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Game Thread: Twins @ Milwaukee, 8/12/2020, 6:10PM CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:30 PM
      Good evening and welcome back to the always fun Twins Daily Game Thread! Get ready for some exciting baseball actio...
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Ump Jerry Meals is Unstoppable!

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:20 PM
I figured the star of the show last night deserved some special attention.  
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Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2020

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:20 PM
I said in the 2019 thread that I would start this forum thread...    Let's start populating it. How many former Twins are on ro...
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2020 Twins Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:11 PM
There haven't been many yet, but I'll start this today...   The Twins just announced that Zack Littell (hamstring) has been placed o...
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Marlins: 14 positive Covid cases, home opener cancelled...

Other Baseball Today, 02:25 PM
Before the season started, I was wondering about what would happen if the virus started spreading like wildfire in a clubhouse. Well here...
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The 2019 Draft: Where are they Now?

With the 2020 Major League Draft in its final stages the Minnesota Twins will soon have another influx of talent to add to an already promising farm system. Last year Derek Falvey’s club picked 13th overall and had 11 selections in the top ten rounds. Now it’s time to check up on them.
Image courtesy of © Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
After a great 2019 season the Twins slid all the way down to 27th in the picking order for 2020. Falvey and Thad Levine have a brief but strong history of identifying talent for the organization however, and the hope would be that this season is no different. Taking a look back on the guys they tabbed in 2019, here’s how year one in pro ball went.

Keoni Cavaco SS (1, 13)

As a helium pick it was probably expected that there’d be growing pains. Cavaco rose the draft boards late and is a long-term play for the Twins. He played 25 games in the GCL and posted just a .470 OPS. The slash line isn’t as concerning as the 35/4 K/BB rate. He’ll need to clean that up as he adjusts to the next level.

Matt Wallner RF (1, 39)

A local kid and standout at Southern Miss, Wallner jumped into pro ball and did not disappoint. He pitched and hit in college but is being groomed solely as a position player for the Twins. After 53 games in Elizabethton, Wallner was promoted to Low-A Cedar Rapids. He posted an .810 OPS across both levels and the power translated to eight dingers in 65 games.

Matt Canterino RHP (2, 54)

Despite a quirky delivery, Canterino is one of my favorite arms in the Twins system. He made two quick GCL appearances and then went straight to Low-A Cedar Rapids. He pitched 25 innings after completing his season with Rice and posted some eye-popping results. The former Owls star had a 1.44 ERA 11.2 K/9 and allowed just eight walks.

Spencer Steer SS (3, 90)

After lighting it up in the Appy League to the tune of a .949 OPS, Minnesota got aggressive and moved Steer quickly. At Cedar Rapids he slashed .260/.358/.387 in 44 games. He showed awesome plate discipline and a good eye. Steer did make six errors in just over 100 innings at short for Elizabethton and then split over 300 innings at 2nd and 3rd for the Kernels.

Seth Gray 3B (4, 119)

Most of Gray’s 2019 was spent in the Appy League, reaching Cedar Rapids for just four games. Despite just a .225 average he posted a .781 OPS. 30 walks in 257 plate appearances was indicative of good zone control, and the power played to the tune of 11 homers. Gray had a nice spring for Minnesota as well in the brief time I saw him.

Will Holland SS (5, 149)

There was a little lag time in getting Holland started with Auburn’s participation in the College World Series. Across 36 games for Elizabethton he posted a .675 OPS with seven homers. After a .936 OPS in 2018 for the Tigers, Holland slid in the draft due to a .777 mark last season. He just turned 22 though and has the makings of a true shortstop. Certainly, a guy to watch in Minnesota’s system.

Sawyer Gipson-Long RHP (6, 179)

Minnesota got Gipson-Long going right away in the Appy League. He made six abbreviated starts going a total of 18.1 IP. He was scoreless through his first two outings, including a six-strikeout performance in just three innings of work. Things went south in his final four appearances but certainly could’ve been a bit of fatigue. An 11.3 K/9 in his pro debut is reason to be excited.

Anthony Prato SS (7, 209)

Prato posted a .755 OPS for Elizabethton in 45 games before getting a two-game stint with Cedar Rapids. The 26/20 K/BB is an encouraging sign for an up-the-middle player. The Twins did play him mostly at second and third base defensively. There isn’t much power in Prato’s bat, but he’s a good contact hitter with elite on-base ability.

Casey Legumina RHP (8, 239)

Minnesota took Legumina after he made just four starts for the Zags in 2019. He left after 73 pitches in his final outing and was shut down. There was an exciting velocity spike that garnered more draft attention. He did not pitch in pro ball last year.

Brent Headrick LHP (9, 269)

The first lefty on the board, Headrick only turned in 3.2 IP during his pro debut season. Pitching for Elizabethton he gave up two unearned runs on two hits. He did have a negative 2/5 K/BB ratio. Not much to go off of at this point professionally, but the Illinois State hurler had big time strikeout numbers in college.

Ben Gross RHP (10, 299)

Of all the pitchers drafted by Minnesota Gross may have been worked the most. He made 11 starts at Elizabethton and posted a 4.30 ERA across 52.1 IP. He tallied 8.4 K/9 and gave up just 2.4 BB/9. His college numbers remained pretty consistent from year to year, and while there’s nothing that jumps off the page, he’s a pretty safe bet to continue contributing.

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11 Comments

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JosiahDeBoer
Jun 12 2020 12:59 PM

Aside from Cavaco and Holland, everyone either didn't play much or performed at an encouraging level last year. As you mentioned, Cavaco probably gets a pass for year one, so we can't even read much into that performance.

 

Overall, I'm excited about that draft class

    • birdwatcher likes this
I’m not a big fan of Cavaco. I think they over drafted him. Otherwise I like how this draft played out
    • Danchat and mikelink45 like this
I've noticed a strong tendancy by the current braintrust to severely limit IP by college pitchers, if they throw at all. As I recall, Sands didn't throw at all his first draft year before sort of exploding on the scene in 2019. Obviously an attempt to not overwork an arm coming off a full season of college ball. (Some pitchers are often "abused" in regard to IP or lack of rest between big games, etc.) As I recall, it was initially thought Canterino might not throw at all last season before he did on a limited basis after a short break.
    • Doctor Gast likes this

I am bummed that these prospects aren't getting a chance to develop as normal. Wonder what the long term effect is for young ballplayers not playing ... my guess is there is no good effect.

 

Feel for guys from the previous draft like Willie Joe Gary and Regi Grace, or Cavaco from this draft - young but very raw talent that need innings to get somewhere.

    • USNMCPO, Danchat and DocBauer like this

I have questioned cavaco and his ranking on the TD board, but otherwise Wallner is the only one who has generated any buzz for me.

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howieramone2
Jun 13 2020 02:41 AM
You will not hear Cavaco mentioned without the word raw. As a 3B/SS, he plays positions of our favorite teams greatest organizational position need. Solid pick.
    • DocBauer likes this

I really liked this summary and I hope you consider doing this for the last 5 draft classes.

 

Aside from Cavaco and Holland, everyone either didn't play much or performed at an encouraging level last year. As you mentioned, Cavaco probably gets a pass for year one, so we can't even read much into that performance.

 

Overall, I'm excited about that draft class

 

Can't really make too much about any of those first-season performances. College pitchers are being limited due to having already pitched a bunch of innings. High school players are adjusting to life in pro baseball. 

    • DocBauer likes this

I am bummed that these prospects aren't getting a chance to develop as normal. Wonder what the long term effect is for young ballplayers not playing ... my guess is there is no good effect.
 
Feel for guys from the previous draft like Willie Joe Gary and Regi Grace, or Cavaco from this draft - young but very raw talent that need innings to get somewhere.


Despite covid, despite ongoing issues just getting a ML season going, despite reported shutdown of milb for 2020, despite ownership losing money for a season actually played...(NOT the point of discussion herem just mentioning it)...I am remaining opptomistic about some sort of milb development still taking place this year.

Some teams have punted and made themselves look bad while doing so. But many teams, including the Twins, have agreed to pay their milb players. The Twins have also announced no cuts, even though during a "normal" season you would see some about now. Owners and FO also know the minors are the lifeblood of the sport. So you can't just pay prospects to do nothing and not develop.

While not everyone will be participating, some independent leagues have already put a plan in place to play ball in 2020. So if you are a forward thinking team, which the Twins are, I believe there will be some sort of adjusted EST this year. It's possible, with their great facilities in Ft Myers the Twins could build teams just amongst themselves to coach and play. It's also very possible they could reach out to Boston and a couple other close proximity teams and work out various scenarios where they get to play someone else. Any other ML team could do the same. They may get tired of facing the same faces, but at least they would be playing on a sort of expanded EST to gain experience and still develop.

Seems simple, logical and forward thinking to me. Or maybe I'm just smarter than them, lol.
    • birdwatcher and Monkeypaws like this

You will not hear Cavaco mentioned without the word raw. As a 3B/SS, he plays positions of our favorite teams greatest organizational position need. Solid pick.


I agree with you 100%! And we've seen initial rookie seasons like his before. Still, it was disappointing. All the more reason I'm really hopeful that what I sketched out above happens, some sort of adjustment to EST where they create a mini milb season.
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birdwatcher
Jun 13 2020 08:58 PM

 

I am bummed that these prospects aren't getting a chance to develop as normal. Wonder what the long term effect is for young ballplayers not playing ... my guess is there is no good effect.

 

Feel for guys from the previous draft like Willie Joe Gary and Regi Grace, or Cavaco from this draft - young but very raw talent that need innings to get somewhere.

 

Certainly the organization would like these prospects to be playing games here in June.

 

However, I'm not sure we have an accurate depiction of what's happening. So much of what takes place is outside of the lines of minor league games. The FanGraphs interview with Matt Canterino, IMO, is highly instructive.

 

https://blogs.fangra...matt-canterino/

 

Whether some of these guys got tons of innings or not, I think it's reasonable for us to assume each of them got plenty of development attention and still are despite the incredible obstacles.


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