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Twinkie Town Prospect Vote: Round 18

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Election season is heating up. Vote for your favorite Twins prospects.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: APR 18 Nicholls State at Southern Miss
Matt Wallner was our round seventeen selection
Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Matt Wallner won round seventeen. I hope to see him make his Target Field debut with the stands full of supporters from Forest Lake.

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. Trevor Larnach 48% (Balazovic 43%, Duran 8%, Cavaco 1%)
  4. Jordan Balazovic 78% (Duran 11%, Rooker 9%, Jeffers 2%, Cavaco 0%)
  5. Jhoan Duran 52% (Rooker 19%, Thorpe 16%, Jeffers 10%, Cavaco 3%)
  6. Brent Rooker 37% (Jeffers 28%, Thorpe 24%, Urbina 6%, Cavaco 5%)
  7. Ryan Jeffers 47% (Thorpe 34%, Cavaco 10%, Celestino 5%, Urbina 3%)
  8. Lewis Thorpe 58% (Urbina 12%, Canterino 11%, Cavaco 10%, Celestino 9%)
  9. Matt Canterino 27% (Celestino 23%, Cavaco 22%, Urbina 19%, Wallner 9%)
  10. Keoni Cavaco 33% (Celestino 29%, Urbina 18%, Sands 15%, Wallner 9%)
  11. Gilberto Celestino 36% (Gordon 26%, Urbina 19%, Wallner 12%, Sands 7%)
  12. Nick Gordon 35% (Urbina 28%, Enlow 21%, Wallner 9%, Sands 8%)
  13. Misael Urbina 36% (Enlow 24%, Sands 20%, Wallner 10%, Javier 9%)
  14. Blayne Enlow 31% (Colina 29%, Sands 19%, Wallner 12%, Javier 9%)
  15. Edwar Colina 42% (Wallner 20%, Sands 20%, Javier 15%, Miranda 1%)
  16. Cole Sands 31% (Wallner 26%, Javier 20%, Blankenhorn 20%, Miranda 3%)
  17. Matt Wallner 35% (Smeltzer 31%, Javier 18%, Blankenhorn 11%, Miranda 4%)

We saw an outfielder get selected so I am adding a new outfielder who was the Twins’ top international free agent signing last summer.

Wander Javier, SS

2020 Age: 21

2019 High Level: Cedar Rapids (A)

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 right handed 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 spring of 2018 but suffered an torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. He had shoulder surgery and missed the entire 2018 season. He debuted at Cedar Rapids last spring and it was a long, difficult summer for Javier. He struggled at the plate hitting just .177/.278/.323 in 80 games and was forced to deal with other injuries. The tools are still there but he needs a strong season at the plate to regain his prospect status.

Jose Miranda, IF

2020 Age: 22

2019 High Level: Pensacola (AA)

Puerto Rican Jose Miranda was the 73rd overall pick in the 2016 MLB draft. He made his debut with the GCL Twins and hit .227 while playing three infield positions. In 2017 the Twins sent him to Elizabethton and had him play mostly 2B because the team had Andrew Bechtold at 3B. Miranda improved at the plate in 2017 hitting .283/.340/.484 in 247 plate appearances. In 2018 he split time defensively between second base and third. He started the season at Cedar Rapids and hit .277/.326/.434 over 104 games. He earned a late season promotion to Fort Myers and initially struggled batting .216 in 27 games to end the season but he hit .400 with two home runs in the playoff series helping the Miracle win the Florida State League championship. The Twins sent him back to Fort Myers and in 2019 and he continued to split time at 2B and 3B with a little SS for good measure. His swing is designed to get the ball over the fence but Fort Myers is a difficult place to hit dingers and Miranda hit only 8HR while slashing .248/.299/.364. He played 1 game in Pensacola to end the season and I would expect him to start 2020 at that level. Twins scouts have done well in Puerto Rico finding Jose Berrios, Kennys Vargas, and Eddie Rosario in recent years. Let’s hope they found another quality player in Jose Miranda.

Travis Blankenhorn, 2B

2020 Age: 23

2019 High Level: Pensacola (AA)

Travis Blankenhorn was drafted by the Twins in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft. Scouts liked his approach at the plate and his lefthanded bat. He graded out as an above average athlete but didn’t have a “natural” position. He did well enough in his first two seasons at the plate to earn midseason promotions, first to Elizabethton and then to Cedar Rapids. He started the 2018 season red hot at the plate but hit an extended slump that dropped his overall numbers. Still he was able to improve his production year-on-year at Cedar Rapids hitting .251/.343/.441 with 13 HR. He spent a brutal 2018 in Fort Myers hitting just .231/.299/.387 and followed that up with some lousy production in the Arizona Fall League. 2019 was a critical year and Blankenhorn responded by hitting .269/.377/.404 in 15 games at Fort Myers before being promoted to Double-A. At Pensacola he continued to swing a hot bat hitting .278/.312/.474 with 18 HR for the remainder of the season. After splitting time at second and third base for several seasons he seems to have settled in at second base with occasional starts in LF. Blankenhorn has been slightly young for the levels he has played and has produced fairly well at the plate for an infielder. Expect to see Blankenhorn earn his way to Rochester this summer. A Twins debut is possible as he was added to the 40 man roster this offseason.

Devin Smeltzer, P

2020 Age: 24

2019 High Level: Twins (MLB)

Devin Smeltzer was a 5th round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2016 Draft from San Jacinto College. At SJC he was named the National Junior College Athletic Association Player of the Week after pitching a complete game no-hitter and also struck out 20 batters to help SJC reach the JUCO World Series championship round. The Dodgers signed Smeltzer to an over-slot $500,000 contract to keep him from honoring his commitment to Texas Tech. He started his minor league career with an unimpressive debut in rookie ball. In 2017 he moved up to single-A and his results were okay (5.00 Run Average) but his peripherals were excellent (10.1 K/9, 1.9 BB/9). He began 2018 pitching for Double-A Tulsa and was having a fairly mediocre season until he was traded to the Twins organization as part of the Brian Dozier deal. After the trade at Chattanooga he pitched mostly out of the bullpen but was excellent in 12 innings and the Twins sent him to the Arizona Fall League after the season ended. He began 2019 at Double-A Pensacola but his 0.90 RA in 30 innings earned him a quick promotion to Triple-A Rochester. He was only in Rochester about a month before making his big league debut on May 28th and impressed by pitching six shutout innings. He spent the rest of the season shuttling back and forth between the Red Wings and the Twins and had a productive season. Smeltzer was diagnosed with cancer when he was just 9 years old which made his big league success unlikely and inspiring. Lefty Smeltzer throws four pitches: a low 90s fastball, cutter, slider and changeup. He is expected to compete for a spot on the Twins this spring either in the rotation or as a swingman in the bullpen.

Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF

2020 Age: 17

2019 High Level: N/A

The Twins made Emmanuel Rodriguez their top international free agent signing last summer with a $2.7M bonus. The Dominican outfielder was ranked 10th on MLB’s list of international free agent prospects and 19th by Fangraphs. The 5’10” outfielder has a good approach at the plate and his lefthanded swing has drawn favorable comparisons to Eddie Rosario. He will probably start his career as a CF and move to a corner as he gets closer to the majors. He is considered a good baserunner and, also like Rosario, has a strong outfield arm. He will probably make his professional debut this summer in a foreign rookie league and is unlikely to be a Twin before 2024.

Poll

Who is your pick in round 18?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Wander Javier
    (53 votes)
  • 18%
    Travis Blankenhorn
    (42 votes)
  • 5%
    Jose Miranda
    (13 votes)
  • 48%
    Devin Smeltzer
    (111 votes)
  • 4%
    Emmanuel Rodriguez
    (10 votes)
229 votes total Vote Now