3 pitching prospects who could help the Twins this summer

Brusdar Graterol is putting up big numbers in the minor leagues.
Publish date:

The Twins might not have to lean on the trade deadline to acquire more pitchers. Currently in the minor leagues, they have three pitching prospects who are throwing the ball very well.

It's still too early to promote them and fortunately, the Twins are off to such a great start this season that they haven't had to tap into their minor league system and rush a player to the big leagues.

As the year wears on, these three pitching prospects could make an impact on the Twins.

Brusdar Graterol

Graterol is the Twins' top pitching prospect. At 20-years-old, he's currently dominating Double-A Pensacola where in nine starts he owns an ERA of 1.89 in 47.2 innings, with 46 strikeouts and 19 walks. 

Opponents are hitting just .188 against him. It wouldn't be a shock if he's promoted to Triple-A Rochester sooner than later considering his dominance at Double-A.

Despite being so young, he's dominated every step of the minor leagues but he's also never pitched more than 102 innings in a season. So the Twins probably have an innings limit on him, but it's unknown what that number is. 

If he were to get called up to the Twins, moving Garterol to the bullpen might be way to maximize his arm during the playoff push without blowing away any innings limit he might have. 

His fastball reportedly touches triple digits and having a guy with that kind of stuff out of the pen could be a huge push late in the season and in the playoffs. Especially considering the Twins' bullpen is a bigger area of concern than their starting pitching.

Jorge Alcala

Alcala, 23, was acquired in the Ryan Pressly trade. You know, Ryan Pressly, the guy who is now one of the best relievers in baseball who the Twins gave to the best team in the American League last year.  

At least Alcala is delivering some solid numbers at Double-A Pensacola. 

In nine games (eight starts), Alcala has an ERA of 4.09 in 44 innings, with 53 strikeouts and 13 walks. Alcala has a four-pitch mix, with a fastball that hovers around 95-98 mph.

His career ERA is 3.30 in 341 innings and he's averaged a strikeout per inning during that time. He's also done a tremendous job of keeping the ball in the yard, as he's yielded just 21 career home runs.

MLB.com recently dubbed Alcala the Twins' closer of the future and given his electric stuff, that's a solid projection. Also, the Twins don't really have a true closer, but would they be willing to give those duties to a rookie? That remains to be seen.

Devin Smeltzer

Smeltzer, 23, was acquired in the Brian Dozier trade – who's a shell of himself for the Nationals – and recently earned a promotion to Triple-A Rochester.

Between Pensacola and Rochester, Smeltzer has allowed just 6 earned runs (1.09 ERA) in 49.2 innings. His control is impeccable (6 walks) and opponents are hitting just. 192 against him.

He's not a flamethrower with a 91-92 mph fastball, but it's his change up that's his best pitch, according to a 2017 scouting report when he was in the Dodgers organization.

Considering he's already in Rochester, he has a leg up on both Graterol and Alcala. Smeltzer is also a starting pitcher and pending an injury to someone in the starting rotation, he could be promoted sooner rather than later.

Next Up

Michael Pineda

Twins' trade targets raise their value in win over Tigers

Michael Pineda pitched well but Taylor Rogers left the game with an injury.

Flickr - state capitol minneosta - Ken Lund

Criminal charges possible for woman who drove on State Capitol grounds

She drove on the sidewalk and lawn, and at one point waved a large "Trump 2020" flag out the window.

training camp

10 things fans should know before going to Vikings training camp

Masks are not required, but strongly encouraged for the unvaccinated.


Cases of COVID-19 linked to Provincetown outbreak found in Minnesota

There have been more than 550 cases linked to the Massachusetts tourist destination since the 4th of July weekend.

Aaron Rodgers

Reports: Aaron Rodgers set for at least one more year with the Packers

Both sides showing signs of optimism just before training camp begins.

Twitter - KARE 11 jeopardy screengrab

KARE 11 crew teases upcoming 'Jeopardy!' cameo

Some familiar local faces will be providing contestants with "Minneapolis News" clues.

Screen Shot 2021-07-26 at 1.41.24 PM

Second victim of deadly crash in Orono is identified

The crash also was fatal for the son of Gophers hockey coach Bob Motzko.

Witzmann and Coleman

Ex-Viking and ex-Gopher could be contestants for Edina's 'Bachelorette'

Michelle Young, a teacher from Edina, is the show's Season 18 star.

Mayo clinic

Mayo Clinic will require COVID-19 vaccines for all its staff

Those who decline will be required to wear masks and socially distance while on campus.



Brusdar Graterol promoted, now 1 step from joining Twins

The hard-throwing pitchers are one step closer to joining the Twins.

Devin Smeltzer

Who steps up if Twins don't make a move to improve rotation?

The Twins have some depth, but they should really add a pitcher.

Twins' top prospects starting slow, battling injuries

It's been a slow start for the top prospects.

Willians Astudillo

20 names the Twins could call up in September

La Tortuga could soon be back with the Twins.

The Twins' top pitching prospect Stephen Gonsalves is now just a call away

23-year-old lefty Stephen Gonsalves has dominated the minor leagues.

Twins pitching prospect will have Tommy John surgery

Nick Burdi will miss the rest of the season.