10.) Adrian Salcedo, 19, A+ Florida State League, Rookie Appalachian League
It is obvious by the leagues he pitched in that Adrian Salcedo was slightly mishandled this year. But a mass of injuries in in all 4 of Minnesota's full season clubs forced the Twins to have to plug some guys into holes before they were ready. Salcedo did no fare well against FSL hitters but reports about his stuff were legit which was a low to mid 90's fastball that he could locate very well along with a spike curve ball and a solid change up. Salcedo when being sent back to rookie ball showed the same dominance he did last season with a 3.16 ERA as a starter and a ridiculous 55K to 6BB in 56 innings. Salcedo has been relieving to end the year to limit innings and should top out somewhere near 100 compared to the 61 he threw last year. Its obvious the Twins will take it slow with Salcedo so either he will start full season ball last next year or be shut down early. But expect a total inning count of around 130 in 2011 mixed between Beloit and if he performs Fort Myers as well. Salcedo might have the best raw stuff in the system as a teenager so you could understand why the Twins want to be careful.
9.) Angel Morales, 20, A Midwest League, A+ Flordia State League.
Another toolsy kid who started to put some things together this year. Morales his over .290 for Beloit which earned him a promotion to Fort Myers. On the season his power from the past has since disappeared now turning into more of a free swinging singles guy. Morales only tallied up 5 home runs and 24 doubles this year. But he did show some crazy speed with 10 triples and 29 steals which are both career highs. I like Morales' tools overall. As I said before he strikes out way too much and will be exposed in higher leagues. Twins let Morales play nearly 170 games in low A ball before a true call up so don't be surprised to see Morales return to the Miracle next season to start. He will most likley be reunited with Aaron Hicks.
8.) Carlos Gutierrez, 23, AA Eastern League, AAA International League.
We had some questions answered about the 2008 first round pick. His long term role will in fact be in the bullpen. Gutierrez simply does not have the secondary pitches or the stamina to go deep into games or a season. But that is not a bad thing. Because his stuff may be better suited for the pen anyway. We know he brings that bowling ball sinker clocked anywhere from 93 to 97 and now that he has limited innings to throw it it could be clocked more often then not to the top of that scale. Gutierrez was promoted to AAA Rochester because the MLB team is decimated by injuries, but Carlos should start next year in Rochester anyway. I need to see what Gutierrez can do as a full time bullpen arm before I make a projection of what he can do because at this moment I beleive Billy Bullock is the closer of the future just because of his ability to rack up strikeouts.
7.) David Bromberg, 22, AA Eastern League, AAA International League.
Bromberg may have took a step back from what he did in 2009 as the organizations best pitcher but that does not mean that he did not have a solid year. He is showing durability by cracking the 150 inning mark for the 3rd straight season and still has a season ERA of 3.75 (3.98 in AAA). What seemed to be the problem for Bromberg this year was the thing that I wanted him to improve on from last year and that was control. His strikeouts have dropped from 177 to 148 now to 112 since 2008 and his walks were up while he was in AA. He has seemed to harness that since the promotion to AAA but he is leaving more pitches of the plate. Bromberg has given up twice as many homeruns in Rochester as he did in New Britain but with half the innings. Bromberg still has potential to be a back of the rotation starter. But my Kevin Millwood suggestion may be quite off. I still might think because of his size and stuff he could resemble Tommy Hunter.
6.) Danny Valencia, 25, AAA International League, MLB.
It is safe to say the Danny Valencia has locked up the full time 3B job for the Twins. I was a little nervous when he was called up that he would not get much playing time but the kid has started the past 26 games and for lack of a better word has raked. Valencia's power does not translate well to Target Field but neither does Joe Mauer's. What we have seen is a patient hitter who stings the ball to all fields and is not afraid of Major League pitching (.343/.382/.454). He in my opinion has also played very good defense showing off that cannon arm (which Nick Punto does not have). Valencia has been up since June 2 and may be under consideration for AL Rookie of the Year surprisingly. When looking around the league the award might go to either him, Austin Jackson, Brendan Boesh, Wade Davis or my preseason pick Neftali Feliz.