The Minnesota Twins will send two prospects to the MLB Futures Game, which has a new format in its 21st season.
While the Minnesota Twins have had a tremendous season at the major league level, a case can be made that the team’s future looks bright as well. With prospects such as Royce White and Alex Kirilloff leading the way, Minnesota has been able to hit on most of its highly drafted prospects which could help build an even stronger team or help them land a top trade target next month.
Many fans may not know about some of the prospects in the Twins minor league system, but the MLB All-Star Futures Game is an excellent way to get acquainted to who could make an impact down the road. This year, the game will feature an American League vs. National League format and while Kirlloff didn’t make the cut due to an injury-riddled season, Minnesota will have two representatives in this year’s game in Lewis and pitcher Jordan Balazovic.
Lewis is the headliner of the two-man contingent for the Twins as he was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. Lewis’ slash line at High-A Fort Myers hasn’t been pretty this season as he’s hit .228/.278/.344 with five home runs and 23 RBI and he also made headlines thanks to a push-up incident back in May.
Despite that, Lewis has been heating up with the bat in recent weeks including a two-homer game against Charlotte on June 19. The 20-year old was listed seventh on MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects at the beginning of the season thanks to his five-tool potential and as he continues to build strength, he could be a franchise pillar for the Twins down the road.
While Lewis hasn’t had the stats to back up his potential, Balazovic has put up impressive numbers in 2019. The 20-year old has posted a 6-2 record with a 2.48 ERA between Low-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers this season and has shown big strikeout potential with 87 punchouts in just 61 2/3 innings.
Armed with a fastball that sits in the mid-90s, the 6-foot-4 Canadian has opened some eyes with not only his strikeout numbers, but his control as well. Balazovic has walked just 15 batters on the season which has fueled his low WHIP of 0.95. While he could still add some strength, Balazovic is a pitcher that is on the rise in the Twins system.
The MLB All-Star Futures Game will take place on July 7 at Progressive Field in Cleveland in a seven-inning affair. The American League will be managed by Jim Thome while the National League will be led by Dennis Martinez.