CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA – Royce Lewis might get more attention after being a No. 1 overall pick, but the Twins have another first-rounder turning heads with Class A Cedar Rapids.
Right fielder Alex Kirilloff entered Thursday batting .325 with seven home runs and an OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) of .959, which ranked ninth in the Midwest League. The lefthanded hitter has impressive power, especially to the opposite field.
The Twins drafted Kirilloff in 2016 with the 15th overall pick, but he missed last season recovering from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in his left (throwing) elbow.
“I feel good right now,” Kirilloff said. “I definitely put a lot of work into getting back in the swing of things, so I think I got most of the rust off.”
Kirilloff, 20, has been cleared to throw since November. Manager Toby Gardenhire said Kernels officials have kept a close eye on the suburban Pittsburgh native to make sure he doesn’t have any setbacks.
“Alex is a great kid, another really good makeup guy,” Gardenhire said. “He doesn’t say much, he just goes out there and plays, and he does everything the right way. He’s very professional and he understands his swing really well.”