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Minnesota Twins: Top 12 Dynasty Prospects

fantasy baseball prospects MLB prospects rookies call-ups

The Minnesota Twins will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Quick Synopsis

The Twins feature one of the better systems in baseball with high-ceiling players, near-MLB prospects, and solid depth. The system features three outfielders with above-average offensive potentials that could reach the Majors within the next calendar year. The system is so impressive that we've increased the list of players from 10 to 12.

 

1. Alex Kirilloff, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 14
2020 Prospect Rank: 6
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

After dealing with injuries the past two years, Kirilloff really needed to take advantage of a full season in 2020 to help shake off some of the rust. That won’t happen now but he remains close to MLB ready. He has the makings of a .300 hitter with 20-30 home run potential. He’s an average defender in the outfield but could also end up being moved to first base.

2. Trevor Larnach, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 45
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Larnach isn’t quite the natural hitter that Alex Kirilloff (above) is but he’s no slouch with the bat and is a .307 career hitter through 169 pro games. He also reached Double-A in just his first full season. Larnach has yet to top 13 home runs as a professional but he has the raw power to develop into a 20-30 home run hitter, albeit it with a healthy amount of swing-and-miss.

3. Jordan Balazovic, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 80
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

One of the fastest rising prospects in 2019, Balazovic was drafted out of Canada as a teenaged lottery ticket back in 2016 and it took him three years to shake off the snow and ice. Once he gained additional experience on the mound and his body matured into a 6-foot-5, 220 pound beast, Balazovic saw both his fastball and slider improve dramatically. Between two A-ball levels in 2019, the right-hander struck out 129 batters in 93.2 innings.

4. Royce Lewis, SS/OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 83
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Selected first overall in the 2017 draft, Lewis hasn’t seen the offensive success that the Twins were likely hoping for with such a big investment. But he’s also still just 20 years old and reached Double-A in 2019. If he continues to make adjustments and gets stronger, Lewis has 20-20 (HR-SB) potential and could play multiple premium positions (CF and SS). But he’s also a career .266 hitter who hasn’t had an OPS above .800 since Low-A ball so there is risk here.

5. Brent Rooker, 1B/OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 109
2020 Prospect Rank: 43
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

I might be one of the biggest Rooker fans around. He’s a one-dimensional player who doesn’t offer much (if anything) on defense but he’s a very underrated hitter. He has a career .861 OPS in three pro seasons despite being promoted very aggressively. He spent an injury-plagued season in Triple-A but was on pace to hit close to 30 home runs. He won’t hit for a high average because he has a ton of swing-and-miss but Rooker could burst onto the scene in similar unheralded fashion as Twins catcher Mitch Garver.

6. Jhoan Duran, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 128
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2020

Duran is very intriguing. He has size, power stuff, gets a ton of ground-ball outs, and has a chance to develop above-average control. But he’s also struggled to find a reliable third offering, which leads to some reliever risk. I think he’ll figure it out and stick as a big-league starter long term so this ranking could end being too low when all is said and done.

7. Lewis Thorpe, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 168
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Thorpe has been a solid performer throughout his career, although he projects as more of an innings-eating No. 3/4 starter than a true star. The lefty has deception to his delivery as well as good control but he struggles with his command, which led to a .336 batting average during his first taste of big-league action in 2019.

8. Nick Gordon, 2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 180
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Like Lewis Thorpe above, Gordon will likely develop into a solid contributor but lacks the tools to develop into a star. He has average-across-the-board tools but I’ve ranked him higher than some because he can really sting the ball and generates above-average line-drive rates. He’s never hit more than nine home runs in a season but if a hitting coach can help Gordon adjust his swing from a very heavy ground-ball approach then we could see a huge spike in extra-base power.

9. Keoni Cavaco, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 219
2020 LEVEL: SS-A
MLB ETA: 2023

I felt Cavaco was being overhyped as a draft prospect but the Twins saw things differently and selected him 13th overall in the 2019 draft. He struggled out of the gate with a .172 batting average and BB-K of 4-35 in 87 at-bats in Rookie ball. As ugly as those numbers are, the Twins have one of the better player development systems in the game so I have faith in their ability to help Cavaco turn things around.

10. Wander Javier, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 231
2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2022

Javier appeared to be on the verge of a breakout in 2019 but, instead, fell flat on his face. An already-high strikeout rate skyrocketed to 34% and his line-drive rate dropped below 10%. The line-drive rate was so bad that it’s hard not to think that an injury was to blame. It’s not time to give up on Javier just yet but he needs to have a huge bounce-back and the lost time due to the pandemic is not going to help his cause.

11. Chris Vallimont, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 245
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Vallimont is another player that I’m much higher on than the consensus and the Twins pulled off a real steal in getting him as part of the Sergio Romo trade with the Marlins. He has a solid fastball-slider combination and could eventually end up with three or four average-or-better offerings. He also has an excellent pitcher’s frame, should be durable and held A-ball hitters to a .204 batting average with 150 strikeouts in 127.2 innings.

12. Misael Urbina, OF

2020 LEVEL: R
MLB ETA: 2024

Urbina is a high-ceiling lottery ticket that was given almost $3 million dollars as an amateur free agent. He showed very well during his first taste of pro action — although it was way down in the Dominican Summer League. He’s expected to hit for a solid average, run well and possibly grow into some over-the-fence power.

More Prospect Analysis




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