TCD Mid-Season Top-50: 41-50

With the first half of the season in the books, we take a look at the Mid-Season Top-50 Prospects. In this list, there are some major changes from our pre-season top-50, as we take into consideration callups to the Big Leagues, and overall performance this season. Some big names have dropped, some small names have emerged, and some unknowns have been added.

41. Yohan Pino, RHP- Beloit Snappers (Preseason Rank: NR)
Pino has been unbelievable for the Snappers during the 2006 season, and was even named to the Midwest League All-Star Game. In 27 games for the Snappers, Pino has posted an ERA under 2.00, and has struck out 55 batters in 43.1 innings of work. The young right-hander had been a starter during his first two season, posting a 19-3 record overall, but he appears just as comfortable as a reliever. Whether he becomes a starter or a reliever, it is clear that Pino has the goods to be considered a top prospect.

42. Daniel Matienzo, 1B/DH- New Britain Rock Cats (Preseason Rank: 33)
Matienzo has once again been the big bat in the Rock Cats' lineup this season, but is struggling when it comes to consistency. He is tied for third in the organization with nine home runs, is third in runs batted in with 43, but is batting only .240 overall this season. One his main problems has been his inability to hit on the road, where he is a .215 batters compared to a .271 batter at home. If he could hit for some kind of average he would be promoted to Rochester, who's bats have gone cold due to promotions to Minnesota.

43. Kevin West, OF- Rochester Red Wings/ Fort Myers Miracle (Preseason Rank: 50)
After suffering a knee injury over the winter, it was figured that West would have to wait until August to make his return to professional baseball. West ended up coming back much earlier than that, and even hit a grand slam in only his second game back from injury. After a quick rehab stint in Fort Myers, West was promoted to Rochester, where he was a key bat during the 2005 season. He has struggled this season, but once he gets back into baseball shape, he should go back to putting up solid numbers.

44. Danny Vais, RHP- Beloit Snappers (Preseason Rank: NR)
Vais has been one of the better relievers for the Snappers this season, as he is in the midst of his best season as a professional. After posting a 6-1 record for the Elizabethton Twins in 2005 working from both the bullpen and the rotation, Vais has been used exclusively out of the pen this season, and has posted a 2.39 earned run average in 22 appearances. The 21-year old right-hander has pitched well against righties, posting a 1.09 earned run average, and he has struck out 37 batters in 37.2 innings pitched overall.

45. David Winfree, 3B- Fort Myers Miracle/ GCL Twins (Preseason Rank: 14)
For Winfree to be down this low on the list is a shame, but it is only for a short period of time. Winfree has been robbed of most of his 2006 season due to injury, but he is back playing for the Gulf Coast League Twins now and should be back in the top-20 by the end of the season. Before his injury, Winfree was batting over .300 for the Miracle, and went 1-4 in his first game back from injury on Tuesday. He is one of the best pure right-handed bats in the organization, so it is only a matter of time before he is contributing to the Miracle lineup again.

46. Alexander Smit, LHP- Beloit Snappers (Preseason Rank: 23)
Alexander Smit put up some ridiculous numbers as a member of the Elizabethton Twins in 2005, earning his place on the Baseball America Appalachian League Top-20 list. However, this came after struggling at Beloit to begin the season, and he got off to a slow start for the Snappers again this season. Recently, Smit has gone back to being his dominating self, posting a 0.00 ERA in six June appearances, while striking out 21 batters in 10.2 innings of work.

47. Matthew Fox, RHP- Elizabethton Twins (Preseason Rank: NR)
Few seem to remember that Fox was drafted by the Twins in the first round of the 2004 draft as a sandwich pick. After being ranked the 11th best prospect in the Appalachian League in 2004, Fox would tear the labrum in his right shoulder, and miss the entire 2005 season. Well, he is back this year, and pitched 1.2 innings of shutout ball in his first game since the 2004 season. Hopefully the former All-American can get back to 100% and continue his career without any more hiccups.

48. Kevin Harrington, OF- Gulf Coast League Twins (Preseason Rank: NR)
Harrington was drafted by the Twins in the 12th round of this past June's draft, and he has been inserted into the everyday lineup of the Gulf Coast League Twins. Showing the ability to play all three outfield positions, Harrington is very "toolsy", and picked up his first professional runs batted in on Tuesday. At 6'6'', Harrington does not look like your prototypical outfielder, but after battling back from a broken arm in high school, he is hungry to make an impact in his first year in the Twins organization.

49. J.W. Wilson, RF- Elizabethton Twins (Preseason Rank: NR)
Wilson is the starting rightfielder for the Elizabethton Twins, and had a big day on June 24. In his second game of the season, Wilson went 3-4, and blasted a long home run. That home run matched his entire total from last season, when he hit only one home run in 26 games for the Gulf Coast League Twins. A former sixth round draft pick in 2005, everyone expects Wilson to have a big year in 2006, and all signs indicate that will be the case.

50. Steven Singleton, INF- Elizabethton Twins (Preseason Rank: NR)
Singleton is 20-years old, so he is going to need a good showing in the Appalachian League to be considered a big prospect going into the 2007 season. Drafted in the 11th round of the 2006 draft, Singleton is a slick-fielding, switch-hitting middle infielder, who has the ability to play all three infield positions. In his only start so far this season, he went 1-3, scoring a run for the E-Town Twins.

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