WOLFSON: Zack Littell to Make MLB Debut Tuesday
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins DailyHere's the full Tweet from Doogie:
Littell spent April with Double A Chattanooga where his 5.87 ERA and 1.52 WHIP left something to be desired, but that came with an impressive 12.5 K/9 rate and 4.57 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He debuted with Rochester on May 5 and made an immediate impression, pitching six shutout innings.
In 28 innings with the Red Wings, Littell has a 2.57 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. He also turned some heads in spring training, as he struck out eight batters over five innings of one-run ball before being shifted over to the minor league side of camp.
Littell was acquired from the Yankees at last year's trade deadline and wound up having a banner year, going 19-1 with a 2.69 ERA between three minor league clubs in 2017.
Littell entered this season as Twins Daily's No. 11 prospect in the system. His fastball typically sits in the low 90s, but it's said to have a high spin rate and it pairs nicely with his slow curveball. That may not sound like a combination that can dominate, but Littell has averaged 10.9 K/9 between Chattanooga and Rochester this season. He also throws a changeup and has a great feel for pitching.
It's been quite the journey to the major leagues for Littell, who's still just 22-years-old. This is his sixth season as a professional, but he's already pitched for eight different minor league teams.
Littell was drafted out of high school in the 11th round by the Seattle Mariners and signed for $100,000. He was traded to the Yankees after the 2016 season and then dealt to the Twins less than a year later. He's already on the 40-man roster, and MLB rules allow teams to carry a 26th man for a doubleheader, so no roster moves will be required to make room for Littell.
A little over an hour before Wolfson broke the news, our Ted Schwerzler was wondering aloud on Twitter if maybe Littell was Minneapolis bound. Turned out to be a good hunch.
It comes as a bit of a surprise to see Littell getting the call above other, more experienced starters such as Aaron Slegers, Adalberto Mejia and Stephen Gonsalves, but Littell is coming off an excellent month. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but of that quartet, Littell is also the only one who was acquired under the Derek Falvey regime.
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