What’s to Like?
Miranda had one of the best seasons for a prospect in Twins organizational history in 2021, so it’s hard to know where to start. Reports were high on Miranda from instructs at the end of the COVID shortened 2020 season.
Miranda’s greatest challenge prior to the 2021 season was his contact rate. He has a short, compact swing and shows the ability to drive the ball to all fields. Prior to the 2021 season, he put the ball in play so much, he made hard contact much less often than he was capable of, rarely working pitch counts or being selective with the contact he made.
Miranda tightening up his strike zone control had trajectory-altering implications for him in 2021, as he managed a combined 159 wRC+ at AA and AAA and had an offensive season on par with Yankees’ helium prospect Anthony Volpe.
What’s Left to Work On?
There are two remaining questions relating to Miranda’s status as a major leaguer. Was his breakout for real? Where is his defensive home? If Miranda’s breakout is for real, he should be, a lowest, the Twins #2 prospect (and possible #1 overall). Miranda does not have an established record of success in minor league baseball outside of 2021, posting wRC+ figures between 100-115 in his previous four seasons in the minors. If we want to be picky, Miranda could stand to walk more, managing just a 6.7% BB% in 2021 (about the same as Eddie Rosario).
Miranda is limited from entering uber-prospect status by an uncertain defensive home. Miranda has played at first base, second base, and in the outfield for the Twins. He’s looked best at third base. Even there, he will be, at best, a slightly below-average defender. This will be a puzzle for the organization to solve. A permanent move to first base or a corner outfield spot may be what gives him the best chance at being an average defender, but make no mistake, the bat will play anywhere. Pre-season projection like Miranda, with Steamer having him posting a 113 wRC+ and 15 HR in around 400 plate appearances in 2022. Miranda will be at Target Field in 2022, if his development curve continues, he’s a star in the making.