Another great season for Kevin Slowey, who dominated at the Triple-A level, and even got a shot with the big league club. He pitched well in his time with the Minnesota Twins, and should be in the starting rotation to open the 2008 season. An innings eater with pinpoint control, Slowey has been one of the top starting pitching prospects in Minor League Baseball for two straight years. If he can pitch for Minnesota like he did for Rochester this past season, then the Twins may be able to forget about the traded Matt Garza.
2. Anthony Swarzak, Starting Pitcher
It was a whirlwind season for Swarzak, who missed fifty games for violating the drug policy. Once he came back, Swarzak showed the kind of dominance that made him one of the best young righties in the Twins organization. He blazed through High-A, then went on to be dominant at the Double-A level. Add to that a great stint in the Arizona Fall League, and Swarzak has himself back in the running for top prospect status in the Twins organization.
3. Alexi Casilla, Infielder
Casilla did not have a great 2007 season, but he did put himself in position to start at either shortstop or second base for the Minnesota Twins in 2008. With the trade of Jason Bartlett, Casilla seems most suited to play shortstop, mostly because newly acquired Brandon Harris played so well at second base for Tampa Bay last season. Wherever he plays, the Twins will be looking for him to bring his speed, and ability to get on base, to help the team challenge for the American League Central.
4. Trevor Plouffe, Shortstop
Plouffe had a breakout season in 2007, shaking off the past two rough years he had in A-ball. In his first season with the New Britain Rock Cats, Plouffe was very impressive in the Eastern League, earning New Britain Player of the Year honors. He hit the ball for gap power, played great shortstop, and proved that he is ready to take on Triple-A ball in 2008. If he does well to start the season with Rochester, then he could be with the Twins sometime during next season.
5. Tyler Robertson, Starting Pitcher
Robertson was stellar for the Beloit Snappers this past season, earning the spot of being the top left-handed starting pitching prospect in the Twins organization. He struck people out at a very high number, and showed poise way beyond his years. He will be in the starting rotation to start the season for the Fort Myers Miracle, and will likely spend the entire year there. The Twins will take their time with Robertson, but it is clear that he is in their future plans.
6. Eduardo Morlan, Pitcher
7. Danny Valencia, Infielder
Valencia was one of the better hitters in the Midwest League to begin the 2007 season, and then he was promoted to High-A Fort Myers. In Fort Myers, Valencia hit well again, and possibly set himself up to start the 2008 season at the Double-A level. He has a very smooth stroke, and can hit the ball for gap power and home run power. He also has the ability to drive in runs in bunches and could be a prototypical number two hitter. Overall, Valencia established himself as one of the top position player prospects in the Twins organization.
8. Jeff Manship, Starting Pitcher
Manship began the 2007 season as a member of the Beloit Snappers, and it did not take him long to establish himself as one of the better starting pitchers in the Midwest League. The Notre Dame product was nearly unhittable during his time with the Snappers, and took home some hardware along the way. He was a mid and post season All-Star in the Midwest League, and also won Midwest League Pitcher of the Week honors. After being promoted to Fort Myers, Manship still dominated, as he was named Florida State League Pitcher of the Week once as well.
9. Nick Blackburn, Starting Pitcher
Blackburn was another prospect who had an incredible 2007 season, as he was one of the better starting pitchers in a very good International League. He had a string of over 40 innings without allowing a run, and then went on to make his Major League debut. After the regular season was over, Blackburn was one of the better starters in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, where he was named to the All-Prospect Team. He could challenge for a spot in the Minnesota Twins starting rotation in 2008.
10. Erik Lis, First Base/Outfield
This kid continues to hit, and he has become one of the better position player prospects in the Twins organization. In a season where most of the Fort Myers Miracle struggled at the plate, Lis was a rock in the middle of the lineup, and he even homered off future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens. He was twice named Florida State League Player of the Week, was a FSL Post-Season All-Star, and drove in nearly 100 runs in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League.