Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox
Getty Images

The arrival of the offseason means that it's time to rank stuff. Already this winter, we've sized up the 60 best free agents, both on an overall and positional basis. There's no law that prevents us from ranking minor-league players in addition to their big-league counterparts. As such, we're going to spend the winter evaluating every team's farm system. 

The lack of a minor-league season makes that more of a challenge this year. It doesn't help that some teams opted against sharing video and data from their alternate-site camps with the rest of the league. As such, we've opted against overthinking this. Our rankings will essentially be the same as they were last winter with a few changes. First, we'll exclude anyone who graduated by exhausting their rookie eligibility; second, we'll replace them with draftees or other worthy prospects; and third, and lastly, we'll present the information in a new format.

In every article in this series, you'll find a team's top five prospects as well as five others we felt like including, either because of their promise or some other reason. For those top five prospects, you'll find a quick summation of their pros (their saving grace, if one will) and their cons (their fault line), as well as beefier report and our attempt to peg their "likeliest outcome."

These rankings were compiled by talking to industry folks -- scouts, analysts, and other evaluators -- and include a touch of our own evaluative biases. Remember, that this is more of an art than a science, and that the write-ups matter more than the rankings themselves.

Now, let's get on to the top five prospects in the Minnesota Twins system.

1. Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B

Age (as of 4/1/2021): 23

Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 195 pounds

Acquired: No. 15 pick in the 2016 draft (Plum High School, Pennsylvania)

Highest level: MLB

Saving grace: Bat

Fault line: Defensive home

Scouting report: Kirilloff made his big-league debut during the playoffs, going 1 for 4 in the Twins' Wild Card Series loss against the Astros. Expect him to get hundreds of more plate appearances during the 2021 season, and expect him to do far more damage. Kirilloff has the potential to hit for average and power, which will be more pivotal to him than the standard high-ranked hitting prospect: he's never walked in as much as nine percent of his plate appearances as a professional. Defensively, Kirilloff has enough arm strength to man right, though he could end up sliding to first base on a permanent basis as he matures.

Likeliest outcome: Regular in right field

2. Royce Lewis, SS

Age (as of 4/1/2021): 21

Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 200 pounds

Acquired: No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft (JSerra Catholic High School, California)

Highest level: Double-A

Saving grace: Upside

Fault line: Shortstop defense

Scouting report: Lewis entered the 2019 season in contention for the title of "baseball's best prospect (other than Wander Franco)." Unfortunately, he had a rough season. He didn't take well to a swing change, leaving him out of whack for much of the year. He also didn't look any better at shortstop, suggesting his long-term defensive home might be in center, where his speed could make him an asset. Lewis is still young and talented enough to give another year, but there's far more risk associated with him and his profile than it seemed just two years ago.

Likeliest outcome: Starting center fielder

3. Jordan Balazovic, RHP

Age (as of 4/1/2021): 22

Height/Weight: 6-foot-5, 215 pounds

Acquired: Fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft (St. Martin SS High School, Ontario)

Highest level: High-A

Saving grace: Deep arsenal

Fault line: Upside

Scouting report: Balazovic enjoyed a pop-up 2019, during which he threw a career-high 93 innings and posted a 2.69 ERA and a 5.16 strikeout-to-walk ratio between Single- and High-A. He has above-average control and four pitches that should be average or better at maturation. The Twins have brought Balazovic along slowly, tasking him with two years in the Gulf Coast League to begin his career, so it seems unlikely he'll take a rotation spot until 2022.

Likeliest outcome: Mid-rotation starter

4. Trevor Larnach, OF

Age (as of 4/1/2021): 24

Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 223 pounds

Acquired: No. 20 pick in the 2018 draft (Oregon State)

Highest level: Double-A

Saving grace: Bat

Fault line: Secondary value

Scouting report: It's a credit to Larnach that he reached Double-A in his first full professional season. He fared well, too, hitting .295/.387/.455 in 43 games. Predictably, he has an advanced approach and above-average strength. Larnach isn't going to add much of anything elsewhere, be it on the basepaths or in the field, but the bat is good enough to envision him reaching the majors and contributing as soon as late in the 2021 season.

Likeliest outcome: Starting corner outfielder

5. Ryan Jeffers, C

Age (as of 4/1/2021): 23

Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 235 pounds

Acquired: Second-round pick in the 2018 draft (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Highest level: MLB

Saving grace: Power

Fault line: Hit tool

Scouting report: Jeffers took advantage of Mitch Garver and Alex Avila's misfortune to reach the majors in his first full professional season. In 26 games, he performed admirably, hitting .273/.355/.436 with three home runs. The book on Jeffers is that he has above-average strength in his bat and his arm. He graded as an above-average framer as well. The main concern here is that Jeffers swung and missed a lot against big-league pitching. That could be because of his circumstances, or it could be a preview of things to come. We'll see.

Likeliest outcome: Slugging catcher 

Five others to know

  • Aaron Sabato, 1B

Sabato was a draft-eligible sophomore who the Twins popped in the first round. He's not going to offer much of any secondary value, but he can smoke the baseball and he performed well against good collegiate competition.

Duran has a starter's frame and arsenal, and he's not had much trouble throwing strikes. There is some concern that the head whack in delivery will limit his command. If it doesn't, he could become a mid-rotation starter.

Rooker, who likely would've debuted in 2019 were it not for injury, received the call in 2020. He hit .316/.381/.579 in seven games. Rooker is a right-right corner player with serious strikeout issues, meaning he could be written off as a Quad-A player with poor timing.

Enlow is a well-built right-hander who throws a bunch of average pitches for strikes. He generated nearly 60 percent grounders during his time in High-A, meaning he could be a bit of a throwback for a Twins organization that has moved past the Rick Anderson era.

Blankenhorn should have a career as a professional pinch-hitter with ample experience at various positions, including second and third base and the outfield.