To the surprise of many, the Twins are tied with New York for the best record in the American League three months into the season. With one of the more underrated farm systems in baseball, Minnesota will be active buyers as the trade deadline fast approaches. Like many other contenders, the Twins need to make an upgrade or two to their bullpen, though it’s currently better off than most
They’re still running out the likes of Mike Morin, Blake Parker, and Matt Magill on most nights, though, so not only do I have the M’s sending Elías their way, but Cory Gearrin as well. The Twins simply don’t have a reliever on their current staff that’s as dynamic as Elías, and Gearrin has significantly turned things around since his atrocious start to the season.
Neither Elías nor Gearrin are the flashy names most Twins fans likely desire, but they both help address their depth for high-leverage situations as well as the general landscape of their bullpen. Gearrin, especially, isn’t going to get anyone out of their seat, but is good enough to kick someone like Morin or Magill out of a roster spot.
In return, the Mariners get one of my favorite prospects in the game in right-handed pitcher Griffin Jax, as well as utility infielder Travis Blankenhorn. Thanks to the Air Force’s World Class Athlete Program, Jax was able to forego his two-year commitment to the military in order to pitch for the Twins’ organization right out of the gate.
Three years later, Jax is inching closer to the big leagues. If you want a pro comp on him, it’s Mike Leake all the way. He’s not going to overpower hitters, but will rarely have issues finding the strike zone and will consistently generate weak contact with a polished three-pitch repertoire.
As I continued scouring for potential infield prospects, Blankenhorn really stood out to me. Another guy that’s close to Major League competition, Blankenhorn is tearing up Double-A with a .294/.335/.513 slash line and 13 home runs, which match his career-high.
The 22-year-old has the ability to play some third base and left field, but will likely stick at second base on most occasions. But a life as a super-utility, Marwin González type seems to be in Blankenhorn’s cards. All that I’m concerned with is the bat, however, and that’s rolling right now after he posted abysmal numbers in 2018.