The other day, Baseball America released their Top 100 Prospects list for the 2008 season. The Twins organization had three representatives: Deolis Guerra at 35, Carlos Gomez at 52 and Nick Blackburn at 56. Only one of those players was actually signed and developed by the Twins.
For a team that emphasizes drafting and player development, having one internally raised prospect in BA's Top 100 (and many have opined that Blackburn's position at No. 56 is overly generous) is downright embarrassing. It certainly does not speak well to the way the Twins have drafted over the past several years. It also doesn't paint a particularly bright future for a team that is amidst a rebuilding process.
This problem can be remedied though. First of all, the Twins need a few guys currently in their low minors to have breakout years. There are plenty of candidates to do so -- some notable ones include Tyler Robertson, Deibinson Romero, Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee. For the Twins to return their system to prominence, it is also essential that they do well in the upcoming draft in June. The Twins will have a number of high picks, including three of the first 31 thanks to Torii Hunter's free agent departure. As far under budget as they are, there's absolutely no excuse for the Twins to go cheap like they did last year. Spend the money it takes to get the best players available.
The Twins' system is currently in a state of disrepair, and BA's list serves as a grim reminder of that fact. Fortunately, the organization isn't too far from getting back to where it needs to be. This year should be a big one in that respect.