Ben Rortvedt was our winner in round 23. He is in big league spring training this spring so the major league coaches will get a good look at his talent.
Twinkie Town 2020 Prospect Voting Results
- Alex Kirilloff 40% (Lewis 28%, Graterol 24%, Larnach 8%)
- Royce Lewis 48% (Graterol 29%, Balazovic 12%, Larnach 12%)
- Trevor Larnach 48% (Balazovic 43%, Duran 8%, Cavaco 1%)
- Jordan Balazovic 78% (Duran 11%, Rooker 9%, Jeffers 2%, Cavaco 0%)
- Jhoan Duran 52% (Rooker 19%, Thorpe 16%, Jeffers 10%, Cavaco 3%)
- Brent Rooker 37% (Jeffers 28%, Thorpe 24%, Urbina 6%, Cavaco 5%)
- Ryan Jeffers 47% (Thorpe 34%, Cavaco 10%, Celestino 5%, Urbina 3%)
- Lewis Thorpe 58% (Urbina 12%, Canterino 11%, Cavaco 10%, Celestino 9%)
- Matt Canterino 27% (Celestino 23%, Cavaco 22%, Urbina 19%, Wallner 9%)
- Keoni Cavaco 33% (Celestino 29%, Urbina 18%, Sands 15%, Wallner 9%)
- Gilberto Celestino 36% (Gordon 26%, Urbina 19%, Wallner 12%, Sands 7%)
- Nick Gordon 35% (Urbina 28%, Enlow 21%, Wallner 9%, Sands 8%)
- Misael Urbina 36% (Enlow 24%, Sands 20%, Wallner 10%, Javier 9%)
- Blayne Enlow 31% (Colina 29%, Sands 19%, Wallner 12%, Javier 9%)
- Edwar Colina 42% (Wallner 20%, Sands 20%, Javier 15%, Miranda 1%)
- Cole Sands 31% (Wallner 26%, Javier 20%, Blankenhorn 20%, Miranda 3%)
- Matt Wallner 35% (Smeltzer 31%, Javier 18%, Blankenhorn 11%, Miranda 4%)
- Devin Smeltzer 48% (Javier 24%, Blankenhorn 18%, Miranda 5%, Rodriguez 5%)
- Wander Javier 32% (Alcala 30%, Blankenhorn 27%, Rodriguez 6%, Miranda 5%)
- Jorge Alcala 45% (Blankenhorn 27%, Rodriguez 13%, Rortvedt 13%, Miranda 3%)
- Randy Dobnak 65% (Blankenhorn 14%, Rortvedt 8%, Rodriguez 7%, Miranda 6%)
- Travis Blankenhorn 49% (Rortvedt 31%, Rodriguez 9%, Miranda 7%, Rijo 4%)
- Ben Rortvedt 44% (Baddoo 24%, Miranda 16%, Rodriguez 10%, Rijo 6%)
I am going to add several pitchers to the ballot between now and round 30 starting with a trade acquisition from last summer.
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.
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.
Akil Baddoo, OF
2020 Age: 21
2019 High Level: Fort Myers (A+)
Akil Baddoo was drafted in the second round in 2016 and was considered a toolsy work in progress with exceptional athletic talent (comparisons to Carl Crawford and Jacque Jones) but in need of refinement at the plate. Not unexpectedly, he hit .178 that summer in rookie ball. In 2017 it all came together in a hurry. He improved to .267/.360/.440 playing for the Gulf Coast Twins and was promoted to Elizabethton where he did even better. He hit .357/.478/.579 with more walks (27) than strikeouts (19) at Betsy and drew rave reviews for his approach at the plate. In 2018 he spent the summer at Cedar Rapids and thrived in a leadoff role. His batting average dipped (.243) but he did well getting on base (.351 OBP) and maintained his power (44 XBH) while showcasing his speed (11 triples, 24 SB, 4 CS). The chink in the armor was a rise in strikeouts (124) and his struggles against more advanced left-handed pitching (.220/.304/.339) but considering his age he performed admirably. He began his 2019 season at Fort Myers and initially struggled, hitting .214/.290/.393 in his first 29 games. Unfortunately that was the extent of his season as elbow soreness turned into Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm. His grade 70 speed allows him to cover CF but his arm might keep him in LF in the majors. Expect to see him in Fort Myers again to start 2020 but he could move quickly if he produces right away.
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.
Vote for Round 24
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