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Article: 2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospect List: 1-5

royce lewis alex kirilloff brusdar graterol nick gordon stephen gonsalves
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#21 TRex

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:44 AM

 

Reading that caption you put above one of the video links:

 

Brusdar Graterol coming at you at 100 mph.

 

Man, how exciting is that! A Twins pitcher with velocity? What a concept! Some exciting prospects on that list.

I agree with the excitement on Graterol. Two points from the video that make me even more excited:

  1. the power is not due to over-throwing (or slinging like the aforementioned Liriano), as Seth points out and,
  2. it looks like he still gets plenty of arm-side movement on the pitch... it definitely wasn't straight!
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#22 dbminn

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:47 AM

 

Reading that caption you put above one of the video links:

 

Brusdar Graterol coming at you at 100 mph.

 

Man, how exciting is that! A Twins pitcher with velocity? What a concept! Some exciting prospects on that list.

What's really exciting is he throws 100 and doesn't walk 5 per 9 innings! He looks under control when he pitches, which is great considering his age. 

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#23 gunnarthor

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:49 AM

 

If an organization has three 'elite'' prospects, that's incredible.

 

I saw Baseball Prospectus put out their Top 50 prospects and four made it...

 

https://www.baseball...dseason-top-50/

 

It's free, so be sure to click the link to see the order and the comments. But the four included are Lewis, Gordon, Kirilloff and Graterol... in that order.  

This is probably more an "eye of the beholder" type thing but looking at the elite systems over the last few years, this current group isn't there. Twins, Cubs, Astros, Braves etc all had a bunch of truly elite guys. A little harder to go through the lists now that BA is behind pay walls but prospect guys were gushing over those systems as containing not just future starters but future all-star/mvp/cy young types. The 2015 BA top 100 was insane. I'm not sure the minors is as stocked right now as it was a few years ago. Those teams had (and have) loaded systems. Right now, maybe Lewis would have fit into the Buxton/Sano tier? Graterol might get there. Kiriloff will have to hit like crazy to get to that level and he's not there yet. 


#24 2wins87

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:22 AM

Just for fun, here's my attempt at a top 40:

 

1. Lewis (1)

2. Kirilloff (2)

3. Graterol (3)

4. Gordon (4)

5. Wade (12)

6. Rooker (7)

7. Larnach (6)

8. Baddoo (8)

9. Gonsalves (5)

10. Javier (10)

11. Thorpe (14)

12. Rortvedt (15)

13. Cave (28)

14. Blankenhorn (13)

15. Enlow (11)

16. Severino (16)

17. Pearson (19)

18. Jeffers (18)

19. Tyler Wells (27)

20. Arraez (20)

21. Miranda (21)

22. Curtiss (30)

23. Littell (10)

24. Jay (25)

25. Moya (33)

26. Sands (NR)

27. Vasquez (NR)

28. Diaz (17)

29. Stewart (23)

30. Leach (22)

31. Balazovic (31)

32. Keirsey (34)

33. Slegers (36)

34. Astudillo (NR)

35. Granite (29)

36. Davis (39)

37. De La Torre (38)

38. Moran (NR)

39. Jax (26)

40. Bechtold (32)

 

The next few would include: Watson (35), Anderson, Reed, Bard, Poppen, Mack, Arias, Whitefield (40) and Wiel

 

I don't pretend to know anything special about any of these guys.I like to give a lot more weight to performance in the upper levels for hitters (Wade, Cave).I think pitchers are almost all a bit of a crapshoot, but I do have a strange affinity for freakishly tall ones (Wells).I think Vasquez is probably the most overlooked prospect at this point, absolutely should be somewhere in the top 40.It's also hard for me to understand why Cave is so low after showing good defense and a definite chance to be an above average MLB hitter with decent pop.

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#25 gman

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:29 AM

 

That is one happy aspect of not competing this season: there will be no temptation to make a Matt Capps-like deal with a top prospect.

 


#26 Shaitan

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:30 AM

How are Graterol's mechanics? Is he likely to blow out his arm again, like everybody worried about with Liriano?

 

(Not that anybody can truly predict TJ.)

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#27 mikelink45

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:41 AM

I like these five.There is a real separation between them and the other 35 in my reading.What concerns me is the ability of the Twins to get them to the big leagues with success.It was not long ago we had Sano, Buxton, Berrios in that top slot position and so far we have succeeded with one of them.  

 

I think we need a review of the system that is in place and start evaluating whether it is as good as we need. 

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#28 Thrylos

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:49 AM

I think that Gonzalves, Gordon, and Kiriloff are overrated.

 

My concern with Kirilloff is that he is a DH/1B type.This season he has proven that he can hit in the Midwest League.But even Kennys Vargas at about the same age (21 vs 20) hit .318/.419/.610 in that League.His arm is not strong at all.I saw him at Spring training triple bounce one throw from RF to 1B and double bounce 2.That is Ben Revere arm.Also from what I have seen, his range is Chris Parmelee-like out there.He might be an OF, he might not.

 

Gordon seems to start hot every season and then either June or July the wheels fall off.My take is that it is a matter of conditioning and working out getting some muscle and stamina, esp. in the off-season.He is 150 lbs soaking wet.He has to prove that he has the motivation and will power to be a professional baseball player and spend the off-season like one.

 

Gonzalves is a lot like Duffey (best pitch curveball) but his fastball and control are not as good as Duffey's.Duffey had half a good season before he was figured out in the bigs.Is Gonsalves fixable?Could be.He still is young.However, there is no way that he should be the number 5 prospect in this system.39:60 BB:K ratio in AAA projects organizational depth... His ceiling is number 5 starter/long man at this point

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#29 Mike Sixel

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 10:08 AM

 

Very early but the Twins have thus far made the best pick of that draft. Hunter Greene has struggled so far, Gore/Wright/McKay have had mixed success on the mound as all are sitting with ERAs in the 4.00s this year (that's not so big for Gore/Greene as high school pitchers and Wright is in AA but you'd still like to see more dominance). McKay and Greene have both been unspectacular at the plate as well. It's obviously hard to hit and pitch but McKay should have been tearing up A ball but has been strikeout prone.

 

Blayne Enlow has been holding his own - if he develops that Lewis pick under slot could be pretty ridiculous.

 

 

FG has Gore, McKay and Wright ranked higher in their updated prospect list, and they've seen them and talked to scouts across the leagues to do those updates. Greene has been better as the year has gone on, but is ranked lower than Lewis on their update.

 

I love Lewis, but I just don't get these posts at all.

 

For the list....I don't know if I'd have Gonsalves this high, but I'm not sure or not. Can't argue with the rest of the top 5, or the order, at all. 

 

A good top 5 for sure.

 

Lewis can hit and run and Kiriloff looks like the hitter that the scouts talked about. Gaterol has elite stuff, just need to see how it holds up and develops. Grodon will have a long career at SS or 2B, maybe not elite, but good, long, career.

Edited by Mike Sixel, 13 July 2018 - 10:11 AM.

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#30 alarp33

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 10:17 AM

 

I think that Gonzalves, Gordon, and Kiriloff are overrated.

 

My concern with Kirilloff is that he is a DH/1B type.This season he has proven that he can hit in the Midwest League.But even Kennys Vargas at about the same age (21 vs 20) hit .318/.419/.610 in that League.  

 

 

 

Vargas was in A+ from late July - end of season 2012, he was 22 nearly his whole time there. 

 

Kiriloff started at A+ as a 20.5 year old. That's a year and a half age difference, not as insignificant as you are trying to make it seem.  

 

Kiriloff also missed the entire 2017 season, making the numbers is he putting up all the more impressive. 

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#31 jkcarew

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 10:44 AM

Really aggressive on Graterol, but I don't think there's much arguing the upside.His video does look nice...looks strong and athletic, and obviously the velocity.

 

The risk and distance to the major leagues has him lower, IMO.I'm high on him, but not quite that excited yet.One thing that would help (in terms of how I look at him at this point in time) is if we were seeing him handle a realistic workload.And two years removed from the surgery, we're not seeing that yet. I'm not suggesting this is, in and of itself, an indication of an issue...I'm saying it's tough to get a good sense of his trajectory when he's sitting at one season of 40 innings and another (this season) where he's sitting at 50 innings in the middle of July. I imagine by next year (hopefully) we'll start seeing him handling a regular workload and, at the same time, facing tougher competition.

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#32 ThejacKmp

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:14 AM

 

FG has Gore, McKay and Wright ranked higher in their updated prospect list, and they've seen them and talked to scouts across the leagues to do those updates. Greene has been better as the year has gone on, but is ranked lower than Lewis on their update.

 

You think that's a preference for pitching over hitting? Or perhaps the potential for Lewis to end up in the OF?


#33 Seth Stohs

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:25 AM

 

I love the potential of Lewis, Graterol, and Kiriloff and realize we have to be patient, but we have to find out soon what we have in Gonsalves and Gordon in preparation for 2019. And I'm not thinking September. I'm thinking mid to late July.

 

While Gordon and Gonsalves are top prospects and both are at AAA, there isn't necessarily a rush to get them to the big leagues by September, for sure not by July. That said, I think we'll see them in September, and if we do, it doesn't have to be in preparation for 2019. 

 

Gonsalves needs to work on control/command. Gordon's got to work on defense and still some hitting. Gonsalves has two option years remaining. Gordon has three option years remaining. So yes, it will be good to get them some big league experience, but what they show in MLB this year, whether it is a month or two, shouldn't give anyone some sort of final answer on them.

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#34 Thrylos

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:25 AM

 

Vargas was in A+ from late July - end of season 2012, he was 22 nearly his whole time there. 

 

Kiriloff started at A+ as a 20.5 year old. That's a year and a half age difference, not as insignificant as you are trying to make it seem.  

 

Kiriloff also missed the entire 2017 season, making the numbers is he putting up all the more impressive. 

 

I am talking about A, Midwest League, not A+, Florida State League.

 

Again, my concern with him is not his numbers, but his fielding...

 

Edited by Thrylos, 13 July 2018 - 11:26 AM.

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#35 Seth Stohs

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:27 AM

 

"Over the past two weeks, we have been counting down our Top 40 Midseason Minnesota Twins Prospect Rankings."

 

If we have been counting down, we should be moving toward the bottom, yet here we are, concluding the list at the top. :) Weird language this idiomatic English...

 

Counting up? :-) 


#36 Mike Sixel

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:28 AM

 

You think that's a preference for pitching over hitting? Or perhaps the potential for Lewis to end up in the OF?

 

Definitely not a preference for pitching, having read them the last few years. They are all bunched up in about the same spot, my only point is that I don't get the opinion that somehow they made the right choice for sure or not at this point.....nothing more or less.

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#37 Seth Stohs

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:31 AM

 

How are Graterol's mechanics? Is he likely to blow out his arm again, like everybody worried about with Liriano?

 

(Not that anybody can truly predict TJ.)

 

I'm not an expert on pitcher mechanics, but when I watch the above video, or the one I posted on twitter when I saw him pitch, it's' smooth. In theory, that's a good thing. But, it's' also not natural to throw something 101 mph, so always a risk. 

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#38 Seth Stohs

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:36 AM

 

I like these five.There is a real separation between them and the other 35 in my reading.What concerns me is the ability of the Twins to get them to the big leagues with success.It was not long ago we had Sano, Buxton, Berrios in that top slot position and so far we have succeeded with one of them.  

 

I think we need a review of the system that is in place and start evaluating whether it is as good as we need. 

 

Explain what you mean by 'we need a review of the system that is in place"? 

 

For evaluation, or for the Twins? 

 

I know that part of Jeff Pickler's job description is a liason between development and the big leagues and working through that process. I don't 'know what that involves completely, but adding a coach and putting that in the job description certainly is a positive.

 

And, I don't 'know if it's' fair to say that Sano hasn't' panned out. I mean, he's' had two really good seasons out of 3 1/2 including a very deserving all star nod last year. We can''t' forget that as part of his story.

 

And, while Buxton hasn't become what we thought offensively, he's been everythign we could want defensively. 

 

I still believe both will be long-time productive big leaguers again soon. 

 

And also, ,with any prospect in baseball, whether he's a #1 overall prospect, a #11 overall prospect or #101 prospect... you never know. It's far from a perfect science, even with the advanced analytics. 

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#39 Seth Stohs

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:41 AM

 

Really aggressive on Graterol, but I don't think there's much arguing the upside.His video does look nice...looks strong and athletic, and obviously the velocity.

 

The risk and distance to the major leagues has him lower, IMO.I'm high on him, but not quite that excited yet.One thing that would help (in terms of how I look at him at this point in time) is if we were seeing him handle a realistic workload.And two years removed from the surgery, we're not seeing that yet. I'm not suggesting this is, in and of itself, an indication of an issue...I'm saying it's tough to get a good sense of his trajectory when he's sitting at one season of 40 innings and another (this season) where he's sitting at 50 innings in the middle of July. I imagine by next year (hopefully) we'll start seeing him handling a regular workload and, at the same time, facing tougher competition.

 

I've had people tell me that he could be up next summer... the concern is building him up and getting him innings. But his stuff is that good, and he's so strong in his lower half. He could be a guy that eventually builds into being able to eat a lot of innings because of his strength. Obviously we'll see how it plays out, but his 'distance from the big leagues' may not be as far as we'd normally think. 

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#40 ThejacKmp

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:46 AM

 

Definitely not a preference for pitching, having read them the last few years. They are all bunched up in about the same spot, my only point is that I don't get the opinion that somehow they made the right choice for sure or not at this point.....nothing more or less.

 

Oh clearly way too early to really make that call. But with the underslot, it seems like Lewis has had the fastest start out of all of them (obviously it's how you finish, see Buxton, Byron).




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