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  1. On Wednesday, the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels announced their 2022 Opening Day Roster. The roster includes several of the team’s top prospects including two of Twins Daily’s Top 20 prospects. Let’s take a look at the Mighty Mussels roster. In 2021, the Mighty Mussels adjusted to their first season in Low-A ball. It was even more difficult because there wasn’t an Advanced Rookie League anymore since the Elizabethton Twins were no more. Players who likely would have played in E-Town were pushed to play in full-season ball. For some, that’s good. Others will have to repeat the level. This group is filled with many 2021 draft picks, some of whom played in Ft. Myers some late last season. We will introduce you to the 2022 Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Opening Day roster with a tweet-length bio. For much more on each player, click the hyperlink with the name and see all of the Twins Daily stories in which each player is tagged. There are some terrific prospects on this roster, and there are some great stories. COACHING STAFF Manager: Brian Meyer Hitting Coach: Rayden Sierra Pitching Coaches: Jared Gaynor, Carlos Hernandez Bench Coach: Takashi Miyoshi PITCHERS RHP Travis Adams (22) - Twins sixth-round pick in 2021 out of Cal State, Sacramento, where he was a starter for three years. He made just one appearance in the FCL last year after signing. RHP David Festa (22) - The New Jersey native spent three college seasons at Seton Hall. Last year, he went 6-4 with a 2.00 ERA. Twins 13th round pick, he throws 94-97 and will be a starter for the Mussels to start the season. RHP Regi Grace (22) - Grace was the Mighty Mussels Opening Day starter last year. He was the Twins 10th round pick in 2018 out of high school in Mississippi. LHP Steve Hajjar (21) - Hajjar was the Twins' 2nd round pick in 2021 out of Michigan. He didn’t pitch after signing, but he has a chance to move up quickly. Between 2020 and 2021 at Michigan, he went 7-2 with a 3.01 ERA. He had 134 strikeouts in 101 2/3 innings. RHP Jackson Hicks (24) - signed last summer out of the USPBL, Hicks split his time between the FCL and the Mighty Mussels. He walked two with the FCL squad and struck out 16 batters in 14 innings. RHP Hunter McMahon (23) - McMahon came to the Twins from the Nationals after the 2019 season in exchange for Ryne Harper. He had been the Nats' ninth-round pick that summer. A lost 2021 and an injury-plagued 2021 in which he pitched just five games, four with the Mussels. He needs to get some innings under his belt. RHP Juan Mendez (23) - The Dominican made his pro debut last year as a 22-year-old in the FCL. He went 2-3 with a 3.58 ERA over 12 games (5 starts). In 27 2/3 innings, he walked 14 and struck out 37 batters. LHP Jaylen Nowlin (21) - The lefty was the Twins 19th round pick last summer from Chipola College. He pitched in just one game last year in the FCL. He was clocked in the mid-to-upper 90s with a good slider during instructs. He’ll need to work on control and consistency, but he has potential. RHP Pierson Ohl (22) - He was the Twins 14th round pick last year out of Grand Canyon University. Last year, he went 10-2 with a 2.60 ERA. In 100 1/3 innings, he walked just 12 and struck out 103. He pitched in just one game with the FCL Twins last year and was a guest on Twins Spotlight in the offseason. RHP Michael Paredes (21) - After three seasons at San Diego State, he was the Twins 18th round pick in 2021. In the FCL, he struck out six and walked one batter in four innings. He profiles as a starter, but he will likely work in multiple roles with the Mighty Mussels. LHP Samuel Perez (22) - Perez was the Twins Daily short-season pitcher of the year in 2021 when he went 4-2 with a 1.45 ERA. He struck out 39 batters and walked just five in 37 1/3 innings. The Twins had signed him in the spring out of the Frontier League. He had initially signed with the Angels and spent two seasons in the DSL. RHP Marco Raya (19) - Raya was the Twins' fourth-round pick in 2020 out of high school in Texas. Minor shoulder issues kept him from pitching during the 2021 season. However, in Instructs last fall, he was impressive, hitting 97 with the fastball to go along with a four-pitch mix. RHP Niklas Rimmel (22) - The Berlin, Germany, native signed with the Twins late in 2017. He pitched in the GCL in 2018 and 2019, and injuries slowed him last year limited him to just three games and seven innings in the FCL. RHP John Stankiewicz (23) - After three years at Fordham University, he went undrafted in the five-round 2020 draft. He signed with the Twins. Last year, he pitched once in the FCL before making seven appearances (4 starts) for the Mussels. Combined, he went 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA. He had 30 strikeouts and nine walks in 25 1/3 innings. RHP Matthew Swain (24) - The Twins drafted Swain in the 23rd round in 2019 out of NAIA Georgia Gwinnett College. Last year, he pitched in n35 games for the Mussels. In 60 2/3 innings, he struck out 70 batters while walking 31. He was 6-2 with five saves. He stands 6-7 and throws hard. LHP John Wilson (24) - The southpaw was a freshman All-American at Old Dominion in 2017. Unfortunately, he was hurt and missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and the 2020 season was cut short. After the draft last year, he signed with the Twins and pitched in 17 games between the FCL (14 games) and Ft. Myers. CATCHERS Noah Cardenas (22) - The Twins went over slot to sign the UCLA backstop as their eight-round pick last summer. A solid defensive catcher, he hit .268/.371/.404 (.774) with 12 doubles and five homers in 57 games. He then hit .300/.400/.500 (.900) in 13 games in the FCL last year. Kyle Schmidt (24) - Twins 33rd round pick in 2019 from Richmond, Schmidt’s defense has kept him jumping all over the Twins organization. Last year, he played 25 games in Ft. Myers, 22 in Cedar Rapids, and even one game up in St. Paul. He hit a combined .250/.370/.329 (.699), including .302/.423/.430 (.853) at Ft. Myers. Great defender all-around. Dillon Tatum (21) - Tatum was the Twins 20th round pick in 2021 out of UC-Irvine, where he hit .278/.401/.684 (1.085) over 40 games last year. He had seven doubles and 15 homers. He played just five games in the FCL late in the season. INFIELDERS Keoni Cavaco (20) - The Twins selected Cavaco with the 13th overall pick in the 2019 draft. Last year in Ft. Myers, he played in 60 games due to a concussion and other minor injuries. He hit .233/.296/.301 (.597) with six doubles, two triples, and two homers. He is a solid defender at shortstop, but he could return to his high school position, third base, in 2022. Noah Miller (19) - Miller, whose older brother Owen plays for the Guardians, was the 36th overall pick in the 2021 draft out of high school in Wisconsin. In 22 FCL games last year, he hit .238/.316/.369 (.685) with three doubles and two homers. He has impressed the spring, especially defensively, in the four games he played for the Twins. He also had two hits in seven at-bats. Daniel Ozoria (21) - Ozoria came to the Twins from the Angels after the 2018 season for John Curtiss. In 2019, he split time between E-Town and Cedar Rapids. In 2021, he was moved all over. He started the season at Cedar Rapids (now High-A). In 51 games there, he hit .252/.388/.328 (.616) with six doubles and a homer. He also played five games for Ft. Myers and three games in St. Paul. He’s been around a while; it’s hard to believe he’s still just 21. Mikey Perez (22) - After three seasons at UCLA, the Twins made Perez their 15th round pick in 2021. He only played significant time in his junior season. He played well in Mankato in the summer of 2019. After signing, he played one game in the FCL (and went 3-for-4 with a homer). He moved up to Ft. Myers and hit .500 (13-for-26) with five doubles. Primarily a second baseman, he can play around the infield. His mom is the UCLA softball team’s head coach. Jake Rucker (22) - Rucker was the Twins' seventh-round pick last year out of the University of Tennessee. As a junior, he hit .330/.399/.520 (.920) with 21 doubles and nine home runs. In 22 games with the Mussels after signing, he hit .265/.377/.324 (.700) with two doubles. Ernie Yake (24) - Yake was the Twins 10th round pick in 2021 out of Gonzaga. As a senior in 2021, he hit .333/.423/.433 (.856) with 14 doubles and one homer in 42 games). He played seven games in the FCL before moving up to St OUTFIELDERS Kyler Fedko (22) - Twins 12th round pick in 2021 out of U-Conn. In 2021, he hit .398/.485/.674 (1.159) with 14 doubles and 12 homers in 52 games. He was putting up similar numbers in 2020 before the pandemic. In 23 games last year for the Mussels, he hit .235/.346/.265 (.610) with two doubles. Dylan Neuse (23) - Neuse was the Twins 17th round pick last year from Texas Tech. He was limited to just 27 games in 2021 and hit .281/.440/.427 (.867) with seven doubles. He has good speed and stole 11 bases. He didn’t play last year after signing. Emmanuel Rodriguez (19) - Rodriguez was a big international signing in 2019 from the Dominican Republic. After a lost 2020 season, Rodriguez played 37 games in 2021 with the FCL Twins. He hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with five doubles, two triples, and ten homers. He also stole nine bases and has become a top Twins prospect. Kala’i Rosario (19) - Rosario was drafted in the fifth round of the five-round 2020 draft out of high school in Hawaii. He was one of the most potent prep bats in that draft class. In 2021, he hit .277/. 341/.452 (.793) with ten doubles, four triples, and five home runs. He was the Twins Daily short-season Hitter of the Year. So what do you think of this roster? There are several very young players with big potential. Leave your Comments and Questions below. View full article
  2. In 2021, the Mighty Mussels adjusted to their first season in Low-A ball. It was even more difficult because there wasn’t an Advanced Rookie League anymore since the Elizabethton Twins were no more. Players who likely would have played in E-Town were pushed to play in full-season ball. For some, that’s good. Others will have to repeat the level. This group is filled with many 2021 draft picks, some of whom played in Ft. Myers some late last season. We will introduce you to the 2022 Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Opening Day roster with a tweet-length bio. For much more on each player, click the hyperlink with the name and see all of the Twins Daily stories in which each player is tagged. There are some terrific prospects on this roster, and there are some great stories. COACHING STAFF Manager: Brian Meyer Hitting Coach: Rayden Sierra Pitching Coaches: Jared Gaynor, Carlos Hernandez Bench Coach: Takashi Miyoshi PITCHERS RHP Travis Adams (22) - Twins sixth-round pick in 2021 out of Cal State, Sacramento, where he was a starter for three years. He made just one appearance in the FCL last year after signing. RHP David Festa (22) - The New Jersey native spent three college seasons at Seton Hall. Last year, he went 6-4 with a 2.00 ERA. Twins 13th round pick, he throws 94-97 and will be a starter for the Mussels to start the season. RHP Regi Grace (22) - Grace was the Mighty Mussels Opening Day starter last year. He was the Twins 10th round pick in 2018 out of high school in Mississippi. LHP Steve Hajjar (21) - Hajjar was the Twins' 2nd round pick in 2021 out of Michigan. He didn’t pitch after signing, but he has a chance to move up quickly. Between 2020 and 2021 at Michigan, he went 7-2 with a 3.01 ERA. He had 134 strikeouts in 101 2/3 innings. RHP Jackson Hicks (24) - signed last summer out of the USPBL, Hicks split his time between the FCL and the Mighty Mussels. He walked two with the FCL squad and struck out 16 batters in 14 innings. RHP Hunter McMahon (23) - McMahon came to the Twins from the Nationals after the 2019 season in exchange for Ryne Harper. He had been the Nats' ninth-round pick that summer. A lost 2021 and an injury-plagued 2021 in which he pitched just five games, four with the Mussels. He needs to get some innings under his belt. RHP Juan Mendez (23) - The Dominican made his pro debut last year as a 22-year-old in the FCL. He went 2-3 with a 3.58 ERA over 12 games (5 starts). In 27 2/3 innings, he walked 14 and struck out 37 batters. LHP Jaylen Nowlin (21) - The lefty was the Twins 19th round pick last summer from Chipola College. He pitched in just one game last year in the FCL. He was clocked in the mid-to-upper 90s with a good slider during instructs. He’ll need to work on control and consistency, but he has potential. RHP Pierson Ohl (22) - He was the Twins 14th round pick last year out of Grand Canyon University. Last year, he went 10-2 with a 2.60 ERA. In 100 1/3 innings, he walked just 12 and struck out 103. He pitched in just one game with the FCL Twins last year and was a guest on Twins Spotlight in the offseason. RHP Michael Paredes (21) - After three seasons at San Diego State, he was the Twins 18th round pick in 2021. In the FCL, he struck out six and walked one batter in four innings. He profiles as a starter, but he will likely work in multiple roles with the Mighty Mussels. LHP Samuel Perez (22) - Perez was the Twins Daily short-season pitcher of the year in 2021 when he went 4-2 with a 1.45 ERA. He struck out 39 batters and walked just five in 37 1/3 innings. The Twins had signed him in the spring out of the Frontier League. He had initially signed with the Angels and spent two seasons in the DSL. RHP Marco Raya (19) - Raya was the Twins' fourth-round pick in 2020 out of high school in Texas. Minor shoulder issues kept him from pitching during the 2021 season. However, in Instructs last fall, he was impressive, hitting 97 with the fastball to go along with a four-pitch mix. RHP Niklas Rimmel (22) - The Berlin, Germany, native signed with the Twins late in 2017. He pitched in the GCL in 2018 and 2019, and injuries slowed him last year limited him to just three games and seven innings in the FCL. RHP John Stankiewicz (23) - After three years at Fordham University, he went undrafted in the five-round 2020 draft. He signed with the Twins. Last year, he pitched once in the FCL before making seven appearances (4 starts) for the Mussels. Combined, he went 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA. He had 30 strikeouts and nine walks in 25 1/3 innings. RHP Matthew Swain (24) - The Twins drafted Swain in the 23rd round in 2019 out of NAIA Georgia Gwinnett College. Last year, he pitched in n35 games for the Mussels. In 60 2/3 innings, he struck out 70 batters while walking 31. He was 6-2 with five saves. He stands 6-7 and throws hard. LHP John Wilson (24) - The southpaw was a freshman All-American at Old Dominion in 2017. Unfortunately, he was hurt and missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and the 2020 season was cut short. After the draft last year, he signed with the Twins and pitched in 17 games between the FCL (14 games) and Ft. Myers. CATCHERS Noah Cardenas (22) - The Twins went over slot to sign the UCLA backstop as their eight-round pick last summer. A solid defensive catcher, he hit .268/.371/.404 (.774) with 12 doubles and five homers in 57 games. He then hit .300/.400/.500 (.900) in 13 games in the FCL last year. Kyle Schmidt (24) - Twins 33rd round pick in 2019 from Richmond, Schmidt’s defense has kept him jumping all over the Twins organization. Last year, he played 25 games in Ft. Myers, 22 in Cedar Rapids, and even one game up in St. Paul. He hit a combined .250/.370/.329 (.699), including .302/.423/.430 (.853) at Ft. Myers. Great defender all-around. Dillon Tatum (21) - Tatum was the Twins 20th round pick in 2021 out of UC-Irvine, where he hit .278/.401/.684 (1.085) over 40 games last year. He had seven doubles and 15 homers. He played just five games in the FCL late in the season. INFIELDERS Keoni Cavaco (20) - The Twins selected Cavaco with the 13th overall pick in the 2019 draft. Last year in Ft. Myers, he played in 60 games due to a concussion and other minor injuries. He hit .233/.296/.301 (.597) with six doubles, two triples, and two homers. He is a solid defender at shortstop, but he could return to his high school position, third base, in 2022. Noah Miller (19) - Miller, whose older brother Owen plays for the Guardians, was the 36th overall pick in the 2021 draft out of high school in Wisconsin. In 22 FCL games last year, he hit .238/.316/.369 (.685) with three doubles and two homers. He has impressed the spring, especially defensively, in the four games he played for the Twins. He also had two hits in seven at-bats. Daniel Ozoria (21) - Ozoria came to the Twins from the Angels after the 2018 season for John Curtiss. In 2019, he split time between E-Town and Cedar Rapids. In 2021, he was moved all over. He started the season at Cedar Rapids (now High-A). In 51 games there, he hit .252/.388/.328 (.616) with six doubles and a homer. He also played five games for Ft. Myers and three games in St. Paul. He’s been around a while; it’s hard to believe he’s still just 21. Mikey Perez (22) - After three seasons at UCLA, the Twins made Perez their 15th round pick in 2021. He only played significant time in his junior season. He played well in Mankato in the summer of 2019. After signing, he played one game in the FCL (and went 3-for-4 with a homer). He moved up to Ft. Myers and hit .500 (13-for-26) with five doubles. Primarily a second baseman, he can play around the infield. His mom is the UCLA softball team’s head coach. Jake Rucker (22) - Rucker was the Twins' seventh-round pick last year out of the University of Tennessee. As a junior, he hit .330/.399/.520 (.920) with 21 doubles and nine home runs. In 22 games with the Mussels after signing, he hit .265/.377/.324 (.700) with two doubles. Ernie Yake (24) - Yake was the Twins 10th round pick in 2021 out of Gonzaga. As a senior in 2021, he hit .333/.423/.433 (.856) with 14 doubles and one homer in 42 games). He played seven games in the FCL before moving up to St OUTFIELDERS Kyler Fedko (22) - Twins 12th round pick in 2021 out of U-Conn. In 2021, he hit .398/.485/.674 (1.159) with 14 doubles and 12 homers in 52 games. He was putting up similar numbers in 2020 before the pandemic. In 23 games last year for the Mussels, he hit .235/.346/.265 (.610) with two doubles. Dylan Neuse (23) - Neuse was the Twins 17th round pick last year from Texas Tech. He was limited to just 27 games in 2021 and hit .281/.440/.427 (.867) with seven doubles. He has good speed and stole 11 bases. He didn’t play last year after signing. Emmanuel Rodriguez (19) - Rodriguez was a big international signing in 2019 from the Dominican Republic. After a lost 2020 season, Rodriguez played 37 games in 2021 with the FCL Twins. He hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with five doubles, two triples, and ten homers. He also stole nine bases and has become a top Twins prospect. Kala’i Rosario (19) - Rosario was drafted in the fifth round of the five-round 2020 draft out of high school in Hawaii. He was one of the most potent prep bats in that draft class. In 2021, he hit .277/. 341/.452 (.793) with ten doubles, four triples, and five home runs. He was the Twins Daily short-season Hitter of the Year. So what do you think of this roster? There are several very young players with big potential. Leave your Comments and Questions below.
  3. The Minnesota Twins were away today playing the Boston Red Sox across town at JetBlue Park. After an exciting morning highlighted by Carlos Correa’s introductory press conference, it was time to focus on the minor league side of things. The Twins and Red Sox play each other a handful of times every spring training. Given the close proximity of their homes, it makes for an easy opponent as far as travel is concerned. Rather than going across town today, the action with rookie and Single-A teams on the back fields seemed more appealing. Minnesota put 2020 draft pick Marco Raya on the mound to start the game for the Single-A club. He looked the part of beginning to fill out his body and really filled up the strike zone. His stuff played well, and he looked to largely overmatch the Boston lineup. With the 2020 season being canceled and then dealing with injury much of last year, Raya has yet to make an appearance in a professional game. This upcoming season will be exciting for him, and he’s definitely one to watch. Cade Povich drew the start against a loaded rookie-level Red Sox club on the opposite field. Both Red Sox top prospects, Marcelo Mayer and Blaze Jordan started, and Povich handled each of the talented competitors. The former Nebraska Husker struck out the side in one inning today and was largely dominant for Minnesota. He struck out nine batters in 4 2/3 innings. It was hard to be unimpressed with Casey Legumina, who took over for Povich while he was dealing. Strikeouts were added in bunches as he displayed a strong pace and swagger on the mound. There's no assessing velocity without a radar gun on him, but the intent behind his fastball was more than evident. Some general observations include the growth Keoni Cavaco has seen as he fills out his frame. The Single-A club displayed an impressive power outing with three homers in four batters (and a double in between), and despite the wind blowing out, catching prospect Noah Cardenas left the yard in a big way. A few other notes from today include: the roster cutting of six players being reassigned out of big-league camp. None of the names are shocking, but there’s more than a couple here that should be options for the Twins at some point in 2022. Big leaguers Luis Arraez and Alex Kirilloff both got at-bats on the back fields today. Carlos Correa saw his first live at bats since the World Series. Former teammates Sonny Gray and Gary Sanchez worked together during live at-bats today. Catching coach Hank Conger was heavily involved in their exchanges. The experimental rules in the minor leagues also became official today, as did the continuation of what’s incorrectly being dubbed a “ghost runner” in Major League extra innings. Minnesota’s bats woke up en route to a 10-4 victory over the Red Sox today, and the highlight could have been Trevor Larnach’s three-run blast to the big part of the park. Tomorrow Tampa comes to town, although there is a good chance of rain in the forecast. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email View full article
  4. The Twins and Red Sox play each other a handful of times every spring training. Given the close proximity of their homes, it makes for an easy opponent as far as travel is concerned. Rather than going across town today, the action with rookie and Single-A teams on the back fields seemed more appealing. Minnesota put 2020 draft pick Marco Raya on the mound to start the game for the Single-A club. He looked the part of beginning to fill out his body and really filled up the strike zone. His stuff played well, and he looked to largely overmatch the Boston lineup. With the 2020 season being canceled and then dealing with injury much of last year, Raya has yet to make an appearance in a professional game. This upcoming season will be exciting for him, and he’s definitely one to watch. Cade Povich drew the start against a loaded rookie-level Red Sox club on the opposite field. Both Red Sox top prospects, Marcelo Mayer and Blaze Jordan started, and Povich handled each of the talented competitors. The former Nebraska Husker struck out the side in one inning today and was largely dominant for Minnesota. He struck out nine batters in 4 2/3 innings. It was hard to be unimpressed with Casey Legumina, who took over for Povich while he was dealing. Strikeouts were added in bunches as he displayed a strong pace and swagger on the mound. There's no assessing velocity without a radar gun on him, but the intent behind his fastball was more than evident. Some general observations include the growth Keoni Cavaco has seen as he fills out his frame. The Single-A club displayed an impressive power outing with three homers in four batters (and a double in between), and despite the wind blowing out, catching prospect Noah Cardenas left the yard in a big way. A few other notes from today include: the roster cutting of six players being reassigned out of big-league camp. None of the names are shocking, but there’s more than a couple here that should be options for the Twins at some point in 2022. Big leaguers Luis Arraez and Alex Kirilloff both got at-bats on the back fields today. Carlos Correa saw his first live at bats since the World Series. Former teammates Sonny Gray and Gary Sanchez worked together during live at-bats today. Catching coach Hank Conger was heavily involved in their exchanges. The experimental rules in the minor leagues also became official today, as did the continuation of what’s incorrectly being dubbed a “ghost runner” in Major League extra innings. Minnesota’s bats woke up en route to a 10-4 victory over the Red Sox today, and the highlight could have been Trevor Larnach’s three-run blast to the big part of the park. Tomorrow Tampa comes to town, although there is a good chance of rain in the forecast. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  5. With great power comes great responsibility. Will these Twins prospects be able to transition their power to the big-league level? Scouts and front office personnel use a 20-80 scale to evaluate a player’s tools. This ranking system is also used to project how those tools will improve as the player continues to develop. Below you will see the top five Twins prospects regarding current and future power potential. 5. Keoni Cavaco, SS Current Power/Future Power: 55/60 Cavaco’s power hasn’t fully shown up in-game action, but scouting reports have his raw power having some of the best potential in the system. Last season at Low-A, he posted a .598 OPS, which was 128 points higher than his professional debut. Cavaco added muscle to his frame during the canceled 2020 season, but that hasn’t shown up in-game action. Now he needs to prove he can make consistent contact to showcase his power on a more regular basis. He will be entering his age-21 season this year, and his stock has fallen in relation to prospect rankings. His power might make him a candidate to bounce back in 2022. 4. Jose Miranda, 3B Current Power/Future Power: 55/55 Miranda is coming off one of the best offensive seasons in Twins history, and he is on the verge of breaking into the big leagues. Minnesota’s front office has been touting Miranda’s potential for multiple offseasons, and he was finally able to put it all together in 2021. Between Double- and Triple-A, he hit 32 doubles and 30 home runs on his way to being named the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year. He’s proven his power potential in the upper minors, and he needs to prove that he can transition that power to the big-league level. His 2021 campaign clearly puts him in the team’s long-term plans. 3. Royce Lewis, SS/OF Current Power/Future Power: 60/70 Like Cavaco, Lewis has seen his stock drop over the last two years, but that’s directly related to the fact that he hasn’t been on the field. One of the reasons for optimism surrounding his power potential is the amount of time he has been able to add weight to his already athletic frame. When the Twins drafted him, he weighed 185 pounds, but now he has added at least 30 pounds to his 6-foot-1 frame. There are many questions about what version of Lewis will be on the field this season, especially with his previous swing concerns. 2. Aaron Sabato, 1B/DH Current Power/Future Power: 60/60 Sabato was an intriguing choice by the Twins when they took him in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft. He crushed the ball in college with a 1.158 OPS in 85 games. A player with his skillset needs to see that power transition to his professional career because he adds minimal defensive value. Last season at Low-A, he struggled to make consistent contact as he struck out 117 times in 85 games. However, he improved as the season progressed and played his final 22 games at High-A. Overall, he hit .253/.402/.613 (1.105) with eight home runs after the promotion. In 2022, he needs to prove that his power surge wasn’t a mirage. 1. Matt Wallner, OF Current Power/Future Power: 70/70 Scouts considered Wallner’s power some of the best in the 2019 draft class, and he has proven his power potential throughout his professional career. He posted an .854 OPS at High-A last season, but he missed time with a broken hamate. After the season, Minnesota sent him to the AFL, and he compiled a 1.011 OPS. There are still questions about Wallner’s future defensive position, but his bat has enough power to make him a dangerous option no matter where he is on the field. He struck out 100 times in 66 games last season, so his strikeout rate will be something to watch as he continues to move up the organizational ladder. Who do you think has the best power in the Twins system? Should someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  6. Scouts and front office personnel use a 20-80 scale to evaluate a player’s tools. This ranking system is also used to project how those tools will improve as the player continues to develop. Below you will see the top five Twins prospects regarding current and future power potential. 5. Keoni Cavaco, SS Current Power/Future Power: 55/60 Cavaco’s power hasn’t fully shown up in-game action, but scouting reports have his raw power having some of the best potential in the system. Last season at Low-A, he posted a .598 OPS, which was 128 points higher than his professional debut. Cavaco added muscle to his frame during the canceled 2020 season, but that hasn’t shown up in-game action. Now he needs to prove he can make consistent contact to showcase his power on a more regular basis. He will be entering his age-21 season this year, and his stock has fallen in relation to prospect rankings. His power might make him a candidate to bounce back in 2022. 4. Jose Miranda, 3B Current Power/Future Power: 55/55 Miranda is coming off one of the best offensive seasons in Twins history, and he is on the verge of breaking into the big leagues. Minnesota’s front office has been touting Miranda’s potential for multiple offseasons, and he was finally able to put it all together in 2021. Between Double- and Triple-A, he hit 32 doubles and 30 home runs on his way to being named the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year. He’s proven his power potential in the upper minors, and he needs to prove that he can transition that power to the big-league level. His 2021 campaign clearly puts him in the team’s long-term plans. 3. Royce Lewis, SS/OF Current Power/Future Power: 60/70 Like Cavaco, Lewis has seen his stock drop over the last two years, but that’s directly related to the fact that he hasn’t been on the field. One of the reasons for optimism surrounding his power potential is the amount of time he has been able to add weight to his already athletic frame. When the Twins drafted him, he weighed 185 pounds, but now he has added at least 30 pounds to his 6-foot-1 frame. There are many questions about what version of Lewis will be on the field this season, especially with his previous swing concerns. 2. Aaron Sabato, 1B/DH Current Power/Future Power: 60/60 Sabato was an intriguing choice by the Twins when they took him in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft. He crushed the ball in college with a 1.158 OPS in 85 games. A player with his skillset needs to see that power transition to his professional career because he adds minimal defensive value. Last season at Low-A, he struggled to make consistent contact as he struck out 117 times in 85 games. However, he improved as the season progressed and played his final 22 games at High-A. Overall, he hit .253/.402/.613 (1.105) with eight home runs after the promotion. In 2022, he needs to prove that his power surge wasn’t a mirage. 1. Matt Wallner, OF Current Power/Future Power: 70/70 Scouts considered Wallner’s power some of the best in the 2019 draft class, and he has proven his power potential throughout his professional career. He posted an .854 OPS at High-A last season, but he missed time with a broken hamate. After the season, Minnesota sent him to the AFL, and he compiled a 1.011 OPS. There are still questions about Wallner’s future defensive position, but his bat has enough power to make him a dangerous option no matter where he is on the field. He struck out 100 times in 66 games last season, so his strikeout rate will be something to watch as he continues to move up the organizational ladder. Who do you think has the best power in the Twins system? Should someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. Discussing the Minnesota Twins minor league system and the recently-published FanGraphs Twins prospect list. Players discussed included Marco Raya, Chase Petty, Misael Urbina, Keoni Cavaco, Louie Varland and Yunior Severino
  8. Discussing the Minnesota Twins minor league system and the recently-published FanGraphs Twins prospect list. Players discussed included Marco Raya, Chase Petty, Misael Urbina, Keoni Cavaco, Louie Varland and Yunior Severino View full video
  9. Not every prospect can follow a perfect development path due to injuries or lack of production. These three players have seen their stock fall significantly over the last year. It would be great if every prospect in a farm system were coming off a breakout season so their stock could continue to rise. However, that isn't always the case, and the players below have plenty to prove in 2022. Royce Lewis, SS/CF Seth's 2022 Prospect Rank: 1 All three major national rankings (Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and MLB.com) considered Lewis a top-35 prospect entering last season. Unfortunately, Lewis missed all of the 2021 season following ACL surgery, and now he must stay healthy in 2022. He won't turn 23 until the beginning of June, so he has development time even with two lost seasons. All of his rehab reports were positive, so he should be on track to start next season at Double- or Triple-A. Seth recently ranked the top-30 hitting and pitching prospects, and he continues to have Lewis as the organization's top prospect. Many national outlets are dropping Lewis out of their top-100 prospects or placing him near the end of their rankings. It is clear that Lewis has seen his stock drop, and this is tied to his lost development time in his early 20s that can be critical for long-term success. Lewis is a tremendous athlete with tools that should help him return to his previous form. Blayne Enlow, RHP Seth's 2022 Prospect Rank: 17 Enlow wasn't considered a top-100 prospect, but many considered him a top-10 prospect in the Twins organization. Minnesota drafted him out of high school in the 3rd round back in 2017. He ranked as the fifth-best high school pitcher, and the Twins had to sign him for an above slot deal to keep him from his commitment to LSU. He moved rapidly through the Twins system in his first three professional seasons as he was nearly two years younger than the competition at each stop. Last season, he made three starts in Cedar Rapids before having Tommy John surgery in June. This means he should be able to return in 2022. Since the end of the 2019 season, Enlow has pitched fewer than 15 professional innings, which is significant development time lost in his early 20s. At the same time, the Twins have added some higher-level prospects that rank higher than him. Luckily, he should be on pace to head to the upper minors when he returns from injury. His fastball has added velocity and movement in recent years. Enlow's second-best pitch is his curveball, which improved during his pro career. Many believe he can develop into a mid-rotation starter when mixing in a slider and a change-up. Keoni Cavaco, SS Seth's 2022 Prospect Rank: 30 Cavaco was Minnesota's first-round pick in 2019, and many evaluators viewed him as a stretch as the 13th overall pick. He struggled in his first taste of pro ball as he hit .172/.217/.253 (.470) with 35 strikeouts in 25 games. During the 2020 season, Cavaco worked with his swing to keep it in the zone longer to cut down on his swing-and-miss tendency. He has also been able to work on his physical make-up, which may help him in the long run. During the 2021 season, he played the majority of the season at Low-A, where he was over a year younger than the competition. In 63 games, he hit .233/.296/.302 (.598) with 95 strikeouts and 11 extra-base hits. His strikeout totals were still too high, and he hasn't shown the ability to make contact consistently. This winter, he will drop on many Twins' top prospect lists, and he has a lot to prove in 2022. Which player's stock has fallen the most? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  10. Over the next couple of weeks, Twins Daily will be counting down our Top 20 Minnesota Twins Prospects. We start today by discussing several Honorable Mentions, guys who received votes but finished outside the Top 20. Today’s list of players illustrates the depth that is developing in the organization. Looking beyond the top 20 illustrates the depth of the organization. These Twins Daily rankings are comprised of the votes of 11 Twins Daily writers who covered the Twins farm system in 2021. The voters followed the system nearly daily over the past season. Many watched a lot of video. Some attended some games at the Twins affiliates. In 2019, Luis Arraez and Jordan Balazovic appeared in this list. Two years ago, names such as Randy Dobnak, LaMonte Wade, Jorge Alcala, Bailey Ober were outside the Top 20. (maybe I shouldn’t mention that Akil Baddoo was a 2020 Honorable Mention.) Last year’s Honorable Mention group contains several players who have moved up the rankings Many of the prospects you’ll read about today could be, and maybe should be, in the Top 20 in one year. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of these players are Top 10 prospects one year from now. Before we start, the following players are no longer “prospects” according to Baseball-Reference: Alex Kirilloff, Ryan Jeffers, Brent Rooker, Trevor Larnach, Ben Rortvedt, Nick Gordon, Bailey Ober, and Ralph Garza, Jr. FIRST-ROUND FEATURES If anyone in the top 20 is unable to fulfill their duties, well, the #21 prospect is 2020 first-round pick Aaron Sabato. The first baseman struggled in his professional debut. We have reviewed and replayed his statistics, the low batting average, lots of strikeouts. But, he also has a very good eye at the plate, and his final couple weeks in Ft. Myers and during his time in Cedar Rapids, Sabato reminded us of the power potential that he possesses. Likewise, 2019 first-round pick Keoni Cavaco falls out of the top 20. While he still has immense tools, speed, power, and arm strength, he continued to struggle at the plate in Ft. Myers, especially as the season went along. He also fought some injuries including a concussion. Cavaco was one of the Twins prospects who was most hurt by the lost 2020 season. He remained young for the Low-A level and certainly had less pro experience than most. But often, talent and athleticism work out and Cavaco remains very intriguing. ALREADY DEBUTED Jovani Moran was drafted in 2015 and in 2021, he finally made his MLB debut in September. The lefty has put up huge strikeout numbers throughout his minor league career. He dominated at Double-A and then Triple-A before spending the final month with the Twins. He could be a big part of the Twins bullpen for years to come. ON THE 40 ALREADY A couple of very hard-throwing right-handers on the 40-man roster fell just outside the Top 20. Drew Strotman came to the Twins from Tampa in the Nelson Cruz trade. He’s got a four-pitch mix that includes a fastball that can touch 98 mph. He struggled in his time with the Saints, but he should help the Twins in 2022. Even after Tommy John surgery, the Rays had added Strotman to the 40-man roster. Chris Vallimont came to the Twins from the Marlins in the Lewin Diaz trade in 2019. Another starter with a big fastball, Vallimont sits 94 to 96 and touched 97. He was very inconsistent in 2021, especially with his control. Too many walks. However, he was a strikeout machine and his stuff is so good the Twins put him on their 40-man roster after the season. ARM STRENGTH The 2019 Twins draft included a lot of college pitchers, and several of them have made an impression already, even with the lost 2020 season. Casey Legumina didn’t pitch after that 2019 draft as he was recovering from Tommy John surgery, so 2021 was his professional debut. Sawyer Gipson-Long began the season with a rough start, but he proved durable and unlike many, he became an innings eater. At the same time, he too recorded a lot of strikeouts. WE HARDLY KNOW YE We already mentioned Aaron Sabato above, but all four of the Twins 2020 draft picks received votes, but not enough to get into the Top 20. Frankly, we just haven’t seen enough of them yet for various reasons. Alerick Soularie put up big offensive numbers at Tennessee before the Twins made him their second round pick. Unfortunately in spring training, he had a foot injury, so he didn’t get into games until the second half of the season. Marco Raya was the team’s 4th round pick in 2020, and with a minor injury, he did not pitch at all in 2021 either, so he is yet to make his professional debut. Yet, reports out of instructional league mentioned that he was hitting 97 mph with his fastball. When he was drafted, it was for things like control, a strong pitch mix. To add velocity to that is really exciting. Kala’i Rosario was their fifth and final pick of the 2020 draft. He was one of the most powerful prep bats in that draft. His pro debut came in the FCL and he was named the Twins Daily Short-Season Minor League Hitter of the Year. Of course, we also didn’t see a lot of the 2021 draft picks, but a few of them have already made an impression. No 2021 draft pick made a bigger impression than fourth-round pick Christian Encarnacion-Strand. He hit in 21 of 22 games played and posted a .391/.424/.598 (1.022) with four homers. Third-round pick Cade Povich also was impressive. The southpaw from Nebraska pitched in just 10 innings in his pro debut, but he had 19 strikeouts in that time. And again, reports from the instructional league noted that he was hitting 97 mph fairly consistently. Yasser Mercedes received a $1.7 million signing bonus from the Twins just a month ago. An athletic outfielder, Mercedes is just 16-years-old but obviously an intriguing talent. In 2018, Misael Urbina received a $2.75 million signing bonus from the Twins as a 16-year-old international free agent. A week into the 2021 season, Urbina moved up to the Mighty Mussels. He was one of the younger players in the league and struggled, hitting under-.200 and yet he held his own and showed a good plate approach. Yunior Severino came on strong after he was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. After hitting .245 in 63 games with Ft. Myers, he hit .321 in 35 games for the Kernels. Combined, he was second in the organization with 29 doubles. As I look at this group of Honorable Mentions, it is incredibly exciting. There are five or six pitchers that are very intriguing in this list with big velocity and the ability to get strikeouts. There are a few hitters that have big power potential. As I said in the beginning, many of these players could move up the rankings in 2022. That is a lot of talent, and those are guys who rank outside of the Twins Daily Top 20 prospects. Check back over the next two weeks to see who our 2021 Top 20 Twins Prospects are. View full article
  11. Looking beyond the top 20 illustrates the depth of the organization. These Twins Daily rankings are comprised of the votes of 11 Twins Daily writers who covered the Twins farm system in 2021. The voters followed the system nearly daily over the past season. Many watched a lot of video. Some attended some games at the Twins affiliates. In 2019, Luis Arraez and Jordan Balazovic appeared in this list. Two years ago, names such as Randy Dobnak, LaMonte Wade, Jorge Alcala, Bailey Ober were outside the Top 20. (maybe I shouldn’t mention that Akil Baddoo was a 2020 Honorable Mention.) Last year’s Honorable Mention group contains several players who have moved up the rankings Many of the prospects you’ll read about today could be, and maybe should be, in the Top 20 in one year. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of these players are Top 10 prospects one year from now. Before we start, the following players are no longer “prospects” according to Baseball-Reference: Alex Kirilloff, Ryan Jeffers, Brent Rooker, Trevor Larnach, Ben Rortvedt, Nick Gordon, Bailey Ober, and Ralph Garza, Jr. FIRST-ROUND FEATURES If anyone in the top 20 is unable to fulfill their duties, well, the #21 prospect is 2020 first-round pick Aaron Sabato. The first baseman struggled in his professional debut. We have reviewed and replayed his statistics, the low batting average, lots of strikeouts. But, he also has a very good eye at the plate, and his final couple weeks in Ft. Myers and during his time in Cedar Rapids, Sabato reminded us of the power potential that he possesses. Likewise, 2019 first-round pick Keoni Cavaco falls out of the top 20. While he still has immense tools, speed, power, and arm strength, he continued to struggle at the plate in Ft. Myers, especially as the season went along. He also fought some injuries including a concussion. Cavaco was one of the Twins prospects who was most hurt by the lost 2020 season. He remained young for the Low-A level and certainly had less pro experience than most. But often, talent and athleticism work out and Cavaco remains very intriguing. ALREADY DEBUTED Jovani Moran was drafted in 2015 and in 2021, he finally made his MLB debut in September. The lefty has put up huge strikeout numbers throughout his minor league career. He dominated at Double-A and then Triple-A before spending the final month with the Twins. He could be a big part of the Twins bullpen for years to come. ON THE 40 ALREADY A couple of very hard-throwing right-handers on the 40-man roster fell just outside the Top 20. Drew Strotman came to the Twins from Tampa in the Nelson Cruz trade. He’s got a four-pitch mix that includes a fastball that can touch 98 mph. He struggled in his time with the Saints, but he should help the Twins in 2022. Even after Tommy John surgery, the Rays had added Strotman to the 40-man roster. Chris Vallimont came to the Twins from the Marlins in the Lewin Diaz trade in 2019. Another starter with a big fastball, Vallimont sits 94 to 96 and touched 97. He was very inconsistent in 2021, especially with his control. Too many walks. However, he was a strikeout machine and his stuff is so good the Twins put him on their 40-man roster after the season. ARM STRENGTH The 2019 Twins draft included a lot of college pitchers, and several of them have made an impression already, even with the lost 2020 season. Casey Legumina didn’t pitch after that 2019 draft as he was recovering from Tommy John surgery, so 2021 was his professional debut. Sawyer Gipson-Long began the season with a rough start, but he proved durable and unlike many, he became an innings eater. At the same time, he too recorded a lot of strikeouts. WE HARDLY KNOW YE We already mentioned Aaron Sabato above, but all four of the Twins 2020 draft picks received votes, but not enough to get into the Top 20. Frankly, we just haven’t seen enough of them yet for various reasons. Alerick Soularie put up big offensive numbers at Tennessee before the Twins made him their second round pick. Unfortunately in spring training, he had a foot injury, so he didn’t get into games until the second half of the season. Marco Raya was the team’s 4th round pick in 2020, and with a minor injury, he did not pitch at all in 2021 either, so he is yet to make his professional debut. Yet, reports out of instructional league mentioned that he was hitting 97 mph with his fastball. When he was drafted, it was for things like control, a strong pitch mix. To add velocity to that is really exciting. Kala’i Rosario was their fifth and final pick of the 2020 draft. He was one of the most powerful prep bats in that draft. His pro debut came in the FCL and he was named the Twins Daily Short-Season Minor League Hitter of the Year. Of course, we also didn’t see a lot of the 2021 draft picks, but a few of them have already made an impression. No 2021 draft pick made a bigger impression than fourth-round pick Christian Encarnacion-Strand. He hit in 21 of 22 games played and posted a .391/.424/.598 (1.022) with four homers. Third-round pick Cade Povich also was impressive. The southpaw from Nebraska pitched in just 10 innings in his pro debut, but he had 19 strikeouts in that time. And again, reports from the instructional league noted that he was hitting 97 mph fairly consistently. Yasser Mercedes received a $1.7 million signing bonus from the Twins just a month ago. An athletic outfielder, Mercedes is just 16-years-old but obviously an intriguing talent. In 2018, Misael Urbina received a $2.75 million signing bonus from the Twins as a 16-year-old international free agent. A week into the 2021 season, Urbina moved up to the Mighty Mussels. He was one of the younger players in the league and struggled, hitting under-.200 and yet he held his own and showed a good plate approach. Yunior Severino came on strong after he was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. After hitting .245 in 63 games with Ft. Myers, he hit .321 in 35 games for the Kernels. Combined, he was second in the organization with 29 doubles. As I look at this group of Honorable Mentions, it is incredibly exciting. There are five or six pitchers that are very intriguing in this list with big velocity and the ability to get strikeouts. There are a few hitters that have big power potential. As I said in the beginning, many of these players could move up the rankings in 2022. That is a lot of talent, and those are guys who rank outside of the Twins Daily Top 20 prospects. Check back over the next two weeks to see who our 2021 Top 20 Twins Prospects are.
  12. It would be great if every prospect in a farm system were coming off a breakout season so their stock could continue to rise. However, that isn't always the case, and the players below have plenty to prove in 2022. Royce Lewis, SS/CF Seth's 2022 Prospect Rank: 1 All three major national rankings (Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and MLB.com) considered Lewis a top-35 prospect entering last season. Unfortunately, Lewis missed all of the 2021 season following ACL surgery, and now he must stay healthy in 2022. He won't turn 23 until the beginning of June, so he has development time even with two lost seasons. All of his rehab reports were positive, so he should be on track to start next season at Double- or Triple-A. Seth recently ranked the top-30 hitting and pitching prospects, and he continues to have Lewis as the organization's top prospect. Many national outlets are dropping Lewis out of their top-100 prospects or placing him near the end of their rankings. It is clear that Lewis has seen his stock drop, and this is tied to his lost development time in his early 20s that can be critical for long-term success. Lewis is a tremendous athlete with tools that should help him return to his previous form. Blayne Enlow, RHP Seth's 2022 Prospect Rank: 17 Enlow wasn't considered a top-100 prospect, but many considered him a top-10 prospect in the Twins organization. Minnesota drafted him out of high school in the 3rd round back in 2017. He ranked as the fifth-best high school pitcher, and the Twins had to sign him for an above slot deal to keep him from his commitment to LSU. He moved rapidly through the Twins system in his first three professional seasons as he was nearly two years younger than the competition at each stop. Last season, he made three starts in Cedar Rapids before having Tommy John surgery in June. This means he should be able to return in 2022. Since the end of the 2019 season, Enlow has pitched fewer than 15 professional innings, which is significant development time lost in his early 20s. At the same time, the Twins have added some higher-level prospects that rank higher than him. Luckily, he should be on pace to head to the upper minors when he returns from injury. His fastball has added velocity and movement in recent years. Enlow's second-best pitch is his curveball, which improved during his pro career. Many believe he can develop into a mid-rotation starter when mixing in a slider and a change-up. Keoni Cavaco, SS Seth's 2022 Prospect Rank: 30 Cavaco was Minnesota's first-round pick in 2019, and many evaluators viewed him as a stretch as the 13th overall pick. He struggled in his first taste of pro ball as he hit .172/.217/.253 (.470) with 35 strikeouts in 25 games. During the 2020 season, Cavaco worked with his swing to keep it in the zone longer to cut down on his swing-and-miss tendency. He has also been able to work on his physical make-up, which may help him in the long run. During the 2021 season, he played the majority of the season at Low-A, where he was over a year younger than the competition. In 63 games, he hit .233/.296/.302 (.598) with 95 strikeouts and 11 extra-base hits. His strikeout totals were still too high, and he hasn't shown the ability to make contact consistently. This winter, he will drop on many Twins' top prospect lists, and he has a lot to prove in 2022. Which player's stock has fallen the most? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  13. In a new series at Twins Daily, JD Cameron looks at some of the Twins early draft picks from 2021, what attracted the Twins to them, and storylines to watch for in 2022. Next up, number 36 overall pick, Noah Miller. While the MLB lockout continues to stagnate the offseason, minor-league players are preparing to travel to Florida and Arizona to begin preparation for their seasons. In this series, I’ll look at some of the Twins' notable picks from the early rounds of the 2021 draft. I’ll dig into scouting reports and storylines to look for ahead of the 2022 season. Next up, Noah Miller, a high school shortstop from Wisconsin. Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45 (grades courtesy of MLB.com) Signing and Scouting The Twins selected switch-hitting shortstop Noah Miller with their supplemental first-round pick in the 2021 draft (36th overall) out of Ozaukee High School in Fredonia, WI. He signed for a $1.7 million bonus, convincing him to renege on his commitment to Alabama. Miller was ranked as the #74 overall prospect by Baseball America and #62 overall by MLB.com. Miller is the second high school shortstop the Twins have drafted in the first round in recent seasons, following helium prospect Keoni Cavaco, selected at #13 overall in the 2019 draft. The younger brother of Cleveland Guardians’ infielder Owen Miller, who made his MLB debut in 2021, Noah has a solid floor, due to a strong all-around game. At 6’0 and 180 pounds, Miller is an excellent athlete and infielder. Baseball America described his defense as ‘elite’ heading into the 2021 draft. Miller joins an increasing wealth of high school baseball talent from Wisconsin that has produced players like Gavin Lux, Jared Kelenic, and Twins catcher Ben Rortvedt in recent seasons. Offensively, Miller has a line-drive swing and shows the ability to hit the ball the other way, though with little power currently. He has an effective approach at the plate and good control of the strike zone (drawing nine walks in his first 84 professionals at-bats). Miller is an above-average runner with an above-average arm, which evaluators believe will give him the ability to play shortstop at the major-league level. While Miller doesn’t have one stand-out tool or skill-set, his strong all-around game makes him a lower variance prospect than Chase Petty. His first full season against professional pitching will be telling and a good indicator of whether Miller’s ceiling is every day starting shortstop, or more of a utility role. Quiet Excellence Miller is a prospect who won’t receive much fanfare initially, despite having MLB bloodlines. The absence of a loud tool from his arsenal and the likelihood he will move relatively slowly through the Twins minor league system will see to that. He is, however, not a prospect to sleep on. His overall athleticism was highlighted by Seth Stohs in his excellent piece this summer on the Miller family. Noah Miller finished his high school basketball career by casually breaking the all-time point scoring record. Miller benefited from being in close geographical proximity to the Twins, across the border in Wisconsin. With the 2021 draft delayed, the Twins scouting and development personnel had opportunities to get additional looks at Miller. On draft day, the Twins were attracted to several elements of Miller’s profile; his effortless defense (his favorite player is Brandon Crawford), infield clock, and a smooth compact swing from both sides of the plate. The Twins feel like he has the ability to add power to his swing as he grows and fills out. Ultimately, they believe they took a prospect beyond his years in Noah Miller. Likely to Start At: Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (A) Miller has a higher floor than most high school shortstop products. He has the defensive instincts to stick at the big-league level. How he handles his first full season of professional pitching will go a long way to determining if he can reach his ceiling as an everyday MLB shortstop. Twins Prospect Preview: Chase Petty View full article
  14. While the MLB lockout continues to stagnate the offseason, minor-league players are preparing to travel to Florida and Arizona to begin preparation for their seasons. In this series, I’ll look at some of the Twins' notable picks from the early rounds of the 2021 draft. I’ll dig into scouting reports and storylines to look for ahead of the 2022 season. Next up, Noah Miller, a high school shortstop from Wisconsin. Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45 (grades courtesy of MLB.com) Signing and Scouting The Twins selected switch-hitting shortstop Noah Miller with their supplemental first-round pick in the 2021 draft (36th overall) out of Ozaukee High School in Fredonia, WI. He signed for a $1.7 million bonus, convincing him to renege on his commitment to Alabama. Miller was ranked as the #74 overall prospect by Baseball America and #62 overall by MLB.com. Miller is the second high school shortstop the Twins have drafted in the first round in recent seasons, following helium prospect Keoni Cavaco, selected at #13 overall in the 2019 draft. The younger brother of Cleveland Guardians’ infielder Owen Miller, who made his MLB debut in 2021, Noah has a solid floor, due to a strong all-around game. At 6’0 and 180 pounds, Miller is an excellent athlete and infielder. Baseball America described his defense as ‘elite’ heading into the 2021 draft. Miller joins an increasing wealth of high school baseball talent from Wisconsin that has produced players like Gavin Lux, Jared Kelenic, and Twins catcher Ben Rortvedt in recent seasons. Offensively, Miller has a line-drive swing and shows the ability to hit the ball the other way, though with little power currently. He has an effective approach at the plate and good control of the strike zone (drawing nine walks in his first 84 professionals at-bats). Miller is an above-average runner with an above-average arm, which evaluators believe will give him the ability to play shortstop at the major-league level. While Miller doesn’t have one stand-out tool or skill-set, his strong all-around game makes him a lower variance prospect than Chase Petty. His first full season against professional pitching will be telling and a good indicator of whether Miller’s ceiling is every day starting shortstop, or more of a utility role. Quiet Excellence Miller is a prospect who won’t receive much fanfare initially, despite having MLB bloodlines. The absence of a loud tool from his arsenal and the likelihood he will move relatively slowly through the Twins minor league system will see to that. He is, however, not a prospect to sleep on. His overall athleticism was highlighted by Seth Stohs in his excellent piece this summer on the Miller family. Noah Miller finished his high school basketball career by casually breaking the all-time point scoring record. Miller benefited from being in close geographical proximity to the Twins, across the border in Wisconsin. With the 2021 draft delayed, the Twins scouting and development personnel had opportunities to get additional looks at Miller. On draft day, the Twins were attracted to several elements of Miller’s profile; his effortless defense (his favorite player is Brandon Crawford), infield clock, and a smooth compact swing from both sides of the plate. The Twins feel like he has the ability to add power to his swing as he grows and fills out. Ultimately, they believe they took a prospect beyond his years in Noah Miller. Likely to Start At: Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (A) Miller has a higher floor than most high school shortstop products. He has the defensive instincts to stick at the big-league level. How he handles his first full season of professional pitching will go a long way to determining if he can reach his ceiling as an everyday MLB shortstop. Twins Prospect Preview: Chase Petty
  15. Our countdown continues today as we get to know five more Minnesota Twins hitting prospects. This is an interesting, intriguing grouping of hitters. Find out who are my choices for the 11-15 ranked Twins hitting prospects. Prospects come in all shapes and sizes, and players develop at different paces. This list shows that. The player in this group of five that has been around the longest is still very young, but because he signed at 16, he may seem older than he is. In fact, that player is actually younger than players drafted out of college the last couple of seasons. Brent Rooker went to Mississippi State and red-shirted as a freshman. He wasn't yet ready at that time. At 20, he was certainly ready for the SEC and became a top pick, drafted at 22-years-old. That really brings up two points about age and prospects. First, age in important to consider when looking at level of competition and stats. However, age really isn't that important when it comes to a potential big leaguer. If he's ready at 22, great. If he's ready at 26, that's OK too. Of course, with the lost 2020 season due to the pandemic, age becomes less important relative to both points. With that in mind, this group of five prospects has a few players who signed at 16 or 17 years old, and a couple of powerful college draft picks. Continue reading to see who made today's list. #15 SS Wander Javier 2021 STATS: .225/.280/.413, 15 2B, 10 3B, 12 HR, 53 RBI, 34.3 K%, 6.1 BB%, 1/4 SB It’s been discussed before, but the Twins prospect most hurt by a lost 2020 season may have been Wander Javier. Signed to the largest international free agent contract in team history in July 2015, he began the trek up the ladder. Unfortunately, He missed much of the DSL season in 2016 with injury. He played well for Elizabethton in 2017. Then a shoulder injury cost him the 2018 season and the first half of the 2019 season. He struggled in Low-A Cedar Rapids, hitting just .177 in 80 games. Then came the missed 2020 season. In 2020, he spent the season with High-A Cedar Rapids. The positive is that he remained healthy until the final weeks of the season. He certainly showed flashes of offensive potential, but overall the batting average was low, and so was the on-base percentage. He continued to strike out a lot. There are still several positives that make me (and many) unwilling to give up on him. Javier is a really good athlete. He is quick and he has good strength. He had 37 extra base hits, showing home run power and triples speed. On the positive is Javier’s shortstop defense. Similar to Jermaine Palacios defensively. He has good range. He’s got a big arm. He just sometimes struggles with routine plays, so he will need to continue working on being more consistent. Javier has one more season in the Twins organization before he can become a minor league free agent. He just turned 23 in late December, so being patient is wise. #14 3B Christian Encarnacion-Strand 2021 STATS: .391/.424/.598, 2 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 28.3 K%, 5.4 BB%, 2/2 SB The Twins drafted Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the fourth round of the 2021 draft, and it’s fair to say he made a great first impression. As you can see above, he hit for average and showed some of the power that made him intriguing in the draft. He played in 22 games for Ft. Myers and had at least one hit in 21 games. He had at least one hit in the first 20 games. At one point, he had three hits in three straight games and four out of five games. Big and strong, he has a lot of power potential. He didn’t walk a lot with the Mighty Mussels, but he has shown a good approach at the plate. In his one season at Oklahoma State, he hit .361/.442/.661 (1.103) with 17 doubles and 15 home runs in 56 games. The California native had previously been drafted in 2019 in the 34th round when he was playing at Yavapai College in Arizona. In college, he played almost exclusively at third base. In Ft. Myers, with Jesus Feliz and fellow-2021 draft pick Jake Rucker playing third base, Encarnacion-Strand played 17 games at first base. He will be 22 years old throughout the 2022 season. There is a chance that this ranking is a little high simply due to his first impression on me, so it will be interesting to see what he does in 2022. #13 SS Keoni Cavaco 2021 STATS: .233/.296/.302, 7 2B, 2 HR, 26 RBI, 34.1 K%, 7.0 BB%, 6/8 SB Javier is the player likely hurt most by the missed 2020 season. It was also unfortunate for Keoni Cavaco. He was the Twins first-round draft pick in the 2019 draft and struggled in 25 games in the GCL that season. Despite limited pro time, the Twins pushed him to Ft. Myers despite having just turned 20 in early June. He started out well and showed glimpses of his immense potential. Unfortunately, he had some rough patches too. He also missed time with a couple of injuries including a concussion. We have seen how playing in Ft. Myers can (and does) negatively impact offense, so despite his numbers, it is far too early to be too worried yet. He is big, strong and quick and should develop doubles and home run power in time. While he played third base in high school because his Eastlake teammate was shortstop Marcelo Mayer who was the fourth overall pick in the 2021 draft. However, he has the size, speed, hands and arm strength to potentially play shortstop so that’s where the Twins played him in 2021 and will continue to do so. He certainly needs to be more consistent, but the tools are there. He won’t be able to legally drink until early June. #12 OF Misael Urbina 2021 STATS: .191/.299/.286, 12 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR,52 RBI, 18.7 K%, 12.3 BB%, 16/22 SB Back in July 2018, the Twins signed a 16-year-old Misael Urbina from Venezuela to a $2.75 million signing bonus. He made his professional debut in the DSL where he hit .279/.382/.443 (.825) with 14 doubles, five triples and two homers over 50 games. He also stole 19 bases and walked more than he struck out. After missing the 2020 season, he was set to begin the 2021 season in Extended Spring Training at the Complex. However, less than a week later, he was moved up to the Mighty Mussels and put right into their lineup. As you can see from his stat line, it was a struggle for him. However, he was more than two years younger than league average. He had a low batting average, but he took a lot of walks, showing an ability to control the strike zone (in a league with an electronic strike zone). He also was a good base stealer. He is generally a solid young outfielder who split his time between center field and left field. Urbina would benefit from another season in Ft. Myers to help his tools develop and he can find more success, even if it’s just for a half-season. He won’t even turn 20 until the end of April. #11 OF Matt Wallner 2021 STATS: .265/.350/.504, 14 2B, 2 3B, 15 HR, 47 RBI, 33.3 K%, 9.3 BB%, 0/1 SB In 2016, Matt Wallner was Mr. Minnesota in baseball and the Twins drafted him in the 32nd round as a pitcher. He didn’t sign and instead headed south to play at Southern Mississippi where he developed into one of the best power hitters in college baseball. In 2019, the Twins drafted him again, this time with the 39th overall pick. He spent that summer in Elizabethton before ending the season in Cedar Rapids. After a lost 2020 season, Wallner returned to Cedar Rapids, now the Twins High-A affiliate. In his first 17 games, he hit .333/.384/.621 (1.005) with nine extra base hits. Unfortunately, he hurt his wrist and ended up having surgery on a broken hamate bone. Two months later, he returned to the Kernels for another 54 games. In that time, he hit just .220, but he walked 10% of the time and hit 11 doubles and 11 home runs. Following the season, he went to the Arizona Fall League where he hit .303 with two doubles and six homers in just 18 games. When he has control of the strike zone, Wallner can be immensely productive. If he can do that, he should hit for average. And when he makes contact, he has as much power as anyone in the Twins system, power to all fields. He’s tall and strong and a pretty good athlete with decent speed once he gets going. Defensively, he is a solid corner outfielder. Since he spent time in college as a closer, you might know that he has a cannon for an arm. He will likely spend most of the 2022 season with the Wichita Wind Surge. He will be 24 throughout the season. I think this is a really interesting group of prospects. There are three very high-ceiling, multi-tooled prospects in this group who signed at a very young age. Javier has struggled on the field and staying on the field in his time. Cavaco and Urbina have all the tools, but they struggled. Both would have benefited from being able to play in a league between the Complex League and Low-A. Wallner and Encarnacion-Strand are college draft picks with big-time power potential who could move up the ladder more quickly. It should be a fun list to discuss. Discuss these players, their rankings and feel free to ask questions. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Hitters Part 3: 16-20 Hitters Part 4: 11-15 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 3: 16-20 Pitchers Part 4: 11-15 View full article
  16. Prospects come in all shapes and sizes, and players develop at different paces. This list shows that. The player in this group of five that has been around the longest is still very young, but because he signed at 16, he may seem older than he is. In fact, that player is actually younger than players drafted out of college the last couple of seasons. Brent Rooker went to Mississippi State and red-shirted as a freshman. He wasn't yet ready at that time. At 20, he was certainly ready for the SEC and became a top pick, drafted at 22-years-old. That really brings up two points about age and prospects. First, age in important to consider when looking at level of competition and stats. However, age really isn't that important when it comes to a potential big leaguer. If he's ready at 22, great. If he's ready at 26, that's OK too. Of course, with the lost 2020 season due to the pandemic, age becomes less important relative to both points. With that in mind, this group of five prospects has a few players who signed at 16 or 17 years old, and a couple of powerful college draft picks. Continue reading to see who made today's list. #15 SS Wander Javier 2021 STATS: .225/.280/.413, 15 2B, 10 3B, 12 HR, 53 RBI, 34.3 K%, 6.1 BB%, 1/4 SB It’s been discussed before, but the Twins prospect most hurt by a lost 2020 season may have been Wander Javier. Signed to the largest international free agent contract in team history in July 2015, he began the trek up the ladder. Unfortunately, He missed much of the DSL season in 2016 with injury. He played well for Elizabethton in 2017. Then a shoulder injury cost him the 2018 season and the first half of the 2019 season. He struggled in Low-A Cedar Rapids, hitting just .177 in 80 games. Then came the missed 2020 season. In 2020, he spent the season with High-A Cedar Rapids. The positive is that he remained healthy until the final weeks of the season. He certainly showed flashes of offensive potential, but overall the batting average was low, and so was the on-base percentage. He continued to strike out a lot. There are still several positives that make me (and many) unwilling to give up on him. Javier is a really good athlete. He is quick and he has good strength. He had 37 extra base hits, showing home run power and triples speed. On the positive is Javier’s shortstop defense. Similar to Jermaine Palacios defensively. He has good range. He’s got a big arm. He just sometimes struggles with routine plays, so he will need to continue working on being more consistent. Javier has one more season in the Twins organization before he can become a minor league free agent. He just turned 23 in late December, so being patient is wise. #14 3B Christian Encarnacion-Strand 2021 STATS: .391/.424/.598, 2 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 28.3 K%, 5.4 BB%, 2/2 SB The Twins drafted Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the fourth round of the 2021 draft, and it’s fair to say he made a great first impression. As you can see above, he hit for average and showed some of the power that made him intriguing in the draft. He played in 22 games for Ft. Myers and had at least one hit in 21 games. He had at least one hit in the first 20 games. At one point, he had three hits in three straight games and four out of five games. Big and strong, he has a lot of power potential. He didn’t walk a lot with the Mighty Mussels, but he has shown a good approach at the plate. In his one season at Oklahoma State, he hit .361/.442/.661 (1.103) with 17 doubles and 15 home runs in 56 games. The California native had previously been drafted in 2019 in the 34th round when he was playing at Yavapai College in Arizona. In college, he played almost exclusively at third base. In Ft. Myers, with Jesus Feliz and fellow-2021 draft pick Jake Rucker playing third base, Encarnacion-Strand played 17 games at first base. He will be 22 years old throughout the 2022 season. There is a chance that this ranking is a little high simply due to his first impression on me, so it will be interesting to see what he does in 2022. #13 SS Keoni Cavaco 2021 STATS: .233/.296/.302, 7 2B, 2 HR, 26 RBI, 34.1 K%, 7.0 BB%, 6/8 SB Javier is the player likely hurt most by the missed 2020 season. It was also unfortunate for Keoni Cavaco. He was the Twins first-round draft pick in the 2019 draft and struggled in 25 games in the GCL that season. Despite limited pro time, the Twins pushed him to Ft. Myers despite having just turned 20 in early June. He started out well and showed glimpses of his immense potential. Unfortunately, he had some rough patches too. He also missed time with a couple of injuries including a concussion. We have seen how playing in Ft. Myers can (and does) negatively impact offense, so despite his numbers, it is far too early to be too worried yet. He is big, strong and quick and should develop doubles and home run power in time. While he played third base in high school because his Eastlake teammate was shortstop Marcelo Mayer who was the fourth overall pick in the 2021 draft. However, he has the size, speed, hands and arm strength to potentially play shortstop so that’s where the Twins played him in 2021 and will continue to do so. He certainly needs to be more consistent, but the tools are there. He won’t be able to legally drink until early June. #12 OF Misael Urbina 2021 STATS: .191/.299/.286, 12 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR,52 RBI, 18.7 K%, 12.3 BB%, 16/22 SB Back in July 2018, the Twins signed a 16-year-old Misael Urbina from Venezuela to a $2.75 million signing bonus. He made his professional debut in the DSL where he hit .279/.382/.443 (.825) with 14 doubles, five triples and two homers over 50 games. He also stole 19 bases and walked more than he struck out. After missing the 2020 season, he was set to begin the 2021 season in Extended Spring Training at the Complex. However, less than a week later, he was moved up to the Mighty Mussels and put right into their lineup. As you can see from his stat line, it was a struggle for him. However, he was more than two years younger than league average. He had a low batting average, but he took a lot of walks, showing an ability to control the strike zone (in a league with an electronic strike zone). He also was a good base stealer. He is generally a solid young outfielder who split his time between center field and left field. Urbina would benefit from another season in Ft. Myers to help his tools develop and he can find more success, even if it’s just for a half-season. He won’t even turn 20 until the end of April. #11 OF Matt Wallner 2021 STATS: .265/.350/.504, 14 2B, 2 3B, 15 HR, 47 RBI, 33.3 K%, 9.3 BB%, 0/1 SB In 2016, Matt Wallner was Mr. Minnesota in baseball and the Twins drafted him in the 32nd round as a pitcher. He didn’t sign and instead headed south to play at Southern Mississippi where he developed into one of the best power hitters in college baseball. In 2019, the Twins drafted him again, this time with the 39th overall pick. He spent that summer in Elizabethton before ending the season in Cedar Rapids. After a lost 2020 season, Wallner returned to Cedar Rapids, now the Twins High-A affiliate. In his first 17 games, he hit .333/.384/.621 (1.005) with nine extra base hits. Unfortunately, he hurt his wrist and ended up having surgery on a broken hamate bone. Two months later, he returned to the Kernels for another 54 games. In that time, he hit just .220, but he walked 10% of the time and hit 11 doubles and 11 home runs. Following the season, he went to the Arizona Fall League where he hit .303 with two doubles and six homers in just 18 games. When he has control of the strike zone, Wallner can be immensely productive. If he can do that, he should hit for average. And when he makes contact, he has as much power as anyone in the Twins system, power to all fields. He’s tall and strong and a pretty good athlete with decent speed once he gets going. Defensively, he is a solid corner outfielder. Since he spent time in college as a closer, you might know that he has a cannon for an arm. He will likely spend most of the 2022 season with the Wichita Wind Surge. He will be 24 throughout the season. I think this is a really interesting group of prospects. There are three very high-ceiling, multi-tooled prospects in this group who signed at a very young age. Javier has struggled on the field and staying on the field in his time. Cavaco and Urbina have all the tools, but they struggled. Both would have benefited from being able to play in a league between the Complex League and Low-A. Wallner and Encarnacion-Strand are college draft picks with big-time power potential who could move up the ladder more quickly. It should be a fun list to discuss. Discuss these players, their rankings and feel free to ask questions. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Hitters Part 3: 16-20 Hitters Part 4: 11-15 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 3: 16-20 Pitchers Part 4: 11-15
  17. Many of Minnesota’s top prospects are in the upper levels of the minors, but the farm system has plenty of depth. So, who are the candidates to jump up the rankings by 2023? Here are four Twins minor leaguers who could be the organization's top prospect ahead of the 2023 season. The assumption here is that prospects such as Austin Martin, Royce Lewis and others will already be in the big leagues. Chase Petty, RHP Current TD Ranking: 9 Petty was Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2021, and his scouting reports are certainly something for fans to get excited about. He was a regular on the national showcase circuit, where he touched triple digits with his fastball. Petty mixes in a slider and changeup keep batters off balance. With any young pitcher, there can be questions about command and delivery. By 2023, the Twins will have a better idea of what Petty can be for the long-term, especially after getting into full-season ball. Keoni Cavaco, SS Current TD Ranking: 10 Cavaco, the number 13 overall pick in 2019, has under 100 professional games under his belt. He’s spent the majority of his age-20 season at Low-A, where he has hit .240/.297/.311 with ten extra-base hits in 57 games. All but 27 of his at-bats have come against older pitchers, so there is some room for optimism. During last year’s pandemic, Cavaco worked to refine his swing and add muscle. Over the next two years, Twins fans can hope he starts to see the results of this hard work. Noah Miller, SS Current TD Ranking: 15 The Twins took Miller with a competitive balance pick at the end of the first round. He is an advanced hitter for his age, which might help him move ahead of the other hitters on this list. Current scouting reports have his arm and fielding ability as two of his best tools, which should allow him to stick at shortstop as he continues to develop. Miller has a chance to be one of the team’s top-5 prospects in two years, but will he put it all together and take over the top spot? Misael Urbina, OF Current TD Ranking: 18 MLB Pipeline picked Urbina as the team’s top prospect in 2023, which might make sense for where he is in his development path. He’s younger than Cavaco, and he has played at the same level as him for the entire season. It’s his first season playing in the States, and he saw his slugging percentage increase every month from May through July. Even with his struggles this year, he can start 2022 at Low-A and still be younger than the competition at that level. Which prospect do you think will be the team’s top prospect in two years? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  18. Here are four Twins minor leaguers who could be the organization's top prospect ahead of the 2023 season. The assumption here is that prospects such as Austin Martin, Royce Lewis and others will already be in the big leagues. Chase Petty, RHP Current TD Ranking: 9 Petty was Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2021, and his scouting reports are certainly something for fans to get excited about. He was a regular on the national showcase circuit, where he touched triple digits with his fastball. Petty mixes in a slider and changeup keep batters off balance. With any young pitcher, there can be questions about command and delivery. By 2023, the Twins will have a better idea of what Petty can be for the long-term, especially after getting into full-season ball. Keoni Cavaco, SS Current TD Ranking: 10 Cavaco, the number 13 overall pick in 2019, has under 100 professional games under his belt. He’s spent the majority of his age-20 season at Low-A, where he has hit .240/.297/.311 with ten extra-base hits in 57 games. All but 27 of his at-bats have come against older pitchers, so there is some room for optimism. During last year’s pandemic, Cavaco worked to refine his swing and add muscle. Over the next two years, Twins fans can hope he starts to see the results of this hard work. Noah Miller, SS Current TD Ranking: 15 The Twins took Miller with a competitive balance pick at the end of the first round. He is an advanced hitter for his age, which might help him move ahead of the other hitters on this list. Current scouting reports have his arm and fielding ability as two of his best tools, which should allow him to stick at shortstop as he continues to develop. Miller has a chance to be one of the team’s top-5 prospects in two years, but will he put it all together and take over the top spot? Misael Urbina, OF Current TD Ranking: 18 MLB Pipeline picked Urbina as the team’s top prospect in 2023, which might make sense for where he is in his development path. He’s younger than Cavaco, and he has played at the same level as him for the entire season. It’s his first season playing in the States, and he saw his slugging percentage increase every month from May through July. Even with his struggles this year, he can start 2022 at Low-A and still be younger than the competition at that level. Which prospect do you think will be the team’s top prospect in two years? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  19. Lewis Thorpe had an encouraging performance in what was his fourth appearance since being activated off the IL. Read all about that and more in Friday night’s edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS RHP Orlando Rodriguez of Fort Myers placed on the 7-day IL. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Indianapolis 5 Box Score Lewis Thorpe: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (3-for-5), Tomas Telis (2-for-5, HR), Mark Contreras (2-for-5), Gilberto Celestino (2-for-5, 2B), Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-4) HR: Kerrigan (16), Telis (7) Lewis Thorpe looked comfortable and confident tonight. He was throwing his curveball and changeup early in counts, then working in high fastballs to try to finish hitters off. He threw 50 of his 78 pitches for strikes (64.1%) and was efficient enough to record two outs in the sixth inning. This was a jump up from the 58 pitches he threw in his last outing for the Saints. The Twins are clearly viewing Thorpe as a starting pitcher at this point. It would make sense for him to make another start with the Saints, stretching out another 15-20 pitches, but with Michael Pineda exiting his start early, Thorpe may be looked upon as a potential replacement. The St. Paul lineup was patient with 36-year-old knuckleballer Steven Wright, who threw 97 pitches in four innings. Along with the five batters who had multiple hits listed above, Nick Gordon also reached twice, drawing a pair of walks, and stole a base. He played center field tonight. Yennier Cano had an eventful ninth inning, giving up a run on three hits, but locked down the save by striking out the final two batters he faced, stranding runners at second and third base. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 4, Wichita 1 Box Score Austin Schulfer: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K Multi-hit games: B.J. Boyd (2-for-4), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-3) HR: None The Surge were scheduled to play a doubleheader today but more inclimate weather resulted in the first game being postponed, leaving one seven-inning game left to be played. Neither team scored through seven, however, so this one went into “extra” innings. B.J. Boyd singled home the Wichita bonus runner in the top of the inning. The Wind Surge were an out away from victory but a ground ball got by first baseman Andrew Bechtold for a game-tying single and the next batter hit a walk-off home run. Tyler Beck was turning in an impressive Double-A debut before things fell apart with two outs in the eighth inning. He was attempting to cover the final four frames, and had struck out five of the first 15 batters he faced. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Peoria 3 Box Score Jon Olsen: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (4-for-5, 2B), Jefferson Morales (2-for-4) HR: Matt Wallner (10) Yunior Severino and Jeferson Morales have been huge boosts to the Kernels since being called up from Fort Myers. After a four-hit night, Severino is hitting .439 with a 1.147 OPS in his first 15 games with the club. Morales hasn’t been around as long, this was just his fourth game with Cedar Rapids, but he has a .563 average with a 1.463 OPS. Matt Wallner hit the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning. It was his 10th homer of the year and 18th as a pro, just the fourth that’s come against a lefty. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Bradenton 1 Box Score Casey Legumina: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Keoni Cavaco (2-for-6), Jesus Feliz (2-for-5, 2B), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, BB) HR: Will Holland (8) Every member of the Fort Myers lineup reached base and everyone but Jesus Feliz also struck out. The team combined for 10 hits, eight walks and 14 strikeouts. Keoni Cavaco had a multi-hit game, but he also struck out four times. Here’s his two-run single in what was a big five-run inning for the Mussels. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher: Lewis Thorpe, St. Paul Hitter: Yunior Severino, Cedar Rapids PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – DNP #4 – Matt Canterino (Fort Myers) – DNP #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 3-for-5, R #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 2-for-6, 2 RBI, R #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, R #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – DNP #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 1-for-6, RBI #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-3, HR, BB, HBP, 2 RBI, R #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – DNP #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – DNP #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 4-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – DNP #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-3 #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5 #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – DNP #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – DNP SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers at Bradenton, 11 am CT: Bobby Milacki St. Paul at Indianapolis, 6:05 pm CT: Beau Burrows Cedar Rapids at Peoria, 6:35 pm CT: Sawyer Gipson-Long Wichita at Tulsa, 7:05 pm CT: Cole Sands View full article
  20. TRANSACTIONS RHP Orlando Rodriguez of Fort Myers placed on the 7-day IL. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Indianapolis 5 Box Score Lewis Thorpe: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (3-for-5), Tomas Telis (2-for-5, HR), Mark Contreras (2-for-5), Gilberto Celestino (2-for-5, 2B), Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-4) HR: Kerrigan (16), Telis (7) Lewis Thorpe looked comfortable and confident tonight. He was throwing his curveball and changeup early in counts, then working in high fastballs to try to finish hitters off. He threw 50 of his 78 pitches for strikes (64.1%) and was efficient enough to record two outs in the sixth inning. This was a jump up from the 58 pitches he threw in his last outing for the Saints. The Twins are clearly viewing Thorpe as a starting pitcher at this point. It would make sense for him to make another start with the Saints, stretching out another 15-20 pitches, but with Michael Pineda exiting his start early, Thorpe may be looked upon as a potential replacement. The St. Paul lineup was patient with 36-year-old knuckleballer Steven Wright, who threw 97 pitches in four innings. Along with the five batters who had multiple hits listed above, Nick Gordon also reached twice, drawing a pair of walks, and stole a base. He played center field tonight. Yennier Cano had an eventful ninth inning, giving up a run on three hits, but locked down the save by striking out the final two batters he faced, stranding runners at second and third base. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 4, Wichita 1 Box Score Austin Schulfer: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K Multi-hit games: B.J. Boyd (2-for-4), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-3) HR: None The Surge were scheduled to play a doubleheader today but more inclimate weather resulted in the first game being postponed, leaving one seven-inning game left to be played. Neither team scored through seven, however, so this one went into “extra” innings. B.J. Boyd singled home the Wichita bonus runner in the top of the inning. The Wind Surge were an out away from victory but a ground ball got by first baseman Andrew Bechtold for a game-tying single and the next batter hit a walk-off home run. Tyler Beck was turning in an impressive Double-A debut before things fell apart with two outs in the eighth inning. He was attempting to cover the final four frames, and had struck out five of the first 15 batters he faced. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Peoria 3 Box Score Jon Olsen: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (4-for-5, 2B), Jefferson Morales (2-for-4) HR: Matt Wallner (10) Yunior Severino and Jeferson Morales have been huge boosts to the Kernels since being called up from Fort Myers. After a four-hit night, Severino is hitting .439 with a 1.147 OPS in his first 15 games with the club. Morales hasn’t been around as long, this was just his fourth game with Cedar Rapids, but he has a .563 average with a 1.463 OPS. Matt Wallner hit the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning. It was his 10th homer of the year and 18th as a pro, just the fourth that’s come against a lefty. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Bradenton 1 Box Score Casey Legumina: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Keoni Cavaco (2-for-6), Jesus Feliz (2-for-5, 2B), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, BB) HR: Will Holland (8) Every member of the Fort Myers lineup reached base and everyone but Jesus Feliz also struck out. The team combined for 10 hits, eight walks and 14 strikeouts. Keoni Cavaco had a multi-hit game, but he also struck out four times. Here’s his two-run single in what was a big five-run inning for the Mussels. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher: Lewis Thorpe, St. Paul Hitter: Yunior Severino, Cedar Rapids PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – DNP #4 – Matt Canterino (Fort Myers) – DNP #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 3-for-5, R #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 2-for-6, 2 RBI, R #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, R #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – DNP #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 1-for-6, RBI #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-3, HR, BB, HBP, 2 RBI, R #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – DNP #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – DNP #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 4-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – DNP #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-3 #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5 #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – DNP #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – DNP SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers at Bradenton, 11 am CT: Bobby Milacki St. Paul at Indianapolis, 6:05 pm CT: Beau Burrows Cedar Rapids at Peoria, 6:35 pm CT: Sawyer Gipson-Long Wichita at Tulsa, 7:05 pm CT: Cole Sands
  21. The Twins organization saw a few new additions courtesy of the trade deadline and the MLB Draft. Are any of them high on the most recent Twins Daily Prospect list? Read to find out! 10. SS Keoni Cavaco (20-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A): .242/.314/.332, 49 G, 7 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 6 SB, 63/18 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: #6 It's been a rough year for the Fort Myers offense. Cavaco's .242 batting average is something that will need to improve. Yet before we double down on the guy, let's remember, he's 20-years-old! While he played 25 games in 2019, this is Cavaco's first 'true' season. The guy is an incredible athlete and has shown moments of brilliance in the field and at the plate. Plagued by injuries this season, Cavaco's 2022 season will be a big indicator of his future with the Twins. There's a lot of potential if he can stay healthy. Check out his interview with Seth Stohs from earlier this year! 9. RHP Chase Petty (18-years-old) Season Stats: No Stats Previous Rankings: Not ranked, Minnesota Twins 2021 Top Draft Pick Chase Petty may have been the most electrifying pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. The New Jersey-native can hit triple digits, has good off-speed, and name dropped Mike Trout in post-draft interview. Petty was named Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of New Jersey this past year. His fastball speaks volumes but he's also got an excellent slider in his arsenal. Yes, Petty is only 18. Yet he has the confidence of an MLB ballplayer and that is going to work miracles for him as he navigates professional baseball. Expect the Jersey boy to climb the ladder quickly. 8. RHP Matt Canterino (23-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): 5 GS, 20 IP, 0.90 ERA, 0.65 ERA, 16.7 K/9, 1.4 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: #4 Matt Canterino didn't drop on our rankings because of poor performance. The Twins' 2019 second-round draft pick was sidelined by an elbow injury for a majority of the summer and just recently hit the bump again. Canterino recently began rehabbing at Low-A Fort Myers. In his August 8th return he was perfect, striking out two and giving up zero hits or walks in two innings. Prior to his injury Canterino was electric, giving up only two earned runs in 10 innings. In that span, hitters racked up a meager .154 batting average against him. In his young professional career Canterino has a 1.20 ERA and 0.64 WHIP. At 23, the young man has an unbelievable upside and a healthy 2022 season will benefit him as much as anyone on this list. 7. RHP Joe Ryan (25-years-old) Season Stats (Triple-A): 57 IP, 3.63 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 11.8/1.6 K:BB Previous Rankings: N/A (previously in Rays organization) A product of the Nelson Cruz trade with Tampa Bay, Joe Ryan was previously unknown to most Twins fans. That changed when Ryan grabbed the attention of the nation when he helped guide the United States Olympic team to a Silver Medal in Tokyo. Ryan started two games for Team USA, tossing 10 1/3 innings of nine-hit, two-run baseball, while striking out eight and only surrendering one walk. It's clear that Ryan can deal. The 2018 seventh-round draft pick has touted a sub-four ERA in each season since his professional debut. Before being traded to the Twins the San Francisco native was 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA on the Durham Bulls staff. Ryan has started 11 games this season with opposing batters hitting .175 against him. With the Olympics serving as a confidence booster, it will be exciting to see what Ryan can do with the Saints for the remainder of the season. 6. 3B Jose Miranda (23-years-old) Season Stats (Double-A + Triple-A): .342/.406/.596, 21 2B, 23 HR, 4 SB, 65 RBI Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: #5 Don't be fooled that Miranda is a spot lower than he was a few months back. In fact, Miranda has been as good as he's been all season in the past few days. Miranda recorded a multi-hit game on Thursday night and knocked the go-ahead homer to push the Saints to a win in extra-innings on Wednesday. Miranda has slashed an impressive .338/.402/.606 in just 38 games at Triple-A this season. His numbers were just as strong (if not better) at Double-A Wichita. The best part? Miranda is improving as he increases levels of play. Don't be surprised if the best story of the 2021 Twins organization gets a shot at the MLB level before the 2021 season ends. View full article
  22. 10. SS Keoni Cavaco (20-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A): .242/.314/.332, 49 G, 7 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 6 SB, 63/18 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: #6 It's been a rough year for the Fort Myers offense. Cavaco's .242 batting average is something that will need to improve. Yet before we double down on the guy, let's remember, he's 20-years-old! While he played 25 games in 2019, this is Cavaco's first 'true' season. The guy is an incredible athlete and has shown moments of brilliance in the field and at the plate. Plagued by injuries this season, Cavaco's 2022 season will be a big indicator of his future with the Twins. There's a lot of potential if he can stay healthy. Check out his interview with Seth Stohs from earlier this year! 9. RHP Chase Petty (18-years-old) Season Stats: No Stats Previous Rankings: Not ranked, Minnesota Twins 2021 Top Draft Pick Chase Petty may have been the most electrifying pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. The New Jersey-native can hit triple digits, has good off-speed, and name dropped Mike Trout in post-draft interview. Petty was named Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of New Jersey this past year. His fastball speaks volumes but he's also got an excellent slider in his arsenal. Yes, Petty is only 18. Yet he has the confidence of an MLB ballplayer and that is going to work miracles for him as he navigates professional baseball. Expect the Jersey boy to climb the ladder quickly. 8. RHP Matt Canterino (23-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): 5 GS, 20 IP, 0.90 ERA, 0.65 ERA, 16.7 K/9, 1.4 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: #4 Matt Canterino didn't drop on our rankings because of poor performance. The Twins' 2019 second-round draft pick was sidelined by an elbow injury for a majority of the summer and just recently hit the bump again. Canterino recently began rehabbing at Low-A Fort Myers. In his August 8th return he was perfect, striking out two and giving up zero hits or walks in two innings. Prior to his injury Canterino was electric, giving up only two earned runs in 10 innings. In that span, hitters racked up a meager .154 batting average against him. In his young professional career Canterino has a 1.20 ERA and 0.64 WHIP. At 23, the young man has an unbelievable upside and a healthy 2022 season will benefit him as much as anyone on this list. 7. RHP Joe Ryan (25-years-old) Season Stats (Triple-A): 57 IP, 3.63 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 11.8/1.6 K:BB Previous Rankings: N/A (previously in Rays organization) A product of the Nelson Cruz trade with Tampa Bay, Joe Ryan was previously unknown to most Twins fans. That changed when Ryan grabbed the attention of the nation when he helped guide the United States Olympic team to a Silver Medal in Tokyo. Ryan started two games for Team USA, tossing 10 1/3 innings of nine-hit, two-run baseball, while striking out eight and only surrendering one walk. It's clear that Ryan can deal. The 2018 seventh-round draft pick has touted a sub-four ERA in each season since his professional debut. Before being traded to the Twins the San Francisco native was 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA on the Durham Bulls staff. Ryan has started 11 games this season with opposing batters hitting .175 against him. With the Olympics serving as a confidence booster, it will be exciting to see what Ryan can do with the Saints for the remainder of the season. 6. 3B Jose Miranda (23-years-old) Season Stats (Double-A + Triple-A): .342/.406/.596, 21 2B, 23 HR, 4 SB, 65 RBI Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: #5 Don't be fooled that Miranda is a spot lower than he was a few months back. In fact, Miranda has been as good as he's been all season in the past few days. Miranda recorded a multi-hit game on Thursday night and knocked the go-ahead homer to push the Saints to a win in extra-innings on Wednesday. Miranda has slashed an impressive .338/.402/.606 in just 38 games at Triple-A this season. His numbers were just as strong (if not better) at Double-A Wichita. The best part? Miranda is improving as he increases levels of play. Don't be surprised if the best story of the 2021 Twins organization gets a shot at the MLB level before the 2021 season ends.
  23. With no minor league action last year, it was certainly tough to evaluate prospects this past winter. Games are underway and a few prospects have already started to standout. Keoni Cavaco, SS (Low-A) Cavaco was a player that had shot up draft boards when the Twins drafted him back in 2019. He didn’t make many appearances at the big prep events leading into the draft and so there were questions about how he would fare against tougher professional competition. His first professional season fed into those concerns as he hit .172/.217/.253 (.470) with 35 strikeouts in 87 at-bats. As an 18-year-old, he looked overmatched and missing development time last year only added more questions. He has started the 2021 season on a rampage at Low-A as he entered play on Thursday hitting .355/.444/.516 (.916) with three extra-base hits in 31 at-bats. He is still striking out in over 22% of his at-bats, but he seems more than comfortable on the offensive side of the ball. Cavaco is over a year younger than the average age of the competition at his level, and he has faced older pitchers in 86% of his plate appearances. Yennier Cano, RHP (Double-A) Cano was a late signing back in the 2019 international signing period as they inked him to a $750,000 bonus. At the time, MLB.com had him ranked as the second-best international prospect in his class. When he signed, he was 25-years old, which is old for a prospect, but that also means he came with plenty of professional experience. He joined the Twins with five different pitches and the ability to pitch multiple innings each time out. Now, Cano is 27-years old and pitching out of Wichita’s bullpen. So far this year, he has posted a 1.59 ERA with a 1.06 WHIP. Those numbers are great, but his strikeout numbers are what truly make him standout. He has struck out 11 of the 24 batters he has faced for a 17.5 SO/9. He’s old for his current level, but he has only pitched 15 innings since signing with the Twins. Look for him to move quickly if he continues to strikeout batters at a high rate. Melvi Acosta, RHP (High-A) Acosta is entering his fifth professional season after joining the Twins as an international signee out of Venezuela in 2015. During the 2019 season, he split time as a starter and reliever. There were some positive signs in his transition to the bullpen as he saw his strikeout rate improve from 5.8 SO/9 to 9.9 SO/9. The 2020 season would have allowed him to prove that he was a potential weapon out of the bullpen, but that obviously didn’t happen. Fast-forward to 2021 and Acosta will get the opportunity to pitch out of the bullpen on a regular basis. He’s made three appearances for Cedar Rapids and posted a 1.42 ERA with seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. His strikeout rate (9.9 SO/9) has continued to stay high, and batters are having a tough time reaching base against him as he’s posted a 0.79 WHIP. Like Cano, he is old for his level, but maybe he will have the opportunity to follow in Cano’s footsteps as he moves up the organizational ladder. What prospects have stood out to you so far this year? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  24. Keoni Cavaco, SS (Low-A) Cavaco was a player that had shot up draft boards when the Twins drafted him back in 2019. He didn’t make many appearances at the big prep events leading into the draft and so there were questions about how he would fare against tougher professional competition. His first professional season fed into those concerns as he hit .172/.217/.253 (.470) with 35 strikeouts in 87 at-bats. As an 18-year-old, he looked overmatched and missing development time last year only added more questions. He has started the 2021 season on a rampage at Low-A as he entered play on Thursday hitting .355/.444/.516 (.916) with three extra-base hits in 31 at-bats. He is still striking out in over 22% of his at-bats, but he seems more than comfortable on the offensive side of the ball. Cavaco is over a year younger than the average age of the competition at his level, and he has faced older pitchers in 86% of his plate appearances. Yennier Cano, RHP (Double-A) Cano was a late signing back in the 2019 international signing period as they inked him to a $750,000 bonus. At the time, MLB.com had him ranked as the second-best international prospect in his class. When he signed, he was 25-years old, which is old for a prospect, but that also means he came with plenty of professional experience. He joined the Twins with five different pitches and the ability to pitch multiple innings each time out. Now, Cano is 27-years old and pitching out of Wichita’s bullpen. So far this year, he has posted a 1.59 ERA with a 1.06 WHIP. Those numbers are great, but his strikeout numbers are what truly make him standout. He has struck out 11 of the 24 batters he has faced for a 17.5 SO/9. He’s old for his current level, but he has only pitched 15 innings since signing with the Twins. Look for him to move quickly if he continues to strikeout batters at a high rate. Melvi Acosta, RHP (High-A) Acosta is entering his fifth professional season after joining the Twins as an international signee out of Venezuela in 2015. During the 2019 season, he split time as a starter and reliever. There were some positive signs in his transition to the bullpen as he saw his strikeout rate improve from 5.8 SO/9 to 9.9 SO/9. The 2020 season would have allowed him to prove that he was a potential weapon out of the bullpen, but that obviously didn’t happen. Fast-forward to 2021 and Acosta will get the opportunity to pitch out of the bullpen on a regular basis. He’s made three appearances for Cedar Rapids and posted a 1.42 ERA with seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. His strikeout rate (9.9 SO/9) has continued to stay high, and batters are having a tough time reaching base against him as he’s posted a 0.79 WHIP. Like Cano, he is old for his level, but maybe he will have the opportunity to follow in Cano’s footsteps as he moves up the organizational ladder. What prospects have stood out to you so far this year? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  25. 5. Misael Urbina, OF Current/Future Speed: 60/50 Urbina was the Twins top international signee back in the 2018 and he has continued his physical development since joining the organization. He currently comes in at 6-foot-0 and 175 pounds, which is stocky when it comes to the speed tool. Most scouting reports peg him as being a plus runner and he has shown the ability to steal bases and play terrific outfield defense. He has yet to make his debut in a stateside league, but that will likely change in 2021. 4. Keoni Cavaco, SS Current/Future Speed: 60/55 When the Twins drafted Cavaco, his athleticism was something that saw him rise quickly into the first round. He flashed plus speed entering the draft and those skills translated to his first professional season. According to reports out of the instructional leagues, Cavaco spent last year’s shutdown working on his conditioning and physical make-up. Now he is leaner this should only help his athleticism. It’s also scary to think what that could mean for his plus running skills. His body is going to continue to grow, and this can lead to him to losing some speed. The Twins are going to try and keep him at shortstop, but his size might result in a shift to third base. 3. Gilberto Celestino, OF Current Speed: 60/60 Celestino is a name Twins fans will get very familiar with in the coming years, especially since Byron Buxton’s future is up in the air. Celestino can be the heir apparent to Buxton since the team’s current centerfielder only has two more years of team control. Celestino’s stock has really taken off since coming to the Twins as part of the Ryan Pressly deal. He uses his speed to exhibit plus range in the outfield and he can play all three outfield positions. As gets more experience, his ability to steal bases should improve and he continues to add speed as he has grown into his body. Out of the players on this list, he has the best chance to keep his current speed ranking long-term. 2. Will Holland, SS Current/Future Speed: 65/60 Holland fell to the Twins in the fifth round of the 2019 Draft, but it might have been a blessing in disguise for the organization. He dropped in the draft because of a poor performance during his junior season at Auburn and his pro debut didn’t go much better. His speed helps him on both sides of the ball as his physical tools allow him to play shortstop and second base. Currently, Holland might be the fastest player in the organization because the top player on this list will be out for all of 2021. He has worked with his swing throughout the minor league shutdown, so he has plenty to prove when the new season gets underway. 1. Royce Lewis, SS Current Speed: 70/60 Twins fans may have gotten spoiled with Buxton as he is one of the fastest players at the big-league level. Lewis might not be quite at the same level as Buxton, but he still has blazing fast speed (see Tom’s highlight video below). His recent knee injury might be cause for concern because he might lose a step or two as he recovers. Even considering his injury, he is head and shoulders above the rest of the players on this list when it comes to speed. His best runs times from home to first are under four seconds and there are few players that can do that in professional baseball. How would you rank these players? Does someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Hit Tool Prospects -Power Tool Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
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