Minnesota Twins 2021 Top 50 Fantasy Prospects

A look into a top-heavy Minnesota farm system.

As we prepare for the season ahead, the Pitcher List staff will be creating profiles for every fantasy-relevant player for 2021. Players will be broken up by team and role through starting pitchers, bullpen, lineup, and prospects. You can access every article as it comes out in our Player Profiles 2021 hub here.

 

When you look at the entire landscape of MLB farm systems at once, the Twins really shine out due to having one of the best top four in the league. Very few systems can present two top-15 prospects, a top 30 player, and a top 50 pitcher in their top four. This bodes quite well for the next several MLB seasons as the Twins will need to come with some serious firepower to deal with what is happening on the south side of Chicago.

With the Cleveland Baseball Team selling off some of their best pieces this offseason, the Royals in rebuild mode, and the Tigers still a couple of years away from enjoying the fruits of their most recent drafts, the Twins should absolutely be going for it. They may not have the depth of a system like the Dodgers, but they will have the ability to weather the storm of injury this season should the storm come calling.

As you read this list it should become fairly obvious what type of players the Twins are fond of drafting. Big-bodied bat-first hitters who know how to command a strike zone and dominated on the college circuit are a regular occurrence on this list. It has gotten to the point with Minnesota that I will give a boost to a certain profile should they be drafted by this organization. Minnesota simply knows how to get those most out of players who fit that mold. Matt Wallner, for example, has a better chance of reaching his ceiling in the Twins organization than say, Cleveland. Now, if Wallner was a small middle infielder with above-average contact skills…well, let’s talk about that on my next list.

What the Twins system comes up short on (after Royce Lewis, of course) is impact middle infielders. They are well stocked on power hitting OF/1B types and beefy starters, but when it comes to the quick-twitch middle infielder, they are light on talent. Good thing Luis Arraez has arrived already. A farm system can often operate like a giant Rube Goldberg system when something happens at the major league level.

What I will be watching for this season is the health of Josh Donaldson and the potential arrival of Royce Lewis. While Alex Kiriloff is penciled in as a starter for the MLB team, Lewis is a potential lightning bolt that the Twins can use at several positions should the need Arraez. When it comes to Donaldson’s recurring calf injury, well, let’s just say the Twins are going to be happy that Royce Lewis learned to play a few more positions in the 2019 Arizona Fall League. Now, to the list!

 

1. Alex Kiriloff – OF/1B

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: Double-A

 

Alex Kiriloff possesses one of the prettiest left-handed swings in all of minor league baseball. After absolutely dominating two levels of the minors to the tune of .348/.392/.578, Kiriloff faltered slightly in 2019 as he dealt with a wrist injury. Kiriloff attempted to play through the pain, but his swing suffered massively as he tried to compensate for the injury.

Most scouts and prospect analysts agree that Kiriloff’s swing was “a mess” by the end of 2019. His drop in production during 2019 was significant, but I find it remarkable that he was 2.7 years younger than his competition and was still able to produce a .283/.343/.413 slash line with a completely out-of-whack swing.

Kiriloff took the lockdown to get healthy and rediscover his stroke at the alternate site, leading to his debut (and first career hit) in the 2020 playoffs. The Twins let consistent producer Eddie Rosario walk this year and have yet to resign the timeless Nelson Cruz, giving Kiriloff a chance to make a significant impact as a DH/1B/OF in 2020. I fully expect him to be one of the top hitters in baseball in the near future.

The swing is pure, he doesn’t strike out very often, and he mashes the ball all over the field (71 XBH in 130 games in 2018). Hitters who can hit 30+ home runs with an average over .300 are a dying breed, so snag this kid up wherever possible.

 

ETA: 2021

 

2. Trevor Larnach – OF

 

Age: 24
Highest Level: Double-A

 

The top three prospects for the Twins are extremely difficult to rank. Some consider Trevor Larnach a better hitter than Kiriloff. While I don’t agree with that take, it’s not one I would classify as crazy by any means.

Larnach is an exceptional hitter who posted a 29.8% hard-hit rate in 2019 with a plethora of extra-base hits to all fields. His wRC+ has been 148 or better for the last two seasons. The strikeouts have increased as he has advanced through the minors, but he was considerably younger than his competition at Double-A in 2019 and I don’t see the strikeouts being a problem going forward. Larnach has always commanded the strike zone well, walking at a 10%+ rate every year he has been a professional. The ball absolutely screams coming off the bat and his left-handed stroke is as smooth as silk.

Larnach is another hitter in the Twins system who has a chance to hit for both average and power, all he needs is an opportunity to start and he will take off. With the Twins looking pretty well stocked on the depth chart for 2020, Larnach will likely head to Triple-A to start the season and feast on minor league pitching until the Twins have a spot for him on the big club. Kiriloff and Larnach are the future in Minnesota.

 

ETA: 2021

 

3. Royce Lewis – SS

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Double-A

 

I’ll admit that I am starting to worry about Royce Lewis. The former #1 overall pick in 2017 has had a roller coaster ride through the minor leagues. A power/speed type of profile with a questionable hit tool, Lewis has maintained his status as a top-10 prospect for most of the industry despite recent poor performances.

After attempting to rework his swing while he played through injuries in 2019, Lewis absolutely exploded in the Arizona Fall League. The AFL is certainly a small sample size, but it is generally comprised of extremely talented and promising players. Lewis won the league MVP by hitting .353/.411/.565 with 11 XBH and 5 steals in the 22 game season. That triple-slash came after a season where Lewis failed to hit above .240 across two levels of competition. Lewis is one of the fastest players in the minor leagues and is still just 21, so there is no reason to give up on him being a top 100 fantasy contributor.

The red flag with Lewis comes from his cartoonishly large leg kick. A lot of players are successful with a leg kick (see: Trevor Larnach), but when you watch Lewis hit it is really hard to see that kind of movement working at the MLB level. Advanced pitching will absolutely take advantage of that kind of extreme weight shift and pause-at-the-top action. Can Lewis tone down the kick and still keep his power? Hard to say. The power he can get to in games is already extremely pull-heavy (58.4 pull% in 2019), so losing the leg kick might not be an option if he wants to keep his power/speed profile.

One of the things I hate when drafting a prospect is not having a clear picture of what the future numbers look like. That is Lewis in a nutshell. He could be a 25/25 type of player with a low average or a 15/40 player who can hit .280. This season is really going to help bring his future into focus, for better or worse.

 

ETA: 2021

 

4. Jordan Balazovic – RHP

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: High-A

 

Drafted in the fifth round out of cold-weather Canada, Jordan Balazovic is the most promising pitching prospect in the Twins system. Frankly, I think he is one of the most promising pitchers in all of baseball.

Balazovic throws four pitches, three of which grade out as above average and all of which are thrown with extreme precision. Since 2018, Balazovic has maintained a K% over 30 and a BB% under 7.1, both of which are fantastic numbers. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and plays up somewhat because of his delivery and body type. Balazovic is 6’5″ with a long mid-section and hitters have a difficult time picking up the ball. If his changeup can continue to progress he will have four legitimate swing-and-miss offerings that can be thrown for strikes.

Another aspect of his game that bodes well for his future value is his ability to limit the long ball. Balazovic has given up just nine home runs in his last 155.1 innings of work. A pitcher who offers high strikeout totals, low walks, and limited dingers is a very valuable fantasy asset. The Twins are being fairly strict with his pitch counts and innings, but I expect Balazovic to start the year at Double-A and cut through hitters like a lava-hot knife through butter.

 

ETA: 2022

 

5. Ryan Jeffers – C

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: MLB

 

Ryan Jeffers stepped into the major leagues by walking through the gaping hole left by Mitch Garver’s 2020 performance. His debut was better than expected and showcased his power tool, exhibited by his 91.6 average exit velocity (max: 112.9). The strikeout rate ballooned to a career-high 30.2%, but he was able to maintain the solid walk-rates he had in the minor leagues and held his own defensively.

Jeffers seems to have supplanted Garver as the backstop of the future in Minnesota and should get ample opportunity to mash this upcoming season. Should he be given a full season to catch for the Twins, there is a good shot for Jeffers to be one of the better hitting catchers in baseball in 2021. A hitter who can pop your team 20 home runs with a .350+ OBP.

I would be remiss to leave out the fact that Jeffers had offseason surgery to remove loose bodies in his throwing arm, but all signs point to him being ready to start spring training on time and with no restrictions.

 

ETA: 2021

 

6. Jhoan Duran – RHP

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: Double-A

 

Jhoan Duran is an imposing presence on the mound. Standing at 6’5″ and 230 pounds, Duran pumps in a heater that sits in the upper-90s and can touch triple digits. He throws a hard curveball with 12/6 break and a pitch that is known as a “splinker” which is a combination sinker and splitter. Duran comes with an over-the-top delivery that helped create a 20.2 SwStr% at Double-A in 2019.

A cast-off from the Diamondbacks acquired in the Eduardo Escobar trade, the Twins have been able to find what the Diamondbacks missed and Duran is beginning to look like a mid-rotation force in the making. If everything goes wrong from here on out, Duran would still end up a high-leverage reliever. He will need to keep his walks in check to maximize his potential in the rotation, so the 5.6 BB% he turned in at the end of 2019 is an auspicious number. Duran has the chance to rocket up prospect lists this season with a positive campaign split between Double-A and Triple-A.

 

ETA: 2022

 

7. Matt Canterino – RHP

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: A-Ball

 

Matt Canterino is fun to watch. His delivery involves what can only be described as a full-body-pump. Our own Trevor Hooth recently fell in love with him on Twitter (a daily occurrence for Hooth depending on who he is watching the previous night). Canterino has a fastball that ranges between 92 and 96 with a big slow-breaking curveball, a slider, and a developing changeup.

The early returns in 2019 were fantastic. Canterino allowed eight hits in 25 innings with 31 punchouts. His WHIP was a minuscule 0.64. Both his college career at Rice and his turn in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2018 were great. With a decent fastball that he can locate up in the zone and two distinct breaking pitches that can be thrown for strikes, I am very high on what Canterino can become in the Twins system. Look for him to dominate High-A and Double-A this season. If the changeup turns into an average pitch…make sure you already have him on your roster.

 

ETA: 2022

 

8. Aaron Sabato – 1B

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Taken 27th overall in the 2020 MLB Draft

 

Aaron Sabato is a profile that people love to hate on. He is a bat-first (bat-only?) 1B/DH prospect who cauterizes baseballs. Sabato posted exit velocity numbers of 103 coming out of high school and has continued to rack up blistering EV numbers in college. As a freshman at North Carolina, Sabato hit .343/.453/.696 with 18 home runs. As difficult as it can be to make it as a 1B prospect who also struggles at 1B, Sabato can flat out hit.

A cold-weather kid from Rye, NY, Sabato is exactly the type of hitter that the Twins have excelled at developing in recent years. For my money, the swing is quick, clean, and powerful without a lot of wasted movement. Sabato didn’t show a lot of swing and miss in college and in the shortened 2020 season he had already blasted 7 home runs in just 19 games. I think he is going to hit enough to make it at 1B or DH.

 

ETA: 2023

 

9. Brent Rooker – 1B/OF

 

Age: 26
Highest Level: MLB

 

Brent Rooker is a three-true-outcome type of hitter. When he connects with a baseball it tends to travel rather far. Rooker’s hard-hit rate was a robust 41.5% in 2019 and he gets to that power by selling out for pull-side bombas (55% pull rate in 2019). He has a decent eye at the plate and has been able to post walk-rates north of 10% for most of his professional career. Rooker is a reverse-platoon player who has always hit righties better than lefties.

All in all, it comes down to opportunity for Rooker. Were he on another team, he would have the chops to make it as a 1B or corner OF given the opportunity to play every day. However, with the glut of talent that the Twins have clogging up outfield and 1B, Rooker will struggle to find a way into the lineup without someone incurring injury. Rooker did blast a baseball 112.2 in 2020, so if given the chance he could have value in deeper OBP leagues.

 

ETA: 2021

 

10. Misael Urbina – OF

 

Age: 18
Highest Level: Dominican Summer League

 

Misael Urbina became the apple of many dynasty eyes after his excellent turn in the DOSL as a 17-year-old. The teenager walked significantly more than he whiffed, stole 19 bases (but was caught 8 times), and tallied 21 XBH in 50 games. In the limited looks we have for him, Urbina appears to have a solid swing and approach at the plate with high contact skills and above-average speed.

There are some questions lingering about his arm, but there is a healthy amount of time between now and when he might debut so I won’t really worry about his defensive abilities at this time (or ever). All we can really do at this moment is dream on a super-promising season in the DOSL and keep a close eye on him in 2021.

 

ETA: 2024

 

11. Alerick Soularie – OF

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2020 MLB Draft

 

The Twins really have a type. If you are a player with an above-average hit tool with budding power without a clear position to play, Minnesota is the franchise you want to land with. I wrote up Alerick Soularie in my FYPD Mock Review as I believe he is one of the sleepers of the 2020 FYPD class. His sleeper status is part profile, part organization.

Soularie mashed in college, putting together a .336/.448/.586 triple slash in 76 total NCAA games with more walks than strikeouts. Power hitters who walk more than they strikeout are my kryptonite. Soularie has a frame (6’0″ 175lbs) that can definitely add some good weight and allow him to get to more of his power in games. I really like what I see with this kid.

 

ETA: 2023

 

12. Gilberto Celestino – OF

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: Double-A

 

When it comes to the role that defense plays in fantasy baseball all you really need to be concerned with are players who are so bad defensively that it has the chance to hold them back from being allowed on a major league field. Players like Seth Beer of the Diamondbacks come to mind. Gilberto Celestino represents the other side of the coin.

A decent contact hitter without much power, but who can play exceptional defense in centerfield, will find his way to the major leagues. Celestino is exactly that. If he can figure out how to be more efficient when stealing bases he has the chance to provide some fantasy value down the road. If everything breaks right he could end up a .280/10/10 player at peak.

 

ETA: 2022

 

13. Matt Wallner – OF

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: A-Ball

 

Matt Wallner is a local product originally taken in the 32nd round of the 2016 MLB draft out of Forest Lake, Minnesota. He chose to attend Southern Mississippi instead and ended up with some gaudy numbers by the end of his college career. Wallner hit .337/.461/.652 across three NCAA seasons before being selected in the 39th overall in the 2019 draft.

His hit tool lags behind the power potential, but he is good at taking a walk, so the possibility for a three-true-outcome profile is well within reach for Wallner. It will be very telling to see him against more advanced pitching in A-Ball or High-A in 2021.

 

ETA: 2023

 

14. Keoni Cavaco – SS

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie Ball

 

Keoni Cavaco sort of came out of nowhere before the 2019 draft. The Twins liked his loud tools enough to take a shot on him and drafted him 13th overall. Cavaco is, at present, a power/speed profile with a questionable hit tool. His debut in the Gulf Coast League was…rough. Cavaco struck out a whopping 38% of the time in 92 plate appearances. This is the type of profile that I tend to avoid when it comes to first-year player drafts and dynasty formats in general.

At the end of the day, you have to hit. If you can’t connect with the ball it just doesn’t matter how good the rest of your tools are. That said, it is way too early to know the kind of player that Cavaco can become given some time to season in the minor leagues. The swing and miss is a concern, but a better 2021 season could have him shooting up this list.

 

ETA: 2025

 

15. Cole Sands – RHP

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: Double-A

 

Cole Sands is another promising starter in the Twins organization. He has the frame (6’3″ 215lbs) of a starter and can eat up hitters with his four-pitch mix. The secondaries come with lots of spin and he can throw all of them for strikes. Sands’ fastball sits in the mid-to-low 90s, but he can locate it effectively and was able to rise all the way up to Double-A in his first professional season as a result. As the ace for Florida State in college, Sands showed off his durability and has been able to avoid major injury so far in his career.

Both of his stints in the Cape Cod league were excellent. The number that jumps off the stat line when you look at Sands is the 3.6 BB% he posted in 52 innings at High-A. The ceiling for Sands won’t go above SP3, but I think he has one of the higher floors in the Twins system given his control and durability.

 

ETA: 2022

 

16. Travis Blankenhorn – 2B/OF

 

Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB

 

Travis Blankenhorn reminds me a little bit of Jake Cronenworth, at least in terms of what he might be able to bring to the table fantasy-wise. He has the ability to play in the infield and outfield and has worked to promote his pull-side power and fly ball tendencies. His hit tool lags behind someone like Croneneworth, but when he connects he does put a hurting on the baseball. His 2019 hard-hit rate was 31.4% with a medium-hit rate of 51.4%.

Blankenhorn will probably head to Triple-A to start the season and clobber home runs until an opportunity presents itself in Minnesota. There is a good chance he ends up as a bench bat/platoon bat given his ability to play all over the diamond.

 

ETA: 2021

 

17. Bailey Ober – RHP

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: Double-A

 

Bailey Ober is one of the most interesting pitchers in the minor leagues. When you look at Ober’s stats it is hard to understand why you haven’t heard of him before. His total numbers for 2019 looks like this: 78 innings, 100 strikeouts, 9 walks, and an ERA of 0.69. WHAT? Ober becomes even more interesting when you stumble on the fact that he stands 6’9″ and doesn’t throw a fastball over 90. HUH? When a pitcher is that tall you can basically know two things right off the bat: 1) he probably has elite extension, and 2) he is going to struggle to keep his body healthy.

The true swing and miss pitch for Ober is his devastating changeup that has a 10mph separation from his fastball and tumbles away from hitters. Ober has a slightly inconsistent release point (you try being 6’9″!), but despite that he has elite control of his arsenal. It just doesn’t make any sense!

When diving into his game log to find a start to watch I was pleasantly surprised to find a 7-inning, 11 strikeout game vs. a lineup that contained Daulton Varsho, Seth Beer and Pavin Smith in which Ober only had to throw 76 pitches. I don’t really know what to make of Ober, but if he keeps eating up hitters in the higher minors I don’t think the Twins will be able to hold him back.

 

ETA: 2022

 

18. Emmanuel Rodriguez – OF

 

Age: 18
Highest Level: NA

 

Emmanuel Rodriguez was given a 2.5 million dollar signing bonus in the J2 period of 2019. We don’t have much to go on yet other than reports on his advanced hit tool and a good knowledge of the strike zone. He was rated as the #8 player in the class by MLB Pipeline when he signed, so that alone merits inclusion in the top 30. He could easily be a riser once we see him in games.

 

ETA: 2025

 

19. Marco Raya – RHP

 

Age: 18
Highest Level: NA

 

Marco Raya is an undersized pitcher with a mid-90s fastball and an arsenal that has a lot of spin. The fact that he is 6’1″ and just 170 pounds is a concern, but he was only 17 when he was drafted so it will be fun to see if he grew at all during the lockdown season. Raya represents a break from the traditional big-bodied college starters that the Twins tend to draft. That departure from the norm is worth noting and should signal to you as a dynasty player that Raya could be a potential diamond in the rough.

 

ETA: 2025

 

20. Blayne Enlow – RHP

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: High-A

 

Blayne Enlow has the look of a major league starter. Since being drafted in the 3rd round in 2017, Enlow has put up solid campaigns and limited runs and long balls effectively. If this list was about real-life baseball Enlow would be much higher than #20. Simply put, Enlow has not showed the ability to miss bats at a high enough rate.

His fastball sits between 92 and 96 and he throws up to four pitches on top of the heater, but none of his offerings are really an out pitch. He induces grounders effectively, but until he figures out how to turn his arsenal into more whiffs and limit his walks a tad, I am not sure he will have much fantasy value beyond a streamer in standard leagues. That said, Enlow looks like he can be an effective major league starter.

 

ETA: 2022

 

21. Jorge Alcala – RHP

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB

 

Jorge Alcala has always had a live arm. The owner of a powerful fastball that can touch 97, Alcala had a solid 24-inning MLB effort coming out of the bullpen. He pairs the fastball with a good slider that he can use to wipe out righties. Left-handed batters tend to do more damage against him, but with the weapons he currently employs, the Twins should be able to use him out of the bullpen effectively for the next several years.

 

ETA: Arrived

 

22. Kala’i Rosario – OF

 

Age: 18
Highest Level: Drafted in the 5th round of the 2020 MLB Draft

 

Kala’i Rosario was the top-rated high schooler coming out of Hawaii in 2020. A teenager who possesses immense power and posted exit velocity numbers north of 105, Rosario is a power-over-hit profile. He may even be a power-over-power-over-hit profile. As is often the case, Rosario’s big power comes with a healthy dose of Vitamin K. However, whenever a power tool like this shows up in teenage form it is best to keep a close watch.

 

ETA: 2025

 

23. Lewis Thorpe – LHP

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB

 

The Australian sensation himself! Lewis Thorpe showed a lot of promise as he was coming up through the minor league ranks for the Twins. He was regularly turning in K/9 numbers north of 10, limiting walks, and throwing large chunks of innings. Unfortunately, his weak fastball was exposed rather quickly in the major leagues and he lost a couple of ticks of velocity on his fastball last year (91.3 down to 89.7). With the fastball velocity down and the injury worries swirling, Thorpe is likely to be relegated to the bullpen for his MLB career.

 

ETA: 2021

 

24. Nick Gordon – 2B/SS

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: Triple-A

 

Nick Gordon’s future is becoming more clear with each passing year. Listen, there is nothing wrong with being an above-average bench bat and utility infielder type who can snag a pinch-run steal. This is pretty much what the future for Gordon looks like without being traded to a team with a gaping hole in the middle of the infield.

 

25. Jose Miranda – 2B/3B

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: Double-A

 

Jose Miranda is a sum-of-his-parts type of prospect hiding in the Twins organization. His stats to date won’t move mountains, but I think there is a little more value here than meets the eye. Miranda will certainly have a hard time cracking the Twins lineup in the future, so that makes projecting his future value a bit tricky. That said, Miranda has decent bat-to-ball skills and makes a healthy amount of hard contact (27.7 Hard – 61.7 Medium). He can also hit the ball in the air around 40% of the time. This is the type of player to keep an eye on if you are in a 30-team double-deep dynasty league.

 

ETA: 2023

 

25. Spencer Steer – 2B

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: A-Ball

 

Spencer Steer is a high-contact hitter out of Oregon who was taken in the 3rd round of the 2019 draft. His highest single-season home run total in college was six, so it would be imprudent to expect his power to develop beyond maybe 10-15 home runs a year. That said, I tend to gravitate towards hitters who can command the strike zone. To that end, Steer’s 9.5 BB% and 13.9 K% in A-Ball after he was drafted are promising numbers. He’s the kind of hitter who can advance quickly through the minor leagues because of his approach and contact ability, but the eventual stat line will probably end up somewhere around what we expect from Adam Frazier these days.

 

ETA: 2023

 

26. Luis Rijo – RHP

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: A-Ball

 

Luis Rijo was acquired from the Yankees in the Lance Lynn deal after several solid minor league campaigns. Known for having a weak fastball and an above-average curveball, Rijo has added a couple of ticks of velocity to his fastball since the trade, allowing him to get the most out of his ability to throw all of his pitches for strikes. Rijo, like Ober, was able to punch out 10 batters in a game with only 71 pitches thrown.

The stuff he has will get tested in the upper levels of the minors, and chances are that more advanced hitting will pounce all over his fastball. He could eventually find a pathway to the majors as a reliever by focusing exclusively on his fastball/curveball combination and squeezing out a little more velocity from the bullpen.

 

ETA: 2024

 

27. Edwar Colina – RHP

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: MLB

 

Edwar Colina is a tank profile (5’11” 240lbs) pitcher who throws two pitches extremely well. The results as a starter in the minors were great, but his control and lack of a third pitch place his destiny squarely in the bullpen. The fastball sits in the upper 90s and the slider he pairs with it was great at inducing whiffs in the minors. All in all, Colina should be an effective major league reliever.

 

ETA: 2021

 

28. Josh Winder – RHP

 

Age: 24
Highest Level: A-Ball

 

Josh Winder profile as an innings-eater type of starter who lacks a true out pitch. Winder was taken in the 7th round of the 2018 draft out of VMI and should do well in the lower minors until he gets to more advanced hitting. Standing 6’5″ and 210 pounds, Winder certainly has the look of a starter and exhibits above-average control.

His fastball operates in the low 90s most of the time and he has three other pitches (SL/CB/CH) that he can throw for strikes. Winder strikes me as the kind of pitcher who should spend a lot of time playing around with his grips and the Rapsodo machine to develop a new weapon capable of putting hitters away. He likely maxes out as an SP5.

 

ETA: 2022

 

29. Dakota Chalmers – RHP

 

Age: 24
Highest Level: High-A

 

Dakota Chalmers has an incredible arsenal of pitches that he just can’t throw inside the strike zone with enough regularity. His lowest BB% at any level is 12.4 in Low-A ball in 2016. The next season it was all the way up to 22.1%. With a mid-to-upper 90s heater and a hammer curve, the only thing holding Chalmers back is his control and inability to stay healthy. He seems like another arm destined for the bullpen despite his full offering of quality pitches.

 

ETA: 2023

 

30. Chris Vallimont – RHP

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: High-A

 

Acquired from the Marlins in the 2019 Lewin Diaz trade, Chris Vallimont is a large (6’5″) pitcher with a four-pitch arsenal of average offerings. The results in the minors have been positive so far, coming with lots of strikeouts for both the Marlins and Twins minor league affiliates. His fastball ranges from 92 to 96, so with the rest of his offerings being at least average, there is reason to believe he can make it as an SP5/SP4 when it’s all said and done.

 

ETA: 2023

 

31. Wander Javier – SS

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: A-Ball

 

From massively hyped prospect to giant disappointment to “don’t give up on him just yet,” Wander Javier has already provided dynasty players with the full spectrum of prospecting emotions in his short career. His 2017 season was fantastic before he had to spend a year away from the game due to injury. When he returned in 2019 he looked like a player who spent a year away from the game due to injury. When you see the 2019 results your eyes can’t help but drift up to the .410 BABIP that supported Javier’s exceptional 2017. Another year away from the game in 2020 is likely to have hurt Javier more than most prospects. If his 2021 is as bad as his 2019 he will fall off this list entirely.

 

ETA: 2024

 

32. Cody Stashak – RHP

 

Age: 26
Highest Level: MLB

 

A two-pitch hurler who relies heavily on his slider. Cody Stashak threw his slider an eye-popping 40.8% of the time last season in the majors. The control numbers for the reliever are fantastic. Stashak has kept his walk-rate at or under 5% for most of his career. Stashak will have some value in leagues that use holds.

 

ETA: 2021

 

33. Gabriel Maciel – OF

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: High-A

 

Gabriel Maciel is a little (5’10”) switch-hitting outfielder with decent contact skills from both sides of the plate and no power. The speed he has shown on the basepaths so far is offset by his penchant for getting caught thieving way too often.

 

ETA: 2023

 

34. Yennier Cano – RHP

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: NA

 

Signed late in the 2019 international period, Yennier Cano is an older pitcher from Cuba who has a mid-90s fastball. His stateside debut wasn’t very inspiring and he walked far too many batters. Looks like he might struggle to even make it to the majors.

 

ETA: 2022

 

35. Malfrin Sosa – OF

 

Age: 18
Highest Level: NA

 

Malfrin Sosa signed for $900,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2019 and possesses a healthy amount of power at present with the chance to add more as he ages. As of now, there are some serious swing and miss concerns in the scouting report, but we haven’t seen him in games yet so best not judge too harshly as of now.

 

ETA: 2025

 

36. Yonardy Soto – 3B

 

Age: 18
Highest Level: NA

 

We don’t have much to go on yet for Yonardy Soto other than his $550,000 signing bonus and reports that he is a bat-first profile. Add his name to the list of international free agent lotto tickets.

 

ETA: 2026

 

37. Joseph Yabbour – RHP

 

Age: 18
Highest Level: NA

 

Joseph Yabbour is related to the Escobar and Acuna families out of Venezuela. If prep pitchers are risky, international free agent pitchers signed at sixteen are basically Russian Roulette. Yabbour does already possess a mid-90s heater.

 

ETA: 2026

 

38. Griffin Jax – RHP

 

Age: 26
Highest Level: Triple-A

 

Griffin Jax is a control specialist type of hurler without much swing and miss in his arsenal. Probably a spot starter on his best days.

 

ETA: 2021

 

39. Seth Gray – 3B

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: A-Ball

 

Seth Gray is a power-over-hit profile taken in the fourth round of the 2019 draft out of Wright State. Gray broke out in his final NCAA season after a couple of seasons of subpar play. The power showed up in his debut to the tune of 26 XBH in just 61 games, but he also hit .225.

 

ETA: 2024

 

40. Yunior Severino – 2B

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: A-Ball

 

Yunior Severino is a power prospect with a lot of swing and miss. His turn at A-Ball after several seasons at various rookie ball stops did not inspire confidence.

 

ETA: 2025

 

41. Will Holland – SS

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: Rookie Ball

 

A 5th round pick from the 2019 draft, Holland is a speed first profile who showed off a little pop (7 HR) in his debut.

 

ETA: 2024

 

42. Lamonte Wade Jr. – OF

 

Age: 27
Highest Level: MLB

 

Lamonte Wade is an outfielder with a weak hit tool but an extremely discerning batting eye. His future in the bigs is mostly as a fourth outfielder.

 

ETA: 2021

 

 

43. Edouard Julien – DH

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: NA

 

Drafted in the 18th round of the 2019 draft, Edouard Julien is a hitter who offers power and strikeouts. He is currently recovering from Tommy John.

 

ETA: 2026

 

44. Jeferson Morales – C

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Rookie Ball

 

Jeferson Morales is a catching prospect who knows how to take a walk and sneak some XBH into the stat line. Wait and see what happens in 2021.

 

ETA: 2025

 

45. Cody Lawyerson – RHP

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: Rookie Ball

 

Cody Lawyerson is a pitcher from Maine University who had three solid seasons for the college before being drafted in the 14th round of the 2019 draft. His debut was good, but the fastball can struggle to break 90 a lot of the time so it is hard to see him advancing far without gaining some velocity.

 

ETA: 2025

 

46. Jovani Moran – LHP

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: Double-A

 

Jovani Moran is a relief pitcher who strikes out his fair share of hitters but struggles with allowing too many walks.

 

ETA: 2021

 

47. Trey Cabbage – OF

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: High-A

 

Trey Cabbage is an outfielder that has so far struggled to but enough bat on the ball to be a relevant fantasy piece.

 

ETA: 2024

 

48. Landon Leach – RHP

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Rookie Ball

 

Landon Leach is a cold-weather kid out of Toronto who was taken in the second round of the 2017 draft. Cold weather players can take a bit longer to develop so he has some time to mature his skillset.

 

ETA: 2025

 

49. Danny DeAndrade – OF

 

Age: 16
Highest Level: NA

 

Signed for 2.2 million dollars in the J15 period of 2020, Danny DeAndrade could easily be a huge riser on this list once we can get a better look at him.

 

ETA: 2027

 

50. Ben Rortvedt – C

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: Double-A

 

A defense-first catcher who should make it to the majors as a backup on the strength of his defense. The bat won’t provide much value for fantasy purposes.

 

ETA: 2022

 

 

Kyle Brown

You are reading words written by the #1 Gary Sheffield fan of all time. I live and breath baseball 24-7-365. There is no offseason. Raised on the Rochester Red Wings, forged in Sheff's raging fire of blistering bombs, and steeled by my love of the Pirates, I am here to cut through minor league flotsam and provide you all with deep analysis of emerging minor league stars, regulars, and role players. Follow me 20,000 leagues under the MLB to find your next dynasty all-stars.

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