Starting spots for Twins' Top 30 prospects

April 4th, 2019

With the 2019 Minor League Baseball season getting underway, here's a look at where the Twins' Top 30 prospects are starting the year. We also identify the prospect who just missed the Top 30 list, a player who didn't make the big league Opening Day roster but should make an impact this year, a prospect who is ready to break out in 2019 and the team's best defensive prospect.

  1. Royce Lewis (MLB No. 5), SS -- Fort Myers Miracle (A Adv)
  2. Alex Kirilloff (MLB No. 9), OF -- Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA) -- IL
  3. Brusdar Graterol (MLB No. 67), RHP -- Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA)
  4. Wander Javier, SS -- Extended spring training
  5. Trevor Larnach, OF -- Fort Myers Miracle (A Adv)
  6. Brent Rooker, 1B -- Rochester Red Wings (AAA)
  7. Jhoan Duran, RHP -- Fort Myers Miracle (A Adv)
  8. Lewis Thorpe, LHP -- Rochester Red Wings (AAA)
  9. Blayne Enlow, RHP -- Cedar Rapids Kernels (A)
  10. Nick Gordon, SS -- Rochester Red Wings (AAA) - IL
  11. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP -- Rochester Red Wings (AAA) - IL
  12. Akil Baddoo, OF -- Fort Myers Miracle (A Adv)
  13. Yunior Severino, 2B -- Cedar Rapids Kernels (A)
  14. Jose Miranda, INF -- Fort Myers Miracle (A Adv)
  15. Gilberto Celestino, OF -- Cedar Rapids Kernels (A)
  16. Ryan Jeffers, C -- Fort Myers Miracle (A Adv)
  17. Luis Arraez, 2B -- Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA)
  18. Jorge Alcala, RHP -- Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA)
  19. Jordan Balazovic, RHP -- Cedar Rapids Kernels (A)
  20. Misael Urbina, OF -- Dominican Summer League
  21. Zack Littell , RHP -- Rochester Red Wings (AAA)
  22. LaMonte Wade, OF -- Rochester Red Wings (AAA)
  23. Griffin Jax, RHP -- Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA)
  24. Ben Rortvedt, C -- Fort Myers Miracle (A Adv)
  25. Gabriel Maciel, OF -- Extended spring training
  26. Luke Raley, OF -- Rochester Red Wings (AAA)
  27. DaShawn Keirsey Jr., OF -- Cedar Rapids Kernels (A)
  28. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B -- Fort Myers Miracle (A Adv)
  29. Michael Helman, 2B -- Fort Myers Miracle (A Adv)
  30. Luis Rijo, RHP -- Cedar Rapids Kernels (A)
    Complete list »

Just missed Top 30: Landon Leach
The Twins might have the best 1-2 Canadian punch in the Minors with Jordan Balazovic, their 2016 fifth-round pick, and Leach, who went in the second round in 2017. Leach had some shoulder issues slow him in 2018, but he’s added strength to his 6-foot-4 frame and has the chance to have three average or better pitches.

On the shelf
After missing all of 2017 following Tommy John surgery, Alex Kirilloff made up for lost time by hitting .348 across two levels of A ball. That put him on a faster track and he was set to move up to Double-A to start the 2019 season until a minor wrist injury delayed that leap. He should be back before long.

Impact prospect: Lewis Thorpe
The big arms in the Twins system, like Brusdar Graterol, are further away, but Thorpe and Steven Gonsalves can battle it out in Triple-A as pitchabilty lefties who will get the chance to help out in Minnesota. Fully healthy in 2018, the Aussie showed what he can do and has the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter, with stuff a shade better than Gonsalves’.

Breakout prospect: Yunior Severino
Severino was one of the Braves' prospects who was declared a free agent in the wake of the organization's international rules violations. He signed with the Twins and had a solid 2018 season in the Rookie-level Appalachian League. There's considerable offensive upside here, with the chance to hit for both average and power from both sides of the plate.

Best defensive prospect: Gilberto Celestino
Signed by the Astros for $2.5 million in 2015, Celestino made his United States debut in '17, then got dealt to the Twins in the Ryan Pressly trade last season. He's drawn comparisons to Albert Almora Jr. for his instincts in center, and coaches in Elizabethton feel he's one of the best defenders they've ever seen.