Twins Can Begin Cashing in on Prospects
Image courtesy of © Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsWhen looking at the World Series participants you’ll quickly be told how the Houston Astros went out and got Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke. Max Scherzer was bought by the Washington Nationals, as was Patrick Corbin. These are realities, and they were made possible because of prospect development and timely execution. Houston parted with stellar talent for Verlander and Greinke, while Washington spent because of graduated excellence currently at the highest level. In summary, both these organizations are playing in the ultimate games during October because of how they developed and handled prospects.
For the Minnesota Twins coming off a 101-win season, it will be how they handle prospects that allow the next step to be taken. It’s a tough ask for Rocco Baldelli to start multiple rookies out of the gate but utilizing expendable assets to raise the overall talent pool while sprinkling in proven performers is a blueprint that Derek Falvey needs to get right.
Recently I opined that Eddie Rosario may be the Twins greatest expendable big-league asset. In that scenario the front office will need to decide if someone like Trevor Larnach or Alex Kirilloff is immediately ready to step in to a major league starting lineup. Because of the ceilings those two possess, how are players like Brent Rooker, Zander Wiel, and Luke Raley handled?
Up the middle Royce Lewis is really the only untouchable talent that the Twins have. Does Nick Gordon appeal to the organization as the next mid-season call-up or is he a nice bit of trade fodder after a strong second season at the Triple-A level? It appears that Minnesota has all but one or two positions etched in stone for the foreseeable future so turning some of the strengths on the farm into immediate opportunity is a worthy plan of action.
Over the winter Falvey and Thad Levine are going to be focused on pitching acquisitions. If they can parlay both dollars and talent into an arm or two, there’s a good chance the opportunity will again present itself at the deadline. Moving someone like Wander Javier or Jhoan Duran isn’t the most exciting development when looking into the future, but we’ve entered a period where the Twins window is in the here and now.
With baseball being a long-play sport in terms of development it’s not fair to view prospects as single-track assets. Developing a strong farm system is not just about graduating talent to the big-league club. Churning out future assets can be viewed as churning out trade capital as well, and that’s where Minnesota currently finds themselves striking it rich.
We don’t yet know who is on the move, who will be the next rookie to make an impact, or what it costs to generate the next ace. All those things are on the front office to figure out though, and they are more equipped to do so than ever before.
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