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.
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.
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.
• 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.