On Wednesday afternoon, the Minnesota Twins announced they have added four players to their 40 man roster. Jorge Polanco is probably the headliner, or certainly the most obvious choice, but they also added Max Kepler, LHP Logan Darnell, and DH Kennys Vargas. Also, RHP BJ Hermsen was outrighted off the 40 man roster.
This leaves the Twins 40 man roster at 39.
Polanco, 20, struggled for two seasons in the Gulf Coast League, but in 2012 in Elizabethton, he came through with a .903 OPS. He hit .318/.388/.514 with 15 doubles, two triples and five home runs. He moved up to Cedar Rapids in 2013 and proved that his Appy League stats were not a fluke. In 115 games, he hit .308/.362/.452 (.813) with 32 doubles, ten triples and five home runs. He also drove in 78 runs hitting primarily out of the #3 spot in the lineup.
Max Kepler, 20, was also signed in 2009, at the same time as Polanco. The German outfielder was moved slowly through the early levels because he was so raw, but at 6-4, 220 pounds he has very good power potential. In 61 games in the 2nd half in Cedar Rapids, the left-hander hit .237/.312/.424 (.736) with 11 doubles, three triples and nine home runs. He played a lot in left field, center field and first base. He missed the first half of the season with an elbow injury.
Left-hander Logan Darnell quickly rose to New Britain a year after being drafted. He remained there until the second half of 2013. The left-hander has a mixed bag of pitches including a fastball that tops out around 90 and a very good slider.
Kennys Vargas is a DH who can play some first base. He put up big numbers in Ft. Myers in 2013, hitting .267/.344/.468 (.813) with 33 doubles, 19 home runs and 93 RBI. He plays first base as well. He’s a large, physically imposing man who reminds many of David Ortiz. He is often referred to as “Little Papi” though he may be bigger than the Red Sox star.
This leaves several Twins players at risk of being selected in MLB’s Rule 5 draft on Thursday, December 5, the final day of the Winter Meetings. 2010 top pick Alex Wimmers will be eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 draft. Relief pitchers such as AJ Achter, Adrian Salcedo, Lester Oliveros and Dakota Watts could be picked. Others, such as James Beresford and Pat Dean, could also be taken.