Minnesota Twins prospects gaining national attention led by Royce Lewis
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins continue to have a strong farm system and it is getting some high praise from a couple national outlets.
The Minnesota Twins are not far removed from a time when they were considered to have one of the top farm systems in all of major league baseball. Those were the days when Byron Buxton was often considered the top prospect in all of baseball. Miguel Sano and Jose Berrios weren’t far behind either.
Now with all three of those players firmly graduated from the prospect ranks there is a new wave of prospects for Twins fans to be excited about. That dose of excitement might be coming at just the right time as the 2018 Twins teeter somewhere between life support and full-on sellers.
The new group of prospects has six names gracing MLB Pipeline’s updated Top 100 list. The path is led by Twins top prospect and 2017 first overall selection Royce Lewis. Lewis has been tearing up the Midwest League and is due for a promotion any time now as he slashes .304/.345/.465 and has even flashed some good glove work at shortstop. MLB.com ranks him as the 13th overall prospect and fourth best shortstop.
The Twins have another shortstop coming in second for their farm system and number 69 overall on the top-100 list in Nick Gordon. Gordon already performed well at Double-A and earned a promotion to Triple-A. Gordon has stumbled a little bit only slashing .248/.270/.359 since his promotion, but a hot stretch, injury, or trade could move Gordon to the majors at any moment now.
After missing 2017, the excitement around Alex Kirilloff has been rising rapidly. He dominated Midwest League pitching as he slashed .333/.391/.607 and had a .999 OPS for the start of 2018. Kirilloff has continued to swing a hot bat as he moved up to Fort Myers. In two games he has already collected five hits, five RBIs, and a home run. That has earned Kirilloff the 71st spot from MLB.com.
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Stephen Gonsalves lands at number 77 on MLB.com’s list. His future looks bright even amongst a little bit of a stumble recently at Triple-A which has caused his ERA to rise to 4.56. About the same can be said for the next Twins prospect on the list, number 88 Wander Javier. Javier is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery but his future still looks good.
The name many Twins fans are just becoming acquainted with is flame-thrower Brusdar Graterol. He is gaining traction nationally as well as he earns the 98th spot on the list. With a fastball that can touch 100 mph his prospects as a starting pitcher is very exciting. If Graterol continues to develop he should only further soar up prospect rankings in the near future.
It will continue to be interesting to see how these prospects and the Twins farm system as a whole stacks up as other prospect rankings update and include the recent 2018 draft. Bleacher Report has put out their updated farm rankings following the 2018 draft. The Twins system is looked on very favorably by them as they rank the Twins 6th out of all the major league farm systems.
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While hope for the future only quenches our thirst so much, there is still plenty of hope for the future in the Twins farm system. It gives at least one thread of excitement amongst an overwhelmingly disappointing 2018 at the major league level.