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2019 Twins Midseason Top Prospect List: 31-35

This might sound like a State of the Union address, but the state of Minnesota’s farm system is strong. As other organizations have seen prospects graduate to the big-leagues, the Twins have one of baseball’s top-5 farm systems including at least five of the top-100 prospects in the game. This could certainly help if the club wants to be active before the trade deadline and move players from areas of strength within the organization.
Over the next two weeks, Twins Daily will be revealing the Twins Daily Midseason Top 40 Prospects rankings. Our preseason Top Prospect rankings go 20 deep. Our midseason rankings double that output and give some recognition to twice as many players. Several of our minor league writers provided player rankings. They were consolidated

Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for 35th through 31st prospects of the Minnesota Twins below.

35. Jaylin Davis – RF
Age: 24
ETA: 2020
2019 Stats (AA): .274/.382/.458 (.840 OPS), 9 2B, 0 3B, 10 HR, 64 K, 36 BB
2019 Preseason Ranking: NR
Seth: 38 | Tom: 36 | Cody: 34 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR

Davis was taken by the Twins in the 24th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Appalachian State University. Davis got a brief taste of rookie ball that season, but the Twins have steadily moved him through the system over the last four years. In Pensacola this year, he is slightly older than the competition, but his OPS is higher than the last two years. After knocking 11 home runs in 120 games in 2018, he has already hit double-digit home runs this season. He’s played all three outfield positions, but the vast majority of his innings have come in right field. Tom took a deeper look at Davis as part of his Prospect Spotlight video series.

34. Cole Sands - RHP
Age: 21
ETA: 2021
2019 Stats (A+/A-): 52.2 IP, 3.08 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 10.6 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 5.17 K/BB
2019 Ranking: NR
Seth: 33 | Tom: 24 | Cody: 40 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR

Sands, a fifth-round pick in 2018, is making his professional debut this season. The Twins felt he had pitched enough in college last season, so he didn’t make any appearances in rookie ball. He started the year in Cedar Rapids and posted a 3.05 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 11 walks in 41 1/3 innings. At the beginning of June, he was moved to Fort Myers and made two starts. He allowed four earned runs and struck out 13 in 11 1/3 innings. Since then, he was placed on the IL with a blister on the third digit of his right hand. His fast ball usually sits in the low 90s, but he can reach the mid-90s when needed. His curveball and his change-up are his best secondary pitches.

33. Tyler Wells - RHP
Age: 24
ETA: 2022
2019 Stats: Out for the Year (Tommy John Surgery)
2019 Ranking: HM
Seth: 35 | Tom: 33 | Cody: 23 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR

Wells found out near the end of May that he would need Tommy John surgery and he will miss all of 2019. He split time between High-A and Double-A last year and he was almost a year and a half younger than the competition in the Southern League. Wells posted a 2.49 ERA and a 121 to 31 strikeout to walk ratio in 119 1/3 innings during the 2018 campaign. He was named the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year and he won the Harmon Killebrew Award for the Miracle. It was a breakout season for him and it’s tough to lose a year of development. However, he should be back at some point in the second half of 2020. Wells was originally a 15th round pick back in 2016.

32. Griffin Jax - RHP
Age: 24
ETA: 2021
2019 Stats (AA): 51.2 IP, 1.92 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 5.9 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 3.09 K/BB
2019 Preseason Ranking: HM
Seth: 26 | Tom: 34 | Cody: 31 | Ted: 28 | Steve: 24

Jax was the highest player ever taken from the United States Air Force Academy and that’s just part of his story. In order to pitch in the Twins system, he is taking part in the military’s World Class Athlete Program which allows active-duty military personnel to make training for the Olympics their full-time responsibility. Jax is taking full advantage of the opportunity as he is off to a tremendous start at Double-A. In eight of his ten appearances, he has allowed one earned run or less. He doesn’t strike out a ton of batters (5.9 K/9), but he’s been efficient at getting outs. Jax pitched in last year’s Arizona Fall League and allowed nine earned runs on 21 hits in 21 innings (3.86 ERA). His fastball sits in the low 90s and he has a great change-up and an improving slider.

31. LaMonte Wade - OF
ETA: 2019
Age: 25
2019 Stats (AAA): .232/.374/.332 (.706 OPS), 7 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 38 K, 42 BB.
2019 Ranking: NR
Seth: 29 | Tom: 32 | Cody: 29 | Ted: 23 | Steve: 25

Wade was the Twins 9th-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Maryland. He’s worked his way through the Twins system over the last five seasons and he’s spent parts of the last two seasons in Rochester. Wade doesn’t strikeout. Well, that might not be completely true. Throughout his professional career, he has 283 walks compared to 263 strikeouts. He has a great approach at the plate and he has the ability to attack the strike zone. He can play all three outfield positions, but he probably fits better in a corner outfield spot. Wade could make his way to Minnesota at some point this season, even if it comes as a September call-up.

Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Also, check back next week to see who made the top-30 prospects.

Twins Daily 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings
Prospects 36-40
Prospects 31-35 (Today)
Prospects 26-30 Coming Soon

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23 Comments

Hard to believe some of these guys are this far down but there are a lot of good players in the system so it can be a tough call.Most of these players are older so I guess it makes sense to keep them just out of the top 30 as most of their potential has been used up. They are who they are now.  

 

Sad to see Wade this low on the list but with his having issues with solid contact and low OPS he is probably lucky to be as high up as he is.I really believed he would be close to a 300 hitter with at least extra base power.So far AAA has owned him somewhat.

 

I am starting to be a believer in Sands.Feels like there is still some work to be done there but his WHIP is real nice and that bodes well for his future.It means he is willing to attack and batters have trouble hitting his stuff.He should easily make it as a reliever have to see about starter but so far so good for him.I would have him a little higher than this but with his short track record this spot seems fine as well.

 

Not much disagreement on the list so far.Nice to see this level of talent this far down the list. 

I look at my rankings and to think Jaylin Davis is my #38 prospect and out 35th prospect is crazy. Jaylin has been really good this year, and he''s done so really quietly. What he has done is improved on the strikeouts a bit. If he's your #35 prospect, your system is strong.

 

And, I have Tyler Wells way too low as well. I had him in the high-teens after last season. Mid-90s fastball and a really good breaking ball and good control... I think I dropped him too far as well... but again, this system is really strong!

    • Steve Lein, mikelink45, dbminn and 4 others like this

It was really hard for me to not put Jaylin Davis in my list of top 30. He was just promoted to triple-A after ranking in the top ten of the Southern League in OPS. He's increased his walk rate this year into +.100 IsoD territory (14.7% of PA) and Pensacola manager Ramon Borrego told me that was a big part of the work he was putting in with coaches, especially Steve Singleton.

    • dbminn, gagu, Tom Froemming and 1 other like this
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Tom Froemming
Jun 21 2019 07:58 AM

Fun fact: Cole Sands actually has the best FIP of anyone in the system who's throw 40 innings or more. He's ever-so slightly ahead of Balazovic right now (2.25 to 2.27). Sands has yielded a .348 BABIP, so that's a big reason why his baseline numbers aren't as sterling. 

 

I still have quite a wide difference in rankings between those two guys, for plenty of reasons, but Sands has been one of the many really encouraging starting pitcher prospects in the system this season. 

    • Steve Lein, 70charger, PseudoSABR and 5 others like this

Wade is on the 40-man, so it would not take much for him to get the call to the majors at any moment. His AAA numbers don't really have him knocking at the door, much less bashing it open, but he hasn't eliminated himself from consideration with his performance either, if another injury arises or if the FO sours on Cave as first in line. So he's on the bubble, and if the opportunity does come I hope he takes ahold of it. He'll never be more than an emergency/stopgap option in center field, but he could contribute in right or left for a good career - one additional coaching tip that works could do it for him, he's that close.

    • Dman likes this

If the minor league starting pitcher of the year is #33, then, yes, the State of the System is indeed strong.

    • Danchat, Dman and dbminn like this

Glad to see Jax on this list and suspect he will be higher next year.All Academy grads have an active duty commitment of X years.Some change/increase for various reasons, such as my niece's husband who went to medical school on the Army's tab.I know Jax has been released from active duty per the Olympic program.Do you know, Seth, when his actual active duty commitment ends?

 

Count me amongst those who would flip Wade and Davis.Expect that Wade won't be on the 40-man beyond November, at the latest.

    • gagu and Original Whizzinator like this
Strong, but not sending good players to Minnesota again this year. They really need them to start sending up good players next year. As you state, other systems are sending good and great prospects up.

I really thought Wade would hot better this year. I thought he'd pass Cave at some point, offensively enough, to get called up if there was an injury. Still hopeful.
    • mikelink45 likes this

It is no surprise the longer a player is in the system and the closer they get to the majors the more they move down the prospect list. (Unless of course they are blowing away every level on the way up) I would expect the same thing to happen to the Twins top 3 if they aren't in the majors by the end of next year or beginning of 2021. That is the nature of prospects lists. The next young unproven player to the save the organization will be at or near the top.

    • Mike Sixel, dbminn and Original Whizzinator like this
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108Stitches
Jun 21 2019 12:09 PM

It is no surprise the longer a player is in the system and the closer they get to the majors the more they move down the prospect list. (Unless of course they are blowing away every level on the way up) I would expect the same thing to happen to the Twins top 3 if they aren't in the majors by the end of next year or beginning of 2021. That is the nature of prospects lists. The next young unproven player to the save the organization will be at or near the top.

Honestly Wells has blown away every level. Gets better every level up. If not for this horrible timed TJ bs, he’s probably be pitching in the majors by now.
    • DannySD likes this
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birdwatcher
Jun 21 2019 03:24 PM

 

Strong, but not sending good players to Minnesota again this year. They really need them to start sending up good players next year. As you state, other systems are sending good and great prospects up.

I really thought Wade would hot better this year. I thought he'd pass Cave at some point, offensively enough, to get called up if there was an injury. Still hopeful.

 

 

Cave was a 6th round pick and has experience. He also has better overall tools than Wade, which is probably why Wade lasted until the 9th round. My thinking is that both of these guys have been over-rated at times by many here, but Cave probably is and will be the superior player.

 

Again, my friend, I think you're perpetuating a falsehood when you say other systems are sending "good and great prospects up again" while the Twins are not again. This is nonsense again. ;)

 

The majority of their team WAR this year has been derived from "good and great players" they have sent up. If that weren't true, this team wouldn't have a top 5 power ranking and W-L record.

 

As for this list, we're looking at TD's 31-40 ranked prospects, for heaven's sake. Anyone who is dreaming on this collection becoming important players for the big club needs to recalibrate their thinking.

 

We can lament that the prospects getting their shot this season aren't much to get excited about, and that's true, but look around. Outside of the flurry of Top 10 guys like Tatis and Jimenez, there aren't a ton of clubs bringing up better players than Arraez, Cave, and Astudillo, let alone Littell, Stewart, et al. So let's not pretend there's this big difference going on.

    • DocBauer, gagu and Original Whizzinator like this

 

Cave was a 6th round pick and has experience. He also has better overall tools than Wade, which is probably why Wade lasted until the 9th round. My thinking is that both of these guys have been over-rated at times by many here, but Cave probably is and will be the superior player.

 

Again, my friend, I think you're perpetuating a falsehood when you say other systems are sending "good and great prospects up again" while the Twins are not again. This is nonsense again. ;)

 

The majority of their team WAR this year has been derived from "good and great players" they have sent up. If that weren't true, this team wouldn't have a top 5 power ranking and W-L record.

 

As for this list, we're looking at TD's 31-40 ranked prospects, for heaven's sake. Anyone who is dreaming on this collection becoming important players for the big club needs to recalibrate their thinking.

 

We can lament that the prospects getting their shot this season aren't much to get excited about, and that's true, but look around. Outside of the flurry of Top 10 guys like Tatis and Jimenez, there aren't a ton of clubs bringing up better players than Arraez, Cave, and Astudillo, let alone Littell, Stewart, et al. So let's not pretend there's this big difference going on.

 

Which players have come in the last 2 years, as I've been posting? It's been called a good/great system for at least 2 years.

 

Nothing false about wondering where the actual help is.

    • birdwatcher and Original Whizzinator like this

 

Strong, but not sending good players to Minnesota again this year. They really need them to start sending up good players next year. As you state, other systems are sending good and great prospects up.

I really thought Wade would hot better this year. I thought he'd pass Cave at some point, offensively enough, to get called up if there was an injury. Still hopeful.

The strength of the minors the past couple years has come from the lower levels, and hopefully we'll see more talented kids get up to AA and AAA. I think we're seeing more of it with the hitters (Arraez and Gordon, Raley was on track before the surgery).

    • birdwatcher, Dman, DocBauer and 2 others like this
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drivlikejehu
Jun 21 2019 09:17 PM

 

Which players have come in the last 2 years, as I've been posting? It's been called a good/great system for at least 2 years.

 

Nothing false about wondering where the actual help is.

 

No help is coming. The Twins just fooled Fangraphs, Baseball America, MLB.com, and everyone else.

    • birdwatcher, dbminn, gagu and 1 other like this
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birdwatcher
Jun 22 2019 06:53 AM

 

 

 

Which players have come in the last 2 years, as I've been posting? It's been called a good/great system for at least 2 years.

 

Nothing false about wondering where the actual help is.

Aren't you quibbling a bit? I mean, if the "actual help" arrived 3 years ago, it's a problem?

 

What about the incredible emergence of so many of these guys who don't quite meet your arbitrary standard of having arrived for the first time in the last two years? What's wrong with the "actual help" that HAS arrived? This is a top 5 team.

 

No organization relies solely on its system to fill every hole every year. At least now we can celebrate a FO who will go get us Cruz, Marwin, Cron, etc.

 

Everyone acknowledges that the system hasn't produced an ace. It's quite possible they STILL don't have one in the system.

    • Major League Ready, DocBauer, gagu and 1 other like this

I find Wade the most disappointing person on this list and the posts I read seem to agree.I had really hoped for him to be MLB ready and I do not think he is.Nor do I believe in Cave, but that is a different story.If I had to predict, Wade will make a MLB roster with another team and not the Twins.Soon, I hope other prospects will take over the number 4 OF position and Wade's opportunity will vanish.

 

This 30 - 40 range is fun reading and interesting names.No-one here to plug the pitching holes and that is really all the MLB team requires at this time. 

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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 22 2019 08:53 AM

 

Wade is on the 40-man, so it would not take much for him to get the call to the majors at any moment. His AAA numbers don't really have him knocking at the door, much less bashing it open, but he hasn't eliminated himself from consideration with his performance either, if another injury arises or if the FO sours on Cave as first in line. So he's on the bubble, and if the opportunity does come I hope he takes ahold of it. He'll never be more than an emergency/stopgap option in center field, but he could contribute in right or left for a good career - one additional coaching tip that works could do it for him, he's that close.

 

Wade is an OBP guy too.. I'm actually surprised Cave got the call for that reason. Twins could use some on base help.

    • ashbury likes this

 

I find Wade the most disappointing person on this list and the posts I read seem to agree.I had really hoped for him to be MLB ready and I do not think he is.Nor do I believe in Cave, but that is a different story.If I had to predict, Wade will make a MLB roster with another team and not the Twins.Soon, I hope other prospects will take over the number 4 OF position and Wade's opportunity will vanish.

 

This 30 - 40 range is fun reading and interesting names.No-one here to plug the pitching holes and that is really all the MLB team requires at this time. 

 

30-40 has a few interesting guys.

 

Poppen already helped and certainly showed that he might be a big leaguer, especially as a reliever. Kohl Stewart has helped and maybe he could be more helpful as a reliever. Wade could certainly be a 4th outfielder. Sands, Wells and Jax are all decent prospects who could pitch in the big leagues. Davis might bemore highly regarded if the Twins OF wasn't already so stacked and Wade and Rooker and even Wiel are ahead of him.  

 

Are these guys difference-makers? Probably not, but they can be productive MLB players... and frankly, there are a bunch of guys just outside our Top 40 who could be in the top 40. 

    • birdwatcher, DocBauer and gagu like this

The depth in the system is pretty excellent. Hopefully we'll use it wisely to improve the club this year before the deadline.

 

I'm a Griffin Jax guy. I know he doesn't have the sexy K rates, but I think he knows how to pitch, and there's a place for a guy like him. if he improves the slider a bit more he might get the Ks up another notch.

 

 

    • Dman likes this

Wade is an OBP guy too.

Then you may want to take a look at Brent Rooker's AAA numbers too. :) Less glove, more OPS goodness, and he's on base at a .400 clip now.

 

He's not on the 40-man, of course, which was the thrust of my comment about Wade. But that isn't a major obstacle if they want to add him.

    • Original Whizzinator likes this
Still hoping for Wade. And I think he will still get a shot. But for those who blast Cave vs Wade, I get it. But let's not forget what Cave did last year, or that he was taking when promoted. His performance has been just awful until today. Pressing? But let's not pretend he is some bad ballplayer.
    • birdwatcher likes this

Which players have come in the last 2 years, as I've been posting? It's been called a good/great system for at least 2 years.

Nothing false about wondering where the actual help is.


I hear ya Mike. But let's not forget prospects, even in a top system, arrive in waves. It's a natural ebb and flow. Despite having time under their belts right now, this team is built on a collection of prospects where Rosario is an "old guy". (Yes, there have been additions made to the roster externally, I get that).

The best talent, and greatest depth in the system was in the lower levels as recent as last season. That talent is now at AA and A+. Injuries, which always happen, unfortunately, have curtailed a few guys.

Even in SSS we have received contributions from Poppen, Arreaz, Smeltzer and even Stewart thus far. Raley may have been up before his injury. But even with Rooker doing what he does...adjust and then mash...its not hard to see that Pensacola on down is where the talent lies.

I would not be a bit surprised to see Thorpe contribute in the second half. I bet we see Smeltzer and Poppen yet again. Gordon may even do something the second half.

My biggest disappointments thus far has been the injury to waste half a season for Gonsalves, and Romero suddenly having no trust/control of his ability.

But just because a number of our TOP prospects havent jumped up to do anything so far at the ML level in 2019 is a bit short sighted, IMO.
    • gagu, Original Whizzinator and rdehring like this
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Major League Ready
Jun 23 2019 05:33 AM

 

Aren't you quibbling a bit? I mean, if the "actual help" arrived 3 years ago, it's a problem?

 

What about the incredible emergence of so many of these guys who don't quite meet your arbitrary standard of having arrived for the first time in the last two years? What's wrong with the "actual help" that HAS arrived? This is a top 5 team.

 

No organization relies solely on its system to fill every hole every year. At least now we can celebrate a FO who will go get us Cruz, Marwin, Cron, etc.

 

Everyone acknowledges that the system hasn't produced an ace. It's quite possible they STILL don't have one in the system.

 

We did not have a 1B or 2B and we needed more SP so we went and got them elsewhere.Odorizzi / Pineda / Cron / Schoop. Is that not what we all want the front office to do. The replacement for Schoop is here and we added a great utility player in Astudillo. It's true we have not added much pitching from within but to complain at this point is pretty silly.

 

Was the expectation that Falvey and Levine would wave a magic wand and undo the poor drafting for pitching that was done before they got here?

    • birdwatcher and gagu like this

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