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Article: Game Thread: Twins @ Rays, 4/20@6:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:43 AM
Things will get back to normal tonight when the Twins open up a 3-game series in Tampa. By normal, I mean just a normal series in a norma...
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Buxton to 10-Game DL for Migraines

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:36 AM
Per Fox Sports:    "Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to migranes, the tea...
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Article: Puerto Rican Dream

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:25 AM
They say you should write your dreams down right when you wake up in order to remember them clearly. After returning from a dreamlike day...
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5th Starter

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:23 AM
Was it Mejia and not Hughes in town to start today? He was scheduled for Rochester who went with a bullpen game today instead.
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Nick Gordon - 2018

Adopt A Prospect 2018 Today, 06:27 AM
  Nick Gordon is a 22-year old lefty-hitting shortstop drafted fifth overall in the first round of the 2014 June amateur draft out...
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Three Prospects To Watch In 2018

If you haven’t heard yet, the 2018 version of the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook is now available. It’s hard not to get overwhelmed when we are compiling over 160 profiles on almost every player in the Twins farms system. That being said, it fun to pick out players to focus on for the up-coming season.

Some players might be coming back from injury. Some players might be new to the organization. Here are three players I will be watching in 2018 with a little background on what I think they can accomplish in the coming year.
Image courtesy of Linwood Ferguson-Captive Photons
Brusdar Graterol, RHP
Graterol has seen a bumpy start to his professional career. As a 16-year old in 2015, he made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League. He was limited to four starts and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. It cost him the rest of 2015 and all of 2016. Last season, he returned to action in the GCL and the Appy League, where he was still over 2.5 years younger than the competition. In the GCL, he posted a 1.40 ERA and a 0.72 WHIP while averaging 9.8 K/9. With the E-Twins, he saw increases to both his ERA (3.92) and WHIP (1.21). However, he was Elizabethton’s youngest pitcher this season and his K/9 increased to 10.5.

Looking ahead to 2018, it’s not hard to imagine that Graterol could make appearances with Cedar Rapids before he turns 20 in late August. His fastball can consistently hit in the high 90’s and he has shown the ability to rear back and hit triple digits. If he can continue to develop his secondary pitches, his stock could continue to rise in 2018.

Jacob Pearson, OF
Minnesota acquired Pearson this off-season in a deal that sent international bonus money to the Los Angeles Angels. Pearson was taken by the Angels in the third round of the 2017 MLB Draft. He signed for $1 million, an over-slot deal, to keep him from committing to LSU. Pearson made his professional debut in the Arizona Rookie League and saw some ups and downs. Over 155 at-bats, he hit .226/.302/.284 with eight extra-base hits and five steals in 40 games. He ended the year with hits in eight of his final ten games including a .317 OBP. All but 30 of his plate appearances came against older pitchers so there are still some adjustments to be made as a pro.

As a sophomore in high school, Pearson had labrum surgery on his throwing shoulder. This currently means his arm is below average but he could strengthen it as he works through the Twins system. Baseball America touted Pearson’s quiet confidence and work ethic in an article this past November. He could eventually be a 20-20 type of player. He will start 2018 in extended spring training but he could make his way to Cedar Rapids before season’s end.

Lewis Thorpe, LHP
Thorpe burst on the scene as a 17-year old in the GCL back in 2013. He dominated hitters with a 2.05 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP, and 64 strikeouts in 44.0 innings. Baseball Prospectus even included him in their top-101 prospects leading into 2014 and 2015. Thorpe did not pitch in 2015 and 2016 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery and then from mononucleosis. He’d return in 2017 with the Miracle where he posted a 2.69 ERA while striking out nearly 10 batters per nine. In late August, he made a spot start with the Lookouts and picked up the victory. He allowed four runs, struck out seven and pitched through the sixth frame. It was a big year back for Mr. Thorpe.

Since he is multiple years removed from TJ surgery, 2018 could end up being an important year in Thorpe’s development. He will likely pitch the entire year in Chattanooga but he will still be roughly two years younger than the competition. With an arsenal that includes three pitches, he has the opportunity to prove he should be reconsidered as one of the best pitching prospects in the Twins system.

What minor league players will you be focused on during the coming season? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

Make sure to pick up a copy of the 2018 Twins Prospect Handbook if you'd like to identify your own prospects to follow in the Twins farm system.

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45 Comments

I'll be following LaMonte Wade per usual... I'm a big fan of his plate discipline and hope he makes it to AAA.

Akil Baddoo as well. I think he'll be a top 100 prospect by midseason, and everyone will be jumping on the bandwagon soon.
    • birdwatcher, gunnarthor, Mike Frasier Law and 7 others like this

I'll be following just about everyone in Cedar Rapids.There is an abundance of talent at that level.I am most interested in Javier, Kirillof and Lewis.All have very high upside and full season ball should tell us a lot how quickly they can move through the system.

    • birdwatcher, beckmt, Deduno Abides and 2 others like this

I'll be following, from afar, the DSL Twins Nunez, Encarnacion and Santana.There are also two catchers:De la Cruz and Pimentel.

 

Yes, all the caveats-- they're 18 y.o., etc.

    • birdwatcher likes this
Question: what are Graterol's prospective secondary offerings?

I'll be watching Brent Rooker!

    • mikelink45 and Respy like this
Just about every pitcher drafted this year (Enlow, Leach, Barns, Sammons). We really need to get a good class of SPs moving through the system.
    • mikelink45, Dman, caninatl04 and 1 other like this

I'll be following Luis Arraez. Hope he finds the stroke he had before going down with a knee injury.

    • Twins33, beckmt, Oldgoat_MN and 5 others like this

Luis Arraez killed A level pitching in the Midwest League in 2016 and continued the slaughter during winter ball in Venezuala before tearing his ACL at the start of last year. Hope he bounces back and murders Florida State League pitching in 2018!

    • bluechipper, Deduno Abides and caninatl04 like this
Poppin and beeker
    • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this
Love that trio, although still learning about Pearson. How about Miranda and I'm forgetting--Ricky something? MI?

 

I'll be following LaMonte Wade per usual... I'm a big fan of his plate discipline and hope he makes it to AAA.

Akil Baddoo as well. I think he'll be a top 100 prospect by midseason, and everyone will be jumping on the bandwagon soon.

I think of a list like this as 'players that might make the biggest leap in prospect ranking', which obviously weights towards players transitioning into full season ball and from A to AA. Therefore, I thought Cody's list was perfect... and then the first post after mentions Baddoo! He will be my #1, even though the likelihood of him reaching his ceiling is certainly lower than Thorpe.

    • birdwatcher, Vanimal46, gagu and 1 other like this

I'm watching Thorpe,Littell, Gonsalves (assuming he doesn't make the MLB team this year) and Rooker. 

    • DocBauer likes this

I began following Thorpe when he was pitching winter ball back home in Australia.I think it was the winter of 2013, but could have been the following year.He was one of the top two pitchers in the league, facing teams with a mix of single A players to a few who had a cup of coffee.His numbers were obscene.Will continue following him this year with the expectation that he moves up to Rochester late in the year.Expect the reason he won't get a September call up is that he will be out of innings after not pitching in 2015-2016.

 

The other player I want to see fly like an eagle thru the system is Enlow.Can't win without top level pitching.The only way we are going to get a deep rotation is thru the draft and development.

 

Would you like to be a Twins scout in Louisiana?Enlow, Bechtold and Pearson all turned pro rather than honor their commitment to LSU last year.Expect there is a bounty on Twins scouts in Baton Rouge.

    • birdwatcher, Oldgoat_MN, Deduno Abides and 1 other like this

 

I'll be following just about everyone in Cedar Rapids.There is an abundance of talent at that level.I am most interested in Javier, Kirillof and Lewis.All have very high upside and full season ball should tell us a lot how quickly they can move through the system.

 

I'm rubing out here, but the team that won the Appy League last year, will now have the help of Lewis for the start of the season (probably).How they juggle Javier and him is on young Gardy, but the Kernels team this year could rival the 2013 year when they had Kepler, Polanco, Walker, Buxton, Berrios, Melotakis, etc.Tons of talent here for little Gardy.

 

My three would be Thorpe, Kirillof, and Baddoo

    • gunnarthor, Dman and dbminn like this

That picture (especially the thumbnail size) looks a lot like Glen Perkins.

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theBOMisthebomb
Jan 04 2018 09:00 AM
What is the future for J.T. Chargois? The high hopes entering 2017 have dimmed to now there is no buzz. I hope he can get back on track in 2018 and contribute in the Twins bullpen.
    • Halsey Hall and dbminn like this

There's a lot to be excited about in our system next year. To name three that haven't come up as much-

 

Tyler Jay - can he make the pen out of ST? Will this finally be the year our system gives us a true bullpen weapon?

Jose Miranda - one of the other second round picks in 2016. Had a really nice season in Elizabethon and looks like he's growing into the power predictions

Andrew Bechtold - I think he's a big time sleeper for us and I'm really excited to see how the Twins push him, since he'll be 22 next year.

    • birdwatcher and Dman like this
Photo
birdwatcher
Jan 04 2018 09:48 AM

I think it's interesting that this is the 18th post and 28 names have been mentioned, but my mention of Fernando Romero makes it his first.

 

I have no idea whether we should be more or less optimistic about him. Romero will be one of the more interesting prospects for me, along with Tyler Jay and Brent Rooker. That's because each of them could succeed spectacularly, and each of them might ultimately be disappointing, but if they reach their ceilings, this will be a different and decidedly better team, as early as this season.

    • gunnarthor and rdehring like this
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birdwatcher
Jan 04 2018 09:56 AM

I think it's interesting as well that no one seems to be championing Nick Gordon, and he might be talented enough to crack the lineup some time in 2018.

 

As someone who has had the daily Minor League scoreboard bookmarked in my iPhone for 5+ years, I have to say, last year was the year i used it the least. 2-3 years ago I was constantly checking out all of our prime prospects. And it seemed like there were guys at every level. And a bunch of position players that I wanted to track daily.

 

Last year (especially before the draft) was pretty boring. The pool had diminished, a lot of the guys worth keeping track of were hurt, many were relievers with inconsistent schedules, and most of the remaining guys were starting pitchers that only needed to be checked in on once a week.

 

I'm looking forward to a new year of checking the MiLB Twins scoreboard multiple times per day.

    • birdwatcher and caninatl04 like this
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ashburyjohn
Jan 04 2018 11:34 AM

I'm going to watch three longshot lefthanders, Jovani Moran, Bryan Sammons, and Ryley Widell. They all put up good strikeout numbers at Elizabethton in 2017, after being picked in the 7th and 8th rounds in the last several drafts, and lord knows we could use someone like these guys to break out and become legit prospects. Widell walked too many last year, but hopefully that's just a matter of harnessing his stuff.

    • birdwatcher, beckmt, Dman and 2 others like this
Palacios. Or any of the shortstops.
    • dbminn likes this
Rooker, Enlow, Thorpe...all 3 will be fast risers. Rooker and Thorpe will debut in 2019. Enlow maybe 2021. I do believe Rooker has about a 5% chance of getting a cup of joe in September if he mashes in AA this year. Can't wait to see that kid play!
    • mikelink45 and DocBauer like this

 

Rooker, Enlow, Thorpe...all 3 will be fast risers. Rooker and Thorpe will debut in 2019. Enlow maybe 2021. I do believe Rooker has about a 5% chance of getting a cup of joe in September if he mashes in AA this year. Can't wait to see that kid play!

Blyleven and his curve ball made his debut as an 18 year old.OK, that was a different time.But is it unreasonable to believe that Enlow could rocket thru the system next year all the way to AA.He could then begin 2019 in AA before moving up to AAA and the Twins in August, 2019.I can dream, can't I?

    • birdwatcher, beckmt, TNTwinsFan and 3 others like this

I love this addition to the most valuable assets.I have no real basis for making a choice here.I look at the picture of Graterol (I assume that is him) and he looks a lot older than the years listed.Is that accurate?

 

I think Lewis and Rooker caught my attention the most this last year and I am like others in wanting to see some pitchers come out of our minor league system.I still hope Gonsalves is in the rotation this year. 


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