Pittsburgh native and Plum High School alum Alex Kirilloff has been activated to the Minnesota Twins’ 26-man active roster on Friday afternoon. Kirilloff had previously been a member of the Twins alternate training site at CHS Field in St. Paul, Minnesota.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) April 23, 2021
Kirilloff’s first game since being called up came against his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are in the Twin Cities for three games against Minnesota this weekend. He started on Friday night, batted fifth and played left field. Kirilloff went 0-for-3 in the series opener — a 2-0 win over Pittsburgh — but found his experience playing against the hometown team meaningful.
“It’s special, for sure, to look up and see that the team across from you is the team you grew up rooting for,” Kirilloff said. “It’s definitely a special experience.”
This will be Kirilloff’s second stint in the Majors this season. He was called up as the 27th man during a double-header vs. Boston on April 14. Kirilloff made his major league debut in game one, starting in right field. He made three plate appearances over the two games and did not record a hit. Following that game Kirilloff returned to the alternate site where he has remained since.
But Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said that Kirilloff will “get opportunities” to prove that he should stick around in the majors. Baldelli believes in Kirilloff’s offensive talent.
“Here’s the thing, [Kirilloff] is a very talented hitter,” Balldelli said. He probably knows much more about what he needs to do than any of us could tell him about what he needs to do. … Hitting is a really special thing. Only certain people have a knack for it and I think he has a knack for it.”
Since being drafted in 2016, Kirilloff has climbed his way up to Double-A, where he batted .283 and hit nine home runs over 93 games with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos of the Southern League.
Kirilloff is the fifth player in Plum High School history to be drafted to the MLB and the only one to be picked in the first round.
Infielders Nick Gordon and Tzu Wei-Lin will join Kirilloff and fill the open roster spots created by the demotion of infielder Travis Blankenhorn and catcher Tomás Telis, and Miguel Sanó’s injury. Sanó has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain.