By La Velle
I regret not providing more minor league updates, but I did want to make you aware of Baseball America’s rankings of the top prospects in the recently-completed Gulf Coast League.
Twins first-round pick Ben Revere is listed as the third best prospect out of the league this year. The Twins are optimistic about Revere, who may have a higher ceiling than Denard Span. Revere, according to Twins people I’ve talked to, has very good instincts, will hit and occasionally hit one over the fence.
Span, the Twins’ first-round pick in 2002, batted .267 at Class AAA Rochester this season with 3 homers, 55 RBI and 25 steals in 39 attempts. Span is very fast but the Twins say Revere is the fastest man in the organization. Span also needs more time in the minors and is not close to being ready to step in if Torii Hunter leaves via free agency.
But this wasn’t meant to be a Span-Revere comparison. The Twins took Revere with the 28th overall pick because they were high on the guy and were worried he’d be gone when their next pick at 92 came around. They also signed him for about half of the slot money – $750,000.
My problem is that one of the players I thought the Twins should go after was considered the top prospect in the GCL this year – Nationals outfielder Michael Burgess. The Nats took Burgess with the 49th overall pick and paid him a $630,000. He looks to be an excellent power prospect.
The Twins would have to pay Burgess much more than 750K if they had taken Burgess with the 28th pick. But this is a player I plan to track through the minors as he develops. Revere could make me forget about Burgess if he runs AND hits as well as the Twins claim he can.
[UPDATE]: BA’s Chris Kline did a Q and A about GCL prospects. Here’s his answer to a question about Revere:
Q: Do you think Michael Burgess could produce like Gary Sheffield in like 5 years? And could Ben Revere end up like a Jose Reyes in center but with a below average arm?
Chris Kline: I think both are fair assessments. And I definitely see Revere as being a whole lot more than Denard Span. A whole lot more.