Minnesota Twins 2020 Midseason Top 30 Prospects Update
STATE OF THE SYSTEM
The Twins have three hitters at the top of their system who have a chance to develop into above-average or better players. They also have some solid strike-throwing pitching prospects behind them, but that core of potential impact bats is what carries the system.
1. Royce Lewis, SS
This year would have been pivotal for Lewis, who retained his status as the top prospect in the organization despite his struggles last year. Lewis still shows the tools and underlying components to develop into an impact player, but the lack of a normal season doesn't help our ability to gauge how much his pure hitting ability has developed from a year ago.
2. Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B
Kirilloff followed a loud, breakthrough 2018 season with a more modest 2019 campaign that was limited and muted by a couple of wrist injuries. When he's at full strength, he has the potential for plus hit and power and could one day hit in the middle of a lineup.
3. Trevor Larnach, OF
The 20th overall pick in the 2018 draft out of Oregon State, Larnach elevated himself into Top 100 Prospect status with an auspicious full-season debut last year. A 6-foot-4 corner outfielder, Larnach is adept at driving the ball with impact to the opposite field and has a patient approach.
4. Jordan Balazovic, RHP
Balazovic is a notable omission from Minnesota's 60-man player pool, especially for a pitcher who likely would have opened 2020 in Double-A in a normal season. He's a prolific strike-thrower who reaches the mid-to-upper 90s, and while he doesn't have a wipeout secondary pitch, he has a chance to develop into a mid-rotation starter.
5. Jhoan Duran, RHP
Duran has some of the most powerful, electric stuff in the minors, starting with a fastball that regularly registers in the upper 90s and can crack triple-digits. He pairs it with a "splinker"—a mix between a sinker and a splitter—to miss bats.
6. Aaron Sabato, 1B
A first-round pick in 2020 as a draft-eligible sophomore out of North Carolina, Sabato's plus-plus raw power stacked up among the best in the draft. He has a patient approach as well, but he has swing-and-miss tendencies he will have to keep in check, especially as a defensively limited first baseman whose value is tied to what he does in the batter's box.
7. Ryan Jeffers, C
At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Jeffers is a big-bodied catcher who should be able to stay behind the plate. His offensive game centers around his physical strength, with solid-average raw power and solid plate discipline.
8. Matt Canterino, RHP
A second-round pick out of Rice last year, Canterino has good control of a 91-95 mph fastball and a pair of fringe-average secondary pitches in his curveball and slider. It's not overpowering stuff, but his feel for pitching gives him a chance to develop into a back-end starter.
9. Blayne Enlow, RHP
Enlow isn't a soft tosser—he can reach 96 mph—but he relies on control and pitchability of a five-pitch mix that includes a slider, curveball, changeup and cutter. None of those pitches is a true plus pitch, so developing an offspeed weapon that can miss more bats will be important for Enlow to succeed against upper-level hitters.
10. Misael Urbina, OF
One of the top international prospects in the 2018 class, Urbina performed well in his pro debut, showing a disciplined hitting approach in the Dominican Summer League with strong defensive instincts in center field.
11. Keoni Cavaco, SS/3B
12. Devin Smeltzer, LHP
13. Gilberto Celestino, OF
14. Brent Rooker, OF/1B
15. Randy Dobnak, RHP
16. Nick Gordon, SS/2B
17. Lewis Thorpe, LHP
18. Jorge Alcala, RHP
19. LaMonte Wade, OF
20. Matt Wallner, OF
21. Alerick Soularie, OF
22. Akil Baddoo, OF
23. Cole Sands, RHP
24. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/OF
25. Ben Rortvedt, C
26. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF
27. Josh Winder, RHP
28. Edwar Colina, RHP
29. Cody Stashak, RHP
30. Wander Javier, SS
Three big bats lead the way for the Twins. SS Royce Lewis and OFs Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach all rank among the top 50 prospects in baseball. They added another power threat to the organization with their 2020 first-round pick, 1B Aaron Sabato. They have a solid mix of strike-throwing starters among their top 10 prospects as well with RHPs Jordan Balazovic, Matt Canterino and Blayne Enlow.
After Lewis—who saw time at other positions toward the end of last year—the Twins are light on middle-infield prospects. The pitching prospects they do have are solid but project more as back-end starters and relief options rather than future mid-rotation or better starting pitchers.
PLAYER POOL TIDBITS
Lewis, Kirilloff and Larnach are all in Minnesota's player pool. So are fellow Top 10 prospects in RHPs Jhoan Duran and Blayne Enlow and C Ryan Jeffers. Other prospects at the Twins' alternate site in St. Paul include OFs Gilberto Celestino and Brent Rooker, SS/2B Nick Gordon and RHP Jorge Alcala. The most notable prospect not here is RHP Jordan Balazovic, the No. 4 prospect in the system. While some teams put their first-round picks in their player pool, the Twins opted not to do so with 1B Aaron Sabato.
Gordon has been sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19. RHP Edwar Colina also tested positive for the coronavirus before the club's first workout.