Kiriloff appears set to have a legitimate shot to compete for an Opening Day roster spot, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports.
Teams typically hold their top prospects down for the first few weeks of the season to steal an extra year of service time, prioritizing their future balance sheet over their present win total, though that's not quite a universal practice. The Twins are saying all the right things about trying to win, suggesting Kiriloff could get a shot to break camp with the team. Of course, he has to prove this spring that he does indeed give the team the best shot at winning, something that shouldn't be hard to do when the top alternative in left field is someone who fits best in a bench role like Jake Cave. Kiriloff has yet to play a regular-season game above Double-A, but he made his big-league debut in the postseason last year, which couldn't be a much clearer sign that the team views him as one of its best 26 players.
Kirilloff will get work in left field, right field and first base this spring as he competes for a roster spot, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Kirilloff will compete for the starting job in left field, but manager Rocco Baldelli isn't ready to commit to any role. "We're going to have to wait and see how this spring plays out, see how it plays out for everybody else on our roster, and see what things look like three weeks from now," Baldelli said.
Kirilloff, the 15th overall pick in the 2016 draft, is the leading candidate to take over the starting job in left field after the departure of Eddie Rosario, but the Twins may choose to have him begin the season at Triple-A. If Kirilloff stays in the minors for most of April, the Twins could gain another year of club control in his contract. Baldelli and the Twins haven't yet tipped their plays. If Kirilloff begins the season in the minors, the Twins could temporarily have a committee in left field with Jake Cave, Luis Arraez and a right-handed hitter, until Kirilloff is called up.
Kirilloff is starting in right field and batting sixth Wednesday in Game 2 against the Astros.
The Twins aren't messing around, turning to their No. 2 overall prospect to make his MLB debut during the first round of the playoffs. Including the Southern League playoffs, Kirilloff hit .309/.352/.480 with 11 home runs and a 15.9 K% over his final 60 games in 2019 and reportedly impressed in spring training and this summer at the alternate training site. He bats left-handed, which was likely a key consideration in him getting the start against righty Jose Urquidy.
The Twins selected Kirilloff's contract Tuesday ahead of Game 1 of the team's wild-card series with the Astros.
Minnesota designated pitcher Sean Poppen for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster and the active roster for Kirilloff, one of the organization's top prospects. He'll be on the bench for Game 1, but Kirilloff could get the chance to make his first MLB start at some point during the postseason if any members of the Twins' regular outfield (Max Kepler, Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario) are forced to miss time.
The Twins are expected to add Kirilloff to their postseason roster Tuesday ahead of Game 1 of the team's wild-card series with the Astros, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports.
With the statuses of third baseman Josh Donaldson (calf) and outfielder Byron Buxton (concussion) uncertain for the three-game series, the Twins will promote one of their top hitting prospects to help fill the void. If Donaldson can't start Tuesday, Marwin Gonzalez would likely fill in for him at the hot corner, leaving a spot open for Kirilloff in the outfield in the event Buxton is also sidelined. Due to the cancellation of the 2020 minor-league season, Kirilloff's only competitive at-bats have come in simulated games at the Twins' alternate training site, but the 22-year-old is regarded as an advanced hitter from the left side. He spent the 2019 campaign at Double-A Pensacola, slashing .283/.343/.413 while striking out at a respectable 18.5 percent rate.
Kirilloff was included in Minnesota's 60-man player pool ahead of summer camp before the 2020 season begins, MLB.com reports.
Kirilloff hit .429 with two home runs and a 3:1 K:BB in 22 plate appearances in big-league spring training as the top prospect showed he can make an impact as soon as 2020. He's likely to begin the season at Minnesota's alternate training site, but could be called up to the major league roster if there's an injury at first base or DH.
Kirilloff hit .429 with two home runs and a 3:1 K:BB in 22 plate appearances in big-league camp.
Manager Rocco Baldelli noted that Kirilloff looks 100 percent healthy and has really impressed in his at-bats, per Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. A wrist injury robbed Kirilloff of part of the 2019 season and impacted his performance when he did report to Double-A Pensacola. However, he finished strong and picked up where he left off in spring training. The Twins don't have an immediate need at first base, left field or right field, but Kirilloff does not appear to need much more seasoning in the minors before he is ready to help the big-league club.
Kirilloff (undisclosed) will start in right field and bat eighth in Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Phillies.
Kirilloff was scratched from the Twins' exhibition opener last week against the University of Minnesota due to the unspecified issue, but whatever he was dealing with is apparently no longer a concern. The 22-year-old should receive a fair amount of bats with the big club this spring before likely opening the 2020 campaign at Triple-A Rochester.
Kirilloff was scratched from the lineup for Friday's game against the University of Minnesota, Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.comreports.
It's unclear if the absence is injury-related or if the Twins simply changed their plans. Kiriloff is with the team's big-league camp this spring, though he's unlikely to be seriously pushing for a roster spot, as he's yet to reach the Triple-A level.
Kirilloff was invited to the Twins' major-league spring training Monday.
Kirilloff dealt with a wrist injury at the beginning of last season that may have hindered his production over the rest of the year as he posted career lows in batting average (.283) and OPS (.756). While the 22-year-old has shown promise in previous seasons, he'll likely begin the season in the minors, although he could make his big-league debut at some point in 2020.
Kirilloff was activated from the 7-day DL and went 0-for-3 with a walk in Thursday's game for Double-A Pensacola.
Kirilloff was on the IL with an undisclosed injury. Prior to landing on the shelf for the second time this season (he missed a month to open the year due to a minor wrist issue), the well-regarded prospect was hitting .268/.359/.402 with two homers and three stolen bases in 29 games for Double-A Pensacola.
Kirilloff was placed on the 7-day injured list Monday with an undisclosed injury, Brandon Warne of ZoneCoverage.com reports.
It remains to be seen how long the injury will keep Kirilloff sidelined at this point. Prior to landing on the shelf for the second time this season (he missed a month to open the year due to a minor wrist issue), the well-regarded prospect was hitting .268/.359/.402 with two homers and three stolen bases in 29 games for Double-A Pensacola.
Kirilloff (wrist) was activated from the 7-day IL at Double-A Pensacola, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Kirilloff sustained the wrist injury late in spring training and originally was expected to return to the field sometime in April. He'll likely move to first base after playing the outfield last season.
Kirilloff (wrist) could report to Double-A Pensacola later this week, Brandon Warne of ZoneCoverage.com reports.
He sustained the injury late in spring training, and originally was expected to return to the field sometime in April. He'll move to first base after playing the outfield last season.
Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey didn't provide an indication that Kirilloff (wrist) was close to returning from the 7-day injured list at Double-A Pensacola when asked about the matter Saturday, Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Rather than specifying a timeline for Kirilloff's return, Falvey merely noted that the Twins had always expected the 21-year-old to miss the first few weeks of the season due to the wrist injury he sustained in spring training. Until word surfaces that Kirilloff is ready to play in simulated games, a return to Pensacola won't be forthcoming.
Kirilloff (wrist) will open the year on the injured list at Double-A Pensacola, Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com reports.
He sustained the injury late in spring training, but is expected to return to the field sometime in April. Kirilloff is expected to start seeing time at first base this year -- a sensible solution to a perceived logjam on the organizational outfield depth chart.
The Twins will start breaking Kirilloff in at first base this season, Twins Daily reports.
This makes all the sense in the world, as Kirilloff has filled out since his days as an amateur and the Twins have a crowded outfield already, without factoring in last year's first-round pick Trevor Larnach, who is a corner outfielder/designated hitter and on the fast track to the majors. A move to first base does not negatively impact Kirilloff's fantasy stock.
Kirilloff was reassigned to minor-league spring training Friday, Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Kirilloff hasn't played above High-A in his young career, so this move doesn't come as a surprise. He slashed .362/.393/.550 with seven home runs and 45 RBI over 65 games at High-A Fort Myers a season ago and could begin the 2019 campaign at Double-A Pensacola given his early success in the minors.
Kirilloff was extended an invitation to major-league spring training, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Kirilloff split the 2018 season between Low-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, slashing .348/.392/.578 with 20 home runs in 130 games. The 21-year-old is likely to begin the 2019 season at Double-A Chattanooga given his success at Fort Myers, but will have a chance to showcase himself with the big club at spring training.
Kirilloff went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles Wednesday in High-A Fort Myers' 3-2 win over Charlotte.
The outfielder extended his hit streak to 13 games with his fourth four-hit performance of the season. The 20-year-old hasn't shown much over-the-fence power (four homers in 209 plate appearances) since moving up to the Florida State League, but he has still maintained a solid .188 ISO thanks to his ample doubles output.
|Last 7 Games|
|09/30||vs HOU||L 1-3||4||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2018||AFA-Fort Myers Miracle||65||260||39||94||24||2||7||45||14||39||3||2||.361||.393||.550|
|2018||AFX-Cedar Rapids Kernels||65||252||36||84||20||5||13||56||24||47||1||1||.333||.392||.607|
|2019||AAX-Pensacola Blue Wahoo||94||375||47||106||18||2||9||43||29||76||7||6||.283||.343||.413|