20. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B
Age: 21 (DOB 6/29/1998)
2019 Stats (A+/AA): 483 PA, .252/.302/.369 (.671 OPS), 8 HR, 11.2 K%, 5.0 BB%
2019 Ranking: 20
We start this year’s list the exact same way we did in 2019. Miranda’s numbers don’t jump off the page, but keep in mind he still slugged better than the Florida State League average (.353) and was young for the level. He faced pitchers who were older than him in over 96 percent of his plate appearances last season.
Miranda reached Pensacola to end the year. He played one regular season game, then hit .368/.429/.526 (.955) over five postseason games for the Blue Wahoos. That continued a trend, as Miranda has hit .350/.429/.583 (1.012 OPS) in 16 career playoff games.
Once again, Miranda posted an insanely low strikeout rate. His 11.2 K% ranked 23rd among the 686 minor leaguers to log 400 plate appearances last season (inside the top four percent). He also mashed lefties, hitting .303/.330/.506 (.835 OPS), and continued to work on his defensive versatility.
Sometimes the biggest thing that needs to happen for a player’s power to emerge is simply to get the heck out of Fort Myers. The guy at No. 18 on this list is a great example of just that ...
19. Cole Sands, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB 7/17/1997)
2019 Stats (A/A+/AA): 97 1/3 IP, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 28.2 K%, 5.0 BB%
2019 Ranking: NR
The Twins drafted Sands in 2018, but he didn’t make his professional debut until this past season. He opened the year with Cedar Rapids and immediately outmatched Midwest League hitters.
Sands made eight starts for the Kernels, nine for Fort Myers, then closed out the season by making his Double-A debut in the second leg of a doubleheader for Pensacola. I’d say that’s quite a busy first year on the job.
Among the 667 minor league pitchers to log at least 80 innings in 2019, Sands’ 2.45 FIP ranked eighth. He did an incredible job of racking up strikeouts while limiting his walks, posting a K:BB ratio of 5.68.
Another positive development was that Sands increased his workload from 75 1/3 innings at Florida State in 2018 to 97 1/3 innings this past season.
18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF
Age: 23 (DOB 8/3/1996)
2019 Stats (A+/AA): 471 PA, .277/.321/.466 (.787 OPS), 19 HR, 22.3 K%, 5.7BB%
2019 Ranking: NR
Blankenhorn slipped off our list and onto the honorable mentions last year, but was No. 17 on the Twins Daily 2018 list and No. 9 on the 2017 list. He opened 2019 back in Fort Myers, but was headed up the coast after just 15 games with the Miracle.
Despite facing tougher pitchers, the move to Pensacola did wonders for Blankenhorn’s power production. After hitting 12 home runs in 139 total games for the Miracle, Blankenhorn needed just 49 games to reach a dozen bombas for the Blue Wahoos. He hit .298/.337/.521 (.857 OPS) in his first 70 Double-A games, but suffered an injury in mid-July and slumped upon his return.
Blankenhorn also continued to display his athleticism in 2019. He spent most of his time at second base (70 starts), but played more outfield than he had in previous seasons, and had three outfield assists in just 24 starts in left field. He was also a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts.
The Twins added Blankenhorn to the 40-man roster this offseason, so expect him to get plenty of looks during spring training.
17. Misael Urbina, OF
Age: 17 (DOB 4/26/2002)
2019 Stats (FRk): 217 PA, .279/.382/.443 (.825 OPS), 2 HR, 6.5 K%, 10.6 BB%
2019 Ranking: NR
This guy has a chance to be the Twins’ No. 1 prospect a few years from now.
Urbina’s speed and overall athleticism were hyped when the Twins signed him to a $2.75 million bonus, but the Venezuelan dynamo also proved he can control his plate appearances in. Urbina’s 6.5 K% was the fourth lowest among the 343 hitters who logged at least 170 plate appearances in the Dominican Summer League. He paired that with a strong 10.6 BB%.
He also slugged nearly 100 points better than the DSL average and stole 19 bases in 50 games, oh, by the way.
DSL stats aren’t particularly sticky. Taking a look back at prior years you’ll find quite a few guys who shine and then fizzle once they reach full-season ball. Still, Urbina’s tools, pedigree and now performance makes for a tantalizing player to pin dreams on.
16. Edwar Colina, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB 5/3/1997)
2019 Stats (A+/AA/AAA): 97 1/3 IP, 2.96 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 25.4 K%, 8.0 BB%
2019 Ranking: NR
Colina’s talent was on full display throughout July, where gave up just two earned runs in 31 2/3 innings (0.57 ERA) and struck out 36 batters. He was named Twins Daily’s Minor League Pitcher of the Month for that performance.
Colina made 10 starts for Fort Myers and four more for Pensacola. In those outings, he pitched to a 2.29 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and struck out 89 batters in 82 2/3 innings. His overall numbers were dragged down a bit by five relief outings that didn’t go nearly as well.
The product of Venezuela has always had a knack for keeping the ball in the yard, and tied Cole Sands for the lowest HR/9 in the system (minimum 90 innings). Both of them surrendered just four homers in 97 1/3 innings pitched. Over his entire minor league career, Colina has given up a grand total of just 16 home runs in 324 2/3 innings pitched.
Twins Daily 2020 Top 20 Prospects
Stop by tomorrow for prospects 11-15
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