Twinkie Town 2022 Prospects Vote: Round 3 | Minnesota Twins’ top prospects

Austin Martin handily won the second round of our vote. There should be an incentive to buy a Saints ticket this summer.

  1. Royce Lewis 40% (Martin 37%, Balazovic 23%)
  2. Austin Martin 65% (Balazovic 25%, Duran 7%, Woods-Richardson 2%)

We have five players per ballot. I’ll try to make sure we have a mix of throwing and hitting perspectives on the roster, but this round is pretty heavy on pitchers.

Jordan Balazovic was drafted by the Twins in the 5th round of the 2016 draft at St. Martin High School in Mississauga, Ont. He had pledged to pitch at Auburn, but the Twins surpassed the niche and signed him for a bonus of $ 515,000. He was one of the youngest players in the draft that summer due to a birthday in September and has since gone from 6’3 “170 lbs to 6’5” 215 lbs. On draft day, he impressed with his mastery of the fastball and a decent change. Since draft day, his fastball speed has increased from 89 MPH to 95 MPH and added downhill motion. The change improved and he added a good slider while still keeping his order above average. In 2019, he started the year at Cedar Rapids and topped (14.4 K / 9, 1.7 BB / 9) in four starts, winning a promotion to Fort Myers. In 73 innings at this level, he impressed again with an 11.8 K / 9 and 2.6 BB / 9 and was promoted in September to Double-A Pensacola for the playoffs. He is no longer a “sleeper” prospect after joining Royce Lewis at the MLB Futures Game at All-Star Weekend 2019. He also performed for Team Canada at the Pan American Games that summer. Balazovic was one of the hopes for St. Paul’s training site in 2020. After making a late start with a back injury, Balazovic spent 2021 pitching for Double-A Wichita. He made 20 starts with mixed results averaging less than 5 innings per start with an RA9 of 4.45. He had a great fastball and added a separator to complete it last summer. Expect to see him at Saint-Paul this summer with a possible debut with the Twins.

Jhoan Duran was signed in 2015 by the Diamondbacks as an international free agent of the Dominican Republic. He slowly worked his way up the rookie ranks by increasing the number of pedestrians in his first two seasons (K / BB around 2, Run Average around 5). He showed modest improvement in 2017 with an improved strikeout rate and weak A-ball promotion, but his ERA was still 4.24. His breakthrough came from throwing for Kane County in the Midwest League in 2018 with a 9.9 K / 9 before the trade. The Twins acquired it at the deadline as part of the transport of Eduardo Escobar. Duran quickly impressed, throwing a 7-innings shutout in one of his first games as a Kernel. He finished the 2018 season with a score of 10.3K / 9, 3.4 BB / 9 and 4.65 RA / 9 in 100-2 / 3 innings in the Midwest League. Core Manager (now Saints) Toby Garden rental described Duran like having a “powerful tightener … he causes guys to hunt a lot in the area.” I have a really good arm, he has a four stitch machine, he runs almost 97 miles an hour. He can sink it at 91, 92. Baseball America calls his fastball sinking a “spark gap” and said the Twins also improved his change and his curve (good article with video). In 2019, he started at Fort Myers, posting an 11.0 K / 9, 3.6 BB / 9 and 3.35 RA in 78 innings, which earned him a promotion in July to Double-A. At Pensacola, he kept his strikeout rate at 10.0K / 9 and reduced his goals to 2.2BB / 9, but his run average increased to 4.86 in 37 innings. He has the makings and build (6’5 “230 lbs) to be successful at the major league level, but will need to learn how to sequence his four throws to be effective as a starting pitcher. He was added to the list of 40 men before 2020 and used an optional training year at the alternative training site. 2021 was about to be a big year for Duran with a promotion to triple A, but instead he didn’t pitched just 16 innings due to injury. 2022 will be a decisive season with Duran using his 3rd option. Sending him to the pen is a possibility if he is unable to secure promotion as as a starting pitcher by mid-season.

Simeon Woods-Richardson began his professional career in the Food organization after making him his second-round pick in 2018. He went from high school in Sugar Land, TX to rookie ball that summer in the Gulf Coast League and has dominated in 5 games at that level. This earned him a promotion to the Appalachian League team for his last 2 starts of the summer and his final line was a 13.5 K / 9 and 6.5 K / BB. The Mets promoted him to singles at Columbia and he continued to impress with 11.1 K / 9 and 5.7 K / BB in 78.1 innings. His time at Columbia was cut short when he was traded to the Blue Jays as part of the Mets’ Marcus Stroman deal. The Blue Jays promoted him to rank A Dunedin and Woods-Richardson finished the year strong at that level. He was named to several Top 100 Prospects lists following the 2019 season and again after COVID-19 interrupted the 2020 minor league season. He started the 2021 season with another promotion to Double-A New Hampshire but has had mixed results. He was still taking players out (13.3K / 9) but his walk rate soared (5.7BB / 9) as his control suffered from free time. He was appointed to Composition of the United States team for the Olympics and while in Tokyo was traded to twins as part of the package for José Berrios. After winning an Olympic silver medal, he joined the Twins organization in Wichita. He continued to struggle on walks, but it’s important to realize that at 20 he was pitching in Double-A when many players his age were still undrafted amateurs. Expect him to start the 2021 season at Double-A to work on his control. If he manages to regain his previous form, he could be a mainstay of the Twins’ rotation as early as 2023.

Puerto Rican Jose Miranda was the 73rd overall pick in 2016 MLB Draft. He made his debut with the GCL Twins and reached .227 playing three positions in the infield. In 2017, the Twins sent him to Elizabethton and made him play mostly 2G because the team had Andrew Bechtold at 3B. Miranda improved at the plate in 2017, hitting 0.283 / .340 / 0.484 in 247 appearances at the plate. In 2018, he split the time defensively between second and third. He started the season at Cedar Rapids and scored 0.277 / 0.326 / 0.434 in 104 games. He got a late-season promotion at Fort Myers and initially struggled to beat 0.216 in 27 games to end the season, but he reached 0.400 with two homers in the playoffs, helping the Miracle win the Florida State league championship. The Twins sent him back to Fort Myers and into 2019 and he continued to split the time at 2G and 3G with a bit of SS for good measure. Her swing is designed to get the ball over the fence, but Fort Myers is a tough place to hit dingers and Miranda only hit 8 HR while cutting 0.248 / 0.299 / 0.364. He started 2021 in Double-A Wichita and had no problem reaching that level by posting a .345 / .408 / .588 slash line and getting promoted to Triple-A. With the Saints, he kept that production level up to .343 / .397 / .563 – enough to earn him the Twins award for top hitter in the minor leagues. He seems to be best suited for 3B, but the Twins have prepared him for a utilitarian role by playing him fairly regularly at 2G and 1B. Miranda is ready to contribute to the Twins now and should have her chance next summer.

Joe Ryan was drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. He spent his college days pitching for the Cal State Stanislaus Warriors and was named a Division 2 All-American as a senior while leading all varsity baseball with 127 K. His minor league debut in 2018 for the Hudson Valley at low A went well with 3.5 BBs. / 9 and 12.6 K / 9 in 36.1 IP. He had an exceptional season in 2019 winning two in-season promotions to double A while posting 183K against 23BB in 123.1 IP. This impressed the Rays enough to be named him the 2019 minor league pitcher of the year. The 2020 minor league season has been called off and Ryan has spent that year training with the Rays at the alternative training site. He started the season well by pitching for Triple-A Durham (1.6 BB / 9, 11.8 K / 9) catching the attention of Sports Illustrated before joining the US Olympic baseball team. While with the US Olympic team, Ryan was traded to the Twins as part of the package for Nelson Cruz. In Tokyo, he threw 10.1 IP with a 1.74 ERA and took a win over Israel. Once back in the Twins’ organization, it only took two games for St. Paul to convince the team to promote him to the big leagues. With the Twins, he made 5 starts, with a 1.7 BB / 9, a 10.1 K / 9 and a 4.05 RA9 in 26.2 IP. Barring injury, he will spend 2022 in the starting rotation of the Twins.

Survey

2022 outlook vote: 3rd round

  • 30%
    Jordan balazovic

    (30 votes)

  • 3%
    Simeon Woods-Richardson

    (3 voices)


100 votes in total

Vote now

About Walter J. Leslie

Check Also

A suspended sculpture transforms the atrium of the Cape Town museum | app

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Moody, brooding and floaty, Malagasy artist Joel Andrianomearisoa’s “The …