Acquired: 2008 draft; 30th round – out of Palmdale HS in Palmdale, CA[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Signed for $230,000 (4thround slot money) away from commitment to USC
Height/Weight: 6’7”, 220 lb.
[FONT=Arial]Tonkin was converted from starter to reliever in 2011. He throws a lot of fastballs in the mid-90’s with good movement. He throws a good slider that emerged as a difference maker in 2012. So he has two pitches that are above-average to plus. What differentiates Michaelfrom most hard throwers is his good command. He appears to be a flyball-neutral pitcher at worst, which is a little surprising given his reliance on the four-seam fastball and slider – perhaps a function of his height. He has a high effort delivery but appears durable.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Tonkin climbed three levels in 2013,from AA to AAA to the MLB making his debut in July when he was called up forThielbar’s paternity leave. He was optioned back to Rochester, then called up in September. In 2013, he had 28 days of MLB service andpitched 11.1 innings in 9 appearances so he is still eligible for Rookie of theYear and still a prospect.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Tonkin was optioned before the startof 2014, then called up for the start of the season when Duensing went on paternity leave. In my opinion, he was optioned because he has options. Because he was on the 25-man active roster at the start of the season, Michael fell to me at #54 on the 2014 Adopt-A-Prospect board.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Gardenhire would love to have thehard-throwing Tonkin on his staff, but then again he would love to have 13 pitchers on his staff. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Tonkin would be much more noticeable in a farm system not as rich as the Twins. So where does he fit in the Twins firmament of prospects. John Sickels ranked him 14th but said he could fit anywhere from 14th to 20th (C+). Gleeman ranked him 12th. Twinkietown ranked him 15th. According to 2014 Minnesota Twins ProspectHandbook, Seth Stohs ranked him 26th, Cody Christie ranked him 20th, and Jeremy Nygaard didn’t rank him in his top 20.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]I would rank Tonkin 12th. I like his high floor as a 7th or 8th inning set-up man. Actually I hate those roles. I like that he appears to be an old-fashioned shut-down reliever. With his stuff and control, he could be inserted into the middle of a high-leverage situation. I think he could also pitch more than aninning, although Seth (in his handbook) questions Tonkin’s effectiveness when he is used that way. If he can pitch for more than an inning, he will help the Twins limit the pitching staff to 12. Or even 11.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]It seems you can’t write up Michael Tonkin without mentioning that Jason Kubel is married to his sister. I never put too much stock in that until I discovered that Tonkin got an audition in the Metrodome before Gardenhire and Anderson in June 2008 which reportedly led to his signing. [/FONT]
Edited by Lonestar, 08 April 2014 - 10:33 AM.