Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Front Page: Twins Minor League Report (8/17) Bullpens Bri...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 10:56 AM
Hey, look at that, a bad pun, love it. Anyways, there was a number of great performances from a number of bullpens, a great start from a...
Full topic ›

Front Page: Texan Is Murdered By High A In ‘God Bless Ame...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:51 AM
Last night’s 12-7 win over the Rangers featured six run before the Rangers got an at-bat, home runs by C.J.Cron and Miguel Sano, another...
Full topic ›

Front Page: Twins Game Recap (8/17): Twins Win Slugfest i...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:40 AM
After the Minnesota Twins took the first two games of the series, on Thursday and Friday night, they were looking to clinch the series wi...
Full topic ›

Game Thread "Godot" Twins @ Rangers 2:05pm cdt 8/...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:34 AM
Deja vu. I think i have been waiting for this parade before, tasked with writing a game thread, not knowing what i would write... But tha...
Full topic ›

Graterol

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:25 AM
The thought of a true 'fireballer' coming to the Twins pitching staff is indeed very exciting.But pitching takes a lot more than just thr...
Full topic ›

The Next Minnesota Twins - 2019

I have been a fan of minor league baseball since I was 11 years old and my family brought us to watch the prospects of the Appleton Foxes, and later the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, on summer vacations. I was already a huge fan of baseball—­at that point in my life, the Minnesota Twins had won two World Series, and I couldn’t get enough of Kirby Puckett’s infectious smile.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs (photo of Nick Gordon)
It was at those small stadiums in my youth where that same type of joy for the game was easy to spot. The environments were more intimate, and the teams promoted interactions between players and fans in fun ways the major leagues just didn’t. I also realized that these were guys trying to make the same dream I had come true—to be a professional baseball player. That was certainly a childish dream for me looking back, but I did love the game enough that I still played competitively until I was almost 30 and blew out my ACL roaming the outfields of town ball parks in Minnesota (I made the catch on that play, at least). I’ve also been able to expand my experiences in minor league stadiums to outside of the Midwest to places like the Florida peninsula, Georgia, and Missouri.

Because of my interest in baseball’s up and coming prospects, the offseason news cycle of top prospect lists and organizational depth charts have always been must -read material for me. There are websites and publications everywhere dedicated to only the minors these days, and you’ll find some of the best individual team recaps and summaries right here at Twins Daily. While I’ve put out plenty of my own “top prospect” lists since taking up blogging (over 10 years ago now?! Wow, time flies…), there are so many incredibly detailed ones out there now that I’ve put my own spin on such a list for several years. It harkens back to the idea that all these prospects I’ve watched play are looking to fulfill their dream of playing in the major leagues, and delves into who those players may be in the upcoming season.

Across Major League Baseball during the 2018 season, 247 players made their professional debut. The Minnesota Twins accounted for eight of those players, including pitchers Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler Kinley, Zack Littell, Fernando Romero, Kohl Stewart, and Andrew Vasquez. Joining them on the position player side were Jake Cave and everyone’s favorite, “La Tortuga,” Willians Astudillo.

All of those names were profiled or mentioned in my preview heading into last season, but I only mentioned Astudillo’s name as MiLB depth, despite knowing he was a bit of a unicorn already at the time because he never struck out (3.3% career strikeout rate in the minors). The only name in that list who is no longer with the organization is Kinley, who was sent back to the Miami Marlins after a month with the team after being their Rule 5 draft pick. Romero was ticketed for a big role in the bullpen to start the year but struggled this spring and was sent to Triple A. Cave and Astudillo were among those fighting for backup roles on the Twins bench and have since secured them. Gonsalves, Littell, Stewart, and Vasquez are all near locks to contribute at some point and carry valuable MLB experience with them to Rochester to begin their seasons.

With a strong stable of young hitters with experience and power making up a potentially strong lineup for opening day, the pickings might be slim this year for hitting prospects looking to make their debut. I suspect they’ll churn some pitchers though as the front office duo looks to cash in some of their technological developmental efforts on the mound. You also never know when the injury bug will strike, but if I had to make a prediction, I’d bet that no more than five players will wear an MLB uniform for the first time with the Twins in 2019.

So, who are the next potential players to make their major league debut with the Minnesota Twins during the 2019 season?

ON THE 40-MAN ROSTER:

Ryne Harper (30 years old on opening day) – RHP

Although he has been called up to the big leagues in his career, he never actually got an opportunity to pitch for the Seattle Mariners before being sent back down to Triple A in 2017. One of the best stories in camp this spring, Harper showed off a big breaking ball to the tune of a perfect ERA (has allowed two unearned runs) with 14 K’s, and zero walks in 11 innings pitched with the major league squad. He’s a top candidate for the #SireOfFortMyers and with the news coming out on Monday that he’s made the team, he’s no longer just the biggest dark horse among non-roster invites to head north with the Twins for Thursday’s Season Opener—he’s going to be at Target Field ready for his close-up.

For fun, here’s some of those breaking balls he showed off this spring:


Signed by Minnesota for the 2018 season, Harper began the year by closing for the Chattanooga Lookouts. He quickly picked up a pair of saves in mid-April before the Rochester Red Wings came calling. Roughed up a little in his first taste of Triple A with the Twins, Harper was returned to the Lookouts after four appearances. Chattanooga then started extending out his appearances, as he went two innings for each of his next three saves. This is when he really started to dial himself in as well. Over his final 34 2/3 innings in Double A, Harper struck out 44 while handing out a free pass to just five hitters. For his efforts, he finished the year back in Triple A where he continued to perform well enough to get his invite to spring training.

Now, he’s not really a prospect by any means as he’ll take the mound for the first time this year as a 30-year-old (his birthday is on Wednesday), but stories like his are always awesome to follow. Since I’ll be at the home opener, I hope he gets his MLB debut out of the way early.

Nick Gordon (23) – IF (Twins Daily's #12 Prospect)

Gordon has had his ups and downs the past two seasons, starting each off scorching hot before falling off a cliff in the second half. Last year, that drop-off came when he was promoted to Rochester where he managed just a .544 OPS in nearly 100 games. With Jorge Polanco, Marwin Gonzalez, Ehire Adrianza, and Ronald Torreyes on board there’s already plenty of MLB depth around the Twins middle-infield, but if Gordon comes out hot again and maintains it, he could work his way into their plans mid-to-late summer if a need arises.

Lewis Thorpe (23) – LHP (TD’s #8 Prospect)

Thorpe took a little time to find his groove during the 2018 season as his WHIP was above 1.60 through April and May, but after surrendering nine earned runs on June 8th he dialed it in for the rest of the season. His WHIP was just 0.73 in July, and after that disastrous start went 6-0 in 10 starts before being promoted to Triple A for his efforts. In those final 49 innings with the Lookouts, Thorpe allowed just 12 earned runs (2.20 ERA) on 33 hits and 10 walks (0.88 WHIP) while striking out 66 (12.1 K/9).

Attached Image: Lewis Thorpe (2).jpg
With the Red Wings, Thorpe went 0-3 in four starts to end the year, but he was solid in three of them and picked up two quality starts. Overall, he finished his season with a 3.54 ERA and struck out 157 in 129 2/3 IP across the two levels. He’s got nothing left to prove in Double A if you ask me, and should begin the year as part of an impressive rotation in Rochester unless there’s too many bodies for it to make sense early on.

It’s taken some time as he has had to deal with injuries and illness, but it appears Thorpe has gotten back most if not all of his impressive stuff I saw back when I interviewed him while he was with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. While he’s a bit far down on the depth chart with names like Kohl Stewart, Stephen Gonsalves, Chase De Jong, and Zack Littell already having some MLB experience at Triple A, at some point during the 2019 season a promotion could become all about who is performing or lined up to pitch on the right day as Thorpe is already part of the 40-man roster.

LaMonte Wade Jr. (25) – OF (TD’s #18 Prospect)

After posting a .397 OBP with Chattanooga during the 2017 season (his first year not above .400), it was a bit surprising to see him start back with the Lookouts for 2018. But he did show improvement back in the Southern League by raising his slugging percentage by 36 points before being promoted to Rochester for the season’s final 74 games. This is where Wade finally had some trouble, posting just a .229 batting average and striking out more than he walked for the first time in his career. His plate discipline was still there however, as he also posted a 13.2% walk rate that was good for a .337 OBP.

Power is a tool that has yet to manifest much for Wade in his minor league career, but he did make the most of his opportunities this spring with two doubles, a triple, and a homer in 27 at-bats with the Twins. He also finished third on the team in RBI with 10.

I’ve compared Wade to Denard Span as a potential leadoff hitter in the past, but he’ll have to show more with the bat in Rochester this year to reach that ceiling as a hitter. Added to the 40-man roster in the offseason, Wade has an easier path to an MLB debut than others if the Twins outfield depth is challenged at any point during the season.

Luis Arraez (21) – IF

Arraez spent about half of the 2018 season with the Chattanooga Lookouts, and is likely ticketed for Pensacola to start this year with that middle infield depth at Triple A I mentioned above. Arraez is only a second baseman, and not a particularly good one, but his bat has always been the carrying tool for him with a .329 career batting average in the minor leagues. He’ll draw an occasional walk, unlike fan-favorite Willians Astudillo, but like La Tortuga he puts the ball in play more often than not with just an 8.5% strikeout rate as a pro.

TOP PROSPECTS WHO COULD FORCE THEIR WAY:

Brent Rooker (24) – OF/1B/DH (TD's #6 Prospect)

The slugging Rooker began the 2018 season with an outside shot to reach the majors if he continued to mash like he did after being drafted the previous summer. It didn’t quite start out that way for him as he hit below .250 in the first two months, but he started heating up with the weather in mid-May.

Attached Image: Brent Rooker 6.jpg
He hit six or more homers three months in a row and posted an OPS over 1.000 in June and July as he started making a strong case for a promotion. But just as quickly as he found his power, it was lost when August rolled around. Over the final 30 games of the season he slashed only .168/.299/.262. After the year was over, he was slated to get some more time in the Arizona Fall League, but a sprained ankle in mini-camp before the schedule kicked off resulted in the Twins shutting him down.

Rooker has seen action in 11 games with the major league squad this spring and clubbed two home runs and a triple among his 22 at-bats. It would be surprising if he doesn’t start the season with the Rochester Red Wings and while the corner-OF/1B/DH situation appears to be cluttered with the Twins, he’s got the type of bat to merit a look when the need arises at any of those positions if he’s mashing taters at Frontier Field.

Alex Kirilloff (21) – OF (TD’s #2 Prospect)

After missing the entire 2017 season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, Kirilloff burst back onto the prospect scene in 2018 by being the best overall hitter in the minor leagues not named Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He led all of MiLB in both extra-base-hits (71) and total bases (296), along with slugging 20 home runs and driving in over 100 baserunners. He’s on the top end of top 100 lists everywhere this spring, and if he duplicates his 2018 season with the Blue Wahoos he might not sniff Triple A a la Joe Mauer if an outfield spot opens up in the majors or C.J. Cron pulls a Logan Morrison at first base (I don’t think Alex would play there in this scenario, but a good backup plan is plugging Max Kepler there to open up RF). This is the best pure hitting prospect the Twins have had since Mauer, but where Joe paired this skill with elite plate discipline, Kirilloff instead brings a much bigger boomstick.

And I mean, this is just pure hitting perfection:


MINOR LEAGUE DEPTH:

Ryan Eades (27) – RHP: The former second-round draft pick whose numbers never quite lived up to his stuff may have finally figured some things out in the bullpen at the tail end of the 2018 season. In his final 18 innings with Chattanooga, he allowed only five runs on 16 hits and just one walk, while striking out 20. He didn’t miss a beat after his promotion to Rochester, as he posted a 0.59 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and five-to-one K/BB ratio in 15 1/3 innings to finish his season. Eades strikes me as the type of guy who may benefit the most from the developmental teachings of new Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson. He pitched well with the big-league squad this spring, striking out nine, walking none, and allowing only one run in seven innings pitched.

Jake Reed (26) – RHP: If there is anyone on this list who probably should have made his MLB debut already, Reed is that guy. He’s spent a few weeks with the MLB team during spring training the past four seasons now, and his ERA with the Rochester Red Wings in that time is a sterling 1.92 in 89 total innings. While he hasn’t racked up K’s at a necessarily elite level in Triple A (8.4/9IP), the movement on his sinker and slider combo tends to limit damage against him (only two home runs allowed) while also sometimes wreaking havoc with his command. That last note, along with some missed time due to injury the last two seasons, has probably combined to keep him out of the majors. Hopefully that changes in 2019.

Luke Raley (24) – OF/1B: Raley was the prospect portion of the package the Twins received in sending Brian Dozier to the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer. He spent all the 2018 season in Double A, hitting .275/.350/.471 with 20 home runs for a bit of a breakout season much like Jake Cave of the previous year. With the Twins this spring, he clubbed two doubles, a triple, and a homer in 26 plate appearances. He’s a bit of a way down a depth chart full of options in the outfield for the Twins, but as a hitter ticketed for Triple A in 2019, he’s also a name that’s just a phone call away if he’s performing.

Zander Wiel (26) – 1B/OF: Wiel has been an interesting guy to follow for me since being drafted out of Vanderbilt in the 12th round in 2015. He was arguably the top hitter on a Vandy team that won the 2014 College World Series and flies a little under the radar. While he’s filled up a stat sheet in aggregate every year in the minors, the numbers point more to consistency than a standout. In Double A in 2018, he broke out some by hitting .311/.382/.446. Those numbers were good for second in the Southern League in avg., and fourth in OPS. He’s a hitter who will sneak up on you with his athleticism if you don’t pay attention and should be ticketed for Rochester’s lineup to start the 2019 season, either at 1B or in a corner outfield position.

DARK HORSES:

Tyler Jay (24) – LHP: (Update: after middling results through early June, Jay was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for cash considerations) After investing the sixth overall pick on Jay in the 2015 draft, he has dealt with injuries and ineffectiveness that have stunted his once lofty profile. The hope here is the new pitching development staff can get him back on track and keep him healthy. As we’ve seen with Kohl Stewart last year, if at some point during the year the scouting reports come back better than expected, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have let bygones be bygones.

Jovani Moran (21) – LHP: All you need to know about Moran is this number: 12.7. That’s how many hitters per 9 IP Moran set down at Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers last season. Equally impressive is that was tied to a solid 1.05 WHIP. He was effectively wild in his time with the Kernels but reined that in upon his promotion to Fort Myers. He was the runner up to Andrew Vasquez for Twins Daily’s 2018 Relief Pitcher of the Year award and if you’re looking for 2019’s version of Vasquez, you need only look in Moran’s direction.

Cody Stashak (24) – RHP: Minnesota transitioned Stashak to the bullpen for the 2018 season, and the positive returns were immediate. With the Lookouts, his 2.57 FIP was good for fourth in the Southern League among pitchers who threw at least 50 innings. His 11.2 K/9IP and 5.31 to 1 K/BB ratio were also the best of his career, which was another arrow in the positive direction for a pitcher who has always had good control (2.2 BB/9IP for his career).

Tyler Wells (24) – RHP: (Update: Wells underwent Tommy John surgery in May and will not pitch in 2019) Wells is your reigning Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year, and that’s because he combined to go 10-6 with a 2.49 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and struck out 121 in 119 1/3 innings between Fort Myers and Chattanooga. His improvement as a prospect has had a direct correlation with Wells dedicating himself to fitness and his diet as a pro, as he’s dropped nearly 60 lbs. from his big 6-foot 8-inch body in the process. Opposing hitters managed just a .544 OPS against him in 2018, and when you read about his story it reminds me of a lot of guys who came out of nowhere to have solid MLB careers. He’ll start the year back in Double A, but if he continues to show improvement, he has a great chance to vault up the depth chart as the season wears on.

Jorge Alcala (23) – RHP (TD’s #19 Prospect): Alcala was one of the pieces to come to the Twins organization in the deal of Ryan Pressly to the Astros last summer. It’s likely his arm that got Minnesota interested as he’ll sit mid-90’s with his fastball and, when he wants, can reach back for 100+ mph velocity. He’s worked as a starter for most of his MiLB career thus far, but with his arm and lack of plus secondary offerings he could be a good target to transition to a power reliever.

So, there you have it—my picks for the potential players to make their MLB debut with the Minnesota Twins during the 2019 season. When do you think any of these guys will show up at Target Field? Who will be the rookie to make the biggest impact this year? It’s also likely I’ve missed a few names, so who would be your own additions?

  • jimbo92107, brvama, Danchat and 7 others like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

23 Comments

I have been following the Twins milb system, best I could, since the late 70's/early 80's via snippets from The Trib, Baseball Digest, The Sporting News, Baseball America, and an independent Twins paper in the late 80's that was short lived and Who's name I can't recall any longer. Fun stuff that fuels hope and speculation!

I think your list is an accurate one in regard to 2019.

Attempting to be brief:

Harper: A surprise to be sure, but he's earned this. Can he spot his FB well enough for his various speed curve to remain effective? Let's hope so!

Gordon: I still believe he's physically developing, combining that with level advancement has lead to inconsistency, IMO. He probably makes an appearance at sometime, but I think 2020 is really his target date.

Thorpe: Really believe in him and almost hard to believe how quickly he has risen after missing 2 full seasons. I was a little disappointed in his AFL and ST, but he's young and these are all steps in the process. I think we probably see him, but right now he's behind a few other guys. Like Gordon, I think 2020 is his likely coming out party.

Wade: He plays in 2019 at some point unless the baseball health gods smile on the Twins in '19. I still don't know his ceiling, but he's got a nice skill set.

Arraez/Rooker/Kiriloff: The bats can and hopefully will carry all three. (Not a knock on Kirilloff's defense). All three can hit and have shown the ability to make adjustments. How quickly can they make adjustments to AAA in 2019? (Or even skip AAA in Kirilloff's case). But again, with healthy, sounding lime a broken record, all three seem to be targeted more for 2020.

Reed/Eades: Reed needs to be healthy and keep doing what he's been doing. He is going to get his shot. I thought Eades was done. And then he embraced his role as a multi-situational pen piece and took off. I think he also will see MLB this season.

Raley: Are we missing something here? Dude just looks like an athlete. He hits, has power, but seems to maintain some OB ability as well. He plays OF corner and 1B and the Twins even put him in CF a few times during ST. Is he someone we will be talking about in a few months?

I'm going to group Moran, Stashak, Wells and Alcala together because I just don't see them this season. And yet, continued success for Moran and Stashak could make them a fast riser similar to Vasquez last year. Better secondary stuff could do the same for Alcala. I see Wells sticking as a SP and behind too many other arms to breakthrough in '19.

It's fun to speculate on all these guys. But the position roster is set, and bas better depth than last year. Less room available to push someone forward. The pen, however and unfortunately, could be in flux for some, if not all, of 2019. That is where a surprise or two could be found based on talent, performance and opportunity.
    • Steve Lein, curt1965, howieramone2 and 4 others like this
Photo
MMMordabito
Mar 27 2019 06:08 AM

If Navarreto could add 70 to 80 points to his OPS from last year, I could see a situation where he is a dark horse for a call up. That's a tall order just to be a dark horse though.

    • Steve Lein, DocBauer and howieramone2 like this

Great report, Steve.Interesting reading.Like Doc, really rooting for Thorpe to settle into a spot in the AAA rotation and demand a callup.After seeing Raley play a few times in ST, really like what I see.Don't know where they will find playing time for all these 1B/OF guys, but that is a heck of a lot better than not having players when a need arises.

    • Steve Lein, DocBauer, howieramone2 and 1 other like this
Concur. Great write up Steve. LOVE the minors reports.
    • Steve Lein and caninatl04 like this

 

If Navarreto could add 70 to 80 points to his OPS from last year, I could see a situation where he is a dark horse for a call up. That's a tall order just to be a dark horse though.

 

He was a name in my original list, but due to the depth in the majors and the other names at Triple A I decided this wouldn't be his year. Although he looks the part and is definitely a strong defensive catcher, his bat needs to be better than Drew Butera to take that step forward. He can get there, but still needs more time to advance that part of his game.

    • howieramone2 likes this
Photo
terrydactyls1947
Mar 27 2019 07:45 AM
Every year, I read all the prospect reports and prediction articles and every year I am disappointed in what I read. Once again this year, I can find no mention of me anywhere. I'm closing in on 72 years old and I'm still waiting for my shot. Of course that's also true for the NHL prospect reports also. Oh well, there's always next year.
    • Steve Lein, brvama, dbminn and 4 others like this

 

Every year, I read all the prospect reports and prediction articles and every year I am disappointed in what I read. Once again this year, I can find no mention of me anywhere. I'm closing in on 72 years old and I'm still waiting for my shot. Of course that's also true for the NHL prospect reports also. Oh well, there's always next year.

When you get a little older like some of us, Terry, you will be able to accept it ain't gonna happen!

 

Maybe it will happen for our grandkids, or maybe great grandkids.

    • Steve Lein likes this

 

Raley: Are we missing something here? Dude just looks like an athlete. He hits, has power, but seems to maintain some OB ability as well. He plays OF corner and 1B and the Twins even put him in CF a few times during ST. Is he someone we will be talking about in a few months?

...

It's fun to speculate on all these guys. But the position roster is set, and bas better depth than last year. Less room available to push someone forward. The pen, however and unfortunately, could be in flux for some, if not all, of 2019. That is where a surprise or two could be found based on talent, performance and opportunity.

 

I'm with you on Raley, definitely looks the part. It was a bit disappointing he didn't get more run in the AFL but there is sneaky & solid athleticism in his body. He very likely could be a guy we're talking about!

 

And I agree with you on the depth. There's a lot of names in this list, but I don't think there will be nearly as many MLB debuts this year as there has been the past few.

    • LA VIkes Fan, caninatl04 and MN_ExPat like this

Good stuff!

 

Based on what I saw this Spring against MLB competition, as far asMLB- readiness goes, I'd put Larnach ahead of Kirilloff.Kirilloff is where about Lewis is with the bat, about 1+ year away.I think that this management group will avoid pushing prospects before they are ready.

 

One arm: Edwar Colina.He is very near MLB-ready as a reliever.The Twins will try everything possible to keep him as a starter, but I just don't see it.Plus plus FB that is now at 99 and will increase in shorter appearances, plus mid 80s changeup, and a 90 mph slider that sometimes he cannot command but can be filthy are real weapons.He just does not have the endurance right now and I am not sure that it will ever happen. Whatever affiliate starts with Graterol and Colina at the top 2 rotation spots will be the one to watch this season.

    • Steve Lein, howieramone2 and caninatl04 like this

1B/OF - OF/1B sure look like a logjam forming. Maybe some trade fodder here. Great stuff Steve. I really enjoy this.

    • Steve Lein, birdwatcher and caninatl04 like this

 

Good stuff!

 

Based on what I saw this Spring against MLB competition, as far asMLB- readiness goes, I'd put Larnach ahead of Kirilloff.Kirilloff is where about Lewis is with the bat, about 1+ year away.I think that this management group will avoid pushing prospects before they are ready.

 

One arm: Edwar Colina.He is very near MLB-ready as a reliever.The Twins will try everything possible to keep him as a starter, but I just don't see it.Plus plus FB that is now at 99 and will increase in shorter appearances, plus mid 80s changeup, and a 90 mph slider that sometimes he cannot command but can be filthy are real weapons.He just does not have the endurance right now and I am not sure that it will ever happen. Whatever affiliate starts with Graterol and Colina at the top 2 rotation spots will be the one to watch this season.

 

Larnach was in the theoretical "just missed" group when I was going through players. I would put him around the same spot as I had Rooker last year, but with all that depth and that he's probably starting this year in Fort Myers vs. Chattanooga, I don't see it happening, so I left him off. Kirilloff is simply higher up the ladder.

 

Colina misses because he's so far away. It's been quite an eye-opener to read about that high-90's heat he's bringing now and I agree he's a reliever in the end. But he's another guy who is simply not far enough along the ladder if they're keeping him a starter, which I believe they are for now. I suspect he and Graterol will front the Miracle's rotation to start the season.

 

1B/OF - OF/1B sure look like a logjam forming. Maybe some trade fodder here. Great stuff Steve. I really enjoy this.

 

First off, thanks to all for the kind words. I love writing this piece every year!

 

Definitely a logjam, and it will only get more cluttered moving forward I think. But the point you make about it lines up with what I think is the Front Office's plan as the summer wears on. They didn't go out and sign a Keuchel or Kimbrel in the offseason, but a move for someone along those lines at the trade deadline becomes a distinct possibility when you have these assets in the organization.

    • howieramone2 likes this

Another reason there will be fewer debuts this year is the contraction in the September roster size from 40 to, what, 28?

    • Steve Lein likes this

 

Another reason there will be fewer debuts this year is the contraction in the September roster size from 40 to, what, 28?

 

Yes, that will definitely play a part as well, but if my memory has served me right Falvey and Levine haven't been the types to reward long-time minor leaguers with cup-of-coffee call-ups like Terry Ryan did. The last one like that I can think of is James Beresford in 2016 before Falvey was hired.

 

Furthermore, everyone they brought up for September in 2018 had already made their MLB debut except Andrew Vasquez.

Great write-up. Are any of last year's pitchers on the roster this year? They really need some help from the minors that sticks, and contributes. How many hitters? Debuts are nice. Serious contributions are needed.
    • Steve Lein likes this

 

Great write-up. Are any of last year's pitchers on the roster this year? They really need some help from the minors that sticks, and contributes. How many hitters? Debuts are nice. Serious contributions are needed.

 

None of the pitchers who made their debut last year are on the opening day roster, but if Fernando Romero figures out what ailed him this spring he could be up pretty quickly. The rest are starters vying to be the guy who is pitching the best when the Twins need someone for a spot-start.

 

Astudillo and Cave both debuted last year and have made the team. The big contribution you speak of is most likely going to come from the group of starters who debuted last year, I think.

    • Mike Sixel and howieramone2 like this
Photo
FormerMinnasotan
Mar 27 2019 03:22 PM
I really hope Thorpe starts back in Rochester not Pensacola. Thorpe already has mastered AA enough and now needs more AAA seasoning and should be in the mix for any potential call ups if he is outperforming Stewart, Littell, Gonsalves, and DeJong.

Regarding Tyler Wells I think if he pitches outstanding he’ll have as good of a chance as any for a September call up. I mean after this season Wells is a potential Rule 5 candidate. Of course the Twins could just add him to the 40 man roster after the season is over, but if he’s flat out dominating in AA and AAA the Twins might as well get a sneak peak with Wells IMO.
    • Steve Lein, Mike Sixel and 108Stitches like this

Yes, the Twins have some players that should be getting some experience, and perhaps some overmatched time, at AAA instead of the flurry of minor league free agents. Shows how rich the Twins system is of potential major league players, although still looking for that top end pitcher.

 

I so hope that if someone goes down at second or shortstop the Twins let Gordon come up and play everyday and keep the bench guys as bench guys. Gordon is close and now that he is eating up 40-man time, needs to get the at bats at the major league level before returning to the minors for adjustments.

 

Who is the future catcher, though?

    • Steve Lein likes this

 

Who is the future catcher, though?

 

Ryan Jeffers? :)

    • ChrisKnutson likes this
Photo
108Stitches
Mar 27 2019 10:30 PM

I really hope Thorpe starts back in Rochester not Pensacola. Thorpe already has mastered AA enough and now needs more AAA seasoning and should be in the mix for any potential call ups if he is outperforming Stewart, Littell, Gonsalves, and DeJong.
Regarding Tyler Wells I think if he pitches outstanding he’ll have as good of a chance as any for a September call up. I mean after this season Wells is a potential Rule 5 candidate. Of course the Twins could just add him to the 40 man roster after the season is over, but if he’s flat out dominating in AA and AAA the Twins might as well get a sneak peak with Wells IMO.

Thorpe is gonna go to ROC. As far as Tyler Wells...I’d definitely put him above dark horse.
I guess he will just have to have the best numbers of everyone in the Twins organization... again.
    • Steve Lein likes this
Photo
ScrapTheNickname
Mar 27 2019 10:30 PM

Steve, where did you play town ball?

It is impressive that you played until you were 30, it shows how much you love the game. I would much rather play than watch, but ...

    • Steve Lein likes this

 

Steve, where did you play town ball?

It is impressive that you played until you were 30, it shows how much you love the game. I would much rather play than watch, but ...

 

I played for the Cologne Coyotes, and thankfully they switched the nickname to the Hollanders after a few years, haha. Venues in their league (the Crow River Valley League) have hosted many-of-Class C state tournaments over the years and is one of the better in the state every year.

 

That damn ACL tear ruined my "career year" though, hah.

Photo
howieramone2
Mar 28 2019 10:19 AM

 

First off, thanks to all for the kind words. I love writing this piece every year!

 

Definitely a logjam, and it will only get more cluttered moving forward I think. But the point you make about it lines up with what I think is the Front Office's plan as the summer wears on. They didn't go out and sign a Keuchel or Kimbrel in the offseason, but a move for someone along those lines at the trade deadline becomes a distinct possibility when you have these assets in the organization.

I agree. We have a logjam of pretty good hitters at OF/1B/DH. It's a nice problem to have, but I don't see where they all will fit in. With so many teams in some form of rebuild, I think the trade deadline will be wild this year and an opportunity to take a shot at shoring up our pitching. 

    • Steve Lein likes this