• Rule 5 Pick Ryan Pressly Looking for an Opportunity

    The Twins have had some good success over the years in the Rule 5 draft. Shane Mack became part of the 1991 Minnesota Twins World Series championship team as is one of the more underrated players in Twins history. Garry Wayne had a couple of solid seasons with the Twins as a left-handed reliever. Doug Corbett had a couple of good years and was later dealt to the Angels for Tom Brunansky. Obviously the Twins selection of Jared Camp was terrific because they were immediately able to trade him to the Marlins for one Johan Santana. And two years ago, the team selected Scott Diamond who was arguably their top pitcher in 2012.

    Will 2012 Rule 5 draft selection Ryan Pressly be able to have an impact on the Twins organization? Well, only time, and spring training success, will tell.

    Most are aware of the Rule 5 scenario, but just as a reminder, I’ll include the following. A Rule 5 pick (Major League portion) must remain with the big league club throughout the season or be offered back to his previous club. Last year, their Rule 5 pick, Terry Doyle, was returned to the White Sox after a tough spring training. Scott Diamond, chosen the year before, had to be offered back to the Braves. However, Atlanta and Minnesota were able to work out a trade (for RHP Billy Bullock) that allowed the Twins to remove Diamond from their 40 man roster and keep him.



    As they did a year earlier, the Twins selected a right-handed pitcher who performed very well in the Arizona Fall League. Although he posted an ERA of 3.86, in 14 innings he struckout 18 batters and walked just one.

    Regarding his AFL stint, Pressly remarked, “It went well. I never thought I’d be able to say it, but I threw too many strikes. When I told my dad that, he laughed too. Never thought I’d have that problem. 18 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio, I’ve never had that before. Hopefully it’s going to keep coming along.”

    Pressly, the 11th round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2007’s Rule 4 draft, had been a starter throughout most of his minor league career. In 2012, he struggled in High-A and AA as a starter and was moved to the bullpen where he began to experience more success.

    About his move to the bullpen, Pressly sees it as an opportunity. “Obviously I wasn’t throwing as well as I wanted to as a starter, so I thought the change to the bullpen was another opportunity. I want that opportunity. As a reliever, you can go out the next night, so I like the reliever role better.”

    But it isn’t always easy to make the transition to the bullpen. Pressly said the transition wasn’t too bad. “I picked it up pretty quick. I picked the brains of guys who have been in the bullpen. They just kind of shoved me away. I want to run with it now.”

    It might be the perfect role for the 6-3 right-hander as he had a tendency to dwell on a bad start for a few days. “The first two days you’re pretty disappointed because you want to go 6, 7, 8 innings. You want to help the bullpen out. I’ve been on both ends of that now, so I know how that feels. Yeah, I would kind of dwell on it a little bit because it would make me mad, more that I didn’t do as well as I could. But now as a reliever, you’ve got to get rid of it the second you’re off the mound.”

    Pressly added, “As a starter, you have to pace yourself, obviously, but as a reliever, you can come in and reach back and let it go. With my velocity and strikes, I’m just going out and attacking hitters and not holding anything back.”

    As Jeremy Nygaard wrote about him in the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook 2013, “Pressly throws three pitches: a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a curveball that sometimes looks like a slider and a deceptive changeup/cutter that is developing into a swing-and-miss pitch.”

    So, what does he consider his put-away pitch? “Whatever the hitter shows me, I guess. It could be the sliders. It could be the curveball. It could be the fastball. Just kind of depends on how he approaches me.”
    Pressly may not know all the faces of his new teammates, but he is not unfamiliar with the Twins organization. The Red Sox spring training complex is also in Ft. Myers and the two teams and their minor league teams play frequently.

    So what is Pressly hoping to learn from working with the few veterans in the Twins bullpen like Glen Perkins and Jared Burton? “You can’t learn anything by talking, so I’m just going to out there and not speak unless spoken to. I want to watch and see what they do. See if it helps me. We’ll see what happens.”

    As generally no more than two or three Rule 5 guys each year remain with the club that selects him, the odds that Pressley won’t be a member of the Twins bullpen on Opening Day. However, it can happen and has happen, and if not else, Spring Training is about opportunity, and that’s how Ryan Pressly is going to look at it.

    “When they picked me I was pretty pumped. They have had some success with Rule 5 guys and hopefully I can keep that going. We’ll see what happens this spring.”
    This article was originally published in blog: Rule 5 PickRyan Pressly Looking for an Opportunity started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. Mave's Avatar
      Mave -
      Hoping he does well! Question-- Jonathan Mayo just put him at #18 on the Twins top 20 prospects, is that an accurate assessment of both the Twins system, and Pressly's ability? How does he stack up against some of the arms grabbed in the past couple of drafts?
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      If he ranks that high hope we can keep him. He can replace Swarzak and see what happens.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Swarzak is the long man in the bullpen, Pressly sounds like a one inning guy. Big difference.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      Swarzak is the long man in the bullpen, Pressly sounds like a one inning guy. Big difference.
      Pressly has been a starter until midseason 2012, so I don't know why he would have to be "only a one inning guy."
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Not only did he really struggle as a starter in 2011 and 2012, but his initial conversion to relief in 2012 left something to be desired too (not exactly great K and BB rates for his age pitching relief in AA). Hopefully it was just transitional, and his AFL stats are encouraging in that regard.

      As an aside, how often do teams send a guy to the AFL and then leave him unprotected in the Rule 5 draft two months later? Seems like a waste of an AFL roster spot, although I suppose the team may want to see more of the player before deciding whether to protect him or not. (Which would not bode well for Pressly's chances this year, if the Red Sox sent him to the AFL and still decided to leave him unprotected. If they wanted to sneak him through, not sending him to the AFL would have been the better play, no?)
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Swarzak's injury certainly opens the door for a guy like Pressly to take a spot.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
      As an aside, how often do teams send a guy to the AFL and then leave him unprotected in the Rule 5 draft two months later? Seems like a waste of an AFL roster spot, although I suppose the team may want to see more of the player before deciding whether to protect him or not. (Which would not bode well for Pressly's chances this year, if the Red Sox sent him to the AFL and still decided to leave him unprotected. If they wanted to sneak him through, not sending him to the AFL would have been the better play, no?)
      Quite often. In 2011, the Twins sent De Vries. In 2012, they sent Bigley, who they haven't protected twice. One year, they sent Spencer Steedley and Steve Singleton and then didn't add either. It happens quite a bit.
    1. LoganJones's Avatar
      LoganJones -
      Spencer Steedly sounds like he fell out of a Noir Novel. Pressly seems like a good project. He very well might take Swarzak's spot as the long guy, if his rib injury proves to be a setback. Or if they move Swarzak up to a 1 inning guy and let Burnett head back to AAA.
    1. Miraclemat's Avatar
      Miraclemat -
      Check this out...Diamond Rule 5 Drat pick looking better all the time!
      According to the Twitter feeds of the Atlanta Braves beat writers, right-handed relief pitcher Billy Bullock has been suspended 50 games after violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. This is his second violation. It was apparently not a PED, but a "drug of abuse."
      Bullock was acquired from the Minnesota Twins two years ago in exchange for starting pitcher Scott Diamond. Bullock has shown promise as a hard throwing reliever, holding opponents to low batting averages and racking up high strikeout totals, but he has also tallied high walk totals throughout his career. He was highly regarded as a bullpen prospect, but that excitement has been tempered by his lack of progress this past year.
      He has spend the majority of the past two season at double-A Mississippi, and did not fare well in a late season promotion to triple-A. The suspension will begin at the start of the 2013 regular season.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Quote Originally Posted by Miraclemat View Post
      Check this out...Diamond Rule 5 Drat pick looking better all the time!
      According to the Twitter feeds of the Atlanta Braves beat writers, right-handed relief pitcher Billy Bullock has been suspended 50 games after violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. This is his second violation. It was apparently not a PED, but a "drug of abuse."
      Bullock was acquired from the Minnesota Twins two years ago in exchange for starting pitcher Scott Diamond. Bullock has shown promise as a hard throwing reliever, holding opponents to low batting averages and racking up high strikeout totals, but he has also tallied high walk totals throughout his career. He was highly regarded as a bullpen prospect, but that excitement has been tempered by his lack of progress this past year.
      He has spend the majority of the past two season at double-A Mississippi, and did not fare well in a late season promotion to triple-A. The suspension will begin at the start of the 2013 regular season.
      Valencia's name was on "the Miami List"--though there was no designation (left hand side of paper) like there was for the other names on said list. My point is: Do the Twins "know" something about their players, keep it quiet, and then dispose of said player for some other stated reason?
    1. fairweather's Avatar
      fairweather -
      If there is one thing the 2013 Twins bullpen needs it's a power RHP in the bullpen. Last year for as well as the Twins bullpen did it didn't strike out a ton of hitters. Guys like Burnett and Swarzak would be prime candidates to be replaced by a guy who misses more bats.
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      Kwak,
      Not to hijack the thread, but I think everyone who watched Valencia (and DYoung) launch bomb after bomb onto the Budweiser Deck in batting practice knew... now whether we chose to believe or not is another thing.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      I've got quite a bit of hope for him. He's not an automatic doghouse guy like Correia is.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      Valencia's name was on "the Miami List"--though there was no designation (left hand side of paper) like there was for the other names on said list. My point is: Do the Twins "know" something about their players, keep it quiet, and then dispose of said player for some other stated reason?
      First, I don't care if Valencia took something. It doesn't affect my thoughts on him.
      Second, he was always a great guy to me, great to talk to an such, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt.
      Third, the Twins have had lots of guys test positive for non-PEDs (recreational drugs) including Swarzak and a couple others. They have also had several who have been suspended for PEDs.
      Having talked to many people, I truly don't believe that the Twins encourage it in any way. I also believe they have the meetings that tell people what they can and can't do. They also provide them with lists of what can and can't be taken. Anything not included on those lists, they are provided with a number and can call it to find out. The Twins can't do any more than that. Up to the players at this point.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Anything not included on those lists, they are provided with a number and can call it to find out.
      I wonder if anyone has ever called that number.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      Valencia's name was on "the Miami List"--though there was no designation (left hand side of paper) like there was for the other names on said list. My point is: Do the Twins "know" something about their players, keep it quiet, and then dispose of said player for some other stated reason?
      I think they had plenty of reasons to dump Valencia, beyond any suspected PED use.

      Bullock is more interesting -- his suspension is for a "drug of abuse" and probably speaks more to his intelligence/character than anything. Could have been a factor in the Twins trading him.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Quote Originally Posted by TRex View Post
      Kwak,
      Not to hijack the thread, but I think everyone who watched Valencia (and DYoung) launch bomb after bomb onto the Budweiser Deck in batting practice knew... now whether we chose to believe or not is another thing.
      Batting practice is a different animal from live pitching. The BP coach is deliberately leaving the ball in a meaty part of the plate.

      As far as I know, PEDs don't do much to help intelligence, approach, and coordination.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I think that we have to put expectations into perspective here:
      Pressly was 23 last season and started his 2012 season in high A, moving to AA mid-season as a reliever. Here are some comparable pitchers in age and level in the Twins' organization:

      Matthew Houser
      Edgar Ibarra
      Jose Gonzales
      Marty Popham
      Bruce Pugh
      Tom Stuifbergen
      Dakota Watts

      I really cannot see any of the above cracking the Twins' 25 man roster in April. I am referring judgement on Pressly until I see him pitch this ST, but my gut feeling is that he will not make it...
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by LoganJones View Post
      Spencer Steedly sounds like he fell out of a Noir Novel.
      Scott Diamond could be Richard Diamond's son and heir to his private detective business. Drew Butera (or Darin Mastroianni) could be the college-educated son of a mob boss, and Anthony Swarzak could be the goon who protects him, while Trevor Plouffe could be the hairdresser (and snitch) for Butera's girlfriend Jamie (sic) Carroll. Joe Benson sounds like he'd be the bartender Scott Diamond goes to for the word on the street when Plouffe comes up empty. You might be onto something there.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      I really cannot see any of the above cracking the Twins' 25 man roster in April. I am referring judgement on Pressly until I see him pitch this ST, but my gut feeling is that he will not make it...
      I agree. Still, someone must have thought they saw something in the guy.
      Maybe...
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