Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twins prospect list 25-21

I will be continuing my look at the top 50 prospects in the Twins organization. Today, I will look at prospects 25-21 as I work my way down all the way 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, and 30-26. If you have any comments or questions you can either leave a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at Thank you and Merry Christmas.

  • 25. Steve Singleton 2b/ss (9/12/1985) 24

2009 stats: .277 avg 6 homeruns 57 rbi's along with 26 doubles, 11 triples and 7 stolen bases in 126 games. Walked 30 times while striking out 49 times in 455 at bats. Had a .326/.422/.748 split.

2009 teams: Fort Myers Miracle and New Britain Rockcats

  • Steve Singleton got off to a slow start in 2009, but overall had a very good 2009 season in the Twins organization. Singleton started out at Fort Myers and in 80 games he hit .269 with 5 homeruns and 39 rbi's along with 15 doubles and 8 triples. That led to a late season promotion to New Britain where he put up the same type of numbers. In 46 games Singleton hit .291 with 1 homerun and 18 rbi's along with 11 doubles and 3 triples. I thought Singleton had an up and down 2009 season as he did some very good things, but at the same time struggled with other things. On a positive Singleton had 43 xtra base hits which is very impressive. Which is up from the 40 he had in 2008 as some of his singles are now becoming doubles and triples. He also had a very impressive 11 triples which is a very high number as he only had 4 in 2008. His defense also seems to improving as his throwing arm is getting stronger and stronger after gong through shoulder surgery a couple years ago. The fact that he played some shortstop in 2009 just shows you how good his arm is feeling now and how much arm strengh he is getting back. There are two things that Singleton has going against them with one of them and one there is nothing he can do about. First, Singelton had a career worst .326 on base percentage in 2009. Steve Singleton is not a homerun hitter so he needs his on base percentage to be in the .350 range. He is too good of a hitter to not be in that range and I really expect him to be back at that range again. Secondly, he is 24 years old and just getting to AA and if he doesn't get to AAA this year he will be known as old. His age is not a problem right now, but if he doesn't get to AAA it will be a problem. Overall, Steve Singleton has established himself as the top 2nd base prospect in the organization and if he can improve his OBP and continue to gain arm strength he could be a future 2nd baseman for the Twins.

  • 2010 projection: Spend season playing 2nd base at New Britain

  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2011

  • 24. Alex Burnett RP (7/26/1987) 22

2009 stats: 3-3 1.85 era in 58 games including 13 saves. Worked 78 innings while walking 26 batters and struck out 78. Held opponents to a .183 average.

2009 teams: Fort Myers Miracle and New Britain Rockcats

  • There was no prospect in the whole Twins organization that had a bigger 2009 than Alex Burnett. Going into 2009 Burnett was known as an alright starting pitcher who usually ended being the ace of every staff he was on. He was a middling prospect because there are a lot of guys just like him in the organization as a starter. However, the Twins had other plans for Burnett in 2009 as they turned him into a reliever and later he became the top closing prospect in the Organization. Burnett began his breakout season in Fort Myers with the Miracle. Alex worked in 18 games and went 2-1 with an excellent 1.99 era along with four saves as he worked on transitioning to a relief pitcher. After doing excellent with the Miracle he moved up to New Britain and that is where he took off. In 40 appearances with the Rockcats, Burnett went 1-2 with a miniscule 1.79 era along with 9 saves. He worked 55.1 innings for the Rockcats mostly as the setup man to Anthony Slama. When Slama moved up to Rochester, Burnett became the closer and did not disappoint. It is quite amazing to me seeing the change in Burnett as you always knew he had the stuff to be a good pitcher, you just did not know he could be this good. There are times in prospects where they just figure it out and take off. I believe we saw that out of Alex Burnett as he took on a relief job and did not pout about not starting, but embraced the relief role and flourished in it. Going forward Burnett can not get complacent because there are other quality closing prospects in the organization so he needs to keep working hard. If he can keep getting better he will be just fine. Burnett has a good low 90's fastball and excellent breaking pitches. Burnett improved his strikeout total as he was able to record 78 strikeouts in 78 innings so 9 strikeouts per 9 innings which was big for him because at the lower levels he did not record many strikeouts. He continued to not walk batters which is a big thing as he only walked 26 batters in 78 innings of work. The bottom line at age 22 Alex Burnett has all the tools and if he can just keep improving he has a future in the bullpen for the Twins for years to come.

  • 2010 projection: Start season in New Britain and then join Rochester mid season.

  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2011

  • 23. Carlos Gutierrez P (9/22/1986) 23

2009 stats: 3-6 3.70 era in 33 games including 16 starts. Worked 107 innings along with 46 walks and 65 strikeouts. Held opponents to a .248 batting average.

2009 teams: Fort Myers Miracle and New Britain Rockcats

  • Carlos Gutierrez had a tale of two seasons in 2009 as he was totally dominant in Fort Myers and really bad in New Britain. In his first full season in the organization Gutierrez put up phenomenal numbers at Fort Myers. In 11 games including 10 starts Gutierrez went 2-3 with a miniscule 1.32 era. In 54.2 innings Carlos walked 22 while striking out 33. With those numbers it earned him a promotion to AA New Britain and it did not work very well. Gutierrez went 1-3 with a terrible 6.19 era in 22 games including 6 starts as they tried to limit his innings in New Britain as it was his first full season as a professional. The problem at New Britain had some to do with running out of gas after pitching more than he had before. It was also just not some good pitching and sometimes you have to call a spade a spade and he didn't get the job done. Going forward the question has to be asked is Carlos Gutierrez the dominant starting pitcher he was in Fort Myers or was it the hittable Gutierrez they saw in New Britain. The question also needs to be asked about whether Gutierrez is a starting pitcher or a reliever. When he is right he is a ground ball machine who in a 7 inning game will get 16-17 out of 21 outs on the ground. His future probably is in the bullpen as he was a closer his last year at Miami and first season with Fort Myers. He has a quality sinker, but he has not developed a quality second pitch and you can get away with that in the bullpen. However, in the rotation you will get drilled without that second pitch as he found out at New Britain. Something else he needs to work on is his walk totals as he walked 46 batters in 107 innings of work which is way too much. Which is just over 4 walks per 9 innings which will not get it done. Overall, Gutierrez has a lot of talent and if he can get the walk total under control and find his niche in the bullpen he has a promising future. 2010 is going to be a big year for Gutierrez as he tries to establish himself as a top prospect and I think he can do it.

  • 2010 projection: work out of the bullpen for New Britain

  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2011

  • 22. Danny Rams C/DH (12/19/1988) 21

2009 stats: .264 avg 13 homeruns 49 rbi's in 69 games along with 23 doubles and a triple. Walked only 27 times and struck out an incredible 102 times in 250 at bats.

2009 teams: Elizabethton Twins, Beloit Snappers, and Fort Myers Miracle

  • Danny Rams had an up and down 2009 season for the Twins as he did some very good things, but there are also some things that he is going to need to correct if he is going to become a bigger prospect. Danny started out in Elizabethton and in a word dominated the league. In 16 games Rams hit .355 with 6 homeruns and 23 rbi's in 62 at bats. He moved on to Beloit and really struggled there. In 48 games with the Snappers Rams hit .229 with 7 homeruns and 23 rbi's. The positives about Danny Rams year was he hit 13 homeruns in 250 at bats which was a very solid number over a full season of at bats. Also he had 37 xtra base hits which were also very good. The bottom line though if he doesn't fix one thing he is not going to have a very long career. In 250 at bats he struck out a whopping 102 times which is over half his at bats. If he doesn't correct that it doesn't matter what else he does that is good it won't matter. He is too good of a hitter to strike out at that rate. I really believe he can change that about his game. He probably needs to cut it in half to be in the range that the Twins need him to be. Another problem is he really does not have a position as his catching abilities are not good enough to be an every day player at Catcher. Going forward he will probably be a DH and that is ok if he continues to hit and cuts his strikeouts down. Danny Rams has a good future as long as he cuts down his strikeout total. If he doesn't he will have a short career. 2010 will be a big year for Rams to see if he can make the changes that are necessary for him to move up in the organization.
  • 2010 projection: C/1b/DH for Beloit
  • Estimated Time of Arrival: 2015

  • 21. Max Keppler OF (2/10/1993) 16

2009 stats: none (played in Germany)

2009 teams: played in Germany

  • I don't know much about Max Keppler except that the Twins gave him 800,000 to sign and that is quite a chunk of change for the Twins to give up. That tells me that he must be a pretty good prospect. At age 16 it is very hard to figure out if he is going to be a top prospect. All I know is they are saying he is the top prospect to every come out of Europe. I don't know how much that means, but it is impressive non the least. He will start off in the GCL as a centerfielder and it will be interesting to see how he does. Twins fans should not get to excited either way if he has a good season or a bad season in 2010 as he has many years many promotions before we know what he is all about. He is definately someone that we should all keep an eye on going forward.
  • 2010 projection: playing centerfield for the GCL Twins
  • Estimated Time of Arrival: Hard to Say