Minnesota Twins prospects report (May 13): Examining stats for Twins top 10 prospects

Minnesota Twins prospects report
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

How are the Twins prospect doing now? While many are focused on the Minnesota Twins game today and what the major-league club is doing, it’s always fun to monitor the Twins top prospects. Our Twins prospects report will provide you with updates on how all the top players on the farm system are performing.

Context is always important with minor-league stats. As Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote, pitching at the Triple-A level isn’t as good as it used to be and with teams playing a six-game series, hitters have even more of an advantage. As for the lower levels, the wide age ranges means a 20-year-old could be struggling but that isn’t as concerning if he’s facing 24-year-olds who have been in the minor leagues for years.

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With all of that in mind, let’s dive into our Twins prospects report for May 13.

Twins prospects report: Stats for Minnesota’s top 10 prospects

1. Walker Jenkins, OF, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (Single-A)

Walker Jenkins, the Minnesota Twins No. 1 prospect, suffered a hamstring injury in his first game of the 2024 season. The 19-year-old outfielder hasn’t returned to game action since and there is currently no timetable for when he’ll rejoin the Twins’ Single-A affiliate. Given the length of the absence, however, he’ll likely spend most of the 2024 season in A-ball.

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2. Brooks Lee, SS, St. Paul Saints (Triple-A)

The Twins top prospects have been bitten by the injury bug in 2024, with Brooks Lee joining Walker Jenkins on the MILB injured list to open the year. Lee, who was in consideration for a spot on the Twins’ roster, opened the season with a back injury. Given he struggled at the Triple-A level last season (.237/.304/.428), he’ll likely need at least a month of productive at-bats there when he returns before he has a shot of being called up.

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3. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF, Wichita Wind Surge (Double-A)

  • Emmanuel Rodriguez stats: .244/.440/.512, 163 wRC+ 31.9% strikeout rate, 25% walk rate, 4 home runs, 25 runs scored, 13 RBI, 9 stolen bases, 9 doubles in 116 plate appearances

Once Jenkins and Lee return to action, the Twins top prospects will be playing at all three top levels of the minor leagues. Emmanuel Rodriguez, whose upside is even greater than Lee’s, is off to quite the start in 2024 at Double-A Wichita. The 21-year-old is striking out a lot (31.9% of plate appearances), but it comes with a .952 OPS and a stellar 25 percent walk rate. From April 28 – May 11, though, Rodriguez had just a .583 OPS, so there are adjustments he needs to make.

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4. David Festa, SP, St. Paul Saints (Triple-A)

  • David Festa stats: 2.92 ERA, 10.95 K/9, 6.57 BB/9, .243 batting average allowed, 1.47 WHIP, 37.2% strikeout rate, 13.2% walk rate

David Festa, the Twins top pitching prospect, is repeating Triple-A St. Paul after mixed results to end last season in his first cup of coffee with the Saints. The 6-foot-6 righty has increased his strikeout rate (27.8% to 37.2% and is keeping down his ERA, but command (13.2% walk rate) remains the issue. However, one promising sign is his -BB rate has more than doubled (11.1% to 24%) this time around at Triple-A St. Paul. In his last start, May 11, Festa threw 6 shutout innings, allowing 5 base runners (3 walks and 2 hits) with 10 strikeouts.

5. Marco Raya, SP, Wichita Wind Surge (Double-A)

  • Marco Raya stats: 3.38 ERA, 11.09 K/9, 3.38 BB/9, 0.96 HR/9, 28.7% strikeout rate, 8.8% walk rate, 1.34 WHIP, .247 batting average allowed

Much like David Festa, Minnesota had Marco Raya repeat the level he finished at last season. It’s paid off, with the 21-year-old showing significant improvement on the mound. Picked by FanGraphs as one of their ‘Names to Know” outside the top 100 prospects, Raya’s strikeout rate has risen nearly 8 points this year all with a lowered walk rate (11.2% to 8.8%). As a result, he’s more than doubled his K-BB rate (9.6% to 20%). In his last start, May 10, Raya allowed 6 base runners (4 hits and 2 walks) and 2 earned runs with 4 strikeouts in 4 innings.

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6. Cory Lewis, SP, Wichita Wind Surge (Double-A)

Cory Lewis, the Minnesota Twins Minor League Player of the Year in 2023, hasn’t pitched in 2024. He was placed on the injured list at Double-A Wichita at the start of April with a right shoulder impingement and hasn’t returned to action since. On April 29, he was transferred from the 7-day IL to the 60-day injured list. There’s no timetable for him to return.

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7. Tanner Schobel, 2B/3B, Wichita Wind Surge (Double-A)

  • Tanner Schobel stats: .231/.350/.327, 97 wRC+, 22.8% strikeout rate, 15.4% walk rate, 15 runs scored, 13 RBI, 3 stolen bases, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run

One of the few healthy Twins prospects, infielder Tanner Schobel has had a start to the season a bit similar as Emmanuel Rodriguez. Schobel has a fairly high 22.8 percent strikeout rate and the amount of swing-and-miss is hurting his batting average. However, the 5-foot-9 infielder also boasts a 15.4 percent walk rate, inflating his OBP to a respectable .350 through 123 plate appearances. He’s really struggling as of late, however, with a .209/261/.326 slash line and .586 OPS from April 28 – May 12.

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8. Luke Keaschall,2B, Cedar Rapids Kernels (High-A)

  • Luke Keaschall stats: .288/.429/.450, 152 wRC+, 17.1% strikeout rate, 15.7% walk rate, 25 runs scored, 11 BRI, 11 steals, 9 doubles and 3 home runs

Luke Keaschall, the 49th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, has been one of the most productive top Twins prospects this season. At 21 years old, the 6-foot infielder is walking nearly as much as he strikes out and it has resulted in one of the highest OBP at the High-A level. With those opportunities, he’s already cleared double-digit steals in just 32 games.

9. C.J. Culpepper, SP, Cedar Rapids Kernels (High-A)

  • C.J. Culpepper stats: 3.31 ERA, 9.82 K/9, 5.51 BB/9, 23.2% strikeout rate, 14.5% walk rate, .241 batting average allowed, 1.47 WHIP in 16.1 innings pitched

C.J. Culpepper, a 13th-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, is already proving to be a gem for Minnesota. The 6-foot-3 righty has flashed excellent swing-and-miss stuff, but the command is still a work in progress at 22 years old. Of his four starts this season, Culpepper has recorded a 2.25 ERA twice (4 innings each), with consecutive games of 5 strikeouts in 4 innings.

10. Kala’i Rosario, OF, Wichita Wind Surge (Double-A)

  • Kala’i Rosario stats: .239/.331/.407, 105 wRC+, 25.4% strikeout rate, 12.3% walk rate, 18 RBI, 13 runs scored, 11 doubles, 2 home runs, 2 stolen bases in 130 plate appearances

The AFL Home Run Derby winner this offseason, Kala’i Rosario is still working to turn his raw power into game power. He does have just 2 homers on the year, but 11 doubles showcases that more work can lead to some of those hard-hit balls clearing fences. Similar to Rodrigez, Rosario’s batting average is low, but his OBP and wRC+ are above average thanks to a strong walk rate (12.3%) and his ability to rack up extra-base hits.

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