I like the Twins system. Walker Jenkins has star potential, Emmanuel Rodriguez could hit 40 home runs one day, and Brooks Lee should be the starting shortstop over Carlos Correa, but that is unlikely. And don’t laugh, Austin Martin finally played this season and looked much better. There is also depth in the system, with Marco Raya and David Festa having a chance to pitch as mid-rotation arms with some high-end talent in the lower minor leagues.
The biggest problem might be finding places for all these kids to play in Minnesota. It’s a nice problem to have for the Twins, but if you are a Dynasty League owner – not so much.
- Top Prospect: Walker Jenkins
- Biggest Mover: David Festa
- Biggest Disappointment: Connor Prielipp
- Emerging Prospect: Jose Rodriguez
1. Walker Jenkins (OF, #5)
- Highest Level: Low-A ETA: 2026-27 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 30 OF
- Tools Summary: Athletic with a lefty swing built for 30+ home run future pop.
I saw Walker Jenkins multiple times in high school, and he’s a plus athlete with a beautiful lefty swing that should be built for power.
He’s a plus runner, but as he fills out his 6-foot-3 body, I think he will emerge into a power-hitting corner outfielder with a handful of stolen bases. It will come down to how much he hits, and the early returns look encouraging as he slashed .362/.417/.571 across the Complex League and Low-A with five home runs and three stolen bases.
2. Emmanuel Rodriguez (OF)
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2025-26 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 40 OF
- Tools Summary: Huge raw power with a feel to hit. His game could have some swing-and-miss, but the whole package could make him a star.
After missing the second half of the 2022 season with knee surgery, Emmanuel Rodriguez hit the IL to begin 2023 and finally started to find his groove in June. He’s still walking a lot, and the word is that it’s not a passive approach but just a kid who knows the strike zone. It’s been my experience that a high strike zone awareness can turn into passivity. Once you are passive at the plate, the strikeouts follow as the player waits for the perfect pitch. Assuming he gets his strikeouts under control, there is 70-grade raw power lurking. He’ll also have speed early in his career, but long term, it’s a power bat with high on-base skills.
He’s an exciting prospect with a Yordan Alvarez starter kit that needs time to develop. However, he needs to improve on the 29.5% K-Rate he posted. Otherwise, the ceiling will fall.
3. Brooks Lee (SS)
- Highest Level: Triple-A ETA: 2024-25 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 20 SS or Top 15 2B/3B
- Tools Summary: He has a plus hit tool with average power and below-average speed. It’s the definition of a high-floor player.
Brooks Lee was arguably the best college hitter in the 2022 Draft class, and the Twins challenged him with an aggressive Double-A assignment to begin the 2023 season, and he excelled. He slashed .292/.365/.476 with a 16% K-Rate and a 10% BB-Rate.
It’s a contact-oriented swing, and while the 16 home runs he hit across Double and Triple-A are encouraging, I would put his power upside at average with 12 to 15, maybe slightly more as a ceiling. He’s a below-average runner, so I don’t expect stolen bases to be a big part of the profile.
He’ll likely start the 2024 season in Triple-A, but assuming there is a spot for him, he should be up sometime early in the season. Speaking of a spot, therein lies the rub. Carlos Correa is at short, Lewis at third, and Polanco is signed through 2024 with a club option for 2025.
Lee has enough athleticism and arm strength to play in the outfield, but he’s never played there. In fact, he’s only ever played at short. I’m sure they will never say it, but Lee at league minimum for the next three years at short would seem more logical than Carlos Correa at $32 million for the next five years, plus another $70 million after that. Maddone! It’ll be interesting to see what the Twins do.
4. Marco Raya (RHP)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 40 SP
- Tools Summary: He has a four-pitch arsenal with several plus pitches and a feel for the strike zone.
Marco Raya was the Twins’ fourth-round pick in 2020, and it looks like they got a steal. At 6-foot-1, he’s on the small size for a starting pitcher but has terrific stuff. His fastball sits 93 to 94, topping out at 96 MPH with a solid spin rate of 2300. He throws a slider, cutter, and curveball, all with high spin rates. Plus, his change-up has a nice fade at 1850 RPMs. He pounds the strike zone and posts 30%+ CSW nightly. If he were bigger, people would talk about him much more. Given his stuff and ability to throw strikes, the upside is a number two starter.
He pitched extremely well in High-A but struggled to a 5.28 ERA in Double-A. Hopefully, 2024 will be better. He has the stuff to do it.
5. David Festa (RHP)
- Highest Level: Triple-A ETA: 2024-25 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 50 SP with upside
- Tools Summary: Baseballsavant loves his stuff with high-end velocity and spin on his fastball.
David Festa is a big kid at 6-foot-6 with a fastball that can touch 97 MPH but sits comfortably in the 94 to 96 MPH range with solid spin. His best secondary pitch is his change-up, which has excellent fade and is tunneled well with his other pitches. His breaking pitch is a hard slider with nice spin, which jumps up on batters, given how hard he throws it. It’s three well above-average pitches. He can also repeat his delivery, and with that comes a solid walk rate. He allowed more home runs than his stuff and size would suggest. I think there’s something here, and it is a kid that should be considered in all deeper leagues.
6. Austin Martin (2B/OF)
- Highest Level: Triple-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 2B or Top 50 OF
- Tools Summary: He has a plus hit tool with speed and below-average power.
It’s been a long slog for Austin Martin. Injuries and poor performance have caused him to lose his prospect status, and many, including myself, are questioning whether he’s an impact player. Candidly, I still don’t know.
We know he can hit, and there is plus speed. But the swing has no leverage, with average exit velocities. While he did post a .417 SLG in Triple-A, it was the highest of his career. Was this a product of him finally being healthy, or was it just a tiny sample size in the Pacific Coast League.
I’ve put his ceiling as a Top 15 2B or a Top 50 outfielder. That might be aggressive, but he will hit, so I think it’s safe to say there’s a good chance he hits .280+ with a .340+ OBP. Throw in 15 to 20 stolen bases and 5 to 10 home runs, and that’s a pretty good player. Maybe not what I thought when he was drafted, but that’s much better than things looked at the start of the season.
7. Tanner Schobel (SS)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 20 SS or Top 15 2B
- Tools Summary: He has solid all-around tools with a ceiling of a full-time regular with 15-15 upside.
Tanner Schobel was selected in the second round of the 2022 Draft. He doesn’t have a true carrying tool but does everything well. That should give him a floor as a utility player at the highest level, but I think there is more in the tank. I love the swing, and with his advanced understanding of the strike zone, I think he could develop into a full-time regular at short or second with a ceiling of 15-15.
8. Luke Keaschall (2B, #49)
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 2B
- Tools Summary: Despite an aggressive approach, he makes excellent contact with plus speed.
Luke Keaschall was the Twins’ second-round pick (#49), and I love the fantasy upside here. He made excellent contact and went 18-18 in 55 games playing in the Pac-12 during his draft year. I’m unsure how real the power is, as his college home park was extremely homer-friendly. But, at worst, it’s 10-12 home run pop with plenty of doubles. He’ll chase too much and can be aggressive at the plate, but there are still plenty of tools to get excited about.
In his professional debut, he slashed .288/.414/.478 with three home runs and 11 stolen bases.
9. Jose Salas (2B)
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2026 Fantasy Ceiling: Middle Infielder with upside
- Tools Summary: The speed keeps me interested, but other than that, there’s a lot of work left.
Jose Salas was traded to Minnesota as part of the Luis Arraez trade in January of 2023. His carrying tool is his double-plus speed, and I thought in 2022 that he would hit enough to be at least a utility player. However, 2023 was not a good year.
His strikeout rate spiked, causing his batting average to plummet. He needs to get stronger and add some loft to his swing to avoid hitting everything on the ground. The speed keeps me interested, but other than that, there’s a lot of work left for him to be considered a Top 100 player.
10. Brandon Winokur (OF/SS, #82)
- Highest Level: Complex ETA: 2027 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 60 OF with extreme risk
- Tools Summary: Huge raw power but with some swing-and-miss concerns.
The Twins landed 6-foot-6 outfielder Brandon Winokur in the third round of the 2023 Draft. He’s athletic with huge raw power but doesn’t recognize spin well, and with his size, he will have a ton of swing-and-miss in his game. However, there’s a chance for 30+ home runs annually if he can hit enough. In 17 games in the Complex League, he showed both the potential and the challenges. He posted a .545 SLG with four home runs but struck out a third of the time.
There’s an outside shot that if he doesn’t make it as a positional player, he could move to the bump as he has a 70-grade arm and reportedly can hit 95 MPH.