Minnesota Twins: A few thoughts on the Minor League system

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SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 5: Commissioner Allan H. Bud Selig announces the fifth overall pick of Nick Gordon by the Minnesota Twins during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 5: Commissioner Allan H. Bud Selig announces the fifth overall pick of Nick Gordon by the Minnesota Twins during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins boast one of the top farm systems in MLB. For that reason, the disappointment felt this season should not linger very long into the future.

The Minnesota Twins currently have four prospects ranked in the updated MLB Pipelines Top-100. Royce Lewis (10), Alex Kirilloff (31), Nick Gordon (76), and a minor surprise with Brusdar Graterol (81) make up the top of the Twins system.

Although the system seemed a little bit top heavy at the start of the year, that is no longer the case. As this team moves toward the future, we will be hearing these names in the Twin Cities for years to come. For now, let’s take a brief look at some of the top players in the system.

Looking at some numbers

Lewis is the clear-cut top prospect in the Minnesota Twins Minor League system and has shown why during this season. The 19-year-old has hit .313 with a .839 on-base plus slugging percentage across two levels of the Minors. He’s currently playing in Advanced-A Fort Myers and making his case for Twins Minor League Player of the Year.

Another player making a strong case for Player of the Year honors is Kiriloff. The outfielder has flat out raked all season in the Minors. He has 16 home runs and 84 runs batted in while hitting .350 across two levels of the Minors during this season. After missing the 2017 season due to injury, Kiriloff has bounced back in a big way with an astounding .992 on-base plus slugging percentage during the 2018 season. The sky is the limit for Kiriloff and his future in the Twin Cities is as bright as the sun.

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In the meantime, Gordon has solidified his status as a top prospect hitting .264 with a .302 on-base percentage while Gonsalves has also solidified his spot as a future big leaguer. The left-handed starter has been solid with a 2.79 ERA while pitching 103 1/3 innings across top two levels of the Minors during this season. Sandwiched between those two in the rankings is Graterol. The right-handed flamethrower has emerged as a possible future top of the rotation starter during this season.

Graterol dominated the Midwest League while playing with Cedar Rapids to the tune of a 2.18 ERA in 41 1/3 innings pitched before earning a promotion to Advanced-A. Although he hasn’t experienced the same success while pitching with Fort Myers, he is only 19-years-old and well on his way to making an impact in MLB.

Trevor Larnach went from the College World Series to being drafted in the first round by the Minnesota Twins during the Summer. MLB Pipelines slots him in as the sixth best prospect in the system but his bat could help him rise through the ranks quickly.

Lastly, one name Twins fans shouldn’t forget is Wander Javier. The middle-infield prospect was ranked number five in the system heading into the season. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury derailed his season before it even began and he will not see the field during the 2018 season. However, this should only a minor bump in the road for Javier and he will soon be climbing his way back toward the top of the Minnesota Twins Minor League ranks.

On another note…

As this will be my final article with Puckett’s Pond, I want to take the time out to say thank you to everybody who has been visiting this site. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the past six months writing about, and immersing myself into, the Minnesota Twins. I would also like to thank Puckett’s Pond co-expert Nate Palmer who helped me tremendously when I first joined this site.

Next. Looking at the performances of some the recent Twins draftees. dark

However, it’s time for me to get back to writing about my first baseball love, the Milwaukee Brewers, with the FanSided baseball site Call to the Pen. Puckett’s Pond is in great hands with Nate and the tremendous group of writers that have helped keep this site humming. Once again, thank you Twins fans from the bottom of my heart, y’all have been amazing.

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