Alex Kirilloff

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Alexander David Kirilloff

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Biographical Information[edit]

Alex Kirilloff was a first-round pick in the 2016 amateur draft.

Kirilloff hit .524 as a senior for Plum High School. He did not actually attend Plum, though, as he was home-schooled via Pennsylvania Cyber School. He was taken by the Minnesota Twins with the 15th pick of the 2016 amateur draft with projection as a corner outfielder or first baseman with power potential. There was speculation he would drop to the hometown Pittsburgh Pirates at #22. He was the fifth first-round pick ever from the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League and the first since Pittsburgh took Neil Walker in 2004. In his last game, in the finals of the state championship, he was out twice at home. He signed for slot value ($2,817,100).

Kiriloff was assigned to the Elizabethton Twins of the Appalachian League to begin his pro career. Hitting 6th and playing DH in his first game, he singled off Chad Martin and finished the day 1-for-3. He hit .306/.341/.454 in 55 games, with 9 double and 7 homers, scoring and driving in 33 runs. However, he suffered a setback in spring training in 2017 as he was sidelined by a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow, an injury normally associated with pitchers. He had to undergo Tommy John surgery and missed the entire season. However, he made a full recovery and in the spring of 2018 was ready to start again from where he had left off a year earlier. He was named to the United States team for the 2018 Futures Game. He hit an outstanding .348/.392/.578 in 130 games between the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Fort Myers Miracle. His 44 doubles led all U.S.-based minor leaguers, and he also added 20 homers and 101 RBIs. He was named the Twins' Minor League Player of the Year.

On September 30, 2020, he became the third player of the modern era to make his major league debut in the postseason when he started Game 2 of the Wild Card Series against the Houston Astros in right field. He went 1 for 4, collecting the Twins' first hit of the game with a single off Jose Urquidy in the 4th. Mark Kiger and Adalberto Mondesi had both preceded him by making their debut in postseason games, but the two had been late-game substitutes. Shane McClanahan joined this small group a few days later. His first regular season game was on April 14, 2021, two weeks into the season. He went 0 for 14 in his first 5 games before getting his first hit on April 26th. On April 30t, he hit his first two major league homers and drove in 4 runs in a 9-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals. He was the first Twins player to hit his first two career homers in the same game since Pat Meares in 1994.


Further Reading[edit]

  • Rhett Bollinger: "Kirilloff ready to return strong after year off: Twins' No. 6 prospect missed all of '17 after undergoing Tommy John surgery",, January 21, 2018. [1]

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