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Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: #3 Trevor Larnach

The next prospect on our list is an advanced left-handed hitter on the verge of contributing to the Major League club in 2021. How much fun is it that description fits multiple players in this system right now?
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (Graphic by Brock Beauchamp)
Position: RF
Age: 23 (DOB: 2/26/1997)
2019 Stats (A+/AA): 542 PA, .309/.384/.458, 13 HR, 66 RBI
ETA: 2021
2020 Ranking: 3

National Top 100 Rankings
BA: 39 | MLB: 80 | ATH: NR | BP: 83 | ESPN: 37 | FG: 36

What’s To Like
Plus strike-zone awareness, a barrel path to drool over and an impressive physical frame that produces easy power. Trevor Larnach is the real deal at the plate.

Larnach appeared to be off to a blazing start last year, hitting .333/.467/.708 (1.175 OPS) in 13 games with the Twins before Spring Training was shut down. He likely would have opened the year in Double A and may have put himself in a position to make his MLB debut, depending on what opportunities opened up.

Back in 2019, Larnach was the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Year after slashing .309/.384/.458 (.842 OPS) in 542 plate appearances, two-thirds of which came in the notoriously pitcher-friendly Florida State League. Here are some highlights from that season:



Larnach is a big, strong guy, but his plate discipline tops anyone in the system, and may be as good as anybody in the entire org outside of Luis Arráez. Larnach would be the headline advanced bat in most systems, but he’s been overshadowed by Alex Kirilloff in that regard. Below is a video where I looked at the tale of the tape when it comes to these two stud Twins hitting prospects.



What’s Left To Work On
Let’s leave this one up to Keith Law of The Athletic, who did not include Larnach in his top 100 prospects list. From Law’s top 20 Twins list:

“He’s hit for average in pro ball with moderate power, mostly going the other way, which was a concern some scouts had on him in college as well — that he couldn’t pull pitches inside, and that would be how pitchers would attack him.”

This is not a new observation, but it’s one that persists. It’s entirely possible Larnach has made great strides over the past year in his ability to turn on a pitch, we just haven’t had the opportunity to see it.

Given the choice, I’d always bet on a hitter who can use the entire field learning how to hunt some pitches inside than a pull-happy hitter learning to take pitches the other way. That’s not to dismiss Law’s concern about Larnach’s swing, I’m just less concerned about that being what caps Larnach’s overall offensive upside.

Launch, who turns 24-years-old this Friday, has other deficiencies, but they mostly are what they are at this point. He’s never going to be a huge asset on the bases or in the field, though he does have a strong arm. Staying in shape and working on the finer things will keep him in the grass and prevent a move to first base becoming necessary in the future.

What’s Next?
Forcing the issue. Larnach will be MLB ready sometime this year, but the Twins have many other corner outfield options and little incentive to add him to the 40-man roster. He’s going to need to create his own opportunity in 2021.

Eddie Rosario being non-tendered cleared some immediate space, but the Twins still have multi-year commitments to Max Kepler and Miguel Sanó. While Nelson Cruz is back for 2021, he’s not going to play forever (well … probably not), so there should be room for Larnach in the not-too-distant future even if Kirilloff takes off. Larnach may also be an attractive piece on the trade market later this summer if the Twins are looking for other upgrades.
With the staggered start — Triple A is slated to start in April, then every other level in May — it’s difficult to project what level a player may open the season. Larnach is among the non-roster invitees at Spring Training, so he may have an inside track for a spot on the St. Paul Saints, but given his place on the depth chart it wouldn’t surprise me if he stays back in Fort Myers and opens his season in Wichita.

Twins Daily 2021 Top 20 Prospects
Honorable Mentions
20. Bailey Ober, RHP
19. Jose Miranda, INF
18. Alerick Soularie, OF
17. Ben Rortvedt, C
16. Edwar Colina, RHP
15. Cole Sands, RHP
14. Misael Urbina, OF
13. Matt Wallner, OF
12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B
11. Gilberto Celestino, OF
10. Blayne Enlow, RHP
9. Matt Canterino, RHP
8. Aaron Sabato, 1B
7. Keoni Cavaco, SS
6. Jordan Balazovic, RHP
5. Jhoan Duran, RHP
4. Ryan Jeffers, C
3. Trevor Larnach, RF

Stop by tomorrow for prospect #2!

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24 Comments

Larnach is a stud. He has the potential to have the discipline of Arraez combined with the power of Kepler. I expect him to start in AAA and pound the door down by the summer. He's one of very few prospects who would legitimately shock me if he ended up being a bust.

    • Twins33, Dman, DocBauer and 6 others like this

Call me old school but I still like guys with good to great plate discipline to have a greater chance to make the jump to MLB because even if they are struggling to get hits they are not an automatic out when taking walks.Also making the pitcher work is an underrated skill in the home run or bust age of baseball.

 

While I understand Law's concern, Larnach is a guy always looking to improve.Inside might be his weakness, and it is a weakness of lot's of MLB players, but Law doesn't seem to account for the great success he has had in the league to this point either.With the good eye at the plate I think Larnach will be just fine.

 

I have been excited about Larnach for a long time.Will have to see how he does this year but I think 2022 is his year for the big team.I think he starts in AA this year as we have Kirilloff, Broxton and Garlick likely for AAA.There seems to be a shortage of outfielders for AA as I only see Contrares and Whitefield there with Larnach making number 3.That could easily change but I think they start him in AA as I think he only had half a year there and once Kirilloff moves then I think Larnach moves to AAA.

    • Twins33, DocBauer, CUtomorrownight and 4 others like this

I love this kid, and have loved him ever since he carried Oregon State to the College world Series title. 

He got every big hit the Beavers needed.

He and Kiriloff will be hitting #3 and #5 for years in the Twins lineup.

    • denarded, Twins33, big dog and 6 others like this
I like everything I've read about Larnach. His biggest problem is that Kiriloff his first in line and Rooker has already come up. And then they have sabato and Wallner to behind him. I just hope he is given the chance to prove himself.
    • Jack likes this
I like everything I've read about Larnach. His biggest problem is that Kiriloff his first in line and Rooker has already come up. And then they have sabato and Wallner to behind him. I just hope he is given the chance to prove himself.
    • dbminn likes this
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SoCalTwinsfan
Feb 22 2021 10:09 PM

The plan might be for Kiriloff to start in AAA and Larnach in AA. Then went Kiriloff gets called up, Larnach gets moved up to AAA. Of course, if the Saints do have Larnach and Kiriloff to start the season, that could be a real hard ticket to purchase early in the season, especially if there's very limited seating. 

    • mikelink45, DocBauer, dbminn and 1 other like this

I want Larnach to be a big time stud just so I can laugh in Keith Law's face for not including him in his top 100. 

    • mikelink45, Dman, Major League Ready and 1 other like this

Kiriloff, Rooker & Larnach.Could the Twins hit the jackpot with all 3 ?? :)

    • Dman and rdehring like this
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Doctor Gast
Feb 23 2021 04:47 AM
Larnach is a great hitter. It'd have to be a super sweet deal for the Twins to trade Larnach. The Twins love their big bats. I imagine that they'll find a place for him next year.
    • Dman and DocBauer like this
By the end of 2021, we will have a great preview of all the young studs that will be winning for the next decade. AK, Rook, Larnach, Lewis and Sabato. Finding a place to play them all in the field is going to be a huge challenge!
    • mikelink45 likes this

I remember when Musgrove was traded to the Pods, there were reports that Twins were also interested but Pirates asked for Larnach and Twins turned it down.Just a rumor but wonder what others think about wisdom of trading from area of strength in the organization for someone like Musgrove?What if Larnach could fetch a pitcher like Sonny Gray or being the top trade piece for Luis Castillo?How about one of the Dodger studs like May or Urias?Would this keep the window open longer?

    • mikelink45 and dbminn like this

I bet we see him this year when Buxton gets hurt, or if Kirolloff struggles.I am confused on why hitting opposite field is a bad thing though?Some of the best hitters all time were opposite field hitters.  

 

If pitchers just pound him inside he will have to adjust to that, but to me being able to hit opposite field is a good thing.Being dead pull generally can be a bad thing because pitcher like to pitch away a lot more than inside due to risk of hitting batter, and pull HR tend to be easier too.  

 

If he cannot adjust to inside pitches that could be a long term issue, but short term I am not concerned. 

    • mikelink45, DocBauer and rdehring like this

Great problem for the Twins to have. But I don't want to see the Twins trade Larnach until they know whether he or AK is going to be the better player.

 

Would be a shame to trade Larnach and then have him explode into a superstar while AK is merely a solid starter (I expect AK to be better than average). Heck, maybe they both will become stars...we can hope, can't we?

    • Dman and DocBauer like this
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MMMordabito
Feb 23 2021 09:28 AM

One of these LH bats will need to move.How about sending Kirilloff and Balazovic to Colorado for Marquez? They might do something like this right now.If Kirilloff became an AS, we could just use the Coors-effect to help settle our trader's remorse.

 

Kiriloff, Rooker & Larnach.Could the Twins hit the jackpot with all 3 ?? :)

The key is going to not trade the best one

    • mikelink45, dbminn and rdehring like this
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South Dakota Tom
Feb 23 2021 10:07 AM

Always fun to project the futures of these guys, and slotting them into future rosters in a "best-case scenario" way.  It always appeared that Eddie being non-tendered was AKs invitation to the big leagues.  Simmons on a one-year deal says the same (theoretically) about Lewis; Nellie's (probably) last year with the Twins might be the opening for a lot of guys - Larnach, Sabato, Rooker, Wallner - depending on how each performs in 2021.

 

But there's no room for all of them in the short term, and by that I mean 2021 or 2022.  Byron has 2 years left, barring an extension, and Celestino (in my eyes) seems the heir apparent if we cannot extend Buxton.  The only available slots for slugging corner OF/1B/DH guys appears to be 4th OF (Cave's spot now), DH, or a Sano trade (or Sano playing DH and one of the above sliding into 1B, though I like Miguel's defense there right now).

 

Given that, like the FO, I don't want to get rid of any of our prospects, how do you rank those guys to slide into the openings we do have?Larnach first?  Then Sabato, Wallner, Rooker? 2021 is going to be very consequential in that competition.

    • Dman, DocBauer and rdehring like this

No such thing as too many good players. 

    • DocBauer, Eephus and rdehring like this
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nicksaviking
Feb 23 2021 10:24 AM

It used to be a fairly regular talking point, but I don't remember hearing of many concerns about a player who "couldn’t pull pitches inside" since the 80's and 90's.

 

Seems like it's probably either fixable, or, you know, putting the ball into leftfield on inside pitches isn't exactly the end of the world.

 

 

 

I remember when Musgrove was traded to the Pods, there were reports that Twins were also interested but Pirates asked for Larnach and Twins turned it down.Just a rumor but wonder what others think about wisdom of trading from area of strength in the organization for someone like Musgrove?What if Larnach could fetch a pitcher like Sonny Gray or being the top trade piece for Luis Castillo?How about one of the Dodger studs like May or Urias?Would this keep the window open longer?

 

It's a good question but trades are complicated.The decision to trade is based on so many different factors like Present value vs. future value.The odds of prospects even having future value.How many years of control are you giving up how many are you getting back, the money involved, etc. etc.

 

In this case given what Pittsburgh got in the trade it would have taken more than Larnach to get that deal done.Larnach would have probably been the headliner but they probably would have needed to include someone like Sands and Rijo or Vallimont plus a throw in to get the deal done.

 

To me that is a lot to give up for two years of Joe Musgrove for a SSS breakthrough in 2020.The years before that he looks replacement level to me.If he truly has turned the corner maybe but that is a ton of future value to give up for 2 years.The Pads can probably afford it as they had the number one farm in baseball and needed more pitching depth.

 

Personally I think the Twins did just fine with Shoemaker and Happ.Both guys look like they should be as good or better than Musgrove and they gave up Zero prospects to get them.In the end Musgrove has only one more year of control compared to those guys as well.Maybe I am wrong but I don't feel like they missed out.Remember they have 5 young starters of which a couple should be looking for spots soon.

 

Just because you have a surplus of talent somewhere doesn't mean you should just trade it for anything.I believe the Ramos\Matt Capps trade taught us that.Be patient be smart IMO.

 

The Twins could have done that trade and justified it just like the Padres but I think they did the right thing by waiting.

 

    • DocBauer, rdehring and LoveMyPug like this

Larnach pulled this bomba just fine in Spring Training last year ;) :

 

 

 

    • birdwatcher, DocBauer and MN_ExPat like this

 

I remember when Musgrove was traded to the Pods, there were reports that Twins were also interested but Pirates asked for Larnach and Twins turned it down.Just a rumor but wonder what others think about wisdom of trading from area of strength in the organization for someone like Musgrove?What if Larnach could fetch a pitcher like Sonny Gray or being the top trade piece for Luis Castillo?How about one of the Dodger studs like May or Urias?Would this keep the window open longer?

 

Pitchers like Musgrove - at his salary - don't come along all that often. The FO obviously knows better about the players and the proposed trade terms. In general, I have no problem trading a potential star corner OF for a young, above-average SP at this point. You trade from excess for areas of need. 

Our Rankings: 

 

Seth: 3

Nick: 4

Tom: 3

Cody: 3 

Me continuing to pretend I know anything:

1] The size, strength and stroke are all there for him to develop real power. He seems to have a good eye. Sounds a lot like Kirilloff doesn't it? I see no reason why he shouldn't continue to adapt through experience to be at least a little better at pulling the ball. But as stated by others previously, there is nothing wrong with having the ability to hit rockets to the opposite field and center field as well.

2] I've never heard anything that he can't be a solid defensive RF. Maybe not as good as Kepler, but solid. Reports are he has the arm for RF. Kirilloff is probably a little better athlete with a little more speed...he played some CF in HS and I believe a little when initially signed...and might be a better fit in LF where I believe there is a little more ground to cover.

3] While trades may yet happen, I've been pleased the FO seems to have fit team needs without trading talent at this point, even though there appears to be a pending logjam in the OF. And I'm starting to wonder if there might not be room for everyone with Cruz gone, possibly, after 2021. Kirilloff in LF, Larnach in RF, (though I'm sure each could play the other corner just fine), Rooker able to fill in at both corners as well as DH and 1B, where Kiriloff could also fill in. You still have Kepler in RF and backing up CF. There could absolutely be room for everyone rotating between 3 1/2 spots in the field and DH.

Not saying that's the way it's going to play out but it's sure interesting to contemplate. The monkey wrench may be if Donaldson has to shift to 1B or DH. Hopefully that is not the case.
    • MN_ExPat likes this

 

I want Larnach to be a big time stud just so I can laugh in Keith Law's face for not including him in his top 100. 

I hope you laughed at TD for not having Arraez in their top ten the years before he came up.