February 6, 2008

Josh's Thoughts: Top Twins Prospects 2008 (21-30)

Hey everyone, here's #21-30 in my Top Twins Prospects series, make sure to check out #31-40 and #41-55.

Make sure to check back on Thursday and Friday for my top 20 prospects.

21. Alex Burnett | Pitcher | Born: 7/26/87 | Throws: Right | Bats: Right | Height: 6'0'' | Weight: 190 lbs.
Alex Burnett was drafted by the Twins in the 12th round of the 2005 draft. After two unspectacular seasons in Rookie-Ball, Burnett became the staff ace in Beloit and played a major role in their successful season. He won 9 games and displayed a 3/1 K/BB ratio while the opposition batted just .239 against him. He wasn't the most talented pitcher on his team, but he definitely was the leader of the rotation and should help hold a strong rotation together in Ft. Myers this season.
.....ETA: 2011

22. Denard Span | Outfielder | Born: 2/27/84 | Throws: Left | Bats: Left | Height: 6'1'' | Weight: 180 lbs.
Denard Span was the Twins first round pick in the 2002 draft. Most thought he'd be the heir apparent of Torii Hunter and take over for him after he left the organization. Many now believe otherwise as he struggled in New Britain and half a season in Rochester. However, his numbers in Rochester are really skewed as he got off to a bad start in April and May hitting .214 & .212 before hitting .301 with 11 doubles, 5 triples, 3 home runs and 39 RBI the rest of the season. He possess a great glove on defense and once he learns how to utilize his speed better on offense, he'll improve immensely. I think that he'll surprise many in Spring Training this season, and I think he'll be a fine outfielder someday. He's a great guy and I wish him the best of luck. And for those who are interested, Denard was gracious enough to do a Q&A for the site back in October. Make sure to check that out.
.....ETA: 2008

23. Jose Morales | Catcher | Born: 2/20/83 | Throws: Right | Bats: Both | Height: 5'11'' | Weight: 170 lbs.
Jose Morales was drafted by the Twins in the 3rd round of the 2001 draft. Originally a middle infielder, Morales has been focusing on catching since 2003. He broke out in 2007 with the Rochester Red Wings by hitting .311 through 376 at bats. He also played in one game with the Twins and went 3-3 with a double before an ankle injury ended his season. He doesn't have the power someone would like, and his defense isn't great either, but he makes good contact with the ball and should be a great backup or a serviceable starting catcher in his career. With Mike Redmond already penciled in as the backup catcher to Joe Mauer, Morales will likely need to wait in Rochester until a spot opens up. There's a possibility that Ron Gardenhire goes with 3 catchers on the roster, but I think that's unlikely.
.....ETA: 2008

24. Deibinson Romero | Third Base | Born: 9/24/86 | Throws: Right | Bats: Right | Height: 6'1'' | Weight: 170 lbs.
Deibinson Romero was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2004. Romero struggled mightily at the plate while he played with the Twins DSL team in 2005. He had a great 2006 with the GCL Twins where he hit .313/.365/.460 in 176 at bats. As a 20-year-old he hit 316/.406/.506 with 16 doubles, 9 HR, and 52 RBI’s for the Elizabethton Twins. He was called up by the Beloit Snappers late in the season, but only got a handful of at bats in. He should be in Beloit to begin the 2008 season and many feel that he'll be a legitimate offensive prospect as he goes through the Twins system. If he produces, I think he'll go through the system fairly quickly and should be ready by late 2010 to take over the hot corner.
.....ETA: 2010

25. David Winfree | Third Base | Born: 8/5/85 | Throws: Right | Bats: Right | Height: 6'3'' | Weight: 210 lbs.
David Winfree was drafted in the 13th round of the 2003 draft. After a successful year with the Beloit Snappers in 2005, Winfree continued to progress with a good year in '06 with the Miracle. He played all of 2007 with the New Britain Rock Cats and regressed quite a bit. His power numbers are still there, but his horrendously low OBP that is factored with his terrible plate discipline, he's beginning to fall on many prospect lists. He would probably benefit from another half season in Double-A before being promoted to New Britain, however he will likely need to move to first base full time with Danny Valencia slated to take over the hot corner for the Rock Cats. I still see quite a bit of upside with him, so if he can cut down on his K/BB ratio which will ultimately improve his OBP, he should be fine.
.....ETA: 2009

26. David Bromberg | Pitcher | Born: | 9/14/87 | Throws: Right | Bats: Left | Height: 6'5'' | Weight: 225 lbs.
David Bromberg was selected in the 32nd round of the 2005 draft. He spent all of 2006 with the GCL Twins in rookie ball, before repeating rookie ball with the Elizabethton Twins. Both years he was very productive. In '07 he completely dominated his opponents with a 12.5 K/9 ratio to go along with his 9-0 record and the Appy League Pitcher of the Year award. He will start '08 in Beloit and should help an expectingly strong rotation be even stronger.
.....ETA: 2011

27. Ozzie Lewis | Outfielder | Born: 3/21/86 | Throws: Right | Bats: Right | Height: 6'5'' | Weight: 210 lbs.
Talk about a surprise. When the Twins drafted Ozzie Lewis in the 21st round of the 2007 draft, I don't think they were expecting to get the kind of production out of him as they've seen. Lewis was assigned to the Elizabethton Twins after he left Fresno State. In 235 at bats, he hi .323/.375/.523 with 9 home runs and 50 RBI. His K/BB ratio is alarming, but he's young and will likely improve in that area. He should probably start the season in Beloit, but if there are too many players in the outfield, the organization may consider being aggressive with him and move him to Ft. Myers. I won't justify having a player skip a level, however it does intrigue me to see what a player such as Lewis could do if he were to be challenged in that kind of way.
.....ETA: 2010

28. Brock Peterson | First Base | Born: 11/20/83 | Throws: Right | Bats: Right | Height: 6'3'' | Weight: 220 lbs.
Brock Peterson was drafted by the Twins in the 49th round of the 2002 draft. Once considered a third baseman, Peterson now spends his time at first base or designated hitter. He showed his great power potential in 2007 as he belted 15 home runs in 389 at bats, but he also struck out 90 times. If he can cut down on the strikeouts, I think Peterson will be able to have a fairly successful career in the big leagues. My justification for his lower rating is because of his position. He's viewed as a future DH, and unless he is hitting 20+ home runs while displaying good plate discipline, I can't justify rating him any higher. He should be ready for a start in Rochester, and may be a late-season call-up.
.....ETA: 2009

29. Mike McCardell | Pitcher | Born: 4/13/85 | Throws: Right | Bats: Right | Height: 6'5'' | Weight: 220 lbs.
Mike McCardell was drafted by the Twins in the 6th round of the 2007 draft. A college pitcher who first started his pro career with the GCL Twins, but later moved to the Elizabethton Twins to anchor their already strong rotation. He has a low-mid 90's fastball and he shows great control as he had a 95/8 K/BB ratio. That's insane, regardless of what level you're playing at. McCardell is definitely a guy to watch out for this season. He may be close to making the big leagues and should impress many as he gets there. I've thought of him as the Twins version of Ian Kennedy, but is that a ridiculous comparison? Both are college pitchers and have good control with their pitches. We'll have to wait and see, but he's definitely a player to keep an eye on.
.....ETA: 2010

30. Rene Tosoni | Outfielder | Born: 7/2/86 | Throws: Right | Bats: Right | Height: 6'0'' | Weight: 205 lbs.
Rene Tosoni was actually drafted by the Twins twice. Once in 2004 in the 34th round, and then again in 2005 in the 36th round. He decided to attend a junior college instead of play with the Twins and later signed with the Twins in 2006. Tosoni definitely proved he was worth all the 'trouble' in 2007 as he starred for the Elizabethton Twins in route to an Appalachian League Championship. He hit .301/.407/.428 with 3 home runs, 4 triples and 13 doubles. He was later promoted to Beloit where he played just an couple games. He should be in Beloit to start the season, but many predict that he'll fly through the Twins system and should make it to the Big Leagues in no time. Some think that if there's a logjam of outfielders in Beloit, that it may be a consideration to start him in Ft. Myers. But again, I won't justify having a player skip a level. My 2010 prediction is fairly conservative. I expect him to make at least the jump to Ft. Myers this season, if not New Britain. His polished tools will help him adapt to each level better than most players.
.....ETA: 2010