Baseball season is drawing near as in just about a month, Minnesota Twins pitchers and catchers will begin reporting to Ft. Myers for Spring Training.
It's an exciting time of year filled with much promise, and for the Twins and their fans an opportunity to take a look at some of the prospects that once again have the Twins' minor league system rated as one of the best in baseball.
"The Twins return almost their entire top 10 intact but have added first-rounder Nick Gordon and a slew of college relievers who look like they'll move quickly to the high minors, and they continue to find value on the international front.
The flip side of this is the Twins got virtually no help from their farm system in 2014, but I expect that to change quickly this year, with Alex Meyer on the verge of the big leagues and Miguel Sano not far behind."
In addition to Meyer and Sano, the Twins also have highly-touted prospects Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios, who are also considered to be top prospects.
Like Sano, injuries slowed Buxton's ascent to the major's last season, but Berrios has been a quick-climber in the Twins system as well.
Puckett's Pond also highlights the three relievers Nick Burdi, Jake Reed and Zach Jones, who all could be in the Twins' bullpen before long.
Here is a little bit about each of them.
Nick Burdi: Burdi is a hard-throwing back-end of the bullpen option. He saved five games, while posting a 2.66 ERA and an impressive 16.8 K/9 ratio – strong marks for a first year pro. He could pitch is Double-A Chattanooga prior to the All-Star break and may be in the Twins bullpen late in the year, according to Puckett's Pond.
Jake Reed: Selected in the 5th round of the 2014 draft out of Oregon, Reed was lights out in Cedar Rapids and the Arizona Fall League. In 10 games in the fall league, Reed compiled a 0.71 ERA, giving up only one run and allowing opposing hitters to hit just .213 off of him.
Zach Jones: Has a career 1.94 ERA in three professional seasons and sports a 13.5 K/9 ratio. In the Arizona Fall League, Jones tossed 11.1 scoreless innings and allowed opposing hitters to bat just .171 against him. Puckett's Pond notes that he struggles with command from time-to-time, but says if he can reduce his 5.1 BB/9 rate last year he could quickly become an option out of the bullpen for the Twins in 2015.