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Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/14): Great Graterol!

brusdar graterol lamonte wade nick gordon lachlan wells alex kirilloff
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#21 2wins87

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 09:44 AM

With all the prospect love going around someone has to mention Lamonte Wade who's now tied for second in HR among all Twins affiliates.All while keeping the same crazy good plate discipline numbers.I'm more and more convinced that he can be a good major league hitter despite his lack of a carrying tool.

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#22 twins1095

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 10:42 AM

 

Would like to see him get that BB% up a bit.His BABIP is riding high right now.The production is great, but he's not a speed demon.If he keeps hitting everything in A-ball on the screws, he'll need to be challenged at a higher level to round out his approach.

 

It is great to see him come back from injury and start lighting it up though.

 

I definitely agree on the BB%, getting that walk rate from ~6 range to the 8-10 range would be big for him.I do agree to that he's riding a high BABIP and that he's not gonna keep performing like this through the rest of the season--110+ XBH and 155+ RBIs per 162 games is a ridiculous pace. (If he does we might have the future GOAT on our hands).But I will push back a little bit on the BABIP measure, it's likely that he is operating with some luck, but power hitters who hit the ball as hard as he seemingly does and get a ton of XBH do carry higher BABIP's than the league average. 

 

Just for comparision some of the other names thrown around in threads trying to compare his development to--Oswaldo Arica, Jason Kubel, Miguel Sano, Justin Morneau, even Kennys Vargas--all of these are power hitting prospects that have developed through the Twins system over the previous years.All of these carries BABIP's in the mid-300's...especially at the lower level.If Kirillof is near these guys level in terms of a power prospect, carrying a BABIP in the .320-.360 range, again especially at the lower levels of the minors, wouldn't be by any means out of the norm.  

 

Kirillof's BABIP in rookie ball was .328 in 55 games, while this year its at .348...84 games through his minor league career Kirillof is carrying a BABIP of about .335.That's even towards the lower end of the BABIP's some of those power prospects carrying for longer stretches of time in the (especially in the low) minors.  

 

Now we'll see if Kirillof develops on the level that many of those prospects did, but if he is the kind of guy that early returns are trending him towards...we're talking about a guy who BABIP's below .315 or .320 probably mean he's going through periods of bad luck as opposed to fortune despite that number being well above the league average of .300.  

 

We'll see and again I fully expect regression, but again power prospects (Mike Trout's BABIP was closer to .400 then .350 in the minors.Bryce Harper's was about .340.Even Eddie Rosario was in the .320-.330 range with seasons well above that)I'm not comparing Kirillof to Harper or Trout, but important context when understanding his BABIP likely means expecting it to be .320 or .330 plus.  

 

Further, especially for a guy like Kirillof that uses all fields well and lets his natural power carry the ball to the entire field (2018: 39 pull - 31 center - 30 opposite field Rookie: 41 pull - 19 center - 40 opposite field)With that kind of approach, one would expect less at bats in which Kirillof gets himself out by trying to pull a ball on the outside part of the plate or something such as that.This is one of the bigger positive indicators in my mind that Kirillof will not only hit for power, but should also hit for a decent average.  

 

I expect the 85 2B + 3B pace per 162 to come down, but probably in exchange for singles more often than outs.I wouldn't at all be surprised to see him finish .330ish+ in the BABIP department.  

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He currently has 22 doubles, 3 3Bs, 12 HRs, 60 rbi's, .334 BABIP in 84 career minor league games (23 hr, 42 2B, 5 3B, 116 RBI pace).I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him finish at per game production levels similar to that.

 

The biggest thing for me is that I'd like to see in the BB%, at about 5.8% this year and about 4.8% his initial stint in rookie ball.He seems to swing away and it hasn't at all hurt him yet--especially with his willingness to use all parts of the field.But at higher levels this seemingly could hurt him if he doesn't increase this rate. 

 

I do believe to some extent this metric and the type of approach at the plate that a high BB% or low BB% indicatesis something that either a player has or doesn't.I don't think there are many players that go from one extreme to the other.Kirillof isn't Rosario walk avoidant levels, but he isn't all that far off.I'm not sure he'll ever be a guy that has an above average BB% nearing or above 10%, but hopefully he can get to 7 or 8% which should indicate enough of a certain type of approach at the plate that won't negatively effect him at higher levels. 

 

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Other than that small tweak, I can't state enough how much I like what I see and how much I think Twins fans should be positive about this guy.His success at A ball, if it continues, suggests that the Twins, if they want, could choose to move him up a level or two to A+ or AA to see how he handles it during the second half of this year. 

 

In my opinion orginazations should give players as much as they can chew especially if they haven't yet shown they can't handle it.If they continue to show they can handle higher levels of competition at a younger age than expected, than that bodes extremely well from them as a prospect.If they don't, well I think it's good for hitters to know their weaknesses that can be exploited at higher leves as early as possible.I don't think a little adversity is harmful negatively on a long-term basis, this does depend a little bit on the makeup of the prospect, but Kirilloff to me in interviews I've read shows a really mature demeanour and one of his touted strengthsis his baseball IQ.  

 

I hope Kirilloff gets a chance at AA should his success continue, even it's just 10, 15, or 20 games near the end of the season.This should allow him to start next season at AA and put him in really good company and on a really good trend towards future major league success.

 

Now with that being said, it's hard to remember that Kirilloff is only 20 years old, with only 29 games out of rookie ball coming off a Tommy John injury and a year away from competitive baseball.I would understand the orginization being careful and cautious with him.But I would argue that until he gives you a reason to be this way then you're envisioning things in your head that might not and probably aren't even there.  

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Overall, I couldn't be more excited that the Twins have seemingly hit on a big natural power bat who's power comes not from launch angle changes or approach switches to cheat and pull more balls, but naturally through driving the ball where it's pitched.I think that's an extremely strong skillset and formula to success at higher levels and eventually the majors. 

 

The Twins are going to have some really interesting orginzational decisions on their hands over the next 2-3 years.I think both Kirilloff and Lamonte Wade are going to be big-time players that have a major league skillset that the team is really intigued with having in their lineup.Where these guys fit in with Rosario, Kepler, and Buxton I'm not sure.I think there's room for both if you want to get creative with Rosario at DH, Kirillof at 1st, and Wade in LF.But I'm also not sure the Twins will be comfortable with Sano at 3rd long-term--if not for his defensive issues which I personally think are overblown, but because of his inability to stay healthy both playing in the field and hitting over a full-season.If that's the case, then Kepler (or possibly Rosario) could be an extremely interesting trade candidate that could fetch a pretty good return on a future position of need.  

 

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Regardless, I haven't been this excited for a Twins prospect group since Berrios/Buxton/Sano/Polanco/Rosario/Kepler were all in this position of being 1-2-3 years away from the majors.It's a testament to the Twins drafting and development that they've been able to stack groups of prospects of this kind of talent back to back in the way that they have.  

 

Lewis, Kirilloff, Gordon, Wade, Romero, Gonsalves, Graterol just might be as impactful if not more as the above group has turned out to be.  

 

 

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#23 twins1095

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 11:03 AM

 

With all the prospect love going around someone has to mention Lamonte Wade who's now tied for second in HR among all Twins affiliates.All while keeping the same crazy good plate discipline numbers.I'm more and more convinced that he can be a good major league hitter despite his lack of a carrying tool.

 

I actually just made a post about him.He's been my guy for a year plus or now.I'm extremely high on guys that can command a plate appearance, get on base, and make contact in the way he's been able to with almost shocking consistency in his numbers at every level so far.He's gonna fly under the radar and he has and a lack of skillset with a potential superstar ceiling is gonna keep him from being talked about, but I will really be surprised if he doesn't outperform the #4 OF monicker given to him. 

 

Look at the career Grossman's been able to carve out for himself with this same type of trait as his most elite skill.This is despite Grossman being below average on the base paths and not being able to field a position positively.Grossman has even less of a hit tool than Wade has shown at similar levels and even if the hit tool is similar, Wade packages it with much fewer strikeouts, plus speed, positive baserunning value, and arguably plus defense at any OF position.If Wade is a Grossman clone with the bat, but has a bigger package with the speed, defense, and more contact...I can't see how that skillset doesn't play up even further than Grossman has been able to make it do.Further, in a modern MLB with rising strikeout numbers, fewer guys being able to hit for average, and even get on base.Wade's skillset is one that many teams are going to desperately try and seek and one that's a relatively scarce in the current market. 

 

Put it this way, there's tons of guys who can hit 20 HRs and 20-25 XBH to a degree that's never been seen before in the MLB.There was a time when this skillset was scarce and guys who could offer this were extremely sought after.Now 40 HR guys struggle to get signed and have to sign short term prove it deals for low AAVs (Logan Morrison).Modern MLB teams, the Twins included, are full of guys that can hit 40-50 extra bases and drive in tons of runs--but what they lack are guys that can get on base at somewhere close to a .380-.400 clip and also have speed.  

 

Kepler, Rosario, Sano, Dozier, and even Buxton if he returns to last year's numbers or basically the heart of the Twins lineup are all going to go for 40+ extra base hits...they're stuck throwing Mauer out in the leadoff spot or underutilizing Dozier's power.This is a skillset that the Twins and many teams want and Wade provides.The pitching will get tougher as Wade goes to AAA and the majors, but BB% numbers and the ability to command an at bat skill that Wade provides should allow him to continue to steadily provide a .275-.295 average and .370-.400 OBP. This ability along with speed to maximize bases while on base should allow Wade to be an extremely valuable player for a team even if he only hits 25 doubles, 4-5 triples, 10 HRs, and 15 SBs...which seems to be pretty much his floor in my eyes.  

 

Wade might not have a high ceiling or even a ceiling much higher than that (think 30 doubles, 5 3Bs, 15 HRs, 15 SBs), but he's gonna get on base a TON and score a TON of runs.You can't build your team around him, but adding him to a lineup with run producers in place--he's the perfect asset to maximize your run producers skillsets.  

 

That's all Wade is and isn't and I can't see him really being more or less than a guy who puts up those kinds of numbers--he might even be closer to the floor I listed.He's gonna help a team out big time. 

 


#24 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 12:32 PM

 

If he is #2, that would put him ahead of either Lewis or Romero, right?If he is #1, he would be ahead of both.Or don't you consider Romero a prospect any more?

 

Leowis is a potential five tool superstar.Graterol is a potential hard throwing ACE.Who is more valuable to a team and worthy of the top slot, nw that's an interesting question? 

 

Romero has less than 16 innings in the big leagues, he's still a 'prospect."

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#25 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 12:35 PM

 

It may be time for Twins Daily to set up some type of poll or pool...who will be the first Kernels player promoted to Fort Myers?Lots of great candidates!

 

There have been a bunch already. 

 

Rumors are the Lewis could move up very soon, but I think Kirilloff has put himself in position to move up too. Rortvedt could move. Graterol... I'm not sure. They're not going to push him too fast.

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#26 twins1095

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 01:02 PM

 

There have been a bunch already. 

 

Rumors are the Lewis could move up very soon, but I think Kirilloff has put himself in position to move up too. Rortvedt could move. Graterol... I'm not sure. They're not going to push him too fast.

 

Are we talking A+ or AA?Lewis (19 -- 20 in June) and Kirillof (20 -- 21 in Nov) at AA this quickly must be more than the Twins could even expect.Both guys could get 100 games and if the success continues, start at AAA sometime early in the 2019-20 season.

 

Do you see the Twins moving Wade up to AAA when these two are moved up to AA? 


#27 cmoss84

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 01:18 PM

Is it just me or does Graterol remind anyone of a young King Felix?

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#28 HrbekRules

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 01:27 PM

Kirilloff is becoming a very intriguing prospect!

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#29 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 01:34 PM

 

Are we talking A+ or AA?Lewis (19 -- 20 in June) and Kirillof (20 -- 21 in Nov) at AA this quickly must be more than the Twins could even expect.Both guys could get 100 games and if the success continues, start at AAA sometime early in the 2019-20 season.

 

Do you see the Twins moving Wade up to AAA when these two are moved up to AA? 

 

Cedar Rapids is Low A, so the move up with be High-A. Lewis and Kirilloff aren't going to AA this year. Wade will get up to AAA this year. 


#30 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 01:36 PM

 

Is it just me or does Graterol remind anyone of a young King Felix?

 

Not just you...

 

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#31 2wins87

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 01:44 PM

 

I'm impressed with the control for someone as young as he is and will be watching to see if that continues.How's the movement on his FB, obviously when we're talking 100+ we're talking icing on the cake, but if he throws that hard with any kind of movement--wow.  

 

Or is that kind of thing where it flattens out at when he's touching 99-101 and when he's at 95-98 it's got a little bit more movement to it. 

 

What's his best secondary pitch?Can he control it yet? 

 

From the two videos of parts of his start that I can find: 

https://www.youtube....h?v=A0vU8SYUFR8

https://www.youtube....h?v=PuvyKtNB22Y

 

I don't think my eye for this stuff is that great, but his fastball looks like it has a little run but is overall fairly straight.I can't tell if he's mixing in any two seamers.The slider command looked pretty great though.Got at least two called strikes and two swinging strikes on it in the second video.


#32 Steve Lein

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 02:25 PM

 

All while keeping the same crazy good plate discipline numbers.I'm more and more convinced that he can be a good major league hitter despite his lack of a carrying tool.

 

You mentioned his carrying tool right before that last sentence! :)

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Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)

#33 Jaykay

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 03:03 PM

I'm usually in favor of quick promotions, but I'm heading to Cedar Rapids to watch the Kernels over Memorial Day weekend. 

 

Hopefully all the big names are around for a few more weeks. 

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#34 jokin

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 05:19 PM

 

Is it just me or does Graterol remind anyone of a young King Felix?

 

Not just you...

 

 

Exactly what I was hinting at, but afraid to say out loud! ( I'm trying like crazy not to put the jinx on, but the guy does seem too good to be true).

 

Are his arm problems fully behind him? One big difference, and a reality check-

King Felix was throwing:

150 IP @ age 18

172 IP @ age 19 (84 IP @ MLB level)

190 IP @ age 20

 

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#35 jokin

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 05:20 PM

 

 

. Wade will get up to AAA this year. 

 

As will Gordon and Wiel?

 

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#36 jokin

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 05:23 PM

 

 

Cedar Rapids is Low A, so the move up with be High-A. Lewis and Kirilloff aren't going to AA this year.

 

How about both to Chatty for the September playoffs?

 

Who plays regular SS in Chatty when Gordon moves to AAA?

 

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#37 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:17 PM

 

As will Gordon and Wiel?

 

Quite possibly. Gordon more likely. I'd think Wiel spends the full year in AA. 


#38 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:18 PM

 

How about both to Chatty for the September playoffs?

 

Who plays regular SS in Chatty when Gordon moves to AAA?

 

I'd be surprised if Lewis and/or Kirilloff get to Chattanooga.

 

SS for Chattanooga after Gordon moves up... Sean Miller, Alex Perez, 




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