4 Twins prospects who should be considered untouchable at the trade deadline

If Minnesota make a trade at the deadline, they can’t afford to give up these prospects.
David Festa is among the Minnesota Twins prospects who should be considered untouchable at the trade deadline.
David Festa is among the Minnesota Twins prospects who should be considered untouchable at the trade deadline. / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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Two years ago the Minnesota Twins took some big swings at the trade deadline, all of which blew up in their face almost immediately. 

Minnesota traded for Jorge Lopez, who was off the roster less than a calendar year later, and Tyler Mahle, who only made a handful of starts before needing Tommy John surgery. 

The cost of doing business was steep. The Twins parted with two prospects who have already made an impact with the Cincinnati Reds and a closer who went to the All-Star Game last year for Baltimore. It was clearly a traumatic experience for the front office, as the Twins sat out the deadline last year and refused to part with any prospects, let alone top guys. 

It might be harder to avoid making a deal at the deadline this season, though. The Twins have a pretty clear need for top starting pitching which is always the absolute premium offering this time of year. To get someone who can help truly take the team to a World Series level of contention, Minnesota will need to dip into the farm system. If they do, there are a few guys who shouldn’t be considered as trade bait under any circumstances. 

4 Twins prospects who should be considered untouchable at the trade deadline

Brooks Lee, 2B

Not that long ago Brooks Lee was on a clear path to being the next piece of the Twins’ youth movement to get called up. He had an outside chance of making the Opening Day roster, and an injury to Royce Lewis created a perfect scenario for him to finally make the leap.

As is the case with almost every top Twins prospect, though, injuries got in the way. Lee suffered a herniated disc in the final week of Spring Training that bumped him down the ladder a bit. Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson have both gotten called up over him, with Trevor Larnach making his return to Minnesota’s roster as well. None of that, nor the resurrection of Jose Miranda and the return of Lewis, has thrown Lee’s timeline off. 

Just as it was before, it’s a matter of when, not if he’ll make his debut. 

That’s a big reason behind him being an untouchable prospect. His incredible ascension through the minors saw him reach Triple-A in less than a year, which makes it even crazier to think about how Major League ready he seems to be. Last season he slashed .367/.421/.561 across three levels and this year has been on a tear hitting .450 with a 1.026 OPS since rejoining St. Paul.

Lee is a core piece of Minnesota’s future, to the point where Jorge Polanco was deemed expendable this winter. Regardless of the lame payroll reasons the trade was made, the Twins shipped off an All-Star to make room for Lee’s arrival. The hype around him has been insane, he’s managed to somehow back it all up, and it’s hard to see Minnesota getting fair value back for him short of acquiring an absolute ace who will carry the starting rotation for the next decade. 

That’s not out there, and even if it was the Twins might still be foolish to move off Lee given all the potential he has. 

David Festa, SP

Speaking of potential aces, the Twins might have one bubbling under the surface in Triple-A. Much like Lee, but without the first-round pedigree, David Festa has become a name that almost every fan in Minnesota is familiar with. 

If Lee is the next guy to take the torch from Royce Lewis, Festa could be one to finally fulfill the pitching prophecy. For almost two decades the Twins have been trying to home brew an ace, and Festa looks every bit the part. 

Before the season he was sort of lumped in with Marco Raya and a few other pitching prospects worth keeping an eye on, but Festa has exploded over the last few months. He was added to MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospect list, has 1.291 WHIP and nearly 90 strikeouts in 14 games so far this season.

Minnesota already had a pretty solid strategy of pairing Pablo Lopez with Joe Ryan to be a one-two punch at the top of the rotation, and while Bailey Ober has been solid the idea of adding in Festa as the third head of a pitching monster is an absolute fantasy. 

A lot needs to happen, but we could soon be living in a world where the Twins have a rotation of: 

  • Pablo Lopez
  • Joe Ryan
  • David Festa
  • Bailey Ober
  • Simeon Woods Richardson

That’s not even including Chris Paddack or any of the other prospects behind Festa in the farm system. It’s a potentially bright future — one Twins fans have been waiting decades for — that isn’t worth selling on.