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2018 Twins Off-Season top 60 Prospect List: 41-45


Thrylos

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Twins Video

Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch

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This is the next segment in the 2018 Twins top 60 prospect list. You can find the introductory segment that discusses qualifications to be on this list and presents the players who were on the 2017 list but are not in this list here. You can find the list of the previous rankings here: 56-60, 55-51, 46-50. You can find all segments in this series here.

 

Here are players 41-45 in reverse order with their 2017 ranking in parenthesis. Players no in the 2017 top 60 list are indicated by (--)

 

45. Ryley Widell

DOB: 6/1/1997; Age: 20

Positions: LHP

Bats: L, Throws: L

Height: 6'3", Weight: 180 lbs

Acquired: Drafted in the 7th round in 2017

Professional Experience: 1; Highest level: ELZ (2017)

ETA: 2022

 

The Haiku, HI native was drafted in the 7th round of 2017 by the Twins from Central Arizona College as a draft-eligible Sophomore. He transferred there after an unfortunate Freshman season at Washington State (14 G, 3 GS, 20.1 IP, 8.85 ERA, 2.31 WHIP, 8.4 BB/9, 8.0 K/9). He improved vastly at JuCo pitching in 17 games (16 GS) for 95-2/3 IP, with a 1.98 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 10.8 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9. As a pro he started in Elizabethton pitching in 8 games (7 GS) for 29-2/3 IP striking out 41 (12.4 K/9, 30.6 K%) and walking 20 (6.1 BB/9, 15.7 K-BB%). He also had 4 wild pitches. He finished with a 2.43 ERA, 4.10 FIP amd 1.52 WHIP (.358 BABIP)

 

At 6-3/180 Widell is projectible and the hope is that he will add a couple of ticks to his 90-92 mph fastball. He as an above average changeup and has been working with a curveball in Elizabethton. Command and control can be lacking some days; Focusing on commanding the fastball and then working on secondary stuff will be a must for Widell. There is a lot of potential here, but the floor is very low as well.

 

Likely 2018 Path: Extended Spring Training to work on command and then in the Elizabethton or even Cedar Rapids rotation depending on the Twins' draft.

 

44. Yeltsin Encarnacion (--)

DOB: 6/28/1998; Age:19

Positions: IF

Bats: L, Throws: R

Height: 5'11", Weight: 170 lbs

Acquired: Signed as international free agent by Twins on September 2014

Professional Experience: 3; Highest level: DSL (2017)

ETA: 2023

 

Encarnacion who is from Azua, Dominican Republic, was signed as international free agent by Twins on September 2014. His first pro season in the DSL he hit an encouraging .286/.384/.333, .363 wOBA, 114 wRC+ as a 17 year old, with 12.5 BB% and 15.5 K%. He repeated the DSL in 2016 and regressed, other in the K%, hitting .220/.330/.270 with .310 wOBA, 86 wRC+, 12.4 BB% and 9.1 K%. In 2017, back in the DSL as a 19 year old he had a breakthrough season, both as far as contact and power goes: He hit .318/.408/.523, .445 wOBA, 165 wRC+, with 12.4 BB/9, and 11.3 K/9.

 

Encarnacion has played all infield positions but 2B is likely his best position. He has a strong enough arm to play the left size of the infield, but his defensive instincts and surehandedness are not that developed. This .205 IsoP last season is impressive in any league, and especially by a 5-11, 170 lbs 19 year old infielder. For example the 5-10, 185 lbs Eduardo Escobar who as a 28 year old had a power break through for the Twins had a .195 isoP last season. Encarnacion is a contact machine who does not mind taking a walk here and there. If that contact results in hits like it did last season when facing tougher competition, the future will be bright for him, even though his glove will be dragging behind. Likely 2018 Path: Extended String Training .

 

Likely 2018 Path: Extended Spring Training and then at the GCL

 

43. Jacob Pearson (--)

DOB: 6/28/1998; Age:19

Positions: OF

Bats: L, Throws: R

Height: 6'1", Weight: 185 lbs

Acquired: Traded by the Angels

Professional Experience: 1; Highest level: AZL (2017)

ETA: 2023

 

Jacob Pearson was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 draft by the Angels from West Monroe (LA) High School and was signed for an over-spot bonus. He was traded to the Twins for IFA allowance. In his first pro appearance in the Angels' Rookie Arizona League (the equivalent of the GCL) he hit .226/.302/.284 with a .286 wOBA and 69 wRC+ in 176 PA. He had an 8.5 BB% and 21 K%. Stole 5/8 bases and had 8/27 extra base hits (no HRs).

 

Pearson was the top prep player from Louisiana and can play all OF positions including CF. He has played first base as well. He has good game speed, excellent feel for the game, hustle, and doubles power. His arm is one of his weaknesses, and depending on how much he grows, the right side of the infield might be his future. Played exclusively at the OF with the Angels, but this might change in the Twins' organization.

 

Likely 2018 Path: Extended Spring Training and then at Elizabethton, depending on the Twins' draft.

 

42. Jake Reed (25) RHRP

DOB: 9/29/1992; Age: 25

Positions: RHP

Bats: R, Throws: R

Height: 6'2", Weight: 190 lbs

Acquired: Drafted in the 5th round in 2014

Professional Experience: 4; Highest level: AAA (2016, 2017)

ETA: 2018

 

Jake Reed was drafted by the Twins in the 5th round of the 2014 draft from the University of Oregon as a Junior. The Tuscon, AZ native was a starter both of his first collegiate seasons and was converted to a closer in his junior season where he excelled pitching in 31 games (37 IP), striking out 34 (8.3 K/9), walking 15 (3.7 BB/9) finishing with 1.95 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 13 saves. He continued the season in Elizabethton where he over-matched the opposition (4 G, 6 IP, 8 K, 0 BB, 1 H, 0 R, 3 SV) to a degree that the Twins moved him all the way to A level Cedar Rapids where he appeared in 16 games, pitching 25 innings with 31 K (11.2 K/9, 34.4 K%), 3 BB (1.1 BB/9, 31.1 K-BB%), for a 0.36 ERA, 1.48 FIP, 0.52 WHIP (.182 BABIP), and 5 saves. Were that not enough, the Twins send him to the Arizona Fall League his first professional season, where among family and friends he pitched in 10 games for another 12-2/3 innings with good results (10 K, 7.1 K/9, 20.0 K%, 3 BB, 2.1 BB/9, 14 K-BB%, 2.05 ERA, 1.43 FIP, 1.03 WHIP, .270 BABIP. So between all of his stops from Oregon to Tennessee to Iowa and to Arizona, in 2014 Reed pitched 61 games and 80-2/3 innings, a load that seems appropriate for a major league level reliever, but hardly for a first year professional, but Reed responded. His strikeouts were down and walks up in Arizona, but that was more than expected from a pitcher who was overused by they usually cautious Twins. In 2015 the Twins had Reed skip the high A Fort Myers and play all the way up to AA Chattanooga in his second season as a pro after a first season that was overused with the expected results: Reed tanked. He appeared in 35 games, pitching 47 innings, striking out 39 (7.5 K/9, 17.6%) and walking (career high 4.0 BB/9, and career low 8.1 K-BB% ), with a 6.32 ERA (inflated by a very low 50.1 LOB%), 4.20 FIP, 1.62 WHIP (.340 BABIP). To salvage his season in the begining of August Reed was sent to Fort Myers where we pitched better, finding his control, but not his strikeouts (9 G, 12-1/3 IP, 7 K, 5.1 K/9, 16.3 K%, 1 BB, 0.7 BB/9, 13.9 K-BB%, 0.00 ERA, 2.27 FIP, 0.73 WHIP, .229 BABIP). To add to the 44 games and 59-1/3 innings, the Twins re-sent him to the AFL after the season where the appeared in 10 more games for a total of 10-2/3 innings (season totals 54 games, 70 innings), pitching well (10 K, 8.4 K/9, 25.6 K%, 4 BB, 3.4 BB/9, 15.4 K-BB%, 0.00 ERA, 2.83 FIP, 0.94 WHIP, .240 BABIP). He started 2016 in Chattanooga, with better results (41 G, 60 IP, 64 K, 9.6 K/9, 25.6 K%, 22 BB, 3.3 BB/9, 16.8 K-BB%, 3.90 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 1.22 WHIP, .314 BABIP). He moved to Rochester for the final 9 games of the season doing well (9 G, 10-2/3 IP, 8 K, 6.7 K/9, 19.1 K%, 2 BB, 1.7 BB/9, 14.3 K-BB%, 3.90 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 0.94 WHIP, .258 BABIP.) For the season Reed pitched in 50 games for 70-2/3 innings. Last season he also started at Chattanooga, but stayed only 5 games before he moved to Rochester, where he pitched in 22 games for 30-2/3 innings striking out 25 (7.3 K/9, 20.7 K%), walking 11 (3.2 BB/9, 11.6 K-BB%) with a 2.05 ERA, 3.40 FIP, and 1.14 WHIP (.281 BABIP)

 

Overused his first season and rushed both his first two seasons, Reed turned from an elite reliever to a below average to an above average reliever who has been a workhorse in the pen, already carrying MLB-level loads and more, each of his first professional seasons. Last season he regressed a bit and this off-season, even though, unprotected in the Rule 5 draft, unlike two of his teammates he was not selected. He has a plus fastball that sits from 93-95, an above average slider that flashes plus, and an average to above average change up. Reed at this point has been passed by several other RHRPs, but all it will take is an opportunity to get a major league job, do well and hold into it. Reed was ranked as the Twins' 16th best prospect in 2015 and 2016, dropped to 25th last season and to 42nd now, to reflect his status in the Twins' RHRP pecking order.

 

Likely 2018 path: At the Rochester pen with a potential call to the majors, depending on performance and needs.

 

41. Ricky De La Torre (--)

DOB: 4/21/1999; Age: 19

Positions: SS

Bats: R, Throws: R

Height: 6'2", Weight: 175 lbs

Acquired: Drafted in the 6th round in 2017

Professional Experience: 1; Highest level: GCL (2017)

ETA: 2023

 

The Juana Diaz, PR, native, Ricky De La Torre was selected by the Twins in the 6th round of the 2017 draft from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. As a 17 year old in his first pro season at the GCL he did well. He hit .268/.341/.359 with a .339 wOBA, 104 wRC+, 9.4 BB%, and 22.9 K%. He was 5/11 in stolen bases, a number that should be improved. His .092 IsoP and 9/34 extra base hits, including 3 home runs is very hopeful. So it his power projectibility and his strong arm and potential ability to stay at SS.

 

He played at short, second, and third, but does project as a (yet another) shortstop with moderate to high ceiling. Tools and projection is there, but he needs improvement in contact, defensive instincts and concentration, in general. At just 18, there is no reason that this will not happen.

 

Likely 2018 path: Starting at extended Spring Training and then either repeating GCL or at Elizabethton depending on the Twins' draft.

 

Next: 36-40

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