Minnesota’s other top position player prospects have struggled to start the year. Some injuries have been to blame. Can Kirilloff help to boost a struggling group?In case you missed any of them, Twins Daily named its Award winners for April.
- Hitter of the Month - Trey Cabbage
- Starting Pitcher of the Month - Devin Smeltzer
- Relief Pitcher of the Month - Ryan Mason
1. Royce Lewis- Fort Myers
Last week, the discussion arose about the possibility of Royce Lewis being baseball’s best prospect. Lewis has struggled to start the season. Through his first 28 games, he is hitting .227/.323/.273 with four extra-base hits. He has yet to hit a home run after clubbing 14 a season ago. He has done well against lefties by going 8-for-20 with two extra-base hits and more walks (3) than strikeouts (2).
2. Alex Kirilloff- Pensacola
Kirilloff’s wrist injury obviously impacts his start to the season. In his first four games, he has gone 4-for-13 with a double. His three walks in 18 plate appearances have helped him to get on base 50% of the time. In Pensacola, Kirilloff is nearly three years younger than the competition. It seems likely for him to spend the majority of the year at Double-A. However, he could still make his big league debut this season.
4. Trevor Larnach- Fort Myers
Larnach is part of a key group of 2018 draft picks populating the Miracle roster. In his first 28 games, he is hitting .279/.325/.369 with 10 doubles. Only one player has more doubles in the Florida State League. During his professional debut, Larnach posted a 28 to 21 strikeout to walk ratio. This season, he already has 25 strikeouts, but he has coaxed only eight walks.
5. Wander Javier- Extended Spring Training
Javier hasn’t played since 2017. He missed all of 2018 after having surgery in his non-throwing shoulder. His start to the 2019 season has been delayed because of a right quad strain. He needs to show he can stay healthy. Minnesota will have to add him to the 40-man roster this off-season and he hasn’t played a game above the Appalachian League.
6. Brent Rooker- Rochester
During his age-24 season, Rooker is getting on base 27% of the time and he has a .753 OPS. During the 2017 campaign, he posted a .930 OPS across two levels. He clubbed 18 home runs that year and his prospect stock couldn’t have been higher. Last year in Double-A his OPS dipped to .798 and he struck out a whopping 150 times in 130 games. He already has 30 strikeouts this season in 17 games.
10. Akil Baddoo- Fort Myers
Baddoo has struggled to make consistent contact during his first taste of the Florida State League. He’s averaged more than a strikeout per game but there has only been one game this season where he faced a pitcher younger than himself. When he has made contact, there has been some power in his swing. He has 10 extra-base hits. Speed has also been part of his game as he has three triples and he has been successful in four of his five steal attempts.
Can Kirilloff help to boost this struggling group? Who has the most to prove in the months ahead? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
Click here to view the article