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  • Twins Daily 2020 Top Prospects: #10 RHP Blayne Enlow


    Seth Stohs

    This week, the Twins traded one of their top pitching prospects (pending physicals), but for the first time in a long time, there are pitching prospects-a-plenty in the Twins system. You saw some really good pitching prospects in our 11-20 prospect rankings earlier this week, and more in the Honorable Mention list. As we jump into the top ten Twins prospects, we profile a very young, very talented Twins pitching prospect.

    Image courtesy of Steve Buhr (graphics by Brock Beauchamp)

    Age: 20 (DOB: 3-21-1999)

    2019 Stats (Low-A/High-A): 110.2 IP, 3.82 ERA, 95/38 K/BB, 1.27 WHIP

    ETA: 2023

    2019 Ranking: 9

    2018 Ranking: 8

    National Top 100 Rankings

    BA: NR |MLB: NR | ATH: NR |BP: NR

    What’s To Like

    Enlow continued to make positive strides and grow as a player in 2019. He worked hard and gained about ten pounds in muscle over the year. While he still sits in the low-90s, he more frequently hit 93 and 94 mph. Enlow was well known on the national prospect circuit and with Team USA for his breaking pitches, and they both can be good. He’s got a nice, slower, 12-6 type of curveball. He also throws a really sharp slider that breaks just a couple of inches but very sharp with late movement. He throws an occasional changeup as well. He also tunnels the ball very well, which can add some deception for the hitter.

    One thing that he worked on in the last year was improving his command. He had pretty good control, but he really wanted to focus on hitting spots within the strike zone as well.

    After spending the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids, he went back to Iowa to start the 2019 season. In eight starts, his strikeout rate went from 6.8 K/9 to 9.6 K/9. He was promoted to Ft. Myers where he made 13 more appearances. He went 4-4 with a 3.38 ERAand a 1.21 WHIP. His strikeout rate came back down a bit with the promotion, but he pitched much better and more consistently.

    What’s Left To Work On

    Consider that Enlow would just now be entering his junior season at LSU had he not signed with the Twins. At just 20, he’s working on everything and still has a lot of room for improvement. Each of his pitches can still get a little sharper. As that happens, the strikeout rate should rise.

    He remains projectable and could add more velocity to his fastball. His breaking pitches, with just a little more crispness, could become plus-plus pitches. And he continues to work on the changeup, as well as his control and command.

    At the highest level, for Enlow, it’s really about developing more consistency with each of his pitches, from game to game and even from inning to inning.

    What’s Next

    After splitting the 2019 season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, expect Enlow to spend about half of the season with the Mighty Mussels in 2020. He should spend the second half of the season in Pensacola.

    Sure, he’s a Twins Daily Top 10 prospect again, but it sure feels like Enlow is primed for a breakout season in 2020. He has put in the work. He has matured, and he is confident. Expect him to make a move up this list in a year.

    Twins Daily 2020 Top 20 Prospects

    Honorable Mentions

    20. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B

    19. Cole Sands, RHP

    18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF

    17. Misael Urbina, OF

    16. Edwar Colina, RP

    15. Matt Canterino, RHP

    14. Matt Wallner, OF

    13. Wander Javier, SS

    12. Gilberto Celestino, OF

    11. Lewis Thorpe, LHP

    10. Blayne Enlow, RHP

    Stop by tomorrow for prospect #9!

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Get to know more about Enlow and about another 170 minor league players in the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook.

    ORDER NOW: 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (paperback, $17.99)

    ORDER NOW: 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (eBook, $12.99)

    The 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook goes in-depth and provides player bios, scouting reports, statistics and much more on about 170 Twins minor leaguers.

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    I have never been excited by Enlow and I hope I am wrong.  There is a message here when he passes Lewis Thorpe and Thorpe was one of the projected arms to fill a hole in the MLB rotation that has suddenly filled without him.  Enlow and his curves makes me think of Duffey.

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    He has been young for the levels he has been at all the way up and performed reasonably well.  His K9 and WHIP have not been as good as I had hoped when we got him but like the article stated the projection is still there and still on track.  A big year this year and he makes all the previous angst go away.

     

    If he does develop as hoped we are going to have good young pitching coming up in the next few years.,

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    There is a message here when he passes Lewis Thorpe and Thorpe was one of the projected arms to fill a hole in the MLB rotation that has suddenly filled without him. 

    Aren't these rankings of players as prospects rather than on their ability to contribute immediately? Seems like Enlow has a fairly high ceiling and is thus deserving of the #10 spot. 

     

    Thorpe is like 4 years older, and even with his late development, more of a known quantity.

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    If memory serves, I recall hearing comments when drafted as the best curveball in the draft.  So like many, I got all excited about this young phenom who would be wreaking havoc on hitters at Target Field in a few years.

     

    In reality, becoming a good pitcher takes time.  And that seems like what this kid is doing, putting in the work, getting better and moving up.  Hopefully, that path will continue and we can see him dominate AL hitters a few years from now.

     

    And Seth, I absolutely hate that new name for our Fort Myers franchise.

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    Hi Seth - a bookkeeping nit

     

    Age - way back in early SABR days in one of his mass market books Bill James said he set prospect and player assessment age as of July 1st of that season as the player’s age for the year.

     

    Unless there has been a strong argument against that, or Twins Daily feels it is helpful to give age as of the moment and birthdate, I request resetting the “Age” field for prospects to the player’s age as of 7/1. Maybe rename it to Season Age or whatever.

     

    In Enlow’s case, this would be his 21 year old season. Thanks.

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    Hi Seth - a bookkeeping nit

    Age - way back in early SABR days in one of his mass market books Bill James said he set prospect and player assessment age as of July 1st of that season as the player’s age for the year.

    Unless there has been a strong argument against that, or Twins Daily feels it is helpful to give age as of the moment and birthdate, I request resetting the “Age” field for prospects to the player’s age as of 7/1. Maybe rename it to Season Age or whatever.

    In Enlow’s case, this would be his 21 year old season. Thanks.

     

    I think that's all just semantics... It's the same as last summer when everyone was wondering if Nelson Cruz was breaking records for a 39-year-old or a 40-year-old. 

     

    I think it's OK to put his age at the moment with his birth date, and at the same time acknowledge or know that this is his "age 21 season." 

     

    From looking at his birth date, I think people can see he will "be 21 years old throughout the 2020 season." 

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    From the video I like Enlow's compact delivery, tho he should cut down further on his full windup footwork, so there is less difference between that and his set delivery. That will help him shift from windup to set without changing his balance point, which should help his control from the set. 

     

    The late movement on Enlow's hard curve is a beautiful thing, but of course it's just one of many elements that make up an MLB starter. The good command and aggressive mound presence will help, but he also needs a third good pitch, hopefully something like a change up. All I saw was heater, sharp breaker, and one big bender. Not really that much like Duffey, whose bread and butter coming up was his giant benders. 

     

    Promising, but lots of development to go.

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    Whatever criteria is used for age...Enlow comes out much younger than the last three pitchers who appear on these rankings...almost 4 years younger than Thorpe... and between 1 1/2 to 2 years younger than Canterino and Colina. Very much a work in progress with high upside, which is exactly what you would expect Enlow to be at this point and given his draft status.

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    In my own mental handicapping, I've had him ranked lower. Admittedly unfair when I look at his age and reflect on his first half of last season.

     

    I see a projected 1st round selection with a major school scholarship offer and the best curveball in his draft class and I just expected/wanted more. Reading this report, his growth physically, increased velocity and better K numbers and I become optomostic.

     

    Fair or not, I'm waiting/hoping for a real breakout 2020 where we see dominance across the board before I feel comfortable putting him in the top 10.

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