Minnesota Twins Preseason 2022 Top 50 Prospects: No. 20-11

Aaron Sabato of the Minnesota Twins at bat against the Boston Red Sox. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Aaron Sabato of the Minnesota Twins at bat against the Boston Red Sox. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins center fielder Gilberto Celestino hits a double in the second inning against the Los Angeles Angels. (Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports) /

Minnesota Twins Top 50 Prospects: 20-16

Prospect No. 20: Marco Raya, RHP

Just 19 years old and still yet to have thrown in a professional game, Marco Raya is one of the biggest question marks in the Twins system. The 2020 fourth round pick lands differently on prospect lists depending entirely on what you believe he’ll do once he does make an appearance. I have a lot of faith in his upside, and I really liked him when the team drafted him.

He’s got a mid-90s fastball, a curveball, slider, and changeup that could all develop into plus pitches, and good feel for the game. He’s rail thin, and there are questions on his durability, but if Raya can bulk up and transition his success in instruction league to pro games, he has frontline starter potential. He could fly up the rankings with success when he makes his first appearance.

Prospect No. 19: Keoni Cavaco, SS

The 13th Pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, Keoni Cavaco was billed as a super raw, very athletic player who had the potential to develop onto a very talented shortstop. It’s been two years since then, and well, we’re still waiting.

In his first 88 games, Cavaco has slashed .217/.276/.289, hit three homers, and while he played better than he did in 2019, there weren’t any positives to take away from the season. If he can’t show something positive soon, he won’t be a top prospect much longer.

Prospect No. 18: Aaron Sabato, 1B

The Twins’ first round pick in 2020, Aaron Sabato struggled to get adjusted in his first few months of pro ball before seemingly figuring it out in the final two months of the year, slashing .253/.402/.613 after being promoted to High-A. The big question about him is this: Which version will the Twins see in 2022?

Sabato’s strengths are clear: colossal power and a very strong ability to draw walks. Unfortunately, weaknesses are clear too: loads of strikeouts, so-so defense, and struggles with hitting for average. He’s already almost 23 too, so he needs to show this year that his end of year success is closer to the mean than an outlier.

Prospect No. 17: Gilberto Celestino, OF

The second of three minor league prospects to see Major League Action, Gilberto Celestino‘s run in the Majors didn’t go any better than Jovani Moran’s did. He showed a little power, but otherwise he looked overmatched. After getting sent back down to Triple-AAA however, he looked far more like the player they think he can be.

He’s got a good skill set, with excellent defense, solid speed, and the ability to be patient at the plate. He’s got everything a team could want out of a center fielder. He should develop into the perfect backup for Byron Buxton (a job the Twins need to have someone to fill).

Prospect No. 16: Matt Wallner, OF

The Twins’ supplemental first round pick in 2019, Minnesota native Matt Wallner has missed a lot of time over the past three years, whether it be due to injury or COVID wiping out the 2020 season. By all indication though, he’s ready for the season after crushing in the Fall League.

Wallner profiles as a prototype corner outfielder. Big (6’5″, 220 lbs), plenty of power (23 homers in 133 games), and a good eye (.354 OBP). If he stays healthy this year and cuts down on strikeouts, he should be knocking on the MLB door with a possible late season debut if things break right.