What Experts are Saying About Twins Prospects

With the arrival of spring comes a lot of things people have been working on all winter long. Teams have worked on building rosters, the earth has worked on getting warmer and writers have worked on prospect lists to unveil to the masses.

Prospect coverage has grown immensely in the last decade-plus — perhaps in lockstep with the Moneyball era — as fans have gone from shrugging at the idea of a minor leaguer coming up to the big leagues or being in a trade to the point where it’s almost become paralysis by analysis.

Now, instead of “go trade for Chris Archer!” as a uniform idea if it were 20 years ago, we’re more along the lines of “yeah, get Archer, but don’t give up Prospects A, B or C!”

So while the stagnancy rate of prospects hasn’t really changed — after all, rosters are 25 deep and have been for…..a really long time? — the hugging of them has grown to uncomfortable levels.

Still, it makes for fun discussion both when the snow is flying and in lieu of reading tweets of play-by-play from Grapefruit League games where someone’s No. 75 just struck out someone else’s No. 83.

So here’s what prospect lists are saying about Twins minor leaguers this year (with an excerpt about the player):

Shortstop Royce Lewis (Twins No. 1 prospect on

  • Baseball Prospectus – No. 27 – “…exciting tools across the board, and his broad-shouldered, high-waisted frame is straight from the Projectability Factory.”
  • Fangraphs – No. 38 – “…scouts still largely think (his) tools play best in center field long-term…”
  • Baseball America – No. 24 – “…had no problem making the necessary adjustments for a smooth transition to pro ball…”
  • ESPN (Keith Law) – No. 25 – “…if he stays at shortstop, he has superstar upside with his speed and on-base skills…”
  • MLB Pipeline – No. 20 – “…watching his full-season encore should be a treat.”
  • Fake Teams – No. 22 – “…bring plus speed, an advanced approach and developing power…”
  • The Dynasty Guru – No. 26 – N/A
  • Razzball – No. 21 – “…brings five tools to the table at a premium position.”
  • KATOH – No. 23 – projected for 7.6 career fWAR
  • CBS Sports – No. 21 – “…uncommon plate discipline for a teenager.”

Right-handed pitcher Fernando Romero (Twins No. 2 prospect on

  • Baseball Prospectus – No. 97 – “…power sinker with late life…sits in the mid-90s and occasionally flirts with triple digits.”
  • Fangraphs – Just Missed – N/A
  • ESPN (Keith Law) – No. 47 – “…upside here is exciting, and he doesn’t have a ton of ground to cover to be at least a mid-rotation starter in the majors.”
  • MLB Pipeline – No. 68 – “…could eventually pitch near the top of a rotation.”
  • The Dynasty Guru – No. 111 – N/A

Left-handed pitcher Stephen Gonsalves (Twins No. 3 prospect on

  • Fangraphs – Just Missed – N/A
  • Baseball America – No. 97 – “…reads hitters well and works effectively at the top of the zone.”
  • MLB Pipeline – No. 78 – “…has the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter.”
  • Fake Teams – No. 96 – “…features one of the best changeups in the minors.”
  • The Dynasty Guru – No. 110 – N/A
  • KATOH – No. 66 – projected for 4.7 fWAR in years 1-6 of MLB career
  • CBS Sports – No. 77 – “…scouts have always been less than enamored with him and his middling velocity.”

Shortstop Nick Gordon (Twins No. 4 prospect on

  • Baseball Prospectus – No. 35 – “…does a lot of things well, but there is no elite skill.”
  • Fangraphs – No. 77 – “…it’s a card full of grade 5 tools on the 2-8 scale…”
  • Baseball America – No. 93 – “…shows advanced barrel awareness to go with sound plate discipline and a line drive swing that produces gap power.”
  • ESPN (Keith Law) – No. 37 – “…compact swing with very good hand-eye coordination. …more upside if he becomes the .300 AVG/.400 OBP player he has the skills to be.”
  • MLB Pipeline – No. 80 – “…knocking on the big league door. …solid everyday big leaguer…on either side of second base.”
  • Fake Teams – No. 56 – “…might be more of a back of the order hitter than the dynamic leadoff hitter he was touted as on draft day.”
  • The Dynasty Guru – No. 43 – N/A
  • Razzball – No. 80 – “…strong all-around player who should be fantasy relevant but never a superstar.”
  • CBS Sports – No. 73 – “…has yet to develop a standout tool.”

Shortstop Wander Javier (Twins No. 5 prospect on

  • Baseball Prospectus – Just Missed – “…potential five-tool shortstop, and the bat will play even if he eventually has to slide to third.”
  • Baseball America – No. 95 – “…shows gap-to-gap power with a willingness to stay up the middle with authority.”
  • The Dynasty Guru – No. 115 – N/A
  • Razzball – No. 75 – “…toolsy shortstop with advanced offensive skills and likelihood to stick in the middle of the infield.”

Outfielder Alex Kirilloff (Twins No. 6 prospect on

  • Fangraphs – No. 99 – “…most think he’ll be able to tap into what projects as plus raw power.”
  • The Dynasty Guru – Just Missed – N/A

Outfielder Brent Rooker (Twins No. 8 prospect on

  • Baseball America – No. 92 – “projects as a middle-of-the-order weapon with power as his carrying tool.”
  • Fake Teams – No. 99 – “…should face a tougher challenge in 2018 in the upper minors where he will have to answer whether the power in his bat is for real.”
  • The Dynasty Guru – No. 89 – N/A
  • Razzball – No. 70 – “arguably the most impressive showing of any player entering pro ball in 2017.”

First baseman Lewin Diaz (Twins No. 10 prospect on

  • Razzball – No. 83 – “…pairs 70-grade raw power with feel to hit.”

Outfielder Lamonte Wade (Twins No. 13 prospect on

  • KATOH – No. 40 – projected for 5.7 fWAR in years 1-6 of MLB career

Right-handed pitcher Zack Littell (Twins No. 15 prospect on

  • KATOH – No. 96 – projected for 4.1 fWAR in years 1-6 of MLB career

Left-handed pitcher Tyler Jay (Twins No. 16 prospect on

  • The Dynasty Guru – Just Missed – N/A

Catcher Mitch Garver (Twins No. 19 prospect on

  • KATOH – No. 32 – projected for 6.7 career fWAR

Outfielder Zack Granite (Twins No. 27 prospect on

  • KATOH – No. 6 – projected for 10.4 career fWAR

Links to all prospect lists mentioned:

(h/t to Jack Murphy on Twitter for helping cobble the lists together)

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