7 hard-throwing prospects Twins fans can get excited about

The Twins need flamethrowers and they actually have some developing in the minors.

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

Adam Thielen

Report: Still on COVID-19 list, Thielen not expected to play Sunday

Thielen was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list on Monday.

Image from iOS (19)

Mask-wearing, distancing a common sight on MOA's Black Friday

Thousands of shoppers were out and about on Black Friday despite the COVID-19 situation.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz, MDH react to record-setting COVID-19 deaths

Minnesota can expect further bad news over the coming weeks.

covid-19, coronavirus

Record 101 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota

The figures are from Wednesday, with no update provided on Thanksgiving.

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 9.29.12 AM

Target reveals its 'Cyber Week' online deals

The sales will run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.

Minneapolis police

Mayor Frey, Minneapolis police chief reveal new 'no-knock' policy

The new policy for Minneapolis Police Department was announced Wednesday.

Teddy Bridgewater

Coller: It's a what-if Sunday with Teddy Bridgewater's return

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Ambulance hospital emergency

15-month-old girl's death being investigated by police in Fargo

The child died four days after being found unresponsive.

PD Shimmers closeup

Man with Parkinson's lights up Plymouth with synchronized light show

"The best medicine I have for my disease is what I try to do with the light show," Mike Justak said.


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.

Twins prospect Brent Rooker crushes walk-off grand slam

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

Lots of indicators suggest the Twins are about to get hot

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