With three Minnesota Twins shortstop prospects ranked in top 100 lists so far, the position is considered one of the deepest in the game. However, if may not be the deepest position in the Twins system!
The Minnesota Twins have built back up their farm system to one of the better in the entire game. The depth at shortstop has been noted by top 100 lists, but there is another position where the impressive depth could have a more direct impact on the major league team in 2018 and beyond.
The Minnesota Twins were given plenty of negative media attention early in 2017 for their bullpen, assuming that they would not be able to keep up their early pace because of the struggles of the bullpen in the first half of the season.
Instead in the second half of the season, a number of young arms came up and performed very well to allow the Twins bullpen to be one of the better ones in the league in the second half of 2017. The minor league system is filled with guys who could help like that again in 2018!
The Minnesota Twins had a system with incredible relievers in 2017. Of guys who remain in the system for 2018, four that appeared in more than 10 games, primarily as a reliever, had an ERA under 1.00 in 2017, 7 more had an ERA under 2.00, and 12 more had an ERA under 3.00, giving them 23 relievers with an ERA under 3.00.
Those relievers were dominant as well. Five returning relievers with at least 10 appearances struck out 10 batters per 9 innings, and another 3 struck out at least 12 per 9 innings. That gives the organization 8 returning relievers who struck out at least 10 K/9 over at least 10 games in 2017.
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The relievers that have either graduated to the majors or left the system had one season under a 1.00 ERA, 4 guys who were under 2.00, and 4 more who were under 3.00. That adds another 9 in the system with at least 10 appearances as a primary reliever who posted a 3.00 ERA or lower, totaling 33 overall in the system in 2017.
For relievers that are not going to be in the system in 2018 but were in 2017, 2 struck out 10 per 9 innings, and 4 more struck out 12 per 9 innings, giving another 6 with at least a 10 K/9, for a total of 14 relievers who made at least 10 appearances primarily as a reliever and struck out at least 10 per 9 innings.
Multiple Minnesota Twins team prospect lists have come out now, and relievers have dotted those lists.
Lefty Tyler Jay has ranked the highest of any reliever at this point, making it as high as #7 in lists. However, he’s not the only reliever who has been mentioned, as John Curtiss, Mason Melotakis, Gabriel Moya, and Jake Reed have also been on lists and have points on the prospect list spreadsheet.
With the major league club investing heavily in the bullpen this offseason, signing 3 free agents, the minor leaguers will certainly need to continue producing in order to break through to the major league level.