The Minnesota Twins’ top 39 prospects
Below is an analysis of the outlook for the Minnesota Twins agricultural system. Screening reports have been compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as our own observations. This is the second year that we’ve delineated two planned relief pitchers, the abbreviations for which you’ll see in the “position” column below: MIRP for Multi-inning Relief Pitchers and SIRP for Single-inning Relief Pitchers .
A quick overview of what FV (Future Value) means can be found here. A much more in-depth overview can be found here.
All leads numbered below also appear on The Board, a resource offered by the site with sortable screening information for each organization. It has more detail than this article and incorporates each team’s roster so readers can compare prospects between farming systems. It can be found here.
Other Perspectives to Note
Grouped by type and ranked in order of preference within each category.
Gross spent three years at Princeton, then transferred to Duke and earned himself a rotation spot thanks to strong performances in the bullpen. He has four pitches and the Twins pushed him to the Double-A pretty quickly, sending him to Wichita at the end of 2021 and asking him to work in long relief. It sits at around 93 mph and its best secondary is a good slider. Gipson-Long, 24, was the club’s sixth rounder in 2019 and had success in the small minors as a starter, sitting 90-94 with an above-average slider and plenty of strikes. Grace, 22, fills the area with four pitches, none of which are above average. Rijo, once acquired from the Yankees as part of the 2018 Lance Lynn trade, has missed most of 2021 with an elbow injury. He has a dandy curveball but his fastball doesn’t really play. Laweryson is in the “How the hell does this guy do that?” bucket with Joe Ryan, because he carved High-A while sitting 89. He’s good at killing spin on his change. Ohl threw a ton of shots with 40 tricks at the Grand Canyon and could move quickly if he starts throwing harder.
Encarnacion-Strand, the club’s fourth round in 2021, has more power and some approach hitting issues. He could possibly be a first 40 goal guy. Severino, 22, who hits the switch, hit for power in A-ball but has hit 30% of the time and has been for a while now, despite still being an infielder at the switch with pop, so we’re staying on him to some degree. Palacios was originally a twin and was traded to the Rays, where he didn’t play well and was ousted by their depth. He returned to Minnesota and had a pretty good year at Double-A while also playing a good defensive shortstop, putting him in position to be injury-deep in 2022. Javier is now 23 and still has big contact problems.
Featherstone is a converted outfielder whose fastball has tremendous range and has a good slider in the mid-80s. Campbell is a 2021 undrafted free agent from Charleston. He sits at 92 mph, his slider has more spin and he has a screw with a big arm side move. Rozek, 26, was retired from the Frontier League and pitched four tiers in 2021, earning an espresso at Double-A. It has a four-pitch mix that includes an 80s upper lead and an above-average change. Barrington was undrafted at Albany State, but he has a solid frame-eating frame and played in the FCL last year. The 6-foot-4 tall Stankiewicz sits 90-92 and has an above-average slider. Labas had a good career at LSU despite just 88 pitches, largely thanks to his change.
Isola has hit 17 home runs at High-A in 2021 and has a shot at being a first-time substitute. Winkel and Cardenas are fairly recent additions via the draft. They were both high-level amateurs, with Winkel the archetypal UConn first hitter and Cardenas the third type of UCLA glove-driven catcher. Camargo (added via trade from the Dodgers a few years ago) has more power, while Morales has some interesting positional versatility. Mack is a converted and tough infielder, still new to the job.
Legumina has a plus slider and some scouts think he belongs somewhere in level 35+ with the other relievers out there. Adams sits at 92 mph but has a longer slider and could throw harder in relief. It was the club’s sixth round of 2021 out of Sac State. Shreve throws a ton of strikes with three average pitches and he’s deceptive, racking up big numbers in relief.
The top of this system is down due to a combination of tick marks (Trevor Larnach, Alex Kiriloff) and injuries that brought down some of last year’s 50 FV pitchers (Jhoan Duran, Matt Canterino). We learned a little more about the club’s penchant for professional scouting in the 2021 season as the big league side unexpectedly struggled, leading to deals that saw Minnesota acquire some leads for the first time in a while. Commercial returns tended to consist of multi-player packages focused on short-term major leaguers.
The Twins weren’t shy about throwing soft pitchers with accentuated fastball characteristics in big league heat, as we’ve seen with Bailey Ober, Cody Stashak, and others in recent years. These traits are scattered across many systems, but are especially common in Minnesota’s. They take opportunistic bets on outraged high schoolers in the draft, but generally have a balanced style of acquiring talent in amateur markets.
As you can see in the Other Prospects of Note group, the Twins were quite aggressive in adding undrafted guys, and some of them got interesting pretty quickly. They seem determined to cultivate their home pitching as much as possible, making deals on the margins rather than pumping resources into free agency. They seem to have a steady stream of deep types behind higher-ceilinged guys, many of whom have struggled with injury issues over the past year. The Twins certainly have the bats to compete for a playoff spot in an AL Central that’s on the verge of something of a renaissance, but if they’re going to make a run, they need to add a premium pitch of a somehow or most of their nearly ready big boys here (especially Duran, Canterino, Winder, SWR, Balazovic and Ryan) need to stay healthy.