Jump to content
  • Create Account
  • Chances for Each Twins Top Prospect Impacting the 2020 Roster

    Cody Christie

    It came a day later than expected, but the Twins announced their 60-man summer camp roster on Tuesday morning. This is the player pool from which the Twins will select players to be included on their 30-man Opening Day roster. Many teams, like the Twins, included top prospects on their 60-man roster even some top-prospects that aren’t currently on the team’s 40-man roster.

    Here’s some quick notes on each of the organization’s top prospects on the roster and how they could impact the team during the 2020 campaign.

    Image courtesy of © John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

    Each prospect below was ranked on a scale from Unlikely to Possibly to Probably to Definitely. Things considered were inclusion on the 40-man roster, prospect status, and 2019 performance.

    Royce Lewis, SS

    Twins Prospect Ranking: 1

    Lewis is widely considered the team’s top prospect and he is coming off a season with some mixed results. He might have redeemed himself with a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League. Overall, he’s only played 33 games above High-A, so the Twins might have to be in a pinch to call him up. His speed is elite so he could be an intriguing pinch running option if the team needed him for that role.

    2020 Impact: Unlikely

    Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B

    Twins Prospect Ranking: 2

    If the 2020 season had played out as planned, Kirilloff seemed like a lock to make his big-league debut even if it came as a September call-up. He dealt with a wrist injury last season, but he was still able to play over 90 games, all at Double-A. With a healed wrist, he should be back to mashing like he did in 2018 when he was the team’s minor league hitter of the year.

    2020 Impact: Possibly

    Trevor Larnach, OF

    Twins Prospect Ranking: 3

    Larnach is coming off a tremendous first full season in the Twins organization. He relied on his college experience to mash the ball at High- and Double-A. Unfortunately for him, there are quite a few players standing in the way of him making his debut. Players like Alex Kirilloff and Brent Rooker seem more likely to get a chance before Larnach.

    2020 Impact: Unlikely

    Jordan Balazovic, RHP

    Twins Prospect Ranking: 4

    Balazovic is the team’s best starting pitching prospect, but he has only thrown 73 innings above the Low-A level. He had a tremendous 2019 season with a 2.69 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP, but it was probably a stretch for him to make his debut in 2020 even if there were 162 games. If the Twins need him as a starter this season, that might be bad news for the big-league squad.

    2020 Impact: Unlikely

    Jhoan Duran, RHP

    Twins Prospect Ranking: 5

    Duran takes Brusdar Graterol’s role as the big flame thrower in the Twins system. However, many believe Duran has a better shot to stick as a starting pitcher. For the 2020 season, Duran could be used in a similar role to Graterol last year. Enter late and throw gas out of the bullpen.

    2020 Impact: Probably

    Ryan Jeffers, C

    Twins Prospect Ranking: 6

    Jeffers is coming off a tremendous 2019 season where he established himself as not only the top catching prospect in the Twins system, but also one of the team’s best overall prospects. Minnesota already has Mitch Garver, Alex Avila and Willian Astudillo penciled into the 30-man roster, but an injury could mean he debuts this season.

    2020 Impact: Possibly

    Lewis Thorpe, LHP

    Twins Prospect Ranking: 8

    Heading into spring, Thorpe had a chance to make the Twins starting rotation. The only thing that prevented that was some time away from camp as he dealt with some personal issues. He is the best left-handed starting pitching prospect in the organization and he already has big-league experience so it’s a no brainer that he will impact this year’s team.

    2020 Impact: Definitely

    Gilberto Celestino, OF

    Twins Prospect Ranking: 9

    Celestino is an elite defensive outfielder and that might be his best chance at impacting the Twins this year. He’s already on the team’s 40-man roster so that could put him ahead of players like Kirilloff, Larnach and Rooker. His offensive skills set might not be big-league ready, but there’s no question he could impact the game on the defensive side of the ball.

    2020 Impact: Possibly

    Other Pitching Prospects 2020 Impacts

    Dakota Chalmers, RHP: Possibly

    Randy Dobnak, RHP: Definitely

    Sean Poppen, RHP: Possibly

    Fernando Romero, RHP: Possibly

    Devin Smeltzer, RHP: Definitely

    Cody Stashak, RHP: Definitely

    Other Hitting Prospects 2020 Impacts

    Travis Blankenhorn, UTL: Probably

    Nick Gordon, SS/2B: Possibly

    LaMonte Wade Jr, OF: Probably

    Brent Rooker, OF: Probably

    Which top prospect will have the biggest impact on the Twins this season? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.


    — Latest Twins coverage from our writers

    — Recent Twins discussion in our forums

    — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email


    Featured Video

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Featured Comments

    I am of the opinion that Kirilloff will see some time with the Twins this year as he just might be the eighth or ninth best hitter in the organization. Could happen under several scenarios, won't speculate which will occur.


    To even be considered, Romero is going to have to find a way to get into the country. Does anyone have any information why his VISA problem is still keeping him out?

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    I am of the opinion that Kirilloff will see some time with the Twins this year as he just might be the eighth or ninth best hitter in the organization. Could happen under several scenarios, won't speculate which will occur.


    To even be considered, Romero is going to have to find a way to get into the country. Does anyone have any information why his VISA problem is still keeping him out?


    I think that the Twins will treat prospects as they would in a regular season:


    Kirilloff needs to be added to the 40-man roster AFTER this season. So they can bring him up during the season, but the goal should absolutely be that if he is brought up, they don't use an option on him. Will he need three options? We hope not, but no need in just giving one up.


    The other side of that is Larnach who doesn't have to be added until after the 2021 season, so it would probably take an everyday job to open up for him to get added this year (and I think he's very near ready too). 


    As for Romero, this is obviously a big deal. Sano was cleared but the situation is crazy and he was able to get back here already... Romero can't... It must be something bigger. (not to say it's anything like the Sano situation or worse, but something must be going on). 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Of the hitters, I would put Celestino as most likely, Kiriloff next, then Lewis.  My thinking is Celestino being on 40 man makes him easy to bring in.  When Buxton gets hurt, hopefully he can stay healty for 60 games, Celestino is most logical to replace him.  Why, because you replace defense with defense.  Rest of roster should carry offense, Buxton will hit 9th again most likely so even some drop in offense is not huge.  


    Kiriloff because his bat is MLB ready I believe.  He is best offensive ready player so can replace either corner spot or DH/1B situation if needed.  


    Lewis because he is versatile and can play any position, except for catcher, so he will have many chances depending on injury and illness. 


    Jeffers has a chance, but will need something to happen to catchers set ahead of him. 


    Larnich bat may be ready, but based on need an ranking I think he will fall short, may just be based on years in system too.  

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    It’s been noted that Royce Lewis could be an option in center field. All of a sudden, there’s an opening. It certainly changes his status from “unlikely” to help in 2020 to “possible”.


    He played 5 games in CF in the AFL last year, compared with one at SS. There has to be a reason for that.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    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.


  • Create New...