TD Top Prospects #3: Alex Kirilloff
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
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.”
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)
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