Balazovic was not included in the 60-man player pool ahead of summer camp before the 2020 season begins, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Balazovic may be Minnesota's top pitching prospect, so it was surprising he wasn't added to the player pool when most of Minnesota's top hitting prospects were included. The Twins said they formed their player pool with a focus on winning this season, so they may not have emphasized pitching prospects.
The Twins promoted Balazovic from High-A Fort Myers to Double-A Pensacola on Wednesday, Brandon Warne of ZoneCoverage.com reports. The 20-year-old right-hander will aid the Blue Wahoos during their postseason run after turning in a stellar season between Fort Myers and Low-A Cedar Rapids. He earned a promotion to the Florida State League after just four starts with Cedar Rapids and didn't see his productivity wane at the higher level, posting a 2.84 ERA to go with a 96:21 K:BB in 73 innings. The 2016 fifth-round pick will likely open the 2020 campaign as a full-time member of the Pensacola rotation.
Balazovic has been promoted to High-A Fort Myers from Low-A Cedar Rapids. He had a 2.18 ERA (1.22 FIP) with a 14.7 K/9 in four starts. It was a surprise to see him return to Low-A after he had a 3.94 ERA (2.64 FIP) with a 11.5 K/9 at that level last season. The 6-foot-4 righty has as much upside as any pitcher in the Twins' farm system other than Brusdar Graterol and seems primed for a breakout year.
Balazovic will open the year back with Low-A Cedar Rapids, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports. This is a pretty surprising assignment, as Balazovic logged a 3.03 FIP, 1.17 WHIP, 23.6 K-BB% and 48.1 GB% in 61.2 innings at Low-A last year. A 6-foot-4 righty from Ontario, Balazovic can touch the upper-90s with his fastball and his slider and changeup should be at least average pitches. He has as much upside as any pitcher in the Twins' farm system other than Brusdar Graterol, and could have a breakout year, likely splitting time between Low-A and High-A.
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