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Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Alex Kirilloff is finally set to make his return to the Twins

After a long recovery from wrist surgery, the one-time top prospect could make a big impact for a struggling Twins lineup — and your fantasy baseball team.

Alex Kirilloff of the Minnesota Twins fields prior to a spring training game against the Atlanta Braves on March 19, 2023 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida. Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

For as sensational as the Minnesota Twins’ starting rotation has been so far this year, their offense has been anemic, with Byron Buxton just about the only regular hitting well after the first month-plus of 2023. But the team got some good news on that front on Friday: After a long rehab from offseason wrist surgery, once and future top prospect Alex Kirilloff is finally set to make his season debut.

The struggling Trevor Larnach was sent down in a corresponding move.

It wasn’t long ago that Kirilloff, a first-round pick of the Twins back in 2016 out of Plum High School in Pittsburgh, was considered one of the surest things in the Minor Leagues. He hit at least .300 at every level, holding his own at Double-A at just 21 years old while displaying among the smoothest left-handed strokes scouts had seen in recent memory. He even became the rare prospect to make his Major League debut in the postseason, as the Twins called him up for the 2020 AL Wild Card Series against the Houston Astros.

But just as it seemed like Kirilloff would hit in the heart of Minnesota’s order for a decade, the wrist injuries began. First it was a torn ligament, which ended his rookie season in July of 2021. Then he tried to come back too quickly in 2022, struggled at the plate and had to undergo another surgery that August.

Now, though, after months of rehab, Kirilloff seems to be finally, actually right again:

After a delayed spring, he’s slashed a cool .316/.435/.605 in a rehab stint at Triple-A, and while hitting the Minors has never been the problem, it’s encouraging to see him drive the ball with authority again. He swears his wrist is right, and clearly the team agrees, as it looks to him to provide a spark in the middle of the lineup. There’s plenty of risk here, and Kirilloff even at his best will never be more than a 20-ish homer bat, but it could come with a great average and good counting stats — making him a recommended add in 12-team or deeper leagues.