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Twinkie Town Prospect Vote 2020: Round 3

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Royce Lewis wins round two, who will win round three?

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins
Congratulations to Royce Lewis for winning round 2!
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations to Royce Lewis for winning our second round of voting. He is at the top of most Twins prospect lists but that is why we do the voting here.

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%)

In this round we will replace a first round draft pick infielder with another first round draft pick infielder.

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. He also played for Team Canada in the Pan Am games last summer. Expect him to start the 2020 season at Pensacola with the big leagues as a possibility if he maintains his performance.

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.

Poll

Who is your choice in round 3 of our prospect voting?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Brudsar Graterol
    (251 votes)
  • 21%
    Jordan Balazovic
    (94 votes)
  • 19%
    Trevor Larnach
    (82 votes)
  • 0%
    Keoni Cavaco
    (3 votes)
430 votes total Vote Now