After managing in Cedar Rapids in 2018, Toby Gardenhire will spend his first season managing in Ft. Myers in 2019. Luis Ramirez has been a pitching coach or coordinator in the Twins system since 2006 when he was in Venezuela. He has spent the last four years in Elizabethton. This is his first season with the Miracle. Matt Borgschulte joined the organization as a coach prior to the 2018 season when he worked in the GCL. He jumps to the Miracle as their hitting coach.
Here is a look at the Miracle Opening Day roster. Note that this is a tentative roster and can be updated before their season starts on Thursday.
Catchers: Ben Rortvedt, Ryan Jeffers
Infielders: Lewin Diaz, Travis Blankenhorn, Michael Helman, Royce Lewis, Ryan Costello, Jose Miranda
Outfielders: Trevor Larnach, Akil Baddoo, Aaron Whitefield, Mark Contreras
Melvi Acosta, Charlie Barnes, Edwar Colina (IL), Randy Dobnak, Jhoan Duran, Calvin Faucher, Tom Hackimer, Hector Lujan, Bailey Ober, Alex Phillips, Johan Quezada, Alex Robinson (IL), Bryan Sammons, Anthony Vizcaya, Tyler Watson, Lachlan Wells (IL).
CF - Akil Baddoo
SS - Royce Lewis
LF - Trevor Larnach
3B - Jose Miranda/Travis Blankenhorn
1B - Lewin Diaz/Ryan Costello
2B - Michael Helman/Travis Blankenhorn
C - Ryan Jeffers/Ben Rortvedt
RF - Aaron Whitefield
DH - any of these guys
- Royce Lewis (Twins Daily #1 Prospect) - The #1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, Lewis had a strong first full season in pro ball in 2018. He was promoted to the Miracle for the final two months last year and returns to start this season. His prospect status nationally jumped and he is now a consensus top ten guy nationally.
- Trevor Larnach (Twins Daily #4 Prospect) - The Twins first-round pick in 2018 out of Oregon State where he helped lead the Beavers to a College World Series championship. He signed and played last year in Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids. He homered in his first MLB spring training at-bat this year.
- Jhoan Duran (Twins Daily #7 Prospect) - Duran joined the organization at the July trade deadline last year in Eduardo Escobar deal with the Diamondbacks. He made a strong impression with the Kernels, flashing a 94-97 mph fastball and secondary pitches with potential. (Prospect Spotlight)
- Akil Baddoo (Twins Daily #10 Prospect) - Speed, power potential and good plate discipline, Baddoo is an intriguing prospect. After filling out the stat line in 2018 in Cedar Rapids, Baddoo will likely spend the 2019 season with the Miracle.
- Ryan Jeffers (Twins Daily #13 Prospect) - The Twins surprised many when they used their second-round draft pick in 2018 on the catcher from UNC-Wilmington. He debuted in Elizabethton and put up crazy numbers before moving up to the Kernels for the end of the season.
- Ben Rortvedt (Twins Daily #14 Prospect) - Rortvedt was the Twins 2nd-round pick in 2016 out of high school in Wisconsin. The strong-armed backstop took major strides forward offensively in 2018 and spent the second-half of 2018 with the Miracle.
- Jose Miranda (Twins Daily #20 Prospect) - Drafted immediately after Baddoo as a comp pick after the second round in 2016, Miranda really came on strong in the second half of 2018. Ended the season with the Miracle. Will continue to play second base and third base. Huge power potential.
- Edwar Colina - The Appy League Pitcher of the Year in 2017, Colina markedly improved in 2018. He went 7-4 with a 2.48 ERA before ending the season with a start in Ft. Myers. He also started the Miracle championship game. Blessed with an upper-90s fastball, Colina has a quality three-pitch mix.
- The Miracle won the Florida State League championship with the help of several players who came up to the team late in the season. Will that group be able to gain a playoff berth before they move up to Pensacola?
- As you can see, this team is loaded with top prospects. Most of these guys will spend at least the first half of the season with the Miracle, but at that point, any number of players could move up to Pensacola.
- Jhoan Duran and Edwar Colina are all upper-90s guys in the Miracle rotation.
- Many will wonder why the Twins aren’t being quite as aggressive with the likes of Trevor Larnach or Ryan Jeffers as they were with Brent Rooker. Rooker spent his first full season of pro ball in A last year. However, he had four years of college whereas Larnach and Jeffers each spent three years in college. That said, don’t be surprised if one or both of these guys end up in AA by the end of the season.
- Quietly, Michael Helman joins Larnach and Jeffers as 2018 draft picks starting in Ft. Myers.
- Lewin Diaz was a big dude when he signed as a 16-year-old. Last offseason, he came to camp down about 25 pounds. This offseason, he lost a similar amount and looks fantastic. He missed half of the season with an injury and will look to return to his higher prospect status.
- Royce Lewis won’t turn 20 until early June. He spent the final six weeks of the 2018 season with the Miracle, so getting him more time in the league is just fine. At the same time in his career (2nd full season), Joe Mauer spent the first half in Ft. Myers and the second half in New Britain (AA). He opened the next season with the big league club.
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