MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-hander Stephen Gonsalves and outfielder Brent Rooker both had impressive seasons in the Minors, and were rewarded by being named MLBPipeline.com's Twins Prospects of the Year.It's the second straight year Gonsalves earned the honor, while Rooker showed off immense power in his first professional season after being taken
MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-hander Stephen Gonsalves and outfielder Brent Rooker both had impressive seasons in the Minors, and were rewarded by being named MLBPipeline.com's Twins Prospects of the Year.
It's the second straight year Gonsalves earned the honor, while Rooker showed off immense power in his first professional season after being taken with the No. 35 overall pick in the 2017 Draft. Gonsalves is Minnesota's No. 3 prospect, while Rooker is the club's No. 14 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com.
Gonsalves, 23, posted a combined 3.27 ERA with 118 strikeouts and 31 walks in 110 innings between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester. Gonsalves, ranked as the club's top pitcher, dealt with shoulder issues early in the year, and didn't make his first start until May 20. But after excelling at Double-A with a 2.68 ERA, he was promoted to Triple-A in early August.
Twins' Prospects of the Year
He was a candidate to be a September callup, but the Twins opted to let him rest in September after he posted a 5.56 ERA in five appearances (four starts) with Triple-A. But he'll head to Spring Training with a chance to compete for a spot in Minnesota's rotation.
"He's not going to light up on the gun, but his ball gets on people," Twins manager Paul Molitor said about Gonsalves in Spring Training. "I don't know if he hides it, I don't know if his release point is closer. I think there are a lot of metrics that support his style of pitching. He locks people up with that fastball that's 90 mph, but his changeup is really good."
Rooker, 22, hit a combined .281/.364/.566 with 18 homers, 11 doubles and 52 RBIs in 62 games between Rookie-level Elizabethton and Class A Advanced Fort Myers. Despite jumping two levels, Rooker fared well with Fort Myers, hitting .280/.364/.552 with 11 homers and 35 RBIs in 40 games.
Rooker, who starred at Mississippi State University, also showed enough athleticism in the outfield, playing 33 games in left field despite mostly playing first base in college.
"I'm going to try to find a home defensively," Rooker said after being drafted. "I'm going to do everything I can to become an outfielder as possible so I can impact the game both offensively and defensively."
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.