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  1. Alabama starting pitcher Connor Prielipp is a name who has been linked with the Twins in recent weeks ahead of the MLB Draft. Who is he? Why might the Twins draft him? Why might they go in another direction? Over the next week leading up to July 17th, Jeremy and I will be writing more in-depth previews of ten players the Twins might take with the eighth overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. On Wednesday night, Jeremy selected for the Twins in the annual Prospects Live Mock Draft, taking Connor Prielipp, a left-handed starting pitcher from the University of Alabama, so let’s start there. Who is He? Connor Prielipp is a 6’2, 210 lb. left-handed starting pitcher out of Tomah, Wisconsin. Prielipp has been on the prospect map for a while. He was the Wisconsin player of the year in 2019 and was drafted by the Red Sox in the 39th round. He fell due to concerns about his signability with a commitment to the University of Alabama in hand. Why the Twins Will Draft Him Prielipp is the lone pitcher the Twins have been publicly connected with in the industry during the pre-draft process, most recently by MLB.com. Make no mistake, prior to his injury in 2021, he was being touted as a lock to be picked in the 5-10 range in the first round of the draft. Prielipp has a serious pedigree and a serious arsenal of pitches. In his freshman season at Alabama, he didn’t allow a run in 21 innings of work (striking out 35) before COVID-19 halted the season. Prielipp’s slider is one of the better pitches in the entire draft (it generated close to a 50% whiff rate in college), and as we know, it’s a slider league. The pitch approaches 90 mph and has a sharp, late break. His fastball sits in the low to mid-90s. After throwing a bullpen in front of evaluators in May and at the MLB Draft Combine, many have suggested Prielipp could continue to add velocity to his fastball, with fluid, repeatable mechanics. Prielipp also has a changeup that has not been significantly developed yet, but could be an average pitch. Add 55-grade control to this mix and you have a possible left-handed, front of the rotation starting pitcher. ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel calls Prielipp ‘clearly the best college arm in the draft’. Why the Twins Won't Draft Him The Derek Falvey-led front office does not have a track record of drafting college arms early. Drafting prep pitcher Chase Petty in 2021 was an extreme bucking of a trend of taking high floor, corner outfield or corner infield bat first college players. What’s different in 2022, however, is that the Twins have their highest draft selection since they took Royce Lewis number one overall in 2017. There are two primary reasons the Twins might not take Prielipp. Firstly, the way the top of the draft board is stacked. The presumptive top seven players in the draft when looking at trends across evaluators are (in no particular order) Druw Jones, Jackson Holliday, Elijah Green, Temarr Johnson, Cam Collier, Brooks Lee and Kevin Parada. If any team throws a wrench in the works and an outstanding bat on that list falls to the Twins at eight, I think they would jump at the chance. Finally, Prielipp’s injury muddies his status significantly. As Keith Law points out ‘he could be a high-end starter, he could easily end up in the bullpen. He’s thrown so little in games that the range of his potential outcomes is huge’. What are your thoughts on the Twins drafting Connor Prielipp? Do you think he’s a good fit for Minnesota? Would you take a chance on a limited track record? Share your thoughts in the comments. View full article
  2. Over the next week leading up to July 17th, Jeremy and I will be writing more in-depth previews of ten players the Twins might take with the eighth overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. On Wednesday night, Jeremy selected for the Twins in the annual Prospects Live Mock Draft, taking Connor Prielipp, a left-handed starting pitcher from the University of Alabama, so let’s start there. Who is He? Connor Prielipp is a 6’2, 210 lb. left-handed starting pitcher out of Tomah, Wisconsin. Prielipp has been on the prospect map for a while. He was the Wisconsin player of the year in 2019 and was drafted by the Red Sox in the 39th round. He fell due to concerns about his signability with a commitment to the University of Alabama in hand. Why the Twins Will Draft Him Prielipp is the lone pitcher the Twins have been publicly connected with in the industry during the pre-draft process, most recently by MLB.com. Make no mistake, prior to his injury in 2021, he was being touted as a lock to be picked in the 5-10 range in the first round of the draft. Prielipp has a serious pedigree and a serious arsenal of pitches. In his freshman season at Alabama, he didn’t allow a run in 21 innings of work (striking out 35) before COVID-19 halted the season. Prielipp’s slider is one of the better pitches in the entire draft (it generated close to a 50% whiff rate in college), and as we know, it’s a slider league. The pitch approaches 90 mph and has a sharp, late break. His fastball sits in the low to mid-90s. After throwing a bullpen in front of evaluators in May and at the MLB Draft Combine, many have suggested Prielipp could continue to add velocity to his fastball, with fluid, repeatable mechanics. Prielipp also has a changeup that has not been significantly developed yet, but could be an average pitch. Add 55-grade control to this mix and you have a possible left-handed, front of the rotation starting pitcher. ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel calls Prielipp ‘clearly the best college arm in the draft’. Why the Twins Won't Draft Him The Derek Falvey-led front office does not have a track record of drafting college arms early. Drafting prep pitcher Chase Petty in 2021 was an extreme bucking of a trend of taking high floor, corner outfield or corner infield bat first college players. What’s different in 2022, however, is that the Twins have their highest draft selection since they took Royce Lewis number one overall in 2017. There are two primary reasons the Twins might not take Prielipp. Firstly, the way the top of the draft board is stacked. The presumptive top seven players in the draft when looking at trends across evaluators are (in no particular order) Druw Jones, Jackson Holliday, Elijah Green, Temarr Johnson, Cam Collier, Brooks Lee and Kevin Parada. If any team throws a wrench in the works and an outstanding bat on that list falls to the Twins at eight, I think they would jump at the chance. Finally, Prielipp’s injury muddies his status significantly. As Keith Law points out ‘he could be a high-end starter, he could easily end up in the bullpen. He’s thrown so little in games that the range of his potential outcomes is huge’. What are your thoughts on the Twins drafting Connor Prielipp? Do you think he’s a good fit for Minnesota? Would you take a chance on a limited track record? Share your thoughts in the comments.
  3. In the fanfare and celebration of signing Carlos Correa, you'd be forgiven if you missed the Twins inking 38-year-old Joe Smith to a one-year pact. Smith, an MLB pitcher since the Bush administration, is precisely the style of reliever favored by Falvey and company. His average fastball hasn’t tickled 90 MPH in years, and much of his effectiveness is rooted in “funkiness,” a pitching trait in the Potter Stewart philosophy of “I know it when I see it.” In the case of Smith, his unique, low arm slot is his special calling card. Smith now joins the likes of Matt Belisle, Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke, Sergio Romo, and Tyler Clippard as an “unusual Twins reliever” acquired during the Falvey regime. That is to say, these bullpeners are (or were) atypical in their archetype—age or poor fastball velocity lowered the industry opinion of them, whether fair or not. But the Twins, perhaps believing in a philosophical blind spot, decided to trust in their past effectiveness and were rewarded with mixed but generally positive results. Belisle caught fire in the second half of 2017 to help lead the team to their first playoff appearance in seven years, Rodney and Duke both performed just well enough to net prospects in 2018, Romo was crucial in cementing a shaky Twins bullpen in 2019, and Clippard was a quality reliever for the Twins during the truncated 2020 season. Of course, the Twins haven’t solely focused on cast-offs from the island of misfit toys; they have signed or acquired more prototypical relievers like Addison Reed, Sam Dyson, and Alex Colomé on top of their usual assortment of unique funkmasters. Funny enough, it seems like they have had better fortune with odd relievers than with your more standard ones, but that isn’t quite the point of this article. Why ignore velocity? The Twins, as pointed out by Tom Froemming, had a velocity problem in May 2021 and had not fixed that issue by October 2021. It is March 2022, and the symptoms still persist. None of the four assumed starters possess an average fastball velocity that tops 93 MPH—a fact entirely at odds with the front office’s implications that velocity would be a top priority when they took over command of decision-making in 2016. Both newly-acquired starters, Sonny Gray and Dylan Bundy, are more masters of breaking balls than fireballers. Taylor Rogers and Jorge Alcala are the only true flamethrowers established in the bullpen. When diagnosing the malady, we must remember that there is nuance in team building; teams like the Twins count all their chips to the last penny as their room for error is smaller than other franchises. The team could quickly cash in and deal their top prospects for high-octane arms or sign the fastest-tossing relievers with little care for the long-term implications of those decisions. Still, such moves would not only likely hurt the franchise, but it would also open them up to being dunked on by randoms on Twitter years in the future, and that’s a risk no one wants to take. Why ignore velocity? Velocity is expensive, perhaps too much so. Corey Knebel (96.5 MPH) signed for $10 million, Joe Kelly (98.1 MPH) signed for $17 million over two years, and Kendall Graveman (96.5 MPH), signed for $24 million over three years. With no disrespect, none of those three players have been particularly consistent in their performance (or with health), but teams see their “stuff” and can’t help but imagine a perfect world where it all comes together for such a player. Trading for velocity can also be expensive. The White Sox parted with two young, talented players in Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer to acquire Craig Kimbrel, the Padres gave up their 9th best prospect, Mason Thompson, for half a season of Daniel Hudson, and the fact that the Twins received anyone for Hansel Robles showed that teams are willing to ignore performance in favor of the allure of stuff. The same can be said for prospects. Arms that can sit in the high-90s are valued highly because the upside of that player is tantalizing. We’ve seen the natural sheen of “stuff” blind teams into ignoring risk because they see the next Roger Clemens in an arm that will likely flame out in high-A. The Twins have recognized this and seem to tap their higher-velo arms in deals; Huascar Ynoa, Luis Gil, Brusdar Graterol, and Chase Petty all own big fastballs, but now pitch for other organizations. The guess is that the team is leveraging industry opinions on fastball velocity to acquire major-league talent they otherwise could not have if the pitcher were your average 93-95 MPH Joe. Or, to simplify, they think other teams over-value fastballs and are trying to find value in overlooked arms. Consider the Smith signing; $2.5 million for Joe Smith’s consistency is a bargain if you choose to look at his performance absent velocity implications. The Gray trade looks exquisite as well. Acquiring a great starting pitcher for a pitcher four or so years away from debuting is a masterclass in fleecing. Has it worked? The results are iffy. Twins pitching was undeniably elite in 2019 and 2020 when their team average fastball velocity sat in the bottom five of the league but fell off entirely in 2021. We shall see how 2022 plays out, but the prospects so far do not look good. Shoot, 43-year-old Johan Santana might be an upgrade to the starting rotation. That isn’t to say the team is completely ignoring velocity. Jordan Balazovic is capable of sitting 94-95, Jhoan Duran hits 100 daily, Josh Winder can sit in the mid-90s, and Matt Canterino can do the same. The team is still focusing on velocity, but more on developing said heat, not paying for it upfront. If a pitching prospect can throw hard, great, but their velocity isn’t as prioritized as other aspects of their game. If another team overvalues a prospect’s velocity? Ship him off and receive a more bountiful return than expected. Again, it is unclear if the plan has been successful or not, but the Twins unquestionably believe in their process.
  4. On March 19th, the Twins officially announced the signing of reliever Joe Smith to a one-year deal. It was the quintessential Derek Falvey acquisition. The team ignored declining velocity, instead choosing to bank on Smith’s historic consistency—a consistency that stems from his unique traits that fly in the face of the modern velocity obsession—to carry him for one more season. It may be only one move, but the signing, on top of a handful of other moves by the front office, signals a divergence away from the general baseball consensus and may define the team’s future. In the fanfare and celebration of signing Carlos Correa, you'd be forgiven if you missed the Twins inking 38-year-old Joe Smith to a one-year pact. Smith, an MLB pitcher since the Bush administration, is precisely the style of reliever favored by Falvey and company. His average fastball hasn’t tickled 90 MPH in years, and much of his effectiveness is rooted in “funkiness,” a pitching trait in the Potter Stewart philosophy of “I know it when I see it.” In the case of Smith, his unique, low arm slot is his special calling card. Smith now joins the likes of Matt Belisle, Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke, Sergio Romo, and Tyler Clippard as an “unusual Twins reliever” acquired during the Falvey regime. That is to say, these bullpeners are (or were) atypical in their archetype—age or poor fastball velocity lowered the industry opinion of them, whether fair or not. But the Twins, perhaps believing in a philosophical blind spot, decided to trust in their past effectiveness and were rewarded with mixed but generally positive results. Belisle caught fire in the second half of 2017 to help lead the team to their first playoff appearance in seven years, Rodney and Duke both performed just well enough to net prospects in 2018, Romo was crucial in cementing a shaky Twins bullpen in 2019, and Clippard was a quality reliever for the Twins during the truncated 2020 season. Of course, the Twins haven’t solely focused on cast-offs from the island of misfit toys; they have signed or acquired more prototypical relievers like Addison Reed, Sam Dyson, and Alex Colomé on top of their usual assortment of unique funkmasters. Funny enough, it seems like they have had better fortune with odd relievers than with your more standard ones, but that isn’t quite the point of this article. Why ignore velocity? The Twins, as pointed out by Tom Froemming, had a velocity problem in May 2021 and had not fixed that issue by October 2021. It is March 2022, and the symptoms still persist. None of the four assumed starters possess an average fastball velocity that tops 93 MPH—a fact entirely at odds with the front office’s implications that velocity would be a top priority when they took over command of decision-making in 2016. Both newly-acquired starters, Sonny Gray and Dylan Bundy, are more masters of breaking balls than fireballers. Taylor Rogers and Jorge Alcala are the only true flamethrowers established in the bullpen. When diagnosing the malady, we must remember that there is nuance in team building; teams like the Twins count all their chips to the last penny as their room for error is smaller than other franchises. The team could quickly cash in and deal their top prospects for high-octane arms or sign the fastest-tossing relievers with little care for the long-term implications of those decisions. Still, such moves would not only likely hurt the franchise, but it would also open them up to being dunked on by randoms on Twitter years in the future, and that’s a risk no one wants to take. Why ignore velocity? Velocity is expensive, perhaps too much so. Corey Knebel (96.5 MPH) signed for $10 million, Joe Kelly (98.1 MPH) signed for $17 million over two years, and Kendall Graveman (96.5 MPH), signed for $24 million over three years. With no disrespect, none of those three players have been particularly consistent in their performance (or with health), but teams see their “stuff” and can’t help but imagine a perfect world where it all comes together for such a player. Trading for velocity can also be expensive. The White Sox parted with two young, talented players in Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer to acquire Craig Kimbrel, the Padres gave up their 9th best prospect, Mason Thompson, for half a season of Daniel Hudson, and the fact that the Twins received anyone for Hansel Robles showed that teams are willing to ignore performance in favor of the allure of stuff. The same can be said for prospects. Arms that can sit in the high-90s are valued highly because the upside of that player is tantalizing. We’ve seen the natural sheen of “stuff” blind teams into ignoring risk because they see the next Roger Clemens in an arm that will likely flame out in high-A. The Twins have recognized this and seem to tap their higher-velo arms in deals; Huascar Ynoa, Luis Gil, Brusdar Graterol, and Chase Petty all own big fastballs, but now pitch for other organizations. The guess is that the team is leveraging industry opinions on fastball velocity to acquire major-league talent they otherwise could not have if the pitcher were your average 93-95 MPH Joe. Or, to simplify, they think other teams over-value fastballs and are trying to find value in overlooked arms. Consider the Smith signing; $2.5 million for Joe Smith’s consistency is a bargain if you choose to look at his performance absent velocity implications. The Gray trade looks exquisite as well. Acquiring a great starting pitcher for a pitcher four or so years away from debuting is a masterclass in fleecing. Has it worked? The results are iffy. Twins pitching was undeniably elite in 2019 and 2020 when their team average fastball velocity sat in the bottom five of the league but fell off entirely in 2021. We shall see how 2022 plays out, but the prospects so far do not look good. Shoot, 43-year-old Johan Santana might be an upgrade to the starting rotation. That isn’t to say the team is completely ignoring velocity. Jordan Balazovic is capable of sitting 94-95, Jhoan Duran hits 100 daily, Josh Winder can sit in the mid-90s, and Matt Canterino can do the same. The team is still focusing on velocity, but more on developing said heat, not paying for it upfront. If a pitching prospect can throw hard, great, but their velocity isn’t as prioritized as other aspects of their game. If another team overvalues a prospect’s velocity? Ship him off and receive a more bountiful return than expected. Again, it is unclear if the plan has been successful or not, but the Twins unquestionably believe in their process. View full article
  5. Over the weekend, Derek Falvey flipped 2021 1st round pick Chase Petty to the Cincinnati Reds for Sonny Gray. Minnesota needed a top-end starter, and they wound up with a guy who profiles very similar to someone Twins Territory is familiar with, Jose Berrios. Last season the front office decided against extending Berrios and flipped him to the Toronto Blue Jays for Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson. Getting two-top 100 prospects for a guy under team control for just one more year was an excellent come-up for Minnesota. If they had decided against paying him, that level of return is certainly a welcomed one. They had to replace Berrios, though. Going back to 2019, Berrios owns a 3.66 ERA, 9.2 K/9, and 2.4 BB/9. He’d put up dominant outings at times and then see late-season slides. Home runs got him every once in a while, but he was every bit a staff ace for Minnesota. After passing on virtually all of the free-agent starting pitching market, they found something of a clone. Looking back to 2019 for Gray, the Reds hurler owns a 3.49 ERA, 10.6 K/9, and 3.5 BB/9. It's almost as if the Twins had determined they had a "type" when it comes to a frontline starter. Minnesota had squeezed more out of Berrios under pitching coach Wes Johnson, and while Grady is older, it's not crazy to think they may be able to teach him some new tricks. Gray exits a Reds team looking to tear everything down, and he also has the benefit of escaping a hitters paradise in Cincinnati. Berrios is the slightly harder thrower of the two, averaging 94 mph on his fastball. Gray has seen diminished velocity as he ages but still sits at 92.6 mph. Gray gives up less hard contact, but we’re splitting hairs on the differences between the two when it comes to whiff rates as well as CSW% (Called+Swinging Strike Percentage). Looking at each of their Statcast profiles from 2021, it’s actually Gray that sees the scales tilted his way when diving into more analytically based outputs. Another interesting note on Gray is that while he has seen diminished velocity, his stuff ranks extremely well. Highlighted multiple times by Rob Friedman's Pitching Ninja account, and noted in a tweet by The Athletic's Eno Sarris, there's more to pitching than simply pumping velocity. For Gray, as the fastball might have dipped, he's added substantial shape through movement to his pitches. In attempting to keep batters off balance Gray has worked on crafting pitches that miss bats. Although Minnesota's Johnson is seen as a velocity guru, it's the analytical additions to pitching development that have pushed guys to get more from their overall repertoire. Gray will have a whole new pool of information to work with. At the end of the day, Minnesota accomplished a few things in the entirety of their starting pitching scenario. They dealt a guy they weren’t going to pay and got peak value for him. They then acquired an older starter for a highly volatile return and have to pay him substantially less. All of that takes place while the on-field returns could very comfortably be projected to be even. Fangraphs’ ZiPS projects Gray for a 3.78 ERA and 9.8 K/9 in 2022. The same projection system has Berrios at a 3.84 ERA and 9.3 K/9. If the track records of similarity don't provide something to key in on, there's at least an upcoming season in which both are expected to provide similar levels of value. What do you think about the Twins swap of top starters? Would you rather have Berrios purely from a pitching perspective, or are you good with Gray, the similarities, and all of the additional prospect capital? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email View full article
  6. Last season the front office decided against extending Berrios and flipped him to the Toronto Blue Jays for Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson. Getting two-top 100 prospects for a guy under team control for just one more year was an excellent come-up for Minnesota. If they had decided against paying him, that level of return is certainly a welcomed one. They had to replace Berrios, though. Going back to 2019, Berrios owns a 3.66 ERA, 9.2 K/9, and 2.4 BB/9. He’d put up dominant outings at times and then see late-season slides. Home runs got him every once in a while, but he was every bit a staff ace for Minnesota. After passing on virtually all of the free-agent starting pitching market, they found something of a clone. Looking back to 2019 for Gray, the Reds hurler owns a 3.49 ERA, 10.6 K/9, and 3.5 BB/9. It's almost as if the Twins had determined they had a "type" when it comes to a frontline starter. Minnesota had squeezed more out of Berrios under pitching coach Wes Johnson, and while Grady is older, it's not crazy to think they may be able to teach him some new tricks. Gray exits a Reds team looking to tear everything down, and he also has the benefit of escaping a hitters paradise in Cincinnati. Berrios is the slightly harder thrower of the two, averaging 94 mph on his fastball. Gray has seen diminished velocity as he ages but still sits at 92.6 mph. Gray gives up less hard contact, but we’re splitting hairs on the differences between the two when it comes to whiff rates as well as CSW% (Called+Swinging Strike Percentage). Looking at each of their Statcast profiles from 2021, it’s actually Gray that sees the scales tilted his way when diving into more analytically based outputs. Another interesting note on Gray is that while he has seen diminished velocity, his stuff ranks extremely well. Highlighted multiple times by Rob Friedman's Pitching Ninja account, and noted in a tweet by The Athletic's Eno Sarris, there's more to pitching than simply pumping velocity. For Gray, as the fastball might have dipped, he's added substantial shape through movement to his pitches. In attempting to keep batters off balance Gray has worked on crafting pitches that miss bats. Although Minnesota's Johnson is seen as a velocity guru, it's the analytical additions to pitching development that have pushed guys to get more from their overall repertoire. Gray will have a whole new pool of information to work with. At the end of the day, Minnesota accomplished a few things in the entirety of their starting pitching scenario. They dealt a guy they weren’t going to pay and got peak value for him. They then acquired an older starter for a highly volatile return and have to pay him substantially less. All of that takes place while the on-field returns could very comfortably be projected to be even. Fangraphs’ ZiPS projects Gray for a 3.78 ERA and 9.8 K/9 in 2022. The same projection system has Berrios at a 3.84 ERA and 9.3 K/9. If the track records of similarity don't provide something to key in on, there's at least an upcoming season in which both are expected to provide similar levels of value. What do you think about the Twins swap of top starters? Would you rather have Berrios purely from a pitching perspective, or are you good with Gray, the similarities, and all of the additional prospect capital? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  7. There’s been no denying that the Twins needed significant help in the starting rotation. Dylan Bundy, Joe Ryan, and Bailey Ober are the only current locks, and two of those three have less than an entire season of Major League experience under their belt. Pitching will always come at a substantial cost, and we saw that here in Minnesota needing to part with the 2021 26th overall pick, Chase Petty. Gray has become less of an extreme ground-ball-inducing pitcher than he was early in his career, but he continues to hover right around 50%. He gives up hard contact less than 30% of the time, and his whiff rates are workable. Gray now operates with an average fastball around 93 mph while mixing a slider and curveball. After leaving the Yankees, Gray signed a four-year deal for $38 million with Cincinnati. He’s on the books for 2022 at $10.166 million and has a $12 million team option for 2023. The option is almost certain to be picked up, and he’d pair with Kenta Maeda to form a solid one-two punch once the former staff ace returns from injury. Minnesota also grabbed Francis Peguero in the deal. He’s a 24-year-old right-handed pitcher outside of the Reds top 30 prospects. Peguero had been in their system since he was a teenager and made his stateside debut in 2018 at the age of 20. Last season, Peguero pitched at High-A Dayton and owned a 4.96 ERA. He’s worked 74 games for 103 innings and operated solely as a reliever. Looking at his track record, Peguero has some things Minnesota can work with. A high K/9 is paired with low home run and walk rates. Giving up contact too often has been troublesome, and he presents a project for the Twins development staff. Chase Petty, last season’s 1st round pick for Minnesota, is going to the Reds. He’s a hard thrower and had arguably the best velocity of anyone in the 2021 draft. Debuting in the Florida Complex League, Petty got in just five innings following his prep season. Soon-to-be 19-years-old, Petty has a ton of development ahead of him. Refinement of pitches and continued command adjustments will always be part of the process when selecting a prep arm. For Cincinnati, Petty’s path is not unlike one they may soon be cashing in on. Hunter Greene, taken in the same draft as Royce Lewis, had similar attributes when selected. Greene was praised for his triple-digit fastball, as was Petty, and there may be parallels in how their new prospect is brought along. Knowing how barren the starting pitching market had gotten in free agency, it seemed inevitable Minnesota would acquire an arm via trade. Depth was a need in the rotation, but so too was a top-tier arm. Cautious in what to expect or maybe more, what needed to be given up, this seems like a significant win for Derek Falvey. Petty has a high ceiling, but there’s nothing more volatile than a prep arm. Getting a starter of Gray’s caliber for what likely amounts to two seasons and not dipping into other areas of the farm system is great negotiating. The front office still has work to do, and there’s money to be spent, but this move should be seen as a significant come-up. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  8. After yesterday’s swap acquired a shortstop, the Minnesota Twins continued dealing and today nabbed their Opening Day starter. Sonny Gray comes from the Reds and immediately slots in as Minnesota’s best pitcher. It was again a two-for-one deal, and this one builds on the big league rotation. There’s been no denying that the Twins needed significant help in the starting rotation. Dylan Bundy, Joe Ryan, and Bailey Ober are the only current locks, and two of those three have less than an entire season of Major League experience under their belt. Pitching will always come at a substantial cost, and we saw that here in Minnesota needing to part with the 2021 26th overall pick, Chase Petty. Gray has become less of an extreme ground-ball-inducing pitcher than he was early in his career, but he continues to hover right around 50%. He gives up hard contact less than 30% of the time, and his whiff rates are workable. Gray now operates with an average fastball around 93 mph while mixing a slider and curveball. After leaving the Yankees, Gray signed a four-year deal for $38 million with Cincinnati. He’s on the books for 2022 at $10.166 million and has a $12 million team option for 2023. The option is almost certain to be picked up, and he’d pair with Kenta Maeda to form a solid one-two punch once the former staff ace returns from injury. Minnesota also grabbed Francis Peguero in the deal. He’s a 24-year-old right-handed pitcher outside of the Reds top 30 prospects. Peguero had been in their system since he was a teenager and made his stateside debut in 2018 at the age of 20. Last season, Peguero pitched at High-A Dayton and owned a 4.96 ERA. He’s worked 74 games for 103 innings and operated solely as a reliever. Looking at his track record, Peguero has some things Minnesota can work with. A high K/9 is paired with low home run and walk rates. Giving up contact too often has been troublesome, and he presents a project for the Twins development staff. Chase Petty, last season’s 1st round pick for Minnesota, is going to the Reds. He’s a hard thrower and had arguably the best velocity of anyone in the 2021 draft. Debuting in the Florida Complex League, Petty got in just five innings following his prep season. Soon-to-be 19-years-old, Petty has a ton of development ahead of him. Refinement of pitches and continued command adjustments will always be part of the process when selecting a prep arm. For Cincinnati, Petty’s path is not unlike one they may soon be cashing in on. Hunter Greene, taken in the same draft as Royce Lewis, had similar attributes when selected. Greene was praised for his triple-digit fastball, as was Petty, and there may be parallels in how their new prospect is brought along. Knowing how barren the starting pitching market had gotten in free agency, it seemed inevitable Minnesota would acquire an arm via trade. Depth was a need in the rotation, but so too was a top-tier arm. Cautious in what to expect or maybe more, what needed to be given up, this seems like a significant win for Derek Falvey. Petty has a high ceiling, but there’s nothing more volatile than a prep arm. Getting a starter of Gray’s caliber for what likely amounts to two seasons and not dipping into other areas of the farm system is great negotiating. The front office still has work to do, and there’s money to be spent, but this move should be seen as a significant come-up. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email View full article
  9. The Minnesota Twins traded for two-time All-Star starting pitcher Sonny Gray. In return, they sent their most-recent first-round draft pick, Chase Petty, to Cincinnati. The Twins also landed relief prospect Francis Peguero in the deal. Here is my reaction, some analysis and thoughts on where I'd like to see the Twins go from here.
  10. The Minnesota Twins traded for two-time All-Star starting pitcher Sonny Gray. In return, they sent their most-recent first-round draft pick, Chase Petty, to Cincinnati. The Twins also landed relief prospect Francis Peguero in the deal. Here is my reaction, some analysis and thoughts on where I'd like to see the Twins go from here. View full video
  11. The Minnesota Twins have announced that they have acquired RHP Sonny Gray from the Cincinnati Reds, along with RHP Francis Peguero, in exchange for 2021 top pick Chase Petty. Why would you trade your 19-year-old first-round pick from 2021? Well, it is to acquire your Opening Day starter. No, we don't know that officially yet, but Sonny Gray has an excellent track record of success. Gray is a 32-year-old right-hander. Last year with the Reds, he went 7-9 with a 4.19 ERA. In 135 1/3 innings, he had 155 strikeouts. He pitched for the Oakland A's from 2013-2017 before heading to the Yankees at the 2017 trade deadline. He remained in New York through the 2018 season. He signed with the Reds before the 2019 season. Overall, he his 82-72 with a 3.61 ERA over 1,267 1/3 innings in his career. Gray was the 18th overall pick in the 2011 draft out of Vanderbilt University. Francis Peguero is a 24-year-old who signed with the Reds from the Dominican Republic back in 2017. He has worked out of the bullpen throughout his career. In 103 innings in his career, he has struck out 116 batters while walking just 21 batters. He spent the full 2021 season at High-A Dayton. To get something, you have to give up someone, right? Well, the Twins traded their top pick from last year's draft, Chase Petty, to the Reds. He pitched in just two games after being drafted last year. He was touted for his triple-digit fastball, and he's got some really good secondary pitches to go with it. The sky is certainly the limit, but that's the price for a quality, top-of-the-rotation arm. For those who say that this is unlike the Twins to trade a top pitching prospect. Recall just a couple of years ago when the team traded a top 5 prospect in Brusdar Graterol to the Dodgers in the deal for Kenta Maeda. In addition, Gray's contract was for $30.5 million over three years. However, there is also an option for the 2023 season at $12 million. It would seem a pretty easy decision unless things unravel for a pitcher with a great track record. A quick search of how often Sonny Gray has been tagged in Twins Daily articles shows that he has been on fans' radars for awhile. Share your thoughts on this trade in the COMMENTS below. View full article
  12. Why would you trade your 19-year-old first-round pick from 2021? Well, it is to acquire your Opening Day starter. No, we don't know that officially yet, but Sonny Gray has an excellent track record of success. Gray is a 32-year-old right-hander. Last year with the Reds, he went 7-9 with a 4.19 ERA. In 135 1/3 innings, he had 155 strikeouts. He pitched for the Oakland A's from 2013-2017 before heading to the Yankees at the 2017 trade deadline. He remained in New York through the 2018 season. He signed with the Reds before the 2019 season. Overall, he his 82-72 with a 3.61 ERA over 1,267 1/3 innings in his career. Gray was the 18th overall pick in the 2011 draft out of Vanderbilt University. Francis Peguero is a 24-year-old who signed with the Reds from the Dominican Republic back in 2017. He has worked out of the bullpen throughout his career. In 103 innings in his career, he has struck out 116 batters while walking just 21 batters. He spent the full 2021 season at High-A Dayton. To get something, you have to give up someone, right? Well, the Twins traded their top pick from last year's draft, Chase Petty, to the Reds. He pitched in just two games after being drafted last year. He was touted for his triple-digit fastball, and he's got some really good secondary pitches to go with it. The sky is certainly the limit, but that's the price for a quality, top-of-the-rotation arm. For those who say that this is unlike the Twins to trade a top pitching prospect. Recall just a couple of years ago when the team traded a top 5 prospect in Brusdar Graterol to the Dodgers in the deal for Kenta Maeda. In addition, Gray's contract was for $30.5 million over three years. However, there is also an option for the 2023 season at $12 million. It would seem a pretty easy decision unless things unravel for a pitcher with a great track record. A quick search of how often Sonny Gray has been tagged in Twins Daily articles shows that he has been on fans' radars for awhile. Share your thoughts on this trade in the COMMENTS below.
  13. After three months of lockout-induced stagnancy, Major League Baseball reopened for business over the weekend with a flurry of activity across the league. Your Minnesota Twins got in on the action with a pair of high-wattage trades addressing key areas of need. Let's catch up and reset the roster outlook as spring training officially gets underway. [Author's Note: Naturally, MINUTES after I said to myself, "Okay, probably safe to post this, the action has gotta be wrapped up for the weekend," we learned of a major blockbuster trade between the Twins and Yankees. You can learn about it here. And then read on to learn about the state of the roster ... just BEFORE that move.] Twins Send Garver to Texas for Kiner-Falefa Minnesota's front office checked off the "shortstop" box before turning its attention to the pitching staff, acquiring Isiah Kiner-Falefa from the Rangers alongside pitching prospect Ronny Henriquez. The cost was extremely high: Mitch Garver is gone. To procure this package from Texas, the Twins had to part with the 31-year-old who they drafted-and-developed, from ninth-round pick into elite slugging catcher and self-made pitch-framing specialist. Garver, under control for two more seasons just like Kiner-Falefa, is one of the biggest difference-making bats in the league as a nearly unrivaled offensive force from the catcher position. Despite his dwindling team control, I ranked Garver this year as the eighth-most valuable asset in the organization, and when sizing up the club's top trade candidates, I didn't see him as one of the top-five most likely to go. "One could theoretically add Mitch Garver or Ryan Jeffers to this list," I wrote, "although I'm not sure I have enough confidence in either one to feel good about trading the other." Therein lies my struggle with this move. Jeffers hasn't shown enough yet to be confident in his status as "The Guy" going forward, and the Twins are woefully short on qualified depth behind him and Ben Rortvedt in the system. The Twins gave up a lot for a light-hitting defensive specialist. Too much, in my opinion. But the team has firmly addressed its need at shortstop with a versatile young player who was highly regarded in Texas. The price they paid says a great deal about their belief in Kiner-Falefa. Frontline Pitching at Last: Twins Get Gray from Reds for Petty The rotation looks a lot more legitimate now than it did coming out of the lockout. There was plenty of buzz indicating the Twins were pursuing high-end pitching on the trade market, and the rumors came to fruition on Sunday with the extraction of right-hander Sonny Gray from the Reds. In this deal, the Twins gave up all future value, sending 2021 first-round draft pick Chase Petty to Cincinnati. I recently wrote the profile on Petty as our #9 Twins prospect, and got myself all jazzed about dreaming on his upside, but even the most optimistic analysis of Petty has to acknowledge his sky-high burnout risk. To exchange such a volatile asset for an established top-of-rotation for starter with two years of reasonably-priced team control remaining ($10.2M in 2022 with a $12M option for '23) should be viewed as a big win. Gray is a two-time All-Star with an extensive pitch mix, a bulldog mentality, and excellent strikeout rates (10.6 K/9 since 2019) who figures to benefit from a move away from Cincinnati's hitter-friendly ballpark. He posted a 3.44 ERA with six home runs allowed in 12 road starts last year, compared to 4.89 with 13 homers in 14 home starts. The addition of Gray certainly makes the Twins a better team in 2022, but between this and the Kiner-Falefa pickup – both players having team control for two more years – one can sense that the front office is primarily focused on building toward 2023, when Kenta Maeda returns to the fold. An Updated Look at the Roster and Payroll With Gray and Kiner-Falefa joining the party, here's how the Twins roster now projects. The payroll (which includes about $15M in new salary for those two, as well as Gray's $1M trade bonus, paid by the Twins) is creeping up on $100M. The team could theoretically fill the DH role with in-house options – rotating guys like Miguel Sanó, Josh Donaldson, and Luis Arraez. Same goes for the remaining bullpen openings – Juan Minaya, Lewis Thorpe, Griffin Jax, etc. But I think they need at least one more bat and a couple of back-end caliber arms to call roster complete. They definitely need at least one more starting pitcher. The team is reportedly pursuing some of the top remaining veteran names in the remaining middle tier of free agency, including Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke, and old friend Michael Pineda. Spring training has already begun, but the Twins certainly aren't done shopping. Stay tuned into Twins Daily as we cover the moves in real-time. I'll keep these periodic status updates running as the fragmented offseason extends into camp. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  14. [Author's Note: Naturally, MINUTES after I said to myself, "Okay, probably safe to post this, the action has gotta be wrapped up for the weekend," we learned of a major blockbuster trade between the Twins and Yankees. You can learn about it here. And then read on to learn about the state of the roster ... just BEFORE that move.] Twins Send Garver to Texas for Kiner-Falefa Minnesota's front office checked off the "shortstop" box before turning its attention to the pitching staff, acquiring Isiah Kiner-Falefa from the Rangers alongside pitching prospect Ronny Henriquez. The cost was extremely high: Mitch Garver is gone. To procure this package from Texas, the Twins had to part with the 31-year-old who they drafted-and-developed, from ninth-round pick into elite slugging catcher and self-made pitch-framing specialist. Garver, under control for two more seasons just like Kiner-Falefa, is one of the biggest difference-making bats in the league as a nearly unrivaled offensive force from the catcher position. Despite his dwindling team control, I ranked Garver this year as the eighth-most valuable asset in the organization, and when sizing up the club's top trade candidates, I didn't see him as one of the top-five most likely to go. "One could theoretically add Mitch Garver or Ryan Jeffers to this list," I wrote, "although I'm not sure I have enough confidence in either one to feel good about trading the other." Therein lies my struggle with this move. Jeffers hasn't shown enough yet to be confident in his status as "The Guy" going forward, and the Twins are woefully short on qualified depth behind him and Ben Rortvedt in the system. The Twins gave up a lot for a light-hitting defensive specialist. Too much, in my opinion. But the team has firmly addressed its need at shortstop with a versatile young player who was highly regarded in Texas. The price they paid says a great deal about their belief in Kiner-Falefa. Frontline Pitching at Last: Twins Get Gray from Reds for Petty The rotation looks a lot more legitimate now than it did coming out of the lockout. There was plenty of buzz indicating the Twins were pursuing high-end pitching on the trade market, and the rumors came to fruition on Sunday with the extraction of right-hander Sonny Gray from the Reds. In this deal, the Twins gave up all future value, sending 2021 first-round draft pick Chase Petty to Cincinnati. I recently wrote the profile on Petty as our #9 Twins prospect, and got myself all jazzed about dreaming on his upside, but even the most optimistic analysis of Petty has to acknowledge his sky-high burnout risk. To exchange such a volatile asset for an established top-of-rotation for starter with two years of reasonably-priced team control remaining ($10.2M in 2022 with a $12M option for '23) should be viewed as a big win. Gray is a two-time All-Star with an extensive pitch mix, a bulldog mentality, and excellent strikeout rates (10.6 K/9 since 2019) who figures to benefit from a move away from Cincinnati's hitter-friendly ballpark. He posted a 3.44 ERA with six home runs allowed in 12 road starts last year, compared to 4.89 with 13 homers in 14 home starts. The addition of Gray certainly makes the Twins a better team in 2022, but between this and the Kiner-Falefa pickup – both players having team control for two more years – one can sense that the front office is primarily focused on building toward 2023, when Kenta Maeda returns to the fold. An Updated Look at the Roster and Payroll With Gray and Kiner-Falefa joining the party, here's how the Twins roster now projects. The payroll (which includes about $15M in new salary for those two, as well as Gray's $1M trade bonus, paid by the Twins) is creeping up on $100M. The team could theoretically fill the DH role with in-house options – rotating guys like Miguel Sanó, Josh Donaldson, and Luis Arraez. Same goes for the remaining bullpen openings – Juan Minaya, Lewis Thorpe, Griffin Jax, etc. But I think they need at least one more bat and a couple of back-end caliber arms to call roster complete. They definitely need at least one more starting pitcher. The team is reportedly pursuing some of the top remaining veteran names in the remaining middle tier of free agency, including Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke, and old friend Michael Pineda. Spring training has already begun, but the Twins certainly aren't done shopping. Stay tuned into Twins Daily as we cover the moves in real-time. I'll keep these periodic status updates running as the fragmented offseason extends into camp. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  15. Discussing the Minnesota Twins minor league system and the recently-published FanGraphs Twins prospect list. Players discussed included Marco Raya, Chase Petty, Misael Urbina, Keoni Cavaco, Louie Varland and Yunior Severino View full video
  16. Discussing the Minnesota Twins minor league system and the recently-published FanGraphs Twins prospect list. Players discussed included Marco Raya, Chase Petty, Misael Urbina, Keoni Cavaco, Louie Varland and Yunior Severino
  17. With the draft in July last year, the Twins had their drafted pitchers report to Ft. Myers and then take time away from throwing. In that time, they learned more about nutrition and weight lifting programs. They threw some bullpens, in large part, just to have some baseline analytics using their technology. In doing so, they could learn more about themselves and develop a plan for their offseason. Actual innings pitched were not important. Starting the process of development is the most important thing. Chase Petty threw just five total innings for the FCL games over two starts, but he did a lot of learning. He said, “It was new for sure. It was a lot better competition, obviously, coming from high school baseball, especially from New Jersey baseball. It was definitely a big difference. But it was fun. I really enjoyed it. All the guys here are very supportive of you.” He continued, “Really just being a professional baseball player and cleaning up everything off the field and on the field. Just having the mindset of a big-leaguer because that's the goal, that's the dream, and succeed even there. Really this offseason was developing that mindset that this is going to be a grind, and you really have to prepare yourself for it. I'm ready for it.” Petty ended last season at the Instructional League and went back home to Summer Pointe, New Jersey. He trained in nearby Pleasantville at the Baseball Performance Center with Phillies Triple-A pitcher Mike Adams. He has worked at the facility since his freshman year of high school. Fellow Twins pitching prospect Sean Mooney also works out there. Earlier this week, Minor League Director Alex Hassan noted that they are fully aware of the facility and the coaches and trust their work. He also noted, "Chase really has impressed us with his ability to be routine-oriented for a high school player.” He continued, “Normally on the high school front, you’re really trying to emphasize routine in the training room or weight room or just on the field in terms of catch play and things you’re working on. He had a lot of that coming in, which has really stood out and been impressive.” Hassan says that Petty has been impressive on the field too. “I’ve heard the perception among high school players who throw hard that they just want to go out there and blow it out, and it’s a spectacle to see how hard he can throw, but I think he’s got more touch and more feel than that typical profile. He threw strikes in the very, very brief appearances he had in the FCL. In Instructs, he continued to fill up the zone. We’ll continue to work on that.” When drafted, we read a lot about Petty touching 102 or 103 mph with his fastball at times. That certainly can be a concern, but he and the Twins understand the bigger picture. Petty says that last year in games, he was consistently throwing 94 to 97 mph and touching 99 mph at times, and that’s where he would like to be in 2022. “Around there would still be ideal, but at the end of the day, it's all about getting outs and still performing. So doing what I have to do, whether that's velo up, or kind of dominating with my secondary pitches, that's what I'll have to do to become an all-around better pitcher.” To do that, he is working with the pitching coaches and coordinators to clean up some of his mechanics. He said, “It's really cleaning up things that need to be cleaned up whether that is the arm path, whether that is the arm angle, and kind of making sure things are where they need to be to prevent injuries and stay as healthy as possible.” His spring training roommate can certainly help talk him through that conversation. Marco Raya was the Twins’ fourth-round pick in 2020 out of high school in Texas. He did not pitch in 2021 due to a shoulder injury. However, he arrived at Instructional League healthy and hitting 97-99 mph at times. In my personal Twins prospect rankings, I have Chase Petty at #9 and Marco Raya at #10. Petty also ranked ninth in the Twins Daily rankings, while Raya was listed among the Honorable Mentions. Both understand that big-league hitters can hit a triple-digit fastball, so they know they need to keep working on secondary pitches. When the Twins drafted Petty, he talked about having 4-5 pitches and working on others. The Twins have worked with him and helped him focus his early-career attention on thinking long-term. Petty said, “We worked a lot with analytics here, and we’ve done a lot with perfecting our craft and perfecting the things that play the most. So we really just perfected the sinker, the changeup, and the slider for right now, and once those three are where they need to be, we’ll start working on the fourth, and hopefully, they’re on, and we’ll keep going. Right now, it’s really just perfecting what we need to perfect right now to get to where we need to be long term.” Long-term. It’s a great concept, and Chase Petty won’t even turn 19 years old until April 4th, so he and the Twins need to be patient. Last summer, the Twins made him a multi-millionaire, but let’s not forget that this is his first real job. This is the first time he’s lived away from home for an extended period. It’s the first time he’s lived in a dorm or had a roommate. Asked about Petty, Matt Canterino said, “I mean, the stuff’s electric. It’s really, really cool to watch, and I’m 24 now. What is he, 18 still? It’s just incredible. I can tell you I was nowhere near the stuff that he has, and it’s really impressive. I guess if I had to say like one thing - once again, I’m 24, he’s 18 - and I know that if I look back at that pitcher, I was at 18, where I am now, not just like how I’ve developed, but like what I throw now and my mentality and stuff on the mound, it’s two completely different people. It’s not even just from five years ago to now. It’s like from two years ago, three years ago to now. So I think most of the stuff that I would tell him would just be, ‘Be open to new things. Keep working. Listen to what everybody has to say, not necessarily do everything that everybody tells you to do but be open about that stuff. It will be really cool to see how you evolve as a pitcher and as a person.” Sage advice indeed. Be patient, and yet get to work. Petty arrived with the first group of pitchers in mid-January. He said, “Really just got here to get to work and to get after it. We had early camps, and me and Marco (Raya), and Louie Varland, we really worked heavy together in that camp. We really got after it together there.” Petty noted that he grew up in Millville, New Jersey, and a 10-minute drive north takes you to Vineland, New Jersey. Hispanics comprise about 35% of the town’s population, so Petty got to know a little Spanish in elementary school and Little League from just hanging out with his friends. He feels very fortunate to have Marco Raya, who speaks fluent Spanish, as his roommate for many reasons, including that he teaches him some Spanish. He wants to continue to learn and be able to better communicate with his teammates from Latin America. Well, that and he wants to know what they’re saying when they think he doesn’t understand. As for his 2022 goals, he keeps it pretty simple. He is working as a starter and building up strength and innings. But he noted, “Obviously (I want) to have the best season possible for myself and move up the ranks as much as I possibly can, whether that be finishing the season in Low-A, High-A, wherever that may be. Just pushing myself to have the best season I possibly can.” He doesn’t know where he’s going to start the 2022 season. It certainly wouldn’t hurt him to start the season in Extended Spring Training and continue to build him up, but indications are that he will begin the 2022 season with the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels. There are a lot of reasons to be excited about right-hander Chase Petty. He has a big arm with velocity and secondary pitches. He’s shown pretty good control. He has a good head on his shoulders and has really taken to instruction. So what are your overall thoughts on the Twins taking Petty with their late, first-round pick in 2021, and what do you hope to see from him in 2022? Share your thoughts below. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  18. In his professional debut in the Florida Complex League, Chase Petty only tossed five innings after the Twins used their first-round draft pick on the New Jersey prep star. Find out what he’s learned since being drafted and what he’s looking forward to in 2022. With the draft in July last year, the Twins had their drafted pitchers report to Ft. Myers and then take time away from throwing. In that time, they learned more about nutrition and weight lifting programs. They threw some bullpens, in large part, just to have some baseline analytics using their technology. In doing so, they could learn more about themselves and develop a plan for their offseason. Actual innings pitched were not important. Starting the process of development is the most important thing. Chase Petty threw just five total innings for the FCL games over two starts, but he did a lot of learning. He said, “It was new for sure. It was a lot better competition, obviously, coming from high school baseball, especially from New Jersey baseball. It was definitely a big difference. But it was fun. I really enjoyed it. All the guys here are very supportive of you.” He continued, “Really just being a professional baseball player and cleaning up everything off the field and on the field. Just having the mindset of a big-leaguer because that's the goal, that's the dream, and succeed even there. Really this offseason was developing that mindset that this is going to be a grind, and you really have to prepare yourself for it. I'm ready for it.” Petty ended last season at the Instructional League and went back home to Summer Pointe, New Jersey. He trained in nearby Pleasantville at the Baseball Performance Center with Phillies Triple-A pitcher Mike Adams. He has worked at the facility since his freshman year of high school. Fellow Twins pitching prospect Sean Mooney also works out there. Earlier this week, Minor League Director Alex Hassan noted that they are fully aware of the facility and the coaches and trust their work. He also noted, "Chase really has impressed us with his ability to be routine-oriented for a high school player.” He continued, “Normally on the high school front, you’re really trying to emphasize routine in the training room or weight room or just on the field in terms of catch play and things you’re working on. He had a lot of that coming in, which has really stood out and been impressive.” Hassan says that Petty has been impressive on the field too. “I’ve heard the perception among high school players who throw hard that they just want to go out there and blow it out, and it’s a spectacle to see how hard he can throw, but I think he’s got more touch and more feel than that typical profile. He threw strikes in the very, very brief appearances he had in the FCL. In Instructs, he continued to fill up the zone. We’ll continue to work on that.” When drafted, we read a lot about Petty touching 102 or 103 mph with his fastball at times. That certainly can be a concern, but he and the Twins understand the bigger picture. Petty says that last year in games, he was consistently throwing 94 to 97 mph and touching 99 mph at times, and that’s where he would like to be in 2022. “Around there would still be ideal, but at the end of the day, it's all about getting outs and still performing. So doing what I have to do, whether that's velo up, or kind of dominating with my secondary pitches, that's what I'll have to do to become an all-around better pitcher.” To do that, he is working with the pitching coaches and coordinators to clean up some of his mechanics. He said, “It's really cleaning up things that need to be cleaned up whether that is the arm path, whether that is the arm angle, and kind of making sure things are where they need to be to prevent injuries and stay as healthy as possible.” His spring training roommate can certainly help talk him through that conversation. Marco Raya was the Twins’ fourth-round pick in 2020 out of high school in Texas. He did not pitch in 2021 due to a shoulder injury. However, he arrived at Instructional League healthy and hitting 97-99 mph at times. In my personal Twins prospect rankings, I have Chase Petty at #9 and Marco Raya at #10. Petty also ranked ninth in the Twins Daily rankings, while Raya was listed among the Honorable Mentions. Both understand that big-league hitters can hit a triple-digit fastball, so they know they need to keep working on secondary pitches. When the Twins drafted Petty, he talked about having 4-5 pitches and working on others. The Twins have worked with him and helped him focus his early-career attention on thinking long-term. Petty said, “We worked a lot with analytics here, and we’ve done a lot with perfecting our craft and perfecting the things that play the most. So we really just perfected the sinker, the changeup, and the slider for right now, and once those three are where they need to be, we’ll start working on the fourth, and hopefully, they’re on, and we’ll keep going. Right now, it’s really just perfecting what we need to perfect right now to get to where we need to be long term.” Long-term. It’s a great concept, and Chase Petty won’t even turn 19 years old until April 4th, so he and the Twins need to be patient. Last summer, the Twins made him a multi-millionaire, but let’s not forget that this is his first real job. This is the first time he’s lived away from home for an extended period. It’s the first time he’s lived in a dorm or had a roommate. Asked about Petty, Matt Canterino said, “I mean, the stuff’s electric. It’s really, really cool to watch, and I’m 24 now. What is he, 18 still? It’s just incredible. I can tell you I was nowhere near the stuff that he has, and it’s really impressive. I guess if I had to say like one thing - once again, I’m 24, he’s 18 - and I know that if I look back at that pitcher, I was at 18, where I am now, not just like how I’ve developed, but like what I throw now and my mentality and stuff on the mound, it’s two completely different people. It’s not even just from five years ago to now. It’s like from two years ago, three years ago to now. So I think most of the stuff that I would tell him would just be, ‘Be open to new things. Keep working. Listen to what everybody has to say, not necessarily do everything that everybody tells you to do but be open about that stuff. It will be really cool to see how you evolve as a pitcher and as a person.” Sage advice indeed. Be patient, and yet get to work. Petty arrived with the first group of pitchers in mid-January. He said, “Really just got here to get to work and to get after it. We had early camps, and me and Marco (Raya), and Louie Varland, we really worked heavy together in that camp. We really got after it together there.” Petty noted that he grew up in Millville, New Jersey, and a 10-minute drive north takes you to Vineland, New Jersey. Hispanics comprise about 35% of the town’s population, so Petty got to know a little Spanish in elementary school and Little League from just hanging out with his friends. He feels very fortunate to have Marco Raya, who speaks fluent Spanish, as his roommate for many reasons, including that he teaches him some Spanish. He wants to continue to learn and be able to better communicate with his teammates from Latin America. Well, that and he wants to know what they’re saying when they think he doesn’t understand. As for his 2022 goals, he keeps it pretty simple. He is working as a starter and building up strength and innings. But he noted, “Obviously (I want) to have the best season possible for myself and move up the ranks as much as I possibly can, whether that be finishing the season in Low-A, High-A, wherever that may be. Just pushing myself to have the best season I possibly can.” He doesn’t know where he’s going to start the 2022 season. It certainly wouldn’t hurt him to start the season in Extended Spring Training and continue to build him up, but indications are that he will begin the 2022 season with the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels. There are a lot of reasons to be excited about right-hander Chase Petty. He has a big arm with velocity and secondary pitches. He’s shown pretty good control. He has a good head on his shoulders and has really taken to instruction. So what are your overall thoughts on the Twins taking Petty with their late, first-round pick in 2021, and what do you hope to see from him in 2022? Share your thoughts below. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email View full article
  19. Age: 18 (DOB: 4/4/03) 2021 Stats (Rookie): 5 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 6 K, 1 BB ETA: 2025 2021 Ranking: NR National Top 100 Rankings BA: NR | MLB: NR | ATH: NR | BP: NR What's To Like Pure, raw upside. Petty may have a long way to go (as we'll discuss), but he's got plenty to work with. The 18-year-old grew up in Millville, NJ, a city which is now best known as the hometown of Mike Trout. Petty quickly emerged as a special talent on the mound, and committed to the University of Florida as a sophomore in high school. By the time he was done at Mainland Regional High, going to college would barely be a consideration. Petty emerged as a top pitching prospect in the nation during his senior year, returning from the pandemic downtime with newfound velocity. In his first start of 2021, after more than a year off, he reportedly touched 102 MPH multiple times en route to a complete game, one-hit shutout, striking out 13 of the 25 batters he faced. His 89th and final pitch buzzed in at 98. This set the stage for a final prep season that saw Petty go 6-1 with a 1.00 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings pitched, earning Gatorade Player of the Year honors in New Jersey. The fastball is clearly special, rated by Baseball America as the best among all high school pitchers. Not only is its velocity incredible, but Petty's heater has impressive movement, too. "When it’s coming in, it looks like a ping-pong ball coming at you and it moves all over the place,” said one of his high school catchers. His slider is as a legitimate weapon, viewed as having 70-grade potential, and his changeup is more advanced than most for his age. The Twins selected him with their first pick in the 2021 draft, 26th overall, and sent him to a brief debut in rookie ball, where he struck out six of 21 batters (29%) with one walk over two short outings. So far so good. But a long way to go. What's Left To Work On Staying healthy and staying the course. For all his potential, Petty's profile is a cacophony of burnout risk. High school pitchers are inherently a hazardous bunch, as the Twins have learned with their last few high-profile gambles in the category. Third-rounder Blayne Enlow was persuaded to sign with an over-slot bonus instead of going to college in 2017. Five years later he's out for the season with Tommy John surgery and still hasn't pitched above A-ball. Kohl Stewart, the fourth overall pick in 2013, was a total bust. Risk is elevated for prep pitchers who are touching triple-digits. “There’s always a concern that physically guys who throw that hard in high school are not catching up to what their arms are doing,” said one big-league scout in a story for the Philadelphia Inquirer. “There’s a concern they may break down at some point and there are concerns about what they’ve done to get to that point.” These concerns are well founded. There haven't been many high school pitchers known to reach 100 MPH, but this small sample hasn't yielded much success. Hunter Greene, the power-pitching phenom selected 2nd overall in 2017 (right after Royce Lewis), endured major arm problems almost immediately, derailing his early prospect progression. He seemingly got back on track in 2021, but he's now 22 with a total of 179 innings logged in the minors. Riley Pint, taken 4th overall by the Rockies a year earlier and likewise lauded for brandishing 100-MPH heat as a teenager, was pretty much a mess from the get-go, plagued by persistent injury and control issues. These guys were both considered much "safer" bets than Petty, who fell to the back of the first round due to concerns about his mechanics and minimal established workload. Injuries limited his time on the field greatly as a sophomore, and COVID-19 wiped out his junior year, so Petty has a stunningly small sample of actual performance to analyze, even within the context of a prep pitcher. Keith Law of the The Athletic describes Petty as having "a high-effort delivery with some head violence, certainly not one you typically see in a starter," and adds that "the Twins may have to decide to tone down the delivery to give him a better chance to start or roll the dice on the pure power of his arm and see if he can get to command in spite of how it all works." What's Next Petty threw only five official innings last year after being drafted, speaking to the caution with which the organization will likely handle him going forward. As Law suggests, they're going to need to make a decision on whether they want to alter or tone down his delivery – possibly while sacrificing some of the pure power that makes him special – and from there it's a matter of building up his workload. I wouldn't be surprised to see Petty spend the early part of the season on the sidelines to work on strength, conditioning, and stylistic refinement, then head to rookie ball or even Low-A as the summer gets going. It'll be interesting to keep an eye on his numbers, but ultimately, the real goal is a smooth and healthy season that sees him establish a workload baseline while acclimating to the pro ranks. Previous Rankings Honorable Mentions Prospects 16-20 Prospects 11-15 #10: Josh Winder, RHP #9: Chase Petty, RHP #8: Coming tomorrow!
  20. One year and one day after Chase Petty was born, Joe Mauer debuted in the majors. Mauer went on to enjoy a 15-year MLB career, which ended only three seasons ago, while Petty grew into a flamethrowing pitcher worthy of joining him in the lineage of Twins first-round picks – exactly 20 years after Mauer went first overall. Age: 18 (DOB: 4/4/03) 2021 Stats (Rookie): 5 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 6 K, 1 BB ETA: 2025 2021 Ranking: NR National Top 100 Rankings BA: NR | MLB: NR | ATH: NR | BP: NR What's To Like Pure, raw upside. Petty may have a long way to go (as we'll discuss), but he's got plenty to work with. The 18-year-old grew up in Millville, NJ, a city which is now best known as the hometown of Mike Trout. Petty quickly emerged as a special talent on the mound, and committed to the University of Florida as a sophomore in high school. By the time he was done at Mainland Regional High, going to college would barely be a consideration. Petty emerged as a top pitching prospect in the nation during his senior year, returning from the pandemic downtime with newfound velocity. In his first start of 2021, after more than a year off, he reportedly touched 102 MPH multiple times en route to a complete game, one-hit shutout, striking out 13 of the 25 batters he faced. His 89th and final pitch buzzed in at 98. This set the stage for a final prep season that saw Petty go 6-1 with a 1.00 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings pitched, earning Gatorade Player of the Year honors in New Jersey. The fastball is clearly special, rated by Baseball America as the best among all high school pitchers. Not only is its velocity incredible, but Petty's heater has impressive movement, too. "When it’s coming in, it looks like a ping-pong ball coming at you and it moves all over the place,” said one of his high school catchers. His slider is as a legitimate weapon, viewed as having 70-grade potential, and his changeup is more advanced than most for his age. The Twins selected him with their first pick in the 2021 draft, 26th overall, and sent him to a brief debut in rookie ball, where he struck out six of 21 batters (29%) with one walk over two short outings. So far so good. But a long way to go. What's Left To Work On Staying healthy and staying the course. For all his potential, Petty's profile is a cacophony of burnout risk. High school pitchers are inherently a hazardous bunch, as the Twins have learned with their last few high-profile gambles in the category. Third-rounder Blayne Enlow was persuaded to sign with an over-slot bonus instead of going to college in 2017. Five years later he's out for the season with Tommy John surgery and still hasn't pitched above A-ball. Kohl Stewart, the fourth overall pick in 2013, was a total bust. Risk is elevated for prep pitchers who are touching triple-digits. “There’s always a concern that physically guys who throw that hard in high school are not catching up to what their arms are doing,” said one big-league scout in a story for the Philadelphia Inquirer. “There’s a concern they may break down at some point and there are concerns about what they’ve done to get to that point.” These concerns are well founded. There haven't been many high school pitchers known to reach 100 MPH, but this small sample hasn't yielded much success. Hunter Greene, the power-pitching phenom selected 2nd overall in 2017 (right after Royce Lewis), endured major arm problems almost immediately, derailing his early prospect progression. He seemingly got back on track in 2021, but he's now 22 with a total of 179 innings logged in the minors. Riley Pint, taken 4th overall by the Rockies a year earlier and likewise lauded for brandishing 100-MPH heat as a teenager, was pretty much a mess from the get-go, plagued by persistent injury and control issues. These guys were both considered much "safer" bets than Petty, who fell to the back of the first round due to concerns about his mechanics and minimal established workload. Injuries limited his time on the field greatly as a sophomore, and COVID-19 wiped out his junior year, so Petty has a stunningly small sample of actual performance to analyze, even within the context of a prep pitcher. Keith Law of the The Athletic describes Petty as having "a high-effort delivery with some head violence, certainly not one you typically see in a starter," and adds that "the Twins may have to decide to tone down the delivery to give him a better chance to start or roll the dice on the pure power of his arm and see if he can get to command in spite of how it all works." What's Next Petty threw only five official innings last year after being drafted, speaking to the caution with which the organization will likely handle him going forward. As Law suggests, they're going to need to make a decision on whether they want to alter or tone down his delivery – possibly while sacrificing some of the pure power that makes him special – and from there it's a matter of building up his workload. I wouldn't be surprised to see Petty spend the early part of the season on the sidelines to work on strength, conditioning, and stylistic refinement, then head to rookie ball or even Low-A as the summer gets going. It'll be interesting to keep an eye on his numbers, but ultimately, the real goal is a smooth and healthy season that sees him establish a workload baseline while acclimating to the pro ranks. Previous Rankings Honorable Mentions Prospects 16-20 Prospects 11-15 #10: Josh Winder, RHP #9: Chase Petty, RHP #8: Coming tomorrow! View full article
  21. The Twins opted to draft Noah Miller 36th overall in the 2021 draft after taking right-handed pitcher Chase Petty with their first pick. Petty got a deserved amount of hype for his triple-digit fastball and future upside as a stud pitcher, but Miller appears to have gotten overshadowed just a bit too much. Noah Miller boasts fantastic contact ability with a great eye at the plate, average speed, and developing power. He pairs his raw skills with highly touted athleticism and baseball IQ, all of which adds up to a fantastic floor even for a player drafted out of high school. His lack of standout offensive ability would give him the ceiling of a decent major league player if he has to move to a position like outfield or second base, but there appears to be more and more optimism in his ability to remain at shortstop. Miller falls into the mid-teens across most Twins prospect ranking lists. Keith Law of the Athletic, however, recently released his ranking of the Twins system and bumped Miller all the way up to 10. For those unfamiliar with Law, he’s recognized for being particularly pessimistic (or perhaps realistic) when it comes to ranking prospects. Law essentially believes in Miller’s safe offensive profile and more importantly his ability to play a sufficient shortstop. While Miller doesn’t have the ceiling to be the next Fernando Tatis Jr. or Wander Franco, Law believes Miller has an achievable ceiling as an everyday contributor at the position. An evaluator as highly regarded as Keith Law making such a statement should be exciting, and Twins fans in particular should have an appreciation for this possibility playing out. It seems to be a yearly tradition where the Twins either draft or internationally sign a significant number of shortstops and fans ask “Why?”. Despite the perception of casting a wide net at this position, the Twins have made little progress in developing any players who are anywhere near a lock to be the long-term answer. Typically we see these “shortstops” Make a pivot elsewhere on the diamond shortly thereafter. In regards to the history of the Minnesota Twins, Jorge Polanco was the starting shortstop in consecutive Opening Days in 2019 and 2020. Before him Pedro Florimon earned that honor in 2013 and 2014. Since 2004 however when Christian Guzman made his 6th consecutive Opening Day start, the position has essentially been a revolving door. Miller may be a long way off from Major League action at just 19 years old, but his offensive skillset that made him a first round pick is also one that gives him a relatively good shot at an MLB career. Twins fans saw with Aaron Sabato in 2021 that even in the first round there’s significant risk with prospects that have a feast or famine slugger profile. While prospects are always risky, Miller’s contact ability alone may give him a slightly better chance of overcoming the minor league gauntlet over the next few years. The bar is admittedly set quite low when it comes to shortstops in Twins territory. That being said, if Noah Miller has a full 2022 of proving he can do it at shortstop, his notoriety is going to go through the roof. For as much flak as the Twins get for their pitching development, taking a first-round shortstop who actually pans out would be an incredible development for the organization. There are a lot of MLB-ready prospects to watch in 2022, but none have an opportunity to raise their stock quite as much as Noah Miller. We won’t see him in Minneapolis this summer, but we just may be talking about him as the future franchise shortstop by this time next year. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  22. It’s been a long time since the Twins have had anything close to a franchise shortstop. After years of drafting and signing possible suitors, however, the Twins may have finally hit on a prospect who can one day man one of the weakest positions in their franchise history. The Twins opted to draft Noah Miller 36th overall in the 2021 draft after taking right-handed pitcher Chase Petty with their first pick. Petty got a deserved amount of hype for his triple-digit fastball and future upside as a stud pitcher, but Miller appears to have gotten overshadowed just a bit too much. Noah Miller boasts fantastic contact ability with a great eye at the plate, average speed, and developing power. He pairs his raw skills with highly touted athleticism and baseball IQ, all of which adds up to a fantastic floor even for a player drafted out of high school. His lack of standout offensive ability would give him the ceiling of a decent major league player if he has to move to a position like outfield or second base, but there appears to be more and more optimism in his ability to remain at shortstop. Miller falls into the mid-teens across most Twins prospect ranking lists. Keith Law of the Athletic, however, recently released his ranking of the Twins system and bumped Miller all the way up to 10. For those unfamiliar with Law, he’s recognized for being particularly pessimistic (or perhaps realistic) when it comes to ranking prospects. Law essentially believes in Miller’s safe offensive profile and more importantly his ability to play a sufficient shortstop. While Miller doesn’t have the ceiling to be the next Fernando Tatis Jr. or Wander Franco, Law believes Miller has an achievable ceiling as an everyday contributor at the position. An evaluator as highly regarded as Keith Law making such a statement should be exciting, and Twins fans in particular should have an appreciation for this possibility playing out. It seems to be a yearly tradition where the Twins either draft or internationally sign a significant number of shortstops and fans ask “Why?”. Despite the perception of casting a wide net at this position, the Twins have made little progress in developing any players who are anywhere near a lock to be the long-term answer. Typically we see these “shortstops” Make a pivot elsewhere on the diamond shortly thereafter. In regards to the history of the Minnesota Twins, Jorge Polanco was the starting shortstop in consecutive Opening Days in 2019 and 2020. Before him Pedro Florimon earned that honor in 2013 and 2014. Since 2004 however when Christian Guzman made his 6th consecutive Opening Day start, the position has essentially been a revolving door. Miller may be a long way off from Major League action at just 19 years old, but his offensive skillset that made him a first round pick is also one that gives him a relatively good shot at an MLB career. Twins fans saw with Aaron Sabato in 2021 that even in the first round there’s significant risk with prospects that have a feast or famine slugger profile. While prospects are always risky, Miller’s contact ability alone may give him a slightly better chance of overcoming the minor league gauntlet over the next few years. The bar is admittedly set quite low when it comes to shortstops in Twins territory. That being said, if Noah Miller has a full 2022 of proving he can do it at shortstop, his notoriety is going to go through the roof. For as much flak as the Twins get for their pitching development, taking a first-round shortstop who actually pans out would be an incredible development for the organization. There are a lot of MLB-ready prospects to watch in 2022, but none have an opportunity to raise their stock quite as much as Noah Miller. We won’t see him in Minneapolis this summer, but we just may be talking about him as the future franchise shortstop by this time next year. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here View full article
  23. The Twins drafted prep starter Chase Petty in the first round last summer, adding a potentially lethal pitcher to the farm system. Petty, 18, has a fastball that reaches triple digits and pairs it with a sharp biting slider. There are certainly risks in drafting an electric high school pitcher, but the reward could be significant. View full video
  24. The Twins drafted prep starter Chase Petty in the first round last summer, adding a potentially lethal pitcher to the farm system. Petty, 18, has a fastball that reaches triple digits and pairs it with a sharp biting slider. There are certainly risks in drafting an electric high school pitcher, but the reward could be significant.
  25. Minnesota’s top prospect list is littered with talent in the upper levels of the minors. So, who will be considered the team’s top prospect two years from now? Players like Austin Martin, Royce Lewis, and Jose Miranda should all have made their debuts before the end of the 2023 season. Minnesota’s pitching pipeline also points to many of their arms debuting over the next two years. There are other exciting players to keep an eye on as these players have a chance to develop into the team’s top prospect. Chase Petty, RHP ETA: 2025 Seth’s Top-30 Pitcher Rank: 6 Minnesota selected Petty with the team’s first-round pick in 2021 out of high school in New Jersey. High school pitchers can be extremely risky, and it was an uncharacteristic pick for the current front office regime. However, Petty checks all the boxes. His fastball can reach triple-digits, and it has movement. His slider has the chance at developing into a plus-pitch, and scouting reports state that his changeup continues to improve. Many of the knocks against Petty are tied to him being just over six feet tall, but Twins fans saw José Berríos find big-league success at that height. Petty won’t turn 19-years-old until April, so there is no need to rush him through the system. Emmanuel Rodriguez, CF ETA: 2024 Seth’s Top-30 Hitter Rank: 5 Rodriguez was Minnesota’s top international signee in the 2019 class, and he has already established himself as one of the team’s top international prospects. Last season, he made his professional debut and hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with 17 extra-base hits, including 10 home runs. Even though he has played just 37 pro games, he is considered an advanced hitter that knows the strike zone well. He showed tremendous power last season even though his listed weight is under 170-pounds. It’s scary to think about what he will be able to do when he adds more muscle to his frame. Right now, he projects to be able to stick in centerfield, but he can be a plus defender in a corner spot if his power continues to develop. Noah Miller, SS ETA: 2025 Seth’s Top-30 Hitter Rank: 4 Miller, like Petty, was taken in the 2021 MLB Draft out of high school. He has many of the skills and athleticism needed to stick at shortstop, making him a valuable prospect in the years ahead. Last season after signing, he played in 22 games and hit .238/.316/.369 (.685) with six extra-base hits and a 26-to-9 strikeout to walk ratio. He turned 19-years-old in November, and he already has a solid frame at 185 pounds. As a switch-hitter, his right-handed swing is considered the better side as he went 6-for-11, including three extra-base hits in his pro debut. Scouting reports already point to his advanced approach at the plate, and the Twins will continue to work to improve his approach. Add that with his above-average defense at a premium defensive position, and signs point to him having one of the highest ceilings in the Twins farm system. Which player do you think will be the team’s top prospect by 2024? Is it a player on this list or someone else? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
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