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Looking Way Ahead: Who Needs to be Added to the 40-Man Roster... in November

Normally we consider which players will need to be added to the 40 man roster after the season, leading up to the decision becoming official in mid-November. But let’s look ahead to that decision as it may affect decisions throughout the season. Plus, it never hurts to know who is playing for spots on the 40-man roster.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Alex Kirilloff)
Admittedly, so much can and will happen between now and November. There will be spring training, a 162-game regular season and a 140-game minor-season. There will likely be trades. The 26-man active roster will be enacted for the first time. There will be injuries. There will be breakouts. And there will be players who struggle adjusting as they move up the ladder.

So primarily this is a fun exercise, an opportunity for you to read and see listed the players who need to be added. However, every year we also try to consider if there will be a logjam on the 40-man roster, and maybe some players who will be eligible could be considered as trade candidates.

So, here is a quick reminder of what players will be eligible for the 2020 Rule 5 draft if not protected on the 40-man roster. Here is this year’s criteria:
  • Players who signed when they were 18 or younger in 2016 (during the minor league season).
  • Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2017.
  • Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again.
  • Players drafted or signed during the 2014 season became free agents after the World Series was complete.
But back to the players needing to be added or risk losing to the Rule 5 draft,.. In 10 months. I’ll break them into a few categories. The Givens are players that I think have to be added or there is a high likelihood that they will be selected by another team. The next category will be Possibly. I think there is a chance these guys could be added depending upon how many players the team chooses to add. Because we are so far out, I chose to add more names, so I included some that may be On the Bubble at this point. And then of course I jotted down the other players that are eligible. The final group is comprised of the players will be free agents at the conclusion of the World Series unless added before then.

The Givens

If I had written this article one year ago, I certainly would have had Wander Javier in the Givens category. Injuries can certainly alter perspective. The numbers game, mid-season acquisitions and other players stepping up can also be a factor. In addition, some of these guys could get called up before the season ends and won’t be on the list.
  • OF Alex Kirilloff - 1st round pick in 2016 from high school in Pennsylvania. Top prospects are going to get protected. They won’t be non-tendered. Kirilloff won’t be non-tendered. In fact, there is a decent chance he gets called up during the season.
  • RHP Jordan Balazovic - 5th round pick in 2016 from secondary school in Ontario. A Top 100 prospect coming into the 2020 season. Should spent most of 2020 in Pensacola.
  • OF/1B Brent Rooker - Competitive Balance A pick in 2017 from Mississippi State. Likely to be called up in-season, but if not, he is likely to be added.
  • RHP Edwar Colina - Signed from Venezuela in late September 2015. Colina wasn’t a big prospect when he was signed, now he’s hitting triple-digits and has the pitches to potentially be a starter.
Possibles
  • SS Wander Javier - Left off the 40-man roster this offseason, he went unclaimed. Still immensely talented and could break out at any time. Again, by season’s end, he’s a candidate for the Givens section.
  • C Ben Rortvedt - 2nd round pick in 2016 from Wisconsin. He has moved up the system pretty quickly and spent half of the season at Pensacola before a knee injury. Terrific defensively and very strong.
  • 3B Jose Miranda - The 73rd overall pick in 2016 draft from Puerto Rico, Miranda has hit some and displays a lot of power potential. Has played some second base but profiles to third base.
  • OF Akil Baddoo - The 74th overall pick in the 2016 draft out of high school in Georgia. Missed most of 2019 season with Tommy John surgery, but is a great athlete who has a good approach at the plate and a great power-speed combination.
  • RHP Bailey Ober - Twins 12th round pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston, he has put up fantastic numbers when he has been on the mound. If healthy, he’s got a chance.
  • RHP Griffin Jax - Jax was also left unprotected and went unclaimed this year. He’s already had success in AA and could be MLB ready sometime in 2020.
  • RHP Luis Rijo - 21-year-old from Venezuela posted a 2.86 ERA in 107 innings in Cedar Rapids in 2019 but still went unclaimed in the Rule 5.
  • LHP Jovani Moran - The lefty dominated the lower levels of the minors, but injuries cost him time in 2019. But, he’s young, left-handed and has a couple of plus-pitches. Definitely could contribute in 2021, if not 2020.
  • RHP Tyler Wells - Wells may have been an easy add in 2019 if he hadn’t missed the season due to Tommy John surgery. He’ll rehab most of the year which means he’ll be closer to his return. Can he get back to his 2018 performance level?
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To learn more about all of these prospects, and about 150 more, purchase your copy(ies) of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook. From Melvi Acosta to Malique Ziegler and everyone in between, learn about their backgrounds, their 2019 seasons, their scouting reports and a forecast for 2020. Available in paperback ($17.99) and as a PDF ebook ($12.99). 145 pages of Twins prospect content. And hey, if you want the previous 11 Twins Prospect Handbooks, you can get them too.
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On the Bubble
  • OF Gabriel Maciel - Signed with the Diamondbacks in June 2016 from Brazil. Came to the Twins in the Eduardo Escobar trade in July 2018. Not a big guy, but he hits a lot of line drives, runs really well and plays good outfield defense.
  • LHP Bryan Sammons - The Twins 8th round pick in 2017 from Western Carolina, he dominated at Ft. Myers before spending the final four months of the season in Pensacola. Left-handed, he has four quality pitches.
  • 2B Yunior Severino - Enough of an international prospect that he received two nine-figure signing bonuses. He had a solid season in E-Town in 2018. Unfortunately fractured his thumb early in the 2019 season. Could break out in 2020 if he stays in the lineup.
  • LHP Lachlan Wells - Wells was well on track to be added a couple of years ago but Tommy John surgery cost him some development time. He missed the 2018 season and returned in the second half of 2019. Can he return to form in his first full season back?
  • LHP Charlie Barnes - 4th round pick in 2017 from Clemson. He lefty pitched at three levels in 2019 (8 starts in Ft. Myers, 13 starts in Pensacola, 4 starts in Rochester).
  • RHP Tom Hackimer - Twins 4th round pick in 2015 from St. Johns, the side-winder had surgery after the AFL in 2018. He pitched briefly for the Miracle before finishing the season in Pensacola.
  • 1B/OF Trey Cabbage - 4th round pick in 2015 from high school in Tennessee. Broke out early in Cedar Rapids in 2019 and showed some of his immense power potential in 2019. If he takes another step, he could be added.
  • 1B Zander Wiel - Twins 12th round pick in 2015 from Vanderbilt. Wiel wasn’t added or selected after his 2019 season in Rochester in which he hit 40 doubles and 24 home runs. He should get a shot in 2020 during that season.
Others in their first year of eligibility:
  • Tyler Benninghoff, Matt Jones, Kidany Salva, Jared Akins, David Banuelos, Andrew Bechtold, Mark Contreras, Ernie De La Trinidad, Calvin Faucher, Jordan Gore, Derek Molina, Ricky Ramirez, Joe Record, Petru Balan, Yeremi De La Cruz, Jesus Feliz, Osiris German, Taylor Grzelakowski, Jimmy Kerrigan, Fernando Martinez, Michael Montero, Junior Navas, Daniel Ozoria, Ruben Santana, Jesus Toledo, Frandy Torres, Janigson Villalobos.
Others returning to Rule 5 eligibility after 2020.
  • Melvi Acosta, Adam Bray, Joe Cronin, Miguel De Jesus, Yeltsin Encarnacion, Zach Featherstone, Moises Gomez, Caleb Hamilton, Hector Lujan, Ryan Mason, Alex Robinson, Alex Schick, Carlos Suniaga, Tyler Watson, Aaron Whitefield, Malique Ziegler.
These players will become free agents at the conclusion of the 2020 World Series unless added to the 40-man roster.
  • Sam Clay, Andro Cutura, Randy LeBlanc, Jose Martinez, Jake Reed.
Again, this is mostly an exercise in looking ahead, information for you to consider throughout the 2020 season. It’s also something where, as the Twins talk trades and potentially see a 40-man roster crunch next offseason, maybe this information comes into play.

And frankly, it will just be kind of fun to see which of these players move up or down the list and how this list looks different in November.

----------------------------------------------------------

To learn more about all of these prospects, and about 150 more, purchase your copy(ies) of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook. From Melvi Acosta to Malique Ziegler and everyone in between, learn about their backgrounds, their 2019 seasons, their scouting reports and a forecast for 2020. Available in paperback ($17.99) and as a PDF ebook ($12.99). 145 pages of Twins prospect content. And hey, if you want the previous 11 Twins Prospect Handbooks, you can get them too.

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63 Comments

I do not know if it is just a factor of not enough knowledge on my part, but after the first list of 4 I am not really concerned about any of the others.Maybe it is the set feeling that the roster has.  

 

I would love to have some pitcher really shine, but I need this years performances before any of them seem important to me.

Going to be tough for the Twins to recoup their investment on Yunior Severino if they really paid him a nine figure signing bonus.
I'm guessing you meant seven figures?
    • USAFChief, JoshDungan1 and tvagle like this

Seth thanks for putting this together.It was something I was going to do myself because I wanted to keep an eye on the guys that might need to get protected this year, but you do better work\have more knowledge than I do.I really appreciate the list and will bookmark\steal this page from you.  

 

It is early but the possibles still have a chance to make themselves Givens.I think 3 or 4 of them will.I am still pretty high on Jax.I know he didn't get protected and no one took him but I think he is one plus pitch away from making it.He has the control and isn't afraid to throw strikes just needs another out pitch to bring that K9 up and he is a viable MLB starter.I know that easier said than done but I think he makes some adjustments and gets there.I think you have Rortvedt on the wrong list.The guy threw out around 50% of the runners trying steal this past year and yeah his bat slumped as the year went on but he hasn't been horrible with the bat either.He will totally get taken if not protected.Miranda, Baddoo and Javier all have to shine with the bat this year to need to be protected but at least one of those guys will break out. Unless Rijo and Ober stumble they will most certainly need to protected as they will be at the higher levels and have enough stuff to get taken. 

 

Might even see a bubble or two or three make it to the givens as well.I am a pretty big Sammons believer. He struggled a bit at AA but he is a big lefty and I like his odds.Severino was injured last year so might have some rust to start the year but I bet he gained strength and if that power shows up he might need protection.I have no idea what to expect from Lachlan Wells but wouldn't bet against him.He might end up a reliever and not protected but I think he has the stuff to be really good.Have to wait and see yet though.

 

I mean it all depends on how these guys perform.I was kind of disappointed last year at how several prospects performed so you never know when a prospect will tough stretch or completely plateau and no longer be able to compete at a higher level.Will have to wait to know but I think there will some even tougher decisions next year when it comes to protecting players.Again thanks for the list as I like looking and thinking about this stuff even if it is too early.

    • h2oface likes this
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MMMordabito
Jan 18 2020 07:40 AM
Rortvedt and Ober should end up on that too list if they stay healthy. The Twins need to trade some of this depth.

On the other hand, not many selections this year, so this could all be eye of the beholder.
    • Dman likes this

Excellent summary/refresher, particularly for us armchair GMs who want to think like the real ones. Seeing some of the tweeners, who loom as tough roster decisions next autumn, go as part of trades for players who can help now, or (less likely) for players farther away but with higher ceiling, would be outstanding.

    • beckmt likes this

Did not quite know the farm was that loaded.Probably will need to move some of these players and others will fail.Am high on most of the top two groups.Onlya couple of the lower group concern me.

Did this exercise about a month ago, Seth.Only difference I had was Rortvedt on the Lock list and Colina on the Possible.

 

None of us knows how any of these guys will play this summer.Some will do so well they scream lock and others will disappoint and move into the bubble category.But with so many prospects in the discussion, it appears mandatory that the FO does some serious wheeling and dealing between now and the trading deadline.Gotta move a handful of these guys who are on the 'maybe' list.

    • goulik, Sconnie and Dman like this
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Doctor Gast
Jan 18 2020 09:53 AM

Thank you for sharing this w/ us! We have a lot of talent! The 40 man roster is a welcome problem. What are we going to do to protect all these up coming talent to an already crowded list. I`d hate to lose any of them

Was hoping Joe Cronin would become a prospect just because his name is Joe Cronin.

    • h2oface and Nine of twelve like this

Future Twins reliever:

 

Derek Molina - age 21 RH reliever - Ft. Myers - career 1.075 WHIP, 12.7 K/9

Depends on how the season goes, but I think Rortvedt and Rijo will join the top four. I'd have Rijo at the top of the "possibles" list for now.

Great article Seth, it is a key year for many of the Twins prospects. But that is how a team has to do it, have multiple prospects competing for limited positions, not everyone will get there. There is always a lot of flux with pitching, so could see 4-6 spots open up for pitching prospects by next year. Position players could also see 4-6 spots open up, Cruz, Gonzolez, Adrianza, Cave, Astudillo, Avila, Wade are all players that may not be on 40 man next year.

    • TopGunn#22 likes this

 

Did this exercise about a month ago, Seth.Only difference I had was Rortvedt on the Lock list and Colina on the Possible.

 

None of us knows how any of these guys will play this summer.Some will do so well they scream lock and others will disappoint and move into the bubble category.But with so many prospects in the discussion, it appears mandatory that the FO does some serious wheeling and dealing between now and the trading deadline.Gotta move a handful of these guys who are on the 'maybe' list.

 

Because he is a catcher, I do think there is a really good chance that he is added, even if he puts up just decent numbers in 2020. With Avila on a one-year deal, I think Garver and Jeffers will be the two catchers in 2021, but I think Rortvedt will be in Rochester for when needed. 

    • Sconnie likes this

 

Was hoping Joe Cronin would become a prospect just because his name is Joe Cronin.

 

I'm sure if everyone is being honest, a 34th round pick probably isn't taken to be a "prospect." However, he had average tools across the board, or just below, and he can play good defense all over the infield. While he may be looked at as an infield reserve, he got 280 plate appearances in AA Pensacola last year... He has put himself in a spot to keep getting opportunities and stick around, and maybe you just never know. A cup of coffee is possible. 

 

Future Twins reliever:

 

Derek Molina - age 21 RH reliever - Ft. Myers - career 1.075 WHIP, 12.7 K/9

 

He's got the stuff to keep working up, for sure... 

 

Because he is a catcher, I do think there is a really good chance that he is added, even if he puts up just decent numbers in 2020. With Avila on a one-year deal, I think Garver and Jeffers will be the two catchers in 2021, but I think Rortvedt will be in Rochester for when needed. 

I don't think it is a given that Jeffers gets the promotion to the Twins before Rortvedt.But then I have been in his camp since he was drafted out of Verona H.S.He did get the promotion to AA before Jeffers last summer. 

 

The good news is that they have two catchers who both appear to be excellent prospects, one more so with the bat, the other the better defensive player.Having two young catchers almost ready to contribute is a blessing.  

    • Dman and DocBauer like this

 

The good news is that they have two catchers who both appear to be excellent prospects, one more so with the bat, the other the better defensive player.Having two young catchers almost ready to contribute is a blessing.  

Jeffers was just called the Twins best defensive prospect by mlb.com so he may be better at both

 

https://www.mlb.com/...peline-coverage

    • h2oface likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jan 18 2020 01:57 PM

The type of depth the Twins have in the minors (few blue chippers, loads of potential MLB contributors) is the type of depth that is awesome to have during the regular season but becomes something of a lodestone around their neck in November.

 

Just one more reason why this team should be moving prospect assets in trade for quality MLB players to help the team win today.

    • h2oface and DocBauer like this
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howieramone2
Jan 18 2020 02:57 PM
The supply of starting pitchers is outrageously low, the demand is outrageously high. What was once refered to as dumpster diving, has now become fasionable. Falvey and crew are pedalling as fast as they can.

 

Going to be tough for the Twins to recoup their investment on Yunior Severino if they really paid him a nine figure signing bonus.
I'm guessing you meant seven figures?

He was counting the figures to the right of the decimal point too. :)

    • DocBauer and IndianaTwin like this

Rortvedt is to Jeffers as Turner was to Garver.

No need to make the same mistake over and over.......

    • High heat likes this
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howieramone2
Jan 18 2020 03:29 PM
Catching depth is never a mistake.
    • Seth Stohs, h2oface, Sconnie and 2 others like this

The type of depth the Twins have in the minors (few blue chippers, loads of potential MLB contributors) is the type of depth that is awesome to have during the regular season but becomes something of a lodestone around their neck in November.

Just one more reason why this team should be moving prospect assets in trade for quality MLB players to help the team win today.


Lest we forget, despite selecting lower than we have in some time, and missing our 3rd selection with the Donaldson signing, there is another draft in June to continue to add depth. Oh, and international signings as well.

A few quality players dealt will not shatter the system or negatively affect it in a gross way by any stretch of the imagination.
    • Brock Beauchamp, h2oface and Dman like this

Rortvedt is to Jeffers as Turner was to Garver.
No need to make the same mistake over and over.......


What mistake?
Turner was left unprotected and left, Garver is our starting C, seems the organization got that one right.
    • Seth Stohs likes this

 

What mistake?
Turner was left unprotected and left, Garver is our starting C, seems the organization got that one right.

 

Perhaps the arguable consensus of the Front Office and TD staff and most posters and prospect ratings and projections and rate of promotion until Garver couldn't be denied, and they finally ...... finally got it? Who knows if Garver couldn't have been accelerated and here at least a year (or more) sooner (and nobody knows and can't know because it was never tried) without being held back behind "glove first/no bat" Turner all through the minors. That is what I mean by mistake, if I have to spell it out.

    • Dman and DocBauer like this

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