Dynasty: Minnesota Twins’ 2020 Preseason Top 50 Prospects

Nick Randall ranks the Twins' top prospects for 2020 and beyond.

The Minnesota Twins enter 2020 in the enviable position of being fully entrenched in win-now mode and yet also well stocked with prospects who are close to making their big-league debuts. And these aren’t just any prospects. The system is top heavy with some elite hitters who could be cornerstone players for years to come.

And while it’s true that recent trades have hurt the overall system depth (Brusdar Graterol, Jaylin Davis and Lewin Diaz all departed within the last year), it’s still one of the better systems in baseball for my money. I place four players in my personal top-100 prospect rankings, though you could argue as many as six names from the list should be in top-100 consideration.

Here are the Minnesota Twins’ top 50 prospects for 2020:

Note: These Top 50 lists are all done through a fantasy baseball focused lens. Many players who are ranked higher or lower on other platforms will get a boost here. For example, players who profile as middle relievers or glove-first infielders likely won’t have much fantasy relevance, so they won’t be ranked as high.

 

1. SS Royce Lewis

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: AA

“Look away, I’m hideous.” Not only is this line from a classic episode of ‘Seinfeld’ where Kramer’s face suddenly ages about 30 years overnight due to heavy smoking, but it also perfectly sums up Royce Lewis’ stat line from 2019. Despite a mid-season promotion to AA, the former no. 1 overall pick struggled all year and hit just .236, though he did add 12 HRs and 22 SBs in 127 games. His .661 OPS tells a deeper story of just how bad it was, as he battled timing issues with his big leg kick and long stride at the plate.

Lewis redeemed himself, at least temporarily, with a strong Arizona Fall League campaign that saw him hit .353 and win the MVP award. It’s encouraging to see him rebound, but it’s also just 22 games and shouldn’t be looked at as an end to all his problems.

This leads to a conundrum with Lewis and how to evaluate him as a prospect moving forward. I wouldn’t fault anybody for downgrading him significantly, especially given that he may need a swing adjustment (and added time in the minors) to succeed at the next level. But I’m staying the course with him. The power/speed combo is still there. He’s a premium athlete and reports are always glowing about his makeup on and off the field. The Twins are also starting to move him around the diamond; he saw time at third base, and he could play in the outfield this year as well. I’d hold on to him in dynasty leagues and give him this year to see if he can extend his fall success into a bounce-back season.

ETA: 2021

 

2. OF Trevor Larnach

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: AA

If I had to make a list of the most underrated prospects for fantasy, Trevor Larnach would be near the top of that list. The 6’4’’ outfielder has been a hit machine since the Twins drafted him 20th overall in 2018, compiling a career .307/.384/.458 slash in that time. He often gets overlooked as he hasn’t put up monster HR totals, but I considered ranking him no. 1 because he’s been a model of consistency. Not only has he posted batting averages of .295 or higher at each minor-league stop so far, but his wRC+ for those levels were 139, 149, 148 and 148. His lowest OBP in that span is .373.

And I’m not too worried about the power. He hit 13 HRs in 127 games last year, but he added 30 doubles and did it in home parks that skewed pitcher friendly. His strikeout rate did jump to 27.6% at AA, so that’s something to watch as he hadn’t shown that much swing and miss in the lower levels.

The biggest concern I’d have for Larnach, which isn’t even really a concern but more something worth noting, is that the Twins are pretty set in the outfield at the moment. I think Larnach will be ready to contribute in the second half of 2020, but it’s not clear where he’d play barring a string of injuries. It’s also worth mentioning there are two other hitters behind Larnach on this list who can play corner OF and are close to the majors as well. It may be telling how the Twins choose to promote them.

ETA: 2021

 

3. 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: AA

It’s kind of nuts that Alex Kirilloff ranks third on the list because he’s one of the best hitters in the minor leagues. He never quite found his groove in 2019, though, and while his numbers were solid, nothing about his first stint at the AA level jumps off the page. In 94 games, he slashed .283/.343/.413 with 9 HRs and 7 SBs.

The one caveat is that he suffered a wrist injury in March that kept him out for a month and he clearly wasn’t at full strength when he returned. The Twins sent him back to the IL a second time and his bat heated up upon his return, hitting .289 with 7 HRs in the second half.

I’m still a big Kirilloff fan and think he can be a consistent middle-of-the-lineup bat for years to come. He split time between first base and the outfield in 2019, and a move to 1B permanently could limit his fantasy value a bit. So that’s something to keep an eye on, especially with the Twins giving recent contracts to Josh Donaldson and Miguel Sano to fill their corner infield spots. Similar to Larnach, there’s a chance we see Kirilloff up with the Twins later this year, though it would take a few injuries to create substantial playing time.

ETA: Late 2020

 

4. RHP Jordan Balazovic

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: AA

Jordan Balazovic wasn’t a household prospect name entering the 2019 season. Far from it. But the big, 6’5″ righty dominated the low-A and High-A levels before earning a spot on the playoff roster for Double-A Pensacola at year’s end.

The promotions were well deserved for the former 5th-round pick, who racked up a 2.69 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 33.9 K% in 93.2 innings. His best pitch is his fastball, which sits in the mid-90s and can touch 97 mph. He also has an above-average slider and a change-up, which is still improving. He also shows good control with just a 6.6 BB% last season.

Even with the Twins in win-now mode, it’s unlikely we see Balazovic in Minnesota this year. He’s not too far away, though, and is a nice pitcher to target in dynasty leagues as his value hasn’t skyrocketed yet.

ETA: 2021

 

5. RHP Jhoan Duran

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: AA

The Twins acquired starter Jhoan Duran as part of the Eduardo Escobar trade with the Diamondbacks, which helps soften the blow of seeing Escobar take off with his new team. Duran has a big fastball that sits in the mid-90s and approaches triple digits on occasion. He balances the heat with a solid curveball and changeup, though the jury is still out on whether the changeup can be a consistent out pitch for him. He performed well across 115 innings at High-A and AA last year, posting a 3.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 28.9 K%. Perhaps most impressively, he put up a 16.4 SwStr%, which was the highest among all Twins’ pitchers with at least 80 IP in the minors last year. Given the Twins are in win-now mode, I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets a late-season call-up to aid a playoff push.

ETA: Late 2020

 

6. OF Misael Urbina

 

Age: 17
Highest Level: Rookie (DSL)

One of the top international prospects from the 2018 J2 class, Misael Urbina has the tools to become the Twins’ center fielder of the future. The 17-year-old Venezuelan offers an enticing blend of speed and athleticism that’s matched by his promising approach at the plate. In the DSL last year, Urbina hit .279 with a .382 OBP and 19 steals in 50 games. Stats in the DSL should be taken with a grain of salt, but the fact he walked (10.6 BB%) more than he struck out (6.5 K%) points to a solid approach, especially given how young he is. I’m high on Urbina’s long-term fantasy prospects and see him becoming a fixture in top-100 prospect lists by the end of the year.

ETA: 2023

 

7. 1B/OF Brent Rooker

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: AAA

No respect. Can’t get no respect. I have no idea if Brent Rooker even knows who Rodney Dangerfield is, but the late comedian’s mantra about not getting enough respect fits Rooker’s prospect status pretty well. The 6’3″, 215-pound slugger was the 35th overall pick in 2017 and has done nothing but hit at every level in the minors. But because he’s a defensive liability and lacks a true position, his prospect stock is in a state of perpetual decline.

Still, Rooker hit .281 with 14 HRs and a .981 OPS in 65 games at AAA last year. He also walks a lot (12.8 BB%), which helps make his sky-high strikeout rates (34.7 K% in 2019) a little easier to swallow.

At 25 years old, it’s weird to say but Rooker’s window in Minnesota may be closing soon. I think the Twins will give him a look this year if there’s a hole at a corner OF spot or possibly 1B, but with both Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach capable of filling similar positions, he might need a trade out of Minnesota to get a true shot at long-term success.

ETA: 2020

 

8. C Ryan Jeffers

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: AA

After a strong debut in 2018, Ryan Jeffers picked up right where he left off in 2019, hitting his way to Double-A in just his second year of pro ball. He profiles as an offensive-first catcher with fairly average defensive skills behind the plate. Last year, he slashed .264/.341/.421 with 14 HRs in 103 games.

While the defense is a bit of a question mark, I like how aggressive Minnesota has been in moving him up the ladder. Even as a college bat and 2nd-round draft pick, it still feels like he’s moved pretty quickly, especially for a catcher. If you’re feeling frisky and want to dip into the catching prospect pool, Jeffers is not a bad flier in deep dynasty formats.

ETA: 2021

 

9. OF Matt Wallner

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: A

At one point, Matt Wallner was a two-way player who could both slug home runs and reach back for 97 mph on the mound. He ditched the pitching in 2019 and has settled in as a corner OF with nice upside. Taken 39th overall in last year’s draft, Wallner debuted in rookie ball and got a cup of coffee in Single-A, hitting .258 with 8 HRs and a .810 OPS in 65 games. He projects to have big raw power and a strong arm in the outfield, which should help keep his bat in the lineup down the road. His long lefty swing, however, did show some holes when he struck out 27.5% of the time this year. If he can cut down the Ks and sustain his natural power, Wallner is another college bat who could move quickly through the system.

ETA: 2022

 

10. LHP Lewis Thorpe

 

Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB

To say Aussie Lewis Thorpe has had a turbulent career since signing with the Twins back in 2012 would be an understatement. The lefty underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and then lost another year to illness (Mono) during his comeback. But despite all the health challenges, Thorpe has managed to post solid results any time he’s been on the mound.

Last year, he put up a middling 4.58 ERA in AAA, but his 29.5 K% and 6.2 BB% point to real potential as a starter. The Twins also saw enough to give him 27.2 innings in the majors down the stretch, where he had some success despite the ugly 6.18 ERA. His slider posted a 22.8 SwStr% and could be a standout pitch for him in the future. With four pitches, he just needs one of his other offerings to step up a notch above average, and we could have an interesting fantasy starter on our hands. I expect the Twins to give Thorpe a longer look in 2020, and he could even be in contention to win the last rotation spot in the spring.

ETA: Debuted in 2019

 

11. SS/3B Keoni Cavaco

 

Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie (GCL)

The Twins’ first-round pick in 2019, Keoni Cavaco is a late-blooming prep bat who offers versatility on defense and some intriguing raw tools on offense. He may ultimately end up at third base, but the Twins tried him at shortstop in the GCL last year, where he hit .172 with 1 HR in 25 games. It’s hard to glean anything from such a short debut, but it’s worth mentioning he struck out 38% of the time with just a 4% walk rate. Cavaco has a fair amount of risk in his projection and will likely progress a bit slowly as he finds his footing against pro-level competition.

ETA: 2023

 

12. OF Gilberto Celestino

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: A+

Part of the return in the Ryan Pressly trade with the Astros, outfielder Gilberto Celestino had his most productive season yet in 2019, hitting .277 with 10 HRs and 14 SBs while making it to High-A. He may never put up gaudy stats as his power is a bit limited, but he showed good plate discipline last year, striking out just 15.9% of the time. Reports are also very high on his outfield defense, as he projects to stick in center field for the foreseeable future. Celestino is a prospect on the rise, though it remains to be seen if the bat will be all that desirable for fantasy purposes.

ETA: 2021

 

13. 2B Travis Blankenhorn

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: AA

Travis Blankenhorn gained some prospect buzz after hitting .278 with 18 HRs and 11 SBs at AA last year. He projects as a player who won’t be spectacular in any one area but can contribute a bit across the board. He also showed some versatility on defense this year with 18 games in left field and a couple at third base as well. Perhaps that flexibility gets him to the majors sooner than expected, but I think he spends most of 2020 in AAA.

ETA: 2021

 

14. RHP Matt Canterino

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: A

Drafted in the second round out of Rice University last year, Matt Canterino is an accomplished college arm who could move quickly through the Twins’ system. His fastball can reach the mid-90s, but it’s his sharp slider that has garnered rave reviews and can be a money pitch for him going forward. He also throws a curveball and changeup. He threw 25 innings in the lower minors last year, putting up an impressive 1.44 ERA and 0.64 WHIP with 31 Ks. He should start in High-A next year, where he’ll face a better challenge.

ETA: 2022

 

15. OF Emmanuel Rodriguez

 

Age: 16
Highest Level: N/A

The Twins’ top signing in the 2019 international class, Emmanuel Rodriguez is just 16 years old but already projects as a solid defensive outfielder with the potential to hit for power. The lefty is not a big guy yet – he’s listed as 5’10″, 165 pounds – so how his body fills out may determine if he sticks as a centerfielder. He was widely coveted in the market and signed for $2.5 million, so expectations will be high as he progresses through the minors. Hopefully, we see him debut in the DSL this year.

ETA: 2024

 

16. RHP Randy Dobnak

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB

Randy Dobnak has one of the better stories in the system. He was undrafted out of college, played some independent ball, signed a minor-league deal in 2017 and wound up starting a playoff game for the Twins in 2019. It’s quite the ascension for the right-hander, who relies on excellent control and high ground-ball rates to get outs. And while he may lack premium velocity (his fastball sits in the 92-93 mph range), he still managed a 12.9 SwStr% in his 28.1 IP in the majors last year. It’s unlikely Dobnak will be able to sustain his 2019 success over a longer period, but right now he looks like the favorite to win the no. 5 starter spot in the spring.

ETA: Debuted in 2019

 

17. LHP Devin Smeltzer

 

Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB

Lefty Devin Smeltzer just barely retains prospect status after hurling 49 pretty good innings in the majors last year (3.86 ERA, 1.27 WHIP). A former 5th-round pick, Smeltzer came out of obscurity to dominate the AA and AAA levels before making 11 appearances for the Twins down the stretch, though his K rate took a noticeable fall from 25.1% to 18.8% against major-leaguers. He lacks velocity and sits in the low 90s, and while his curveball and changeup both show promise, I’m skeptical he can repeat his 2019 success over a longer period. He’s another candidate for the Twins’ no. 5 starter job, but I’m passing on him in dynasty leagues.

ETA: Debuted in 2019

 

18. 1B Luke Raley

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: AAA

It feels bad to say this, but Luke Raley is like a poor man’s Brent Rooker. They’re both first base/DH types who hit for big power and get on a base a lot, but also strike out a bunch. Raley hits from the left side, and perhaps that gives him a spot as a platoon bat down the line. But the Twins are log jammed with players with similar profiles already, so I think he might need a move to another team to get real playing time.

ETA: 2020

 

19. RHP Bailey Ober

 

Age: 24
Highest Level: AA

0.69 ERA. Very good. 0.81 WHIP. Elite. This must be a reliever, right? No, this is a starter. He threw 78.2 innings across 13 starts last year. Ok, but can he miss bats? 33.8 K%. 20.0 SwStr%. Surely his control must be awful? Just a 3.0 BB%.

These are the incredible stats of Bailey Ober, who was arguably the best pitcher in the minors last year and yet you won’t see his name on any top-prospects lists. That’s because his max velocity is about 88 mph. At 6’9″, 260 pounds, scouts largely attribute his success to his deceptive overhand delivery, which causes hitters problems due to his height and release point. General consensus is he won’t make it as a starter in the big leagues due to the lack of velocity, so he’s kind of been written off. But this level of dominance doesn’t come around often, so at the very least I think he has a shot to break in as a reliever who gives hitters fits in short outings.

ETA: 2021

 

20. 2B/3B Spencer Steer

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: A

Infielder Spencer Steer had a big junior season at Oregon University, where he hit .349 and earned all-conference honors. The Twins saw enough in the bat to draft him in the third round last year. He quickly raked in a short stint in rookie ball and made it to Single-A before year’s end. He projects as a solid contact hitter who shows good patience at the plate with an ability to get on base. Defensively, Steer also can play both second and third base, so there’s versatility that could point to a utility infielder role down the line.

ETA: 2021

 

21. OF Gabriel Maciel

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A+

Another inclusion in the Eduardo Escobar trade with the Diamondbacks, Brazilian outfielder Gabriel Maciel ranks highly for his speed and athleticism. He stole 22 bases in 100 games last year, and hit .283 with a solid .366 OBP as well. His bat would be more interesting if he showed any power, but he’s mostly a singles hitter and has just nine career home runs in 310 games.  His speed and plate discipline might be enough to get him to the majors even if the power never develops.

ETA: 2022

 

22. SS Wander Javier

Age: 21
Highest Level: A

Wander Javier’s career has been marred by injuries, which has taken the shine off his $4 million signing back in July 2015. He posted a .855 OPS in rookie ball in 2017, but the young shortstop suffered a torn labrum and missed all of 2018. He wasn’t the same hitter when he returned for 80 games in A ball last year, hitting just .177 with a 33.9 K%. He did smack 11 HRs, so at least the power he flashed before the injury is still there. It’s too early to be totally out on Javier as an impact prospect going forward, but I have a feeling it may be a slow progression to the big leagues.

ETA: 2022

 

23. RHP Cole Sands

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: AA

Despite a few minor injuries, it was an eventful pro debut for Cole Sands, who pitched across three levels in 2019 and made it all the way to AA. A fifth-round draft pick in 2018, Sands has a pretty straightforward fastball-curve-changeup mix with his heater topping out at 96 mph. His curve is also a potential plus pitch that can generate swings and misses. His control might be his standout tool so far, though. In 91.1 IP last year, he walked just 5.0% of batters while recording 108 strikeouts, which was good enough for an impressive 23.2 K-BB%. Sands is an underrated arm to keep an eye on in 2020.

ETA: 2021

 

24. 3B Jose Miranda

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: AA

Jose Miranda is a tough nut to crack. His 2019 performance was underwhelming in almost every way – .252/.302/.369 with 8 HRs in 119 games – but his bat has shown more promise in the past. The third baseman makes a lot of contact, rarely striking out, and can spray live drives at a good clip. The power output may never be exciting, though he did hit 16 HRs two years ago, so there is some pop lurking in the bat. The upcoming year should be a better indicator of his future talent as he’ll likely get a full year in at AA.

ETA: 2021

 

25. OF LaMonte Wade Jr.

 

Age: 26
Highest Level: MLB

The oldest prospect on the list, 26-year-old LaMonte Wade Jr. made it to the majors last year after a steady five-year career in the minors. He probably ends up in a fourth outfielder role, but he gets on a base a ton (16.8 BB% in AAA last year) and is a .276 career hitter in the minors as well. He doesn’t have much power, though. He also played some center field for the Twins in Byron Buxton’s absence last year and could fill a similar role in 2020 if needed.

ETA: Debuted in 2019

 

26. SS Nick Gordon

 

Age: 24
Highest Level: AAA

It wasn’t that long ago that Nick Gordon could be found in every top-100 prospect list around. But his stock has cratered in recent years due to a combination of prospect fatigue and straight up lackluster performance. The fifth-overall pick in 2014 and the younger brother of Dee Gordon, Nick did enjoy a bit of a rebound in AAA last year, however. He hit .298 with 4 HRs and 14 SBs in 70 games after hitting just .212 at the same level in 2018. With Royce Lewis and Jorge Polanco, though, the Twins have shortstop covered for years to come, so Gordon’s future probably rests in a bench role or with another team.

ETA: 2020

 

27. OF Akil Baddoo

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A+

Known for his excellent high walk rates, I’ve always been a fan of Akil Baddoo. The toolsy outfielder’s pro career has been stunted by inconsistency, though, which has lowered his stock in recent years. It doesn’t help that he underwent elbow reconstruction surgery in May and only played 29 games last year. The hope is he’s healthy and ready to go for Spring Training in 2020, but it’s now been almost three years since he hit .357 in the Appalachian League, which was really his breakout year.

ETA: 2022

 

28. SS Will Holland

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Rookie (Advanced)

There was speculation Will Holland could go as high as the first or second round in the 2019 draft, but after a down year at Auburn, he fell to the Twins in the fifth round. His athleticism and raw tools are abundant, though his output on the field hasn’t caught up to them yet. He debuted in the Appalachian League last year and hit just .192 with a 30.3 K% in 36 games. He did, however, flash a nice power/speed combo with 7 HRs and 8 SBs in that span. Holland probably won’t move all that quickly and instead is more of a project the Twins will look to shape into an everyday major leaguer.

ETA: 2022

 

29. RHP Blayne Enlow

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: A+

Right-hander Blayne Enlow is another solid, if unspectacular arm for the Twins in the lower minors right now. Across two levels in 2019, Enlow recorded a 3.82 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 20.0 K%. He has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s, which he compliments with three other mostly average offerings. While the K rate is somewhat pedestrian, Enlow is still on track to be a starter and could jump up the list if one of his off-speed pitches takes a step forward next year.

ETA: 2022

 

30. RHP Josh Winder

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: A

If you’re looking for another underrated pitching prospect in the Twins’ system, consider Josh Winder. At 6’5″, 210 pounds, the former 7th-round pick pretty much dominated A ball last year, putting up a 2.65 ERA and 0.98 WHIP with 118 Ks in 125.2 innings. The caveat is that he was 22 years old and facing some younger competition. Still, the big righty has a solid mix of four pitches, with his slider standing out a notch above the rest. I’d like to see the Twins be a bit more aggressive with him next year, especially if he has success out of the gate in High-A.

ETA: 2022

 

31. RHP Edwar Colina

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: AAA

Edwar Colina is coming off a memorable year that saw him climb two levels and reach AAA for a cup of coffee in August. He’s armed with a big fastball that can touch 100 mph on occasion, and scouting reports have him sitting in the mid-to-upper 90s. The rest of his arsenal is a bit limited, as he throws a slider and an iffy changeup. That may be why the Twins transitioned him to the bullpen for his last four appearances at the end of the year. If he sticks as a reliever, his future fantasy value takes a ding, though he could be up as soon as this year.

ETA: 2020

 

32. RHP Griffin Jax

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: AAA

After logging just under 40 innings in his first two pro seasons due to commitments to the Air Force, right-hander Griffin Jax enjoyed a mini-breakout in 2019. In 111.1 innings, he put up a 2.67 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, though the K rate was just 18.0%. He doesn’t miss a lot of bats yet because he relies heavily on a fastball/changeup combo, and is still working on his third pitch, a slider. He saw a little action at AAA as well so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him up in Minnesota this year, possibly out of the pen.

ETA: 2020

 

33. RHP Chris Vallimont

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: A+

Right-hander Chris Vallimont was a sneaky inclusion in the Sergio Romo trade with the Marlins last year. Vallimont doesn’t have a huge pedigree as a former 5th-round pick, but he was solid across the board in 2019, putting up a 3.24 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 150 Ks in 127.2 innings. His fastball sits in the low 90s, so the upside may not be all that high, but he’s an interesting arm to watch this year.

ETA: 2021

 

34. RHP Luis Rijo

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A

Part of the Lance Lynn deal with the Yankees two years ago, right-hander Luis Rijo had a breakout year in 2019. He surpassed 100 innings for the first time in his career and put up a 2.86 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in A ball with a 23.2 K% and just a 5.4 BB%. He’s not going to blow hitters away with velocity, but his curveball has earned high grades from scouts and serves as go-to pitch to generate weak contact.  He should face better competition in High-A this year.

ETA: 2022

 

35. RHP Cody Stashak

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB

Reliever Cody Stashak is a control master who made it to the majors last year and put up a ridiculous 25.0 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. He doesn’t have a blistering heater (he sits low 90s), but he complements it well with a breaking ball and still misses bats at a good clip. He should be in the running for a spot in the bullpen to start the year.

ETA: Debuted in 2019

 

36. 2B Yunior Severino

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: A

A remnant of the Atlanta Braves’ international signing scandal, Yunior Severino hasn’t really lived up to the $1.9 million bonus he received back in 2016. He’s a big second baseman with power upside but he swings and misses a lot and posted an ugly 31.4 K% in A ball last year. In his defense, he missed several months with a thumb injury, so perhaps there were lingering effects. But the bat just hasn’t looked special enough for me to rank him higher.

ETA: 2022

 

37. LHP Jovani Moran

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: AA

A product of the Carlos Beltran Academy in Puerto Rico, southpaw Jovani Moran features a stellar changeup that has led to a fair amount of success in the minors. In 2019, though, he was limited by injuries and threw only 34.1 innings at AA, where he put up mixed results (4.98 ERA, 32.9 K%, 15.1 BB%). It may be telling the Twins chose not to protect him in the December Rule 5 draft where he was not selected by any teams. Still, if he can improve his control, perhaps the changeup is enough to keep pushing him through the system.

ETA: 2021

 

38. 3B Seth Gray

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A

The Twins’ fourth-round pick in 2019, Seth Gray jumped up draft lists after he put up a 1.108 OPS in his junior season at Wright State. The power carried over to pro ball almost immediately, as Gray smacked 11 HRs in 57 games in Rookie ball. It should be noted he was already old for the level, though, and he hit just .225 in that span as well. Still, the third baseman has shown good plate discipline so far and could be an underrated bat to keep an eye on as he progresses through the lower minors.

ETA: 2022

 

39. RHP Cody Laweryson

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A

Few pitchers can say they’ve fanned 15 batters in a pro game before. Cody Laweryson did just that with 15 Ks over six shutout innings last August in the Appalachian League. Scouting reports are positive on his breaking ball, though generally his stuff is not thought to have a super high ceiling. Still, he’s definitely an arm to watch this year as he transitions out of rookie ball.

ETA: 2022

 

40. RHP Jorge Alcala

 

Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB

The Twins transitioned Jorge Alcala to the bullpen in 2019, and he made it all the way to the majors, even if was only for 1.2 innings. Alcala was part of the Ryan Pressly trade with the Astros, and he has a promising fastball-slider combo, with the fastball sitting in the mid-90s as a reliever. It looks like a smart move by the Twins to switch him to the pen as his success was uneven in AA as a starter (5.87 ERA, 1.47 WHIP). I’d expect to see him up again in 2020, but any fantasy impact remains low.

ETA: Debuted in 2019

 

41. RHP Yennier Cano

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: A+

A power arm out of Cuba, Yennier Cano signed for $750,000 in 2018 and debuted with 15 solid innings last year. He can touch 97 mph and throws a slider and split-finger pitch as well. He walked 14 batters in his 15-inning debut, though, so we’ll see how his control plays over a longer stretch. If he can keep the walks in check, his stuff could make for a dominant late-inning reliever.

ETA: 2021

 

42. RHP Dakota Chalmers

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: A+

Dakota Chalmers returned from Tommy John surgery last year and flashed the same potential and strong K rates he showed pre-injury. He also walked a ton of batters and in the Arizona Fall League continued to struggle with his control, walking 12 batters in just 17.2 innings. If he can reign in the free passes, Chalmers is a good breakout candidate in 2020.

ETA: 2022

 

43. C Ben Rortvedt

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: AA

Right now Ben Rortvedt is sort of the inverse of fellow catching prospect Ryan Jeffers. Whereas Jeffers stands out for his bat, Rortvedt offers solid defense and a good arm behind the plate. His offensive numbers lag behind, though. Across two levels last year, Rortvedt his .238 with 7 HRs in 79 games. There is some power there, but his career is trending in the direction of a future back-up.

ETA: 2021

 

44. OF Edouard Julien

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: N/A

Canadian slugger Edouard Julien’s draft stock took a hit after a poor sophomore year at Auburn, and he fell to the Twins in the 18th round. Things got worse when he underwent Tommy John surgery in August, which means we may not see his pro debut in 2020. Still, there is reason to believe he could end up being an impact bat down the line.

ETA: 2023

 

45. RHP Tyler Wells

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: AA

Tyler Wells had Tommy John surgery last year and likely won’t return until late in the 2020 season. But he was an overachieving starter who had a decent pitch mix before the surgery and has a career 2.82 ERA in the minors. At 6’8″, it’ll be interesting to see how he looks when he returns as any added velocity could make for an intriguing arm moving forward.

ETA: 2022

 

46. OF Willie Joe Garry Jr.

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie (Advanced)

Willie Joe Garry Jr. makes the list solely on his potential as a toolsy outfielder who is still young and could blossom with the right coaching and experience. He put up 5 HRs and 5 SBs in 55 games in rookie ball last year, but beyond that, his bat needs major adjustments as he hit just .228.

ETA: 2023

 

47. RHP Moises Gomez

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: A+

Moises Gomez is a reliever out of Venezuela who put up a 36.8 K% across two levels of A-ball last year. His heater can hit the upper 90s and he gave up just 28 hits in 52.2 innings. Depending on how his off-speed stuff develops, he could move up the chain pretty quickly.

ETA: 2021

 

48. RHP Landon Leach

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie (GCL)

A former second-round draft pick, Canadian Landon Leach missed 2019 due to a shoulder injury. But there’s still some pedigree and upside in the arm if he can put the injuries behind him. He was throwing in the mid-90s before the injury.

ETA: 2023

 

49. C Jeferson Morales

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie (GCL)

It’s tough to project young catchers, but Jeferson Morales shows a promising hit tool for a backstop. He’s walked more than he struck out each of the past two seasons, though his batting average dipped to .236 in the GCL last year. He’s a work in progress to check back in on at the end of the year.

ETA: 2023

 

50. OF Malfrin Sosa

 

Age: 17
Highest Level: N/A

There aren’t a lot of reports yet on Dominican outfielder Malfrin Sosa, another player the Twins signed from last year’s international class. What video I could find shows he already has some muscle and size for a 17-year-old, and he has a nice power stroke from the right side. Reports have him signing for around $1 million, so the Twins clearly like him. He should make his pro debut this year, likely in the DSL.

ETA: 2024

 

Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Feature Graphic Designed by James Peterson (Follow @jhp_design714 on Instagram & Twitter)

Nick Randall

Cardinals fan and writer living in Chicago. Enjoy 80s films but not so much 80s music. I also post about my adventures in fantasy baseball at Betteroffbaseball.com

  • Avatar PB says:

    What is the status of Alex Robinson?
    Is he still in the Twins plans?

    • Avatar Nick Randall says:

      Hi PB. It’s hard to say. He missed all of last year with a shoulder injury. He’s now 25 and hasn’t pitching above High-A. So this might be a make or break season on whether he’ll stick with the Twins long term.

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