Twins Daily 2018 Top Prospects: #7 Brent Rooker
Age: 23 (DOB: 11/1/1994)
2017 Stats (Rookie): .281/.364/.566 (.930), 11-2B, 18-HR
2017 Ranking: NA
National Top 100 Rankings
BA: 92 | MLB: NA | ESPN: NA | BP: NA
What’s To Like?
As Twins scouting director Sean Johnson told Fox Sports North after the draft, “We like his power potential, obviously… We thought he had one of the best bats left on the board, and we’re glad we got him.
After that historic SEC season, the Twins sent Rooker to Elizabethton for about a month just to get back into the baseball-playing groove. It didn’t take long. In 22 games in the Appy League, he hit .282/.364/.588 (.952) with five doubles and seven home runs. As promised, he was quickly promoted to Ft. Myers. Again, it didn’t take him long to adjust to the league. In 40 games with the Miracle, he hit .280/.364/.552 (.917) with six doubles and 11 home runs. The 11 home runs were one more than Todd Walker hit in 46 games for the Miracle during his draft season of 1994. His 18 combined home runs was the most by a Twins minor leaguer in his draft season since Paul Russo hit 22 for Elizabethton in 1990.
Not only does he have power, but he’s also got a great approach and is willing to take his walks. With Elizabethton, he walked in 11.1% of his plate appearances. After moving up to Ft. Myers, he still walked 9.9% of the time.
What’s Left To Work On?
While Rooker is a guy who could fly through the minor leagues because of his bat, that doesn’t mean he’s a finished product. There are some question marks.
Offensively, he’ll likely have to make some strides in terms of contact. In his 162 plate appearances, he struck out 29.0% of the time. That percentage is fine when providing the kind of power that Rooker is capable of, but it’s something that should be watched as he continues to move up that ladder.
Defensively, he played in the corner outfield spots at Mississippi State as a sophomore, and then spent time at first base. Defense isn’t going to be his strong suit, but he can provide adequate defense at both spots. He’ll continue to work to improve at both spots to be able to be ready when he’s needed.
Considering he was just drafted last June, it’s strange to think that he could appear in a big league uniform in 2018. He’s played just 40 games in Ft. Myers, so it’s possible that he could start the season in the Florida State League. But don’t be surprised if he is in Chattanooga early in the season. And, once a player finds success at AA, it’s about opportunity. If not in 2018, he is a candidate to be in the big leagues early in 2019.
The Twins struggled against left-handed pitching at times in 2017. Throughout the offseason, we have heard that the Twins needed a right-handed power bat. While it won’t likely be in the first half of 2018, at some point in the near future, Rooker will be able to help fill that void. At some point in the not-too-distant future, Rooker could join the likes of Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton as right-handed power bats.
TD Top Prospects: 16-20
TD Top Prospects: 11-15
TD Top Prospect: #10 Akil Baddoo
TD Top Prospect: #9 Brusdar Graterol
TD Top Prospects: #8 Blayne Enlow
TD Top Prospects: #7 Brent Rooker
TD Top Prospects: #6 (Coming Soon!)
- Cory Engelhardt, howieramone2, nclahammer and 2 others like this