Minnesota Twins Top 30 Prospects

February 15, 2024

The 2024 Preseason Top 30 lists are built around the idea of certainty and future Role. Similar to industry projection systems such as Future Value (FV), Overall Future Potential (OFP), and Grade, Role is a way to describe to what degree a player will add value to his organization at peak.

Our scale is a bit more conservative than other grading systems. We take into account recent seasonal performance, proximity to impact, metric/data analysis, and industry conversations to build a case for the most likely outcome for any given player.

It is important to note these Role labels are fluid and can change as a player moves up the developmental ladder. It is not uncommon for a player to change his role projection over even one month. Players jump from a Role 35 to a Role 40 quite quickly.

Things like mechanical adjustments and physical maturation can alter a player’s projection seemingly overnight. Players change. Keep that in mind.

Below is our Role chart used to place future projection on players.

20No organizational value. Non-prospect.
30Organizational value, filler. Likely peaks at Triple-A or below.
35Potential up-and-down, Quad-A prospect. Has some tools. Development necessary to secure prolonged MLB role.
40Back-up at MLB level. No. 5 starter on non-competitive team. Depth.
45Potential starter on contender. Bench player for championship-level team.
50Starter on a championship-level team. Lacks star ceiling. Steady. Potential No. 4 starting pitcher.
55Potential all-star. Some impact. Above average big-league regular. Mid-rotation starter on a contender.
60All-star level player. Impact. Middle-of-the-order bat. No. 2 starter on good team.
70Perennial all-star. Will contend for seasonal awards. Potential MVP/Cy Young upside. No. 1 starting pitcher. Ace.
80Hall of Fame upside. Generational. MVP/Cy Young Favorite some years. Organizational pillar who can carry an entire franchise at times.

You will not find players with a sub-50 Role on our Top 100 Prospect List. You are also unlikely to find any sub-35 Role players on a Top 30 board. Generally, organizations will have at least 30 players with big-league projection.

All rankings and roles by Joe Doyle
Player notes by Jason A. Churchill

The Twins have used their farm system well of late, garnering some graduations that have helped their big-league team (Baily Ober, Ryan Jeffers, Edouard Julien, Royce Lewis, among others since 2021), and making some trades that have boosted their postseason efforts, such as the deal that sent Chase Petty to the Cincinnati Reds for right-hander Sonny Gray. The club attempted to repeat history when they sent Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Spencer Steer to the Reds for Tyler Mahle.

This, plus some uninspiring drafts (2019, 2020, 2021) and some injuries, has pushed the Twins’ system down to the middle of the league.

But the cupboard’s not bare, thanks to the last two drafts and some key international signings that have looked good early.

1Walker JenkinsOF60
2Brooks LeeSS55
3Emmanuel RodriguezOF55
4Marco RayaRHP50
5Charlee SotoRHP45
6Gabriel GonzalezOF45
7David FestaRHP45
8Matt CanterinoRHP45
9Tanner Schobel3B45
10C.J. CulpepperRHP45

Jenkins, the No. 5 pick in the 2023 Draft, profiles as a middle-of-the-order bat with 30-homer ability and a chance to hit .270 or better with elite OBP marks. He’s a solid athlete with a plus arm that should project well in right field.

Jenkins has a star-level ceiling, and nothing Jenkins did in his 26-game debut last summer  — .362/.417/.571 — suggests anything to the contrary.

Lee finally hit a bit of a snag from a performance perspective when he hit just .237/.304/.428 in 38 games at Triple-A late last season, but he still made contact, drew walks, and produced a high rate of line drives.

Ideally, Lee earns his way to the majors by July and plays second base, pushing Julien to a corner or DH, and allowing Kyle Farmer to remain the utility infielder.

Gonzalez came over from Seattle in the trade for Jorge Polanco an offers the Twins and very Twins-like prospect. It’s plus bat speed short to the ball projecting above-average power and a chance for league-median batting averages and on-base percentages.

He’s limited to left field, but has an average arm and range and has sustained adequate range as he’s filled out physically. He chased quite a bit at High-A last summer, so he may return there to start 2024, but he was just 19, three years younger the the average player in the Northwest League.

Canterino is 26 and just reached Double-A this past season due to multiple injuries, but may be on the brink of the big leagues with a 93-97 mph fastball with three quality secondaries including a plus slider.

A move to the bullpen might get him to Target Field early in the year, provided he’s healthy.

11Luke Keaschall2B45
12Brandon WinokurOF40
13Yasser MercedesOF40
14Austin MartinSS40
15Connor PrielippLHP40
16Cory LewisRHP40
17Kala'i RosarioOF40
18Darren BowenRHP40
19Danny De AndradeSS/3B35
20Jose RodriguezOF35
21DaShawn KeirseyOF35
22Zebby MatthewsRHP35
23Noah MillerSS35
24Daiber De Los SantosSS35
25Dylan QuestadRHP35
26Yunior Severino3535
27Tanner HallRHP35
28Kody FunderburkLHP35
29Alerick SoularieOF35
30Simeon Woods RichardsonRHP35

Keaschall, the No. 49 overall pick in last year’s draft, produced at the plate in his 28 games in Single-A and High-A following a three-game warmup in the complex league.

He may end up a fringe-average second baseman, but his bat may allow him to play regularly in a similar manner Brandon Lowe has managed, and it may all hinge on his ability to make consistent contact versus big-league stuff.

Mercedes has a chance to skyrocket up this list as suggested by plus raw power and a real shot to stay in center long term.

In his first 67 games in pro ball he’s produced mixed results, but the bat speed and plate skills are apparent, including solid strike zone judgment. Mercedes is also a very good baserunner with above-average speed and stolen-base ability.

Priellip, a second-round pick in 2022 out of Alabama, barely got his career going before requiring UCL surgery late last July and likely misses all of 2024.

Of course, losing two years of development is detrimental as the lefty will be 24 he finds the hill again, but his fastball-slider combo offers him multiple ways to reach the majors. At his best, however, he’s a three-pitch southpaw with a chance to be a No. 4 starter.

Funderburk reached the majors a year ago after dominating in Triple-A despite a lack of velocity. He gets fastball value from deception and carry on the four-seamer, and his slider was nearly untouchable all year, including his short time with the Twins.

Woods Richardson, 23, has struggled to miss bats in the upper minors and now profiles as a middle reliever or back-end starter, but to help the Twins he’ll need to throw more strikes.

Joe Doyle
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