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Twinkie Town Community Prospect Vote 2019: Round 17

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Grab some maple syrup (get it, last round’s winner is Canadian) and join us for round seventeen!

Canada v United States - World Baseball Classic Tornoto Day 1
Proud Canadian fans celebrate Jordan Balazovic winning round 16 of our poll
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Jordan Balazovic won round sixteen handily. He has been generating a lot of “sleeper” buzz in prospect reports.

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%)
  9. Wander Javier 70% (Baddoo 12%, Enlow 7%, Alcala 7%, Duran 4%)
  10. Jorge Alcala 32% (Baddoo 28%, Enlow 23%, Duran 14%, Celestino 3%)
  11. Jhoan Duran 39% (Enlow 31%, Baddoo 25%, Severino 3%, Celestino 2%)
  12. Zack Littell 56% (Enlow 28%, Baddoo 11%, Severino 2%, Celestino 2%)
  13. Blayne Enlow 50% (Baddoo 33%, Balazovic 10%, Severino 4%, Celestino 3%)
  14. Akil Baddoo 54% (Balazovic 13%, Jeffers 12%, Rortvedt 11%, Severino 8%, Celestino 4%)
  15. Ryan Jeffers 34% (Balazovic 31%, Severino 12%, Rortvedt 12%, Celestino 10%)
  16. Jordan Balazovic 63% (Rortvedt 13%, Severino 11%, Celestino 10%, Urbina 3%)

I will add a pitcher to the list who was not a high draft pick but has had great results at every stop in the minor leagues so far.

Gilberto Celestino, CF

2019 Age: 20

2018 High Level: Corpus Christi (AA)

Gilberto Celestino was signed as an international free agent by the Houston Astros for a $2.5M bonus in 2015. He ranked as the #7 international prospect that signing period. As an outfielder who throws left and bats right, a combination that worked mainly for Rickey Henderson, he is a rarity. He runs fast and throws hard which has helped him build an excellent reputation as an outfielder. He also does well on the basepaths stealing 22 bases while only being caught once in 2018. His minor league experience is rather unusual. After hitting .268/.331/.379 as an 18 year old in the Appalachian League the Astros promoted him to the New York - Penn league in 2018. He hit .323/.387/.480 for the Tri-City Valley Cats. Don’t let his brief stint beginning the season at Double-A Corpus Christi fool you, he only had 8 at-bats before he was moved to a lower level team. Celestino was acquired along with Alcala last summer in return for reliever Ryan Pressly. After he was acquired by the Twins he was sent back to the Appalachian League to play with the Elizabethton Twins instead of assigning him to Cedar Rapids. He finished the season hitting .266/.308/.349 which was a downgrade from his past performance in the same league. He has tremendous tools and should be a plus defender but needs to work on his consistency at the plate. Expect to see him playing for Cedar Rapids this summer.

Yunior Severino, 2B

2019 Age: 19

2018 High Level: Elizabethton (Rookie)

Yunior Severino was part of the Braves high profile class of international free agent signings headed by Kevin Maitan in 2016. Unfortunately for the Braves those signings became even more high profile when MLB voided the signings and made most of the players free agents again last winter. Severino originally signed a $1.9M contract with the Braves and he gets to keep all of that money. The Twins were able to sign him for $2.5M so the young man has done quite well already. Severino is a switch hitting second baseman from the Dominican Republic. He was promoted after 10 games from the Braves’ Dominican Rookie team to the GCL team and hit .286/.345/.444 in his debut. Scouts believe he has power and he has shown it, albeit inconsistently. He is considered a bat-first infielder who is learning how to play 2B and some scouts think he may need to move to 3B or 1B if he grows significantly. Severino stayed in extended spring training working on fundamentals until Elizabethton started their season last summer. He hit .263/.321/.424 and started off hot but faded as the season went on. His fielding at 2B was solid but he struggled in a few games at SS. As a switch hitter he will be taking lots of extra batting practice to improve on his offense in 2019.

Ben Rortvedt, C

2019 Age: 21

2018 High Level: Fort Myers (A+)

Ben Rortvedt was drafted out of high school in Wisconsin by the Twins in the second round in 2016. Scouts loved his glove behind the plate and were encouraged by his hitting. He started off with the GCL Twins and was pushed up to Elizabethton after just 20 games. He didn’t hit very well (OPS below 600) but impressed the talent evaluators enough to start 2017 with Cedar Rapids. He was quite young for Cedar Rapids and it showed in his struggles at the plate. He hit just .224/.284/.315 for the Kernels in 2017. He did make significant progress with his offense after starting the season with a brutal April and May that left him hitting just .140 at the beginning of June. The Twins were impressed with his defense and encouraged enough by his ability to adjust at the plate that they still considered the aggressive promotion a success. He began the 2018 season at Cedar Rapids and earned a promotion to Fort Myers after 29 games. His combined batting line at two levels of A-ball was .262/.331/.379 which is a significant improvement over the previous season but still lacking in power. If he is able to learn to drive the ball he may have a future as a big league starter, otherwise his glove suggests he would be a valuable backup. Expect him to begin the 2019 season back at Fort Myers with an eye on a mid-season promotion to Double-A.

Misael Urbina, OF

2019 Age: 17

2018 High Level: Did not play professionally

Misael “Misa” Urbina was the top international free agent signed by the Twins last summer costing them a $2.75M bonus with an additional $300k for college. He ranked #5 among international free agents who were available in the 2018 signing period. He comes to the Twins from Venezuela where he has been participating in the Venezuelan Winter League development program for young players. This has allowed him to play against players with professional experience. Scouts like his hit tool and his plus speed. He is considered an advanced defender in the outfield with the range for centerfield but his arm may keep him in left. He is very young so anything can happen but the Twins have done well with international free agents lately. He should make his professional debut this summer in a foreign rookie league but his Twins debut is unlikely before 2023.

Tyler Wells, P

2019 Age: 24

2018 High Level: Chattanooga (AA)

Tyler Wells was the Twins 15th round selection in the 2016 draft from Cal State San Bernardino. He has steadily climbed the minor league ladder posting a great strikeout rate and decent walk rate while limiting home runs allowed. He has a pretty standard fastball, changeup and slider arsenal but uses his pitches effectively. At 6’8” 265lbs he has the frame of a starting pitcher. He had some biceps tendinitis in July of 2017 but has started healthy last spring at Fort Myers. He was promoted after 16 starts at Fort Myers (8.5 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 2.91 RA) to Chattanooga where he continued to pitch well (10.7 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 1.65 RA) in 32-2/3 innings. Wells is not a young prospect but he has performed admirably at every stop along the way. Expect him to start this year back in Double-A Pensacola with a goal of a promotion to Triple-A. He could pitch for the Twins as early as this September as he is a candidate to be added to the 40 man roster next winter.

Poll

Who do you think is the #17 prospect in the Twins system?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Gilbert Celestino
    (44 votes)
  • 23%
    Yunior Severino
    (53 votes)
  • 33%
    Ben Rortvedt
    (74 votes)
  • 5%
    Misael Urbina
    (13 votes)
  • 17%
    Tyler Wells
    (40 votes)
224 votes total Vote Now