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  1. Edwar Colina was projected to be part of the Twins future bullpen, but Minnesota’s front office had different plans, and he was claimed off waivers by the Rangers. With pitching needs for 2022, does the Colina decision make sense? Originally, Edwar Colina signed as a teenager out of Venezuela. He spent his first five seasons as a starter in the Twins organization and made it to Triple-A. In over 300 innings, he posted a 2.80 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP and 8.8 K/9. Even with his successes, he projected to fill a bullpen role at the big-league level. During the 2020 season, Colina made his big-league debut, but things didn’t go perfectly. He allowed three earned runs on four hits while only recording one out. Even with this poor debut, he entered 2021 spring training with a chance to make the Opening Day roster. However, elbow inflammation became an issue, and he eventually underwent a season-ending arthroscopic debridement in late May. Before his elbow issues, scouting reports on Colina had him with a 60-grade fastball and a 60-grade slider. Both of those pitches were good enough for him to be a successful reliever. There were questions about his control, which was one reason to shift him from starter to reliever. That being said, he was still considered among the team’s top prospects. So, why did the team try and pass him through waivers? According to Twins POBO Derek Falvey, Colina recently underwent a second medical procedure, which likely added doubt to when he will return from injury. He also makes it seem like the team will need plenty of roster spots for the moves they plan to make this winter. Minnesota has plenty of other players on the 40-man roster that seem more expendable than Colina. Andrew Albers, Kyle Baraclough, Ian Gibaut, Drew Maggi, Nick Vincent, and Danny Coulombe are just a few fringe players who will likely not be on the 40-man roster when the team sets its roster in late November, prior to the Rule 5 draft. In fact, they may already be on waivers as you read this. It remains to be seen why these players couldn’t have been moved off now instead of Colina. The current Twins front office hasn’t had a great track record when it comes to self-scouting. Minnesota has multiple players not protected on the 40-man go on to have success with other organizations. Colina has the chance to follow this same path. It may turn out that he never returns from injury, but he also has two dominant pitches that can make him a bullpen weapon. Time will tell if the Twins made another self-scouting mistake. Why do you think the Twins made this move? Will it come back to haunt the team? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  2. Originally, Edwar Colina signed as a teenager out of Venezuela. He spent his first five seasons as a starter in the Twins organization and made it to Triple-A. In over 300 innings, he posted a 2.80 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP and 8.8 K/9. Even with his successes, he projected to fill a bullpen role at the big-league level. During the 2020 season, Colina made his big-league debut, but things didn’t go perfectly. He allowed three earned runs on four hits while only recording one out. Even with this poor debut, he entered 2021 spring training with a chance to make the Opening Day roster. However, elbow inflammation became an issue, and he eventually underwent a season-ending arthroscopic debridement in late May. Before his elbow issues, scouting reports on Colina had him with a 60-grade fastball and a 60-grade slider. Both of those pitches were good enough for him to be a successful reliever. There were questions about his control, which was one reason to shift him from starter to reliever. That being said, he was still considered among the team’s top prospects. So, why did the team try and pass him through waivers? According to Twins POBO Derek Falvey, Colina recently underwent a second medical procedure, which likely added doubt to when he will return from injury. He also makes it seem like the team will need plenty of roster spots for the moves they plan to make this winter. Minnesota has plenty of other players on the 40-man roster that seem more expendable than Colina. Andrew Albers, Kyle Baraclough, Ian Gibaut, Drew Maggi, Nick Vincent, and Danny Coulombe are just a few fringe players who will likely not be on the 40-man roster when the team sets its roster in late November, prior to the Rule 5 draft. In fact, they may already be on waivers as you read this. It remains to be seen why these players couldn’t have been moved off now instead of Colina. The current Twins front office hasn’t had a great track record when it comes to self-scouting. Minnesota has multiple players not protected on the 40-man go on to have success with other organizations. Colina has the chance to follow this same path. It may turn out that he never returns from injury, but he also has two dominant pitches that can make him a bullpen weapon. Time will tell if the Twins made another self-scouting mistake. Why do you think the Twins made this move? Will it come back to haunt the team? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  3. Talking about Mitch Garver as a trade candidate, losing Edwar Colina to the Texas Rangers for nothing, coaching staff changes, Arizona Fall League rosters and more Minnesota Twins offseason news items.
  4. Talking about Mitch Garver as a trade candidate, losing Edwar Colina to the Texas Rangers for nothing, coaching staff changes, Arizona Fall League rosters and more Minnesota Twins offseason news items. View full video
  5. Remember when a global pandemic killed off an entire Minor League Baseball season? That was unfortunate, and it’s been great to have an affiliated season back in full swing, but the Twins have taken their lumps injury wise on the farm too. I have consistently been of the mindset that this Twins team is an outlier when it comes to performance. There’s too much talent on this team for them to be as bad as they’ve been. With that reality, expecting a resurgent turnaround in 2022 is hardly far-fetched. The front office will have the opportunity to supplement the existing core once again. The problem is that depth and development from the farm may not bear the fruit it was expected to. Royce Lewis tore his ACL before even playing a game in 2021. As things stand now, top pitching prospects are all over the IL. Edwar Colina and Blayne Enlow have both had surgery. Jhoan Duran has now been shut down and Matt Canterino is set to return but remains a question mark. Hitting prospect Matt Wallner is still shelved and we still have three months left of the season to make it through. For Minnesota, the chief problem in 2021 has been pitching. The rotation wasn’t expected to have many holdovers a year from now, and both Jose Berrios and Kenta Maeda were thought to be awaiting stable mates from the farm. Now that could be less likely than ever, and this current core may find themselves misaligned with the next wave of talent. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine will be tasked with the decision of whether a rebuild is necessary. Their long-term futures with the organization impact that choice, and how quickly they’d like to rid themselves of this taste will probably be part of the equation. Their hand becomes a bit less fruitful given the development that their cheap and controllable assets are now less reliable than they may have been had things gone differently. It was important for minor league guys to get back in games in order to showcase what they’d done in the time off. The hope would be that some of the top talents could be accelerated and challenged this season. Instead, much of the top 20 is shelved for one reason or another, and there’s more questions than answers in Twins Territory both now, and in the future. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  6. Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson has focused on slider development since joining the organization and many players have seen positive growth. Here are the best sliders among the Twins top prospects.5. Blayne Enlow Current/Future Slider: 50/50 The last time Enlow appeared in a professional game, he was pitching well at High-A as a 20-year-old. Now he is 22-years old, and he has made some adjustments. His fastball sits in the low-90s, but he has a ton of spin on it, which can make it tough for hitters to make solid contact. When he locates his slider, it can be his best pitch. Some refer to his slider as a cutter because he gets similar action on the pitch. He should be pitching in the upper levels of the minors this year as he continues to improve his repertoire. 4. Yennier Cano, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Cano might be the least recognizable name on this list as the team signed him out of Cuba back in 2018. His fastball can reach the high-90s but his arm slot allows him to throw a slider, sinker, and splitter. He has experience on the Cuban National Team and in the Puerto Rican Winter League. He’s already 26-years old and he has never pitched higher than High-A. That being said, his fastball and slider combination might be enough for him to earn a middle relief job at the big-league level. 3. Edwar Colina, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Colina is going to be used in the bullpen and he will likely be relying on two pitches, an overpowering fastball and a slider. His slider is hard for batters to make strong contact because of how hard he throws it. He commands his slider better than his fastball and he can rely on the pitch in almost any count. Colina’s stocky build and starter experience might give way to him becoming a multi-inning reliever in the years to come. Either way, he is a very intriguing relief prospect. 2. Jordan Balazovic, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Like the top name on this list, Balazovic was a late addition to the team’s alternate site and reports were good. Out of the team’s top two pitching prospects, Balazovic is the only one that throws a slider, and it is his second-best pitch overall. This is the pitch he uses to miss bats and his mechanics allow it to play up against right-handed hitters. As he continues to develop, his slider should also be a weapon against lefties, especially with the presence of his ever-improving changeup. 1. Matt Canterino, RHP Current/Future Slider: 55/60 During last season, Canterino was a late addition to the team’s alternate site, but he is clearly one of the team’s top pitching prospects. His slider and his changeup both project to be plus pitches and his fastball can hit the mid-90s. His four-pitch mix gives him a chance to be a big-league starter and his slider projects to be the best pitch. Since being drafted, he has slowly moved up Twins prospect lists and he can end the 2021 season in the team’s top-5 prospects. How would you rank these players? Does someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Fastball Prospects -Speed Tool Prospects -Hit Tool Prospects -Power Tool Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  7. 5. Blayne Enlow Current/Future Slider: 50/50 The last time Enlow appeared in a professional game, he was pitching well at High-A as a 20-year-old. Now he is 22-years old, and he has made some adjustments. His fastball sits in the low-90s, but he has a ton of spin on it, which can make it tough for hitters to make solid contact. When he locates his slider, it can be his best pitch. Some refer to his slider as a cutter because he gets similar action on the pitch. He should be pitching in the upper levels of the minors this year as he continues to improve his repertoire. 4. Yennier Cano, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Cano might be the least recognizable name on this list as the team signed him out of Cuba back in 2018. His fastball can reach the high-90s but his arm slot allows him to throw a slider, sinker, and splitter. He has experience on the Cuban National Team and in the Puerto Rican Winter League. He’s already 26-years old and he has never pitched higher than High-A. That being said, his fastball and slider combination might be enough for him to earn a middle relief job at the big-league level. 3. Edwar Colina, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Colina is going to be used in the bullpen and he will likely be relying on two pitches, an overpowering fastball and a slider. His slider is hard for batters to make strong contact because of how hard he throws it. He commands his slider better than his fastball and he can rely on the pitch in almost any count. Colina’s stocky build and starter experience might give way to him becoming a multi-inning reliever in the years to come. Either way, he is a very intriguing relief prospect. 2. Jordan Balazovic, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Like the top name on this list, Balazovic was a late addition to the team’s alternate site and reports were good. Out of the team’s top two pitching prospects, Balazovic is the only one that throws a slider, and it is his second-best pitch overall. This is the pitch he uses to miss bats and his mechanics allow it to play up against right-handed hitters. As he continues to develop, his slider should also be a weapon against lefties, especially with the presence of his ever-improving changeup. 1. Matt Canterino, RHP Current/Future Slider: 55/60 During last season, Canterino was a late addition to the team’s alternate site, but he is clearly one of the team’s top pitching prospects. His slider and his changeup both project to be plus pitches and his fastball can hit the mid-90s. His four-pitch mix gives him a chance to be a big-league starter and his slider projects to be the best pitch. Since being drafted, he has slowly moved up Twins prospect lists and he can end the 2021 season in the team’s top-5 prospects. How would you rank these players? Does someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Fastball Prospects -Speed Tool Prospects -Hit Tool Prospects -Power Tool Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  8. Not all organizations have prospect depth that stretches outside of their top-10 prospects. The Twins have multiple names on this list that will impact the big-league roster in 2021.Evaluating prospects in a pandemic certainly presents multiple challenges. Two of these players made their MLB debut last season and others on this list continue to rise. Minnesota’s system is deep and any of these names can impact the big-league roster in the years ahead. 15. Edwar Colina- RHP (23-years old) Acquired: 2015 International Free Agent ETA: 2021 Colina made one lone big-league appearance in 2020, but it didn’t go so well. Obviously, this is a small sample size, and it doesn’t take anything away from his potential big-league impact. He can consistently hit in the upper-90s with his fastball, but it doesn’t have a lot of movement. His slider is his best secondary pitch, and he can control in different parts of the zone. He moved to the bullpen at the end of the 2019 campaign and that might be his best role at the big-league level. 14. Matt Wallner- OF (23-years old) Acquired: 2019 First Round Pick ETA: 2022 Power is the name of the game for Wallner. He fits the current regimes draft mold of finding experienced college hitters with a lot of pop in their bat. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, he is an opposing force in the batter’s box. Because of his college experience, the Twins can be aggressive with him in 2021 as he has yet to appear in a game above Low-A. That being said, he is only 23-years old, so the team can give him a chance to find his swing as he moves up the organizational ladder. 13. Misael Urbina- OF (18-years old) Acquired: 2018 International Free Agent ETA: 2023 Urbina was one of the highest ranked prospects during the 2018 international signing period. He is still projected to play center field, but if he continues to add muscle, his destination might be a corner outfield spot. For his age, he shows skills that are very advanced at the plate. Since the Twins minor league affiliates were reorganized, Urbina can spend 2021 at Low-A in Fort Myers, where the team will be housing many of their younger players. 12. Brent Rooker- OF (26-years old) Acquired: 2017 First Round Pick ETA: 2020 Twins fans got a brief glimpse of Rooker last season as he made a positive impression before being hit by a pitch that ended his season. Throughout his professional career, he has been able to crush fastballs, but he has struggled to adjust to breaking pitches. He’s already 26-years old, so the Twins are going to have team control of him through the prime of his career. If Minnesota doesn’t sign a DH, Rooker is a player that can slide into this role. Most likely, he will start the season at St. Paul, where he will be a quick phone call away from being back in the Twins line-up. 11. Gilberto Celestino- OF (21-years old) Acquired: Along with Jorge Alcala in the Ryan Pressly trade ETA: 2021 When the Twins acquired Celestino, defense was his calling card, but his offensive skills have developed quite nicely since the trade. He continues to be one of the best outfield defenders in system. His size likely means he won’t hit for a ton of power. However, he makes consistent contact, and his other skills will likely allow him to fit into a regular role at the big-league level. This winter, he played in a handful of games in the Dominican Winter League and went 1-for-7 at the plate. Which of these players has a brighter future? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Prospects 16-20 — Prospects 1-10 Coming Soon MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  9. Evaluating prospects in a pandemic certainly presents multiple challenges. Two of these players made their MLB debut last season and others on this list continue to rise. Minnesota’s system is deep and any of these names can impact the big-league roster in the years ahead. 15. Edwar Colina- RHP (23-years old) Acquired: 2015 International Free Agent ETA: 2021 Colina made one lone big-league appearance in 2020, but it didn’t go so well. Obviously, this is a small sample size, and it doesn’t take anything away from his potential big-league impact. He can consistently hit in the upper-90s with his fastball, but it doesn’t have a lot of movement. His slider is his best secondary pitch, and he can control in different parts of the zone. He moved to the bullpen at the end of the 2019 campaign and that might be his best role at the big-league level. 14. Matt Wallner- OF (23-years old) Acquired: 2019 First Round Pick ETA: 2022 Power is the name of the game for Wallner. He fits the current regimes draft mold of finding experienced college hitters with a lot of pop in their bat. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, he is an opposing force in the batter’s box. Because of his college experience, the Twins can be aggressive with him in 2021 as he has yet to appear in a game above Low-A. That being said, he is only 23-years old, so the team can give him a chance to find his swing as he moves up the organizational ladder. 13. Misael Urbina- OF (18-years old) Acquired: 2018 International Free Agent ETA: 2023 Urbina was one of the highest ranked prospects during the 2018 international signing period. He is still projected to play center field, but if he continues to add muscle, his destination might be a corner outfield spot. For his age, he shows skills that are very advanced at the plate. Since the Twins minor league affiliates were reorganized, Urbina can spend 2021 at Low-A in Fort Myers, where the team will be housing many of their younger players. 12. Brent Rooker- OF (26-years old) Acquired: 2017 First Round Pick ETA: 2020 Twins fans got a brief glimpse of Rooker last season as he made a positive impression before being hit by a pitch that ended his season. Throughout his professional career, he has been able to crush fastballs, but he has struggled to adjust to breaking pitches. He’s already 26-years old, so the Twins are going to have team control of him through the prime of his career. If Minnesota doesn’t sign a DH, Rooker is a player that can slide into this role. Most likely, he will start the season at St. Paul, where he will be a quick phone call away from being back in the Twins line-up. 11. Gilberto Celestino- OF (21-years old) Acquired: Along with Jorge Alcala in the Ryan Pressly trade ETA: 2021 When the Twins acquired Celestino, defense was his calling card, but his offensive skills have developed quite nicely since the trade. He continues to be one of the best outfield defenders in system. His size likely means he won’t hit for a ton of power. However, he makes consistent contact, and his other skills will likely allow him to fit into a regular role at the big-league level. This winter, he played in a handful of games in the Dominican Winter League and went 1-for-7 at the plate. Which of these players has a brighter future? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Prospects 16-20 — Prospects 1-10 Coming Soon MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  10. Tonight at 7:00pm (central time), Seth chatted with Twins right-handed pitcher Edwar Colina on a new episode of Twins Spotlight. The discussion was live on the Twins Daily social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube pages. Armed with a huge fastball and what some inside the organization (and Baseball America) believe is the best slider in the organization, Colina has become a known prospect in the last two seasons. That's when reports that he was hitting triple-digits with his fastball started to pop up. He was invited to his first big-league spring training in 2020. He was placed on the 60 player pool and spent most of his summer at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. And just before the final weekend of the season, Colina was called up and made his major-league debut. Tonight, we will chat with Colina about his youth ball days in Venezuela and his decision to sign with the Twins. We will discuss his adjustments to pro ball and life in the United States. We will talk about his crazy 2020 season and making his big-league debut. We will also take your questions, so be sure to join us Live at 7:00 central time, if you are able. If not, send us your questions below. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Please watch LIVE at 7:00 tonight on the Twins Daily Twitter, Facebook or YouTube pages live. Also feel free to ask questions in the comments below or on those platforms during the show and we'll ask them. Subscribe to the Twins Daily podcast on Libsyn, Apple iTunes or anywhere you download podcasts. Here is the YouTube link where you can watch the show. More on Edwar Colina: Edwar Colina: from Chilly Home Opener to No-Hitter (May 2018) Triple-Digit Shoes to Fill (April 2020) Twins Call Up Colina for Season's Final Weekend (Sept 2020) Follow Edwar on Twitter at @EdwarColina57. Follow Edwar on Instagram at @Edwar.co. Previous Episodes Episode 1: Tom Hackimer Episode 2: Matt Canterino Episode 3: Aaron Whitefield Episode 4: Spencer Steer Episode 5: Travis Blankenhorn Episode 6: Cody Laweryson Episode 7: Matt Wallner Episode 8: Brent Rooker Episode 9: Bailey Ober Episode 10: Talkin' Torii (with Jacque Jones, Royce Lewis, Niko Guardado) Episode 11: Top 60 Twins Players in 60 Seasons in Minnesota Episode 12: Charlie Mack Episode 13: Edwar Colina View full article
  11. Armed with a huge fastball and what some inside the organization (and Baseball America) believe is the best slider in the organization, Colina has become a known prospect in the last two seasons. That's when reports that he was hitting triple-digits with his fastball started to pop up. He was invited to his first big-league spring training in 2020. He was placed on the 60 player pool and spent most of his summer at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. And just before the final weekend of the season, Colina was called up and made his major-league debut. Tonight, we will chat with Colina about his youth ball days in Venezuela and his decision to sign with the Twins. We will discuss his adjustments to pro ball and life in the United States. We will talk about his crazy 2020 season and making his big-league debut. We will also take your questions, so be sure to join us Live at 7:00 central time, if you are able. If not, send us your questions below. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Please watch LIVE at 7:00 tonight on the Twins Daily Twitter, Facebook or YouTube pages live. Also feel free to ask questions in the comments below or on those platforms during the show and we'll ask them. Subscribe to the Twins Daily podcast on Libsyn, Apple iTunes or anywhere you download podcasts. Here is the YouTube link where you can watch the show. More on Edwar Colina: Edwar Colina: from Chilly Home Opener to No-Hitter (May 2018) Triple-Digit Shoes to Fill (April 2020) Twins Call Up Colina for Season's Final Weekend (Sept 2020) Follow Edwar on Twitter at @EdwarColina57. Follow Edwar on Instagram at @Edwar.co. Previous Episodes Episode 1: Tom Hackimer Episode 2: Matt Canterino Episode 3: Aaron Whitefield Episode 4: Spencer Steer Episode 5: Travis Blankenhorn Episode 6: Cody Laweryson Episode 7: Matt Wallner Episode 8: Brent Rooker Episode 9: Bailey Ober Episode 10: Talkin' Torii (with Jacque Jones, Royce Lewis, Niko Guardado) Episode 11: Top 60 Twins Players in 60 Seasons in Minnesota Episode 12: Charlie Mack Episode 13: Edwar Colina
  12. In just over two weeks (November 20th), the Twins and the rest of the league will have to submit their additions to their 40-man rosters. 2020 was a lost season for many minor leaguers, so who do the Twins need to add… or risk losing to the Rule 5 draft?As Nick wrote earlier this week, this will be an offseason filled with uncertainty. How much will payroll be decreased? When will free agents sign? Will anything much happen before February? Will there be Winter Meetings? Well, certainly there won’t be a big gathering in a hotel as there normally is. But there certainly will be a Rule 5 draft… right? And with that, teams have until November 20th to add players to their 40 man roster. With teams less likely to spend big money in the offseason, could acquiring players in other ways, including the Rule 5 draft, be an option? On the other side, will teams wanting to cut back want to spend $100,000 to add a player that may or may not be offered back to their previous team for $50,000? Since the completion of the World Series, the Twins have been able to remove their free agents from the 40-man roster. Sergio Romo also became a free agent when the Twins declined his option for 2021. The Twins have claimed pitchers Ian Gibaut and Brandon Waddell. Nick Gordon will need to come off of the 60-Day Injured List, and when that happens the team will be at 34 players on their 40-man roster. Will he stay on the 40-man roster? If not, he would need to clear waivers, and even if he did, he would become a minor league free agent. Also before then, teams will need to offer 2021 contracts to their current arbitration-eligible players. If they don’t, those players will become free agents as well. Certainly Eddie Rosario is the most likely to be non-tendered, but the team has several arbitration-eligible players. 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). So, here is a quick reminder of what players will be eligible for the 2020 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 2016 (during the minor league season).Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2017.Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again.Players drafted or signed during the 2014 season became free agents after the World Series was complete.So, let’s take a look at the eligible players, starting with The Givens: THE GIVENS When I first reviewed which players might need to be added to the 40-man roster (last January), I felt that there were four “Givens.” Three of them made their MLB debut in 2020. Alex Kirilloff (#1) - The 2016 first-round pick was added to the Twins rosterfor the 2020 playoffs. He became the third player to make his MLB debut in the playoffs, the first ever to start a game in that scenario. (The other two were A’s Mark Kiger and Royals Adalberto Mondesi) Kirilloff is such a natural hitter, he was an easy choice to add. It’s done. Brent Rooker (#3) - The Twins Competitive Balance pick after the first round in 2017 from Mississippi State has provided a lot of power with his bat since the team drafted him. A few weeks before Kirilloff, Rooker made his big-league debutand hit well. He knocked his first home run in a game in St. Louis. Unfortunately, he was hit by a pitch and needed season-ended surgery. But again, was an easy choice then, and it happened in-season. Edwar Colina (#4) - Colina was the one maybe surprising name to some that he would have been included in the Given category. He was signed in late September of 2015 and has slowly but consistently worked his way up the organizational ladder. But when a pitcher hits triple digits with a fastball and is known to have “the best slider in the organization,” he’s a given. He was added to the 40-man roster and called up on the final weekend. His one game did not go well, but that shouldn’t change anyone’s opinion on his upside. So, ,who was Given #2 when this was done in January? RHP Jordan Balazovic - The right-hander from Canada remains an easy choice to be added to the Twins 40-man roster. He’s 6-5 and lean, though he has also added strength and velocity to his frame over the past couple of seasons. People believe that he can be a starting pitcher, which is a key point.OTHER POSSIBLES This is where it gets more difficult. 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. Of course, making it even more difficult to determine who should be added is the fact that there was no minor league season. These players did not get a typical, normal opportunity to earn a spot on the 40-man roster or not. So, for me, I saw many of the players for a week in spring training. They had a few more days of spring training after I left there before they were sent home. They were quarantined and there was no minor league season. A few of these players were at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. Approximately 60 players were invited to the instructional league. Those are the new points for the Twins to factor into their decisions. That’s not a lot. 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) OF Akil Baddoo - The 74th overall pick in the 2016 draft out of high school in Georgia. Missed most of 2019 season with Tommy John surgery, but is a great athlete who has a good approach at the plate and great power-speed combination potential. Had there been a 2020 season, he likely would have began as a DH before gradually moving back to center field.C Ben Rortvedt - 2nd round pick in 2016 from Wisconsin. He has moved up the system pretty quickly and spent half of the 2019 season at Pensacola before a knee injury ended his season. Terrific defensively and very strong. Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers are likely going to be the big-league catchers. Williams Astudillo may or may not remain on the 40-man roster and in the organization. Tomas Telis has been re-signed on a minor league contract. Rortvedt should be considered for a roster spot.SS Wander Javier - Left off the 40-man roster last offseason, he went unclaimed. Still immensely talented and could break out at any time. The hope would have been that after a strong 2020 season, he would have been a Given. He didn’t play in 2020, another missed season. But, they have invested in him and he is still young and still immensely talented.RHP Luis Rijo - 21-year-old from Venezuela posted a 2.86 ERA in 107 innings in Cedar Rapids in 2019 but still went unclaimed in the Rule 5. Of all the players left off the Twins 40-man roster last year, Rijo was the one I was most worried about losing. Still young, he was throwing 95 at times in 2019 with three pitches. Now he’s a year older, hopefully more mature and strong.3B Jose Miranda - The 73rd overall pick in 2016 draft from Puerto Rico, Miranda has hit some and displays a lot of power potential. Has played some second base but profiles much more as a third baseman. He’s got good size and strength and could develop into a power hitting option.RHP Griffin Jax - Jax was also left unprotected and went unclaimed this year. He’s already had success in AA and could be MLB ready sometime in 2020. He was invited to big-league spring training, but he was not in the Twins player pool. But he is another guy who profiles as a starter, which matters.2B Yunior Severino - Enough of an international prospect that he received two nine-figure signing bonuses. He had a solid season in E-Town in 2018. Unfortunately fractured his thumb early in the 2019 season. Could break out in 2020 if he stays in the lineup. He got into several games in spring training and did a nice job.OF Gabriel Maciel - Signed with the Diamondbacks in June 2016 from Brazil. Came to the Twins in the Eduardo Escobar trade in July 2018. Not a big guy, but he hits a lot of line drives, runs really well and plays good outfield defense. Twins bench coach Mike Bell is very familiar with Maciel and his potential.LHP Charlie Barnes - 4th round pick in 2017 from Clemson. He lefty pitched at three levels in 2019 (8 starts in Ft. Myers, 13 starts in Pensacola, 4 starts in Rochester). Barnes was invited to Twins spring training and had a nice showing. Originally, he was not added to the player pool, but he was added later in the summer and got a couple of weeks of work in that atmosphere.RHP Bailey Ober - Twins 12th round pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston, he has put up video game numbers when he has been on the mound. If healthy, he’s got a chance. He did not work at the Twins alternate site or participate in instructional league.LHP Jovani Moran - The lefty dominated the lower levels of the minors, but injuries cost him time in 2019. But, he’s young, left-handed and has a couple of plus-pitches. Definitely could contribute in 2021, and because of that, he probably profiles well as the type of player that does get selected in the Rule 5 draft.RHP Tyler Wells - Wells may have been an easy add in 2019 if he hadn’t missed the season due to Tommy John surgery. He rehabbed most of that year and had all of 2020 to keep working his way back to full strength without rushing. Can he get back to his 2018 performance level? If so, he’s worth a roster spot.LHP Bryan Sammons - The Twins 8th round pick in 2017 from Western Carolina, he dominated at Ft. Myers in 2019 before spending the final four months of the season in Pensacola. Left-handed, he has four quality pitches.He has proven strong and durable as well.1B/OF Trey Cabbage - 4th round pick in 2015 from high school in Tennessee. Broke out early in Cedar Rapids in 2019 and showed some of his immense power potential in 2019. 2020 was a big year for him as he was starting to really come into his own. Hopefully that can happen in 2021.1B Zander Wiel - Twins 12th round pick in 2015 from Vanderbilt. Wiel wasn’t added or selected after his 2019 season in Rochester in which he hit 40 doubles and 24 home runs. He was invited to Twins spring training and performed well. He also spent the 2020 season at the Twins alternate site in 2020.Others in their first year of eligibility:Tyler Benninghoff, David Banuelos, Andrew Bechtold, Mark Contreras, Ernie De La Trinidad, Calvin Faucher, Jordan Gore, Derek Molina, Ricky Ramirez, Joe Record, Yeremi De La Cruz, Jesus Feliz, Osiris German, Jimmy Kerrigan, Michael Montero, Junior Navas, Daniel Ozoria, Ruben Santana, Jesus Toledo, Janigson Villalobos.Others returning to Rule 5 eligibility after 2020.Melvi Acosta, Adam Bray, Yeltsin Encarnacion, Zach Featherstone,Tom Hackimer, Caleb Hamilton, Hector Lujan, Ryan Mason, Alex Robinson, Carlos Suniaga, Tyler Watson, Lachlan Wells, Aaron Whitefield.SUMMARY The Twins again have several interesting options for guys who could be added 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 happens and that includes what the Rule 5 draft might look like. PREDICTION If forced to make an official prediction, I think that the Twins will only add Jordan Balazovic and Ben Rortvedt to the 40-man roster in two weeks. Balazovic is the given. I just think that having strong catchers is important, and Rortvedt fits that category with his defense, and there is still offensive potential too. 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 these players mentioned on the Possibles list. What do you think? Click here to view the article
  13. As Nick wrote earlier this week, this will be an offseason filled with uncertainty. How much will payroll be decreased? When will free agents sign? Will anything much happen before February? Will there be Winter Meetings? Well, certainly there won’t be a big gathering in a hotel as there normally is. But there certainly will be a Rule 5 draft… right? And with that, teams have until November 20th to add players to their 40 man roster. With teams less likely to spend big money in the offseason, could acquiring players in other ways, including the Rule 5 draft, be an option? On the other side, will teams wanting to cut back want to spend $100,000 to add a player that may or may not be offered back to their previous team for $50,000? Since the completion of the World Series, the Twins have been able to remove their free agents from the 40-man roster. Sergio Romo also became a free agent when the Twins declined his option for 2021. The Twins have claimed pitchers Ian Gibaut and Brandon Waddell. Nick Gordon will need to come off of the 60-Day Injured List, and when that happens the team will be at 34 players on their 40-man roster. Will he stay on the 40-man roster? If not, he would need to clear waivers, and even if he did, he would become a minor league free agent. Also before then, teams will need to offer 2021 contracts to their current arbitration-eligible players. If they don’t, those players will become free agents as well. Certainly Eddie Rosario is the most likely to be non-tendered, but the team has several arbitration-eligible players. 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). So, here is a quick reminder of what players will be eligible for the 2020 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 2016 (during the minor league season). Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2017. Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again. Players drafted or signed during the 2014 season became free agents after the World Series was complete. So, let’s take a look at the eligible players, starting with The Givens: THE GIVENS When I first reviewed which players might need to be added to the 40-man roster (last January), I felt that there were four “Givens.” Three of them made their MLB debut in 2020. Alex Kirilloff (#1) - The 2016 first-round pick was added to the Twins roster for the 2020 playoffs. He became the third player to make his MLB debut in the playoffs, the first ever to start a game in that scenario. (The other two were A’s Mark Kiger and Royals Adalberto Mondesi) Kirilloff is such a natural hitter, he was an easy choice to add. It’s done. Brent Rooker (#3) - The Twins Competitive Balance pick after the first round in 2017 from Mississippi State has provided a lot of power with his bat since the team drafted him. A few weeks before Kirilloff, Rooker made his big-league debut and hit well. He knocked his first home run in a game in St. Louis. Unfortunately, he was hit by a pitch and needed season-ended surgery. But again, was an easy choice then, and it happened in-season. Edwar Colina (#4) - Colina was the one maybe surprising name to some that he would have been included in the Given category. He was signed in late September of 2015 and has slowly but consistently worked his way up the organizational ladder. But when a pitcher hits triple digits with a fastball and is known to have “the best slider in the organization,” he’s a given. He was added to the 40-man roster and called up on the final weekend. His one game did not go well, but that shouldn’t change anyone’s opinion on his upside. So, ,who was Given #2 when this was done in January? RHP Jordan Balazovic - The right-hander from Canada remains an easy choice to be added to the Twins 40-man roster. He’s 6-5 and lean, though he has also added strength and velocity to his frame over the past couple of seasons. People believe that he can be a starting pitcher, which is a key point. OTHER POSSIBLES This is where it gets more difficult. 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. Of course, making it even more difficult to determine who should be added is the fact that there was no minor league season. These players did not get a typical, normal opportunity to earn a spot on the 40-man roster or not. So, for me, I saw many of the players for a week in spring training. They had a few more days of spring training after I left there before they were sent home. They were quarantined and there was no minor league season. A few of these players were at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. Approximately 60 players were invited to the instructional league. Those are the new points for the Twins to factor into their decisions. That’s not a lot. 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) OF Akil Baddoo - The 74th overall pick in the 2016 draft out of high school in Georgia. Missed most of 2019 season with Tommy John surgery, but is a great athlete who has a good approach at the plate and great power-speed combination potential. Had there been a 2020 season, he likely would have began as a DH before gradually moving back to center field. C Ben Rortvedt - 2nd round pick in 2016 from Wisconsin. He has moved up the system pretty quickly and spent half of the 2019 season at Pensacola before a knee injury ended his season. Terrific defensively and very strong. Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers are likely going to be the big-league catchers. Williams Astudillo may or may not remain on the 40-man roster and in the organization. Tomas Telis has been re-signed on a minor league contract. Rortvedt should be considered for a roster spot. SS Wander Javier - Left off the 40-man roster last offseason, he went unclaimed. Still immensely talented and could break out at any time. The hope would have been that after a strong 2020 season, he would have been a Given. He didn’t play in 2020, another missed season. But, they have invested in him and he is still young and still immensely talented. RHP Luis Rijo - 21-year-old from Venezuela posted a 2.86 ERA in 107 innings in Cedar Rapids in 2019 but still went unclaimed in the Rule 5. Of all the players left off the Twins 40-man roster last year, Rijo was the one I was most worried about losing. Still young, he was throwing 95 at times in 2019 with three pitches. Now he’s a year older, hopefully more mature and strong. 3B Jose Miranda - The 73rd overall pick in 2016 draft from Puerto Rico, Miranda has hit some and displays a lot of power potential. Has played some second base but profiles much more as a third baseman. He’s got good size and strength and could develop into a power hitting option. RHP Griffin Jax - Jax was also left unprotected and went unclaimed this year. He’s already had success in AA and could be MLB ready sometime in 2020. He was invited to big-league spring training, but he was not in the Twins player pool. But he is another guy who profiles as a starter, which matters. 2B Yunior Severino - Enough of an international prospect that he received two nine-figure signing bonuses. He had a solid season in E-Town in 2018. Unfortunately fractured his thumb early in the 2019 season. Could break out in 2020 if he stays in the lineup. He got into several games in spring training and did a nice job. OF Gabriel Maciel - Signed with the Diamondbacks in June 2016 from Brazil. Came to the Twins in the Eduardo Escobar trade in July 2018. Not a big guy, but he hits a lot of line drives, runs really well and plays good outfield defense. Twins bench coach Mike Bell is very familiar with Maciel and his potential. LHP Charlie Barnes - 4th round pick in 2017 from Clemson. He lefty pitched at three levels in 2019 (8 starts in Ft. Myers, 13 starts in Pensacola, 4 starts in Rochester). Barnes was invited to Twins spring training and had a nice showing. Originally, he was not added to the player pool, but he was added later in the summer and got a couple of weeks of work in that atmosphere. RHP Bailey Ober - Twins 12th round pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston, he has put up video game numbers when he has been on the mound. If healthy, he’s got a chance. He did not work at the Twins alternate site or participate in instructional league. LHP Jovani Moran - The lefty dominated the lower levels of the minors, but injuries cost him time in 2019. But, he’s young, left-handed and has a couple of plus-pitches. Definitely could contribute in 2021, and because of that, he probably profiles well as the type of player that does get selected in the Rule 5 draft. RHP Tyler Wells - Wells may have been an easy add in 2019 if he hadn’t missed the season due to Tommy John surgery. He rehabbed most of that year and had all of 2020 to keep working his way back to full strength without rushing. Can he get back to his 2018 performance level? If so, he’s worth a roster spot. LHP Bryan Sammons - The Twins 8th round pick in 2017 from Western Carolina, he dominated at Ft. Myers in 2019 before spending the final four months of the season in Pensacola. Left-handed, he has four quality pitches.He has proven strong and durable as well. 1B/OF Trey Cabbage - 4th round pick in 2015 from high school in Tennessee. Broke out early in Cedar Rapids in 2019 and showed some of his immense power potential in 2019. 2020 was a big year for him as he was starting to really come into his own. Hopefully that can happen in 2021. 1B Zander Wiel - Twins 12th round pick in 2015 from Vanderbilt. Wiel wasn’t added or selected after his 2019 season in Rochester in which he hit 40 doubles and 24 home runs. He was invited to Twins spring training and performed well. He also spent the 2020 season at the Twins alternate site in 2020. Others in their first year of eligibility: Tyler Benninghoff, David Banuelos, Andrew Bechtold, Mark Contreras, Ernie De La Trinidad, Calvin Faucher, Jordan Gore, Derek Molina, Ricky Ramirez, Joe Record, Yeremi De La Cruz, Jesus Feliz, Osiris German, Jimmy Kerrigan, Michael Montero, Junior Navas, Daniel Ozoria, Ruben Santana, Jesus Toledo, Janigson Villalobos. Others returning to Rule 5 eligibility after 2020. Melvi Acosta, Adam Bray, Yeltsin Encarnacion, Zach Featherstone,Tom Hackimer, Caleb Hamilton, Hector Lujan, Ryan Mason, Alex Robinson, Carlos Suniaga, Tyler Watson, Lachlan Wells, Aaron Whitefield. SUMMARY The Twins again have several interesting options for guys who could be added 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 happens and that includes what the Rule 5 draft might look like. PREDICTION If forced to make an official prediction, I think that the Twins will only add Jordan Balazovic and Ben Rortvedt to the 40-man roster in two weeks. Balazovic is the given. I just think that having strong catchers is important, and Rortvedt fits that category with his defense, and there is still offensive potential too. 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 these players mentioned on the Possibles list. What do you think?
  14. Yesterday we got the news that Willians Astudillo, Nick Gordon and Edwar Colina all tested positive for COVID-19. Today, we learned that Miguel Sanó is the fourth player on the Twins Summer Camp to test positive.Sanó was tested as part of the standard intake policy for camp and has been quarantined. He did not participate in the first workout at Target Field yesterday or on Saturday. There have not been any specific reports on how Miguel is feeling, but we wish him the very best in his recovery. Baldelli said that he will be talking to Sano and Willians Astudillo on Saturday afternoon. UPDATE: Sano is feeling well and is not experiencing any symptoms. Additionally, Rocco Baldelli noted that Byron Buxton is expected to fly to the Twin Cities on Sunday morning. He will go through his intake testing, but Baldelli also noted that there would be another round of testing. So all players have OTHER NOTES Official practices at CHS Field will begin on Sunday. Some of the players were at Target Field earlier this week, and they were all tested. They'll start in the morning and Baldelli will address the group tomorrow as well. The last two days, they haven't been able to do anything. They set up CHS.At the end of the team meeting this morning, Cruz was honored for his Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award. Cruz then had some words for the group. "He told our guys that we have no excuses. We're going to go out there. We're going to prepare. We're going to do our jobs. We could look at this pessimistically, but we're not going to. We're going to look at this in the most optimistic way we can. We're never going to make an excuse. We're going to go out there and get the job done, and that was his message to the group. It was great."MORE FROM TWINS DAILY— Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  15. Sanó was tested as part of the standard intake policy for camp and has been quarantined. He did not participate in the first workout at Target Field yesterday or on Saturday. There have not been any specific reports on how Miguel is feeling, but we wish him the very best in his recovery. Baldelli said that he will be talking to Sano and Willians Astudillo on Saturday afternoon. UPDATE: Sano is feeling well and is not experiencing any symptoms. Baldelli said that he's heard reports from players noting that, "Miguel is chomping at the bit to get out here. He's talking to different people." He continued, "As soon as we get the clearance, he's going to be out here. We know he's been working hard. So I'm looking forward to seeing him." Per MLB's safety protocols, a player who tests positive will be isolated from his team until he tests negative twice at least 24 hours apart, shows no symptoms for a 72-hour period and is granted approval to return by a doctor and a joint MLB/MLBPA committee. "I think whether we're talking about our team or anyone else, I think when you see anyone you know, people you're familiar with, friends and family, affected by this, it really does hit home. 100 percent. It becomes very real when you see it first-hand. When it's only something you see on television or people discussing around town or it's on the news, I think someone could look at that and not feel like it's as big of an issue. I personally believe that this is a huge issue that we're all dealing with and I know the importance of it. But everyone might not have the same exact perspective. I do think that when it does it home is when it affects the people around you." Baldelli held the team's meeting, "spread out in the outfield." "One thing that we talked about was making sure that the guys know that they have a voice. We want to know how they're feeling. It's very important for all of us and for all of them to feel very open and free to talk about these things. Whether they feel good about things or they feel apprehension. It helps us, but more importantly, it helps the player to be able to say these things. We aren't going to be able to help until we have that open dialogue going. We have a good group for that. Our guys are really good about feeling good about talking about whatever they want to talk about." The one other notable absence from Friday’s workout was Luis Arráez, but here he is taking batting practice at Target Field today. https://twitter.com/andluedtke/status/1279478138288902144 Additionally, Rocco Baldelli noted that Byron Buxton is expected to fly to the Twin Cities on Sunday morning. He will go through his intake testing, but Baldelli also noted that there would be another round of testing. So all players have OTHER NOTES Official practices at CHS Field will begin on Sunday. Some of the players were at Target Field earlier this week, and they were all tested. They'll start in the morning and Baldelli will address the group tomorrow as well. The last two days, they haven't been able to do anything. They set up CHS. At the end of the team meeting this morning, Cruz was honored for his Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award. Cruz then had some words for the group. "He told our guys that we have no excuses. We're going to go out there. We're going to prepare. We're going to do our jobs. We could look at this pessimistically, but we're not going to. We're going to look at this in the most optimistic way we can. We're never going to make an excuse. We're going to go out there and get the job done, and that was his message to the group. It was great." MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  16. Derek Falvey announced this afternoon that Twins catcher Willians Astudillo and one other Twins player have positive for COVID-19. Two other players, Edwar Colina and Nick Gordon, also previously tested positive outside of MLBs testing this week.In a zoom meeting with media on Friday afternoon, Derek Falvey mentioned that Willians Astudillo and one other Twins player had tested positive for COVID-19 during the intake process (players reporting and being tested). Astudillo is in Minneapolis. "He is presently asymptomatic, feeling fine. He is quarantined here." Falvey said that Astudillo has given his permission for his name to be announced. There is still some steps in the intake process that have to be completed. Falvey was not able to comment on the identity of the second player at this time. "We will now subsequently go through a protocol where after a minimum period of time, we can then test him again. The way the protocol works, when he tests negative twice, subsequent to a positive test, you can then be brought back into the environment." Falvey continued, "We will likely test him above 48 to 72 hours from now. Then subsequently test him a couple of days after that. If he clears two negative tests, he would then be someone who could re-enter." Shortly before the press conference, MLB announced that 38 of the 3,185 people tested (1.2%) were positive. 31 of those were players and the other seven were staffers. 19 of the 30 MLB teams had at least one positive result. Falvey noted, "I'm really happy to hear that a lot of players and staff, wherever they were over the past several months, they were able to keep themselves healthy and in a safe place and limited their contact outside of their home environments." In addition to the two MLB players, both Edwar Colina and Nick Gordon had positive COVID-19 tests recently. They had their tests administered prior to the baseball testing this week. Falvey said, "Those guys are here. They're rostered, and hopefully eventually will be cleared. In Colina's case, he has already cleared and a subsequent test since he has tested negative for the virus, but we are being cautious." He believes both players should be in Minnesota later this weekend. There were some other Twins minor leaguers who also tested positive in Ft. Myers when the facilities were shut down across baseball. Colina was there when he tested positive. Click here to view the article
  17. In a zoom meeting with media on Friday afternoon, Derek Falvey mentioned that Willians Astudillo and one other Twins player had tested positive for COVID-19 during the intake process (players reporting and being tested). Astudillo is in Minneapolis. "He is presently asymptomatic, feeling fine. He is quarantined here." Falvey said that Astudillo has given his permission for his name to be announced. There is still some steps in the intake process that have to be completed. Falvey was not able to comment on the identity of the second player at this time. "We will now subsequently go through a protocol where after a minimum period of time, we can then test him again. The way the protocol works, when he tests negative twice, subsequent to a positive test, you can then be brought back into the environment." Falvey continued, "We will likely test him above 48 to 72 hours from now. Then subsequently test him a couple of days after that. If he clears two negative tests, he would then be someone who could re-enter." Shortly before the press conference, MLB announced that 38 of the 3,185 people tested (1.2%) were positive. 31 of those were players and the other seven were staffers. 19 of the 30 MLB teams had at least one positive result. Falvey noted, "I'm really happy to hear that a lot of players and staff, wherever they were over the past several months, they were able to keep themselves healthy and in a safe place and limited their contact outside of their home environments." In addition to the two MLB players, both Edwar Colina and Nick Gordon had positive COVID-19 tests recently. They had their tests administered prior to the baseball testing this week. Falvey said, "Those guys are here. They're rostered, and hopefully eventually will be cleared. In Colina's case, he has already cleared and a subsequent test since he has tested negative for the virus, but we are being cautious." He believes both players should be in Minnesota later this weekend. There were some other Twins minor leaguers who also tested positive in Ft. Myers when the facilities were shut down across baseball. Colina was there when he tested positive. Falvey noted that there has been "a wide range of perspectives" on their return to Target Field. "They walk in and see masks, and the clubhouse doesn't look like it used to look. It's a bit jarring initially for some folks. That said, you get back to seeing some people. You get in the clubhouse, get dressed, get out. It's an interesting set up in the ballpark right now." "Some are throwing with their mask on while they're out there. Everyone's trying to get used to it. It's a range of feeling. Some guys are a bit anxious and that's real, and then some guys are really excited to be back and ready to go, and just trying to figure it out. Anything that's different from the norm, it's going to take some time." -------------------------- Falvey also noted that Byron Buxton and Cody Stashak are not in camp. They have been excused for personal reasons. Buxton's wife Lindsey is due to have the couple's second child any day now. Stashak's wife, Taylor, gave birth to the couple's first child in mid-June. Update - Today (Friday), Lindsey Buxton gave birth to a baby boy. They named him Blaze Jett. --------------------------
  18. 15. Edwar Colina, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (A+, AA, AAA): 8-2, 2.96 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 102 K, 32 BB, 97.1 IP Colina signed with the Twins back in 2015 and he has been slowly working his way through the Twins system. He really hit his stride over the last two seasons as he started to compete in full season leagues. In the 2018 campaign, he posted a 2.63 ERA and a 106 to 53 strikeout to walk ratio at Low- and High-A. Last season, he played at three different levels and his time at High- and Double-A was outstanding. He only allowed 23 earned runs in nearly 93 innings (2.23 ERA) and he struck out more than a batter per inning. On the mound, Colina is stocky and his fastball can give hitters nightmares. He’s been clocked at over 100 mph, but he typically sits in the mid- to high-90s. His best secondary pitch is his change-up, but he is going to need to continue to improve his breaking pitches as he moves through the higher levels of the minors. 14. Wander Javier, SS 2019 MiLB Stats (A): .177/.278/.323, 11 HR, 9 2B, 116 K, 35 BB, 80 G Back in 2015, Javier was widely considered one of the best prospects in the international class and the Twins signed him for $4 million. Unfortunately, injures have cost Javier parts of multiple professional seasons. He was limited to eight games during his pro-debut because of a hamstring injury. Then in 2018, he suffered a shoulder injury and missed the entire season. Even with the injuries, he has all the tools to be considered one of the team’s top prospects. Javier was back on the field in 2019 after missing all of 2018 with a shoulder injury. It was his first taste of a full-season league and things didn’t exactly go perfectly. He struck out over 27% of the time but there were some bright spots amid a rough season. From July 15 to the end of the season, Javier compiled a .428 SLG and a .738 OPS. Nine of his 11 home runs and seven of his nine doubles were during this stretch. 13. Matt Canterino, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (RK, A): 1-1, 1.44 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 31 K, 8 BB, 25.0 IP The Twins took Canterino in the second-round last season after a strong junior season at Rice University. He was a three-year starter at the school, and he pitched 94 innings or more in every season. In his final collegiate season, he posted a 2.81 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and a 121 to 23 strikeout to walk ratio. Throughout his collegiate career, he controlled the strike zone by allowing less than 3 walks per nine innings and striking out nearly 11 batters per nine. Because of his college workload, Canterino saw limited action after signing with the Twins as he made seven regular season starts and one postseason start. His college experience really showed up as he struck out over 11 batters per nine innings. It would have been exciting to see what he could have done in a full minor league season, but that will have to wait until 2021. 12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B 2019 MiLB Stats (AAA): .282/.399/.530, 14 HR, 16 2B, 36 BB, 95 K, 67 G Rooker was the 35th overall pick back in 2017, the first draft under the new Twins front office regime. In three collegiate seasons, Rooker destroyed baseballs by hitting .344/.428/.660. Yes, that is a 1.088 OPS over three seasons and he posted a 1.306 OPS during his final season. The Twins were hoping for more of the same from Rooker as he started his professional career. He didn’t disappoint during his first taste of pro-ball as he posted a .930 OPS with Elizabethton and Fort Myers. This included 29 extra-base hits in 62 games. He spent all of 2018 at Double-A and hit .254/.333/.465 with 32 doubles and 22 home runs in 130 games. He missed some time in 2019 with a wrist injury but he was still able to post some strong offensive numbers. If there is a 2020 season, there is a chance Rooker makes his debut. 11. Blayne Enlow, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (A, A+): 8-7, 3.82 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 95 K, 38 BB, 110.2 IP Like Rooker, Enlow was part of the strong draft class back in 2017. The Louisiana native had committed to play at LSU, but the Twins were able to sign him after taking him in the third round. During his professional debut, he made six appearances with the GCL Twins and posted a 1.33 ERA with 19 strikeouts and 4 walks in 20.1 innings. During the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids, he was almost three years younger than the average age of the competition. He compiled a 3.26 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP. He started 2019 back in Cedar Rapids and saw some struggles as he allowed 21 earned runs in 41.1 innings. There were some positive signs as he struck out 9.6 batters per nine innings. The Twins were aggressive with him and promoted him to Fort Myers where he had a 3.38 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP with a 51 to 23 strikeout to walk ratio. If Enlow had gone to college, he’d still be pitching for LSU, so he has time to develop into the pitcher many thought he could be. Stop back in the coming days to see who completes the top-20 list. PREVIOUS TOP-20 POSTS — Prospects 16-20 MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  19. There is a competition for the Twins fifth starter job, and on Tuesday at Hammond Stadium, Randy Dobnak made another strong case for himself. The right-hander worked the first three innings and needed just 31 pitches. He gave up one hit - an infield single down the third base line. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out two batters. In spring, it’s about getting guys their work. Tyler Clippard came in for the fourth inning, and Randy Dobnak went down to the bullpen. “I threw 25 pitches in the bullpen.” Dobnak continued, “I don't know what the goal was, but I think it was like 55-60, plus all the warmups.” Rocco Baldelli said after the game that Dobnak pitched great. “he threw the ball very well. I think that he was doing everything he wanted to do out there. He spun the ball well. He got some swings and misses. He found himself in a very good place. So good, in fact, that he found himself throwing some extra pitches in the bullpen. But we're going to take that.” One inquisitive writer asked the manager after the game if it was almost tougher to evaluate Dobnak’s performance because it was so efficient. Baldelli noted, “I think there are times in spring training that you do almost hope that your pitchers get stressed. You want them to go out there and throw more pitches than they planned on, more pitches per inning than they planned on. You want there to be some runners on base. You want them to go back up a few bases. These things are going to happen during the season. Just to prepare them, I think it does help. You can never complain about an outing like that. He threw the ball very well. ” For Dobnak’s part, he’s not worrying about being too good this spring or too efficient. He said, “Still trying to work on some pitches here and there, but i'm still competing for a spot.” Dobnak is still working on things: “Today I was trying to get more depth on my slider. I've been working on that lately.” He added,“The changeup’s been working pretty well for me. Threw a few today that were pretty nice. I'm pleased with that. Next step will be the slider. Then I'll work on the sinker.” He was also excited to find himself with a defense filled with regulars. “Yeah. They're good. I get a lot of ground balls, so having the infield out there is nice to have. Marwin made a nice play in the first inning. Donaldson made a nice play. Polanco made a nice play. So, it's nice to have them out there.” In the first inning, Marwin Gonzalez made a diving play. In the second inning, Jorge Polanco made a nice play on a slow roller in the hole to his right. The next batter hit a ball to Josh Donaldson’s left. Donaldson made a tough play look easy. Dobnak finds himself in competition with veteran Jhoulys Chacin and fellow 2019 debuters Devin Smeltzer and Lewis Thorpe. Camp is nearly half over, how do you think the fifth starting job is shaping up? Marwin Gonzalez Debuts There were no boos (at least none that were noticeable) when Marwin Gonzalez’s name was announced in the starting lineup or when he came to the plate for his two at-bats. The versatile, everyday player made his first appearance this spring. He had knee surgery in October and did very little for about two months. He began with light workouts in December. https://twitter.com/DanHayesMLB/status/1234929209954443264 He has been working hard since to get ready for play. He got tested right away and succeeded with the diving play at second base. His bat sure looked ready to roll. He said after his day was complete, “"Happy to be back on the field. I was kind of nervous about my knee, but it felt good."” Gonzalez hit a two-run double down the right field line in his first at-bat. Gonzalez said, "I was aggressive, man. I swung at four out of four pitches in that first at-bat." His second at-bat ended with a long home run to right-center field. “That was good. That wasn't the plan, but that was good.” https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1234927024738885640 Baldelli said, “Marwin put some excellent swings on the ball. I think his blood got flowing right away in the game having to make that play right off the bat and coming off of surgery and an offseason of hard work and rehabbing himself, that definitely gives you a lot of confidence” Sano Update Miguel Sano made a couple of nice plays at first base on Tuesday afternoon. But we’re here for the Bombas, right? Sano hit a line drive single to left field in his first at-bat and showed some speed in scoring from first base easily on Gonzalez’s double. In his seventh-inning at bat against Tigers RHP prospect Kyle Funkhouse, Sano connected for a long home run to right-center. https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1234938433874923520 Colina Impressive Edwar Colina threw a scoreless ninth inning. He was hitting 99 with regularity and the scoreboard did show 100 mph on one pitch. He also showed a good, sharp slider at 85-87. The final batter hit a line drive back at him that hit him in the foot and bounced toward first base. He collected himself, ran to first and the final out was recorded. Following the game, he said he was just fine. Nick Gordon Update The Twins have a complete day off on Wednesday. Baldelli said a couple of players will just play some catch, but the team will not be working out at all. Nick Gordon is expected to play when the Twins return to action on Thursday. Baldelli noted, “He's cleared. He's ready to go.” Any questions, feel free to ask.
  20. In a battle of AL Central foes, the Twins topped Ron Gardenhire, Kennys Vargas and the Detroit Tigers. Randy Dobnak looked impressive. Maybe too impressive? Marwin Gonzalez had an impressive spring debut. Edwar Colina hitting 100. More notes from today at Hammond Stadium.There is a competition for the Twins fifth starter job, and on Tuesday at Hammond Stadium, Randy Dobnak made another strong case for himself. The right-hander worked the first three innings and needed just 31 pitches. He gave up one hit - an infield single down the third base line. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out two batters. In spring, it’s about getting guys their work. Tyler Clippard came in for the fourth inning, and Randy Dobnak went down to the bullpen. “I threw 25 pitches in the bullpen.” Dobnak continued, “I don't know what the goal was, but I think it was like 55-60, plus all the warmups.” Rocco Baldelli said after the game that Dobnak pitched great. “he threw the ball very well. I think that he was doing everything he wanted to do out there. He spun the ball well. He got some swings and misses. He found himself in a very good place. So good, in fact, that he found himself throwing some extra pitches in the bullpen. But we're going to take that.” One inquisitive writer asked the manager after the game if it was almost tougher to evaluate Dobnak’s performance because it was so efficient. Baldelli noted, “I think there are times in spring training that you do almost hope that your pitchers get stressed. You want them to go out there and throw more pitches than they planned on, more pitches per inning than they planned on. You want there to be some runners on base. You want them to go back up a few bases. These things are going to happen during the season. Just to prepare them, I think it does help. You can never complain about an outing like that. He threw the ball very well. ” For Dobnak’s part, he’s not worrying about being too good this spring or too efficient. He said, “Still trying to work on some pitches here and there, but i'm still competing for a spot.” Dobnak is still working on things: “Today I was trying to get more depth on my slider. I've been working on that lately.” He added,“The changeup’s been working pretty well for me. Threw a few today that were pretty nice. I'm pleased with that. Next step will be the slider. Then I'll work on the sinker.” He was also excited to find himself with a defense filled with regulars. “Yeah. They're good. I get a lot of ground balls, so having the infield out there is nice to have. Marwin made a nice play in the first inning. Donaldson made a nice play. Polanco made a nice play. So, it's nice to have them out there.” In the first inning, Marwin Gonzalez made a diving play. In the second inning, Jorge Polanco made a nice play on a slow roller in the hole to his right. The next batter hit a ball to Josh Donaldson’s left. Donaldson made a tough play look easy. Dobnak finds himself in competition with veteran Jhoulys Chacin and fellow 2019 debuters Devin Smeltzer and Lewis Thorpe. Camp is nearly half over, how do you think the fifth starting job is shaping up? Marwin Gonzalez Debuts There were no boos (at least none that were noticeable) when Marwin Gonzalez’s name was announced in the starting lineup or when he came to the plate for his two at-bats. The versatile, everyday player made his first appearance this spring. He had knee surgery in October and did very little for about two months. He began with light workouts in December. Colina Impressive Edwar Colina threw a scoreless ninth inning. He was hitting 99 with regularity and the scoreboard did show 100 mph on one pitch. He also showed a good, sharp slider at 85-87. The final batter hit a line drive back at him that hit him in the foot and bounced toward first base. He collected himself, ran to first and the final out was recorded. Following the game, he said he was just fine. Nick Gordon Update The Twins have a complete day off on Wednesday. Baldelli said a couple of players will just play some catch, but the team will not be working out at all. Nick Gordon is expected to play when the Twins return to action on Thursday. Baldelli noted, “He's cleared. He's ready to go.” Any questions, feel free to ask. Click here to view the article
  21. Find more on these five Minnesota Twins prospects and much more in the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It’s available in paperback and as an ebook. 20. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B Age: 21 (DOB 6/29/1998) 2019 Stats (A+/AA): 483 PA, .252/.302/.369 (.671 OPS), 8 HR, 11.2 K%, 5.0 BB% 2019 Ranking: 20 We start this year’s list the exact same way we did in 2019. Miranda’s numbers don’t jump off the page, but keep in mind he still slugged better than the Florida State League average (.353) and was young for the level. He faced pitchers who were older than him in over 96 percent of his plate appearances last season. Miranda reached Pensacola to end the year. He played one regular season game, then hit .368/.429/.526 (.955) over five postseason games for the Blue Wahoos. That continued a trend, as Miranda has hit .350/.429/.583 (1.012 OPS) in 16 career playoff games. Once again, Miranda posted an insanely low strikeout rate. His 11.2 K% ranked 23rd among the 686 minor leaguers to log 400 plate appearances last season (inside the top four percent). He also mashed lefties, hitting .303/.330/.506 (.835 OPS), and continued to work on his defensive versatility. Sometimes the biggest thing that needs to happen for a player’s power to emerge is simply to get the heck out of Fort Myers. The guy at No. 18 on this list is a great example of just that ... 19. Cole Sands, RHP Age: 22 (DOB 7/17/1997) 2019 Stats (A/A+/AA): 97 1/3 IP, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 28.2 K%, 5.0 BB% 2019 Ranking: NR The Twins drafted Sands in 2018, but he didn’t make his professional debut until this past season. He opened the year with Cedar Rapids and immediately outmatched Midwest League hitters. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1114718482913005568 Sands made eight starts for the Kernels, nine for Fort Myers, then closed out the season by making his Double-A debut in the second leg of a doubleheader for Pensacola. I’d say that’s quite a busy first year on the job. Among the 667 minor league pitchers to log at least 80 innings in 2019, Sands’ 2.45 FIP ranked eighth. He did an incredible job of racking up strikeouts while limiting his walks, posting a K:BB ratio of 5.68. Another positive development was that Sands increased his workload from 75 1/3 innings at Florida State in 2018 to 97 1/3 innings this past season. 18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF Age: 23 (DOB 8/3/1996) 2019 Stats (A+/AA): 471 PA, .277/.321/.466 (.787 OPS), 19 HR, 22.3 K%, 5.7BB% 2019 Ranking: NR Blankenhorn slipped off our list and onto the honorable mentions last year, but was No. 17 on the Twins Daily 2018 list and No. 9 on the 2017 list. He opened 2019 back in Fort Myers, but was headed up the coast after just 15 games with the Miracle. Despite facing tougher pitchers, the move to Pensacola did wonders for Blankenhorn’s power production. After hitting 12 home runs in 139 total games for the Miracle, Blankenhorn needed just 49 games to reach a dozen bombas for the Blue Wahoos. He hit .298/.337/.521 (.857 OPS) in his first 70 Double-A games, but suffered an injury in mid-July and slumped upon his return. Blankenhorn also continued to display his athleticism in 2019. He spent most of his time at second base (70 starts), but played more outfield than he had in previous seasons, and had three outfield assists in just 24 starts in left field. He was also a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts. The Twins added Blankenhorn to the 40-man roster this offseason, so expect him to get plenty of looks during spring training. 17. Misael Urbina, OF Age: 17 (DOB 4/26/2002) 2019 Stats (FRk): 217 PA, .279/.382/.443 (.825 OPS), 2 HR, 6.5 K%, 10.6 BB% 2019 Ranking: NR This guy has a chance to be the Twins’ No. 1 prospect a few years from now. Urbina’s speed and overall athleticism were hyped when the Twins signed him to a $2.75 million bonus, but the Venezuelan dynamo also proved he can control his plate appearances in. Urbina’s 6.5 K% was the fourth lowest among the 343 hitters who logged at least 170 plate appearances in the Dominican Summer League. He paired that with a strong 10.6 BB%. He also slugged nearly 100 points better than the DSL average and stole 19 bases in 50 games, oh, by the way. DSL stats aren’t particularly sticky. Taking a look back at prior years you’ll find quite a few guys who shine and then fizzle once they reach full-season ball. Still, Urbina’s tools, pedigree and now performance makes for a tantalizing player to pin dreams on. 16. Edwar Colina, RHP Age: 22 (DOB 5/3/1997) 2019 Stats (A+/AA/AAA): 97 1/3 IP, 2.96 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 25.4 K%, 8.0 BB% 2019 Ranking: NR Colina’s talent was on full display throughout July, where gave up just two earned runs in 31 2/3 innings (0.57 ERA) and struck out 36 batters. He was named Twins Daily’s Minor League Pitcher of the Month for that performance. Colina made 10 starts for Fort Myers and four more for Pensacola. In those outings, he pitched to a 2.29 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and struck out 89 batters in 82 2/3 innings. His overall numbers were dragged down a bit by five relief outings that didn’t go nearly as well. The product of Venezuela has always had a knack for keeping the ball in the yard, and tied Cole Sands for the lowest HR/9 in the system (minimum 90 innings). Both of them surrendered just four homers in 97 1/3 innings pitched. Over his entire minor league career, Colina has given up a grand total of just 16 home runs in 324 2/3 innings pitched. Twins Daily 2020 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions Stop by tomorrow for prospects 11-15 MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  22. Admittedly, so much can and will happen between now and November. There will be spring training, a 162-game regular season and a 140-game minor-season. There will likely be trades. The 26-man active roster will be enacted for the first time. There will be injuries. There will be breakouts. And there will be players who struggle adjusting as they move up the ladder. So primarily this is a fun exercise, an opportunity for you to read and see listed the players who need to be added. However, every year we also try to consider if there will be a logjam on the 40-man roster, and maybe some players who will be eligible could be considered as trade candidates. So, here is a quick reminder of what players will be eligible for the 2020 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 2016 (during the minor league season). Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2017. Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again. Players drafted or signed during the 2014 season became free agents after the World Series was complete. But back to the players needing to be added or risk losing to the Rule 5 draft,.. In 10 months. I’ll break them into a few categories. The Givens are players that I think have to be added or there is a high likelihood that they will be selected by another team. The next category will be Possibly. I think there is a chance these guys could be added depending upon how many players the team chooses to add. Because we are so far out, I chose to add more names, so I included some that may be On the Bubble at this point. And then of course I jotted down the other players that are eligible. The final group is comprised of the players will be free agents at the conclusion of the World Series unless added before then. The Givens If I had written this article one year ago, I certainly would have had Wander Javier in the Givens category. Injuries can certainly alter perspective. The numbers game, mid-season acquisitions and other players stepping up can also be a factor. In addition, some of these guys could get called up before the season ends and won’t be on the list. OF Alex Kirilloff - 1st round pick in 2016 from high school in Pennsylvania. Top prospects are going to get protected. They won’t be non-tendered. Kirilloff won’t be non-tendered. In fact, there is a decent chance he gets called up during the season. RHP Jordan Balazovic - 5th round pick in 2016 from secondary school in Ontario. A Top 100 prospect coming into the 2020 season. Should spent most of 2020 in Pensacola. OF/1B Brent Rooker - Competitive Balance A pick in 2017 from Mississippi State. Likely to be called up in-season, but if not, he is likely to be added. RHP Edwar Colina - Signed from Venezuela in late September 2015. Colina wasn’t a big prospect when he was signed, now he’s hitting triple-digits and has the pitches to potentially be a starter. Possibles SS Wander Javier - Left off the 40-man roster this offseason, he went unclaimed. Still immensely talented and could break out at any time. Again, by season’s end, he’s a candidate for the Givens section. C Ben Rortvedt - 2nd round pick in 2016 from Wisconsin. He has moved up the system pretty quickly and spent half of the season at Pensacola before a knee injury. Terrific defensively and very strong. 3B Jose Miranda - The 73rd overall pick in 2016 draft from Puerto Rico, Miranda has hit some and displays a lot of power potential. Has played some second base but profiles to third base. OF Akil Baddoo - The 74th overall pick in the 2016 draft out of high school in Georgia. Missed most of 2019 season with Tommy John surgery, but is a great athlete who has a good approach at the plate and a great power-speed combination. RHP Bailey Ober - Twins 12th round pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston, he has put up fantastic numbers when he has been on the mound. If healthy, he’s got a chance. RHP Griffin Jax - Jax was also left unprotected and went unclaimed this year. He’s already had success in AA and could be MLB ready sometime in 2020. RHP Luis Rijo - 21-year-old from Venezuela posted a 2.86 ERA in 107 innings in Cedar Rapids in 2019 but still went unclaimed in the Rule 5. LHP Jovani Moran - The lefty dominated the lower levels of the minors, but injuries cost him time in 2019. But, he’s young, left-handed and has a couple of plus-pitches. Definitely could contribute in 2021, if not 2020. RHP Tyler Wells - Wells may have been an easy add in 2019 if he hadn’t missed the season due to Tommy John surgery. He’ll rehab most of the year which means he’ll be closer to his return. Can he get back to his 2018 performance level? -------------------- To learn more about all of these prospects, and about 150 more, purchase your copy(ies) of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook. From Melvi Acosta to Malique Ziegler and everyone in between, learn about their backgrounds, their 2019 seasons, their scouting reports and a forecast for 2020. Available in paperback ($17.99) and as a PDF ebook ($12.99). 145 pages of Twins prospect content. And hey, if you want the previous 11 Twins Prospect Handbooks, you can get them too. -------------------- On the Bubble OF Gabriel Maciel - Signed with the Diamondbacks in June 2016 from Brazil. Came to the Twins in the Eduardo Escobar trade in July 2018. Not a big guy, but he hits a lot of line drives, runs really well and plays good outfield defense. LHP Bryan Sammons - The Twins 8th round pick in 2017 from Western Carolina, he dominated at Ft. Myers before spending the final four months of the season in Pensacola. Left-handed, he has four quality pitches. 2B Yunior Severino - Enough of an international prospect that he received two nine-figure signing bonuses. He had a solid season in E-Town in 2018. Unfortunately fractured his thumb early in the 2019 season. Could break out in 2020 if he stays in the lineup. LHP Lachlan Wells - Wells was well on track to be added a couple of years ago but Tommy John surgery cost him some development time. He missed the 2018 season and returned in the second half of 2019. Can he return to form in his first full season back? LHP Charlie Barnes - 4th round pick in 2017 from Clemson. He lefty pitched at three levels in 2019 (8 starts in Ft. Myers, 13 starts in Pensacola, 4 starts in Rochester). RHP Tom Hackimer - Twins 4th round pick in 2015 from St. Johns, the side-winder had surgery after the AFL in 2018. He pitched briefly for the Miracle before finishing the season in Pensacola. 1B/OF Trey Cabbage - 4th round pick in 2015 from high school in Tennessee. Broke out early in Cedar Rapids in 2019 and showed some of his immense power potential in 2019. If he takes another step, he could be added. 1B Zander Wiel - Twins 12th round pick in 2015 from Vanderbilt. Wiel wasn’t added or selected after his 2019 season in Rochester in which he hit 40 doubles and 24 home runs. He should get a shot in 2020 during that season. Others in their first year of eligibility: Tyler Benninghoff, Matt Jones, Kidany Salva, Jared Akins, David Banuelos, Andrew Bechtold, Mark Contreras, Ernie De La Trinidad, Calvin Faucher, Jordan Gore, Derek Molina, Ricky Ramirez, Joe Record, Petru Balan, Yeremi De La Cruz, Jesus Feliz, Osiris German, Taylor Grzelakowski, Jimmy Kerrigan, Fernando Martinez, Michael Montero, Junior Navas, Daniel Ozoria, Ruben Santana, Jesus Toledo, Frandy Torres, Janigson Villalobos. Others returning to Rule 5 eligibility after 2020. Melvi Acosta, Adam Bray, Joe Cronin, Miguel De Jesus, Yeltsin Encarnacion, Zach Featherstone, Moises Gomez, Caleb Hamilton, Hector Lujan, Ryan Mason, Alex Robinson, Alex Schick, Carlos Suniaga, Tyler Watson, Aaron Whitefield, Malique Ziegler. These players will become free agents at the conclusion of the 2020 World Series unless added to the 40-man roster. Sam Clay, Andro Cutura, Randy LeBlanc, Jose Martinez, Jake Reed. Again, this is mostly an exercise in looking ahead, information for you to consider throughout the 2020 season. It’s also something where, as the Twins talk trades and potentially see a 40-man roster crunch next offseason, maybe this information comes into play. And frankly, it will just be kind of fun to see which of these players move up or down the list and how this list looks different in November. ---------------------------------------------------------- To learn more about all of these prospects, and about 150 more, purchase your copy(ies) of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook. From Melvi Acosta to Malique Ziegler and everyone in between, learn about their backgrounds, their 2019 seasons, their scouting reports and a forecast for 2020. Available in paperback ($17.99) and as a PDF ebook ($12.99). 145 pages of Twins prospect content. And hey, if you want the previous 11 Twins Prospect Handbooks, you can get them too.
  23. Normally we consider which players will need to be added to the 40 man roster after the season, leading up to the decision becoming official in mid-November. But let’s look ahead to that decision as it may affect decisions throughout the season. Plus, it never hurts to know who is playing for spots on the 40-man roster.Admittedly, so much can and will happen between now and November. There will be spring training, a 162-game regular season and a 140-game minor-season. There will likely be trades. The 26-man active roster will be enacted for the first time. There will be injuries. There will be breakouts. And there will be players who struggle adjusting as they move up the ladder. So primarily this is a fun exercise, an opportunity for you to read and see listed the players who need to be added. However, every year we also try to consider if there will be a logjam on the 40-man roster, and maybe some players who will be eligible could be considered as trade candidates. So, here is a quick reminder of what players will be eligible for the 2020 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 2016 (during the minor league season).Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2017.Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again.Players drafted or signed during the 2014 season became free agents after the World Series was complete.But back to the players needing to be added or risk losing to the Rule 5 draft,.. In 10 months. I’ll break them into a few categories. The Givens are players that I think have to be added or there is a high likelihood that they will be selected by another team. The next category will be Possibly. I think there is a chance these guys could be added depending upon how many players the team chooses to add. Because we are so far out, I chose to add more names, so I included some that may be On the Bubble at this point. And then of course I jotted down the other players that are eligible. The final group is comprised of the players will be free agents at the conclusion of the World Series unless added before then. The Givens If I had written this article one year ago, I certainly would have had Wander Javier in the Givens category. Injuries can certainly alter perspective. The numbers game, mid-season acquisitions and other players stepping up can also be a factor. In addition, some of these guys could get called up before the season ends and won’t be on the list. OF Alex Kirilloff - 1st round pick in 2016 from high school in Pennsylvania. Top prospects are going to get protected. They won’t be non-tendered. Kirilloff won’t be non-tendered. In fact, there is a decent chance he gets called up during the season.RHP Jordan Balazovic - 5th round pick in 2016 from secondary school in Ontario. A Top 100 prospect coming into the 2020 season. Should spent most of 2020 in Pensacola.OF/1B Brent Rooker - Competitive Balance A pick in 2017 from Mississippi State. Likely to be called up in-season, but if not, he is likely to be added.RHP Edwar Colina - Signed from Venezuela in late September 2015. Colina wasn’t a big prospect when he was signed, now he’s hitting triple-digits and has the pitches to potentially be a starter.PossiblesSS Wander Javier - Left off the 40-man roster this offseason, he went unclaimed. Still immensely talented and could break out at any time. Again, by season’s end, he’s a candidate for the Givens section.C Ben Rortvedt - 2nd round pick in 2016 from Wisconsin. He has moved up the system pretty quickly and spent half of the season at Pensacola before a knee injury. Terrific defensively and very strong.3B Jose Miranda - The 73rd overall pick in 2016 draft from Puerto Rico, Miranda has hit some and displays a lot of power potential. Has played some second base but profiles to third base.OF Akil Baddoo - The 74th overall pick in the 2016 draft out of high school in Georgia. Missed most of 2019 season with Tommy John surgery, but is a great athlete who has a good approach at the plate and a great power-speed combination.RHP Bailey Ober - Twins 12th round pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston, he has put up fantastic numbers when he has been on the mound. If healthy, he’s got a chance.RHP Griffin Jax - Jax was also left unprotected and went unclaimed this year. He’s already had success in AA and could be MLB ready sometime in 2020.RHP Luis Rijo - 21-year-old from Venezuela posted a 2.86 ERA in 107 innings in Cedar Rapids in 2019 but still went unclaimed in the Rule 5.LHP Jovani Moran - The lefty dominated the lower levels of the minors, but injuries cost him time in 2019. But, he’s young, left-handed and has a couple of plus-pitches. Definitely could contribute in 2021, if not 2020.RHP Tyler Wells - Wells may have been an easy add in 2019 if he hadn’t missed the season due to Tommy John surgery. He’ll rehab most of the year which means he’ll be closer to his return. Can he get back to his 2018 performance level?--------------------To learn more about all of these prospects, and about 150 more, purchase your copy(ies) of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook. From Melvi Acosta to Malique Ziegler and everyone in between, learn about their backgrounds, their 2019 seasons, their scouting reports and a forecast for 2020. Available in paperback ($17.99) and as a PDF ebook ($12.99). 145 pages of Twins prospect content. And hey, if you want the previous 11 Twins Prospect Handbooks, you can get them too. -------------------- On the Bubble OF Gabriel Maciel - Signed with the Diamondbacks in June 2016 from Brazil. Came to the Twins in the Eduardo Escobar trade in July 2018. Not a big guy, but he hits a lot of line drives, runs really well and plays good outfield defense.LHP Bryan Sammons - The Twins 8th round pick in 2017 from Western Carolina, he dominated at Ft. Myers before spending the final four months of the season in Pensacola. Left-handed, he has four quality pitches.2B Yunior Severino - Enough of an international prospect that he received two nine-figure signing bonuses. He had a solid season in E-Town in 2018. Unfortunately fractured his thumb early in the 2019 season. Could break out in 2020 if he stays in the lineup.LHP Lachlan Wells - Wells was well on track to be added a couple of years ago but Tommy John surgery cost him some development time. He missed the 2018 season and returned in the second half of 2019. Can he return to form in his first full season back?LHP Charlie Barnes - 4th round pick in 2017 from Clemson. He lefty pitched at three levels in 2019 (8 starts in Ft. Myers, 13 starts in Pensacola, 4 starts in Rochester).RHP Tom Hackimer - Twins 4th round pick in 2015 from St. Johns, the side-winder had surgery after the AFL in 2018. He pitched briefly for the Miracle before finishing the season in Pensacola.1B/OF Trey Cabbage - 4th round pick in 2015 from high school in Tennessee. Broke out early in Cedar Rapids in 2019 and showed some of his immense power potential in 2019. If he takes another step, he could be added.1B Zander Wiel - Twins 12th round pick in 2015 from Vanderbilt. Wiel wasn’t added or selected after his 2019 season in Rochester in which he hit 40 doubles and 24 home runs. He should get a shot in 2020 during that season.Others in their first year of eligibility:Tyler Benninghoff, Matt Jones, Kidany Salva, Jared Akins, David Banuelos, Andrew Bechtold, Mark Contreras, Ernie De La Trinidad, Calvin Faucher, Jordan Gore, Derek Molina, Ricky Ramirez, Joe Record, Petru Balan, Yeremi De La Cruz, Jesus Feliz, Osiris German, Taylor Grzelakowski, Jimmy Kerrigan, Fernando Martinez, Michael Montero, Junior Navas, Daniel Ozoria, Ruben Santana, Jesus Toledo, Frandy Torres, Janigson Villalobos.Others returning to Rule 5 eligibility after 2020.Melvi Acosta, Adam Bray, Joe Cronin, Miguel De Jesus, Yeltsin Encarnacion, Zach Featherstone, Moises Gomez, Caleb Hamilton, Hector Lujan, Ryan Mason, Alex Robinson, Alex Schick, Carlos Suniaga, Tyler Watson, Aaron Whitefield, Malique Ziegler.These players will become free agents at the conclusion of the 2020 World Series unless added to the 40-man roster.Sam Clay, Andro Cutura, Randy LeBlanc, Jose Martinez, Jake Reed.Again, this is mostly an exercise in looking ahead, information for you to consider throughout the 2020 season. It’s also something where, as the Twins talk trades and potentially see a 40-man roster crunch next offseason, maybe this information comes into play. And frankly, it will just be kind of fun to see which of these players move up or down the list and how this list looks different in November. ---------------------------------------------------------- To learn more about all of these prospects, and about 150 more, purchase your copy(ies) of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook. From Melvi Acosta to Malique Ziegler and everyone in between, learn about their backgrounds, their 2019 seasons, their scouting reports and a forecast for 2020. Available in paperback ($17.99) and as a PDF ebook ($12.99). 145 pages of Twins prospect content. And hey, if you want the previous 11 Twins Prospect Handbooks, you can get them too. Click here to view the article
  24. On Monday morning, the Twins announced a slew of non-roster players who will be invited to spring training later this month. Many will be competing for roster spots, while others will be filling out innings in the early stages of camp. There are definitely some interesting names amidst these non-guaranteed deals, so let's run through them.Let’s start with the veterans brought in on minor-league contracts: Left-Handed Pitchers Blaine Hardy: The lefty has spent parts of each of the past six seasons with the Detroit Tigers. In 233 games (13 starts), he tossed 289 2/3 innings and has a career ERA of 3.87 despite missing time in 2019 with injury.Daniel Coulombe: The 30-year-old southpaw pitched in 153 games between the Dodgers and A’s between 2014 and 2018, including 72 games for the A’s in 2017. He split 2019 between the AAA affiliates of the Brewers and Yankees.Caleb Thielbar: The soon-to-be-32-year-old from Randolph, Minnesota, was the Twins Most Outstanding Rookie in 2013 and played parts of three seasons with the Twins. After spending 2016 and 2017 with the St. Paul Saints, he has pitched well in AAA for the Tigers and Braves the last two years and was throwing harder for Team USA in the Premier12 tournament last fall.Right-Handed PitchersRyan Garton: The hard-throwing, 30-year-old right-hander has pitched in 59 big-league games for the Rays and Mariners between 2016, 2017 and 2019.Jhoulys Chacin: Initial plan for the veteran hurler is likely to fill Michael Pineda's rotation spot until his suspension ends. Read more about him here.Catchers Tomas Telis: The 28-year-old Venezuelan played parts of five seasons (2014-2018) in the big leagues with the Rangers and Marlins. He hit .330 last season with the Rochester Red Wings but didn’t get a promotion to the Twins.Juan Graterol: The 30-year-old, also from Venezuela, has spent parts of each of the past four seasons in the big leagues, with the Angels (2016-2018) and the Reds in 2019. He also played three games for the Twins in 2018. As you recall, he started the final game of that 2018 season for the Twins behind the plate, and was replaced in the ninth inning by Joe Mauer.Infielders Wilfredo Tovar: The 28-year-old infielder returns to the Twins organization. He spent the 2016 season with the Red Wings. He had played nine games for the Mets between 2013 and 2014. He returned to the big-leagues in 2019 and played in 31 games for the Angels (.193 with 5 doubles).Jack Reinheimer: The 27-year-old played two games for the Diamondbacks in 2017 and then 21 games for the Mets in 2018. He played for the Orioles’ AAA affiliate in 2019. He can play all three non-first base infield positions as well as in the outfield if needed.The Prospects We continue with the list of Twins minor league prospects who have been invited to spring training. These players are deemed relatively close to the big leagues and will be given an opportunity to spend the first three or four weeks learning from the big-league coaching staff and being seen by the big-league coaching staff. It’s a good chance to make an impression while also seeing how the current big leaguers, especially the veterans like Nelson Cruz, get themselves ready for a season. Royce Lewis, SS: For the second straight year, the Twins top prospect will get to start camp with the big-league club. Last year, he missed time due to injury, but talked about what a great learning experience it was. He’s looking to put together a strong 2020 season.Alex Kirilloff, OF: Before the Donaldson signing, Kirilloff may have been a contender for some time at first base for the Twins. He should continue to play the corner outfield spots and first base in 2019. This is his second invitation to big-league camp.Brent Rooker, OF: This is the second big-league spring training for Rooker as well. The powerful outfielder may have arrived in Minnesota in 2019 if not for a late-season injury. After a slow start in AAA, Rooker mashed until the injury, showing the elite power he possesses.Ben Rortvedt, C: He was the Twins second-round pick in 2016. He reached AA in 2019. Unfortunately his season ended with a knee surgery during the Arizona Fall League. His defense can be very strong, which is why this is the 22-year-olds second big league camp.Ryan Jeffers, C: Drafted in the second round in 2018, Jeffers has already rocketed to Double-A and positioned himself for a big-league call-up in the near future. His offense has been outstanding, but the high marks he earns on the defensive side might be even more encouraging.Trevor Larnach, OF: The outfielder was the Twins first-round pick in the 2018 draft from Oregon State. He began the season in Ft. Myers where he was a midseason and postseason All-Star and the league’s most valuable player despite moving up to Pensacola in the second half where more of his power potential played. Like Kirilloff, Larnach has a chance to be a special hitter.Edwar Colina, RHP: The right-hander from Venezuela may be the least known name on this list, but that won’t be for long. Colina is a starting pitcher. The 22-year-old hit triple digits pretty much every game. He made ten starts in Ft. Myers, made seven appearances (4 starts, 3 “primary” appearances) in Pensacola and pitched twice for Rochester. This is his first big-league spring training.Griffin Jax, RHP: The right-handed pitcher was a third-round draft pick in 2016 and has posted a 3.18 ERA across four minor-league seasons. Worked his way up to Class-AA Pensacola last year, where he was outstanding with a 2.67 ERA in 20 starts.Charlie Barnes, LHP: The southpaw, known for his standout changeup, has been durable and mostly effective in 300 pro innings since coming aboard in the fourth round of the 2017 draft.Jake Reed, RHP: The hard-throwing veteran reliever is back for the fifth straight year as a non-roster invite. He was the Twins fifth-round pick in 2015 from Oregon. He moved up quickly and has spent the past four years in Rochester, awaiting a call to make his MLB debut.Sam Clay, LHP: The lefty was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2014 from Georgia Tech. He split the 2019 season between Pensacola and Rochester. He has remarkably allowed just one home run over the past three seasons.Who among these players has the best chance to make the team? Who are you excited to follow when spring training gets underway in just a couple short weeks? Click here to view the article
  25. Let’s start with the veterans brought in on minor-league contracts: Left-Handed Pitchers Blaine Hardy: The lefty has spent parts of each of the past six seasons with the Detroit Tigers. In 233 games (13 starts), he tossed 289 2/3 innings and has a career ERA of 3.87 despite missing time in 2019 with injury. Daniel Coulombe: The 30-year-old southpaw pitched in 153 games between the Dodgers and A’s between 2014 and 2018, including 72 games for the A’s in 2017. He split 2019 between the AAA affiliates of the Brewers and Yankees. Caleb Thielbar: The soon-to-be-32-year-old from Randolph, Minnesota, was the Twins Most Outstanding Rookie in 2013 and played parts of three seasons with the Twins. After spending 2016 and 2017 with the St. Paul Saints, he has pitched well in AAA for the Tigers and Braves the last two years and was throwing harder for Team USA in the Premier12 tournament last fall. Right-Handed Pitchers Ryan Garton: The hard-throwing, 30-year-old right-hander has pitched in 59 big-league games for the Rays and Mariners between 2016, 2017 and 2019. Jhoulys Chacin: Initial plan for the veteran hurler is likely to fill Michael Pineda's rotation spot until his suspension ends. Read more about him here. Catchers Tomas Telis: The 28-year-old Venezuelan played parts of five seasons (2014-2018) in the big leagues with the Rangers and Marlins. He hit .330 last season with the Rochester Red Wings but didn’t get a promotion to the Twins. Juan Graterol: The 30-year-old, also from Venezuela, has spent parts of each of the past four seasons in the big leagues, with the Angels (2016-2018) and the Reds in 2019. He also played three games for the Twins in 2018. As you recall, he started the final game of that 2018 season for the Twins behind the plate, and was replaced in the ninth inning by Joe Mauer. Infielders Wilfredo Tovar: The 28-year-old infielder returns to the Twins organization. He spent the 2016 season with the Red Wings. He had played nine games for the Mets between 2013 and 2014. He returned to the big-leagues in 2019 and played in 31 games for the Angels (.193 with 5 doubles). Jack Reinheimer: The 27-year-old played two games for the Diamondbacks in 2017 and then 21 games for the Mets in 2018. He played for the Orioles’ AAA affiliate in 2019. He can play all three non-first base infield positions as well as in the outfield if needed. The Prospects We continue with the list of Twins minor league prospects who have been invited to spring training. These players are deemed relatively close to the big leagues and will be given an opportunity to spend the first three or four weeks learning from the big-league coaching staff and being seen by the big-league coaching staff. It’s a good chance to make an impression while also seeing how the current big leaguers, especially the veterans like Nelson Cruz, get themselves ready for a season. Royce Lewis, SS: For the second straight year, the Twins top prospect will get to start camp with the big-league club. Last year, he missed time due to injury, but talked about what a great learning experience it was. He’s looking to put together a strong 2020 season. Alex Kirilloff, OF: Before the Donaldson signing, Kirilloff may have been a contender for some time at first base for the Twins. He should continue to play the corner outfield spots and first base in 2019. This is his second invitation to big-league camp. Brent Rooker, OF: This is the second big-league spring training for Rooker as well. The powerful outfielder may have arrived in Minnesota in 2019 if not for a late-season injury. After a slow start in AAA, Rooker mashed until the injury, showing the elite power he possesses. Ben Rortvedt, C: He was the Twins second-round pick in 2016. He reached AA in 2019. Unfortunately his season ended with a knee surgery during the Arizona Fall League. His defense can be very strong, which is why this is the 22-year-olds second big league camp. Ryan Jeffers, C: Drafted in the second round in 2018, Jeffers has already rocketed to Double-A and positioned himself for a big-league call-up in the near future. His offense has been outstanding, but the high marks he earns on the defensive side might be even more encouraging. Trevor Larnach, OF: The outfielder was the Twins first-round pick in the 2018 draft from Oregon State. He began the season in Ft. Myers where he was a midseason and postseason All-Star and the league’s most valuable player despite moving up to Pensacola in the second half where more of his power potential played. Like Kirilloff, Larnach has a chance to be a special hitter. Edwar Colina, RHP: The right-hander from Venezuela may be the least known name on this list, but that won’t be for long. Colina is a starting pitcher. The 22-year-old hit triple digits pretty much every game. He made ten starts in Ft. Myers, made seven appearances (4 starts, 3 “primary” appearances) in Pensacola and pitched twice for Rochester. This is his first big-league spring training. Griffin Jax, RHP: The right-handed pitcher was a third-round draft pick in 2016 and has posted a 3.18 ERA across four minor-league seasons. Worked his way up to Class-AA Pensacola last year, where he was outstanding with a 2.67 ERA in 20 starts. Charlie Barnes, LHP: The southpaw, known for his standout changeup, has been durable and mostly effective in 300 pro innings since coming aboard in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. Jake Reed, RHP: The hard-throwing veteran reliever is back for the fifth straight year as a non-roster invite. He was the Twins fifth-round pick in 2015 from Oregon. He moved up quickly and has spent the past four years in Rochester, awaiting a call to make his MLB debut. Sam Clay, LHP: The lefty was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2014 from Georgia Tech. He split the 2019 season between Pensacola and Rochester. He has remarkably allowed just one home run over the past three seasons. Who among these players has the best chance to make the team? Who are you excited to follow when spring training gets underway in just a couple short weeks?
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