BOSTON -- With the trades of Eduardo Escobar and Thomas Pressly on Friday, an already deep Twins farm system added five Minor Leaguers, including four who immediately were ranked among Minnesota's Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.Escobar was sent to the D-backs for Class A prospects Gabriel Maciel, Jhoan
BOSTON -- With the trades of Eduardo Escobar and Thomas Pressly on Friday, an already deep Twins farm system added five Minor Leaguers, including four who immediately were ranked among Minnesota's Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.
Escobar was sent to the D-backs for Class A prospects Gabriel Maciel, Jhoan Duran and Ernie De La Trinidad, while Pressly was traded to the Astros for prospects Jorge Alcala (Double-A) and Gilberto Celestino (Class A). Alcala is the top-ranked prospect among the group, checking as the club's No. 11 prospect, while Celestino (No. 14), Maciel (No. 17) and Duran (No. 22) rank among the Top 30.
"For us, that's very exciting," Twins general manager Thad Levine said. "By and large, we hadn't seen a lot of these players play first hand -- so we're relying heavily on the scouts and some of our [research and development] folks. The players that we got back have a chance to climb the ladder for us. We have what we believe to be a good farm system. I believe four of the top five will go right into our Top 30 prospects, and I think that's meaningful."
MLB Pipeline also updated its Top 100 list and re-ranked each club's Top 30 prospects this week, with four Twins prospects among the new Top 100. Shortstop Royce Lewis, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 Draft, leads the way as the No. 10 overall prospect, while the system also boasts fast-rising outfielder Alex Kirilloff (No. 31), near-Major League-ready middle infielder Nick Gordon (No. 76), and flame-throwing right-hander Brusdar Graterol (No. 81).
Outfielder Trevor Larnach, the No. 20 overall pick in this year's Draft, isn't among the Top 100, but ranks as Minnesota's No. 6 prospect -- just behind left-hander Stephen Gonsalves (No. 5) and ahead of outfielder Brent Rooker (No. 7). Shortstop Wander Javier, out for the year with Tommy John surgery, right-hander Blayne Enlow and left-hander Lewis Thorpe round out the Top 10.
Alcala, 23, is the most advanced of the newly-added prospects and is expected to remain a starter. The hard-throwing Dominican Republic native posted a combined 3.29 ERA with 82 strikeouts and 35 walks in 79 1/3 innings between Class A Advanced Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi. He's joined Double-A Chattanooga's roster.
Celestino, 19, has seen some action at Double-A this year, but has mostly played at Class A -- hitting .317/.383/.476 with four homers and 21 RBIs in 33 games. He's earned frequent comparisons to Cubs center fielder Albert Almora and is considered a potential leadoff hitter of the future. He's temporarily on Rookie-level Elizabethton's roster, but is expected to move up soon.
Maciel, a switch-hitter from Brazil, has joined Class A Cedar Rapids' roster. The 19-year-old batted .287/.362/.333 with one homer, 10 doubles and 14 stolen bases in 68 games with Class A Kane County. Maciel is considered athletic enough to stick in center and has impressive on-base skills. But he's lacked power, with four career homers in 180 games.
Duran, who is also at Cedar Rapids, is a projectable 6-foot-5 right-hander with a power sinker that sits in the mid-90s, with a solid curveball and a developing changeup. He had a 4.73 ERA with 71 strikeouts and 28 walks in 64 2/3 innings with Kane County this season, as his results haven't matched up with his stuff.
De La Trinidad, 22, isn't among the club's Top 30, but the left fielder was immediately moved up to Class A Advanced Fort Myers, after hitting .311/.403/.442 with eight homers, 56 RBIs, 13 doubles and two triples in 91 games at Kane County.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.