TCD Mid-Season Top-50: #31-40

With the first half of the season in the books, we take a look at the TwinCitiesDugout.com 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.

31. Caleb Moore, C- Beloit Snappers (Preseason Rank: 44)
Moore can flat out hit, and he is doing just that for the Snappers this season. Batting a respectable .282 on the season, Moore has batted over .300 for two of the three months so far, and would have a much higher season average had he not batted .207 in May. He has been a do-everything type hitter for the Snappers, batting in every spot in the order except for leadoff, while playing catcher, designated hitter, third base, and first base. Recently, Moore joined nine of his Snappers teammates in being named to the Midwest League All-Star Game. He is one of the bigger catching prospects in the organization, and should not be overmatched at the next level.

32. Brock Peterson, 1B- Fort Myers Miracle (Preseason Rank: 48)
This is Peterson's second season with the Miracle, and he is making sure that it will be his last. He is having one of the better power hitting seasons of any other prospect in the Florida State League, and his nine home runs in that pitcher friendly league is a testament to his power. He is also batting .291 overall, and has batted over .300 for each of the past two month. In 40 games as the team's cleanup hitter, Peterson is batting .327 overall, and has smashed six of his nine home runs. He has also been pretty big in the clutch, batting a nice .293 with runners on base.

33. Trevor Plouffe, SS- Fort Myers Miracle (Preseason Rank: 8)
Plouffe takes the biggest drop in our mid-season rankings, mostly because he just has not played well during the past two seasons. After a terrible 2005 campaign, I figured Plouffe would have a breakout season in Fort Myers, but he is once again struggling with the glove and the bat. Splitting time between third base and shortstop, Plouffe has been turning it on as of late, and is batting a season-high .281 during the month of June. However, this is on the heels of a .148 May, that brought his average below the Mendoza Line plenty of times. At 20, Plouffe is still young, but he needs to start producing if he wants to keep his billing as the shortstop of the future.

34. Garrett Jones, 1B- Rochester Red Wings (Preseason Rank: 28)
The Rochester Red Wings offense is really bad right now, mostly due to the Twins taking their best hitters from their lineup. Still, Jones' power is still a fixture in Rochester, where he is once again leading the organization in home runs (11), and runs batted in (54). Batting from the sixth or fourth spot mostly, Jones is becoming a better hitter this season, and really has cutdown on his strikeouts, which is his Achilles heel. However, he has yet to bat over .250 in any month this season, and needs to be more consistent at the plate if he wants to take the leap to the next level. For now, he'll continue to wow Rochester fans with his home runs, as he continues to develop into a more complete player.

35. Kyle Geiger, C- Fort Myers Miracle (Preseason Rank: NR)
Geiger, like Peterson, is in his second year with the Fort Myers Miracle, and he is definitely having one of his better years as a pro. Although he is batting only .240 on the season, Geiger has provided leadership to the Miracle pitching staff, and has helped nuture arms like Kevin Slowey, Matt Garza, and Anthony Swarzak. To make his season even more complete, Geiger was named to the Florida State League All-Star Game, after batting almost .300 as a catcher this season. A great defensive catcher, if he can ever learn how to hit righties (.222 BA) like he does lefties (.304 BA), then he should be in good shape when he gets to New Britain.

36. Garrett Olson, 3B- Elizabethton Twins (Preseason Rank: NR)
Olson was taken in the fourth round of the 2006 draft by the Twins this past month, and quickly signed. He was assigned to the Elizabethton Twins, where he has made three appearances this season. After using a wood bat in college, it should not be too difficult for Olson to make the jump to professional baseball, being that he is used to swinging the lumber. Olson has the athletic ability to play any infield or outfield position, and it is that ability that is going to enable him to advance through the system rapidly. Also add to the fact that he has gap power and can hit for average, and you have a pretty special player.

37. Brian Dinkelman, 2B- Elizabethton Twins (Preseason Rank: NR)
No other prospect has gotten off to the start that Dinkelman has in his first week or so of professional baseball. The hard hitting middle infielder is batting .451 during his first five games as a pro, and has already driven in six runs. He has also shown extra-base hit potential, with two of his eight hits being doubles. In his first five starts, Dinkelman has three multi-hit games, and has driven in at least one run in every single contest he has been in. He has been moved to the number three spot in the E-Town Twins order, which says a lot about his stick.

38. Adam Harben, RHP- New Britain Rock Cats (Preseason Rank: 11)
Harben is another guy who takes a dip in our mid-season ranking, mostly because all the other big-name pitching prospects are having incredible years, and the Twins are not sure if Harben is a starter or a reliever. He has made 17 appearances for the Cats, making 12 starts, and his ERA is a respectable 3.41. However, he has struggled with his command this season, and has walked nine more batters than he has struck out, along with tossing nine wild pitches. He also has not gone more than six innings in any appearance this season, which leads some Twins officials to question his stamina.

39. Juan Portes, UTIL- Beloit Snappers (Preseason Rank: 43)
Like David Winfree, Portes has missed most of the season due to injury, so it would be unfair of us to leave him off the list completely. At the time of his injury, Portes was struggling at the plate, and he did not come off the disabled list until a week ago. Still, he has shown incredible versatility during his time in Beloit, playing everywhere from left-field, to second base. A "toolsy" prospect who could turn into a very good player, Portes is still getting back into the swing of things, and should finish out the year strong.

40. Ryan Mullins, LHP- Beloit Snappers (Preseason Rank: 34)
If anything, Ryan Mullins has been consistent for the Snappers during the 2006 season. He has allowed five or more earned runs in only two of his 14 appearances this season, and currently has an ERA of 4.42. Oddly enough, the left-hander is having a harder time with lefties this season than he is with righties, as lefties are batting .293 off him against the righties average of .252. Still, he is a guy who projects well down the road, and will continue to be solid for the remainder of the season.


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