Sign Up! Join our newsletters, get a FREE e-Edition
Lewis has been everything the Twins hoped for when they picked him with the first pick in the 2017 draft. He made it to high Class A Fort Myers just a month after he turned 19 and is hitting .318/.372/.481 between Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers. Knee tendinitis slowed him briefly, but that’s been about the only hiccup so far. He’s shown off his speed (22 steals in 27 attempts) and athleticism and proven to be a solid if unspectacular shortstop.
Kirilloff lacks the defensive tools or athleticism of Lewis, but he may be an even better hitter. After missing a year recovering from Tommy John surgery, Kirilloff has shown an all-fields approach with plenty of power to left center field that earned him a spot in the Futures Game. Kirilloff will likely be limited to left field, but he has a chance to be a impact bat who hits for average and power.
Graterol is the highest-ceiling starting pitching prospect the Twins have had in years. He sits 96-98 mph and has touched 100-101. His slider is a second potentially plus pitch as when he stays through it and snaps off 87-90 mph spinners with bite hitters are often overmatched against. Graterol has at least average control, which is rare for a teenager with triple-digit stuff. Graterol’s slider gets slower and loopier at times and his curveball and changeup both still need work, but he has worlds of potential.
Rooker has struggled to come close to matching what he did in his pro debut when he was the most feared power hitter in the Florida State League. Southern League pitchers have generally survived if they can get him to chase out of the zone. But he still goes on power binges where all of a sudden he’s almost impossible to retire. Rooker is going to need to improve his selectivity as his current swing-and-miss tendencies hinder his ability to get to all of his power. The Twins are working to get Rooker to fringe-average in left field, but they’ve also given him stretches at first base, where he’s better defensively.
After spending all of 2017 at Double-A Chattanooga, the Twins sent Gordon back there to start this season. He handled the assignment by dominating the Southern League, hitting .331/.381/.525 and earning a promotion to Triple-A. Gordon flips back and forth between second base and shortstop. Most scouts say he’ll eventually end up at second base, but he could also be a fringy shortstop depending on what level of defense a team is willing to take for solid offensive production. Gordon has struggled in his first taste of Triple-A as his plate discipline has suffered, but he should be ready for the big leagues as a 23-year-old next year.
Larnach went from being a solid hitter with little power as a sophomore to a legitimate power hitter as a junior. That got him drafted in the first round by the Twins this year. He’s just getting started with his pro career--he made his pro debut on July 18—but Larnach’s all-fields power should play very well in any park. Much like Rooker, Larnach’s defense is fringy, but if he hits enough, it won’t really matter.
Javier was supposed to move up to Cedar Rapids this year, but instead he’s missed the entire season with a torn labrum injury that required surgery. If there is good news the injury is to his left (non-throwing) shoulder. It’s a lost season but he should be back on the field and ready to go for spring training next year.
Enlow hasn’t set the world on fire in his first extensive pro action, but he has shown plenty of reminders of why the Twins were thrilled to pay him well above slot as a 2017 third-round pick. Enlow has a excellent plus curveball that is a consistent weapon for him. His fastball velocity has ticked back up to 91-92 mph (and touching 94) after it dropped off a little during his senior year of high school. Enlow’s changeup needs a lot of work and he’s working on adding a hard slider, but he’s got two pitches to rely on most nights already, even if he isn’t missing many bats.
Like many hitters not used to hitting with frost on their bat, Baddoo was overwhelmed by April baseball in the Midwest League. But since May 1, Baddoo has been one of the tougher outs in the league. He’s hitting .324/.381/.529 since the all-star break. Baddoo has a very good idea of the strike zone and is happy to take the walk if a pitcher nibbles too much. And if a pitcher challenges him, Baddoo has enough strength to make them pay. He’s still got work to do to remain in center field long term, but his defense is improving.
Gonsalves is quite a unique prospect. His 87-91 mph fastball manages to get plenty of swings and misses because of deception and his changeup is an above-average pitch. Gonsalves walks too many batters, but his nibbling has worked for him so far because he manages to avoid giving up many hits. He has less hits allowed than walks allowed in Triple-A. Gonsalves is a back-of-the-rotation starter at best, but he is big league ready.
In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account.
Login or sign up