Who will be the first Twins prospect called up this season?

There's another youth movement brewing this season, but who will be first guy up?

Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

One of the best things that happened last season was the youth movement that swept through the Minnesota Twins lineup.

Thanks go guys like Edouard Julien, Royce Lewis, and Matt Wallner the Twins were able to pull themselves out of a midseason slump to eventually end a 19-year postseason losing streak. Those guys stepping up is partly why the team was alright with coasting through the winter without making any big hot stove moves, and why there's so much excitement around the team heading into Opening Day.

It's also not the last wave we're going to see.

Minnesota has another crop of young prospects who could get called up and make an impact this season. The question isn't whether or not we'll see them get called up, it's who will get the call first?

Who will be the first Twins prospect called up this season?

We've technically already had a callup out of the group we're expecting to see a lot of this year. Louie Varland seemed like the next-man-up if something were to happen in the starting rotation, which has already been the case.

Regardless of the long-term situation, Anthony DeSclafani is starting the season on the IL which has created space for Varland to assume the fifth starter role. Even though he's already made his debut with the Twins, Varland is viewed as being part of this next wave of that youth movement based on how rocky his first stint was but how strong he looked after returning to the majors late in the season.

Now he has a chance to turn what was an otherwise fantastic spring -- aside from a bad start against the Tigers -- into a meaningful part of the rotation.

Any conversation about the Twins calling up prospects begins with Austin Martin and Brooks Lee, though. Those are the two guys everyone has circled on their list of exciting young players we want to see make an impact, and of the two is feels like Martin will be the first one up.

Martin was looking like a potential lock for the initial 26-man roster based on how well fit as an insurance policy behind Byron Buxton in center. The Twins trading for Manuel Margot blocked Martin's immediate path to the majors, but it doesn't wall him off.

Last year we saw Edouard Julien put himself on a path to earning an MLB roster spot, but he didn't make the leap until Joey Gallo hit the IL early in the season. That's likely going to be Martin's path, as he seems to be the guy who will get called up when someone inevitably needs to be taken out of the lineup.

Martin can play centerfield but also has infield experience, specifically at second base. So theoretically if someone goes down and opens up a roster spot then using Martin to fill it gives Rocco Baldelli some lineup options. He could have Martin at second, move Julien to either first or DH, and also keep either Carlos Santana or Alex Kirilloff's bat in the lineup filling whichever role Julien doesn't.




Carlos Santana // Alex Kirilloff


Austin Martin // Edouard Julien


Royce Lewis // Kyle Farmer


Carlos Correa


Max Kepler


Byron Buxton // Manuel Margot


Matt Wallner // Willi Castro


Ryan Jeffers // Christian Vazquez


Edouard Julien // Alex Kirilloff // Carlos Santan

That's a pretty solid lineup, at least from the standpoint of where the Twins can move guys around on any given day.

It also doesn't account for Brooks Lee, who is a very close second to Martin when it comes to being the next-man-up. Ideally the Twins find a way to have both Lee and Martin as depth options, specifically to get them as battle tested as possible for a potential postseason run.

Lee projects to play every infield position other than first base, but that's the one spot the Twins won't really need him. Having Lee behing both Royce Lewis and Carlos Correa is some pretty insane depth, not to mention how he slots in as part of a platoon with Julien and Martin at second base.

Even if he jumps Martin in line, a Julien-Lee platoon at second is luxurious to think about.

There's a longer line behind Lee and Martin, but there seems to be a sizable gap before a third prospect enters the fray. Yunior Severino and Jamir Camargo are options, although they'll need to prove a bit more at Triple-A before being viable options. David Festa seems to be the next pitcher behind Varland, but it's a tight race with Brent Headrick and Simeon Woods Richardson -- guys who could make more sense given their ability to go to the bullpen.

What the main takeaway should be is that the Twins are primed for another big year from their young players. The fact that it's a when-not-if situation regarding when they'll get called up is the most exciting development of the winter.

More Minnesota Twins news and rumors