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Twinkie Town Prospect Vote: Round 29

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Only 2 rounds remain in our prospect voting!

Cincinnati Reds v Cleveland Indians
Recent acquisition Jake Cave is added to round 29
Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Infield prospect Jose Miranda won round 28. We are replacing him with a recent trade acquisition.

Twins Top 30 prospects for 2018

  1. Royce Lewis - 57% (Gonsalves 25%, Gordon 18%)
  2. Stephen Gonsalves - 55% (Gordon 30%, Javier 10%, Romero 5%)
  3. Nick Gordon - 65% (Romero 19%, Javier 9%, Kirilloff 7%)
  4. Zack Littell - 57% (Romero 27%, Javier 13%, Kirilloff 4%)
  5. Fernando Romero 46% (Rooker 24%, Javier 21%, Kirilloff 9%)
  6. Wander Javier 44% (Rooker 31%, Kirilloff 13%, Enlow 7%, Graterol 5%)
  7. Brent Rooker 55% (Kirilloff 26%, Baddoo 7%, Graterol 7%, Enlow 5%)
  8. Alex Kirilloff 47% (Thorpe 23%, Graterol 13%, Baddoo 10%, Enlow 7%)
  9. Lewis Thorpe 30% (Graterol 22%, Baddoo 21%, Jay 16%, Enlow 12%)
  10. Brudsar Graterol 29% (Baddoo 19%, Enlow 19%, Garver 17%, Jay 14%)
  11. Akil Baddoo 32% (Enlow 27%, Jay 19%, Garver 15%, Jorge 7%)
  12. Blayne Enlow 48% (Jay 22%, Garver 21%, Jorge 8%)
  13. Tyler Jay 41% (Garver 38%, Wade 11%, Jorge 10%)
  14. Mitch Garver 48% (Wade 18%, Moya 14%, Curtiss 13%, Jorge 6%)
  15. LaMonte Wade 25% (Moya 23%, Curtiss 16%, Palacios 15%, Diaz 13%, Jorge 9%)
  16. Gabriel Moya 32% (Palacios 19%, Curtiss 17%, Diaz 14%, Jorge 9%, Blankenhorn 9%)
  17. Zack Granite 24% (Curtiss 21%, Palacios 20%, Diaz 18%, Jorge 11%, Blankenhorn 6%)
  18. John Curtiss 31% (Severino 29%, Diaz 19%, Jorge 14%, Blankenhorn 7%)
  19. Yunior Severino 33% (Diaz 26%, Jorge 25%, Rortvedt 13%, Blankenhorn 4%)
  20. Felix Jorge 41% (Diaz 28%, Bechtold 11%, Rortvedt 11%, Blankenhorn 9%)
  21. Lewin Diaz 49% (Rortvedt 15%, Bechtold 14%, Stewart 13%, Blankenhorn 9%)
  22. Ben Rortvedt 29% (Bechtold 22%, Blankenhorn 20%, Stewart 17%, Pearson 12%)
  23. Travis Blankenhorn 30% (Arraez 18%, Bechtold 17%, Stewart 16%, Miranda 12%, Pearson 6%)
  24. Luis Arraez 27% (Bechtold 24%, Stewart 24%, Miranda 13%, Pearson 10%)
  25. Andrew Bechtold 36% (Stewart 26%, Leach 19%, Miranda 14%, Pearson 5%)
  26. Landon Leach 32% (Stewart 32%, Miranda 18%, Banuelos 11%, Pearson 7%)
  27. Kohl Stewart 41% (Miranda 33%, Pearson 14%, Watson 9%, Banuelos 4%)
  28. Jose Miranda 50% (Jax 18%, Pearson 17%, Banuelos 8%, Watson 8%)

Here are your choices for the penultimate round of voting:

Jacob Pearson, LF

2018 Age: 20

2017 High Level: Arizona Angels (Rookie)

Jacob Pearson was drafted by the Angels out of high school in the third round of the 2017 draft. Pearson was considered the top high school talent in Louisiana on draft day so the Angels went overslot and signed him for a $1M bonus. He was acquired by the Twins for the opportunity to spend $1M in international bonus money. The Angels used that money to acquire Shohei Otani so I’m guessing they’re pretty happy with that trade. Pearson had a rough introduction to wood bat leagues hitting just .226/.302/.284 for the Angels’ rookie team but appeared to be making adjustments as the season progressed. Pearson projects as a future left fielder with enough speed to cover that position but due to a shoulder surgery not enough arm for CF. Scouts think he can hit for power and like his approach at the plate. He is also praised for his work ethic. Expect to see Pearson working in extended spring training before being sent to Elizabethton this summer.

David Banuelos, C

2018 Age: 21

2017 High Level: Everett (A-)

Banuelos was drafted in the 5th round of the 2017 MLB draft by the Seattle Mariners. Prior to being drafted he was the starting catcher for the Long Beach State Dirtbags (no joke). Banuelos had a great reputation as a quality defensive player behind the plate in college throwing out 61% of opposing base stealers his sophomore year. This defensive ability got him named an honorable mention All-American as well as the college gold glove at catcher. The Mariners started him at their short season A team the Everett AquaSox (also not kidding) and he hit .236/.331/.394 while continuing to impress with his defense (38% caught stealing). The Twins acquired Banuelos in exchange for $1M in international bonus pool allocation so the Mariners could pursue Shohei Ohtani (they didn’t get him). Banuelos has an elite glove and will need to continue to produce at or above his established .730 OPS at the plate to advance through the minors. The Twins added him to a talented Cedar Rapids team this summer.

Tyler Watson, SP

2018 Age: 21

2017 High Level: Cedar Rapids (A)

The Washington Nationals took a flyer on Tyler Watson with the 34th round pick in the 2015 MLB draft. He was committed to Loyola Marymount but the Nationals were able to sign him for a $400,000 bonus. In 2016 he performed very well in the New York - Penn League posting a 2.09 RA, 1.9 BB.9 and 10.0 K/9. This earned him a mid-year promotion to Hagerstown in the Sally League. In 2017 he started at Hagerstown again and he had very good peripherals (2.3 BB/9 9.5 K/9) though his run average was above 4. The Twins acquired him when they traded Brandon Kintzler to the Nationals at the July trade deadline. Watson doesn’t have an overpowering fastball (87-90 MPH) but he is a lefty and he has an above average curve and changeup. He is listed at 6’5” and 200 pounds so there is hope that as he adds muscle he will add fastball velocity. His strikeout rate took a dive at Cedar Rapids after the trade which is why he is starting the season in Iowa but expect to see him at Fort Myers some time this summer.

Griffin Jax, SP

2018 Age: 23

2017 High Level: Cedar Rapids (A)

The Twins selected Griffin Jax in the third round of the 2016 MLB draft from the Air Force Academy. He pitched very well and was named co-pitcher of the year for the Mountain West conference in his junior year. When Jax was drafted the Twins and Jax thought there was a chance that his military commitment could be served in the Air Force reserves and Jax could pitch for the Twins simultaneously. Unfortunately for the Twins the current military policy says Jax has to serve two years in active duty before he can start his athletic career. Jax has been able to pitch a total of 39-2/3 innings while on leave and has shown a 90-93 MPH fastball, a decent slider and a changeup while avoiding walks (1.8 BB/9). He is able to continue to train while doing his job as a procurement officer but hasn’t seen much game action. There is some hope he will be able to pitch some innings for Fort Myers this summer since his job is located in Cape Canaveral but that is not definite. We will have to wait until next summer to see what Jax can do with a full season in the minor leagues. No pitcher from the Air Force Academy has ever made the big leagues so I’m sure if Jax is successful he will have a large cheering section.

Jake Cave, OF

2018 Age: 25

2017 High Level: Scranton / Wilkes-Barre (AAA)

Jake Cave was the 6th round pick of the Yankees in the 2011 draft. He went from high school to the Gulf Coast Yankees but only registered two plate appearances in 2011. He broke his kneecap in the first game in 2012 and missed that season also. Despite the layoff the Yankees promoted him to A-ball and he did fairly well in 2013. He moved up a level in 2014 and even earned a midseason promotion to AA. In 2015 he hit modestly in AA and had a few plate appearances in AAA but the Yankees left him unprotected which led to the Reds drafting him in the Rule 5 draft. He didn’t stick with the Reds and the Yankees sent him back to AA for 2016. Cave’s production took a big step forward in 2016 hitting .288/.353/.510 in AA and .261/.323/.401 after his midseason promotion to AAA. He was left unprotected again but was not selected in the 2016 MLB draft. In 2017 at AAA he hit .324/.367/.554 which was good enough that the Yankees added him to the roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. Unfortunately for Cave the Yankees made a significant acquisition to their outfield which left them out of room this spring. The Twins were able to trade a very young pitcher to acquire Cave from the Yankees this spring. Seeing how the Yankees recently claimed Trayce Thompson and the Twins are content playing Cave in AAA this appears to be an opportunity missed in the near-term. On the scouting scale Jake Cave grades out as nearly average in every aspect of the game (defense, hitting, running). Players who are okay at everything but not great at anything in particular often get labeled “AAAA” and have a difficult time sticking on a roster. In 2018 he will be in Rochester competing with Zack Granite to see who gets called up first in case of an injury or ineffectiveness among the big league outfielders.

Poll

Who do you think is the twenty-ninth best prospect in the Twins system?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Jacob Pearson
    (21 votes)
  • 21%
    David Banuelos
    (27 votes)
  • 11%
    Tyler Watson
    (14 votes)
  • 14%
    Griffin Jax
    (19 votes)
  • 36%
    Jake Cave
    (46 votes)
127 votes total Vote Now