Shortly after it was announced the Twins acquired catcher David Banuelos from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for $1 million of their international bonus pool cap money, the Twins also announced they received outfielder Jacob Pearson from the Los Angeles Angels, also for $1 million of their international bonus pool cap money.
Whereas the Banuelos trade helped address the Twins sheer lack of quality catching prospects, the Pearson trade gives the team another quality athlete in Pearson.
Drafted in the third round just nine picks after the Twins selected Lousianna prep right-hander Blayne Enlow, the Angels selected fellow Louisianan Pearson, who was named the Louisianan Gatorade Player of the Year in 2017.
Like Enlow, Pearson probably had first round talent, but his commitment to LSU dropped him to the third round, where the Angels offered him a $1 million bonus.
Here are Pearson’s scouting grades, according to MLB.com:
Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 60 | Arm: 30 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50
Pearson is a left-handed hitter with solid power and great athleticism, leading many to believe he has 20-20 potential in the big leagues. His poor arm grade comes due to his recovery from surgery to repair a torn labrum during his sophomore year of high school.
While Pearson struggled to the tune of a .586 OPS in 40 games of rookie ball after the draft, he has the potential to become a solid major league hitter and will be 19 for the start of next season.
In the Twins’ system, Pearson joins Alex Kirilloff as the team’s best outfield prospect of the future, a few years behind the likes of LaMonte Wade and Brent Rooker developmentally. Pearson will easily be a top-15 prospect in the Twins’ system according to MLB.com.
With the Twins heading towards contention, they will receive fewer high picks in the drafts, so acquiring a third round talent like Pearson for just $1 million of cap money (not even actual money) is a great way to restock the lower levels of the farm system.
With the two trades tonight, the Twins still have around $1.25 million in international bonus pool money to trade or use to sign players.