The Minnesota Twins draft selections are soon finishing their first seasons as professional and here is a look at some of the notable performers.
The Minnesota Twins 2018 draft class lacked the splash of other recent drafts but they managed to land four players who made it to Class A Cedar Rapids, along with a number of other young players that are showing early promise. Last month in a similar post I selected thirteen notable players to highlight.
While this month’s list drops to an even dozen, the overall outlook on the group has improved with time. Here is a look at the returns on twelve notable Minnesota Twins selections from the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Round 1, Pick 20: RF Trevor Larnach
Cedar Rapids A-Level, Age 21, 6′ 4″, 210 lbs MLB Top 200 Draft Rank: 26, Slot Value: $3,120,000, Signed For: $2,550,000
Trevor Larnach adjusted quickly to the rookie league E-Twins after helping to lead the Oregon State Beavers to the College World Series championship. He had a slash line of .311/.413/.492, and OPS of .905, with a pair of home runs,16 RBI’s in 61 at-bats. Known for his strong plate discipline, Larnach carried over his strong plate discipline skills to professional Elizabethton with 10 walks against 11 K’s.
Larnach was promoted to Class-A Cedar Rapids in early August. A first-year promotion to full-season is considered a good sign for a player’s future success. He is holding his own for the Kernels with a slash line of .293/.338/.480, an OPS of .818, with a pair of home runs in 75 at-bats. Larnach has a respectable 11/5 strikeout to walk ratio.
The right fielder has yet to commit an error in the field and has two outfield assists on the season.
Trevor Larnach is #5 on our midseason Twins prospects rankings.
Round 2, Pick 59: C/DH Ryan Jeffers
Cedar Rapids A-Level, Age 21, 6′ 4″, 228 lbs
MLB Top 200 Draft Rank: Unranked Slot Value: $1,140,600 Signed For: $800,000
Ryan Jeffers was assigned to Class A Cedar Rapids from the Rookie League E-Twins on July 18. He was leading the Appalachian League in batting average, on-base percentage, and on-base plus slugging percentage, and is seventh in slugging percentage at the time of his promotion. His slash line at Elizabethton was a stunning .422/.543/.578, for an On-base Plus Slugging percent of 1.121, with seven doubles, four home runs, 20 walks, and 16 K’s!
Jeffers was struggling at Cedar Rapids in my previous update. He had just two hits in 19 at-bats over his first five games. He broke out with 13 hits in his next 22 at-bats and has since proven to be a core player in the Kernels line-up. In 31 Class-A games, Jeffers is posting an impressive slash line of 294/.364/.471, with an OPS of .834. He has four home runs and 15 RBI’s, 22 strikeouts and 11 walks in 119 at-bats.
Jeffers is splitting time as a designated hitter and as a catcher. The Kernels have him sharing catching duties with David Banuelos, who Seattle sent to the Twins last winter for $1 million in international bonus pool money. Jeffers had a spotty record defensively in E-Town committing two errors and allowing two passed balls in ten games behind the plate. His record is spotless so far over 157 innings in Cedar Rapids. For the season, Jeffers has gunned down three of 14 attempted base stealers.
The 295th ranked pre-draft prospect by Baseball America.
Ryan Jeffers is 10th on our midseason Twins prospects rankings.