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Twinkie Town Prospect Vote 2022: Round 19

“The way to make coaches think you’re in shape in the spring is to get a tan.” - Whitey Ford

Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins
Welcome to round 19
Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Local phenom Louie Varland takes our spot in round eighteen. Will Drew Strotman overcome his perennial runner-up role to prevail in round nineteen?

  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%)
  12. Matt Wallner 45% (Sands 30%, Strotman 15%, Urbina 9%, Cavaco 1%)
  13. Cole Sands 55% (Strotman 18%, Miller 15%, Urbina 10%, Cavaco 2%)
  14. Noah Miller 47% (Strotman 24%, Sabato 14%, Urbina 13%, Cavaco 2%)
  15. Misael Urbina 44% (Strotman 23%, Enlow 22%, Sabato 9%, Cavaco 3%)
  16. Blayne Enlow 38% (Strotman 27%, Sabato 15%, Rodriguez 14%, Cavaco 5%)
  17. Aaron Sabato 37% (Strotman 28%, Varland 25%, Rodriguez 9%, Cavaco 1%)
  18. Louie Varland 42% (Strotman 28%, Julien 16%, Rodriguez 9%, Cavaco 6%)

For this round I’m adding a strong athlete who was a recent high draft pick.

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.

Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF

2022 Age: 19

2021 High Level: Florida Complex Twins (Rookie)

The Twins made Emmanuel Rodriguez their top international free agent signing of 2019 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 made his professional debut last summer with the rookie league team in Fort Myers and hit .214/.346/.524 while playing mostly centerfield. The batting average is a little low but he showed decent strike zone judgement and good power. He is unlikely to be a Twin before 2025.

Edouard Julien, 2B/LF

2022 Age: 23

2021 High Level: Cedar Rapids (A+)

Edouard Julien grew up in Quebec City, Canada and participated on Canadian Junior National teams as a teenager. He was a 37th round pick of the Phillies in the 2017 draft but matriculated to Auburn University instead of signing. As a freshman DH he hit hit .275 with 17 home runs and 69 RBI (breaking the Auburn freshman record set by Frank Thomas) and was named a freshman All-American by several publications. His sophomore year he became the starter at third base and led the team in HR and RBI a second consecutive year. He was drafted by the Twins in the 18th round of the 2019 draft but his stock continued to rise after draft day with strong performances in the College World Series as well as a .348/.423/.565 batting line in the wood bat Cape Cod League. The Twins ultimately coughed up a $493,000 bonus to get him to sign before the signing period closed. He was named to the Canadian team for the 2019 Pan Am games, one of only 3 college players on the team. Unfortunately he injured his elbow in Peru at the Pan Am games which led to ligament replacement surgery before he could make his minor league debut. He was able to make his debut in Fort Myers last summer and put up an impressive .299/.490/.456 batting line. This earned him a promotion to Cedar Rapids and he continued to get on base, batting .247/.397/.494 in 310 plate appearances. Julien has played 2B and 3B but several scouts believe a move to the outfield is likely. His OBP will play anywhere. Expect to see him promoted to Double-A Wichita this summer.

Alerick Soularie, LF/2B

2022 Age: 22

2021 High Level: Fort Myers (A)

The Minnesota Twins selected Alerick Soularie in the second round (59th pick) of the 2020 MLB Draft. The junior from the University of Tennessee was the leading hitter for the Volunteers while playing 1B, 2B and all outfield positions. He started his college career at San Jacinto Junior College and was named a third team junior college All-American after his freshman season. He transferred to Tennessee for his sophomore year, led the team in batting average, OBP and SLG and was named All-SEC. His junior season in 2020 was cut short but he still managed to hit 5 HR in 60 AB. He also went 10 for 11 stealing bases as a Volunteer. The Twins gave him a $900,000 bonus to forgo his senior year and become a professional. His 2021 debut was delayed due to a sprained ankle and a broken foot and his results were a little disappointing (.219/.344/.324 in 125 plate appearance) but it was good to see him able to play regularly. It looks like the Twins will try to see if they can develop him as a second baseman but left field is a more likely future position. Expect to see Soularie earn a promotion to Cedar Rapids this summer.

Poll

Twinkie Town Prospect Vote 2022: Round 19

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Keoni Cavaco
    (8 votes)
  • 35%
    Drew Strotman
    (36 votes)
  • 11%
    Emmanuel Rodriguez
    (12 votes)
  • 41%
    Edouard Julien
    (42 votes)
  • 2%
    Alerick Soularie
    (3 votes)
101 votes total Vote Now