2019 Twins Midseason Top Prospect List: 26-30
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (graphics by Finn Pearson) (photos of Gilberto Celestino, Luke Raley, Devin Smeltzer, Lewin Diaz)Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for 26th through 30th prospects of the Minnesota Twins below.
30. Lewin Diaz - 1B
ETA: Late 2020
2019 Stats (High-A/AA): .303/.343/.541 (.884 OPS), 14 2B, 1 3B, 13 HR, 44 K, 14 BB.
2019 Preseason Ranking: NR
Seth: 25 | Tom: 25 | Cody: 39 | Ted: NR | Steve: 18
Diaz was a big prospect when the Twins signed him for $1.4 million in July 2013. He was the Twins Daily short-season Minor League Hitter of the Year in 2016 when he had a strong season at Elizabethton. He was quite productive in Cedar Rapids in 2017. Last year, he struggled in the first half in Ft. Myers and his season ended with wrist surgery. He came to spring training much lighter in 2017 and lighter yet in 2018 and his hard work really paid off. He was red hot in May and selected the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month when he hit 10 home runs. He was promoted to Pensacola last week and started out hot there.
29. Devin Smeltzer - LHP
2019 Stats (AAA/MLB): .
MLB: 12.1 IP, 3.65 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 3.0 K/BB
MILB: 70.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 9.4 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 6.1 K/BB
2019 Ranking: NR
Seth: 31 | Tom: 31 | Cody: 21 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR
When the Twins acquired Smeltzer (and Luke Raley) from the Dodgers last July for Brian Dozier, few knew much about the left-hander. And if anything, it was more about his story than his pitching. He had been moved to the bullpen by the Dodgers and pitched in that role in Chattanooga and in the Arizona Fall League. But this offseason, the decision was made for him to return to starting, and he has been terrific. He started in Pensacola where he gave up just two earned runs in 30 innings (five starts). He moved up to Rochester and started with 15 scoreless innings. He came up to the Twins and worked six shutout innings against the Brewers and made one more start. Smeltzer is a good reminder that command for pitchers is key. He tops out at about 92 but he mixes all of his pitches really well and he’s able to miss bats without issuing walks.
28. Matt Canterino - RHP
2019 Stats (College): 99.1 IP, 2.81 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 11.0 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 5.3 K/BB
2019 Ranking: NR
Seth: 32 | Tom: 29 | Cody: 28 | Ted: 18 | Steve: 22
It is likely we won’t actually see Canterino pitch in 2019, and if he does, it will be with very limited innings in the low minor leagues. Just 21, he has a lot of pitching experience and innings under his belt, so I expect he will be shut down until spring. He has pitched for Rice University the last three years. He is one of just two college pitchers who has over 100 strikeouts in each of the past three seasons. He spent a summer with Team USA. He spent last summer in the Cape Cod League. He throws a fastball that sits in the 92-94 range but he can crank it up into the upper 90s. He’s got a good mid-80s slider and a spike curveball.
27. Luke Raley - OF
2019 Stats (AAA): .302/.362/.516 (.878 OPS), 6 2B, 0 3B, 7 HR, 42 K, 7 BB.
2019 Preseason Ranking:
Seth: 19 | Tom: 23 | Cody: 46 | Ted: 15 | Steve: 28
Raley has kind of always been an overlooked player. He had a really good high school career, yet he ended up going to Division II Lake Erie College. He dominated at that level but was a seventh-round pick of the Dodgers in 2016. He has put up a lot of power since then while never being considered a top prospect. We continue that trend with these rankings. When Raley’s season came to an abrupt stop with an ankle injury, he was playing well and just starting to display some big power for that Red Wings offense. He has a ton of power, and he’s also got enough speed that he played quite a bit in center field. People tout his high-energy level and willingness to work, along with his power potential.
26. Gilberto Celestino - OF
2019 Stats (Low-A): .217/.298/.314 (.612 OPS), 11 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 51 K, 28 BB.
2019 Ranking: 16
Seth: 27 | Tom: 26 | Cody: 27 | Ted: 24 | Steve: 29
The Twins acquired Celestino, along with RHP Jorge Alcala, late last July from the Houston Astros in exchange for RHP Ryan Pressly. Celestino was a big international signing when he was a 16-year-old. He is a very good athlete. He’s not tall, but he is built strong and has really good speed. Some scouting reports indicate that he a very good defensive center fielder with a strong arm and room to continue to improve. Offensively, he works counts and is willing to take walks, though that has led to a lot of strikeouts to this point. He’s very young for the Midwest League and has not been over-matched.
That's it for now. The prospect rankings will continue tomorrow. Feel free to ask questions and leave comments below.
Twins Daily 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings
Prospects 21-25 (Coming Soon)
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