Of all the things that I love about the MLB, the farm systems are near the top. Following baseball is so much fun because even in the lowest years there is that optimism that comes with building up a minor league program. Honestly, I would rather be at that bottom than treading water in the middle. Now, it goes without saying but I’ll say it anyways, a World Series every now and then would be nice. However, for much of the last decade Twins fans have been watching the pipeline grow. Speculating about Miguel Sano’s future production, salivating at the thought of Buxton roaming the Target Field grass, and always searching for the top pitching prospect has been and continues to be a challenging enjoyment.
What got the Twins to this place, building from the bottom, however; was the lack of consistent growth in the farm system. Like most Twins fans, I have been pleased with the work of Thad Levine and Derek Falvey. Honestly, it is hard not to be impressed considering the improvements the club has made over their watch. However, what I’m most excited about has been their ability to put a winning club together at Target Field and not just keep their prospects, but build out the farm system. MLB.com just put out their 2018 Prospect Lists and I thought it would be fun to look at who of the Twins Top 30 Prospects are the results of Levine and Falvey moves.
Let’s take a look…
Player/Prospect Rank/Acquire Through
Royce Lewis #1 Draft
Brent Rooker #8 Draft
Blayne Enlow #9 Draft
Zack Littell #15 Trade
Andrew Bechtold #20 Draft
Tyler Watson #22 Trade
Jacob Pearson #25 Trade
Landon Leach #28 Draft
Yunior Severino #29 International Signing
David Banuelos #30 Trade
Taking into account only the moves made to acquire minor league talent it is safe to safe this front office did well last year. Certainly drafting from the top gave them an advantage. However, they took full advantage of that draft slot and the money that came with it. With one draft class Falvey and Levine have stacked their farm system with five talented players. Three of whom are in the top ten. Beyond the draft class which has yielded great early results, they were smart with their International Signing Money. The Twins were able to jump on Severino, who was made available after the Braves scandal. In addition to the middle infielder, the Twins made two smart trades sending away money to bring in Jacob Pearson and David Banuelos. Obviously, all three players have their flaws, but they are also young and were acquired wisely. I believe that is the best way to sum up the early returns of this new front office; wise moves. The Twins really haven’t yet made a big splash, but they have made smart, calculated moves. Falvey and Levine seem perfectly content to continue to stock the selves with raw talent, watch it grow and strike when the timing is right. I must admit, it’s been fun to watch so far!