The Minnesota Twins have an exciting farm system. Here is our top 40 ranking of the Twins prospects as we continue onto prospects numbers 6-10.
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 next 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 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35 and 36-40. Here are numbers 6-10 of the Puckett’s Pond prospect rankings.
No. 10 Ryan Jeffers, C, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Nate’s Rank: 11, Gary’s Rank: 11
The Twins seemed to shock a lot of the baseball world as they selected catcher Ryan Jeffers out of UNC-Wilmington with their 2nd round draft pick, 59th overall, in this past edition of the draft. The reaction from the crew working the MLB Network coverage of the draft is one that will stick in one’s memory as the broadcast team was caught off guard when a player that wasn’t even on MLB.com’s top 200 pre-draft ranking came off the board.
What did eventually come out is that Jeffers was one of the better bats for a catcher coming out in the draft. He spent the past two seasons as one of the better hitting catchers in the college ranks and immediately carried that over to his pro career. The now 21-year-old made his first stop in the Appalachian League playing for the Elizabethton Twins and hit .422/.543/.578 and a 1.121 OPS in 28 games.
The young right-handed backstop is now in Cedar Rapids where he is hitting .296/.367/.478 with a .845 OPS. He also has nine doubles and four home runs. One of the trends that Jeffers will want to try and regain is walking more than he strikes out. That is something he did in the Appy league with 20 walks to his 16 strikeouts. That has been flipped a bit as he has 11 walks and 22 strikeouts in the Midwest league so far.
There is almost no doubt about Jeffers bat, but plenty about his defense. That is likely why it was such a surprise that he was selected when he did. The Twins had him ranked as the best backstop on their board when they selected him according to Twins scouting director Sean Johnson. If Jeffers sound a lot like Twins current catcher Mitch Garver to you, well he should as Johnson also confirms the similarities between the two players in an interview shortly after the draft.
The Twins will be working with Jeffers to continually improve in the defensive department so he can add some major value with his bat hopefully with the Twins someday from behind the plate. If not, there is a good chance the pop in his bat will be able to play at other positions as well.