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  • Elizabethton Twins Roster Preview

    Since Opening Day of the minor league season, we have been doing daily Twins Minor League Reports here at Twins Daily. Each day, we were following the Rochester Red Wings, the New Britain Rock Cats, the Ft. Myers Miracle and the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Meanwhile, many Twins minor leaguers have been in Ft. Myers, working out and playing in extended spring training.

    Later this week, those players – along with signed 2014 draft picks – will begin their official seasons. The Elizabethton Twins (Advanced Rookie) open on Thursday while the Gulf Coast League Twins (Rookie) start on Friday afternoon. Today, we’ll take a look at the Elizabethton Twins roster as their season begins. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the Gulf Coast League roster.

    Note that these are very brief bios, so feel free to ask any questions you would like.

    The Starting Pitchers

    Stephen Gonsalves – The Twins 4th round pick in 2013 pitched really well last year for the GCL Twins and the E-Twins in his professional debut. He combined to post a 0.95 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in 28.1 innings. He walked 11 and struck out 39. If I’m being honest, I’m shocked that he isn’t in Cedar Rapids, and I expect he’ll perform well again.

    Sam Gibbons – The 20-year-old Australian has pitched in the GCL each of the last two seasons.

    Chih-Wei Hu – The stocky, 20-year-old from Taiwan went 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA last year with the GCL Twins. He walked eight and struck out 39 in 36.2 innings.

    Felix Jorge – A year ago, Jorge went 2-2 with a 2.95 ERA in 12 starts for the E-Twins. In 61 innings, he walked 18 and struck out 72. He began this season in Cedar Rapids, but went 2-5 with a 9.00 ERA in 12 games for the Kernels. In 39 innings, he walked 20 and struck out 23 before being sent back to EST.

    Derrick Penilla – The 22-year-old lefty was the Twins 15th round pick a year ago. He pitched for the GCL Twins a year ago. He began this season at EST but was promoted to Cedar Rapids where he pitched in just seven games before heading back down.

    Mike Cederoth – Cederoth is the hard-throwing third round pick from San Diego State. He signed just last week. He pitched primarily out of the bullpen where his 98 mph fastball plays well. He has had opportunities to start in college, but his downfall has been his control. The Twins are going to give him a chance to start.

    The Relief Pitchers

    Cameron Booser – He signed after the 2013 draft after not being drafted. He pitched in just three games at the end of the GCL season. Reports from spring training indicate that the 6-3, 225 pound lefty throws really hard.

    Sam Clay – The Twins 4th round pick this year out of Georgia Tech. Some think he may be able to start at some point, but he’ll likely continue to work out of the bullpen for the E-Twins this summer.

    Andro Cutura – He was the Twins 7th round pick this season out of Southeastern Louisiana University.

    CK Irby – Irby was the Twins 10th round pick just last year out of Samford University. He pitched in ten games last year for the E-Twins.

    Randy LeBlanc – LeBlanc was the Twins 10th round pick this year from Tulane University. He was a fourth-year, redshirt junior.

    Kuo Hua Lo – Lo pitched for the E-Twins a year ago. In 38 innings, he walked 14 and struck out 34 in 38 innings. He was 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA. The right-hander from Taiwan is 21 years old.

    Dereck Rodriguez – The Twins selected Ivan Rodriguez’s son with their 6th pick in the 2011 draft out of high school. After hitting .216/.279/.336 (.615) over three years in the rookie leagues, he has been moved to pitcher where the hope is his strong right-arm will be able to get hitters out.

    Keaton Steele – He was the Twins 8th round pick this year out of the University of Missouri, which has been a hot bed for big league pitchers in the last half-dozen years.


    Brett Doe – Doe was the Twins 38th round pick this year out of Baylor University.

    Brian Navaretto – Navaretto was the Twins 6th round pick last year out of high school in Jacksonville, Florida. The 6-4, 220 pound (at least), 19-year-old hit .226/.318/.365 (.683) with ten doubles and three homers with the GCL Twins last year. He is quite impressive in spring training and has a ceiling of Salvador Perez.

    Alex Real – He was the Braves 48th round pick out of high school. He went to the University of New Mexico where he was a teammate of Kernels' catcher Mitch Garver. Real played first base and DH his first two years as Garver caught. He caught this year. The Twins selected him with their 24th round pick this year.


    Nick Gordon – The Twins top pick will begin his professional career with Elizabethton. This is not a typical Twins move as even Kohl Stewart and Byron Buxton began their careers with the GCL. It will be interesting how Gordon adapts to professional ball, wood bats and life away from his family. Don’t worry at all about the stats, but it is very exciting to see him get started.

    Jonatan Hinojosa – He is a 21 year old who spent three seasons in the Dominican Summer League. He spent last season in the GCL where he hit .236/.310/.336. He began this season at EST but was promoted to Cedar Rapids where he played one game before being suspended for 50 games. His suspension continues.

    Will Hurt – Hurt was drafted in the 16th round in 2012 out of Lexington High School, the same school Ben Revere went to. He has spent the last two seasons in the GCL. Last year, he hit .342 but had a .387 OBP as he walked 16 times and struck out 17 times. He’s a speed guy who can play both middle infield positions.

    Pat Kelly – Kelly was the Twins 12th round pick out of the University of Nebraska. The Red Wings, MN, native had a solid three-year career with the Cornhuskers. He should play a lot of second base.

    Tyler Mautner – Mautner was the Twins 14th round pick this year out of the University of Buffalo, the same school as Kernels outfielder Jason Kanzler. The third baseman is believed to have good power.

    Blake Schmidt – Another Eden Prairie native, Schmidt was the Twins 26th round pick after three years at the University of Maryland.

    Trev Vavra – He was the Twins 33rd round pick this year out of Florida Southern University. As you know, he is the son of Twins third base coach, Joe, and the brother of Kernels second baseman, Tanner.


    Dutch Deol – Deol was the Cardinals 17th round pick out of high school in 2011. He has spent the last three years in the rookie leagues and was hurt most of last year. He hit .152/.245/.230 over those three years and the Cardinals let him go. He’s a good athlete so the Twins took a shot, signing him to a free agent contract.

    Austin Diemer – He was the Twins 28th round pick after his career as a centerfielder at Cal State-Fullerton. He is a good athlete.

    Max Murphy – Another Minnesota native, Murphy was the Twins 9th round pick this year out of Bradley University. Another guy drafted as a centerfielder, he will get a chance to play around the outfield. He is from Robbinsdale, MN.


    Josh Burris – RHP
    JT Chargois – RHP
    Jorge Fernandez – C
    Carson Goldsmith – RHP
    Jake Proctor – OF
    Tyler Stirewalt – RHP
    Ryan Tufts – OF
    Comments 17 Comments
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      I hadn't heard the Navarreto comp to Salvador Perez. Perez is an above average defensive catcher, I guess I didn't hear much about his defense last year, but I thought coming out of the draft Navaretto was supposed to be a subpar defensive catcher.

      Looking forward to seeing some of these guys. I'm glad to see Cederoth is going to get a chance to start. If they were going to keep him in the pen I probably would have been disappointed if they didn't put him in CR.
    1. twinsfan34's Avatar
      twinsfan34 -
      I hadn't heard the Salvador Perez comp either, however, I was also under the impression having watched about 4 Royals games this year and coming away very impressed with Perez as a defender, someone who Fangraphs ranks as the #3 defensive catcher in MLB, just barely behind Yadier Molina.


      I was thinking Navarreto was more offensive....less defensive. My couch scouting was thinking a more powerful Sandy Alomar, Jr. build and skillset wise.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      He'll be compared to Perez because he's 6-4 and at least 230 pounds. He's a big, strong man. he can hit the ball a long ways, but he also has a very strong arm. He's also 19.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      There are a dozen interesting players on this roster, so I can't wait to get this season going!
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      Is JT Chargois going to pitch this year?
    1. DocBauer's Avatar
      DocBauer -
      Very interested in Navaretto and what he brings to the table.

      Very interested in Murphy.

      Love the Pat Kelly pick even though I hate to see him leave my Big Red.

      Disappointed in Jorge's first shot above rookie level. Hope he rebounds.

      Im still confused about Gonsalves. Is there something missing here? He's a great prospect, a real potential steal, and pitched well last season. I'm just surprised we haven't seen him already this year. Again, are we missing something?

      Someone please give any information on Andro Cutura. He seems to be a complete mystery drafted FAR higher than anyone had him ranked.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Gonsalves will split time between E-Town, and Cedar Rapids, I predict. In 5 or 6 weeks his dominance will be too much for Rookie ball. There are good prospects involved here and he is the top one.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      If Thorpe doesn't start the 2nd half with CR stronger than he's been in his first 2 starts, I'd look to see he and Gonsalves swapped pretty quickly.
    1. beyondclarity's Avatar
      beyondclarity -
      Pretty excited to see Gonsalves again. Agreed though, wondering why he didn't get a call to CR.
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      Quote Originally Posted by beyondclarity View Post
      Pretty excited to see Gonsalves again. Agreed though, wondering why he didn't get a call to CR.
      I imagine the Twins had 'assumed' either Eades or Slegers would have been fast movers except, to date, they have been anything but.
    1. SoCal Twin's Avatar
      SoCal Twin -
      Excited for Stephens' season to start! Go Twins!
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      Is Burdi going straight to Cedar Rapids?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tibs View Post
      Is JT Chargois going to pitch this year?
      The timing of his TJ surgery was a month earlier than when Gibson and Oliveros had theirs recently, so I would think he'll get some time in the GCL this year, assuming all goes well.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by DJL44 View Post
      Is Burdi going straight to Cedar Rapids?
      He has to sign first. I wouldn't mind seeing him get a couple of weeks in E-Town, but I'm hoping he goes right to Cedar Rapids. Why? Only because I will be there next weekend and it would be fun to see him!
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Regarding Gonsalves and why he's still in E-Town... 1.) I don't know, but 2.) we don't know what was happening in EST, in terms of how he was pitching, etc. and 3.) I do think he'll move up at some point.
    1. Thegrin's Avatar
      Thegrin -
      Gordon at SS for E-town !! What can be more exciting than this
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Only 3 OFers?
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