Skip to main content

7 hard-throwing prospects Twins fans can get excited about

The Twins need flamethrowers and they actually have some developing in the minors.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

After giving up leads in five of six losses to the Dodgers and Athletics last week, the Twins traded their best relief pitcher, All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler, to the Nationals. 

So why would the bullpen-starved Twins trade their best reliever? The answer is simple: 

Kintzler was set to become a free agent and the Twins have a nice stable of hard-throwing relief prospects in the upper levels of the minor leagues. 

According to's 2017 Prospect Rankings, these are the best Twins pitching prospects based on their fastball grades (using the 20-80 scale).

  1. J.T. Chargois, AAA, 100 mph (80 grade)
  2. Nick Burdi, AA, high 90's mph (80 grade)
  3. Brusdar Graterol, Rookie League, 95-98 mph (70 grade)
  4. Fernando Romero, AA, 95-98 mph (70 grade)
  5. Tyler Jay, AA, mid-90's mph (65-70 grade)
  6. John Curtiss, AAA, 94-98 mph (65 grade)
  7. Jake Reed, AAA, 94-96 mph (65 grade)

Chargois, Burdi, Jay and Curtis all have closer-like stuff, according to MLB Pipeline

The problem is that Chargois, who was supposed to be a fixture in the bullpen this season, and Burdi are out for the season with arm injuries and Jay is all too familiar with the disabled list. 

While Chargois and Burdi can touch 100 mph, Jay, the Twins' first-round draft pick two years ago, could develop into a late-inning lefty with a strong fastball and wipeout slider. 

Reed and Curtiss have controlled the late innings at AAA Rochester this season, with Curtiss being especially dominant with 22 strikeouts and only five walks in 14 innings. 

All of them, if they can stay healthy, could be part of a revamped Twins bullpen in 2018. 

As for hard-throwing starters in the minors, the Twins have pair of promising right-handers in Graterol and Romero.

The 18-year-old Graterol is just getting started in the rookie league but Romero has made a case to get the call to AAA Rochester, or perhaps even a shot with the Twins this season. 

The 22-year-old Romero is 10-6 with a 2.64 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 105 2/3 innings this season. And he's not just highly rated because of his fastball. He's actually Minnesota's second-highest rated pitching prospect overall, trailing only AA left-handed starter Stephen Gonsalves. 

Compared to Jose Berrios' career numbers at AA, Romero is actually a little bit better. 

  • Berrios: 3.22 ERA, 120 SO, 36 BB, 131.2 IP, opponents average .230
  • Romero: 2.65 ERA, 112 SO, 41 BB, 105.2 IP, opponents average .231

The Twins have arms waiting in the minors. They just need to stay healthy. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 6.49.01 AM

Deadly night in St. Paul sees 3 people killed, 1 arrest so far

The three incidents bring St. Paul's homicide total up to 18 this year.

police lights

2 killed in broad daylight drive-by shooting in Robbinsdale

The identities of the victims have not been released.

Seatbelted driver.

Road deaths involving unbelted people rose again in 2021

This is the second year in a row that the number has gone up.

hennepin sheriff hutchinson screengrab facebook

Hennepin Co. Sheriff Dave Hutchinson on paid leave for health reasons

The sheriff, who was recently convicted of drunk-driving, is set to stand down later this year.

Crane Lake

Flooding expected to worsen in MN's Arrowhead region

Hundreds of private homes are at-risk in northern St. Louis County.

St. Paul Police crash

St. Paul police: Kids in stolen car rammed squad, hid in porta-potty

The incident sent the Minnesota Capitol into a brief lockdown.


Watch: Storm updates after heavy hail slams Twin Cities

Sven Sundgaard is providing an update after Thursday's flash hail storm.

kim crockett facebook sos

MN GOP apologizes over antisemitic sequence in candidate's campaign video

Party leader says candidate didn't know the imagery perpetuated an antisemitic trope.

storm, severe

Tornado, severe thunderstorm watches issued in Minnesota

In addition to possible tornadoes, there is a threat for damaging winds and very large hail.

House sale keys door

High prices, stiff competition putting off homebuyers in Twin Cities

Prices continue to rise in the metro, but there are signs of buyer fatigue.

Screen Shot 2022-05-19 at 1.59.51 PM

Series of explosions at manufacturing plant injures 6 in Wisconsin

The blast rocked the Wisconsin town just before 7:45 a.m.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Medford man dies in Le Sueur County crash

The 49-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.


5 flame-throwing relievers the Twins should try to sign

Boston proved that a bullpen loaded with big arms is mandatory.

Watch: What are Twins fans most excited for?

From Byron Buxton to Brian Dozier and Brian Dozier's hair, Twins fans are excited for the season to start today.

Watch: What are Twins fans most excited for?

From Byron Buxton to Brian Dozier and Brian Dozier's hair, Twins fans are excited for the season to start today.

Twins pitching prospect Gonsalves promoted to AAA

The left-hander was dominating opposing hitters at AA.

Lots of indicators suggest the Twins are about to get hot

Dozier and Morrison heating up are just a couple of good signs.

Twins prospect Brent Rooker crushes walk-off grand slam

Rooker is one of the Twins' highly touted hitting prospects.