Minnesota Twins Top 10 Prospects: Honorable Mentions
Puckett’s Pond presents our Top 10 Minnesota Twins prospects. Here are the players who didn’t quite make the top 10.
On Feb. 22, MLB.com will release its top 30 prospects for the Minnesota Twins. At Puckett’s Pond, we’ve rated our top 10 Twins prospects and will profile each player.
We start with the honorable mentions. These players are not quite top 10 prospects, but are worth keeping an eye on. *Editor’s note, Pat Light was among the players considered for Top Ten status, coming in at #13, but was traded to Pittsburgh the day this story was written.
Name: Trevor Hildenberger
Position: RP Age: 26
Height: 6’2” Age: 211 lbs.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Acquired: 650th overall in the 22nd round of the 2014 amatuer draft
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Trevor Hildenberger pitched extremely well last season in single-A and double-A, posting a sub-1.00 ERA at both stops.
He struck out 53 batters and walked only six batters in 43 innings. His H/9, BB/9, and SO/9 all remained close to the same as his previous seasons. This bodes well as Hildenberger moves up the ranks.
While Hildenberger doesn’t throw hard – 89 to 91 mph – his arm angle makes his changeup deceptive. Last season, he generated a lot of ground outs with 60 percent of his out coming via the ground ball.
Hildenberger could debut in 2017, but won’t become an impact late inning reliever until 2018.
#12 Daniel Palka
Name: Daniel Palka
Position: OF Age: 25
Height: 6’2” Age: 220 lbs.
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Acquired: Traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Twins for Chris Herrmann
Palka hit a career high 34 home runs, while tying his career high in RBI with 90. Over the last three seasons, Palka is averaging 36 home runs and 113 RBI per 162 games. Meaning, he has the ability to reach these totals if he played 162 games.
Additionally, Palka hits left-handed pitchers just as well as right-handed pitchers last season. He slashed .267/.319/.527 against LHP and .250/.330/.519 against RHP.
Last season was a productive one for Palka, one that has us at Puckett’s Pond looking forward to a potential MLB debut in 2017.
#13 Pat Light
As noted earlier, Pat Light, the pitcher acquired in last season’s trade deadline deal for Fernando Abad, has been traded. Yesterday, Light was dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates for either cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Tomorrow, we start counting down the Top 10 Twins prospects. We will also assess each players’ chances at making some sort of impact with the big league club this year.
Notes: Twins were unable to strike a deal with Tampa Bay (or any other team) for Byung Ho Park. Yesterday, he cleared waivers and was assigned to AAA Rochester. He was also invited to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. A good Spring by Park, coupled with a poor showing by Kennys Vargas, could punch Park’s ticket back to Target Field.