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  1. Speed is a tool that can separate elite defenders and base stealers from the rest of the pack. Will these Twins prospects continue to be fast as they age? While prospects can improve other tools, speed is an area that tends to decline as players add more muscle and age. According to the 20-80 scouting scale, multiple players on the list below are currently faster than expected in the future. Here are the top-five speed tool prospects in the Twins organization. 5. Yasser Mercedes, OF Current Run/Future Run: 55/50 Minnesota signed Mercedes as part of the 2022 international signing period, where he ranked as one of the top prospects in the class. It’s easy to see why he is projected to lose speed as he continues to age. He is currently 6-foot-3, and he weighs 180 pounds, so he is projected to add weight as he continues to mature. Scouting reports leading into the signing period noted that his speed currently helps him to make up for inefficient route running in center field. Many believe he can stick in center, and his speed is one tool that makes him an intriguing player to keep an eye on. 4. Alerick Soularie, 2B Current Run/Future Run: 55/55 Soularie had to wait until 2021 to make his pro debut after the Twins selected him in the 2nd round of the 2020 MLB Draft. He missed a large chunk of the 2021 season with a fractured foot, but he appeared in 34 games. He posted a .727 OPS during that time while going 9-for-10 in stolen base opportunities. Most of his defensive innings have come at second base, but the organization hasn’t been afraid to use his speed in the outfield. With his foot injury behind him, he can get his first full season in the books this year and show his true speed potential. 3. Royce Lewis, SS/CF Current Run/Future Run: 60/50 Like Soularie, Lewis missed significant time in 2021. However, there are bigger questions about whether or not Lewis will still have his top-graded speed after knee surgery. In 2019, Lewis went 22-for-32 in stolen base attempts at High- and Double-A. Questions are swirling about his future defensive position, but there is no question about his athletic ability and make-up. Lewis continues to fill out his frame, which will continue to take away from his speed while adding to his power potential. Steals aren’t as prevalent across baseball, but Lewis will be able to transition to other defensive positions because of his speed. 2. Keoni Cavaco, SS Current Run/Future Run: 60/60 Cavaco, the team’s 2019 first-round pick, struggled mightily in his first taste of full-season action. His athleticism was one of the biggest reasons the Twins selected him, as he was considered a late-riser on draft boards. Last season, he went 6-for-8 in stolen base opportunities, but he was also getting on base less than 30% of the time. In 60 games, he committed 24 errors at shortstop, so many believe he will eventually move to third base. As with many other prospects, missing the entire 2020 season hurt Cavaco, and he needs consistent reps and coaching to continue to improve. 1. Will Holland, 2B Current Run/Future Run: 70/70 Holland may be an unfamiliar name to some Twins fans, but the team took him with their fifth-round pick back in 2019. The Auburn product was old for Low-A last season, but his collegiate experience showed through as he posted a .336 OBP. Defensively, he played the majority of his innings at shortstop, but the organization also had him play at second, third, and in center field. In 76 games, he stole 19 bases, so his speed was evident on the base paths. He’s an athletic player that has a chance to fill a utility role at the big-league level. He turns 24-years-old in April, and he should start next season in Cedar Rapids. Who do you think has the best run 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 Tool Prospects — Top Hit 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 View full article
  2. Yasser Mercedes has the tools to rank him as one of the best international prospects in this year's signing class. So, what separates him from the other player the Twins will sign? According to MLB Pipeline, Yasser Mercedes is the highest-ranked player projected to sign with the Twins in the current signing class. He ranks 17th overall, and he projects as the eighth-best outfield prospect. Cristian Vaquero is the top-ranked outfielder in the class, and he has the same overall grade (55) as Mercedes. Comparing the two players shows how close the top prospects can rank, especially while they are still only halfway through their teenage years. In the summer of 2019, Mercedes was one of 50 teenagers who traveled to Chicago for the Dominican Prospect League's Elite Underclass Series. MLB.com named him on the list of possible "future stars" included on that travel team. His trainer throughout the scouting process has been Hector Evertz, who is a member of MLB's Trainer Partnership Program. According to MLB, "the Trainer Partnership program is a collaboration between MLB and independent trainers to help develop international baseball while addressing important issues in the international market." Yasser Mercedes Scouting Report Bats: R | Throws: R | HT 6'3" | WT: 180 MLB Pipeline Scouting Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55 Mercedes has the best overall tools of any player in Minnesota's signing class because the other top two signees currently rank lower in one tool or another. Some players look great on the practice field, and their skills never translate to actual gameplay, but Mercedes can already put it all together during game action. At the plate, he has the skill set to be an average hitter with average power, which can be valuable when combined with solid defense at a critical up-the-middle defensive position. Defensively, Mercedes has the tools and athleticism to stick in center field. His run and field tools grade the highest, and they both help to bring up his overall grade. Right now, his speed allows him to make up for inefficient routes to the ball. As he develops, Twins coaches will work with him to improve his route running in center. He already has a solid frame, and his arm should continue to develop as he adds muscle. Many believe his skill set will allow him to stick in center field for the long term, and that's what makes him the highest-ranked prospect in Minnesota's signing class. International players play a vital role in an organization building depth and helping to get back into contention. Minnesota has multiple regular players currently on the roster signed initially as international free agents. The team hasn't found the next Jorge Polanco or Luis Arraez in recent years, but one player from the current class might help reshape the organization in the years to come. What stands out to you about Mercedes? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Yilber Herrera — Bryan Acuña — International Signing Period History 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
  3. While prospects can improve other tools, speed is an area that tends to decline as players add more muscle and age. According to the 20-80 scouting scale, multiple players on the list below are currently faster than expected in the future. Here are the top-five speed tool prospects in the Twins organization. 5. Yasser Mercedes, OF Current Run/Future Run: 55/50 Minnesota signed Mercedes as part of the 2022 international signing period, where he ranked as one of the top prospects in the class. It’s easy to see why he is projected to lose speed as he continues to age. He is currently 6-foot-3, and he weighs 180 pounds, so he is projected to add weight as he continues to mature. Scouting reports leading into the signing period noted that his speed currently helps him to make up for inefficient route running in center field. Many believe he can stick in center, and his speed is one tool that makes him an intriguing player to keep an eye on. 4. Alerick Soularie, 2B Current Run/Future Run: 55/55 Soularie had to wait until 2021 to make his pro debut after the Twins selected him in the 2nd round of the 2020 MLB Draft. He missed a large chunk of the 2021 season with a fractured foot, but he appeared in 34 games. He posted a .727 OPS during that time while going 9-for-10 in stolen base opportunities. Most of his defensive innings have come at second base, but the organization hasn’t been afraid to use his speed in the outfield. With his foot injury behind him, he can get his first full season in the books this year and show his true speed potential. 3. Royce Lewis, SS/CF Current Run/Future Run: 60/50 Like Soularie, Lewis missed significant time in 2021. However, there are bigger questions about whether or not Lewis will still have his top-graded speed after knee surgery. In 2019, Lewis went 22-for-32 in stolen base attempts at High- and Double-A. Questions are swirling about his future defensive position, but there is no question about his athletic ability and make-up. Lewis continues to fill out his frame, which will continue to take away from his speed while adding to his power potential. Steals aren’t as prevalent across baseball, but Lewis will be able to transition to other defensive positions because of his speed. 2. Keoni Cavaco, SS Current Run/Future Run: 60/60 Cavaco, the team’s 2019 first-round pick, struggled mightily in his first taste of full-season action. His athleticism was one of the biggest reasons the Twins selected him, as he was considered a late-riser on draft boards. Last season, he went 6-for-8 in stolen base opportunities, but he was also getting on base less than 30% of the time. In 60 games, he committed 24 errors at shortstop, so many believe he will eventually move to third base. As with many other prospects, missing the entire 2020 season hurt Cavaco, and he needs consistent reps and coaching to continue to improve. 1. Will Holland, 2B Current Run/Future Run: 70/70 Holland may be an unfamiliar name to some Twins fans, but the team took him with their fifth-round pick back in 2019. The Auburn product was old for Low-A last season, but his collegiate experience showed through as he posted a .336 OBP. Defensively, he played the majority of his innings at shortstop, but the organization also had him play at second, third, and in center field. In 76 games, he stole 19 bases, so his speed was evident on the base paths. He’s an athletic player that has a chance to fill a utility role at the big-league level. He turns 24-years-old in April, and he should start next season in Cedar Rapids. Who do you think has the best run 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 Tool Prospects — Top Hit 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
  4. The international signing period officially opens today. The Minnesota Twins have agreed to terms with three players ranked among the top 40 talents in this year's class, and now we know the dollar totals of their agreements. Read on to learn more about Yasser Mercedes, Yilber Herrera, and Bryan Acuña. The international market has been a key source of talent in the Twins system, yielding not only big-league players like Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, and Miguel Sanó, but also several of their current most intriguing prospects. They'll be adding to that pool when the following expected signings become official. The Twins have a $5,721,500 bonus pool for international signings this year and it appears this is how they'll be divvying up a large chunk of it. Yasser Mercedes, OF – Dominican Republic ($1.7 million) DOB: 11/16/2004 (17 years old) 6'3", 180 lbs | Bats R, Throws R Ranked #17 by MLB Pipeline Read our profile on Mercedes The headliner of this year's Twins international class is a big lean outfielder with an impressive and balanced skill set. Speed and defense are considered his biggest strengths currently, leading many to believe he can stick in center field. According to MLB Pipeline, "Mercedes has some of the best tools in this year’s class, but it’s his ability to use those tools in games that’s helped him become one of the most intriguing prospects on the international market." Yilber Herrera, SS – Dominican Republic ($700K) DOB: 1/15/2005 (17 years old) 6'0", 155 lbs | B: S, T: R Ranked #35 by MLB Pipeline Read our profile on Herrera "Think of a young Jorge Polanco. That’s the best way to describe the athletic Herrera." So claims MLB Pipeline's writeup on this switch-hitting shortstop, and this description comes as music to the ears of Twins fans. The Venezuelan infielder is currently known as more of a contact hitter with quick hands, but there is hope he'll start to develop substantial power as he grows into his frame. That's basically the path Polanco took on his way to becoming one of the best slugging middle infielders in the majors. Bryan Acuña , SS – Venezuela ($650K) DOB: 8/11/2005 (16 years old) 5'11", 155 lbs | B: R, T: R Ranked #39 by MLB Pipeline Read our profile on Acuña You probably recognize the last name. Yes, Bryan is the younger brother of Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. He's been on the international scouting radar for sometime, and while he's not viewed as one of the premier talents in this class, it bears noting that his older brother signed with Atlanta for a mere $100K back in 2014. He's currently listed as a shortstop, but Acuña is unlikely to stick there. His bat is expected to be his ticket to advancement; he already has a good feel for hitting and the hope is that he'll add power he muscles up. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  5. The international market has been a key source of talent in the Twins system, yielding not only big-league players like Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, and Miguel Sanó, but also several of their current most intriguing prospects. They'll be adding to that pool when the following expected signings become official. The Twins have a $5,721,500 bonus pool for international signings this year and it appears this is how they'll be divvying up a large chunk of it. Yasser Mercedes, OF – Dominican Republic ($1.7 million) DOB: 11/16/2004 (17 years old) 6'3", 180 lbs | Bats R, Throws R Ranked #17 by MLB Pipeline Read our profile on Mercedes The headliner of this year's Twins international class is a big lean outfielder with an impressive and balanced skill set. Speed and defense are considered his biggest strengths currently, leading many to believe he can stick in center field. According to MLB Pipeline, "Mercedes has some of the best tools in this year’s class, but it’s his ability to use those tools in games that’s helped him become one of the most intriguing prospects on the international market." Yilber Herrera, SS – Dominican Republic ($700K) DOB: 1/15/2005 (17 years old) 6'0", 155 lbs | B: S, T: R Ranked #35 by MLB Pipeline Read our profile on Herrera "Think of a young Jorge Polanco. That’s the best way to describe the athletic Herrera." So claims MLB Pipeline's writeup on this switch-hitting shortstop, and this description comes as music to the ears of Twins fans. The Venezuelan infielder is currently known as more of a contact hitter with quick hands, but there is hope he'll start to develop substantial power as he grows into his frame. That's basically the path Polanco took on his way to becoming one of the best slugging middle infielders in the majors. Bryan Acuña , SS – Venezuela ($650K) DOB: 8/11/2005 (16 years old) 5'11", 155 lbs | B: R, T: R Ranked #39 by MLB Pipeline Read our profile on Acuña You probably recognize the last name. Yes, Bryan is the younger brother of Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. He's been on the international scouting radar for sometime, and while he's not viewed as one of the premier talents in this class, it bears noting that his older brother signed with Atlanta for a mere $100K back in 2014. He's currently listed as a shortstop, but Acuña is unlikely to stick there. His bat is expected to be his ticket to advancement; he already has a good feel for hitting and the hope is that he'll add power he muscles up. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  6. According to MLB Pipeline, Yasser Mercedes is the highest-ranked player projected to sign with the Twins in the current signing class. He ranks 17th overall, and he projects as the eighth-best outfield prospect. Cristian Vaquero is the top-ranked outfielder in the class, and he has the same overall grade (55) as Mercedes. Comparing the two players shows how close the top prospects can rank, especially while they are still only halfway through their teenage years. In the summer of 2019, Mercedes was one of 50 teenagers who traveled to Chicago for the Dominican Prospect League's Elite Underclass Series. MLB.com named him on the list of possible "future stars" included on that travel team. His trainer throughout the scouting process has been Hector Evertz, who is a member of MLB's Trainer Partnership Program. According to MLB, "the Trainer Partnership program is a collaboration between MLB and independent trainers to help develop international baseball while addressing important issues in the international market." Yasser Mercedes Scouting Report Bats: R | Throws: R | HT 6'3" | WT: 180 MLB Pipeline Scouting Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55 Mercedes has the best overall tools of any player in Minnesota's signing class because the other top two signees currently rank lower in one tool or another. Some players look great on the practice field, and their skills never translate to actual gameplay, but Mercedes can already put it all together during game action. At the plate, he has the skill set to be an average hitter with average power, which can be valuable when combined with solid defense at a critical up-the-middle defensive position. Defensively, Mercedes has the tools and athleticism to stick in center field. His run and field tools grade the highest, and they both help to bring up his overall grade. Right now, his speed allows him to make up for inefficient routes to the ball. As he develops, Twins coaches will work with him to improve his route running in center. He already has a solid frame, and his arm should continue to develop as he adds muscle. Many believe his skill set will allow him to stick in center field for the long term, and that's what makes him the highest-ranked prospect in Minnesota's signing class. International players play a vital role in an organization building depth and helping to get back into contention. Minnesota has multiple regular players currently on the roster signed initially as international free agents. The team hasn't found the next Jorge Polanco or Luis Arraez in recent years, but one player from the current class might help reshape the organization in the years to come. What stands out to you about Mercedes? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Yilber Herrera — Bryan Acuña — International Signing Period History 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’s current roster has multiple players initially signed as part of the international signing period. The Twins are tied to a few players with another signing period opening soon, including a very familiar last name. International Signing Changes Major League Baseball and MLB Players Association agreed to shift the international signing periods because of the pandemic. That means the players listed below are eligible to sign beginning on January 15, 2022, while the signing period ends on December 15, 2022. Players must turn 17 before September 1, 2022, to be eligible. Most of the top prospects already have their organizations identified even with the signing deadline multiple months in the future. How Much Can the Twins Spend? Eight teams have more money to spend than the Twins, but Minnesota is tied with five other teams in the next bonus pool group. Teams with a Round B competitive balance pick (Arizona, Baltimore, Cleveland, Colorado, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, San Diego, St. Louis) have a pool of $6,262,600. The Twins have $5,721,500 in their signing pool along with all the other teams that received a Round A competitive balance pick (Cincinnati, Detroit, Miami, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay). What Players Are Tied to Minnesota? Yasser Mercedes, OF MLB Pipeline Ranking: 17 Mercedes projects to be the Twins’ top signing during the upcoming international signing period. While many prospects list themselves as centerfielders, his speed and defensive ability have the potential to keep him in center field for the long term. MLB Pipeline said, “Mercedes has some of the best tools in this year’s class.” It will take multiple years of development, but Mercedes will be a name to watch in the team’s farm system. Yilber Herrera, SS MLB Pipeline Ranking: 35 MLB Pipeline compares Herrera to a young Jorge Polanco, and that has to get Twins fans excited with how well Polanco has been playing this year. The most significant difference between the two players is that Herrera's arm might be strong enough for him to stick at shortstop long-term. His biggest improvement area is his power, but that is an expectation with teenagers who haven't put on all their muscles. . Bryan Acuna, SS MLB Pipeline Ranking: 39 Acuna, a Venezuela native, is the younger brother of Braves superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. Their father, Ronald Sr, also played professionally but topped out at Double-A. Right now, his best tool is his hit tool, but he has room to grow into his frame and add to some of the other tools. Like many top prospects, he currently plays shortstop, but he has the chance to be above average at multiple positions. Which of these players sounds the most exciting to you? 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
  8. International Signing Changes Major League Baseball and MLB Players Association agreed to shift the international signing periods because of the pandemic. That means the players listed below are eligible to sign beginning on January 15, 2022, while the signing period ends on December 15, 2022. Players must turn 17 before September 1, 2022, to be eligible. Most of the top prospects already have their organizations identified even with the signing deadline multiple months in the future. How Much Can the Twins Spend? Eight teams have more money to spend than the Twins, but Minnesota is tied with five other teams in the next bonus pool group. Teams with a Round B competitive balance pick (Arizona, Baltimore, Cleveland, Colorado, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, San Diego, St. Louis) have a pool of $6,262,600. The Twins have $5,721,500 in their signing pool along with all the other teams that received a Round A competitive balance pick (Cincinnati, Detroit, Miami, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay). What Players Are Tied to Minnesota? Yasser Mercedes, OF MLB Pipeline Ranking: 17 Mercedes projects to be the Twins’ top signing during the upcoming international signing period. While many prospects list themselves as centerfielders, his speed and defensive ability have the potential to keep him in center field for the long term. MLB Pipeline said, “Mercedes has some of the best tools in this year’s class.” It will take multiple years of development, but Mercedes will be a name to watch in the team’s farm system. Yilber Herrera, SS MLB Pipeline Ranking: 35 MLB Pipeline compares Herrera to a young Jorge Polanco, and that has to get Twins fans excited with how well Polanco has been playing this year. The most significant difference between the two players is that Herrera's arm might be strong enough for him to stick at shortstop long-term. His biggest improvement area is his power, but that is an expectation with teenagers who haven't put on all their muscles. . Bryan Acuna, SS MLB Pipeline Ranking: 39 Acuna, a Venezuela native, is the younger brother of Braves superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. Their father, Ronald Sr, also played professionally but topped out at Double-A. Right now, his best tool is his hit tool, but he has room to grow into his frame and add to some of the other tools. Like many top prospects, he currently plays shortstop, but he has the chance to be above average at multiple positions. Which of these players sounds the most exciting to you? 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
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