Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

CRON! Just a little appreciation thrown his way.

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:45 AM
Going to fully admit I knew very little about C.J. before the Twins signed him. I did what a lot of us did, look up his career numbers an...
Full topic ›

Game Thread: Twins @ Angels 7:07 PM PST (9:07 PM CST) 5/...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:20 AM
I got up this morning, thrilled the Twins swept a three game series from Seattle.   Then, someone whispered in my ear and said, "Bla...
Full topic ›

Article: Twins Daily Community Report 5/12-5/18

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:38 PM
Time is short, but there are a number of small developments in Twins Daily’s community as stories, interaction and new visitors all seem...
Full topic ›

Article: Episode 427: Next Man Up

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:25 PM
Aaron and John talk about Nelson Cruz and Mitch Garver getting hurt, Miguel Sano and Willians Astudillo taking their place, calling up Lu...
Full topic ›

Article: Let’s Talk About Byron Buxton’s Swing

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:23 PM
There’s something amazing about Byron Buxton at the plate this season.Data confirms your suspicions that Buxton is indeed hitting the bal...
Full topic ›

TD Top Prospects #3: Alex Kirilloff

If you ever have an hour to spare and you’re not feeling great, do a search for “Alex Kirilloff Batting Practice” on YouTube, Google or your search engine of choice. I’d guess you’ll find yourself smiling. In preparing for this article, I only meant to watch one video. An hour later, I figured I should start writing.

In 2015, the Twins had their first season with a record over .500 since 2010. Because of it, they drafted outside of the top six picks for the first time in five years. With the 15th overall pick, the Twins went in a familiar direction, an athletic outfielder out of high school.

Alex Kirilloff was drafted out of Plum High School in Pennsylvania. He actually was part of the Pennsylvania Cyber School, a public charter with online courses. On the day the Twins drafted him, he led his team to the state championship game.
After signing, Kirilloff jumped straight to Elizabethton where he got off to a great start. Through his first 38 games, he hit .361/.378/.516 (.894) with nine doubles and five home runs. He slowed down as the summer went on, and his season came to an end early with an elbow injury.

In a recent Q&A with Twins Daily, Kirilloff discussed his success in his pro debut. “It really was a combination of things. First off, it was a blessing from the Lord, and I give all the glory to God for letting me get off to a good start in my career. Second, I was pretty rested, excited, and eager to start playing.”


Age: 19 (DOB: 11/9/97)
2016 Stats (Adv-Rookie): .306/.341/.454 (.795), nine doubles, one triple, seven home runs
ETA: 2020
2016 Twins Daily Ranking: NR

National Top 100 Rankings
BA: 98 | MLB: NR | ESPN: 97 | BP: NR

What's To Like

As you would expect from any first-round draft pick, there is a lot to like about Alex Kirilloff. He has the tools and the makeup to go with it.

The first thing that people talk about when it comes to Kirilloff is his offensive game. He’s got good size (6-2, 200 pounds). His father owns an indoor hitting facility and there are stories of Kirilloff hitting off the tee as soon as he was able to walk. He has always played against older competition, a trend which continued in Elizabethton where he was more than two years younger than the league average.

He possesses a smooth, left-handed swing and uses the whole field very well. He has shown power to all fields. He’s got quick hands and can pull the ball a long way, but his most natural power just might be to left-center field. He showed power in Elizabethton in his pro debut, and most believe that he will continue to add home run power.

Defensively, he has enough speed that he could play center field. However, he primarily played right field with the E-Twins and that will likely be his position going forward. He has a strong arm. He also played some first base in his amateur career and really impressed scouts with his work there.


What's Left To Work On

While most believe that Kirilloff is an advanced hitter, one thing he’ll certainly look to improve upon in his first full season will be getting on base more often. While he struck out in just 13.8% of his plate appearances, he walked just 4.7% of his plate appearances. It’s not unusual for first-year pros to debut and swing early and often, looking to make a strong impression. He was known in high school to have a strong approach at the plate, but he’ll need to show more of that in 2017.

Other than that, Kirilloff needs to play. He needs at-bats, and he needs to get opportunities in the outfield. He will need to adjust to the advanced speed of the game as he moves up the ladder.

As Kirilloff himself said in the aforementioned Q&A, “I still have room for improvement in all aspects of my game though and I have a long way to go.”


What's Next

Like other top draft picks, Alex Kirilloff will begin his first full season as a professional in the Midwest League. He will begin the season in Cedar Rapids. Most likely, he’ll spend the full season there, though it is certainly possible that he could spend time late in the season with the Miracle in Ft. Myers.

~~~

Read up on our previous installments in the Twins Daily top prospects series:


TD Top Prospects: #20-16
TD Top Prospects: #15-11
TD Top Prospects: #10 Lewin Diaz
TD Top Prospects: #9 Travis Blankenhorn
TD Top Prospects: #8 Kohl Stewart
TD Top Prospects: #7 Adalberto Mejia
TD Top Prospects: #6 Wander Javier
TD Top Prospects: #5 Tyler Jay
TD Top Prospects: #4 Nick Gordon
TD Top Prospects: #3 Alex Kirilloff
TD Top Prospects: #2 (Coming Thursday)
TD Top Prospects: #1 (Coming Friday)

  • Cory Engelhardt and HitInAPinch like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

41 Comments

Kid's gonna be a beast in the majors. He has an incredible work ethic and he's very humble... Recipe for success

    • glunn, diehardtwinsfan, LimestoneBaggy and 3 others like this

Is there still a link to order the prospect handbook? I am late to get started this year. I suffer from 103 loss hangover.

    • glunn, Oldgoat_MN and D.C Twins like this
Photo
HitInAPinch
Feb 22 2017 02:21 AM

I really like that kid!

    • glunn likes this

"...walk rate of 4.7%...".  I had to double check--and sure enough I had just read the same number for Alex Gordon!  I'll be watching the posts to compare the reactions for Gordon's and Kirilloff's walk rates.

 

"...walk rate of 4.7%...".  I had to double check--and sure enough I had just read the same number for Alex Gordon!  I'll be watching the posts to compare the reactions for Gordon's and Kirilloff's walk rates.

Nah, Alex Gordon's walk rate was 10.3% last year and is 9.8% for his career: 

 

http://www.fangraphs...&position=3B/OF

Let me gush some melodramatic hyperbole: this guy is going to make 14 teams look really silly. Posters on PhilsDaily are already calling for managements head for taking Mickey M. Over AK. Which reminds me, did you know that if you cut Alaska in half, Texas would be the third largest state? Same with AK, if you cut him in half, Mickey would be the third best prospect from that draft. Beast!

Ok, I'm done.
    • Mike Frasier Law, tarheeltwinsfan and kengrosz like this
Photo
clutterheart
Feb 22 2017 08:13 AM

When I look at who is he ahead of on this list I think of "shiny new toy syndrome."  But he looks like he has the will to improve and some really really nice tools.  

 

There is a strong chance I will be in Iowa for a few weeks this summer.  I would love the opportunity to get to cedar rapids and watch him play

 

 

    • Thrylos likes this

 

Nah, Alex Gordon's walk rate was 10.3% last year and is 9.8% for his career: 

 

http://www.fangraphs...&position=3B/OF

Reread Jeremy's Article in the What's Left To Work On section--4.7%.  Is his number wrong?

Photo
LimestoneBaggy
Feb 22 2017 08:59 AM

 

Kid's gonna be a beast in the majors. He has an incredible work ethic and he's very humble... Recipe for success

I tend to agree, but I don't know if I'll take Boof Bonser's word for this :) 

    • BoofBonser likes this
Photo
Taildragger8791
Feb 22 2017 08:59 AM

 

Reread Jeremy's Article in the What's Left To Work On section--4.7%.  Is his number wrong?

 

I feel like this is a poor trolling attempt or something. The article was written by Seth, not Jeremy. Your post strongly implied that Alex Gordon had the same walk rate of 4.7% and then tried to bait everyone into discussing it. But that assertion was patently false because Alex Gordon has always had strong walk rates even with his extremely aggressive promotion schedule after being drafted.

 

Edit: After evaluating a little further I realize you made an error when you said "Alex" Gordon, when you apparently meant Nick Gordon. I'm still not sure what discussion you were trying to prompt, but that at least clears up the mistake.

    • Oldgoat_MN, nytwinsfan, tarheeltwinsfan and 1 other like this

Nice to see a good looking hitter moving in to the lower levels.  A strong minor league would not have someone this raw at number three, but at least we are seeing talent here.  Our excitement has to be on hold for a year or two - injuries and personal factors are always a bane to young players.  It will be very exciting to watch him progress and it would be great to see him advance quickly like the Griffey's and other phenoms.  Maybe he should play both left and right - who would he replace Kepler or Rosario?

I live too close to Cedar Rapids to not make it to a game or two this year. Seeing Kiriloff in person just adds more incentive. 

    • gunnarthor and nicksaviking like this

He's a fun prospect and probably our best pure hitting prospect since Sano.  But he is far away.  I like that the development people pushed him to E-town early.  And I like that he was up for the challenge.  I'm hoping for a Cuddy-like player with better defense.  

    • tarheeltwinsfan, Vanimal46, Ernestfickle22 and 1 other like this

 

I feel like this is a poor trolling attempt or something. The article was written by Seth, not Jeremy. Your post strongly implied that Alex Gordon had the same walk rate of 4.7% and then tried to bait everyone into discussing it. But that assertion was patently false because Alex Gordon has always had strong walk rates even with his extremely aggressive promotion schedule after being drafted.

 

Edit: After evaluating a little further I realize you made an error when you said "Alex" Gordon, when you apparently meant Nick Gordon. I'm still not sure what discussion you were trying to prompt, but that at least clears up the mistake.

When trolling goes wrong . . .

    • Taildragger8791 likes this

Can he field?

 

My biggest doubt is that he can perform like an average MLB corner outfielder defensively. I don't see this mentioned at all in the article.

 

I also have some concerns that with the amount oftraining and coaching he has already received he's close to his ceiling with the bat. That was essentially the case with Delmon Young. With extensive coaching from his dad, Delmon had already reached his peak at age 20 as a hitter and the glove just kept getting worse.

 

I believe he can hit and has a high floor but I question the ceiling. He's going to have to hit a LOT to be valuable if he can't play defense.

    • Thrylos, 70charger and tarheeltwinsfan like this
Photo
birdwatcher
Feb 22 2017 09:49 AM

 

Nice to see a good looking hitter moving in to the lower levels.  A strong minor league would not have someone this raw at number three, but at least we are seeing talent here.  Our excitement has to be on hold for a year or two - injuries and personal factors are always a bane to young players.  It will be very exciting to watch him progress and it would be great to see him advance quickly like the Griffey's and other phenoms.  Maybe he should play both left and right - who would he replace Kepler or Rosario?

 

 

You're probably going to remain convinced that the system is weak despite the many opinions that run contrary to yours from people who study this stuff. But every system, the strong ones and the weak ones, have a prospect or two among their very highest-ranked that is raw like Kiriloff, who is described as having advanced skills for a HS prospect. Griffey was a consensus 1-1 selection. Kiriloff doesn't fit into this category. And yet, he advanced quickly to E-Town.

    • gunnarthor and mikelink45 like this
Not to gush, he's still only an 18yo rookie, but big and strong with decent wheels, defense, power, great attitude, etc, etc, what's not to like other than improving walk rate?

Other than being able to place him on a time machine and have him ready by the end of this season. Lol

Very impressed with this kid.
    • nytwinsfan and tarheeltwinsfan like this

 

Can he field?

 

My biggest doubt is that he can perform like an average MLB corner outfielder defensively. I don't see this mentioned at all in the article.

 

I also have some concerns that with the amount oftraining and coaching he has already received he's close to his ceiling with the bat. That was essentially the case with Delmon Young. With extensive coaching from his dad, Delmon had already reached his peak at age 20 as a hitter and the glove just kept getting worse.

 

I believe he can hit and has a high floor but I question the ceiling. He's going to have to hit a LOT to be valuable if he can't play defense.

The article does touch on his defense some.  It says he has good enough speed to play center and a strong arm to play right, where he has played so far.  He has played some first as well.  Sounds a lot like Kepler.  

 

In terms of comparing to Young think that is little early.  Young was a first overall pick for one, and unlike the work ethic of AK, Young was always over weight.  He was only put in OF because he was younger player and could not defend any position so much like many hitter heavy guys try to hide in LF.  

 

As for walk rate others are bringing up.  I am not worried about low walk rate when K rate is low.  At this point in his career I would be more interested in is swing and miss rate, along with chasing balls out of zone.  He may just be a guy that attacks early in count and not take strikes right down middle like some players do.  Now if he was chasing a ton or missing pitches in the zone then that is more of an issue.

Photo
nicksaviking
Feb 22 2017 10:14 AM

 

Can he field?

 

My biggest doubt is that he can perform like an average MLB corner outfielder defensively. I don't see this mentioned at all in the article.

 

I also have some concerns that with the amount oftraining and coaching he has already received he's close to his ceiling with the bat. That was essentially the case with Delmon Young. With extensive coaching from his dad, Delmon had already reached his peak at age 20 as a hitter and the glove just kept getting worse.

 

I believe he can hit and has a high floor but I question the ceiling. He's going to have to hit a LOT to be valuable if he can't play defense.

 

Why would you think he can't play defense? I've never seen anything to suggest he would be a liability.

Photo
Nick Nelson
Feb 22 2017 10:22 AM

I don't believe Seth mentioned this but Kirilloff was named Appy League Player of the Year: http://www.milb.com/...&vkey=news_milb

 

The hitting tools for this kid are crazy. Very excited. 

    • gunnarthor likes this

 

The article does touch on his defense some.  It says he has good enough speed to play center and a strong arm to play right, where he has played so far.  He has played some first as well.  Sounds a lot like Kepler. 

 

Not quite..952 fielding percentage in the OF is not very promising... And speed is a tool he has not.Was 0/1 in SB last season.There is room for improvement and he did play centerfield in 11 games, I suspect just to have a look at him over there.Strong arm and I think that he projects as a right fielder, but still needs to do work with the glove.

 

Interesting to see what he can do in the Midwest League.His swing is somewhat complicated and has too many moving parts and I am curious to see how it plays against better off-speed and breaking pitches...

Photo
Nick Nelson
Feb 22 2017 10:24 AM

 

Why would you think he can't play defense? I've never seen anything to suggest he would be a liability.

I've seen several scouting reports that envision him ending up at first base. That's not necessarily the worst thing, though. Twins don't have a long-term answer there after Mauer. 

    • Vanimal46 likes this

 

I've seen several scouting reports that envision him ending up at first base. That's not necessarily the worst thing, though. Twins don't have a long-term answer there after Mauer. 

Yeah I'm not too concerned about his future position 4-5 years down the road. If the guy continues to hit, they'll find a position for him to play. 

    • gunnarthor and milldam like this

 

Not quite..952 fielding percentage in the OF is not very promising... And speed is a tool he has not.Was 0/1 in SB last season.There is room for improvement and he did play centerfield in 11 games, I suspect just to have a look at him over there.Strong arm and I think that he projects as a right fielder, but still needs to do work with the glove.

Oswaldo Arcia played 37 games in CF at Elizabethton. I don't think his time in center is meaningful at all.

    • Thrylos, DJL44 and Vanimal46 like this

 

Nice to see a good looking hitter moving in to the lower levels.  A strong minor league would not have someone this raw at number three, but at least we are seeing talent here.  Our excitement has to be on hold for a year or two - injuries and personal factors are always a bane to young players.  It will be very exciting to watch him progress and it would be great to see him advance quickly like the Griffey's and other phenoms.  Maybe he should play both left and right - who would he replace Kepler or Rosario?

 

I guess I'd have to look, but I'm guessing that Baseball America would have the 2016 first-round pick of pretty much every team within its top 3-5 prospects.

 

And who will he replace... in 2021? I mean, I don't know if Rosario or Kepler will still be here in 2021, so let's just let that play out a bit.

    • Thrylos likes this

Similar Articles


by Steve Lein , 08 May 2019
Photo


by Cody Christie , 06 May 2019
Photo


by Cody Christie , 06 May 2019
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 02 May 2019
Photo


by Cody Christie , 16 Apr 2019
Photo