Twins Daily's prospect countdown: #2 Alex Kirilloff

Kirilloff might be on the fast track to the big leagues.
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At this point last season, Alex Kirilloff was coming off one of the strongest seasons in the entire minor leagues. Unfortunately, injuries hampered him throughout the 2019 season as he played the entire year at Double-A. Now healthy, Kirilloff will try to get back to the player he was in 2018 and continue to get closer to Target Field.

Age: 22 (DOB: 11-9-1997)

2019 Stats (Double-A): 411 PA, .283/.343/.413, 9 HR, 43 RBI
ETA: 2020
2019 Ranking: 2
2018 Ranking: 5

National Top 100 Rankings
BA: 31 |MLB: 32 | ATH: 25 |BP: 86

What’s To Like
Kirilloff’s best tool has always been his hit tool and that is what is going to make him a regular at the big-league level. He started the year on the injured list with a wrist injury and it took him some time to find his swing again. After posting a .682 OPS in May, he hit .327/.400/.510 in June before landing back on the IL because of the same wrist injury.

Again, he returned from injury and it took time to find his swing again. However, he was able to end the year strongly as he hit .319/.371/.496 over the season’s final 28 games. This hot hitting followed him into the postseason as he clubbed four home runs in the team’s first four playoff games. It wasn’t enough to help the Blue Wahoos, but it was nice to see Kirilloff getting back into form.

Kirilloff has a strong knowledge of the strike zone and he can spray the ball to all fields. His 2018 spray charts (from Baseball Savant) should be hanging in a museum. His wrist injury clearly impacted his ability to turn on the ball last season as almost all of his doubles are to the opposite field.

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Even though he missed an entire season due to Tommy John, he is still facing older pitchers in nearly 96% of his at-bats. After a full off-season to get his wrist healthy, Kirilloff should be driven to prove that 2019 is behind him.

What’s Left To Work On
Kirilloff is such a strong hitter that he rarely is forced to draw walks. Last season, he had 29 walks compared to 76 strikeouts. He is going to continue to face more advanced pitchers and it could help for him to draw more walks and cut back on strikeouts. He’s a smart hitter and his knowledge of the strike zone should help him as he moves up the ladder.

He has shown power potential, but there is room for him to continue to grow. At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, he has added muscle since signing with the Twins. During his season rehabbing from Tommy John, he was able to add a lot of strength. He will be in his age-22 season this year, so he is getting close to the point where he could really start hitting his stride.

Defensively, he played over 300 innings at first base last season, a first for him in his professional career. Kirilloff will need to continue to get reps at first base if that is going to be his path to the big leagues. He is athletic enough to handle first base or he has the ability to stick at a corner outfield spot, especially since he has a good arm.

What’s Next
There is certainly a chance for Kirilloff to make his big-league debut in 2020, but it will likely take an injury (or two) for him to get that opportunity. He isn’t on the 40-man roster and there are other players ahead of him on the depth chart. If he does debut, it will likely be due to the fact that he is healthy and hitting the cover off the ball. He could start the year in Pensacola or get the bump up to Rochester and by 2021, he should be a regular in Minnesota’s line-up.

Twins Daily 2020 Top 20 Prospects
Honorable Mentions
20. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B
19. Cole Sands, RHP
18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF
17. Misael Urbina, OF
16. Edwar Colina, RP
15. Matt Canterino, RHP
14. Matt Wallner, OF
13. Wander Javier, SS
12. Gilberto Celestino, OF
11. Lewis Thorpe, LHP
10. Blayne Enlow, RHP
9. Brent Rooker, OF
8. Keoni Cavaco, SS
7. Ryan Jeffers, C
6. Jhoan Duran, RHP
5. Jordan Balazovic, RHP
4. Brusdar Graterol, RHP
3. Trevor Larnach, OF
2. Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B

Stop by tomorrow for prospect #1!
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Get to know more about Kirilloff and about another 170 minor league players in the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook.

ORDER NOW: 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (paperback, $17.99)

ORDER NOW: 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (eBook, $12.99)

The 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook goes in-depth and provides player bios, scouting reports, statistics and much more on about 170 Twins minor leaguers.

This story first appeared at Twins Daily and was re-shared through a collaboration with Bring Me The News

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