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Joe West wins lawsuit against Lo Duca

Other Baseball Today, 10:42 AM
https://www.msn.com/...artan-dhp-feeds   I was a bit surprised he won this but good for him, I guess.
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Ex Twins in 2021: Where Are They Now?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:47 AM
One of my favorite annual threads on the site. Let’s stay updated on ex-Twins in the news... This is a start of a list, and feel free to...
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Twins Moving Up Power Rankings (Week of April 11)

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:38 AM
MLB.com published their updated power rankings Sunday. The moved the Twins up from sixth to fourth. The Athletic (subscription required)...
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The 5 Rule Draft

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 08:08 AM
This year's Rule 5 draft we lost Akil Baddo and Tyler Wells. So I thought I'd check to see how they were doing. 1st I checked on Baddo, h...
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New Target field policy...no bags of any kind

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:00 AM
Thankfully we went before gates opened and were warned by a friendly security guy in advance that this year there are no bags of any kind...
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Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: 11-15

As we work toward the Top 10, the next batch of prospects in our countdown features four outfielders, with varying skill sets and arrival timelines, as well as one of the organization's best young arms.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (Graphic by Brock Beauchamp)
15. Cole Sands, RHP
Age: 23 (DOB: 7/17/1997)
2019 Stats (A/AA): 97.1 IP, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 10.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9
ETA: 2022
2020 Ranking: 19

The lack of a minor-league season in 2020 hurt many prospects, and Sands is certainly among them. He was just beginning to ramp up his workload – from 75 ⅓ innings during his final year at Florida State to 97 ⅓ in his first year with the Twins – and then it all got shut down. Now, the former fifth-round draft pick will try to pick up where he left off.

Prior to the pandemic, he had quite a bit of momentum going. Sands was extremely impressive during his first professional season in 2019, posting a 2.68 ERA along with a brilliant 108-to-19 K/BB over 18 starts. He started out at Low-A and ended in Double-A. Solidly built at 6-foot-3 and 215 lbs, Sands brings a fastball in the mid-90s and his changeup is rated by Baseball America as the best in the Twins system.



The mission for Sands in 2021 is to rebuild his workload and get back on track toward a full starter's regimen, while also translating his early success into the high minors. It's a tall task, but all signs suggest the right-hander is up to it. He's a sleeper candidate to debut in the majors this year.

14. Misael Urbina, OF
Age: 18 (DOB: 4/26/02)
2019 Stats (Rookie): 217 PA, .279/.382/.443 , 2 HR, 26 RBI
ETA: 2024
2020 Ranking: 17

Urbina was considered one of the best international prospects available in 2018 when the Twins landed him with a $2.75 million signing bonus. The toolsy outfielder arrived with an exceptional pro debut the following year, slashing .279/.382/.443 over 50 games in the Dominican Summer League. In 217 plate appearances, Urbina showed excellent plate discipline (23 walks, 14 strikeouts), hit for power (21 extra-base hits), and flashed standout speed (19 steals and five triples). He also played a very sharp center field defensively.



The Twins signed Urbina as a scrawny 16-year-old, and now he's going to be challenged to grow up in a hurry. He's still young, but turns 19 in April and hasn't been exposed to a full-season league. That'll happen now. If the uber-athletic teenager can come anywhere close to replicating his 2019 performance as he presumably graduates to A-ball, he'll climb these rankings quickly.

13. Matt Wallner, OF
Age: 23 (DOB: 12/12/1997)
2019 Stats (Rookie/A): 291 PA, .258/.357/.452, 8 HR, 34 RBI
ETA: 2022
2020 Ranking: 14

Like Urbina, Wallner was a highly touted young outfielder who made an impressive debut in 2019, posting an .810 OPS in 65 games between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids after being selected in the supplemental first round of June's draft. But unlike Urbina, time is not on Wallner's side.

The Twins took him out of the University of Southern Mississippi with the 39th overall pick, valuing the Forest Lake native as a polished and potentially fast-moving collegiate lefty bat. Now, after the lost 2020 season, he's 23 and has played 12 games above rookie ball.

To put that in context: Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler were all established as full-time major-league outfielders at 23, and Alex Kirillloff will probably do so for himself this year at the same age. None of this is damning for Wallner, who faces the same need to make up for lost time as his minor-league peers, but it leaves him with little margin for error. If he struggles at all to acclimate in A-ball, he'll quickly fall behind the curve. Conversely, if he hits the ground running, Wallner is in line to move quickly as a relatively advanced hitter.



12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B
Age: 26 (DOB: 11/1/1994)
2020 Stats (MLB): 21 PA, .316/.381/.579, 1 HR, 5 RBI
ETA: 2021
2020 Ranking: 9

Rooker is different from almost every other prospect we'll rank on this list, in that he gave us some actual, concrete performance to evaluate in 2020. Granted, it was an absurdly small sample: 21 plate appearances with the Twins before a fractured forearm ended his season in mid-September. But what we saw mostly confirmed what we've come to believe about Rooker: he's a quality right-handed bat with real power potential, and ready for the big leagues.



The Twins called up Rooker in early September after Kepler went down with a groin strain. He wasted no time at the plate, collecting six hits including a home run and two doubles. "I don’t want to say he’s got Miguel Sanó power, but it’s that type of power to the big part of the field,” said hitting coach Edgar Varela of the slugger.

Rooker's defensive limitations were also on display during brief action in right and left field, and while he is ostensibly an option at first base, he hasn't played it since 2018.



With Nelson Cruz returning in 2021, Rooker doesn't have much of a path to regular playing time at the moment, but he's useful as a rotational righty bench bat. To become more than that, he'll need to cut down the strikeouts, prove his defensive viability, and above all, find an opportunity.

11. Gilberto Celestino, OF
Age: 21 (DOB: 2/13/99)
2019 Stats (A): 536 PA, .277/.349/.410, 10 HR, 54 RBI
ETA: 2023
2020 Ranking: 12

Celestino was on a roll before his 2020 season got wiped out.

After a slow start at Cedar Rapids in 2019, the outfielder pressed the pedal to the medal, slashing .357/.427/.550 in 43 games after July 1st and earning a late-season call-up to Ft. Myers. After the season, Minnesota added him to the 40-man roster, fearing that another club might try to snap him up in the Rule 5 draft. For a 20-year-old who had barely skimmed High-A, it was a rather extraordinary move, setting Celestino's options clock in motion at a very early stage.

Clearly, the Twins like this kid, and with good reason. He was seeing plenty of early action in spring training last year before the shutdown.



Celestino was on Minnesota's extended 60-man roster last summer, and got his work in daily at the alternate site in St. Paul, so his development was impeded less than many ohter prospects who weren't so lucky. That might give him a leg up heading into the coming season.



He's probably the best center fielder in the system after Byron Buxton, which is noteworthy given Buxton's proneness to injury. Although Celestino is not a candidate to be called up early in the 2021 season, he could quickly enter the conversation with a fast start and a major-league opening. The combination of speed and power, combined with improving discipline and strong defense in center, makes him a multi-dimensional prospect with big impact potential.

Although Ryan Pressly became an All-Star after the Twins traded him to Houston, it's still looking like the Twins – with young fireballer Jorge Alcala penned into their bullpen and Celestino fast on the rise – might end up getting the best of that 2018 trade.

Twins 2021 Top 20 Prospects
Honorable Mentions
20. Bailey Ober, RHP
19. José Miranda, 3B/2B
18. Alerick Soularie, UTIL
17. Ben Rortvedt, C
16. Edwar Colina, RHP

  • mikelink45, Dman, dbminn and 4 others like this

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17 Comments

I followed Sands fairly closely last year and am a huge fan.I feel like he just attacks guys and dares them to hit his stuff.I know he has had some minor injuries but golly gee whiz he is fun to follow.If he can continue that type of production at AA and AAA look out he could be crazy good.

 

Urbina is off to a great start and has the look of a star in the making but has a loooong way to go yet.Here's to hoping his bat continues to translate up the levels.

 

I know it is a small sample size at the end of a long season but call me somewhat unimpressed with Wallner.The K rate is concerning and I don't feel like he dominated the lower levels that a good bat should dominate.I'm not saying he is horrible just that I have my concerns.

 

Rooker surprised me.I thought he might be lost in the Majors but he was same hitter as he was at AAA.He has a big bat.I don't love him in the outfield but when Cruz is gone, if he ever is gone, Rooker seems like a decent replacement.

 

I love what Celestino did at the end of A ball but A ball is not the true test. High A is the true test.I am curious to see if can keep things going as he moves up.If he can wow what a find.He and Buxton can probably share time if it comes to that or they can move him all over the outfield and improve the defense.He has a way to go and I hope he makes it because he could give the team great depth.

 

There are some very good players in this mix it is just hard to say if they can pick up where they left off.

    • mikelink45, jrod23, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this

 

I know it is a small sample size at the end of a long season but call me somewhat unimpressed with Wallner.The K rate is concerning and I don't feel like he dominated the lower levels that a good bat should dominate.I'm not saying he is horrible just that I have my concerns.

 

I love what Celestino did at the end of A ball but A ball is not the true test. High A is the true test.I am curious to see if can keep things going as he moves up.If he can wow what a find.He and Buxton can probably share time if it comes to that or they can move him all over the outfield and improve the defense.He has a way to go and I hope he makes it because he could give the team great depth.

 

 

I'm not worried about Wallner. Yeah, he struggled late with his introduction to Low A, but like you said, that was after a long year. Pro debut. I'm not any more worried about him than I am about everyone having missed a full year. 

 

It'll be interesting to see what they do with Celestino. He could start in High-A since that's where he spent just a little time at the end of 2019. But if he does, it'll be back in Cedar Rapids, rather than in the Florida State League where it makes almost no sense to look at stats. He could also start in AA. He won't be in a time-share with Buxton, but if he gets off to a decent start and Buxton goes on a 10-Day IL (and they think it'll literally only be 10-12 days), Celestino could come up for theshort-term. He just needs a ton of at bats. 

    • mikelink45, Dman, dbminn and 2 others like this

Celestino spent last summer playing against AAA talent at alternate site . I don't know how he performed, but if he hit well, would that justify moving him up to AA or AAA to start the season. I am high on Celestino,. Sands peaks my interest also, agree he may make his MLB debut this year. Hope Rooker is healthy, anxious to see what he can do at MLB level this year.

    • Dman, rdehring and Heiny like this
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Doctor Gast
Feb 11 2021 06:21 AM
Sands and Urbina have a lot of potential but still have some development yet. Booker I see as a RH platoon in LF at the start of the season depending on how Broxton does. Celestino, I have a lot of hope in, even with that high leg kick.
    • Dman likes this

Rooker is a good player, who I don't see finding a home here, unless the Twins give up on Sano.More likely a trade piece to a club like the Pirates for a pitcher. (and only one of several pieces). 

That is an interesting list.It is fascinating to see Rooker ranked 12 when he has already been in MLB and looked great for his brief time.I hope he will at least be on the Bench and get some at bats this year - if nothing else it raises his trade value.

    • rdehring and Heiny like this

Can Wallner play an adequate or better outfield?

When you guys at TD are done with this exercise, it would be interesting for you to go back and compare this year's ranking with those of recent years. I gotta believe that this year's 11-15 group is stronger than any from the recent past, much stronger.

 

Will second DMan, who's comments were what I wanted to say. Count me among those, however, who believe that Rooker will have a better major league career than most envision, beginning this year. Just don't know how he is going to get his at bats now that Cruz is back.

 

All this talk about Celestino the past whatever months is getting me to become a believer. Again, really hope he doesn't have the opportunity to play center for the Twins this year as I want Buxton to have an injury free season.

    • Heiny likes this

Our individual rankings: 

 

#15 Sands: Seth (14), Nick (15), Tom (15), Cody (16).

 

#14 Urbina: Seth (17), Nick (17), Tom (12), Cody (13)

 

#13 Wallner: Seth (13), Nick (13), Tom (8), Cody (15)

 

#12 Rooker: Seth (12), Nick (11), Tom (10), Cody (12)

 

#11 Celestino: Seth (7), Nick (9), Tom (16), Cody (11) 

I am looking forward to this minor league season, normally try to follow each level and last year was sad.This year will be very interesting because with the lost year we will need push guys up and not take the slower steps.I mean every player is in same boat, but will be interesting to see who performs and who does not.

 

I am looking forward to this minor league season, normally try to follow each level and last year was sad.This year will be very interesting because with the lost year we will need push guys up and not take the slower steps.I mean every player is in same boat, but will be interesting to see who performs and who does not.

 

Yeah with no Elizabethton short season this year there is going to be a high level of competition for those A ball spots to start the year.To me there seems to be a jam up in A ball for 2nd base and SS positions.With Javier and Severino having injured or bad years and needing to repeat A ball will there be room for Holland and Julien or Prato or Santana or Tademo?There are going to be some tougher decisions to make this year.The Twins took a ton of pitchers in 2019 and there won't be room for all of them in A ball either.Good players are going to just have to play against each other I guess.

 

The GCL will be no picnic either as there are tons of young guys that could use the challenge like Urbina, Diaz, Aguiar, Baez, and Rosario and that doesn't even include the guys they will be drafting in 2021.Competition levels will be higher than ever before for spots in levels.

 

I don't think systems will have room for late bloomers anymore.Independent leagues might end up with some pretty good talent to pick from at some point.This year is going to be very interesting to watch.

    • birdwatcher likes this

I always thought that using our wealth at a position should be our valuable trade pieces.I thought that they'd hold more value.Would Larnach, Rooker, Sabato, and/or Wallner really get much of a return because of their defensive limitations and age?Probably not.Even the Padres had to give up arms to get arms.After the lack of movement on any trades, I'm thinking our front office likes our young arms too much to offer them up for the guys that were moved (such as Darvish or Snell).I just hope we're able get some value for some of these guys before it is late.

    • mikelink45 and Dman like this

Rooker did great in his brief stint, but his minor league stats didn't show him consistently making that same kind of contact, so projecting him off his cup of coffee in MLB probably isn't a realistic expectation. It's great that he jumped in and the lights weren't too bright for him, but it's fair to think that with more exposure he's going to whiff a LOT more. It'd be great to be wrong, because that power is legit.

 

Celestino is going to be interesting. His D is probably MLB ready right now and if he can get on base at a solid number he's going to be a nice insurance policy for Buxton sooner rather than later. I'm hoping he doesn't need to be brought up this year and just gets piles of ABs in AA...and hopefully shows a good and consistent approach at the plate. Seeing how much pop is in his bat will be worth watching this year, but he's looking like a nice player who will be a plus defender and could be a plus hitter.

 

Some nice players on this list. Wallner is the least interesting to me; he doesn't look like he's got a great path to the majors right now, the loss of a development year really hurts him, and I'm not sure how much value he has as a trade asset. he's going to really get a hot start out the gate and dominate. Hope he can, but if he's not in AA before the end of the season, you have to wonder if he has enough of a ceiling.

    • mikelink45, Dman and BHEFTY like this

 

I always thought that using our wealth at a position should be our valuable trade pieces.I thought that they'd hold more value.Would Larnach, Rooker, Sabato, and/or Wallner really get much of a return because of their defensive limitations and age?Probably not.Even the Padres had to give up arms to get arms.After the lack of movement on any trades, I'm thinking our front office likes our young arms too much to offer them up for the guys that were moved (such as Darvish or Snell).I just hope we're able get some value for some of these guys before it is late.

 

I agree with you about those guys and again it makes me wonder why this FO doesn't take pitchers earlier in the Draft.Maybe the hit rate is too low on pitchers taken early I don't know but extra pitching to trade is the best currency in baseball to have.

 

I can see why this FO doesn't want to trade away their top pitching talent as we finally might have a few guys ready to work out and the rotation has too many FA's in it at this point.It would help to have low cost young talent come in and help but at the same time why don't they invest more in guys that look like high end pitchers in the draft?especially in the supplemental round.

    • mikelink45 and jrod23 like this

 

Our individual rankings: 

 

#15 Sands: Seth (14), Nick (15), Tom (15), Cody (16).

 

#14 Urbina: Seth (17), Nick (17), Tom (12), Cody (13)

 

#13 Wallner: Seth (13), Nick (13), Tom (8), Cody (15)

 

#12 Rooker: Seth (12), Nick (11), Tom (10), Cody (12)

 

#11 Celestino: Seth (7), Nick (9), Tom (16), Cody (11) 

Tom seems to have very different opinions from the rest of you.Does he have a secret formula?

 

    • big dog likes this

 

Tom seems to have very different opinions from the rest of you.Does he have a secret formula?

Or he's drinking from a very different bottle

Matt Wallner Baby!!! 

 


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