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  1. In recent years, Alex Kirilloff and Luis Arraez are two of the best-hitting prospects to come through the Twins system. Can any of these players follow in their strong hitting footsteps? Scouts typically use a 20-80 scale to rank prospects based on their current and future skill level. Below you will see where these players rank currently, including their potential to improve in the years ahead. 5. Noah Miller, SS Current Hit/Future Hit: 25/60 Minnesota selected Miller with the 36th pick in the 2021 MLB Draft out of high school in Wisconsin. In his pro debut, he hit .238/.316/.369 (.685) with six extra-base hits in 22 games. He is a switch hitter with an advanced hitting approach. Teams can have a tough time evaluating players from cold-weather states, but Miller’s hitting profile saw him rise up draft boards last spring. Compared to other high school hitters, he has a better hitting approach, and he does a tremendous job of making consistent contact. As he continues to add weight, his swing has the potential for more power, and his hitting skills project to be among the system’s best. 4. Misael Urbina, OF Current Hit/Future Hit: 30/55 The Twins signed Urbina during the 2018 international signing period. Last season, Urbina played 101 games at Low-A and hit .191/.299/.286 (.585). While those totals are low, he compiled a .825 OPS as a 17-year-old in the Dominican Summer League. Losing a year of development impacted his swing in 2021, but he only had four plate appearances against younger pitchers last season. His bat-to-ball skills are considered advanced for his age, and he controls the strike zone. Starting the 2022 season at Low-A will help him gain some confidence, and he has the potential to move up to Cedar Rapids later in the year. 3. Spencer Steer, 2B Current Hit/Future Hit: 40/50 Steer was taken in the third round back in 2019 out of the University of Oregon. Even with the missed 2020 season, his swing took some steps forward last season. He ended the year hitting .254/.348/.484 (.833) with 18 doubles and 24 home runs between High- and Double-A. Because of his collegiate experience, his advanced approach at the plate has been his calling card. In recent years, he has reworked his swing, which may help him add more power as he moves up the organizational ladder. Steer will need to cut back on his strikeout rate as he gets closer to the big leagues, but he has hitting skills that should make him a serviceable infielder. 2. Jose Miranda, 3B Current Hit/Future Hit: 50/55 Many Twins fans are now very familiar with Miranda based on his breakout 2021 season. Minnesota took Miranda in the second round back in 2016. Many within the organization have been touting his potential for multiple years. His short, compact swing allows him to make contact at a consistent level which finally resulted in improved power numbers last season. Even if those power numbers decline at the big-league level, he should be able to continue to put the bat on the ball. Miranda saw an improved walk rate last season, but his ability to make contact means he swings at a lot of pitches. Can he continue to make adjustments as he gets closer to his debut? 1. Austin Martin, SS/CF Current Hit/Future Hit: 50/60 Martin is widely considered Minnesota’s top prospect, and many scouts felt he was the top hitter in the 2020 MLB Draft. Last season, he made his pro debut and hit .270/.414/.382 (.796) at Double-A. Like Miranda, he can make contact with nearly any pitch, but he can be over patient at times. MLB Pipeline put it succinctly when saying he shows “no weaknesses at the plate.” Since joining the Twins organization, he has continued to work on altering his swing, which may produce more power in 2022. However, that might mean that he has to sacrifice contact and be more aggressive. Who do you think has the best hit tool in the Twins system? Should someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Top Power 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 View full article
  2. Scouts typically use a 20-80 scale to rank prospects based on their current and future skill level. Below you will see where these players rank currently, including their potential to improve in the years ahead. 5. Noah Miller, SS Current Hit/Future Hit: 25/60 Minnesota selected Miller with the 36th pick in the 2021 MLB Draft out of high school in Wisconsin. In his pro debut, he hit .238/.316/.369 (.685) with six extra-base hits in 22 games. He is a switch hitter with an advanced hitting approach. Teams can have a tough time evaluating players from cold-weather states, but Miller’s hitting profile saw him rise up draft boards last spring. Compared to other high school hitters, he has a better hitting approach, and he does a tremendous job of making consistent contact. As he continues to add weight, his swing has the potential for more power, and his hitting skills project to be among the system’s best. 4. Misael Urbina, OF Current Hit/Future Hit: 30/55 The Twins signed Urbina during the 2018 international signing period. Last season, Urbina played 101 games at Low-A and hit .191/.299/.286 (.585). While those totals are low, he compiled a .825 OPS as a 17-year-old in the Dominican Summer League. Losing a year of development impacted his swing in 2021, but he only had four plate appearances against younger pitchers last season. His bat-to-ball skills are considered advanced for his age, and he controls the strike zone. Starting the 2022 season at Low-A will help him gain some confidence, and he has the potential to move up to Cedar Rapids later in the year. 3. Spencer Steer, 2B Current Hit/Future Hit: 40/50 Steer was taken in the third round back in 2019 out of the University of Oregon. Even with the missed 2020 season, his swing took some steps forward last season. He ended the year hitting .254/.348/.484 (.833) with 18 doubles and 24 home runs between High- and Double-A. Because of his collegiate experience, his advanced approach at the plate has been his calling card. In recent years, he has reworked his swing, which may help him add more power as he moves up the organizational ladder. Steer will need to cut back on his strikeout rate as he gets closer to the big leagues, but he has hitting skills that should make him a serviceable infielder. 2. Jose Miranda, 3B Current Hit/Future Hit: 50/55 Many Twins fans are now very familiar with Miranda based on his breakout 2021 season. Minnesota took Miranda in the second round back in 2016. Many within the organization have been touting his potential for multiple years. His short, compact swing allows him to make contact at a consistent level which finally resulted in improved power numbers last season. Even if those power numbers decline at the big-league level, he should be able to continue to put the bat on the ball. Miranda saw an improved walk rate last season, but his ability to make contact means he swings at a lot of pitches. Can he continue to make adjustments as he gets closer to his debut? 1. Austin Martin, SS/CF Current Hit/Future Hit: 50/60 Martin is widely considered Minnesota’s top prospect, and many scouts felt he was the top hitter in the 2020 MLB Draft. Last season, he made his pro debut and hit .270/.414/.382 (.796) at Double-A. Like Miranda, he can make contact with nearly any pitch, but he can be over patient at times. MLB Pipeline put it succinctly when saying he shows “no weaknesses at the plate.” Since joining the Twins organization, he has continued to work on altering his swing, which may produce more power in 2022. However, that might mean that he has to sacrifice contact and be more aggressive. Who do you think has the best hit tool in the Twins system? Should someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Top Power 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. The lockout continues. Most Twins minor leaguers have reported to Ft. Myers for spring training, and there are some unique roster situations and issues from most years. Then again, the past couple of seasons have been a bit wild too. In March of 2020, Twins minor leaguers had just reported to Ft. Myers for spring training. Then the Covid pandemic showed up, minor leaguers were sent home, and eventually, the minor league season was canceled. Players scrambled, not knowing if or when they could get back to southwest Florida. The minor league coaches and coordinators were trying to work with the minor league players, checking in on their work each week, zoom calls to have conversations on how to progress. Sure, some top prospects got to do some work at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul that summer, but very few. There was no Arizona Fall League, but fortunately, at least some of the team’s prospects were able to travel to Ft. Myers for an instructional league camp. Let’s jump to February of 2021. Major League spring training started on time, but there were no guarantees of a minor league season. Big league camp was comprised of those on the 40-man roster, the non-roster invitees, and a group at “development camp.” Those players worked just like usual, and they were the players brought to spring training games to work the innings and get the at-bats after the starters got their work in. The minor league season was delayed. Instead of reporting to Ft. Myers and officially starting camp in early March, they reported by April 1st. That allowed the major-league players and team to vacate the facilities and the minor leaguers to enter. Again, there was an “alternate” site in St. Paul, so several minor league veterans and players could be called up to the Twins on short notice (and many were because of injuries and a mini-Covid situation in April). The minor league season started on May 5th, but even that had a completely different feel. MLB spent the previous offseason eliminating several minor league teams from affiliated status. The PDCs (Player Development Contracts) were essentially torn up, and new affiliations were made. Those teams each signed 10-year PDCs. After two decades in Rochester, New York, the Twins' new Triple-A affiliate was the St. Paul Saints. It was an excellent move for the Twins and the players who often found themselves (and their families) moving up and down from Triple-A to the big leagues. After a year with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos as their Double-A affiliate, the Twins now call the Wichita Wind Surge their new Double-A affiliate. The city had just completed a state-of-the-art stadium and facilities on the river, and it was a great situation for the Twins. Now the Twins maintained the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels as their A-Ball affiliates. However, they switched places. Cedar Rapids was “promoted’ to High-A while the Mighty Mussels were now the team’s Low-A affiliate. Cedar Rapids has been a terrific affiliate for the Twins. They are in close proximity to the Twin Cities but also reasonably close to Wichita. With the Twins minor league and spring training complex in Ft. Myers, it made sense to have the Mighty Mussels be the next rung up as there are several promotions and demotions at that level. However, the Twins lost their affiliation with the Advanced-Rookie level Elizabethton Twins. The Appalachian League was changed to a college wood bat league, and the team changed it's name from the Twins to the River Riders. It was disappointing for several reasons, none more than that they had been a Twins affiliate for 45 seasons. But that did create some challenges. Elizabethton was where high school picks or international signings would usually go in their second pro season after playing in the GCL. It was also an excellent place for players drafted out of college to make their professional debut. Without Elizabethton, the next step up the organizational ladder was Ft. Myers. And while that “jump” is just across the parking lot in Ft. Myers, the quality of play can be vastly different. It is a lost level for development. While college players can more easily make that jump, it is a giant leap for a high school player like Keoni Cavaco or a top international signing like Misael Urbina. Recently, Twins Director of Player Development Alex Hassan discussed how the loss of Elizabethton altered what was done in 2021, and they will likely take what they learned a year ago into the 2022 season. “It's certainly changed the dynamic, especially how you think about that level. Misael Urbina is probably a good example of that, too, where he went last year, and it felt like a stretch, but he didn't have other options. I think it has really re-framed the way we're looking at some of those things. In terms of the Low-A level, in terms of guys in that class that are high school players, in some ways, you might think about that as a two-year (level) depending upon performance, but more of a two-year level than you probably have in the past where if guys performed OK or at a decent level, you've gone year to year moving up each level. I do think that's one way we're trying to think about it. If a guy repeats that level, it maybe will become more of the norm than not for that class of player.” If you are wondering, I think it is fair to say that Misael Urbina will repeat at Low-A. It is also a challenge in the Florida Complex League (FCL, formerly the GCL). There are all the players who have remained at “Extended Spring Training.” They bring over several players from the Dominican Republic. Additionally, the players drafted that summer report and filled up roster spots. In other words, it can be challenging to get enough at-bats or innings pitched for all of those players. “I think it has just forced us to think about those levels a tick differently and trying to get creative in the ways that we can get guys work and not overreact to performance in the short term.” This brings us to 2022, a third straight weird season for minor leaguers and player development staff. With the lockout, and the inability for 40-man roster players to participate in minor league spring training, the organization has had to add players. But Hassan takes it all in stride, noting it’s much easier than wondering if you were going to even have a season. Twins' former Minor League Director, Brad Steil, is now the team's Director of Player Procurement. He works with the pro scouts. The information his group gathers can be used in trade discussions, but in the offseason, signing minor league free agents based on their feedback is essential. Understanding that several players on the 40-man roster would start the season in Double-A or Triple-A, they have added a few extra veteran minor league free agents for needed depth. Hassan said, “We certainly have plans throughout the offseason for bringing additional depth. There are still opportunities where we can continue to build our depth across our organization, and some of that will just continue as we go into Spring Training. I think just having clarity on the fact that we're going to start the Minor League season has been helpful and allowed us to plan a little bit further ahead than we were able to last year.” When spring training games start, the Twins can pull up players from the Complex roster to play at other levels or generally shift people around to fill rosters for those games. However, as the season approaches, they will have to continue to monitor their rosters and the lockout situation to determine if they need to sign more players. This issue is certainly not limited to the Twins. All 30 teams will have to work through their roster needs, particularly Triple-A. Rule 5 Draft? Potentially the strangest situation that player development staffs around the league face this year involves the Rule 5 draft. “I hope they just cancel it. That would be the best case. Maybe not. But yeah, it is weird. We have some eligible players, and they’re here, and we’re working with them to develop them as best we can. I don’t know what the plan is for that. But yeah, it’s weird. because normally it’s resolved, and you know who’s here and who’s not here.” Hassan continued, “Hope for the guys we have here, continue to work with those guys and develop those guys.” This feels like a good place to post a William Parmeter photo from spring training. Recently, Jordan Gore, who would be eligible for the Rule 5 draft was working a session on the Hammond Stadium mound. That is some impressive flow! Minor League Housing Maybe the best news to come out of the offseason relates to the minor leagues is that players will no longer have to pay for housing at minor league sites. Alex Hassan spent eight seasons in professional baseball, so he understands that struggle and stress. He said, “That’s something, first and foremost, that I am personally thrilled about. I couldn’t possibly be happier, taking that burden off the players. I remember back when I was playing, it was always an area of stress. Your lease. Short-term lease, first and foremost, which is tougher to find. Having to potentially break the lease and find new roommates. I think those are real challenges. And I couldn’t be happier that we’re taking that step.” Hasson praised the Complex and dorms in Ft. Myers. They have 54 rooms and three meals each day for the players and staff. That helps the FCL and the players on the Complete roster. The Cedar Rapids Kernels have long had a very strong host-family program to help its players. “Within the policy, you can use host families. There are certain criteria that have to meet in order to qualify for host family housing. In Cedar Rapids, I think we have one of the best host family programs in minor league baseball. We’re very fortunate on that front that players will continue to be able to use that opportunity in Cedar Rapids.” In both Wichita and St. Paul, the Twins have apartments for players. “Wichita is fully furnished, and it’s actually right across the street from the stadium. So it’s a really good setup in Wichita. And we have an apartment complex that we’re working with in St. Paul. The team is responsible for basically everything that goes into the apartment, providing bed and furniture and tables, forks and knives and linens, and cable and internet. The team provides all that stuff, and the players are not signing leases anywhere they’re staying.” A third straight “weird” year in the minor leagues and with player development is upon us. But we will have full schedules for the team’s four full-season affiliates. Players received a bump in pay a couple of years ago, but that still needs to improve significantly to put players above the poverty line. At this point, most minor league players are nowhere near that low floor. But getting their housing paid for is a big help as well. Conditions have improved some, and hopefully, improvements will continue. 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. In March of 2020, Twins minor leaguers had just reported to Ft. Myers for spring training. Then the Covid pandemic showed up, minor leaguers were sent home, and eventually, the minor league season was canceled. Players scrambled, not knowing if or when they could get back to southwest Florida. The minor league coaches and coordinators were trying to work with the minor league players, checking in on their work each week, zoom calls to have conversations on how to progress. Sure, some top prospects got to do some work at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul that summer, but very few. There was no Arizona Fall League, but fortunately, at least some of the team’s prospects were able to travel to Ft. Myers for an instructional league camp. Let’s jump to February of 2021. Major League spring training started on time, but there were no guarantees of a minor league season. Big league camp was comprised of those on the 40-man roster, the non-roster invitees, and a group at “development camp.” Those players worked just like usual, and they were the players brought to spring training games to work the innings and get the at-bats after the starters got their work in. The minor league season was delayed. Instead of reporting to Ft. Myers and officially starting camp in early March, they reported by April 1st. That allowed the major-league players and team to vacate the facilities and the minor leaguers to enter. Again, there was an “alternate” site in St. Paul, so several minor league veterans and players could be called up to the Twins on short notice (and many were because of injuries and a mini-Covid situation in April). The minor league season started on May 5th, but even that had a completely different feel. MLB spent the previous offseason eliminating several minor league teams from affiliated status. The PDCs (Player Development Contracts) were essentially torn up, and new affiliations were made. Those teams each signed 10-year PDCs. After two decades in Rochester, New York, the Twins' new Triple-A affiliate was the St. Paul Saints. It was an excellent move for the Twins and the players who often found themselves (and their families) moving up and down from Triple-A to the big leagues. After a year with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos as their Double-A affiliate, the Twins now call the Wichita Wind Surge their new Double-A affiliate. The city had just completed a state-of-the-art stadium and facilities on the river, and it was a great situation for the Twins. Now the Twins maintained the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels as their A-Ball affiliates. However, they switched places. Cedar Rapids was “promoted’ to High-A while the Mighty Mussels were now the team’s Low-A affiliate. Cedar Rapids has been a terrific affiliate for the Twins. They are in close proximity to the Twin Cities but also reasonably close to Wichita. With the Twins minor league and spring training complex in Ft. Myers, it made sense to have the Mighty Mussels be the next rung up as there are several promotions and demotions at that level. However, the Twins lost their affiliation with the Advanced-Rookie level Elizabethton Twins. The Appalachian League was changed to a college wood bat league, and the team changed it's name from the Twins to the River Riders. It was disappointing for several reasons, none more than that they had been a Twins affiliate for 45 seasons. But that did create some challenges. Elizabethton was where high school picks or international signings would usually go in their second pro season after playing in the GCL. It was also an excellent place for players drafted out of college to make their professional debut. Without Elizabethton, the next step up the organizational ladder was Ft. Myers. And while that “jump” is just across the parking lot in Ft. Myers, the quality of play can be vastly different. It is a lost level for development. While college players can more easily make that jump, it is a giant leap for a high school player like Keoni Cavaco or a top international signing like Misael Urbina. Recently, Twins Director of Player Development Alex Hassan discussed how the loss of Elizabethton altered what was done in 2021, and they will likely take what they learned a year ago into the 2022 season. “It's certainly changed the dynamic, especially how you think about that level. Misael Urbina is probably a good example of that, too, where he went last year, and it felt like a stretch, but he didn't have other options. I think it has really re-framed the way we're looking at some of those things. In terms of the Low-A level, in terms of guys in that class that are high school players, in some ways, you might think about that as a two-year (level) depending upon performance, but more of a two-year level than you probably have in the past where if guys performed OK or at a decent level, you've gone year to year moving up each level. I do think that's one way we're trying to think about it. If a guy repeats that level, it maybe will become more of the norm than not for that class of player.” If you are wondering, I think it is fair to say that Misael Urbina will repeat at Low-A. It is also a challenge in the Florida Complex League (FCL, formerly the GCL). There are all the players who have remained at “Extended Spring Training.” They bring over several players from the Dominican Republic. Additionally, the players drafted that summer report and filled up roster spots. In other words, it can be challenging to get enough at-bats or innings pitched for all of those players. “I think it has just forced us to think about those levels a tick differently and trying to get creative in the ways that we can get guys work and not overreact to performance in the short term.” This brings us to 2022, a third straight weird season for minor leaguers and player development staff. With the lockout, and the inability for 40-man roster players to participate in minor league spring training, the organization has had to add players. But Hassan takes it all in stride, noting it’s much easier than wondering if you were going to even have a season. Twins' former Minor League Director, Brad Steil, is now the team's Director of Player Procurement. He works with the pro scouts. The information his group gathers can be used in trade discussions, but in the offseason, signing minor league free agents based on their feedback is essential. Understanding that several players on the 40-man roster would start the season in Double-A or Triple-A, they have added a few extra veteran minor league free agents for needed depth. Hassan said, “We certainly have plans throughout the offseason for bringing additional depth. There are still opportunities where we can continue to build our depth across our organization, and some of that will just continue as we go into Spring Training. I think just having clarity on the fact that we're going to start the Minor League season has been helpful and allowed us to plan a little bit further ahead than we were able to last year.” When spring training games start, the Twins can pull up players from the Complex roster to play at other levels or generally shift people around to fill rosters for those games. However, as the season approaches, they will have to continue to monitor their rosters and the lockout situation to determine if they need to sign more players. This issue is certainly not limited to the Twins. All 30 teams will have to work through their roster needs, particularly Triple-A. Rule 5 Draft? Potentially the strangest situation that player development staffs around the league face this year involves the Rule 5 draft. “I hope they just cancel it. That would be the best case. Maybe not. But yeah, it is weird. We have some eligible players, and they’re here, and we’re working with them to develop them as best we can. I don’t know what the plan is for that. But yeah, it’s weird. because normally it’s resolved, and you know who’s here and who’s not here.” Hassan continued, “Hope for the guys we have here, continue to work with those guys and develop those guys.” This feels like a good place to post a William Parmeter photo from spring training. Recently, Jordan Gore, who would be eligible for the Rule 5 draft was working a session on the Hammond Stadium mound. That is some impressive flow! Minor League Housing Maybe the best news to come out of the offseason relates to the minor leagues is that players will no longer have to pay for housing at minor league sites. Alex Hassan spent eight seasons in professional baseball, so he understands that struggle and stress. He said, “That’s something, first and foremost, that I am personally thrilled about. I couldn’t possibly be happier, taking that burden off the players. I remember back when I was playing, it was always an area of stress. Your lease. Short-term lease, first and foremost, which is tougher to find. Having to potentially break the lease and find new roommates. I think those are real challenges. And I couldn’t be happier that we’re taking that step.” Hasson praised the Complex and dorms in Ft. Myers. They have 54 rooms and three meals each day for the players and staff. That helps the FCL and the players on the Complete roster. The Cedar Rapids Kernels have long had a very strong host-family program to help its players. “Within the policy, you can use host families. There are certain criteria that have to meet in order to qualify for host family housing. In Cedar Rapids, I think we have one of the best host family programs in minor league baseball. We’re very fortunate on that front that players will continue to be able to use that opportunity in Cedar Rapids.” In both Wichita and St. Paul, the Twins have apartments for players. “Wichita is fully furnished, and it’s actually right across the street from the stadium. So it’s a really good setup in Wichita. And we have an apartment complex that we’re working with in St. Paul. The team is responsible for basically everything that goes into the apartment, providing bed and furniture and tables, forks and knives and linens, and cable and internet. The team provides all that stuff, and the players are not signing leases anywhere they’re staying.” A third straight “weird” year in the minor leagues and with player development is upon us. But we will have full schedules for the team’s four full-season affiliates. Players received a bump in pay a couple of years ago, but that still needs to improve significantly to put players above the poverty line. At this point, most minor league players are nowhere near that low floor. But getting their housing paid for is a big help as well. Conditions have improved some, and hopefully, improvements will continue. 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. Minnesota has plenty of prospects that were initially signed as international free agents. Here are the top-5 ranked international prospects in the Twins system. This weekend, the international signing period opens for prospects eligible in 2022. Before new prospects join the organization, MLB Pipeline ranked each organization's top-ranked international prospect. Minnesota has plenty of high-ranking prospects initially signed on the international market. Here is a look at some of the top names. 5. Danny De Andrade, SS Seth's Top-30 Hitter Ranking: NR De Andrade was Minnesota's top-ranked international signee during the 2020-21 signing period. At the time, MLB Pipeline ranked him as the 16th overall prospect and the 8th best shortstop in the class. The Twins handed out a $2.2 million signing bonus to get him into the organization. Last season, he made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League, where he hit .264/.340/.348 (.688) with 14 extra-base hits in 50 games. Defensively, the majority of his starts came at shortstop, but he is already seeing some time at third base. Some scouts project that third base will be his likely defensive position, but Minnesota will continue to give him every opportunity to stick as a shortstop. 4. Yunior Severino, 2B/3B Seth's Top-30 Hitter Ranking: 16 Severino originally signed for nearly $2 million with the Atlanta Braves, and he was considered one of the best international prospects in the 2016-17 class. Following the 2017 season, he became a free agent after the Braves were punished for international signing violations. Minnesota signed him to a $2.5 million bonus, and he has made his way up the organizational ladder. Last season as a 21-year-old, he hit .273/.372/.430 (.802) with 39 extra-base hits in 98 games split between Low- and High-A. He's a player to keep an eye on as he may have unlocked power potential waiting still yet to surface. 3. Misael Urbina, OF Seth's Top-30 Hitter Ranking: 12 Minnesota signed Urbina as part of the 2018-19 signing period and gave him the third-highest bonus in the class ($2.75 million). He was ranked as the 6th best prospect in the class, and he has shown some solid tools during his professional career. Last season as a 19-year-old, Urbina made his stateside debut with Fort Myers. In 101 games, he hit .191/.299/.286 (.585) with 21 extra-base hits. He was over two years younger than the average age of the competition at his level, and he only had four plate appearances against younger pitchers. Urbina can play all three outfield positions, and his speed is his best tool at this point. He likely gets another shot at Low-A to start 2022. 2. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF Seth's Top-30 Hitter Ranking: 5 With other well-known hitting prospects, Rodriguez may be a little more unknown by fans. Among the top-30 international prospects in 2019-20, Rodriguez was the 8th ranked prospect. Minnesota signed him for a $2.5 million bonus, and the pandemic meant he spent his first two professional seasons in the instructional leagues. Last year, he played 37 games for the FCL Twins and hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with 17 extra-base hits, including ten home runs. At season's end, Rodriguez finished runner-up to Kala'i Rosario as the Twins Daily Short-Season Hitter of the Year. 1. Jhoan Duran, RHP Seth's Top-30 Pitcher Ranking: 9 Duran may have taken a step back in 2021, but that still doesn't take anything away from his enormous potential. Arizona signed Duran in December 2014 for $65,000. Minnesota acquired Duran along with Gilberto Celestino for Eduardo Escobar's expiring contract at the 2018 trade deadline. Last season, Duran was limited to five Triple-A as an elbow strain put him on the shelf for the rest of the season. When healthy, he can regularly reach triple-digits with his fastball, and he utilizes a sinker-splitter hybrid pitch that is tough for hitters. Duran needs to prove he is healthy in 2022, and then he might be able to help the big-league pitching staff. Which prospect stands out the most to you? Who do you think makes the most significant impact in the years ahead? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER INTERNATIONAL COVERAGE — Yasser Mercedes — Yilber Herrera — Bryan Acuña — International Signing Period History View full article
  8. This weekend, the international signing period opens for prospects eligible in 2022. Before new prospects join the organization, MLB Pipeline ranked each organization's top-ranked international prospect. Minnesota has plenty of high-ranking prospects initially signed on the international market. Here is a look at some of the top names. 5. Danny De Andrade, SS Seth's Top-30 Hitter Ranking: NR De Andrade was Minnesota's top-ranked international signee during the 2020-21 signing period. At the time, MLB Pipeline ranked him as the 16th overall prospect and the 8th best shortstop in the class. The Twins handed out a $2.2 million signing bonus to get him into the organization. Last season, he made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League, where he hit .264/.340/.348 (.688) with 14 extra-base hits in 50 games. Defensively, the majority of his starts came at shortstop, but he is already seeing some time at third base. Some scouts project that third base will be his likely defensive position, but Minnesota will continue to give him every opportunity to stick as a shortstop. 4. Yunior Severino, 2B/3B Seth's Top-30 Hitter Ranking: 16 Severino originally signed for nearly $2 million with the Atlanta Braves, and he was considered one of the best international prospects in the 2016-17 class. Following the 2017 season, he became a free agent after the Braves were punished for international signing violations. Minnesota signed him to a $2.5 million bonus, and he has made his way up the organizational ladder. Last season as a 21-year-old, he hit .273/.372/.430 (.802) with 39 extra-base hits in 98 games split between Low- and High-A. He's a player to keep an eye on as he may have unlocked power potential waiting still yet to surface. 3. Misael Urbina, OF Seth's Top-30 Hitter Ranking: 12 Minnesota signed Urbina as part of the 2018-19 signing period and gave him the third-highest bonus in the class ($2.75 million). He was ranked as the 6th best prospect in the class, and he has shown some solid tools during his professional career. Last season as a 19-year-old, Urbina made his stateside debut with Fort Myers. In 101 games, he hit .191/.299/.286 (.585) with 21 extra-base hits. He was over two years younger than the average age of the competition at his level, and he only had four plate appearances against younger pitchers. Urbina can play all three outfield positions, and his speed is his best tool at this point. He likely gets another shot at Low-A to start 2022. 2. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF Seth's Top-30 Hitter Ranking: 5 With other well-known hitting prospects, Rodriguez may be a little more unknown by fans. Among the top-30 international prospects in 2019-20, Rodriguez was the 8th ranked prospect. Minnesota signed him for a $2.5 million bonus, and the pandemic meant he spent his first two professional seasons in the instructional leagues. Last year, he played 37 games for the FCL Twins and hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with 17 extra-base hits, including ten home runs. At season's end, Rodriguez finished runner-up to Kala'i Rosario as the Twins Daily Short-Season Hitter of the Year. 1. Jhoan Duran, RHP Seth's Top-30 Pitcher Ranking: 9 Duran may have taken a step back in 2021, but that still doesn't take anything away from his enormous potential. Arizona signed Duran in December 2014 for $65,000. Minnesota acquired Duran along with Gilberto Celestino for Eduardo Escobar's expiring contract at the 2018 trade deadline. Last season, Duran was limited to five Triple-A as an elbow strain put him on the shelf for the rest of the season. When healthy, he can regularly reach triple-digits with his fastball, and he utilizes a sinker-splitter hybrid pitch that is tough for hitters. Duran needs to prove he is healthy in 2022, and then he might be able to help the big-league pitching staff. Which prospect stands out the most to you? Who do you think makes the most significant impact in the years ahead? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER INTERNATIONAL COVERAGE — Yasser Mercedes — Yilber Herrera — Bryan Acuña — International Signing Period History
  9. Like last year, a delayed period of international free agency begins on January 15th. What is the history and pedigree of the Twins in making these signing periods count? The international free agent signing period will get underway on January 15th. After being delayed by the pandemic, the current crop of IFAs can sign with MLB teams provided they turn 17 before September 1st, 2022. This week at Twins Daily, Cody Christie and I will look at the Twins history in International Free Agency, dating back to 2009. What were the Twins' biggest swings and misses? Where did they acquire or miss out on value? Later in the week, we’ll provide offensive and defensive profiles for three prospects likely to sign with the Twins. Note: The current MLB lockout WILL NOT impact international free agent signing as this period has been delayed since last summer. 2009 - The 99th Percentile Outcome Year In 2009, the Twins had a defining year in international free agency. They signed: Miguel Sano to a $3.15 million signing bonus Max Kepler to an $800,000 signing bonus Jorge Polanco to a $700,000 signing bonus The majority of international free agents don’t make it to the majors, let alone have multi-year MLB careers, let alone get extended by the teams that signed them. To have signed three players which fit that description in one signing cycle is a remarkable outcome. It’s not melodramatic to suggest that the IFA period in 2009 changed the trajectory of the Twins franchise. In 2021, Sano, Kepler, and Polanco formed core pieces in the Twins lineup. Kepler and Polanco, in particular, are signed to owner-friendly long-term deals. Last season, the three combined for 6.2 fWAR, just south of $50 million in value. Not bad for a $4.6 million investment. 2013 - 2017 - Twins Find Value, Miss on Big Names In 2013, the Twins signed a diminutive Venezuelan infielder to a $40,000 signing bonus. For an international free agent, this money is an afterthought, a lottery ticket. Throughout six MiLB seasons, he managed a .310 AVG, and .385 OBP. He already had a nickname when he came into the Twins system, ‘La Regadera’ (the sprinkler) due to his ability to spray the ball all over the field. His name? Luis Arraez. Arraez is a great reminder that international free agency is a lottery. Often the biggest name prospects underachieve, and players signed to middling or small bonuses can become superstars. In 2014 the Twins signed Huascar Ynoa for an $800,000 bonus. He was later traded to Atlanta for Jaime Garcia. Ynoa put up 1.4 fWAR in just 17 starts for the Braves in 2021, managing a 27% K%. Another significant free-agent signing in 2014 was from the Diamondbacks organization. Jhoan Duran, a lanky, hard-throwing RHP, signed for just $65,000. He’s now the #5 overall prospect in the Twins organization. In 2015 the Twins went bigger, signing Wander Javier, the #8 overall prospect, to a $4 million bonus. Javier’s career has been largely derailed by injuries. He struck out 34% of the time and managed just a 86 wRC+ at A+ Cedar Rapids in 2021. Gilberto Celestino was also signed by the Astros in 2015. The #7 prospect came to the Twins by way of the Ryan Pressly trade. Lastly, of note, two prospects further down the MLB Pipeline rankings in 2015? Juan Soto (#22) and Fernando Tatis Jr (#27). 2018 - Current - Too Early to Tell It’s difficult to draw conclusions from 2018 onwards as prospects have had limited time in the minors, particularly when considering a lost 2020 season. In 2018, Misael Urbina was signed to a $2.75 million bonus. The Venezuelan OF struggled at A ball last season, but with time on his side at just 19 years old, is an extremely promising prospect and ranked #12 overall in the Twins system. Emmanuel Rodriguez was the big get in 2019. He was signed to a $2.5 million bonus. The left-handed OF is currently the Twins #20 overall prospect, after being ranked #8 in his international free agent class. Rodriguez’s professional career began in earnest in 2021, where he managed a 124 wRC+ and slugged 10 HR in just 37 games. Rodriguez is one to keep an eye on in 2022. Finally, in 2020, the Twins signed Danny De Andrade, another diminutive infield prospect, who currently sits at #24 in the Twins system. Ranked as the #16 IFA in his class, De Andrade projects as a strong hitter for both average and solid power and has the defensive chops to remain at shortstop. De Andrade managed a .340 OBP in his first season with the DSL Twins. What’s Next? International scouting, and free agency, is a complex, challenging lottery. For a mid-market organization like the Twins, it’s critical in adding organizational talent, and potentially, adding impact MLB level talent. Throughout the week, Cody and I will have offensive and defensive profiles of the three major prospects linked to Minnesota, starting tomorrow with the younger brother of an MLB superstar. View full article
  10. The international free agent signing period will get underway on January 15th. After being delayed by the pandemic, the current crop of IFAs can sign with MLB teams provided they turn 17 before September 1st, 2022. This week at Twins Daily, Cody Christie and I will look at the Twins history in International Free Agency, dating back to 2009. What were the Twins' biggest swings and misses? Where did they acquire or miss out on value? Later in the week, we’ll provide offensive and defensive profiles for three prospects likely to sign with the Twins. Note: The current MLB lockout WILL NOT impact international free agent signing as this period has been delayed since last summer. 2009 - The 99th Percentile Outcome Year In 2009, the Twins had a defining year in international free agency. They signed: Miguel Sano to a $3.15 million signing bonus Max Kepler to an $800,000 signing bonus Jorge Polanco to a $700,000 signing bonus The majority of international free agents don’t make it to the majors, let alone have multi-year MLB careers, let alone get extended by the teams that signed them. To have signed three players which fit that description in one signing cycle is a remarkable outcome. It’s not melodramatic to suggest that the IFA period in 2009 changed the trajectory of the Twins franchise. In 2021, Sano, Kepler, and Polanco formed core pieces in the Twins lineup. Kepler and Polanco, in particular, are signed to owner-friendly long-term deals. Last season, the three combined for 6.2 fWAR, just south of $50 million in value. Not bad for a $4.6 million investment. 2013 - 2017 - Twins Find Value, Miss on Big Names In 2013, the Twins signed a diminutive Venezuelan infielder to a $40,000 signing bonus. For an international free agent, this money is an afterthought, a lottery ticket. Throughout six MiLB seasons, he managed a .310 AVG, and .385 OBP. He already had a nickname when he came into the Twins system, ‘La Regadera’ (the sprinkler) due to his ability to spray the ball all over the field. His name? Luis Arraez. Arraez is a great reminder that international free agency is a lottery. Often the biggest name prospects underachieve, and players signed to middling or small bonuses can become superstars. In 2014 the Twins signed Huascar Ynoa for an $800,000 bonus. He was later traded to Atlanta for Jaime Garcia. Ynoa put up 1.4 fWAR in just 17 starts for the Braves in 2021, managing a 27% K%. Another significant free-agent signing in 2014 was from the Diamondbacks organization. Jhoan Duran, a lanky, hard-throwing RHP, signed for just $65,000. He’s now the #5 overall prospect in the Twins organization. In 2015 the Twins went bigger, signing Wander Javier, the #8 overall prospect, to a $4 million bonus. Javier’s career has been largely derailed by injuries. He struck out 34% of the time and managed just a 86 wRC+ at A+ Cedar Rapids in 2021. Gilberto Celestino was also signed by the Astros in 2015. The #7 prospect came to the Twins by way of the Ryan Pressly trade. Lastly, of note, two prospects further down the MLB Pipeline rankings in 2015? Juan Soto (#22) and Fernando Tatis Jr (#27). 2018 - Current - Too Early to Tell It’s difficult to draw conclusions from 2018 onwards as prospects have had limited time in the minors, particularly when considering a lost 2020 season. In 2018, Misael Urbina was signed to a $2.75 million bonus. The Venezuelan OF struggled at A ball last season, but with time on his side at just 19 years old, is an extremely promising prospect and ranked #12 overall in the Twins system. Emmanuel Rodriguez was the big get in 2019. He was signed to a $2.5 million bonus. The left-handed OF is currently the Twins #20 overall prospect, after being ranked #8 in his international free agent class. Rodriguez’s professional career began in earnest in 2021, where he managed a 124 wRC+ and slugged 10 HR in just 37 games. Rodriguez is one to keep an eye on in 2022. Finally, in 2020, the Twins signed Danny De Andrade, another diminutive infield prospect, who currently sits at #24 in the Twins system. Ranked as the #16 IFA in his class, De Andrade projects as a strong hitter for both average and solid power and has the defensive chops to remain at shortstop. De Andrade managed a .340 OBP in his first season with the DSL Twins. What’s Next? International scouting, and free agency, is a complex, challenging lottery. For a mid-market organization like the Twins, it’s critical in adding organizational talent, and potentially, adding impact MLB level talent. Throughout the week, Cody and I will have offensive and defensive profiles of the three major prospects linked to Minnesota, starting tomorrow with the younger brother of an MLB superstar.
  11. Last season the Minnesota Twins saw Jose Miranda go from being passed over in the Rule 5 draft to having a season worthy of placing him within the organization’s top 10. Not all prospects are built the same, and despite their current ranking, it’s worth taking note of guys who may surprise you in the year ahead. When he blew up, Miranda was outside the top 15 on virtually all Twins prospect lists and barely within the top 30 on others. It’s a bit rare that a meteoric rise occurs, but there are prospects all over the Minnesota system capable of notable 2022 seasons. While their situations may differ, the talent taking over once the games get going seems like a pretty good bet. Royce Lewis Now 22-years-old and playing for the first time in two years, the time has certainly gotten the better part of the former number one overall pick. We last saw Lewis in the Arizona Fall League at the end of 2019, and he tore up the competition. After a disappointing season that resulted in just a .661 OPS between High-A and Double-A, that was nice to see. The leg kick and swing path have been highly discussed, as has his case to stick at shortstop or move into the outfield. Regardless of the talking points, it will be nice to see the Twins top prospect back on the field, and I’d bet on his maturity and talent taking over. Give me a focused Lewis producing in a big way this season to remind pundits why he was raved about for so long. Simeon Woods-Richardson The second piece brought to the Twins in their swap of Jose Berrios, Woods-Richardson was well regarded and a popular trade target. He posted just a 5.91 ERA in 2021 and gave up six earned runs in eight innings within Minnesota’s system. It certainly wasn’t a great debut, but plenty was going against him following the trade. He played for Team USA in the Olympics, but played should be used loosely as he never made an appearance. Shutting down his workload in the middle of a season for that long created a significant road back and ultimately created a less-than-ideal situation. He’s talented and has been ranked highly because of it. The strikeout stuff should be expected to return in 2022, and seeing Woods-Richardson dominate en route to a Major League Debut would be far from unexpected. Misael Urbina Playing in his age-20 season for 2022, Urbina was stateside for the first time in 2021. He posted just a .585 OPS in the Complex League, but the 82/54 K/BB rate is where things get exciting. It’s clear he has a strong sense of plate discipline, and with another year of training as he grows into his body, Urbina’s ceiling continues to be worthy of dreaming on. There’s a substantial speed and power combination here, and playing centerfield is something he looks natural doing. I’d be far from shocked in the upcoming year, isn’t his coming out party. Spencer Steer If you haven’t been keeping tabs on Steer, it’s been time for a while. A third-round pick in 2019, Steer has posted OPS numbers north of .800 each of the past two seasons. Last year he blew up for 24 homers and posted a .409 OBP at High-A Cedar Rapids. Steer is now 24 and likely not going to be a Major League All-Star, but he has shown the makings of a solid regular. Utilizing the 2021 season, Steer could make his start at Double-A in 2022 a short one and be knocking on the door from St. Paul. Kala’i Rosario A fifth-round pick in 2020, Rosario didn’t get his opportunity to make a pro debut until last season due to Covid. However, he didn’t disappoint and posted a .793 OPS as an 18-year-old in the Complex League. His five homers in just 188 at-bats were nice to see, and there’s plenty of room for the plate discipline to take a step forward. Rosario is a corner outfielder, and his calling card will never be defense, so the bat needs to play, but the exciting part is that it looks the part so early. Getting into full-season ball this year, I’d be far-from-shocked if Rosario doesn’t immediately turn heads and see two promotions over the course of the year. What other prospects do you see worthy of keeping a particularly close eye on this season? 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. When he blew up, Miranda was outside the top 15 on virtually all Twins prospect lists and barely within the top 30 on others. It’s a bit rare that a meteoric rise occurs, but there are prospects all over the Minnesota system capable of notable 2022 seasons. While their situations may differ, the talent taking over once the games get going seems like a pretty good bet. Royce Lewis Now 22-years-old and playing for the first time in two years, the time has certainly gotten the better part of the former number one overall pick. We last saw Lewis in the Arizona Fall League at the end of 2019, and he tore up the competition. After a disappointing season that resulted in just a .661 OPS between High-A and Double-A, that was nice to see. The leg kick and swing path have been highly discussed, as has his case to stick at shortstop or move into the outfield. Regardless of the talking points, it will be nice to see the Twins top prospect back on the field, and I’d bet on his maturity and talent taking over. Give me a focused Lewis producing in a big way this season to remind pundits why he was raved about for so long. Simeon Woods-Richardson The second piece brought to the Twins in their swap of Jose Berrios, Woods-Richardson was well regarded and a popular trade target. He posted just a 5.91 ERA in 2021 and gave up six earned runs in eight innings within Minnesota’s system. It certainly wasn’t a great debut, but plenty was going against him following the trade. He played for Team USA in the Olympics, but played should be used loosely as he never made an appearance. Shutting down his workload in the middle of a season for that long created a significant road back and ultimately created a less-than-ideal situation. He’s talented and has been ranked highly because of it. The strikeout stuff should be expected to return in 2022, and seeing Woods-Richardson dominate en route to a Major League Debut would be far from unexpected. Misael Urbina Playing in his age-20 season for 2022, Urbina was stateside for the first time in 2021. He posted just a .585 OPS in the Complex League, but the 82/54 K/BB rate is where things get exciting. It’s clear he has a strong sense of plate discipline, and with another year of training as he grows into his body, Urbina’s ceiling continues to be worthy of dreaming on. There’s a substantial speed and power combination here, and playing centerfield is something he looks natural doing. I’d be far from shocked in the upcoming year, isn’t his coming out party. Spencer Steer If you haven’t been keeping tabs on Steer, it’s been time for a while. A third-round pick in 2019, Steer has posted OPS numbers north of .800 each of the past two seasons. Last year he blew up for 24 homers and posted a .409 OBP at High-A Cedar Rapids. Steer is now 24 and likely not going to be a Major League All-Star, but he has shown the makings of a solid regular. Utilizing the 2021 season, Steer could make his start at Double-A in 2022 a short one and be knocking on the door from St. Paul. Kala’i Rosario A fifth-round pick in 2020, Rosario didn’t get his opportunity to make a pro debut until last season due to Covid. However, he didn’t disappoint and posted a .793 OPS as an 18-year-old in the Complex League. His five homers in just 188 at-bats were nice to see, and there’s plenty of room for the plate discipline to take a step forward. Rosario is a corner outfielder, and his calling card will never be defense, so the bat needs to play, but the exciting part is that it looks the part so early. Getting into full-season ball this year, I’d be far-from-shocked if Rosario doesn’t immediately turn heads and see two promotions over the course of the year. What other prospects do you see worthy of keeping a particularly close eye on this season? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  15. The Twins locked up Byron Buxton for the prime of his career, but if history is any indication, the team will need depth behind him in the years ahead. What players can step in for Buxton if the injury bug bites him again? Current Center Fielder: Byron Buxton In the days leading into the MLB lock-out, the Twins signed Byron Buxton to a seven-year, $100 million contract extension to keep him tied to Minnesota until his mid-30s. Buxton has played at a superstar level over the last three seasons when he has been healthy. Unfortunately, he has played 87 games or fewer in all but one of his big-league seasons. The Twins were able to sign Buxton for a relatively cheap deal because of these injury concerns, and he expressed a strong desire to stay in the Twin Cities. Now, Minnesota has to make a plan to keep him healthy, so some of the players below aren't relied on in center field. 40-Man Roster Options The Twins have used Max Kepler as a backup option in center field. He has made 127 starts and logged over 1,100 big-league innings at the position. In the past, Kepler preferred playing in a corner outfield spot because of the increased physical demand from playing in center. Kepler might be one of baseball's most valuable trade assets, and this may result in him being dealt this winter for starting pitching depth. Some younger players on the 40-man roster also fit into the team's center field plans. The Twins rushed Gilberto Celestino to the big leagues last season because the team was out of outfield options on the 40-man roster. Entering last season, he had never appeared above the High-A level. In 70-games between Double- and Triple-A last year, he posted a .795 OPS and combined for 25 extra-base hits. If Buxton gets hurt, Celestino should get some opportunities next season. Royce Lewis is another intriguing option on the 40-man roster that may end up playing center field at the big-league level. Minnesota will give him every opportunity to prove he can be a shortstop before transitioning him to a new defensive position. However, his knee injury last spring means he hasn't been on the field since the 2019 Arizona Fall League, where he was named MVP. On the Farm Options Not all of the players listed below are guaranteed to be on the team's roster at the start of next season. Still, it offers some insight into the organization's center field depth. Minnesota has multiple center field options populating the rosters throughout the minor leagues. According to FanGraphs, there are seven players scheduled to be outfielders at Triple-A next season, and all of them have some experience in center field. One of the team's top prospects, Austin Martin, is the most intriguing option as he split time between shortstop and center field after being acquired at last year's trade deadline. Few think he will stick at shortstop, so his eventual defensive home is likely in the outfield or at third base, his college position. Jake Cave is off the 40-man roster, but the team has used him in the center field in the past. His increasing age and more athletic options at Triple-A will likely relegate Cave to a corner outfield spot. Mark Contreras played over 180 innings in center field for St. Paul last season, but he profiles more as a corner outfielder. Last season, he posted an .824 OPS in 114 games with 53 extra-base hits. Jimmy Kerrigan played all three outfield positions for the Saints in 2021 while hitting .260/.330/.478 (.808) with 38 extra-base hits. DaShawn Keirsey was a 4th round pick in 2018 and served as one of the primary center fielders in Cedar Rapids last season. He was over a year and a half older than the average age of the competition at that level, and he posted a .733 OPS. Willie Joe Garry made 32 starts in center field for Fort Myers but only compiled a .601 OPS in 95 games. Misael Urbina was Minnesota's top international signee in the class of 2018. Last season, he made his stateside debut, where he was over two years younger than the competition. In 101 games, he batted .191/.299/.286 (.585) with 21 extra-base hits. One year after Urbina, Emmanuel Rodriguez was Minnesota's top international signee. Last season, he hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with 17 extra-base hits in 37 games for the FCL Twins. Overall, Minnesota has one of baseball's best players in center field, but depth is critical with his injury history. What do you think about the organization's center field depth? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Catcher — First Base — Second Base — Third Base — Shortstop View full article
  16. Current Center Fielder: Byron Buxton In the days leading into the MLB lock-out, the Twins signed Byron Buxton to a seven-year, $100 million contract extension to keep him tied to Minnesota until his mid-30s. Buxton has played at a superstar level over the last three seasons when he has been healthy. Unfortunately, he has played 87 games or fewer in all but one of his big-league seasons. The Twins were able to sign Buxton for a relatively cheap deal because of these injury concerns, and he expressed a strong desire to stay in the Twin Cities. Now, Minnesota has to make a plan to keep him healthy, so some of the players below aren't relied on in center field. 40-Man Roster Options The Twins have used Max Kepler as a backup option in center field. He has made 127 starts and logged over 1,100 big-league innings at the position. In the past, Kepler preferred playing in a corner outfield spot because of the increased physical demand from playing in center. Kepler might be one of baseball's most valuable trade assets, and this may result in him being dealt this winter for starting pitching depth. Some younger players on the 40-man roster also fit into the team's center field plans. The Twins rushed Gilberto Celestino to the big leagues last season because the team was out of outfield options on the 40-man roster. Entering last season, he had never appeared above the High-A level. In 70-games between Double- and Triple-A last year, he posted a .795 OPS and combined for 25 extra-base hits. If Buxton gets hurt, Celestino should get some opportunities next season. Royce Lewis is another intriguing option on the 40-man roster that may end up playing center field at the big-league level. Minnesota will give him every opportunity to prove he can be a shortstop before transitioning him to a new defensive position. However, his knee injury last spring means he hasn't been on the field since the 2019 Arizona Fall League, where he was named MVP. On the Farm Options Not all of the players listed below are guaranteed to be on the team's roster at the start of next season. Still, it offers some insight into the organization's center field depth. Minnesota has multiple center field options populating the rosters throughout the minor leagues. According to FanGraphs, there are seven players scheduled to be outfielders at Triple-A next season, and all of them have some experience in center field. One of the team's top prospects, Austin Martin, is the most intriguing option as he split time between shortstop and center field after being acquired at last year's trade deadline. Few think he will stick at shortstop, so his eventual defensive home is likely in the outfield or at third base, his college position. Jake Cave is off the 40-man roster, but the team has used him in the center field in the past. His increasing age and more athletic options at Triple-A will likely relegate Cave to a corner outfield spot. Mark Contreras played over 180 innings in center field for St. Paul last season, but he profiles more as a corner outfielder. Last season, he posted an .824 OPS in 114 games with 53 extra-base hits. Jimmy Kerrigan played all three outfield positions for the Saints in 2021 while hitting .260/.330/.478 (.808) with 38 extra-base hits. DaShawn Keirsey was a 4th round pick in 2018 and served as one of the primary center fielders in Cedar Rapids last season. He was over a year and a half older than the average age of the competition at that level, and he posted a .733 OPS. Willie Joe Garry made 32 starts in center field for Fort Myers but only compiled a .601 OPS in 95 games. Misael Urbina was Minnesota's top international signee in the class of 2018. Last season, he made his stateside debut, where he was over two years younger than the competition. In 101 games, he batted .191/.299/.286 (.585) with 21 extra-base hits. One year after Urbina, Emmanuel Rodriguez was Minnesota's top international signee. Last season, he hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with 17 extra-base hits in 37 games for the FCL Twins. Overall, Minnesota has one of baseball's best players in center field, but depth is critical with his injury history. What do you think about the organization's center field depth? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Catcher — First Base — Second Base — Third Base — Shortstop
  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. Drew Maggi lit things up in the capital city and the Wichita offense continued to impress. Read up on all the action across the Twins farm system! TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins selected the contract of RHP Kyle Barraclough from St. Paul Saints. Minnesota Twins selected the contract of LHP Andrew Albers from St. Paul Saints. Minnesota Twins optioned RHP Edgar Garcia to St. Paul Saints. Minnesota Twins sent RHP Beau Burrows outright to St. Paul Saints. St. Paul Saints released CF Keon Broxton. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 9, Iowa 5 Box Score The St. Paul Saints found themselves in a hole on Thursday night at CHS Field, trailing 4-2 after the fifth inning with only four hits. That all changed with one swing from Drew Maggi in the bottom of the sixth inning. Maggi launched a bases-loaded 3-2 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Saints a lead they wouldn’t look back on. Maggi’s slam was put into motion by a pair of singles from Tomas Telis and Mark Contreras and a throwing error that put Sherman Johnson on base. From there, it was all “Maggic” Maggi’s homer (12) only kick-started that the St. Paul offense. Contreras punched an RBI single in the seventh to score Trevor Larnach, kicking off a three-run inning for the Saints. Johnson would later score two runs of his own, pushing a single up the gut that scored Ian Miller and Telis to put the Saints up 9-4. Contreras was brilliant on the evening. Not only did his mid and late-inning hits count, but he got the party started for the Saints in the first with a double and a run (courtesy of a Gilberto Celestino double). Beau Burrows and Andrew Vasquez gave up a combined four runs in the first five innings. After that, it was pure gold from the St. Paul bullpen. Ian Gibaut (W, 1-3), Yennier Cano, and Ian Hamilton were lights out for the remainder of the game, giving up two hits, three walks, and zero runs while striking out seven. Cano earned his fourth hold of the year, and Hamilton continued his dominant stretch, shaving his ERA down to 2.85 Playoff Watch Thursday’s win puts the Saints just 1.5 games behind first-place Toledo. St. Paul is now in sole place of second place in the Triple-A Central East Division. Triple-A postseason format can be viewed here. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 14, Springfield 6 Box Score The Wind Surge put up yet another football-like score on Thursday night, defeating Springfield by a score of 14-6. The Surge put up a total of 21 hits, including a four-hit night from BJ Boyd and three-hit evenings for Spencer Steer, Andrew Bechtold, and DJ Burt. Bechtold and Leobaldo Cabrera each launched homers for Wichita and Bechtold knocked his 20th double of the season. Starting pitcher Austin Schulffer (W, 4-7) was solid, going five innings and striking out five while giving up four runs on seven hits. The Wichita bullpen was even more stellar on the night. Alex Phillips, Zach Neff, and Adam Lau combined for three innings of two-run ball while striking out five. Playoff Watch Tonight's win puts Wichita atop the Double-A Central league! The Surge are 54-39, 0.5 games above Frisco (Texas). The top two teams in the Double-A Central League will compete in a five-game series for the league title. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Wisconsin 8 Box Score Down 8-4 going into the sixth inning, it looked like Cedar Rapids' winning streak would end at three games. Think again. After a three-run sixth inning, Edouard Julien, Wander Javier, and Yunior Severino tag-teamed for a two-run ninth to walk the Kernels off in their largest comeback of the season. Julien led off the inning with a single and stole second on a 2-2 count with Severino at the plate. His aggressive baserunning paid off. Severino lined the next pitch over the left fielder's head, advancing all the way to third and scoring Julien. The Iowa magic was capped off when Javier lined a single to right to score pinch-runner Daniel Ozoria for the winning run. "Baseball's unlike any other sport in the fact that their isn't a time clock," Skipper Brian Dinkleman said after his team's longest game of the season. "It was a true team win." In a battle that saw hits and runs throughout the course of the game, the Kernels saw different players step up at different times. The Kernels scored their first run in the first inning when Julien touched home on a fielder's choice from Wander Javier. Cedar Rapids would double their runs scored in the second inning. After a trio of walks, Julien punched a single to center to score Jeferson Morales and Michael Helman. Despite giving up eight runs in the first four innings, the Kernels continued to knock on the door. Yunior Severino worked some two-out magic in the fourth when he crushed a double to left that moved Julien to third. Julien scored two batters later, thanks to a single from Alex Isola. Trailing by four heading into the sixth, Cedar Rapids third basemen Seth Gray put the team on his back. After a single from Severino and a walk from Isola, Gray launched a three-run shot (9) to bring the Kernels within one. Cedar Rapids pitcher Tyler Watson pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on eight hits while striking out two. Highly-touted reliever Derek Molina followed Watson on a night that wasn't his best. Molina lasted 2/3 of an inning, striking out one while giving up two earned runs. Osiris German and Denny Bentley came up next in the firing line of Kernels' pitchers. Both were magnificent, combining for 3 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out five. Playoff Watch Tonight's win puts the Kernels at 52-41, 9.5 games behind league leader Quad Cities (Kansas City). The victory placed Cedar Rapids a full two games ahead of third-place Lake County (Cleveland). For in-depth information on High-A playoff format, click here. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1: Fort Myers 6, Dunedin 2 Box Score Two things are inevitable in the state of Florida: Jimmy Buffett is king It rains. A lot. The second of those halted Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays in the fourth inning, with the Mussels leading 1-0. That game was resumed prior to Thursday’s scheduled game against Dunedin. Needless to say, it was worth the wait for Fort Myers. After the Jays scored two in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead, Fort Myers roared back with five unanswered runs to win the multi-day game 6-2. Four Mighty Mussels had multi-hit games, including Misael Urbina, who knocked a sixth-inning solo shot to ignite the late-inning scoring spree. On Wednesday, Jesus Feliz hit his own solo homer in the second inning to put Fort Myers on the board. Willie Joe Garry Jr. and Kyler Fedko also had multi-hit games. Fedko’s first hit of the night game in the seventh inning. The 2021 12th round pick out of Uconn punched a 1-0 pitch to right field to score Will Holland from second, giving the Mussels a 3-2 lead. Fort Myers clung to a 3-2 lead going into the top of the ninth. Yet like a heavy downpour, the Mussels offense washed away any chances of a Dunedin victory with a three-run inning. After leading off with a walk, Patrick Winkel advanced to second courtesy of a Garry Jr. single. Fedko then laced a single that advanced Garry Jr. to second. Winkel attempted to score on the play but was gunned out at home. But with two outs and runners at first and third, Tennessee Volunteer alum Alerick Soularie punched a single to left that would score Garry Jr. and advance Fedko to third. Soularie and Fedko would both score thanks to a single from Aaron Sabato. The Fort Myers pitching staff was excellent throughout the game. Starting pitcher Aaron Rozek tossed three scoreless innings while striking out four on Wednesday night. When the game resumed on Thursday, Bradley Hanner went 2 ⅓ innings, giving up two runs on three hits while striking out one. The real gem of the night was Matt Mullenbach (W, 1-0), who locked things down in the final 3 ⅓ innings, giving up no runs on three hits while striking out five and walking none. Game Two: Dunedin 2, Fort Myers 0 (7 innings) Box Score After one of their best offensive performances of the year, Fort Myers was shut down in game two thanks to quality Dunedin pitching. The Mussels were no-hit in the shortened-game format and drew three walks on the night. Dunedin pitcher Trent Palmer (W, 2-2) pitched the entire game for the Blue Jays. Palmer, a native of Rochester, MN and graduate of Anoka High School was pleased yet humble following his incredible outing. "Sometimes you have bad stuff and get outs. Sometimes you have good stuff and get hit and thankfully tonight it was right at our position players who were amazing!" Palmer said to Seth Stohs of Twins Daily. The fact that the Minnesota native pitched a no hitter against a Twins affiliate made it even more special. "It was even better than I could have imagined considering I grew up going to Twins games at the Dome and Target Field all the time!" Palmer was stellar, but Fort Myers starter Casey Legumina was nothing short of excellent. Legumina (L, 2-2) pitched four innings of one-run ball, striking out seven and walking none. The Gonzaga alum pounded the zone all night, with 43 of his 66 pitches called for strikes. Reliever Juan Pichardo was also rock-solid on the night. Pichardo followed Legumina by throwing two innings of one-hit, one-run ball while striking out five. The only hit he surrendered was a sixth-inning triple. The Fort Myers staff didn't give up a walk in the game. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Rays 4, FCL Twins 3 Box Score Four innings of scoreless pitching from Giovahniey German wasn’t enough to push the FCL Twins past the rays on Thursday afternoon. The FCL Rays scored four runs in the fifth inning off of FCL Twins pitcher Danny Moreno to seal the deal in a tightly contested ball game. The Twins struck first with two runs in the third inning. Rubel Cespedes launched a homer (2) over the right-field fence to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. Kala’i Rosario would later punch an RBI single into the outfield to score Zander Wiel. And even though the team lost, the most exciting play of the day (and arguably the season) came in the eighth inning when Wiel touched all four bags on an inside-the-park home run. Wiel has been on a rehab assignment at the complex following a quad injury. Twins Daily co-owner Seth Stohs chatted with Zander over the offseason. Give it a watch! After Moreno’s rocky fifth inning, the Twins’ bullpen locked in. Juan Mendez and Elpidio Perez combined for three innings of scoreless baseball. Mendez struck out four batters in his two innings on the bump. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily is all about community. YOU choose who tonight's (8/19) Hitter and Pitcher of the Day are! PROSPECT SUMMARY Our most recent (post deadline and draft) prospect rankings are up! Check them out here. #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Injured List (ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Did not play #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-for-5 #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Game 1: 0-for-5, 3 K Game 2: Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, RBI, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-1, K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Game 1: 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI, BB, K Game 2: 0-for-3, K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Joe Ryan (4-3 3.63 ERA) Wichita @ Springfield (7:05PM CST) – RHP Cole Sands (2-1, 2.83 ERA) Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (0-1, 7.20 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30PM CST) – RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 0.84 ERA) View full article
  20. TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins selected the contract of RHP Kyle Barraclough from St. Paul Saints. Minnesota Twins selected the contract of LHP Andrew Albers from St. Paul Saints. Minnesota Twins optioned RHP Edgar Garcia to St. Paul Saints. Minnesota Twins sent RHP Beau Burrows outright to St. Paul Saints. St. Paul Saints released CF Keon Broxton. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 9, Iowa 5 Box Score The St. Paul Saints found themselves in a hole on Thursday night at CHS Field, trailing 4-2 after the fifth inning with only four hits. That all changed with one swing from Drew Maggi in the bottom of the sixth inning. Maggi launched a bases-loaded 3-2 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Saints a lead they wouldn’t look back on. Maggi’s slam was put into motion by a pair of singles from Tomas Telis and Mark Contreras and a throwing error that put Sherman Johnson on base. From there, it was all “Maggic” Maggi’s homer (12) only kick-started that the St. Paul offense. Contreras punched an RBI single in the seventh to score Trevor Larnach, kicking off a three-run inning for the Saints. Johnson would later score two runs of his own, pushing a single up the gut that scored Ian Miller and Telis to put the Saints up 9-4. Contreras was brilliant on the evening. Not only did his mid and late-inning hits count, but he got the party started for the Saints in the first with a double and a run (courtesy of a Gilberto Celestino double). Beau Burrows and Andrew Vasquez gave up a combined four runs in the first five innings. After that, it was pure gold from the St. Paul bullpen. Ian Gibaut (W, 1-3), Yennier Cano, and Ian Hamilton were lights out for the remainder of the game, giving up two hits, three walks, and zero runs while striking out seven. Cano earned his fourth hold of the year, and Hamilton continued his dominant stretch, shaving his ERA down to 2.85 Playoff Watch Thursday’s win puts the Saints just 1.5 games behind first-place Toledo. St. Paul is now in sole place of second place in the Triple-A Central East Division. Triple-A postseason format can be viewed here. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 14, Springfield 6 Box Score The Wind Surge put up yet another football-like score on Thursday night, defeating Springfield by a score of 14-6. The Surge put up a total of 21 hits, including a four-hit night from BJ Boyd and three-hit evenings for Spencer Steer, Andrew Bechtold, and DJ Burt. Bechtold and Leobaldo Cabrera each launched homers for Wichita and Bechtold knocked his 20th double of the season. Starting pitcher Austin Schulffer (W, 4-7) was solid, going five innings and striking out five while giving up four runs on seven hits. The Wichita bullpen was even more stellar on the night. Alex Phillips, Zach Neff, and Adam Lau combined for three innings of two-run ball while striking out five. Playoff Watch Tonight's win puts Wichita atop the Double-A Central league! The Surge are 54-39, 0.5 games above Frisco (Texas). The top two teams in the Double-A Central League will compete in a five-game series for the league title. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Wisconsin 8 Box Score Down 8-4 going into the sixth inning, it looked like Cedar Rapids' winning streak would end at three games. Think again. After a three-run sixth inning, Edouard Julien, Wander Javier, and Yunior Severino tag-teamed for a two-run ninth to walk the Kernels off in their largest comeback of the season. Julien led off the inning with a single and stole second on a 2-2 count with Severino at the plate. His aggressive baserunning paid off. Severino lined the next pitch over the left fielder's head, advancing all the way to third and scoring Julien. The Iowa magic was capped off when Javier lined a single to right to score pinch-runner Daniel Ozoria for the winning run. "Baseball's unlike any other sport in the fact that their isn't a time clock," Skipper Brian Dinkleman said after his team's longest game of the season. "It was a true team win." In a battle that saw hits and runs throughout the course of the game, the Kernels saw different players step up at different times. The Kernels scored their first run in the first inning when Julien touched home on a fielder's choice from Wander Javier. Cedar Rapids would double their runs scored in the second inning. After a trio of walks, Julien punched a single to center to score Jeferson Morales and Michael Helman. Despite giving up eight runs in the first four innings, the Kernels continued to knock on the door. Yunior Severino worked some two-out magic in the fourth when he crushed a double to left that moved Julien to third. Julien scored two batters later, thanks to a single from Alex Isola. Trailing by four heading into the sixth, Cedar Rapids third basemen Seth Gray put the team on his back. After a single from Severino and a walk from Isola, Gray launched a three-run shot (9) to bring the Kernels within one. Cedar Rapids pitcher Tyler Watson pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on eight hits while striking out two. Highly-touted reliever Derek Molina followed Watson on a night that wasn't his best. Molina lasted 2/3 of an inning, striking out one while giving up two earned runs. Osiris German and Denny Bentley came up next in the firing line of Kernels' pitchers. Both were magnificent, combining for 3 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out five. Playoff Watch Tonight's win puts the Kernels at 52-41, 9.5 games behind league leader Quad Cities (Kansas City). The victory placed Cedar Rapids a full two games ahead of third-place Lake County (Cleveland). For in-depth information on High-A playoff format, click here. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1: Fort Myers 6, Dunedin 2 Box Score Two things are inevitable in the state of Florida: Jimmy Buffett is king It rains. A lot. The second of those halted Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays in the fourth inning, with the Mussels leading 1-0. That game was resumed prior to Thursday’s scheduled game against Dunedin. Needless to say, it was worth the wait for Fort Myers. After the Jays scored two in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead, Fort Myers roared back with five unanswered runs to win the multi-day game 6-2. Four Mighty Mussels had multi-hit games, including Misael Urbina, who knocked a sixth-inning solo shot to ignite the late-inning scoring spree. On Wednesday, Jesus Feliz hit his own solo homer in the second inning to put Fort Myers on the board. Willie Joe Garry Jr. and Kyler Fedko also had multi-hit games. Fedko’s first hit of the night game in the seventh inning. The 2021 12th round pick out of Uconn punched a 1-0 pitch to right field to score Will Holland from second, giving the Mussels a 3-2 lead. Fort Myers clung to a 3-2 lead going into the top of the ninth. Yet like a heavy downpour, the Mussels offense washed away any chances of a Dunedin victory with a three-run inning. After leading off with a walk, Patrick Winkel advanced to second courtesy of a Garry Jr. single. Fedko then laced a single that advanced Garry Jr. to second. Winkel attempted to score on the play but was gunned out at home. But with two outs and runners at first and third, Tennessee Volunteer alum Alerick Soularie punched a single to left that would score Garry Jr. and advance Fedko to third. Soularie and Fedko would both score thanks to a single from Aaron Sabato. The Fort Myers pitching staff was excellent throughout the game. Starting pitcher Aaron Rozek tossed three scoreless innings while striking out four on Wednesday night. When the game resumed on Thursday, Bradley Hanner went 2 ⅓ innings, giving up two runs on three hits while striking out one. The real gem of the night was Matt Mullenbach (W, 1-0), who locked things down in the final 3 ⅓ innings, giving up no runs on three hits while striking out five and walking none. Game Two: Dunedin 2, Fort Myers 0 (7 innings) Box Score After one of their best offensive performances of the year, Fort Myers was shut down in game two thanks to quality Dunedin pitching. The Mussels were no-hit in the shortened-game format and drew three walks on the night. Dunedin pitcher Trent Palmer (W, 2-2) pitched the entire game for the Blue Jays. Palmer, a native of Rochester, MN and graduate of Anoka High School was pleased yet humble following his incredible outing. "Sometimes you have bad stuff and get outs. Sometimes you have good stuff and get hit and thankfully tonight it was right at our position players who were amazing!" Palmer said to Seth Stohs of Twins Daily. The fact that the Minnesota native pitched a no hitter against a Twins affiliate made it even more special. "It was even better than I could have imagined considering I grew up going to Twins games at the Dome and Target Field all the time!" Palmer was stellar, but Fort Myers starter Casey Legumina was nothing short of excellent. Legumina (L, 2-2) pitched four innings of one-run ball, striking out seven and walking none. The Gonzaga alum pounded the zone all night, with 43 of his 66 pitches called for strikes. Reliever Juan Pichardo was also rock-solid on the night. Pichardo followed Legumina by throwing two innings of one-hit, one-run ball while striking out five. The only hit he surrendered was a sixth-inning triple. The Fort Myers staff didn't give up a walk in the game. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Rays 4, FCL Twins 3 Box Score Four innings of scoreless pitching from Giovahniey German wasn’t enough to push the FCL Twins past the rays on Thursday afternoon. The FCL Rays scored four runs in the fifth inning off of FCL Twins pitcher Danny Moreno to seal the deal in a tightly contested ball game. The Twins struck first with two runs in the third inning. Rubel Cespedes launched a homer (2) over the right-field fence to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. Kala’i Rosario would later punch an RBI single into the outfield to score Zander Wiel. And even though the team lost, the most exciting play of the day (and arguably the season) came in the eighth inning when Wiel touched all four bags on an inside-the-park home run. Wiel has been on a rehab assignment at the complex following a quad injury. Twins Daily co-owner Seth Stohs chatted with Zander over the offseason. Give it a watch! After Moreno’s rocky fifth inning, the Twins’ bullpen locked in. Juan Mendez and Elpidio Perez combined for three innings of scoreless baseball. Mendez struck out four batters in his two innings on the bump. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily is all about community. YOU choose who tonight's (8/19) Hitter and Pitcher of the Day are! PROSPECT SUMMARY Our most recent (post deadline and draft) prospect rankings are up! Check them out here. #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Injured List (ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Did not play #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-for-5 #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Game 1: 0-for-5, 3 K Game 2: Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, RBI, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-1, K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Game 1: 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI, BB, K Game 2: 0-for-3, K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Joe Ryan (4-3 3.63 ERA) Wichita @ Springfield (7:05PM CST) – RHP Cole Sands (2-1, 2.83 ERA) Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (0-1, 7.20 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30PM CST) – RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 0.84 ERA)
  21. Baseball prospects can come in all shapes and sizes. In this part of the Twins top-30 prospects, the players range from 19 to 26 years old. Take a look at players that crack the back-end of the team’s top 20. 20. IF Spencer Steer (23 years old) Season Stats (A+/AA): 79 G, .255/.363/.497 (.860), 19 HR, 11 2B, 2 3B, 18.9 K%, 12.7 BB% Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 16, 2021 Preseason: NA Steer was a 2019 third-round pick out of the University of Oregon. Steer’s drop in the rankings is more about the new players in the organization than about him having a poor performance. He started the year in Cedar Rapids, where he slashed .274/.409/.506 (915) in 45 games. The transition to Double-A has seen his OBP drop by 110 points, but he is still slugging .485. In his professional career, this is the first time he has been a year younger than the average age of the competition. At Cedar Rapids, he made nearly all his defensive starts at second base, and now he has been splitting time between second and third in Wichita. 19. RHP Cole Sands (24 years old) Season Stats (AA): 48.1 IP (12 G), 2.79 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 11.9 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 13, 2021 Preseason: 15 Sands immediately impacted the Twins organization after being taken in the fifth round back in 2018. While pitching at three different levels, he posted a sub-2.70 ERA with a 10.0 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9. Sands missed over a month earlier in the season, and the team has slowly been increasing his workload in recent weeks. Since coming off the IL (5 G), he has posted a 2.70 ERA while holding batters to a .190/.262/.379 slash line. His strikeout totals are up this year which is a positive since he faces older batters in over 60% of his plate appearances. 18. OF Misael Urbina (19 years old) Season Stats (A): 73 G, .193/.295/.294 (.589), 4 HR, 7 2B, 4 3B, 18.6 K%, 11.4 BB% Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 15, 2021 Preseason: 14 Urbina was signed out of Venezuela during the 2018 International Signing Period for $2.75 million. As a 19-year old, he is making his stateside debut this season, and he has only faced younger pitchers in four out of his 323 plate appearances. Even facing older competition, he has shown an advanced eye at the plate and the ability to draw walks. Defensively, he has split time between center field and left field. Urbina has some of the best tools in the Twins system, and he is a player that should move up this list in the years to come. 17. RHP Blayne Enlow (22 years old) Season Stats (A+): 14.2 IP (3 G), 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 14.1 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 11, 2021 Preseason: 10 Enlow, a 2017 third-round pick, made quick work of High-A to start the season as he mowed down batters with career-high strikeout rate. Unfortunately, he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery and will be out until the second half of 2022. Minnesota added pitching depth that will be ranked ahead of Enlow, but that doesn’t take anything away from his long-term potential. 16. OF Brent Rooker (26 years old) Season Stats (AAA): 61 G, .239/.362/.546 (.908), 19 HR, 8 2B, 1 3B, 30.2 K%, 14.3 BB% Season Stats (MLB): 24 G, .168/.225/.358 (.583), 4 HR, 6 2B, 30.3 K%, 5.9 BB% Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 14, 2021 Preseason: 12 Rooker was the 35th overall pick by Minnesota back in the 2017 MLB Draft, and now he’s found himself in a unique spot with the Twins. He has little left to prove at Triple-A as he has posted an OPS north of .900 in 2019 and 2021. His power might be the best in the entire Twins system, but questions remain about how regularly he can make contact. Minnesota is also concerned about him being a defensive liability, but the team has been using him in both corner outfield spots since his call-up. Following the Nelson Cruz trade, Rooker should stick in the Twins lineup for the rest of the season, so that the club can evaluate him for the long term. Check back this week for the rest of the Twins post-draft and post-trade deadline top-30 rankings. Feel free to discuss this group of prospects and ask questions. PREVIOUS POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Prospects 21-25 -Prospects 26-30 View full article
  22. 20. IF Spencer Steer (23 years old) Season Stats (A+/AA): 79 G, .255/.363/.497 (.860), 19 HR, 11 2B, 2 3B, 18.9 K%, 12.7 BB% Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 16, 2021 Preseason: NA Steer was a 2019 third-round pick out of the University of Oregon. Steer’s drop in the rankings is more about the new players in the organization than about him having a poor performance. He started the year in Cedar Rapids, where he slashed .274/.409/.506 (915) in 45 games. The transition to Double-A has seen his OBP drop by 110 points, but he is still slugging .485. In his professional career, this is the first time he has been a year younger than the average age of the competition. At Cedar Rapids, he made nearly all his defensive starts at second base, and now he has been splitting time between second and third in Wichita. 19. RHP Cole Sands (24 years old) Season Stats (AA): 48.1 IP (12 G), 2.79 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 11.9 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 13, 2021 Preseason: 15 Sands immediately impacted the Twins organization after being taken in the fifth round back in 2018. While pitching at three different levels, he posted a sub-2.70 ERA with a 10.0 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9. Sands missed over a month earlier in the season, and the team has slowly been increasing his workload in recent weeks. Since coming off the IL (5 G), he has posted a 2.70 ERA while holding batters to a .190/.262/.379 slash line. His strikeout totals are up this year which is a positive since he faces older batters in over 60% of his plate appearances. 18. OF Misael Urbina (19 years old) Season Stats (A): 73 G, .193/.295/.294 (.589), 4 HR, 7 2B, 4 3B, 18.6 K%, 11.4 BB% Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 15, 2021 Preseason: 14 Urbina was signed out of Venezuela during the 2018 International Signing Period for $2.75 million. As a 19-year old, he is making his stateside debut this season, and he has only faced younger pitchers in four out of his 323 plate appearances. Even facing older competition, he has shown an advanced eye at the plate and the ability to draw walks. Defensively, he has split time between center field and left field. Urbina has some of the best tools in the Twins system, and he is a player that should move up this list in the years to come. 17. RHP Blayne Enlow (22 years old) Season Stats (A+): 14.2 IP (3 G), 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 14.1 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 11, 2021 Preseason: 10 Enlow, a 2017 third-round pick, made quick work of High-A to start the season as he mowed down batters with career-high strikeout rate. Unfortunately, he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery and will be out until the second half of 2022. Minnesota added pitching depth that will be ranked ahead of Enlow, but that doesn’t take anything away from his long-term potential. 16. OF Brent Rooker (26 years old) Season Stats (AAA): 61 G, .239/.362/.546 (.908), 19 HR, 8 2B, 1 3B, 30.2 K%, 14.3 BB% Season Stats (MLB): 24 G, .168/.225/.358 (.583), 4 HR, 6 2B, 30.3 K%, 5.9 BB% Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 14, 2021 Preseason: 12 Rooker was the 35th overall pick by Minnesota back in the 2017 MLB Draft, and now he’s found himself in a unique spot with the Twins. He has little left to prove at Triple-A as he has posted an OPS north of .900 in 2019 and 2021. His power might be the best in the entire Twins system, but questions remain about how regularly he can make contact. Minnesota is also concerned about him being a defensive liability, but the team has been using him in both corner outfield spots since his call-up. Following the Nelson Cruz trade, Rooker should stick in the Twins lineup for the rest of the season, so that the club can evaluate him for the long term. Check back this week for the rest of the Twins post-draft and post-trade deadline top-30 rankings. Feel free to discuss this group of prospects and ask questions. PREVIOUS POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Prospects 21-25 -Prospects 26-30
  23. 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
  24. Bryon Buxton might be the fastest player in the Twins organization, but other prospects are close to chasing him down. Here’s how the team’s top prospects rank when it comes to speed.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 Click here to view the article
  25. 15. Cole Sands, RHP Age: 23 (DOB: 7/17/1997) 2019 Stats (A/AA): 97.1 IP, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 10.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 ETA: 2022 2020 Ranking: 19 The lack of a minor-league season in 2020 hurt many prospects, and Sands is certainly among them. He was just beginning to ramp up his workload – from 75 ⅓ innings during his final year at Florida State to 97 ⅓ in his first year with the Twins – and then it all got shut down. Now, the former fifth-round draft pick will try to pick up where he left off. Prior to the pandemic, he had quite a bit of momentum going. Sands was extremely impressive during his first professional season in 2019, posting a 2.68 ERA along with a brilliant 108-to-19 K/BB over 18 starts. He started out at Low-A and ended in Double-A. Solidly built at 6-foot-3 and 215 lbs, Sands brings a fastball in the mid-90s and his changeup is rated by Baseball America as the best in the Twins system. The mission for Sands in 2021 is to rebuild his workload and get back on track toward a full starter's regimen, while also translating his early success into the high minors. It's a tall task, but all signs suggest the right-hander is up to it. He's a sleeper candidate to debut in the majors this year. 14. Misael Urbina, OF Age: 18 (DOB: 4/26/02) 2019 Stats (Rookie): 217 PA, .279/.382/.443 , 2 HR, 26 RBI ETA: 2024 2020 Ranking: 17 Urbina was considered one of the best international prospects available in 2018 when the Twins landed him with a $2.75 million signing bonus. The toolsy outfielder arrived with an exceptional pro debut the following year, slashing .279/.382/.443 over 50 games in the Dominican Summer League. In 217 plate appearances, Urbina showed excellent plate discipline (23 walks, 14 strikeouts), hit for power (21 extra-base hits), and flashed standout speed (19 steals and five triples). He also played a very sharp center field defensively. The Twins signed Urbina as a scrawny 16-year-old, and now he's going to be challenged to grow up in a hurry. He's still young, but turns 19 in April and hasn't been exposed to a full-season league. That'll happen now. If the uber-athletic teenager can come anywhere close to replicating his 2019 performance as he presumably graduates to A-ball, he'll climb these rankings quickly. 13. Matt Wallner, OF Age: 23 (DOB: 12/12/1997) 2019 Stats (Rookie/A): 291 PA, .258/.357/.452, 8 HR, 34 RBI ETA: 2022 2020 Ranking: 14 Like Urbina, Wallner was a highly touted young outfielder who made an impressive debut in 2019, posting an .810 OPS in 65 games between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids after being selected in the supplemental first round of June's draft. But unlike Urbina, time is not on Wallner's side. The Twins took him out of the University of Southern Mississippi with the 39th overall pick, valuing the Forest Lake native as a polished and potentially fast-moving collegiate lefty bat. Now, after the lost 2020 season, he's 23 and has played 12 games above rookie ball. To put that in context: Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler were all established as full-time major-league outfielders at 23, and Alex Kirillloff will probably do so for himself this year at the same age. None of this is damning for Wallner, who faces the same need to make up for lost time as his minor-league peers, but it leaves him with little margin for error. If he struggles at all to acclimate in A-ball, he'll quickly fall behind the curve. Conversely, if he hits the ground running, Wallner is in line to move quickly as a relatively advanced hitter. 12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B Age: 26 (DOB: 11/1/1994) 2020 Stats (MLB): 21 PA, .316/.381/.579, 1 HR, 5 RBI ETA: 2021 2020 Ranking: 9 Rooker is different from almost every other prospect we'll rank on this list, in that he gave us some actual, concrete performance to evaluate in 2020. Granted, it was an absurdly small sample: 21 plate appearances with the Twins before a fractured forearm ended his season in mid-September. But what we saw mostly confirmed what we've come to believe about Rooker: he's a quality right-handed bat with real power potential, and ready for the big leagues. The Twins called up Rooker in early September after Kepler went down with a groin strain. He wasted no time at the plate, collecting six hits including a home run and two doubles. "I don’t want to say he’s got Miguel Sanó power, but it’s that type of power to the big part of the field,” said hitting coach Edgar Varela of the slugger. Rooker's defensive limitations were also on display during brief action in right and left field, and while he is ostensibly an option at first base, he hasn't played it since 2018. With Nelson Cruz returning in 2021, Rooker doesn't have much of a path to regular playing time at the moment, but he's useful as a rotational righty bench bat. To become more than that, he'll need to cut down the strikeouts, prove his defensive viability, and above all, find an opportunity. 11. Gilberto Celestino, OF Age: 21 (DOB: 2/13/99) 2019 Stats (A): 536 PA, .277/.349/.410, 10 HR, 54 RBI ETA: 2023 2020 Ranking: 12 Celestino was on a roll before his 2020 season got wiped out. After a slow start at Cedar Rapids in 2019, the outfielder pressed the pedal to the medal, slashing .357/.427/.550 in 43 games after July 1st and earning a late-season call-up to Ft. Myers. After the season, Minnesota added him to the 40-man roster, fearing that another club might try to snap him up in the Rule 5 draft. For a 20-year-old who had barely skimmed High-A, it was a rather extraordinary move, setting Celestino's options clock in motion at a very early stage. Clearly, the Twins like this kid, and with good reason. He was seeing plenty of early action in spring training last year before the shutdown. Celestino was on Minnesota's extended 60-man roster last summer, and got his work in daily at the alternate site in St. Paul, so his development was impeded less than many ohter prospects who weren't so lucky. That might give him a leg up heading into the coming season. He's probably the best center fielder in the system after Byron Buxton, which is noteworthy given Buxton's proneness to injury. Although Celestino is not a candidate to be called up early in the 2021 season, he could quickly enter the conversation with a fast start and a major-league opening. The combination of speed and power, combined with improving discipline and strong defense in center, makes him a multi-dimensional prospect with big impact potential. Although Ryan Pressly became an All-Star after the Twins traded him to Houston, it's still looking like the Twins – with young fireballer Jorge Alcala penned into their bullpen and Celestino fast on the rise – might end up getting the best of that 2018 trade. Twins 2021 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Bailey Ober, RHP 19. José Miranda, 3B/2B 18. Alerick Soularie, UTIL 17. Ben Rortvedt, C 16. Edwar Colina, RHP
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