This article is the first of a two part series on the Twins top prospects for 2014 Fantasy Baseball
Twins Prospects: Hurry Up & Wait
The torment of being a modern Twins fan is that you're always being told by the front office that the future is in the minors. We wait and wait to see our patience pay off, and here we are in 2014... still waiting. Fear not, Twins fans, this may the year Santa gives us what we want for the holidays (Christmas in July). Here is a rundown of the a few prospects we will be waiting for this season. I will keep this first list to those that are sure to be fantasy relevant in 2014, whereas those I will review later on are a bit further away in their journey to the majors. But hey, how about that Byron Buxton? Dream on, fantasy boy (or girl).
Fantasy Relevant Twins Prospects for 2014
C - Josmil Pinto
MLB 2013: 76 AB, 10 R, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 0 SB, .342 BA, .398 OBP
The word on the street is that Terry Ryan is in love with Kurt Suzuki's baseball knowledge and has named him the starting catcher for the 2014 season. Suzuki has little to no value in fantasy leagues. Pinto, however, has the potential to be a solid option at his very thin position. His major league stats from last season are impressive, but are a small sample size. His AA-AAA numbers were also promising (15 HR, .305 BA). Having veteran pitchers with a veteran catcher will bring consistency, and that is what Terry Ryan wants out of his pitching staff. Pinto will need to hit his way into the everyday starting role, making management an offer they can't refuse. He has the talent to do that, but it remains to be seen whether he has the drive, as well.
P - Alex Meyer
AA 2013: 78.1 IP, 4-3, 2.99 ERA, 100 K, 1.26 WHIP
Meyer is a tall drink of water at 6'9", and he loves to strike people out. He boasts a 10.4 K/9 in 207 minor league IP. Although he has never pitched above AA, he has a great chance of cracking the big-league roster in 2014. The Twins may have shelled out tons of cash for starting pitching during the offseason, but they still don't have great depth above AAA. Meyer is 23 years old and he deserves to pitch in the majors, whether it's in the bullpen or for the first pitch of the game. If he's called on at any point to start, make sure to watch his every move. Meyer will be provide ample strikeouts and could easily become a dominant force in the Twins rotation.
P - Trevor May
AA 2013: 9-9, 4.51 ERA, 151 K, 1.42 WHIP
May isn't anything special. He has merely mortal numbers and looks a bit too much like Joe Mauer for my taste. But he could well make the major league roster-- if not at the start of the season, sometime soon afterwards. Hold your horses there, fantasy boy (or girl)-- Mr. May will more than likely be thrown into the dreary bullpen rather than being the prize pony in the first inning. His tendency to strike batters out (about a K per inning) could be put to good use in the late innings. Having starting pitcher blood might also make him a candidate for long relief, but let's be honest-- the Twins aren't exactly struggling in the so-so faux starting pitcher department. Hesitate before considering holding May on your fantasy roster.
3B - Miguel Sano
High-A, AA 2013: 86 R, 35 HR, 11 SB, .280 BA, .382 OBP
Attention: The below paragraph is what I wrote before it was unfortunately revealed that Sano would be out for the season due to Tommy John surgery. I considered taking it out, but what the heck, let's have some fun and pretend he didn't get injured. @CespedesBBQ on Twitter said it best, "How about we give Tommy John, Miguel Sano Surgery instead." How about indeed, how about... indeed.
You have no idea what I would do to put Miguel Angel Sano into a Twins uniform this season. Terry Ryan, do us all a favor, put this man at 3B in Target Field for the next ten years. Over his three-year minor league, Sano has a stellar 15 AB/HR, and he mashed 35 HR last year between High-A and AA ball. Basically, he can hit the snot out of anything with a few stitches, regardless of who is throwing it. With a .236 BA at AA last year, you'd think there would be some concern about his plate discipline at the major league level, but his .917 OPS puts all those questions to bed. The Twins are desperate for wins and are in need of a spark. They would be foolish not to have Sano at 3B in June, and if that happens we all need to snatch him up and watch the fireworks fly.