Among the many amazing things that ended up happening this season for the Minnesota Twins, the youth movement the team experienced is pretty high on the list.
It felt like a throwback in every regard, as rookies like Royce Lewis and Edouard Julien stepped up to help lead the team to its first playoff victory in nearly two decades. Minnesota won its first playoff series since 2002 as well, something that happened back when players like Doug Mientkiewicz, Cristian Guzman, Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, and Johan Santana were starting to come into their own.
That core helped the Twins dominate the AL Central in the 2000s, and now we're seeing something similar happen which hopefully has the same impact. Lewis and Julien are joined by guys like Pablo Lopez, Matt Wallner, and Ryan Jeffers as players who are well under 30-years-old who appear to be key pieces of the future.
It doesn't end there. Minnesota has a handful of talent bubbling beneath the Major League surface that could help the youth movement continue next season.
5 Twins prospects who could have a huge impact in 2024
Simeon Woods Richardson, P
The only guy on this list we've already seen at the Majors is Simeon Woods Richardson, and there's a lot of hope that it wasn't the last we'll see of him.
He came over as part of the Jose Berrios trade back in 2021, alongside fellow top Blue Jays prospect Austin Martin, but has yet to make any sort of meaningful impact. That was part of the plan, though, as trading Berrios was meant to bring in pieces that could help the Twins in the future.
That future might be now for Woods Richardson.
He's already been called up twice but only made a single appearance in each of the last two seasons. The Twins called Woods Richardson up back in April and his only work was 4.2 IP in a blowout loss to the Washington Nationals. He was lit up pretty good in that outing, but he has looked good at Triple-A over the last two years. Twins fans would like to see him closer to his 2022 performance when he posted a 2.21 ERA and 3.80 strikeout rate in seven starts for the Saints.
It could be that SWR is put to the test this year as the Twins decide on his future, but he's shown enough at times in the minors for there to be faith that the third time is the charm once he gets called up.