Legends On Deck

Minnesota Twins Prospects – Pitchers

Now that pitchers and catchers have started to report to their respective camps, it seems like a good time to look over a few of the Minnesota Twins pitching prospects.  One of the things that needs to improve if the Twins want to climb the standings is starting pitching.  As a whole the pitching wasn’t that good and the starters under-performed and obviously the hope is that it corrects itself.

Ervin Santana who has been with the team since 2015, finished 2016 with a 7-11 record and an ERA of 3.38.  Taking the win/loss out of the equation, Santana was pretty good in his 30 starts.  There was a drop-off after that however.   Kyle Gibson had an ERA over five, as did every other pitcher that started games last season.

One player that I think Twins fans were excited to see come up was Jose Berrios.  Berrios was in the top 30 of MLB prospects, but struggle mightily when he made his debut in Minnesota.  He made 14 starts, but had a record of 3-7 with an ERA of 8.02.  He will turn 23 years old this season so he is still very young.

 

PITCHERS

1. Stephen Gonsalves (Chattanooga)
2016 Statistics (A-Advanced, Double-A) 13-5, 2.06 ERA, 140 IP, 155 K, 10 K/9

Minnesota selected Gonsalves in the fourth round of the 2013 draft out of Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego.  So far in his professional career, he has made it up to Double-A and it appears that the climb will continue based on his success so far.  Gonsalves won 13 games overall, and had an ERA of 2.06 in 24 starts overall in Single-A Advanced and Double-A.  He currently sits in the number three spot in Minnesota’s prospect ranking according to MLBPipeline.  More time in Double-A is possible, but stops in Rochester (Triple-A) and Minnesota could happen as well.  He is at spring training as a non-roster invitee.

2. Tyler Jay (Chattanooga)
2016 Statistics (A-Advanced, Double-A) 5-5, 3.33 ERA, 83.2 IP, 77 K, 8.8 K/9

Jay is listed as the Minnesota Twins #1 prospect heading into the 2017 season.  The Twins selected the lefty with the sixth overall pick in 2015.  He was mostly a relief pitcher in college but according to scouting reports he has the pitches to become a starter, and that is what the Twins intend on doing.  He has a low to mid 90’s fastball and an excellent slider.  Seems like the idea is not to rush him through while he works on his craft to become a starter.  I assume he will pick up where he left off in Double-A for 2017.

3. Adalberto Mejia (Rochester)
2016 Statistics (Double-A, Triple-A) 9-5, 3.00 ERA, 132.0 IP, 126 K, 8.6 K/9

The Twins have another top 10 pitcher in their system in Mejia.  Adalberto did make one appearance with the Minnesota Twins last season but struggled.  The 23 almost 24-year old signed a free agent deal originally with the San Francisco Giants.  He was traded to the Twins in the Eduardo Nunez deal last July.  He’s had success in the minors so far and will most likely start in Rochester in 2017.

4. Fernando Romero (Fort Myers)
2016 Statistics (Single-A, A-Advanced) 9-3, 2.09 ERA, 90.1 IP, 90 K, 9 K/9

The first right-handed pitcher on the list, Romero made his way to Twins from the Dominican Republic.  The 22-year old was essentially a man among boys last season in the lower level of the minor leagues.  He missed all of 2015 due to Tommy John surgery, otherwise he probably would have been in Double-A already.  Many think that he has the best stuff out of all the pitchers in the system so he climb through the organization is one worth watching.  He is currently in the sixth spot in the Twins top 10 prospects.

5. Kohl Stewart (Chattanooga)
2016 Statistics (A-Advanced, Double-A) 12-8, 2.88 ERA, 143.2 IP, 91 K, 5.7 K/9

Rounding out this list is the Twins #5 prospect Kohl Stewart.  Stewart was the fourth overall pick by Minnesota in 2013.  He has progressed nicely through the system and he will continue to do so probably in Rochester this year.  The Twins have had some concerns with his strikeout rate (91K in 143.2 IP), but feel he has the stuff to change that as he gets older.  Stewart will turn 23 at the end of the season and should put up a good fight to make the jump to the major leagues in 2018.

John Ginder

Site Co-Founder/Senior Editor and Co-Host at Legends on Deck® The Podcast
In the past John has been a part of such successful sites as MetsMerizedOnline and MetsMinors.net.John was born and raised in upstate New York and has a love of all sports but mainly baseball. He has grown used to heartache with his teams as he roots for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres too.John has a loving and understanding wife and is the the proud father of two amazing boys.He also loves heavy metal music.