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:
    Original:

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 MLB.com'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 2022-06-26 at 10.02.59 AM

North Dakota's only abortion clinic relocating to Minnesota

A GoFundMe set up to help the clinic make the move to Minnesota has surpassed its $500,000 goal.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 12.37.03 PM

Deadly vehicle fire on Interstate 94 west of Fargo

The victim's age and name have not been released.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

Overturning Roe v. Wade won't do a 'damn thing' to prevent abortions, Walz says

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Saturday meant to protect abortion access in the state and people who come from out of state seeking one.

ambulance

Man crossing Highway 13 in Burnsville fatally struck by driver

The victim is a 31-year-old man from Prior Lake.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 7.50.33 AM

4 shot near Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

The shooting happened around 11 p.m. Saturday.

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 7.55.28 PM

Charges: Cop feared for his life during struggle for gun with suspect

Allen Denzel Oliver-Hall has been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

Burnsville, Minnesota - May 2019 (2)

Shootout near Erik's Bike Shop, Lunds & Byerlys in Burnsville

Police say youths were shooting at each other on Saturday afternoon.

minnesota river

Fishermen find body floating in Minnesota River in Shakopee

The body was found upstream from Minnesota River Heritage Park.

Related

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.