Minnesota Twins Top 5 Prospects Post-Trade Deadlineby John Lepore August 4, 2021 0 comments
Now that the MLB Draft is over as well as the trade deadline there are quite a few teams that have new players at the top of their farm systems. The Minnesota Twins, for one, have added two top 100 guys according to MLB Pipeline.
The Twins have rebuilt through trades at the deadline this season. While there is disappointment that Minnesota didn’t compete this year, there is hope for the future with the prospects they acquired. With most of them ready to make their mark with the big club, it may be more of a retooling than a rebuild. Let’s take a look at how the Twins minor leagues stand now.
Royce Lewis SS
I didn’t include him in the original Top 5 because he had just suffered a season-ending ACL tear. However, he deserves to be here now. Lewis is a five-tool player who was drafted first overall out of JSerra HS in 2017. His last pro playing time came in 2019 in the Arizona Fall League and Lewis was crushing. He slashed .353/.411/.565 with 12 extra-base hits and five steals in just 95 plate appearances. His speed is top-notch and his other skills are all above average. With the Twins retooling this year, Lewis could find himself in the majors by next season.
Austin Martin SS/OF
Drafted with the fifth pick overall last year, the Toronto Blue Jays traded Martin to the Twins as part of the Jose Berrios deal. While his power hasn’t really shown up yet, Martin was slashing .281/.424/.383 for the Jays Double-A affiliate before being traded. He chipped in nine swipes also and is another player who can move around the diamond. He has played just about everywhere, and while the power may not be there, Martin has a knack for barreling the ball and pitch recognition. His speed and instincts get him high marks as well which lends to his versatility.
Jordan Balazovic RHP
With a mid-90s fastball that he commands up in the zone, Balazovic has moved up the ranks. He has added weight and velocity since being selected in the fifth round in 2016 out of High School. He is averaging nearly 11 Ks per 9 in Double-A this season and has shown increased command of his breaking pitches, especially his changeup which has improved. Expect to see Balazovic up next year or at least fight for a rotation spot in spring training.
The other former member of the Blue Jays to come over in the Berrios deal, Woods Richardson is a workhorse. While he struggled so far in Double-A this year, he has some serious swing-and-miss stuff. The New York Mets drafted him in the second round out of High School in 2018 and SWR has progressed as a pitcher since. Still only 20 years old, it may be another couple of years before we see him on the mound at Target Field, but there is a lot to like about this kid as he becomes more of a pitcher than a thrower.
Jhoan Duran RHP
The big kid from the Dominican Republic has struggled with command. He has a knack for keeping the ball in the park but tends to let runners on. The fastball is electric and at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Duran has the body for a starter. If he can trust his stuff, he will be in the mix for a rotation spot next season.
What Does the Future Hold?
The Twins have a solid farm system. Acquiring Joe Ryan was another great move by Minnesota when they dealt Nelson Cruz. He is a name to watch out for as well as power-hitting first baseman Aaron Sabato. Keoni Cavaco is making his way up as a first-round selection in 2019. A dark horse to keep an eye on is Josh Winder. While he didn’t show too well at Triple-A, he has made 10 Double-A starts and had a 65/10 K/BB rate in 54.2 innings. Don’t be surprised if the 24-year-old gets a shot for a start or two in September.
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