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  • Minnesota Twins Post-Draft Top-20 Prospects: 16-20


    Cody Christie

    In the aftermath this year's MLB Draft, it can be fun to reevaluate where an organization stacks up in the prospect department. For better or worse, franchises can make it or break it with their selections in the draft. It's also important for teams to be able to build from within to help manage the bottom line.

     

    Minnesota's top prospect list is littered with highly drafted players over the last handful of years. Players like Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach have all been taken with first-round picks. Ideally, these players will form the nucleus of Minnesota's next championship winning club.

    Image courtesy of © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    20. Randy Dobnak, RHP

    2019 MiLB Stats (A+, AA, AAA): 12-4, 2.07 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 109 K, 28 BB, 135.0 IP

    2019 MLB Stats: 2-1, 1.59 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 23 K, 5 BB, 28.1 IP

    Dobnak went on a tremendous ride last season with his first pitches of the year coming with the Fort Myers Miracle and his last pitches coming at Yankee Stadium in the playoffs. While Dobnak posted fantastic numbers last season, few expect him be the ace of a pitching staff. He has the potential to be a solid back end of the rotation pitcher for multiple years. His spot in the 2020 rotation wasn’t a guarantee so it will be interesting to see how he is used this year, especially with little chance of a minor league season occurring.

     

    His pitch mix includes four pitches with his sinker being used over 36% of the time. He also mixes in a changeup, curve, and four seamer. According to MLB’s Baseball Savant, his fastball spin was in the third percental when compared to the rest of baseball. His fastball velocity and curve spin also ranked in the 44th percentile or lower. Still, batters were only able to manage to barrel up the ball 2.3% of the time and his average exit velocity was 88.6.

     

    19. Cole Sands, RHP

    2019 MiLB Stats (A, A+, AA): 7-3, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 108 K, 19 BB, 97.1 IP

    Much like Dobnak, Sands made stops at three different minor league levels in 2019 where he was younger than the average age of the competition. His most impressive stop was in the Florida State League where he posted a 2.25 ERA and a 53 to 7 strikeout to walk ratio in 52 IP. He utilizes a fastball in the low-90s but there are times he can rear back and reach the mid-90s. His curveball and change-up are both good pitches that help to separate him from other starters in the organization.

     

    In his professional debut, Sands put up numbers that were far superior than anything he was able to compile as a three-year starter in college. His lowest ERA for any college season was 4.13 and he had a 4.73 ERA for his entire collegiate career. There were some good peripheral numbers that might have stood out to the Twins front office. Over his final two college seasons, he struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings and his WHIP dropped in every season.

     

    18. Jose Miranda, 2B/3B

    2019 MiLB Stats (A+, AA): .252/.302/.369, 8 HR, 26 2B, 54 K, 24 BB, 119 G

    Miranda played all but one regular season game in the Florida State League during 2019. He started off slow but ended the year on quite the offense run. Over his final 162 plate appearances, he hit .295/.333/.436 with 13 extra-base hits and almost as many walks (8) as strikeouts (10). Minnesota thought highly enough about him to send him to Pensacola for the playoffs where he compiled a .955 OPS in five postseason games.

     

    Defensively, he played more time at third base last season than any other season. Last season was the first time since his professional debut that he failed to hit double-digits in home runs. If he continues to add power, he could become quite the weapon at third base. He almost never strikes out and he has the defensive flexibility to play other infield positions as well.

     

    17. Misael Urbina, OF

    2019 MiLB Stats (FRK): .279/.382/.443, 2 HR, 14 2B, 5 3B, 19 SB, 23 BB, 14 K, 50 G

    Urbina signed for a boatload of cash ($2.75 million) back during the 2018 international signing period. He made his professional debut in 2019 and showed many of the skills that made him one of the top prospects in that signing class. He had 21 extra-base hits and 19 steals in 27 attempts. Also, he showed an advanced approach at the plate with more walks (23) than strikeouts (14).

     

    He can play all over the outfield, but 34 of his 44 defensive appearances came in center field. His speed will help him to stick in center field and he has the other tools to make himself a defensive weapon. As Twins fans have seen with Byron Buxton, speed can help to turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples. With more experience, he should also become better at stealing a higher percentage of bases.

     

    16. Matt Wallner, OF

    2019 MiLB Stats (RK, A): .258/.357/.452, 8 HR, 21 2B, 80 K, 24 BB, 65 G

    The Twins selected Wallner with the 39th overall pick in last year’s draft and he quickly made his presence known in the organization. In June and July, he hit .289/.392/.465 with 18 home runs in 37 games. He tired a little down the stretch by hitting .218/.312/.436 over the season’s final 28 games which included a dozen games in Cedar Rapids.

     

    Wallner was set to go to college at the University of North Dakota, but they cut their baseball program, and this might have actually helped him in the long run. He decided to play at Southern Mississippi and this likely allowed him to play a higher level of competition and for more scouts to put their eyes on him.

    His junior year really put him on a lot of team’s draft radars (if he wasn’t already there). In those 61 games, he posted a 1.127 OPS with 23 home runs.

     

    Stop back in the coming days to see who completes the top-20 list.

     

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    I was waiting for this and will find it interesting to see the next list.

     

    For giggles and further discussion, the TD top 15 as of, i believe, February of this year, removing Graterol and bumping players up a notch:

     

    Lewis

    Kirilloff

    Larnach

    Balazovic

    Duran

    Jeffers

    Cavaco

    Rooker

    Enlow

    Thorpe

    Celestino

    Javier

    Wallner

    Canterino

    Colina

     

    FWIW, BA top 10 (they only do a top 10 of course):

     

    Lewis

    Kirilloff

    Larnach

    Balazovic

    Duran

    Jeffers

    Canterino

    Enlow

    Urbana

     

    Yes, only 9 as I'm leaving Graterol out of BA top 10 as I did so for TD. Only fair. Urbina is the biggest disparity here. Small discrepancy in rankings with Canterino.

     

    In THIS ranking, Urbina holds the 17 spot but Wallner slips 3 spaces.

     

    Not a lot of movement here in the TD rankings so far. And while I was slightly surprised by the picks made, I don't think the draft was a poor one at all. But as I stated in the draft thread, this may be the first I can remember where draft choices, even the #1 pick, doesn't slide in to the top 10. And that is a good thing! It shows how deep and talented our system is!

     

    Considering this is 16-20, I'm guessing Sabato sneaks in to the top 15. I can agree with that. Otherwise, we should be status quo. And that's not a bad thing.

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