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  1. In the fourth round of the 2017 MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins selected left-handed pitcher Charlie Barnes out of Clemson University. Before that, he was a three-time letter winner in baseball at Sumter (SC) High School. He was twice All-State. As a senior, he was named pitcher of the year in the state. Going to Clemson was an easy decision for him. It was something he had always wanted to do. He went to a lot of Tigers football games as a child. His brother spent a season as a quarterback at Clemson. Barnes worked primarily out of the bullpen as a freshman. As a sophomore, he became a weekend starter and went 6-4 with a 4.66 ERA. In his junior season, the southpaw became the team's Friday night starter. He went 5-5 with a 3.20 ERA. That year, in 101 1/3 innings, he struck out 113 batters and issued just 22 walks. He was drafted in 2017, but it is important and impressive to note that Barnes also graduated from college in just three years. He majored in Management with an emphasis on sports management. Season Stats 2017 Elizabethton - 6 G, 22.2 IP, 2-1, 1.19 ERA. 10 walks, 23 strikeouts 2017 Cedar Rapids - 6 G, 25.2 IP, 2-1, 3.86 ERA, 8 walks, 23 strikeouts 2018 Ft. Myers - 23 G, 118.1 IP, 6-6, 2.81 ERA, 44 walks, 84 strikeouts 2019 Ft. Myers - 8 G, 37.1 IP, 3-2, 6.51 ERA, 20 walks, 35 strikeouts 2019 Pensacola - 14 G, 13 GS, 75.0 IP, 3-4, 3.60 ERA, 24 walks, 73 strikeouts 2019 Rochester - 4 G, 18.2 IP, 1-2, 6.75 ERA, 11 walks, 16 strikeouts. Following the season, Barnes was invited to Twins' big-league spring training in 2020. He wasn't initially at the team's alternate site, though he did join the group in St. Paul later in the summer. This spring, he was again a non-roster invite to spring training and showed some good improvement. He began the 2021 season at Triple-A St. Paul. In 11 starts so far, he is 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA. In 58 innings, he has walked 19 and struck out 50 batters. As you would expect, it hasn't been all smooth throughout the season. In his first six starts, Barnes went 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA. On June 13th, in his third start against the Omaha Storm Chasers, Barnes gave up six earned runs in three innings. Six days later, in his third start against the Iowa Cubs, he tossed five no-hit innings and struck out seven. In his next start, he allowed six earned runs over five innings. In his two most recent starts, he has worked a combined 12 1/3 innings and is 2-0 with a 3.65 ERA. The scouting report on Charlie Barnes reads like that of a typical Twins starter. First, he is left-handed. Second, he relies on mixing his pitches and his pitch velocities to be successful. Of course, that is true of any pitcher, but when he generally sits 88 to 91 mph, it is essential. Barnes throws a lot of sinkers and changeups. The sinker tops out about 91. He was touted as having the best changeup in that 2017 draft, and it continues to be an important pitch for him. He also throws a four-seam fastball up in the zone with a lot of carry, making it a good pitch for him. He also throws both a slider and a curveball. Again, with a fastball around 90, he can't rely on it all the time. Mixing the velocity and the eye level for hitters is crucial. When he uses his slider and his changeup and is able to spot pitches, he can be successful. He will have his first opportunity to show that on Friday night in Detroit.
  2. Phil Miller of the Star Tribune reported (and Twins Daily can confirm) that left-handed pitching prospect Charlie Barnes will be in Detroit with the Minnesota Twins when they begin to play again on Friday. Let's take a look back at Barnes' path to the Twins. In the fourth round of the 2017 MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins selected left-handed pitcher Charlie Barnes out of Clemson University. Before that, he was a three-time letter winner in baseball at Sumter (SC) High School. He was twice All-State. As a senior, he was named pitcher of the year in the state. Going to Clemson was an easy decision for him. It was something he had always wanted to do. He went to a lot of Tigers football games as a child. His brother spent a season as a quarterback at Clemson. Barnes worked primarily out of the bullpen as a freshman. As a sophomore, he became a weekend starter and went 6-4 with a 4.66 ERA. In his junior season, the southpaw became the team's Friday night starter. He went 5-5 with a 3.20 ERA. That year, in 101 1/3 innings, he struck out 113 batters and issued just 22 walks. He was drafted in 2017, but it is important and impressive to note that Barnes also graduated from college in just three years. He majored in Management with an emphasis on sports management. Season Stats 2017 Elizabethton - 6 G, 22.2 IP, 2-1, 1.19 ERA. 10 walks, 23 strikeouts 2017 Cedar Rapids - 6 G, 25.2 IP, 2-1, 3.86 ERA, 8 walks, 23 strikeouts 2018 Ft. Myers - 23 G, 118.1 IP, 6-6, 2.81 ERA, 44 walks, 84 strikeouts 2019 Ft. Myers - 8 G, 37.1 IP, 3-2, 6.51 ERA, 20 walks, 35 strikeouts 2019 Pensacola - 14 G, 13 GS, 75.0 IP, 3-4, 3.60 ERA, 24 walks, 73 strikeouts 2019 Rochester - 4 G, 18.2 IP, 1-2, 6.75 ERA, 11 walks, 16 strikeouts. Following the season, Barnes was invited to Twins' big-league spring training in 2020. He wasn't initially at the team's alternate site, though he did join the group in St. Paul later in the summer. This spring, he was again a non-roster invite to spring training and showed some good improvement. He began the 2021 season at Triple-A St. Paul. In 11 starts so far, he is 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA. In 58 innings, he has walked 19 and struck out 50 batters. As you would expect, it hasn't been all smooth throughout the season. In his first six starts, Barnes went 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA. On June 13th, in his third start against the Omaha Storm Chasers, Barnes gave up six earned runs in three innings. Six days later, in his third start against the Iowa Cubs, he tossed five no-hit innings and struck out seven. In his next start, he allowed six earned runs over five innings. In his two most recent starts, he has worked a combined 12 1/3 innings and is 2-0 with a 3.65 ERA. The scouting report on Charlie Barnes reads like that of a typical Twins starter. First, he is left-handed. Second, he relies on mixing his pitches and his pitch velocities to be successful. Of course, that is true of any pitcher, but when he generally sits 88 to 91 mph, it is essential. Barnes throws a lot of sinkers and changeups. The sinker tops out about 91. He was touted as having the best changeup in that 2017 draft, and it continues to be an important pitch for him. He also throws a four-seam fastball up in the zone with a lot of carry, making it a good pitch for him. He also throws both a slider and a curveball. Again, with a fastball around 90, he can't rely on it all the time. Mixing the velocity and the eye level for hitters is crucial. When he uses his slider and his changeup and is able to spot pitches, he can be successful. He will have his first opportunity to show that on Friday night in Detroit. View full article
  3. All of those players were mentioned in this preview after a lengthy delay to the start of the MLB season, and you’ll see quite a few of the same other names in this year’s version. As an immense fan of the minor leagues due to my experiences in those ballparks as a kid, top prospect lists and scouting reports have always been must-read material for me during the winter months as we wait for Spring. There are numerous websites and lists dedicated to this these days, including some of the best you will find about your hometown team right here at Twins Daily. I have certainly made plenty such lists over the years and have been a Minor League Report contributor here since the site’s inception, but because of the depth provided elsewhere I like to put out my own version of a list every year that instead talks about prospects you might see in the majors during the upcoming season. While 2020 was beyond weird when making this list, this season is perhaps even harder as there is no MiLB data from the prior season to rely on. I expect this list to either be woefully inaccurate or right on the nose, as assumptions from the prior season carry over. So, who are the next Minnesota Twins that could make their debut during the 2021 season? ON THE 40-MAN ROSTER: The number of names in this section is a testament to the maturity of the Twins minor league system going into the 2021 season. Six of the eight names are on Twins Daily’s Top Prospect List and the other two have appeared there in the past. With this many heralded prospects knocking on the major league’s door and an already established MLB roster, it could lead to some interesting roster moves during the 2021 season. Jhoan Duran (23 years old on opening day), RHP – TD’s #5 Prospect There is a lot to like with Duran. He has size, triple-digit velocity, and a unique pitch that can give hitters fits if they are sitting on his fastball. Like many young hurlers, development of his off-speed or breaking pitches will determine whether he remains a starter in the majors or gets transitioned to the bullpen. While he spent time at the alternate site in 2020, he has only pitched 37 innings at the double-A level with inconsistent results. It is not out of the question he starts the MiLB season back in double-A, pushing any potential debut timeline out to later in the summer, which also could come as a reliever much like Brusdar Graterol in 2019. Nick Gordon (25), IF (Gordon made his MLB debut on 5/6, and went 1-for-2 with a BB and 2 SB) I have had Gordon on this list for several years now, and the 2021 season may be the make-it-or-break-it campaign for the Twins first round pick from the 2014 draft. The stat lines have not been flashy but improvement year-to-year at each level has been noticeable. He followed up a 2017 season in double-A where he hit .270/.341/.408 by hitting .333/.381/.525 to earn a promotion to triple-A in 2018. He hit only .212/.262/.283 after moving up, but the next season improved to .298/.342/.459 at the same level and it may have been a hard choice between him and Luis Arreaz for a promotion if he had not been injured at the time. I think Gordon can find an infield utility role, but whether that comes with the Twins or not is what the 2021 season may be all about for him. Jordan Balazovic (22), RHP – TD’s #6 Prospect Hype around Balazovic, much like Duran, is also warranted. He may not have the same level of raw stuff as Duran, but the performance has been better in comparison. The only caveat there is Balazovic has not pitched above single-A yet, though he did end up at the alternate site late in the 2020 season. I would be surprised if he began anywhere but double-A Wichita to start the year, and he is certainly going to be on an innings limit. These things work against him in terms of debuting in 2021 but being on the 40-man roster also places him high on any depth charts for promotion. He also has far less risk of being transitioned to a reliever in the future due to his above average control of all of his pitches. Ben Rortvedt (23), C – TD’s #17 Prospect (Rortvedt made his MLB debut on 4/30, going 1-for-3 with an RBI, R, and BB) Rortvedt was added to the 40-man roster after the 2020 season to make sure he was not lost in the Rule 5 draft. This is mainly due to his defensive chops as a catcher, but potential with the bat still remains as a 23-year-old with good plate discipline likely to play at triple-A for the first time this year. The defense will get him to the majors, but it depends on if his bat is unlocked enough to become a regular in an organization already boasting two strong bats at the position in Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers. He is basically an ideal emergency catcher as is and I can envision a career much like former Twins catcher Drew Butera as a good floor. Dakota Chalmers (24), RHP Chalmers has only pitched around 60 recorded innings since having Tommy John surgery during the 2018 season, and less than 200 total innings in six years as a professional, but that has not stopped him from getting close to the majors. That is because of strong raw stuff that includes a mid-90’s fastball and bat missing sliders and changeups as his secondary offerings. Control of these pitches has always been the issue as he has walked 6.6 per nine innings pitched over his professional career. This was especially evident in his time in the Arizona Fall League after the 2019 season, where he was all over the board from terrible to dominant in his outings there, depending on that control. He started the AFL Championship game that the Twins prospects went on to win (with help from other prospects, of course). Gilberto Celestino (22), OF – TD’s #11 Prospect (Celestino made his MLB debut on 6/2, starting in CF and going 0-for-2 with a K) Celestino is an interesting case study on 40-man protection situations, as he is a player who has yet to play any games above A-ball, and only eight of them in the advanced Florida State League at that. As is the case with all these guys, you can blame that on a lost 2020 MiLB season, but his apparent rise in those circumstances is noteworthy as he did spend 2020 at the alternate site in St. Paul. Celestino’s bat came alive with Cedar Rapids in the latter half of the 2019 season where from July onward he hit .348/.413/.532. If the bat has continued to come around there is an exciting prospect here as he has always been a fantastic outfielder, including in center. Someone on the MLB roster could learn something about playing walls from him, too: Bailey Ober (25), RHP – TD’s #20 Prospect (Ober made his MLB debut on 5/18, starting the game and going 4.0 IP , allowing 4 ER on 5 H, 1 BB, and struck out 4 in a win against the Chicago White Sox) You will not find a better statistical performer as a starting pitcher in the Twins system from the 2019 season, where Ober posted eye opening numbers including a 0.69 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and K/9 rate of 11.4 at Fort Myers and Pensacola. You might expect such numbers to warrant a higher ranking on prospect lists, but he is a bit of a unicorn in the tool aspects as a 6’9” hurler whose fastball *might* touch 90 MPH on a good day. What he does have however, is perhaps some of the best control you will find in all of the minor leagues. While striking out 100 hitters in 78 2/3 innings in 2019, he walked just nine for a rate of 1.0/9IP. Pitches will always play up when you can locate them like he does, especially from his frame, and Ober is one I am particularly looking forward to following again in the 2021 season. TOP PROSPECTS: It is disappointing I had to remove one of the entries who would be in this section before Spring Training even started, but it is still worth mentioning Royce Lewis’ name. His 2019 campaign in the Arizona Fall League that resulted in an MVP award does not seem to get the credit it should. It was the best performance by a Twins prospect by far since I have been following that league with a keen eye for more years than I care to admit. His knee injury is a major bummer for the 2021 season (I guess welcome to the torn ACL club, Royce!), just like the cancelling of 2020’s minor league season was. We are going to have to wait even longer for the former #1 overall pick to arrive in the majors, but I have no doubts it will be well worth the wait. I consider each of the players in this section to be on equal footing when it comes to their maturity in the Twins system as the 40-man roster players above. They just have not needed to be added to that list yet. Trevor Larnach (24), OF – TD’s #3 Prospect (Larnach made his debut on 5/8, playing LF and going 0-for-4 but reaching base on a HBP) Twins Daily’s 2019 MiLB Hitter of the Year gets less accolades than fellow outfielder Alex Kirilloff, but I would not argue with you if you put them on equal footing as hitters. Larnach has comparable power to all fields and a bit better plate discipline to make up for any lag in hitting that skill evaluators might perceive. With the glut of corner outfield talent in the upper portions of the Twins system, having Larnach start the 2021 season back in double-A is logical, but his bat is one that could force the issue as the MLB season wears on. Blayne Enlow (22), RHP – TD’s #10 Prospect (Update: Enlow hit the disabled list in early June, and was later determined to need Tommy John surgery and will mist the rest of the 2021 season) When drafted in 2017, Enlow was said to have one of the best curveballs available, which was an even more impressive statement as he was a high school pitcher. But that pitch took a step back when he became a pro, leading to relatively unimpressive strikeout numbers. That tide could be changing as he continues to grow into any adjustments made by coaches, as reports from instructs last fall included added velocity (mid 90’s) and a reinvigorated breaking ball. Losing the 2020 season was especially detrimental to evaluating someone like Enlow, but youth is still on his side as the youngest player to appear on this list. I would envision 2022 as a more likely MLB debut year for him, but you never know. Matt Canterino (23), RHP – TD’s #9 Prospect Canterino is another prospect where the loss of a 2020 season looms large. As an advanced college draftee in 2019 he spent time with Cedar Rapids in his first professional season and could have been fast-tracked to the upper levels in 2020. Instead of impressing on the diamond, he did so off of it, earning a late addition to the alternate site in St. Paul where he demonstrated some added velocity and also got some notice for touching 99 MPH in throwing sessions over the winter. Because his delivery has a lot of moving parts, there are some questions about if he can remain a starter long-term, but he has answered them positively in every way he can so far. If he is ticketed for double-A Wichita early in the season (or to start it?), take notice. MINOR LEAGUE DEPTH: While these players are not necessarily top prospects, they are at or near the top of the system and have performed well to get themselves there. It could be a thing where a pitcher is lined up to pitch on the right day the Twins need a spot-start across the river at Target Field, or an injury leads to needing a specific position covered and there is no other ready replacement available. Maybe something new has clicked and they have improved their stock from internal evaluators. No matter how it happens, players like these are always needed at some point during the MLB season. Griffin Jax (26), RHP (Jax made his MLB debut on 6/8 against the New York Yankees, in relief. He pitched 1 inning, allowing 3 ER on 3 H, and striking out 1) Jax reached triple-A for three starts during the 2019 season due to a stellar campaign at Pensacola where he posted a sub 3.00 ERA in 111 1/3 innings and earned an All-Star nod. He is not a strikeout artist but has limited walks and hard contact as a pro. Ryan Mason (26), RHP Mason was not able to pitch as much as he would have liked during the 2019 season due to an ulnar nerve injury that cut it short after just 23 innings with Pensacola. But those innings were fantastic as he closed out seven games for saves with a 2.35 ERA with 28 K’s and earned Twins Daily’s MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month award for April. Zander Wiel (28), 1B/OF Wiel has been a favorite follow of mine since the Twins took him in the 12th round of the 2015 draft out of College World Series champion Vanderbilt. He may not have any loud tools, but has been productive throughout his MiLB career, leading the International League in doubles with 40, and all Twins minor leaguers with 86 runs scored with Rochester in 2019. DARK HORSES: There always seems to be a player or two who comes out nowhere to make a surprise debut for me. They might be a known name but are not that far up the ladder at the season’s outset, returning from an injury so they have been forgotten some, or have a unique skillset or background I find intriguing that could pay big dividends. These are my shots in the dark at guys who that could be in 2021. Tom Hackimer (26), RHP (Hackimer was promoted to triple-A in mid-May but had some struggles and was released in June) A pure reliever prospect who could remind fans of Pat Neshek when it is all said and done. A sidewinder who missed most of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury returned in 2019 to post a 2.54 ERA and 75 K’s in 56 2/3 innings between Fort Myers and Pensacola, earning a FSL All-Star selection in the process. Matt Wallner (23), OF – TD’s #13 Prospect A native Minnesotan and another advanced hitter out of the Brent Rooker/Trevor Larnach mold from college, Wallner could move quickly if he is hitting bombs like he did at this spring training game I was fortunate enough to attend last year: Cole Sands (23), RHP – TD’s #15 Prospect Another victim of no 2020 season, Sands was fantastic in 2019 pitching at three levels in his first taste of professional ball, ending the year with a start in double-A. He was especially dominant with Fort Myers, posting a 2.25 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in nine starts. His changeup has been rated as the best in the Twins system by Baseball America. Yennier Cano (27), RHP An international signing in 2019, Cano has flown a little under the radar despite being rated as one of the top arms available in that market up to that point. A standout from Cuba that played on their national teams, Cano boasts high-90’s velocity and a full repertoire that could be culled to play to his strengths out of the bullpen. Chris Vallimont (24), RHP Vallimont was the prospect addition in the deal with the Miami Marlins for Sergio Romo during the 2019 season and impressed with Fort Myers after the trade. He has been a starter with a full repertoire including a fastball with movement and slider that gets swings and misses, especially against same-sided hitters. The Twins want him to throw that slider more, which could be an interesting development to follow this season as the organization has taken a particular interest in slider heavy relievers recently. These are (some of) the players I think could make their MLB dreams come true during the 2021 season and don a Minnesota Twins jersey for the first time. When do you think any of them will show up at Target Field? Who are you looking forward to the most? Who are the prospects I’ve missed that you believe could do so this year?
  4. Across all of Major League Baseball, 212 players made their MLB debut during the short sprint of the 2020 season. The Minnesota Twins accounted for six of those players –hitters Aaron Whitefield, Travis Blankenhorn, Brent Rooker, Ryan Jeffers, playoff surprise Alex Kirilloff, and pitcher Edwar Colina. All of those players were mentioned in this preview after a lengthy delay to the start of the MLB season, and you’ll see quite a few of the same other names in this year’s version. As an immense fan of the minor leagues due to my experiences in those ballparks as a kid, top prospect lists and scouting reports have always been must-read material for me during the winter months as we wait for Spring. There are numerous websites and lists dedicated to this these days, including some of the best you will find about your hometown team right here at Twins Daily. I have certainly made plenty such lists over the years and have been a Minor League Report contributor here since the site’s inception, but because of the depth provided elsewhere I like to put out my own version of a list every year that instead talks about prospects you might see in the majors during the upcoming season. While 2020 was beyond weird when making this list, this season is perhaps even harder as there is no MiLB data from the prior season to rely on. I expect this list to either be woefully inaccurate or right on the nose, as assumptions from the prior season carry over. So, who are the next Minnesota Twins that could make their debut during the 2021 season? ON THE 40-MAN ROSTER: The number of names in this section is a testament to the maturity of the Twins minor league system going into the 2021 season. Six of the eight names are on Twins Daily’s Top Prospect List and the other two have appeared there in the past. With this many heralded prospects knocking on the major league’s door and an already established MLB roster, it could lead to some interesting roster moves during the 2021 season. Jhoan Duran (23 years old on opening day), RHP – TD’s #5 Prospect There is a lot to like with Duran. He has size, triple-digit velocity, and a unique pitch that can give hitters fits if they are sitting on his fastball. Like many young hurlers, development of his off-speed or breaking pitches will determine whether he remains a starter in the majors or gets transitioned to the bullpen. While he spent time at the alternate site in 2020, he has only pitched 37 innings at the double-A level with inconsistent results. It is not out of the question he starts the MiLB season back in double-A, pushing any potential debut timeline out to later in the summer, which also could come as a reliever much like Brusdar Graterol in 2019. Nick Gordon (25), IF (Gordon made his MLB debut on 5/6, and went 1-for-2 with a BB and 2 SB) I have had Gordon on this list for several years now, and the 2021 season may be the make-it-or-break-it campaign for the Twins first round pick from the 2014 draft. The stat lines have not been flashy but improvement year-to-year at each level has been noticeable. He followed up a 2017 season in double-A where he hit .270/.341/.408 by hitting .333/.381/.525 to earn a promotion to triple-A in 2018. He hit only .212/.262/.283 after moving up, but the next season improved to .298/.342/.459 at the same level and it may have been a hard choice between him and Luis Arreaz for a promotion if he had not been injured at the time. I think Gordon can find an infield utility role, but whether that comes with the Twins or not is what the 2021 season may be all about for him. Jordan Balazovic (22), RHP – TD’s #6 Prospect Hype around Balazovic, much like Duran, is also warranted. He may not have the same level of raw stuff as Duran, but the performance has been better in comparison. The only caveat there is Balazovic has not pitched above single-A yet, though he did end up at the alternate site late in the 2020 season. I would be surprised if he began anywhere but double-A Wichita to start the year, and he is certainly going to be on an innings limit. These things work against him in terms of debuting in 2021 but being on the 40-man roster also places him high on any depth charts for promotion. He also has far less risk of being transitioned to a reliever in the future due to his above average control of all of his pitches. Ben Rortvedt (23), C – TD’s #17 Prospect (Rortvedt made his MLB debut on 4/30, going 1-for-3 with an RBI, R, and BB) Rortvedt was added to the 40-man roster after the 2020 season to make sure he was not lost in the Rule 5 draft. This is mainly due to his defensive chops as a catcher, but potential with the bat still remains as a 23-year-old with good plate discipline likely to play at triple-A for the first time this year. The defense will get him to the majors, but it depends on if his bat is unlocked enough to become a regular in an organization already boasting two strong bats at the position in Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers. He is basically an ideal emergency catcher as is and I can envision a career much like former Twins catcher Drew Butera as a good floor. Dakota Chalmers (24), RHP Chalmers has only pitched around 60 recorded innings since having Tommy John surgery during the 2018 season, and less than 200 total innings in six years as a professional, but that has not stopped him from getting close to the majors. That is because of strong raw stuff that includes a mid-90’s fastball and bat missing sliders and changeups as his secondary offerings. Control of these pitches has always been the issue as he has walked 6.6 per nine innings pitched over his professional career. This was especially evident in his time in the Arizona Fall League after the 2019 season, where he was all over the board from terrible to dominant in his outings there, depending on that control. He started the AFL Championship game that the Twins prospects went on to win (with help from other prospects, of course). Gilberto Celestino (22), OF – TD’s #11 Prospect (Celestino made his MLB debut on 6/2, starting in CF and going 0-for-2 with a K) Celestino is an interesting case study on 40-man protection situations, as he is a player who has yet to play any games above A-ball, and only eight of them in the advanced Florida State League at that. As is the case with all these guys, you can blame that on a lost 2020 MiLB season, but his apparent rise in those circumstances is noteworthy as he did spend 2020 at the alternate site in St. Paul. Celestino’s bat came alive with Cedar Rapids in the latter half of the 2019 season where from July onward he hit .348/.413/.532. If the bat has continued to come around there is an exciting prospect here as he has always been a fantastic outfielder, including in center. Someone on the MLB roster could learn something about playing walls from him, too: Bailey Ober (25), RHP – TD’s #20 Prospect (Ober made his MLB debut on 5/18, starting the game and going 4.0 IP , allowing 4 ER on 5 H, 1 BB, and struck out 4 in a win against the Chicago White Sox) You will not find a better statistical performer as a starting pitcher in the Twins system from the 2019 season, where Ober posted eye opening numbers including a 0.69 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and K/9 rate of 11.4 at Fort Myers and Pensacola. You might expect such numbers to warrant a higher ranking on prospect lists, but he is a bit of a unicorn in the tool aspects as a 6’9” hurler whose fastball *might* touch 90 MPH on a good day. What he does have however, is perhaps some of the best control you will find in all of the minor leagues. While striking out 100 hitters in 78 2/3 innings in 2019, he walked just nine for a rate of 1.0/9IP. Pitches will always play up when you can locate them like he does, especially from his frame, and Ober is one I am particularly looking forward to following again in the 2021 season. TOP PROSPECTS: It is disappointing I had to remove one of the entries who would be in this section before Spring Training even started, but it is still worth mentioning Royce Lewis’ name. His 2019 campaign in the Arizona Fall League that resulted in an MVP award does not seem to get the credit it should. It was the best performance by a Twins prospect by far since I have been following that league with a keen eye for more years than I care to admit. His knee injury is a major bummer for the 2021 season (I guess welcome to the torn ACL club, Royce!), just like the cancelling of 2020’s minor league season was. We are going to have to wait even longer for the former #1 overall pick to arrive in the majors, but I have no doubts it will be well worth the wait. I consider each of the players in this section to be on equal footing when it comes to their maturity in the Twins system as the 40-man roster players above. They just have not needed to be added to that list yet. Trevor Larnach (24), OF – TD’s #3 Prospect (Larnach made his debut on 5/8, playing LF and going 0-for-4 but reaching base on a HBP) Twins Daily’s 2019 MiLB Hitter of the Year gets less accolades than fellow outfielder Alex Kirilloff, but I would not argue with you if you put them on equal footing as hitters. Larnach has comparable power to all fields and a bit better plate discipline to make up for any lag in hitting that skill evaluators might perceive. With the glut of corner outfield talent in the upper portions of the Twins system, having Larnach start the 2021 season back in double-A is logical, but his bat is one that could force the issue as the MLB season wears on. Blayne Enlow (22), RHP – TD’s #10 Prospect (Update: Enlow hit the disabled list in early June, and was later determined to need Tommy John surgery and will mist the rest of the 2021 season) When drafted in 2017, Enlow was said to have one of the best curveballs available, which was an even more impressive statement as he was a high school pitcher. But that pitch took a step back when he became a pro, leading to relatively unimpressive strikeout numbers. That tide could be changing as he continues to grow into any adjustments made by coaches, as reports from instructs last fall included added velocity (mid 90’s) and a reinvigorated breaking ball. Losing the 2020 season was especially detrimental to evaluating someone like Enlow, but youth is still on his side as the youngest player to appear on this list. I would envision 2022 as a more likely MLB debut year for him, but you never know. Matt Canterino (23), RHP – TD’s #9 Prospect Canterino is another prospect where the loss of a 2020 season looms large. As an advanced college draftee in 2019 he spent time with Cedar Rapids in his first professional season and could have been fast-tracked to the upper levels in 2020. Instead of impressing on the diamond, he did so off of it, earning a late addition to the alternate site in St. Paul where he demonstrated some added velocity and also got some notice for touching 99 MPH in throwing sessions over the winter. Because his delivery has a lot of moving parts, there are some questions about if he can remain a starter long-term, but he has answered them positively in every way he can so far. If he is ticketed for double-A Wichita early in the season (or to start it?), take notice. MINOR LEAGUE DEPTH: While these players are not necessarily top prospects, they are at or near the top of the system and have performed well to get themselves there. It could be a thing where a pitcher is lined up to pitch on the right day the Twins need a spot-start across the river at Target Field, or an injury leads to needing a specific position covered and there is no other ready replacement available. Maybe something new has clicked and they have improved their stock from internal evaluators. No matter how it happens, players like these are always needed at some point during the MLB season. Griffin Jax (26), RHP (Jax made his MLB debut on 6/8 against the New York Yankees, in relief. He pitched 1 inning, allowing 3 ER on 3 H, and striking out 1) Jax reached triple-A for three starts during the 2019 season due to a stellar campaign at Pensacola where he posted a sub 3.00 ERA in 111 1/3 innings and earned an All-Star nod. He is not a strikeout artist but has limited walks and hard contact as a pro. Ryan Mason (26), RHP Mason was not able to pitch as much as he would have liked during the 2019 season due to an ulnar nerve injury that cut it short after just 23 innings with Pensacola. But those innings were fantastic as he closed out seven games for saves with a 2.35 ERA with 28 K’s and earned Twins Daily’s MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month award for April. Zander Wiel (28), 1B/OF Wiel has been a favorite follow of mine since the Twins took him in the 12th round of the 2015 draft out of College World Series champion Vanderbilt. He may not have any loud tools, but has been productive throughout his MiLB career, leading the International League in doubles with 40, and all Twins minor leaguers with 86 runs scored with Rochester in 2019. DARK HORSES: There always seems to be a player or two who comes out nowhere to make a surprise debut for me. They might be a known name but are not that far up the ladder at the season’s outset, returning from an injury so they have been forgotten some, or have a unique skillset or background I find intriguing that could pay big dividends. These are my shots in the dark at guys who that could be in 2021. Tom Hackimer (26), RHP (Hackimer was promoted to triple-A in mid-May but had some struggles and was released in June) A pure reliever prospect who could remind fans of Pat Neshek when it is all said and done. A sidewinder who missed most of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury returned in 2019 to post a 2.54 ERA and 75 K’s in 56 2/3 innings between Fort Myers and Pensacola, earning a FSL All-Star selection in the process. Matt Wallner (23), OF – TD’s #13 Prospect A native Minnesotan and another advanced hitter out of the Brent Rooker/Trevor Larnach mold from college, Wallner could move quickly if he is hitting bombs like he did at this spring training game I was fortunate enough to attend last year: Cole Sands (23), RHP – TD’s #15 Prospect Another victim of no 2020 season, Sands was fantastic in 2019 pitching at three levels in his first taste of professional ball, ending the year with a start in double-A. He was especially dominant with Fort Myers, posting a 2.25 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in nine starts. His changeup has been rated as the best in the Twins system by Baseball America. Yennier Cano (27), RHP An international signing in 2019, Cano has flown a little under the radar despite being rated as one of the top arms available in that market up to that point. A standout from Cuba that played on their national teams, Cano boasts high-90’s velocity and a full repertoire that could be culled to play to his strengths out of the bullpen. Chris Vallimont (24), RHP Vallimont was the prospect addition in the deal with the Miami Marlins for Sergio Romo during the 2019 season and impressed with Fort Myers after the trade. He has been a starter with a full repertoire including a fastball with movement and slider that gets swings and misses, especially against same-sided hitters. The Twins want him to throw that slider more, which could be an interesting development to follow this season as the organization has taken a particular interest in slider heavy relievers recently. These are (some of) the players I think could make their MLB dreams come true during the 2021 season and don a Minnesota Twins jersey for the first time. When do you think any of them will show up at Target Field? Who are you looking forward to the most? Who are the prospects I’ve missed that you believe could do so this year? View full article
  5. We’ve finally made it! The Minnesota Twins will start their 2020 season today against the Chicago White Sox, and while it’s certainly been a different kind of road to get there, I can’t wait to see what will happen in this crazy season that’s upon us. I was very fortunate this year in that I actually got to watch some baseball in the stands of Hammond Stadium at Spring Training the week before Major League Baseball and the world basically shut down. It had been a few years since I was able to go down there, and it was a blast once again. I tell this to any Twins fan I meet who has not gone to Fort Myers: you NEED TO! You will not regret it.For anyone new to this site, I have been helping to write our Minor League Reports since 2014 (man, I’m going to miss them this year…), and for years before that wrote about the Twins and their minor league system elsewhere. I’ve always been fascinated by the minor leagues as I went to many games as a kid when we visited family in Wisconsin, home to a few Midwest League teams. Back then we saw the Appleton Foxes, now known as the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. I don’t recall an exact number on how many future major leaguers I may have seen back then, but the one who stands out was Alex Rodriguez. He played for the Foxes as an 18-year-old the same year he made his MLB debut. My favorite thing to look forward to in the baseball offseason is all the top 100 prospect and team lists that come out. While I certainly make my own such lists, there are so many websites and other publications dedicated solely to the minors these days (some of the best of those are right here at Twins Daily) that I like to put a slightly different spin on my own list going into a new season. It comes from those minor league games I watched as a kid where those prospects had the same dreams I did—to become a major leaguer. During the 2019 season, 261 players across Major League Baseball fulfilled those dreams and made their debut. The Minnesota Twins accounted for 12 of those players which included pitchers Ryne Harper, Lewis Thorpe, Devin Smeltzer, Randy Dobnak, Brusdar Graterol, Cody Stashak, Sean Poppen, Ryan Eades, and Jorge Alcala, along with position players Luis Arraez, LaMonte Wade Jr., and Ian Miller. Quite frankly, that was a lot of debuts for a team that won 101 games and speaks to the amount of depth that has been developed and how willing the front office has been to utilize it. Of those 12, seven of them were players I identified in this column before the season. For the upcoming season we now know that Dobnak, Smeltzer, Thorpe, Arraez, and Wade have made the 30-man roster and Alcala finds himself on the taxi-squad. Another wrinkle for 2020 is that the Twins will not have the entirety of their system potentially available, relying instead on a limited 60-player pool from which they can draw. That makes this year’s list below a little easier to determine. With the shortened season and the veteran and young depth this roster has, I would not expect major contributions from any of these guys outside of injuries, but it will be interesting to see what happens when a particular need does arise. So, who are the potential Next Minnesota Twins for the 2020 sprint of a season? ON THE 30-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER: Aaron Whitefield (23 years old on opening day) – OF The first player on this list is also perhaps the biggest surprise for the opening day roster. Whitefield hasn’t hit much over the past two seasons with Fort Myers and Pensacola with an OPS well under .600, but that is not the reason he’s here. He has played primarily center field and possesses a good arm and speed, swiping 50 bases in those two seasons despite the hitting deficiencies. I envision this as Byron Buxton insurance for now and a pinch-running weapon late in games, a luxury afforded with the expanded rosters. ON THE 40-MAN ROSTER: Dakota Chalmers (23) – RHP The right-hander was acquired in 2018 for Fernando Rodney while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Known for good velocity, Chalmers returned to action in July of last year and was impressive with Fort Myers before making an appearance in the playoffs with Pensacola. He then pitched as a starter in the Arizona Fall League and was tabbed for the championship game for the Salt River Rafters, which they went on to win. His repertoire includes mid 90’s heat he can reach back for a little more of, a good slider, and a developing changeup. As with many young pitchers, consistency is key for him moving forward, as he can get a bit wild. Here are some of his pitches courtesy of Parker Hageman: Travis Blankenhorn (23) – IF (TD’s #18 Prospect) Blankenhorn reclaimed a bit of his prospect luster during the 2019 season, as the former 3rd round pick OPS’d near .800 at Fort Myers and Pensacola, playing primarily 2B with some looks in left field. His 19 home runs on the season were a career high and he added in 22 doubles for good measure. He has also played a good amount of third base in his career thus far, so his versatility as a good athlete is something the Twins can take advantage of if needed. Nick Gordon (24) – IF To everyone who has forgotten about Nick Gordon—I think that’s a mistake. I would agree there’s not potential star power here anymore, but Gordon is going to have a long MLB career. He hits, can handle shortstop, and has sneaky speed that helped him collect 29 doubles and 14 stolen bases last year in just 70 games at triple-A. If he were not injured at the time, I do believe he would have been the name called up instead of Luis Arraez last season. We’re all glad it worked out like it did, but that statement speaks to what many are missing with Gordon. Don’t be surprised if and when he becomes a nice contributor to Minnesota’s lineup. Gilberto Celestino (21) – OF (TD’s #12 Prospect) Celestino is the first long shot on my list, as I don’t think it makes sense to call him up at any point in the 2020 season unless some things have gone seriously wrong with injuries to outfielders. Just 21-years-old and only eight games of experience above the Midwest League, he would likely be in over his head in the batter’s box. But one thing I do believe he could handle just fine in the majors at this point is playing defense at a high level in the outfield, center field included. 60-MAN PLAYER POOL DEPTH: Sam Clay (27) – LHP Clay has missed plenty of bats and kept the ball in the yard at an incredible rate (one home run allowed in last three seasons and 188+ innings pitched). He lowered his walk rate in 2019 but free passes are still something he is working on. Edwar Colina (23) - RHP (TD’s #16 Prospect) Colina is one of my personal favorites, and he has the potential to make fans forget about trading away a similar pitcher in Brusdar Graterol. Colina has made impressive strides since being in the system and can now consistently hit 100-mph when he wants to and pairs that heat with a good slider. Drew Maggi (31) - IF Maggi is by no means a prospect, but brings a lot of experience and is a solid type of backup option to have around that can play multiple positions, including shortstop in a pinch. Hit .258/.384/.405 with Rochester in 108 games last season. Zander Wiel (27) – 1B/OF Another one of my favorite guys to follow in the system, Wiel’s production is often overlooked when it shouldn’t be. He led the International League with 40 doubles last year and also clubbed 24 home runs. His 86 runs scored also led all Twins minor leaguers. TOP PROSPECTS: Brent Rooker (25) – 1B/DH/OF (TD’s #9 Prospect) If the Twins are in need of a masher at designated hitter, first base, or a corner outfield spot at any point, Rooker is not a bad place to start. His power is for real, as he slugged .535 with 14 home runs in 67 games with Rochester last season. The caveat is that he strikes out a lot, but I have a hard time with that argument as a catch-all from people when his on-base percentage was also .399 on the year. Don’t let those strikeout numbers fool you—he’s a masher and on-base asset. Ryan Jeffers (23) – C (TD’s #7 Prospect) A good way to describe Jeffers for me is to look at the current starting catcher on the MLB team. Like Garver, Jeffers has been known more for his bat in the minors than his catching ability—but that appears to be much improved since he’s been in the system, to the point he may be a great asset there in the future. If the Twins catching depth is stressed beyond the top three at any point there’s a good chance the Twins could go to Jeffers, but I think he’s on the 60-man squad more to keep his momentum gained last season under the watchful eye of the Twins’ top brass. That’s also true for the rest of the players below on this list. I think the Twins would be ecstatic to not have to reach down to them at any point, and simply continue their development in this short season. Jhoan Duran (22) – RHP (TD’s #6 Prospect) There aren’t many pitching prospects in the Twins system you can put the label “potential ace” on (or in any system, if we’re being honest), but Duran is one. He has the size and repertoire, able to reach back for 100-mph if he wants to, and a two-seam fastball that will remind you a lot of pitches you’ve seen from Jose Berrios and Brusdar Graterol. He continues to work on his off-speed pitches but gets plenty of swings and misses with a hard slider, and if he can find any more consistency with those secondary offerings you have the makings of a stud. Trevor Larnach (23) – OF (TD’s #3 Prospect) The first of two similar hitters the Twins continue to be impressed by is Larnach. He was the Twins and Twins Daily’s choice for Minor League hitter of the year during the 2019 season that saw him reach double-A for his final 43 games. He was consistent all season, posting an identical .842 OPS at both stops and a .380+ on-base percentage. Due to being a little older and his experience in college, I’d think the Twins may go to him first over the next guy if they have to reach down this far, but it’s a tough roster to crack right now for a corner outfielder. Alex Kirilloff (22) – 1B/OF (TD’s #2 Prospect) When returning from Tommy John surgery for the 2018 season, Kirilloff shot up prospect lists everywhere after hitting .348/.392/.578 at Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers. He spent the entirety of the 2019 season with Pensacola and didn’t replicate those numbers, but much of that can be attributed to wrist and other injuries he sustained before and during the season. When he finally got near 100%, the numbers followed as he hit .311 in the month of August and was a monster in the playoffs, hitting home runs in four straight games. Royce Lewis (21) – SS/OF (TD’s #1 Prospect) I’m sure you’ve heard plenty about the Twins #1 prospect by this point, and perhaps about how he struggled some during the 2019 season. Well, any concerns you and I had about that should have been squashed by how he performed in the Arizona Fall League last year, where he took home the league MVP trophy. It’s a league I’ve paid close attention to for a long time, and it was without a doubt the best performance from a Twins prospect I have seen. Even more interesting about his time there was he was not given one of the coveted shortstop positions on the roster, instead spending most of his time at third base and some in center field, looking impressive at both spots. There’s also burgeoning power here, more than expected when drafted, so go ahead and be excited for Lewis’ future. If it wasn’t a short sprint, I’d rate his MLB debut potential quite highly, but believe it more likely 2021 at this point. As far as the current 60-man player pool goes, these are all the players in the Minnesota Twins system that could make their ML debut this year. Who do you think will don the uniform for the first time in 2020, and who do you think could also be added at some point to do so? 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
  6. For anyone new to this site, I have been helping to write our Minor League Reports since 2014 (man, I’m going to miss them this year…), and for years before that wrote about the Twins and their minor league system elsewhere. I’ve always been fascinated by the minor leagues as I went to many games as a kid when we visited family in Wisconsin, home to a few Midwest League teams. Back then we saw the Appleton Foxes, now known as the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. I don’t recall an exact number on how many future major leaguers I may have seen back then, but the one who stands out was Alex Rodriguez. He played for the Foxes as an 18-year-old the same year he made his MLB debut. My favorite thing to look forward to in the baseball offseason is all the top 100 prospect and team lists that come out. While I certainly make my own such lists, there are so many websites and other publications dedicated solely to the minors these days (some of the best of those are right here at Twins Daily) that I like to put a slightly different spin on my own list going into a new season. It comes from those minor league games I watched as a kid where those prospects had the same dreams I did—to become a major leaguer. During the 2019 season, 261 players across Major League Baseball fulfilled those dreams and made their debut. The Minnesota Twins accounted for 12 of those players which included pitchers Ryne Harper, Lewis Thorpe, Devin Smeltzer, Randy Dobnak, Brusdar Graterol, Cody Stashak, Sean Poppen, Ryan Eades, and Jorge Alcala, along with position players Luis Arraez, LaMonte Wade Jr., and Ian Miller. Quite frankly, that was a lot of debuts for a team that won 101 games and speaks to the amount of depth that has been developed and how willing the front office has been to utilize it. Of those 12, seven of them were players I identified in this column before the season. For the upcoming season we now know that Dobnak, Smeltzer, Thorpe, Arraez, and Wade have made the 30-man roster and Alcala finds himself on the taxi-squad. Another wrinkle for 2020 is that the Twins will not have the entirety of their system potentially available, relying instead on a limited 60-player pool from which they can draw. That makes this year’s list below a little easier to determine. With the shortened season and the veteran and young depth this roster has, I would not expect major contributions from any of these guys outside of injuries, but it will be interesting to see what happens when a particular need does arise. So, who are the potential Next Minnesota Twins for the 2020 sprint of a season? ON THE 30-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER: Aaron Whitefield (23 years old on opening day) – OF The first player on this list is also perhaps the biggest surprise for the opening day roster. Whitefield hasn’t hit much over the past two seasons with Fort Myers and Pensacola with an OPS well under .600, but that is not the reason he’s here. He has played primarily center field and possesses a good arm and speed, swiping 50 bases in those two seasons despite the hitting deficiencies. I envision this as Byron Buxton insurance for now and a pinch-running weapon late in games, a luxury afforded with the expanded rosters. ON THE 40-MAN ROSTER: Dakota Chalmers (23) – RHP The right-hander was acquired in 2018 for Fernando Rodney while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Known for good velocity, Chalmers returned to action in July of last year and was impressive with Fort Myers before making an appearance in the playoffs with Pensacola. He then pitched as a starter in the Arizona Fall League and was tabbed for the championship game for the Salt River Rafters, which they went on to win. His repertoire includes mid 90’s heat he can reach back for a little more of, a good slider, and a developing changeup. As with many young pitchers, consistency is key for him moving forward, as he can get a bit wild. Here are some of his pitches courtesy of Parker Hageman: https://twitter.com/HagemanParker/status/1284955121277964296 Travis Blankenhorn (23) – IF (TD’s #18 Prospect) Blankenhorn reclaimed a bit of his prospect luster during the 2019 season, as the former 3rd round pick OPS’d near .800 at Fort Myers and Pensacola, playing primarily 2B with some looks in left field. His 19 home runs on the season were a career high and he added in 22 doubles for good measure. He has also played a good amount of third base in his career thus far, so his versatility as a good athlete is something the Twins can take advantage of if needed. Nick Gordon (24) – IF To everyone who has forgotten about Nick Gordon—I think that’s a mistake. I would agree there’s not potential star power here anymore, but Gordon is going to have a long MLB career. He hits, can handle shortstop, and has sneaky speed that helped him collect 29 doubles and 14 stolen bases last year in just 70 games at triple-A. If he were not injured at the time, I do believe he would have been the name called up instead of Luis Arraez last season. We’re all glad it worked out like it did, but that statement speaks to what many are missing with Gordon. Don’t be surprised if and when he becomes a nice contributor to Minnesota’s lineup. Gilberto Celestino (21) – OF (TD’s #12 Prospect) Celestino is the first long shot on my list, as I don’t think it makes sense to call him up at any point in the 2020 season unless some things have gone seriously wrong with injuries to outfielders. Just 21-years-old and only eight games of experience above the Midwest League, he would likely be in over his head in the batter’s box. But one thing I do believe he could handle just fine in the majors at this point is playing defense at a high level in the outfield, center field included. 60-MAN PLAYER POOL DEPTH: Sam Clay (27) – LHP Clay has missed plenty of bats and kept the ball in the yard at an incredible rate (one home run allowed in last three seasons and 188+ innings pitched). He lowered his walk rate in 2019 but free passes are still something he is working on. Edwar Colina (23) - RHP (TD’s #16 Prospect) Colina is one of my personal favorites, and he has the potential to make fans forget about trading away a similar pitcher in Brusdar Graterol. Colina has made impressive strides since being in the system and can now consistently hit 100-mph when he wants to and pairs that heat with a good slider. https://twitter.com/HangingSL/status/1234937411488100352 https://twitter.com/HangingSL/status/1236032641130024961 Drew Maggi (31) - IF Maggi is by no means a prospect, but brings a lot of experience and is a solid type of backup option to have around that can play multiple positions, including shortstop in a pinch. Hit .258/.384/.405 with Rochester in 108 games last season. Zander Wiel (27) – 1B/OF Another one of my favorite guys to follow in the system, Wiel’s production is often overlooked when it shouldn’t be. He led the International League with 40 doubles last year and also clubbed 24 home runs. His 86 runs scored also led all Twins minor leaguers. TOP PROSPECTS: Brent Rooker (25) – 1B/DH/OF (TD’s #9 Prospect) If the Twins are in need of a masher at designated hitter, first base, or a corner outfield spot at any point, Rooker is not a bad place to start. His power is for real, as he slugged .535 with 14 home runs in 67 games with Rochester last season. The caveat is that he strikes out a lot, but I have a hard time with that argument as a catch-all from people when his on-base percentage was also .399 on the year. Don’t let those strikeout numbers fool you—he’s a masher and on-base asset. Ryan Jeffers (23) – C (TD’s #7 Prospect) A good way to describe Jeffers for me is to look at the current starting catcher on the MLB team. Like Garver, Jeffers has been known more for his bat in the minors than his catching ability—but that appears to be much improved since he’s been in the system, to the point he may be a great asset there in the future. If the Twins catching depth is stressed beyond the top three at any point there’s a good chance the Twins could go to Jeffers, but I think he’s on the 60-man squad more to keep his momentum gained last season under the watchful eye of the Twins’ top brass. That’s also true for the rest of the players below on this list. I think the Twins would be ecstatic to not have to reach down to them at any point, and simply continue their development in this short season. Jhoan Duran (22) – RHP (TD’s #6 Prospect) There aren’t many pitching prospects in the Twins system you can put the label “potential ace” on (or in any system, if we’re being honest), but Duran is one. He has the size and repertoire, able to reach back for 100-mph if he wants to, and a two-seam fastball that will remind you a lot of pitches you’ve seen from Jose Berrios and Brusdar Graterol. He continues to work on his off-speed pitches but gets plenty of swings and misses with a hard slider, and if he can find any more consistency with those secondary offerings you have the makings of a stud. Trevor Larnach (23) – OF (TD’s #3 Prospect) The first of two similar hitters the Twins continue to be impressed by is Larnach. He was the Twins and Twins Daily’s choice for Minor League hitter of the year during the 2019 season that saw him reach double-A for his final 43 games. He was consistent all season, posting an identical .842 OPS at both stops and a .380+ on-base percentage. Due to being a little older and his experience in college, I’d think the Twins may go to him first over the next guy if they have to reach down this far, but it’s a tough roster to crack right now for a corner outfielder. https://twitter.com/HangingSL/status/1236025089189203968 Alex Kirilloff (22) – 1B/OF (TD’s #2 Prospect) When returning from Tommy John surgery for the 2018 season, Kirilloff shot up prospect lists everywhere after hitting .348/.392/.578 at Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers. He spent the entirety of the 2019 season with Pensacola and didn’t replicate those numbers, but much of that can be attributed to wrist and other injuries he sustained before and during the season. When he finally got near 100%, the numbers followed as he hit .311 in the month of August and was a monster in the playoffs, hitting home runs in four straight games. Royce Lewis (21) – SS/OF (TD’s #1 Prospect) I’m sure you’ve heard plenty about the Twins #1 prospect by this point, and perhaps about how he struggled some during the 2019 season. Well, any concerns you and I had about that should have been squashed by how he performed in the Arizona Fall League last year, where he took home the league MVP trophy. It’s a league I’ve paid close attention to for a long time, and it was without a doubt the best performance from a Twins prospect I have seen. Even more interesting about his time there was he was not given one of the coveted shortstop positions on the roster, instead spending most of his time at third base and some in center field, looking impressive at both spots. There’s also burgeoning power here, more than expected when drafted, so go ahead and be excited for Lewis’ future. If it wasn’t a short sprint, I’d rate his MLB debut potential quite highly, but believe it more likely 2021 at this point. As far as the current 60-man player pool goes, these are all the players in the Minnesota Twins system that could make their ML debut this year. Who do you think will don the uniform for the first time in 2020, and who do you think could also be added at some point to do so? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
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