Are the Minnesota Twins prepared to replace Max Kepler if he is traded?
By Nate Palmer
LaMonte Wade and Alex Kirilloff
The first of these two, LaMonte Wade, has some chance to grab enough attention from major league staff to be a Kepler replacement since he has been invited to big league camp this spring training. Wade has proven to be good at getting on base during his time playing professional baseball.
In 2017, Wade spent the season at Double-A Chattanooga and hit .292/.397/.408 with a .805 OPS. That performance gained Wade an invitation to the Arizona Fall League. Wade is set for a start in Double-A this season if not Triple-A. Signaling his big league debut could be getting closer and closer as spring training moves along.
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Alex Kirilloff is an absolute longshot for 2018 as he will be seeing his first baseball action since Tommy John surgery. There is certainly question surrounding whether or not Kirilloff will be able to continue as an outfielder, but as the top outfield prospect currently in the Twins system, this list wouldn’t be complete without him.
In Kirilloff’s only season in the Twins system in 2016 he hit .306/.341/.454 with 7 home runs and 9 doubles. No matter where he ends up defensively, Kirilloff’s bat has a good chance to play at the major league level and has to be considered as a potential long-term replacement for Kepler.
Next: Could Jake Peavy be an option for the Twins?
As we have seen, even though Kepler is a very talented player the Twins have plenty of options to fill in for him. More importantly, the Twins have few options that could become a frontline starter for them in 2018 outside of Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios. That makes trading him a good option for the Twins.