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Twinkie Town Prospect List: Round 22

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It’s a super Tuesday for prospect voting

MLB: FEB 27 Spring Training - Twins at Blue Jays
Randy Dobnak wins round twenty-one
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Fan favorite Randy Dobnak wins round 21 of our voting. He is currently fighting for a spot on the team this spring.

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%)

Another pitcher goes off the board so we will add a different pitcher to replace him. It is encouraging to see depth in the pitching talent in the minor leagues.

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 left-handed 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 mid-season 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 off season.

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.

Ben Rortvedt, C

2020 Age: 22

2019 High Level: Pensacola (AA)

Ben Rortvedt was drafted out of high school in Wisconsin by the Twins in the second round in 2016. Scouts loved his glove behind the plate and were encouraged by his hitting. He started off with the GCL Twins and was pushed up to Elizabethton after just 20 games. He didn’t hit very well (OPS below 600) but impressed the talent evaluators enough to start 2017 with Cedar Rapids. He was quite young for Cedar Rapids and it showed in his struggles at the plate. He hit just .224/.284/.315 for the Kernels in 2017. He did make significant progress with his offense after starting the season with a brutal April and May that left him hitting just .140 at the beginning of June. The Twins were impressed with his defense and encouraged enough by his ability to adjust at the plate that they still considered the aggressive promotion a success. He began the 2018 season at Cedar Rapids and earned a promotion to Fort Myers after 29 games. His combined batting line at two levels of A-ball was .262/.331/.379 which is a significant improvement over the previous season but still lacking in power. He started 2019 back at Fort Myers and showed the best power of his career to start the season earning another aggressive promotion to Double-A Pensacola. His bat cooled down again after the promotion (.239/.332/.355) and a knee injury requiring surgery ended his season early. The Twins sent him to the Arizona Fall League for a few games and he is healthy this spring. If he is able to learn to drive the ball he may have a future as a big league starter, otherwise his glove suggests he would be a valuable backup. Expect him to begin the 2020 season back at Pensacola with a possible mid-season promotion to Triple-A Rochester.

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 93MPH 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.

Poll

Who gets your vote for the 22nd spot on our list?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Jose Miranda
    (4 votes)
  • 47%
    Travis Blankenhorn
    (29 votes)
  • 11%
    Emmanuel Rodriguez
    (7 votes)
  • 29%
    Ben Rortvedt
    (18 votes)
  • 4%
    Luis Rijo
    (3 votes)
61 votes total Vote Now