With the Minnesota Twins off to a hot start and their AL Central Rivals not playoff-ready, we look at the players in the division that could become stars.
The Minnesota Twins are the clear class of the American League Central Division. With their strong series wins over the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians, the Twins showed that they have the depth and talent to run this division for years to come.
That being said, Cleveland won 93 games just last year and the White Sox have the blue chip prospects to put together a phenomenal roster. With that in mind, we took a look around the division and put together a list of the 5 best rising stars among the Minnesota Twins’ rivals.
In order to be considered a rising star, there are three qualifications:
- The player needs to be 25 years old or younger.
- The player cannot already be a star in the league, meaning no All-Star appearances (Shane Bieber misses this list for this reason).
- The player needs to have played at the major league level for more than 25 innings (or 10 for pitchers).
With those three rules out of the way, we’ll get started with the honorable mentions.
Minnesota Twins Rival Rising Star: Honorable Mentions
Franmil Reyes, OF/DH, Cleveland Indians
Franmil Reyes just BARELY made this list, as the American League Central doesn’t have a ton of talent under the age of 26. Reyes has struggled since being traded to Cleveland, and it’s easy to see by looking at his stat lines:
- Cleveland: 62 G, .226/.286/.720, 11 HR, 39 RBI, 19-76 BB-K, -0.3 WAR
- San Diego, 186 G, .266/.326/.844, 43 HR, 77 RBI, 53-173 BB-K, 1.8 WAR
That’s an ugly difference, but Reyes is still just 24. Once he adjusts, he could turn into a Nelson Cruz level DH (more power, less average) that is a threat for years to come. Until he adjusts, however, he remains here.
Zach Plesac/Aaron Civale, SP, Cleveland Indians
It feels like cheating to include Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale in the same spot in the honorable mentions, but both players are in the same spot. Lesser-known 25-year-olds from smaller universities who have been very effective since getting to the majors in 2019:
- Plesac: 23 G, 23 GS, 8-7, 3.58 ERA, 105-41 K-BB, 2.2 WAR
- Civale: 12 G, 12 GS, 4-5, 2.58 ERA, 64-17 K-BB, 1.7 WAR
Because they both have less than a season’s worth of experience, it’s hard to tell who will end up being the better of the two pitchers. For now though, it’s easy to tell they will be very strong options behind Shane Bieber in the rotation.