Brooks Lee, Top Prospect
The evaluators are high on the Twins’ most recent first round draft pick, SS Brooks Lee. He comes in as the Twins’ top prospect, ahead of Royce Lewis. Lee ranks 33rd in all of baseball according to MLB.
Lee has elite bat-to-ball skills that have been apparent already in his short professional career. Between the Twins’ Rookie ball and High A affiliates, Lee has hit .366/.409/.488 in 10 games. As a college shortstop, the Twins will be aggressive in pushing him through their system, moving him to High A after just four rookie league games. If he keeps hitting like this, there’s a good chance Lee could start 2023 at AA already.
The Best of the Rest
The Twins also have two other players that cracked MLB’s Top 100 list: Royce Lewis at 61 and Emmanuel Rodriguez at 97.
Lewis’ inclusion in the top 100 isn’t a surprise to anyone. After finally being healthy, Lewis put up elite numbers both at AAA and with the Twins before a second torn ACL cost him the rest of the season. He already covered well from the first one, but tearing the same ACL twice is cause for long-term concern. He would certainly be ranked higher if not for the injuries in question.
Rodriguez’s inclusion was more of a surprise, but it’s certainly warranted. At just 19 years old, Rodriguez has already shown an advanced approach at the plate, hitting .272/.492/.551 in his first full season. A .492 OBP speaks for itself, but what also stands out is Rodriguez’s power potential. Rodriguez might have the best raw power of anyone in the Twins’ organization, and his hitting and on-base skills profile him perfectly as a corner outfield bat going forward. Unfortunately, a torn meniscus ended his season in June, but Rodriguez is expected to be fully healthy by the start of next year.
Rounding out the Twins’ Top 10:
4. Connor Prielipp, LHP
- Prielipp is currently recovering from Tommy John’s, but should be back to baseball activities soon. If not for his injury, he would have been a top 10 pick this year, but the Twins were able to nab the left-handed starting pitcher in the second round.
5. Matt Wallner, OF
- Wallner has continued along his trajectory as a solid corner outfield bat. He has shown good power every step along his minor league journey, but has struggled a bit more since his move to Triple A. Overall, Wallner has a .936 OPS this year, but that drops to .651 since moving up. His strikeouts limit his long-term potential with 142 Ks in 102 games this season.
6. Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP
- After a bit of a rough go in 2021, Woods Richardson has rebounded tremendously this season. SWR has a 3.06 ERA and has struck out 77 batters in 70 innings at Double A. Most importantly, he has gotten his walks under control with 3.34 BB/9 compared to 5.77 last year. He was just promoted to St. Paul this week and should see time with the Twins as soon as next season.
7. Marco Raya, RHP
- Raya finally made his professional debut this season and it couldn’t have gone better. in 56 innings, Raya has a 2.73 ERA, 63 strikeouts, and just 18 walks. Batters have only hit .193 against him. He has a long way to go, but Raya has acquitted himself well so far.
8. Misael Urbina, OF
- Prior to this season, Urbina was all potential. Now, he’s finally putting it together with a .271/.333/.471 line in 39 games. At just 20 years old, Urbina is still bulking up and there’s hope within the Twins that his power will develop even further.
9. Matt Canterino, RHP
- If Canterino was healthy, he might already be pitching on the Twins. He has the best pure stuff in the organization, major leagues included. In four years in the Twins system, Canterino has a 1.48 ERA, .130 batting average against, and has struck out 130 batters in 85 innings. The issue is that he’s only thrown those 85 innings in four years. Canterino just underwent Tommy John’s this summer, so his debut will be delayed at least another year.
10. Louie Varland, RHP
- The MN native has continued his rise through the system this year and keeps putting up stellar numbers. Varland has a 3.18 ERA, 127 strikeouts, and 41 walks in 110.1 innings this season. Varland just made his first Triple A start and will likely see time with the Twins next season.
- After disastrous seasons, former MLB Top 100 prospects Austin Martin and Jordan Balazovic have tumbled out of even the Twins’ Top 10. Martin comes in at 12, while Balazovic fell all the way to 15.
- 2022 68th overall pick Tanner Schobel is the only other 2022 Twins draftee that is featured on the Twins Top 30 prospects.
- Recent Top 30 additions you may have missed: OF Yasser Mercedes, RHP Sean Mooney, OF Jose Rodriguez, RHP Casey Legumina
- Checking in on divisional rivals, Cleveland has the most Top 100 prospects with five of them, led by RHP Daniel Espino at 16 and OF George Valera at 32.
- The Detroit Tigers have just two Top 100 prospects, but also have a collection of former top prospects that have graduated, including Matt Manning, Casey Mize, Spencer Torkelson, and Riley Greene.
- The Kansas City Royals are in a similar spot as Detroit with only two players on the list, but already have MJ Melendez, Vinnie Pasquantino, and Bobby Witt Jr. as part of their young core.
- The White Sox, on the other hand, have just one Top 100 Prospect, and really only Andrew Vaughn as a young, cheap core player. Things could deteriorate quickly in Chicago as the current core ages out.