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Wolfson: Twins Scouting Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:25 AM
  Doogie Wolfson tweeted that the Twins are going to be scouting 22-year-old RHP Yoshinobu Yamamoto, "one of the premier young pitc...
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2020 MLB (non-Twins) Postseason Discussion Thread

Other Baseball Yesterday, 08:22 PM
Feel free to chime in here about any of the (non-Twins) 2020 MLB postseason games!
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White Sox make changes

Other Baseball Yesterday, 10:44 AM
Both Manager Rick Rentaria and pitching coach Don Cooper were let go.     Was a bit surprised by this, because the White S...
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Not to add more doom and gloom

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:23 AM
This is interesting and sort of concerning. Article snippet comes from the incomparable Jayson Stark of The Athletic (Which is must read...
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Minnesota Twins Post-Draft Top-20 Prospects: 6-10

In the aftermath this year's MLB Draft, it can be fun to reevaluate where an organization stacks up in the prospect department. For better or worse, franchises can make it or break it with their selections in the draft. It's also important for teams to be able to build from within to help manage the bottom line.

Minnesota's top prospect list is littered with highly drafted players over the last handful of years. Players like Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach have all been taken with first-round picks. Ideally, these players will form the nucleus of Minnesota's next championship winning club.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
10. Gilberto Celestino, OF
2019 MiLB Stats (A, A+): .277/.349/.410, 10 HR, 28 2B, 85 K, 50 BB, 125 G
Celestino came to the Twins along with Jorge Alcala as part of the Ryan Pressly trade. He played almost the entire 2019 campaign in Cedar Rapids with a handful of games in Fort Myers at season’s end. He destroyed the ball in July by hitting .369/.430/.563 with 12 extra-base hits in 26 games. Things didn’t slow down much from there as he posted a .896 OPS in August and this included his promotion to a higher level.

While he showed strong offensive ability last season, Celestino might be one of the best outfield defenders in the entire Twins organization. He’s played all three outfield positions, but his defense in centerfield will be his ticket to the big leagues. If he can continue to make offensive improvements, he could move quickly through the system in the years ahead.

9. Aaron Sabato, 1B
2019 NCAA Stats: .343/.453/.696, 18 HR, 25 2B, 56 K, 39 BB, 64 G
Minnesota just took Sabato with their first-round draft pick last week and he has the power potential to slide into their top-10 prospects. He could be higher on the list, but many don’t see him as having much defensive value, so the Twins must hope his bat is what powers him throughout his professional career. His 2019 season was his lone full season at the collegiate level, because he was a draft eligible sophomore. He posted a 1.149 OPS that year and he might have been on track for an even better season in 2019.

In 19 games during the 2020 season, Sabato had a .478 OBP and a .708 SLG with seven home runs and six doubles. This year’s draft certainly had some quirks with only five rounds and the first round saw a lot of teams select college players because they have a longer track record. Sabato is going to hit no matter what level he plays at and the Twins took him as a safe pick with plenty of upside.

8. Lewis Thorpe, LHP
2019 MiLB Stats (AAA): 5-4, 4.58 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 119 K, 25 BB, 96.1 IP
2019 MLB Stats: 3-2, 6.18 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, 31 K, 10 BB, 27.2 IP
It might seem like Thorpe has been around the Twins organization for ages, especially since Minnesota signed him all the way back in 2012. He put up strong numbers in his first two professional seasons but missed all of 2015 and 2016 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Luckily, Thorpe was young enough where he was still back on the mound by his age-21 season and he spent the last two seasons moving through the upper levels of the minors. Across 114 innings at Double-A, he posted a 3.71 ERA with a 1.25 WHIP and a 10.9 K/9. His WHIP is over four points lower in 118 innings and his strikeout rate is higher (11.1 K/9).

Thorpe was primed for a breakout season in 2020 with many in spring training were discussing the club’s high hopes for the southpaw. While his ERA and WHIP were high last season, he continued to strikeout batters and that’s something Twins fans can be excited about. He could be part of the Twins pitching staff for most of the next decade.

7. Keoni Cavaco, SS
2019 MiLB Stats (RK): .172/.217/.253, 1 HR, 4 2B, 35 K, 4 BB, 25 G
One year ago, the Twins took Cavaco with the 13th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. He was seen as a player that rose on team’s draft boards in the months and weeks leading into the draft. A player like him might not have even been taken in 2020 because of the limitations on scouting and the shortened high school season. He didn’t see the same type of competition as other top high school players because he wasn’t invited to a lot of the showcase events leading into his senior season. Still, his tool set was hard for the Twins to ignore.

His arm strength and speed are currently his two best tools. There were some obvious struggles at the plate last season, but he has plenty of power potential. As he continues getting experience against tougher competition, many believe he will be able to showcase the skills that put him on team’s draft radars. The Twins will give him every opportunity to stick at shortstop, but he has shown the ability to play third base during his amateur career.

6. Ryan Jeffers, C
2019 MiLB Stats (A+, AA): .264/.341/.421, 14 HR, 16 2B, 83 K, 37 BB, 103 G
Mitch Garver might not want to look too closely in his rearview mirror because Jeffers might be closer to the big leagues than most would think. Minnesota took Jeffers in the second round back in 2018 and many viewed him as a bat-only player. He has refined his defense behind the plate since joining the Twins and his bat has certainly lived up to the hype he was receiving going into the draft.

In his pro debut, Jeffers hit .344/.444/.502 with 24 extra-base hits in 64 games between the E-Twins and Cedar Rapids. Last season he spent almost 80 games in Fort Myers and hit double digits in home runs and doubles. He finished the year with 24 games in the Southern League and saw his OPS rise 124 points over what he compiled in the Florida State League. At 23-years old, he is the Twins catcher of the future and that future might not be that far away.

PREVIOUS TOP-20 POSTS
Prospects 16-20
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10 Comments

How long has Thorpe been showing up on these prospect lists, 7 years now? I hope he can finally graduate and stay as a big leaguer.

 

Jeffers at #6 just feels right. I thought he should have been higher on these lists last season.

    • mikelink45 likes this

I cannot support Cavaco this high - despite his draft status he has to show me something before I would rank him - the same with Sabato.  

 

 

Lewis Thorpe is too high for me too.He has been a disappointment so far and I know he follows the trend of many young pitchers with his arm troubles, but I do not seem higher than a fifth starter. 

 

That means that in my highly questionable opinion only two of these players belong on the list at this level. 

    • Tomj14 likes this

I have a feeling Jeffers will be high on lists next year.As long as he can hold up on defensive side he looks like he will hit at a level that will be top end of catchers at MLB level for a few years. 

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

I cannot support Cavaco this high - despite his draft status he has to show me something before I would rank him - the same with Sabato.  

 

 

Lewis Thorpe is too high for me too.He has been a disappointment so far and I know he follows the trend of many young pitchers with his arm troubles, but I do not seem higher than a fifth starter. 

 

That means that in my highly questionable opinion only two of these players belong on the list at this level. 

Agree on Thorpe he is 24, I don't consider him a prospect anymore. If this would have been a normal year this IMO would have been kind of a make or break season for him. Now he will be 25 at the start of next season.

 

Including including Jeffers, I believe the other 3 are true prospects, they could be good to great or be nothing at all. Which is it bit different from the top 10 the last few years.

Anyway thanks for the rankings they are always fun.
 

    • mikelink45 likes this
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birdwatcher
Jun 18 2020 12:03 PM

 

I cannot support Cavaco this high - despite his draft status he has to show me something before I would rank him - the same with Sabato.  

 

 

Lewis Thorpe is too high for me too.He has been a disappointment so far and I know he follows the trend of many young pitchers with his arm troubles, but I do not seem higher than a fifth starter. 

 

That means that in my highly questionable opinion only two of these players belong on the list at this level. 

 

From my perspective, I'd probably regard Cavaco, Thorpe and Sabato as slightly more likely than either Celestino or Jeffers to eventually capture roster spots and have long careers in MLB. Why? Simply because, in the case of Cavaco and Sabato, they were prized prospects by the Twins, and these first round position guys usually make it. Thorpe has shown glimpses already. The fact that Cavaco and Sabato haven't shown ME anything couldn't possibly be more irrelevant.;)

 

Every one of these prospects naturally has to overcome unanswered questions. Jeffers' defense, Thorpe's command, Cavaco's bat, Sabato's glove, Celestino's next step... 

 

Not a bad 6-10.

    • MN_ExPat likes this
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VandyTwinsFan
Jun 18 2020 02:52 PM
2019 preseason rankings had the following:
10. Baddoo
9. Enlow
8. Thorpe
7. Duran
6. Rooker

The 2019 version of these players had a lot of question marks just like this year's 6-10. Some answered, some faltered. I think I felt better about last year's group, but I like 2020 Jeffers the most.
    • birdwatcher and MN_ExPat like this
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howieramone2
Jun 18 2020 05:37 PM
Tough job. I like what you did.
Not sure I can put Sabato in the top 10 at this point. He's shiny and new as the latest 1st round pick, and the Twins seem to be very happy they got him at 27. No question he has potential and let's hope he turns out to be a decent hitter and 1B defensively so that his power can shine.

But ahead of Rooker, for instance? Rooker is older, but he's at least a little better athlete with OF ability and has shown he can hit and has good power. He's adjusted to every level and did well at AAA last year. Good chance he sees ML this season. (Assuming we have one). I just can't put a rookie 1B, 27th selection, even with potential this high.
Of this group, I’m lowest on Cavaco. I’ve never liked that pick. Highest on Jeffers, bust Celestino isn’t far behind. I like that they both play premium positions
    • DocBauer likes this

Since Cavaco's ceiling (so far) looks like Nick Gordon and Sabato's looks like Rooker without the defense, why are they above those guys? 


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