Puckett’s Pond Minnesota Twins 2018 Top-40 Prospects: #6-10

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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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No. 8 Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Rochester Red Wings

Nate’s Rank: 10, Gary’s Rank: 8

If we want to talk about what it means to have to persevere through injury and time away from the game, there are few athletes who know what that means more than Lewis Thorpe. Thorpe, who is now a 22-year-old, signed with the Twins out of Australia for $500,000 and is showing why he has been labelled a top pitching prospect once again after missing two full seasons of pitching.

Thorpe started his career in the Twins system with the GCL Twins and pitched in 12 games, held a 2.05 ERA, and had a 13.9 K/9 over 44.0 innings of work. The next season Thorpe moved to Cedar Rapids and started 16 games, pitched 71.2 innings, had a 3.52 ERA, and a still very impressive 10.0 K/9 as an 18-year-old. It was that fall that Thorpe first felt that gut sinking twinge in his elbow.

Thorpe would undergo Tommy John surgery and miss all of 2015 rehabbing. While he was on his way back to action Thorpe battled Mono and would go on to miss all of 2016 as well. Finally, in 2017 Thorpe made it back on the mound and pitched mainly in Fort Myers with a small taste of Double-A ball with Chattanooga. Thorpe saw action in 17 games, had a 3.36 ERA, and jumped right back into a 9.9 K/9.

What may be most important about his return is that Thorpe’s velocity has seemed to completely return as he is again throwing his fastball from 91-94 mph regularly and can ramp it up to 96 mph. His ERA sits at 3.74 after spending time in both Double-A and Triple-A this season. It is also impressive that Thorpe has had 11.0 K/9 this season and 11.7 K/9 since joining Rochester. MLB.com lists Thorpe’s upside as a number three or four starter and he may get a crack at the Twins pitching staff this season as he is positioned well to be considered for a September call-up.

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