Jump to content

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

The Forums

Astros vs Twins, Game 1, 9/28 1pm Central

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:42 PM
Well, we’re here. It’s postseason time and there’s no game thread ready a few hours before first pitch so I’m typing this on my phone to...
Full topic ›

Want to know the most infuriating thing about this 17 gam...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:21 PM
It just occurred to me, having watched every one of these 17 atrocities called baseball games, that the Twins almost always started stron...
Full topic ›

2020 MLB (non-Twins) Postseason Discussion Thread

Other Baseball Yesterday, 09:49 PM
Feel free to chime in here about any of the (non-Twins) 2020 MLB postseason games!
Full topic ›

2020 Twins Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 06:37 PM
There haven't been many yet, but I'll start this today...   The Twins just announced that Zack Littell (hamstring) has been placed o...
Full topic ›

LT contracts for current star position players

Other Baseball Yesterday, 09:27 AM
I see that Yelich is still effected by a broken kneecap from last year and has a longterm contract now through 2028. It always raised an...
Full topic ›

3 Twins Prospects Josh Donaldson Can Help the Most

Josh Donaldson was brought to Minnesota because of his MVP-level play on the field, but his impact off the field might be even more important to the organization. Minnesota hasn’t had an MVP since 2009 when Joe Mauer took home the hardware. Now the Twins have signed a former MVP and Josh Donaldson seems to be doing everything in his power to help Minnesota’s top prospects reach their full potential.
Image courtesy of © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF
TD Prospect Ranking: 18

Blankenhorn is an intriguing name because he has been in the Twins organization for five seasons and he’s seen his name move up and down their prospect rankings. He climbed all the way to Pensacola last season where he was almost two years younger than the average age of players at that level. His home run swing showed up in 2019 as he clubbed a career high 19 longballs with 18 coming in a Blue Wahoos jersey.

While Blankenhorn isn’t necessarily a late-bloomer like Donaldson, there are things the pair could work on together. Offensively, Donaldson has basically made and remade his own swing throughout his career. Blankenhorn has been following Donaldson and working with him in the batting cage. Could he help Blankenhorn to unlock even more power potential?

Nick Gordon, 2B/SS
TD Prospect Ranking: HM

Gordon has seen other players pass him by in the organization’s depth chart, but he’s still on the 40-man roster and he’s been young for every level he has played. Jorge Polanco and Luis Arraez will be manning the big-league infield and that puts Gordon back in Rochester where he has already played 169 games. Last season, he was limited to 70 games due to acute gastritis and a left abductor strain. He still put up strong numbers by hitting .298/.342/.459 with 29 doubles.

One area where Donaldson could help Gordon is dealing with challenges. Donaldson has dealt with adversity throughout his entire life and he’s molded himself into one of baseball’s best players. Gordon grew up in a baseball family and was a first-round pick, but it is going to be a challenge for him to crack the big-league roster.

Royce Lewis, SS/2B/OF
TD Prospect Ranking: 1

While Lewis is still considered the Twins top prospect, the 2019 season wasn’t exactly perfect. There are questions surrounding his future defensive position and his swing has some flaws that could be fixed. Even with the concerns, he ended the year on a high not by being named the Arizona Fall League MVP. Reports out of spring training have him weighing in at 205 pounds after adding 25 pounds this off-season.

Lewis might be the most important prospect for Donaldson to impact, especially since their time in Minnesota will likely overlap. Lewis might not debut in 2020, but there is a good chance Lewis will play for the Twins at some point during the life of Donaldson’s four-year deal. Donaldson has tutored Lewis and Blankenhorn on both sides of the ball and now he will have multiple years to make an impact on Minnesota’s top prospects.

Which prospect will Donaldson impact the most? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email

  • dbminn likes this

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

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

16 Comments

Photo
Richard Swerdlick
Feb 25 2020 04:33 AM

Wow, sounds like the Twins are hosting the Donaldson and Cruz Academy of Baseball Developement.

    • 70charger, JoshDungan1, bighat and 1 other like this

I'd add Larnach to the list. Both he and Blankenhorn hit too many groundballs for their power potential (both at about 48% of balls in play last year). Donaldson can help get them some lift. 

 

Lewis is probably the most important. Hopefully, Donaldson can help him with his balance and timing. 

    • JoshDungan1 and Aerodeliria like this

I don't really care who he helps specifically, I just like that a veteran player like both Donaldson and Cruz take the time to impart the things they have learned over the years to the young players.From there, it's up to the young players to take that knowledge and apply it.We saw the benefit Cruz had on Sano last year and I am hoping we see that more this year.If Donaldson can help 1 or 2 of those young guys take a nice big step, and he delivers as we are hoping, this contract could turnout to be a bargin.

    • DocBauer, JoshDungan1 and wsnydes like this
The other day I saw Jeffers in the cages working with someone, and Donaldson was adding a comment or two.
    • Sconnie likes this
Photo
tarheeltwinsfan
Feb 25 2020 10:11 AM

I also like the fact that Lewis worked out this off season with Torii Hunter and Torii Jr. and Matt Kemp. 

I think the prospects he impacts the most is on the prospects willingness to listen.I think it is great the Twins have targeted vets that like to teach young guys.Not all like to.Some guys react better to active players telling them something than coaches, even if both telling them same thing. 

Photo
tarheeltwinsfan
Feb 25 2020 10:15 AM

The Twins are fortunate to have the returning retired players. They all apear to be class acts. I hope someday, Every-Day Eddie will be a returning player who gives instruction at Spring Traininglike LaTroy, Torii, Justin, Michael, Tony and Rod. (Who did I leave out?)

    • gunnarthor likes this
Photo
puckstopper1
Feb 25 2020 11:25 AM

There was a post last week that showed Donaldson with several prospects around him and I commented that I hoped Lewis was one of them. Great to see he was/is.

 

If I were Lewis I'd spend as much time as possible with/shadowing Donaldson.

 

Also great to see Donaldson and Cruz willingness to do this.  

I'd vote Blankenhorn.His path to the majors right now isn't an easy one, and the more positional flexibility he has the better off he'll be. If I'm Blankenhorn I start going to the Josh Donaldson 3B School and make damn sure I have perfect attendance and take lots of notes.

 

If Blankenhorn can become a legit option at 2B/3B/corner OF he's going to improve his chances of advancing in this or any organization significantly. Marwin is almost certainly gone after this season and Blankenhorn could line himself up to be the next super-utility guy. Positional flexibility is still really valuable, even with the 26th man.

 

Oh, and if ol' Travis wants to learn how to keep the Ks in check while adding some walks and upping the power line a bit, that'd be just fine too. I hear Donaldson knows a few things about that stuff.

    • DocBauer, wabene and HrbekRules like this
Photo
theBOMisthebomb
Feb 25 2020 04:55 PM
Donaldson certainly appears to be a future coach/MLB manager. It's great that he wants to mentor the younger guys and I honestly think there is some real world value to the process.
Blankenhorn should be inspired by Josh. If you compare their minor league numbers, there isn't a big difference. If Josh had been with a team that had some more veterans, he might not have ever gotten the legit shot he got with Oakland.

The Twins are fortunate to have the returning retired players. They all apear to be class acts. I hope someday, Every-Day Eddie will be a returning player who gives instruction at Spring Training like LaTroy, Torii, Justin, Michael, Tony and Rod. (Who did I leave out?)


Joe Nathan and Johan Santana
    • DocBauer and tarheeltwinsfan like this

I watched like five minutes of the Twins on tv the other day and this huge dude comes to the plate and I wondered who that was. It was Blankenhorn. That guy is freaking huge now. I have no idea how much weight he's put on since we drafted him as a high school senior but he looks like a major leaguer now. Of course, I thought the same thing about Kohl Stewart but still, it's amazing how big these kids get a few years out of high school. 

 

I think Blankenhorn could be a guy that ends up crediting his success to Donaldson, esp if he has a power surge this year in AA or AAA. 

I absolutely love the mentoring attitude of Donaldson! And while it isn't his job to coach, I sure he works with Blankenhorn.

I've been intrigued by him since drafted. IIRC, he was a multi sport athlete in HS. Correct me if I'm wrong. It's not uncommon for those kinds of kids to take a little longer to hone their skills once they settle on a single sport.

Kid is a good all around athlete with power and seemingly some hit potential. I've never heard he has a weak arm. Last year he concentrated on 2B and LF. He has the size for 1B and I would think he should be able to play at least a decent RF as well. I think it's a huge mistake to move him off of 3B so quickly.

Now, I don't know, maybe he's just a butcher at the hot corner. But if he can play the position at least passably, or develop that ability, how valuable could he be as 5 position player with power?

The biggest thing JD can do for the Twins would be to somehow find a way to get through to Buxton that he needs to stay on the field and quit running into walls.

Photo
Aerodeliria
Feb 26 2020 09:46 PM

The Twins are going to need a bigger nap room soon.


Similar Articles


by Cody Christie , 28 Sep 2020
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 27 Sep 2020
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 22 Sep 2020
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 20 Sep 2020
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 15 Sep 2020
Photo