Sources: Minnesota Twins’ Top Prospects Set to Return from Injured List

Walker Jenkins, Minnesota Twins

Injuries were an unfortunate storyline to open the year for the Minnesota Twins. Both Royce Lewis and Walker Jenkins were lost during the first games of their respective seasons. Brooks Lee, on the other hand, didn’t even make it out of Spring Training before he hit the IL.

Well, news broke over the weekend that Royce Lewis will join the big league club on Tuesday in New York. On Monday, sources told me that Walker Jenkins and Brooks Lee are finished with their respective rehab assignments too.

Jenkins will be activated by the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels on Tuesday and Lee will join the Saints back in St. Paul, as well, meaning he’s on the doorstep to promotion. Both completed a brief rehab assignment and should provide an immediate boost to their respective lineups.

Playing in spring training action and then not making a trip north, what was assumed to be back spasms wound up much worse for Brooks Lee. The talented infield prospect has played through spasms previously, but this was different.

Where Does Brooks Lee fit into Minnesota Twins’ plans?

Diagnosed as a herniated disc, Lee sought out a specialist and had a much more extensive rehab process. The 23-year-old out of Cal-Poly saw his first game action off injury two weeks ago, and spent time with both the Complex League Twins and Fort Myers.

Brooks Lee will return to a Saints lineup that desperately needs his bat. He will work at shortstop alongside the recently demoted Edouard Julien at 2nd base. That’s one heck of a tandem to have on your minor league team. Lee posted a .926 OPS across 10 games during his rehab stint, and has already proven he can hit Triple A pitching.

Had Lee been ready from the get go, he would have been an immediate option for both Royce Lewis and Carlos Correa when each were put on the injured list. Austin Martin instead got those opportunities, and it will now be on Lee to establish himself as ready for a big league debut.

Related: Looks Like Edouard Julien is Odd Man Out for Twins with Royce Lewis Returning

Ultimately he factors in as a candidate to play second base. If Lee and Julien prove ready, both could get a call up and help Rocco Baldelli’s lineup from the right side of the infield, playing both 1st and 2nd base.

Walker Jenkins is healthy and finished with his rehab assignment too

Unlike Lewis, who is being activated at the highest level, Walker Jenkins is just beginning his professional career. After being drafted by the Minnesota Twins with the fifth overall pick last summer, Jenkins got off to a hot start. He made quick work of the Complex League and finished his first professional season in Fort Myers (single-A).

Batting .462 in Complex League rehab action last week, it was again clear that Jenkins’s talent was substantially higher than what that league has to offer, even when he’s shaking off rust.

Now back to 100%, following the hamstring strain that had him sidelined for the first two months of the season, it will be interesting to see how long Jenkins lasts in Fort Myers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on his way to Cedar Rapids in the very near future.

How far can Walker Jenkins make it this season?

Wyatt Langford and Paul Skenes are already in the majors after being drafted just ahead of Walker Jenkins. Of course, both of them were college prospects. Jenkins was never going to make it north that fast, but he could be on something of a Jackson Holliday path should he remain healthy and everything go according to plan.

While it was just 12 games last season, Jenkins posted a 1.054 OPS for Fort Myers, and he flashed an advanced bat flush with power potential. He should be expected to have an opportunity to get to Cedar Rapids this season, and if he can come out of the gate hitting like he did while on a rehab assignment, he won’t remain with the Mighty Mussels for long.

Related: Walker Jenkins and Brooks Lee Both Launch Rehab Assignments for Minnesota Twins

The Twins aren’t necessarily the most aggressive organization when it comes to the promotion of prospects, but a talent like Jenkins won’t be well-served by being held down. The more he continues to put up gaudy numbers, the more it will be imperative to find him a challenge.

It’s unlikely that Jenkins is anywhere close to the majors on Opening Day next season, but he could become an option at some point over next summer, and certainly should be on the Twins big league radar by 2026, at the latest.

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