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Minnesota Twins

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Player Reports

  1. 1. Brooks Lee | SS
    Brooks Lee
    Born: Feb 14, 2001
    Bats: S Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 205

    BA Grade: 60/High

    August Update: The son of Cal Poly coach and renowned hitting guru Larry Lee, Brooks has long been an elite hitter and would have been a top-50 pick out of high school if not for his strong commitment to play for his father in college. A hamstring injury and the coronavirus pandemic limited him to two at-bats as a freshman, but he lived up to his reputation as a premium hitter once play resumed. Lee hit .342 to win Big West Conference co-player of the year as a redshirt freshman and torched the Cape Cod League with a .405/.432/.677 slash line for Yarmouth-Dennis in the summer. He followed with a standout showing for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team and hit .357 with 15 home runs and a 1.125 OPS this spring, all career highs. Lee is a gifted switch-hitter with exceptional hitting ability. He takes short, balanced swings with elite bat speed from the left side and laces balls hard to all fields. His righthanded swing isn't as fluid or powerful, but he has the hand-eye coordination to make consistent contact and spray balls around the field. He has elite strike-zone discipline, crushes fastballs and drives pitches in all parts of the zone, projecting as a potential plus-plus hitter. He has rarely faced good breaking stuff and will need to prove he can handle that. Lee has bulked up as he's matured and is now a physical specimen with strong legs, broad shoulders and a chiseled torso. His strength and knack for barreling balls give him at least average power potential and likely more. Lee is an instinctive defender who positions himself well at shortstop and converts the routine plays with his reliable hands and above-average, accurate arm, but his bulk and below-average speed limit his range. He projects to move to second or third base, where he should be an average defender. Lee's only major concern is his health. He missed time with multiple back injuries in high school and had hamstring surgery as a true freshman. His physical, maxed-out frame raises concerns about how his body will age. Even so, Lee's premium hitting ability makes him a likely top-five pick in the draft. As long as he stays healthy, he projects to be a switch-hitting infielder who hits for average and power in the top half of a lineup.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 70. Power: 50. Run: 40. Field: 50. Arm: 55.

  2. 2. Royce Lewis | SS
    Royce Lewis
    Born: Jun 5, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: HS--San Juan Capistrano, Calif., 2017 (1st round).
    Signed By: John Leavitt.

    BA Grade: 60/Extreme

    Track Record: Lewis has had a bit of an up-and-down minor league career since going No. 1 overall in the 2017 draft. He hit well and showed developing power in the lower levels of the minors in 2017-18 before struggling with consistency at the plate in 2019 when he made his way to Double-A. After the season in 2019, Lewis took off in the Arizona Fall League, where he was named MVP. He missed the 2021 season with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament.

    Scouting Report: If you're just looking at overall upside, it would be hard to take any player in Minnesota's system over Lewis. He has plenty of bat speed, plus raw power, elite range and quickness with 70-grade running ability when healthy. He was also showing progress defensively at shortstop the last time scouts saw him regularly playing—with above-average potential at the game's most valued non-catching position. However, Lewis also comes with plenty of question marks, and missing the last two seasons due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a knee injury have only made him tougher to figure out. Lewis has plenty of moving parts in his swing that have led to inconsistencies, and he's also gotten pull-happy and had trouble covering the outer half of the plate. He's a versatile defender who has also played third, second and center—with plus defensive potential in the outfield.

    The Future: Perhaps no player in Minnesota's system could have used a full 2021 season more than Lewis, but he'll get back to action in 2022, where he'll look to have his first full season in the upper minors and continue refining his approach at the plate.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 55. Speed: 70. Fielding: 55. Arm: 55.

  3. 3. Josh Winder | RHP
    Josh Winder
    Born: Oct 11, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 210
    Drafted/Signed: Virginia Military Institute, 2018 (7th round).
    Signed By: Matt Williams.
    Minors: 4-0 | 2.62 ERA | 80 SO | 13 BB | 72 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record:: Winder was one of the Twins' most improved arms during the shutdown 2020 season, improving his physicality and showing much better velocity during instructs. He pitched well in his first stints in Double-A and Triple-A in 2021, though he missed the second half of the season with shoulder fatigue.

    Scouting Report: Winder is a big and athletic righthander who has always thrown strikes, and now his improved stuff across the board is yielding more strikeouts, with a career-best 10.0 K/9 this season. His fastball sits around 95 mph and touches 98. He pairs that fastball with three solid or better secondaries. The Twins love Winder's mid-80s slider, which has cutter shape and was his most-used secondary this year, but he also throws a firm upper-80s changeup that generates tons of whiffs and gets plus grades from scouts. He also throws a 12-to-6 curve in the low 80s but uses the pitch more frequently against lefthanded hitters. With his improved stuff, Winder has continued to throw strikes and showcase impressive feel for pitching, and he walked just 1.6 batters per nine across both levels in 2021.

    The Future: If Winder were healthy, his combination of size, stuff and command would make for a compelling case as the organization's top pitching prospect. He's still solidly in the mix for that label even with his shoulder fatigue, and it does sound like the Twins are happy with his progress, but it adds a bit more risk. Winder has No. 3 starter potential.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 50. Slider: 60. Changeup: 60. Control: 55

  4. 4. Emmanuel Rodriguez | OF
    Emmanuel Rodriguez
    Born: Feb 28, 2003
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2019
    Signed By: Manuel Luciano.
    Minors: .214/.346/.524 | 10 HR | 9 SB | 126 AB

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: The Twins' top international target in the 2019 class, Rodriguez signed for $2.5 million but his pro debut was delayed by the canceled 2020 season. Instead, he debuted in 2021 in the Florida Complex League, where he posted a 124 wRC+ with 10 home runs.

    Scouting Report: Rodriguez packs plenty of power into his lefthanded swing, and his top-end exit velocities were among the best in the system despite his age and modest frame. That power translated into games immediately, though it comes with a strikeout rate (36.6%) and a swing that borders on being too steep. Despite the swing-and-miss, Rodriguez does have a good idea of the strike zone, and despite a .214 average he got on base at a solid clip (.346) thanks to a 15% walk rate. Rodriguez is a solid runner now and is playing center field at an adequate level, but his plus arm strength could allow him to move to right field in the future if his speed backs up. He certainly has the power potential to profile there. Rodriguez has dealt with a few injuries over the past few years, including a hand injury and some back issues.

    The Future: Rodriguez will try to cut down his whiff rate and could be ready for Low-A Fort Myers.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 45. Power: 60. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.

  5. 5. Connor Prielipp | LHP
    Connor Prielipp
    Born: Jan 10, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 210

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    August Update: Through the first seven starts of Prielipp's Alabama career, he looked like a player who was a lock to be a top-10 draft pick, showing a mid-90s fastball from the left side and two overwhelming secondary offerings. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound southpaw posted a 0.96 ERA over those 28 innings of work, while striking out 47 batters (45.6 K%) and walking just 12 (11.7 BB%). Unfortunately, those would be all the games Prielipp threw before the 2022 draft, as Tommy John surgery cut his sophomore 2021 season short after his first three starts, leaving his draft status in flux and reliant on pre-draft bullpens. Prior to his injury, Prielipp pitched in the 91-93 mph range and touched 96, with a mid-80s slider that generated whiffs 50% of the time and a low-80s changeup that racked up plenty of whiffs as well, though his usage of the pitch was much less frequent than his fastball/slider combination. His slider is an extremely high-spin offering, and some scouts have called it a legitimate 70-grade offering. During a May bullpen, Prielipp showed solid stuff, though he wasn't quite as crisp as his pre-injury self. He touched 93-94 in that session, snapping off a few good breaking balls in the 82-84 mph range and an 82-83 mph changeup. He showed solid control, but scattered command within the zone.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 Slider: 70 Changeup: 55 Control: 55.

  6. 6. Simeon Woods Richardson | RHP
    Simeon Woods Richardson
    Born: Sep 27, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Sugar Land, Texas, 2018 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Ray Corbett (Mets).
    Minors: 3-5 | 5.91 ERA | 77 SO | 34 BB | 54 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record:: One of the youngest players in the 2018 draft class, Woods Richardson signed for $1.85 million as the No. 48 overall pick. He has already been traded twice in his career. The Mets sent him to the Blue Jays in a package for Marcus Stroman and the Blue Jays then traded him to the Twins in 2021, along with Austin Martin, for righthander Jose Berrios.

    Scouting Report: A Top 100 prospect entering the 2021 season, Woods Richardson struggled in his first stint in the upper minors, posting a 5.91 ERA between Double-A New Hampshire and Wichita. He throws from a high arm slot that offers some deception, but his delivery has been described as mechanical and stiff at times, and his arm can be late at foot strike. Woods Richardson has been an impressive strike thrower despite that in the past, though his walk rate ballooned this year to a career-worst 5.7 BB/9 mark. His fastball sits in the low 90s and will touch 95 mph at peak, but it's not an overpowering pitch. It has cut action that allows it to tunnel nicely with an arm side fading changeup around 80 mph that earns plenty of plus grades and is one of the best in the Minnesota system. He also throws a steep, downer, mid-70s curveball and a slider (mostly to righties) a few ticks harder. Woods Richardson shows feel to land his breaking stuff and both have solid movement, but hitters have managed to track them well.

    The Future: Woods Richardson profiles as a back-end starter at best who succeeds with precision and deception—as well as an out-pitch changeup—though some scouts think he'd be best served in a multi-inning relief role.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50. Curveball: 55. Slider: 50. Changeup: 60. Control: 60

  7. 7. David Festa | RHP
    David Festa
    Born: Mar 8, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 185
    Minors: 1-0 | 4.32 ERA | 12 SO | 4 BB | 9 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    May Update: Festa earned a promotion to High-A Cedar Rapids after dominating younger hitters in a five-start stint with Low-A Fort Myers. It's fair to say that Festa should have been too advanced for Low-A hitters, as he posted a 2.00 ERA as a starter for Seton Hall in 2021. But the quality of his arsenal is worth a second look. Festa is sitting 95-96 mph and touching 98-99. He also throws a plus slider and changeup that will be more tested in the MIdwest League.

  8. 8. Matt Wallner | OF
    Matt Wallner
    Born: Dec 12, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 220
    Drafted/Signed: Southern Mississippi, 2019 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Derrick Dunbar.
    Minors: .265/.350/.504 | 15 HR | 0 SB | 264 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record:: Wallner set Southern Mississippi's career home runs record (58) and parlayed that power potential into a $1.8 million bonus as the Twins' 39th overall pick in the 2019 draft. After homering eight times in his pro debut in 2019, Wallner clubbed 15 at High-A Cedar Rapids in 2021 and performed well in an 18-game stint in the Arizona Fall League (1.011 OPS).

    Scouting Report: Power is Wallner's calling card and the physical 6-foot-5 outfielder posts some of the best top-end exit velocity numbers in the system, along with first baseman Aaron Sabato. He has 70 or 80-grade raw power, but his plate discipline, the length of his swing and his swing-and-miss rate will severely limit his overall offensive upside and deflate his average. Wallner struck out at a 33.3% clip with Cedar Rapids—while old for the level—and chases outside the zone at an above-average rate. He's pull-happy, which suits his power, but will also leave him susceptible to secondary offerings and more advanced pitching. A former pitcher, Wallner has plus arm strength that fits well in right field, where he is a fringy, but adequate defender and runner.

    The Future: Wallner will never compete for a batting title, but his power production could make him a big league contributor. He should get his first test against upper-level minor league pitching in 2022.

  9. 9. Marco Raya | RHP
    Marco Raya
    Born: Aug 7, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 165
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Laredo, Texas, 2020 (4th round).
    Signed By: Trevor Brown.

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record:: Raya was an arrow-up player during his senior season in high school prior to the 2020 season being shut down, but the Twins still liked his upside and feel for spin enough to sign him for $410,000 in the fourth round. There's a lot of unknown with Raya, as he missed the 2021 season with shoulder fatigue and has yet to make an official pro start.

    Scouting Report: Despite Raya's lack of professional track record, Minnesota is still high on the 6-foot rightander's upside and stuff. While he didn't pitch an official game in the 2021 season, he joined the team in instructs and reportedly had his fastball sitting at 97 mph consistently in a short outing, with a good slider and curveball. His fastball sat in the 92-93 mph range as an amateur, but it's still up in the air what sort of fastball quality he will have over the course of a professional season. His breaking balls have both shown promise at times and he seems to have an innate feel for spinning the ball, while his changeup quality is to be determined. While Raya isn't physically imposing, he's worked hard over the last few years to add strength to his frame.

    The Future: Raya is one of the bigger question marks in the system and should finally make his pro debut in 2022, when he'll still be in his age-19 season.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 65. Slider: 55. Curveball: 50. Cutter: 45. Control: 50.

  10. 10. Edouard Julien | 3B/2B/OF
    Edouard Julien
    Born: Apr 30, 1999
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: Jack Powell
    Minors: .266/.434/.480 | 18 HR | 34 SB | 394 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record:: Julien was a prominent amateur player dating back to his prep days when he impressed scouts with his lefthanded swing with the Canadian Junior National Team. The Twins signed Julien for $493,500 in the 18th round of the 2019 draft as an eligible sophomore. He led all minor league hitters with 110 walks in his first pro season in 2021.

    Scouting Report: Julien has one of the keenest eyes in minor league baseball. He rarely expands the zone, and his chase rate is reportedly among the best in the minors. He walked at a 24.5% clip in Low-A Fort Myers and after being promoted to High-A Cedar Rapids still walked at a 19.4% rate. Some scouts have put plus raw power grades on him as well, and Julien smacked 18 home runs and 28 doubles between both levels. Just seven minor league hitters managed 15+ homers, 25+ doubles and a .400+ on-base percentage in 2021 (including Jose Miranda) and of that group, only Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe was younger than Julien. Julien played first, second, third and left field, but he profiles best at a corner and is likely a better fit in the outfield than in the dirt with below-average speed and fringy defensive ability.

    The Future: The Twins have plenty of corner profiles in front of Julien, but he excels at getting on base and has some power to go with it. How his approach fairs against upper-level pitching is the next question.

  11. 11. Austin Martin | OF/SS
    Austin Martin
    Born: Mar 23, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Vanderbilt, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Nate Murrie (Blue Jays).
    Minors: .270/.414/.382 | 5 HR | 14 SB | 330 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    August Update: An elbow injury has sidelined Martin for more than a month, which is cutting into the time he has to turn around a disappointing season.

    Track Record: A standout collegian and All-American at Vanderbilt, Martin was in the conversation to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft, as teams liked his bat even if they debated where he'd end up playing defensively. The Blue Jays were excited to see him fall to No. 5 overall, where they signed him for $7,000,825—the second-biggest bonus of the class. The Blue Jays traded Martin and righthander Simeon Woods Richardson to the Twins in his first pro season to acquire righthander Jose Berrios in July 2021. Martin was assigned to Double-A, where he showed excellent on-base ability, though scouts wondered about his overall impact and future defensive home.

    Scouting Report: Martin developed a reputation as one of the best pure hitters in his draft class, and that hitting ability and on-base skills create a strong foundation for his value as a player. Scouts noted that Martin's bat path got longer and his hand load got more complicated, which created some timing issues this season compared to a simple and quick-firing path in college. He continued to show above-average bat speed, but scouts internally and externally wonder what sort of power Martin will grow into. His exit velocities were below-average and he totaled just 25 extra-base hits in 418 plate appearances. Gaining more strength and hitting the ball with authority more frequently will determine whether Martin becomes an impact regular or more of an average, everyday type player. His best offensive attribute might be his plate discipline and batting eye. Martin's .414 on-base percentage was the 10th-best mark among upper-level hitters with 300 plate appearances in 2021. Of the top 25 hitters in that category, the 22-year-old Martin was the youngest. He rarely expands the zone and chases bad pitches. Martin is a strong athlete with above-average running ability who can put pressure on opposing teams on the bases, but his future defensive home is still in question. He split time equally between shortstop and center field this season but is a much more instinctive and natural defender in the outfield, where his throwing struggles are less of an issue. His arm strength is fine, and Martin has received solid feedback on his glove work and range at shortstop, but he struggles to set himself up well on throws and his accuracy has been problematic dating back to college. Because of that, many scouts think Martin will wind up in the outfield, where he'll be more good than great in center and where his power output could make him a tougher offensive profile if he has to move to left field.

    The Future: Martin's bat-to-ball skills and batting eye give him impressive carrying traits that will make a big league role in some capacity extremely likely. The biggest question moving forward is how much impact he can make at the plate. The development of his currently below-average power will be crucial to determining if Martin is just a fine regular or an impact, 60 grade-caliber hitter.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 65. Power: 50. Speed: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50

  12. 12. Jordan Balazovic | RHP
    Jordan Balazovic
    Born: Sep 17, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Mississauga, Ont., 2016 (5th round).
    Signed By: Walt Burrows.
    Minors: 5-4 | 3.62 ERA | 102 SO | 38 BB | 97 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: The Twins liked Balazovic's physical upside and developing fastball out of high school, and they signed the top-ranked Canadian prospect in the 2016 class to a $515,000 bonus in the fifth round. The big righthander made the Futures Game in 2019, and after being sidelined early in 2021 due to a back injury, pitched well in a shortened season in his first try at Double-A.

    Scouting Report: Balazovic has a solid blend of three pitches and a north-south approach that could play up thanks to a funky delivery that features a high front side and some length in the back of his arm action. While some scouts might be bothered by his forearm flying out, he does a good job getting on time at foot strike and has generally been an above-average strike-thrower, though in 2021 his walk rate jumped to 8.9%. Balazovic's fastball has continued to tick up and sat in the 95-96 mph range. He establishes the zone well with the pitch and uses a low-80s, 12-to-6 curveball and upper-80s split-changeup down in the zone off of it. Scouts thought he added more depth to the breaking ball this year and it could be a 55-grade offering, while the changeup needs more refinement to become above-average but is a fine third offering for now.

    The Future: Balazovic looks like a solid No. 3 starter who will find success more by spotting his fastball up in the zone and successfully pairing his secondaries down. There's no one wipeout offering here yet, but his pitch mix works well in tandem. He could make his big league debut in 2022 if he stays healthy.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 55

  13. 13. Matt Canterino | RHP
    Matt Canterino
    Born: Dec 14, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 222
    Drafted/Signed: Rice, 2019 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Greg Runser.
    Minors: 1-0 | 0.78 ERA | 45 SO | 4 BB | 23 IP

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: Canterino ranked as the No. 34 prospect in the 2019 draft class as a productive starter with plenty of funk. The Twins signed him for $1.1 million in the second round and he's been highly effective on the mound in his pro career (1.13 ERA), but was limited to just 23 innings in 2021 after dealing with multiple elbow strains.

    Scouting Report: Fans will love watching Canterino pitch thanks to his high-energy approach on the mound. He has an intense and effortful delivery, but he's always shown impressive touch and feel, and in pro ball his spin rates and extension have been exceptional. This year, Canterino pitched in the 94-95 mph range with his fastball and touched 97, but the induced vertical break of the pitch is what truly sets it apart and allows it to play up. Canterino throws a hard vertical slider and a curveball with more depth in the low 80s. Both breaking balls have a chance to be solid-average or above-average. His best secondary might be a changeup that he improved dramatically after entering pro ball, a low-80s offering that has solid arm-side movement and depth. He has shown impressive command of his entire pitch mix and in his six starts before going down struck out 45 batters to just four walks.

    The Future: Canterino's fastball quality, four-pitch mix and command give him middle-of-the-rotation upside, but his elbow injuries this year and the fact that he still hasn't pitched above High-A add plenty of risk to the profile. He has yet to pitch more than 25 innings in a season since being drafted.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 65. Curveball: 50. Slider: 55. Changeup: 55. Control: 55.

  14. 14. Noah Miller | SS
    Noah Miller
    Born: Nov 12, 2002
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 185
    Signed By: Joe Bisenius
    Minors: .238/.316/.369 | 2 HR | 1 SB | 84 AB

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: The younger brother of Guardians shortstop Owen Miller, Noah is a savvy defensive shortstop with an impressive baseball IQ. One of the better defenders in the 2021 prep class, the Twins signed him for $1.7 million to buy out his Alabama commitment and he impressed in his pro debut in the Florida Complex League.

    Scouting Report: Slick defending is the calling card with Miller for the time being. He has all the intangibles to stay at shortstop in the long run, outside of foot speed. He has good instincts, a quick first step and an internal clock that's advanced beyond his age. He can make throws from multiple angles and arm slots and generally has a good understanding of when to let loose and when he can hold back on his throws. A switch-hitter, Miller is a hit-over-power bat currently who will need to add strength as he develops. Some amateur scouts thought he could grow into average power, but he's not there yet. His righthanded swing is freer and easier than his left side, so refining that left side will be key for his offensive development. Miller is an average runner.

    The Future: The recent track record of Wisconsin hitters is quite good, and Miller will look to follow players like Gavin Lux, Jarred Kelenic and Daulton Varsho.

  15. 15. Tanner Schobel | SS
    Tanner Schobel
    Born: Jun 4, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'0" Wt.: 170

    BA Grade: 45/High

    August Update: A draft-eligible sophomore, Schobel started every game for Virginia Tech as a true freshman, splitting his time between second and third base and hitting .279/.359/.441 with seven home runs and 10 doubles. After that, Schobel went to the Cape and played well with Bourne over 29 games, hitting .302/.378/.465 with three home runs and five doubles. He stepped into the everyday shortstop role for the Hokies this spring and has been an impressive performer thanks to a simple and quiet offensive setup at the plate, a sound batting eye and some pull-side pop. Schobel has elevated the ball more consistently this spring and jumped from seven home runs in 52 games in 2021 to 18 home runs in 56 games in 2022. He's a smaller hitter listed at just 5-foot-10, 170 pounds and his power production has mostly gone to the pull side, so scouts don't expect this sort of slugging to continue at the next level with a wood bat. Schobel is a sound defender who keeps things simple and makes all the routine plays. He has a chance to stick at shortstop but might be more valuable as a super utility player who can move around the infield with plus instincts.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 40. Run: 50. Field: 50. Arm: 50.

  16. 16. Louie Varland | RHP
    Louie Varland
    Born: Dec 9, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 205
    Signed By: Joe Bisenius
    Minors: 10-4 | 2.10 ERA | 142 SO | 30 BB | 103 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: A relatively unheralded draft prospect, Varland is a local product—he grew up in St. Paul and went to college there as well—who signed in the 15th round for $115,000. He turned in an exceptional first full pro season, winning the Twins minor league pitcher of the year award after posting a 2.10 ERA between Low-A Fort Myers and High-A Cedar Rapids.

    Scouting Report: Varland's success has come with increased fastball velocity. After pitching in the 90-92 mph range as an amateur, Varland's fastball sat in the 94-95 mph range this season, peaking at 98-99 mph. It's a flat approach angle fastball that he throws for strikes well and earns plus grades. Varland's most-used secondary is a hard slider in the mid 80s that gets average grades. He also throws an average changeup in the upper-80s that has good sink and could improve in the future, plus an occasional, show-me curveball in the upper 80s with solid raw spin rates, but below-average scouting grades. Varland's been an average strike-thrower in the past, but this season he walked just 2.6 batters per nine.

    The Future: Varland has the repertoire and control to be a back-end starter with his newfound fastball velocity and has a fallback option as a hard-throwing reliever otherwise.

  17. 17. Cole Sands | RHP
    Cole Sands
    Born: Jul 17, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: Florida State, 2018 (5th round).
    Signed By: Brett Dowdy.
    Minors: 4-2 | 2.46 ERA | 96 SO | 35 BB | 81 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Sands turned in career bests in strikeout and walk rates during his draft year with Florida State in 2018, turning that into a $600,000 fifth-round bonus. He pitched well at the lower levels in 2019 and in 2021 had another strong season with Double-A Wichita, though his control regressed (1.8 BB/9 in 2019 to 3.9 BB/9).

    Scouting Report: In a time where north-south pitching profiles and vertical fastballs sit at the popular table, Sands is a lower three-quarters slot righty with an east-west three-pitch mix. He sits in the 93-94 mph range with his fastball and touches 96, but the pitch has more arm-side running life than carry up in the zone. His secondaries match that movement profile as well. His 78-82 mph curveball has huge raw spin rates (around 2,900 rpm) but is more of a sweeping pitch with lateral movement that he showed good feel to land for strikes. His low-80s changeup also has lateral, fading life that could play off his fastball nicely with about 10 mph of separation, and it's flashed plus in the past. After showing glimpses of improved command, Sands looks more like a fringe-average strike-thrower which gives him some reliever risk.

    The Future: Sands has No. 4 or No. 5 starter upside with improved command, but probably profiles best as a unique look out of the pen.

  18. 18. Yasser Mercedes | OF
    Yasser Mercedes
    Born: Nov 16, 2004
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 175

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Dominican Republic, Mercedes became an early standout in the 2021-22 international class thanks to his combination of size, athleticism and tools at a premium position. He became the headliner of Minnesota's international class when the signing period opened on Jan. 15, 2022, signing for $1.7 million.

    Scouting Report: Mercedes has a chance to be a power/speed threat in center field. He's a plus runner with some of the better raw power in his class, showing flashes of future plus raw power that should continue to climb as he fills out his lean, well-proportioned 6-foot-3 frame. While Mercedes has big power and has shown it in games at times, that power does come with some strikeouts that he will have to keep in check. Depending how he develops physically, there's a chance Mercedes could end up outgrowing the middle of the field and end up in a corner, but if he can maintain his speed and athleticism he could stick in center, where he has an above-average arm.

    The Future: Mercedes is a high-risk, high-reward player with some of best upside in the lower levels of the Twins system. His pro debut will come this year in the Dominican Summer League.

  19. 19. Danny De Andrade | SS/3B
    Danny De Andrade
    Born: Apr 10, 2004
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'0" Wt.: 173

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: De Andrade is a Venezuelan shortstop and third baseman who trained in the Dominican Republic as an amateur and was an early standout in the 2020-21 international class. He signed with the Twins for $2.2 million on Jan. 15 and made his Dominican Summer League debut, where he showed contact ability and impressive defensive tools as a 17-year-old.

    Scouting Report: De Andrade is more polished on the defensive side of the ball now. He has impressive hands, quick actions, good body control and a sound internal clock that give him a chance to stick at shortstop despite fringe-average or solid speed at best. His arm strength is certainly strong enough for him to stick on the left side of the infield, but some scouts think he might be a better fit for third base as he adds strength and physicality to his frame. Offensively, De Andrade has a short, quick swing and contact-driven, aggressive approach. He swings frequently and will chase outside of the zone, so in the future he'll likely need to become more selective to do more damage. He's a gap-to-gap doubles hitter now, but scouts think he has a chance to get to above-average power potential in the future.

    The Future: De Andrade is one of the focal points of Minnesota's next wave of international prospects and should make his domestic debut in 2022.

  20. 20. Blayne Enlow | RHP
    Blayne Enlow
    Born: Mar 21, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 210
    Drafted/Signed: HS--St. Amant, La., 2017 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Greg Runser.
    Minors: 1-1 | 1.84 ERA | 23 SO | 6 BB | 15 IP

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: The Twins signed Enlow for $2 million out of high school to pry him from a Louisiana State commitment. He has pitched well in all four of his pro seasons and was off to a strong start in 2021 with High-A Cedar Rapids before undergoing Tommy John surgery in June after just three starts and 14.2 innings.

    Scouting Report: Enlow has a solid mix of four offerings and was trending in the right direction this year with a bit more fastball velocity, more movement on his breaking ball and impressive feel for a hard cutter that he can land to both sides of the plate. Enlow has been up to 97 mph with his fastball, but the development of his breaking stuff is probably the most encouraging sign for his profile. He has impressive touch on a low-80s curveball that he can land for strikes or bury below the zone for whiffs. His upper-80s cutter is now a pitch he can use for swings and misses in the zone or to keep hitters off the barrel. On top of his fastball and breaking stuff, Enlow has a firm changeup in the upper 80s that improved significantly in 2020 and gives him a fourth reliable offering.

    The Future: Enlow profiles as a back-end starter if healthy, but he'll miss all or most of the 2022 season recovering from surgery.

  21. 21. Jovani Moran | LHP
    Jovani Moran
    Born: Apr 24, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 167
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Florida, P.R., 2015 (7th round).
    Signed By: Freddie Thon.
    Minors: 4-2 | 2.41 ERA | 109 SO | 32 BB | 68 IP

    BA Grade: 40/Medium

    Track Record: Moran signed for $275,000 as one of the top pitching prospects in Puerto Rico in 2015 and quickly transitioned to a full-time reliever role after joining the organization. After a strong 2019 season, Moran excelled at Double-A Wichita and Triple-A St. Paul in 2021, posting the best overall full-season strikeout rate of his career and earning a big league debut.

    Scouting Report: Moran relies mostly on a two-pitch mix led by a 92-93 mph fastball that gets up to the 97-98 mph range at peak and an out pitch changeup in the 80-81 mph range. His fastball is ordinary—especially by reliever standards—and got hit hard in his brief big league sample. The pitch was also his least effective offering in the minors. His changeup is a real weapon. It has received double-plus grades and generated a 51% whiff rate in the majors. He also throws a low-80s, high-spin slider but largely scrapped the pitch in his major league stint. Control has always been a question mark and weak link for Moran, and that was still the case in 2021, with a walk rate of 4.3 per nine innings in the minors.

    The Future: Moran has a chance to provide low-leverage innings out of the bullpen again in 2022, but his upside could be capped without improving his fastball velocity, shape or command.

  22. 22. Misael Urbina | OF
    Misael Urbina
    Born: Apr 26, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2018.
    Signed By: Fred Guerrero.
    Minors: .191/.299/.286 | 5 HR | 16 SB | 367 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: One of the top prospects in the 2018 international class, Urbina signed for $2.75 million. After impressing in the Dominican Summer League in 2019, Urbina made his stateside debut in 2021, where he struggled with the bat with Low-A Fort Myers.

    Scouting Report: Urbina impressed with his bat-to-ball skills in the DSL, and he still made an above-average amount of contact in his first test in full season ball. But the quality of his contact was poor and opposing scouts turned in lower complimentary tools grades for Urbina almost across the board compared to a year ago. The Twins tried to quiet Urbina's hands in his load, while also narrowing his stance to unlock more power, but he finished the year with just a .286 slugging percentage and .095 ISO. He does have solid zone recognition. A year ago, Urbina was cited as a plus runner with a chance to stick in center field, but his run tool grades this year have regressed and some scouts think he's a better fit for left field moving forward with below-average arm strength. Urbina is an aggressive runner on the base paths, who stole 16 bags in 22 tries.

    The Future: Urbina will be looking to bounce back in 2022, his age-20 campaign. It sounds like the Twins are still excited about his potential, but he needs to develop more power.

  23. 23. Ronny Henriquez | RHP
    Ronny Henriquez
    Born: Jun 20, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 165
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2017.
    Signed By: Willy Espinal.
    Minors: 5-7 | 4.71 ERA | 105 SO | 25 BB | 94 IP

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Signed as a 17-year-old in 2017, Henriquez had advanced to Low-A through 2019, then saw action in 2020 at instructional league due to the cancellation of the minor league season in the wake of the pandemic. He made it to Double-A in 2021 but ran into serious trouble keeping the ball in the park. Nonetheless, he was added to the Rangers' 40-man roster after the season.

    Scouting Report: Henriquez's biggest attribute is an electric fastball that sits around 94 mph and has touched up to 97. The pitch plays up thanks to excellent spin rates and horizontal break coupled with a near-elite vertical approach angle. He complements the fastball with a mid-80s slider and a high-80s changeup. Each of his offspeed pitches has its moments, but both need more consistency. The Rangers have confidence that he'll make the necessary improvements because of the innate way he uses his hand to manipulate the baseball. His changeup in particular needs to come along so he has a better chance against lefties.

    The Future: Henriquez will likely head back to Double-A in 2022. If he can improve his slider and changeup, he could fit in the back of the rotation. If only one comes along, he could be a multi-inning reliever.

  24. 24. Kalai Rosario | OF
    Kalai Rosario
    Born: Jul 2, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: John Leavitt
    Minors: .277/.341/.452 | 5 HR | 4 SB | 188 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Rosario was the top draft prospect out of Hawaii in 2020, separating himself by posting massive exit velocities at showcases like the Area Code Games and showing a good ability to use the entire field. The Twins signed Rosario for $270,000 in the fifth round and he was solid in his pro debut in the Florida Complex League (109 wRC+).

    Scouting Report: Rosario is an impressive, physical athlete with a strong frame and raw power that gets both 70 and 80 future grades. His exit velocities stack up with the better sluggers in the system, though that translated into just five home runs in 51 games this summer. He has the power to tally many more as he learns to drive the ball more consistently in games and cut down a below-average swing-and-miss rate. Rosario struck out at a 31.7% rate, though his swing decisions themselves are solid and he doesn't chase out of the zone at an exorbitant rate. Rosario spent time in left field (78 innings) and right field (229 innings) this summer and is definitely a corner outfielder whose arm strength fits best for left field.

    The Future: Rosario has huge power upside and should get a chance at full-season ball for the first time in 2022 during his age-20 season. He's praised for a strong work ethic.

  25. 25. Drew Strotman | RHP
    Drew Strotman
    Born: Sep 3, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: Alan Hull.
    Minors: 10-5 | 5.29 ERA | 104 SO | 63 BB | 113 IP

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Mostly a reliever in college, the Rays developed Strotman as a starter and dealt him to the Twins in the Nelson Cruz trade that also landed Minnesota righthander Joe Ryan. Strotman pitched exclusively at Triple-A in 2021 with solid stuff, but control that got him into trouble at times.

    Scouting Report: Strotman has a four-pitch mix headlined by a fastball that sat in the 94-95 mph range and has been up to 99-100 mph. The pitch is ordinary in terms of movement and spin, and he needs to do a better job spotting the pitch on the edges of the zone moving forward. His best secondary is a hard cutter/slider that sits in the upper 80s and is currently his best in-zone swing-and-miss offering. Strotman also has a mid-to-upper-80s changeup that gets whiffs more as a chase offering versus lefthanded hitters. A curveball around 80 mph is his fourth offering and doesn't project as anything more than a change of pace pitch.

    The Future: Strotman has the stuff to pitch in a No. 4 or No. 5 role if he can get his control back to pre-Tommy John surgery levels, but if that doesn't happen his fastball could play up in a bullpen role. Strotman is on the 40-man roster with a chance to make his big league debut in 2022.

  26. 26. Jermaine Palacios | SS
    Jermaine Palacios
    Born: Jul 19, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 145
    Minors: .259/.340/.439 | 19 HR | 18 SB | 410 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Palacios signed with the Twins for $70,000 in 2013 and was traded to the Rays in 2018 for righthander Jake Odorizzi. Minnesota reacquired him as a minor league free agent prior to the 2021 season and watched him hit 19 home runs and 17 doubles while playing strong defense at shortstop with Double-A Wichita.

    Scouting Report: Palacios has a case as the best defensive shortstop in the system. He has soft hands and impressive actions in the field, with a strong arm from multiple angles and arm slots. His instincts are sound, and he is confident at all infield positions—he logged innings at each—earning plus defensive grades overall. The offensive profile is a bigger question. He hit well in his third stint against Double-A pitching, but skeptics will point to the fact that he was old for the level and a long history of generally underwhelming as a hitter. He posted near league-average exit velocities in 2021 and he does solid damage on contact, though he tends to expand the zone and swing and miss at below-average rates. Some scouts have noted he struggles against secondary offerings.

    The Future: Despite his age and questions on the bat, Palacios' power output and defensive ability make him an intriguing sleeper to keep an eye on.

  27. 27. Aaron Sabato | 1B
    Aaron Sabato
    Born: Jun 4, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 230
    Drafted/Signed: North Carolina, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Ty Dawson.
    Minors: .202/.373/.410 | 19 HR | 1 SB | 361 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Sabato set North Carolina's freshman home run record (18) in 2019 and showed some of the best raw power in the 2020 class as a draft-eligible sophomore. The Twins signed him for $2.75 million with the 27th overall pick and watched him look overmatched early and quite good late in his debut pro season this year.

    Scouting Report: As a right-right, first base-only defensive profile, almost all Sabato's value is riding on his bat and massive raw power. Early this season with Low-A Fort Myers, Sabato was extremely passive and looked overmatched by fastballs north of 93 mph. He struggled to get to pitches on the inner half and in general seemed out of sync and off time. He was promoted to High-A Cedar Rapids in late August and the fresh start seemed good for him, as he managed a 1.015 OPS with eight home runs and a heavier pull approach. Sabato has a keen eye at the plate—his 92 walks ranked second in the minors only to org mate Edouard Julien—rarely expands the zone and does plenty of damage on contact, but will need to find a way to lower his 32% strikeout rate. He's a bottom-of-the-scale runner limited to first base defensively.

    The Future: Sabato should get a chance at Double-A in 2022, where he'll put his power and patient approach to the test against better arms.

  28. 28. Jose Rodriguez | OF
    Jose Rodriguez
    Born: Jun 10, 2005
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 196

    BA Grade: 45/Extreme

    August Update: Rodriguez currnetly leads the Dominican Summer League with 10 home runs. He's a corner outfielder with promising offensive upside. Rodriguez has the abiilty to get into favorable counts, solid feel for barreling the ball and plus raw power.

  29. 29. Steven Cruz | RHP
    Steven Cruz
    Born: Jun 15, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185
    Minors: 4-2 | 4.32 ERA | 80 SO | 33 BB | 50 IP

    BA Grade: 40/High

    August Update: Cruz is a massive (6-foot-8) righthander with a 96-98 mph fastball that touches 101 and a hard 88-92 mph slider. He needs to improve his control, but there are the ingredients for Cruz to be a future MLB reliever.

  30. 30. Michael Helman | 2B/SS
    Michael Helman
    Born: May 23, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: Greg Runser.
    Minors: .246/.336/.462 | 19 HR | 21 SB | 398 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    August Update: Helman has played every position other than right field and catcher this year. Helman has improved his power to the point where he has a chance to post a 20-20 season this year. As a solid hitter at Triple-A who is playable at multiple positions, Helman may play his way into a big league career.

View Players 11-30

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