Twins Send MiLB Infield Haul to Reds for Starter, Tyler Mahle

Photo: Sam Greene – The Enquirer (USA TODAY Sports)

The Minnesota Twins have officially bought their way into a playoff run for 2022. Tuesday morning, they traded for the league’s best closer and, in the afternoon, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine sealed a deal with the Cincinnati Reds for right-handed starting pitcher, Tyler Mahle.

The trade cost was steep, including two of the top prospects in the Twins’ system, Spencer Steer (AA–>AAA) and Christian Encarnacion-Strand (A–>AA). Both Steer and CES play in the infield and were surging through the minor leagues this season.

Who is Tyler Mahle?

Tyler Mahle’s numbers are a tale of two ballparks. When pitching in Cincinnati, Mahle’s numbers are pedestrian. But get him pitching away from “The Great American Ballpark“, well-known as one of the most hitter-friendly baseball stadiums in the MLB, and he shines. Mahle’s WHIP on the road is under 1.000 this season and hitters outside the matchbox have a .189 BA (.561 OPS).

Mahle’s success is driven by his fastball. He relies on it a lot and is very effective. If the Twins pitching coaches and employees can help him develop his off-speed stuff, they could unlock another level of Tyler Mahle. He’s coming into the organization as a much more established and polished version of Joe Ryan.

Twins Pay Big Price

Spencer Steer was the Twins’ 7th-ranked organizational prospect (MLB.com). But his stock has risen, as the year has played out. Steer was one of two Minnesota Twins representatives in the All-Star Futures Game in 2022 and his power (20 HR, .889 OPS) has raised eyebrows league wide.

Spencer may very well be a great MLB player. But there’s little doubt his stock has never been higher. In July, Aaron Gleeman (The Athletic) ranked Steer as the organization’s 6th best prospect.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand, along with Steer, is one of the organization’s hottest young players. Christian was ranked the 23rd best prospect in the Twins’ system, before the season (MLB.com). Two weeks ago, he was ranked 12th by Aaron Gleeman (The Athletic).

CES is hitting .302 with a .986 OPS and 25 HR in 348 total minor league at-bats this season. After his recent call up to double-A Wichita, the raking has continued (54 AB: .320 BA, .993 OPS, 5 HR).

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan