Twins' farm system teeming with talent for 2024

April 1st, 2024

To see the impact that a healthy farm system can have on an organization, look no further back than last season, when three rookies -- Royce Lewis, Edouard Julien and Matt Wallner -- were most prominent in the Twins’ second-half offensive surge that pulled them away in the American League Central.

And wherever one looks throughout the Twins’ organization, they still have that sort of difference-making talent in incubation, anchored by their quartet of Top 100 prospects in Walker Jenkins (No. 10), Brooks Lee (No. 18), Emmanuel Rodriguez (No. 41) and Gabriel Gonzalez (No. 76), which gives them as solid a top of the system as any in the game.

Just as significantly, the backfill of talent should be consistent. Each of the top four hitting prospects in the organization is at a different level -- as is each of the top four pitching prospects, leaving two of the top eight prospects at all four levels to start the Minor League season. Let’s take a deeper look.

Triple-A St. Paul Saints
Player to watch
: (Twins No. 23 prospect)
This would normally have been Lee, but he’s injured and appears bound for the Majors sooner rather than later anyway. The switch-hitting Severino is fascinating for his great batted-ball metrics and for leading the Minor Leagues in homers last season, but he needs to cut down on the strikeouts to impact the next level.

Pitcher to watch: (No. 5)
Festa was a bit slow to ramp up this spring due to lingering soreness from the end of last season, and he’s worked to add strength to his wiry frame to help him endure the rigors of a full campaign -- especially now that he’s almost certain to impact the Majors this year.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: Lee (No. 2), Matt Canterino (No. 13), Simeon Woods Richardson (No. 24)

Double-A Wichita Wind Surge
Opening Day
: Friday, 7:05 p.m. CT vs. Frisco

Player to watch: Rodriguez (No. 3)
Rodriguez pairs his immense raw power with an equally discerning eye at the plate, leading to his career .413 on-base percentage in the Minors. His next task as he tackles the high Minors for the first time is to be a bit more aggressive with his swings, to avoid passivity.

Pitcher to watch: (No. 6)
Due to a combination of Raya’s very young age (he’s still only 21), injury history and relatively small frame, the Twins have been very, very careful with his workload, but his pitch characteristics are advanced and Minnesota will have to start ramping him up to a starter’s load.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: Tanner Schobel (No. 10), Cory Lewis (No. 12), Kala’i Rosario (No. 16), Andrew Cossetti (No. 25), Noah Cardenas (No. 27), Ben Ross (No. 28)

High-A Cedar Rapids Kernels
Opening Day
: Friday, 6:35 p.m. CT at Beloit

Player to watch: Gonzalez (No. 4)
The headliner in the return in the Jorge Polanco trade with the Mariners on Jan. 29, Gonzalez is a Top 100 global prospect who struggled when promoted to High-A last season -- and because he gets bat to ball so well, he’ll have to rein in his swing decisions and attack better pitches.

Pitcher to watch: (No. 8)
The latest in the Twins’ seemingly endless surge of mid- to late-round college right-handers who have maximized their skillset, Culpepper is a former 13th-round pick whose fastball is now in the upper 90s and solid secondary pitches who will now begin to build up his workload.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: Luke Keaschall (No. 9), Danny De Andrade (No. 14), Andrew Morris (No. 18), Zebby Matthews (No. 20), Ricardo Olivar (No. 22), Darren Bowen (No. 29)

Single-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels
Opening Day
: Friday, 7:05 p.m. ET vs. Tampa

Player to watch: Jenkins (No. 1)
You might have heard of him. Jenkins decimated the competition in brief stints in both Rookie ball and Class A last season after he was selected with the No. 5 overall Draft pick, and coming off a spring limited a bit by a mild quad strain, he’s set for his first full professional season to show off his extremely advanced skillset at the plate.

Pitcher to watch: (No. 7)
Selected 29 picks after Jenkins in last season’s Draft, Soto is already turning heads as an 18-year-old who was flirting with triple digits on the back fields this spring as part of a real power arsenal that could start. He’s still very young and didn’t pitch in “real” games last fall, and many are eagerly anticipating his first look in action.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: Brandon Winokur (No. 11), Jose Rodriguez (No. 26), Rayne Doncon (No. 30)