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  • Prospect Retrospective: Gilberto Celestino


    Matthew Lenz

    Twins outfield prospect, Gilberto Celestino, made his Major League debut on June 2nd against the Baltimore Orioles going 0-for-2 with a strikeout before being lifted in the top of the 8th by a pinch hitter. Let’s take a look back at his rise to the Majors in his prospect retrospective.

    Image courtesy of © Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Amateur Career

    Coming out of the Dominican Republic, there isn’t really any statistical data on his amateur career before being signed as an international free agent in July of 2015. At the time he was considered the #11 international prospect and MLB.com’s scouting report read as follows: 

    “Known for his athletic ability and instincts in the outfield, Celestino is projected to start in center field and likely stay there as he develops because of his speed, arm and his ability to get good jumps in the outfield. He's lean but is expected to fill out as he matures. Scouts like his makeup and expect him to reach his potential once he signs with a team and receives daily instruction.

    One of the most polished players in the class, Celestino is known as a "gamer" because he has a track record of success in tournaments in the Dominican Republic. He's gained a reputation as one of the better game players in the class, despite varying opinions on his some of his tools.”

    Professional Career

    After signing with the Astros for a total of $2.5 million, including a $2.25 million signing bonus, Celestino played 56 games between the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League with two home runs, 15 stolen bases, and an OPS of .758. Over two and a half seasons and 152 games, Celestino sported an OPS of .753 with 10 homeruns and 39 stolen bases reaching as high as AA for the Astros. Just nine days before he was traded to the Twins, The Runners Sports published this article comparing him to the 6th overall pick from the 2012 MLB draft.

    On July 29th, 2018 the Twins received Celestino and right-handed pitcher Jorge Alcala in a package that sent Ryan Pressly to the Astros. At the time, Celestino was their 15th rated prospect in a farm system that ranked 10th best in baseball according to Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com. In his one-and-a-half seasons prior to losing the 2020 Minor League season to COVID, he hit 11 homeruns, stole 22 bases, and had an OPS of____. The Twins thought highly enough of the speedy centerfield to add him to the 40-man roster following the 2019 season 

    and added him to the 60-man player pool in 2020. After many injuries at the Major League level and a solid start at AA-Wichita he was called up on June 2nd.

    Twins Daily Coverage

    WATCH: Highlight Reel created by Tom Froemming in February of 2020. Consider this his HYPE video.

    READ: Trade Retrospective: How Did the Twins Do in the Ryan Presley Trade? by Cody Christie in August of 2020. I don’t know that we are any closer to a clear answer right now, but it’s encouraging that both pieces from that trade have made it to Minneapolis.

    READ: Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: 11-15 by Nick Nelson in February of 2021. He came in as Twins Daily 11th ranked prospect in 2021, one spot ahead of Brent Rooker, which is one spot higher than he was in 2020.

    READ: Celestino Looking to Impress this Spring, Debut this Summer(?) by Seth Stohs in March of 2021. Is there anyone more in tune with the Twins farm system than Seth? My vote: “nay”.

    READ: One Twins Prospect to Watch at Each Minor League Level by Cody Christie in May of 2021. Celestino was Cody’s prospect to watch heading into this season...who knew we’d get to do it at Target Field or on Bally Sports North?! Oh yeah, Seth had a feeling.

    READ: Examining Minnesota's Center Field Depth by Cody Christie in June of 2021. This was written days ago amid the Twins throwing Rob Refsnyder and Kyle Garlick in centerfield.

    Welcome to the bigs, Gilberto!

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    Celestino polished? Horrible decisions, horrible execution, and horrible routes. I don't even care what he looks like at the plate. Playing the field is not pitching based.  

    I saw the first two games. If that is polished, the Twins are in more trouble than I thought. 

     

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    You are reading a report from when he signed as a 16 year old... Hopefully it's just nerves from being called up and/or only having played for a month after not playing last year but you cannot write off a prospect after only 2 games. Mike Trout absolutely SUCKED his first month that he was called up. 

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    10 minutes ago, Seansy said:

    You are reading a report from when he signed as a 16 year old... Hopefully it's just nerves from being called up and/or only having played for a month after not playing last year but you cannot write off a prospect after only 2 games. Mike Trout absolutely SUCKED his first month that he was called up. 

    Well, you would think that polish would have gotten some shine IN SIX YEARS!

    If it's not fair to compare others to Trout for the upper end of performance, then is it fair to compare at all?

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    1 hour ago, mikelink45 said:

    Give him 2 weeks and then evaluate

    My assumption is that he will be up until Refsnyder comes back in 4-5 days. They'll probably send him to St. Paul, though I'm sure they'd prefer to send him back to Wichita, which is where he should be. He's young. And yes, definitely, he's very good even if we haven't seen that so far. Definitely can't evaluate based on first few games, especially for a guy who is up because of 40-man rules and CF injury situation. He's got potential, but they didn't call him up because he's ready. They know that. 

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    39 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

    My assumption is that he will be up until Refsnyder comes back in 4-5 days. They'll probably send him to St. Paul, though I'm sure they'd prefer to send him back to Wichita, which is where he should be. He's young. And yes, definitely, he's very good even if we haven't seen that so far. Definitely can't evaluate based on first few games, especially for a guy who is up because of 40-man rules and CF injury situation. He's got potential, but they didn't call him up because he's ready. They know that. 

    We are conditioned to be so apologetic it seems. The thing is, the decisions he has made, the lackadaisical throw after the horrible catch he blew that Larnach was sitting on..... these are things that AT ANY LEVEL OF PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL YOU DON'T DO.  It has nothing to do with being ready for MLB, like at the plate and being able to hit MLB pitching. The gaffs he is coming up with shouldn't be done at amateur levels. I would like to think even by the end of little league.

    That being said...... I hope he can become something. With the way this season has progressed, I have little sympathy left. 

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    Kid belongs in AA.  Hopefully he will be back there asap.  There is no question, however, that his brief stay with the Twins should be invaluable as far as learning how difficult it is in MLB and his hunger to want to return.

    Same can be said about Rortvedt, although he probably belongs in St. Paul.

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    12 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

    My assumption is that he will be up until Refsnyder comes back in 4-5 days. They'll probably send him to St. Paul, though I'm sure they'd prefer to send him back to Wichita, which is where he should be. He's young. And yes, definitely, he's very good even if we haven't seen that so far. Definitely can't evaluate based on first few games, especially for a guy who is up because of 40-man rules and CF injury situation. He's got potential, but they didn't call him up because he's ready. They know that. 

    Seth------I agree 100%.......I like Celestino's potential as a future everyday CF for Twins, but thats not until 2022 or 2023.  Although it was VERY early in season--games #2 and #3--May 5 and 6,  I personally witnessed Celestino struggle against less than overpowering pitchers from Springfield.  He went 0-7 over the games I attended with 5 K's.  His defense--other than the HORRIBLE 2 error play the other night in KC-----is far ahead of his bat.  Although Broxton has struggled all season as everyday CF for Saints, I agree that Celestino needs to be pushed back to Wichita to get his bat going.  In his most recent games there--before being promoted to AAA, he had brought his average up to .250 and hit a walkoff solo HR.

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    13 hours ago, h2oface said:

    We are conditioned to be so apologetic it seems. The thing is, the decisions he has made, the lackadaisical throw after the horrible catch he blew that Larnach was sitting on..... these are things that AT ANY LEVEL OF PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL YOU DON'T DO.  It has nothing to do with being ready for MLB, like at the plate and being able to hit MLB pitching. The gaffs he is coming up with shouldn't be done at amateur levels. I would like to think even by the end of little league.

    That being said...... I hope he can become something. With the way this season has progressed, I have little sympathy left. 

    Some people are “conditioned” to see what could be in a player, some people are conditioned to see what the player is not. Considering that the team is down to the fifth or sixth option in CF, cutting some slack to the current CF option would seem reasonable. Some are not “conditioned” to do that.

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