Minnesota drafted Jose Miranda in the 2016 MLB Draft out of high school in Puerto Rico. During that draft, he was the third straight high school position player taken by the club as the Twins also drafted Alex Kirilloff and Ben Rortvedt. MLB Pipeline didn't have him ranked among the top draft prospects by MLB Pipeline, but the Twins saw enough in him to take him with the 73rd pick.
"He's a really good player and really skilled," said Twins scouting director Deron Johnson at the time. "We have him compared to a Mike Lowell-type. He's a really good defender with a good swing. He's a good-sized kid. He has a chance to have power for sure."
Miranda made his professional debut in the GCL, and there were some early struggles as he transitioned to the pro level. In 55 games, he hit .227/.308/.292 (.600) with nine extra-base hits and a 36-to-19 strikeout to walk ratio. He was over 1.5 years younger than the average age of the competition at his level and only faced younger pitchers in 11 plate appearances.
Entering the 2017 season, Minnesota was still aggressive with Miranda even though his pro debut wasn't perfect. He responded by raising his OPS by 224 points with 21 extra-base hits, including 11 home runs in 54 games. One of his most significant developments was his decrease in strikeouts, as he only struck out 24 times. Miranda was still young for his level, and he was showing some of the promise the Twins saw in him when they drafted him.
During the 2018 season, Miranda made his full-season debut as he split time between Low- and High-A. In Cedar Rapids, he posted a .760 OPS with 22 doubles and 13 home runs. The Twins continued to be aggressive with him and moved him to High-A for the season's final 27 games. His OPS dipped by 115 points, but he was nearly 2.5 years younger than the average age of the competition at his level.
It made sense for the Twins to send Miranda back to High-A in 2019 after he struggled to transition to that level at the end of 2018. He struggled with a .663 OPS in 118 games, but Minnesota still promoted him to Double-A at the end of the season. Clearly, the Twins believed in Miranda, but the results weren't showing up on the field. Following the season, the Twins left him unprotected from the Rule 5 Draft, which could have been one of the biggest mistakes in team history.
Obviously, the non-existent 2020 minor league season impacted players in different ways. However, Miranda worked on multiple things during the downtime. The Twins wanted him to be more selective with the pitches he was putting in play. He has such good bat-to-ball skills that he can put a lot of pitches in play, but he had the potential to drive the ball if he started hunting for pitches in the zone. This recipe seemed to be the key to unlocking his full potential.
Miranda started the 2021 season at Double-A, and his approach at the plate was evident. In 47 games, he hit .345/.408/.588 (.996) with eight doubles and 13 home runs. After being promoted to Triple-A, he didn't slow down as he posted a .960 OPS with 24 doubles and 17 home runs. Miranda dominated at the minor's highest level, and he'd wind up on two national top-100 lists (Baseball America and MLB.com).
So far in 2022, Miranda has hit .256/.295/.442 (.737) with ten doubles and two home runs. He is part of the team's long-term plans after a tremendous 2021 season. What do you remember about Miranda's minor league career?
Also, if you would like to look back at Miranda's career to this point, this link shows all articles he has been tagged in.