Minnesota Twins: Assessing the future for Zack Granite

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 23: Zack Granite
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 23: Zack Granite /
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Welcome to the latest installment of Puckett’s Pond’s feature “A Trip to the Farm”. In this space, we will take a look at the less talked about prospects in the Minnesota Twins system.

Today, we will take a look at Minnesota Twins outfield prospect Zack Granite. MLB Pipelines has Granite currently ranked number 26 in the Twins Top-30 prospects. This youngster will have a hard time cracking the Majors, but that’s due to lack of opportunity and not lack of talent.

The Twins have Byron Buxton entrenched in center field and Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler holding down the corners. Buxton won the platinum glove, awarded to the top defensive player in the league, during the 2017 season. Rosario broke through with a 27 home run season in 2017, while Kepler is still getting his feet wet at the big league level.

Granite himself played in 40 games with the Minnesota Twins during last season. Although he hit a paltry .237 during his brief stint, he managed to draw 12 walks while only striking out nine times. Granite’s plate discipline is what separates him from the pack and what will make him a quality Major Leaguer.

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What the future holds for Granite

Ryan LaMarre has been earning more opportunities with his stellar play during the early part of this season. However, LaMarre is nothing more than a fourth outfielder in MLB and has reached his ceiling. Granite has the chance to be more than a reserve player in MLB if he can develop his bat a little further.

Granite slashed .340/.394/.479 in the Minors during last season. However, only 27 of his 103 hits went for extra bases, and this is where he needs to improve. Beyond his gaudy slash line, Granite is also the rare player who keeps his strikeouts low and takes a fair share of walks.

He has never struck out more than 70 times in a season and has the potential to be a great leadoff hitter. Granite also possesses game-changing speed both on the bases and in the outfield. He swiped 56 bases en route to being named the Minnesota Twins Minor League Player of the Year during the 2016 season.

Granite also plays a premium defensive position (center field) and plays it really well. He committed only one error during his 213 innings played in the outfield last season in the Majors. The Minnesota Twins outfield is currently stacked with some high-quality players. However, if Kepler falters or Buxton can’t stay healthy, Granite will be able to fill in admirably. This is a great problem for the Twins to have.

Next: A handful of Minor Leaguers who could play a role in 2018

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