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Minnesota Twins

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  1. 1. 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: 60/High

    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. 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 in exchange for righthander Jose Berrios. Martin was assigned to Double-A, where he showed excellent on-base ability, though scouts did wonder 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 skill creates 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 this year. 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. 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 that tool will determine 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

  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/Very High

    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. 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: 55/High

    Track Record: The Twins liked Balazovic’s physical upside and developing fastball out of high school, signing 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-change down in the zone off 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

  4. 4. Joe Ryan | RHP
    Joe Ryan
    Born: Jun 5, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Cal StateStanislaus, 2018 (7th round).
    Signed By: Alan Hull (Rays).
    Minors: 4-3 | 3.41 ERA | 92 SO | 12 BB | 66 IP

    BA Grade: 50/Medium

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 65. Curveball: 40. Slider: 50. Changeup: 50. Control: 55

    Track Record: The Twins acquired Ryan and righthander Drew Strotman from the Rays when they sent Nelson Cruz and minor league righthander Calvin Faucher to Tampa Bay in July. After the trade, Ryan made just two starts for Triple-A St. Paul in August before he was called up to the majors in September, where he pitched well in five starts.

    Scouting Report: Ryan has always been a fastball-dominant pitcher. He used that pitch to power through the minors. While evaluators wanted to see him take strides with his secondaries, he continued to pitch overwhelmingly off his fastball (65.8%) with the Twins and continued to find success with it. The pitch has below-average velocity (91.2 mph) and spin, but a low slot and impressive carry up in the zone has allowed it to perplex and stymie hitters, nonetheless. Scouts did like the improvement of Ryan’s slider, which he used 16% of the time in his brief MLB debut. The pitch comes in around 80 mph, and he generated whiffs with it 35.3% of the time. After that, Ryan also occasionally threw an 83-mph changeup and slow curveball. Ryan has an easy delivery with deception and has always been an above-average strike thrower who aggressively attacks hitters and challenges them in the zone.

    The Future: Evaluators would still like to see Ryan improve his secondaries so he is better equipped to turn over a lineup, but his fastball has proven to be effective against big league hitters. Ryan profiles as a solid back-of-the rotation starter with No. 3 upside with further secondary improvement. It’s tough to be a one-pitch starter for long in the majors.

  5. 5. Jose Miranda | 3B/2B
    Jose Miranda
    Born: Jun 29, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 210
    Signed By: Freddie Thon.
    Minors: .344/.401/.572 | 30 HR | 4 SB | 535 AB

    BA Grade: 50/Medium

    Track Record: Miranda showed a solid approach and feel for hitting out of high school in 2016, when he was part of a deep Puerto Rican infield class. The Twins signed him for $775,000 in the second round and he flashed offensive potential at times in the minors before having a breakout 2021 campaign. He led the minors in hits and was one of just two players with 30 or more home runs and doubles, along with Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.

    Scouting Report: Miranda’s success in 2021 stems in large part from a more mature, selective approach at the plate. He did a better job narrowing the strike zone and being more selective for pitches he could drive early in counts, while still showing impressive bat-to-ball ability to stay alive on pitcher’s pitches when behind and solid production against breaking balls. Miranda has plus raw power and averaged 90.2 mph exit velocity this year, while topping out around 113 mph. Scouts seem split on whether he’ll be a hit over power bat or vice versa, but he has the strength and contact ability for either depending on his approach. Miranda is a bat-first prospect who is limited defensively. He’s a below-average athlete who might be a 30-grade runner, which means third base or first base might be a better fit than second. He does have plus arm strength and solid hands, so he’ll convert what comes to him, but overall it’s a below-average defensive profile.

    The Future: The Twins have a number of multi-position, corner-type bats and now Miranda is solidly in that group and should make his major league debut in 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 55. Speed: 30. Fielding: 40. Arm: 55.

  6. 6. 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: 55/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 generated 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

  7. 7. Chase Petty | RHP
    Chase Petty
    Born: Apr 4, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 190
    Signed By: John Wilson.
    Minors: 0-0 | 5.40 ERA | 6 SO | 1 BB | 5 IP

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Petty was the hardest-throwing high school arm in the 2021 class, and after touching 102 mph he joined an exclusive group of prep flamethrowers you can count on one hand. With that velocity comes plenty of risk, as many hard-throwing high school righthanders have struggled to reach their lofty expectations, but the Twins were excited enough with Petty to make him their first prep righthander in the first round since Kohl Stewart (2013).

    Scouting Report: With Petty’s fastball and slider, he has a pair of pitches that have legitimate 70-grade potential. The fastball velocity speaks for itself, but scouts also loved the immense life on the pitch. Petty gets tremendous arm-side run and sink on his fastball which should make it tough for opposing hitters to barrel up, even if it’s not the four-seam riding life that’s currently popular in front offices. Petty didn’t use his changeup much in high school, so it’s a heavy projection pitch that he’ll need to develop more feel with, but some scouts with Minnesota think it can become a plus offering as well. Petty is short but strong, and he’s a plus athlete with impressive arm speed, although he gets erratic at times and there’s plenty of effort in his delivery. The Twins have been working to keep Petty’s arm slot up in the three-quarter range, where he’s able to get bowling ball life on his fastball and two-plane, snapdragon bite on the slider. When his slot drops, his fastball runs too much and his slider gets sweepy.

    The Future: Petty’s upside is significant, but his specific player demographic is inherently risky and he’ll need plenty of time to develop.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Slider: 70. Changeup: 55. Control: 50.

  8. 8. 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

  9. 9. 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: 55/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.

  10. 10. Jhoan Duran | RHP
    Jhoan Duran
    Born: Jan 8, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 230
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2014.
    Signed By: Jose Ortiz/Junior Noboa (D-backs).
    Minors: 0-3 | 5.06 ERA | 22 SO | 13 BB | 16 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: The Twins acquired Duran in a 2018 deal that sent Eduardo Escobar to the D-backs—who originally signed the massive righthander for just $65,000 in 2014. Duran trended up after joining the Twins organization, reaching Double-A in his first full season, but hit a roadblock in 2021 when an elbow strain limited him to just 16 innings at Triple-A St. Paul.

    Scouting Report: Duran has a pair of offerings that have gotten 70-grade reviews in the past. His four-seam fastball touches 100 and sat in the 97-98 mph range this year, while his sinker-splitter hybrid—which he has dubbed the ‘splinker’—has a unique velocity and movement profile that combines the traits of both offerings and has racked up plenty of whiffs in the past. He also throws a power curve in the low 80s with big spin rates. The pitch looks like a real swing-and-miss offering at times, though he struggles to land it for strikes. Duran also throws a changeup in the mid-80s, but the pitch remains a significant work in progress. Duran has faced starter/reliever questions thanks to a delivery that regularly gets out of sync in addition to the fact that he lacks a softer secondary that could keep hitters off his fastball/splinker combo.

    The Future: Duran likely would have been in the mix for Minnesota’s pitching staff in the second half of the 2021 season if he were healthy. He reportedly threw well in the fall and will look to get back on track in 2022, where he’ll try to refine his pitching vs. Triple-A and potentially make his big-league debut.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Curveball: 50. Splitter: 60. Changeup: 30. Control: 45

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