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Highlights: 4 Twins Prospects Off to Hot Starts


It’s still very early in the minor league season, but let’s take a look at four prospects — one at each level — who have impressed. Here is some discussion and highlights on Bailey Ober, Josh Winder, Seth Gray and Edouard Julien.

The video below touches on some of these impressive early performances and includes highlights of Ober, Winder, Gray and Julien.

St. Paul Saints: Bailey Ober, RHP

Year Age Tm Lev ERA IP H R ER HR BB SO BF WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2021 25 St. Paul AAA 1.29 7.0 5 1 1 0 3 8 29 1.143 6.4 0.0 3.9 10.3 2.67

Wichita Wind Surge: Josh Winder, RHP

Year Tm Lev Aff ERA IP H R ER HR BB SO BF WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2021 Wichita AA MIN 1.17 15.1 14 2 2 0 4 19 60 1.174 8.2 0.0 2.3 11.2 4.75

Cedar Rapids Kernels: Seth Gray, 3B

Year Age Tm Lev G PA HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2021 23 Cedar Rapids A+ 10 45 1 9 10 .250 .467 .438 .907

Fort Myers Mighty Mussels: Edouard Julien, 2B

Year Age Tm Lev G PA HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2021 22 Fort Myers A 10 39 0 11 13 .321 .513 .464 .977

*Stats via Baseball-Reference

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Encourad by everything Ober has done. His injury history is a concern. His lack of pure velocity also has to be a concern. But you can't deny the AMAZING numbers he's produced when healthy. Encouraged by his reported new regiment to make himself just feel better after starts. Despite very obvious physical differences, he sort of reminds me of Radke. Radke threw a little harder, but relied on control and changing his offerings. Same with Ober, with length that probably makes his FB look better than it is. Both seemed to know how to pitch and stay in the zone with their stuff. I'm still unsure right now.

I watched Winder in ST and read  and watched everything I could about him. I honestly think he's on the same level right now as Duran, Balazovic and Canterino. I know the Twins are having a collape similar to 2011, but I'd be really concerned about gutting the roster, OR, promoting young arms too early. Hard as it is as a Twins fan, I'd really like to wait until mid season to ramp up all of these arms for 2022 with a couple MAYBE helping the pen for the second half. ALWAYS thought the FO was thinking Happ and Shoemaker would be replaced sooner or later by Dobnak and Thorpe with Duran and Balazovic and Winder and others coming up soon. 

I think Gray has a real shot. The talent and instinct seems to be there. He's off to a great start. But a 2019 draft selection with half a season, then no season, and a hot start? Like a lot of guys, unfortunately,  he's starting behind the 8 ball. But a good start so far in 2021!

Ditto for Julian! 

I thought the Twins had a reaĺy good 2019 draft, all things considered. Which means not only is the MLB draft the ultimate crapshoot, but I also realized they addressed a lot of need in the organization and brought in a lot of infield options. Julian is one of them. 

I know you were only focusing on 4 guys at each level, but I feel there are 3 guys that HAVE to be looked at, even at thjs early point.

Cavaco, despite a poor 1st rookie season as a fast riser draft pick has seemed to embrace development  in the pandemic and is off to a great start in 2021.

We don't know yet where Steer will play. Probably not enough power to be a full time 3B. MAYBE he's just not a good enough glove man to play SS on a daily basis. But it sure seems like this kid can hit and pick it and play just about anywhere .

And I have to bring Whitefield in to the discussion. How can you not? I know his 2021 production, so far, could be a mirage. But the Twins didn't sign him simply as a fun story. They saw an ATHLETE with power and speed and defensive ability who MIGHT put it altogether after a few years and turn out to be an quality player. He looked good early and then struggled. Not surprising. He was always a long shot. And a SSS is nothing to bet on....but...is maturity, talent, time spent in ST Paul last season....suddenly bringing about growth and maturation we only hoped for?

Hes at least an early season surprise at this point.

 

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7 hours ago, DocBauer said:

Encourad by everything Ober has done. His injury history is a concern. His lack of pure velocity also has to be a concern. But you can't deny the AMAZING numbers he's produced when healthy. Encouraged by his reported new regiment to make himself just feel better after starts. Despite very obvious physical differences, he sort of reminds me of Radke. Radke threw a little harder, but relied on control and changing his offerings. Same with Ober, with length that probably makes his FB look better than it is. Both seemed to know how to pitch and stay in the zone with their stuff. I'm still unsure right now.

I watched Winder in ST and read  and watched everything I could about him. I honestly think he's on the same level right now as Duran, Balazovic and Canterino. I know the Twins are having a collape similar to 2011, but I'd be really concerned about gutting the roster, OR, promoting young arms too early. Hard as it is as a Twins fan, I'd really like to wait until mid season to ramp up all of these arms for 2022 with a couple MAYBE helping the pen for the second half. ALWAYS thought the FO was thinking Happ and Shoemaker would be replaced sooner or later by Dobnak and Thorpe with Duran and Balazovic and Winder and others coming up soon. 

I think Gray has a real shot. The talent and instinct seems to be there. He's off to a great start. But a 2019 draft selection with half a season, then no season, and a hot start? Like a lot of guys, unfortunately,  he's starting behind the 8 ball. But a good start so far in 2021!

Ditto for Julian! 

I thought the Twins had a reaĺy good 2019 draft, all things considered. Which means not only is the MLB draft the ultimate crapshoot, but I also realized they addressed a lot of need in the organization and brought in a lot of infield options. Julian is one of them. 

I know you were only focusing on 4 guys at each level, but I feel there are 3 guys that HAVE to be looked at, even at thjs early point.

Cavaco, despite a poor 1st rookie season as a fast riser draft pick has seemed to embrace development  in the pandemic and is off to a great start in 2021.

We don't know yet where Steer will play. Probably not enough power to be a full time 3B. MAYBE he's just not a good enough glove man to play SS on a daily basis. But it sure seems like this kid can hit and pick it and play just about anywhere .

And I have to bring Whitefield in to the discussion. How can you not? I know his 2021 production, so far, could be a mirage. But the Twins didn't sign him simply as a fun story. They saw an ATHLETE with power and speed and defensive ability who MIGHT put it altogether after a few years and turn out to be an quality player. He looked good early and then struggled. Not surprising. He was always a long shot. And a SSS is nothing to bet on....but...is maturity, talent, time spent in ST Paul last season....suddenly bringing about growth and maturation we only hoped for?

Hes at least an early season surprise at this point.

 

I feel pretty much the same you do.  Nice comment!

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As usual, Doc, will second everything you said.  Especially excited about what Whitefield's future may be.  I know he is currently off the 40-man roster, expect next time added he is going to stay as he is unlikely to get thru being DFA'd a second time.

Rooting for Ober to make it to the Twins and to be successful once arriving.  Gotta love guys who many say doesn't have the talent or stuff or velocity or whatever to make it.  You know, guys who just go out and get it done.  Loved Doc's comment comparing Ober to Radke.  Yes, definitely different pitchers, but similar results.

I expect most of us have been impressed with the early season success Julien is having.  I know he was a surprise signing when the Twins got his signature on a contract.  They went significantly over the $125K allowed for lower round picks, didn't they?  Hopefully, we will feel the same about him on June 16 as we do today. 

 

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Tom:

Appreciate the update and analysis of these 4 prospects.

Selfishly, with trip planned to see Wind Surge play Springfield at home in mid June, I'm hoping to see Winder pitch and Seth Gray promoted by then.   Will be interesting to see if Chalmers can get his game going over the next few weeks.  Same is true for Cole Sands, who had a not so great performance, I think today.  Celestino needs to get his bat going.  Miranda's hot start may dictate a promotion to St. Paul within the next month or by early July.  Same is true for Whitefield.  Keep up the great work!

 

 

 

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