In reviewing the Twins since AL UTR tracking began, 2014 was led by Jose Barrios who went on to make his MLB debut in April 2016 and bounced back and forth from Triple-A. The 22 year old took his lumps making 14 MLB starts in posting a 8.02 ERA (49 K / 35 BB) in 58.1 innings. With only 29 total innings at the Triple-A level, Berrios getting a vast big-league experience will only pay-off in the future. Most the UTR-OAS pitchers out of the Twins system didn’t fall under the UTR criteria. Some of the notable prospects were Kohl Stewart (1st Rd-2013), Aaron Slegers (5th Rd-2013), Stephan Gonsalves (4th Rd-2013). Stewart’s 4-pitch mix worked within HiA Fort Myers and AA Chattanooga and saw a decline in his strikeout production, but an increase in GB% by a 3-1 clip. Slegers had to repeat at Chattanooga due to missing some time with an elbow issue. Gonsalves not only made the 2014 list, but repeated in 2015. The latter earned him the “Solid Stash” moniker and this still hold true, as he has received comps to Madison Bumgarner with his low impact delivery. He posted a 30% strikeout rate against Double-A competition. Those arms as “true UTR” are still climbing within the system. This includes Jadison Jimenez and Williams Ramirez, who also made the 14-15′ UTR-OAS rankings. Jimenez was listed on the International Watch list in 2014, a “Legit UTR” in 2015, and I was hoping for a U.S. debut in 2016. This didn’t occur for the 21 year old, as the Twins outright released him as he didn’t post any stats in 2016. Ramirez received an assignment to LoA Cedar Rapids and was placed in the bullpen. He experienced some inconsistent control issues. Age/level becomes a factor with Ramirez turning 24 years at the end of 2016 season. Though this next pitcher didn’t make the cut below, watch out for a 21 year old righthander in Eduardo Del Rosario. He impressed in his full season debut in 2016 with Cedar Rapids.
Top 5 Starting Pitchers – Factor Score/ TPS
1. RHP Randy LeBlanc – 24 / .135
24 years old (LoA Cedar Rapids / HiA Fort Myers / AA Chattanooga)
10th Round – 2014
Progressed through three levels and posted a 12-9 record with a 2.64 ERA.
Jorge scores high, but I believe his switch hasn’t fully clicked. The lanky framed righty oozes of pitchability and the time spent in Double-A may have been too soon. The only concern would be the lack of movement on his fastball, which isn’t ready for more advanced hitters.
Romero was added to the Twins 40-man roster. He missed some of the 2014 and all of the 2015 season due to TJ surgery. He absolutely impressed in 2016 with a 27% K-rate and a 4% BB-rate with his high 90’s fastball (touching 98), plus slider, and two different breakers.
Top 3 Relief Pitchers – Factor Score/TPS
1. RHP John Curtiss – 17 / .060
23 years old – (LoA Cedar Rapids / HiA Fort Myers)
6th round – 2014
Curtiss has been on the UTR radar since 2014 when he ranked as the #1 TPS Twins pitcher. His projection at that time was a starter, but after moving to the bullpen in 2016, he returns back to the top spot.