2020 Twins Spring Training Performances – Hitters Edition

Ryan Jeffers, Fort Myers Miracle, May 11, 2019 - photo credit Bryan Green on Flickr

In a rather unfortunate series of events, Spring Training was shut down earlier in March amid the spread and containment of the Coronavirus. As a result, much minor league representation on the big league roster this spring was cut short and the clubs didn’t get to see a full dose of what they wanted to see from their young players. However, not all was lost, as, despite it all being a small sample, the players did get an abbreviated chance to shine. Here’s a look at what the top Twins’ minor league hitters did at the plate at Spring Training in 2020. For reference, you can read my entire 2020 Top 50 Minnesota Twins Prospects here.

Royce Lewis: SS
2020 ranking: #1
Prospects1500 Tier: 1
2020 Spring Training stats: 5/25, 2 HR, 3 RBI, .200/.200/.480/.680

My number one ranked prospect started off the Spring going 0-11 before he ripped a mammoth home run against the Rays, showing everyone the type of power he possesses. He gained a ton of muscle over  the off season which he used for added power, but he didn’t walk at all and struck out seven times. It will take time for him to get used to playing with his new body weight and frame. Interestingly enough, he did play in the outfield a handful of times last season, and it will telling if he tries his hand there when he takes the field again. Grade: B-

Alex Kirilloff: 1B/OF
2020 ranking: #2
Prospects1500 Tier: 1
2020 Spring Training stats: 9/21, 2 HR, 4 RBI, .429/.455/.810/1.264

My number two ranked prospect has been nothing short of solid to start the year. He looked incredibly poised throughout the entire Spring, which saw a 7-11 stretch over seven games. He finished behind only Nelson Cruz with the most Spring Training base hits on the team. It’s this type of start to 2020 that all Kirilloff believers (myself included) needed to see to restore the faith that they previously had. He looks locked and loaded and will have a good shot to make the Twins’ roster to start 2021, given the delay to the 2020 season at this time. Keep an eye on his first base development too when games resume. Grade: A

Trevor Larnach: OF
2020 ranking: #4
Prospects1500 Tier: 2 (potentially rising)
2020 Spring Training stats: 8/24, 3 HR, 6 RBI, .333/.467/.708/1.175

My number four ranked prospect has been mashing this Spring, and really has done nothing but prove he was worth a first round pick back in 2018. With his refined yet patient approach (three walks), he seems more and more MLB ready, and may force his hand into a major league role quicker than Kirilloff. Unfortunately, with their outfield already primed and ready to go, it seems like Larnach might not get that shot given it will be a shortened season. That being said, Byron Buxton is not nearly known for his health with regards to playing baseball. Grade: A

Brent Rooker: OF
2020 ranking: #5
Prospects1500 Tier: 3
2020 Spring Training stats: 6/21, 0 HR, 1 RBI, .286/.400/.333/.733

My number five ranked prospect had a mediocre Spring and didn’t really impress me. He didn’t tap into his power at all and struck out as many times as he had a base hit. He did take three walks, which is a good sign of patience and vision at the plate. It would have been along shot to have made the Opening Day roster, but he was in the forefront of being called up at some point in 2020. Now, with a shortened season and a sub par Spring, he might be better off working on his defense and either increasing his trade value or preparing for a full 2021 season with the Twins. Grade: C+

Other notable players:

LaMonte Wade Jr.: OF
2020 ranking: 33
Prospects1500 Tier: 4
2020 Spring Training stats: 6/21, 0 HR, 0 RBI, .286/.423/.381/.804

Power has never been his forte, but speed and defense has. His ability to get on base this Spring was promising. Purely a depth piece, with AL Only speed implications. Grade: B-

Gilberto Celestino: OF
2020 ranking: 15
Prospects1500 Tier: 4
2020 Spring Training stats: 4/23, 1 HR, 3 RBI, .174/.208/.348/.556

Such an ugly stat line and performance, but Celestino wasn’t expected to show that he belongs in the majors….yet. He’s never been a source for power, and this further proved that, but he contributed and got necessary experience. Twins’ management is high on him, but this shortened 2020 campaign may delay him until 2021, though he is on the 40 man roster. Grade: C

Travis Blankenhorn: 2B/OF
2020 ranking: 16
Prospects1500 Tier: 4
2020 Spring Training stats: 2/13, 0 HR, 3 RBI, .154/.250/.231/.481

Not a great Spring for an up and coming prospect, but he hopefully learned a lot. A year of development should help him get back to his old ways of driving the ball and showing discipline at the plate. Grade: D

Ryan Jeffers: C
2020 ranking: 13
Prospects1500 Tier: 4
2020 Spring Training stats: 1/15, 0 HR, 0 RBI, ..067/.067/.067/.133

Anyone expecting him to come up and perform like he was ready was probably fooling you. He’s not, nor should he be treated as such. That said, getting major league experience behind the plate was probably more beneficial than anything he learned when he was at bat. Grade: D




About Dave Funnell 14 Articles
Dave Funnell covers the Minnesota Twins minor leagues for Prospects1500. Located just south of Toronto in the city of Hamilton, he's an hour away from Buffalo (and the Bisons). He's been a fan of baseball his entire life and doesn't have a favorite team, which hopefully gives way for objectivty in analysis. Dave is in multiple keeper fantasy baseball leagues and is active on Twitter at @sportz_nutt51.

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