Blayne Enlow Shows Uptick In Velocity
A month into the season, no Twins starter had thrown a pitch that reached 97 mph. In this age of velocity, that’s a problem.
Righthander Blayne Enlow may be the solution.
The Twins went over slot to sign Enlow for $2 million as a 2017 third-rounder from St. Amant (La.) High in order to keep him from enrolling at Louisiana State.
He used the time off during the pandemic to get stronger and more athletic. The 22-year-old proved it in April, when he startled the Twins minor league staff by placing at the top of the team’s velocity leaders.
That’s an exciting development, especially considering that Enlow’s best strikeout pitch was his curveball during his first three seasons as a professional.
“Enlow’s stuff has continued to tick up,” Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said. “His velocity has been comfortably in the mid 90s” during minor league spring training.
Velocity was the biggest reason that the Twins’ enthusiasm about the 6-foot-3, 170-pound Enlow grew last fall, when he reported to instructional league in October and began displaying a fastball that hit 97 mph.
That increase—after averaging just above 92 mph late in the 2019 season—also re-energized the team's plans for its prospect. After spending much of the 2018 and 2019 seasons at Low-A Cedar Rapids, Enlow should reach Double-A in 2021.
And then? Some scouts see Enlow, who has already overcome a serious car crash that shattered his pelvis during his sophomore season in high school, quickly closing the gap on a callup to Minneapolis, especially considering the team’s shortcomings in upper-level minors rotation depth—and elite velocity.
It's a bit ironic, Falvey said, because absent any evidence to the contrary for the past 18 months, the Twins still believe that the north-to-south action on his curveball will make the breaking ball Enlow’s best strikeout pitch.
“He’s starting to show more depth on his curveball,” Falvey said.
— Kevin Morgan, the Twins' minor league field coordinator, was promoted to Rocco Baldelli’s major league staff just before Opening Day to fill a vacancy created by the death of bench coach Mike Bell. Morgan’s assignment was logical considering his 20 seasons as an instructor in the Mets minor league system.
— The St. Paul Saints completed upgrades and expansion of their clubhouse and video study areas at CHS Field, part of their agreement to become the Triple-A affiliate of the Twins.