It’s a simple formula, really, one the Twins have used with great success for a long time now: scout, draft and/or sign, develop and bring to the big leagues. Rinse and repeat.
The Twins are coming off back-to-back American League Central titles, playing over .600 ball in 2019 and 2020 combined. And they did it with a very large foundation of homegrown talent.
While the Twins don’t currently have a top 10 farm system, it’s still a solid and fairly deep one that will keep sending talented players up to the big leagues to help them continue competing. Even with the season-ending knee injury to top prospect Royce Lewis, four of the Twins’ top six prospects should be ready to contribute this season, with several others beyond that prepared to chip in as well. That group is highlighted by No. 2 prospect Alex Kirilloff, who made his big league debut in the postseason last year, and No. 6 Ryan Jeffers, who was the starting catcher in that playoff series.
All of this points to another strong season in Minnesota, with a third straight division title a distinct possibility.
Here's a look at the Twins top prospects:
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2020 preseason list to the 2021 preseason list.
Jump: Josh Winder, RHP (2020: 30 | 2021: 15) -- Strength added during the offseason and shutdown led to velocity gains for Winder, now armed with a fastball touching 98 mph and a harder curve with more spin.
Fall: Wander Javier (2020: 8 | 2021: 23) – One of the top international prospects in the 2015-16 class, Javier has struggled to stay healthy and has only shown glimpses of the tools that made him rank that high.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 60 -- Alex Kirilloff (Royce Lewis)
Power: 60 -- Brent Rooker (Aaron Sabato)
Run: 70 -- Royce Lewis
Arm: 65 -- Matt Wallner
Defense: 60 -- Ryan Jeffers (Gilberto Celestino, Wander Javier)
Fastball: 70 -- Jhoan Duran
Curveball: 55 -- Matt Canterino (Blayne Enlow, Josh Winder, Jose Rijo)
Slider: 60 -- Edwar Colina (Matt Canterino)
Changeup: 55 -- Bailey Ober (Cole Sands)
Control: 65 – Bailey Ober
How they were built
Draft: 21 | International: 5 | Trade: 4
Breakdown by ETA
2021: 13 | 2022: 6 | 2023: 7 | 2024: 3 | 2025: 1
Breakdown by position
C: 2 | 1B: 1 | 2B: 1 | 3B: 2 | SS: 5 | OF: 8 | RHP: 11