We are now two months into the season for most of the Twins minor league system, let’s take a look at some of the prospects who are off to hot starts and others who are looking to turn things around now.
Feeling hot, hot, hot!
Jermaine Palacios, SS, Cedar Rapids Kernels (Low-A)
Just recently announced as the Twins Minor League Player of the Month for April, Palacios has been an offensive force to be reckoned with for Cedar Rapids this season. He is hitting .313/.353/.518 through 47 games this season, with 21 extra base hits — including a team-high five triples — and leads the team with 101 total bases. This is his second year in Low A ball, and in just half the number games he appeared in last year he has already surpassed nearly all of the offensive marks he set one year ago. While the Twins see Nick Gordon as the shortstop of the future, Palacios is making a case for future consideration of a big league call-up.
Nick Gordon, SS, Chattanooga Lookouts (AA)
What a surprise, Nick Gordon is pretty good. Appearing in a team-leading 49 games he leads the Lookouts in just about every offensive category including:
- Hits: 60
- Doubles: 14
- Triples: 5 (Most in the Southern League)
- RBI: 27
- Batting Average: .306
- Slugging Percentage: .490
It’s hard to call a top prospect like Gordon a sleeper, but you are running out of time to pick him up in keeper leagues. It’s looking more and more like he will be patrolling the infield at Target Field by this time next season.
Randy Rosario, LHP, Minnesota Twins (MLB)
It didn’t take much for Randy Rosario to get the call up to the majors this season. After making two scoreless appearances with the Fort Myers Miracle, he appeared in 10 games for the Chattanooga Lookouts before being promoted on Thursday. Between High A and Double A, Rosario had a 1.65 ERA over 27 1/3 innings and a minuscule 0.80 WHIP. He is also currently sporting a career best 3.83 K/BB rate. On Friday night he made his Major League debut, allowing three runs on three hits over two innings to close out the Twins‘ 11-5 win against the Angels. Rosario definitely has talent, and while the path to a closer role is pretty well blocked at the moment, he is someone you will want to keep an eye on.
You’re as cold as ice/You’re willing to sacrifice your fantasy value
Kohl Stewart, RHP, Chattanooga Lookouts (AA)
Stewart has been on the disabled list since the second week of May with left knee tendinitis, which likely explains his dismal start to the season. Before hitting the DL, Stewart was 0-4 with a team-worst 5.63 ERA and 2.00 WHIP. He walked 22 batters and is tied with Fernando Romero for the most on the Lookouts, albeit he accomplished this in 28 fewer innings than Romero. Hopefully after he comes back from the DL he’ll go back to putting up numbers more in line with his career averages, but if he continues to struggle when healthy it could spell trouble for his future fantasy potential.
Ben Rortvedt, C, Cedar Rapids Kernels (Low-A)
Let’s go over The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly with Rortvedt.
The Ugly: He’s struck out almost as many times (23) as he has reached base safely (16 hits, 8 walks).
The Bad: He only has four extra-base hits, all doubles, and his .139 batting average is the second-lowest by a player with 100+ at bats in the entire Twins minor league system.
The Good: He’s 19 years old, playing in a league where he’s two years younger than the average player in just his second season of professional baseball. He’s a work in progress, so don’t jump ship on him just yet.
Travis Harrison, OF, Chattanooga Lookouts (AA)
It’s year three in Chattanooga for Harrison, and it’s looking like time might be running out for him as he struggles once again. This is an outfielder who in the past has shown flashes of potential for 10-15 homers and 10-15 steals, that is, when he’s able to hit the ball. After hitting .240/.363/.356 in 2015, and .230/.338/.339 in 2016, Harrison is hitting .197/.289/.280 through the first 39 games of the season. It’s too early to throw in the towel on Harrison, but if he doesn’t show improvement right away his future prospects look very dim.
Article featured image of Jermaine Palacios – courtesy knucklesblog.com