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Twinkie Town Community Prospect Vote 2019: Round 8

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Help us choose prospect #8!

Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers
Round seven winner Stephen Gonsalves
Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Former #1 Twinkie Town prospect Stephen Gonsalves wins a close round seven. There will be a short break after this round while I go somewhere warmer for a week.

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%)
  7. Stephen Gonsalves 35% (Rooker 28%, Javier 28%, Alcala 5%, Baddoo 4%)

I am replacing a left-handed starting pitcher with another left-handed starting pitcher for this round.

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 left-handed 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.

Blayne Enlow, SP

2019 Age: 20

2018 High Level: Cedar Rapids (A)

Blayne “Sweet” Enlow was picked in the 3rd round of the 2017 MLB draft out of high school but was signed for an overslot $2M bonus similar to the level of a low first round pick. The scouts use the word “projectable” often when describing Enlow which usually means the kid has a big frame (Enlow is 6’4”) and he should be able to put on enough muscle to make it as a starting pitcher. Scouts also love Enlow’s curve ball which was rated as one of the best in the draft. Enlow was sent to the Gulf Coast Twins after signing and he had a good summer posting an 8.4 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and 1.77 Run Average in six games. In 2018 he skipped over Betsy and spent the year with Cedar Rapids pitching 94 innings with a 3.83 Run Average, 6.8 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. He was 3 years younger than average for the level and battled through an ankle sprain and sore back in his first full professional season but still held his own. Enlow should spend the 2019 season in single-A as he continues to build stamina to maintain his fastball velocity around 94 MPH. The major leagues are not likely before 2022.

Poll

Who do you think is the eighth-best prospect in the Twins’ system?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Wander Javier
    (140 votes)
  • 43%
    Brent Rooker
    (148 votes)
  • 4%
    Jorge Alcala
    (15 votes)
  • 5%
    Akil Baddoo
    (20 votes)
  • 5%
    Blayne Enlow
    (20 votes)
343 votes total Vote Now