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  1. Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach compiled notable first half performances especially considering there was no minor league season last year. What’s even more impressive is when you compare them to other top prospects. In 2020’s aftermath, organizations are going to attempt to get their prospects back on track to eventually have big-league success. Missing all the 2020 season forced teams to get creative with plans for prospect development as many players were relegated to home workout plans. Minnesota was lucky enough to have room at their alternate site for top prospects like Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach and they have reaped the benefits so far this season. Kirilloff struggled this spring and was left off the Opening Day roster, but he has put together some strong numbers since the Twins called him up. He ended the first half with a .765 OPS and a 113 OPS+ including 20 extra-base hits. Larnach isn’t that far behind as he has compiled a .755 OPS and a 113 OPS+ with 16 extra-base hits. While these players have succeeded, other top prospects have struggled so far in their first taste of the big leagues. Tampa’s Wander Franco entered the season as baseball’s consensus top prospect, but things haven’t been easy for him so far. In his first 15 games, he has hit .197/.258/.328 and combined for a 67 OPS+. He just turned 20-years old in March so there is plenty of time for him to find his groove. Tampa likely hopes he finds it sooner rather than later as they are part of a tight race in the AL East. Seattle’s Jarred Kelenic started the year ranked as baseball’s number four prospect by Baseball America and MLB.com. He got 23 games under his belt and the results were bad enough that Seattle sent him back to Triple-A. He hit .096/.185/.193 with 26 strikeouts in 83 at-bats. He is still part of the long-term plan in Seattle and his bat seems to be getting back on track in the minors. Atlanta’s Cristian Pache ranked as a top-20 prospect by all three national top-100 lists. But like Franco and Kelenic, he has struggled to find his stroke in the majors. In 22 games, he has hit .111/.152/.206 with 25 strikeouts in 63 at-bats. Ronald Acuna’s season ending injury might allow him to get some more at-bats as the season progresses, but he there are some obvious areas of improvement. The 2021 season has been dreadful for the Twins as well as some of baseball’s top prospects. Thankfully, Kirilloff and Larnach have been forced into some situations that will be learning experiences moving forward. Even with some recent struggles, Larnach has been consistently hitting in the middle of the line-up. Kirilloff has come up with some big hits and important defensive plays. It’s a small positive in the middle of a terrible Twins campaign. Franco, Kelenic, and Pache may all be better players than Minnesota’s duo, but it’s clear that Kirilloff and Larnach have more than lived up to their scouting reports in the season’s first half. Now they need to continue to make adjustments to stay ahead of the rest of baseball’s top prospects. What have your impressions been of Minnesota’s rookie duo? 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
  2. In 2020’s aftermath, organizations are going to attempt to get their prospects back on track to eventually have big-league success. Missing all the 2020 season forced teams to get creative with plans for prospect development as many players were relegated to home workout plans. Minnesota was lucky enough to have room at their alternate site for top prospects like Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach and they have reaped the benefits so far this season. Kirilloff struggled this spring and was left off the Opening Day roster, but he has put together some strong numbers since the Twins called him up. He ended the first half with a .765 OPS and a 113 OPS+ including 20 extra-base hits. Larnach isn’t that far behind as he has compiled a .755 OPS and a 113 OPS+ with 16 extra-base hits. While these players have succeeded, other top prospects have struggled so far in their first taste of the big leagues. Tampa’s Wander Franco entered the season as baseball’s consensus top prospect, but things haven’t been easy for him so far. In his first 15 games, he has hit .197/.258/.328 and combined for a 67 OPS+. He just turned 20-years old in March so there is plenty of time for him to find his groove. Tampa likely hopes he finds it sooner rather than later as they are part of a tight race in the AL East. Seattle’s Jarred Kelenic started the year ranked as baseball’s number four prospect by Baseball America and MLB.com. He got 23 games under his belt and the results were bad enough that Seattle sent him back to Triple-A. He hit .096/.185/.193 with 26 strikeouts in 83 at-bats. He is still part of the long-term plan in Seattle and his bat seems to be getting back on track in the minors. Atlanta’s Cristian Pache ranked as a top-20 prospect by all three national top-100 lists. But like Franco and Kelenic, he has struggled to find his stroke in the majors. In 22 games, he has hit .111/.152/.206 with 25 strikeouts in 63 at-bats. Ronald Acuna’s season ending injury might allow him to get some more at-bats as the season progresses, but he there are some obvious areas of improvement. The 2021 season has been dreadful for the Twins as well as some of baseball’s top prospects. Thankfully, Kirilloff and Larnach have been forced into some situations that will be learning experiences moving forward. Even with some recent struggles, Larnach has been consistently hitting in the middle of the line-up. Kirilloff has come up with some big hits and important defensive plays. It’s a small positive in the middle of a terrible Twins campaign. Franco, Kelenic, and Pache may all be better players than Minnesota’s duo, but it’s clear that Kirilloff and Larnach have more than lived up to their scouting reports in the season’s first half. Now they need to continue to make adjustments to stay ahead of the rest of baseball’s top prospects. What have your impressions been of Minnesota’s rookie duo? 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
  3. Graduating Prospects Besides Guerrero Jr., other top ranked prospects like Fernando Tatis Jr. and Eloy Jimenez have been on their big league squads since the season started. Both of these top prospects have taken different routes to baseball’s highest level. That being said, both will be graduating from prospect lists early this season. Jimenez signed a unique contact with the division rival White Sox this off-season. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the possibility of the Twins approaching Royce Lewis and/or Alex Kirilloff with a similar deal. With a deal like this, there was no reason to keep Jimenez in the minors. He was under contract and the team could let him play at the big league level. Tatis Jr. was a surprise to make the Padres roster out of spring training. Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer took out Padres ownership to convince them to let the young prospect make the team. It was a smart move as the shortstop has been carrying their squad this season. Entering play on Monday, he’s batting .300 with a .910 OPS and 12 extra-base hits in 27 games. Lewis’s Competition Lewis is off to a slow start this season so there are plenty of other prospects challenging him for the top spot. Names like Alex Kirilloff, Wander Franco, and Nick Senzel have resumes that warrant consideration for baseball’s top prospect. Twins fans are very familiar with Kirilloff and what he was able to do last season. At Twins Daily, he was named the Minor League Hitter of the Year. MiLB.com also awarded Kirilloff with the Breakout Prospect of the Year. His 71 extra-base hits and 296 total bases ranked as best in the minors. Unfortunately, he has missed time at the beginning of this season with a wrist injury. Franco is 18-years old and he might be on pace to be a better prospect than Guerrero. He’s shown an advanced bat and he has all the makings of a five-tool superstar. Like Kirilloff, Senzel started the season battling an injury. He is starting the year at Triple-A, but he is close to big league ready. Senzel has been ranked as a top-10 prospect by multiple entities for the last three seasons. Slow Start Lewis hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire to start the season. Entering play on Monday, he has gone 17-for-87 (.195 BA) with three extra-base hits. His .538 OPS is 265 points lower than the OPS he compiled last season at Low- and High-A. He’s 20-years old which still makes his 2.4 years younger than the competition in the Florida State League. The slow start shouldn’t be anything to be concerned about. He still has elite speed to go along with strong hitting acumen. Also, his defense seems like it might be string enough to stick at shortstop which would be a very positive thing. Do you think Lewis is baseball’s best prospect? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  4. According to some scouts according to The Score, Luis Robert from Cuba is supposed to be the 'Best Player on the Plant'. He is planning to become available before July 2 where multiple clubs, including those who will be barred for signing players for more the $300,000 could bid on him. Multiple teams have been linked to him, http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/scout-cuban-prospect-robert-best-player-on-the-planet/ar-AAnkXkm?li=AAn4eAA&ocid=spartandhp Would it be worthwhile for the Twins to go after him? The Twins have been linked to, and expected to sign one of the two(Rays are going to sign the other). Wander Franco and Jelfrey Marte. This comes from mlbtraderumors yesterday, attributed to Baseball America. The signing would cost the Twins the shortstop, and will have some limitations down the road. Twins already have a shortstop considered to be very good in the system(Wander Javier), but Robert is a 1B player and almost certainly be ready when Mauer leaves after 2018(if not sooner). Twins also have a glut(very unusual)of middle infield talent, with only one(Diaz) 1B talent coming in the next few years. Twins need pitching help more, so losing the ability to sign front line international players for two years could be harmful, but if Robert is going to be a superstar, would it be worthwhile?
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