Sometimes there aren’t a lot of data points or statistics available in scouting or in prospect analysis. That would be the case today. In this group of five prospects, they combined to pitch just 36 innings of pro ball in 2021. Granted, three of them were drafted in 2021 and threw plenty of innings as amateurs. The other two pitchers missed significant time during the season with injury. So for this group to be pitching prospects six through ten means that they have some impressive scouting reports, stuff, big arms and more. So let’s start. Be sure to discuss and ask questions in the comments below.
#10 - LHP Steve Hajjar
2021 Stats: Did Not Pitch
Back in 2018, the Milwaukee Brewers selected Steve Hajjar in the 21st round out of Central Catholic High School in Massachusetts. He declined and enrolled at the University of Michigan. He tore his ACL in the fall of his freshman season. He put his name on the map in 2020. Due to Covid, he made just four starts, but he went 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA. Then in 2021, he went 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA over 14 starts. In 81 2/3 innings, he struck out 110 batters while walking just 29 batters. The Twins made him their 2nd round pick. The southpaw works in the low-to-mid 90s, though he has been clocked as high as 97 mph. He’s also an advanced pitcher and has a good breaking ball and changeup as part of his four-pitch mix. The 21-year-old will make his pro debut in 2022 and could be a fast mover through the lower levels of the system.
#9 - LHP Cade Povich
2021 STATS: 0-0, 0.90 ERA, 4/3 G/GS, 0.90 WHIP, 19/2 K/BB, 10.0 IP
The Twins drafted Cade Povich in the third round of the 2021 draft. In his junior season at Nebraska, he went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA over 15 starts. He tossed 81 innings and struck out 88 batters while walking 22. After signing, he went to Ft. Myers and got adjusted to the professional game and the Twins organization. He ended the season with two innings in the FCL before pitching in eight innings (over three games) to end the season with the Mighty Mussels. Along with the impressive numbers he showed all season and in his ten pro innings, his name was the one I heard most coming out of the Instructional League after the season. He’s blessed with a very strong arm, pitching into the mid-90s, but he also has solid secondary pitches. Video surfaced of him airing it out in a cage last week, throwing 101.2 mph. He will turn 22 in April.
#8 - RHP Jhoan Duran
2021 STATS: 0-3, 5.06 ERA, 5/4 G/GS, 1.81 WHIP, 22/13 K/BB, 16.0 IP
2021 was a lost season for Jhoan Duran. He began the season in the Injured List with some forearm/elbow issues. He returned to the mound about a month into the season. He showed his stuff, often hitting 102 mph for the Saints (probably actually 100 mph). He’s got a good slider. He has the noted “splinker.” He has the ability to miss bats and get strikeouts. Unfortunately, as you can see above, he couldn’t stay on the mound. After just five games, he went back on the IL and was shut down. He didn’t have surgery and reports were good late in the year. That will be the question. It is also possible that he could wind up in the bullpen where he could be a force and his arm could be protected more. He came to the Twins in the July 2018 Eduardo Escobar trade from the Diamondbacks. Duran just turned 24 years old over the weekend, so there should be no rush.
#7 - RHP Marco Raya
2021 Stats: Did Not Pitch
Along with Povich, the name Marco Raya also came with glowing platitudes about how good he looked at the Instructional League. Raya was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2020. He didn’t pitch during the 2021 season due to a minor injury, but he pitched at Instructs. The 19-year-old from Laredo, Texas, was consistently hitting 97 mph on the radar gun. He also has a lot of pitch-ability. He’s got a changeup. He has a couple of different breaking pitches. He has confidence. Now he just needs some innings. He should start the season with the Mighty Mussels.
#6 - RHP Chase Petty
2021 STATS: 0-0, 5.40 ERA, 25/17 G/GS, 1.40 WHIP, 6/1 K/BB, 5.0 IP
Chase Petty grew up in Millville, New Jersey. Yes, the hometown of Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout. Petty finished out his high school career at Mainland Regional High School, and he actually threw a no-hitter against Trout’s alma mater. In July, the Twins made him the 26th overall pick in the 2021 draft. That night, he immediately showed his personality and charisma that could make him a star off the field. On the field, and specifically on the mound, he has the kind of stuff that could make him an All Star. Petty is blessed with a big arm. He regularly touched triple-digits with his fastball, reportedly hitting 102. While he stands just 6-1, he is lean and has the potential to add strength. But beyond the fastball, Petty throws a slider, a curveball and a changeup, and he has worked on more pitches. After signing, he worked at the Twins complex in Ft. Myers. However, he got into two games at the end of the FCL Twins. He gave up three runs over five innings. He also struck out six batters with just one walk. In games, he was sitting 96-98 mph with the fastball. (Personally, I see this as a good thing)
In summary, these five pitchers did not get many professional innings in 2021. They all have potential, and after throwing some innings, we may find that these five and the top five could be pretty interchangeable. This is a group with a ton of potential. Duran is the one that could see big-league time in 2022 if healthy. Povich and Hajjar could be fast movers, and they're left-handed which is certainly an added bonus. Raya and Petty are all about ceiling and upside and the organization should and will be patient with them.
This grouping should be a fun list to discuss. I know I'm excited about this group. Discuss these players, their rankings and feel free to ask questions.
Hitters Part 1: 26-30
Hitters Part 2: 21-25
Hitters Part 3: 16-20
Hitters Part 4: 11-15
Pitchers Part 1: 26-30
Pitchers Part 2: 21-25
Pitchers Part 3: 16-20
Pitchers Part 4: 11-15
Pitchers Part 5: 6-10