Minnesota Twins Top MLB Prospects for 2016 Dynasty Leagues

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The Minnesota Twins appeared to be mired in a never-ending state of rebuilding until 2015 came along. The Twins finished with a very solid 83-79 record. With a very young core mixed with some solid veterans like Phil Hughes and Brian Dozier, this could be a dark horse candidate to compete for the AL Central Division in 2016. At this point, the Twins should be shooting for 2017 as the year they go all in and try to win the division, but they will be an interesting team to watch in 2016 if nothing else than just to see the continuing development of top prospects like Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios, and Tyler Duffey.

The Twins are absolutely loaded with Minor League talent and are easily the deepest team in the AL Central. Granted, they have had several years of high draft picks that have helped them to restock the farm system, but with names like Buxton and Berrios at the core of this team, they could be a dynasty for years to come. Speaking of dynasty, owners in keeper leagues will want to stash quite a number of the players on this list for their leagues as these are the kind of impact players that can help to make fantasy teams great.

If you are interested in more MLB prospects columns, head on over to our 2016 fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. You can find the rest of my team prospect breakdowns, fantasy baseball prospect rankings, tiered positional rankings, keeper values articles, and more - all in one easy place.

 

Minnesota Twins Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

These are the top ten prospects for the Minnesota Twins in terms of fantasy production for fantasy owners in the next few seasons.

1. Byron Buxton (OF, MLB)
Stats: 138 PA, .209/.250/.326, 2 HR, 2 SB, 4.3% BB rate, 31.9% K rate
ETA: 2016
There is no question that Byron Buxton is the top prospect in the Twins’ organization, the only real question about Buxton is whether or not he is the top prospect in all of baseball. Scouts see him as the closest thing to a five-tool threat since Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, though where they specialize more in power, he is a speed threat. The Twins have said that Buxton will have to fight his way to earn playing time, but with Aaron Hicks traded to the Yankees, it appears that Minnesota is opening the door wide for Buxton to start in center field. Dynasty owners would be foolish not to own him in all leagues.

 

2. Jose Berrios (SP, AAA)
Stats: 75.2 IP, 2.62 ERA, 2.79 FIP, 9.87 K/9, 1.67 BB/9, 0.71 HR/9
ETA: 2016
Just as there was no doubt that Buxton was the top Twins’ prospect, there is no doubt that Jose Berrios is the top pitching prospect in the Twins’ organization. There is nothing not to like about Berrios - he has a complete repertoire, he has excellent command, and he is still very young. Berrios may not start off 2016 in the Twins’ rotation, but there is no doubt that he will find his way there at some point this season, especially if the Twins are competing for the division title. Much like Buxton, Berrios needs to be considered a must-own in all leagues.

 

3. Max Kepler (OF, MLB)
Stats: (from AA) 482 PA, .322/.416/.531, 9 HR, 18 SB, 13.9% BB rate, 13.1% K rate
ETA: 2016
Max Kepler has flown under the radar and finally began to receive a lot of recognition last season. Kepler has always been thought of as a power/speed combo guy, though he is a step below Buxton in terms of potential. He should be able to hit 10-15 home runs per season and steal up to 20 bags. Kepler’s biggest asset is his advanced approach to the plate. Kepler should be given a chance to play right field for the Twins this year giving him value even in non-keeper leagues. For dynasty owners, he should still be considered close to a must own in all leagues because of his potential and his proximity to a starting spot.

 

4. Jorge Polanco (SS, MLB)
Stats: (from AAA) 94 PA, .284/.309/.352, 0 HR, 1 SB, 4.3% BB rate, 10.6% K rate
ETA: 2016
Stuck behind Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana at shortstop, Jorge Polanco could still potentially beat them out in Spring Training and win the starting job. Polanco made the jump from Double-A to Triple-A, then to the majors for a brief stint before being demoted again to Double-A in 2015. Polanco doesn’t possess any overwhelming attributes, he doesn’t have much pop and doesn’t have blazing speed. But he does everything well enough to make him an ownable shortstop in dynasty leagues. He should be able to contribute a solid batting average and 20 stolen bases (if he continues to improve on getting reads on the pitcher). The one glaring issue with Polanco is his defense which needs to improve if he hopes to stay at shortstop and not get bumped over to second base. He is by no means an elite hitter, but he should be a solid contributor for dynasty teams in need of middle infield help.

 

5. Nick Gordon (SS, A)
Stats: 533 PA, .277/.336/.360, 1 HR, 25 SB, 7.3% BB rate, 16.5% K rate
ETA: 2019
Unlike Polanco, there is little doubt that Nick Gordon will need to make a position change at any point in the near future. Gordon has some slick hands at short and certainly has the range to cover all that ground. The other big plus with Gordon is the upside that he possesses. Though lacking in power, Gordon has plenty of speed and great instincts on the base paths which helps him to get good jumps off the pitcher. So if Gordon has the higher upside, why is he below Polanco on the list? He is still a few years away, meaning that fantasy owners have some time to wait before trying to stash him unless they feel they want to use the roster spot to claim him really early.

 

6. Kohl Stewart (SP, A+)
Stats: 129.1 IP, 3.20 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 4.94 K/9, 3.13 BB/9, 0.14 HR/9
ETA: 2017
Many have been perplexed by the career so far of Kohl Stewart. He has all the stuff to be a front of the rotation starter, but has been unable to rack up the strikeout totals that most would assume come with the talent. His fastball sits in the upper-90s, he has a power slider that sits in the mid-80s, and a curveball and changeup that both could benefit from some tuning up. Even if he hasn’t racked up the strikeout totals, he has shown an ability to keep runners off the bases so it appears that his floor is that of a bottom of the rotation starter, but he still possesses that high ceiling. Dynasty owners are advised to consider taking a gamble on Stewart only if he can start to miss more bats at Double-A in 2016.

 

7. Tyler Jay (RP, A+)
Stats: 18.1 IP, 3.93 ERA, 2.07 FIP, 10.80 K/9, 3.93 BB/9, 0.00 HR/9
ETA: 2018
Drafted as the sixth overall player in the 2015 draft, Tyler Jay was considered by many to be the top left-hander in the draft in spite of being a relief pitcher. The Twins decided to take the risk on him and have decided to try and use him as a starting pitcher. He has an advanced repertoire with a blazing fastball that ranges in the upper-90s, a wipeout slider, and a nice power curveball. His changeup is not bad, but it will need some improvement. He certainly has what it takes to be a starting pitcher, but he did not start a single game at High-A and he didn’t start any in his junior year at Illinois either. If he can’t escape the bullpen, he will not be worth owning for dynasty owners.

 

8. Adam Brett Walker II (OF, AA)
Stats: 560 PA, .239/.309/.498, 31 HR, 13 SB, 9.1% BB rate, 34.8% K rate
ETA: 2017
Adam Brett Walker fits the typical big power bat: not much speed, not much consistent contact, a lot of strikeouts and a lot of home runs. He isn’t too far away from the majors which makes him a player of intrigue and he hits a lot of home runs (enough so that fantasy owners could expect 25+ per season. Dynasty owners would probably be better off passing on Walker for now, but watch out for him because if he can lower the strikeouts, he could be worth owning.

 

9. Alex Meyer (SP, MLB)
Stats: (from AAA) 92.0 IP, 4.79 ERA, 3.28 FIP, 9.78 K/9, 4.70 BB/9, 0.39 HR/9
ETA: 2016
Though the Twins would love to see Alex Meyer eventually become a starting pitcher, he struggles with command any time he is asked to go deep into games. Meyer seems lined up for a bullpen arm which should be best for him in the long run, but it gives dynasty owners no reason to own him.

 

10. Stephen Gonsalves (SP, A+)
Stats: 79.1 IP, 2.61 ERA, 3.58 FIP, 6.24 K/9, 4.31 BB/9, 0.23 HR/9
ETA: 2018
There is not a lot of upside with Stephen Gonsalves. He will more than likely wind up as a dependable back of the rotation arm with underwhelming stuff. Gonsalves can be avoided in all fantasy formats.

 

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