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Seth's Preliminary Top 30 Twins Prospect Rankings

The offseason is officially upon us. Baseball America is starting to publish its American League Central Prospect rankings. Soon we will see how the popular site ranks the Top Ten Twins Prospects. Today, I will share some quick thoughts in my preliminary Top 30 Twins Prospects rankings.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Brusdar Graterol)
Work has begun in earnest on the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It will be the 11th annual Twins Prospect Handbook for me, and Cody Christie and Tom Froemming will be involved in the writing, editing, formatting and overall development of the book. As we do every year, we will publish our official prospect rankings in the book along with our history of prospect rankings.

But today, I am posting my preliminary Top 30 Twins Prospect ranking. It is subject to change up until the handbook comes out (likely in mid-December or very early January, so get it on your Christmas wish list!) as I do much more research and chat with more people about the 162 Twins Prospects that are currently planned to be profiled in the book.

This will be a quick rundown of my Top 30 Twins prospects with minimal description of the Top 10 Twins prospects. I welcome your feedback in the comments below. What would your rankings look like? And, I’ll be happy to answer any questions that you post about any Twins minor leaguers in the comments.

With that let’s get started:

1. Royce Lewis - SS - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle

The 2017 #1 overall pick put together a really strong first full season of minor league ball. The shortstop showed range and a good arm. Offensively, he showed a good approach and added more power than most were expecting. His status nationally has risen and he should be a Top 10 overall prospect in the game this winter.

2. Alex Kirilloff - RF - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle

In about 2/3 of the organizations in baseball, Alex Kirilloff would be the easy choice for the team’s #1 prospect. After missing the entire 2017 season, the Twins 2016 top pick put up some monster numbers in 2018 in both Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He will likely be a Top 10 prospect in baseball this winter too as he is one of the best hitting prospects in the game.

3. Brusdar Graterol - RH SP - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle

Graterol returned from his Tommy John surgery in 2017 with big velocity. In 2018, he debuted in May with the Kernels and after a couple of months, he moved up to Ft. Myers. A triple digit fastball and a changeup and breaking ball that also could be plus pitches, and it’s understandable why Graterol is finally getting national recognition.

4. Wander Javier - SS - Did not play

Javier had left shoulder surgery early in the season and missed the full year. However, he is still very young and immensely talented. He’s got good speed, size and he barrels up the ball well. He should have his breakout season in 2019.

5. Trevor Larnach - OF - Oregon State/Elizabethton Twins/Cedar Rapids Kernels

The Twins top pick in 2018, he helped lead Oregon State to a College World Series championship. He’s got big power potential and he could be a strong all-around hitter.

6. Nick Gordon - SS/2B - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings

Gordon was the Twins first-round pick in 2014 out of high school. He has quickly moved up the ladder. He certainly struggled after he was promoted to Triple A where he was very young for the level. He continues to be a strong prospect with the potential to be a long-time big leaguer.

7. Stephen Gonsalves - LH SP - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings/Minnesota Twins

Gonsalves struggled in his big league debut, but he continues to be a top prospect with a big league future. He again put up strong Triple-A numbers in 2018 despite struggling with his control through most of the season.

8. Lewis Thorpe - LH SP - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings

In his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, Thorpe pitched well for Chattanooga. He regained his velocity and was able to miss a lot of bats. He pitched in the Futures Game. Late in the year, he moved up to Rochester where he continued to pitch well.

9. Brent Rooker - OF/1B - Chattanooga Lookouts

Rooker continued to be pushed aggressively and spent the full season in Chattanooga. He struggled early in the year, particularly with contact, but in June and July, he crushed Southern League pitchers. He hit 32 doubles and 22 home runs.

10. Jhoan Duran - RH SP - Kane County Cougars/Cedar Rapids Kernels

Duran came to the Twins from Arizona in the Eduardo Escobar trade. In his Kernels/Twins debut, he threw seven no-hit innings. He continued to pitch well. He has good size (6-5) and throws hard. He had 115 strikeouts in 100 2/3 innings of Low A ball in 2018.


11. Gilberto Celestino - OF - Tri City Valleycats/Corpus Christi Hooks/Elizabethton Twins
12. Akil Baddoo - OF - Cedar Rapids Kernels
13. Blayne Enlow - RH SP - Cedar Rapids Kernels
14. Jorge Alcala - RH SP - Buies Creek Astros/Corpus Christi Hooks/Chattanooga Lookouts
15. Zack Littell - RH SP - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings/Minnesota Twins

16. LaMonte Wade - OF - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings
17. Ryan Jeffers - C - UNC-Wilmington/Elizabethton Twins/Cedar Rapids Kernels
18. Tyler Wells - RH SP - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts
19. Jose Miranda - 2B/3B - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle
20. Kohl Stewart - RH SP - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings/Minnesota Twins


21. Travis Blankenhorn - 2B/3B - Ft. Myers Miracle
22. Yunior Severino - 2B - Elizabeththon Twins
23. Luis Arraez - 2B - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts
24. Gabriel Maciel - OF - Kane County Cougars/Cedar Rapids Kernels
25. Luke Raley - OF/1B - Tulsa Drillers/Chattanooga Lookouts

26. Griffin Jax - RH SP - Ft. Myers Miracle
27. Edwar Colina - RH SP - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle
28. Jordan Balazovic - RH SP - Cedar Rapids Kernels
29. Ben Rortvedt - C - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle
30. Jacob Pearson - OF - Cedar Rapids Kernels

The Next Ten: Lewin Diaz, Charles Mack, Chase De Jong, DaShawn Keirsey, Prelander Berroa, Andrew Bechtold, Landon Leach, Luis Rijo, Zander Wiel.


There you have it... My current Top 30. Who do I have too high? Who is ranked too low? Who is missing from this list? Let's spend some time talking Twins prospects. Discuss the above, but also feel free to ask me any questions you would like.

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65 Comments

 

I think he was in the 40s somewhere. He is another example of the strong depth in the organization. But, he was an 11th round pick this year. Would that mean that I should almost have the 8-10 players drafted ahead of him ahead of him? He got off to a great pro debut,, but I always try to temper that just a little. 

 

    • SF Twins Fan likes this

 

I think he was in the 40s somewhere. He is another example of the strong depth in the organization. But, he was an 11th round pick this year. Would that mean that I should almost have the 8-10 players drafted ahead of him ahead of him? He got off to a great pro debut,, but I always try to temper that just a little. 

 

    • SF Twins Fan likes this

I like this list. 6-9 are really all interchangeable but this is probably the order I would go as well.

 

My changes would be to flip Baddoo and Celestino. I probably also would move acala up 2 spots, Jeffers up a couple, and Severino up about 6.

 

I love the backend talent of this list. Colina, Arraez, Balazovic and the sleeper that is left off the whole list is Anthony Escobar. A 1.10 ERA with 53K's in 57 innings really intrigues me.

    • birdwatcher, caninatl04, rdehring and 1 other like this

 

I like this list. 6-9 are really all interchangeable but this is probably the order I would go as well.

 

My changes would be to flip Baddoo and Celestino. I probably also would move acala up 2 spots, Jeffers up a couple, and Severino up about 6.

 

I love the backend talent of this list. Colina, Arraez, Balazovic and the sleeper that is left off the whole list is Anthony Escobar. A 1.10 ERA with 53K's in 57 innings really intrigues me.

Can I second your comment on Escobar, whom Seth doesn't consider eligible for this exercise.I really hope he is in Florida next summer so we can begin to learn what he has to put up those numbers.

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Buddy Holly
Nov 06 2018 04:00 PM

I personally think Gonsalvesis the most over rated player on this site. Watching him at the end of the season, I saw a soft tossing Lefty that had no control. He will need to develop control and vary the speed of his pitches to make it at the Major league level. If he starts getting the ball over the plate, he may be able to be effective in the weak Central division for now. He may be able to develop into a 4 or 5 starter with time but, I think Khol Stewart is better suited to make it in the majors. Gonsalves is a trade candidate before he is exposed more, it may already be to late. I would rate him in the 30's, I know that's may be cruel but he needs to prove to me he is more than a AAAA player. 

    • Mike Sixel and Halsey Hall like this
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nicksaviking
Nov 06 2018 04:13 PM

 

I don't think that would be a good thing...

 

Only if you look at it wrong. No one says no to having both Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter in the system.

    • Seth Stohs, Twins33, SgtSchmidt11 and 1 other like this

Having seen Littell and Stewart, I think you have to put Littell behind Stewart. Wade and Jeffers should be near Baddoo in some order. Celestino and Alcala aren't top 15 guys for me right now. Rortvedt is easy top 20. He will be in the majors. Jax is too high but prospects 25-40 are probably interchangeable to a degree. 

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tarheeltwinsfan
Nov 06 2018 04:49 PM

 

I don't think that would be a good thing...

It could be good if if Lewis and Kirilloff are on the Twins roster.

    • Twins33 and DannySD like this

Good list. I'd probably make some changes, but they players I'd move around are pretty bunched up.

 

I just want Kiriloff to start in AA, same with Lewis. Let's see what they have, and move them aggressively like other prospects have been across the league.

 

I agree with the poster above that Gonsalves is over rated, and is more likely a stacking/RP type than a starter. 

    • PseudoSABR, Ben Noble and caninatl04 like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Nov 06 2018 04:53 PM

I believe this list will provide some great minor league baseball next year. I want to see the Pensacola stadium. It looks beautiful in a picture I saw...water on the background. Beautiful stadium, Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, Brusdar G., Rortvedt, Jose Miranda, et. al., and the Gulf Coast in the spring.Sounds like a fun road trip (10 hours from where I live in NC). Are any of the TD contributors familiar with thePensacola stadium?

    • caninatl04 likes this

Those are always fun. I still haven't thought about mine (always waiting until the next year in case of trades, cuts etc) but I will definitely have Arraez much higher that this, and so will Jeffers and Wells.  

 

Gordon is too high, so is Gonzalves.As a matter of fact, when it mattered, Stewart out-pitched Gonsalves and showed much more poise as a major leaguer.And they are the same age. I hope both Gordon and Gonsalves are traded while still have some value...

 

Misael Urbina has to be on that list, probably in the top 10 as well...

    • Tomj14 and caninatl04 like this

Got thinking after reading the above.Has anyone heard if there was serious damage to the ballpark in Pensacola?It is right on the water near the point where the hurricane came on shore.

 

Good list. I'd probably make some changes, but they players I'd move around are pretty bunched up.

 

I just want Kiriloff to start in AA, same with Lewis. Let's see what they have, and move them aggressively like other prospects have been across the league.

 

I agree with the poster above that Gonsalves is over rated, and is more likely a stacking/RP type than a starter. 

 

I'll be surprised if Lewis moves up to AA at the start of the season. I would expect him to spend a month or two in Ft. Myers since he moved up there later. But, it's possible. No doubt that Kirilloff will start in Pensacola. 

    • dbminn, SF Twins Fan and MN_ExPat like this

 

Those are always fun. I still haven't thought about mine (always waiting until the next year in case of trades, cuts etc) but I will definitely have Arraez much higher that this, and so will Jeffers and Wells.  

 

Gordon is too high, so is Gonzalves.As a matter of fact, when it mattered, Stewart out-pitched Gonsalves and showed much more poise as a major leaguer.And they are the same age. I hope both Gordon and Gonsalves are traded while still have some value...

 

Misael Urbina has to be on that list, probably in the top 10 as well...

 

I can't argue against Arraez, Jeffers or Wells.

Stewart and Gonsalves both pitched better than Berrios did in his first MLB partial season, so I'm not ready to make too much about 24-36 innings. 

We're going back and forth on whether or not to include Urbina in the prospect handbook.

    • birdwatcher, Ben Noble, howieramone2 and 3 others like this

 

Got thinking after reading the above.Has anyone heard if there was serious damage to the ballpark in Pensacola?It is right on the water near the point where the hurricane came on shore.

 

I've had a chat with someone from the Blue Wahoos recently and nothing was mentioned. We'll cover them more in the near future.

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this
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Tom Froemming
Nov 06 2018 08:21 PM

Just for fun, here are some career numbers. Leader among the group in bold ...

 

MLB

Gonsalves 6.57 ERA, 2.03 WHIP, 0.73 K:BB in 24.2 IP

Littell 6.20 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, 1.27 K:BB in 20.1 IP

Stewart 3.68 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 1.33 K:BB in 36.2 IP

 

AAA

Gonsalves 3.44 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 1.86 K:BB in 123 IP

Thorpe 3.32 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 4.33 K:BB in 21.2 IP

Littell 3.57 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 2.45 K:BB in 106 IP

Stewart 4.34 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 2.69 K:BB in 45.2 IP

 

AA

Gonsalves 2.23 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 3.00 K:BB in 182 IP

Thorpe 3.71 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 4.31 K:BB in 114 IP

Littell 3.15 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 3.55 K:BB in 108.2 IP

Stewart 3.87 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 1.55 K:BB in 237 IP

 

Minors (all levels)

Gonsalves 2.46 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 2.66 K:BB in 599 IP

Thorpe 3.18 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 3.53 K:BB in 328.1 IP

Littell 3.36 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 3.41 K:BB in 667.1 IP

Stewart 3.36 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 1.89 K:BB in 570.2 IP

    • KGB, tarheeltwinsfan, SF Twins Fan and 3 others like this

 

Just for fun, here are some career numbers. Leader among the group in bold ...

 

MLB

Gonsalves 6.57 ERA, 2.03 WHIP, 0.73 K:BB in 24.2 IP

Littell 6.20 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, 1.27 K:BB in 20.1 IP

Stewart 3.68 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 1.33 K:BB in 36.2 IP

 

AAA

Gonsalves 3.44 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 1.86 K:BB in 123 IP

Thorpe 3.32 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 4.33 K:BB in 21.2 IP

Littell 3.57 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 2.45 K:BB in 106 IP

Stewart 4.34 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 2.69 K:BB in 45.2 IP

 

AA

Gonsalves 2.23 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 3.00 K:BB in 182 IP

Thorpe 3.71 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 4.31 K:BB in 114 IP

Littell 3.15 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 3.55 K:BB in 108.2 IP

Stewart 3.87 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 1.55 K:BB in 237 IP

 

Minors (all levels)

Gonsalves 2.46 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 2.66 K:BB in 599 IP

Thorpe 3.18 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 3.53 K:BB in 328.1 IP

Littell 3.36 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 3.41 K:BB in 667.1 IP

Stewart 3.36 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 1.89 K:BB in 570.2 IP

 

 

I'd argue that MLB numbers are a much better indicator for potential future MLB performance (which is what prospects should be ranked accordingly) than any minor league numbers.

 

On the other hand, once in the show, one is not a prospect in my book, since he made it ;)

 

    • Mike Sixel likes this
Think Stewart and Arraez are too low and Gonsalves is way too high. Great list.
    • caninatl04 likes this
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clutterheart
Nov 07 2018 06:07 AM
Looking through the list:

Twins are finally building some depth at catcher. Hope Jeffers can stick there.

3B remains this systems biggest weakness - especially since Blankenhorn isn't likley to stick.

Miranda, Betchold & Baddoo didnt have the breakout seasons i thought they would. Charles Mack got paid way over slot but he didnt get going. I thought he had a chance to start out strong.

Why isn't Urbina on this list? Id slide him in at 10.
    • caninatl04 likes this
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SgtSchmidt11
Nov 07 2018 07:36 AM

 

Only if you look at it wrong. No one says no to having both Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter in the system.

I see what you're saying, but irregardless of the season Javier has, if Royce or Kirolloff keep it up, I don't see them getting dethroned.

 

I also don't see them losing their Rookie eligibility this year either, barring dropoffs in production from Kepler or Rosario (or injuries to the same).

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ChrisKnutson
Nov 07 2018 07:50 AM

Looking through the list:
Twins are finally building some depth at catcher. Hope Jeffers can stick there.
3B remains this systems biggest weakness - especially since Blankenhorn isn't likley to stick.
Miranda, Betchold & Baddoo didnt have the breakout seasons i thought they would. Charles Mack got paid way over slot but he didnt get going. I thought he had a chance to start out strong.
Why isn't Urbina on this list? Id slide him in at 10.


Besides the lack of depth at 3B, the system is otherwise looking really good, but with Sano’s health issues being the way they are, I gotta believe the organization is thinking about drafting a college 3B in the early rounds of next year’s draft.
    • howieramone2 and caninatl04 like this

 

Looking through the list:

Twins are finally building some depth at catcher. Hope Jeffers can stick there.

3B remains this systems biggest weakness - especially since Blankenhorn isn't likley to stick.

Miranda, Betchold & Baddoo didnt have the breakout seasons i thought they would. Charles Mack got paid way over slot but he didnt get going. I thought he had a chance to start out strong.

Why isn't Urbina on this list? Id slide him in at 10.

 

Miranda was terrific and busted out as a prospect, at least for me, in 2018. After a slow start in CR, he took off. He's a legit 3B prospect in my opinion. Bechtold's season was disappointing and ended with a concussion, but I wouldn't give up on him either. Baddoo didn't' have the batting average, but everything else, across the board, was a strong step for his first full season. Mack is a high school kid coming to pro ball, making anything out of his debut is probably not too important. 

 

We're still deciding on whether or not to include Urbina in the prospect handbook. But generally, ,we only include players in the GCL and up. Urbina would probably be Top 10 though, yes. 

    • caninatl04 likes this

 

Besides the lack of depth at 3B, the system is otherwise looking really good, but with Sano’s health issues being the way they are, I gotta believe the organization is thinking about drafting a college 3B in the early rounds of next year’s draft.

 

Unless it's'a Nick Senzel type, I'd much rather that they take shortstops and move them to third base if or when needed. 

    • howieramone2, caninatl04 and DannySD like this

Came across this MLB stat line of some "Soft Tossing" Lefty and it reminded me that we we should all temper our expectations some from the SSS (both good and bad/poor).  

 

- 5.54 ERA / 50.1 IP / 55 H / 34 R / 5 HR / 33 BB / 20 SO / 5.51 FIP / 1.748 WHIP

 

Not the best debut by any stretch. The player's name... a certain HOF'r by the name of... Tom Glavine. Who we all know went on to have an "meh" career ;).

 

Note: I'm not saying the Gonsalves will be a HOF type player, or even have a lengthy career for that matter (Yes, his debut was not pretty). However, when you break down his appearances, he did do some things well and had some good moments (baby steps, not everybody can be Blake Snell or Walker Buehler). This gives him something to work on going into ST.  

 

So for now, I'd keep him at least in the Top 15 personally. That may change, but I'm willing to give him a bit of a longer leash based on his potential.

    • Han Joelo, birdwatcher, howieramone2 and 1 other like this

 

Just for fun, here are some career numbers. Leader among the group in bold ...

 

MLB

Gonsalves 6.57 ERA, 2.03 WHIP, 0.73 K:BB in 24.2 IP

Littell 6.20 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, 1.27 K:BB in 20.1 IP

Stewart 3.68 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 1.33 K:BB in 36.2 IP

 

AAA

Gonsalves 3.44 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 1.86 K:BB in 123 IP

Thorpe 3.32 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 4.33 K:BB in 21.2 IP

Littell 3.57 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 2.45 K:BB in 106 IP

Stewart 4.34 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 2.69 K:BB in 45.2 IP

 

AA

Gonsalves 2.23 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 3.00 K:BB in 182 IP

Thorpe 3.71 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 4.31 K:BB in 114 IP

Littell 3.15 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 3.55 K:BB in 108.2 IP

Stewart 3.87 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 1.55 K:BB in 237 IP

 

Minors (all levels)

Gonsalves 2.46 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 2.66 K:BB in 599 IP

Thorpe 3.18 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 3.53 K:BB in 328.1 IP

Littell 3.36 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 3.41 K:BB in 667.1 IP

Stewart 3.36 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 1.89 K:BB in 570.2 IP

Just curious-- what would Berrios's numbers look like both in the minors and then after, say, 20-30 MLB innings.


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