Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

The Road to The Show™: Trevor Larnach

Slugger has power to force way into crowded Twins outfield
Third-ranked Twins prospect Trevor Larnach has posted an impressive .307/.385/.468 line in 169 Minor League games. (Pensacola Blue Wahoos)
February 8, 2021

Each week, profiles an elite prospect by chronicling the steps he's taken to reach the brink of realizing his Major League dream. Here's a look at Minnesota Twins outfielder Trevor Larnach. For more player journeys on The Road to The Show, click here.

Each week, profiles an elite prospect by chronicling the steps he's taken to reach the brink of realizing his Major League dream. Here's a look at Minnesota Twins outfielder Trevor Larnach. For more player journeys on The Road to The Show, click here.

The Oregon State team that won the College World Series in 2018 was loaded. Infielder Nick Madrigal was the fourth overall pick in that year's First-Year Player Draft and already has reached the Majors. Catcher Adley Rutschman was the No. 1 pick of the Draft the following spring. And outfielder Trevor Larnach was taken 20th overall by the Twins in 2018. He's now Minnesota's No. 3 prospect and ranked 80th overall.

At 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, Larnach is, in the words of Twins assistant general manager Jeremy Zoll, a "monster human." The left-handed hitting outfielder slugged .652 in his final season at Oregon State and made the switch to wood bats look simple when he arrived at Rookie-level Elizabethton in the Appalachian League in July 2018.

His brief 18-game stint with the E-Twins set the template for Larnach's future -- he hit .311/.413/.492, struck out 11 times while drawing 10 walks and drove in 16 runs. He's a run producer who also can get on base, and he continued to prove that after a promotion to Class A Cedar Rapids in the Midwest League to wrap up the season.

Larnach opened 2019, his first full season, with Class A Advanced Fort Myers in the Florida State League and got off to a slow start. By the end of April, he was batting just .244/.297/.322, but when the calendar flipped to May, his production did as well. The California native, then 22, hit .371/.456/.619 with four homers over 26 games that month. On May 29, Larnach went 3-for-4 with a homer, a double and a career-high five RBIs against the Florida Fire Frogs, cementing his case as Player of the Month in the FSL.

What changed in May? According to the slugger, nothing.

"I'm just sticking with the process and doing what I always do," he told's Rob Terranova after the outburst. "Baseball is a game of failures, so if you fail, it's just part of the game. You just have to keep grinding through it and keep doing what you do best and just stick with your process."

Larnach cooled off only slightly in June and July before the Twins dispatched him to Double-A Pensacola in the Southern League.

It's said the jump to Double-A provides the biggest challenge to Minor Leaguers, but Larnach's production barely changed. While his strikeout rate jumped slightly and his batting average dipped to .295, he added enough power that his .842 OPS with the Blue Wahoos was the same as his mark with the Miracle earlier in the season. Larnach closed out the 2019 campaign by clubbing seven homers in 43 Southern League games and was named both Florida State League Player of the Year and Twins Minor League Player of the Year.

Larnach knows the Twins value power, and he's adjusted his mechanics slightly as pitchers approach him differently at higher levels. He outlined some of the changes to's Sam Dykstra just before Spring Training in 2020.

"Since I grew up, my dad always said to use the whole field, but where it got really emphasized was in the college game," Larnach said. "A player at my position with my height and my weight and my levers, college pitchers always wanted to stay away and get me to chase. They would throw changeups or even fastballs away. Now it's pro ball. They'll work you in, out, up, down all over the place. You can't rely on just looking away.

"I adjusted my load to make sure I was ready to hit, instead of being late and trying to react to where the ball was going. ... It was mostly the mechanics. I knew I had plenty of power to right field. I had worked so much on going to center and left that I got carried away. But once I got my timing down and my load slow and ready, I was ready for when teams pitched me inside. I was producing more to the pull side and getting exactly where I wanted to be."

Larnach certainly has the power to hit opposite-field homers -- indeed, four of the six long balls he hit for Fort Myers were left of center -- but pulling the ball a bit more is likely to generate even stronger results.

Zoll made much the same point. "Trevor’s biggest strength is his ability to drive the ball to the opposite-field gap and staying through the ball," he told later in 2020 Spring Training. "He’s worked hard with everyone who has partnered with him on his ability to pull the baseball with authority and drive it in the air. It’s an area he’s continuing to hone in on, and we believe we’re seeing strides -- his homer the other day was over the batter’s eye in center field -- that are going to continue."

Larnach spent the summer at the Twins' alternate training site, but the lack of a Minor League season left it unclear how much further he's developed since last experiencing game action.

There's also a question of where Larnach fits on the Twins' 26-man roster. Due to his size, he's likely limited to a corner outfield role in the field. The Twins already feature Byron Buxton in center and Max Kepler and top Minnesota prospect Alex Kirilloff at the corners. The latter two hit left-handed, and while Kepler cooled off in the shortened 2020 season, he had a huge 2019 campaign. (Kirilloff also can play first, which is normally manned by Miguel Sanó.) Outfielder Eddie Rosario was non-tendered, creating a bit of space, but the return of Nelson Cruz cuts down on opportunities as a designated hitter.

It's a pleasant problem for the Twins to have. For Larnach, who turns 24 later this month, Spring Training will provide an opportunity to insinuate himself into Minnesota's plans.

John Parker is an editor for