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Seth's 2022 Twins Top Prospect Summary


Seth Stohs
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Over the past several weeks, I have shared my Twins Top 30 Hitting and Top 30 Pitching prospect rankings. This is the first time the information has been presented this way, and based on feedback, it is a positive thing. That said, I wanted to summarize what had been posted, so enjoy.

Again, I certainly think that the Twins system is strong. It likely won’t be a Top 10 organization by the national publications, but I legitimately think that as many as 25 or more from each of the lists can play in the big leagues with continued development, health, and of course a little luck. 

Before getting too far, let’s take a look at the two lists... 

And before I do that, I will acknowledge my mistakes. (Yes, I make them from time to time...) 

1.) I switched shortstops Jermaine Palacios and Wander Javier in my rankings. I showed Palacios ranking as the #25 hitter with Javier checking in at #15. Those should be reversed. 

2.) I was looking at my living Twins Top 152 prospect rankings (Yes, I have one, and no, not going to share it) for this summary and realized that I just missed RHP Austin Schulfer. I have placed him in where I had ranked him among pitchers and overall in the below charts. 

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I acknowledged in one of the pitcher articles that while it is a good start to split up the Hitters and Pitchers, there was a logical additional separation that is needed... Starting Pitchers and Relief Pitchers. You see, right or wrong, I still have it in my head that a #3 of #4 starter is still going to through 150-160 innings a season while even the best relievers will throw 60-70 innings in a season. Fair? Not necessarily because no one is questioning the importance of a quality bullpen. Twins fans certainly understand that need. And, maybe it's something that will change in time. If we're being honest, we have seen pitching roles change over the past few years and I would expect that will continue. Aside from the top starting pitchers, most starters are only going through the batting order twice, pitching four or five innings. That is making the value of relievers much more important. So, I did want to take a few minutes and also provide my list of the top 15 Twins relief pitching prospects.

Top 15 Relief Pitching Prospects
1. Jovani Moran, LHP
2. Osiris German, RHP
3. Yennier Cano, RHP
4. Jordan Gore, RHP
5. Steven Cruz, RHP 
6. Ryan Mason, RHP 
7. Alex Scherff, RHP
8. Denny Bentley, LHP
9. Zach Featherstone, LHP
10. Ryan Shreve, RHP
11. Derek Molina, RHP
12. Zach Neff, LHP
13. David Festa, RHP
14. Josh Mitchell, LHP
15. Melvi Acosta, RHP

Again, that is a really good group. The top five were included among the Top 30 Pitching Prospects, and likely #6 through #12 on this list would have appeared very soon. 

Seth's Top 50 Twins Prospects
(Clicking on the player links will bring you to a list of any article that player has been tagged in on Twins Daily. It's fun to look back and see how they've progressed, and other interesting information from their careers.)

  1. Royce Lewis, SS (Hitter 1)
  2. Jose Miranda, IF (H2)
  3. Austin Martin, SS/OF (H3)
  4. Matt Canterino, RHP (Pitcher 1)
  5. Joe Ryan, RHP (P2)
  6. Jordan Balazovic, RHP (P3)
  7. Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP (P4)
  8. Josh Winder, RHP (P5)
  9. Chase Petty, RHP (P6)
  10.  Marco Raya, RHP (P7)
  11.  Jhoan Duran, RHP (P8)
  12.  Cade Povich, LHP (P9)
  13.  Noah Miller, SS (H4)
  14.  Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF (H5)  
  15.  Steve Hajjar, LHP (P10)
  16.  Kala’I Rosario, OF (H6)
  17.  Blayne Enlow, RHP (P11)
  18.  Gilberto Celestino, OF (H7)
  19.  Louie Varland, RHP (P12)
  20.  Spencer Steer, IF (H8)
  21.  Cole Sands, RHP (P13)
  22.  Edouard Julien, IF (H9)
  23.  Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP (P14)
  24.  Drew Strotman, RHP (P15)
  25.  Aaron Sabato, 1B (H10)
  26.  Matt Wallner, OF (H11)
  27.  Misael Urbina, OF (H12)
  28.  Jovani Moran, LHP (P16)
  29.  Casey Legumina, RHP (P17)
  30.  Keoni Cavaco, SS (H13)
  31.  Chris Vallimont, RHP (P18)
  32.  Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B (H14)
  33.  Jermaine Palacios, SS (H15)
  34.  Regi Grace, RHP (P19)
  35.  Yunior Severino, IF (H16)
  36.  Alerick Soularie, OF (H17)
  37.  Jair Camargo, C (H18)
  38.  Osiris German, RHP (P20)
  39.  Christian MacLeod, LHP (P21)
  40.  Alex Isola, C/1B (H19)
  41.  Sean Mooney, RHP (P22)
  42.  Yennier Cano, RHP (P23)
  43.  Austin Schulfer, RHP (P24)
  44.  Jeferson Morales, C/OF (H20)
  45.  Seth Gray, 3B (H21)
  46.  Will Holland, SS/CF (H22)
  47.  Cody Laweryson, RHP (P24)
  48.  Jordan Gore, RHP (P25)
  49.  Mark Contreras, OF (H23)
  50.  Charlie Mack, C (H24)

Notes 

  • It is hard not to notice that the top three prospects are hitters. However, prospects four through 12 are all pitchers. Frankly, an argument could be made that those nine pitchers could be fairly interchangeable.  If you were to tell me that Jhoan Duran or Josh Winder or Chase Petty should rank fourth, I'm not going to argue too vehemently. 
  • More important than the actual ranking is that the Twins have a lot of pitchers with not only big-league potential, but they have potential to be playoff starters in the future. 
  • I noted this throughout the series, particularly in the comments, but it's important to note who is no longer eligible for prospect status. On the mound, Bailey OberGriffin Jax , and Ralph Garza, Jr. surpassed rookie qualifications. Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Ryan Jeffers, Brent Rooker, Ben Rortvedt, and Nick Gordon are no longer "prospects" either. For those curious, Lewis Thorpe, Devin Smeltzer, Randy Dobnak, Cody Stashak and Jorge Alcala were not rookies in 2021 after their big-league time in 2020. 
  • Breakdown (Pitchers): Right-Handed Starting Pitchers (19), Left-Handed Starting Pitchers (3), Right-Handed Relief Pitchers (3), Left-Handed Relief Pitchers (1). All three left-handed starters were drafted in 2021. 
  • Breakdown (Position Players): Catchers (4), Infielders (13), Outfielders (7). Obviously versatility is important in the organization and several players got time in multiple spots. I tried to include them where they played most often. 
  • How Acquired: Drafted by Twins (35), Acquired in Trade (8), International Signing (6), Minor League Signing (1, Jermaine Palacios). This is a large number, but more important, three of the top 7 prospects were acquired in July. 
  • 13 of these 50 players are on the Twins 40-man roster, so if there is no new Collective Bargaining Agreement, they will not be able to start spring training. They can't just go to minor league spring training. 
  • Several have told me (in the Twins organization and elsewhere ) that Covid could potentially have rippling negative impact on organizations and player development for a couple of years. Obviously that is primarily regarding pitchers, but there can also be hitters who will hopefully get their groove back again in 2022.
  • It's also important to remember that a pitcher drafted out of college in 2019 was likely 21-22 years old. With the missed 2020 season, they pitched in 2021 at 23-24. Four-year college players even a year older. While age-to-level of competition is often a factor in prospect rankings, and it needs to be, it's my opinion that it has almost no bearing right now on what a pitcher can be as we move forward, and if they come up at 24 or 26 isn't a very big deal. So when I read comments like, "Well, Pitcher A is already 24, he has to be rushed up now..." I can't disagree more. 

As always, what makes doing these rankings fun is the interaction with the readers. Here at Twins Daily, I believe we have the best Twins minor league coverage around, and we have a lot of our readers and writers that have a strong interest in learning more. These lists serve many purposes. First, it's to highlight players that deserve to be talked about. Second, it's fun to think we are smart and that there is some science to these prospect rankings. I've done Twins prospect rankings going back to 2003 or 2004 online. It is not a science. These are kids, working their way up an organizational ladder, just like many kids just out of high school or college. The develop at different rates. They work hard. They get hurt. Things happen and they don't always pan out. So, we need to give them credit when we can, and we can dream on them helping our favorite team become a viable, consistent winning team. I enjoy the comments section. I enjoy being challenged. I try not to run from questions you ask while also being respectful of the players and their families. So please discuss these players and more in the comments. And also, please let us know what you want to see from Twins Daily's minor league coverage in 2022? What can we do better? What would you like to see more of, or less of? Your feedback helps us so much and we want to continue to improve. 

Twins Spotlight 
Several of these Twins players have been a guest on Twins Spotlight over the past two offseasons. We have now had 51 episodes. To look back and see who we have interviewed and listen back to them, click here

Previous Rankings
(To look back at what I wrote about the 60 players, click below)
Hitters Part 1: 26-30
Hitters Part 2: 21-25
Hitters Part 3: 16-20 
Hitters Part 4: 11-15 
Hitters Part 5: 6-10 
Hitters Part 6: 1-5 

Pitchers Part 1: 26-30  
Pitchers Part 2: 21-25
Pitchers Part 3: 16-20 
Pitchers Part 4: 11-15 
Pitchers Part 5: 6-10 
Pitchers Part 6: 1-5 

 


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I echo Mike that this is an excellent monster of a summary.  This article has pretty much everything you need as a Twins prospect watcher.  Really appreciated the Tags with the players organized like that.  I sometimes like to go back and see where a player was or what we collectively were thinking about a player before they break out. 

Seth really appreciate all the work you put into this.  Until I found this site I was never really interested in looking into prospects or how teams get put together.  Your work and this site have now made it a passion of mine.  Thanks for giving me the other side of baseball.  I have enjoyed it!

 

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Cannot put into words, Seth, how much I enjoy this series.  Thank you!

Found two things interesting while reading your summary.  First, only three left handed pitchers highlights an organizational weakness.  It was good to see that addressed in this last year's draft.

The second point was that 35 of your 60 were drafted, whereas only 6 were International signees.  Considering that they allocate roughly the same dollars (yes, the draft is a bit higher when drafting high) to each bonus pool (draft vs. International), having only 6 International kids versus 35 draft picks seems to indicate they aren't getting the job done on the International market.  Would you agree with that observation, Seth?

Hopefully, the last couple classes and the kids signed tomorrow will begin to change that.  

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Seth, I agree with all the other posters, fantastic job!  I will be mulling all this over while I should be blowing the snow in my driveway.  Two thoughts, Jordan Gore really intrigues me on the relief pitcher side.  I can't wait to see how the year plays out for him.  Second, the fact that you will actually admit to your mistakes, while they are not numerous, means you will never be President of the United States.  Sorry.

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31 minutes ago, roger said:

Found two things interesting while reading your summary.  First, only three left handed pitchers highlights an organizational weakness.  It was good to see that addressed in this last year's draft.

The second point was that 35 of your 60 were drafted, whereas only 6 were International signees.  Considering that they allocate roughly the same dollars (yes, the draft is a bit higher when drafting high) to each bonus pool (draft vs. International), having only 6 International kids versus 35 draft picks seems to indicate they aren't getting the job done on the International market.  Would you agree with that observation, Seth?

Hopefully, the last couple classes and the kids signed tomorrow will begin to change that.  

On LHP... there is a fourth with Moran, but I don't necessarily think that drafting lefty starters was a huge priority. I remember asking Sean Johnson about that after day 2 (when they had drafted Hajjar, Povich and MacLeod)... and he said that they take the player they are most convicted in. Pitching is obviously a priority, and getting lefties is a good thing, but I don't think it was a strategy. 

As for the International players not being represented here... I'm not exactly sure what to make of it, or if it's even a bad thing. The international signings on here, for the most part, are the guys that got big signings bonuses (Rodriguez, Urbina, Javier, Severino)... I think also that the guys signed from the Dominican or Venezuela are 16. That's so far away from the big leagues. Many spend two years in the DSL before getting to the GCL/FCL, so we don't even know their names for 3 years after they sign unless they're one of the big names. The Twins draft college guys after the first couple of rounds, pretty much, as a strategy. They come in and have an immediate impact. Look at all the pitchers from the 2019 draft class on this list. We know them and see their stuff because they're in Ft. Myers or Cedar Rapids, etc. So I just think more are visible... maybe. 

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18 minutes ago, RJA said:

Seth, I agree with all the other posters, fantastic job!  I will be mulling all this over while I should be blowing the snow in my driveway.  Two thoughts, Jordan Gore really intrigues me on the relief pitcher side.  I can't wait to see how the year plays out for him.  Second, the fact that you will actually admit to your mistakes, while they are not numerous, means you will never be President of the United States.  Sorry.

I think I'm OK with that. HA! 

And hey, I might as well hone up to it. We're talking about prospect rankings here... And maintaining these lists is tough. Ha! Also, I'm not the smartest person you'll ever meet. 

Jordan Gore is intriguing to me too... not just because of his transition from infielder to pitcher, and not just because he had a really good year... Having watched him quite a bit, it's that he has three pitches. He's put the time and work in to not just be a one-pitch pitcher. I think it's pretty impressive. 

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As I am looking at the list of prospects, and double checking the summaries of each, it is really amazing how much depth there is in the Twins minor league system.  While we might not have as many top 50 prospects as some--and those lists are highly subjective anyway given the sheer volume of minor league players--we do have a large number of legitimate prospects.  I wonder what that means for the 40 man roster decisions in the next couple of years.  We might lose some excellent prospects.  Or, maybe the front office might make some trades for pitching when the lockout ends. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. 

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Agree with the above comments - great series and great summary.  Your work Seth is incredibly helpful and timely given how the FO appears to be looking at the next couple of years. Thank you!
 

I’m wondering if the TD could keep a link of this summary in a quickly noticeable and accessed spot on the front page - particularly if the individual player links provided updated performance metrics?  That way it would be easier to track location, development and performance throughout the year. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, Seth Stohs said:

As for the International players not being represented here... I'm not exactly sure what to make of it, or if it's even a bad thing. The international signings on here, for the most part, are the guys that got big signings bonuses (Rodriguez, Urbina, Javier, Severino)... I think also that the guys signed from the Dominican or Venezuela are 16. That's so far away from the big leagues. Many spend two years in the DSL before getting to the GCL/FCL, so we don't even know their names for 3 years after they sign unless they're one of the big names. The Twins draft college guys after the first couple of rounds, pretty much, as a strategy. They come in and have an immediate impact. Look at all the pitchers from the 2019 draft class on this list. We know them and see their stuff because they're in Ft. Myers or Cedar Rapids, etc. So I just think more are visible... maybe. 

I think this is pretty spot on. the utter youth on the international signings is going to keep most of them out of the rankings until they've been in the system for a couple of years, because there's so little to evaluate them on and you expect even their tools to be behind the older players coming from stateside. a 16-17 year old kid is going to have to be awfully special to crack a list like this. I don't think it's any kind of indictment of the organization, which has been one of the more engaged ones in the international market (investing in central america, paying attention to places like australia, etc)

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Congratulations on completing the minor league report for the Twins current system. The videos and posts were absolutely terrific. The videos put a human touch to the names and one can feel the excitement and energy these prospects direct toward their craft. Many of us spend too much time on our addiction to baseball but you must be really driven to feed us these excellent posts. Finally, I sense that these young players can identify with and respect your love of the game because they have enormous commitment and love for the game as shown by their massive efforts to reach their goals and thus they enjoy the interviews and mentions they receive from your posts. Excellent series and wrap - a big thank you for the content.

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1 hour ago, 4twinsJA said:

Great job Seth, really enjoyed series. I watched MiLB TV quite a bit last year, to me was well worth the $40 annual fee, got to see most of these prospects. St. Paul, Wichita, and Cedar Rapids had all there games on MiLB TV.  I would recommend for prospect watchers.

I agree... definitely fun to see these guys play. 

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1 hour ago, RJA said:

As I am looking at the list of prospects, and double checking the summaries of each, it is really amazing how much depth there is in the Twins minor league system.  While we might not have as many top 50 prospects as some--and those lists are highly subjective anyway given the sheer volume of minor league players--we do have a large number of legitimate prospects.  I wonder what that means for the 40 man roster decisions in the next couple of years.  We might lose some excellent prospects.  Or, maybe the front office might make some trades for pitching when the lockout ends. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. 

Having tough decisions on the 40-man is a good thing, so I agree, it's deep. But what's funny is that most years when it comes down to who to add, etc., it becomes pretty easy. And they can make trades if they want. From a pitching standpoint, we all know most teams use a lot of pitchers in a season, so this is good. 

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48 minutes ago, jmlease1 said:

I think this is pretty spot on. the utter youth on the international signings is going to keep most of them out of the rankings until they've been in the system for a couple of years, because there's so little to evaluate them on and you expect even their tools to be behind the older players coming from stateside. a 16-17 year old kid is going to have to be awfully special to crack a list like this. I don't think it's any kind of indictment of the organization, which has been one of the more engaged ones in the international market (investing in central america, paying attention to places like australia, etc)

And another thing I didn't really write is that for the most part, I do wait until players are in the FCL/GCL before ranking them. I probably could have, maybe should have, included Danny De Andrade, but he may be the lone DSL exception and that's really only because he got a big bonus. 

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43 minutes ago, PDX Twin said:

Thanks, Seth. I came to Twins Daily as the successor to Seth Speaks and your posts about prospects are my favorite part of the site. There is always something about which to be optimistic even in the darkest of times for the big club!

I appreciate the thoughts... Those SethSpeaks days were fun, but I am definitely glad to be doing this now... Thank you again, and there's always something positive! 

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43 minutes ago, tony&rodney said:

Congratulations on completing the minor league report for the Twins current system. The videos and posts were absolutely terrific. The videos put a human touch to the names and one can feel the excitement and energy these prospects direct toward their craft. Many of us spend too much time on our addiction to baseball but you must be really driven to feed us these excellent posts. Finally, I sense that these young players can identify with and respect your love of the game because they have enormous commitment and love for the game as shown by their massive efforts to reach their goals and thus they enjoy the interviews and mentions they receive from your posts. Excellent series and wrap - a big thank you for the content.

Thank you, and yes, I believe in humanizing the players, reminding us that they're more than names in box scores and on stat sheets. And, frankly, most of them are just good dudes, living and working toward the dream that many of us likely had. 

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Thanks Seth, great article.  Twins have a very deep farm system, probably without the super top players which bring you the higher rankings in the farm system reports.  

This I probably why I have felt with the coming 40 man roster decisions, we need to find out which prospects are real and which might flame out.  I am just hoping we don't lose Gore in the rule 5 draft.  Should be interesting, though I am afraid of how long it will take the new CBA to be worked out.

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