Minnesota Twins: Full Scouting Reports for Prospects in the Arizona Fall League
The Minnesota Twins have been able to put together a solid farm system since the return of general manager Terry Ryan, and they'll get to show it off with six prospects heading to the Arizona Fall League.
For hardcore baseball nerds, the AFL represents a chance to check up on some of the younger players in a scenario that can only be rivaled by spring training.
The Twins will leave nobody hanging as some of their premier prospects will be heading South to play for the Glendale Desert Dogs. Here's a look at who will be participating and what they bring to the table as the team continues their rebuild heading into the 2014 season.
RHP Zack Jones
2013 Stats: 4-3, 1.85 ERA, 48.2 IP, 70 K, 28 BB, 1.15 WHIP for High-A Fort Myers
Jones was drafted by the Twins in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of San Jose State. While he started several games in his senior season, most scouts view him as a reliever and that's where the team has their expectations set.
The 22-year-old right hander possesses a mid-90s fastball and slider, but has trouble controlling it. He showed control problems in college and those have carried over into his professional career with 5.2 walks per nine innings.
Regardless, Jones is a hard thrower that could make a quick climb through the Twins' organization if he figures out his control issues. He could be the first 2012 draft pick to make his major league debut.
RHP A.J. Achter
2013 Stats: 3-2, 2.54 ERA, 60.1 IP, 56 K, 33 BB, 1.29 WHIP between Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Rochester
Achter was a 46th round pick by the Twins in 2010 and they have gotten a lot more than they thought they would originally get. They're sending him to the AFL in hopes that he can eventually turn into another middle reliever for a bullpen that needs power arms.
Achter's strength is striking people out. He has a 6-foot-5 frame that has produced a little over a strikeout per inning during his minor league career, but those numbers have regressed with every move up the organizational ladder.
His age (25) also rings a couple alarms, but the Twins are willing to give him a look after a pretty successful 2013 campaign. If he's able to rack up the strikeouts, he'd be a nice addition for a team that ranked last in Major League Baseball a season ago.
1B/OF Max Kepler
2013 Stats: .237/.312/.424, 9 HR, 40 RBI with Low-A Cedar Rapids
Kepler was an international free-agent signing in the same class that produced another top prospect in Miguel Sano. Unlike his colleague, Kepler has had a much slower rise through the system but still projects to have a bright future at age 20.
The trip to the AFL is something that figures to give Kepler some tougher competition as the team tracks his progress after a couple years in their system.
It wouldn't be a shock to see him struggle considering he's only played in 61 full-season games, but this will be something that will benefit the toolsy outfielder going forward.
2B/OF Eddie Rosario
2013 Stats: .302/.450/.460, 10 HR, 73 RBI, 10/20 SB between High-A Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain
Rosario is a talented hitter that the Twins decided to move from outfielder to second base a couple seasons ago due to an organizational log jam.
While his defense in the middle of the field remains a work in progress, his bat has been what has been getting him noticed. The 21-year-old has a career .510 slugging percentage in four minor league seasons and figures to be on a fast track to the majors to supplant Brian Dozier.
The Twins haven't had a solid option at second base since Luis Castillo, but Rosario seems to be the most likely candidate to end that drought.
RHP Trevor May
2013 Stats: 9-9, 4.51 ERA, 151.2 IP, 159 K, 67 BB, 1.42 WHIP at Double-A New Britain
May was one of the key pieces in the Ben Revere trade that currently looks like a wash due to Vance Worley's poor performance. May hasn't been much more promising as he has yet to show any consistency or decent results for a guy that has quality stuff.
The Twins are hoping that May becomes a middle of the rotation workhorse that can help shoulder the load and eat innings, but that hasn't happened with a 4.69 ERA at Double-A the past two seasons.
Some extra work could be what the young right-hander needs to lay the groundwork for a breakout 2014 season.
RHP Alex Meyer
2013 Stats: 4-3, 3.21 ERA, 70.0 IP, 84 K, 29 BB, 1.27 WHIP
Meyer was the key piece in the other unpopular trade for the Twins last winter which sent Denard Span to the Washington Nationals.
A first-round pick by the Nationals in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft, Meyer possesses the same kind of intimidation factor that most 6-foot-9 pitchers will have.
His numbers show that with 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings, and he figures to give the Twins a top of the rotation starter they haven't had since their glorious run during the 2000s.
OF Byron Buxton
2013 Stats: .334/.424/.520, 12 HR, 77 RBI, 18 3B, 55/74 SB with Low-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers
Buxton is what you hope happens when you select a high school player second overall. Upon his first full professional season, he destroyed the Midwest League and continued his assault on the Florida State League upon his midseason promotion.
He has all five tools and might have a sixth one that no scout has been able to figure out to this date. His speed is off the charts and it allows him to fly around the bases and make amazing defensive plays like this one.
Buxton's efforts have landed him as the top overall prospect in baseball (according to Baseball America's midseason list) and he shows no signs of slowing down.
The Twins may decide to call him up as soon as next season when Major League Baseball will see something similar to the frenzy that Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig have recently inspired.
Chris Schad is a Minnesota Twins Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. His work has also been featured on Pro Football Spot and the Yahoo Contributor Network. You can follow Chris on Twitter @crishad.