Minnesota Twins: 2022 Midseason Top 50 Prospects, No. 20-1

Minnesota Twins shortstop Royce Lewis during the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics. (Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Twins shortstop Royce Lewis during the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics. (Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Minnesota Twins
Simeon Woods Richardson of the Minnesota Twins pitches during a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Twins Top Prospects: No. 5-1

No. 5-OF Emmanuel Rodriguez (2022 PR: No. 12): To start the season, I only ranked Emmanuel Rodriguez 12th, as I didn’t want to overrate his ceiling after a great start in Rookie ball. I did however suggest that “Rodriguez could be the Twins’ next top prospect with proper development.” I believe that may end up being the case sooner rather than later.

Rodriguez followed up his debut by slashing an incredible .272/.493/.552 with 9 homers in 47 games. He showed excellent poise at the plate, walking 57(!!!!) times and his solid speed makes him a good defender. He’s out with a lower body injury, but Rodriguez has officially cemented himself as a Top 5 prospect in Twins territory.

No. 4-2B/CF Austin Martin (2022 PR: No. 1): Our top prospect to start the season, Austin Martin is once again struggling through a season when compared to expectations. The No. 5 pick of the 2020 draft is in the midst of his worst pro season, slashing .249/.378/.313 while stealing 22 bases and showing a lot of poise at the plate, posting a 33-39 BB-K rate over 63 games.

That’s a solid season for most players, but as the centerpiece of the Jose Berrios trade, Martin is a little underwhelming. The middling contact, complete lack of power, and inability to play short are hurting his top prospect status.

On top of this, his best two positions are currently second base and centerfield, where Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco reside causing his future here to start getting murky. He needs to turn things around, and quickly to remain a Top 5 prospect in Minnesota.

No. 3-RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (2022 PR: No. 5): The other prospect from the Jose Berrios trade, Simeon Woods Richardson has been rock solid in his first full season in Minnesota. After a rough 2021, he needed a little more consistency, and it’s done wonders, as he’s posted a 3.27 ERA, 1.109 WHIP, and 55-19 K-BB ratio.

Sure, his strikeouts are down from his career norms, but his walks and hits are way down as well, as he’s seemed to focus on improving his control. The best part is, Woods Richardson is still just 21, and is coming into his own as a starter. If he remains in Minnesota past the deadline, he has a chance to work his way into the Twins rotation by the end of 2023.

No. 2-SS Brooks Lee (2022 PR: Not Ranked): The No. 8 Pick in this year’s MLB Draft, Brooks Lee was my ideal choice to draft in that slot, and it was practically a miracle that the consensus Top 5 pick fell to the Twins at 8.

A smooth fielder, Lee’s most likely home will be at third base, but he’ll likely get the chance to play short. He has a strong arm and excellent instincts, and his father was the coach at Cal Poly (his college). It’s evident in how he plays, as his maturity and leadership were key qualities that helped his draft stock.

His bat is the real asset though. He has a smooth switch-handed swing that sprays hard contact to all over the field and there’s some potential power (20 homers?) there as well. He has a very high floor, high ceiling, and all the tools to become a potential All-Star.

No. 1-SS Royce Lewis (2022 PR: No. 2): After spending one half season away from the top of these rankings, Royce Lewis has returned as the teams’ top prospect. Lewis showed no lag from his ACL injury, dominating in AAA and looking like a potential stud in his brief MLB debut. Then he tore his ACL again.

Prior to the injury, Royce looked like a solid shortstop and great third basemen, showcasing the power, speed and upside that made him the No. 1 pick in 2017. I’m concerned how he’ll come back from the injury (two ACL tears in the same knee is a brutal break), but he proved himself to be a future All-Star with the highest upside in the system. Now we just have to wait for a speedy recovery.

With that wrapped up, here’s the full list of the Top 50 Minnesota Twins prospects:

  1. Royce Lewis, SS
  2. Brooks Lee, SS
  3. Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP
  4. Austin Martin, 2B/OF
  5. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF
  6. Connor Prielipp, RHP
  7. Spencer Steer, 2B/3B
  8. Matt Wallner, OF
  9. Matt Canterino, RHP
  10. Marco Raya, RHP
  11. Noah Miller, SS
  12. Louie Varland, RHP
  13. Jordan Balazovic, RHP
  14. Steve Hajjar, LHP
  15. Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B/1B
  16. Cade Povich, LHP
  17. Blayne Enlow, RHP
  18. Brayan Medina, RHP
  19. Misael Urbina, OF
  20. Edouard Julien, 2B
  21. David Festa, RHP
  22. Brent Headrick, RHP
  23. Danny De Andrade, SS
  24. Sean Mooney, RHP
  25. Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP
  26. Aaron Sabato, 1B
  27. Ronny Henriquez, RHP
  28. Tanner Schobel, SS
  29. Yasser Mercedes, SS
  30. Jermaine Palacios, SS
  31. Cole Sands, RHP
  32. Yunior Severino, 2B/3B
  33. Jair Camargo, C
  34. Kala’i Rosario, OF
  35. Keoni Cavaco, SS
  36. Alerick Soularie, 2B/OF
  37. Kyler Fedko, OF
  38. Alex Isola, C/1B
  39. Austin Schulfer, RHP (RP)
  40. Travis Adams, RHP
  41. Casey Legumina, RHP
  42. Chris Williams, 1B/C
  43. Jorel Ortega, 2B/3B
  44. Christian Macleod, LHP
  45. Kody Funderburk, LHP
  46. Andrew Morris, RHP
  47. John Stankiewicz, RHP
  48. Cody Laweryson, RHP (RP)
  49. Andrew Bechtold, OF/C
  50. Will Holland, SS

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