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Twinkie Town Prospect Vote 2020: Round 9

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NCAA BASEBALL: JUN 02 Ohio State v UNC Wilmington
Congratulations Ryan Jeffers!
Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ryan Jeffers was the winner of round 8. Lewis Thorpe was a clear runner-up. If Thorpe does not win this round it will be an upset.

Twinkie Town 2020 Prospect Voting Results

  1. Alex Kirilloff 40% (Lewis 28%, Graterol 24%, Larnach 8%)
  2. Royce Lewis 48% (Graterol 29%, Balazovic 12%, Larnach 12%)
  3. Brusdar Graterol 59% (Balazovic 22%, Larnach 19%, Cavaco 1%)
  4. Trevor Larnach 48% (Balazovic 43%, Duran 8%, Cavaco 1%)
  5. Jordan Balazovic 78% (Duran 11%, Rooker 9%, Jeffers 2%, Cavaco 0%)
  6. Jhoan Duran 52% (Rooker 19%, Thorpe 16%, Jeffers 10%, Cavaco 3%)
  7. Brent Rooker 37% (Jeffers 28%, Thorpe 24%, Urbina 6%, Cavaco 5%)
  8. Ryan Jeffers 47% (Thorpe 34%, Cavaco 10%, Celestino 5%, Urbina 3%)

I am adding a pitcher to the ballot who was a recent draft pick.

Keoni Cavaco, SS

2020 Age: 19

2019 High Level: Gulf Coast Twins (Rookie)

Keoni Cavaco was the Twins first round pick in the 2019 MLB draft out of Eastlake High School in California. As the draft approached the word most used with Cavaco was “helium” as he had risen up draft boards all the way to the Twins at pick #13, the fifth highest pick among high school players. Cavaco fits the mold of a “toolsy” draft pick as his arm and speed are impressive and he has some pop in his bat but he has not seen as high level of pitching as other players. This was evident in his performance in rookie ball where he hit just .172/.217/.253 in 92 PA. The Twins played Cavaco mainly at shortstop during rookie ball but many scouts think his long-term position is third base. Cavaco believes he will be ready to contribute in the majors in “three years” and while I admire the optimism I don’t think anyone will be surprised if his development takes longer. Expect to see Cavaco start the year in extended spring training with another stint in rookie ball in Fort Myers or Elizabethton late this summer.

Lewis Thorpe, P

2020 Age: 24

2019 High Level: Twins (MLB)

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 off season 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 the 2018 minor league pitcher of year. He started 2019 back at Triple-A Rochester and continued to pitch well with (11.1K/9, 2.1 BB/9) but the super-ball used in AAA led to a 4.76 Run Average. More importantly he stayed relatively healthy for a second season in a row. He made his Twins debut last summer in the bullpen and his strikeouts (10.1 K/9) and walks (3.3 BB/9) were good but he gave up a bunch of runs (6.18 RA). One knock on Thorpe is that his pitch sequencing and command are great but he lacks one plus-plus pitch that can dominate batters. This limits his ceiling to a #4 starter. The Twins have an opening in the rotation to start the season and Thorpe would fill a niche as a left handed option. I expect him to get first dibs at that open rotation spot. If he falters the Twins can use his last option and move him back to Triple-A.

Misael Urbina, CF

2020 Age: 18

2019 High Level: DSL Twins (Foreign Rookie)

Misael “Misa” Urbina was the top international free agent signed by the Twins in 2018 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 came to the Twins from Venezuela where he had been participating in the Venezuelan Winter League development program for young players. He played his first summer in the system in the Dominican rookie league and did very well hitting .279/.382/.443 with more walks than strikeouts. He has plus speed and scouts rated his center field defense as among the best in the league. He should make his way to the United States this summer to play in a rookie league but his Twins debut is unlikely before 2023.

Gilberto Celestino, CF

2020 Age: 21

2019 High Level: Fort Myers (A+)

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. 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. Celestino was acquired along with Alcala in 2018 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 2018 season hitting .266/.308/.349 which was a downgrade from his past performance in the same league. He debuted in 2019 at Cedar Rapids and hit .276/.350/.409 with lots of doubles and excellent defense. He earned a late season promotion to Fort Myers and hit .300/.333/.433 in 33 PA at that level. He has tremendous tools and should be a plus defender but is still quite young and needs more time to develop. Expect to see him start 2020 at Fort Myers with a 2022 Twins debut possible.

Matt Canterino, P

2020 Age: 22

2019 High Level: Cedar Rapids (A)

The Twins drafted Matt Canterino in the second round of the 2020 MLB draft. He spent three seasons at Rice University and led the team in strikeouts all three seasons. The right-handed pitcher was named Conference USA pitcher of the year in 2019. He has a four pitch mix (fastball, curve, slider, change) and his strikeout pitch is his slider but he is best known for having great control. As a mechanical engineering major who was all-academic in his conference he is known to think a bit about his pitching. He made his professional debut last summer for the Gulf Coast Twins rookie team but was promoted after just 5 innings. In 20 innings at Cedar Rapids he had a 2.25 RA9, 11.3 K/9 and 0.65 WHIP. He could start 2020 back at Cedar Rapids or possibly move up to Fort Myers. With his college experience the organization will not be afraid to promote him quickly as long as he pitches well. He could be pitching regularly for the Twins as soon as 2022.

Poll

Who is your choice for #9 on the Twinkie Town Prospect List?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Keoni Cavaco
    (34 votes)
  • 58%
    Lewis Thorpe
    (195 votes)
  • 10%
    Misael Urbina
    (36 votes)
  • 8%
    Gilberto Celestino
    (27 votes)
  • 11%
    Matt Canterino
    (39 votes)
331 votes total Vote Now