Baseball America recently released its list of the major league and minor league players with the best tools in baseball, and the Minnesota Twins were well represented.
Catcher Joe Mauer appeared three times on the major league list, which was voted upon by managers. The six-time All-Star and three-time batting champion was named the American League’s third-best hitter behind Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera and the Angels’ Mike Trout. Mauer was voted second for best strike-zone judgment, again behind Cabrera. He also earned praise for his defense, as he was named the American League’s third-best defensive catcher. Kansas City’s Salvador Perez and Baltimore’s Matt Wieters are ranked ahead of him.
Utility infielder Jamey Carroll also made the list, ranking as the American League’s second-best hit-and-run artist behind the Angels’ Erick Aybar.
Top prospects Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton made the minor league lists. Sano was voted as the best batting prospect and best power prospect in the Florida State League on the High-A list, as well as the FSL’s most exciting player. Sano was promoted to Double-A New Britain this season and also made the Double-A list as the best power prospect and best infield arm. Sano wasn’t the only Twins minor leaguer on the Double-A list. Josmil Pinto was voted to have the best strike-zone judgment in the Eastern League, while Danny Santana made the list as the league’s best defensive shortstop.
Buxton, who began the year at Low-A Cedar Rapids, was voted the best batting prospect, best defensive outfielder and most exciting player in the Midwest League. His former Kernels teammate Adam Brett Walker was named the best power prospect in the Midwest League, while Cedar Rapids’ Jorge Polanco was voted the best defensive second baseman. Cedar Rapids manager Jake Mauer made the list as the Midwest League’s best manager prospect.