Wetmore: Should the Twins give prospects Major League seasoning?
MINNEAPOLIS - The Twins are out of the playoff hunt this year and the rest of the season should be about evaluating and preparing for the future, one that many believe has the chance to be bright.
The Chicago Cubs are in a similar position. The Cubs also have a loaded farm system and on Monday they called up one of their super prospects, Javier Baez. He's expected to make his Major League debut Tuesday, at the age of 21.
This is relevant to the Twins because their farm system routinely draws praise, like the Cubs'. Now, it's very unlikely that either Byron Buxton or Miguel Sano will see the Majors this season, and they are the two prospects in the Twins system who draw reviews as glowing as those for Baez.
One evaluator told ESPN's Buster Olney that he can see a comparison to Yoenis Cespedes, the Cuban slugger that went to the Boston Red Sox in the Jon Lester trade. He drew the comparison because of Baez's "crazy" tools and "incredible bat speed," but he's "still feeling for the strike zone and will have lapses at the plate and in the field," the unnamed evaluator said.
"I think Baez will actually have more game power than Cespedes, but will struggle to adjust as quickly in terms of hitting, especially from a situational standpoint," the evaluator said, according to Olney.
The Cubs understand this, which is why they are calling Baez up now. Get him into the big leagues for August and September, get him some at-bats and all the firsts out of the way. He'll presumably do some damage, hit his first home runs, and he'll probably have some tough days as well. Baez will have an opportunity to go into the winter and reflect and refocus for 2015, much in the same way he did after his slow start this season.
Could it make sense for the Twins to do that with any of their prospects? It's a lot like they're doing with Kennys Vargas now, after he showed he could handle Double-A pitching at age 23. Give him some big-league seasoning in the final two months and theoretically he will be more prepared to contribute in 2015. It's not always that linear, but that's the general idea.
If a player is in the plans for 2015 and is knocking on the door, does it make sense to give him plate appearances or innings on the mound in August and September?
What do you think, Twins fans? Are there prospects you'd like to see in Minnesota right now?