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by Matt Sisk

Predicting the college relievers in 2013....

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We know the Twins drafted a slew of college relievers in 2012 right? Well just how fast will any of these guys be realistic possiblities for the MLB club's pen?? Don't worry, I've got predictions (and my own rating list, with the most potential nearest the top) for each of them here:

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(Top to Bottom: Jones, Bard, and Duffey)

1. Zach Jones - RHP This guy was a two-way player (hitter/pitcher) in college, which means he has only recently fully devoted his career to pitching. He averaged 15.3 K's/9 and opponents batted .159 when he pitched at the low levels last year (Rookie & A). Even so, that is still amazing! With improved control likely as he develops, the potential here is through-the-roof. I predict: start in A Cedar Rapids, with a shot to finish the season at A+ in Ft. Myers. Big K numbers with his upper 90's heat.

2. Luke Bard - RHP He was the first college pitcher drafted by the Twins last June, but he didn't pitch much last summer in the pro's. So I had to move him outta the #1 spot. He dominated while pitching for a very salty Gerogia Tech club last spring, (11 appearances, 0.99 ERA, .211 AvgA) and the reports are that his fastball/slider combo are sick. I predict: start in Cedar Rapids and probably stay there the entire season. He should be able to keep his ERA down in this league, if he doesn't try to pitch through an injury.

3. Tyler Duffey - RHP I know what you're thinking, "The Twins drafted Chargois three rounds ahead of this guy!" But Tyler Duffey actually had slightly better numbers (in more innings) last spring at Rice, than did our buddy Chargois. Duffey also K'd 12.7 per 9 innings last year in Rookie ball with great control and everything. I predict: a crazy-good debut in full season ball starting in Cedar Rapids and moving up to A+ with a bunch of other 2012 draftees.

4. Mason Melotakis - LHP Okay, okay, so maybe Mason could be rated higher since he was a 2nd rounder and he's got a power arm from the left side. And his numbers seem to argue that he could be rated 1-3 on this list (1.88 ERA in 20 appearances in the lower levels last summer). So this is great to have a guy that is this good rated "4th best" reliever from a single draft. I predict: Another guy with upside to move fast, maybe even get a look in AA ball in August.

5. J.T. Chargois - RHP This guy, also from Rice U, did an excellent job as the closer for Elizabethton last summer after signing last June. He fanned 12 guys per 9 innings and oppoents hit .182.....yes, it was only Rookie ball, but this is another guy that was a hitter in college and is only now fully devoted to becoming a pro pitcher. Great potential, and I predict: start in A, with a very real shot to pitch in Ft. Myers later in the 2013 summer.

This is a nice group of relievers that can move up together and fast! DJ Baxendale will become a starter soon it sounds like. And there are some other college guys that were drafted last June that could move with the group mentioned above (Taylor Rodgers, Christian Powell). Unfortunately, the likelihood that anyone on this list will get to Minnesota next summer is very low. So, kinda like the hitters, we must all wait wait wait for the organization to move these guys along slowly (very slowly in many instances) to the big club.
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  1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
    I think the debate isn't "where" they start... but "whether" they start.
  2. mnfanforlife's Avatar
    I also hope some of these guys mentioned become starting pitchers someday. Baxendale was terrific as a reliever last summer in his pro debut (0.96 ERA in 18.2 innings), and should be terrific as a starter as well.
  3. Han Joelo's Avatar
    Me too. Would be great to have some hard throwers with low mileage on their arms as starters.
  4. clutterheart's Avatar
    These guys should not take innings away fromBerrios and Mata for Cedar Rapids

    I will be surprised if any of them make the club as a starter.
  5. mnfanforlife's Avatar
    I dont see any of these guys taking innings from Berrios or Mata. Those two are worthy of a blog post each. But if one of these guys does become a starter next summer, they could easily join them in the Cedar Rapids starting 5.
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