Top Prospects in Twins Organization Poised to Make an Impact
Baseball player development: A non-linear journey to the big leagues
Baseball player development is a complex and unpredictable process, with each prospect facing unique challenges on their path to the big-league level. Some prospects are fast-tracked through the farm system, while others may encounter setbacks such as injuries or poor performance. The Minnesota Twins organization is no exception to this, as they nurture their top prospects with care and precision, ensuring their growth and readiness for the major leagues.
Twins Daily’s Top 10 Prospects: A glimpse into the future
Twins Daily, a reputable source for Twins-related news and analysis, recently released their end-of-the-season rankings for the top prospects in the Twins organization. Unlike other outlets, Twins Daily updates their rankings and scouting reports monthly, providing fans with a real-time view of each prospect’s progress. Several names on this list are on track to make an impact on the Twins roster as early as next season.
1. Walker Jenkins, OF – ETA: 2026
Selected as the fifth overall pick in the 2023 draft, Walker Jenkins has shown immense promise during his professional debut. Despite his young age, Jenkins impressed with a .362 batting average, five doubles, four triples, and three home runs in just 26 games at Low-A. The Twins expect him to start the upcoming season in Fort Myers, with a potential promotion to Cedar Rapids by the end of 2024. If all goes well, Jenkins could make his big-league debut in the second half of 2026, at the tender age of 21.
2. Brooks Lee, SS/3B – ETA: 2024
Brooks Lee, the eighth overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, completed his first full season as a professional in 2023. Starting at Double-A, Lee showcased his skills with an .841 OPS in 87 games. The Twins then promoted him to St. Paul, where he faced tougher competition and saw a slight dip in his OPS to .731. Nevertheless, Lee is set to begin the upcoming season in St. Paul and could make his long-awaited big-league debut if an opportunity arises.
3. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF – ETA: 2025
Emmanuel Rodriguez gained an advantage over his fellow prospects by being added to the Twins’ 40-man roster this winter. This move significantly increases his chances of making his debut, especially if the team faces multiple injuries at the big-league level. Rodriguez had an impressive season at High-A in 2023, hitting .240 with a .400 on-base percentage and a .463 slugging percentage. The Twins plan to promote him to Double-A in 2024, setting the stage for a potential debut in 2025.
4. Marco Raya, SP – ETA: 2025
Marco Raya’s development has taken an unconventional path, with the Twins aggressively promoting him while carefully managing his innings pitched. Despite his limited workload, Raya showcased his potential at Double-A in his age-20 season, posting a 4.02 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. The Twins are likely to keep him at Double-A for the entirety of the 2024 season, unless they decide to continue pushing his development. Fans can expect Raya to make his mark in the big leagues by 2025.
5. David Festa, SP – ETA: 2024
David Festa emerged as one of the Twins’ top pitching prospects last season, despite being selected in the 13th round of the 2021 MLB Draft. With a 4.19 ERA and an impressive 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings, Festa showcased his potential at Double-A and Triple-A. With the Twins facing a payroll crunch next season, Festa could be a valuable internal option for added pitching depth. He will begin the season at Triple-A, eagerly awaiting his opportunity to join the Twins’ rotation.
6. Charlee Soto, SP – ETA: 2027
Charlee Soto, the 34th overall selection in last year’s draft, is yet to make his professional debut. At just 18 years old, Soto has ample time to develop within the Twins’ farm system. While he may be the last player on this list to debut, his pitching profile promises an exciting future ahead.
7. Austin Martin, 2B/OF – ETA: 2024
Austin Martin, acquired in the Jose Berrios trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, has experienced both highs and lows during his time with the Twins organization. After struggling at Double-A in 2022, Martin showcased his resilience by rehabbing from an elbow injury and posting a .791 OPS in Triple-A last season. With an opening in center field, Martin could potentially seize the opportunity to make his mark in the big leagues during the 2024 season.
8. Brandon Winokur, OF – ETA: 2027
Brandon Winokur, signed for an impressive $1.5 million as a third-round pick, has shown glimpses of becoming a five-tool outfielder. However, he is still a considerable distance away from Target Field. Like Soto, Winokur’s debut is not expected for several seasons, and his development journey may encounter obstacles along the way.
9. Luke Keaschall, 2B – ETA: 2026
The Twins have a penchant for drafting college bats, and Luke Keaschall is a prime example. Selected in the second round of the 2023 MLB Draft, Keaschall impressed with a .288 batting average and a .414 on-base percentage in his debut season. The Twins are likely to have him return to High-A to start the 2024 season, putting him on track for a debut during his age-23 season.
10. Tanner Schobel, 2B/3B – ETA: 2025
Tanner Schobel, a second-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, has followed a development path similar to Keaschall. Splitting his time between High-A and Double-A in 2023, Schobel showcased his versatility by playing both second and third base. This defensive flexibility could expedite his journey to the big leagues, with a potential debut as early as 2025.
As fans eagerly await the arrival of these talented prospects, the question remains: Do you agree with the estimated arrival times for each player? Furthermore, which prospect do you believe will have the most significant impact on the Twins next season? Join the discussion and share your thoughts.