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Is Kirilloff going to get called up?

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Navigating this forum

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Twins Roster Moves - 2021

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I recall last year we had a thread that tracked roster moves the Twins made throughout the 2020 season, and I'm like to have another thre...
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Larnach Focused on Process, Improvements and Winning

One year ago, Twins Daily’s #3 prospect Trevor Larnach participated in his first MLB spring training as a non-roster invite, just hoping to make a good impression. He succeeded, and now, he appears to be on the brink, working while waiting for his big-league opportunity.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
Before we look forward, let’s quickly look back. Larnach was the Twins first-round draft pick in 2018, the 20th player selected overall. He then went to Omaha and helped lead the Oregon State Beavers to the College World Series championship. After signing, he split that season between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids.

In 2019, he was the Twins (and Twins Daily’s) Minor League Player/Hitter of the Year. He was the Florida State League Most Valuable Player after hitting .316/.382/.459 (.842) with 26 doubles and six homers in 84 games, impressive numbers in the notoriously pitcher-friendly Florida State League. He moved up to Double-A Pensacola for 43 late-season games. He hit .295/.387/.455 (.842) with four doubles and seven homers.

He moved up many national prospect rankings, but The Athletic’s Keith Law wrote this about him in his February 2020 Twins rankings. “Larnach has plus power the other way, which is usually a very positive indicator for a hitter, but he doesn’t pull the ball except to roll over to the second baseman, so scouts are left wondering if he can adjust as pitchers work him on the inner half.”

When I talked to Larnach in December of 2019 for his Minor League Hitter of the Year article in the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook, it was something that Larnach focused on that offseason. He said, “It’s not only being able to drive the ball from left field to center field, but to be able to hit it out of the park from center to right field. It’s something that’s been in development, and I'm feeling really good about now. It didn’t necessarily come within a couple of swings, but it’s taken four years and continues to be put to the test.”

Hitting is Larnach’s calling card. On a recent Twins Spotlight, fellow top prospect Royce Lewis said, “I know a hitter that would be a great hitting coach is Trevor Larnach. He knows how to dissect a baseball swing and really go into it, and he really knows how to talk to you about your swing and dive deeply into it.”



Overall, his work paid off. He was invited to big-league spring training as a Non-Roster Invite in 2020 and made a great impression. While he was limited to DHing due to some shoulder tightness, he mashed the ball in his opportunities. In 24 at-bats, Larnach hit .333/.467/.708 (1.175) and three home runs.

He had the opportunity to work with Twins Hall of Famer and former MVP Justin Morneau, something he gained a lot from. “He helped me out a lot in a lot of ways, whether it came down to drills, approach, scouting reports. Everything that you could possibly think of, he helped me out. It was so cool, because a guy like that, he’s willing to help guys and continuously talk hitting. It was super awesome, and I can’t thank him enough for that.”

Unfortunately, Spring Training 2020 was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “When spring training stopped, it was a bit of a shock because you didn’t really understand what was happening. We went from playing, and not having a relationship with the fans at one point, to completely just packing up and going home.”

A delayed season. Then the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season. Fortunately for Larnach, he was invited to participate with the Twins at their alternate site in St. Paul late in the year. It was certainly a different experience, filled with challenges, but he took advantage of the opportunity.

“That was tough, you only had a limited amount of pitches. You only had a limited number of at-bats each week. But at the same time, you’re competing and still trying to develop at the same time but also try to stay locked in for any type of game scenario. The staff did the best they could in the circumstances that they had, so it was good.”

Regarding his work on hitting the ball with authority to the pull-side of the field, Larnach said that he was seeing those results.

“When I was at St. Paul, the majority of my home runs were pull side. So I thought I did a pretty good job before last season. During spring training I think that kind of showed me, because I was able to get that pitch out more consistently with the right spin, along with more pitches middle-in, away. So it helped out a lot. To have little at-bats and see that kind of development over at the alternate site was pretty exciting for me.”

Larnach was not called up to the Twins during the season, but the organization is very high on him. He returned to Ft. Myers last week as a non-roster invite again. However, this time, he’s looking to do more than just make a good impression.

Spring Training games begin on Sunday afternoon when the Twins host the Red Sox at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers. Like many games early on the spring schedule, it will be a seven-inning game.

Larnach, who turned 24 on Friday, should expect to get a lot of at-bats throughout the spring schedule. While it is unlikely that he will make the Twins Opening Day roster, it is very likely that Larnach will make his major-league debut sometime during the 2021 season. So his mindset for spring is to prepare himself for the season and for the big leagues, whenever that time comes.

“I’d say first off, the goal is always to make it up there, and always compete and win, and help the team win championships. But as of right now, I’m more or less focused on my process and getting ready for any type of season that’s thrown at me. So getting ready for major league pitching I’m about to be seeing, which would be great, and learn from the guys in this camp, all the older guys, all the vets. So that’s my mindset right now.”

He learned a lot from his first big-league spring training a year ago. This spring, he is much more comfortable in the clubhouse, with the veterans, and the atmosphere. Being able to focus on what he needs to do to prepare is the key to his spring, in part, because the Twins have a lot of options in the corner outfield positions. There is a bit of a talent-filled log jam, and that isn’t a bad thing.

“It’s out of my control. The only thing I can do is really get my work in, do the best thing I can, be the best human I can. At the end of the day, if you don’t make the team, or if you do, all that matters is that when you’re up there, it’s how you affect the team, how you produce, how you are as a teammate. Because the whole goal is just to win, to win championships. I know what I bring to the table, I know what a lot of other guys bring to the table. All the other outfielders are great guys and great players. And yeah, it’s a logjam, but it also makes it fun because you compete with each other, but you also play with each other. It’s a good thing.”

Last summer, Larnach worked mostly in the corner outfield spots. He also got to spend a little bit of time at first base. This spring, he will be working exclusively in the outfield according to manager Rocco Baldelli. “Trevor’s going to play on the corners in the outfield. We’re not going to move him around to first base. Going forward, you never know, but right now, we’re going to let him get his work in the outfield.”

On Saturday, Larnach talked about how he is working to improve this season. “I’m always trying to improve, every way that I can. I’m always looking for something I can do, whether it’s defensively, offensively, as a teammate, anything to help improve and help the chemistry in the team.”

Larnach has a focus on all aspects of the game, but as you can see from several of his responses above, he always does so with the idea of winning, and winning championships in mind. It’s something that was instilled within him at Oregon State. In the Prospect Handbook article, Larnach said, “What they instill there is a lot of culture stuff with teammates, and building bonds, and caring about your team more than yourself. When you have that kind of culture set at a certain standard, regardless if you’re at practice or in a game. You’re always working to get better, but you’re working to reach a goal with your teammates because you’re built such an awesome bond. I was fortunate to learn that from them, and to experience that.”

One of his teammates at Oregon State was Nick Madrigal. He was the fourth overall pick in that 2018 draft by the Chicago White Sox. In 2020, he made his major-league debut and hit .340/.376/.369 (.745) with three doubles in 29 games.

While White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson continues to speak very publicly about Chicago’s athleticism, and calling them the best team in the American League, Larnach and Madrigal have started a little trash talk amongst themselves. It sounds pretty harmless.

“I’m pretty close with Nick. It’s hard not to be close with a guy like that, and a teammate like that, when you’ve won a championship in college. We’re constantly talking trash to each other. We’re always in touch here and there. He’s a great dude. He’s a great competitor. I wish he was on our team because I know what he can do, but as far as us playing each other, it’s an exciting thing. I keep telling him ‘I’m coming, I’m coming for you.’ It’s going to be fun when that matchup comes. I can’t wait to see how it all pans out.”

Neither can Twins fans.

While Alex Kirilloff will, and understandably so, receive many of the headlines this spring, Twins fans should also be very excited about the future of Trevor Larnach. He too has a chance to be a very special player.

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15 Comments

Larnach is going to be VERY good.With Kiriloff in the lineup as well, it will remain to be seen if Sano sticks at 1B and if Kepler becomes more consistent and sticks in RF.Either way, at some point within a year, Kiriloff and Larnach are going to raking for the Twins.  

    • puckstopper1, Heiny and MNT1996 like this
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Doctor Gast
Feb 28 2021 06:33 AM
Larnach is a special player, he's very close in talent to Kiriloff and deserves more credit. He's MLB ready, the good problem is that we have too many great corner OF s, 1B and DH MLB ready players. Like I said prior they'll make room for his talent.
    • Seth Stohs, mikelink45, tarheeltwinsfan and 2 others like this
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James Rivah Twins Fan
Feb 28 2021 08:08 AM

Never forget how exciting it was to see him lead the Beavers to the national championship shortly after we drafted him. Looking forward to see him playing everyday for the Twins!

    • ashbury, Seth Stohs and Heiny like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Feb 28 2021 08:24 AM

 

Never forget how exciting it was to see him lead the Beavers to the national championship shortly after we drafted him. Looking forward to see him playing everyday for the Twins!

I wasn't excited to see the Beavers eliminate the Tarheels. :)

    • ashbury likes this
Who profiles as the better defensive outfielder, Larnach or Kirilloff?

Who profiles as the better defensive outfielder, Larnach or Kirilloff?

No. :)

 

According to the quick and dirty source I go to, the ranking on defense might be Larnach > Kirilloff >> Rooker. None has good range, Rooker's being "adequate" only.
 

    • Major League Ready, PDX Twin and Eris like this

Larnach is 24, Rooker is 26 - it is time to play them or trade them.Let's start moving our excess into the trade market and fill other positions.My bias would be to trade Max, but I know he has many fans here.I expect Cruz to be done after this year, but who knows - if he goes one of the these two players can step in.But when are Sabato and Wallner going to be ready with the same skill sets?

    • Heiny likes this
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puckstopper1
Feb 28 2021 10:29 AM

 

Larnach is going to be VERY good.With Kiriloff in the lineup as well, it will remain to be seen if Sano sticks at 1B and if Kepler becomes more consistent and sticks in RF.Either way, at some point within a year, Kiriloff and Larnach are going to raking for the Twins.  

 

I agree Gunn!  

 

Kepler and Sano (and Cave) are on notice as "the objects in their mirror are closer than they appear."

 

Having a glut of high end hitters in the pipeline is never a bad thing to have - hence the decision of the Twins to jettison Eddie Rosario.

    • Heiny likes this

Great read, Seth.

 

Many ask who will be the better big league player, Kirilloff or Larnach? I ask why can't both be great?

    • Seth Stohs, Major League Ready and Heiny like this
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Major League Ready
Feb 28 2021 11:13 AM

 

No. :)

 

According to the quick and dirty source I go to, the ranking on defense might be Larnach > Kirilloff >> Rooker. None has good range, Rooker's being "adequate" only.
 

 

What is that source? I always find it difficult to get good information on defensive aptitude.

What is that source? I always find it difficult to get good information on defensive aptitude.

 

Oh, I've said it before, and it's almost a self-parody by now. But i do think they put in some time and effort, not on primary scouting themselves, but synthesizing scouting reports from somewhere. They do not state exactly how they create their scouting ratings (and I've asked). I find that their ratings track pretty well, when I compare them for instance to individual articles about players or whatever. The big thing is it's comprehensive, for every player in every major league organization, plus a lot of upcoming prospects for the June draft - so I can look up any player on a moment's notice and get a sense of their skill set.

 

Without further coyness:

 

Out Of The Park Baseball

 

I find OOTP worth the $35 or so for each year's new version, just for the scouting insights alone.(I might also have devoted an hour, or two, or more, to playing the game during the past year. :) )

 

Scoffers, scoff as ye will - I deserve it and I own up to it.
 

Would it be a shock if, in 2021, Sano is the DH, Kiriloff is at 1B and Larnach is in LF??

And the video Seth posted.I can't even explain how awesome it is to hear...the crack of a wood bat....AND a crowd cheering when it clears the wall!

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Major League Ready
Feb 28 2021 03:37 PM

 

Oh, I've said it before, and it's almost a self-parody by now. But i do think they put in some time and effort, not on primary scouting themselves, but synthesizing scouting reports from somewhere. They do not state exactly how they create their scouting ratings (and I've asked). I find that their ratings track pretty well, when I compare them for instance to individual articles about players or whatever. The big thing is it's comprehensive, for every player in every major league organization, plus a lot of upcoming prospects for the June draft - so I can look up any player on a moment's notice and get a sense of their skill set.

 

Without further coyness:

 

Out Of The Park Baseball

 

I find OOTP worth the $35 or so for each year's new version, just for the scouting insights alone.(I might also have devoted an hour, or two, or more, to playing the game during the past year. :) )

 

Scoffers, scoff as ye will - I deserve it and I own up to it.
 

 

Thanks.It's takes time to track down these various reports so this type of synthesized info is great.

    • ashbury likes this

I am very high on Larnach.Unfortunately I've only gotten to see little of him, but from what I have read, he seems to have great work ethic, a super attitude, intelligence, and the bat speaks for itself.I hope he makes the bigs this year.I'd love to see him in RF, AK in LF, and Buxton in C.I'd also hate to see Max go, but with his team friendly contract with several years of team control, I think he'd be a very good trade chip.Also keeping the right hand bat of Rooker on the team, but we would still have to have a backup for Buxton.Broxton and Celestino in the minors for emergency call up, but can we also keep Cave for Buck to have some days of rest occasionally.I must be a little over-excited about our young bats.