On the other side of the coin, Gilberto Celestino is hoping to build on the best month of his big-league career this week and take on the team that gave him a $2.5 million signing bonus only five months after his 16th birthday.
Soon after the Twins acquired the Dominican outfielder and righthander Jorge Alcala from the Astros in exchange for current Astros closer Ryan Pressly in 2018, Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey noted, “He was a high-dollar, high-profile signing for the Astros.”
“Gilberto may be our system’s most natural center fielder, in terms of going to get balls,” according to [Byron] Buxton.
Next to Byron Buxton on Minnesota’s depth chart, though, is a thorny situation given that the Platinum Glove outfielder leads the league in home runs and has a seven-year contract. Celestino, although playing just 72 games above Class A, has already established himself as a backup outfielder when Jake Cave, who held the position for four seasons, decided to step down from the post.
He’s got a good sense of where he’s supposed to be. Falvey compared the Angels’ eight-time Gold Glover to a Jim Edmonds-type instinctive center fielder.
“He gets terrific jumps and takes great routes,” Falvey said. Because of his demonstrated instincts in left and right field during his time at the alternate site in 2020, “we are certain that he can play all three outfield positions.”
Celestino is now more at ease in their starting lineup, less than a year after making his major-league debut.
Acting Twins manager Jayce Tingler described Celestino’s performance against the Athletics, saying, “His at-bats have just been outstanding.”
Does Gilberto Celestino Have Any Kids?
Gilberto Celestino is expected to be a dad soon. His girlfriend is pregnant currently.