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  1. The Twins selected Connor Prielipp with the 48th pick in the 2022 draft. A pitching prospect with the tools to become a front-of-the-rotation arm, 2023 will be a pivotal season for Prielipp. What can Twins fans expect as he works his way back from injury? A Prospective Ace? As the Minnesota Twins prepared to make their second selection in the 2022 MLB Draft, Twins fandom held its collective breath. A fanbase rarely coalesces around a prospect so uniformly. It’s rarer still that said prospect is still available to be selected by the team whose fan base is obsessing over them. Rarest of all is the team selecting said player. With the 48th overall selection in the draft, the Twins selected Connor Prielipp, and the universe momentarily moved into perfect alignment. Prielipp is a left-handed pitcher from Tomah, Wisconsin, a town famous for existing on the I-90 corridor between the Twin Cities and Madison, where there are a lot of gas stations and not much else. The Twins drafted Prielipp in the second round and signed him to a $1.825 million bonus resulting in the rare actualization of many fans' draft fantasies. Most thought he would go in the middle to the end of the first round. Here's a quick video overview of Prielipp from Tom Froemming: Scouting and Signing Fastball: 60 Slider: 70 Changeup: 55 Control: 55 (scouting grades courtesy of Baseball America) Suppose our timeline had skewed into a different tangent, like Marty McFly's in Back to the Future 2. In that timeline Prielipp, a 6’0, 210 pound pitcher out of the University of Alabama, would have been a top ten draft pick. He posted a 0.98 ERA in 28 innings of work in 2020 pre-COVID, racking up an eye-watering 45.6 K%, with an 11.7 BB% against good competition. That is an incredible stat line. Prielipp’s 2021 season was cruelly ended by Tommy John surgery. Suddenly, the best left-handed pitching prospect in the draft was shrouded in uncertainty. Prielipp had to rely on pre-draft bullpen showcases to convince MLB scouts he was on the road to recovery. The Twins jumped at the chance, recognizing that a pitcher of his caliber would only be available to them with the 48th pick. Pitchers are generally a high-variance bunch, and Prielipp is an extreme example. The floor is never fully recovering from his arm injury. The ceiling? Well, let’s examine. To date, Prielipp has relied on three pitches. His fastball sits in the low 90s but can reach as high as 95 mph. He has a changeup that sits 82-85 mph that had a good whiff percentage early in his college career but had less usage than his fastball or slider because he didn’t need to use it. The pitch to write home to mama about is his slider. It’s immediately in contention to be the best in the Twins system (with Raya and anyone else you’d care to mention). Pre-injury it was one of the best pitches in the entire 2022 draft class and generated a 50% whiff rate that scouts placed between a 65-70 grade pitch with an extremely high spin rate. Likely to Start At: Extended Spring Training During his pre-draft bullpens, Prielipp showed solid stuff but spotty command of his pitches, to be expected when a pitcher is recovering from a major injury. Talent evaluators seemed interested, as over 100 attended one of his bullpen sessions in the run-up to the draft. I’d expect the Twins to be extremely cautious with Prielipp (who's already working out in Fort Myers). Some extended time in Fort Myers followed by an assignment to low A to continue to build him up and monitor his arm seems likely. Prielipp is a challenging prospect to project because he has no track record. With an injury-free, effective season, I’d be surprised if he wasn’t in top 100 prospect lists by the beginning of the 2024 season. If you want a pitcher to dream on, Prielipp is it. Injuries may not allow him to get there, but he has the tools to become a front-line starting pitcher. How excited are you by Connor Prielipp? What was your reaction to the Twins drafting him? What would constitute a successful 2023 season? Add your thoughts in the comments. View full article
  2. The Twins added one of Miami's top prospects as part of the Luis Arraez trade. So, where does Jose Salas rank among the top Twins prospects? Image courtesy of Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Many national prospect rankings have recently been released, with some debate at the top for the Twins. Royce Lewis and Brooks Lee are considered the team's best prospects, but their order differs depending on which list readers prefer. Emmanuel Rodriguez appears on multiple top 100 lists, so he is another name to watch in 2023. The Marlins included Jose Salas as part of the Luis Arraez trade, and this is where I'd place him in the team's top-10 list: 10. Matt Wallner, OF Age: 25 2022 Levels: AA, AAA, MLB Wallner is coming off his best professional season, which saw him hit .277/.412/.542 (.953) in the upper minors before making his big-league debut. He's in the same age range as Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff, so it will be interesting to see how the organization utilizes these three young players. Wallner will likely start the year at Triple-A if everyone is healthy, but he should be one of the team's first call-ups in 2023. 9. Edouard Julien, INF Age: 23 2022 Level: AA Julien was one of Minnesota's breakout prospects in 2023. He hit .300/.441/.490 (.931) with 19 doubles, three triples, and 17 home runs. The Twins sent him to the Arizona Fall League, and he continued to rake with a 1.248 OPS in 21 games. Minnesota added him to their 40-man roster, so he should debut in 2023. Julien moved higher on the organizational depth chart after the Twins traded Arraez. 8. Jose Salas, INF Age: 19 2022 Levels: A, A+ The Marlins were aggressive with Salas throughout his professional career. Last year, he split time between Low- and High-A, and he was over three years younger than the average age of the competition in the Midwest League. In 109 games, he hit .250/.339/.384 (.723) with 20 doubles, four triples, and nine home runs. He is expected to add more to his frame, and his power numbers should increase. Some believe he can stick at shortstop, but he is comfortable playing multiple defensive positions. Salas should play most of his games in Cedar Rapids, but the team might want him to play in Fort Myers for the season's early months. He's a long way from Target Field, but he is still a prospect to watch in 2023. 7. Louie Varland, SP Age: 25 2022 Levels: AA, AAA, MLB Varland has been named the team's minor league pitcher of the year in back-to-back seasons. That has yet to happen in the Twins organization since Jose Berrios was a top-100 prospect. In 24 appearances, he posted a 3.06 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP and 10.4 K/9. His strikeout totals dropped at the big-league level, but his sample size was limited to five starts. He projects to start the year in St. Paul's rotation, but he should pitch in important games for the Twins in 2023. 6. Marco Raya, SP Age: 20 2022 Level: A Raya made his professional debut in 2022 as a 19-year-old in the Florida State League. Only 42 of his at-bats came against younger batters because he was three years younger than the average age of the competition at his level. In 19 appearances (65 1/3 innings), he posted a 3.05 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP and 10.5 K/9. Baseball Prospectus ranks Raya as baseball's 53 overall prospect, which is higher than any other national ranking. Minnesota can let Raya start the year back in Fort Myers, but most of his innings should be in Cedar Rapids. 5. Simeon Woods Richardson, SP Age: 22 2022 Levels: AA, AA. MLB Woods Richardson bounced back nicely in 2022 after struggling through parts of the 2021 season. In 23 appearances (107 1/3 IP), he posted a 2.77 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP and 9.6 K/9. He has been significantly younger than the median age of the competition throughout his professional career. Minnesota's starting pitching depth will have Woods Richardson continuing to develop at Triple-A this season. His performance and the health of other players will dictate how long he stays in St. Paul. 4. Connor Prielipp, LHP Age: 22 2022 Levels: N/A The Twins took Prielipp with the 48th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. He fell that far after undergoing Tommy John surgery in college, so he should be ready to make his professional debut in 2023. His fastball and slider are both MLB-ready pitches, and his changeup also projects to be above average. The Twins were confident enough in his pre-draft workouts to go over slot value to sign him. Minnesota will work him back slowly in 2023, but he has all the traits necessary to be an ace pitcher. 3. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF Age: 19 2022 Level: A Rodriguez has a chance to be the most exciting prospect in the Twins farm system. Last year, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. The only thing that slowed him down was a knee injury that ended his season in June. Many national prospect lists have taken notice of Rodriguez's performance as he is a consensus top-100 prospect. He has a chance to be a top-25 global prospect entering next season, especially if his power continues to develop. 2. Royce Lewis, SS/3B/OF Age: 23 2022 Levels: AAA, MLB Lewis surprised many with how strongly he returned from ACL surgery during the 2022 campaign. The Twins sent him to Triple-A, and he hit .313/.405/.534 (.940) with 18 extra-base hits in 34 games. His big-league debut went nearly as well with a .867 OPS with four doubles and two home runs. Unfortunately, his season ended early after he tore his ACL running into the Target Field wall. Lewis should be ready by the middle of the season to help bolster the team's line-up. 1. Brooks Lee, SS Age: 21 2022 Levels: Rookie, A+, AA Lee was considered the best college bat in the 2022 draft class, so the Twins were thrilled that he fell to them with the eighth overall pick. Two months following the draft, he played in the Double-A playoffs after combining for a .839 OPS at three different levels. Lee likely won't stick at shortstop when he reaches the majors, but the Twins hope Correa can fill that position for multiple years. Minnesota doesn't need to rush him in 2023; he can reach the big leagues in the second half. The Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospect Rankings will be coming in early February with input from all of the site's minor league contributors. Who is ranked too high? Who is ranked too low? Should Austin Martin be in the top 10? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  3. Many national prospect rankings have recently been released, with some debate at the top for the Twins. Royce Lewis and Brooks Lee are considered the team's best prospects, but their order differs depending on which list readers prefer. Emmanuel Rodriguez appears on multiple top 100 lists, so he is another name to watch in 2023. The Marlins included Jose Salas as part of the Luis Arraez trade, and this is where I'd place him in the team's top-10 list: 10. Matt Wallner, OF Age: 25 2022 Levels: AA, AAA, MLB Wallner is coming off his best professional season, which saw him hit .277/.412/.542 (.953) in the upper minors before making his big-league debut. He's in the same age range as Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff, so it will be interesting to see how the organization utilizes these three young players. Wallner will likely start the year at Triple-A if everyone is healthy, but he should be one of the team's first call-ups in 2023. 9. Edouard Julien, INF Age: 23 2022 Level: AA Julien was one of Minnesota's breakout prospects in 2023. He hit .300/.441/.490 (.931) with 19 doubles, three triples, and 17 home runs. The Twins sent him to the Arizona Fall League, and he continued to rake with a 1.248 OPS in 21 games. Minnesota added him to their 40-man roster, so he should debut in 2023. Julien moved higher on the organizational depth chart after the Twins traded Arraez. 8. Jose Salas, INF Age: 19 2022 Levels: A, A+ The Marlins were aggressive with Salas throughout his professional career. Last year, he split time between Low- and High-A, and he was over three years younger than the average age of the competition in the Midwest League. In 109 games, he hit .250/.339/.384 (.723) with 20 doubles, four triples, and nine home runs. He is expected to add more to his frame, and his power numbers should increase. Some believe he can stick at shortstop, but he is comfortable playing multiple defensive positions. Salas should play most of his games in Cedar Rapids, but the team might want him to play in Fort Myers for the season's early months. He's a long way from Target Field, but he is still a prospect to watch in 2023. 7. Louie Varland, SP Age: 25 2022 Levels: AA, AAA, MLB Varland has been named the team's minor league pitcher of the year in back-to-back seasons. That has yet to happen in the Twins organization since Jose Berrios was a top-100 prospect. In 24 appearances, he posted a 3.06 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP and 10.4 K/9. His strikeout totals dropped at the big-league level, but his sample size was limited to five starts. He projects to start the year in St. Paul's rotation, but he should pitch in important games for the Twins in 2023. 6. Marco Raya, SP Age: 20 2022 Level: A Raya made his professional debut in 2022 as a 19-year-old in the Florida State League. Only 42 of his at-bats came against younger batters because he was three years younger than the average age of the competition at his level. In 19 appearances (65 1/3 innings), he posted a 3.05 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP and 10.5 K/9. Baseball Prospectus ranks Raya as baseball's 53 overall prospect, which is higher than any other national ranking. Minnesota can let Raya start the year back in Fort Myers, but most of his innings should be in Cedar Rapids. 5. Simeon Woods Richardson, SP Age: 22 2022 Levels: AA, AA. MLB Woods Richardson bounced back nicely in 2022 after struggling through parts of the 2021 season. In 23 appearances (107 1/3 IP), he posted a 2.77 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP and 9.6 K/9. He has been significantly younger than the median age of the competition throughout his professional career. Minnesota's starting pitching depth will have Woods Richardson continuing to develop at Triple-A this season. His performance and the health of other players will dictate how long he stays in St. Paul. 4. Connor Prielipp, LHP Age: 22 2022 Levels: N/A The Twins took Prielipp with the 48th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. He fell that far after undergoing Tommy John surgery in college, so he should be ready to make his professional debut in 2023. His fastball and slider are both MLB-ready pitches, and his changeup also projects to be above average. The Twins were confident enough in his pre-draft workouts to go over slot value to sign him. Minnesota will work him back slowly in 2023, but he has all the traits necessary to be an ace pitcher. 3. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF Age: 19 2022 Level: A Rodriguez has a chance to be the most exciting prospect in the Twins farm system. Last year, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. The only thing that slowed him down was a knee injury that ended his season in June. Many national prospect lists have taken notice of Rodriguez's performance as he is a consensus top-100 prospect. He has a chance to be a top-25 global prospect entering next season, especially if his power continues to develop. 2. Royce Lewis, SS/3B/OF Age: 23 2022 Levels: AAA, MLB Lewis surprised many with how strongly he returned from ACL surgery during the 2022 campaign. The Twins sent him to Triple-A, and he hit .313/.405/.534 (.940) with 18 extra-base hits in 34 games. His big-league debut went nearly as well with a .867 OPS with four doubles and two home runs. Unfortunately, his season ended early after he tore his ACL running into the Target Field wall. Lewis should be ready by the middle of the season to help bolster the team's line-up. 1. Brooks Lee, SS Age: 21 2022 Levels: Rookie, A+, AA Lee was considered the best college bat in the 2022 draft class, so the Twins were thrilled that he fell to them with the eighth overall pick. Two months following the draft, he played in the Double-A playoffs after combining for a .839 OPS at three different levels. Lee likely won't stick at shortstop when he reaches the majors, but the Twins hope Correa can fill that position for multiple years. Minnesota doesn't need to rush him in 2023; he can reach the big leagues in the second half. The Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospect Rankings will be coming in early February with input from all of the site's minor league contributors. Who is ranked too high? Who is ranked too low? Should Austin Martin be in the top 10? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  4. A Prospective Ace? As the Minnesota Twins prepared to make their second selection in the 2022 MLB Draft, Twins fandom held its collective breath. A fanbase rarely coalesces around a prospect so uniformly. It’s rarer still that said prospect is still available to be selected by the team whose fan base is obsessing over them. Rarest of all is the team selecting said player. With the 48th overall selection in the draft, the Twins selected Connor Prielipp, and the universe momentarily moved into perfect alignment. Prielipp is a left-handed pitcher from Tomah, Wisconsin, a town famous for existing on the I-90 corridor between the Twin Cities and Madison, where there are a lot of gas stations and not much else. The Twins drafted Prielipp in the second round and signed him to a $1.825 million bonus resulting in the rare actualization of many fans' draft fantasies. Most thought he would go in the middle to the end of the first round. Here's a quick video overview of Prielipp from Tom Froemming: Scouting and Signing Fastball: 60 Slider: 70 Changeup: 55 Control: 55 (scouting grades courtesy of Baseball America) Suppose our timeline had skewed into a different tangent, like Marty McFly's in Back to the Future 2. In that timeline Prielipp, a 6’0, 210 pound pitcher out of the University of Alabama, would have been a top ten draft pick. He posted a 0.98 ERA in 28 innings of work in 2020 pre-COVID, racking up an eye-watering 45.6 K%, with an 11.7 BB% against good competition. That is an incredible stat line. Prielipp’s 2021 season was cruelly ended by Tommy John surgery. Suddenly, the best left-handed pitching prospect in the draft was shrouded in uncertainty. Prielipp had to rely on pre-draft bullpen showcases to convince MLB scouts he was on the road to recovery. The Twins jumped at the chance, recognizing that a pitcher of his caliber would only be available to them with the 48th pick. Pitchers are generally a high-variance bunch, and Prielipp is an extreme example. The floor is never fully recovering from his arm injury. The ceiling? Well, let’s examine. To date, Prielipp has relied on three pitches. His fastball sits in the low 90s but can reach as high as 95 mph. He has a changeup that sits 82-85 mph that had a good whiff percentage early in his college career but had less usage than his fastball or slider because he didn’t need to use it. The pitch to write home to mama about is his slider. It’s immediately in contention to be the best in the Twins system (with Raya and anyone else you’d care to mention). Pre-injury it was one of the best pitches in the entire 2022 draft class and generated a 50% whiff rate that scouts placed between a 65-70 grade pitch with an extremely high spin rate. Likely to Start At: Extended Spring Training During his pre-draft bullpens, Prielipp showed solid stuff but spotty command of his pitches, to be expected when a pitcher is recovering from a major injury. Talent evaluators seemed interested, as over 100 attended one of his bullpen sessions in the run-up to the draft. I’d expect the Twins to be extremely cautious with Prielipp (who's already working out in Fort Myers). Some extended time in Fort Myers followed by an assignment to low A to continue to build him up and monitor his arm seems likely. Prielipp is a challenging prospect to project because he has no track record. With an injury-free, effective season, I’d be surprised if he wasn’t in top 100 prospect lists by the beginning of the 2024 season. If you want a pitcher to dream on, Prielipp is it. Injuries may not allow him to get there, but he has the tools to become a front-line starting pitcher. How excited are you by Connor Prielipp? What was your reaction to the Twins drafting him? What would constitute a successful 2023 season? Add your thoughts in the comments.
  5. The Minnesota Twins selected left-handed pitcher Connor Prielipp in the second round of the 2022 Draft. The Wisconsin product made just seven starts over his entire collegiate career at Alabama due to cancellations and injury, but his stuff makes him possibly the highest-upside pitcher in the entire system. Here's a quick overview of what Preilipp brings to the table. View full video
  6. The Minnesota Twins selected left-handed pitcher Connor Prielipp in the second round of the 2022 Draft. The Wisconsin product made just seven starts over his entire collegiate career at Alabama due to cancellations and injury, but his stuff makes him possibly the highest-upside pitcher in the entire system. Here's a quick overview of what Preilipp brings to the table.
  7. Coming into the 2023 Major League Baseball season we have seen plenty of graduations from the top of the Minnesota farm system. Players like Joe Ryan and Jose Miranda are now fully entrenched as big leaguers. With another year removed from the season wiped out by Covid, we have more development having taken place on the farm. As the Twins head to Fort Myers in a matter of weeks, they will be looking for their youth to again be well positioned to supplement the big league club. Rocco Baldelli’s team is looking to compete in the AL Central this year, and there will at least be a name or two from this group that helps them to do so. With the last update to this prospect list coming more than a year ago, it’s time for a refresh. Previous rankings can be found below: 2016 Top 15 Prospects 2017 Top 15 Prospects 2018 Top 15 Prospects 2019 Top 15 Prospects 2020 Top 15 Prospects 2021 Top 15 Prospects 2022 Top 15 Propsects 15. Tanner Schobel A second round pick from Virginia Tech last season, Schobel made his professional debut and spent the bulk of his time at Low-A Fort Myers. In just shy of 30 games he posted a .670 OPS and showed a very strong set of on-base skills. He had a power breakout for the Hokies prior to being drafted, but this is more a solid bat and good fielder than anything.] 14. Matt Canterino RHP Canterino has appeared all over this list in recent seasons. He threw 37 innings last season before needing Tommy John surgery. At this point he shouldn’t be starting, but he could certainly blossom into a late-inning reliever once returning to a clean bill of health. 13. David Festa RHP Continuing to creep up prospect lists, Festa’s 2.43 ERA in more than 100 innings last year was impressive. It was his first real season of professional ball and the strikeout rates were nice to see. Festa looked the part of a legit starter at High-A Cedar Rapids, and continuing down that path this season for Double-A Wichita could have him positioned to debut in 2023. 12. Edouard Julien INF The only reason that Julien isn’t higher on this list is that he’s extremely limited defensively. Julien tore up Double-A for Wichita posting a .931 OPS, and he continued to impress in the Arizona Fall League. There is a very good bat here, and it flashes with both on-base skills and power. 11. Louie Varland RHP Making his Major League debut for the Twins last season, Varland continues to climb the prospect ranks. His ceiling may not be that of a number two pitcher, but he looks to be a number four at worst and can continue to develop a bit more. This has been an incredible success story. 10. Matt Wallner OF Wallner made it to the big leagues last year, and it was largely because of changes he made at the plate. His arm has always been solid in the outfield, but reigning in the free-swinging profile to draw more walks and focus on doing damage was huge. There is Brent Rooker downside here, but patience has changed his trajectory some. 9. Yasser Mercedes OF It’s hard to extrapolate too much from the teenagers playing during the Dominican Summer League, but Mercedes looks special. He posted a .975 OPS and did so with both average and on-base skills to his credit. He looks the part of a toolsy outfielder, and if the bat continues to play, this is a prospect that will keep rising the ranks. 8. Austin Martin INF/OF It’s pretty clear that Martin is no longer a shortstop, and while he could play either second or third base, he may be best suited for the outfield. After failing to harness power Minnesota was trying to tap into, Martin’s stock could again rise by simply reverting to pure hitter tendencies. He’s not the can’t miss prospect that the Twins acquired from Toronto, but there is a big leaguer here. 7. Simeon Woods Richardson RHP Acquired alongside Martin in the Jose Berrios trade, Woods Richardson made it to the show first. He distanced himself from the setback that was 2021, and looks the part of a Major League rotation piece. Woods Richardson should get plenty of run at Triple-A this season, and he’ll see time with Minnesota again as well. 6. Jose Salas SS Part of Minnesota’s return for Luis Arraez from the Miami Marlins, Salas has plenty of unpredictability going forward. As he matures and grows, he could slide to second or third base, but he also profiles as an extremely talented offensive player. Just 19, Salas did post a .723 OPS across two levels of Single-A last season. 5. Marco Raya RHP A fourth round pick back in 2020, Raya made his professional debut in 2022 after finally being healthy. His 3.05 ERA at Low-A Fort Myers paired nicely with a 10.5 K/9, and his stuff has always looked like he could be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. More development for a kid that is just 20-years-old is needed, but there is plenty to be excited about here. 4. Connor Prielipp LHP Taken in the 2022 draft, Prielipp had the makings of a first round pick before undergoing surgery. He likely represents Minnesota's best prospect chance at an ace, and he could conceivably be a top-100 prospect nationally by this time next year. The stuff is special, and doing it as a southpaw makes him that much more valuable. 3. Emmanuel Rodriguez OF Playing in Low-A at just 19, Rodriguez turned heads in a big way last year. His 1.044 OPS in the Florida State League was jaw-dropping, and it was only injury that slowed him down. He should be healthy coming into 2023, and there is no reason another strong season couldn’t vault him into the top 25 of prospects lists. 2. Brooks Lee SS Drafted for his hit tool, Lee did exactly that during his professional debut. He batted .303 with an .839 OPS and made it all the way to Double-A in year one. There is no reason why Lee can’t play for the Twins as early as this year, and he looks to be among the most polished players from any recent draft class. 1. Royce Lewis SS Making his big league debut in place of Carlos Correa last season, Lewis looked the part of an All-Star shortstop. Another unfortunate injury got him, but the production for the Twins was enough to drool over. It has never seemed wise to doubt Lewis, but his ceiling remains as high as it has ever been.
  8. With the arrival of a new year, it's time to update my annual rankings of the top 20 most valuable player assets in the Minnesota Twins organization. Read on to see where I landed on #11 through #15 for the list. Image courtesy of Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports If you like, you can quickly catch up on the ground rules for this exercise in the first installment. The short version is this that we're attempting to rank Twins players and prospects through a big-picture lens in asking: Which current players in the organization are most indispensable to fulfilling the vision of building a champion? Here in this second installment, breaking down my picks for #11 through #15, we find an interesting cross-section of rising and falling stocks. It feels like there's a lot at stake here; a couple of true breakthroughs at this level would profoundly impact the franchise's future fortunes. First, a recap of the list as it stands, from Part 1: 20. Matt Wallner, OF 19. Louie Varland, RHP 18. Sonny Gray, RHP 17. Jorge Lopez, RHP 16. Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B Top 20 Twins Assets of 2023: 11 through 15 15. Ryan Jeffers, C 2022 Ranking: 10 Good major-league catchers are really hard to find. The offseason market is typically sparse; this year the Twins were happy to land a reliably average veteran in Christian Vazquez on a three-year deal that – while reasonable – could hardly be described as team-favorable. Even with Vazquez's addition, catching depth is sparse in the Twins system, which is why Jeffers remains a fairly vital if unexciting asset for the organization. Two straight sub-par offensive seasons have tempered expectations, but the defensively-acclaimed Jeffers remains heir apparent behind the plate, with the Twins surely hoping he'll have emerged as primary starter by the tail end of Vazquez's contract. 14. Trevor Larnach, OF 2022 Ranking: 12 Around this time last year, we were wondering if Larnach's fade during a promising rookie season in 2021 meant he was hitting a wall or merely enduring a speed-bump in his development. The good news is that he fueled the "speed-bump" narrative in 2022 ... at least for a while. Larnach emerged as one of the best hitters in the lineup, earning his way into the heart of the order by June, but a worsening groin/core injury tanked his performance leading up to surgery that ended his season halfway through. There's no reason to believe that particular issue will be a factor going forward, and Larnach in general stands out as a player who figures to benefit from a fresh leadership voice on the training staff. Last year's performance, when healthy, left little doubt as to his viability as a starting outfielder in the big leagues – but at the same time, he hasn't firmly established himself as such and turns 26 in February. 13. Austin Martin, SS/OF 2022 Ranking: 5 Martin's huge regression at Double-A was one of the top headlines for the Twins system in 2022. He'd emerged as arguably their top prospect – centerpiece of the Jose Berrios trade and OBP wizard extraordinaire – but his bat went silent in a follow-up at the same level where he'd spent the entire previous year. While remaining true to his trademark calling card – namely, a knack for getting on base via the BB or HBP and then wreaking havoc as an aggressive runner – Martin batted just .241 with a .316 slugging percentage in his encore at Wichita. He managed two home runs in 90 games. Meanwhile, we gained no real clarity on his defensive future, as he continued to make nearly all of his starts at shortstop, where no one expects him to play in the majors. With all that being said, Martin is still the same player he was a year ago, when he ranked #5 on this list, as well as #1 on our top prospects list and consensus top-50 status on global lists. It feels rash to drop him more than eight spots here in response to one tough season at age 23. In the wake of said tough season, Martin did put together a very encouraging showing in the Arizona Fall League, slashing .374/.454/.482 with six doubles and a homer in 21 games. Something to build upon heading into a crucial 2023 campaign. 12. Connor Prielipp, LHP 2022 Ranking: NR The Twins need to hit big on a premium arm in the draft. It's been a persistent sore spot for this front office. Yes, they've managed to develop some late-round picks like Bailey Ober, Louie Varland and Josh Winder into capable big-league starters, but in seven years, they haven't jumped on a high-end pitcher at the top of the draft and developed him into a frontline stud – and that's really what it feels like this franchise most desperately needs. Prielipp has a real chance to finally break through as that guy. Easily enough said for a player who's yet to throw a professional inning, I realize. But in naming him Minnesota's most intriguing pick in last year's draft, The Athletic notes that before blowing out his elbow in the spring of 2021, "Prielipp was a consensus top-10 draft prospect with a chance to pitch himself into the No. 1 pick conversation." He was fully rehabbed from Tommy John surgery by the time Minnesota selected him 48th overall, but didn't see any official action last year. Baseball America already rates his slider as the best in the Twins system, even though he's yet to technically throw one as part of it. Obviously there's a fair amount of risk attached to Prielipp, and that's why the University of Alabama product lasted into the second round of the draft, but you won't find much more pure upside in a collegiate pitcher draft pick. The Twins really need this one to click. 11. Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP 2022 Ranking: 18 Earlier I mentioned that Martin's step backward was one of the top headlines in the Twins system last year. The flip side is that Woods Richardson's emergence was another of the top headlines, and – given he came over in the same trade package – it helps take some of the sting out of Martin's drop-off. Whereas Martin stumbled at Double-A after thriving there the previous year, Woods Richardson had the opposite experience. He found his footing in a second turn at Wichita, posting a 3.06 ERA over 70 innings, then pitched brilliantly after a promotion to Triple-A where he went 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA in seven starts. It all culminated with a late-season MLB debut, making him the youngest pitcher to appear in the big leagues in 2022. He's very polished and it showed at every stop, but at the same time, Woods Richardson's stuff and approach don't quite scream "frontline starter." Not yet. He just turned 22 in September though, so there's plenty of room for growth. With his big 6-foot-3 frame and excellent demeanor for pitching, he's got much to work with. View full article
  9. If you like, you can quickly catch up on the ground rules for this exercise in the first installment. The short version is this that we're attempting to rank Twins players and prospects through a big-picture lens in asking: Which current players in the organization are most indispensable to fulfilling the vision of building a champion? Here in this second installment, breaking down my picks for #11 through #15, we find an interesting cross-section of rising and falling stocks. It feels like there's a lot at stake here; a couple of true breakthroughs at this level would profoundly impact the franchise's future fortunes. First, a recap of the list as it stands, from Part 1: 20. Matt Wallner, OF 19. Louie Varland, RHP 18. Sonny Gray, RHP 17. Jorge Lopez, RHP 16. Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B Top 20 Twins Assets of 2023: 11 through 15 15. Ryan Jeffers, C 2022 Ranking: 10 Good major-league catchers are really hard to find. The offseason market is typically sparse; this year the Twins were happy to land a reliably average veteran in Christian Vazquez on a three-year deal that – while reasonable – could hardly be described as team-favorable. Even with Vazquez's addition, catching depth is sparse in the Twins system, which is why Jeffers remains a fairly vital if unexciting asset for the organization. Two straight sub-par offensive seasons have tempered expectations, but the defensively-acclaimed Jeffers remains heir apparent behind the plate, with the Twins surely hoping he'll have emerged as primary starter by the tail end of Vazquez's contract. 14. Trevor Larnach, OF 2022 Ranking: 12 Around this time last year, we were wondering if Larnach's fade during a promising rookie season in 2021 meant he was hitting a wall or merely enduring a speed-bump in his development. The good news is that he fueled the "speed-bump" narrative in 2022 ... at least for a while. Larnach emerged as one of the best hitters in the lineup, earning his way into the heart of the order by June, but a worsening groin/core injury tanked his performance leading up to surgery that ended his season halfway through. There's no reason to believe that particular issue will be a factor going forward, and Larnach in general stands out as a player who figures to benefit from a fresh leadership voice on the training staff. Last year's performance, when healthy, left little doubt as to his viability as a starting outfielder in the big leagues – but at the same time, he hasn't firmly established himself as such and turns 26 in February. 13. Austin Martin, SS/OF 2022 Ranking: 5 Martin's huge regression at Double-A was one of the top headlines for the Twins system in 2022. He'd emerged as arguably their top prospect – centerpiece of the Jose Berrios trade and OBP wizard extraordinaire – but his bat went silent in a follow-up at the same level where he'd spent the entire previous year. While remaining true to his trademark calling card – namely, a knack for getting on base via the BB or HBP and then wreaking havoc as an aggressive runner – Martin batted just .241 with a .316 slugging percentage in his encore at Wichita. He managed two home runs in 90 games. Meanwhile, we gained no real clarity on his defensive future, as he continued to make nearly all of his starts at shortstop, where no one expects him to play in the majors. With all that being said, Martin is still the same player he was a year ago, when he ranked #5 on this list, as well as #1 on our top prospects list and consensus top-50 status on global lists. It feels rash to drop him more than eight spots here in response to one tough season at age 23. In the wake of said tough season, Martin did put together a very encouraging showing in the Arizona Fall League, slashing .374/.454/.482 with six doubles and a homer in 21 games. Something to build upon heading into a crucial 2023 campaign. 12. Connor Prielipp, LHP 2022 Ranking: NR The Twins need to hit big on a premium arm in the draft. It's been a persistent sore spot for this front office. Yes, they've managed to develop some late-round picks like Bailey Ober, Louie Varland and Josh Winder into capable big-league starters, but in seven years, they haven't jumped on a high-end pitcher at the top of the draft and developed him into a frontline stud – and that's really what it feels like this franchise most desperately needs. Prielipp has a real chance to finally break through as that guy. Easily enough said for a player who's yet to throw a professional inning, I realize. But in naming him Minnesota's most intriguing pick in last year's draft, The Athletic notes that before blowing out his elbow in the spring of 2021, "Prielipp was a consensus top-10 draft prospect with a chance to pitch himself into the No. 1 pick conversation." He was fully rehabbed from Tommy John surgery by the time Minnesota selected him 48th overall, but didn't see any official action last year. Baseball America already rates his slider as the best in the Twins system, even though he's yet to technically throw one as part of it. Obviously there's a fair amount of risk attached to Prielipp, and that's why the University of Alabama product lasted into the second round of the draft, but you won't find much more pure upside in a collegiate pitcher draft pick. The Twins really need this one to click. 11. Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP 2022 Ranking: 18 Earlier I mentioned that Martin's step backward was one of the top headlines in the Twins system last year. The flip side is that Woods Richardson's emergence was another of the top headlines, and – given he came over in the same trade package – it helps take some of the sting out of Martin's drop-off. Whereas Martin stumbled at Double-A after thriving there the previous year, Woods Richardson had the opposite experience. He found his footing in a second turn at Wichita, posting a 3.06 ERA over 70 innings, then pitched brilliantly after a promotion to Triple-A where he went 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA in seven starts. It all culminated with a late-season MLB debut, making him the youngest pitcher to appear in the big leagues in 2022. He's very polished and it showed at every stop, but at the same time, Woods Richardson's stuff and approach don't quite scream "frontline starter." Not yet. He just turned 22 in September though, so there's plenty of room for growth. With his big 6-foot-3 frame and excellent demeanor for pitching, he's got much to work with.
  10. Flipping the calendar to a new year allows everyone to reevaluate themselves and adjust for the coming year. Here are resolutions for Minnesota's top five prospects. Image courtesy of Darren Yamashita, USA Today Sports Multiple names listed below had tremendous stretches during the 2022 season, which is why they are ranked so highly in 2023. Nearly every top-5 Twins prospect has a chance to impact the 2023 big-league roster if everything breaks right. Each player needs to set a resolution for the new year to reach those lofty goals. Royce Lewis , SS/3B/CF Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 1 Unfortunately, Lewis won't be ready for spring training after ACL surgery ended his season for the second consecutive year. Expectations are that he will be able to rejoin the club near the middle of the season. Last year, he was electric in his big-league debut by hitting .300/.317/.550 (.867) with four doubles and two home runs in 12 games. There are questions about his long-term defensive home as the Twins moved him to multiple defensive positions last year. After missing out on Correa, the Twins hope Lewis can fill their shortstop void for multiple years. Resolution: Prove he can be a long-term big-league shortstop Brooks Lee , SS Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 2 Minnesota was elated when Lee fell to them with the eighth overall pick since he was arguably the best college bat in the 2022 draft class. He flew through the Twins system during his professional debut by hitting .303/.389/.451 (.839) across three levels. Lee finished the season at Double-A, where he is expected to begin the 2023 season. Many national prospect rankings have him ranked as the organization's top prospect, even though there are questions about his long-term defensive home. He will have plenty of pressure on his shoulders next season as he works his way through the upper levels of the organization. Resolution: Prove he is the team's top prospect Emmanuel Rodriguez , OF Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 3 Rodriguez made his full-season debut in 2022 and had a breakout season. As a 19-year-old, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. Unfortunately, his season ended prematurely after he tore his meniscus, which required surgery. He is expected to be ready for the season's start and has all the skills to be a five-tool player. By this time next year, he will likely be the Twins' top prospect, and he has a chance to be an exceptional player for the long-term. Resolution: Prove that 2022 wasn't a fluke Connor Prielipp , SP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 4 The Twins snagged Prielipp in the 48th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, but he wasn't always expected to fall that far. There was talk of him being a potential number-one overall pick, but he injured his elbow in the first start of his sophomore season. Leading into the draft, he pitched in front of evaluators multiple times to prove he was fully healthy. Prielipp has yet to make his professional debut, and the Twins will take it slow since he was limited to 28 collegiate innings. He still has unbelievable upside, and the Twins hope he is a long-term answer for the rotation in the years ahead. Resolution: Prove he can be a top-of-the-rotation starter Simeon Woods Richardson , SP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 5 Woods Richardson broke out in 2022 after struggling for much of the 2021 season. He posted a 2.77 ERA and a 1.053 WHIP with 9.6 K/9 at Double- and Triple-A. By season's end, he made his big-league debut, and the Twins hope he can build off that performance in 2023. Minnesota has yet to add to the rotation this winter, so Woods Richardson has a chance to earn a starting spot coming out of spring training. Other pitchers are ahead of him on the depth chart, so he will need a solid performance to come north with the club. Resolution: Prove he deserves a rotation spot during spring training. Do you agree with these resolutions? What other resolutions should the organization's other top prospects make? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  11. Multiple names listed below had tremendous stretches during the 2022 season, which is why they are ranked so highly in 2023. Nearly every top-5 Twins prospect has a chance to impact the 2023 big-league roster if everything breaks right. Each player needs to set a resolution for the new year to reach those lofty goals. Royce Lewis , SS/3B/CF Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 1 Unfortunately, Lewis won't be ready for spring training after ACL surgery ended his season for the second consecutive year. Expectations are that he will be able to rejoin the club near the middle of the season. Last year, he was electric in his big-league debut by hitting .300/.317/.550 (.867) with four doubles and two home runs in 12 games. There are questions about his long-term defensive home as the Twins moved him to multiple defensive positions last year. After missing out on Correa, the Twins hope Lewis can fill their shortstop void for multiple years. Resolution: Prove he can be a long-term big-league shortstop Brooks Lee , SS Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 2 Minnesota was elated when Lee fell to them with the eighth overall pick since he was arguably the best college bat in the 2022 draft class. He flew through the Twins system during his professional debut by hitting .303/.389/.451 (.839) across three levels. Lee finished the season at Double-A, where he is expected to begin the 2023 season. Many national prospect rankings have him ranked as the organization's top prospect, even though there are questions about his long-term defensive home. He will have plenty of pressure on his shoulders next season as he works his way through the upper levels of the organization. Resolution: Prove he is the team's top prospect Emmanuel Rodriguez , OF Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 3 Rodriguez made his full-season debut in 2022 and had a breakout season. As a 19-year-old, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. Unfortunately, his season ended prematurely after he tore his meniscus, which required surgery. He is expected to be ready for the season's start and has all the skills to be a five-tool player. By this time next year, he will likely be the Twins' top prospect, and he has a chance to be an exceptional player for the long-term. Resolution: Prove that 2022 wasn't a fluke Connor Prielipp , SP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 4 The Twins snagged Prielipp in the 48th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, but he wasn't always expected to fall that far. There was talk of him being a potential number-one overall pick, but he injured his elbow in the first start of his sophomore season. Leading into the draft, he pitched in front of evaluators multiple times to prove he was fully healthy. Prielipp has yet to make his professional debut, and the Twins will take it slow since he was limited to 28 collegiate innings. He still has unbelievable upside, and the Twins hope he is a long-term answer for the rotation in the years ahead. Resolution: Prove he can be a top-of-the-rotation starter Simeon Woods Richardson , SP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 5 Woods Richardson broke out in 2022 after struggling for much of the 2021 season. He posted a 2.77 ERA and a 1.053 WHIP with 9.6 K/9 at Double- and Triple-A. By season's end, he made his big-league debut, and the Twins hope he can build off that performance in 2023. Minnesota has yet to add to the rotation this winter, so Woods Richardson has a chance to earn a starting spot coming out of spring training. Other pitchers are ahead of him on the depth chart, so he will need a solid performance to come north with the club. Resolution: Prove he deserves a rotation spot during spring training. Do you agree with these resolutions? What other resolutions should the organization's other top prospects make? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  12. Every prospect dreams of putting together a season that solidifies their top prospect status. These three Twins prospects have something to prove in 2023. Image courtesy of Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports (Martin), William Parmeter- Mighty Mussels (Rodriguez), Gary Cosby Jr. via Imagn Content Services, LLC (Prielipp) Minnesota saw multiple prospects break out last season, including Edouard Julien, Matt Wallner, and Simeon Woods Richardson. Based on those performances, all three players are expected to impact the big-league roster in 2023. Even with these players, the Twins' farm system ranks in the middle of the pack compared to other organizations. Minnesota's farm system can continue to improve if these three players prove something in 2023. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 3 Rodriguez needs to prove that his shortened 2022 campaign was legitimate. Last season, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. As a 19-year-old, he was over two years younger than the average age of the competition in his league. Few Twins prospects have power like Rodriguez, and his numbers are expected to improve as he continues to improve and add to his frame. National prospects rankings have started to take notice of Rodriguez, who has all the tools to be considered one of baseball's best prospects. To do that, he must compile strong numbers as he moves up the organizational ladder. He has the chance to be a superstar player, but he has a long way to go before reaching Target Field. Connor Prielipp, SP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 4 An argument can be made that Prielipp is facing one of the most crucial development seasons in recent Twins history. He needs to prove he can be a top of the rotation starter after only pitching in seven college games since the start of 2020. The Twins will likely take it slow with Prielipp when he makes his professional debut, but the left-handed starter has the potential to be an ace. Prielipp will likely get most of his innings in Fort Myers, where he will be closer to the team's training facilities. His performance may dictate a second-half promotion, but there is no rush to get him to the big leagues. For Prielipp, the 2023 season is about proving he is healthy and has the potential to be Minnesota's best starting pitching prospect in quite some time. No pressure, kid. Austin Martin, SS/CF Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 6 Entering last season, Twins Daily ranked Austin Martin as the Twins' top prospect. From there, things couldn't have gone much worse for one of the key pieces from the Jose Berrios trade. In 92 games, he hit .241/.368/.317 (.685) with 19 extra-base hits and a 55-to-49 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Luckily, he ended the season on a high note and carried that performance into the Arizona Fall League, where he posted a .936 OPS. Over the last two seasons, he has played at Double-A, so expectations are for him to make his Triple-A debut in 2023. Can he prove that he is still one of Minnesota's top prospects? It's easy to look at the Twins' top prospects and have hope for the future. Minnesota's farm system will be sitting in a much better place if these three players take the next step in 2023. What can these three prove next season? What other prospects have something to prove? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  13. Minnesota saw multiple prospects break out last season, including Edouard Julien, Matt Wallner, and Simeon Woods Richardson. Based on those performances, all three players are expected to impact the big-league roster in 2023. Even with these players, the Twins' farm system ranks in the middle of the pack compared to other organizations. Minnesota's farm system can continue to improve if these three players prove something in 2023. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 3 Rodriguez needs to prove that his shortened 2022 campaign was legitimate. Last season, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. As a 19-year-old, he was over two years younger than the average age of the competition in his league. Few Twins prospects have power like Rodriguez, and his numbers are expected to improve as he continues to improve and add to his frame. National prospects rankings have started to take notice of Rodriguez, who has all the tools to be considered one of baseball's best prospects. To do that, he must compile strong numbers as he moves up the organizational ladder. He has the chance to be a superstar player, but he has a long way to go before reaching Target Field. Connor Prielipp, SP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 4 An argument can be made that Prielipp is facing one of the most crucial development seasons in recent Twins history. He needs to prove he can be a top of the rotation starter after only pitching in seven college games since the start of 2020. The Twins will likely take it slow with Prielipp when he makes his professional debut, but the left-handed starter has the potential to be an ace. Prielipp will likely get most of his innings in Fort Myers, where he will be closer to the team's training facilities. His performance may dictate a second-half promotion, but there is no rush to get him to the big leagues. For Prielipp, the 2023 season is about proving he is healthy and has the potential to be Minnesota's best starting pitching prospect in quite some time. No pressure, kid. Austin Martin, SS/CF Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 6 Entering last season, Twins Daily ranked Austin Martin as the Twins' top prospect. From there, things couldn't have gone much worse for one of the key pieces from the Jose Berrios trade. In 92 games, he hit .241/.368/.317 (.685) with 19 extra-base hits and a 55-to-49 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Luckily, he ended the season on a high note and carried that performance into the Arizona Fall League, where he posted a .936 OPS. Over the last two seasons, he has played at Double-A, so expectations are for him to make his Triple-A debut in 2023. Can he prove that he is still one of Minnesota's top prospects? It's easy to look at the Twins' top prospects and have hope for the future. Minnesota's farm system will be sitting in a much better place if these three players take the next step in 2023. What can these three prove next season? What other prospects have something to prove? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  14. Outside of Jose Berrios, the Twins have failed to develop top-of-the-rotation starters over the last decade or more. So, do the Twins currently have any prospects on the path to becoming an ace? Image courtesy of William Parmeter, Fort Myers Miracle Defining what constitutes an ace is something fans have debated throughout baseball history. Some might view it as baseball's top 10-15 pitchers, while others might characterize it as the top pitcher for each team. As Nick wrote about earlier this week, Sonny Gray currently represents the top of Minnesota's rotational threshold, and some might not call him an ace. He is the team's best starting pitcher, and an off-season acquisition should be better or equal to him. So, does Minnesota currently have a pitcher in the system with ace potential? It could be easy to look at the Twins' prospect rankings and gauge ace potential by those rankings. However, pitching prospect development rarely follows a linear path. At this point last season, Simeon Woods Richardson saw his stock drop as he struggled at Double-A. Now, he is back on the prospect radar and has the potential to be an ace. Below there are five candidates that have varying levels of ace potential. Connor Prielipp, LHP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 4th ETA: 2025 Ace Potential: High Prielipp has the best chance to be an ace out of all the pitchers in the Twins organization. Minnesota was lucky to have him fall to them with the 48th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft because he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. His fastball and slider are both MLB-ready pitches, and his changeup also projects to be above average. The Twins were confident enough in his pre-draft workouts to go over slot value to sign him. Minnesota will work him back slowly in 2023, but he has all the traits necessary to be an ace pitcher. (Click here for more Connor Prielipp articles at Twins Daily.) Marco Raya, RHP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 9th ETA: 2024 Ace Potential: Medium Raya made his organizational debut in 2022 as a 19-year-old in the Florida State League. He impressed with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in 65 innings. Over 82% of his at-bats came against older batters, which he held to a .571 OPS. According to MLB.com, he has four pitches that grade at 50 or higher on the 20-80 scouting scale. The biggest thing holding him back from being an ace is his size, as he is six feet tall and weighs around 165-pounds. Players like Jose Berrios and Marcus Stroman have shown ace potential while being his size, so there is plenty of hope for him to be a top-of-the-rotation arm. (Click here for more Marco Raya articles at Twins Daily.) Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 5th ETA: 2022 Ace Potential: Medium Woods Richardson has the best potential to be an ace pitcher out of the prospects in the mix for 2023. He turned 22 in September, and he already made his big-league debut. Woods Richardson struggled mightily during the 2021 season but bounced back nicely in 2022. He posted a 2.77 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP with a 115-to-36 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 107 1/3 minor league innings. He likely starts next season at Triple-A, where he only made seven starts this season. His age, pitch mix, and prospect status give him a shot at becoming an ace. (Click here for more Simeon Woods Richardson articles at Twins Daily.) Louie Varland, RHP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 7th ETA: 2022 Ace Potential: Low Varland has been named the Twins' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in back-to-back seasons. For most organizations, a pitcher winning that award multiple times would point to ace potential. However, it might also result from other pitchers in the organization not performing well. Varland dominated the upper minors on the way to making an impressive debut at Yankee Stadium. He has three above-average pitches, which can help him fit into the Twins' rotation for multiple years. It still seems unlikely for him to ever be considered the best pitcher in a rotation, even if he reaches his ceiling. (Click here for more Louie Varland articles at Twins Daily.) Matt Canterino, RHP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 14th ETA: 2024 Ace Potential: Low Canterino's potential has been hard to project throughout his professional career because he hasn't stayed healthy. He underwent Tommy John surgery in August, so he will likely miss most, if not all, of the 2023 season. Minnesota hopes this surgery can get Canterino back on track, as he was one of the team's top pitching prospects entering the season. When on the mound, Canterino has dominated with a true four-pitch mix and a fastball in the upper-90s. He arguably has the best stuff in the system, so his ace potential is tied to his ability to stay healthy, and remaining a starter. (Click here for more Matt Canterino articles at Twins Daily.) Who do you think has the best chance to be an ace? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  15. Defining what constitutes an ace is something fans have debated throughout baseball history. Some might view it as baseball's top 10-15 pitchers, while others might characterize it as the top pitcher for each team. As Nick wrote about earlier this week, Sonny Gray currently represents the top of Minnesota's rotational threshold, and some might not call him an ace. He is the team's best starting pitcher, and an off-season acquisition should be better or equal to him. So, does Minnesota currently have a pitcher in the system with ace potential? It could be easy to look at the Twins' prospect rankings and gauge ace potential by those rankings. However, pitching prospect development rarely follows a linear path. At this point last season, Simeon Woods Richardson saw his stock drop as he struggled at Double-A. Now, he is back on the prospect radar and has the potential to be an ace. Below there are five candidates that have varying levels of ace potential. Connor Prielipp, LHP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 4th ETA: 2025 Ace Potential: High Prielipp has the best chance to be an ace out of all the pitchers in the Twins organization. Minnesota was lucky to have him fall to them with the 48th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft because he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. His fastball and slider are both MLB-ready pitches, and his changeup also projects to be above average. The Twins were confident enough in his pre-draft workouts to go over slot value to sign him. Minnesota will work him back slowly in 2023, but he has all the traits necessary to be an ace pitcher. (Click here for more Connor Prielipp articles at Twins Daily.) Marco Raya, RHP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 9th ETA: 2024 Ace Potential: Medium Raya made his organizational debut in 2022 as a 19-year-old in the Florida State League. He impressed with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in 65 innings. Over 82% of his at-bats came against older batters, which he held to a .571 OPS. According to MLB.com, he has four pitches that grade at 50 or higher on the 20-80 scouting scale. The biggest thing holding him back from being an ace is his size, as he is six feet tall and weighs around 165-pounds. Players like Jose Berrios and Marcus Stroman have shown ace potential while being his size, so there is plenty of hope for him to be a top-of-the-rotation arm. (Click here for more Marco Raya articles at Twins Daily.) Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 5th ETA: 2022 Ace Potential: Medium Woods Richardson has the best potential to be an ace pitcher out of the prospects in the mix for 2023. He turned 22 in September, and he already made his big-league debut. Woods Richardson struggled mightily during the 2021 season but bounced back nicely in 2022. He posted a 2.77 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP with a 115-to-36 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 107 1/3 minor league innings. He likely starts next season at Triple-A, where he only made seven starts this season. His age, pitch mix, and prospect status give him a shot at becoming an ace. (Click here for more Simeon Woods Richardson articles at Twins Daily.) Louie Varland, RHP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 7th ETA: 2022 Ace Potential: Low Varland has been named the Twins' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in back-to-back seasons. For most organizations, a pitcher winning that award multiple times would point to ace potential. However, it might also result from other pitchers in the organization not performing well. Varland dominated the upper minors on the way to making an impressive debut at Yankee Stadium. He has three above-average pitches, which can help him fit into the Twins' rotation for multiple years. It still seems unlikely for him to ever be considered the best pitcher in a rotation, even if he reaches his ceiling. (Click here for more Louie Varland articles at Twins Daily.) Matt Canterino, RHP Current Twins Daily Prospect Ranking: 14th ETA: 2024 Ace Potential: Low Canterino's potential has been hard to project throughout his professional career because he hasn't stayed healthy. He underwent Tommy John surgery in August, so he will likely miss most, if not all, of the 2023 season. Minnesota hopes this surgery can get Canterino back on track, as he was one of the team's top pitching prospects entering the season. When on the mound, Canterino has dominated with a true four-pitch mix and a fastball in the upper-90s. He arguably has the best stuff in the system, so his ace potential is tied to his ability to stay healthy, and remaining a starter. (Click here for more Matt Canterino articles at Twins Daily.) Who do you think has the best chance to be an ace? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  16. Identifying a team's top prospect can be challenging, but looking forward can provide even more excitement for a franchise's future. Here are the names that will be in consideration for the team's top prospect in 2024. Image courtesy of William Parmeter Currently, one can make an argument for both Royce Lewis and Brooks Lee being Minnesota's top prospect. By 2024, both will have graduated from prospect lists and should be helping the Twins at the big-league level. In recent years, Minnesota's farm system has dropped in national rankings, but it's hard not to get excited about the talent level of the players listed below. 1. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF ETA: 2024 Rodriguez's stock has significantly risen this season as many national outlets included him in their updated top-100 rankings. As a 19-year-old, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. He only faced younger pitchers in four plate appearances during the 2022 campaign. Unfortunately, a knee injury ended his season prematurely. Minnesota can have him repeat Fort Myers to start 2023, and he has plenty of development to do before he reaches Target Field. 2. Connor Prielipp, LHP ETA: 2025 The Twins took Prielipp with their second-round pick in 2022 from the University of Alabama. He was initially projected as a top-10 pick but missed the 2022 collegiate season due to Tommy John surgery. Minnesota will likely hold off on his professional debut until 2023, but he is already in the conversation as one of the team's top pitching prospects. By 2024, Prielipp has the potential to be the team's top prospect if he can return to his pre-injury form. 3. Marco Raya, RHP ETA: 2024 Like Rodriguez, Raya is another player that has put himself on the prospect map as a teenager in the Florida State League. In 61 innings, he has posted a 3.25 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP and a 69-to-22 strikeout to walk ratio. Over 81% of his at-bats have come against older batters who Raya has held to a .592 OPS. He has three terrific secondary pitches that should allow him to continue as a starter as he moves up the organizational ladder. 4. David Festa, RHP ETA: 2024 The Twins drafted Festa in the 13th round of the 2021 MLB Draft. It's exciting when a team can find value late in the draft and develop a prospect in the organization. His velocity has significantly jumped since joining the Twins organization, as he can consistently hit in the upper-90s. In 100 2/3 innings, he has a 2.43 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP and a 108-to-34 strikeout to walk ratio. In 2023, he should get a chance to pitch in the upper minors with a chance to prove he is part of the team's long-term plans. 5. Noah Miller, SS ETA: 2025 Minnesota has traded away much of their 2021 draft class, and Miller is the highest pick still with the organization. The Twins sent him to Fort Myers this season, where he has hit .212/.347/.281 (.628) with 108 strikeouts in 106 games. As a 19-year-old, he still has offensive development to accomplish, especially as he adds weight to his body. His baseball instincts should allow him to stick at shortstop, a position the Twins have previously struggled to fill. Which player will be the team's top prospect in 2024? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  17. Currently, one can make an argument for both Royce Lewis and Brooks Lee being Minnesota's top prospect. By 2024, both will have graduated from prospect lists and should be helping the Twins at the big-league level. In recent years, Minnesota's farm system has dropped in national rankings, but it's hard not to get excited about the talent level of the players listed below. 1. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF ETA: 2024 Rodriguez's stock has significantly risen this season as many national outlets included him in their updated top-100 rankings. As a 19-year-old, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. He only faced younger pitchers in four plate appearances during the 2022 campaign. Unfortunately, a knee injury ended his season prematurely. Minnesota can have him repeat Fort Myers to start 2023, and he has plenty of development to do before he reaches Target Field. 2. Connor Prielipp, LHP ETA: 2025 The Twins took Prielipp with their second-round pick in 2022 from the University of Alabama. He was initially projected as a top-10 pick but missed the 2022 collegiate season due to Tommy John surgery. Minnesota will likely hold off on his professional debut until 2023, but he is already in the conversation as one of the team's top pitching prospects. By 2024, Prielipp has the potential to be the team's top prospect if he can return to his pre-injury form. 3. Marco Raya, RHP ETA: 2024 Like Rodriguez, Raya is another player that has put himself on the prospect map as a teenager in the Florida State League. In 61 innings, he has posted a 3.25 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP and a 69-to-22 strikeout to walk ratio. Over 81% of his at-bats have come against older batters who Raya has held to a .592 OPS. He has three terrific secondary pitches that should allow him to continue as a starter as he moves up the organizational ladder. 4. David Festa, RHP ETA: 2024 The Twins drafted Festa in the 13th round of the 2021 MLB Draft. It's exciting when a team can find value late in the draft and develop a prospect in the organization. His velocity has significantly jumped since joining the Twins organization, as he can consistently hit in the upper-90s. In 100 2/3 innings, he has a 2.43 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP and a 108-to-34 strikeout to walk ratio. In 2023, he should get a chance to pitch in the upper minors with a chance to prove he is part of the team's long-term plans. 5. Noah Miller, SS ETA: 2025 Minnesota has traded away much of their 2021 draft class, and Miller is the highest pick still with the organization. The Twins sent him to Fort Myers this season, where he has hit .212/.347/.281 (.628) with 108 strikeouts in 106 games. As a 19-year-old, he still has offensive development to accomplish, especially as he adds weight to his body. His baseball instincts should allow him to stick at shortstop, a position the Twins have previously struggled to fill. Which player will be the team's top prospect in 2024? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  18. Fourteen members of the 2022 Draft Class have made their professional debuts. We'll take a look at how each of the 14 players are doing.
  19. Fourteen members of the 2022 Draft Class have made their professional debuts. We'll take a look at how each of the 14 players are doing. View full video
  20. Studs: Royce Lewis Nothing has changed here; Royce Lewis is a phenomenally talented shortstop on the mend with his second ACL tear. All we can do is hope he’ll return quickly enough next season to impact the team meaningfully. Brooks Lee It’s a miracle that Brooks Lee fell to the Twins at 8. We should thank the Cubs and Mets every day—the former for reaching on a pop-up college arm; the latter for turning their noses at Kumar Rocker in 2021, allowing the Rangers to snag him, re-creating the Vanderbilt 1-2 punch. Lee is a great prospect, checking all the offensive boxes with a pedigree as a coach’s son. Sure, he may not stick at shortstop, but people have said that about every infielder ever drafted; only time will prove whether he will have to switch positions. Until then, we can cherish having a guy who slashed .357/.462/.664 in 2022. ------------------------- Guys I love: Noah Miller I don’t like placing Noah Miller this high; either Austin Martin or Jordan Balazovic should be here, but they have underperformed so drastically that I can’t, in good conscience, continue to act like nothing is wrong with them. Miller’s defense remains elite, but his bat has lost its early-season thunder; he slugged .270 in July. I don’t know when I saw a slugging percent that low. Nick Punto slugged .323 over his career. Miller cut down on the Ks, but he’ll need to re-find his power before this placement reflects his ability instead of needing someone to be here. Emmanuel Rodriguez Emmanuel Rodriguez hasn’t played since his brutal injury, but not playing means he couldn’t tank his value by performing poorly. It’s funny how prospect evaluation can work like that; he’s like Schrödinger's baseball player. His strikeouts were still high, but we’re talking about a 19-year-old who walked 28.6% of the time while slugging .551 during his first stint at A-ball; beggars can’t be choosers. Connor Prielipp The pessimist would point out that a freshly-drafted pitcher being the best pitching prospect in the Twins system is a bad sign, but I choose to look at it in another way: Connor Prielipp had a legitimate claim to go first overall before undergoing Tommy John surgery. The procedure is still a severe setback, but modern health advancements have prettied up its boogeyman face, and all reports point towards his stuff returning to previous levels. I’m incredibly excited to see what Prielipp can do in the Twins organization. ------------------------- Guys I like with reservations: Austin Martin Checking Austin Martin’s slash line is like learning that a childhood hero is a scumbag; it’s depressing, and a harsh reminder that the world sucks. Martin’s strikeout rate has plummeted to an impressive rate (13.8%), but he has 11 extra-base hits on the year. 11. It’s August. Martin hasn’t played since the month’s opening game—perhaps the Twins have him locked away deep in the chasms of Fort Myers until he builds more than Jamey Carrollian power—but maybe the reset helps him find his old groove. Until that happens, I have to drop him down the list. Simeon Woods Richardson Simeon Woods Richardson quietly slid to the IL in June—the Wind Surge never announced the move, which I thought was odd—but has finally returned. I remain a skeptic; his high walk rate, low BABIP, and low home run rate all scream vicious regression, but Woods Richardson has avoided that trap, and given that every other top pitching arm has capitulated, he’ll remain here by default. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team calls him up out of desperation for somebody, anybody who can save this pitching staff. Jordan Balazovic Jordan Balazovic’s AAA numbers don’t even make sense, and not in a good way; he’s walking a batter every two innings, and his HR/FB rate is a cartoonish 38.9%. Let me put it in another way: over 34 ⅔ innings, Balazovic has allowed 14 home runs. It’s clear that he isn’t healthy, and I have little clue as to why the team continues to let him die on the mound when he can’t net outs in his current state. I’ll keep Balazovic at this spot because he has dominated hitters in a way I have not seen in a post-José Berríos landscape. Marco Raya The Twins still refuse to let Marco Raya pitch longer than four innings in a game—yes, I know that’s how teams deal with young pitchers these days, but it still feels ridiculous, especially since no research exists that proves this strategy works—but he has crushed his competition. Raya struck out 24.3% of batters he faced in July, and he has been almost untouchable since mid-June. I don’t anticipate a promotion soon, but Raya is well-positioned for a big 2023 if he can stay healthy. Edouard Julien Edouard Julien keeps chugging, taking walks, and putting up impressive slash lines. Julien hit .287/.443/.517 in July, a healthy line that will play in any environment. He also walked as much as he struck out. The worry with Julien is still this: where is his position, and will he have enough power to sustain production there? If he’s a second baseman, that answer becomes more straightforward, but we will have to wait and see. He should be in St. Paul soon. Matt Wallner I previously said that a player needs to have legendary power to offset a strikeout rate like Matt Wallner’s, and he may have that jolt. Wallner’s homer in the Future Games was comical, and it’s easy to imagine his exit velocities translating well in the major leagues. AAA has not been kind to Wallner, but he struggled during his first taste of AA also, so that could just be how the big guy operates. Is he Joey Gallo 2.0? Is that something the Twins want? We shall see. David Festa David Festa is holding his own at A+ ball; the righty is 3rd in the system in innings and owns an ERA/FIP/xFIP slash line of 2.24/2.83/3.39. He struggled with command in July, walking 11.8% of batters, but I believe that to be a blip, not a worrisome trend. He also picked off three straight baserunners during a game in July, which I’ve never seen before in a baseball match. ------------------------- Guys I’m intrigued by: Louie Varland I’ve been one of the low-men on Louie Varland for a while. His peripherals weren’t great last season, and he’s continued that trend at AA ball in 2022. Varland’s July was good (3.91 ERA, 18.6 K-BB%), but those numbers are inflated by an eight-strikeout performance at the end of the month; the rest of his starts were inconsistent and a little sloppy. Blayne Enlow I’m still cutting Blayne Enlow an enormous amount of slack. The righty is trying to pitch his first mostly-full season since 2019, and getting him accustomed to pitching again is the goal for 2022. July was remarkable for his ERA—he allowed two runs over 13 innings—but the walk rate was elevated, and, well, it was just a 13-inning sample. Hopefully, we can see more dominant performances, like his three-inning, five strikeout relief outing to conclude the month. Brent Headrick Brent Headrick crushed A+ ball and earned a promotion to AAin July. He made one disastrous outing—seriously, don’t look it up—but I can chalk that up to jitters around making his first AA appearance. Headrick has the potential to fly up this list even further as the season continues, and he’s now undoubtedly the best left-handed pitching prospect in the system after Cade Povich and Steve Hajjar found new homes. Cole Sands Given the Twins’ inability to pitch at even a watchable level, I’m surprised that Cole Sands hasn’t earned an extended leash in the majors. He sometimes struggles with command, but his sweeper is deadly enough to coax an extra strikeout or two when he really needs it. Sands struck out 30.4% of batters at AAA in July; I think the team could use that. Ronny Henriquez In July, Ronny Henriquez secretly turned a corner; the newly acquired ex-Ranger farmhand put up an ERA of 3.05 with a healthy K-BB% of 20.9. Henriquez had struggled—and I mean struggled—at AAA to begin the season, but this great month could prove to be the launching point for the 22-year-old. Add him to the list of arms the team could look to in their pursuit of pitching. Matt Canterino Matt Canterino is a reliever who can’t stay healthy. I don’t care about stuff or anything else; a pitcher with a James Paxton-level of durability should not rank highly on any prospect list. If Canterino returns to AA and throws strikes, the team should move him to the major league bullpen before August ends. ------------------------- Possible diamonds in the rough: Yasser Mercedes It’s typically unwise to rank DSL players, but Yasser Mercedes commanded a signing bonus of $1.7 million; we aren’t dealing with a random Joe here. As a 17-year-old, Mercedes is hitting well during his first stint in professional baseball; he’s currently good for a .324/.394/.532 slash line. Chris Williams Missing Chris Williams was the most glaring mistake in my previous ranking. I’ve had my eye on Williams since he put together some powerful stretches in 2019, but his play has been dreadfully inconsistent. The 25-year-old slumped during an injury-plagued 2021 season, but he’s evolved into the Terminator recently, slugging a truly absurd .708 in July. He may be somewhat positionless, but you’ll move heaven and earth to find a place for that bat. Noah Cardenas Noah Cardenas is walking 18.2% of the time at A ball, and I feel like no one has mentioned it. Cardenas can already field the position well, so the newfound offensive boost could give his game a new, exciting wrinkle. I would suggest keeping your eye on him. Cesar Lares Cesar Lares is striking out 44.2% of hitters faced at the DSL. This concludes fun facts with Cesar Lares. Misael Urbina Misael Urbina had a late start to the season—visa issues limited his movement—but it seems like that problem is far behind Urbina. The talented outfielder slugged .589 at A ball in July, a good sign considering that power was his most prominent issue in 2021. Urbina could quickly move up a tier or two if he continues to smoke the ball well. Alerick Soularie Alerick Soularie shed the strike-out problems that clouded his prospect status; he punched out in just 19.8% of plate appearances in July while hitting for a solid 123 wRC+. His power output is still low, but that feels like a nitpick in an otherwise excellent hitting package. Yunior Severino Post-post-hype can still exist for a ballplayer; a statement never more true than with Yunior Severino. After the Twins snagged the infielder when the Braves got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, it seemed that Severino had greatness in his future. That timeline branched off into a far more boring story, but Severino did slug .690 in July, so he may still have a chance. ------------------------- Guys: Aaron Sabato The first spot in my “guys” list goes to one of the more frustrating prospects in the Twins’ system. Aaron Sabato has not yet put together an extended period of excellent performance–at least not in my eyes—but he did slug .709 in July while bringing home a Midwest League Hitter of the Week award. Is this a hot streak or a sign of things to come? I’m pessimistic, but we will see. Keoni Cavaco Keoni Cavaco remaining on this list is the baseball equivalent of the lifetime achievement award; he hasn’t impressed since the team took him in the 1st round in 2019, and he’s only here because of that pedigree. He did crawl above a league-average hitting line in July (110 wRC+), but his strikeout problem is still critical. Michael Helman Is Michael Helman just a feel-good story? Maybe. He’s 26 and is just holding his own at AAA, not dominating. No one attribute sticks out about Helman, but there’s a slight chance he’s called up in a pinch and proves enough to stick around. Kala’i Rosario Kala’i Rosario’s hitting peripherals—walks and strikeouts especially—look gross and not in a good way: a 5.8% walk rate compared to a 35.8% K rate. Still, the young, athletic outfielder has serious power potential, which could lead him to future success. Brayan Medina I still don’t know what to make of Brayan Medina, and he’s walking a small village in the low minors. He has almost no professional innings to his name, though, so I’m willing to wait before critically analyzing him. This group of names looked a lot better a few days ago when I started this writeup; of course, the team was always going to lose crucial players if they wanted to buy enough to offset their major league weaknesses. Still, I don’t feel like they lost major foundational pieces; Spencer Steer hurts, but he had no immediate fit on the Twins’ roster; Cade Povich is the primary, painful loss in my eyes. I think Povich will continue to evolve and become a valuable starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. I’m lower than a lot on Christian Encarnacion-Strand—he’s a butcher on the field, and that’s difficult for a major league team to hide—Steve Hajjar has command and shoulder issues, and Sawyer Gipson-Long feels replaceable. This system still isn’t great, but I think it’s in a better spot than it was last month—and that’s while considering the players they lost at the deadline.
  21. 17 signings. 17 bonuses included. That leaves three players unsigned. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about this year's draft class. You can go more in-depth on any specific player in the Twins Daily Draft Tracker. I'll give you the class overview here. All of the Top 10 round selections and seven of the Day 3 selections are signed, sealed and delivered. We'll keep you updated at Twins Daily as they all embark soon on their professional careers. Only Brooks Lee (first round) and Connor Prielipp (second round) came in over slot. Surprisingly enough, Lee's bonus was more over slot than Prielipp's. Both figure to enter the Twins Top 10 prospects and it isn't out of the question to consider Lee and Prielipp the organization's top hitting and pitching prospect, respectively. In order to get both players signed to over slot deals, the Twins had to shave money off their Day 2 picks. Each one of those players came in under slot - between $24,100 and $178,500 - to guarantee the Twins could make that happen. Now that the dust has settled and figures are public, there are a few interesting tidbits. The Twins spent $9,933,700 of their $10,081,500 bonus pool, meaning they still have $147,800 remaining to spend. Additionally, they could spend 105% of their bonus pool without any penalty. That means the Twins could spend up to $651,875 more. Omari Daniel has not signed yet, but he will be reporting to Fort Myers this weekend and is likely to forego his college eligibility to begin his professional career. Sources have indicated that Daniel's bonus will not exceed $125,000, which would require the signing team to dip into their bonus pool. So that leaves Garrett McMillan (Alabama) and Korbyn Dickerson (Kentucky prep committed to Louisville). Both have said publicly they will not be signing and that would be the expected outcome. The Twins could offer either one $272,800 (sixth round money) to sign. That would put them right at the limit of their bonus pool. If they wanted to use the 5% extra, they could sign either to $776,875 (which is basically third round money) or they could offer each $450,937 (late fourth round money). A late signing after professing publicly that a player is returning isn't unprecedented. The Twins signed Edouard Julien for $493,000 in 2019 after he stated he was going back to Auburn As the signing deadline approaches next week, the only question remains... will either McMillan or Dickerson change their mind? MINNESOTA TWINS $651,875 Player Round Slot Bonus $147,800 Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly 1 $5,442,400 $5,675,000 -$232,600 Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama 2 $1,662,700 $1,825,000 -$162,300 Tanner Schobel, SS, Virginia Tech"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Tanner Schobel, SS, Virginia Tech CB $1,002,000 $1,002,000 $0 Andrew Morris, RHP, Texas Tech"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Andrew Morris, RHP, Texas Tech 4 $533,300 $500,000 $33,300 Ben Ross, SS, Notre Dame Coll."}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Ben Ross, SS, Notre Dame Coll. 5 $398,500 $220,000 $178,500 Jorel Ortega, 2B, Tennessee"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Jorel Ortega, 2B, Tennessee 6 $301,200 $250,000 $51,200 Kyle Jones, RHP, Toledo"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Kyle Jones, RHP, Toledo 7 $235,600 $176,700 $58,900 Zebby Matthews, RHP, W. Carolina"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Zebby Matthews, RHP, W. Carolina 8 $187,900 $125,000 $62,900 Cory Lewis, RHP, UC-Santa Barbara"}" style="font-size:8pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Cory Lewis, RHP, UC-Santa Barbara 9 $164,100 $140,000 $24,100 Dalton Shuffield, SS, Texas State"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Dalton Shuffield, SS, Texas State 10 $153,800 $20,000 $133,800 Andrew Cossetti, C, St. Joseph's"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Andrew Cossetti, C, St. Joseph's 11 - $125,000 Nate Baez, C, Arizona State"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Nate Baez, C, Arizona State 12 - $125,000 C.J. Culpepper, RHP, Cal Baptist"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">C.J. Culpepper, RHP, Cal Baptist 13 - $125,000 Omari Daniel, SS, The Walker School 14 - Agreed Ben Ethridge, RHP, So. Miss."}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Ben Ethridge, RHP, So. Miss. 15 - $125,000 Jankel Ortiz, SS, Ac. Pres. HS (PR) 16 - $125,000 Alec Sayre, OF, Wright State"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Alec Sayre, OF, Wright State 17 - $100,000 Zachary Veen, LHP, Point Loma 18 - $80,000 Garrett McMillan, RHP, Alabama 19 - intends to return to Alabama Korbyn Dickerson, OF, Trinity HS (KY) 20 - intends to go to Louisville View full article
  22. You can go more in-depth on any specific player in the Twins Daily Draft Tracker. I'll give you the class overview here. All of the Top 10 round selections and seven of the Day 3 selections are signed, sealed and delivered. We'll keep you updated at Twins Daily as they all embark soon on their professional careers. Only Brooks Lee (first round) and Connor Prielipp (second round) came in over slot. Surprisingly enough, Lee's bonus was more over slot than Prielipp's. Both figure to enter the Twins Top 10 prospects and it isn't out of the question to consider Lee and Prielipp the organization's top hitting and pitching prospect, respectively. In order to get both players signed to over slot deals, the Twins had to shave money off their Day 2 picks. Each one of those players came in under slot - between $24,100 and $178,500 - to guarantee the Twins could make that happen. Now that the dust has settled and figures are public, there are a few interesting tidbits. The Twins spent $9,933,700 of their $10,081,500 bonus pool, meaning they still have $147,800 remaining to spend. Additionally, they could spend 105% of their bonus pool without any penalty. That means the Twins could spend up to $651,875 more. Omari Daniel has not signed yet, but he will be reporting to Fort Myers this weekend and is likely to forego his college eligibility to begin his professional career. Sources have indicated that Daniel's bonus will not exceed $125,000, which would require the signing team to dip into their bonus pool. So that leaves Garrett McMillan (Alabama) and Korbyn Dickerson (Kentucky prep committed to Louisville). Both have said publicly they will not be signing and that would be the expected outcome. The Twins could offer either one $272,800 (sixth round money) to sign. That would put them right at the limit of their bonus pool. If they wanted to use the 5% extra, they could sign either to $776,875 (which is basically third round money) or they could offer each $450,937 (late fourth round money). A late signing after professing publicly that a player is returning isn't unprecedented. The Twins signed Edouard Julien for $493,000 in 2019 after he stated he was going back to Auburn As the signing deadline approaches next week, the only question remains... will either McMillan or Dickerson change their mind? MINNESOTA TWINS $651,875 Player Round Slot Bonus $147,800 Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly 1 $5,442,400 $5,675,000 -$232,600 Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama 2 $1,662,700 $1,825,000 -$162,300 Tanner Schobel, SS, Virginia Tech"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Tanner Schobel, SS, Virginia Tech CB $1,002,000 $1,002,000 $0 Andrew Morris, RHP, Texas Tech"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Andrew Morris, RHP, Texas Tech 4 $533,300 $500,000 $33,300 Ben Ross, SS, Notre Dame Coll."}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Ben Ross, SS, Notre Dame Coll. 5 $398,500 $220,000 $178,500 Jorel Ortega, 2B, Tennessee"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Jorel Ortega, 2B, Tennessee 6 $301,200 $250,000 $51,200 Kyle Jones, RHP, Toledo"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Kyle Jones, RHP, Toledo 7 $235,600 $176,700 $58,900 Zebby Matthews, RHP, W. Carolina"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Zebby Matthews, RHP, W. Carolina 8 $187,900 $125,000 $62,900 Cory Lewis, RHP, UC-Santa Barbara"}" style="font-size:8pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Cory Lewis, RHP, UC-Santa Barbara 9 $164,100 $140,000 $24,100 Dalton Shuffield, SS, Texas State"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Dalton Shuffield, SS, Texas State 10 $153,800 $20,000 $133,800 Andrew Cossetti, C, St. Joseph's"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Andrew Cossetti, C, St. Joseph's 11 - $125,000 Nate Baez, C, Arizona State"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Nate Baez, C, Arizona State 12 - $125,000 C.J. Culpepper, RHP, Cal Baptist"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">C.J. Culpepper, RHP, Cal Baptist 13 - $125,000 Omari Daniel, SS, The Walker School 14 - Agreed Ben Ethridge, RHP, So. Miss."}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Ben Ethridge, RHP, So. Miss. 15 - $125,000 Jankel Ortiz, SS, Ac. Pres. HS (PR) 16 - $125,000 Alec Sayre, OF, Wright State"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Alec Sayre, OF, Wright State 17 - $100,000 Zachary Veen, LHP, Point Loma 18 - $80,000 Garrett McMillan, RHP, Alabama 19 - intends to return to Alabama Korbyn Dickerson, OF, Trinity HS (KY) 20 - intends to go to Louisville
  23. Prospect lists can be exciting, especially as the trade deadline approaches at the beginning of August. Contending teams must part with some of the top-rated prospects so they can add veteran pieces to their roster. Minnesota expects to be active in the trade market, so who are the organization's top pitching prospects? RHP Jordan Balazovic Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus named Balazovic as one of their top 100 prospects entering the 2022 season. Unfortunately, injuries have impacted him over the last two seasons. He suffered a back injury in spring training last year that delayed the start of his season until June. From there, he was solid with a 3.62 ERA and 9.5 K/9 in 20 appearances. In 2022, he began the season on the IL with a knee strain, and he has struggled since returning. Across 11 appearances, he has a 10.13 ERA with a 2.32 WHIP. He has yet to pitch 100 innings in any professional season. RHP Matt Canterino When healthy, Canterino has sliced through minor league batters. He has struck out 126 batters in 82 1/3 innings in his professional career, but those innings have been spread over three seasons. All 11 of his appearances have come at Double-A this season with a 1.83 ERA and 13.1 K/9 in a career-high 34 1/3 innings. An argument can be made that he is the best pitching prospect in the system. However, the organization may need to shift him to a bullpen role if he can't stay healthy. LHP Connor Priellip Minnesota selected Connor Priellip in the second round of the 2022 MLB Draft, but he's no ordinary second-round pick. The left-handed pitcher was in the conversation to be the number one overall pick in the current draft class before requiring Tommy John surgery in May 2021. He is healthy and will be able to pitch in the organization after he signs. His fastball and slider are both plus pitches, and he continues to improve with his changeup. There is hope that he will be able to add more velocity as he continues to get further away from elbow reconstruction. RHP Marco Raya Raya missed most of last season with a shoulder strain, so the 2022 season marks his professional debut. He's been outstanding in 13 appearances with Fort Myers, where he is three years younger than the average age of the competition. In 47 innings, he has a 2.87 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and a 56-to-16 strikeout to walk ratio. Only 80% of his match-ups have come against older batters who have been held to a .586 OPS. Raya has been the biggest breakout pitcher in the organization this year, but he still has a long way to go before reaching Target Field. RHP Simeon Woods Richardson As a 20-year-old, Woods Richardson faced multiple challenges as he pitched the entire year at Double-A, joined Team USA in Japan, and was traded for the second time in his career. Based on those reasons, it's easy to see his performance struggled (5.91 ERA with a 1.53 WHIP). His second Double-A stint has improved as he has a 3.40 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP and 9 K/9. Woods Richardson has held batters to a .595 OPS, and over 96% of his plate appearances have come against older batters. He may have solidified his stock more this season than the others mentioned above. Cody's Current Top-5 Twins Pitching Prospects 1. Connor Priellip 2. Simeon Woods Richardson 3. Matt Canterino 4. Marco Raya 5. Jordan Balazovic How would you rank the organization's pitchers? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  24. The Twins pick multiple pitchers in the MLB Draft, and the organization has attempted to build a pitching pipeline. So, who are the top pitching prospects in the Twins organization? Prospect lists can be exciting, especially as the trade deadline approaches at the beginning of August. Contending teams must part with some of the top-rated prospects so they can add veteran pieces to their roster. Minnesota expects to be active in the trade market, so who are the organization's top pitching prospects? RHP Jordan Balazovic Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus named Balazovic as one of their top 100 prospects entering the 2022 season. Unfortunately, injuries have impacted him over the last two seasons. He suffered a back injury in spring training last year that delayed the start of his season until June. From there, he was solid with a 3.62 ERA and 9.5 K/9 in 20 appearances. In 2022, he began the season on the IL with a knee strain, and he has struggled since returning. Across 11 appearances, he has a 10.13 ERA with a 2.32 WHIP. He has yet to pitch 100 innings in any professional season. RHP Matt Canterino When healthy, Canterino has sliced through minor league batters. He has struck out 126 batters in 82 1/3 innings in his professional career, but those innings have been spread over three seasons. All 11 of his appearances have come at Double-A this season with a 1.83 ERA and 13.1 K/9 in a career-high 34 1/3 innings. An argument can be made that he is the best pitching prospect in the system. However, the organization may need to shift him to a bullpen role if he can't stay healthy. LHP Connor Priellip Minnesota selected Connor Priellip in the second round of the 2022 MLB Draft, but he's no ordinary second-round pick. The left-handed pitcher was in the conversation to be the number one overall pick in the current draft class before requiring Tommy John surgery in May 2021. He is healthy and will be able to pitch in the organization after he signs. His fastball and slider are both plus pitches, and he continues to improve with his changeup. There is hope that he will be able to add more velocity as he continues to get further away from elbow reconstruction. RHP Marco Raya Raya missed most of last season with a shoulder strain, so the 2022 season marks his professional debut. He's been outstanding in 13 appearances with Fort Myers, where he is three years younger than the average age of the competition. In 47 innings, he has a 2.87 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and a 56-to-16 strikeout to walk ratio. Only 80% of his match-ups have come against older batters who have been held to a .586 OPS. Raya has been the biggest breakout pitcher in the organization this year, but he still has a long way to go before reaching Target Field. RHP Simeon Woods Richardson As a 20-year-old, Woods Richardson faced multiple challenges as he pitched the entire year at Double-A, joined Team USA in Japan, and was traded for the second time in his career. Based on those reasons, it's easy to see his performance struggled (5.91 ERA with a 1.53 WHIP). His second Double-A stint has improved as he has a 3.40 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP and 9 K/9. Woods Richardson has held batters to a .595 OPS, and over 96% of his plate appearances have come against older batters. He may have solidified his stock more this season than the others mentioned above. Cody's Current Top-5 Twins Pitching Prospects 1. Connor Priellip 2. Simeon Woods Richardson 3. Matt Canterino 4. Marco Raya 5. Jordan Balazovic How would you rank the organization's pitchers? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  25. A lefty starter from Tomah, Wisconsin, Connor Prielipp was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in 2019 and tabbed as the state’s top draft prospect. As the Crimson Tide staff ace, Prielipp dominated to the tune of 21 scoreless innings with 35 strikeouts before the pandemic ended the 2020 season. He underwent Tommy John surgery last May, but showed well during the Major League Baseball draft combine. Prielipp has a devastating slider and can touch 95 mph on his fastball. He’s agreed to an over-slot deal with the Twins. His professional career will soon be underway, I caught up with him in the days following the selection. Twins Daily: Your draft status was talked about as an early pick, but having not pitched after surgery you had to have some uncertainty as to how things would go. What was the experience surrounding the draft and workouts for you? Connor Prielipp: Yeah, not pitching for a long time was really tough on me, but I never lost the confidence that I had while I was playing, and I always believed in myself. I was able to do the bullpen in Hoover and the [MLB] Combine and to be fortunate enough to give myself the opportunity to play professional baseball. TD: Your stuff was some of the best in the country prior to Tommy John surgery. How have you rebuilt following surgery and where do you feel like you’re at now? CP: My Tommy John surgery rehab has gone very well throughout the whole process, and I feel like I am just about back to my old self at the moment. TD: With such an impressive slider and the Twins being notable for loving the pitch, what are you most excited about developing with your offerings and repertoire? CP: I am very excited to start working with a professional staff, and I am not working on anything, in particular, to add to my repertoire at the moment. TD: Coming into professional baseball, what do you think is the thing that you as a pitcher can take the biggest leap? How do you feel about the pitch clock in the minors? CP: The biggest leap that I can take as a pitcher coming into professional baseball is to just become more polished and to be more consistent with all my pitches. The pitch clock doesn’t really bother me, and I don’t really have too big of an opinion on it. TD: What do you know about the Minnesota Twins? Have you ever been to Target Field? CP: Growing up close to the Twins and Target Field, I know a lot about who their best players were and some of their history, but I, unfortunately, grew up a Brewers fan and never made the trip to Target Field. TD: As a person or player, what is something you want Twins Territory to know about you? CP: Something that I would want Twins Territory to know about me is that I am going to do everything in my power to try and bring a World Series to Minneapolis.
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