3 Twins Prospects Impacted By Josh Donaldson's Signing
Image courtesy of Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Alex Kirilloff)Here are three players whose path to the major leagues could be altered because of Donaldson’s signing.
Brent Rooker, OF/1B
Rooker was Minnesota’s supplemental first-round pick back in 2017 and his college experience helped to push him all the way to Triple-A last season. He was limited to 67 games due to a right groin contusion. Prior to the injury, he was having one of his best professional seasons as he was hitting .281/.398/.535 while being nearly three years younger than the competition at Triple-A. Rooker is already on the 40-man roster so there is certainly a chance he makes it to Target Field this season. With the addition of a 26th roster spot for 2020, he would be an intriguing option as a bench bat later in the season.
Donaldson Impact: With the addition of Donaldson, there would likely need to be multiple injuries for him to get an extended look at the big-league level.
Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B
Like Rooker, Kirilloff missed time during the 2019 campaign due to injury. A wrist injury kept him out for the first month of 2019 and it continued to bother him throughout parts of the season. He told MiLB.com, “It takes a little bit more time to warm it up and get it going than usual…Just being able to mentally tell yourself and your body that your wrist is completely fine again is another step to take as well.” Kirilloff is widely considered one of the organization’s top prospects, but he will likely spend 2019 between Double- and Triple-A. He’s still a prospect to watch during the up-coming season.
Donaldson Impact: Kirilloff could have been a candidate to take over at first base, but now he can prove he’s healthy and swing his way onto the 40-man roster.
Trevor Larnach, OF
Minnesota made Larnach the 20th selection in the 2018 MLB Draft and he spent little time making his mark on the organization. During his first full professional season, he hit .309/.384/.458 with 44 extra-base hits on his way to being named the Twins Minor League Player of the Year. The Florida State League is usually considered a tough hitting environment and Larnach posted an .842 OPS across 84 games. Larnach, along with the names above, are a trio of prospects more known for their bats than their defense. If Rooker and Kirilloff are healthy, they could get a big-league opportunity before Larnach has a chance.
Donaldson Impact: If Minnesota is higher on Rooker and Kirilloff than Larnach, he could be the key prospect included in a deal to acquire a starting pitcher before the season’s start or at the trade deadline.
If you want to learn more about the players discussed above, make sure to pick up a copy of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook. There are profiles and scouting reports on nearly 170 players in the Twins farm system along with articles and prospect rankings.
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