Ed note: as usual, my lateness in posting this makes one of our great authors look a little silly, but that is entirely on me. -TJ
Trevor Larnach is on a big-league roster. The Twins No. 3 prospect, if you are into those rankings, has hit two bombs in three games with the Triple-A Saint Paul Saints. Really fantastic to have them so close.
Anyway, Larnach got the call after the ever-so-fragile Byron Buxton went on the IL with a hip strain. He’s not fragile, he’s fearless. I’m just very frustrated he is hurt.
Back to Larnach, Twins drafted him 20th overall in the 2018 draft right after he finished his junior season, winning the College World Series at Oregon State. He grew up in California and is of Hawaiian descent.
Watching Larnach in spring training, the lefty looks to be a great asset to the team. He has power but is able to put the ball in play to all fields. He makes solid contact. For a team that likes to live and die by the home run at times, he seems like a good fit. Or does he?
Here are his three games with the Saints:
Game 1, 0-3, 1 BB, 1 SO
Game 2, 2-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 SO
Game 3, 1-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4 SO
That’s a lot of strikeouts. Yes, this is an extremely small sample, but that’s a lot. Hitters gotta hit. More than just bombs.
“He knows the strike zone,” Rocco Baldelli said. Baldelli touts Larnach as a great lefty hitter, and he is. He proved that in college and the minors, but this small sample against AAA pitching is slightly concerning for a team that desperately needs a turnaround.
It’s been a mess of a year for anyone in the minors. I will give him that.
“This has been the weirdest last year and a half. We showed up to spring training not sure what to expect. Then picking up in the triple-A season, we play night games, and we haven’t played night games in a really long time,” Larnach said in a zoom call with media Friday.
He said guys are still getting used to it again. Guys like Rob Refsnyder—who is batting better than Larnach, is a corner outfielder, little more speed, has half the Ks and the same number of homeruns. Oh, also a lifetime MiLB/MLB BA of just under .300. He could probably advance a guy from second in say, the 10th inning of a game.
Look, I know that’s not how baseball works, but sometimes the Chris Colabellos of the world give a team the spark they need.
It will be exciting to see Larnach get his first AB in a big-league game though. He’s a competitor.
“I will say some days were harder than others. When I fail a certain amount of times, I get very, very angry. I just can’t accept failure,” he said.
Good for him, gritty. Many on Twitter are already predicting big things, and I hope they come true...without too many whiffs.
The Twins face the White Sox starting May 11. In that series, Larnach could face former Beaver teammate Nick Madrigal who is doing quite well at 2B for Chicago.
“I’m coming for him,” Larnach said when asked about potentially playing against his former teammate. He said they keep in touch.
As of Friday night, the Twins have hit 43 home runs. Good enough to tie for top five in all of baseball. Twins are top 10 in runs and batting average, top four in doubles. Not horrible numbers. Not really numbers for the third-worst team in all of baseball. It’s because the Twins aren’t. Maybe by the numbers, but it won’t stick.
Could Larnach help turn things around? I don’t think so right now, but I hope so. Hey, he’s already 1-0 in a big-league uniform. Let’s keep it rollin’.