Twins Prospect Power Rankings - I

Here are the top 15 performances by the Twins' prospects in the long-season leagues. This is our first installment of the Power Rankings, and Matthew Moses takes the top spot. This is not a list of who are the better players or prospects, but rather who is doing the best and making the most of their opportunities.

1) Matthew Moses, 3B, New Britain (NR)
Matthew Moses starts out at the top of our list during our inaugural Prospect Power Rankings, mostly because of what he means to the Twins' organization. After struggling in Double-A last season, Moses is currently fifth in the Eastern League in batting average with a .314 mark, as he leads a New Britain squad who is currently third in the league in batting. He is also tied for the organizational lead with five home runs, and his .314 mark ranks him third in hitting.

2) Matt Garza, RHP, New Britain (NR)
Garza tore up the Florida State League during the month of April and early May, before being called up to Double-A New Britain. The Twins' 2005 first round draft pick, Garza is currently second in the organization with a 1.42 earned run average, and his five wins are tops in the farm system. He is also tied with Kevin Slowey with 53 strikeouts, and has really used the 2006 season to show why he was drafted so high out of Fresno State.

3) Denard Span, CF, New Britain (NR)
Span is by far the top outfield prospect in the Twins organization, and he is putting together a nice 2006 season as well. He is currently sixth in the organization with a .303 batting average, and his forty hits are good enough for third in the Eastern League. He has been the quintessential leadoff hitter, posting a .328 batting average while leading off an inning, and .353 with the bases empty.

4) Kevin Slowey, RHP, Florida State League (NR)
Slowey could have easily been promoted to New Britain along with Garza, but they will keep him in the Florida State League until Anthony Swarzak begins to right himself. Slowey has shown unbelievable control this season, striking out 53 batters while walking only two. His 1.31 earned run average is tops in the organization, and his 53 K's ties Garza for the system lead as well.

5) Jason Kubel, RF, Rochester (NR)
Jason Kubel is batting .289 for the Rochester Red Wings, and has continued to improve throughout the season. He has driven in 18 runs in only 24 contests, and is beginning to find his power stroke. Coming off a career-threatening injury, Kubel will be given all the time he needs to work his way back to Minnesota, which he should do by the end of the season.

6) Alexi Casilla, INF, Fort Myers Miracle (NR)
Casilla is looking like quite a steal from the J.C. Romero trade, as he has established himself as one of the best leadoff men in the Twins' organization. He has great speed, judging by his 14 stolen bases, and he has played both second base and shortstop equally well. His .304 batting average has him at fifth best in the organization, and his 14 bags are tops. He has stroked 45 hits this season, which ranks him in a tie for third in the Florida State League.

7) Erik Lis, 1B/LF, Beloit Snappers (NR)
Lis has been by far the best hitter on the Beloit Snapper roster this season, as he his continuing his great 2005 season well into 2006. He is tied with Moses for the organization lead with five home runs, and his 21 runs batted in are the third best total. In 30 games, Lis is batting .331, which is good enough for third in the Midwest League, and his .576 slugging percentage is currently fourth-best. If he continues to hit, he may be bumped to Fort Myers very soon.

8) Josh Rabe, LF, Rochester Red Wings NR
Rabe has taken the International League by storm in 2006, and was even named the league's Hitter of the Week. He has also been named Twins' Minor League Player of the Month for April, and his .346 batting average is an organizational best. In the International League, Rabe is currently third in batting, and his 44 hits are the third best as well.

9) Boof Bonser, RHP, Rochester Red Wings (NR)
Bonser has anchored the Rochester Red Wings' pitching staff so far in 2006, as he has been one of the better starting pitchers in the International League. His 2.01 earned run average is the fifth-best mark in the league, and he is second in the league with 47 strikeouts. He has also been racking up the innings, placing third in the league with 49.1 innings of work. The Rochester pitching staff has been the best in the organization this season, posting a 3.12 combined ERA.

10) Adam Harben, RHP, New Britain (NR)
Harben has been lights out for the Rock Cats this season, although he has battled some control problems. Still, he has posted a 1.86 earned run average through his first seven Eastern League appearances, and is holding batters to a .236 batting average. In 29 innings, the right-hander has struck out 16 batters, although he has allowed 18 walks.

11) Jason Bartlett, SS, Rochester (NR)
Bartlett has been one of the better hitters in the International League this season, as he tries to earn his way back to Minnesota. Once considered the team's shortstop of the future, Bartlett wants that title back, and his league-leading 16 doubles are a good start.

12) Patrick Neshek, CL, Rochester (NR)
Neshek was recently named Twins' Minor League Pitcher of the Week, as he has shown no signs of being overmatched in his first season of Triple-A ball. One of the more dominant closers in the Eastern League last season, Neshek has been the same way in the International League this season, and could be headed to Minnesota very soon. He is currently third in the league in strikeouts with 46, which is pretty impressive considering he has only pitched 24.1 innings of work.

13) Alexander Romero, OF, New Britain (NR)
Romero started off the season in Rochester, but he struggled, and is now back with the team with whom he was a star last season. The former Eastern League Post-Season All-Star is starting to rip the cover off the ball again, and it is hitting it hard to all fields. Since April 29, Romero has driven his batting average from .167 to .280, and has stroked 14 hits in his last 12 games.

14) Brian Duensing, LHP, Beloit Snappers (NR)
Brian Duensing is putting together quite a season for the Beloit Snappers, and in his last outing, he threw nine shutout innings in a no-decision. For the year, he has posted a 1.96 earned run average in seven starts, and is holding batters to a .227 average. He has also struck out 43 batters, while walking only 11. In two May starts, he has posted a 0.56 earned run average, and has struck out 14.

15) Glen Perkins, LHP, New Britain (NR)
Perkins has pitched well for the Rock Cats this season, but he has not done as well as most believed he would coming into the season. He is still one of the top pitching prospects in the organization, and he could do what Francisco Liriano did last season, which was pitch decently in Double-A before tearing up the International League. I look for the addition of Garza to really help Perkins out.

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