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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Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF

The second wave of Minnesota’s youth movement was always looking strong, but Emmanuel Rodriguez has done a lot to raise the value even more. He began the season as one of the Twins’ Top 100 prospects and has done so well that he’s gone up in both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America’s updated lists. 

It’s almost impossible to comprehend how much E-Rod has ascended, and the fact that he’s done so while missing chunks of time to injury makes it even more impressive. He finished April as one of the team’s Minor League Players of the Month despite missing time on the IL, and he’s 1.100 OPS through June even though he’s back on the IL with another injury. 

His bad luck staying healthy is a major concern, and could lead some to argue that he’s actually worth trying to trade at the deadline.  There’s also a case to be made that Minnesota’s outfield is so crowded that it creates a Polanco-style situation where someone is going to be deemed expendable. In that scenario, though, there’s a list of players ahead of Rodriguez who could — and should — be traded before he gets tossed into the conversation. 

Rodríguez figures to be an important part of the future in Minnesota. If we’re fantasizing about what a rotation with Festa might look like, the Twins outfield rotation could be truly youthful and wild in the years to come. Minnesota has already taken Austin Martin for a test drive, Matt Wallner seems to have found his swing again while Trevor Larnach has proved himself as his replacement in the majors. 

If Max Kepler leaves in free agency this winter, E-Rod’s path to the MLB roster opens up as wide as it’s ever been. Trading him now is more realistic than it is for any other prospect but it’s still a misguided idea. 

Luke Keaschall, 2B/OF

If there’s a taxi line of players waiting to pull into their major league gate, Luke Keaschall has just touched down and isn’t far behind Lee or Festa. 

His rise has been almost more meteoric than his counterparts. Keaschall started the year as a good prospect but not someone who was actively garnering attention from casual fans. He’s since been added as a Top 100 prospect according to Baseball America and is starting to make the sort of waves we saw Emmanuel Rodríguez make before he started to explode in Double-A this year. 

Out of the group, Keaschall is still the furthest away from making an immediate impact but it’s not crazy to think he could lead a third wave of the youth movement in Minnesota. The question will be where he fits, as he’s up against a crowded outfield situation and will have an even harder time fitting into the infield rotation. 

Still, trading Keaschall feels like the mistake Minnesota made with Spencer Steer or Christian Encarnacion-Strand. He hasn’t totally popped yet, but the Twins will want to have him on their roster, not another one, when he finally does. 

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