5 Biggest Rising Stars for the Minnesota Twins’ AL Central Rivals
By Otto Johnson
Minnesota Twins Rival Rising Star No. 3: Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago White Sox
It was extremely tough deciding the order the Chicago White Sox uber-prospects would be going in, but Eloy Jimenez gets the short end of the stick as the third player in the rankings. Realistically though, it could go any way, as all three are that good.
Jimenez gets the call at third as the lowest ranked prospect (he was No. 3 at his highest, the other two made it to No. 1) and Yoan Moancada had the better year last year (though Moancada is older and it was close). With that out of the way, let’s get to why Jimenez is going to be a threat for years to come.
Jimenez RAKED in his rookie season, hitting 31 homers and 79 RBI in just 122 games. On top of that, he slashed a respectable .267/.315/.828. His defense was bad, as he posted a -1.4 dWAR, but he still posted a 1.5 WAR despite that. His defense will be MUCH better with Luis Robert patrolling center.
On top of that, through his first nine games of 2020 he’s slashed .333/.378/1.045 and has 3 homers and 9 RBI. It’s a small sample size, but it’s more reflective of his actual skill level and a big reason why he will be a handful in years to come.
Minnesota Twins Rival Rising Star No. 2: Yoan Moancada, 3B, Chicago White Sox
The farthest along of the Chicago Big 3, Yoan Moancada finished 21st in MVP voting last year, and for good reason. Moancada was solid in 2018, but he took it up a notch in 2019. Just look at his stat line from the two years:
- 2018: 149 G, .235/.315/.714, 17 HR, 61 RBI, 67-217 BB-K, 1.3 WAR
- 2019: 132 G, .315/.367/.915, 25 HR, 79 RBI, 40-154 BB-K, 4.8 WAR
He got better in every single aspects (except walks, because there were fewer games), and he has done that in all three of his professional seasons. On top of that, his defense has improved since moving to third base, closing another hole that was in his game.
Moancada may not end up being better than Jimenez, but there isn’t a doubt in my mind that he won’t be an All-Star and perennial down-ballot MVP candidate. Moancada has shown he’s got the goods and is one of the brightest rising stars in the division.
Minnesota Twins Rival Rising Star No. 1: Luis Robert, OF Chicago White Sox
Unless you’ve been refusing to watch baseball or live under a rock, you’ve been able to watch Luis Robert absolutely MASH in his first 11 MLB games. And when I say he’s off to a hot start, I mean scalding. Here are his current totals and his 162 game pace:
- 11 G, .364/.429/.997, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 SB, and a 0.9 WAR
- 162 G, .364/.429/997, 29 HR, 88 RBI, 59 SB, and a 13.2 WAR
The important number to focus on (they’re all pretty incredible) is the fact that that 13.2 WAR would make for the second best season of ALL-TIME behind only the great Babe Ruth’s 1923 MVP season.
Now again, expectations need to be tempered. He probably won’t finish the season at this pace, but he’s still going to be extremely good, making him the No. 1 Rising Star for any of the Minnesota Twins’ division rivals.