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  • 21 Twins Names to Know for the 2021 Rule 5 Draft


    Seth Stohs

    On Friday, the Minnesota Twins and the rest of the league will submit their 40-man roster additions. After a lost 2020 minor-league season, it was great to have games to watch again in 2021. So who do the Twins need to add… or potentially risk losing to the Rule 5 draft? Here's a quick look at 21 players, and the rest of the players eligible. 

    Image courtesy of Nathan Ray Seebeck, USA TODAY Sports

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    For the second consecutive year, baseball will have an interesting offseason, filled with uncertainty. Along with the normal questions, such as: When will free agents sign? Will anything much happen before February? Which players will be non-tendered? 

    Baseball’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expires at midnight on December 2nd. At that point, the offseason will come to a halt. For how long? That is the question. We obviously hope that a new, long-term, equitable deal can be reached before 2022 spring training is scheduled to start in mid-February, but we don’t know. If there is a work stoppage, will there be a Winter Meetings, and if not, will there be a Rule 5 draft? Certainly, but when? 

    That is what we are here today to talk about.. The Rule 5 draft and which players the Twins may need to add to their 40-man roster or leave susceptible to the Rule 5 draft. Last year, the Twins lost both Akil Baddoo and Tyler Wells in the major-league portion, and the likes of Sam Clay, Jose Miranda, Griffin Jax and Charlie Barnes were left exposed as well. Teams have until Friday, November 19th, to add players to their 40 man roster. 

    At the completion of the World Series, the Twins have been able to remove their free agents - Andrelton Simmons and Michael Pineda - from the 40-man roster. Alex Colome also became a free agent when the Twins declined their half of the mutual option for 2022. The Twins have claimed right-hander Jharel Cotton.  

    The Twins are currently at 38 players on their 40-man roster. Several players will likely need to be removed in order to make room for this new group. The Twins still have to make decisions on several arbitration-eligible players as well. Offseason roster manipulation is incredibly fascinating from afar, but it has to provide most front offices with stress and headaches. 

    With that as the backdrop, the Twins could potentially add as many as eight or even nine players from their system to their 40-man roster (pending others being removed from the 40-man), but it is more likely they add four to six players on Friday.  

    So, here is a quick reminder of what players will be eligible for the 2021 Rule 5 draft if not protected on the 40-man roster. Here is this year’s criteria:

    • Players who signed when they were 18 or younger in 2017 (during the minor league season).
    • Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2018.
    • Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again.
    • Players drafted in 2015 became free agents after the World Series was complete. That list includes Aaron Whitefield (who quickly signed with the Angels), Trey Cabbage, Hector Lujan, Tyler Watson, Leobaldo Cabrera and more. 

    So, let’s take a look at the eligible players:

    There are always a lot of difficult decisions as it relates to adding players to the 40-man roster. That said, there are usually some Givens, then some intriguing options due to injury or age or something else. When so few players get selected in the Rule 5 draft, is it necessary to protect as many players? Or, are so few players selected because more (or the right) players get added to 40-man rosters?  

    While I have this group ranked by how I would consider adding them, I think the Twins should have a good conversation to consider each. (which they most certainly have)  

    THE GIVENS

    1. SS Royce Lewis - After the Twins took him with the first overall pick in the 2017 draft out of JSerra Catholic High School in California, Royce Lewis moved pretty quickly up the organizational ladder through the 2019 season. He was the MVP of the Arizona Fall League after the season. Then came 2020, a missed season for minor leaguers, but Lewis was able to participate at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. He was excited for the 2021 season, but shortly after he arrived in Ft. Myers for spring training, he was diagnosed with a torn ACL and had season-ending surgery. His rehab has gone smoothly, and his elite tools are still very clear and his ceiling remains high. Lewis is an easy choice to add to the roster. 
    2. IF Jose Miranda - The 73rd overall pick in 2016 draft from Puerto Rico, Jose Miranda has hit some and always displayed a lot of power potential. In 2021, things came together for Miranda. He didn’t chase as many pitches outside the zone and made a lot of hard contact. He hit a combined .343 between Double-A Wichita and Triple-A St. Paul with 30 doubles and 30 home runs. The Twins are lucky he wasn’t selected last year and he’s a certainty to be added this year. 
    1. RH SP Josh Winder - He was the Twins seventh round pick in 2018 from Virginia Military Institute. After missing 2020, Josh Winder jumped straight to Double-A Wichita and posted a 1.98 ERA and had 65 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings. He was promoted to Triple-A and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his first game. He pitched in the Futures Game and was then shut down with some shoulder issues. He sits 95-97 with his fastball and has four pitches. Easy choice. 
    1. RH SP Cole Sands - Sands was the team’s fifth round pick in 2018 out of Florida State. In 2019, he started in Low-A and ended the season with a start in Double-A. That’s where he spent the 2021 season. He went 4-2 with a 2.46 ERA. He struck out 96 batters in 80 1/3 innings. Cole Sands has a low-to-mid-90s fastball and a really good curveball. While he may not be a Given, he is more than Intriguing. I think the only chance he isn’t added is if the Twins only add three players.  

    THE INTRIGUING 

    1. RHP Blayne Enlow - The most interesting case for consideration. Enlow had Tommy John surgery in early June. Normally that would mean missing the rest of the season and all of the 2022 season. However, the success of Rich Hill’s elbow surgery procedure has given the Twins confidence in its success and Enlow had that surgery which puts him on the nine-to-12 month plan. Obviously the Twins will want to be extra cautious with a pitcher as talented as Enlow. His fastball velocity has improved, his changeup has become a solid third pitch, and he’s always had a really good breaking ball. In his brief 2021 season, he was starting to show the ability to miss bats which is very encouraging. If it was me, I would add Enlow. There are a lot of things to consider though. 
    2. RH SP Chris Vallimont - Chris Vallimont was the Marlins fifth-round pick in 2018 out of Mercyhurst. The Twins acquired him with Sergio Romo at the 2019 trade deadline in exchange for first baseman Lewin Diaz. The hard-throwing right-hander made 21 starts for the Wind Surge in 2021. He went 5-7 with a 6.03 ERA. In 91 innings, he walked 61 (way too many) but struck out 130 batters (an impressive 12.9 K/9). “Control” is the key. In the past, he has had good control. The stuff is really good, but can he throw enough strikes? 
    3. RH RP Jordan Gore - Gore was the Twins 19th round pick in 2017 out of Coastal Carolina, and he played shortstop until near the end of the 2019 season. That’s when he began the process of becoming a pitcher. In 2021, he finally got the chance to show what he could do. Jordan Gore was impressive. At Cedar Rapids, he had 58 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings. He moved up to Wichita and struck out 30 batters in 28 innings. He combined to go 8-2 with a 2.39 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. He had seven saves including six at Wichita. More importantly, while his fastball sat between 93 and 96, what was impressive is that he has a good changeup and a solid breaking ball.
    1. RH SP Austin Schulfer - Another college pitcher from the 2018 draft, Austin Schulfer was the team’s 19th round pick out of UW-Milwaukee. While he split time between starting and the bullpen in 2018 and 2019, he was a starter for Double-A Wichita in 2021. He went 6-8 with a 4.34 ERA. In 110 innings, he struck out 105 batters and walked 49. In 2021, Schulfer was hitting 96 and even 97 at times with a strong three-pitch mix. While not a known prospect, Schulfer is close to MLB ready and could work out of a big-league bullpen.  
    2. RH RP Ian Hamilton - The former White Sox reliever (14 games between 2018 and 2020) was Chicago’s 11th round pick in 2016 out of Washington State. The Twins claimed him last offseason and later in the year they were able to pass him through waivers and outright him to St. Paul. Because it was his first outright, he could not yet become a free agent. But, while he has control and command concerns, Ian Hamilton has really good stuff and had 86 strikeouts in 59 innings this year for the Saints. He can pitch in the big leagues, and has, which might make the right team intrigued by his stuff. 
    3. SS Jermaine Palacios - Palacios originally signed with the Twins in 2013. In 2017, he became a top shortstop prospect, and the Twins were able to trade him to Tampa for Jake Odorizzi. In 2018 and 2019, he really struggled offensively. He didn’t play in 2020, and while he was offered more by other teams, Palacios decided to sign with the Twins last summer. He responded with strong shortstop defense at Double-A and hit .259/.340/.439 (.779) with 17 doubles and 19 homers. He could have become a free agent after the World Series, but he re-signed with the Twins. At 25, Jermaine Palacios could fill a utility role somewhere. 

    THE “SETH, YOU RANKED BAILEY OBER 11th LAST YEAR” CATEGORY

    1. RH RP Ryan Mason - Went 3-2 with six saves with Wichita. In 35 1/3 innings, he struck out 38 batters (9.7 K/9). He finished the season with 13 games in St. Paul. He was 1-0 with a save. In 18 2/3 innings, Ryan Mason walked ten and struck out 25 batters. While he profiles as a low-leverage reliever, he is ready now for a big-league opportunity.  
    2. RH RP Steven Cruz - When it comes to big arms, this is the one. Steven Cruz (22) sat 96-100 for Ft. Myers this year. He also has a split-change and a slider that are both 90+ on the radar too. In 46 2/3 innings with the Mussels, he walked 30 and struck out 76 (14.7 K/9). Too many walks, and struggled late in the season in two games for Cedar Rapids. Great stuff, but probably too far away from being ready to stick on a roster. 
    3. C Jair Camargo - He came to the Twins in the Kenta Maeda/Brusdar Graterol trade. So 2021 was his debut in the organization. In Cedar Rapids, he hit .236/.279/.418 (.697) with seven doubles and 13 homers. Jair Camargo is a solid catcher defensively and athletic with a strong arm. Offensively, he’s got power, but he doesn’t like to take too many pitches. 
    4. 2B Yunior Severino - Enough of an international prospect that he received two seven-figure signing bonuses. He fractured his thumb early in the 2019 season and there was no 2020 season. Yunior Severino began 2021 with 63 games in Ft. Myers where he posted a .740 OPS. He moved up to Cedar Rapids and in 35 games, he hit .321/.414/.493 (.907). Combined, he had 29 doubles and eight homers. Beyond second base, he can also play third base. It’s hard to imagine he would be able to stick on a big-league roster.  
    1. UT Michael Helman - The Twins selected Michael Helman in the 11th round of the 2018 draft out of Texas A&M. He took major strides forward in 2021 with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. In 111 games, he hit .246/.336/.462 (.798) with 21 doubles and 19 homers. He also stole 21 bases. In addition, he can play three infield positions and had significant time at all three outfield positions in 2021. He is in the Arizona Fall League, continuing to play all over the diamond. One position that has been selected in past Rule 5 drafts are utility players.
    2. OF Mark Contreras - A ninth round pick in 2017 after four years at UC-Riverside. After winning a minor league Gold Glove, but struggling with the bat in 2019, 2021 was a big year. He played 19 games in Double-A before playing 95 games with the Saints. Combined, he hit .251/.338/.485 (.824) with 30 doubles and 20 home runs. Mark Contreras can be a fourth outfielder in the big leagues right now, but that profile isn’t what typically gets selected in the Rule 5. 
    3. IF Jesus Feliz - Call me intrigued by Jesus Feliz. I was impressed with him when I saw him at spring training in 2020, so when he hit six doubles and seven homers in the less-than-hitter-friendly Ft. Myers league. He can play shortstop, but probably profiles more at third base. The power is real. He hit just .222/.289/.380, so he’s not in a position to stick on a big-league roster, but he’s one to watch. 
    1. RH RP Alex Scherff - Alex Scherff has yet to pitch in the Twins organization after coming from the Red Sox in the Hansel Robles trade. Before that, he had pitched at High-A and Double-A and went 3-1 with four saves and a 2.45 ERA. In 29 1/3 innings, he struck out 46 (14.1 K/9) and walked 13. 
    2. LH RP Kody Funderburk - A 15th round pick in 2018 out of Dallas Baptist, Kody Funderburk was a two-way player in college. He’s been a full-time pitcher since signing. He made 10 starts in Cedar Rapids and posted a 3.18 ERA. He moved up to Wichita and made seven bullpen appearances. He posted a 1.25 ERA in 21 2/3 innings. Combined, he struck out 82 batters in 67 innings (11.0 K/9). Right now, he’s pitching in the Arizona Fall League being seen by scouts from every organization. He’s got 19 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings.  
    3. LH RP Zach Featherstone - Another two-way player, the Twins drafted Zach Featherstone as a first baseman and outfielder in the 12th round in 2016 from Tallahassee CC. However, the southpaw was moved to the mound in 2017. Unfortunately, he hurt his elbow and had Tommy John surgery early in the 2018 season. He was ready to throw late in 2019, but a hurricane ended his chance. Then a missed 2020 season. In 2021, he pitched in 40 games out of the Kernels bullpen. He went 3-4 with nine saves and a 2.13 ERA. In 55 innings, he walked too many (42) and struck out 93 batters (15.2 K/9). He is now in the AFL and has seven walks and 12 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings. He throws hard, sitting 92-96 mph with a good slider.  
    4. IF Andrew Bechtold - Andrew Bechtold was the Twins fifth round pick in 2017 from Chipola College. From 2017 through 2019, he had hit 12 combined home runs. In 99 games for Wichita in 2021, he hit .239/.328/.459 (.786) with 23 doubles and 18 home runs. He can play third base and first base, and probably some second base. The fact that he is adding ‘Catching’ to his game makes him more versatile and more valuable to a team potentially. He is currently in the AFL as well. 

    Others in their first year of eligibility:

    Others returning to Rule 5 eligibility after 2021.

    SUMMARY
    The Twins again have several interesting players to consider adding to the 40-man roster or potentially be lost in the Rule 5 draft. Like the rest of the offseason, it’s hard to feel confident about anything that’s going to happen, including the Rule 5 draft, due to a potential December 2nd work stoppage. But it will happen at some point before the 2022 season begins... we think.  

    PREDICTION
    It is pretty clear that the Givens to be added are (or should be) Royce Lewis, Jose Miranda, Josh Winder and Cole Sands. I then think they will add two of the Enlow, Vallimont, Gore and Schulfer grouping, and based on my rankings, I would guess Enlow and Vallimont. 

    The 40-man roster currently sits at 38 players. A quick glance tells me that as many as eight or nine more players could come off of it, if needed. Obviously not that many will be dropped at this time to allow for DFAs later in the offseason, as needed to make room for free agents. 

    I think they’ll be busy in free agency and will want those roster spots available to them. They may be busy with trades too, including some of the mentioned players.. 

    What do you think?

     
     
     
     
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    I think they add the 4 and probably Enlow, also would add Palacios as the Twins might need a shortstop this year and he is a sleeper.  Expect Vallimont to be taken, but doubt he is ready to be in a contenders major league bullpen.  Gore and others will depend on whether they do a rebuild vs a reset (that is dependent on Buxton).  Twins with the pitching coming could be able to do a quick rebuild and become more like Cleveland, with more resources to add hitters (plus our minor league hitters are probably better than cleveland). 

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    It is not just adding the prospects, it is also making room for the pitching and position player adds in free agency.

    It would not be unreasonable to think which one of Garlick, Cave or Contreras does the team keep. 

    The 5-9 starters ends up a debate. Barnes, Dobnak, Jax, Smeltzer or Thorpe. Will it be reasonable to think Balazovic or WInder will be ready and better than 2 on the list.

    Are Cotton, Coulumbe, Garza, Minyana or Stashak indispensable. 

    Can or do you move one of Sano, Larnach, or Rooker for a pitcher?

    Have we seen the last of a Turtle? 

    There are a lot of decisions to be made. It is likely half of these players need to go somewhere 

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    Given what happened last year the club may keep as many of the prospect pitchers as they can, hoping they can sign the gems they found last year to minor league deals, That could be as many as 6.

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    Great work, Seth! Really appreciate the article before Friday. A few questions for you and the forum:

    1. Do you think the Rule 5 decisions give insight to the Twins 2022 reload (trades and fee agents to compete in 2022), retool (off season moves to be competitive in 2023-24), or rebuild (move mlb assets to be competitive in 2025+) plans? Or stated differently, do you think the Rule 5 strategy this off-season differs if the Twins are trying to win this year versus in a few years?

    2. Do you think Wander Javier or Jermaine Palacios gets picked up if not protected? Twins depth is poor at SS IMO - particularly if Cavacao, Martin, or Lewis can’t stick? 
    3. What do you think about Severino as this year’s Baddoo? 
     

    Thanks again!

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    Another fascinating set of options for fans to think about in this year of change, hope, and worry.  There are a lot of good players on this list.  The result of a good minor league system, but then comes the challenge - promotion, trade, or fingers crossed.  I think it is time for a quick prospect dump in a trade with a team like the As who do not want to keep their major leaguers and would be happy to load up with more cheap prospects.  

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    42 minutes ago, WilliesWorld24 said:

    3. What do you think about Severino as this year’s Baddoo? 

    My thoughts exactly. This FO just doesn't seem to get that very promising young players sometimes are far more ready for the show than their analysis suggests. I expect they won't protect him, and he'll be lost.

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    I would add Enlow (I think a bad/rebuilding team will take him, then stash him on the IL for a while and rehab him in the bullpen at the MLB level), and then the real questions are Vallimont (who has the stuff to compete in a bullpen role right now and the control to show new levels of hilarity in strange pitching lines) and Palacios (who plays a premier defensive position, might be able to survive as a utility guy on a bad team right now, and still has intriguing tools).

    I like Severino a lot, but I think Seth is right that he's not someone who could stick on an MLB roster right now, even a bad one. Hamilton is interesting...I could definitely see another team grabbing him; the real question is whether the twins think he's ready to step back into a bullpen role right now. If they're ready to commit to him, then you protect him. Otherwise, he's probably gone because a team will pay the $200K on him in the Rule V and if he flames out in the bullpen you can offer him back and it's fine either way: either you get 1/2 your money back on a guy who busted for you, or you can send him back to the minors to try and get right.

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    Wonderful analysis of the upper regions of the Twins minor league system. Good details on guys with major league POTENTIAL, as well as 33 more names at the end, many of whom will be gone by the end of the 2022 minor league season.

    Shows how tough it is to be a minor league player. 

    The Twins decision is to re-tool and go with youth. Or buy (or trade) and be competitive in the Central, which to many of us is NOT enough, as we want them to advance in the post-season. Of course, that is also the wish of every team in baseball at some point.

     

    The Twins have currently 38 folks on their roster.

     

    The obvious adds are Royce Lewis, Josh WInder, Jose Miranda. I would argue for Cole Sands. I would give thought to Ian Hamilton or Judson Gore.

     

    Out of the above, Miranda seems to be the only name that has a chance to start the season with the Twins. Would it be as a utility/bench player, rotating DH, regular outfielder, or third base of the Twins can move Donaldson.

     

    The Twins are carrying the starting rotation of AAA St. Paul Saints on their roster at the moment: Balazovic, Duran, Barnes, Jax and Strotman. Sands and Winder would also start at St. Paul. So the Twins could elevate of the above to the majors, or move them to another team (or try Jax in the bullpen...which might be more logically to do in St. Paul than in the majors).

     

    Blayne Enlow is talked about, but he is at High A right now, potentially opening the season on the injured list. Can you afford to keep him on the off-season 40-man, then pay him major league dollars with the hopes that he is only one-year away from the majors, although likely two.

    The Twins also kept the contracts of Chandler Shepherd and Bryan Sammons, both rotation arms, in St. Paul. Expect them to sign lots of minor league free agents, although hopefully not the large number (more than 35) they signed last season.

    The Twins might also give consideration to Ryan Mason for the bullpen. Like Hamilton, those two names are ones a team could grab with the hopes of sending out to the minors (like the Twins did with Hamilton after waiver claiming him, then removing him from the 40-man) because there is organizational depth promise. Enough to pay x-dollars with a return of some bucks if the Twins want back? Hamilton, Mason and Gore could stick in the backend of a pen for a team like the current Minnesota Twins easily, if you are playing to stay in the standings mid-range or retooling.

     

    Are they better than Garza, Coulombe, Minaya, Cotton? That is the question.

     

    Throw into the mix Smeltzer, Stashak, Thorpe - all three on their last stand as a Twin. Add in Dobnak, who SHOULD pass thru waivers because of his conract, thus muidding up the rotation prospects at AAA St. Paul as he tries for a comeback.

     

    So, right now, the Twins would have on their 40-man roster Balazovic, Duran, Strotman, Barnes, Winder, Sands who will all break spring training as AAA players. Add in Jovani Moran who will have to pitch quite well to break camp (or the Twins jettison some left-handed arms), and put the seasoned Maeda on the IL, you have eight 40-man names not playing for the Twins in April. Whew.

     

    Kerrigan and Contreras are signed for the minors. DOn't see anyone thinking they are the next Akil Baddoo. But who knows. Both are capable of being 4th outfielders if the Twins need one, but Gilberto Celestino, still on the 40-man, would likely open the season at AAA, unless the Twins trade Buxton. Now NINE folks are at AAA. Add Trevor Larnach, who is hopefully working hard this off-season to break camp with the Twins, you have TEN at AAA.

     

    Plus, the roster still holds names like: Garlick, Cave, Rooker. All potential 4th outfielders. All could comfortably be gone soon or by spring training depending on other roster additions.

     

    The Twins will have Ryan Jeffers or Ben Rortvedt catching fulltime at AAA St. Paul. SO now ELEVEN guys have little chance of breaking the Twins roster out of spring training. Royce Lewis makes it 12. Nick Gordon can be on the bubble, but as long as no one claims Palacidos, who should start at AAA - well, there is no need to add Jermaine. We also have to put Willians Astudillo on the bubble. Much loved, but worthy of a roster spot if someone else with major laague experience is added?

     

    That is a lot of names, a dozen. Yes, some will shuffle up and down during the season and a few may stick by mid-season. The magic word is FEW.

     

    What Seth laid out was a recipe of names hat the Twins can use to build a future. Are these 20+ detailed players, plus the additional 30+ enough building blocks to make the team competitive in a year or two? Who amongst these 50 players are MUST keepers. Remember, if they are Rule 5 eligible, they will also be more experienced and Rule 5 eligible next season, and many will be given walking papers as minor league free agents....so their worth to the Twins as internal options are fleeting.

     

    Who are the sleepers in this bunch...the Jax, Ober, Barnes that will push themselves onto the roster (at the expense of who) to become a part of the Twins.

     

    They are all prospects. How many would another team like Miami or Oakland or CIncinnati like to have on their own roster, especially if the Twins - last place finishers in the American League Central - can't find room for them on their own roster.

     

    How many are falling beind names like Austin Martin, Simeon Woods-Richardson, Matt Centerino, Aaron Sabato, Matt Wallner, Keoni Cavaco, Spencer Steer, Alerick Soulaire, Edouard Julien, Yennier Cano, Louis Varland - every one of these names has POTENTIAL MINNESOTA TWINS written on their prospect line, compared to NOT on a majority of the names mention in Seth's piece.

     

    It's scary that the Twins have up to a dozen names on a potential 40-man roster who are NOT capable of opening the season with the team, unless the team is in rebuild mode. Add in the names of another dozen, plus the newly acquired Cotton, who have played for the Twins and could easily...easily...be jettisoned for almost anyone else, be it a traded player, a free agent signing, or a better minor league free agent signing who comes to spring camp and shines...shouyld the Twins open the season with a lot of real AAA names on the roster, or continue to play with a lot of AAAA names on the roster.

     

    Once a player is added to the 40-man, they get to stay for a few seasons. But at anytime, if you want to remove them, they go thru waivers and unless they really stink, another team will grab them and do the same for depth.

     

    So pick carefully.

     

     

     

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    Seems to me teams like to grab the injured guy like Enlow, then they may have the opportunity play it by ear. If still "not healthy", they have the option to stash him and rehab him as long as possible all while getting time to evaluate, or time enough for the former team to lose interest.

    The last three players the Twins lost in the Rule Five were Baddoo, Wells, and Nick Burdi. Weren't there questions whether any of those guys would be ready for for spring training four months later? I think Luke Bard may have been healthy when selected, but I can't remember for sure, he usually wasn't healthy.

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    3 hours ago, WilliesWorld24 said:

    Great work, Seth! Really appreciate the article before Friday. A few questions for you and the forum:

    1. Do you think the Rule 5 decisions give insight to the Twins 2022 reload (trades and fee agents to compete in 2022), retool (off season moves to be competitive in 2023-24), or rebuild (move mlb assets to be competitive in 2025+) plans? Or stated differently, do you think the Rule 5 strategy this off-season differs if the Twins are trying to win this year versus in a few years?

    2. Do you think Wander Javier or Jermaine Palacios gets picked up if not protected? Twins depth is poor at SS IMO - particularly if Cavacao, Martin, or Lewis can’t stick? 
    3. What do you think about Severino as this year’s Baddoo? 
     

    Thanks again!

    Thank you! 

    1.) I don't think we can or should read into the 40-man adds beyond that those players have a future with the team that they simply don't want to lose. 

    1b.) The strategy can absolutely be different depending upon where the team is. Especially regarding if they add someone. 

    2.) Palacios could since he's close to the big leagues. I think the luster on Javier's upside is all-but-gone. However, I am really glad they have another year to let him play and see what happens. 

    3.) I think the likelihood of Baddoo becoming Baddoo last year was very low. Baddoo always had all the tools. Severino has some hit tools, but lacks the speed and defense and such. So, I think Severino taking off is really low. If he stays with the Twins, he's likely to spend 1/2 of 2022 in Cedar Rapids and get to Double-A in the second half. And there's no reason to believe that he should get pushed any faster. That said, Baddoo got an opportunity, took advantage and never looked back. Severino could find a hot stretch... I just don't see it. 

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    Seth lists 54 players in article, would hope they will make up vast majority of AAA and AA rosters this year. May loose a couple to rule 5 draft. Seems Twins are conservative when it comes to promoting players within the system. If Baddoo had not been drafted to Tigers last year, he probably would have started at high A and moved to AA at midseason in the Twins system. 

    I don't see Twins as contenders next year, too many holes to fill and no confidence FO will do what it takes to fill those holes. If contender good to have some MLB experienced players at AAA for depth, don't want to rely on rookie in case of injury. But Twins need to develop their prospects, use the players they have for depth. Palacios good example, need emergency SS at AAA, he is a good fit why sign another JT Riddle type.

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    Very useful survey. But are you counting figures beyond the decimal point in Severino's bonuses? $100m+ is a lot of cash!

    Quote

    2B Yunior Severino - Enough of an international prospect that he received two nine-figure signing bonuses.

     

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    Thanks, Seth.

    I have been expecting them to add five, with them being your top five.  Perhaps a bigger question is will they select someone this year?  With their record, they will be picking during the early stages of the draft and just might have someone sitting there they really like.  So that would mean they need to get down to no more than 34, which will require 4 more cuts.

    Don't know if they would lose Vallimont or some of the others.  Unlikely, but one never knows. 

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    Thanks Seth for this in-depth article. We have a lot of good undeveloped potential, I'd like to keep as many as possible, that means drop as much dead weight as possible starting with Cave and hope he gets picked. I'd rather hold onto Colina than Cave. Then I'd warm up the trading machine to get rid of nonessential and redundant players.

    I don't know about some of the younger talent that might get DFAed. But I think Bolt from OAK could eventually get DFAed and I'd be interested in him

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    Can someone tell me if I'm doing this right? I went to twinsbaseball.com and they show 38  players on the 40 man roster including the 8 on the 60 day DL. We start there.

    Next, I would then remove Cave, Astudillo, and Garlick. All easy calls, all possible MiLB contract signers with some team and it could be the Twins if we want them back. Now we're down to 35. The top 5 players on Seth's list are all more important to the Twins both long and short term than those 3 guys. The FO should be able to make this decision in their sleep or over coffee. Now we're back up to 40. So far, no really tough decision to make. 

    NOW, we get to the hard part. Are any of Vallimont, Gore, Hamilton. Palacios, etc. more important to keep than Smeltzer, Thorpe, Rooker, Strotman, Jax, Garza, Dobnak or Barnes? That's the choice. My choice would be to drop Thorpe and Barnes, replace them with Vallimont and Gore.  Thereafter, the questions are who might get drafted and would we rather have them than Garza, Smeltzer, or Minaya, and do we need open spots for free agents. It seems logical to me that the best thing to draft/easiest to stash guy for a bad team with a longer term horizon is a pitcher; even better is an injured pitcher. Utility guy comes next. With that mindset, I do 2 things. First, I trade Rooker or Larnach together with Sano or Kepler for a combination of one MLB ready pitcher and younger non-40 man prospect(s).  Opens 1 spot. I leave it open for a FA. If I need more spots, I drop Smeltzer, then Garza, and I keep Minaya.  If I can't swing a trade,  I drop Smeltzer, Garza and Rooker in that order (hoping to re-sign them to MiLB deals), and keep Palacios first, then Hamilton, then Schulfer.   Not sure I'd trade Hamilton for Garza or Rooker for Schulfer so I might stop before or right after Hamilton.  Take my chances with the rest.  

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    I'm thinking Palacios will be added to the 40-man roster and start at SS for the Twins, with Miranda at 3b, Polanco @ 2b and Kiriloff at 1b. What happens to Donaldson & Sano? Stay tuned for further updates. :)

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    After the 4 givens, I think Enlow is a lock. My #5/6 are Vallimont and Palacios - I'm not as high on Vallimont as others, as he likely ends up as a reliever, though he could be a really good one. I do like Palacios a lot and we need more SS depth at the AAA/MLB level. #7 for me is Severino, but I agree with Seth - he doesn't have the high upside that Baddoo had, and I don't think he'd be much of a loss with all the depth we have at 2B in the organization (note that Baddoo was a top 10 prospect at one point, and I haven't seen Severino higher than 20 that I can recall).

    Gore has great numbers, but just too tiny a sample size for me to worry about protecting him. Schulfer probably doesn't crach the top 50 prospects. Hamliton already had chances with the White Sox, got DFA'd multiple times, and wasn't called up over the likes of Nick Vincent, Kyle Barraclough, and Ian Gibaut. Why even bother protecting him when they didn't bother to give him a chance to pitch a single inning in the majors when there were tons of openings?

    I would like to see Contreras at some point, I'd rather see him in the OF than Cave/Refsnyder/Garlick. But as Seth said, he's very unlikely to be taken.

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    To me the first 6 are givens: Lewis, Miranda, Winder, Sands, Enlow and Vallimont.

    I don't WANT to protect Enlow as he's going to be out until June/July and hopefully get some quality IP at the end of the year. But someone WILL pick him, stash him, rehab him, and get him ready for 2023. I don't recall Valimont's control ever being as bad previously. He's probably destined for the pen, IMO, as a high velocity, K arm that we just can't afford to be selected and stashed on a bad team's roster for a year.

    I really want to keep Gore and I think he pitches for the Twins at some point in 2022. But can we afford the roster spot to protect him? Schulfer has been solid, but not great, thus far in his Twins career. But I also didn't realize he had that much velocity. I'd really hate to take the chance someone is going to stash him in their pen like what happened to Wells last year.

    Lastly, I'm really glad they re-signed Palacios. But I don't see room to keep him. Despite a good 2021 and the ability to suddenly hit, and hit with power, at an upper level, it was his 3rd go around at AA. Further, if you break down his months, his BA and other peripherals were inconsistent month to month. That works in the Twins favor. I just don't see him being selected, or at least not kept, by another team.

    There's no room to keep anyone else. And it's going to be hard to keep everyone I've already listed.

    But a dark horse, or at least someone I'm really, really hoping doesn't get picked? That would be Contreras. I don't think he will be picked, much less kept. But I think he has a chance to play in 2022 in some capacity. I don't think the hit tool is ready yet, but the defense is there and he's got some developing power.

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    1 hour ago, DocBauer said:

    To me the first 6 are givens: Lewis, Miranda, Winder, Sands, Enlow and Vallimont.

    I don't WANT to protect Enlow as he's going to be out until June/July and hopefully get some quality IP at the end of the year. But someone WILL pick him, stash him, rehab him, and get him ready for 2023. I don't recall Valimont's control ever being as bad previously. He's probably destined for the pen, IMO, as a high velocity, K arm that we just can't afford to be selected and stashed on a bad team's roster for a year.

    I really want to keep Gore and I think he pitches for the Twins at some point in 2022. But can we afford the roster spot to protect him? Schulfer has been solid, but not great, thus far in his Twins career. But I also didn't realize he had that much velocity. I'd really hate to take the chance someone is going to stash him in their pen like what happened to Wells last year.

    Lastly, I'm really glad they re-signed Palacios. But I don't see room to keep him. Despite a good 2021 and the ability to suddenly hit, and hit with power, at an upper level, it was his 3rd go around at AA. Further, if you break down his months, his BA and other peripherals were inconsistent month to month. That works in the Twins favor. I just don't see him being selected, or at least not kept, by another team.

    There's no room to keep anyone else. And it's going to be hard to keep everyone I've already listed.

    But a dark horse, or at least someone I'm really, really hoping doesn't get picked? That would be Contreras. I don't think he will be picked, much less kept. But I think he has a chance to play in 2022 in some capacity. I don't think the hit tool is ready yet, but the defense is there and he's got some developing power.

    I like Palacio also, he was a very good hitting SS when we traded him to TB. It was strange that when he was traded  he stayed in the same Florida league but yet his hitting crashed. My take is TB has poor hitting instruction at that level and he couldn't recover his swing. He returns and he's starting to find it again.

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    3 hours ago, Thegrin said:

    I'm thinking Palacios will be added to the 40-man roster and start at SS for the Twins, with Miranda at 3b, Polanco @ 2b and Kiriloff at 1b. What happens to Donaldson & Sano? Stay tuned for further updates. :)

    If they were going to add Palacios to the 40-man roster, they probably would have just done it when they re-signed him. 

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    2 hours ago, Danchat said:

    Gore has great numbers, but just too tiny a sample size for me to worry about protecting him. Schulfer probably doesn't crach the top 50 prospects. Hamliton already had chances with the White Sox, got DFA'd multiple times, and wasn't called up over the likes of Nick Vincent, Kyle Barraclough, and Ian Gibaut. Why even bother protecting him when they didn't bother to give him a chance to pitch a single inning in the majors when there were tons of openings?

    Re: Hamilton... the reason not to call him up is because if they did, and then they DFAd him, he could be a free agent. To this point, he has only been DFAd once so he can't be a free agent. The other three guys they were fine with becoming free agents. 

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    2 hours ago, DocBauer said:

    I don't WANT to protect Enlow as he's going to be out until June/July and hopefully get some quality IP at the end of the year. But someone WILL pick him, stash him, rehab him, and get him ready for 2023. 

    Re: Enlow... The Twins can let someone stash him on their roster and DL... But so can the Twins... he can go on the 60 Day IL. Regardless, if he's added, the Twins can option him in 2022, 2023 and 2024, so they can remain as patient with him as possible. 

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    1 hour ago, Seth Stohs said:

    Re: Hamilton... the reason not to call him up is because if they did, and then they DFAd him, he could be a free agent. To this point, he has only been DFAd once so he can't be a free agent. The other three guys they were fine with becoming free agents. 

    Yeah, I get that, but I still don't get why they didn't get Hamilton up just to see how he'd fare in 15-20 MLB innings. There is ample space on the 40 man to keep him around - heck, they've bothered to keep Coulombe and Minaya on the roster, not sure why Hamilton couldn't have.

    I suppose he's out of options, so if he failed to make the Opening Day Roster he'd have to clear waivers. But then again, our bullpen has several guys with 0 options: Minaya, Coulombe, Cotton, Smeltzer, and Thorpe. I don't see what is keeping Hamilton from being listed among those names above.

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    3 minutes ago, Danchat said:

    Yeah, I get that, but I still don't get why they didn't get Hamilton up just to see how he'd fare in 15-20 MLB innings. There is ample space on the 40 man to keep him around - heck, they've bothered to keep Coulombe and Minaya on the roster, not sure why Hamilton couldn't have.

    I suppose he's out of options, so if he failed to make the Opening Day Roster he'd have to clear waivers. But then again, our bullpen has several guys with 0 options: Minaya, Coulombe, Cotton, Smeltzer, and Thorpe. I don't see what is keeping Hamilton from being listed among those names above.

    Coulombe and Minaya have past MLB success and performed well this year. Also, both are potential candidates to get DFAd soon... If Hamilton gets through the Rule 5, then the option situation doesn't come into play. The nice thing about him is he's still just 26. He had a nice mid-season stretch, and he's got some upside. 

    This is a good example of how only being able to add 2 players to the MLB roster in September hurt guys like this. Obviously getting Moran up to the big leagues was the priority. 

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    2 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

    Re: Enlow... The Twins can let someone stash him on their roster and DL... But so can the Twins... he can go on the 60 Day IL. Regardless, if he's added, the Twins can option him in 2022, 2023 and 2024, so they can remain as patient with him as possible. 

    Yes, but he has to be protected initially on the 40 man roster before being placed on the 60 day IL to create another roster opening, right?

    And if I'm right, when can he be transferred to the 60 day to allow for an open spot?

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    I feel sorry for Hamilton. The kid has been through so much. Not just his horrific injury,  but just last season he was claimed and waived 2 or 3 times before being a Twin for 2021. For his sake, and I just don't see how we can spend the 40 man spot to protect him, I hope he goes unclaimed just so he can continue with ONE TEAM to keep progressing and get a shot.

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    The Twins need to base their 40 man decisions based on 2023 and 2024. With Berrios gone, Maeda on IL, and the injuries to most of the top pitching prospects last year there's a slim chance of contending.

    Surprises can change the thinking in July but at this point protect those with upside potential in 2023 and 2024.

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    After reading the comments on most of these guys it just makes me wonder even more why the Twins hang on to players that they get little to no production from like Smeltzer, Thorpe, Stashak, Astudillo, Cave, & Garlick. In addition, guys like Dobnak, Coloumbe, & Minaya are a dime a dozen that can be traded for or easily replaced with up coming talent. There's 9 open spots to use. Rooker, Garza and Barnes aren't anything special either but they are young and I wouldn't cut ties with them yet. In my opinion the Twins didn't do themselves any favors by playing 2021 September games with these guys including Colome and Simmons. If you weren't going to keep/resign them for 2022 they could have been DFA'd Sept 1 and you could have brought up a Palacios, Miranda, Gore, or Contreras. Geeze, let's just let these guys rot in the minors until someone does a Baddoo on us. With only the future to look forward to why play the rest of the 2021 season without looking at as many youngsters as you can? The veterans who have/had no future with your team should not have been playing.

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