Steamer Projects: Minnesota Twins Prospects

Earlier today, polite and Canadian and polite Marc Hulet published his 2014 organizational prospect list for the Minnesota Twins.

It goes without saying that, in composing such a list, Hulet has considered the overall future value those prospects might be expected to provide either to the Twins or whatever other organizations to which they might someday belong.

What this brief post concerns isn’t overall future value, at all, but rather such value as the prospects from Hulet’s list might provide were they to play, more or less, a full major-league season in 2014.

Other prospect projections: Arizona / Chicago AL / Miami / San Francisco / Seattle / Toronto.

Steamer Projections: Minnesota Batting Prospects
Below are the current 2014 projections for select Minnesota batting prospects. All projections have been prorated to 550 plate appearances (and 450 for catchers) for sake of uniformity. Defensive figures (denoted by Def) account both for positional adjustment and UZR, and are presented relative to league average. Note that, in many cases, defensive value has been calculated entirely by positional adjustment based on the relevant player’s minor-league defensive starts in 2013. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.

# Name Age POS PA BB% K% BABIP wRC+ BsR Off Def* WAR
10 Josmil Pinto 25 C 450 7.8% 17.8% .293 100 0 0 10 2.7
2 Miguel Sano 21 3B 550 8.8% 28.7% .280 99 0 -1 2 2.1
5 Eddie Rosario 22 2B 550 5.4% 18.9% .298 87 0 -8 2 1.3
9 Danny Santana 23 SS 550 4.0% 16.9% .304 76 -1 -15 6 1.0
1 Byron Buxton 20 CF 550 7.2% 21.5% .282 73 0 -17 2 0.4
8 Jorge Polanco 20 2B/SS 550 4.6% 13.5% .247 50 0 -31 4 -0.9
14 Travis Harrison 21 3B 550 6.5% 25.6% .247 46 0 -34 2 -1.4
7 Max Kepler 21 OF/1B 550 5.2% 18.9% .233 46 0 -34 -6 -2.2

Steamer Projections: Minnesota Pitching Prospects
Below are the 2014 projections for select Minnesota pitching prospects. Projections for starting pitchers have been prorated to 150 innings; for relievers, to 50 innings. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR, which has been calculated by using kwERA — that is, an ERA estimator which utilizes only strikeouts and walks — so as to remove the vagaries of park effects, and probably also because the author has no idea what he’s doing. Listed ages are as of June 30, 2014. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.

# Name Age Hand IP K% BB% kwERA kwERA- WAR
3 Alex Meyer 24 RHP 150 22.8% 12.1% 4.03 104 1.6
6 Jose Berrios 20 RHP 150 19.7% 12.3% 4.42 114 0.9
12 Trevor May 24 RHP 150 18.5% 12.4% 4.58 118 0.6
13 Felix Jorge 20 RHP 150 14.2% 10.8% 4.90 127 0.1

• While Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano are assuredly the most celebrated of Minnesota’s field-playing prospects, it would appear that — according to Steamer’s computer math, at least — that catcher Josmil Pinto is most prepared to contribute at the major-league level. Pinto produced excellent offensive numbers last season, recording walk and strikeout rates of 14.1% and 15.7%, respectively, while also hitting 14 home runs in 453 plate appearances. That he did so as a 24-year-old in Double-A renders the achievement less impressive, of course. Still, a league-average hitter (which is how he’s projected) at catcher isn’t particularly common: only 12 players with 400-plus plate appearances met that criteria in 2013, for instance.

• On the topic of Buxton and Sano, this is an appropriate space, probably, to note that their defensive projections above are based merely on positional adjustment and include no sort of defensive runs saved element — which will explain how the former (whose defense is praised highly) and the latter (whose isn’t so much) both receive the same overall defensive value here.

• It may or may not matter that Alex Meyer finished the Arizona Fall League as one of that league’s best pitchers according to nerd stats. Regardless, he appears to be Twins pitching prospect most prepared for the major-league level.

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7 Responses to “Steamer Projects: Minnesota Twins Prospects”

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  1. Michael says:

    Awesome. Sano projects as a 2 WAR guy in the majors this year? Sounds like Plouffe is out of the job.

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  2. James says:

    I know this is a steamer projection post, but can we take a moment to reflect on Sano’s 5 year Oliver projections? They’re the most impressive projections, outside Trout’s, that I could find.

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    • JayT says:

      Those are pretty fun, but I have a hard time believing he will be a +3 defensive player. I haven’t personally seen him play, but everything I’ve heard says that he isn’t very good, and might have to move to first base.

      Obviously though, if he hits anywhere near those numbers, no one will care about his glove.

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    • Luke in MN says:

      I’d love Sano to hit like that and I guess it’s *possible*, but I think it’s almost an indictment of Oliver. I mean, the conservative, median projection for five years from now is that he’s going to hit 51 homers? You know, could be 43, could be 62, but based on what we know now, expect somewhere in that neighborhood. And I get that it’s not trying to project playing time (or defense either), but it has him–as a projection–hitting 225 homers through his age-25 season. (Only A-rod has ever done that and he did it in 6 full seasons, not the 5 Oliver has for Sano) If Sano hits 40 homers once before he’s 25, that would be pretty epic. Stanton, for instance, hasn’t hit more than 37. Oliver’s going to get Sano to 500 before he’s 30 at that pace. (not even A-rod or Griffey did that) That’s something a fanboy says, not a projection system.

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      • Jay29 says:

        Agreed. That’s why I like to do my own projections each year (yes, for fantasy baseball… don’t judge me). I get that I’m sacrificing overall accuracy when compared to Steamer/Oliver/ZIPS/etc, but I think some common sense occasionally is required.

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    • Cory says:

      How can one go about seeing a 5-year oliver projection?

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