Monday, January 15, 2024

2024 Minnesota Twins Top 15 Prospects

It's that time of year, and the Minnesota Twins will soon be fully engaged with spring training activities down in Sunny Fort Myers, Florida. Before the season kicks off though, and with prospect positioning set to move, I needed to put out my updated top 15 prospects for the 2024 Major League Baseball season.

The highest ranked player on the 2023 list, Royce Lewis, has since graduated and he took a couple of players with him. Both Matt Wallner and Louie Varland are no longer prospect eligible, and Edouard Julien joined them in becoming a regular for Rocco Baldelli's squad. It should be expected that a few of these names will move on by the time the dust settles on 2024, and that would be a good outcome in terms of development.

I have been posting my top 15 prospect lists here since 2016, and you can find each of them below:

2016 Top 15 Prospects
2017 Top 15 Prospects
2018 Top 15 Prospects
2019 Top 15 Prospects
2020 Top 15 Prospects
2021 Top 15 Prospects
2022 Top 15 Propsects
2023 Top 15 Prospects

Now to get into the 2024 list:

15. Yunior Severino INF

Signed when the Atlanta Braves were made to forfeit players from an international signing class that they cheated to acquired, Severino has become the darling of that group. He emerged to the highest level of the farm for Minnesota last year and showed thump that could have him as a valuable first base type. There's a lot of swing and miss, but he's now on the 40-man roster and has a clear path to a debut.

14. Matt Canterino RHP

No one has bounced around more on these prospect lists for me over the years than Canterino. Drafted out of Rice, he underwent Tommy John surgery and has dealt with arm issues as many of their pitchers do. Fully healthy, he could be an absolute weapon for Minnesota in relief this year. His stuff is impressive, and should play up even more as a reliever.

13. C.J. Culpepper RHP

A 13th round pick in 2022, Culpepper reached High-A Cedar Rapids in his first full professional season. The 3.56 ERA across 86 innings was impressive, and he owned a 9.3 K/9. There's still plenty of development to take place here, but a late round arm that works in the vein of Bailey Ober or Louie Varland is something to dream on.

12. Kala'i Rosario OF

Sent to the Arizona Fall League after the season, Rosario got in extra reps and showed out with the power. He flashed some exciting potential during big league spring training action prior to the 2023 season, and his solid year at High-A should have him ready for the Double-A challenge this season at just 21 years old.

11. Luke Keaschall INF

Minnesota took Keaschall in the second round of the 2023 Major League Baseball draft out of Arizona State and he immediately took to pro ball. He posted an .892 OPS in 31 games, and helped the Cedar Rapids Kernels secure a championship at the end of the season. He probably starts in Iowa, but could make his way to Double-A Wichita quickly.

10. Tanner Schobel INF

The Virginia Tech product tore up High-A Cedar Rapids in 2023 and earned a promotion to Double-A. He struggled out of the gate for Wichita, but did bat .294 over his final 14 games. He'll need to tap back into some of the power potential that was left in Cedar Rapids, but there's the makings of a big league regular here.

9. Charlee Soto RHP

The Twins took Soto with the 34th overall pick in the 2023 draft and he didn't pitch at all last season. Looking to build up his body and prepare for pro ball, 2024 should be a fun debut season. There is an upper-90's fastball in the arsenal, and while he's a high school arm, there is a lot to work with here.

8. Brandon Winokur OF

A tools'd out high school kid taken in the third round of the 2023 draft, Winokur impressed in limited action last year. He posted an .884 OPS across 17 games at the rookie ball level, and he showed off the power and speed combination. The plate discipline is something to watch as he develops, but the ceiling for him is immense.

7. Cory Lewis RHP

Drafted just inside of the first ten rounds during 2022, Lewis has emerged as one of Minnesota's best pitching prospects. He throws a knuckle ball but isn't a knuckleballer. With dominant stuff that led to a 10.5 K/9 in his first pro season, Lewis could start at Double-A in 2024 and may be a late season option for the Twins to consider.

6. Austin Martin INF/OF

Similar to Canterino, Martin has bounced around on my prospect lists. He got back to a workable swing last year, and while the power potential isn't there, he has solid bat to ball skills and has a good contact ability. Speed is the play here, and while exit velocities could limit his overall production, he already profiles as a plus defender in center field.

5. David Festa RHP

Taken in the 13th round of the 2021 draft, Festa represented the Twins at the 2023 Futures Game. He made his way to Triple-A St. Paul and is right there among the best pitching prospects in the organization. Festa can push velocity while also showing a strong command of his pitches. He had 119 strikeouts in 92 1/3 innings last season. Expect to see him at Target Field in 2024.

4. Marco Raya RHP

If Festa isn't the best pitching prospect in the organization, then it is Raya. Just 20 years old and a former prep arm, the Twins already have him at Double-A. He took his lumps for Wichita, but was incredibly young for the level and should be expected to use that experience for significant offseason development. He'll begin 2024 with the Wind Surge again, but getting to Triple-A St. Paul at 21 would be eye-opening.

3. Emmanuel Rodriguez OF

One of the most exciting prospects across baseball, Rodriguez has significant power potential and his ceiling is that of a slugging corner outfielder with all-star aspirations. He posted a ridiculous .400 OBP for Cedar Rapids last year despite batting just .240, and he doesn't sacrifice plate discipline for power. A meteoric rise could happen this year at 21, but Rodriguez's future is still one to be excited about even if it takes a bit more time.

2. Brooks Lee INF

Maybe the safest bet to be a big league regular for a long time across all organizations in baseball, Lee is near major league ready at this point. He's going to hit for more average than power, and can play shortstop but doesn't necessarily need to. He does everything well, and if any of the tools take another step forward, he'll end his career with more than a few all-star selections under his belt.

1. Walker Jenkins OF

The fifth overall pick from the 2023 Major League Baseball Draft, Jenkins is a superstar in every sense of the word. He may outgrow centerfield as his body develops, but he should hit for average and power while remaining a strong defender and runner. The maturity here is off the charts, and the abilities could push him into future MVP discussions. A 2024 debut isn't going to happen, but all bets should be off in 2025.