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Minors Causing Major Issues for the Twins


Ted Schwerzler

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Remember when a global pandemic killed off an entire Minor League Baseball season? That was unfortunate, and it’s been great to have an affiliated season back in full swing, but the Twins have taken their lumps injury wise on the farm too.

I have consistently been of the mindset that this Twins team is an outlier when it comes to performance. There’s too much talent on this team for them to be as bad as they’ve been. With that reality, expecting a resurgent turnaround in 2022 is hardly far-fetched. The front office will have the opportunity to supplement the existing core once again.

The problem is that depth and development from the farm may not bear the fruit it was expected to.

Royce Lewis tore his ACL before even playing a game in 2021. As things stand now, top pitching prospects are all over the IL. Edwar Colina and Blayne Enlow have both had surgery. Jhoan Duran has now been shut down and Matt Canterino is set to return but remains a question mark. Hitting prospect Matt Wallner is still shelved and we still have three months left of the season to make it through.

For Minnesota, the chief problem in 2021 has been pitching. The rotation wasn’t expected to have many holdovers a year from now, and both Jose Berrios and Kenta Maeda were thought to be awaiting stable mates from the farm. Now that could be less likely than ever, and this current core may find themselves misaligned with the next wave of talent.

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine will be tasked with the decision of whether a rebuild is necessary. Their long-term futures with the organization impact that choice, and how quickly they’d like to rid themselves of this taste will probably be part of the equation. Their hand becomes a bit less fruitful given the development that their cheap and controllable assets are now less reliable than they may have been had things gone differently.

It was important for minor league guys to get back in games in order to showcase what they’d done in the time off. The hope would be that some of the top talents could be accelerated and challenged this season. Instead, much of the top 20 is shelved for one reason or another, and there’s more questions than answers in Twins Territory both now, and in the future.

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

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Good write up Ted, I agree. The lost season for most of the MiLBers has really slowed their development. Some of the hitters seem to be coming around the past few weeks. So many injuries, another lost season for some of the players.

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Good names, but most will either need to be a 40-man decision, and most all should spend a good part of next season in the minors unless the Twins go totally into rebuild mold. The question is who to push to AAA, how does that affect their Rule 5 claim standing in baseball, and who do the Twins look at contributing in 2022, or is it mostly for these guys 2023 and beyond. At some point the current front office will make decisions longer term on Sano Kepler and Polanco. They need to set up a system to get a hard look at 2-3 starting prospects a season and hope that at least one a year sticks STRONGLY. 

 

There seems to be little of a push towards advancing players. Look at how the Twins are raiding the indy leagues and AAAA guys for the saints and even Wichita. We will see!

 

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The injuries throughout the organization make this a very difficult year to judge.  Who to keep, who to advance, who to trade, who to count on and when?  This is a particularly hard year to look into the crystal ball. 

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It's not just the minors. Major leaguers are constantly hitting the IL though I don't know if the numbers are up from previous years. And batting averages are way down. I almost thought we were going to have a batting champion like Pete Runnels (I think) who won a batting title batting .298 or maybe was the only .300 hitter in the league (.302?) when he won (oh, that really dates me).

Ok. I looked it up. It was 1968 and it was Yaz who won the batting title with a .301 average. He was the only .300 hitter in the AL that year. Oliva was in the top 10 but hit less than .300.

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