Minnesota Twins: Prospect Spotlight Stephen Gonsalves

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 19: Aaron Hicks
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 19: Aaron Hicks /

The Minnesota Twins have openings in the rotation heading into 2018. Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios are locks. Who else could be in the rotation?

One name every Minnesota Twins fan needs to keep an eye on is LHP Stephen Gonsalves. Gonsalves is raw, but his ceiling is far above where he sits right now.

Gonsalves throws his fastball consistently in the low to mid 90’s according to MLB.com. This 23 year old has barely scratched the surface of the pitcher that he will become.

Can Gonsalves make the Opening Day roster?

Gonsalves will have every opportunity to make the Opening Day roster if he can have a solid spring. The Minnesota Twins need pitching, and Gonsalves has had success at every level of the Minor Leagues.

Gonsalves was 9-5 with a 3.27 ERA in 19 starts across two levels of the Minors in 2017. He also struck out 118 while walking only 31 batters in 110 innings pitched. He has shown an ability to limit base runners throughout his Minor League career and the Twins can use that in 2018.

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If Minnesota can’t sign Yu Darvish or one of the other available starting pitchers, there will be a huge hole in the rotation. Gonsalves can easily help fill some of that void, but it is risky to count on that happening. He still needs polish, however Gonsalves is close to Major League ready.

The Minnesota Twins managed to make the playoffs last season. However, they won’t surprise anybody in ’18. Gonsalves has only 22 1/3 innings pitched above Triple-A , but he could play a big role for the ’18 season.

Free agency has been slow moving, and the Minnesota Twins can still add another frontline starting pitcher. However, if the Twins go with the status quo, Gonsalves should see some big league time this year.

Next: Is shortstop the deepest position in the Twins system?

For Twins fans the hope should be Gonsalves is part of the back end of a great rotation fronted by Santana and Darvish In ’18. The best case scenario is Gonsalves turns into the next big thing in MLB, and Darvish isn’t needed. Stay tuned to Puckett’s Pond to see what happens.