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  • Who Will Be the Twins Top Prospect in 2023?


    Cody Christie

    Many of Minnesota’s top prospects are in the upper levels of the minors, but the farm system has plenty of depth. So, who are the candidates to jump up the rankings by 2023?

    Image courtesy of William Parmeter / Mighty Mussels

    Here are four Twins minor leaguers who could be the organization's top prospect ahead of the 2023 season. The assumption here is that prospects such as Austin Martin, Royce Lewis and others will already be in the big leagues.

    Chase Petty, RHP
    Current TD Ranking: 9

    Petty was Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2021, and his scouting reports are certainly something for fans to get excited about. He was a regular on the national showcase circuit, where he touched triple digits with his fastball. Petty mixes in a slider and changeup keep batters off balance. With any young pitcher, there can be questions about command and delivery. By 2023, the Twins will have a better idea of what Petty can be for the long-term, especially after getting into full-season ball.

    Keoni Cavaco, SS
    Current TD Ranking: 10
    Cavaco, the number 13 overall pick in 2019, has under 100 professional games under his belt. He’s spent the majority of his age-20 season at Low-A, where he has hit .240/.297/.311 with ten extra-base hits in 57 games. All but 27 of his at-bats have come against older pitchers, so there is some room for optimism. During last year’s pandemic, Cavaco worked to refine his swing and add muscle. Over the next two years, Twins fans can hope he starts to see the results of this hard work. 

    Noah Miller, SS
    Current TD Ranking: 15
    The Twins took Miller with a competitive balance pick at the end of the first round. He is an advanced hitter for his age, which might help him move ahead of the other hitters on this list. Current scouting reports have his arm and fielding ability as two of his best tools, which should allow him to stick at shortstop as he continues to develop. Miller has a chance to be one of the team’s top-5 prospects in two years, but will he put it all together and take over the top spot?

    Misael Urbina, OF
    Current TD Ranking: 18
    MLB Pipeline picked Urbina as the team’s top prospect in 2023, which might make sense for where he is in his development path. He’s younger than Cavaco, and he has played at the same level as him for the entire season. It’s his first season playing in the States, and he saw his slugging percentage increase every month from May through July. Even with his struggles this year, he can start 2022 at Low-A and still be younger than the competition at that level.

    Which prospect do you think will be the team’s top prospect in two years? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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    My best guess will be someone else.  Don't have a clue who, but am hopeful that someone who is playing well today in the FCL or Fort Myers Low-A will take off and take that top spot.  Or maybe the 2023 #1 prospect is currently down in the DSL, has a huge summer next year and puts himself into position to be at Cedar Rapids come 2023.  

    Of the four you mention, my vote would go to Petty assuming he is as good as advertised.  If not, next pick would be Miller, who I expect to be a solid shortstop for the Twins by mid-decade.    

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    7 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

    I think it will be a pitcher.  We have a number of pitcher prospects - too many to have them all in the rotation or pen in 2022. Who ever is left to develop will be number one.  

    That was my first inclination too; maybe Matt Canterino? I expect him to start next year in AA, and think it's unlikely he'll debut in 2022. He needs to have a healthy minor league season and get innings, but he seems the least likely to get rushed into service in 2022.

    I'd bet Canterino, Petty, or next year's #1 pick.

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    I hope and expect it will be someone not currently in the organization. It should be someone that flashes serious tools in games even at a young age. Between easing back from injury and needing quite a bit of development still, I suspect Royce Lewis won't be using up his rookie eligibility next year and would be the most likely candidate for 2023. I see him being up and down all year and struggling similar to our young Byron Buxton.

    Petty is a huge wildcard as a high school pitcher with no MiLB time yet, so he's got my vote for younger internal candidates based on the completely unknown ceiling alone.

    I'm very down on Cavaco. He doesn't have a natural 'hit' tool and that can't be learned. Strikeout rate in July/August combined is almost 39% and walk rate is 5%, so he's not progressing at all.

    Urbina is interesting but hasn't flashed much to me. I understand he's young but you still gotta show flashes to make #1 prospect.

    Noah Miller is defense-first which would be tough to make top prospect unless he gets on base at a high clip and steals bases.

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    1 hour ago, jmlease1 said:

    I'd bet Canterino, Petty, or next year's #1 pick.

    Canterino will turn 25 December 14 2022, I really like him and think he has a to be a shut down relief pitcher, or maybe a really good starter, but if the #1 prospect in the organization is a 25 year old (3 year college draft pick) that to me throws up huge red flags for an organization.

    I personally see it being Royce Lewis, IMO I find it hard to believe he is going to come back next year and be so amazing after all that time off that he forces the Twins to call him up, or he is good and the team is terrible again.

    I really hope it is either Simeon Woods Richardson or Chase Petty. Or maybe Urbina, I personally like to see the top guys being around age 20/21, meaning they have done great prior and are projected to make an impact in the next year or two.

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    I guess it depends on how players develop because Lewis and Martin might still be battling for the top spot at least in the beginning of 2023.  If you are looking for younger guys then some FCL guys to like Rosario and Rodriguez look interesting.  I was hoping for more from Cavaceo and Urbina.  I know they are real young for A ball and with affiliates getting crunched the competition at A ball is higher but Urbina was touted as an advanced hitter and his 580 OPS doesn't scream advanced.  Cavaceo's hit tool was always in question and he started the season well but has regressed as the season went on.  They both can easily rebound it just doesn't look like number one prospect is in their future IMO.

    I like the Petty pick and would be thrilled if he climbed all the way to number 1.  He has a legit chance IMO if his arm stays healthy.  Also kind of hoping Hajjar is going to develop into a dominant lefty.  I know Louie Varland would be a long shot for number one and he might end up a reliever but I just like him a lot so am putting on my list. :) 

     

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    Interesting question! I agree it could be Lewis as he will likely have rookie status at the beginning of 2023. I also believe it could be Canterino as he also might have rookie status to begin 2023. 2020 and injuries are just a fact that has provided a delay for both. Both could/should find at least some ML time next season.

    But of the suggestions beyond those two, I think the tools of Urbina would make him #1. I say no to Petty because we don't even know if he's going to pitch this season or how much/little. 

     

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    Someone currently in AA, probably, though if a AA pitcher goes off, he could easily be on the team before the end of 2022 (I'm not trying to get into whether or not someone qualifies for prospect status).  My first thought was Woods Richardson, but I'm going with Blayne Enlow.

    Is it harder to pick a pitcher because if any of them are any good, they'll make the big club?  Would I be smarter to pick a position player who is blocked or potentially blocked (Lewis, Martin) by age and our signing of a one-year shortstop?

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    10 hours ago, prouster said:

    I don't see Lewis or Martin losing their prospect status in the first half next year. One of them will very likely start the year ranked number 1 by most outlets.

    I think Martin will be up next season. He already has over 350 PAs at the AA level with a month left to play.

    Lewis, you're probably right.

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    46 minutes ago, DocBauer said:

    I confess Woods Richardson slipped my mind. I stand by my initial thoughts above, but I have to change my vote for SWR as #1.

    I think SWR is a coin flip. He has 11 starts at the AA level but has questionable surface level stats. It's hard to say where the Twins will place him to start 2022, which will factor heavily into whether he's a prospect in 2023.

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    It is not really close but over the last 3 seasons who has more WAR, the number 1 or 2 Sano and Buxton, or the lesser prospects of Polanco and Arraez? The health of a club is not who is number one but how deep does the list go for quality major league players.

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    8 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

    I think Martin will be up next season. He already has over 350 PAs at the AA level with a month left to play.

    Lewis, you're probably right.

    Yeah, I think Austin will see plenty of time in the majors next year, just not for the first couple months of the season. If they trade Buxton, my feelings will be different. 

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    If it’s not one of the frequently mentioned players people have listed, how about Alerick Soularie. He’s supposed to be a tool shed and has been hitting decently this year after his injuries. Someone mentioned Enlow and that’s a sneaky good pick too. 

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    I really hope it's Petty. The Twins just need that kind of power arm.  They've been flat out awful finding and developing them, but they have to continue to go to the well in search of front line starters.

    Still, I'll bet Noah Miller. Not sure why but I think he'll start turning heads soon.

    Also,  I don't think Lewis should be written off for next season. While the Twins have not figured out how to manage the pitching injuries, their last two high end offensive prospects to have TJ surgery while in the minors, still debuted the following year. I know Kirilloff didn't appear until the playoffs, but that's still pretty good considering he went from AA to TJ surgery then to the majors without any additional MiLB season. Sano debuted in the majors the July after recovering from his procedure; he also skipped AAA prior to his initial call up.

     

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    The Twins are horribly thin.  I doubt any of those players is the #1.  It likely will be someone even the Twins org doesn't expect.  Perhaps Emmanuel Rodriguez.  It's clear the new Twins regime has some pitching development prowess.  I'm not seeing it with hitting.  They got Miranda to stop chasing, so that's good, but I don't see them doing a great scouting job or development job on their hitters from rookie leagues to MLB, even adjusted for tough hitting parks in A ball.

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    17 minutes ago, twinstalker said:

    The Twins are horribly thin.  I doubt any of those players is the #1.  It likely will be someone even the Twins org doesn't expect.  Perhaps Emmanuel Rodriguez.  It's clear the new Twins regime has some pitching development prowess.  I'm not seeing it with hitting.  They got Miranda to stop chasing, so that's good, but I don't see them doing a great scouting job or development job on their hitters from rookie leagues to MLB, even adjusted for tough hitting parks in A ball.

    Thin? They are incredibly deep in prospects....what they are is short of ELITE prospects....or not, not really, not compared to almost every org out there. They have 5 of Fangrpahs top 100 prospects, and another at 104, after graduating Kiriloff and Jeffers. Exactly how many top 100 would they need to have not to be "horribly thin"?

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    Balazovic, simeon woods richardson, Aaron Sabato, Cavaco

    Betting on breakouts to gain relevance for the hitters or the development of dominance for these pitchers.

     

    SWR is only 20 so at 22 he could be seriously impressive looking. Balazovic is the opposite. He would be #1 if he doesn't make it up next year but shows consistency. He's 22 right now so I feel there are a lot of people that might go through ahead of him which gives him time dev against competition he can beat.

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    18 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

    Also,  I don't think Lewis should be written off for next season. While the Twins have not figured out how to manage the pitching injuries, their last two high end offensive prospects to have TJ surgery while in the minors, still debuted the following year. I know Kirilloff didn't appear until the playoffs, but that's still pretty good considering he went from AA to TJ surgery then to the majors without any additional MiLB season. Sano debuted in the majors the July after recovering from his procedure; he also skipped AAA prior to his initial call up.

     

    I thought AK had his surgery in 17, spent 18 in A and A+, 19 in AA, and was called up 9/2020? Sano had his in 14 and was called up from AA in 15, after 66 games and hitting .269, with 18 doubles and 15 homers with a .918 OPS.

    Sano and AK were far superior hitting prospects to Lewis, Lewis career minor league OPS is .740, Sano's .932, and AK .869.

    So unless Royce comes back and does stuff he never has done in the minors or continues to absolutely rake like he did in the fall league I don't see he coming up next year, on top of playing great defense, which could be hard playing SS after coming back from TJ.  IMO

     

    I guess if the FO totally blows a back up plan for the outfield, Lewis could be forced to come up and play OF since his will be on the 40.

     

     

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