TCD Mid-Season Top-50: 11-20

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.

11. Matthew Moses, 3B- New Britain Rock Cats (Preseason Rank: 2)
Moses got off to blazing start to the 2006 season, batting .318 in April, but since then has cooled off considerably. Last month was probably his worst month as a member of the Twins organization, as he hit an uncharacteristic .174 in 24 games, striking out more than one time per game. One of the better prospects in the Twins organization, many believed this would be a breakout season for Moses, where he placed himself into the upper echelon of Minor League Baseball prospects. Instead, it has been a disappointing season just far for one of the hardest working players in the Twins farm system. He is too good a player for this to last all season, and he should finish out the season strong, but don't expect him to be in Rochester any time soon.

12. Brian Duensing, LHP- Fort Myers Miracle/ Beloit Snappers (Preseason Rank: 42)
To say it has been a good season for Duensing would be an understatement. In fact, Duensing has turned himself into one of the better left-handed starting pitching prospects in the Twins organization, as the former Nebraska Cornhusker has demonstrated the ability to pitch at both Low-A and High-A this season. After putting up All-Star Game worthy statistics with the Snappers, posting a 2.94 earned run average in 11 starts, Duensing has taken his show to Fort Myers, where he has a 3.09 ERA in five starts. The victim of some terrible run support, Duensing has only won one game with the Miracle, but has definitely shown that he belongs in the Fort Myers rotation.

13. Trent Oeltjen, OF- New Britain Rock Cats (Preseason Rank: NR)
When we compiled our list of best outfield prospects at the end of last season, Oeltjen's name wasn't even on our minds, and that was a big gaff on our part. Truth be told, the 23-year old Aussie has turned himself into one of the better outfield prospects in the Twins system this season, and was recently the only Twins farmhand to be selected to play in the Futures Game. A member of the Australian World Baseball Classic team, Oeltjen has been a catalyst for the Rock Cats all season, in a year where some of the better prospects in the organization have struggled. With a little more seasoning at Double-A, Oeltjen should get the promotion to Triple-A, and who knows what the future hold from there. A player that does everything right on the baseball field, Oeltjen continues to turn heads this season.

14. Matt Tolbert, INF- New Britain Rock Cats/ Fort Myers Miracle (Preseason Rank: NR)
Tolbert is another guy that snuck up on us this season, and has really turned himself into one of the better middle infield prospects in the Twins organization. As some middle infield prospects have struggled this season, Tolbert has been consistent all year, and turned a slow start in New Britain into a mission to get back there after he was demoted to Fort Myers. He was finally promoted back to New Britain in mid-June, and has been crushing the ball ever since. A switch-hitter who is very solid with the glove, Tolbert is hitting well over .300 since his promotion back to the Rock Cats, after hitting .303 in 40 games with the Miracle.

15.Justin Jones, LHP- Fort Myers Miracle/ New Britain Rock Cats (Preseason Rank: 15)
When I ask people why Jones was demoted to Fort Myers after beginning the year at New Britain, they never give me a straight answer. Maybe it is because his 3.25 earned run average in six starts was one of the better marks on the team at the time of his demotion. Jones was admittedly upset when he was demoted to Fort Myers, but quickly got down to business, helping the Miracle almost take the first half title. During his time with the Miracle, Jones has allowed four or more earned runs only twice in nine appearances, and has posted an ERA of 1.46 at home. He got off to a blazing start after the demotion, allowing one earned run over his first three appearances, but has cooled off considerably in the past few weeks.

16. Chris Parmelee, OF- Gulf Coast League Twins (Preseason Rank: NR)
The Twins selected Parmelee in the first round of the 2006 draft, and were able to sign the high school All-American fairly quickly. Parmelee made his Twins debut as a member of the Gulf Coast League Twins, and proceeded to blast a long home run in his first professional at-bat. A five-tool player, Parmelee is the currently the number five hitter in the GCL Twins' lineup, and already has a double to go along with that home run in four games. He has also scored twice, and driven in two runs, as he has definitely gotten his professional career off on the right foot. It will be interesting to see if he gets the call to Elizabethton or Beloit before the season is over.

17. Jason Tyner, OF- Rochester Red Wings (Preseason Rank: NR)
I know Tyner is a bit old, and is not really a big time prospect, but you cannot overlook what he has done as a member of the Rochester Red Wings this season. Tyner is one of those guys who is very good in the Minor League but just has not stuck in the Major Leagues, but he is definitely making his case for another September call-up this season. Tyner has batted over .300 for most of the season, and was recently named to the International League All-Star Team. A speedy leadoff hitter, all this guy does is get on base, and he is a valuable guy to have in the clubhouse. In 75 games this season, he already has 94 hits, and has put up those kinds of stats with the rest of the team struggling with the bat lately.

18. Kyle Waldrop, RHP- Beloit Snappers (Preseason Rank: 9)
Waldrop has been solid for the Snappers all season long, and many believe he is ready for the jump to High-A ball. Left behind in Beloit when the rest of that impressive 2005 Beloit rotation was promoted to High-A, Waldrop has taken this season as a year to develop into a dominating prospect, and he has done just that. He has not lost a game since April 22, and he posted a 1.59 earned run average in five starts in June. He has posted a 3.26 earned run average in 16 starts this season, and the 20-year old has walked only 13 batters in 99.1 innings of work. He has also been clutch with runners in scoring position, holding them to a .216 batting average in those spots, while striking out 19 batters.

19. Josh Rabe, OF- Rochester Red Wings (Preseason Rank: NR)
Rabe was one of the hottest hitters in all of Minor League Baseball to start the season, before slumping considerably during the month of May. Still, he has lifted his batting average back to the .300 mark, and has hit over .300 for two of the four month of the season so far. Batting in the middle of the Red Wings lineup, Rabe has been one of the more clutch bats in the International League, batting .429 with runners in scoring position this season. Rabe has also hit .397 with runners on base, while hitting .417 with runners in scoring position and two outs. This is the main reason why he is in the middle of the Red Wings lineup, and why the Red Wings are in first place in the International League North.

20. Garrett Guzman, OF- New Britain Rock Cats/ Fort Myers Miracle (Preseason Rank: NR)
Is there a better story that the one that Garrett Guzman is putting together right now? After missing the entire 2005 season, Guzman has not missed a beat in 2006, and was even promoted to the New Britain Rock Cats recently. A sweet-swinging lefty with serious pop in his bat, Guzman hit eight home runs as a member of the Miracle, but it was his clutch bat that did the most damage. He batted .354 with runners in scoring position for the Miracle, and has numerous big hits throughout his time in the Florida State League. Since his call-up, Guzman has batted .267, but has already hit three home runs in only nine appearances for the Cats. He is currently in the middle of a five-game hitting streak, and five runs in that span.

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