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  • New Year's Resolutions for the Top 5 Twins Prospects

    Cody Christie

    Flipping the calendar to a new year allows everyone to reevaluate themselves and adjust for the coming year. Here are resolutions for Minnesota's top five prospects.

    Image courtesy of Darren Yamashita, USA Today Sports

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    Multiple names listed below had tremendous stretches during the 2022 season, which is why they are ranked so highly in 2023. Nearly every top-5 Twins prospect has a chance to impact the 2023 big-league roster if everything breaks right. Each player needs to set a resolution for the new year to reach those lofty goals. 

    Royce Lewis , SS/3B/CF
    Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 1

    Unfortunately, Lewis won't be ready for spring training after ACL surgery ended his season for the second consecutive year. Expectations are that he will be able to rejoin the club near the middle of the season. Last year, he was electric in his big-league debut by hitting .300/.317/.550 (.867) with four doubles and two home runs in 12 games. There are questions about his long-term defensive home as the Twins moved him to multiple defensive positions last year. After missing out on Correa, the Twins hope Lewis can fill their shortstop void for multiple years. 
    Resolution: Prove he can be a long-term big-league shortstop

    Brooks Lee , SS
    Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 2

    Minnesota was elated when Lee fell to them with the eighth overall pick since he was arguably the best college bat in the 2022 draft class. He flew through the Twins system during his professional debut by hitting .303/.389/.451 (.839) across three levels. Lee finished the season at Double-A, where he is expected to begin the 2023 season. Many national prospect rankings have him ranked as the organization's top prospect, even though there are questions about his long-term defensive home. He will have plenty of pressure on his shoulders next season as he works his way through the upper levels of the organization.
    Resolution: Prove he is the team's top prospect

    Emmanuel Rodriguez , OF
    Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 3

    Rodriguez made his full-season debut in 2022 and had a breakout season. As a 19-year-old, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. Unfortunately, his season ended prematurely after he tore his meniscus, which required surgery. He is expected to be ready for the season's start and has all the skills to be a five-tool player. By this time next year, he will likely be the Twins' top prospect, and he has a chance to be an exceptional player for the long-term. 
    Resolution: Prove that 2022 wasn't a fluke

    Connor Prielipp , SP
    Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 4

    The Twins snagged Prielipp in the 48th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, but he wasn't always expected to fall that far. There was talk of him being a potential number-one overall pick, but he injured his elbow in the first start of his sophomore season. Leading into the draft, he pitched in front of evaluators multiple times to prove he was fully healthy. Prielipp has yet to make his professional debut, and the Twins will take it slow since he was limited to 28 collegiate innings. He still has unbelievable upside, and the Twins hope he is a long-term answer for the rotation in the years ahead.
    Resolution: Prove he can be a top-of-the-rotation starter

    Simeon Woods Richardson , SP
    Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 5

    Woods Richardson broke out in 2022 after struggling for much of the 2021 season. He posted a 2.77 ERA and a 1.053 WHIP with 9.6 K/9 at Double- and Triple-A. By season's end, he made his big-league debut, and the Twins hope he can build off that performance in 2023. Minnesota has yet to add to the rotation this winter, so Woods Richardson has a chance to earn a starting spot coming out of spring training. Other pitchers are ahead of him on the depth chart, so he will need a solid performance to come north with the club.
    Resolution: Prove he deserves a rotation spot during spring training. 

    Do you agree with these resolutions? What other resolutions should the organization's other top prospects make? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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    Brooks Lee will be the easiest to do because Lewis will have graduated this year. Lewis will prove himself at SS at some time this year, seems like he as strong as ever he should stick at SS as long they keep him out of CF. E Rod should also be easy because he's so athletic.

    Prielipp hasn't pitch any pro ball yet and has only pitched 28 innings of college ball. As we are very hopeful, pitching prospect are very volatile, for him to arrive at the top of the rotation is very iffy. IMO it hard to say for sure until they are on the doorstep. I'm very high on SWR & I'm sure he'll make it to the MLB & make some starts. To predict that he'll join the rotation after spring training is stretching it & I don't think he should. IMO he'll better to get reestablished at AAA before coming up.

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    Nice job - send each of them their resolutions and add:

    Balazovic - forget 2022 and show us that you are still a rotation  arm for 23/24

    Julien - force your way on to the mlb roster and build off 22

    Canterino - Make the Rice reputation go away and get into the Twins BP

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    15 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

    Nice job - please send them a copy of their resolution.  How about one for Balazovic - forget 2022 and show us you are ready for the MLB rotation

    I would give one to Julien too - force your way on to the club and build off 2022.

    Canterino - stay healthy and get to the Twins BP in 2023

    I'd like to include Martin that he'd continue his comeback & make it back into the Twins top 5 prospects.

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    Good choices, I give one sleeper an additional consideration. 

    Austin Martin has lost a lot of buzz but should be included. Like Brooks Lee being the most advanced bat of his draft class Martin also has this reputation within his in class. He really struggled in 2022, but broke out in the Arizona Fall League in a similar way that Royce Lewis did. He also has questions with his defensive home, but also could be a SS, outfielder, or even 2nd, or 3rd baseman. Beyond just his bat, he brings speed and base stealing skills that we just don’t have in our system. Speed is there but very few can swipe a base as he did in 2022.  

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    “I resolve in 2023 to stay healthy, get in enough MLB innings, and keep improving to prove that I will 100% no doubt be part of the Minnesota Twins roster breaking camp in 2024”.

    This is the single overriding resolution for each of the following: Lewis, Lee, Martin, Julien, Wallner, SWR, Varland, Balazovic, and Canterino (and, although they are not “prospects” per se, Miranda, Kiriloff, Larnach, Ober, Winder, and Alcala).

    Now, just imagine if our FO and coaching staff gave each of them the opportunity to make that resolution a reality and each one of them accomplished it…….

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    Not sure I really agree with any of these resolutions. Lewis needs to get and stay healthy and prove he is a major league player, not sure he can prove he is a long term SS in half of a season or less, since I assume he will spend a few weeks in the minors before joining the Twins.

    If Lee proves he is the top prospect that will because he forced his way to majors, there is absolutely no reason for him to be in the minors (just to be in the minors) if he is that good and succeeding. Kind of the same with ERod if he proves 2022 wasn't a fluke he should fly though the upper minors and either be in MN or pounding on the door to say give me a chance.

    For Prielipp IMO he just needs to be healthy and actually deserving of even being a prospect. He will spend at least the next two years in the minors building up his innings, and that point will be almost 24.

    SWR not sure IMO he could do anything in spring training that would leap frog him over Mahle, Gray, Ryan, Ober so that leaves the 5th/6th spot and I think Varland deserves that spot.  I would love to SWR earn a spot as the piggyback guy to the others. Since I think most will be limited at the beginning of the year.


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    Fun article, thanks.  I would be more specific:

    Royce works to stay ahead of schedule with his rehab and joins the Twins by June 15, following a two week rehab stint in Fort Myers.  He resolves that by September Twins fans will have forgotten about Carlos, whatever his name is.

    Brooks will continue his upward march and resolves to join the Twins by late August.  Where he plays will be a problem for Rocco to deal with.

    Emmanuel believes the Twins can have their version of Atlanta's Acuna who made the big club as a 20 year old.  He resolves to play like Acuna, earning a callup on August 31 so he is available for the playoffs.

    Connor Prielipp looked in a mirror this morning and saw Chris Sale.  He thought: if Chris Sale could make the White Sox late in the year following being drafted, why can't I make the Twins?  He resolves to do so and backs it up on the mound with his first big league start the last day of the season.

    SWR woke up this morning thinking about the one start he made for the Twins at year's end.  He decides there is no way he wants to pitch another inning in the minors and come spring training, resolves to make that happen.

    And I will add a sixth.  Louie Varland woke up today and read this post and thought, hey, what about me? With a bit of a chip growing on his shoulder, he resolves to do whatever SWR does and makes the Twins opening day roster and the rest is history. 

    And should the good Lord choose to allow me another year on this ball of mud, I resolve to enjoy every minute of the Twins 2023 season.



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    I always look forward to seeing the prospects playing in the bigs ... 

    I am still out of town so this is what I have to say for the new year ...


    adding Gallo is a head scratcher  , we have no balanced lineups , we needed right handed hitters and we sign a lefty that most likely will be a Sano from the left side ...

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    Not to be negative, but I was hoping this would have been a touch more creative. Let me recap...

    Royce Lewis Resolution = Be good

    Brooks Lee Resolution = Be good

    Emmanuel Rodriguez Resolution = Be good

    Connor Prielipp Resolution = Be good

    Simeon Woods Richardson Resolution = Be good



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    we seem to have forgotten Julien, who I think has the right approach to being a major leaguer. Don't know where he plays, but I like the bat approach and having several guys in the lineup who can force the pitcher to work.  It would help if MLB limits further the up and down trips to make opposing clubs use their staff and number of pitches a lot more here.  

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