A pair of stellar arms, a couple of hometown boys, and a couple of flashy gloves. The following group of Twins prospects, Twins Daily's 11-15 prospects, is pretty exciting. Take a look at some of the top names that will be playing at Target Field in just a few years.
Big velocity. Big spin. Big strikeouts.
Big Power. Big speed, and range.
There is some Big potential in this group, Twins Daily's Twins prospects 11-15.
15. RHP Louie Varland
2021 (-A, +A): 18 starts, 103 IP, 2.10 ERA, 34% K, 7% BB
Arguably the most exciting pitching in the Twins farm system, Louie Varland's electric 2021 season earned him accolades as Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year and Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. A product of the Twin Cities, Varland was promoted from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids after just eight starts and emerged as the Kernels' ace.
Varland relies heavily on a high fastball and shared that he is honing in on his off-speed pitches on Twins Spotlight with Seth Stohs. A truly dominant arm, Varland averaged 12.4 strikeouts and only 2.6 walks per nine innings in 2021. Expected to get his feet wet in Cedar Rapids, don't be surprised to see the Concordia-St. Paul alum scales the ranks of the Twins organization in 2022.
14. RHP Cole Sands
2021 (AA): 18 starts, 81 IP, 2.46 ERA, 29% K, 10% BB
The 2018 fifth-round draft pick for the Twins did not disappoint in his second full season with the Twins organization. After bouncing between three levels in 2019, Cole Sands was a rock for the Wind Surge last season, posting a 4-2 record and averaging only 3.6 walks per nine innings.
Sands isn't necessarily the high-velocity, deep-inning pitcher that fills seats; that doesn't matter, the Florida State alum gets outs. Sands keeps the ball on the ground and only gave up six homers last year and averaged 0.7 HR/9 on his sophomore campaign. Efficiency produces results; like Varland, 2022 could be a huge breakout year for Sands.
13. OF Matt Wallner
2021 (A+): .265/.350/.504, 14 2B, 2 3B, 15 HR, 9% BB, 33% K
A mid-season injury didn't stop Minnesota native Matt Wallner from having an excellent season last year. In his second full season with the Twins organization, the Southern Miss alum proved to be a sparkplug for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. A true cleanup hitter, Wallner's power at the plate is inevitable.
Wallner's biggest area of growth will come in plate discipline, given his 100 strikeouts in 2021. The reason that isn't talked about frequently is because of the game-changing power in his powerful right-handed swing that helped lead the Kernels to the High-A Central Championship Series. Changing those mountains and valleys to high-level plateaus will be key for the Forest Lake native to take his offense to the next level.
12, OF Gilberto Celestino
2021 (AA, AAA, MLB): .206/.274/.355, 21 2B, 9 HR, 4/5 SB, 10% BB, 22% K
It almost feels like Gilberto Celestino has been a Minnesota Twin for an eternity. Yet the talented outfielder is only 22 years old and saw MLB playing time for the first time last season after four previous seasons in the minors between the Twins and Astros organizations. The Dominican Republic native was signed by Houston at the ripe age of 17 and acquired by the Twins in 2019. The Astros clearly saw something in him to sign him so young and it appears the Twins do too.
Celestino's stat line is bogged down by his MLB numbers. He was quite impressive with the Saints and Wind Surge in 2021, slashing .277/.371/.423 with 18 doubles and seven homers in 70 games. Time is a friend of Celestino and 2022 should provide him more of an opportunity to get his feet wet at the game's highest level.
11. SS Noah Miller
2021 (Rk): .238/.316/.369, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 9% BB, 27% K
Chosen with the 38th pick of the 2021 Draft, Noah Miller is one of the top young prospects to graze Twins Territory. A stand-out hitter on both sides of the plate, Miller is as solid as it gets with his glove at shortstop. Tabbing Brandon Crawford as his favorite shortstop growing up, Miller's sleek defense was a marquee factor in the Twins using their second draft pick (Competitive Balance) on him.
Miller had a brief chance to get his feet wet at the pro level in 2022 with 96 plate appearances in the Florida Complex League. Expect him to start at Low-A in 2022 and get ready to watch what could be one of the organization's best draft picks in recent history. Read more on Miller's high ceiling courtesy of Twins Daily's JD Cameron.