Aaron Allan Slegers (pronounced SLAY-gers)
Born: September 4, 1992 (age 24 this season)
Birthplace: Scottsdale, AZ
Signed via the amateur draft in 2013, fifth round (140th overall)
Height: 6' 10"
Pitching arsenal: fastball, slider, circle change
OK, let's acknowledge the
elephant giraffe in the room about Aaron Slegers right away: the dude is tall. Really Tall. Six-ten Tall. Man-among-boys Tall. Hows-the-weather-up-there Tall. Blade-of-grass-the-lawnmower-missed Tall. He-must-be-sick-of-hearing-about-it Tall.
Here's a photo I'm unreasonably fond of, out of focus and all, from Spring Training 2015. That's him in the middle with the high-waisted trousers, in case you need a hint:
Here's a more recent one that shows him at work, warming up during a Spring 2017 game on the AAA field:
OK, with the height out of the way, what do we know about him? The Twins signed him in 2013 after a three-year career at Indiana University, where he won Big Ten Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Year honors in 2013, putting him in good company with Tyler Jay (UI 2015), Alex Wimmers (OSU 2009-10), and Glen Perkins (UM 2004).
After an initial season in Elizabethtown he has moved up in the organization with pretty good speed, seeing time in both Cedar Rapids (A) and Ft Myers (A+) in 2014, Ft Myers and Chattanooga in 2015, and then Chattanooga again in 2016. You can look up his numbers at the above link better than I can repeat them. He has done well at every stop - never consistently dominant, but always a workhorse getting the job done. Aside from his get-the-feet-wet time in Rookie ball, he's been used strictly as a starting pitcher.
He has a good fastball - I saw 94 on the radar gun during the one Spring game of his I watched, or 91 at times (maybe a sinker?). Off-speed at 86 but I don't know if he has anything really slow in his arsenal. He got a very nice "failed checked swing" for a strike 3 on one batter, and in the next inning I saw another called 3rd strike for a 3rd out. I have no idea if those were changeups or sliders. But those batters at least were not able to get a good read on his delivery - if it were the changeup it would be sweet - good two-strike changeups are always sweet, at least except if the batter is sitting on it.
Here is Seth Stoh's most recent TD article about Slegers, which contains lots of good tidbits that I won't (directly ) plagiarize.
Bottom line for me: he passes the eye test, and he passes the stats test, and he passes the Seth test, and he passes the "organization has faith in him" test (which means I can dispense with the other tests). He's got a chance.
Aaron is on the Rochester roster for 2017 in their starting rotation, making him only one long-strided step away from the big show. (Yes, I'm probably going to work oblique references to his height into my reports all season. Sorry, Aaron.)
Here is his previous Twins Daily Adopt-A-Prospect page: