The Twins have a lot of athletic guys. After trading Wilson Ramos this season, one would think they took a hit to their farm, but that really isn’t the case. The top prospects list is loaded with athletic and toolsy guys. It is somewhat heavy on the OF side of things, but they will fill that void this season with the draft.
CF Aaron Hicks strikes out way to much. But that is his only downfall. Hicks is labeled as a great competitor and a guy that will do what it takes. Aaron is a potential 5 tool players but he has to improve his pitch recognition. It’s not that he can’t hit the offspeed, he just doesn’t recognize it in time. Hicks is a premium defender in CF and has above average speed. Hicks has a solid arm and takes fairly decent routes to the ball. He is the best player the Twins currently have on the position player side of things.
CF Ben Revere has been compared to Denard Span. But they are not quite the same player as Revere really struggles with power. Ben is a pure hitter with plus speed. The Twins thought he would develop some power in 2010 but that didn’t prove to be the case with only 1 home run in over 350 ABs. In fact, he has exactly 4 home runs in 4 years of minor league baseball. I would make a Jarrod Dyson comparison here on the power equation except Jarrod already has a big league homer. Ben has hit over .300 at every stop along the way and projects to be a solid leadoff type of hitter with plus speed and a line drive swing. Revere does a good job with taking walks and does not strike out as often as Hicks. The biggest knocks on Revere are power, a below average arm, and some poor route running that he overcomes with pure speed.
3B Miguel Sano is a big, strong kid from the Dominican Republic. He’s already outgrown the SS position and some fear that he’ll end up in RF because he’ll outgrow 3B also. But Sano has the athleticism to stay at 3B long term. Sano will hit for a good average and good power. Baseball America described him as having thunder in his hands when talking about his power potential. Miguel was the top talent available in 2009 on the international market and signed a $3 M bonus. He is young, but has already had success at the rookie ball level and will probably be assigned to either the Midwest League or the Appalachian League. He is a very good future player.
OF Oswaldo Arcia was the biggest riser on this list in the last year. He was a 2007 international signee who blossomed last season hitting a combined .375. The biggest knock on him is his plate discipline but that comes with generating more power. It’s a skill you have to learn after you start putting up power numbers most of the time.
OF Max Kepler has a long last name with a hyphen so I’ll stick to Kepler. Max is an international signing from Germany where there isn’t much competition in baseball, but exhibited enough for the Twins to give him a large bonus and a shot in the States. Max did okay in rookie ball as a 17 year old but has a long way to go. He’s very athletic coming from an athletic family. It’ll take some more time to see what he’s made of, but a very interesting kid to watch.
OF Joe Benson put up good power numbers at AA but also put up high strike out numbers as well. Benson is a player to watch in the future but not someone that would be a major trading chip for Zack.
OF Angel Morales is another one of the Twins international signings that has potential. He is considered a high risk and high reward type of guy putting up a lot of Ks but having good potential the rest of the way around. Baseball America labeled him as a 4 tool potential last year.
The Twins system is a strong mix of athletic and toolsy outfielders. In order to get Zack, I think it would take Hicks or Revere added to the pitchers and possibly another high upside type of guy. That is a lot to give for one player, but when you look at what the Twins are going to be next year without needing many of their young guys, it’s definitely worth it in the long run.