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Twinkie Town Prospect Vote 2021: Round 1

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MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at Minnesota Twins
Those stands are there waiting for us
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Twinkie Town Community Prospect Vote 2021! If players are acquired during the voting I will add them to the next available round. We will start round one with four players who will appear on top 100 prospect lists for all of MLB. You should be able to see all four of them playing in the Twin Cities this summer.

Royce Lewis, SS

2021 Age: 22

2019 High Level: Pensacola (AA)

Drafted first overall in 2017, Royce Lewis did his best to live up to those lofty expectations. In 2017 he was aggressively promoted to Cedar Rapids after performing well at Rookie ball and hit .296/.363/.394 despite being 3 years younger than competition. He followed that up in 2018 by hitting .315/.368/.485 before a mid-year promotion to Fort Myers. In Fort Myers his batting average dropped to .255 but he kept drawing walks (.327 OBP) and hitting the ball relatively hard. He started 2019 back at Fort Myers and hit just .238/.289/.376 but the Twins gave him an aggressive promotion to Pensacola mid-season. At Pensacola he continued to struggle with his batting average hitting .231/.291/.358. Some scouts believe he will have to re-tool his whole approach at the plate to improve contact but he has the athletic ability to revamp his swing. He has impressive speed with 68 steals in three seasons but his 16/8 SB/CS ratio in Pensacola is not quite break-even. Scouts like his range at SS but he is still learning the position. Everyone places him at SS/2B/3B or CF long term as his speed will play at any of those positions and he did move around the field for the first time during the Arizona Fall League. Another positive of his time in Arizona was his offensive production, where he hit .353/.411/.565 and was named the league MVP. The questions for Lewis are whether he can consistently hit for average and whether he stays at SS or shifts to a different position long term. He spent 2020 at the alternate training site in St. Paul and should debut there this spring in Triple-A. Expect to see Royce Lewis make his MLB debut this summer.

Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B

2021 Age: 23

2019 High Level: Pensacola (AA)

Alex was the Twins first round pick in 2016. He was drafted #15 overall for his left-handed bat. Kirilloff was sent to advanced rookie ball at Elizabethton straight out of high school and he did so well that he was named the league MVP. In late August of 2016 he suffered an elbow injury to his left (throwing) elbow. In spring of 2017 the doctors determined ligament replacement surgery was the best option and he missed the 2017 season. He started 2018 at Cedar Rapids and dominated that level with a .362/.393/.550 batting line. He was promoted mid-season to Fort Myers and may have been the best hitter in the Florida State League slugging .333/.391/.607. He played in the MLB Futures game and was named Twins minor league Player of the Year. He started 2019 in Double-A Pensacola and unfortunately the injury bug bit again. He hit .283/.343/.413 while dealing with a nagging wrist injury. The Twins played him nearly equally in RF and 1B suggesting his future may be in the infield, especially with Max Kepler locked up for years in RF. Kiriloff was unexpectedly added to the postseason roster and made his MLB debut starting in a playoff game. Expect him to make his major league debut on Opening Day playing OF for the Twins.

Trevor Larnach, OF

2021 Age: 24

2019 High Level: Pensacola (AA)

Trevor Larnach was the Twins first round draft pick (#20 overall) in 2018 after his College World Series win with Oregon State including a game where he hit a dramatic 9th inning home run. His college career ended with Trevor being named an All-American in the outfield. After he signed the Twins sent him to rookie-level Elizabethton to get his feet wet. He quickly proved that rookie ball was not a challenge and was promoted after 18 games to Cedar Rapids. With the Kernels he hit .297/.373/.505 in 24 games showing he can produce at the plate as well as nearly anyone in the Midwest League. The Twins promoted him aggressively starting 2019 at Fort Myers. He responded well hitting .316/.382/.459 and earned a mid-season promotion to Double-A Pensacola. At Pensacola he continued to hit posting a .295/.387/.455 batting line. Larnach has played primarily in RF and should be the starter there in Triple-A St. Paul to start 2021. If he continues to hit he will make his Twins debut this summer.

Jordan Balazovic, P

2021 Age: 22

2019 High Level: Pensacola (AA)

Jordan Balazovic was drafted by the Twins in the 5th round of the 2016 draft out of St. Martin Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario. He was committed to pitch at Auburn but the Twins went over slot and signed him for a $515,000 bonus. He was one of the youngest players in the draft that summer due to a September birthday and he has since grown from 6’3” 170 lbs to 6’5” 215 lbs. On draft day he impressed with his fastball command and a decent changeup. Since draft day his fastball has increased in velocity from 89 MPH to 95 MPH and added sinking movement. The changeup has improved and he has added a good slider while maintaining his above average command. In 2019 he started the year back in Cedar Rapids and was dominant (14.4 K/9, 1.7 BB/9) in four starts earning a promotion to Fort Myers. In 73 innings at that level he impressed again with a 11.8 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 and earned a September promotion to Double-A Pensacola for the playoffs. He is no longer a “sleeper” prospect after joining Royce Lewis at the MLB Futures game at All-Star Weekend 2019. He also played for Team Canada in the Pan Am games that summer. Balazovic was one of the prospects at last summer’s St. Paul training site. Expect him to start the season with the Saints but a major league debut is likely in 2021.

Poll

Who is the #1 Twins prospect in 2021?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Royce Lewis
    (53 votes)
  • 65%
    Alex Kirilloff
    (175 votes)
  • 5%
    Trevor Larnach
    (14 votes)
  • 9%
    Jordan Balazovic
    (25 votes)
267 votes total Vote Now