Publish date:

Twins' top prospects starting slow, battling injuries

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

The Twins have the second-best record entering play as of Tuesday, April 30. Meanwhile in the minor leagues, their prospect pool was well regarded as the eighth-best farm system in baseball, according to, when they opened the season.

High rankings or not, Minnesota's top prospects aren't off to the best of starts due to simple struggles or injuries.

Here's how the top prospects have performed so far.

No. 1 Royce Lewis, shortstop

Lewis is off to a slow start in Class A+ Fort Myers. In 22 games, Lewis is hitting just .195 with three extra-base hits and an OPS of .538 in 87 at-bats.

This is technically Lewis' third season in the minor leagues since being drafted first overall in the 2017 MLB Draft. He split time at Fort Myers last season and put up better numbers than this year, slashing .255/.327/.399 (.726 OPS). 

But it's also important to remember he's still just 19-years-old, which is still on the younger side for the average player in his league. He also dominated rookie ball and Low-A ball in 2018, hitting .313 with an .853 OPS at Cedar Rapids, so it's not like he can't hit.

No. 2 Alex Kirilloff, first base

Kirilloff, who was the team's minor league player of the year in 2018, hasn't played a game this season because he's dealing with a wrist injury that's kept him on the injured list.

The Twins decided to move him from outfield to first base for the upcoming season, too. After missing all of 2017 with Tommy Johny surgery, Kirilloff rebounded for a big 2018 at the plate, slashing .348/.392/.578.

He's currently in Double-A Pensacola.

No. 3 Brusdar Graterol, starting pitcher

Graterol is off to a solid start in Pensacola. In five starts, he owns an ERA of 2.30 in 27 innings and has struck out 28 batters to 12 walks. Opponents are hitting a weak .148 against him.

The 20-year-old has a big fastball and was touching 100 mph in the winter league this offseason, according to the Star Tribune.

If he can keep putting up impressive numbers, he'll likely be headed to Triple-A Rochester by summer time.

No. 4 Wander Javier, shortstop

Javier was dealing with a quad injury when camp opened in February and has yet to pitch in a minor league game this season. Earlier this month, he reported to extended spring training where he's building up strength.

He also missed all of 2018 with a torn labrum, but notes he'll report to Cedar Rapids once healthy.

No. 5 Trevor Larnach, outfield

Last year's top draft pick is also off to a mediocre start in Fort Myers, as he's slashing .256/.309/.337 and is still looking for his first home run of the season in 22 games.

The right fielder showed power between rookie ball and Cedar Rapids in 2018, with 19 extra-base hits in 42 games for a .500 slugging percentage.

No. 6 Brent Rooker, 1B/OF

Rooker's power is for real. After being drafted 35th overall in 2017, he owns a career slugging percentage of .494. 

He's currently playing at the Triple-A level and is slugging .464, but has a batting average of just .214 with 28 strikeouts in 16 games.

Although he still needs to be a more rounded hitter, it's likely he'll be the first player called up to the Twins, given his power and the fact he's already 24-years-old.

Other notables 

Nick Gordon (No. 10 prospect), who's still just 23 but has already played five seasons, has also yet to play this season. At the beginning of the month, Gordon was dealing with stomach issues that kept him shelved. It's unclear if that's still what's bugging him.

Lewis Thorpe, who's Minnesota's eighth-best prospect and the reigning minor league pitcher of the year, has an ERA of 6.91 in five starts at Rochester. He is, however, leading the International League in strikeouts. 

Blayne Enlow, another top pitching prospect (9th overall) has an ERA of 7.64 in Cedar Rapids in four starts.

Luckily, the Twins are off to a nice start and won't be rushing any of these players up to the big leagues anytime soon.

It's still early in the season and it's foolish to write any of these players off, and anyone with a betting hand would likely put some money on them turning things around. 

Next Up

Stock market chart

Ex-council member pleads guilty to stock manipulation scheme

Mark Allen Miller pleaded guilty alongside one other man to conspiracy to commit security fraud in U.S. District Court.

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Minnesota Wild: 5 things you can count on in the 2021-22 season

Can the Wild live up to their lofty expectations?

masks, schools

After petition, Minneapolis Schools reduces student COVID quarantine period

Close contacts previously had to quarantine for 14 days, but that's now reducing to 10.

Walz-May 6 - address

Walz to announce 'new action' on hospital capacity, expanding rapid testing

It comes as Minnesota's health system is facing it's biggest COVID challenge yet.

2021.10.14 - Simmons Item 2

Hidden room with explosive, guns found on indicted TikToker's property

The MN man has been indicted on numerous charges, including impersonating an officer.

718 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - July 2019

Charges: Driver ran red light, crashed into woman on mobility scooter

The woman, who had the right of way, was thrown from the scooter and died.


Weekly COVID case rate rises in 73 counties

The highest case rates remain in greater Minnesota.

midwest rail

Twin Cities plays key role in new Midwest rail plan

The 40-year plan would mean 24 trips daily between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

bemidji minnesota

Would you move to Bemidji for $2,500? More than 20 have so far.

The city is running a program that will pay people $2,500 to relocate there.


5 Twins prospects land in MLB Pipeline's Top 100

The future looks bright in Minnesota...or in a potential trade scenario.

MLB rankings: Twins have 2 of top 10 prospects in baseball

MLB Pipeline released its top 100 prospects for the 2019 season.

Alex Kirilloff

Twins Daily: Comparing Twins' top prospects to MLB stars

What time does the World Series parade start?


3 pitching prospects who could help the Twins this summer

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

Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios, Eddie Rosario

5 important storylines to watch during Twins spring training

The games may not count, but there are several things to keep Twins fans occupied.

Alex Kirilloff

Twins option top prospect Alex Kirilloff to minors

Kirilloff was hitting .129 in spring training.