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Twinkie Town Prospect Vote 2020: Round 2

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Alex Kirilloff wins round 1!

MLB: Spring Training-Minnesota Twins at Toronto Blue Jays
Congratulations to Alex Kirilloff for being voted our top Twins prospect!
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations to Alex Kirilloff for winning our first round of voting. I will try to keep a bat-first player (1B/OF) a glove-first player (C, 3B, SS, 2B) and a pitcher on the list at all times.

Twinkie Town 2020 Prospect Voting Results

  1. Alex Kirilloff 40% (Lewis 28%, Graterol 24%, Larnach 8%)

In this round we add another exciting pitching prospect to the ballot.

Royce Lewis, SS

2020 Age: 21

2019 High Level: Pensacola (AA)

Drafted first overall in 2017, Royce Lewis did his best to live up to those lofty expectations. In 2017 he was aggressively promoted to Cedar Rapids after performing well at Rookie ball and hit .296/.363/.394 despite being 3 years younger than competition. He followed that up in 2018 by hitting .315/.368/.485 before a mid-year promotion to Fort Myers. In Fort Myers his batting average dropped to .255 but he kept drawing walks (.327 OBP) and hitting the ball relatively hard. He started 2019 back at Fort Myers and hit just .238/.289/.376 but the Twins gave him an aggressive promotion to Pensacola mid-season. At Pensacola he continued to struggle with his batting average hitting .231/.291/.358. Some scouts believe he will have to re-tool his whole approach at the plate to improve contact but he has the athletic ability to revamp his swing. He has impressive speed with 68 steals in three seasons but his 16/8 SB/CS ratio in Pensacola is not quite break-even. Scouts like his range at SS but he is still learning the position. Everyone places him at SS/2B/3B or CF long term as his speed will play at any of those positions and he did move around the field for the first time during the Arizona Fall League. Another positive of his time in Arizona was his offensive production, where he hit .353/.411/.565 and was named the league MVP. The questions for Lewis are whether he can consistently hit for average and whether he stays at SS or shifts to a different position long term. He should start next season again at Double-A Pensacola but could move quickly to Triple-A. Due to not being on the 40 man roster his Twins debut is unlikely to happen before 2021 but he could push the Twins to promote him this season.

Brusdar Graterol, P

2020 Age: 21

2019 High Level: Twins (MLB)

Graterol was signed as international free agent from Venezuela in 2014 for a modest bonus. Just a few games into the 2015 Dominican Summer League season he was injured and needed ligament replacement surgery (Tommy John). He came back from the surgery throwing his fastball 93-98 MPH with a nice upper 80s slider. Toward the end of the season he was clocked throwing 100 MPH and everyone noticed. He finished 2017 in advanced rookie ball and posted a 10.9 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and 3.92 RA in five games. Since he only pitched 40 competitive innings there were a lot of question marks about his 2018. Consider the questions answered. He started 2018 in Cedar Rapids and posted a 2.18 ERA with an 11.1 K/9 against just 2.0 BB/9 in 41-1/3 innings. This dominance earned him a mid-season promotion to Fort Myers where he pitched 60 innings with a 8.3K/9, 2.8BB/9, and 3.12 ERA. His surgically repaired arm responded as well as could be expected with 100 innings pitched and no issues as the season ended. He continues to throw his fastball in the high 90s, occasionally hitting 100 MPH, with good command and without a max-effort delivery. That dominant fastball has some people projecting him as an elite bullpen arm but he has the potential to be an ace starting pitcher if he continues to develop his off-speed pitches. Graterol started 2019 at Double-A Pensacola and was dominant (5-0 with a 1.89 ERA) but a shoulder impingement landed him on the injured list from the end of May to the beginning of August. When Graterol returned from injury he was moved to the bullpen and aggressively promoted, ending his season in the Twins bullpen. His fastball and slider generated a lot of strikeouts but he still needs work locating pitches and improving his changeup. It will be interesting to see if the Twins decide to keep Graterol in the bullpen or try to develop him as a starting pitcher. Expect to see Graterol up-and-down between Triple-A and the majors in 2020.

Trevor Larnach, OF

2020 Age: 23

2019 High Level: Pensacola (AA)

Trevor Larnach was the Twins first round draft pick (#20 overall) in 2018 after his College World Series win with Oregon State including a game where he hit a dramatic 9th inning home run. His college career ended with Trevor being named an All-American in the outfield. After he signed the Twins sent him to rookie-level Elizabethton to get his feet wet. He quickly proved that rookie ball was not a challenge and was promoted after 18 games to Cedar Rapids. With the Kernels he hit .297/.373/.505 in 24 games showing he can produce at the plate as well as nearly anyone in the Midwest League. The Twins promoted him aggressively starting 2019 at Fort Myers. He responded well hitting .316/.382/.459 and earned a mid-season promotion to Double-A Pensacola. At Pensacola he continued to hit posting a .295/.387/.455 batting line. Larnach has played primarily in RF and should be the starter there in Triple-A Rochester to start 2020. If he continues to hit he could make his Twins debut this summer.

Jordan Balazovic, P

2020 Age: 21

2019 High Level: Pensacola (AA)

Jordan Balazovic was drafted by the Twins in the 5th round of the 2016 draft out of St. Martin Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario. He was committed to pitch at Auburn but the Twins went over slot and signed him for a $515,000 bonus. He was one of the youngest players in the draft that summer due to a September birthday and he has since grown from 6’3” 170 lbs to 6’5” 215 lbs. On draft day he impressed with his fastball command and a decent changeup. Since draft day his fastball has increased in velocity from 89 MPH to 95 MPH and added sinking movement. The changeup has improved and he has added a good slider while maintaining his above average command. In 2019 he started the year back in Cedar Rapids and was dominant (14.4 K/9, 1.7 BB/9) in four starts earning a promotion to Fort Myers. In 73 innings at that level he impressed again with a 11.8 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 and earned a September promotion to Double-A Pensacola for the playoffs. He is no longer a “sleeper” prospect after joining Royce Lewis at the MLB Futures game at All-Star Weekend. Expect him to start the 2020 season at Pensacola with the big leagues as a possibility if he maintains his performance.

Poll

Who is your choice in the second round of our propect vote?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Royce Lewis
    (216 votes)
  • 27%
    Brusdar Graterol
    (123 votes)
  • 11%
    Trevor Larnach
    (51 votes)
  • 12%
    Jordan Balazovic
    (55 votes)
445 votes total Vote Now