Twins Farm System Ranked #15 in MLB by Bleacher Report
It was a different MLB Draft this year. 5 rounds, 160 picks, and Karl Ravech calling out MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. Maybe the weirdest part? The Minnesota Twins only added four new pieces to their (hopefully) very bright future.
Big props to Karl Ravech for putting Manfred on the spot. Enough is enough, pay the players and let’s play ball! pic.twitter.com/kgfRan9jvM— Marc Luino (@GiraffeNeckMarc) June 12, 2020
Outside of this season, the Twins have had relatively high draft picks, which has obviously helped their farm system. However, according to Bleacher Report, the Twins’ future is not as bright as it seems.
It’s no shock that Royce Lewis is ranked number one on the list. Then, four other prospects join him in “tier-one”:
I believe that Lewis, Larnach and Kirilloff are three of the best prospects in all of minor league baseball. Lewis brings elite bat speed, with a Byron Buxton like leg-kick approach, which may need to be tweaked.
Although they are similar hitters, Larnach has a little more pop than Kirilloff, but Kirilloff uses all fields, important when playing at Target Field.
Royce Lewis leg kick ? pic.twitter.com/2V6UHy50Cs— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) March 24, 2019
“While the Minnesota Twins have a top-heavy system, their top-tier group is impressive to vault them into the upper half of these rankings, even after they traded hard-throwing right-hander Brusdar Graterol to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Kenta Maeda deal.”– Joel Reutuer, Bleacher Report
All but one of these players are homegrown talent, Duran being the exception as he came over in a trade back in 2018. Obviously, it’s no secret that the Twins have a “top-heavy” system. But is 15 too low? I think it is.
Why 15 is Too Low
Lewis might be the only five-tool guy in the system. But, one could argue that the Twins have two of the best pure hitters in all of Minor League Baseball with Larnach and Kirilloff.
“The Bomba Squad” nickname could also carry over into the minor leagues. Brent Rooker, Ryan Jeffers, Minnesota native Matt Wallner and 2020 first-round pick Aaron Sabato all have tremendous power, hopefully earning the nickname “The Bomba Squad 2.0” in a few season’s.
On the mound, the Twins have a ton of depth in the minors, but not one true “stud.” Balazovic is the only Twins pitching prospect that is ranked on MLB.com’s Prospect List, where he falls at number 86. He is expected to join the Twins rotation in 2021.
“The best-case scenario for Balazovic this year would seem to be a fully healthy, productive, and convincing summer in the Pensacola rotation, perhaps punctuated by a late promotion to Triple-A cementing his readiness to contend for an MLB job in 2021.”–Nick Nelson, Twins Daily
Chris Vallimont and Blayne Enlow are two pitching prospects who could also make an impact for the Twins. Vallimont came to the Twins with Sergio Romo, via trade with the Marlins. Enlow, a former third-round pick, was signed in 2017.
Why’d They Put Us at 15 Then?
It could be the fact that Lewis struggled last season, hitting just .231 with two home runs in his 33 games with Double-A Pensacola. But that doesn’t seem like enough to drop us to an average farm system.
A few months ago, ESPN had the Twins system ranked 13th, while highly-regarded Keith Law of The Athletic has them ranked 15th as well, due in large part to Kirilloff and Lewis having down years in 2019.
Still, with the number of high-ceiling guys in the farm system, I would rank the Twins in the top-ten. Being top heavy is not always a bad thing.
Hunter Plante | Minnesota Sports Fan