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Twinkie Town Community Prospect List 2019: Round 7

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Congratulations to Nick Gordon for winning round 6!

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
Nick Gordon at the Futures Game in 2017
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Former first round draftee Nick Gordon was our pick in round six. Hopefully we get to see him make his big league debut in 2019.

2019 Twinkie Town Prospect Voting Results

  1. Royce Lewis 52% (Kirilloff 44%, Graterol 4%)
  2. Alex Kirilloff 90% (Graterol 4%, Gordon 4%, Larnach 2%)
  3. Brusdar Graterol 56% (Gordon 19%, Larnach 12%, Thorpe 8%, Gonsalves 5%)
  4. Trevor Larnach 42% (Thorpe 25%, Gordon 21%, Gonsalves 12%)
  5. Lewis Thorpe 31% (Gordon 30%, Rooker 14%, Javier 13%, Gonsalves 11%)
  6. Nick Gordon 39% (Rooker 20%, Gonsalves 18%, Javier 17%, Alcala 5%)

This round we add a former second rounder with great tools who has quickly developed them into baseball skills.

Stephen Gonsalves, P

2019 Age: 24

2018 High Level: MLB

Lefty starting pitcher Stephen Gonsalves was voted our top prospect in 2017. The former fourth round pick has pitched well at every stop and moved quickly through the minors, earning mid-season promotions each season. He started 2018 in Double-A Chattanooga but was quickly promoted after just four games. At Triple-A Rochester he pitched well with a 2.96 ERA and 8.5 K/9 in 100-1/3 innings but his walk rate of 4.9 BB/9 was a red flag. He saw his first big league action in 2019 making his Twins debut in August but the results were not great. He pitched in seven major league games but with a brutal 6.57 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP. Gonsalves has good control of his low-90s fastball and a good changeup but his curve and slider are still a work in progress. He will be in the mix for the open spot in the pitching rotation this spring and will be one of the top pitchers on the list for a callup if he doesn’t win a spot in spring training.

Wander Javier, SS

2019 Age: 20

2017 High Level: Elizabethton (Rookie)

The Twins signed Wander Javier as an international free agent in the summer of 2015. He was ranked by Baseball America as the #9 international prospect and #8 by MLB.com. The Twins gave him a $4M signing bonus which was their entire 2015 international free agent budget. He hit .299/.383/.471 at Elizabethton in 2017 and was named the #2 prospect in the Appalachian League. Scouts love his righthanded power and ability to play shortstop but a move to third base is possible considering the quality infield prospects the Twins have. He was set to debut at Cedar Rapids last spring but suffered an injury to his non-throwing arm. He had shoulder surgery last spring and missed the entire 2018 season. Expect him to make his Cedar Rapids debut this spring. A Twins debut in 2021 is possible but 2022 is more likely.

Brent Rooker, LF/1B

2019 Age: 24

2018 High Level: Chattanooga (AA)

Brent Rooker was drafted in the supplemental first round of the 2017 draft (35th overall) out of Mississippi State. He was drafted as a redshirt sophomore in the 38th round of the 2016 draft by the Twins but decided to return for his junior season. He improved his draft stock considerably with a terrific junior year culminating in being named SEC player of the year among other honors. The Twins sent him to Elizabethton and he hit so well (.282/.364/.588) that they skipped over Cedar Rapids and promoted him to Fort Myers. Rooker hit .280/.364/.552 for Fort Myers against competition roughly the same age. In Double-A Chattanooga last summer he saw his first struggles hitting as a professional with a lousy April and underwhelming May due to a drop in batting average. He made adjustments and was outstanding in June and July (1000 OPS). He ended the season in a slump but still put up a respectable .254/.333/.465 batting line for the year. Even when he wasn’t hitting for average he continued to draw walks and hit for power but his strikeouts piled up to 150 for the summer. Rooker is seen as a competent LF and can play 1B but it is his bat that will get him to the big leagues. Look for a promotion to AAA in 2019 and a potential September callup if he continues to hit.

Jorge Alcala, P

2019 Age: 23

2018 High Level: Chattanooga (AA)

Jorge Alcala was signed by the Houston Astros from the Dominican Republic in 2014. He made his stateside debut in 2016 and was dominant at two levels of rookie ball. In 2017 he continued that dominance in the Midwest League and earned a mid-year promotion to the high-A Carolina League. He began 2018 at that level but impressed with a high strikeout rate (10.5 K/9) while proving nearly unhittable (5.8 H/9) and limiting HR (0.5 HR/9). That earned him a promotion to Double-A Corpus Christi where he maintained his impressive production. He was acquired by the Twins at the trade deadline as half of the return for reliever Ryan Pressly. The scouting report leads with a dominant fastball clocked as high as 98MPH. His slider can be terrific or flatten out and become hittable and his changeup is just mediocre. Limiting walks has also been an issue throughout Alcala’s minor league career. If he is able to more consistently show his good slider he could dominate as a fastball/slider pitcher in the bullpen. If he is also able to refine the changeup he profiles as a mid-rotation starter. He is likely to start the season at Double-A Pensacola but could move quickly to the major leagues.

Akil Baddoo, CF

2019 Age: 20

2018 High Level: Cedar Rapids (A)

Akil Baddoo was drafted in the second round in 2016 and was considered a toolsy work in progress with exceptional athletic talent (comparisons to Carl Crawford and Jacque Jones) but in need of refinement at the plate. Not unexpectedly, he hit .178 that summer in rookie ball. In 2017 it all came together in a hurry. He improved to .267/.360/.440 playing for the Gulf Coast Twins and was promoted to Elizabethton where he did even better. He hit .357/.478/.579 with more walks (27) than strikeouts (19) at Betsy and drew rave reviews for his approach at the plate. In 2018 he spent the summer at Cedar Rapids and thrived in a leadoff role. His batting average dipped (.243) but he did well getting on base (.351 OBP) and maintained his power (44 XBH) while showcasing his speed (11 triples, 24SB, 4 CS). The chink in the armor was a rise in strikeouts (124) and his struggles against more advanced lefthanded pitching (.220/.304/.339) but considering his age he performed admirably. His grade 70 speed allows him to cover CF but his arm might keep him in LF in the majors. Expect to see him in Fort Myers in 2019 but by 2021 he might be making his debut in the spacious LF of Target Field.

Poll

Who is the seventh best prospect in the Twins system?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Stephen Gonsalves
    (149 votes)
  • 27%
    Wander Javier
    (120 votes)
  • 27%
    Brent Rooker
    (120 votes)
  • 4%
    Jorge Alcala
    (19 votes)
  • 5%
    Akil Baddoo
    (23 votes)
431 votes total Vote Now