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Twinkie Town Prospect Vote 2022: Round 12

“I have no trouble with the twelve inches between my elbow and my palm. It’s the seven inches between my ears that’s bent.” - Tug McGraw

Cincinnati Reds v Minnesota Twins
Celestino grabs the 11th spot on our list
Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Gilberto Celestino is our selection in round eleven. He barely maintained his rookie status for 2022 which means this is likely his last season on our list.

  1. Royce Lewis 40% (Martin 37%, Balazovic 23%)
  2. Austin Martin 65% (Balazovic 25%, Duran 7%, Woods-Richardson 2%)
  3. Joe Ryan 43% (Balazovic 27%, Miranda 24%, Duran 4%, Woods-Richardson 2%)
  4. Jordan Balazovic 48% (Miranda 45%, Duran 4%, Woods-Richardson 2%, Celestino 1%)
  5. Jose Miranda 68% (Woods-Richardson 12%, Duran 10%, Winder 9%, Celestino 2%)
  6. Jhoan Duran 32% (Winder 24%, Woods-Richardson 20%, Canterino 20%, Celestino 4%)
  7. Josh Winder 45% (Woods-Richardson 28%, Canterino 14%, Petty 9%, Celestino 4%)
  8. Matt Canterino 51% (Woods-Richardson 35%, Celestino 7%, Petty 6%, Urbina 0%)
  9. Simeon Woods-Richardson 79% (Petty 10%, Celestino 10%, Cavaco 1%, Urbina 0%)
  10. Chase Petty 60% (Celestino 30%, Strotman 7%, Cavaco 2%, Urbina 1%)
  11. Gilberto Celestino 45% (Wallner 38%, Strotman 14%, Urbina 2%, Cavaco 2%)

I am adding another pitcher to the list for round twelve. This pitcher was a recent addition to the 40 man roster. That makes him likely to debut in 2022.

Misael Urbina, CF

2022 Age: 20

2021 High Level: Fort Myers (A)

Misael “Misa” Urbina was the top international free agent signed by the Twins in 2018 costing them a $2.75M bonus with an additional $300k for college. He ranked #5 among international free agents who were available in the 2018 signing period. He came to the Twins from Venezuela where he had been participating in the Venezuelan Winter League development program for young players. He played his first summer in the system in the Dominican rookie league and did very well hitting .279/.382/.443 with more walks than strikeouts. He has plus speed and scouts rated his center field defense as among the best in the league. The Twins pushed him to A-ball in 2021 where he was the youngest player on the team and he struggled with his batting average (.191/.299/.286) but played good defense and ran well. Expect him to repeat that level to start 2022. His Twins debut is unlikely before 2025.

Keoni Cavaco, SS

2022 Age: 21

2021 High Level: Fort Myers (A)

Keoni Cavaco was the Twins first round pick in the 2019 MLB draft out of Eastlake High School in California. As the draft approached the word most used with Cavaco was “helium” as he had risen up draft boards all the way to the Twins at pick #13, the fifth highest pick among high school players. Cavaco fits the mold of a “toolsy” draft pick as his arm and speed are impressive and he has some pop in his bat but he has not seen as high level of pitching as other players. This was evident in his performance in rookie ball where he hit just .172/.217/.253 in 92 PA. The Twins played Cavaco mainly at shortstop during rookie ball but many scouts think his long-term position is third base. Cavaco believed he would be ready to contribute in the majors in “three years”. I admire the optimism but it is clear his development will take longer. Cavaco played shortstop at class-A Fort Myers in 2021 hitting an improved but still underwhelming .233/.296/.301. He was also charged with 24 errors in 465 innings. Expect him to repeat at that level for at least a half season.

Drew Strotman, P

2022 Age: 25

2021 High Level: St. Paul (AAA)

Drew Strotman was the 4th round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2017 draft. He played his college baseball at St. Mary’s in California. As a Gael he didn’t get many awards or accolades and worked mostly out of the bullpen. The Rays made him a starting pitcher and he pitched well in 2018 at Single-A Bowling Green (8.4 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 4.11 RA9) before an injury that led to ligament replacement surgery in his elbow. He was promoted to High-A Charlotte in 2019 after his return from surgery. He struggled (7.3 K/9, 5.1 BB/9, 5.63 RA9) there and wasn’t much better in the Arizona Fall League. The pandemic wiped out his 2020 season and he didn’t get a chance to pitch. Despite this the Rays added him to their 40 man roster to keep him from being selected in the rule 5 draft. Strotman skipped over Double-A but held his own at Triple-A Durham (9.6 K/9, 5.1 BB/9, 3.86 RA9) before the trade to the Twins as part of the package for Nelson Cruz. He finished the year at St. Paul and struggles with walks limited his effectiveness. Strotman throws a fastball in the mid-90s, a curveball and a slider. He also added a cut fastball during the 2020 pandemic. Expect him to spend the season in Triple-A St. Paul with a Twins debut just a phone call away.

Matt Wallner, RF

2022 Age: 24

2021 High Level: Cedar Rapids (A+)

The Twins drafted Matt Wallner 39th overall in the 2019 MLB draft out of Southern Mississippi. They had previously drafted him in the 32nd round out of Forest Lake High School (Go Rangers!) after being named the East Metro player of the year and Mr. Baseball but he made the easy choice to go to college instead. He had been committed to North Dakota to play college baseball but that school dropped their baseball program in April of his senior year and Wallner changed his destination to Hattiesburg, MS. Despite the late change things worked out well as Wallner became one of the best players in Southern Miss history. He was named Conference USA freshman of the year splitting his time between RF and P. His sophomore year he was named an All-American and although he dropped pitching his junior year he kept piling up awards and became the highest draft pick in the history of Southern Miss. He hit .337/.461/.652 with 58 HR in 189 games over his college career. The Twins started Wallner at Elizabethton and he hit .269/.361/.452 in 53 games before a late promotion to Cedar Rapids where he hit .205/.340/.455 in 12 games. In 2021 he returned to Cedar Rapids but due to the affiliation changes that was a level promotion. He hit .264/.350/.508 as a Kernel and topped it with a .303/.405/.606 batting line in the Arizona Fall League. Wallner’s best asset is his power left handed bat and as a former pitcher his arm in RF is a plus. Brian Dozier was the last Twin picked from Southern Mississippi. We can all hope this local kid has that level of career for the Twins.

Cole Sands, P

2022 Age: 24

2021 High Level: Wichita (AA)

Cole Sands was drafted in the 5th round of the 2018 MLB draft out of Florida State. He battled with injuries his junior season but the Twins decided his talent was worth an over-slot $600,000 bonus to make sure he didn’t return for his senior season. Sands did not pitch his first summer in the organization as he recovered from the injuries he was dealing with during his college season. The Twins began his 2019 season in Cedar Rapids where he had a 10.7 K9, 2.4 BB9 and 3.05 RA9 in 8 starts. He earned a mid-season promotion to Fort Myers where he kept up the good work compiling a 9.2 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 and 2.77 RA9 in 52 innings at that level. This earned him a late call-up to Pensacola for one start in Double-A. Despite three trips to the injured list he was able to pitch 97 innings. He spent all of 2021 in Double-A throwing 80.1 innings for Wichita with good results (3.02 RA9, 10.8 K9, 3.9 BB9). He throws a mid-90s fastball with movement, a plus breaking ball and a good change up. The results have been there but keeping him healthy and on the mound has been challenging. Sands was added to the 40 man roster and should pitch in Triple-A St. Paul in 2022 while waiting for that phone call to make his MLB debut.

Poll

Twinkie Town Prospect Vote 2022: Round 12

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Misael Urbina
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    Keoni Cavaco
    (1 vote)
  • 14%
    Drew Strotman
    (16 votes)
  • 43%
    Matt Wallner
    (48 votes)
  • 33%
    Cole Sands
    (37 votes)
111 votes total Vote Now