The Minnesota Twins have an exciting farm system. Here is our top 40 ranking of the Twins prospects as we continue onto prospects numbers 21-25.
The Minnesota Twins have had a disappointing 2018 season. Out of survival, we as fans have to find something to root for when our teams are not performing well. Which causes us to often then turn our attention to what is next for our favorite team, for baseball that means the prospects in the minors. That special attention gives added intrigue to this series which takes a unique look at the Twins current crop of prospects as we at Puckett’s Pond put on our talent evaluating caps to rank the Twins prospects.
What else makes this not only an intriguing but also an exciting group to rank is that the Twins have made several additions to their prospect ranks during their sell-off at the trade deadline. All those new faces are players we haven’t gotten much of a look and learning about those new players can always be a fun exercise as well.
This list is a group effort by several writers here at Puckett’s Pond. Know that we each have our own opinion on players but have put our rankings together to compile this list. Some or all of us will have ranked certain players in a much different place than where they will land on this ranking. That is just how this sort of exercise works.
With that here is the first instalment of our rankings as we look at what is now often regarded as a top-10 farm system in baseball. We have already covered prospects numbers 26-30, 31-35 and 36-40. Here are numbers 21-25 of the Puckett’s Pond prospect rankings.
#25 Jacob Pearson, LF, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Nate’s Rank: 26, Gary’s Rank: 22
Jacob Pearson came to the Twins thanks to the Seattle Mariners/Los Angeles Angels battle last winter over the rights to Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani. Minnesota leveraged the West Coast bidding war to their advantage by sending $1 million dollars of their international bonus pool to each of the contenders to acquire Pearson from L.A: and current Cedar Rapids catching prospect David Banuelos from Seattle.
Pearson was drafted by the Angels out of high school in the third round of the 2017 MLB draft, signing above-slot for $1 million dollars and foregoing his commitment to LSU. In his rookie league debut with the Arizona League Angels, the left side hitter slashed .226/302/.284, including seven doubles and a triple, with 37 strikeouts and 15 walks in 155 at-bats. Those pedestrian numbers don’t reflect the positive regard evaluators have for 2017 Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year. At the time of the trade, MLB.com had Pearson ranked #5 in the Angels system and moved him to #22 on the Twins’ list.
Athlon Sports ranked Pearson #39 in their list of top 40 high school 2017 draft prospects. Royce Lewis and Blayne Enlow were ranked 2nd and 7th, respectively. Athlon Sports had this to say about Pearson:
"Pearson is one of the best pure hitters scouts saw last summer. In addition, he is an above-average runner"
MLB.com slotted Pearson at #26 this spring and upgraded him to #25 in their mid-season update. He rates a 60 run tool and grades out at 45. Notably, Pearson’s arm is rated at 30, an extremely low number for a serious prospect. That grade should improve to some degree as the 20-year-old gradually regains strength following surgery a torn labrum on his right shoulder during high school. At least for now, his projected major league position would be limited to left field.
The Twins assigned Pearson to Class A Cedar Rapids for 2018., where he has a slash line of .252/.333/389 and an OPS of .722, 11 doubles, three triples and five home runs, 55 strikeouts, 27 walks in 234 at-bats. He is 1.3 years younger than his average Midwest League competitor.
The key for Pearson is to gain power as he develops. His plus speed won’t be enough to hold down a future spot in left field. The 6’1″, 185 pounder has youth on his side, and his endurance will grow. He is now showing signs of wearing down in his first full season of professional baseball. He has fallen into a slump over the last month seeing his batting average drop from .297 to where it sits today at .257. It will be interesting to see how well Pearson adjusts physically as he matures.