8- Brent Rooker 1B/OF
Rooker was drafted by the Twins in the 38th round in 2016 but chose to go back to school. That decision paid off for him as Minnesota took him 35th overall following another solid season in 2017.
He wasted no time in showing his capabilities during his half season in the Minors last year. Rooker hit 18 home runs in only 62 games and has the look of a legitimate power hitter in MLB.
The Minnesota Twins played Rooker in the outfield last season and that will likely be the case again during the 2018 season. However, he is a below-average defensive player and his future may lie at first base.
Mauer is a free agent after the ’18 season and there is no clear-cut answer at first base on the roster. Rooker has enough power, and will continue to develop more, that he will be more than adequate at the position .
Rooker has all the tools to succeed in Major League Baseball but his 60 grade power definitely stands out above the rest. He’s deceptively athletic so he has the ability to fill a corner outfield spot in a pinch. However, he may do more harm than good in the outfield so his focus should be improving at first defensively for the future.
What the future holds for Rooker
The Twins could transition Miguel Sano over to first base when Mauer’s contract expires. However, Sano has a body type that doesn’t age well in Major League Baseball and a full-time designated hitter role likely lies in his future.
Rooker looks like a first baseman, hits like a first baseman, and his bright future should be at that position. The Minnesota Twins can hide his defensive inefficiencies by putting him at first and his bat will play well anywhere you put him.
He is advanced for his level and that means he should advance quickly through the Twins system. Rooker hit .281 while drawing 27 walks across 261 plate appearances last season. That was only a glimpse into his potential and Twins fans can’t wait to see more.
The future is extremely bright for Rooker and in turn extremely bright for the Minnesota Twins. He likely won’t see time in the big leagues until 2020 and with Minnesota in contending mode there should be no rush with moving him along. However, he will make a huge impact for the Minnesota Twins when he does reach the Majors.