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  • TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline): 26-30


    Cody Christie

    Last month’s MLB draft and trade deadline saw the Twins add multiple young players that now fit into the team’s top 30 prospects. Do any of the new acquisitions fit in the back end of the top-30?

    Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge (graphic by David Youngs)

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    30. RHP Marco Raya (19 years old)
    Season Stats: Yet to Debut
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NA, 2021 Preseason: NA

    Raya was the Twins’ fourth-round draft pick in 2020 out of United South High School in Laredo, Texas. His fastball can hit in the low- to mid-90s, and he mixes in three breaking pitches, including a slider, a curveball, and a change-up. At 6-feet tall and 170 pounds, he isn’t tall on the mound, but he is a good athlete, and the Twins are excited about the promise he shows for the future. Currently, he is on the IL with the FCL Twins.

    29. LHP Jovani Moran (24 years old)
    Season Stats (AA/AAA): 50 IP (26 G), 1.98 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 15.3 K/9, 3.2 BB/9
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NA

    Moran has one of the best change-ups in the Twins system, and he has been able to use it to dominate the minor’s upper levels this season. Originally, he was taken by the Twins in the seventh round in 2015 out of Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. During July, he struck out nearly 50% of the batter he faced. Right-handed batters have been limited to a .352 OPS against him in 2021. With his success at Triple-A, he seems likely to make his big-league debut before the season's end.

    28. LHP Steve Hajjar (21 years old)
    Season Stats (College): 81.2 IP (14 G), 3.09 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 12.1 K/9 3.2 BB/9
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NA, 2021 Preseason: NA

    Hajjar was Minnesota’s second-round pick in this year’s draft from the University of Michigan. He signed for the full slot value of $1,129,700 but has yet to make his professional debut. At Michigan, he led the Big Ten with 110 strikeouts in 81 2/3 innings. He is 6-foot-5 and weighs 215 pounds, so he is quite the presence on the mound. Typically, his fastball sits in the low-90s, but he can reach the mid-90s with some movement. He mixes in a change-up and a curveball to keep batters off balance.

    27. SS Wander Javier (22 years old)
    Season Stats (A+): 76 G, .219/.274/.409 (.683), 9 HR, 12 2B, 9 3B, 33.8 K%, 6.1 BB%
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 17, 2021 Preseason: NA

    Javier was initially signed by the Twins in July 2015, and his name has populated the team’s top prospect lists throughout that time. At one point, he was considered a top-100 prospect in baseball, but he hasn’t put it all together to the point where he has been left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft the past two years. He had a tremendous month of June with a .834 OPS, but he struck out 41 times in 112 plate appearances in July. Fans can hope he develops into a five-tool talent, but that dream might have passed at this point. 

    26. 2B Alerick Soularie (22 years old)
    Season Stats: Rehab Assignment
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 18, 2021 Preseason: 18

    Soularie rolled his ankle during spring training and then broke his foot going down some stairs, which has kept him out of action until late last week. He was taken in the second round in 2020 out of the University of Tennessee and he is 22-years old. Soularie has started his rehab assignment by going 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. He is considered one of the best athletes in the Twins system, and the organization has to be excited to have him back on the field. 

     

    Check back this week for the rest of the Twins post-draft and post-trade deadline top-30 rankings. Feel free to discuss this group of prospects and ask questions. 

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    Moran is exciting. It's really fun to watch a pitcher with a great change up. His ranking is limited by his status as a reliever, but he's the guy I'm most interested in with this pod of prospects. I don't think he'll stay on the list long: I expect to see him in MLB this year and to be a relief option from the jump next year.

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    I got my first chance to see Javier in action last Friday.  The one thing he has going for him is that he can probably stick at SS at least from what I saw.  It's not a deep position in the system.  It could be a blessing in disguise that the bat still isn't quite there.  He probably still slips through the Rule 5.  He's still slightly young for his league, but that 33% K rate just isn't going to play.  I hope he can hang on for at least another season or two and be a late bloomer.

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    Am I correct that Javier will be a 6-year minor league free agent at year's end?  If so, he would only be rule 5 eligible should the Twins resign him before the draft.  He has begun turning that proverbial corner this year.  I am hopeful he will fully turn it next year, and do so while still in the Twins organization.  The Twins have so many great candidates for short, yet most have questions whether they can stick there in the big leagues.  Based on what I have heard, Javier is one who should remain at short for the Twins.

    Like all of you, I want to see Moran pitching for the Twins before year end.  I am hopeful that he can be a solid member of their revamped pen in 2022.  Of this group, I am most excited about Soularie, who I understand has special speed...is that correct?

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    1 hour ago, roger said:

    Am I correct that Javier will be a 6-year minor league free agent at year's end?  If so, he would only be rule 5 eligible should the Twins resign him before the draft.  He has begun turning that proverbial corner this year.  I am hopeful he will fully turn it next year, and do so while still in the Twins organization.  The Twins have so many great candidates for short, yet most have questions whether they can stick there in the big leagues.  Based on what I have heard, Javier is one who should remain at short for the Twins.

    Like all of you, I want to see Moran pitching for the Twins before year end.  I am hopeful that he can be a solid member of their revamped pen in 2022.  Of this group, I am most excited about Soularie, who I understand has special speed...is that correct?

    Soularie has average to slightly below average speed. But he's a good athlete and knows how to use his limited speed well. He was an OFer in college, but last I heard the Twins were going to try turning him into a 2B. Anyone have any update on those plans?

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    50 minutes ago, Trov said:

    Can we stop the hopes for Javier?  I mean how long does he need to be not good before we just say he is a player and most likely never will make majors? 

    I'm going to say nope on the nope hope train.  If he doesn't make it... he doesn't make it.  As long as he's part of the Twins system, I for one, will pull for the kid to bring it all together.

    Not saying that he hasn't had more than his fair share of struggles (and some pretty ugly batting numbers).  Basically, there is a solid chance that he never fully coalesces into a MLB player, but the physical skills and talent are there.

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    41 minutes ago, Trov said:

    Can we stop the hopes for Javier?  I mean how long does he need to be not good before we just say he is a player and most likely never will make majors? 

    Yeah, I mean he's already 22, has never been hurt and played for that Ghost League in Atlantis in 2020.  He's had plenty of time. He's probably had more than that Eduardo Escobar guy that never amounted to anything.  Pull the plug.

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    5 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

    I don't understand how Moran isn't a Twin already.....

    My hope is they're trying out the likes of Coulombe, Minaya, and Burrows now. Once they're convinced one way or the other on those guys being on the 40 man they'll try out a few more guys. At this point the rest of the season should be meant to decide who's earned 40 man spots for next year. They're in a situation where they have a ton of fringe 40 guys and need to pick the right ones to protect. 

    It is interesting that they keep claiming fringe 40 man guys from other teams (Garza and Garcia types), though. I'd think testing Moran out and seeing if he should be protected would be more important than either of those guys. Moran will get taken in the Rule 5 if he isn't protected. Perfect candidate as a pen guy who you can stash even if he struggles.

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    1 hour ago, mikelink45 said:

    I agree on Moran. Stop with the pickups like Burrows and give our own guys a chance. 

    I am surprised by Javier's age. Seems like we have read about him forever.  Not impressed so far but hope is always on the horizon.  

    I get the sentiment here, and I think Moran should be up, but they're both 24 and Burrows is a much higher upside guy than Moran. He may not reach it, but Burrows is the exact type of player the Twins should be claiming. I'd agree with this for guys like Minaya, Coulombe, veterans who likely will be DFAd at season's end anyway. 

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    1 hour ago, chpettit19 said:

    It is interesting that they keep claiming fringe 40 man guys from other teams (Garza and Garcia types), though. I'd think testing Moran out and seeing if he should be protected would be more important than either of those guys. Moran will get taken in the Rule 5 if he isn't protected. Perfect candidate as a pen guy who you can stash even if he struggles.

    Who they claim this year likely has zero bearing on what they'll do with Moran. They probably already know, and I would assume he will be added to the 40-man roster - either in-season or right after the season (since he would be a free agent right after the World Series is complete). 

    Garza's 27, borderline, but he's got good stuff. Worth a spot for a while. Garcia is also just 24 with good stuff... 

    I'm clearly a big advocate for being active on the fringe of the 40-man roster. 

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    7 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

    Who they claim this year likely has zero bearing on what they'll do with Moran. They probably already know, and I would assume he will be added to the 40-man roster - either in-season or right after the season (since he would be a free agent right after the World Series is complete). 

    Garza's 27, borderline, but he's got good stuff. Worth a spot for a while. Garcia is also just 24 with good stuff... 

    I'm clearly a big advocate for being active on the fringe of the 40-man roster. 

    I'm all for being active on the fringes of the 40 man, but you have to make the right choices with it. And ML data is more helpful in that than AA or AAA data. They've got a lot of guys on the fringes and will have to make a lot of decisions before and after the rule 5 deadline. I think/hope they'll have a good 50-60+ mil to spend this offseason. Much of which should/will go to the pitching staff. Going to need 40 man spots for those FAs. Moran looks great in the minors, but I'd prefer to see him actually succeed in the majors. Same with Garza and Garcia.

    I know I'm in the minority, but I see a pretty reasonable path to competitiveness in 2022. The whole offense, minus Simmons, is back and good enough to compete. And if they can spend 60m on FA arms in addition to an influx of some of these young guys I don't see why they couldn't build a competitive staff. If that's the case then you need to know if you can count on Moran to help the big league club next year for peanuts, or if that's another spot you need to spend real FA $ on. Same with Garza and Garcia and Burrows, etc. I agree Coulumbe and Minaya are easy DFAs, but there's a number of other guys on the edges that they need answers on. Or I'll be back on here next year having to read 1000 comments about how dumb they are that they let fringe 40 man pitcher X go and he's crushing it in Tampa while fringe 40 man pitcher Y is in St Paul getting shelled.

    So, sure, bring in the Garza's and Garcia's, but DFA Coulumbe and Minaya now if you already know you're going to do that. Get some of these guys ML innings and have a more informed data set for the offseason. And if Moran (or any other fringe guy) is going to struggle early, let them struggle in this lost year instead of struggling at the start of next year and tanking that season, too.

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    9 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

    I'm all for being active on the fringes of the 40 man, but you have to make the right choices with it. And ML data is more helpful in that than AA or AAA data. They've got a lot of guys on the fringes and will have to make a lot of decisions before and after the rule 5 deadline. I think/hope they'll have a good 50-60+ mil to spend this offseason. Much of which should/will go to the pitching staff. Going to need 40 man spots for those FAs. Moran looks great in the minors, but I'd prefer to see him actually succeed in the majors. Same with Garza and Garcia.

    I know I'm in the minority, but I see a pretty reasonable path to competitiveness in 2022. The whole offense, minus Simmons, is back and good enough to compete. And if they can spend 60m on FA arms in addition to an influx of some of these young guys I don't see why they couldn't build a competitive staff. If that's the case then you need to know if you can count on Moran to help the big league club next year for peanuts, or if that's another spot you need to spend real FA $ on. Same with Garza and Garcia and Burrows, etc. I agree Coulumbe and Minaya are easy DFAs, but there's a number of other guys on the edges that they need answers on. Or I'll be back on here next year having to read 1000 comments about how dumb they are that they let fringe 40 man pitcher X go and he's crushing it in Tampa while fringe 40 man pitcher Y is in St Paul getting shelled.

    So, sure, bring in the Garza's and Garcia's, but DFA Coulumbe and Minaya now if you already know you're going to do that. Get some of these guys ML innings and have a more informed data set for the offseason. And if Moran (or any other fringe guy) is going to struggle early, let them struggle in this lost year instead of struggling at the start of next year and tanking that season, too.

    This.

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    1 hour ago, Seth Stohs said:

    I get the sentiment here, and I think Moran should be up, but they're both 24 and Burrows is a much higher upside guy than Moran. He may not reach it, but Burrows is the exact type of player the Twins should be claiming. I'd agree with this for guys like Minaya, Coulombe, veterans who likely will be DFAd at season's end anyway. 

    Not challenging this, it makes absolute sense to give Burrows a spin, just curious what makes you say he has a higher upside? He's had little success so far, is half a year older, and doesn't have the standout pitch that Moran does. 

    At any rate, I've got to think that Moran will be the next guy up from St. Paul. His numbers are undeniable and the stats under the hood doesn't raise any red flags.

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    2 minutes ago, Alex Schieferdecker said:

    Not challenging this, it makes absolute sense to give Burrows a spin, just curious what makes you say he has a higher upside? He's had little success so far, is half a year older, and doesn't have the standout pitch that Moran does. 

    At any rate, I've got to think that Moran will be the next guy up from St. Paul. His numbers are undeniable and the stats under the hood doesn't raise any red flags.

    Welp, Edgar Garcia was the next guy up.

    I should say that he's got a higher prospect pedigree. Maybe that's more what I meant. He's a former first-round pick. He still could be a starter. I personally think that Moran has the higher likelihood to have an impact in the big leagues, but Burrows shouldn't be given up on (like the Tigers did). And if they don't see anything over the next two months, they can DFA him too. 

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    37 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

    Welp, Edgar Garcia was the next guy up.

    I should say that he's got a higher prospect pedigree. Maybe that's more what I meant. He's a former first-round pick. He still could be a starter. I personally think that Moran has the higher likelihood to have an impact in the big leagues, but Burrows shouldn't be given up on (like the Tigers did). And if they don't see anything over the next two months, they can DFA him too. 

    Should we put much weight on him being a first round pick given he was drafted out of High School?  I look at his AA and AAA performance and don't see much.  My take on what we have seen with the Twins is a mediocre FB and mediocre at best secondary pitches.  If he had plus control that might play but his command is suspect too.  I have no problem with them giving him a spin but I don't see anything that suggests he needs to be kept for the remainder of the season if they have other options like Moran for that roster spot.

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    8 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

    Should we put much weight on him being a first round pick given he was drafted out of High School?  I look at his AA and AAA performance and don't see much.  My take on what we have seen with the Twins is a mediocre FB and mediocre at best secondary pitches.  If he had plus control that might play but his command is suspect too.  I have no problem with them giving him a spin but I don't see anything that suggests he needs to be kept for the remainder of the season if they have other options like Moran for that roster spot.

    Yeah, most likely he's Kohl Stewart. We'll find out. I haven't seen enough in four games to even have a strong opinion. If the Twins evaluators don't need the full year to be sure, great. Drop him early. I won't pretend to know. 

    With Moran... not only will they add him, but they will have three option years. 

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    I've got to say... any of my comments about giving Burrows opportunities kind of look silly now... 

    (though I still believe in adding on the fringes of the 40-man roster is a good thing, and they should do it, and making too much of any one game or 5-game sample is probably unfair... but hard to back any of that up right now. ha!)

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    23 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

    I've got to say... any of my comments about giving Burrows opportunities kind of look silly now... 

    (though I still believe in adding on the fringes of the 40-man roster is a good thing, and they should do it, and making too much of any one game or 5-game sample is probably unfair... but hard to back any of that up right now. ha!)

    If they're going to give extended auditions, then it had better be to the legitimate prospects like Cano and Moran and no to the wavier wire heap pickups like Burrows. I'm fine with trying waiver claims out, but I don't think we should waste many innings on these guys. The Tigers knew what they were doing, DFA'ing Burrows, even though he still had 2 option years left. We don't have a pitching staff that can magically turn these guys into something valuable, so no point in wasting time polishing a... you know what.

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    Sticking with the OP: (reverse order from the list)

    1] I know Raya is a HS pitcher and those kids always seem to have the biggest question marks attached to them. But he was my favorite 2020 selection because I liked his numbers velocity, and potential. Can't tell you how disappointed I am he has yet to see the mound.  Any update on his injury? 

    2] Moran' s career numbers would have him higher on this list if he wasn't a RP and/or threw 92-93. We all know this. My concern is not having at least a "teaser" 3rd offering to RH batters besides his change. But he absolutely deserves a ML shot and soon. 

    I KNOW I'm a hope-monger, but I keep thinking about Thielbar/Thorpe/Moran giving the Twins THREE BP options from the LH side joining Rogers. Been a good 15yrs since we had that.

    3] IMO, the entire Midwest and Big 10 footprint has been undervalued for a few years now. And I understand why. But just speaking about Hajjar specifically, what's not to like about a tall and well built LHSP who has 90+ velocity? Only 21yo? Yes please! In a professional environment, his "touching" mid 90's will have him soon sitting in the mid 90's consistently.  OBVIOUSLY his development will come down to his 2nd and 3rd offerings as well as his control. But there is a lot to like and work with. But despite being a 2nd round pick, this is where I'd slot him for now. 

    4] This is about where I'd slot Wander. I don't know any Twins fan who doesn't dream of him still fulfilling his potential. Unfortunately, potential is an ugly word at times. He has flashed. He entices. But he needs more time. At least another full season. I just see no reason to protect him on the 40 man. And any Badoo reference should just be stopped at the door. You just can't compare one kid to another. 

    5] Very happy to see Soularie actually healthy and finally playing. Just being honest, I didn't understand his selection, even accounting for a weird 2020 season with little to zero baseball played. 

    Forgive me as I'm pulling somewhat from memory, but a great athlete with BAT potential, solid OB, decent speed, pop/power potential with no clear-cut position. He played OF/CF for Tenessee as well as 2B?

    Remind you of anyone?

    If not, first thing I thought of was an older Rosario. A great athlete who could play multiple spots and hit with decent speed and some power potential.

    Honestly, I think the FO has drafted very well so far. And I think they followed the chalk of BPA in a great way. But I'm not sure they did so well in 2020.

    Considering the Twins drafted so late last year, amidst a crazy year, it will take at least another season to figure out who drafted smart and who didn't. But I admit I was shocked when it was supposed to be a big college arm draft and the FO went the opposite direction. They clearly felt other teams were ignoring other available talent with projection. 

    I am stunned, in a bad way, about Saboto. Hopefully we eat crow about that one.

    I was equally surprised about Soularie. But I DO appreciate the  athletic and talented selection with projection. But unless he has enough speed to play CF, or enough glove and offense to make a difference at 2B....he'd better be a great BAT LF to make his selection pay off.

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