The Minnesota Twins had the eighth pick in this year’s MLB Draft. They were surely happy to see Brooks Lee, shortstop from Cal Poly, fall to them. The Twins have also graduated a couple of players since the beginning of the year as Jhoan Duran and Josh Winder are poised to lose their rookie status in 2022. Minnesota has a solid mix of pitching and athleticism toward the top of these rankings. They also boast some deeper prospects with very good upside further down this list.
#1 Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly, 8th Overall Pick (2022)
The switch-hitter was arguably the best college prospect in the draft. Lee can hit from both sides of the plate and put up big numbers with wood in the Cape Cod League last year slashing .405/.432/.667 with six home runs in 84 plate appearances. His baseball IQ is off the charts as the son of a coach, and Lee has a plus arm. While a move to third base is likely eventually, his bat will play and get him to the majors in a couple of years.
#2 Royce Lewis, SS, JSerra HS (CA), 1st Overall Pick (2017)
Injuries have robbed Lewis of nearly two full seasons of baseball activities. However, he got a taste of the major leagues this season and slashed .300/.317/.550 in his 41-PA cup of coffee. Still only 23 years old, the sky is the limit for Lewis, and the Twins have to hope his recent injuries aren’t an ongoing narrative.
#3 Austin Martin, SS/OF, Vanderbilt, 5th Overall Pick (2020)
The athletic 23-year-old was acquired at the trade deadline last year for Jose Berrios. Martin has played mostly shortstop for Double-A Wichita this season, but he has shown a natural feel for centerfield in the past. With the Twins drafting Lee, Martin could find himself back in the outfield as Max Kepler will likely be moving on in free agency.
#4 Noah Miller, SS, Ozaukee (WI), 36th Overall Pick (2021)
The Twins obviously like their athletic shortstops. Miller may be the best defender out of the bunch. He has made only three errors in 81 games in Fort Myers. He doesn’t have much power, but the switch-hitter has good speed and excellent plate discipline. With a little more improvement to his hit tool, Miller could be an exciting leadoff man for Minnesota in a few years.
#5 Matt Canterino, RHP, Rice, 54th Overall Pick (2019)
Unfortunately, Canterino is having Tommy John Surgery this month. The stuff has never been in question as the Texas native has a solid four-pitch mix and an upper 90s fastball. In his 85 minor league innings, Canterino has struck out 130 and allowed just 38 hits and three homers. Hopefully for the Twins, TJS will help cleanup Canterino’s arm and finally get him healthy.
#6 Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP, Kempner (TX), 48th Overall Pick (2018)
Richardson has made strides in his command this season. He is sporting a 3.02 ERA at Double-A and has struck out a hair over a batter per inning. While walks are still a slight problem, SWR has shown an improvement in his feel for pitching. He will still only be 22 years old in September, and the Twins feel he can be a mid-rotation anchor for the foreseeable future.
#7 Matt Wallner, OF, Southern Miss, 39th Overall Pick (2019)
Wallner has possibly the most raw power in the system. He has also been getting to it in games with 23 in 98 games between Wichita and St. Paul this season. His strikeout rate sits at a rough 31.4 percent, but Wallner’s walk rate is 17.3 percent. At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, the outfielder does not need to sell out for power. He could be a middle-of-the-order bat if he can concentrate on barreling the ball more consistently.
#8 Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama, 48th Overall Pick (2022)
The lefty showed enough for scouts and at the Combine this year before the draft to warrant a second-round selection. He had TJS in May of 2021 and regained his velocity, throwing 92-94. Prielipp had one of the best sliders in the draft, and the Twins are banking on him developing an above-average third pitch and getting to the upper 90s again with the heater. The question marks are there, but Prielipp has some of the best stuff in the organization.
#9 David Festa, RHP, Seton Hall, 399th Overall Pick (2021)
Festa has enjoyed a good year between Fort Myers and Cedar Rapids. In is 82.2 innings, he is 8-3 with a 2.29 ERA and has struck out 10 batters per nine innings. The development of his changeup will go a long way to determining if he can be a rotation piece for Minnesota. His fastball and slider are already plus. His worst-case scenario is a dominant reliever.
#10 Edouard Julien, 2B, Auburn, 539th Overall Pick (2019)
Another late-round pick, Julien is moving up the farm. At Double-A Wichita this season, the left-handed hitter has 14 homers, 12 stolen bases, and a .925 OPS. He is also walking at nearly a 19 percent pace. The Canadian may be stuck on the right side of the infield going forward, but his bat and overall skills should play well as he continues to rise.
#11 Ronny Henriquez, RHP
#12 Cole Sands, RHP
#13 Jordan Balazovic, RHP
#14 Misael Urbina, OF
#15 Aaron Sabato. 1B
#16 Marco Raya, RHP
#17 Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF
#18 Tanner Schobel, SS
#19 Keoni Cavaco, 3B
#20 Brayan Medina, RHP
#21 Louie Varland, RHP
#22 Kala’i Rosario, OF
#23 Blayne Enlow, RHP
#24 Alerick Soularie, 2B/OF
#25 Danny De Andrade, SS
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