4 Twins Prospects to Watch in 2020
Image courtesy of Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Jhoan Duran)Here are four prospects to watch in 2021 for different reasons. One player could be a contributor in 2020, one was a rising prospect this season, one prospect saw his stock decline, and another has a chance to be jump on the radar next year.
2020 Contributor: Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B
Late in spring training, he suffered what was called a minor wrist injury and it would keep him out of action until May and then he missed more time in June. He was limited to 94 games and saw his OPS drop to .756 as he had for 29 extra-base hits. As the season progressed, he showed signs of the player he was in 2018. During the month of August, he hit .311/.351/.500 (.851) with five home runs and five doubles. The five home runs were more than double the total he had in any other month of the season.
Minnesota’s starting first baseman from last season, C.J. Cron, was non-tendered earlier this off-season and this could be an opportunity for Kirilloff to take over at first base. The Twins drafted Kirilloff as a corner outfielder, but he played over 300 innings at first base last season. He was charged with five errors in 266 chances for a .981 fielding percentage. While Minnesota might give Kirilloff a long look in spring training, it seems more likely for the club to use another internal option at first base like Miguel Sano, Mitch Garver and/or Marwin Gonzalez.
Riser: Jhoan Duran, RHP
Duran pitched most of 2019 at High-A and he was able to make seven Double-A starts where he was, on average, over three years younger than the competition. The 2020 season will be important for Duran to prove he can be a long-term starter as some are starting to look to him as a relief pitching option. His delivery can be inconsistent, but he threw strikes on 64.7% of his pitches. Even with these concerns, he struck out more than 10 batters per nine innings for the second straight season. He was added to the Twins 40-man roster this off-season so there is a chance he could make his debut in 2020.
Faller: Wander Javier, SS
Javier originally signed with the Twins back in 2015 for $4 million and he has been slowly working his way through the Twins system. He spent 2016 in the Dominican Summer League and jumped to Elizabethton in 2017. He underwent Tommy John surgery and missed all the 2018 season. Last year he played the entire year at Cedar Rapids and hit .177/.278/.323 (.601) with 21 extra-base hits. Minnesota left him off their 40-man roster and exposed him to the Rule 5 Draft. He wasn’t selected and this means he will stay in the organization. Now, he will have plenty to prove next season and he still has plenty of promise.
One to watch: Misael Urbina, CF
Urbina signed with the Twins during the international signing period back in 2018. He made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League and hit .279/.382/.443 (.825) in 50 games. He has great speed and was able to show that with five triples and 19 stolen bases last season. On the defensive side, he uses his speed to be a good to be a strong defender in center field and he continues to improve with his arm. It will be interesting to see how aggressive the Twins are with Urbina. Will they move him to Elizabethton like they did with Javier?
What prospects will you be keeping an eye on this coming season? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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