Minnesota Twins highly touted outfield prospect Alex Kirilloff won’t be with the club on opening day.
Manager Rocco Baldelli announced the Twins optioned Kirilloff to the alternate training site Tuesday.
Kirilloff, ranked by MLB.com as the Twins’ No. 2 prospect, will start the season in the minor leagues after batting .129 (4 for 31) with one double, one home run and eight strikeouts in 12 exhibition games this spring.
In addition, the Twins also reassigned left-hander Charlie Barnes, catcher Caleb Hamilton, right-hander Griffin Jax, outfielder Trevor Larnach and infielder Royce Lewis to minor-league camp.
Kirilloff made his major-league debut in Game 2 of Minnesota’s best-of-three playoff series against Houston last season. Kirilloff went 1 for 4 with a single in the contest.
Selected in the first round (No. 15 overall) by Minnesota in the 2016 draft, the 23-year-old was named the Twins’ 2018 Minor League Player of the Year after batting .348/.392/.578 in 130 games for Low-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers.
With Kirilloff opening the season in the minor leagues, the competition to start in left field on opening day is wide open. Jake Cave, who’s spent the last three seasons with the Twins, is the leading candidate, along with 2017 first-round pick Brent Rooker and 29-year-old Kyle Garlick.
The Twins begin the regular season April 1 against the Milwaukee Brewers at the recently rebranded American Family Field.