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- Legends on Deck The Podcast: Episode 6, The Business of Baseball
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- Atlanta Braves Prospects – Third Basemen
Minnesota Twins Prospects – Third Base
- Updated: January 26, 2017
The hot corner in Minnesota may now be occupied by the heavy-hitting Miguel Sano, but who could step in in the near future and take over? The Twins have had some steady presence over the last several years with the services of Trevor Plouffe (who was dfa’d during the offseason) and Danny Valencia for a little bit before that. Sano very well could stay at third, but it wouldn’t be the offseason without at least looking at who could be knocking at the door.
Minnesota may have struck gold in the international free agent period in 2009 when they signed a very young Sano out of the Dominican Republic. Working his way quickly through the Twins organization, Sano made his major league debut in 2015. He played in 80 games hitting .269 with 18 bombs and finished third in AL Rookie of the Year voting behind Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor. 2016 was even better for the big man. His batting average was down a bit but his power wasn’t which is a good sign. It will be interesting to see what he does playing a full season providing he stays healthy.
Moving on we will look at the next batch of prospects in the Twins organization at third base.
1. Trey Cabbage (Elizabethton)
2016 Statistics (Rookie) – .204 AVG, 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, .634 OPS, .883 FLD%
Cabbage was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Grainger High School in Tennessee. Minnesota lured him away from the Vols where he was committed to go with a lucrative $760,000 signing bonus. Trey is of normal baseball mold (6’3, 204lbs) and was a two-sport athlete before focusing on baseball. In his first professional season he played 33 games for the Gulf Coast Twins. He hit .252 with just two extra-base hits (doubles) in 129 plate appearances. Scouting reports didn’t praise his power early on but thought there was upside. 2016 found Cabbage in Elizabthton of the Appalachian League. His numbers weren’t all that good, but he is just 19 years old and has plenty of time. His OPS improved and he was able to send a couple into the stands. Fort Myers could be the logical destination in 2017.
2. Niko Goodrum (Chattanooga)
2016 Statistics (Class-A, Double-A) – .275 AVG, 14 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 33 RBI, .816 OPS, .899 FLD%
Another High School draftee on the Twins, Goodrum was taken in the second round of the 2010 draft. He was committed to Kennesaw State, but signed on with the Twins with a $514,000 signing bonus. His progression through the system seems normal but a little on the slower side with his age. Niko will turn 25 years old before ht season starts and may find him self in Double-A where he ended 2016. He ended up hitting .275 in two levels last season and seems to have the ability to get on base. Not only does Goodrum have one of the best last names in the organization, he earned himself a non-roster spot to spring training.
3. Jose Miranda (Gulf Coast Twins)
2016 Statistics (Rookie) – .227 AVG, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 20 RBI, .600 OPS, .982 FLD%
Minnesota selected Miranda in the second round of the 2016 draft out of Puerto Rico. He played 55 games with the Gulf Coast Twins batting .227. It is really difficult to project how a 17 year old player will do after his first professional season, but scouts like what they have seen from Miranda. Baseball America made mention of his raw power but still needs time to mature into his body. He has played both short stop and third base last season but it is believed that he will eventually wind up playing third.
4. Nelson Molina (Cedar Rapids)
2016 Statistics (Class-A) – .300 AVG, 15 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 43 RBI, .755 OPS, .946 FLD%
The Twins certainly have a tendency to go young when it comes to the hot corner. Molina was selected in the 11th round of the 2013 draft out of Puerto Rico and started like so many before him with the Gulf Coast Twins. Molina is working his way through the system at a normal place ending up in Cedar Rapids last season. He may be one of the more polished hitters in this group and could wind up seeing time in Chattanooga come the end of 2017.
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