In 2020, the Twins finally broke their string of success in odd-number years only. The team finished over .500 in 2015, made the playoffs in 2017 and won the AL Central in 2019, while struggling more during the even years.
That ended when they won their second straight division title this season, and they continue to do it with a simple formula of signing and developing a ton of homegrown talent and supplementing it with a notable free agent signing or a key trade. It’s that pipeline of talent from the farm system, though, that gives the Twins the chance to compete on a regular basis with a relatively small revenue stream.
And there’s much more to come. Twins fans got a very brief look at Alex Kirilloff in the postseason, former No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis will be ready to join him at some point in 2021 and so could fellow first-round pick Trevor Larnach. That’s just hitters. Right-handed pitchers Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran should be ready to contribute as well, meaning the top five of the Twins’ Top 30 have the chance to help the organization win its third straight division title in 2021.
FARM SYSTEM RANKINGS
2020 Midseason: 12 | Preseason: 7
2019 Midseason: 8 | Preseason: 8
2018 Midseason: 6 | Preseason: NR
2017 Midseason: NR | Preseason: NR
2016 Midseason: NR | Preseason: 5
2015 Midseason: 5 | Preseason: 3
Only the top 10 systems were ranked from 2015 to 2019 preseason; the top 15 systems were ranked 2019 midseason.
TOP 5 PROSPECTS
The Twins did not have a third-round pick because of the free agent signing of Josh Donaldson, making the shortened Draft even more limited. They are excited about the power potential and advanced bat Sabato brings to the table, as well as Soularie’s offensive upside.
2021 IMPACT PROSPECT
Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B: It was only a brief look, but Kirilloff did get to show off that sweet left-handed swing in the postseason during his Major League debut. He should bring his bat to the lineup full-time at some point in 2021, when he can get at-bats in a corner outfield spot, at first base or as the DH.
2022 TOP PROSPECT
Keoni Cavaco, SS: Yes, Cavaco had a rough introduction to the pro game in the Gulf Coast League in 2019, but he showed up to instructs this fall in outstanding shape and has worked to tweak his swing and approach at the plate.
Hit: Alex Kirilloff
Power: Brent Rooker
Run: Aaron Whitefield
Arm: Matt Wallner
Field: Ryan Jeffers
Best athlete: Royce Lewis
Fastball: Jhoan Duran
Curveball: Dakota Chalmers
Slider: Edwar Colina
Changeup: Jovani Moran
Control: Bailey Ober
HOW THE TOP 30 WAS BUILT
Free agent 1
The first four atop the Twins’ Top 30 are all draftees, with three first-rounders (Lewis, Kirilloff and Larnach) in that group. Cavaco and Sabato are the organization’s last two first-round picks and they’re in the top 10 as well. Duran came to the Twins in the 2018 Eduardo Escobar deal and has the chance to climb onto the Top 100 overall list in the future.
TOP 30 BY POSITION
The Twins are one of the most hitter-heavy teams in terms of their Top 30, with only the Brewers (22) having more position players on their list. They’re tied with the Brewers and Marlins with the most outfield talent (10) and are one of three teams (Astros and Pirates) to not have a left-handed pitcher on their list.