Organization Reports


2019 Organization Report: Minnesota Twins

by Chris Blessing

Organization Grades

Hitting: A- ... Pitching: B ... Top-end Talent: A- ... Depth: C+ ... Overall: B

Minor League Affiliates

Triple-A: Rochester (International League)
Double-A: Pensacola (Southern League)
High-A: Fort Myers (Florida State League)
Low-A: Cedar Rapids (Midwest League)
Rookie: Elizabethton (Appalachian League)
Rookie: GCL Twins (Gulf Coast League)

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1. Royce Lewis (SS) ... 6-1, 185 ... R/R ... 19 ... 2017 (1) HS (CA)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2017GCL Twins (GCL)133.271/.390/.41413871.123/15
2017Cedar Rapids (Midw)71.296/.363/.3948770.381/3
2018Cedar Rapids (Midw)295.315/.368/.4858830.499/22
2018Fort Myers (FSL)188.255/.327/.3999810.545/6
Comments: Athletic infielder has improved tremendously since 2017 draft. Incredible hand/eye coordination, combined with quick reflexes, is driving contact rate. Raw control of barrel, but ball seems to find it. Has become more patient, working counts. Swing trajectory produces solid line-drive loft naturally. Plus-plus run tool but raw SB instincts.

Development Path: Playing through knee tendinitis, as well as Florida State League pitching, caused Lewis' first prolonged struggle of his career. A return trip to High-A is possible, though he has instincts and ability to adjust quickly if MIN challenges him with aggressive Double-A assignment.

Fantasy Impact: .300 hitting potential? Check. 30 plus SB potential? Check. Power to come? Check. All the boxes are full, and Lewis has potential of growing into a Rd 1 fantasy player.

Upside Grade: 9B

2. Alex Kirilloff (OF) ... 6-1, 195 ... L/L ... 21 ... 2016 (1) HS (PA)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2016Elizabethton (App)216.306/.341/.4545850.347/0
2018Cedar Rapids (Midw)252.333/.391/.6079810.5113/1
2018Fort Myers (FSL)260.362/.393/.5505850.367/3
Comments: Proved to be real deal with bat after he lost 2017 season to Tommy John surgery. Short, compact swing is ideal for high contact. Reaches barrel deep in zone, allowing quick wrists and hand/eye skills to spray ball across diamond. Average raw power skills play up due to swing trajectory and leverage in lower half. Instincts play up run tool.

Development Path: Kirilloff knocked off the rust, destroying Single-A and High-A pitching in the process. Double-A is the next step in his development.

Fantasy Impact: Kirilloff is one of the top hitting prospects with off-the-charts instincts. A .300 BA with 25-30 HR potential for a player likely to stick in CF isn't a far-fetched outcome.

Upside Grade: 9B

3. Brusdar Graterol (RHP) ... 6-1, 180 ... 20 ... 2014 FA (VZ)
2017Elizabethton (App)20.23.921.2103.910.52.7.205
2017GCL Twins (GCL)19.11.400.7201.
2018Cedar Rapids (Midw)
2018Fort Myers (FSL)
Comments: Powerful pitcher increased prospect momentum during successful 2018 campaign. 2-seam FB sits mid-to-high 90s with solid arm-side run and ability to miss bats up. SL is best secondary; is a tight, 2-plane breaker. CU has solid fading action but struggles maintaining FB arm-speed. Has toyed with CB; could use to change eye levels.

Development Path: Graterol whizzed through Single-A and High-A despite two DL stints early in season. The Twins will be careful with Graterol, likely starting and staying at Double-A Pensacola all season.

Fantasy Impact: Graterol 9.4 Dom offers the swing-and-miss ability we all look for in fantasy starters. However, there is reliever risk, given his injury history and the effectiveness of his CU. Still, he could become a pretty dominant reliever, ala Edwin Diaz did after starting didn't work out.

Upside Grade: 9C

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4. Wander Javier (SS) ... 6-1, 165 ... R/R ... 20 ... 2016
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2017Elizabethton (App)157.299/.383/.47111690.394/4
2018Did not play - injury (--)0.000/.000/.0000000/0
Comments: Toolsy, athletic SS missed all of 2018 with torn labrum in non-throwing shoulder. Continues to grow into wiry frame. Showed good bat control and ability to find barrel in 2017 debut. Reportedly, has shortened drive and ditched big leg kick in instructs. Power will come as frame fills out. Terrific defender with plus instincts at SS. Plus runner.

Development Path: Javier is healthy and is likely headed to Single-A to begin the season.

Fantasy Impact: Scouts rave about Javier's makeup and tool shed. One comp that has been thrown around is Francisco Lindor—although let's not get too far ahead of ourselves yet.

Upside Grade: 9E

5. Trevor Larnach (OF) ... 6-4, 205 ... L/R ... 22 ... 2018 (1) Oregon State University
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2018Oregon State (Pac12)256.348/.463/.65216740.7619/4
2018Elizabethton (App)61.311/.413/.49214820.912/2
2018Cedar Rapids (Midw)91.297/.373/.50511810.653/1
Comments: Tall, muscular contact-oriented OF prospect remade swing before 2018 to become collegiate force. Short and compact, it peppers all fields with hard contact. A patient hitter, he adjusts well within AB. Raw plus power showed in college but not in hitter-friendly Appy Lg. 25-30 HR potential, especially selling out to pull-side. Average runner.

Development Path: Larnach was better in full-season ball than in short-season. He'll try to tap into additional pull-oriented power at High-A in 2019.

Fantasy Impact: Larnach has been a darling of expert dynasty drafts, mostly due to his perceived high floor projection. However, the draft was bare of high-impact offensive players, giving Larnach an edge. Still, he's a .265-.285 hitter with 25-30 HR potential.

Upside Grade: 8C

6. Brent Rooker (1B,OF) ... 6-3, 210 ... R/R ... 24 ... 2017 (1) Mississippi State University
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2017Mississippi State (SEC)248.387/.495/.81016770.8323/18
2017Elizabethton (App)85.282/.364/.58811750.527/2
2017Fort Myers (FSL)143.280/.364/.55210670.3411/0
2018Chattanooga (Sou)503.254/.333/.46510700.3722/6
Comments: A slugger who is close to physical projection, he made the jump to Double-A. Swing mechanics geared towards fly-ball contact; shows plus in-game power, but is mostly pull-oriented. Can get beat by hard stuff up; breakers down and away. Not much of a runner but always hustling. He's a liability defensively, especially at 1B.

Development Path: Rooker was solid in his upper minors debut despite a couple of prolonged slumps. Triple-A awaits with an outside shot at MIN by the end of the season.

Fantasy Impact: Rooker's value will be tied directly to his defensive position or lack thereof—he has some serious DH risk. Think .250 BA with 25 plus HR at projection.

Upside Grade: 8C

7. Blayne Enlow (RHP) ... 6-3, 170 ... 20 ... 2017 (3) HS (LA)
2017GCL Twins (GCL)20.11.330.6900.20.90.141
2018Cedar Rapids (Midw)
Comments: Athletic RHP made full-season debut. Raw cross-fire delivery should become refined and repeatable with reps. Has natural deception due to high 3/4s arm slot. Features a 2-seam FB w/ sight arm-side run and natural sink. Power CB is best pitch; a 12-to-6 breaker with average depth and violent break. CU inconsistent, though flashes late fade.

Development Path: Enlow showed flashes of brilliance in an otherwise "blah" Single-A campaign. He struggled with health but it was not arm-related. He'll take on High-A in 2019.

Fantasy Impact: Enlow is extremely raw and will take some time to develop. While the Dom hasn't caught up with the stuff yet, the markers are there for a solid #3 starter at maturity.

Upside Grade: 8D

8. Jhoan Duran (RHP) ... 6-5, 175 ... 21 ... 2015 FA (DR)
2016Azl Diamondbacks (Ariz)20.05.851.4502.
2017Azl Diamondbacks (Ariz)
2017Hillsboro (Nwst)
2018Cedar Rapids (Midw)100.23.751.2503.410.33.0.226
2018Kane County (Midw)64.24.731.5003.
Comments: Tall, hard-throwing RHP acquired in mid-season trade with ARI. Lean build with room to grow; comes from a 3/4s slot. Workhorse is high-90s 4-seam FB with late action that misses bats in all quadrants of zone. Splitter has tumble like a CU and is hard to elevate. SL lacks tightness and consistent 2-plane break but projects average. CU needs work.

Development Path: Duran's success indicates he's ready to move up to High-A. He'll try and improve his secondary pitches while also refining his splitter.

Fantasy Impact: Secondaries are holding us back from going all-in. The FB and SP are good enough to carry the profile. However, he's missing the 3rd pitch to give the package frontline quality.

Upside Grade: 8D

9. Lewis Thorpe (LHP) ... 6-1, 160 ... 23 ... 2012 FA (AU)
2017Cedar Rapids (Midw)
2017Fort Myers (FSL)77.02.691.2103.
2017Chattanooga (Sou)
2018Chattanooga (Sou)108.03.581.2502.510.94.4.245
2018Rochester (IL)21.23.321.2002.510.84.3.235
Comments: Command/control LHP finally healthy after missing two seasons with arm injury. High 3/4s slot, easy cross-arm delivery. Commands 2-seam FB with solid bore to both sides of plate. Deceptive CU with late-fading action is swing-and-miss pitch. CB has solid depth, changing eye levels while SL is fringy on a one-plane movement axle.

Development Path: Thorpe was wild early but improved his command significantly as the season wore on. Appearing past his arm issues, Thorpe is a step closer to the big leagues, likely starting in Triple-A.

Fantasy Impact: Thorpe isn't a sexy option but he gets the job done. The only plus pitch is his CU. However, the command of his FB plays up his other two secondaries. With health, is an effective 4th starter option.

Upside Grade: 7B

10. Gilberto Celestino (OF) ... 6-2, 175 ... R/L ... 20 ... 2015 FA (DR)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2016GCL Astros (GCL)55.200/.308/.29113710.500/6
2017Greeneville (App)235.268/.331/.3799750.374/10
2018Elizabethton (App)109.266/.308/.3495850.381/8
2018Tri City (NYPL)127.323/.387/.4807800.404/14
2018Corpus Christi (Tex)8.000/.000/.0000380.000/0
Comments: Defensively skilled, toolsy CF was acquired in deadline deal with HOU. Shortened up elongated swing, but still has work to do. Quiet load with solid bat-to-ball skills. Still raw recognizing spin. Swing trajectory naturally geared for fly ball contact. Needs to add strength to get to power. A speedster, was 22 for 24 in SB attempts.

Development Path: Defensively, Celestino is as smooth and as fluid as any short-season player out there. However, his offensive skill is still very raw. Celestino will open up the season with Single-A Cedar Rapids.

Fantasy Impact: Celestino took several step forwards with the bat in 2018. While power is still a ways away, the makings of a productive hit tool have emerged. Throw in the SB potential (22 in 64 games) and you've got a solid fantasy prospect.

Upside Grade: 8D

11. Yunior Severino (2B,SS) ... 6-1, 180 ... B/R ... 19 ... 2016 FA (DR)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2017GCL Braves (GCL)189.286/.345/.4448680.263/0
2018Elizabethton (App)198.263/.321/.4248740.338/0
Comments: Quick-twitch, toolsy switch-hitting 2B was picked up by MIN after ATL scouting scandal. Statistically, better from LH side, even with a pronounced hitch in load. Hitting mechanics and strength better from RH side. from LH side. Lots of power in profile, still adding strength to his body. Fits best at 2B defensively. Not a base stealing threat.

Development Path: Severino was solid in his Appy League debut. Next up, a trip to Single-A Cedar Rapids where he'll try to polish up some of his rawness.

Fantasy Impact: It's ugly but the tools in Severino's tool shed are pretty significant, especially the power potential at 2B from both sides of the plate.

Upside Grade: 8E

12. Nick Gordon (2B,SS) ... 6-2, 175 ... L/R ... 23 ... 2014 (1) HS (FL)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2015Cedar Rapids (Midw)481.277/.336/.3608820.441/25
2016Fort Myers (FSL)461.291/.335/.3865810.263/19
2017Chattanooga (Sou)519.270/.341/.4089740.409/13
2018Chattanooga (Sou)162.333/.381/.5256830.415/7
2018Rochester (IL)382.212/.262/.2836790.282/13
Comments: Former high pick improved ct% but struggled with hard contact. Simple line drive swing, but struggles with pitch recognition that leads to indecision. More pull-oriented in 2018 but failed to cash in with HR total and still has below average power. An above-average runner, he is adequate at SS, though 2B is his long-term home.

Development Path: Gordon struggled in his first taste of Triple-A and will likely return there. He'll hope to rid himself of some of the indecision that plagued his late-season stint and become more acclimated as a pull hitter.

Fantasy Impact: Gordon hit the ball consistently for authority for the first time in his career in the 1st half, looking more like the prospect we all thought he'd become. Still, the profile isn't sexy. Double-digit HR potential with a solid average and some SB.

Upside Grade: 7B

13. Ryan Jeffers (C) ... 6-4, 225 ... R/R ... 21 ... 2018 (2) UNC Wilmington
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2018UNC Wilmington (CAA)219.315/.460/.63519801.1616/2
2018Elizabethton (App)102.422/.543/.57816841.253/0
2018Cedar Rapids (Midw)139.288/.361/.4469780.474/0
Comments: Big-bodied, offense-first CA enjoyed successful pro debut. Pull-oriented with solid ct% and bb%, he utilizes quick wrists and strong forearms to get out in front. Frame produces much of his raw power. Adjustments in swing trajectory could bring more. Is a raw defender and still learning the position. High makeup and strong work ethic.

Development Path: Jeffers' bat proved the Midwest League wasn't much of a challenge, but his glove needs work behind the plate. Expect a return engagement to Single-A with a likely promotion to High-A by mid-season.

Fantasy Impact: Jeffers is one of the better CA bets to contribute as a hitter in the big leagues. The risk here is his glove, which grades out below-average-to-poor for blocking and framing ability. If the glove allows him to stick, he's a .250 plus BA with 15-25 HR potential.

Upside Grade: 7C

14. Luis Rijo (RHP) ... 5-11, 165 ... 20 ... 2014 FA (VZ)
2017GCL Yankees (GCL)54.03.501.1101.
2018Pulaski (App)27.02.671.0700.38.70.257
2018Elizabethton (App)
2018Staten Island (NYPL)
2018Tampa (FSL)
Comments: Projectable, 3/4s RHP, acquired mid-season from NYY. Physically lean upper body with room to grow, lower half more mature. 3-pitch pitcher from 3/4s slot. Low 90s FB has late, minimal arm-side run. Commands FB well for level. 11-to-5 CB has a chance of becoming plus offering with solid depth and late break. CU is a work-in-progress.

Development Path: Split between 4 affiliates, Rijo pitched a total of 60.1 innings. Single-A Cedar Rapids is the likely starting point in 19. Could see High-A late in season if command continues to be better than level.

Fantasy Impact: If the secondary pitches continue to develop, there's a chance one of them develops into a swing-and-miss offering. IF that happens, Rijo develops into a dependable, solid 4-starter with inning eating ability and some strikeout potential.

Upside Grade: 7D

15. Jorge Alcala (RHP) ... 6-3, 180 ... 23 ... 2015 FA (DR)
2017Quad Cities (Midw)
2017Buies Creek (Caro)78.13.451.1203.
2018Buies Creek (Caro)
2018Chattanooga (Sou)20.05.851.8506.
2018Corpus Christi (Tex)40.23.541.3003.
Comments: Hard-throwing, skinny RHP acquired in mid-season trade with HOU. Lots of red flags. Skinny build not conducive for added bulk. High 3/4s slot features short arm-circle and violent sudden stop. Has four pitches, including 2-seam FB with solid arm-side bore, but lacks command. Best secondary is 12-to-6 power CB with violent break. SL, CU need work.

Development Path: Alcala made it to Double-A and likely will be headed back there as the Twins iron out some mechanical issues and hope he has the durability to remain as starter.

Fantasy Impact: Alcala obviously has more value as a starter. However, RP Alcala would provide a high Dom with two-plus pitches. Lot of risk. Some doubt he can hold up physically.

Upside Grade: 8E

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