Miguel Sano will be back in Fort Myers, ready to resume his daily workout routine, on Friday.
The Twins’ slugger, optioned to Class A on June 14 in order to redouble his conditioning and retool his swing, left the Fort Myers Miracle last Sunday in order to return to his Dominican Republic home because of an illness in the family.
Sano is traveling back to Florida on Thursday, and is expected to report to the Twins’ complex as usual on Friday. The Miracle are home for games against Lakeland on Friday and Saturday, but it’s not known if Sano will play in those games. The Twins had planned to increase his playing time before his trip home.
Sano is batting .328 with two home runs and an .895 OPS in 19 games with the Miracle.
As Royce Lewis climbs the Twins’ organizational ladder, he’s continued to climb up lists of baseball’s top prospects, too.
Lewis, the overall No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft, broke into Baseball America’s midseason top 10 earlier this week, and on Thursday, ESPN.com’s prospect evaluator Keith Law rated the shortstop as the 11th best prospect in the game, up from No. 25 in the preseason rankings.
Part of Lewis’ ascent in Law’s rankings is due to graduations and injuries — six players ranked ahead of him before the season, including former top pick Ronald Acuna, are now on major league rosters, and three top pitching prospects have been sidelined by arm injuries. But Lewis is also gaining ground with his steady improvement, both at the plate and in the field.
“The instincts he showed as a high school player, especially as a baserunner, have already made the same impression on pro scouts,” Law wrote in his analysis of Lewis, who turned 19 in June. “The main question he’ll have to answer is about his position. There’s still doubt he’s a shortstop in the long run, although which his speed, he could play anywhere. If he hits this way, it might not matter.”
Lewis has already climbed to advanced Class A, after being promoted to Fort Myers last week. He’s off to a hot start, too, collecting eight hits, two of them doubles, in his first five games. That comes after hitting .315 with nine home runs and 53 RBIs in 75 games with Cedar Rapids in low-A.
He’s not the only prospect getting top-level attention, either. Outfielder Alex Kirilloff, 20, the Twins’ first pick in 2016 (and 15th overall) is now appearing on best-prospect lists after getting off to an impressive start at Cedar Rapids (.333, with 13 homers and a .607 slugging percentage) and Fort Myers (.323 in 24 games). Baseball America places him 37th among minor-league prospects, while ESPN.com rates him 47th.
“He’s playing mostly right field and that should be his long-term home,” Law wrote, “with the kind of big hit/power upside that could make him a No. 4 or No. 5 hitter in a good lineup.”
Righthanded pitcher Brusdar Graterol, a 19-year-old Venezuelan with a 100-mph fastball, rates 61st on Baseball America’s midseason top 100, and he’s among 13 “honorable mentions” on ESPN.com’s top 50, as is 22-year-old shortstop Nick Gordon, the Twins’ top pick in 2014. Graterol owns a 3.23 overall ERA at the two Class A levels with 61 strikeouts in 56 innings, while Gordon, promoted to Class AAA Rochester in May, is batting .241 with 16 extra-base hits in 52 games.