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Twinkie Town Community Prospect Vote 2019: Round 5

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Trevor Larnach wins round 4, help us choose prospect #5!

College World Series - Arkansas v Oregon State - Game Three
Trevor Larnach grabs the 4th spot on our list
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Congratulations to Trevor Larnach for placing fourth on our prospect list. It is a good sign of minor league depth when the previous summer’s first round pick doesn’t finish in the top 3.

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%)

I am adding two players to this round who have finished in the top 10 in last season’s list.

Nick Gordon, SS

2019 Age: 23

2018 High Level: Rochester (AAA)

The 2014 first round selection was sent back to improve on some things at Double-A Chattanooga to start the 2018 season. He took a big step forward hitting .333/.381/.525 in 42 games proving that level was no longer a challenge. Unfortunately he struggled at Triple-A Rochester hitting just .212/.262/.283 in 99 games which means he is still not quite big-league ready. There are some silver linings in his 2018 performance. His stolen base success rate (20 SB / 5 CS) was his best since 2015 in Cedar Rapids. He had solid range at shortstop and only 12 errors, plus he seemed to do well at second base in some innings at that position. He still looks like he will become a solid everyday player in the middle infield, not unlike his brother Dee Gordon. He will most likely begin the 2019 season in AAA to improve his production at the plate. Nick was added to the 40 man roster this offseason so he should make his major league debut some time in 2019 with a chance at making the opening day roster if someone else suffers an injury.

Lewis Thorpe, P

2019 Age: 23

2018 High Level: Rochester (AAA)

Confirmed Australian Lewis Thorpe was signed for a $500k bonus by the Twins in 2012. By 2014 he reached Cedar Rapids with a performance of 10.0 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 4.65 RA despite being 4 years younger than the average player in the Midwest League. That offseason the young lefty made the Baseball Prospectus top 101 list. Unfortunately in 2015 he had elbow issues in spring training which led to ligament replacement surgery. During his 2016 comeback he contracted mono and was shut down without pitching in a game. By 2017 he had faded into the background with newer prospects getting the attention of prospect lists. He started the 2017 season with Fort Myers, gradually building up his pitch count while posting a nice 9.8 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 3.16 RA in 77 innings. That earned him a spot start for Chattanooga in August. The Twins added him to the 40 man roster to keep him from being selected in the Rule 5 draft after the 2017 season. In 2018 he started at Double-A Chattanooga and pitched excellent with a 3.58 ERA and 10.9 K/9 against just a 2.5 BB/9. Thorpe built up his strength as the season went on and his fastball gained velocity. He earned a late promotion to Triple-A Rochester where he was able to maintain his production in 4 starts at that level. His great rate stats over 130 innings (a new high for Thorpe) led to the Twins naming him minor league pitcher of year. Since he is on the roster he will get a shot at a big league job this spring but starting 2019 at Triple-A Rochester is more likely. If he continues to pitch well and stay healthy he will make his Twins debut this summer.

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.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Nick Gordon
    (155 votes)
  • 30%
    Lewis Thorpe
    (152 votes)
  • 11%
    Stephen Gonsalves
    (58 votes)
  • 13%
    Wander Javier
    (67 votes)
  • 14%
    Brent Rooker
    (71 votes)
503 votes total Vote Now