Puckett’s Pond’s Minnesota Twins 2018 Top-40 prospects: 26-30

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BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 20: A Minnesota Twins cap and glove in the dug out before a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards at on August 20, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 20: A Minnesota Twins cap and glove in the dug out before a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards at on August 20, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Twins
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 27: General view of a ball on the mound before the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Cincinnati Reds at Target Field on April 27, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /

No. 28 Luis Rijo, RHP, Elizabethton Twins

Nate’s Rank: 31, Gary’s Rank: 28

The Minnesota Twins just recently brought Luis Rijo into their farm system as he was included in the package alongside Tyler Austin that the Twins received in return for starting pitcher Lance Lynn. It feels like the second trade in less than a year that the Twins have completed with the New York Yankees where the Twins may have been able to take full advantage of the Yankees having a surplus of good players that occupy the same position in their organization. The trade for Jake Cave being the other.

Rijo came to the Yankees as an international free agent in 2015. The right-hander is still very young at only 19-years-old but has the markers of a pitcher who could develop into a quality option in a major league rotation. As evaluated by 2080 baseball, Rijo has a fastball that sits 92-93 mph and a power curveball which breaks with sharp action at 75-76 mph. If Rijo wants to be a quality major league pitcher he will have to develop a better third pitch, right now that is his low-80s changeup.

Rijo has pitched across three levels of the minors this season. He has pitched at both Single-A levels while with the Yankees but has spent most of his time in the Rookie ball Appalachian League where he starts his Twins career. In total Rijo has pitched 49.1 innings in 2018 and holds a 2.19 ERA, 1.115 WHIP, and has 38 strikeouts and six walks. In two starts with Elizabethton, Rijo has gone 10.1 innings and has allowed five unearned runs in one bad outing.

Rijo is another arm that may never develop into an ace level pitcher but has the opportunity to develop into another solid mid to back-end of the rotation arm. He is another piece in the pitching depth the Twins front office has clearly focused on building up.

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