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Twins 2018 Minor League Starting Pitcher Of The Year

The Twins, and probably every organization in baseball, need and want more pitching. Even with the “opener” concept starting to take root in the game, development of starting pitchers will always be a top priority for baseball executives and coaches. Today, we announce the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. There were some good choices again in 2018.

Previous 2018 Awards

Short-Season Minor League Pitcher of the Year: Andrew Cabezas
Short-Season Minor League Hitter of the Year: Chris Williams
Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year: Andrew Vasquez
Today: Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year: Tyler Wells
Coming Soon: Minor League Hitter of the Year:

Previous Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitchers of the Year:

2012 - BJ Hermsen
2013 - Taylor Rogers
2014 - Jose Berrios
2015 - Jose Berrios
2016 - Stephen Gonsalves
2017 - Stephen Gonsalves
2018 - Keep Reading
Image courtesy of Chattanooga Lookouts (graphics by Finn Pearson)
Before we get to the Top Five, and the eventual winner, it's worth noting a few honorable mentions. While Rochester and Chattanooga struggled in 2018, Cedar Rapids made the playoffs and Ft. Myers and Elizabethton won championships, largely on their pitching. Here are some of those candidates that also received votes:

Honorable Mention
  • Sean Poppen - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 26 G, 20 GS, 6-9, 3.45 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 127.2 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 8.7 K/9
  • Randy Dobnak - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 24 G, 20 GS, 10-5, 3.14 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 129.0 IP, 1.7 BB/9, 5.9 K/9
  • Bailey Ober - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 14 GS, 7-1, 3.84 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 75.0 IP, 1.1 BB/9, 10.6 K/9
Starting Pitcher of the Year

Here are the top five picks for the 2018 Minnesota Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year.


#5- Edwar Colina - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 21 G, 20 GS, 7-5, 2.63 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 109.1 IP, 4.4 BB/9, 8.7 K/9

Colina signed with the Twins in September of 2015. He pitched in the Dominican Summer League in 2016. Last year in Elizabethton, he was the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year. While his walk total was high, Colina was often able to work out of situations with strikeouts. Colina is stocky and strong. While he isn’t tall, he uses has legs to drive the ball. He sits 93 to 94 mph, but he can hit 96 regularly. He’s got good secondary pitches as well. He spent the majority of the season in Cedar Rapids, where he started a no-hitter. He ended the season with a start for the Miracle and then was the winning pitcher in the Miracle’s championship game.


#4- Lewis Thorpe - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings - 26 G, 25 GS, 8-7, 3.54 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 129.2 iP, 2.5 BB/9, 10.9 K/9

Thorpe was added to the Twins 40-man roster last November. After missing two full seasons with Tommy John surgery (and mono), Thorpe showed enough in Ft. Myers to earn the roster spot. This year, he began in Chattanooga where he struggled early. But he started pitching well and was named to the Future Game where he represented the Twins and Australia. He took off from there, throwing more and more strikes and getting a lot of strikeouts. He ended the season with four starts in Rochester.


#3- Stephen Gonsalves - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings - 23 G, 22 GS, 12-3, 2.76 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 120.2 IP, 4.8 BB/9, 9.0 K/9

Gonsalves was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2016 and 2017. He was the runner up to Jose Berrios in 2015. After being added to the 40-man roster last November, Gonsalves came to his second big league spring training. He struggled early and was sent to Chattanooga where he issued too many walks but dominated in four starts. He was promoted to Rochester where he went 9-3 with a 2.96 ERA. When you consider he has starts in which he gave up six runs in 1 2/3 innings, five runs in 2/3 inning, and nine earned runs in four innings, he was incredible in the rest of his innings. He followed the nine-run outing with a stretch of seven starts in which he gave up just two runs over 40 1/3 innings. In mid-August, the 24-year-old received the call to the big leagues.


#2- Brusdar Graterol - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Fort Myers Miracle - 19 GS, 8-4, 2.74 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 102.0 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 9.4 K/9

The Twins signed Graterol way back in late August of 2014. The Venezuelan right-hander pitched just 11 innings in the Dominican Summer League in 2015 before coming to the Twin Cities and having Tommy John surgery. He continued to rehab until early in the 2017 season when he returned to pitching, this time for the GCL Twins. He split 2018 between the GCL and Elizabethton. He began the 2018 season in extended spring training, though he got to Cedar Rapids before the end of April. With the Kernels, he went 3-2 with a 2.18 ERA in 41 1/3 innings (9 BB, 51 K) before being promoted to the Miracle shortly after the Midwest League All-Star Game. With the Miracle, he went 5-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 11 starts and 60 2/3 innings (19 BB, 56 K). Blessed with a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and frequently hits triple digits, Graterol also has the makings of a quality slider and changeup.


#1- Tyler Wells - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 22 G, 21 GS, 10-6, 2.49 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 119.1 IP, 2.3 BB/9, 9.2 K/9

The Twins used their 15th-round draft pick in the 2016 draft to select a tall, right-hander from Cal State-San Bernadino. He was an interesting draft story.

Recently Senior Advisor to Scouting, Deron Johnson, who was the Twins Scouting Director in 2016, told Twins Daily that he had traveled with Twins area scout and now West Coast Supervisor Elliot Strankman. “Elliot and I were going to see a junior college kid at another college. He said, ‘Hey, I like this reliever at Sonoma State. Let’s go see him on the way there.’ So we go there and they’re playing Cal State-San Bernadino. We see this big giant on the mound throwing up to 94 with a nice breaking ball. John Leavitt, our area scout had him in, but he wasn’t a guy for me to see. We just stopped in there on a whim. John had seen him, but he hadn’t seen him throwing that hard. We just kind of had him on our radar after that. We didn’t hide him out, but we didn’t show a lot of interest. We knew there were two other clubs that had interest in him. We targeted him in the draft and thought, let’s not lose this guy.”

Johnson noted that Wells reminded him of a former Twins pitching prospect (and former minor league pitcher of the year) who reached Triple-A Rochester. “Remember David Bromberg? (Wells) was a lot like David. When we draft-and-followed David, he weighed 290 pounds out of high school. He went to junior college and lost a ton of weight.”

That was the carrying story for Wells as he came into the 2018 season. This past offseason, Wells worked really hard at Performance Fitness for Athletes as well as greatly improved his diet. It was noticed, and it paid off. Since being drafted, he has lost about 50 pounds.

Twins minor league director Jeremy Zoll noted, “Tyler does seem to fly under the radar a little bit for whatever reason. We’ve been really proud of him this year. He came into spring training and had really transformed his body, lost about 25 pounds. Really changed his diet working with his mom and a few other people in California. To dial that in this offseason. Felt it was the area he needed to improve the most. Thought it would help him sustain success through a long, full season. He did just that. He stayed committed to that all year.”

Wells acknowledged that it was very important to him, but not only did he lose the weight, but he got results on the mound. He said, “It was extremely fulfilling knowing that the hard work I’ve put in is showing out on the field. It helped me gain confidence in myself and my ability to go out there every day and compete.”

The weight loss is part of Tyler Wells’ 2018 story, but at the end of the day, he is the choice for Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Year because of the numbers and because of the results, and frankly, because he is a really good pitcher.

For his part, Wells likes to just keep it simple. “I don’t really try to follow my stats too much. I like to keep it simple and just try to put up as many zeroes as possible every time I go out there. If anything, I was extremely blessed and thankful to have a completely healthy season.”
His pitching coach at Ft. Myers, Henry Bonilla, noted that staying healthy was part of the key for Wells. “One of the main things for Tyler was staying healthy. He always had good numbers, but seemed to find little injuries that kept him off the field. He also learned how to use his pitches better, what works well off each other and so forth.”

Jeremy Zoll credits that pitching coaches working with Wells, but also Wells himself for working on things. “I know he was working with both pitching coaches, Henry Bonilla, Ivan Arteaga and JP Martinez, our assistant pitching coordinator, throughout the season with various grips on his curveball. He tried an adjustment early that ultimately didn’t go the way he wanted it to. He made some tweaks in the middle of the year and it seemed like from there, it started to really help. It played off his fastball well. Increased comfort with the slider and ability to use it early in the count, late in the count, and just continue to be comfortable pitching inside. So a lot of it is just continued innings, continued reps, continued development, and some minor tweaks along the way.”

From Johnson, “Tyler’s got that good fastball carry. He’s got a nice down-action curveball. He can pitch. He’s got a changeup too. He’s got good makeup. He’s turned himself into a good prospect.”

According to Zoll, “He’s got four pitches. He continued to hone ways to use all four and have them play off each other. He fills up the strike zone and generates weak contact. All those things put together equal a pretty good starting pitcher. It helped him earn his promotion to AA and he just step on the gas pedal from there. ”

Wells made 16 starts for Ft. Myers to start the season and was named a Florida State League All Star. He went 8-4 with a 2.80 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. In 86 2/3 innings, he walked 17 and struck out 82 batters. He was the Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Month in June.
He was promoted to Chattanooga where he made six more starts and went 2-2 with a 1.65 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In 32 2/3 innings, he walked 14 but struck out 39 batters.

Asked about the continued success upon his promotion to Double-A, Wells said, “Honestly, my transitions were very easy for one reason. It’s the same game all the way through. I have to go out and throw strikes, execute pitches, and give my team a chance to win every single time.”

The makeup and the mental aspect of the game is often forgotten, but Tyler Wells has it in spades. “I cannot say that there was one pitch or sequence (that led to his success) because every hitter is different. My success, I believe, came from my mental side of the game. I was able to learn how to use my pitches, read hitters’ swings, and keep my approach to pitching simple and aggressive.”

Deron Johnson says it well when he says of Wells. “He was a pleasant surprise. You’ve got to get lucky and get guys down there in the draft. You never know what’s going to happen with your top picks, so it’s always a pleasant surprise to get a guy or two, like Hildenberger, down there. You’ve got to get lucky.”

Who knows? The Twins just may have got lucky in the 2016 15th round with Tyler Wells.

The Ballots

Votes came in from the Twins Daily minor league writers, making six ballots in total. Striving for transparency, here is how each individual voted:
  • Seth Stohs - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Brusdar Graterol, 3) Stephen Gonsalves, 4) Edwar Colina, 5) Sean Poppen
  • Jeremy Nygaard - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Stephen Gonsalves, 3) Lewis Thorpe, 4) Brusdar Graterol, 5) Bailey Ober
  • Cody Christie - 1) Stephen Gonsalves, 2) Tyler Wells, 3) Brusdar Graterol, 4) Edwar Colina, 5) Sean Poppen
  • Ted Schwerzler - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Brusdar Graterol, 3) Stephen Gonsalves, 4) Edwar Colina, 5) Randy Dobnak
  • Tom Froemming - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Lewis Thorpe, 3) Brusdar Graterol, 4) Sean Poppen, 5) Stephen Gonsalves
  • Steve Lein - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Brusdar Graterol, 3) Lewis Thorpe, 4) Stephen Gonsalves, 5) Randy Dobnak
Feel free to discuss below in the comments. Share your ballot!

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39 Comments

Interesting to see the top pitchers.The stats seem to indicate a big drop off from the top five to the honorable mentions.But what really jumps out is that Gonsalves was number two after two years as number one and another year at two.Gonsalves has a steady set of career MiLB baseball stats.So it raises the big question - why is he struggling in MLB.Not a little, but a lot.I can understand him needing to adjust to MLB, but he has looked awful. I remember Berrios did his first year too.What needs to be done for the transition.Is Gonsalves a AAAA pitcher?  

 

And then the question goes to Wells.When does he get his shot?Will he be able to move in to the rotation with more success than Gonsalves?Gonsalves ERA is 9.39 which would be the worst on the team without the leadership of Belisle and his 10.45.  

 

I am just concerned with how we get minor league pitchers to be MLB pitchers.I admit that the stats on Rookie starting pitchers is pretty poor, but Tampa Bay has Ryan Yarbrough https://www.baseball...yarbrry01.shtml and the Angels have Jaimie Barria https://www.baseball...barrija01.shtml who are doing well in that role.

    • blindeke and 108Stitches like this

Nice.  Love reading those backstories.  I'm happy for Wells.  I remember Bromberg; seem to recall at least one season (maybe dominating younger players?) where he put up some insane stats.  I think Wells has a much better chance of succeeding, though.

 

I would imagine he might get an invite next spring, but wouldn't really be on the radar for another year?  Unless he gets a random chance on a make-up doubleheader or something and dominates.

 

Colina is another intriguing guy prospect-wise, and Over was coming on strong before he got hurt, if I don't misremember.

    • glunn likes this
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SF Twins Fan
Sep 15 2018 08:21 AM

Thanks for the write up! Where does everything think the top five will start next season?

 

- Colina will most likely start in Fort Myers since he only had 1 start there.

- Thorpe will most likely start at Rochester after finishing there this season.

- Gonsalves is a tough one. Will there be room in the Twins rotation right out of spring training? Will they send him to Rochester since he has struggled and they want him to get off to a good start next season?

- Graterol - My guess is he makes ~ 5 starts in Fort Myers next season and if he's doing well moves up to AA and potentially AAA if he continues to dominate.

- Wells will probably start in AA and hopefully move up to AAA before midseason.

    • Dman, DocBauer, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this
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108Stitches
Sep 15 2018 08:27 AM
Very deserving of this! What is the likelihood Wells gets a spring training invite? He’s 24 now so I think he should be moved up a bit faster and tested. God knows the Twins could use a good arm. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Tyler Wells will be the Twins Corey Kluber!
    • glunn and Original Whizzinator like this

Gonsalves hasn't shown me anything. Soft slop that might bewilder AAA batters doesn't fool major leaguers. He reminds me of Tommy Milone. If his control isn't perfect or the ump isn't giving him the corners he's going to get clobbered when he has to throw the ball over the plate. I'm discouraged that the Twins are so high on him. 

    • rdehring likes this

What a great year for Wells.Really hope he can continue pitching like this as he moves up.

 

What was shocking to me is that three of you did not include Lewis Thorpe in your Top 5.Curious why?When I look at this group, I believe he has the best chance of joining the Twins at some time next year AND being successful.I believe Graterol has the highest ceiling of anyone in the minors, but don't expect him being ready to join the Twins in 2019.Hope like hell he will, but its too much of a long shot.

 

Should be fun following the career of Colina the next couple years.Stocky and strong, would the word 'bulldog' be a good description of him and his pitching style?

 

 

 

 

    • RaymondLuxuryYacht and Doctor Wu like this
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FormerMinnasotan
Sep 15 2018 09:05 AM
This is a pretty exciting list of pitching prospects for sure. Tyler Wells is certainly deserving of this, and I don’t see why his success can’t be replicated even at the Big League level, unlike Gonsalves Wells has excellent command/control and has an above average pitching arsenal. Plus Wells seems to have a Jose Berrios like work ethic and doesn’t seem to take his playing career for granted. I guess I am a little surprised Blayne Enlow wasn’t mentioned. Now I get his strike outs were on the low side for what we expected this year but over all (especially near the end of the season) Enlow met or exceeded our expectations. Colina is an intriguing prospect, he seems to have solid stuff but I think he’ll go as far as his control/command takes him.
    • MN_ExPat likes this
While reading initially j was perturbed at Thorpe at Thorpe in the #4 spot. Really? Than j had to remember just how good Gonsalves was this season...again. Yes, he had a couple clunkers and his BB was unusually high. But he was, formthem most part, dominate once yet again. We can't let a few poor September starts ruin our opinion of him. It's a long season, it's his debut, his track record has always been to struggle a bit promotion and then make adjustments.

Makes me feel good to realize Wells could pitch as well, or better, next season and slide down multiple spots with Thorpe and Graterol jot on his heels.

Very good chance we see both Wells and Thorpe next year, with Graterol hopefully getting at least a half season at Chattanooga.
    • SF Twins Fan, MN_ExPat and rdehring like this
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clutterheart
Sep 15 2018 09:21 AM
Why is Kluber a comp for Wells?
Kluber "came out of nowhere" but thats because he wasnt very good in the Minors. He struck guys out but credit goes to CLE because they kept promoting him despite his less than steller numbers.

Wells is forcing people to take notice through his MiLB dominance. I expected him to struggle at AA and it looks like I was wrong. If he starts out hot and keeps the walks down he could find his way on the Twins roster.
    • 108Stitches likes this

Gonsalves hasn't shown me anything. Soft slop that might bewilder AAA batters doesn't fool major leaguers. He reminds me of Tommy Milone. If his control isn't perfect or the ump isn't giving him the corners he's going to get clobbered when he has to throw the ball over the plate. I'm discouraged that the Twins are so high on him.

 

Agree!Perhaps the takeaway here is to look at our prospects' walk rates.Look at Gonzales 4.8BB/9 rate in the minors.  He obviously never overcame these inherent problems, as indicated by his putrid performance since his callup.What does this say about Colina in A Ball?Don't know where the cutoff should be, but using the BB criteria, Ober looks the superior prospect.

 

The Twins have failed to develop a home grown ace since maybe Viola, despite having some top draft choices.Wish the Twins could figure this out, but in the meantime, no one on this list looks ready to change this void.If the Twins are going to surmount this glaring omission, they will have to put together a nice package of minor leaguers to secure a #1 in trade or be able to win a FA bidding contest with the big boys.

 

After this year, I remain a deep sceptic in this organization's ability to develop true difference makers, especially in the pitching department.

    • D.C Twins likes this
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108Stitches
Sep 15 2018 10:00 AM

Why is Kluber a comp for Wells?
Kluber "came out of nowhere" but thats because he wasnt very good in the Minors. He struck guys out but credit goes to CLE because they kept promoting him despite his less than steller numbers.
Wells is forcing people to take notice through his MiLB dominance. I expected him to struggle at AA and it looks like I was wrong. If he starts out hot and keeps the walks down he could find his way on the Twins roster.

Ok fair point. Let me amend. By that I meant that he wasn’t expected to be a prospect and ended up being an extremely good dominant MLB pitcher. I didn’t mean it as a direct comparison stat wise. Because Wells numbers in his career are far better than Klubers and 99% of all minor leaguers frankly. From what I’ve seen his minor numbers are up there in the top 10 of all guys drafted in the last 4 years. (Grain of salt alert as I haven’t looked THAT thoroughly, just surface).
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108Stitches
Sep 15 2018 10:03 AM
[quote name="mikelink45" timestamp="1537014114 Gonsalves ERA is 9.39 which would be the worst on the team without the leadership of Belisle and his 10.45. .[/quote]
Quote of the day lol
    • D.C Twins likes this
Poppin is quitely climbing the minor league ladder quickly. He started lsst year in Cedar Rapids and is now in AA.
What does his scouting report say?

<<Gonsalves hasn't shown me anything. Soft slop that might bewilder AAA batters doesn't fool major leaguers. He reminds me of Tommy Milone. If his control isn't perfect or the ump isn't giving him the corners he's going to get clobbered when he has to throw the ball over the plate. I'm discouraged that the Twins are so high on him.>>

 

Tommy Glavine threw slop all the way to the Hall of Fame.

    • glunn, RaymondLuxuryYacht, SF Twins Fan and 1 other like this

<<Gonsalves ERA is 9.39 which would be the worst on the team without the leadership of Belisle and his 10.45.>>

 

Belisle is the morale booster here.

I am sure that the Twins have great plans of bringing some of these guys up in the 2020's. 

 

Next season Tyler Wells will be 24 years old.If, as someone suggests, he starts in AA and then gets a whiff of AAA late in the season, then do the same the following season, AAA with late MLB call up, he will not make his real full season debut with the big league team until he is 26.  

 

Players of his potential should be entering their 2nd or 3rd year of major league baseball by the time they are 26.I get there may be some reasons they have held him back, such as his weight and conditioning, but a rebuilding team needs these prospects up to the major leagues.

    • Tomj14 and Original Whizzinator like this

 

Interesting to see the top pitchers.The stats seem to indicate a big drop off from the top five to the honorable mentions.But what really jumps out is that Gonsalves was number two after two years as number one and another year at two.Gonsalves has a steady set of career MiLB baseball stats.So it raises the big question - why is he struggling in MLB.Not a little, but a lot.I can understand him needing to adjust to MLB, but he has looked awful. I remember Berrios did his first year too.What needs to be done for the transition.Is Gonsalves a AAAA pitcher?  

 

And then the question goes to Wells.When does he get his shot?Will he be able to move in to the rotation with more success than Gonsalves?Gonsalves ERA is 9.39 which would be the worst on the team without the leadership of Belisle and his 10.45.  

 

I am just concerned with how we get minor league pitchers to be MLB pitchers.I admit that the stats on Rookie starting pitchers is pretty poor, but Tampa Bay has Ryan Yarbrough https://www.baseball...yarbrry01.shtml and the Angels have Jaimie Barria https://www.baseball...barrija01.shtml who are doing well in that role.

 

I should have noted that I asked voters to vote for or rank their top 5 2018 performers. Well, Graterol and Gonsalves appeared on all six 'ballots' so there were only two more spots. If I had asked for people to vote for up to 8 pitchers, obviously there would have been more "receiving votes." 

 

What does Gonsalves need to do? Throw strikes. He's got the pitches and enough stuff and moxie and stuff to big OK, but as we've seen, without command (and really even control), it can't work against big leaguers. 

 

The Twins need to figure out over the next 12ish months to see what they may have in Gonsalves, Littell, De Jong, Romero, and then next year Thorpe enters the equation too. Wells could force his way into the conversation in 2019. 

    • glunn, beckmt, Dman and 2 others like this

 

Thanks for the write up! Where does everything think the top five will start next season?

 

- Colina will most likely start in Fort Myers since he only had 1 start there.

- Thorpe will most likely start at Rochester after finishing there this season.

- Gonsalves is a tough one. Will there be room in the Twins rotation right out of spring training? Will they send him to Rochester since he has struggled and they want him to get off to a good start next season?

- Graterol - My guess is he makes ~ 5 starts in Fort Myers next season and if he's doing well moves up to AA and potentially AAA if he continues to dominate.

- Wells will probably start in AA and hopefully move up to AAA before midseason.

 

My thoughts:

Colina - Definitely Ft. Myers.

Thorpe - Definitely Rochester

Gonsalves - Definitely Rochester. Command is the issue. I can't imagine that even if he works 20+ innings without a walk in spring training, they're going to want him to prove it for a bit in AAA. 

Graterol - Probably Ft. Myers, some chance he could start in AA.

Wells - Probably AA. 

 

More regarding Gonsalves: If he had come up and struggled mid-season, he could have been sent down with the list of things to work on. The minor league seasons are over, so he's just go to keep working in the big leagues and in the bullpen. 

 

Now he's got the offseason to make adjustments and two more options to make adjustments (obviously the hope is that he doesn't need them). Clearly some adjustments are needed, but he'll put in the work. So the idea of giving up on him at this point is just kind of crazy to me (not saying you're doing that, just others are).

    • glunn, DocBauer, SF Twins Fan and 2 others like this
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FormerMinnasotan
Sep 15 2018 12:19 PM

I am sure that the Twins have great plans of bringing some of these guys up in the 2020's.

Next season Tyler Wells will be 24 years old. If, as someone suggests, he starts in AA and then gets a whiff of AAA late in the season, then do the same the following season, AAA with late MLB call up, he will not make his real full season debut with the big league team until he is 26.

Players of his potential should be entering their 2nd or 3rd year of major league baseball by the time they are 26. I get there may be some reasons they have held him back, such as his weight and conditioning, but a rebuilding team needs these prospects up to the major leagues.

I personally think Wells will start in AA, but will be called up to AAA no later than the All Star break. I believe Wells will be called up by September next year and by 2020 he’ll be competing for a spot in the rotation. As long as he stays healthy...
    • SF Twins Fan likes this

People worry so much about age and level and age to reach the big leagues... How about we worry more about them just being ready when they get there, or soon after? That's more important. College guys, maybe other than the first few still take 3-4 years to get to the big leagues, and that's OK. Wells is from a D2 school. Taking a little longer to get to the big leagues can be a good thing. He may have been more raw when signed, needed time to develop a 3rd or 4th pitch, etc. If that means he gets to the big leagues at 26, oh well. 

    • Carole Keller, glunn, dbminn and 4 others like this

 

Poppin is quitely climbing the minor league ladder quickly. He started lsst year in Cedar Rapids and is now in AA.
What does his scouting report say?

 

I haven't seen a ton of him, a start in Cedar Rapids and a few spring training appearances. But what I saw was a guy with a fastball 92-93 (which is plenty) and the changeup/curveball combo is solid. What I've seen is a want to be aggressive and a willingness and ability to adjust quickly. 

    • glunn and MN_ExPat like this

I Really like how Wells attacks hitters.That no fear mentality seems likely to lead to success at higher levels.It is like he is daring hitters to try to hit his pitches.Really thought he pitched about as well as possible this year.If he can keep it up and I believe he will then he should get his big league opportunity next year.

 

I thought Colina was solid but unspectacular last year.At the end of this year I felt he really turned his game up a notch.Hoping he can Mejia like in the near future.

 

Always have been high on Brusdar but was hoping more younger pitchers would be making some noise.  

 

I still think pitching is a weakness in our system.Way to many number 5 starter types and not enough 2's and 3's potential.Still I like our system and am hopeful that if just a couple of these guys work we can be competitive down the road.

    • glunn and Oldgoat_MN like this

 

I personally think Wells will start in AA, but will be called up to AAA no later than the All Star break. I believe Wells will be called up by September next year and by 2020 he’ll be competing for a spot in the rotation. As long as he stays healthy...

 

When you talk about hte "health" issue, shouldn't that be an argument to get him up to the majors as fast as you can?Every inning that he pitches in the minors is just increasing the probability he injures his arm before he ever reaches the major leagues.

 

The Twins, as a rebuilding team, have needed to commit to developing players at the major league level and htye just seem to refuse, preferring to pretend their minor league system develops the players adequately (which has been proven over and over not the case) and playing non-prospect mediocrities instead.

 

I get that the team believed they could compete this season but that shows that they had delusional thoughts based on a blip season of 2017.Instead, they should have committed to the young prospects and sorted them out.Find out if a guy like Romero or Gonsalves, or even Wells, can pitch at the major league level.After they moved through their prospects, then bringing in startes like Odorizzi and Lynn, or the veteran relievers like Reed and Duke to fill in were required.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the write up! Where does everything think the top five will start next season?

 

- Colina will most likely start in Fort Myers since he only had 1 start there.

- Thorpe will most likely start at Rochester after finishing there this season.

- Gonsalves is a tough one. Will there be room in the Twins rotation right out of spring training? Will they send him to Rochester since he has struggled and they want him to get off to a good start next season?

- Graterol - My guess is he makes ~ 5 starts in Fort Myers next season and if he's doing well moves up to AA and potentially AAA if he continues to dominate.

- Wells will probably start in AA and hopefully move up to AAA before midseason.

Sounds good to me.I'd think that's a pretty good guestimate.

Photo
FormerMinnasotan
Sep 15 2018 08:21 PM

When you talk about hte "health" issue, shouldn't that be an argument to get him up to the majors as fast as you can? Every inning that he pitches in the minors is just increasing the probability he injures his arm before he ever reaches the major leagues.

The Twins, as a rebuilding team, have needed to commit to developing players at the major league level and htye just seem to refuse, preferring to pretend their minor league system develops the players adequately (which has been proven over and over not the case) and playing non-prospect mediocrities instead.

I get that the team believed they could compete this season but that shows that they had delusional thoughts based on a blip season of 2017. Instead, they should have committed to the young prospects and sorted them out. Find out if a guy like Romero or Gonsalves, or even Wells, can pitch at the major league level. After they moved through their prospects, then bringing in startes like Odorizzi and Lynn, or the veteran relievers like Reed and Duke to fill in were required.

What I mean is as long as he stays healthy I believe he’ll finish next year in Minnesota. The only issue to derail Wells is injury IMO. That’s what I mean.
    • 108Stitches likes this

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