It is currently 45 degrees here in New Hampshire and spring is in the air. On the eve of spring training, I continue to count down the Minnesota Twins top 50 prospects. I have already counted down 50-46, 45-41 and 40-36.
Let's take a look at 35-31.
35. Nelvin Fuentes Left-Handed Reliever 4/7/1989.
Fuentes was drafted in the 16th round of the 2007 draft out of Puerto Rico Baseball Academy High School. Fuentes went 3-3 with a 3.29 ERA in 29 appearances for Beloit. He struck out 43 and walked 11 in 28.1 innings. He strikes out a lot of guys, even though his fastball is merely average. He is helped out be a good change up. I ranked him #19 last year and #43 in 2010. It will be interesting to see how he does as he continues to move up. Junk pitchers generally get more exposed as they move up, but he could become a crafty lefty in the vein of his namesake Brian Fuentes.
2012 Outlook: He'll spend most or all of 2012 in Fort Myers.
34. Michael Tonkin Right-Handed Pitcher 11/19/1989.
Tonkin was drafted in the 30th round of the 2008 draft out of Palmdale, California High School. Tonkin went 4-3 with 2 saves and a 3.87 ERA for Beloit in 48 appearances (3 starts). He struck out 69 and walked 24 in 76.2 innings. Tonkin is a big guy with a low 90s fastball and change up. He is probably better suited as a reliever who could use his size to intimidate even if his stuff doesn't fully back it up.
2012 Outlook: He'll start the season in Fort Myers.
33. Matthew Hauser Right-Handed Reliever 3/30/1988.
Hauser was drafted in the 7th round of the 2010 draft out of the University of San Diego. Hauser went 5-6 with 12 saves and a 1.98 ERA between Beloit and Fort Myers with one appearance in New Britain. He struck out 75 and walked 29 in 63.2 innings. He has a decent fast-ball, slider and also has a split finger. The split is supposed to be his dominant pitch. There aren't many prospects (anymore) that have the split in their arsenal. I look forward to seeing that picth as he moves to AA and AAA. (Where I can watch him pitch live)
2012 Outlook: Will probably start the season in New Britain and may stay there most of the season.
32. Pat Dean Left-Handed Starter 5/25/1989.
Dean was drafted was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft out of Boston College. He went 5-7 with a 5.00 ERA in 20 starts for Beloit, Fort Myers and New Britain. He struck out 76 and walked 25 in 108 innings. Dean missed some time due to injury in his first full season with the Twins franchise. He dominated in Beloit but struggled when he moved up. He has four pitches including a low 90s fastball and doesn't walk too many guys. He definitely fits the Twins mold of pitching prospects. I ranked him #21 last year.
2012 Outlook: start the season at Fort Myers with a mid-season promotion.
31. JaDamion Williams Outfield 11/20/1990.
Williams was drafted in the 10th round of the 2010 draft out of Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate HS in Tampa, FLA. He hit .324/.406/.465 with 4 HRs in 212 plate appearances with 10 stolen bases in 15 attempts for Elizabethtown. Williams has tools! He hit, walked, hit for some power and stole some bases. Reports are, he is lightning quick. He had a great season in E-town hidden beneath Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario's monster seasons. It will be interesting to see how he does when he levels up and plays a full season. He will have to work on reducing his strikeouts as he moves up.
2012 Outlook: He'll move to Beloit where his numbers may very well be hidden under Sano and Rosario's again.
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