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Twinkie Town Prospect Vote 2020: Round 29

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“Hitting is an art, but not an exact science.” - Rod Carew

Divisional Series - New York Yankees v Minnesota Twins - Game Three
Rod wants YOU to vote for round 29
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Emmanuel Rodriguez narrowly defeated two pitchers in round 28 of our voting. He is a long ways from the major leagues but has the tools to be successful.

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%)
  26. Chris Vallimont 42% (Jax 21%, Rodriguez 19%, Severino 10%, Rijo 8%)
  27. Cody Stashak 42% (Rodriguez 21%, Jax 13%, Winder 10%, Severino 10%, Rijo 5%)
  28. Emmanuel Rodriguez 29% (Jax, 27%, Winder 26%, Severino 11%, Rijo 7%)

We lose an outfielder so I will add an outfielder. This outfielder is on the roster and made his big league debut last season.

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.

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.

Josh Winder, P

2020 Age: 22

2019 High Level: Cedar Rapids (A)

Josh Winder was selected in the 7th round of the 2018 MLB draft from Virginia Military Institute. He left after his junior season with the highest strikeout rate in school history and placed second on their list of career strikeouts. He spent his first summer as a Twin in Elizabethton and pitched well (9.8 K/9, 1.4 BB/9, 3.96 RA). In 2019 he pitched for the Cedar Rapids Kernels and had a very productive season (8.5 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 3.08 RA in 125-2/3 IP). He was named a Midwest League All-Star (along with Chris Vallimont) and led the league in ERA. He throws four pitches (fastball, curveball, changeup and cutter) and he throws them for strikes. At 6’5” and 210 lbs he has the build scouts like in a starting pitcher and still has potential to add muscle. He should start the 2020 season at Fort Myers and could be a Twin as soon as 2022.

LaMonte Wade, OF

2020 Age: 26

2019 High Level: Twins (MLB)

LaMonte Wade was the Twins 9th round pick in the 2015 draft from the University of Maryland. The Twins sent him to Elizabethton that summer and he impressed everyone with a 904 OPS, earning an Appy League All-Star nod and a late season look at Cedar Rapids. In 2016 he did well at Cedar Rapids earning a midseason All-Star appearance and even better after a mid-season promotion to Fort Myers producing (again) a 904 OPS at that level. Wade spent 2017 at Chattanooga and hit .292/.397/.408 while getting time at all three outfield positions. He earned a Southern League All-Star spot in 2017, continuing that trend. The Twins sent him to the Arizona Fall League and Wade hit .238/.351/.413 until a scary collision ended his season with a concussion. He started 2018 back at Double-A and hit .298/.393/.444 in 46 games before earning a promotion to Triple-A. At Rochester he hit his first speed bump on the way to the big leagues as his offensive production dropped to .229/.337/.336 over 74 games. He had consistently been able to draw more walks than strikeouts but that trend ended at the Triple-A level. He spent most of 2019 at Triple-A Rochester and slashed .246/.392/.356 maintaining a good OBP but with little power in a season where everyone hit for power. He made his big league debut June 28 and spent all of September with the Twins but hit just .196/.348/.375. Wade has average physical tools for a big league corner outfielder but he makes the most of them with a good batting eye and solid outfield fundamentals. He is good depth to have on a 40 man roster but is likely to be passed up hotter prospects.

Poll

Vote for round 29

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Luis Rijo
    (11 votes)
  • 28%
    Griffin Jax
    (32 votes)
  • 15%
    Yunior Severino
    (17 votes)
  • 28%
    Josh Winder
    (32 votes)
  • 17%
    LaMonte Wade Jr
    (19 votes)
111 votes total Vote Now