Minnesota Twins: Winter League Update


Puckett’s Pond checks up on Minnesota Twins’ prospects playing winter league ball

The Minnesota Twins have a total of 34 prospects and major leaguers who have or are playing offseason baseball. Players are sent (or choose to go) to offseason ball to gain experience, for instructional purposes or simply to get additional reps in. There are 6 main offseason ball leagues: the Arizona Fall League (AFL), Venezuelan Winter League (LVPB), Australian Baseball League (ABL), Dominican Winter League (LIDOM), Mexican Pacific League (LMP), and the Puerto Rican League (PWL). The AFL, obviously, takes place in the fall and wrapped up Nov. 21. The other leagues are the winter leagues and are all currently under way. 

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Mitch Garver, Daniel Palka, Stuart Turner, Adam Walker, Nick Burdi, Trevor Hildenberger, Jake Reed and Taylor Rogers played AFL.

Palka (1B/DH), the new 30th ranked Twins’ prospect, finished the Fall League with a .774 OPS. The unranked Garver (C) was named an AFL rising star and impressed with a .916 OPS. Walker (RF), the #10 Twins Prospect, had a .819 OPS and was also named a rising star. 18th ranked Turner (C) struggled offensively with a .528 OPS. 12th ranked Burdi (reliever) was named a rising star and threw 8 scoreless innings with 11 Ks. 17th ranked Reed (reliever) threw 10.3 scoreless with 10 Ks. 13th ranked Rogers started 6 games and had a 2.88 ERA.


Eduardo Escobar, Luis Arraez, Levi Michael, Engelb Vielma, D.J Baxendale, Omar Bencomo, Darnell Logan, David Hurlbut, Yorman Landa, and Brett Lee are playing in Venezuela.

Escobar, the Twins short stop, has been tearing it up (as he should be) with a .938 OPS through 8 games so far. 22nd ranked Vielma (SS) is a light hitter usually but has dipped even lower with a .519 OPS. 29th ranked Landa (reliever) has struggled in 6.1 innings, allowing 5 earned runs. 24th ranked Darnell (SP/RP) has thrown 37.2 innings with a 2.87 ERA.


Trey Vavra, Tanner Vavra, Michael Quesada, Aaron Whitefield, Logan Wade and Loek van Mil are playing down under in Australia.

None of those players rank very highly in the Minnesota Twins’ system. The Vavra brother  have been faring the best out of that group. Trey (1B) has a .898 OPS and Tanner (2B) a .881.


Carlos Paulino, Danny Santana, Jorge Polanco, Eduardo Nunez, Buck Britton and Ryan O’Rourke are playing in the Dominican. Miguel Sano played 15 games and then dropped out to focus on conditioning.

The unranked Paulino (C) has a .859 OPS through 32 games. The Twins’ short stop and outfielder Santana has a .704 OPS so far. 4th ranked Polanco (SS) has a meagre .627 OPS with 29 Ks in 119 ABs. The Twins’ utility man Nunez a .813 OPS in just 16 ABs.


Just two members of the Twins’ organization are playing in Puerto Rico: Kennys Vargas (1B) and Dereck Rodriguez (P). Vargas has a pedestrian .761 OPS after tearing up the minors (a getting a call up) in 2015.


Just one Twins’ prospect is playing in Mexico this winter: Reynaldo Rodriguez (OF). He has a .839 OPS over 46 games so far.

Next: Michael Cuddyer Retires

We will keep you updated on any developments in the Winter Leagues. ABL is the last of the leagues to wrap up, finishing on January 24.