Twins Trade Mitch Garver To Rangers For Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Pitching Prospect
The first post-lockout trade was completed Saturday as the Twins sent catcher Mitch Garver to the Rangers for the multi-positional Isiah Kiner-Falefa and righthanded pitching prospect Ronny Henriquez.
Mitch Garver, C
The catcher burst onto the scene in 2018 on the heels of an offensive breakout during the 2017 Triple-A season where he hit .291/.387/.541 across 88 games. Over the following four seasons, Garver played 287 games for the Twins, hitting .259/.344/.501 with 53 home runs while producing a positive defensive WAR behind the plate the last three seasons. Behind the plate, Garver has made steady improvements since altering his receiving position to the one-knee “kickstand” stance in 2019. He now heads to a developing situation in Texas as the club has continued to be one of the more aggressive buyers in the 2021-2022 offseason.
Yankees Add Thump To Lineup, Acquire Josh Donaldson From Twins
The Yankees acquired Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and prospect Ben Rortvedt in exchange for catcher Gary Sanchez and third baseman Gio Urshela.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, SS
The Rangers drafted Kiner-Falefa in the fourth round way back in 2013 out of Mid-Pacific Institute High School in Honolulu. Kiner-Falefa entered pro ball as an infielder and played a variety of defensive positions over his first few seasons, seeing time at shortstop, second base, third base and left field. During the 2016 season the Rangers moved Kiner-Falefa behind the plate, where he made 33 starts for Double-A Frisco while playing at a variety of positions. He broke in with the Rangers during the 2018 season and saw time at three different infield positions in addition to starting 35 games behind the plate. Over the next three seasons Kiner-Falefa was moved back to the infield, where he eventually took over as the Rangers shortstop. There he stood out for his defensive chops, producing one of the ten best defensive WAR metrics at the shortstop position in 2021. His offensive production, however, has been less inspiring, as he’s hit .265/.316/.354 across 1,523 major league at- bats.
Ronny Henriquez, RHP
The undersized righthander with the big fastball made 16 starts across 21 appearances in 2021, moving across two levels and spending a majority of his campaign with Double-A Frisco. An elite outlier in modern analytical measures, Henriquez features a fastball that sat 93-96 mph in 2021 with over 18 inches of induced vertical break and a vertical approach angle in the lower 4 degrees neighborhood, a marker comparable to Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom and Texas Rangers prospect Jack Leiter. These outlier qualities allow Henriquez's four-seam power fastball to play well above his size. He pairs it with a duo of secondaries and he displays advanced feel for both his mid-80s slider and firmer, upper-80s changeup. Henriquez is a potential bullpen weapon for the Twins with the outlier fastball qualities Minnesota covets. Henriquez ranked as our 29th overall prospect in the Rangers system this offseason.