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  The Twins have traded outfielder Michael Reed to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder John Andreoli.

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Twins Top 10 Prospects (5-1)

Posted by Jonathon Zenk , 26 March 2018 · 1,469 views

wander javier royce lewis stephen gonsalves nick gordon
Twins Top 10 Prospects (5-1) Yesterday, I started to unveil my top 10 prospects for the Minnesota Twins. In case you did not see that article, here is the rundown...

10. Akil Baddoo, OF
9. Blayne Enlow, SP
8. Brusdar Graterol, SP
7. Alex Kirilloff, OF
6. Brent Rooker, OF/1B

Here is the rest of the list...

5. Wander Javier, SS (2017 team: Elizabethton)

Last season was Javier’s first taste of pro baseball in the United States after being a big money International Free Agency signing in 2015. In his first season in the United States, Javier batted .299 with four homers and added 13 doubles. Javier got better down the stretch as well, hitting .368 in the final 13 games of the season. The Twins have an abundance of good shortstop prospects, and Javier is one of them. He will have to improve defensively, as he had a fielding percentage of just .893. It is still early, though, and it will be interesting to see him play on his first full-season team.

4. Nick Gordon, SS (2017: Chattanooga)

Gordon, another one of the really good shortstop prospects the Twins have, started off extremely well, hitting .308 in the first three months of the season. For his efforts, he was invited to the Future’s Game at the All-Star break. But from there on, he struggled mightily. Gordon ended up batting .270, but showed some pop in his bat, hitting nine homers and a combined 46 extra base hits. Still just 22 years old, he has plenty to work on, including against left-handed pitchers, where he hit only .174. Also, there are questions about whether he can stick at shortstop long-term. He might end up taking over for Brian Dozier at second base if he walks next offseason. Gordon will head back to Chattanooga, looking to correct things he struggled on last year, and if he does well, he could be a September call-up.

3. Stephen Gonsalves, SP (2017: Chattanooga, Rochester)

Gonsalves started on the DL and missed more than a month. When he did come back, though, he picked up right where he left off. In 2016, Gonsalves was 8-1 with a 1.82 ERA in 13 starts. He made 15 more starts in Tennessee after coming back from the DL and was 8-3 with a 2.68 ERA. Despite having an ERA of nearly a run higher in 2017, he actually had a lower WHIP (1.08 in 2016 compared to 1.03 in 2017). He was promoted in August to Rochester where he an up-and-down five appearances (four starts). In his four starts, he gave up 10 earned runs in 22 innings (4.09 ERA), but he had three nice starts and one that killed his ERA. In a start in Louisville, he gave up six runs in three innings. In the other three starts, he gave up just four runs in 19 innings (1.89 ERA). But in his final appearance, he was roughed up in relief, surrendering four runs in 0.2 innings, which ballooned his final Rochester ERA to 5.56. The southpaw will begin the season in New York, but I think he’ll be in Minneapolis sometime in 2018, maybe even before the All-Star break.

2. Fernando Romero (2017 team: Chattanooga)

Romero has the most potential to become an ace for the Twins. That became even more evident after his strong spring training performance, throwing eight shutout innings with a microscopic 0.13 WHIP. He struck out eight in his eight innings, as well. The 23-year-old had a great season up until the final 14 innings of the season. That should not be too surprising since he hadn’t surpassed 90 innings in any one season up until 2017, where he logged 125. Overall, Romero finished 11-9 a season ago with an ERA of 3.53 and a 1.35 WHIP, the highest it has been since 2014. His walks per nine innings was also 3.2, and will need to reduce that a bit. Romero will return to Chattanooga for the start of the season, but could pitch in Rochester or even Minneapolis at some point this season. Hopefully he can keep the train rolling from his strong spring training into Chattanooga.

1. Royce Lewis, SS (2017 teams: GCL Twins, Cedar Rapids)

Last season’s top overall pick, Lewis had a strong start to the season with the GCL Twins before struggling down the stretch. Despite falling to .271 with the GCL Twins, his OPS was still .803, helped by an OBP of .390. The sluggish finish to his stint in the GCL did not keep the Twins from moving him up, skipping Elizabethton and moving all the way up to Cedar Rapids. With the Kernels, he started with a bang, going 4-for-5 in his debut. Overall, in 18 games with the Kernels, he hit .296 with an OPS of .757. With a whole offseason to train for the Kernels, I expect big things from last year’s top overall pick. He’ll start the season in Cedar Rapids, but it would not surprise me to see him in high-A Fort Myers if he plays well in Iowa.

So, there are my top 10. As always, feel free to give your opinion...

  • howieramone2 likes this



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MaxOelerking
Mar 26 2018 06:23 PM

I love Royce Lewis, I really hope he works out for us. I happened to be in Iowa last summer when he made his debut with the Kernels. 4 for 4 with 1 RBI and 1 SB. I know it's one game but that was really cool to see, especially in his first game at the next level above rookie ball. 

 

Brent Rooker is also one that gets me excited. Yes he is older than the other prospects, but he has a deadly combination of power and intelligence. I wouldn't be surprised if he's up with the big club in '19 or '20 hitting 30+ bombs. Not trying to exaggerate at all, that guy can flat out RAKE.

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theBOMisthebomb
Mar 27 2018 05:53 AM
It is reassuring to see the Twins replenish their minor league system. The Twins will need this next wave if they are going to be a legitimate contender over the next 5-7 years and make a sustained run at the playoffs.