2018 Twins 40-Man Roster Decisions
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Nick Gordon)As a reminder, here are some of the criteria for who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft if not protected. Here is this year’s criteria:
- Players who signed when they were 18 or younger in 2014 (during the minor league season).
- Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2015.
- Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again.
- Players drafted or signed during the 2012 season became free agents after the World Series was complete. That includes Luke Bard and DJ Baxendale. If the Twins signed them (or other minor league free agents) before the Rule 5 draft, they would be eligible to for the Rule 5 draft.
Andrew Vasquez would have been in this list, but he was called up to the Twins on September 1st. I have two players listed as givens.
- SS/2B Nick Gordon - He may have struggled in the second half of the season after his promotion to the Red Wings, but Gordon, the team’s top pick in 2014 just turned 23 and remains a quality prospect. Will he play second base or shortstop, or both, in the big leagues? Yes.
- OF LaMonte Wade - Wade will turn 25 on New Years Day. He returned to AA to start 2018 and hit the same number of home runs in less than half as many games. He hit .229 in Rochester and still got on base 33% of the time. The outfielder is close and for the right team, he could start in the big leagues now.
Again, this group is the players on the bubble. Depending upon how many players the Twins add, a couple of these players could be added.
- 2B Luis Arraez - After missing most of 2017, Arraez returned to form with the Miracle in 2018 and ended the season with two months in Chattanooga. While not a high ranking prospect, the second baseman can hit single after single.
- RHP Jake Reed - If it was me, Reed would be a given, but he already didn’t get selected a year ago in the Rule 5 draft, and he didn’t get a September call up despite being tremendous over the final three months of the season. Now 26, he is ready for a big league opportunity.
- RHP Nick Anderson - As good as Reed was over the final three months, that’s how good Anderson was during the season’s first three months. Another inexplicable exclusion from the September roster adds, Anderson is absolutely ready for a big league opportunity, making him a strong Rule 5 candidate.
- LHP Tyler Jay - The Twins top pick in 2015 has endured a series of arm injuries which have cost him time and some of his stuff. Now a reliever, he still has a chance to be a big league contributor.
Here are a couple of guys who might be brought up some places as possible .
- RHP Johan Quezada - Signed way back in September of 2012, Quezada only has four games pitched above the rookie leagues. He was very raw when he signed. He grew a ton, but then he struggled with shoulder issues for a couple of years. He returned this year and found an upper-90s fastball. He turned 24 late in the season and isn’t likely to stick, but he is a very intriguing arm.
- RHP Andro Cutura - Cutura returned in May after missing two years due to Tommy John surgery. The former seventh-round pick threw well for the Miracle in his return. Again, probably not so much a Rule 5 guy as one to watch in 2019.
This is a group that contains some intriguing names. While they aren’t obvious choices, there could be a team that likes them enough to take a shot with a Rule 5 pick.
- 1B/OF Zander Wiel - Now playing first base and left field, Wiel had a really nice season in AA Chattanooga before a late-season promotion to Rochester.
- RHP Ryan Eades - The Twins second round pick in 2013, Eades continued to pitch in multiple roles. Not a starter, and not a late-inning guy, Eades could be intriguing for teams interested in using him as an Opener candidate.
- C Brian Navarreto - Navaretto is such a strong defensive catcher. If he can hit even a little bit, he could have a long big league career. He’s got the size, but he just hasn’t put up the numbers offensively.
- OF Jaylin Davis - Davis is playing well in the Arizona Fall League. He was able to cut down his K-rate and increase his walk rate in 2018.
- RHP Hector Lujan - Another AFL candidate, Lujan has slowly worked up the system and continued to add pieces to his game. He throws hard and has some intriguing secondary pitches.
- RHP Cody Stashak - Stashak moved to the bullpen in 2018 and really had a nice season. He too could be intriguing as teams look to use the Opener of bullpening strategies in coming years.
Here is a list of other players who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft in the Twins organization.
- LHP Sam Clay
- OF Tanner English
- RHP Randy LeBlanc
- IF Alex Perez
- LHP Alex Robinson
- 1B/3B Chris Paul
- OF Jean-Carlos Arias
- RHP Miguel De Jesus
- RHP Sandy Lugo
- LHP Lachlan Wells
- RHP Yancarlos Baez
- RHP Williams Ramirez
- RHP Moises Gomez
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