Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Revisiting the Twins 2018 Top Prospects


cjm0926

3,470 views

 Share

Twins Video

Prospects are exciting, but they do come with some risks. The Twins currently seem to have as deep of a system as ever, but until the prospects reach the majors, it doesn’t matter. Today I will be revisiting the 2018 Twins Top 30 Prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, going through #1 to #15 on the list, and give some reason for hope, and some for fear for the current crop.

 

#1 Royce Lewis

Acquired: Drafted 2017, 1st Overall

Current Team: Twins Organization

Royce Lewis was a bit of a surprise being drafted #1 overall in 2017, many believed it would be high school flamethrower Hunter Greene going to the Twins instead. He is still currently the #1 prospect in the Twins system. Royce Lewis has shown plenty to be excited about, but also has shown some concerns, especially tearing his ACL right before spring training in 2021. He figures to be the most important piece to the Twins success in the coming years, will he be able to live up to the hype?

 

#2 Fernando Romero

Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011, $260,000 Signing Bonus

Current Team: Yokohama DeNA BayStars (Japan)

Likely the biggest letdown on this list, Romero was a late find for the Twins, who had some competition in signing Romero. Ultimately, it all worked out and the Twins got a deal done. Romero played well in his first couple years of minor league ball before tearing his UCL and requiring Tommy John surgery, knocking him out of the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He came back and worked his way up to his debut in 2018, pitching well for a few starts and ended the season with a 4.69 ERA. The Twins tried to turn him into a bullpen piece in 2019, but to no avail. It failed miserably and he was sent back to the minors. In 2020 he could not get into the United States for Spring Training due to visa issues, and was ultimately released late in 2020.

 

#3 Stephen Gonsalves

Acquired: Drafted 2013, 110th Overall

Current Team: Cubs Organization

Another massive letdown. Unlike Romero, Gonsalves never found any big league success, even for a few starts. He was expected to go higher, but an incident where he lied to the dean of his high school was made public and as a result, he fell lower in the draft. The Twins signed him away from his San Diego college commitment. He only pitched 24.2 innings in the majors for the Twins, all in 2019 ending with a 6.57 ERA. He has been in multiple other organizations throughout the past 2 years, only having big league time with the Red Sox in 2021.

 

#4 Nick Gordon 

Acquired: Drafted 2013, 5th Overall

Current Team: Twins

Gordon has had a rather long journey to the big leagues. He was drafted very high in 2013 and posted solid stats in the minors, and was finally added to the 40-man after the 2018 season. Gordon’s season was limited in 2019 due to injuries, and he endured a rough battle with Covid-19 during the cancelled 2020 minor league season, knocking him out of any possible baseball activity. He finally made his long awaited debut with the Twins, playing his way into a possible future role as a super-utility man. I personally am a big fan of Gordon and think he will be a good player for the Twins in the coming years. Fun fact: Outside of baseball, Nick Gordon also raps with his stage name of G Cinco.

 

#5 Wander Javier

Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2015, $4 Million Signing Bonus

Current Team: Twins Organization

When the Twins signed Wander Javier out of the DR, they gave him the highest signing bonus in franchise history, breaking Miguel Sano’s $3.15 Million in 2010. The first 2 years of his professional career looked good, and he could be a big contributor for the Twins in the future. Since then, not much has gone right. He has battled injuries and has been inconsistent to say the least. On the bright side, he is still only 22 years old, and plays a premium position, shortstop. If he can find what he seemed to once have he still has enough time to become a solid Major Leaguer.

 

#6 Alex Kirilloff

Acquired: Drafted 2016, 15th Overall

Current Team: Twins

Alex Kirilloff was drafted out of Pennsylvania as a good hitting corner outfielder. He didn’t disappoint in his first taste of pro ball in 2016, but in 2017 he needed Tommy John surgery, knocking him out for the year. He really broke out in 2018 and earned a top 20 rank in most prospect lists. Kirilloff had a good first showing in the MLB in 2021, but just had some bad luck on batted balls as well as a wrist injury ended his season early. Although he can play outfield, it appears he will be the Twins first baseman of the future.

 

#7 Brusdar Graterol

Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2014, $150,00 Signing Bonus

Current Team: Dodgers

Saying Brusdar throws hard is an understatement, he throws extremely hard. He also has good offspeed. The Twins traded him along with Luke Raley to the Dodgers in exchange for Kenta Maeda. Graterol has only been used in the bullpen by the Dodgers, and rightfully so. He had posted mixed results. Personally, I am content with the trade. Sure, Brusdar could have been a good bullpen arm for the next 5+ years, but we got a near Cy Young season with Maeda. An elbow injury ended his season early and will likely eat up his whole 2022 season, but he has shown how good of a pitcher he can be, and in my opinion, you cannot be too upset with the trade.

 

#8 Brent Rooker

Acquired: Drafted 2017, 35th Overall

Current Team: Twins

What could have been, and what might still be. Rooker has shown off the light-tower power he was drafted for, but also hasn’t been very consistent. He has proven just about everything he has needed to in the minors, but can’t quite figure it out in the majors. Over his 2 partial year Major League career, he has had a 32.1% strikeout rate. He also plays below average defense in right and left field. If he can find his swing in the majors, he could be a great DH or good corner outfielder, but time is running out, especially since he is already 27.

 

#9 Blayne Enlow

Acquired: Drafted 2017, 76th Overall

Current Team: Twins Organization

The Twins paid Enlow over twice slot value at $2 million, to keep him from going to LSU. He had pitched very well in the minors, but has been injured a fair amount too. A few weeks into the 2021 season it was revealed that he would need Tommy John surgery, keeping him out until mid-2022. The Twins have shown they have faith in him though, adding him to the 40-man roster this offseason rather than risk losing him. He is still young enough though, he is currently 22 and will be 23 on opening day. I think he will become a good starter in the majors.

 

#10 Lewin Diaz

Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in 2014, $1.4 Million Signing Bonus

Current Team: Marlins

Lewin Diaz was the guy we traded for Sergio Romo at the 2019 trade deadline. More importantly, along with Romo, we obtained Chris Vallimont, who has shown signs of brilliance, but also has had trouble. Lewin Diaz can hold his own at first base defensively, but he has had trouble hitting in the majors. He has hit well enough in the minors, but like Rooker, has never figured it out at the major league level. In his Major League career over 161 AB’s, he owns a .193 batting average. He is currently 25 years old.

 

#11 Akil Baddoo

Acquired: Drafted 2016, 74th Overall

Current Team: Tigers

The one that got away. The Tigers selected Akil Baddoo in the 2020 Rule 5 draft. Nobody could have expected he would play this well. He only had one really good season in the minors, that being in 2017. In 2019, early in the season it was revealed he would need Tommy John surgery, which seems to be a recurring theme in Twins outfield prospects on this list. Anyways, the Tigers selected him in the Rule 5 draft and he was a well above average hitter in the majors, posting a 113 OPS+.You cannot really blame the Twins for losing him, they appeared to have all of the outfield depth in the world, and Baddoo still looked multiple years away from the show.
 

 

#12 Lewis Thorpe

Acquired: Signed out of Australia in 2012, $500,000 Signing Bonus

Current Team: Twins Organization

There were reports that he was finally reaching his potential this past spring training. He had increased fastball velocity and was in the best shape of his life. None of that translated to games that mattered. He was signed as a crafty lefty out of Australia in 2012, with a fastball sitting around 90 MPH. He has had no big league success to this point, in all 3 years he has appeared in a major league game (2019 ,20, 21), he has been below average. The only way that seems possible for him to stick in the majors is if he becomes a bullpen arm, and like many other Twins fans, I am not buying it.

 

#13 Lamonte Wade Jr.

Acquired: Drafted 2015, 260th Overall

Current Team: Giants

Another one that got away. Lamonte Wade Jr. looked like he could have been a decent 4th outfielder for the Twins. The Twins chose Jake Cave over him, and sent Lamonte packing to San Francisco in exchange for project piece Shaun Anderson. Anderson ended up pitching less than 10 innings for the Twins before being released. Wade Jr. on the other hand, broke out in a huge way. He posted a 117 OPS+ for the Giants and looks to be a big piece of their future. He even received MVP votes in 2021. For the record, I always liked Lamonte Wade over Cave, but no one could have expected he would be this good. I am happy Wade broke out, and even happier it wasn’t for an AL team.

 

#14 Travis Blankenhorn

Acquired: Drafted 2015, 80th Overall

Current Team: Mets

Blankenhorn was pretty average throughout his minor league career for the Twins. His ceiling seemed to be a good utility player. He made his debut in 2020, going 1 for 3 with a double. He played one game for the Twins in 2021, as a defensive replacement. He made a costly error against the Athletics, which was paired with a Luis Arraez throwing error, which cost the game. That game seemed to send the season to the trash can and kind of lost hope for everyone. Days after the error, he was DFA’d and picked up by the Mets, which is where he currently plays. It never seemed meant to be with the Twins, and I hope for the best of luck in the future for Travis.

 

#15 Zack Littell

Acquired: From Yankees (Traded for Jaime Garcia at 2017 Deadline)

Current Team: Giants

Littell was originally drafted by the Mariners, then a few years later traded to the Yankees. Soon after, he was sent to Minnesota along with Dietrich Enns, in exchange for Jaime Garcia and cash considerations, in one of the most puzzling trades in team history. Littell had success out of the pen in 2019, and then looked lost in 2020. I was always a believer in him but it doesn't really matter what I think. He was eventually released and picked up by the San Francisco Giants. Littell rebounded in a huge way in 2021, posting a 2.92 ERA for the Giants in 61.2 innings. He looks to be a reliable bullpen arm for them in the coming years.


Notable 16-30

#19 Mitch Garver

Acquired: Drafted 2013, 260th Overall

Current Team:Twins

Garver broke out fairly late in his career, during his age 27 season. However, he broke out in a huge way, cementing himself as one of the best offensive catchers in the MLB. As a result of Garver breaking out late, he is already getting up there in age for a catcher. He will be 31 on opening day, which is decently old for a catcher. If he is still with the Twins after this offseason, he looks like he will catch for a few more years, and then it is likely he will transition over to a 1B/DH role. There is also a small chance he will play one of the most physically demanding positions in sports, catcher, for 5+ more years, due to how Baldelli rests his catchers.

 

#23 Luis Arraez

Acquired: Signed out of Venezuela in 2013, $40,000 Signing Bonus

Current Team: Twins

You always know what you will get with Arraez, high average, not a whole lot of power. That is what has made him one of my favorite Twins to watch. Some people believe Arraez will be dealt this offseason, but only time will tell. He currently holds down a utility role for the Twins. He broke out defensively this year, becoming a top 5 defensive 3rd baseman in 2021. He may have found his defensive home for the future, but he will have to beat out young buck Jose Miranda, who is mentioned soon in this list. Arraez also carries injury concerns, he has torn an ACL during his minor league career, and overall has “balky” knees. I think he could be a great leadoff hitter for the next 10 years if his body can hold up.

 

#25 Ben Rortvedt

Acquired: Drafted 2016, 56th Overall

Current Team: Twins

Like Arraez, you know what you are getting with Rortvedt. Rortvedt isn’t a force with the bat, but does have some power. He is highly regarded for his defense, profiling as the best in the system. With the Twins surplus of catching, he will likely serve as the 3rd catcher, playing most of his games in Saint Paul. It is nice to have him on hand though, as there could be some moves involving catchers after the lockout, and freak injuries happen with catchers. If he can bump his offense to average for a catcher, his defense will carry him to being an above average MLB catcher.

 

#28 Jose Miranda

Acquired: Drafted 2016, 73rd Overall

Current Team: Twins Organization

It wasn’t until this year that Miranda broke out, and he did it in a big way. Everybody knew Miranda had good tools, maybe they didn’t know they were this good though. He finally put them all together and hit over .340 on the season with 30 bombs between AA and AAA. He looks like he will be the 3rd baseman of the future for Minnesota, but stats don’t matter until the show, so we'll just have to wait and see. He is still fairly young, being 23 years old and he is one of, if not the best hitter in the whole system.

 

This list should provide a good realization that prospects are just prospects. Some are more likely to contribute at the MLB, hence the rankings, but odd things can happen. Also, it should show that lower ranking prospects can provide a big impact in the big leagues, so don’t always write them off. This list likely brought up some names you have forgotten, and some you wish you could forget *cough cough Baddoo* The future of this team is resting on their current farm system, which should hopefully provide fun baseball for years to come. After all, even Mike Trout was a prospect once. Thank you for reading. Leave a comment. Go Twins!!!

 

 Share

15 Comments


Recommended Comments

Nice blog cjm, prospects are difficult to project future success. Part of present Twins problems with pitching now is that none of these tp 15 prospects are contributing at the MLB level. Hoping present crop of prospects especially the pitchers have more success.

Link to comment

Rooker should be on the mind of ALL who think the rookies are going to come up and be some magical potion; Arraez numbers at Third are NEGATIVE, at second he has decent numbers.

I hope like heck that the Twins dump Jeffers and put Rortvedt in, his fielding ability is incredible.

Link to comment

A good trade is who you get back and if the player preforms above expectations. 
I prefer to keep Jeffers, Rortvedt then Garver because he can play 1b or DH. Physically catcher is hell on the body.

Link to comment
8 hours ago, RpR said:

Rooker should be on the mind of ALL who think the rookies are going to come up and be some magical potion; Arraez numbers at Third are NEGATIVE, at second he has decent numbers.

I hope like heck that the Twins dump Jeffers and put Rortvedt in, his fielding ability is incredible.

I dont get where you are getting negative numbers for Arraez at 3B, in over 400 innings at 3B he had 5 Defensive Runs Saved, and over 300 at 2B he had 2 DRS. I remember reading in another article that he ranked 4th out of all 3B on SABR's defensive rankings in 2021 at 3B, but I am not super familiar with SABR. For the comment on Jeffers, I would certainly be fine with moving him, but for a good return. I don't want to merely dump him, if he can help us land a good arm, I'm all for it.

Link to comment
54 minutes ago, cjm0926 said:

I dont get where you are getting negative numbers for Arraez at 3B, in over 400 innings at 3B he had 5 Defensive Runs Saved, and over 300 at 2B he had 2 DRS. I remember reading in another article that he ranked 4th out of all 3B on SABR's defensive rankings in 2021 at 3B, but I am not super familiar with SABR. For the comment on Jeffers, I would certainly be fine with moving him, but for a good return. I don't want to merely dump him, if he can help us land a good arm, I'm all for it.

 

image.png.8d06f6172030a65e3e536f9c8882fa7e.png

image.png.5d44f057d77ad9a36e5c4ce103451a34.png

image.png.076ed75fafb5b20fce07fa0e9fc0255d.png

Link to comment

This list just makes me sad. When Garver and Arraez are the most accomplished players on this list, and they didn't even crack the top 15... this organization has been a graveyard for pitching prospects, and this needs to change.

Link to comment

The Littell decision still stumps me. He had to have had an ugly run-in with someone in a power position in the org that essentially got him DFA'd. Nothing else makes sense. 

Anderson, Baddoo, Wade...even though they hurt, I still understand the reasoning. Not Littell though.

Anyone with any insight able to help me sleep better at night?

Link to comment
On 12/21/2021 at 2:01 PM, Minny505 said:

The Littell decision still stumps me. He had to have had an ugly run-in with someone in a power position in the org that essentially got him DFA'd. Nothing else makes sense. 

Anderson, Baddoo, Wade...even though they hurt, I still understand the reasoning. Not Littell though.

Anyone with any insight able to help me sleep better at night?

Mauer forced Little to drink half and half despite being lactose intolerant, convinced Little would get better if he put on weight.

Link to comment
On 12/21/2021 at 2:01 PM, Minny505 said:

The Littell decision still stumps me. He had to have had an ugly run-in with someone in a power position in the org that essentially got him DFA'd. Nothing else makes sense. 

Anderson, Baddoo, Wade...even though they hurt, I still understand the reasoning. Not Littell though.

Anyone with any insight able to help me sleep better at night?

He did not throw a slider is a possible cause.

He has a bad 2020 and was outrighted. At the end of the season he was not added back to the 40 man. As near as I can piece together, Zack had paid his dues and could opt for free agency at the end of the year and did just that.  https://www.mlb.com/player/zack-littell-641793

Link to comment

Thanks, this was an interesting look back.

Gonsalves- totally agree, I had high hopes for him and busted.

Baddoo- was surprised they left him available, was surprised he was taken, was really surprised with the results. I'm predicting a big sophomore slump.

Wade- didn't mind trading him, but I wish it had been for someone who might actually be a major league pitcher someday.

Littell- also agree, I always liked him and was surprised they let him go.

Link to comment

You just never know. Injuries can sure curb a career (Romero) and it could do the same for Thorpe who had a ride, again, last season.

 

Otherwise, list pretty good about those who did at least get to the majors.

 

Littell had that dynamite season as a starter. Felt the Twins gave up on him too soon (he did pass thru waivers). When it came time FOR HIM to find a new home, he grabed the chance, at a loss for the Twins. Of course the Twins signed Brandon Waddell instead, as well as Ian Hamilton, and made a 40-man spot for Ian Gibault.

 

I still don't know why the Twins kept Cave instead of Wade. I was surprised someone gambled on Baddoo, as the Twins would've had the guy stuck at High-A with a smidgen of playing time at AA if he ahd stayed with the Twins.

 

Rortvedt was actually ahead of Jeffers for a moment there. That guy has cannons in his arms. Now can he swing them into the bat?

 

I do wish the Twins had given Gonsalves the same chance they gave, say, Barnes and Jax. Not that he ahs done much anyways.

 

And Blankenhorn. Teams much see something: he was woth four organizations in 2021 - Twins, Mets, Dodgers, Mariners.

 

What is interesting is that Lewis and Javier have yet to get a taste of the majors. Javier up for Rule 5 again (and could've been a minor league free agent and give the Twins a $3.5 million loss by just walking away).

 

 

 

Link to comment
Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...