This is the next segment in the 2018 Twins top 60 prospect list. You
can find the introductory segment that discusses qualifications to be on
this list and presents the players who were on the 2017 list but are
not in this list here. You can find the list of the previous rankings here: 56-60, 55-51, 46-50 , 41-45, 36-40, 31-35, 26-30. You can find all segments in this series here.
Here are players 21-25 in reverse order with their 2017 ranking in
parenthesis. Players no in the 2017 top 60 list are indicated by (--)
This edition includes an extra player who came on board the Twins' organization after these rankings were finished.
25. Landon Leach (--) DOB: 7/12/1999; Age: 18 Positions: RHP Bats: R, Throws: R Height: 6'4", Weight: 220 lbs Acquired: Drafted in the 2nd round in 2017 Professional Experience: 1; Highest level: GCL (2017) ETA: 2021
Landon Leach was drafted by the Twins in the 2nd round of the 2017 draft from Pickering High School in the Toronto, ON area of Canada. He started his pro career in his age 17 season pitching 13-1/3 innings in the GCL in 5 games striking out 10 and walking 4, with a total of 3.38 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 1.28 WHIP (.268 BABIP), 16.4 K%, and 9.8 BB%. Very small sample size aside, Leach is a very intriguing player. He has not pitched for that long and his body has filled in (already at 6-4/220 as a 17 year old) so his command is yet not that consistent, despite having good mechanics and easy repetitive 3/4 arm slot delivery. He as a fastball and slurve that both flash plus. His fastball sits at mid 90s with excellent sink, and his mid 80s slurve has late movement and bite. He needs to develop at least one more pitch to be regarded as a starter in the future, but he looks that part. A still very young prospect with a potentially big future but also big questions in front of him.
Likely 2018 path: Extended Spring Training then depending on the Twins' draft either at the GCL or Elizabethton.
24. Chris Paul (--) DOB: 10/12/1992; Age: 25 Positions: UT Bats: R, Throws: R Height: 6'2", Weight: 200 lbs Acquired: Drafted in the 6th round in 2015 Professional Experience: 3; Highest level: A+ (2016, 2017) ETA: 2018
Chris Paul was drafted by the Twins in the 6th round of the 2015 draft as a Senior from University of California Berkley. The Laguna Beach native has never been in this list before, but there are good reasons to believe that he will be a major league player. He spend his first 3 seasons at Berckeley playing pretty unremarkable (.644, .666, and .643 OPS;) however he had a major breakthrough his senior season hitting .325/.404/.562 with a .237 isoP, 11.1 BB% and 18 K% in 235 PA. He continued his success after switching to wood in Elizabethton where he hit .302/.375/.488, .396 wOBA, 141wRC+ with 4.2 BB% and 15.6 K% and .186 isoP in 94 PA (21 games), but fell off the map upon moving to Cedar Rapids and hitting just .244/.277/.356 with .294 wOBA and 82 wRC+. He repeated Cedar Rapids in 2016 and just 7 games of hitting .346/.414/.462 with .406 wOBA and 160 wRC+ was enough to earn him a promotion to high A Fort Myers, where he tanked, in a league were he was pretty much the average age. He hit .219/.273/.296 with a .269 wOBA and 66 wRC+. Last season (other than a rehab assignment due to a non-throwing wrist sprain that kept him in the DL for a couple of months or so) he repeated Fort Myers where he hit .328/.380/.471 with .390 wOBA and 149 wRC in 61 games (264 PA). He followed to the Arizona Fall League where he had an additional 76 PA in 18 games slashing .292/.329/.444.
Paul has made major strides with his ability to make contact. he still does not walk much (5.7%) and his strikeouts are average (16.7%), but his ability to play all corner infield and outfield positions make him valuable as a hitter. He will not hit for power or steal a bunch of bases but he will make solid productive contact.
Likely 2018 path: Starting at Chattanooga, potential to move up to Rochester or even to the bigs, as circumstances necessitate.
23a Yunior Severino (--) DOB: 10/3/1999; Age: 18 Positions: IF Bats: S, Throws: R Height: 6'1", Weight: 180 lbs Acquired: Signed as an international free agent on December 8th, 2017 Professional Experience: 1; Highest level: GCL (2017) ETA: 2022
The Twins signed the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic native, Yunior Severino on December 8th of 2017 for a $2.5 million bonus. Severino was signed by the Braves on July 2, 2016 for $1.9 million bonus, but became a free agent on November 21, 2017 by the MLB as a punishment for Braves' mismanagement of their international money allowance pool. Severino played 10 games in the DSL in 2017 before he moved Stateside at the GCL. There he played in 48 games (206 PA) hitting .286/.345/.444 with an .373 wOBA and 125 wRC+. He walked 7.8% of the time and struck out 29.6%.
His glove is a work in progress. He played second base last season but both his footwork and glove suffered. He is a power hitter (.159 IsoP) with a long swing that makes him strike out prone. The switch hitter is much better as a left handed hitter (.303/.365/.451). He is still very young and a man without position and his development and physical growth will likely dictate where he will end up, but the bat is here, and will a few adjustments to his swing his contact tool will improve as well.
Likely 2018 path: At Extended Spring Training and then to the GCL or Elizabethton, depending the Twins draft.
23. LaMonte Wade (22) DOB: 1/1/1994; Age: 24 Positions: OF Bats: L, Throws: L Height: 6'1", Weight: 189 lbs Acquired: Drafted in the 9th round in 2015 Professional Experience: 3; Highest level: AA (2017) ETA: 2018
LaMonte Wade was drafted by the Twins in the 9th round of the 2015 draft from the University of Maryland as a Junior. The Baltimore native hit .335/.453/.468 in his Junior season with 30 walks and 20 strikeouts in 42 games (158 AB). He continued to his first pro season in Elizabethton, where he hit .312/.432/.506 in 64 games (284 PAs) with 8 doubles, 5 triples, 8 HRs, 12/13 SBs, 46 BB and 34 K. He played 4 more games in Cedar Rapids. He started 2016 in Cedar Rapids where he hit .280/.410/.396, walking 44 times and striking out 27. He also had 4 HRs, 3 3B and was 5/8 in SB in 56 games. He was promoted to A+ Fort Myers in June after was was named a starting outfielder in the 2016 Midwest League All-Star game. There he improved hitting .318/.386/.518 in 32 games (110 ABs) despite losing most of August in the disabled list. Wade played all the 2017 season (117 games and 519 PA) in AA Chattanooga. He hit .292/.397/.408 with a .370 wOBA and 135 wRC+. He continued to the Arizona Fall League, where he played in 19 more games (77 PA) where he hit .238/.351/.413 and, in a collision with a teammate, he suffered a concussion serious enough to require hospitalization
Wade has quick wrists, excellent eye, decent power and speed. He can play all 3 outfield positions with Left and Center being his best as a defender. He is hitting equally well left hand (.794 OPS in AA) nad right hand pitching (.809 OPS in AA.) With Buxton and Granite ahead of him at the majors, Wade might potentially move to a corner spot. There has been some discussion on moving him to second base; however throwing left-handed might put an end to that thought. Wade was invited to the Twins' major league camp this Spring. With Buxton, Rosario, Kepler, Grossman, and Granite in the majors, and with several outfield prospects ranked higher than him with an ETA of 2020, Wade might serve as trade bait for the Twins. The concussion is worrisome, as is, but to a lesser degree, his drop of performance in the AFL, and part of the reason that Wade is ranked here. The other part is that the Twins 2018 system is better than the 2017.
Likely 2018 path: Will start the season as the starting Centerfielder for Rochester, potentially in the majors if there is need.
22. Lewis Thorpe (30) DOB: 11/23/1995; Age: 22 Positions: LHP Bats: R, Throws: L Height: 6'1", Weight: 160 lbs Acquired: International Free Agent Professional Experience: 3; Highest level: AA (2017) ETA: 2019
Thorpe was signed on July 12th of 2012 by the Twins to the largest bonus ever given for an Australian player, $500,000. His 2014 season in Cedar Rapids was somewhat of a disappointment compared to his 2013 season in Elizabethton (12 G, 8 GS, 44 IP, 64 K, 13.1 K/9, 38.1 K%, 6 BB, 1.2 BB/9, 34.5 K-BB%, 2.05 ERA, 1.43 FIP, 0.86 WHIP, .319 BABIP), showing considerable control issues (a career high 4.5 BB/9) and was fairly ineffective (4.24 FIP). Before this season, the Melbourne native had not pitched since September of 2014 resting and rehabilitating his left UCL, which eventually required Tommy John surgery that cost him all of 2015. He lost all of 2016 with mononucleosis. Twins personnel and fans highly anticipated to see how Thorpe will do in 2017 after 2 seasons of hiatus. He spent all the season with Fort Myers (other than a single six inning start at Chattanooga.) At Fort Myers he pitched in 16 games (15 GS) for 77 innings, striking out 84 (9.8 K/9, 26.8 K%), walking 31 (3.6 BB/9, 16.9 K-BB%,) hitting 2 and throwing 12 wild pitches. He finished with a 2.69 ERA, 2.92 FIP, and 1.21 WHIP (.304 BABIP.)
Thorpe has 4 pitches, including a plus mid 90s fastball, a plus change up and curveball and an improving cutter. His command and control suffered during his return. Part of this is his self-admitted difficulties throwing the cutter and change up. It might take a while to get the feeling of these two pitches back, but once that is done, it will reduce his wildness. Still difficult to project, but at 22 years old, there is still plenty of time for Thorpe. He was added to the Twins' 40-man roster this winter.
Likely 2018 path: Will start the season in the Rochester rotation with an outside chance to make it to the Twins, but he is still not stretched out enough to be a regular MLB starter.
21. Jovani Moran (--), LHRP, 2020 DOB: 4/24/1997; Age: 20 Positions: LHP Bats: L, Throws: L Height: 6'1", Weight: 167 lbs Acquired: Drafted in the 7th round of 2015 draft Professional Experience: 2; Highest level: ELZ (2017) ETA: 2020
The Twins drafted Jovani Moran in the 7th round of 2015 draft from the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. The Mayaguez, PR native started his professional career in the GCL Twins' rotation that year, pitching 19-2/3 innings in 6 starts. He struck out 17 (7.8 K/9, 20.2 K%) and walked 9 (4.1 BB/9, 9.5 K-BB%) hit a batter and had 2 wild pitches. He finished with a 4.12 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 1.27 WHIP and .281 BABIP. Likely he was bothered by his elbow and had surgery to remove bone chips. He missed the whole 2016 season recuperating, but came back the 2017 season on fire. He pitched out of the Elizabethton pen for 11 games (23-2/3 IP) striking out 45 (16.4 K/9, 50 K%, which means that every other batter he faced he struck out), walking 6 (2.2 BB/9, 43.3 K-BB%), and threw 4 wild pitches. He finished with a 0.36 ERA, 1.51 FIP, and 0.73 WHIP (.290 BABIP.)
Moran is equally effective against lefties (.141 OBA) and righties (.111) and his future is likely in the rotation. He has a low 90s fastball that he commands and controls very well, a plus slider with late biting action, a good changeup and he has been working on a curve. He has very polished mechanics and an easy 3/4 delivery. Because of his elbow situation, the Twins have been bringing him along slowly. Moran is one of these prospects that has a top-5 prospect potential. 2018 will be an interesting season for Moran and will be telling how the Twins treat him after Spring Training.
Likely 2018 path: At the Cedar Rapids rotation at some point depending his Spring Training health. Could start the season there or join later after partial EST.
This blog contains eclectic musings about baseball, mainly centering on the Minnesota Twins and are mainly numbers-driven. I anticipate a few Vikings tidbits here and there, a bunch of historical statistical analysis, some emphasis on minor leagues and prediction of prospect development and production in the majors... just a place to place some thoughts.
I am a Twin Cities expat and SABR member, living on the right coast and have good access to both Twins' AAA and AA teams, albeit not necessarily their home fields.
Feel free to commend in the blog or email me at thetenthinningstretch at gmail.com