October 10, 2007

Top 40 Twins Prospects of 2007: Review (Part 2)

Last winter I ranked my top 40 Twins prospects for 2007 and profiled each player. My prospect rankings for 2008 will be coming in a few months, but before then let's take a look back at how the players from the 2007 version fared this season. After covering prospects 1-20 yesterday, here are 21-40.
21. Jay Rainville | Starter | DOB: 10/85 | Throws: Right | Draft: 2004-1

What I said then: "Shoulder surgery sidelined Rainville for the entire 2006 season, costing him an all-important year of development and putting his status for 2007 in some doubt. ... Assuming he makes a full recovery, Rainville looks like a potential No. 3 starter."

What happened since: Stayed healthy while posting a 3.29 ERA and 110-to-31 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 142.1 innings as a 21-year-old at high Single-A.

22. Tyler Robertson | Starter | DOB: 12/87 | Throws: Left | Draft: 2006-3

What I said then: "Robertson turned 19 years old in December, so he's clearly a very long way from the majors, but 6-foot-5 lefties who have the potential rack up strikeouts are tough to find."

What happened since: Continued to rack up strikeouts with a 123-to-33 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 2.29 ERA in 102.1 innings at low Single-A.

23. Trent Oeltjen | Center Field | DOB: 2/83 | Bats: Left | Sign: Australia

What I said then: "Barring another jump in power and plate discipline this year, Oeltjen looks like a prototypical fourth outfielder."

What happened since: Batted .238/.303/.340 with two homers, 16 total extra-base hits, and a 44-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 97 games at Triple-A.

24. Yohan Pino | Reliever | DOB: 12/83 | Throws: Right | Sign: Venezuela

What I said then: "Pino was a relative unknown heading into last season and doesn't crack 90 miles per hour with his fastball, but makes this list because his on-field performance has been ridiculously good."

What happened since: Spent the season as a 23-year-old working out of both the rotation and bullpen between high Single-A and Double-A, with a 3.13 ERA and 104-to-26 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 115 combined innings.

25. Kyle Waldrop | Starter | DOB: 10/85 | Throws: Right | Draft: 2004-1

What I said then: "Waldrop is still very young and has a big-league future, but he'll struggle to be more than a fourth or fifth starter if he can't find a way to miss more bats."

What happened since: Made 27 starts between high Single-A and Double-A as a 21-year-old, posting a 90-to-43 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 4.15 ERA in 151.2 combined innings.

26. Garrett Olson | Third Base | DOB: 3/85 | Bats: Right | Draft: 2006-4

What I said then: "His on-base skills look pretty solid, but he'll have to start hitting for some power to emerge as a legitimate factor in the team's long-term plans. ... I'm cautiously optimistic, but 2007 will give a much clearer picture of where Olson stands."

What happened since: Splitting time between third base and left field as a 22-year-old at low Single-A, he batted .219/.281/.310 with six homers, 26 total extra-base hits, and a 76-to-20 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 123 games.

27. Jay Sawatski | Reliever | DOB: 5/82 | Throws: Left | Draft: 2004-8

What I said then: "Sawatski turns 25 years old in May and projects more as a middle reliever than late-inning setup man, but he's bordering on major league-ready."

What happened since: Split the season between Double-A and Triple-A, posting a 4.61 ERA and 55-to-25 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 70.1 combined innings.

28. Jose Mijares | Reliever | DOB: 10/84 | Throws: Left | Sign: Venezuela

What I said then: "He seems destined to end up as a full-time reliever and certainly has the raw stuff to be a late-inning setup man ... he has a lot of work to do in terms of consistently throwing strikes and keeping the ball in the ballpark. At 22 years old, he's a boom-or-bust prospect."

What happened since: Pitched primarily at Double-A before jumping up to Triple-A late in the season, with a 3.88 ERA and 81-to-53 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 69.2 combined innings out of the bullpen.

29. Denard Span | Center Field | DOB: 2/84 | Bats: Left | Draft: 2002-1

What I said then: "He looks like a leadoff hitter and the Twins have molded him into a ground-ball machine, but he doesn't make great contact despite zero power, doesn't draw many walks or steal tons of bases, and doesn't hit for huge batting averages."

What happened since: Moved up to Triple-A for the first time as a 23-year-old, batting .267/.323/.355 with three homers, 30 total extra-base hits, and a 90-to-40 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 139 games.

30. Alex Burnett | Starter | DOB: 7/87 | Throws: Right | Draft: 2005-12

What I said then: "I hesitate to rank a pitcher with zero experience above rookie-ball much higher than this unless he's an absolute stud, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Burnett a dozen spots higher in a year."

What happened since: Making 27 starts at low Single-A as a teenager, Burnett posted a 3.02 ERA and 117-to-38 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 155 innings.

31. Trevor Plouffe | Shortstop | DOB: 6/86 | Bats: Right | Draft: 2004-1

What I said then: "Plouffe is still just 20 years old ... also considered a quality defender at shortstop, which is why back-to-back sub par seasons at the plate haven't wiped him completely off the prospect map."

What happened since: Made the jump to Double-A and batted .274/.326/.410 with nine homers, 48 total extra-base hits, and an 89-to-38 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 126 games.

32. Brian Duensing | Starter | DOB: 2/83 | Throws: Left | Draft: 2005-3

What I said then: "He deserves credit for holding his own post injury, but soon he needs to show that he's more than a back-of-the-rotation starter."

What happened since: Quickly promoted to Triple-A after beginning the season at Double-A, Duensing posted a 3.07 ERA and 124-to-37 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 167.1 combined innings.

33. Danny Valencia | Third Base | DOB: 9/84 | Bats: Right | Draft: 2006-19

What I said then: "Gives a nice boost to a system lacking impact bats, although he's considerably less valuable if playing third base passably is ruled out. At 22 years old and with big-conference college experience, he could move quickly."

What happened since: Hit very well at low Single-A to begin the season and then less so following a promotion to high Single-A, combining to bat .297/.354/.462 with 17 homers, 42 total extra-base hits, and a 102-to-44 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 127 games.

34. Brandon Roberts | Center Field | DOB: 11/84 | Bats: Left | Trade: Reds

What I said then: "It's difficult to get overly excited about someone who could somewhat accurately be described as the next Jason Tyner, but at 22 years old he has a chance to be a decent major leaguer."

What happened since: Played 110 games at Double-A, batting .293/.355/.374 with three homers, 20 total extra-base hits, and a 56-to-32 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

35. Doug Deeds | Left Field | DOB: 6/82 | Bats: Left | Draft: 2002-9

What I said then: "In an organization lacking quality hitting prospects he's a guy who could be a solid left-handed bench bat or even platoon starter if given the opportunity."

What happened since: Finally promoted to Triple-A as a 26-year-old and batted .243/.306/.404 with nine homers, 18 total extra-base hits, and a 77-to-21 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 86 games.

36. Garrett Guzman | Left Field | DOB: 2/83 | Bats: Left | Draft: 2001-10

What I said then: "He'll be limited to left field, first base or designated hitter defensively, which means his bat will have to carry him, but I like Guzman's chances of developing into a productive big leaguer."

What happened since: Spent the entire season at Double-A as a 24-year-old, hitting .312/.359/.453 with 14 homers, 38 total extra-base hits, and a 51-to-36 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 125 games.

37. J.D. Durbin | Starter | DOB: 2/82 | Throws: Right | Draft: 2000-2

What I said then: "Durbin missed the second half of last season with a nerve problem in his right biceps and is out of minor-league options, meaning ... there's a decent chance he may not even be Twins property in a few months."

What happened since: Lost on waivers near the end of spring training, he bounced between several organizations before sticking with the Phillies, posting a 6.06 ERA and 40-to-37 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 65.1 big-league innings.

38. Steven Tolleson | Second Base | DOB: 11/83 | Bats: Right | Draft: 2005-5

What I said then: "His defensively versatility and modest offensive capabilities mean he profiles more as a utility man than an everyday player at this point."

What happened since: Split time between both middle-infield spots as a 23-year-old at high Single-A, batting .285/.388/.382 with five homers, 33 total extra-base hits, and a 97-to-79 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 132 games.

39. Loek Van Mil | Starter | DOB: 9/85 | Throws: Right | Sign: Netherlands

What I said then: "A 7-foot-1 right-hander named "Ludovicus" who was signed out of the Netherlands, Van Mil sounds like a character from a bad baseball movie. However, his spot in these rankings is not based on a cool-sounding name or an intriguing story: He can pitch."

What happened since: Appeared in 13 games as a reliever at rookie-level Elizabethton, posting a 2.62 ERA and 23-to-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24 innings.

40. Matt Fox | Starter | DOB: 12/82 | Throws: Right | Draft: 2004-1

What I said then: "Fox turns 24 years old next month despite never having thrown an inning above rookie-ball and health issues will always be there, but his showing last season is enough to put him back on the prospect map."

What happened since: Split time between the rotation and bullpen at low Single-A, posting a 3.50 ERA and 66-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 82.1 innings.


Once you're done here, check out my latest "Daily Dose" column over at Rotoworld.

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