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  • Post Draft: Who's the Twins' Top Pitching Prospect?


    Cody Christie

    The Twins pick multiple pitchers in the MLB Draft, and the organization has attempted to build a pitching pipeline. So, who are the top pitching prospects in the Twins organization?

    Image courtesy of Ed Bailey (Woods-Richardson), William Parmeter (Raya), Gary Cosby Jr - USA Today Sports (Prielipp)

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    Prospect lists can be exciting, especially as the trade deadline approaches at the beginning of August. Contending teams must part with some of the top-rated prospects so they can add veteran pieces to their roster. Minnesota expects to be active in the trade market, so who are the organization's top pitching prospects?

    RHP Jordan Balazovic
    Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus named Balazovic as one of their top 100 prospects entering the 2022 season. Unfortunately, injuries have impacted him over the last two seasons. He suffered a back injury in spring training last year that delayed the start of his season until June. From there, he was solid with a 3.62 ERA and 9.5 K/9 in 20 appearances. In 2022, he began the season on the IL with a knee strain, and he has struggled since returning. Across 11 appearances, he has a 10.13 ERA with a 2.32 WHIP. He has yet to pitch 100 innings in any professional season. 

    RHP Matt Canterino
    When healthy, Canterino has sliced through minor league batters. He has struck out 126 batters in 82 1/3 innings in his professional career, but those innings have been spread over three seasons. All 11 of his appearances have come at Double-A this season with a 1.83 ERA and 13.1 K/9 in a career-high 34 1/3 innings. An argument can be made that he is the best pitching prospect in the system. However, the organization may need to shift him to a bullpen role if he can't stay healthy. 

    LHP Connor Priellip
    Minnesota selected Connor Priellip in the second round of the 2022 MLB Draft, but he's no ordinary second-round pick. The left-handed pitcher was in the conversation to be the number one overall pick in the current draft class before requiring Tommy John surgery in May 2021. He is healthy and will be able to pitch in the organization after he signs. His fastball and slider are both plus pitches, and he continues to improve with his changeup. There is hope that he will be able to add more velocity as he continues to get further away from elbow reconstruction.   

    RHP Marco Raya
    Raya missed most of last season with a shoulder strain, so the 2022 season marks his professional debut. He's been outstanding in 13 appearances with Fort Myers, where he is three years younger than the average age of the competition. In 47 innings, he has a 2.87 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and a 56-to-16 strikeout to walk ratio. Only 80% of his match-ups have come against older batters who have been held to a .586 OPS. Raya has been the biggest breakout pitcher in the organization this year, but he still has a long way to go before reaching Target Field. 

    RHP Simeon Woods Richardson
    As a 20-year-old, Woods Richardson faced multiple challenges as he pitched the entire year at Double-A, joined Team USA in Japan, and was traded for the second time in his career. Based on those reasons, it's easy to see his performance struggled (5.91 ERA with a 1.53 WHIP). His second Double-A stint has improved as he has a 3.40 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP and 9 K/9. Woods Richardson has held batters to a .595 OPS, and over 96% of his plate appearances have come against older batters. He may have solidified his stock more this season than the others mentioned above. 

    Cody's Current Top-5 Twins Pitching Prospects
    1. Connor Priellip
    2. Simeon Woods Richardson
    3. Matt Canterino
    4. Marco Raya
    5. Jordan Balazovic

    How would you rank the organization's pitchers? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

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    Prielipp hasn’t signed yet, has he?

    I probably agree with him hypothetically at the top, though I think Canterino’s and SWR’s “struggles” are overblown.

    The “prospect” list here is probably accurate, but if I were to be asked who will be the best pitcher, one of these five or the field, I pick the field. No slight on these guys, there’s just so many guys looking really, really promising (outside of St. Paul).

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    As of right now today even though he hasn't thrown a minor league pitch I guess based on reputation and the fact he might make it as a starter, sure I will go with Prielipp at number 1.  My hopes are high for him with an elite pitch and good velocity.  Maybe that change up turns out as well.  Lots of good potential to be a number one or at least top of the rotation starter so for now I can give him the number 1 spot.

    I don't think Canterino is a starter but since he is on this list and if he could be a starter then he would be number two on my list with a solid chance to be number 1.  He has elite pitches and has proved it pretty much all the way up.  If he could maintain that without always being injured he would already be up with the Twins.

    I will give number 3 to Raya mainly based on age but to be honest I think the third spot should probably go to Cade Povich who has a better than advertised fastball and a really good change up IMO.  He is older than Raya but his stats are stronger, is at a higher level and he has pitched more innings.

    Again I am giving number 4 to SWR based on age and I have soured on him some.  I thought he might be more dominant than he has been.  I could easily see Varland in this spot as their stats are pretty much the same at the same level and Louie has been able to take the mound the whole year.  However if looking for greater upside I would go with Hajjar in this spot but since he is still in low A I can see Varland and SWR as better for now.

    Balazovich has been so bad I would move him out of the top 5 for now.  IMO he needs to earn that elite status back.  I would probably give the 5 spot to David Festa.  He has moved up two levels already and looks like he might make it three levels yet.  He has a fairly elite fastball and better slider than he gets credit for.  He is rail thin so I don't if he can take on a starters load but I like him in the 5 spot for now.

    If this were my list I would have Prelipp number one for now until we know more about him.  I wouldn't have Canterino in this list as I would have him as a reliever so number two would go to Raya.  I would give Povich the three spot based on his High A dominance and K\9.  I would give number 4 to SWR mainly based on age and level.  At five it would be a toss up for me with Varland, Festa and Hajjar.  If Hajjar had the numbers he has at High A I would give number 5 to him but low A is too low to know much about how things will translate as he moves up. So toss up it is.

    That would be my take on 1-5.

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    I’ll go with Canterino…a pretty high draft pick, been around a while, and can still be said to be “on schedule”. Probably not close to the best upside of that group, though.

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    Cody, appreciate this update, but I wonder if you've drunk the Kool Aid.  If Balazovic is our 5th best prospect, we're in big trouble.  He reminds me of Fernando Romero - another highly-touted, overrated prospect..  This guy is a falling projectile.  And if Preilipp is our best pitching prospect, we're in even bigger trouble.  With recent TJ surgery, he's a risk even before he throws his first pro pitch.   I like Canterino, but his injury history is also a huge red flag.  SWR has been traded twice in last 2 years.  There must be a reason, as his current underwhelming season demonstrates.  And I just can't attribute top prospect status to a guy who hasn't hit even AA yet.

    Don't want to be a Debbie Downer here, but this FO has focused on offense in their 6 drafts and our imbalance on the major league roster is proof.  The only two young pitchers this FO has "developed"(Ryan and Duran) have come from trades, not the draft.  And that is the reason this franchise has floundered since 1991.  Neither Ryan nor Falvey have demonstrated a knack for internal development of pitchers; hence, the 19 game streak of futility.  There's a wide swath of "Minnesota Nice" devotees on TD, but probably more who are frustrated with 30 seasons of ineptitude.  WS or bust!!

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    Honestly, as I read through this excellent compilation, it was a tad disheartening. Injuries, threat of injury, underperformance, and promotion of several others last 2 yrs have really thinned out the prospect pool. Hoping Canterino can stay healthy for a good long stretch, if he needs to go to BP so be it. Seems like the one closest to being ML ready.

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    33 minutes ago, mike8791 said:

    Cody, appreciate this update, but I wonder if you've drunk the Kool Aid.  If Balazovic is our 5th best prospect, we're in big trouble.  He reminds me of Fernando Romero - another highly-touted, overrated prospect..  This guy is a falling projectile.  And if Preilipp is our best pitching prospect, we're in even bigger trouble.  With recent TJ surgery, he's a risk even before he throws his first pro pitch.   I like Canterino, but his injury history is also a huge red flag.  SWR has been traded twice in last 2 years.  There must be a reason, as his current underwhelming season demonstrates.  And I just can't attribute top prospect status to a guy who hasn't hit even AA yet.

    Don't want to be a Debbie Downer here, but this FO has focused on offense in their 6 drafts and our imbalance on the major league roster is proof.  The only two young pitchers this FO has "developed"(Ryan and Duran) have come from trades, not the draft.  And that is the reason this franchise has floundered since 1991.  Neither Ryan nor Falvey have demonstrated a knack for internal development of pitchers; hence, the 19 game streak of futility.  There's a wide swath of "Minnesota Nice" devotees on TD, but probably more who are frustrated with 30 seasons of ineptitude.  WS or bust!!

    And this comment is why I would not have traded Petty,

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    With the draft just completed, the timing for an OP of this nature is absolutely timely. Same as the recent OP on who is the top prospect. But is the intent of this OP FAIR at this time? And here's what I mean, Balazovic has been off all year after starting late, and for whatever reason, hasn't been close to right all season. Canterino is hurt right now. SWR is/has been dinged as well. When someone who is a top prospect gets hurt...think Lewis...or has a poor season or half season, or poor 1st year, we talk and debate about POTENTIAL and their projectile future and not their current status. In other words, if Balazovic has been a top arm, even ranked in the top 100, and is having a poor 2022 for whatever reason, has his prospect light really dimmed that much? I mean, he could get 100% right with an offseason and come in next year and look fantastic. So one bad year ruined his potential and his future? And that's where I see a problem with trying for a top 5 NOW. Does that make sense?

    Potential and pure stuff and seemingly healthy and ready to go, I'll also go with Priellip as #1. The ceiling is very high.

    I'm still going with Balazovic at #2. He's climbed the system and gotten better and better. He was still good in 2021. He was a top 100, FWIW, to begin this season, I believe. There's a very good chance he just "gets right" in the offseason, mentally and physically, and looks great in 2023. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt for a bad year of struggle. 

    Ive come around, unfortunately, to the idea that Canterino just might end up in the pen. And he might be as good as Duran in that role. But for now, I'd keep him in the rotation because if the STUFF suddenly intersects with better health, LOOK OUT. Even as a possible RP, he's got a great arm. So I'm keeping him at #3, though he might be better than Balazovic.

    I'm not a lover or hater of SWR. I fully excuse his 2021 due to being so young at AA as well as going through the whole Olympic experience. While he didn't dominate to begin this year, he looked pretty good, especially considering his age. I need to see more from him in 2023 or I'm going to drop him on my list. But he's the kind of young arm that could just suddenly have the light bulb burn bright and turn it on. But I'm keeping him at #4 for now.

    #5 is where I'm really torn. In the short 2020 draft, Raya was my favorite pick. If he was 2" taller, I think he's a #2 pick probably. Just a shame he couldn't pitch last year. But after positive/glowing reports on him coming out of the instructionals, and what he's shown in 2022, I'm really high on him. But since then, Povich has looked very impressive. Hajjar has flashed great stuff, with a few too many BB, but then seemed to greatly limit them in his last couple of starts before going on the IL. Festa has looked like an absolute STEAL. And Varland just keeps moving up and doing well. So I've got 5 guys who could easily project in to the top 5 right now based on projection, ability and results.

    Since it would mean chickening out to just say I have a 5-way tie for the 5th spot...though that's how I feel...I'm going with Povich at #5. The overall control and increased velocity and K rates give him the smallest of edges.

    And I'll be brave enough to pick the remaining 4 tied for #6. Raya is just so young, I want to see more. I want Festa to keep it up and make certain he's got at least that 3rd pitch, as well as endurance. Hajjar needs to get healthy again and crank it back up. He could be the best if he does so. Varland just needs to keep doing what he's been doing and prove he can continue to be solid/dominate at the AAA level. I think Varland suffers from the "Ober" syndrome, prove it more than some others because you weren't a top draft choice from a major school.

     

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    1 hour ago, dxpavelka said:

    Plan on seeing at least two of those five leave if we make trades that will put us in position to make noise in the post-season.

    Concur.  The ideal such trade structure will be founded on a pitching prospect, in return for the established veteran we hope he becomes.   That of course requires additional prospects, to make the simple swap at all appealing to the other team, and needs to be from our surplus stock of 2B and corner bats.  Preferably not a second top arm.  Not easy to pull off, but needs to be the goal.  An acceptable deal will feel like an overpay, and maybe to that trade value website too, but that is the nature of getting established pitching. If it can't be done, say because the other team wants young arms and lots of them, then the answer has to be no.  Other teams hold on tightly to their young pitching, we have to too.

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    3 hours ago, mike8791 said:

    Cody, appreciate this update, but I wonder if you've drunk the Kool Aid.  If Balazovic is our 5th best prospect, we're in big trouble.  He reminds me of Fernando Romero - another highly-touted, overrated prospect..  This guy is a falling projectile.  And if Preilipp is our best pitching prospect, we're in even bigger trouble.  With recent TJ surgery, he's a risk even before he throws his first pro pitch.   I like Canterino, but his injury history is also a huge red flag.  SWR has been traded twice in last 2 years.  There must be a reason, as his current underwhelming season demonstrates.  And I just can't attribute top prospect status to a guy who hasn't hit even AA yet.

    Don't want to be a Debbie Downer here, but this FO has focused on offense in their 6 drafts and our imbalance on the major league roster is proof.  The only two young pitchers this FO has "developed"(Ryan and Duran) have come from trades, not the draft.  And that is the reason this franchise has floundered since 1991.  Neither Ryan nor Falvey have demonstrated a knack for internal development of pitchers; hence, the 19 game streak of futility.  There's a wide swath of "Minnesota Nice" devotees on TD, but probably more who are frustrated with 30 seasons of ineptitude.  WS or bust!!

    Did we conveniently forget Ober, Winder or even smeltzer? They haven’t produced a #1 or #2 but they are starting to show they are building a pipeline. Now again this pipeline doesn’t appear to have a sure fire hit but there are 10 plus arms that could be big leaguers in 2-3 years. Not mentioned in the article but by others - Povich Hajjar Festa, Varland and Headrick creates a very strong top 10. I can’t rate them, I would think Balazovic would be down a bit but he could just have an injury or a mental block this year.  I will give it one year more before I write him off.  Cantering feels a little bit like fools gold, has everything except when you get close in this case he just isn’t available.  

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    I'm sorry but I'm not sold on anyone on that list.  Too many what ifs, injuries and projections.  Remember a prospect is just that a prospect until he proves himself professionally.  I. Surprised at times that college pitchers don't make it to the big leagues a lot quicker.  Many play 3-4 years of college ball.  Shouldn't they be more prepared and ready to help out the major league team after just a year or two in the minors?  But I agree with one of the others on here.  Twins don't do much if a good job of developing their own quality pitching.  This organization for years has been known as a good hitting/ poor pitching organization for a long time.  Not much changes does it.

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    The top prospect on the list isn't even signed, and was out all of last year recovering from surgery, and the others have difficulty staying on the field, and Balazovic is getting worse. One hell of a pipeline, eh?

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    4 hours ago, mike8791 said:

    Cody, appreciate this update, but I wonder if you've drunk the Kool Aid.  If Balazovic is our 5th best prospect, we're in big trouble.  He reminds me of Fernando Romero - another highly-touted, overrated prospect..  This guy is a falling projectile.  And if Preilipp is our best pitching prospect, we're in even bigger trouble.  With recent TJ surgery, he's a risk even before he throws his first pro pitch.   I like Canterino, but his injury history is also a huge red flag.  SWR has been traded twice in last 2 years.  There must be a reason, as his current underwhelming season demonstrates.  And I just can't attribute top prospect status to a guy who hasn't hit even AA yet.

    Don't want to be a Debbie Downer here, but this FO has focused on offense in their 6 drafts and our imbalance on the major league roster is proof.  The only two young pitchers this FO has "developed"(Ryan and Duran) have come from trades, not the draft.  And that is the reason this franchise has floundered since 1991.  Neither Ryan nor Falvey have demonstrated a knack for internal development of pitchers; hence, the 19 game streak of futility.  There's a wide swath of "Minnesota Nice" devotees on TD, but probably more who are frustrated with 30 seasons of ineptitude.  WS or bust!!

    Excellent analysis mike8791!  Your sentiments hit the nail on the head of why this organization continues to flounder! Don't recall when Falvey-Levine came on board (2017 or 2018, I think), but their supposed pedigree of drafting and developing STARTING PITCHING has been nothing more than a BUST!  Not 1 SP---other than Bailey Ober---has done anything productive during their reign.  That is why we're forced to make trades and search the bargain bin for SPs every year.  I know other organizations prove successful without drafting and developing the core of their rotation, but over 5+ years our supposed "brain trust" has done nothing other than earn a big FAT "F" in this department.

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    This is underwhelming.  Yikes - injuries, bad performances and we hope the new guy we signed who was not even a first round pick is the best we have!  Where is Sands.  He rose, we were excited, he flopped, now we forget about him?  Balazovic just cannot put together a full season - he reminds me of some other prospects I was so high on and that have now disappeared altogether.  Who is the Tyler Wells in the group?  Where is Varland or are those pitcher of the year awards worth nothing?  Enlow has been around long enough that he should be rising, but seems to be just an organizational arm.  Henriquez is another filler if I am reading the rankings right. 

    Isn't Povich a top five?  

    I am confused. 

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    2 hours ago, ashbury said:

    Concur.  The ideal such trade structure will be founded on a pitching prospect, in return for the established veteran we hope he becomes.   That of course requires additional prospects, to make the simple swap at all appealing to the other team, and needs to be from our surplus stock of 2B and corner bats.  Preferably not a second top arm.  Not easy to pull off, but needs to be the goal.  An acceptable deal will feel like an overpay, and maybe to that trade value website too, but that is the nature of getting established pitching. If it can't be done, say because the other team wants young arms and lots of them, then the answer has to be no.  Other teams hold on tightly to their young pitching, we have to too.

    Nobody's giving up established pitching for 2Bs and corner bats though.

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    13 minutes ago, dxpavelka said:

    Nobody's giving up established pitching for 2Bs and corner bats though.

    For sure there has to be a good arm in the package.  Read again if you thought I said otherwise.

    99% of trade offers are ones you should turn down.  By no means am I saying it's easy.  But other teams are playing hardball, we have to too.

    Pitching is the coin of the realm and you can't spend yours like it's payday.

    And major deals do get made with prospect packages that are a mixture of an arm plus some bats.  Patience is required, and that means to come away with no deal if necessary.

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    Blaz has dropped way down, no way he is top 5, he looks lost on the field. Canterino has never been healthy, save his arm and bring him to the big as a RP. I'd add Headrick into the top 5 competition, he has been dynamite this year

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    Wow, how things have changed in a mere 4 months. Although we still have some developing talent just getting an extended look in the bigs for the first time this year, the sad fact remains: organizationally, we are weak on the mound. Very weak - both currently and prospectively.

    We tried to retool last year and the possibility of a modicum of success remains. It’s not enough though; so, unfortunately, we have to keep at it.  This franchise is unlikely to win a playoff series, let alone the World Series, without significant additions on the bump.

    So how do we accomplish that. Given our prospect situation, two obvious options exist? Trades and free agency. The more cash we have, the more viable the second option becomes. So the solution is clear: trade anyone who is expensive and is not going to be part of the core between ‘23-‘26 for whatever pitching we can get. The list includes Kepler, Sano, Correa (assuming he doesn’t reup by the deadline), Sanchez and Urshela. Even if we received only a couple of decent prospects in return, the cost savings alone would free up approximately $40MM or more to be used on the mound.  

     

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    13 hours ago, Whitey333 said:

    I'm sorry but I'm not sold on anyone on that list.  Too many what ifs, injuries and projections.  Remember a prospect is just that a prospect until he proves himself professionally.  I. Surprised at times that college pitchers don't make it to the big leagues a lot quicker.  Many play 3-4 years of college ball.  Shouldn't they be more prepared and ready to help out the major league team after just a year or two in the minors?  But I agree with one of the others on here.  Twins don't do much if a good job of developing their own quality pitching.  This organization for years has been known as a good hitting/ poor pitching organization for a long time.  Not much changes does it.

    In the last year and a half they have added Ober / Ryan / Winder and Smeltzer as starters.  Duran and Jax in the BP  There are a several guys that have a reasonable shot at joining the big league staff next year and several others (Prielipp / Povich / Hajjar / Festa / Gibson-Long / Varland / Headrick / Medina / Sisk / and Schulfer that have a good shot beyond next year.  The recent results and the current pipeline are far better than what we had the 20 years prior to Falvey / Lavine.  Yes, they traded for Ryan and Smeltzer.  That's an even bigger plus IMO because they improved the team long-term by trading rental payers.

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    Aren't you a couple weeks early in doing this analysis, Cody?

    Doesn't make sense to even talk about Priellip until he is signed.  If the kid really is good enough to have been considered top 10 in the draft, the Twins may not have the $$$ to get him signed.  I hope like heck that they have had enough of a conversation and know that he will sign for $2.something.  But considering he wasn't expected to drop as far as he did it is unlikely those talks would have gone too far.  A top 10 pick in 2023 might be what, $5M or a lot more.  So until he is signed, doesn't make a lot of sense to include him in any ranking.

    As for Balazovic, I just don't understand what the heck is wrong this year.  For a good part of last year he was unhittable.  Then he wasn't and struggled later in the summer.  With his injuries and ups and downs, don't have a clue what his future holds.  He may become an absolute ACE, or he may never throw a pitch in the big leagues.  Bloody disappointing if you ask me. 

    Hopefully, there will be a couple of the guys we are talking about gone by the trade deadline.  Combined with the unknown surrounding Priellip and it makes a lot of sense to me to talk about his after August 2.  [edit.  I hope I my concern is proven wrong and you post news about Priellip signing later today.]

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    1 hour ago, roger said:

    Aren't you a couple weeks early in doing this analysis, Cody?

    Doesn't make sense to even talk about Priellip until he is signed.  If the kid really is good enough to have been considered top 10 in the draft, the Twins may not have the $$$ to get him signed.  I hope like heck that they have had enough of a conversation and know that he will sign for $2.something.  But considering he wasn't expected to drop as far as he did it is unlikely those talks would have gone too far.  A top 10 pick in 2023 might be what, $5M or a lot more.  So until he is signed, doesn't make a lot of sense to include him in any ranking.

    As for Balazovic, I just don't understand what the heck is wrong this year.  For a good part of last year he was unhittable.  Then he wasn't and struggled later in the summer.  With his injuries and ups and downs, don't have a clue what his future holds.  He may become an absolute ACE, or he may never throw a pitch in the big leagues.  Bloody disappointing if you ask me. 

    Hopefully, there will be a couple of the guys we are talking about gone by the trade deadline.  Combined with the unknown surrounding Priellip and it makes a lot of sense to me to talk about his after August 2.  [edit.  I hope I my concern is proven wrong and you post news about Priellip signing later today.]

    I have to agree with this response to the post. We will have a better idea of the entire Twins system after August 2.

    Cody provides a ton of excellent work to read on Twins Daily however, and the draft does seem like a natural point to look at the internal system. 

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    5 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

    In the last year and a half they have added Ober / Ryan / Winder and Smeltzer as starters.  Duran and Jax in the BP  There are a several guys that have a reasonable shot at joining the big league staff next year and several others (Prielipp / Povich / Hajjar / Festa / Gibson-Long / Varland / Headrick / Medina / Sisk / and Schulfer that have a good shot beyond next year.  The recent results and the current pipeline are far better than what we had the 20 years prior to Falvey / Lavine.  Yes, they traded for Ryan and Smeltzer.  That's an even bigger plus IMO because they improved the team long-term by trading rental payers.

    This. I don't know what people expect. There was nothing in the minors when they came, nothing in terms of pitching. 

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    4 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

    This. I don't know what people expect. There was nothing in the minors when they came, nothing in terms of pitching. 

    Fernando Romero? There were others too. Take a look back and you will see that it was pretty much the same.

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    7 hours ago, tony&rodney said:

    Fernando Romero? There were others too. Take a look back and you will see that it was pretty much the same.

    Which pitchers in the minors are currently good in the majors?

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    7 hours ago, tony&rodney said:

    Fernando Romero? There were others too. Take a look back and you will see that it was pretty much the same.

    Which pitchers in the minors are currently good in the majors?

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    6 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

    Which pitchers in the minors are currently good in the majors?

    Berrios, Gibson, Graterol, and Hendricks come to mind and I don't regret the loss of those guys really.

    The post refers to prospects though and I would agree with those who suggest that the Twins have had some problems developing a strong pitching staff. There have been many lauded prospects in the past who floundered and Twins fans, myself included, are very hopeful for the current batch of prospects. Nevertheless, they are just prospects and none are currently among the top 10 RH or LH prospects in the game as Gonsalves and many others were in the past. Like I have stated, I have hope for the current prospects but the Twins should do whatever they can within reason to add a pitcher like Luis Castillo because these type of pitchers are not very plentiful. My opinion is that the Twins need to make a few trades this week because this team has a shot as much as any Twins team from the last 20 years. The waiting for Fernando Romero or Jordan Balazovic is a fun hopeful journey but once in a while a little sprinkling of a Castillo would be nice for a change.

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    On 7/23/2022 at 8:16 AM, Nashvilletwin said:

    Wow, how things have changed in a mere 4 months. Although we still have some developing talent just getting an extended look in the bigs for the first time this year, the sad fact remains: organizationally, we are weak on the mound. Very weak - both currently and prospectively.

    We tried to retool last year and the possibility of a modicum of success remains. It’s not enough though; so, unfortunately, we have to keep at it.  This franchise is unlikely to win a playoff series, let alone the World Series, without significant additions on the bump.

    So how do we accomplish that. Given our prospect situation, two obvious options exist? Trades and free agency. The more cash we have, the more viable the second option becomes. So the solution is clear: trade anyone who is expensive and is not going to be part of the core between ‘23-‘26 for whatever pitching we can get. The list includes Kepler, Sano, Correa (assuming he doesn’t reup by the deadline), Sanchez and Urshela. Even if we received only a couple of decent prospects in return, the cost savings alone would free up approximately $40MM or more to be used on the mound.  

     

    I’m not sure we can say we are weak when we have Ryan Ober and Winder that have been succeeding at the major league level, smeltzer which has been a nice depth arm this year and 10 other pitchers with a legitimate shot at making the big leagues in the next couple years. Honestly what the young pitchers have done at the MLB level is amazing and wasn’t expected when the year started.  For as barren as the cupboard was 5 years ago this is a night and day improvement. 

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