There is always a bit of a lull between the end of the minor league playoffs in September and the start of the annual top prospects lists in early November. Because of that gap, I’m breathing new life into an old feature that I wrote for the site in FanGraphs’ infancy back in 2008 and 2009.
The series ‘A Minor Review of 2013’ will look back on some of the major happenings in each MLB organization since the beginning of April as a primer for the upcoming FanGraphs Top 10+5 prospects lists. This series will run throughout September and October. I hope you enjoy the series and are eagerly anticipating the start of ‘Prospect List Season.’
The player listed in the sleeper section was featured in a pre-season series that looked at one fringe prospect in each organization that was expected to take a big step forward during 2013, chosen by myself, a scout or a front office talent evaluator.
The Graduate: Oswaldo Arcia, OF: Aaron Hicks was more highly regarded at the beginning of 2013 but Arcia outplayed him and brought some much-needed pop to the Twins lineup. Just 22, the Venezuela native is by no means a finished product. He strikes out too much, needs to be more selective, and also has to improve his defensive work at both corner outfield positions. If he improves in all those areas he could be a beast.
The Riser: Jose Berrios, RHP: One of my personal favorite prep arms from the 2012 draft, Berrios was selected by the Twins out of Puerto Rico with the 32nd overall pick. Just 19, he held his own against older competition in the Midwest League but clearly tired in the second half of the season. He’ll move up to the more pitcher friendly Florida State League in 2014 and has the stuff to develop into a No. 3 starter at the big league level.
The Tumbler: Luke Bard, RHP: A high draft pick out of Georgia Tech in 2012, Bard is the younger brother of the Cubs’ Daniel Bard. The Twins prospect has appeared in just 19 games since signing — due to a collection of injuries — including a wonky shoulder that cost him most of the ’13 season. A reliever in college, Minnesota had originally considered moving him to the starting rotation but his lost time might cause them to rethink that move for 2014.
The 2013 Draft Pick: Stephen Gonsalves, RHP: Just 18 when he turned pro, Gonsalves dominated hitters in the Gulf Coast League and earned a promotion to the more advanced Appalachian League. The lefty doesn’t have overpowering stuff but he has solid command and control for his age and could be a quick mover. He currently profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter but has a projectable frame with upside.
The Sleeper: Hudson Boyd, RHP: Boyd’s raw abilities haven’t taken well to pro ball and he’s failed to develop as hoped. His fastball has taken a step backward both in terms of velocity and command — leading to a less-than-stellar strikeout rate. His control also suffered in 2013 and he allowed too many base runners (1.52 WHIP). Luckily, age is on his side, although he may have to take another stab at Low-A ball before moving up.
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