Puckett’s Pond’s Minnesota Twins 2018 Top-40 Prospects: #1-5
The Minnesota Twins have an exciting farm system. Here is our top 40 ranking of the Twins prospects as we continue onto prospects numbers 1-5.
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 final 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 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35 and 36-40. Here are numbers 1-5 of the Puckett’s Pond prospect rankings.
No. 5 Trevor Larnach, OF, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Nate’s Rank: 7, Gary’s Rank: 4
Trevor Larnach was the Twins first-round choice, 20th overall, in the 2018 draft. After playing a large role in Oregon State’s College World Series championship the 21-year-old signed for a $2.55 million bonus, which was $570,000 under the slot value of the pick. He was assigned to Rookie League Elizabethton on July 18.
Larnach, who had previously been drafted by San Diego in the 40th round of the 2015 draft saw his draft ranking shoot up during a breakout 2018 campaign with the Beavers that included a .327 batting average, OPS of 1.081, and 53 strikeouts versus 45 walks. The kicker was his emerging power. The 6′ 2″, 210-pound junior hit 17 homes runs, after hitting only three as a sophomore in only 20 fewer plate appearances.
MLB.com placed Larnach #26 on their draft list, while USA Today judged him at #14. The latter had this to say:
"Larnach’s power numbers have gone way up this season and he is far and away the team’s leading home run hitter (17 entering the week). Larnach was originally projected as a second or third rounder, but his success this year has elevated his stock. He will be drafted for his power, poise, and polish at the plate. Could go: Anywhere from picks 20-30, but could come off the board earlier"
FanGraphs ranked Larnach for the first time in early June as the #102 draft prospect. In early August, their Marc Hulet ranked him #6 among Twin’s prospects. Today Larnach is not only listed as the #4 prospect on the team, FanGraphs rates him the #92 prospect in the game. He is rising so fast in the rankings that his current tool numbers are outdated, certainly in regards to his hitting.
"Team Rank: 4 Overall Rank: 92 ETA: 2020 Hit GamePower RawPower Speed Field Throws Future Value 35 / 50 35 / 60 65 / 65 45 / 45 40 / 45 55 / 55 50"
Larnach strong play in E-Town made for a short stay in short-season baseball. His slash line in 61 at-bats was .311/.413/.492. an OPS of .904, two home runs, 16 RBI’s, and 11 strikeouts against 10 walks.
The left-handed hitting right fielder has continued producing since his August 7th promotion to Low A Cedar Rapids. In 75 at-bats, Larnach posts a line of .293/.338/.480, with a .818 OPS, two home runs, eight RBI’s, and 11 K’s versus five walks. For the total season, he has yet to commit an error while picking two outfield assists.
As I wrote here following his debut with the Kernels, Larnach’s speed projects him best in left field where his ability to hit to all fields with emerging power, along with his knack for drawing walks will be the key to his long-term success.
Larnach appears to be on pace to reach Chattanooga at some point in the 2019 season. How he fares there should help clarify whether or not Larnach is on the fast-track to Target Field as early as 2020.