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Twinkie Town Prospect Vote 2020: Round 26

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“Opinion, whether well or ill founded, is the governing principle of human affairs.” ― Alexander Hamilton

MiLB: JUL 12 Gulf Coast League - GCL Twins at GCL Orioles Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jose Miranda was our choice in round 25 in a very close election. Expect to see him in Pensacola this summer. Expect to see his cousin in Freestyle Love Supreme this September.

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%)
  18. Devin Smeltzer 48% (Javier 24%, Blankenhorn 18%, Miranda 5%, Rodriguez 5%)
  19. Wander Javier 32% (Alcala 30%, Blankenhorn 27%, Rodriguez 6%, Miranda 5%)
  20. Jorge Alcala 45% (Blankenhorn 27%, Rodriguez 13%, Rortvedt 13%, Miranda 3%)
  21. Randy Dobnak 65% (Blankenhorn 14%, Rortvedt 8%, Rodriguez 7%, Miranda 6%)
  22. Travis Blankenhorn 49% (Rortvedt 31%, Rodriguez 9%, Miranda 7%, Rijo 4%)
  23. Ben Rortvedt 44% (Baddoo 24%, Miranda 16%, Rodriguez 10%, Rijo 6%)
  24. Akil Baddoo 35% (Vallimont 25%, Miranda 17%, Rodriguez 16%, Rijo 6%)
  25. Jose Miranda 27% (Vallimont 26%, Jax 23%, Rodriguez 18%, Rijo 6%)

We selected an infielder and there are no others on the ballot. I will replace Miranda with an infielder who received a big signing bonus a short time ago.

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 left-handed 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 base runner 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.

Luis Rijo, P

2020 Age: 21

2019 High Level: Cedar Rapids (A)

The Yankees signed Luis Rijo in 2015 as a minor league free agent from Venezuela. He pitched a season in the Dominican rookie league before making his stateside debut in 2017. He impressed with his command, walking few batters, and showed a good curveball but his fastball was barely touching 90 MPH. In 2018 he bounced around several levels of the minors before being traded to the Twins in exchange for Lance Lynn. The Twins sent him to Elizabethton to finish the season and he put up solid numbers there (7.2 K/9 1.7 BB/9, 3.38 RA) to finish the season. He started 2019 at Cedar Rapids and had another solid performance (8.3 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 3.87 RA, 107 IP) including a 10 strikeout game on July 4th. His 4-seam fastball can touch 93 MPH now but rates as pretty average. He has a plus curveball and developing changeup he can pair with the fastball but his best asset is plus control, throwing all of his pitches for strikes. He should start 2020 in Fort Myers and is unlikely to make a Twins debut before 2022.

Chris Vallimont, P

2020 Age: 23

2019 High Level: Fort Myers (A+)

Chris Vallimont was a 5th round selection in the 2018 draft by the Miami Marlins. He played his college baseball at Division II Mercyhurst where he became their all-time single season leader in strikeouts with 147. He started his pro career at Batavia and had a lot of trouble throwing strikes his first season. In 2019 he pitched much better for Clinton in the Midwest League (10.4K/9 3.4BB/9) and was promoted after 13 starts to Jupiter in the Florida State League. He was doing well enough at Jupiter to impress Twins scouts who made sure Vallimont was included in the trade of Sergio Romo for Lewin Diaz. The Twins kept him in the Florida State League to finish the season and in 10 starts at that level he had a 3.70 RA, 10.8 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9. At 6’5” 235 he has the build of a starting pitcher and he has the repertoire to back it up. His fastball clocks between 92 and 96 MPH, he also throws a sweeping slider in the mid-80s, a hard breaking curveball and a decent changeup. Expect to see him spend a lot of time this summer at Double-A Pensacola.

Griffin Jax, P

2020 Age: 25

2019 High Level: Rochester (AAA)

The Twins selected Griffin Jax in the third round of the 2016 MLB draft from the Air Force Academy. He was named co-pitcher of the year for the Mountain West conference in his junior year. When Jax was drafted the Twins and Jax thought there was a chance that his military commitment could be served in the Air Force reserves and Jax could pitch for the Twins simultaneously. Unfortunately for the Twins, the military policy at that time required Jax to serve two years in active duty before he could start his athletic career. Jax had been able to pitch only 39-2/3 innings while on leave up until 2018 and showed a 90-93 MPH fastball, a decent slider and a changeup while avoiding walks (1.8 BB/9). In a positive turn for Jax, baseball was added to the 2020 Olympics. This allowed Jax to get a world class athlete exemption in April and pitch for Fort Myers in 2018. He put up unspectacular numbers for the Miracle last summer (6.8K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 4.52 RA9, 87.2IP) but was sent to the Arizona Fall League to help make up for lost time. His performance in the fall wasn’t much better but it allowed him to throw over 100 innings in 2018. The Twins started Jax in Double-A Pensacola in 2019. He pitched 111 effective innings there with results (3.07 RA) slightly exceeding his peripherals (6.8K/9, 1.9 BB/9). He was promoted to Triple-A and finished the season there with a 5.69 RA in 3 starts. No pitcher from the Air Force Academy has ever made the big leagues so I’m sure if Jax is successful he will have a large cheering section. In the meantime we will see if he can make the 2020 Olympic baseball team.

Yunior Severino, 2B

2020 Age: 20

2019 High Level: Cedar Rapids (A)

Switch-hitting Dominican second baseman 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. Severino originally signed a $1.9M contract with the Braves and he got 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. He was promoted after 10 games from the Braves’ Dominican Rookie team to the GCL team and hit .286/.345/.444 in his stateside debut. With the Twins he stayed in extended spring training working on fundamentals until Elizabethton started their 2018 season. 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. He began his 2019 season at Cedar Rapids but a broken thumb after just six games stole the season from him. He came back to the Kernels in August but hit just .217/.250/.333 that month. As a switch hitter he will be taking lots of extra batting practice to improve on his offense in 2020. 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 1B if he grows significantly. Expect to see him back with the Kernels this summer.

Poll

Your pick, round 26

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Emmanuel Rodriguez
    (17 votes)
  • 7%
    Luis Rijo
    (7 votes)
  • 43%
    Chris Vallimont
    (41 votes)
  • 20%
    Griffin Jax
    (19 votes)
  • 10%
    Yunior Severino
    (10 votes)
94 votes total Vote Now