Tag: Minnesota Twins

Trade Report – Brusdar Graterol – RHP – Traded to Boston Red Sox

Trade Report – Brusdar Graterol – RHP – Traded to Boston Red Sox

The baseball work was set ablaze late Tuesday night as the biggest blockbuster in recent years hit Twitter. Mookie Betts and David Price (and his contract) are heading to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kenta Maeda is headed to the Minnesota Twins, while Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol are headed to the Boston Red Sox. In a corresponding move, Joc Peterson is heading down the 405 to the Los Angeles Angels and Luis Rengifo is headed up to the Dodgers.  Other pieces are involved in this deal and a post will go up breaking down Andy Pages and any other prospects once the physicals are done and the trade is final.

Every one of the players in the deal has seen MLB time, and only Graterol still has rookie eligibility, so he is the lone player that fits for this site. He saw just 9.2 innings over 10m games, all in relief, where his power sinker was his go to offering. If the Red Sox decide to keep him in the bullpen, he has the makings of a dominant reliever, but I am not ready to write off his starting career just yet. He has that sinking fastball along with a more traditional four-seamer give him the power offering, while he has a slider that sits just under 90 MPH and a two-plan curve to keep hitters even further off balance. I don’t have much faith in the change, but it is not an offering without upside.

His delivery has some late effort and short arm that leaves some concern, but the body suggests he can hold up to the innings and there is plenty of athleticism in his delivery too. When he is working as a starter there is less violence in the end of the process and there is very little concern from me on that. Overall he is immediately the best prospect in the Red Sox system and good enough to open the season in the rotation.


Trade Report – Malique Ziegler – Outfielder – Traded to Minnesota Twins

Trade Report – Malique Ziegler – Outfielder – Traded to Minnesota Twins

This time of year the moves are sneaky but there are a lot of names involved in this deal that prospect fans are familiar with. Tyler Austin goes from the Minnesota Twins to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Malique Ziegler, while Connor Joe has been designated for assignment to make room for Austin.

Austin was once a top 100 prospect when still with the New York Yankees making a rare three trips to the Arizona Fall League. He is primarily a first baseman but has seen a dozen games in the outfield and had a “breakout” season a year ago when he hit 17 home runs in 69 games with the Yankees and Twins.

Connor Joe has had a busy season already, being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the Rule 5 draft but traded to the Giants. Since he still carries the Rule 5 tag, he will need to be traded to or claimed by another team who will have to place him on their big league roster (something that is somewhat unlikely given he has reached base twice in his first 16 big league plate appearances) or he will be offered back to the Dodgers, the team that had him before the Rule 5 draft.

My focus on trades involving prospects is going to be on those who have yet to make their big league debut, so I am not going to dive further into Joe despite him still very much carrying rookie eligibility. I define prospects as players who have a real shot to make a Major League roster someday, while I consider fringe prospects to be guys that wouldn’t be shocking to see them get a cup of coffee but not necessarily something I expect either, while those I don’t give any real shot at ever making it to the highest level are just org guys. Ziegler just barely makes fringe prospect for me.

He is a 22 year old outfielder with just two games at High A (both this season) under his belt. He is athletic, stealing 26 bags in just 64 games two seasons ago in the Northwest League and can play a solid center field. He has hit just .245 this far in his pro career, but there is hope for the bat. He has good bat plane and quick wrists, but his pitch recognition is poor. He strikes out more than once a game throughout his pro career and takes horrible hacks at off-speed, especially breaking balls from lefties of all pitchers. The back foot is busy, which limits his balance on said off-speed offerings and it limits the amount of power he is able to tap into.

The most likely path for Ziegler to the bigs will be as a September call-up who sees time as a defensive replacement or pinch runner. That said, there is still a shot at the pitch recognition improving enough for his bat speed to come into play and potentially develop into a fourth outfielder, which is something worth taking a shot on for the Twins in exchange for a guy that was likely headed for a DFA given the depth at DH/1B the Twins currently have.

2019 Preseason Top 150

Carter Kieboom
Carter Kieboom. Courtesy: Aaron Whelan

Before I even got this posted Alex Reyes exhausted his rookie eligibility (needed a single out to do so and pitched an inning on Friday) so I updated my top 150 before it went live. Reyes was at 22 but is now removed making room for Ryan Weathers, giving the Padres two more than any other team with 12 players making the top 150.  15 players on the list open the season in the big leagues, with 14 of those in the top 80 and the Padres and Mariners both starting with two players in the big leagues.


Player Position Team Rank
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B Toronto Blue Jays 1
Fernando Tatis Jr. SS San Diego Padres 2
Eloy Jimenez OF Chicago White Sox 3
Forrest Whitley RHP Houston Astros 4
Victor Robles OF Washington Nationals 5
Jo Adell OF Los Angeles Angels 6
Royce Lewis SS Minnesota Twins 7
Wander Franco SS Tampa Bay Rays 8
Nick Senzel 2B/3B Cincinnati Reds 9
Jesus Luzardo LHP Oakland Athletics 10
MacKenzie Gore LHP San Diego Padres 11
Bo Bichette SS/2B Toronto Blue Jays 12
Kyle Tucker OF Houston Astros 13
Taylor Trammell OF Cincinnati Reds 14
Keston Hiura 2B Milwaukee Brewers 15
Brendan Rodgers SS/2B Colorado Rockies 16
Sixto Sanchez RHP Miami Marlins 17
Cristian Pache OF Atlanta Braves 18
Carter Kieboom SS Washington Nationals 19
Luis Urias 2B/SS San Diego Padres 20
Casey Mize RHP Detroit Tigers 21
Joey Bart C San Francisco Giants 22
Austin Riley 3B Atlanta Braves 23
Keibert Ruiz C Los Angeles Dodgers 24
Pete Alonso 1B New York Mets 25
Brendan McKay LHP/1B Tampa Bay Rays 26
Michael Kopech RHP Chicago White Sox 27
Hunter Greene RHP Cincinnati Reds 28
Mitch Keller RHP Pittsburgh Pirates 29
Andres Gimenez SS New York Mets 30
Brent Honeywell RHP Tampa Bay Rays 31
Nick Madrigal 2B/SS Chicago White Sox 32
Jonathan India 3B/SS Cincinnati Reds 33
Sean Murphy C Oakland Athletics 34
Alex Verdugo OF Los Angeles Dodgers 35
A.J. Puk LHP Oakland Athletics 36
Matthew Liberatore LHP Tampa Bay Rays 37
Mike Soroka RHP Atlanta Braves 38
Nolan Gorman 3B St. Louis Cardinals 39
Ian Anderson RHP Atlanta Braves 40
Francisco Mejia C/OF San Diego Padres 41
Luis Robert OF Chicago White Sox 42
Dylan Cease RHP Chicago White Sox 43
Chris Paddack RHP San Diego Padres 44
Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B Pittsburgh Pirates 45
Vidal Brujan 2B Tampa Bay Rays 46
Touki Toussaint RHP Atlanta Braves 47
Brusdar Graterol RHP Minnesota Twins 48
Justus Sheffield LHP Seattle Mariners 49
Kyle Wright RHP Atlanta Braves 50
Yordan Alvarez OF Houston Astros 51
Alex Kirilloff OF Minnesota Twins 52
Jesus Sanchez OF Tampa Bay Rays 53
Yusei Kikuchi LHP Seattle Mariners 54
Yusniel Diaz OF Baltimore Orioles 55
Khalil Lee OF Kansas City Royals 56
Jarred Kelenic OF Seattle Mariners 57
Triston McKenzie RHP Cleveland Indians 58
Danny Jansen C Toronto Blue Jays 59
Jazz Chisholm SS Arizona Diamondbacks 60
Adrian Morejon LHP San Diego Padres 61
Griffin Canning RHP Los Angeles Angels 62
Dustin May RHP Los Angeles Dodgers 63
Luis Patino RHP San Diego Padres 64
Alec Bohm 3B Philadelphia Phillies 65
Estevan Florial OF New York Yankees 66
Jon Duplantier RHP Arizona Diamondbacks 67
DL Hall LHP Baltimore Orioles 68
Nate Pearson RHP Toronto Blue Jays 69
Josh James RHP Houston Astros 70
Drew Waters OF Atlanta Braves 71
Bryse Wilson RHP Atlanta Braves 72
Nolan Jones 3B Cleveland Indians 73
Gavin Lux SS/2B Los Angeles Dodgers 74
Travis Swaggerty OF Pittsburgh Pirates 75
Matt Manning RHP Detroit Tigers 76
Oneil Cruz SS Pittsburgh Pirates 77
Luis Garcia SS/3B Washington Nationals 78
Garrett Hampson 2B/SS Colorado Rockies 79
Adonis Medina RHP Philadelphia Phillies 80
Ryan Mountcastle 3B Baltimore Orioles 81
Kristian Robinson OF Arizona Diamondbacks 82
Brady Singer RHP Kansas City Royals 83
Monte Harrison OF Miami Marlins 84
Logan Allen LHP San Diego Padres 85
Nico Hoerner SS Chicago Cubs 86
Michel Baez RHP San Diego Padres 87
Isaac Paredes SS/2B Detroit Tigers 88
Victor Victor Mesa OF Miami Marlins 89
Trevor Larnach OF Minnesota Twins 90
Brandon Marsh OF Los Angeles Angels 91
Heliot Ramos OF San Francisco Giants 92
Brandon Lowe 2B/OF Tampa Bay Rays 93
Ronny Mauricio SS New York Mets 94
Will Smith C/3B Los Angeles Dodgers 95
MJ Melendez C Kansas City Royals 96
Dane Dunning RHP Chicago White Sox 97
Ronaldo Hernandez C Tampa Bay Rays 98
Hans Crouse RHP Texas Rangers 99
Jonathan Loaisiga RHP New York Yankees 100
Corbin Martin RHP Houston Astros 101
Cole Winn RHP Texas Rangers 102
Luiz Gohara LHP Atlanta Braves 103
Leody Taveras OF Texas Rangers 104
William Contreras C Atlanta Braves 105
Seuly Matias OF Kansas City Royals 106
Lucius Fox SS Tampa Bay Rays 107
Corey Ray OF Milwaukee Brewers 108
Spencer Howard RHP Philadelphia Phillies 109
Jahmai Jones 2B Los Angeles Angels 110
Jordyn Adams OF Los Angeles Angels 111
George Valera OF Cleveland Indians 112
J.B. Bukauskas RHP Houston Astros 113
Justin Dunn RHP Seattle Mariners 114
Michael Chavis 3B Boston Red Sox 115
Mark Vientos 3B New York Mets 116
Daz Cameron OF Detroit Tigers 117
Bubba Thompson OF Texas Rangers
Josh Naylor 1B/OF San Diego Padres 119
Colton Welker 3B Colorado Rockies 120
Daulton Varsho C Arizona Diamondbacks 121
Evan White 1B Seattle Mariners 122
Peter Lambert RHP Colorado Rockies 123
Taylor Widener RHP Arizona Diamondbacks 124
Julio Pablo Martinez OF Texas Rangers 125
Kevin Smith SS/3B Toronto Blue Jays 126
Miguel Amaya C Chicago Cubs 127
Andrew Knizner C St. Louis Cardinals 128
Tyler Nevin 1B Colorado Rockies 129
Hudson Potts 3B/1B San Diego Padres 130
Sandy Alcantara RHP Miami Marlins 131
Shane Baz RHP Tampa Bay Rays 132
Tyler Stephenson C Cincinnati Reds 133
Eric Pardinho RHP Toronto Blue Jays 134
Franklin Perez RHP Detroit Tigers 135
Jordan Groshans 3B/SS Toronto Blue Jays 136
Dakota Hudson RHP St. Louis Cardinals 137
Nate Lowe 1B Tampa Bay Rays 138
Elehuris Montero 3B St. Louis Cardinals 139
Luis Oviedo RHP Cleveland Indians 140
Tony Santillan RHP Cincinnati Reds 141
Triston Casas 1B/3B Boston Red Sox 142
Adbert Alzolay RHP Chicago Cubs 143
Ethan Hankins RHP Cleveland Indians 144
Beau Burrows RHP Detroit Tigers 145
Brice Turang SS Milwaukee Brewers 146
Brent Rooker 1B/OF Minnesota Twins 147
Alex Faedo RHP Detroit Tigers 148
Deivi Garcia RHP New York Yankees 149
Ryan Weathers LHP San Diego Padres 150


Minnesota Twins 2019 Preseason Top 10

Courtesy of Aaron Whelan
Trevor Larnach at Oregon State. Courtesy of Aaron Whelan


Player: Royce Lewis
Position(s): SS Opening Day Age: 19 2018 Highest Level: High A
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’2” Weight: 188 lbs.
Quick Report: The Twins raised a few eyebrows when they selected Royce Lewis number one overall in 2017 ahead of the likes of Hunter Greene, MacKenzie Gore, Brendan McKay, and Kyle Wright, but no Twins fans are complaining about the selection these days. He possesses near top of the scale speed and has looked ok at shortstop thus far. There are still some that feel he is best suited to move to center, but there is growing belief he will stick at short and, possibly, even grow into an above average fielder there. At the plate, he has a leg kick at times, but mellows it with two strikes. The bat is quick to and through the zone, allowing him to make solid contact where his bat plays as plus. There is good power, potential plus for an up-the-middle player, but will always be more of a doubles guy than a home run hitter.


Player: Brusdar Graterol
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 20 2018 Highest Level: High A
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” Weight: 180 lbs.
Quick Report: A fastball that sits a high as 98 to go with a power slider, solid curve, and decent change gives Graterol a legit big league arsenal. He is not the tallest of pitchers, but a strong core and lower half suggest he can eat innings despite requiring Tommy John surgery before making his stateside debut. There is some arm bend and inconsistencies in his 3/4 slot delivery, but he manages to pound the strike zone just fine. If he can clean up some of the inconsistent arm slot and head whip, he could be a guy that holds down the number two or three spot of a rotation.


Player: Alex Kirilloff
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 20 2018 Highest Level: High A
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’2” Weight: 195 lbs.
Quick Report: Like the two players ahead of him on this list, Kiriloff started the year in Low A before being promoted to Fort Myers and helping the club win the Florida State League title. Him ranking third in the system is no slight to him, he could easily be ranked second, as Kiriloff is one of the better pure hitters in all the minors. His left-handed swing is quick to the zone and he makes consistent contact with good balance. He hit 20 home runs and 44 doubles in 130 games last season, showing he has plenty of power to be a guy who hits in the middle of the order. He missed all of 2017 due to TJ, but he still has plenty of arm to play right field. Now that he has had a healthy off-season and comes into the year fully healthy, expect to see Kiriloff get fast tracked and possibly even start the year at AA with a late season bump to AAA.


Player: Trevor Larnach
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 21 2018 Highest Level: Low A
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’4” Weight: 210 lbs.
Quick Report: Oregon State’s lineup a year ago was ridiculous, with Nick Madrigal of the White Sox and Cadyn Grenier of the Orioles at the top of the order, then they had presumed number one pick this coming draft Adley Rutschman and the Twins number four prospect Trevor Larnach in the middle of the order. Larnach has plenty of arm to play right but is not the greatest of defenders and could eventually land in left or even first. He has a great feel at the plate, allowing him to show off a plus bat, but has flashed impressive power, although that is inconsistent. In time, I expect more power and less contact from Larnach, turning into a guy who hits .265-.270 and hits 28-30 home runs annually.


Player: Brent Rooker
Position(s): 1B/OF Opening Day Age: 21 2018 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 215 lbs.
Quick Report: A two-time selection of the Twins, Rooker has a big bat with plus power, although the contact rates were lower than many hoped for a season ago. That said, it was his first full pro season, and he spent it at AA and the AFL. Where Rooker will play will go a long way into determining his ultimate value, as he has been slapped with the DH tag by many already. He has seen time in left and at first, although he is not exactly great at either one. He has an upright stance but creates plenty of loft in his swing allowing him to really drive the ball where he will continue to improve his game power into a true plus too.


Player: Jhoan Duran
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 20 2018 Highest Level: Low A
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’5” Weight: 175 lbs.
Quick Report: Duran has a curve that can flash plus but is inconsistent and a change that may eventually be an average offering to go with his plus fastball. At first, this may not seem like a big repertoire, but when you dive deeper and realize his fastball is actually two pitches, an upper-90s four-seam and a cutting, sinking two-seamer that gets into the mid-90s, his arsenal looks a whole lot better. He has a high leg kick with a lot of drive off the back leg before getting to his high 3/4 slot that does have some effort as he falls to the first base side. If the change becomes a pitch he can rely on, he can be a mid-rotation guy, but if it doesn’t he still has the potential to be a closer-type reliever.



Player: Nick Gordon
Position(s): SS Opening Day Age: 23 2018 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’ Weight: 160 lbs.
Quick Report: I went back and forth on who to place at seven and who to place at eight, but ultimately decided to take floor over ceiling in this one. Gordon is lean just like his dad, Tom Gordon, and half-brother Dee Gordon, but doesn’t have any singular standout tool like those had/have. Nick is more the all-around player who can run a little, hit for a good average (although he really struggled at AAA last year) and play an above average shortstop. Many have questioned if Gordon has the strength to withstand a full season as a regular at the big-league level, which could lead him to be stuck as a utility guy. I saw a good amount of him in the 2016 AFL and love his swing. I feel he has the potential to get off to a hot start this year and earn an early call up to Minnesota where he can earn himself a long-term gig in the middle infield.


Player: Wander Javier
Position(s): SS Opening Day Age: 19 2018 Highest Level: DNP
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” Weight: 165 lbs.
Quick Report: Javier has no shortage of tools, but he has just on impressive short season stint in the Appy League to his stateside resume. He missed all of 2018 with a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, so there is a wide range of outcomes for Javier. When on the field, he has a solid glove and a very strong arm making him sticking at short a pretty sure thing, although I wouldn’t rule out a move to third or right being a possibility in time. He is lean, but has a strong enough lower half I could see him developing into at least average power to pair with a quick bat that should allow him to hit for a solid average.


Player: Akil Baddoo
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 20 2018 Highest Level: Low A
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 5’11” Weight: 195 lbs.
Quick Report: Much of Baddoo’s future is going to be tied to his defense, as he is a guy that should be able to play a solid center field his whole career. At the plate, his 2018 numbers would lead you to believe he is more power than hit, although he is really the reverse. The bat can be long, but the plane allows him to hit line drives all over the field. He will be able to put up average-to-better power but shortening the bat just a bit will allow him to become a guy who could hit at the top of an order.


Player: Lewis Thorpe
Position(s): LHP Opening Day Age: 22 2018 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Left Height:  6’1” Weight: 160 lbs.
Quick Report: There might not have been an Australian to have as much as Thorpe did early in his pro career, but Tommy John cost him the 2015 season and mono wiped out the 2016 season. He bounced back in 2017, making it up to AA in what was still his age 21 season. Last year he continued his advancement, making it to AAA and is now knocking on the door to be a part of the Twins rotation. He has a good fastball that sits low-90s and touches mid-90s with some run. He has a good curve, decent change, and struggles with a slider. His mechanics are controlled and repeatable, allowing him to pound the zone with good command with all his pitches. 2018 was the first time he pitched more than 100 innings, getting one out from 130, 47 more than any other season. His upside isn’t what we once thought it may be, but he could be a guy at the back of the rotation that eats innings for a decade.

Others of Note:

Blayne Enlow – RHP – 19 – Low A
Gilberto Celestino – OF – 19 – AA
Yunior Severino – 2B/SS – 19 – Rookie
Ryan Jeffers – C – 21 – Low A
Stephen Gonsalves – RHP – 24 – MLB
LaMonte Wade – OF – 24 – AAA
Travis Blankenhorn – 2B/3B/OF – 22 – High A