2019 Twins Prospect All-Stars by Position

Photo courtesy of Bailey Srebnik (@FsuBailey12)

At the beginning of January, Bleacher Report released their minor league system rankings for all of baseball, and the Twins were ranked number 6 overall.

A few weeks later, MLB released their Top 100 prospect list, and 5 Twins minor league players made the cut. The link can be found here:

With all of that praise coming from around major media outlets, I wanted to do something similar, yet different, in that I would field a team of Twins prospects. For each position on the field, I want to list who I believe is their best player at that position, or someone I’m interested in seeing play in 2020 regardless of ranking. I’m also not including anyone that has any MLB experience, because they’ve already made it to the big leagues. So without further ado…

Catcher: Ryan Jeffers

2019 stats (A+, AA) (.264, 341, .421) 14 HR, 49 RBI
What he did Improved his overall stats when he got the call from A+ to AA
What he needs to do Improve his defense and game calling
ETA 2021 is a generous ETA because Mitch Garver is under contract until 2023 and had a breakout season in 2019.

1B: Alex Kirilloff

2019 stats (AA) (.283, .343, .413) 9 HR, 43 RBI, 7 SB, 6 CS
What he did When he was healthy, he handled AA pitching.
What he needs to do Stay healthy; learn the 1B position; make better decisions on when to steal.
ETA 2021 is a realistic goal so that he can be an option at both 1B and OF. He might have been a candidate to be a flier at 1B in 2020, but the signing of Josh Donaldson pushes Miguel Sano over to 1B for the time being.

2B: Travis Blankenhorn

2019 stats (A+, AA) (.277, .321, .466) 19 HR, 54 RBI, 11 SB, 0 CS
What he did Increased many offensive statistics; struck out less; stole more bases
What he needs to do Work on his defense; show more patience at the plate
ETA 2021 is probably when he makes his Twins debut, and it might be a mid-season one at that. The Twins have some depth and options to use. However, if Blankenhorn can do what he needs to do, he may force himself into a role next season.

SS: Royce Lewis

2019 stats (A+, AA) (.236, .290, .371) 12 HR, 49 RBI, 22 SB, 10 CS
What he did Torched AFL pitching; he played better defense when he got up to AA
What he needs to do Take the next step in his progression and prove the doubters wrong in his abilities
ETA 2021 is a decent timeline, but that’s assuming he carries over his AFL performance into the new season. He was my number 1 ranked prospect in my Top 50, he’s a potential 5 tool player, and he’s got the potential to be quite special.

3B: Jose Miranda

2019 stats (A+, AA) (.252, .302, .369) 8 HR, 55 RBI
What he did Struck out only 54 times in 483 plate appearances; hit 26 doubles
What he needs to do Utilize his good swing; get on base more
ETA 2022 is a crap shoot, because with Josh Donaldson onboard, Miranda is nowhere close to the player he is. Another position on the field may be Miranda’s calling. Right now, 3B is a weak position within the Twins‘ organization.

OF: Trevor Larnach

2019 stats (A+, AA) (.309, .384, .458) 13 HR, 66 RBI, 4 SB, 1 CS
What he did Great 10% walk rate; underlying power is great; didn’t struggle in AA
What he needs to do Show that 2019 was just the next step and he can handle AAA pitching; limit his strikeouts.
ETA 2021 seems about right for the 2019 Twins Minor League Player of the Year. Watch and enjoy him soar in 2020.

OF: Brent Rooker

2019 stats (Rookie, AAA) (.282, .399, .530) 14 HR, 47 RBI, 2 SB
What he did Hit those 14 HR in only 274 AAA plate appearances
What he needs to do Recognize and stay away from breaking balls; stay healthy; improve his footwork in the outfield
ETA 2020 as a late season bat off the bench for some pinch hitting power.

OF: Matt Wallner

2019 stats NCAA
2019 stats (Rookie, A)
(.323, .446, .681) 23 HR, 60 RBI, 2 SB, 1 CS
(.258, .357, .452) 8 HR, 34 RBI, 1 SB, 1 CS
What he did Mashed NCAA pitching; he hit well in Rookie Ball
What he needs to do Strike out less and walk more
ETA 2021 if he can put it all together. He’s got the power tools, but to be more than just a power bat, he needs to recognize pitches, stay away from the bad ones, and spread the ball around the field.

SP: Jordan Balazovic, RHP

2019 stats (A, A+) (2.84 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) 129 SO, 25 BB, 67 H, 93.2 IP
What he did Pitched a perfect game in FSL debut; pitched at the Futures Game at All-Star Weekend
What he needs to do Prove that 2019 was no fluke and keep the momentum going; strengthen a third pitch
ETA 2021 is the safest choice, though a call up late in 2020 could happen if he accelerates like he has been

SP: Jhoan Duran, RHP

2019 stats (A+, AA) (3.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) 136 SO, 40 BB, 97 H, 115.0 IP
What he did Threw in the high 90’s and even touched 100 in 2019; he’s got 3 above average pitches, which includes a knuckle curve ball and a lively fastball.
What he needs to do Needs to enhance his underlying pitches and improve them to the point where he can use them consistently.
ETA 2021 is the likeliest of dates as he continues to work on his second and third pitches

SP: Bailey Ober, RHP

2019 stats (Rookie, A+, AA) (0.69 ERA, 0.81 WHIP) 100 SO, 9 BB, 55 H, 78.2 IP
What he did Started the year in Rookie (though he finished 2018 in A) and soared up to AA; his counting numbers in that many innings are ridiculously great; accomplished those stats while being incredibly tall and a soft tosser
What he needs to do Continue this dominating run and succeed in Triple A; stay healthy as his past has been plagued with injuries
ETA 2021 is more likely with the odd Dobnak-like run to a 2020 spot start or two.

SP: Chris Vallimont, RHP

2019 stats (A, A+ (MIA) A+ (MIN) (3.24 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) 150 SO, 41 BB, 94 H, 127.2 IP
What he did Stretched out into longer inning outings in 2019; he improved with Minnesota’s A+ team (post-trade) in comparison to Miami’s A+team (post-trade); he’s got an interesting mix of two sliders.
What he needs to do Limit his walks and continue to stretch himself by pitching a lot of innings.
ETA Late 2021 or 2022 as a refined, long inning pitcher.


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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