The Twins have optioned outfielder Alex Kirilloff to their alternate trainng site, per a team announcement. The move means Kirilloff will not make the Twins’ Opening Day roster.
The 23-year-old Kirilloff was a first-round pick in 2016 who has ranked as one of baseball’s best prospects over the past couple seasons. Kirilloff had a chance to claim a spot on the Twins’ roster this spring in the aftermath of Eddie Rosario’s departure, but the .129/.182/.258 line he posted in 31 exhibition at-bats didn’t suggest to the team that he was ready for a role in the majors. With Kirilloff on his way down, Brent Rooker, Kyle Garlick and Jake Cave are all candidates to join Byron Buxton and Max Kepler as the Twins’ outfielders when the season starts, according to Phil Miller of the Star Tribune.
Kirilloff’s demotion could buy the Twins an extra year of control over him, though it’s unclear whether that motivated the team to send him down. After all, along with his struggles this spring, Kiriloff hasn’t played above the Double-A level yet. He hit .283/.343/.413 with nine home runs and seven stolen bases there across 411 plate appearances in 2019.