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  • Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: #10 RHP Blayne Enlow


    Cody Christie

    For the fourth straight year, Enlow ranks in the Twins top-10 prospects as he is one of the organization’s best pitching prospects. What can Enlow prove during the 2021 season?

    Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (Graphic by Brock Beauchamp)

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

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

    ETA: 2022

    2020 Ranking: 10

    2019 Ranking: 9

     

    National Top 100 Rankings

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

     

    What’s To Like

    Enlow can pump his fastball up to 96 and he typically sits in the 91-94 mph range. While other pitchers might throw harder, Enlow has tremendous spin on his fastball and that makes his fastball even more dangerous. His slider/cutter has drastically improved during his professional career, but he continues to work on locating this pitch on a regular basis.

     

    This fall Enlow was one of the team’s top prospects invited to the organization’s instructional camp in Fort Myers. Back in 2019, Enlow pitched nearly 2/3rds of his innings as a 20-year-old in the Florida State League where he was nearly three years younger than the average age of the competition. In 13 appearances, he posted a 1.21 WHIP and a 4.02 ERA with a 51 to 23 strikeout to walk ratio. He showed more consistency than at other levels and it could be a sign of even more positive signs in the future.

     

    What’s Left To Work On

    Enlow is far from a finished product especially since he is still in his early 20s. Since the Twins drafted him out of high school, Enlow has worked on command of his secondary pitches. He can throw four different pitches for strikes but development needs to continue to improve when it comes to pitch execution. If he can make the appropriate adjustments, his strikeout rate should continue to improve.

     

    His curveball might be the pitch to keep an eye on during the 2021 campaign. As previously mentioned, it was a pitch that put him on the prospect map as a teenager, but the pitch has regressed a bit as he works to add other secondary pitches. His fastball velocity continues to improve so having a dominating curveball could be a devastating recipe for opposing batters.

     

    One intriguing note is that Enlow would have been draft eligible this past year if he had decided to attend LSU. Some thought he had the best curveball in the 2017 Draft and that made the Twins very intrigued to work out an over slot bonus. For a player like Enlow, missing the entire 2020 season was tough to swallow. He is still very young, and he needs to continue to get work with all his pitches in game action.

     

    What’s Next

    There’s an outside chance he could make his big-league debut in 2021, but that would likely mean there were multiple injuries or COVID related issues with the MLB roster. With changes in affiliation levels, Enlow will likely make a short stop at Cedar Rapids, the team’s High-A affiliate, before moving up to Double-A Wichita, where he should spend the majority of the 2021 campaign. MLB.com notes that he and Jordan Balazovic have become good friends and they could push each other into the Twins rotation in the years ahead. The 2021 season can provide a very important opportunity and he has a chance to move up this list by next off-season.

     

    Twins Daily 2021 Top 20 Prospects

    Honorable Mentions

    20. Bailey Ober, RHP

    19. Jose Miranda, INF

    18. Alerick Soularie, OF

    17. Ben Rortvedt, C

    16. Edwar Colina, RHP

    15. Cole Sands, RHP

    14. Misael Urbina, OF

    13. Matt Wallner, OF

    12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B

    11. Gilberto Celestino, OF

    10. Blayne Enlow, RHP

     

    Stop by next week for prospect #9!

     

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    I was a huge fan of this pick when the Twins made it.  He has been young for the level his entire time in MiLB.  The main issue I have is his K rate.  I thought that with that Elite curve they said he had in high school that the K's would be there.  Out of Sands, Windor, Canterino, Duran and Balazovic, Enlow has been the pitcher I have been the least excited about at least to this point.

     

    I really, really want to be a believer but he needs to show a dominant stretch at some point to make me truly believe.  I am hoping this is the year he puts it all together and makes me look silly for doubting him.

     

    If he does develop the Twins seem to have several promising young arms for the rotation.  Something I don't think we have ever seen in this organization before.  Granted most of them do need to work out and that is far from a sure thing but it is nice to dream on more than one or two guys.

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    Since I have not seen him I can only go by the various reports I read on TD, but they have never been glowing, I do not see how he ranks this high, but hope to be proven wrong.  What stands out?  What pitch really works - spin rate is nice, but how does it play out?  His WHIP is too high.  I hope we will have regular updates on all the top 20 this year.  A weekly or biweekly stats report on the top 20 would be really nice for those of us who cannot see them in person.  

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    It's interesting with pitchers...sometimes they dominate from the start. Other times they have that breakout season that rapidly takes them to a new level, when they finally unlock/control something that lets them be their best pitcher. Some pitchers just kinda stay the same, never really getting any better or worse as they float up levels. And then there are the total busts who flame out fast.

     

    Enlow feels like he's somewhere between the 2nd & 3rd of these and we don't know which one he'll be. It wouldn't take much for him to start kicking ass with a fastball with good life on it and wicked curve...but if the curve doesn't improve...he might be one of those guys who just never takes the leap.

     

    He's got another year before he hits Rule 5, right?

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    Enlow has the ability to really carve through a lineup; makes hitters look really uncomfortable in the batters box. I kind of hate to make comparisons but Gerrit Cole does it like this to MLB hitters, biting stuff and explosive fastball. If/when Enlow figures out how to put hitters away I sure wouldn't look forward to facing him.

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    Some pitchers just kinda stay the same, never really getting any better or worse as they float up levels.

    Of course, by staying the same they actually *are* getting better, because it's another level harder of competition. They're playing Beat The Clock, because this kind of growth seems to go until around age 24 or 25 as a rule of thumb.

     

    I'm not capable of fundamental scouting. When assessing what scouts say, given reasonably good results for touted prospects, I give a lot of weight to age. Enlow's rank here doesn't bother me.

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    He seems like a guy with a “high floor” where he should be able to at least carve out a career at the back end of a rotation or in the bullpen. With a few adjustments and a little luck could go mid-rotation or higher. That’s really all you can reasonably hope for with a guy drafted where he was so it’s looking good.

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    Another guy that will be really interesting to watch this year. He has reached the age and physically maturity where you hope he takes a step forward. It would make a difference if he was consistently in the mid 90s. How has his control developed? We have no idea if that has improved over the last year. A couple ticks on the radar gun as well as better control and he might have considerably better results.

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    The velocity and spin rate seem to be there. He has learned a slider or slider adaptation off his curve with solid reports from all that I've read. His vaunted curve seems to have regressed, which is a shame because a good curve is still a valuable pitch to have, even with a centric focus on sliders.

     

    I admit I've been disappointed thus far because I'm just waiting for the "breakout" that JL mentioned. But then I look at solid numbers, upward movement and his age and I realize "hopeful impatience" is skewing my perspective.

     

    I don't know if I'd put him in MY top 10 only because the system is pretty deep with quality prospects all around, but I can't argue with him here.

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