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Twinkie Town Community Prospect Vote 2019: Round 9

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Join the fun and learn about the best players in the Twins minor leagues!

Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Slugger Brent Rooker wins a close round eight over Wander Javier who appears to have the pole position for round 9.

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%)
  8. Brent Rooker 43% (Javier 41%, Baddoo 6%, Enlow 6%, Alcala 4%)

This round I am adding a promising pitching prospect the Twins obtained in a deadline trade last summer.

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.

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.

Jhoan Duran, SP

2019 Age: 21

2018 High Level: Cedar Rapids (A)

Jhoan Duran was signed in 2015 by the Diamondbacks as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic. He moved slowly up the rookie leagues putting up pedestrian numbers in his first two seasons (K/BB around 2, Run Average around 5). He showed modest improvement in 2017 with an improved strikeout rate and promotion to low A ball but his ERA was still 4.24. His breakthrough came pitching for Kane County in the Midwest League in 2018 with a 9.9 K/9 before the trade. The Twins acquired him at the deadline as part of the haul for Eduardo Escobar. Duran impressed quickly by throwing a 7 inning shutout in one of his earliest games as a Kernel. He finished the 2018 season with a 10.3 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 4.65 RA9 in 100-2/3 innings in the Midwest League. Kernels manager Toby Gardenhire described Duran as having a “power sinker...he gets guys to chase a lot down in the zone. Got a really good arm, has a four-seamer he runs up there close to 97 miles per hour. He can sink it at 91, 92.” Duran is also working on a breaking ball and that third pitch will probably determine his future success at higher levels.

Poll

Who do you think is the #9 prospect in the Twins’ system?

This poll is closed

  • 69%
    Wander Javier
    (219 votes)
  • 8%
    Jorge Alcala
    (26 votes)
  • 11%
    Akil Baddoo
    (35 votes)
  • 7%
    Blayne Enlow
    (23 votes)
  • 3%
    Jhoan Duran
    (12 votes)
315 votes total Vote Now