis Guerra right now is his age. He is 20 right now and will only be 21 during the season which is way young for AA. Even if he spent 2 full seasons in New Britain he would still be young at 22 years old to be going to AAA. It is way too early to be given up on him as he has too much talent and most guys struggle when they are 19-20 years old. You would like him to finally break out and show his promise, but right now it is way to early to give up on him as he is going to be a phenomenal pitcher. He needs to cut down on the walks even more because right now he is not striking out a lot of hitters so his walk total should be in the low 30's. Plus like Tyler Robertson he nibbles too much so he can't stay in games into the 6th to 7th inning. With Deolis Guerra you can just see the talent ooze out of him and I don't know if it is going to be this year, next year or when, but he is going to break out. When he breaks out he is going to turn dominant and the ones that doubted him will look very dumb. At only 20 years old Twins fans should not give up on him because I promise you when he turns that corner you are going to be glad you did not give up on him. When he does turn that corner all I can say is watch out!!!
  • 2010 projection: Starting pitcher at New Britain
  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2013

  • 11. Rene Tosoni OF (7/2/1986) 23

2009 stats: .271 avg 15 homeruns and 71 rbi's along with 25 doubles and 4 triples in 122 games. Walked 45 times and struck out 98 times along with 8 stolen bases in 425 at bats. Had a .360/.454/.814 split

2009 teams: New Britain Rockcats

  • We talk about seasons all the time that changes the way that people view certain prospects and 2009 was that type of season for Rene Tosoni. After having a injury riddled 2008 at Fort Myers, Tosoni really turned it on in 2009 at New Britain to have one of the best seasons by a position player in the whole organization. After missing most of 2008 due to injury there was some doubt if Tosoni was ready for AA and he sure proved that he was. In 122 games in 2009 he hit .271 with 15 homeruns and 71 rbi's showing everyone that he is a run producer. His numbers would of been better if not that he left the team early to participate in the World Cup for Canada. He produced an impressive 44 extra base hits in his 425 at bats. Showed the type of power the Twins have been looking for and played a very good rightfield and got some play in center. His .360 OBP was quite impressive for someone that also hit 15 homeruns. He is very patient at the plate as he walked 45 times as well. With that being said there are a few things that he needs to work on going forward for him to be the prospect we all think he can be. First, his strikeout total of 98 is way too much. He struck out almost 25% of the time in 2009 which is totally not acceptable for any hitter. He needs to cut his strikeout total in half going forward to be the hitter we know he can be. Next, he needs to work on hitting better against left handed pitching. If he doesn't improve on that he can't be an everyday player because teams will just throw left handed pitching against him and the team will have any choice but to pinch hit for him. Overall, Rene Tosoni is a huge prospect that is only going to get better. At age 23 he is on the verge of being a member of the Twins and be a fixture in the lineup for years to come. Rene Tosoni is definately a player all Twins players should keep an eye on for the future.
  • 2010 projection: Split season between New Britain and Rochester playing outfield
  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2011


Anonymous said...

Why isn't Van Mil in your list?

Travis Aune said...

Age and the unknown factor as he could either turn into a good prospect or could turn into a also ran. However, he has the ability to be a quality pitcher.

Anonymous said...

Ok, but how come first year players rank way higher than a guy who's on the 40 man roster? Most of those guys won't even get that far, and he has clearly proven he's not a gimmick nor a project anymore. He deserves more credit than this.

Travis Aune said...

excellent point and going forward maybe we aren't giving Van Mil the credit he deserves. However, me giving him credit is not what it is all about. Look at Pat Neshek he was not on a prospect list besides until he was a rookie with the Twins. So just because I don't have him ranked does not mean he won't have a long and successful major league career.