Injury-riddled Twins should call up No. 2 prospect Alex Kirilloff

Minnesota needs all the outfield help they can get.
Publish date:
Rocco Baldelli

One of the Twins' top hitting prospects in Alex Kirilloff has nothing to do now that his team's minor-league playoffs are over. 

Alex Kirilloff, the Twins' No. 2 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, tore the cover off the ball in a five-game playoff series. The sweet-swinging lefty hit .381 and smashed a homer in four of the five games. He's exactly what the doctor is ordering now that the Twins are struggling with outfield depth as the likes of Byron Buxton (shoulder), Jake Cave (groin), Marwin Gonzalez (oblique) and Max Kepler (shoulder/chest) battle injuries. 

Kirilloff, 21, went 8-for-21 with eight RBI and 21 total bases in the playoffs. He did it after slashing .283/.343/.413 with nine homers in 94 regular season games. Defensively, he can play outfield and first base. 

Minnesota did announce Sunday morning that they acquired Ryan LaMarre from the Atanta Braves. He played 43 games with the Twins last season and hit .263 with eight RBI. He's serviceable, but nowhere near the level of prospect that Kirilloff is.

At a minimum, Kirilloff would be a strong-armed outfielder who could get in the lineup against right-handed starting pitchers. Kirlloff hit .302 with an .816 OPS against righties this season at Double-A, compared to hitting .244 with a .632 OPS against lefties. 

Buxton is traveling to California to see a doctor for a scheduled follow up on his injured shoulder, according to Manager Rocco Baldelli said it's possible that Buxton could still hit this season, but he's been used solely as a defensive replacement or pinch runner since being activated from the injured list. 

Kepler is considered day-to-day but that could change depending on results of tests scheduled to take place Monday. Kepler said he's been dealing with discomfort in his shoulder/chest area for several months, and it's limiting his ability to follow through on his swing. 

"It's concerning,” Kepler said Sunday, via the Twins. “But tomorrow, we're going to do some scans, and we'll see from there."

Minnesota is battling injuries more than any other AL contender right now, and giving Kirilloff a taste of the majors could be a beneficial decision now that he's got nothing left to play for this season in the minors. 

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