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  • Twins Add Four to 40 Man Roster

    On Wednesday afternoon, the Minnesota Twins announced they have added four players to their 40 man roster. Jorge Polanco is probably the headliner, or certainly the most obvious choice, but they also added Max Kepler, LHP Logan Darnell, and DH Kennys Vargas. Also, RHP BJ Hermsen was outrighted off the 40 man roster.

    This leaves the Twins 40 man roster at 39.

    Polanco, 20, struggled for two seasons in the Gulf Coast League, but in 2012 in Elizabethton, he came through with a .903 OPS. He hit .318/.388/.514 with 15 doubles, two triples and five home runs. He moved up to Cedar Rapids in 2013 and proved that his Appy League stats were not a fluke. In 115 games, he hit .308/.362/.452 (.813) with 32 doubles, ten triples and five home runs. He also drove in 78 runs hitting primarily out of the #3 spot in the lineup.

    Max Kepler, 20, was also signed in 2009, at the same time as Polanco. The German outfielder was moved slowly through the early levels because he was so raw, but at 6-4, 220 pounds he has very good power potential. In 61 games in the 2nd half in Cedar Rapids, the left-hander hit .237/.312/.424 (.736) with 11 doubles, three triples and nine home runs. He played a lot in left field, center field and first base. He missed the first half of the season with an elbow injury.

    Left-hander Logan Darnell quickly rose to New Britain a year after being drafted. He remained there until the second half of 2013. The left-hander has a mixed bag of pitches including a fastball that tops out around 90 and a very good slider.

    Kennys Vargas is a DH who can play some first base. He put up big numbers in Ft. Myers in 2013, hitting .267/.344/.468 (.813) with 33 doubles, 19 home runs and 93 RBI. He plays first base as well. He’s a large, physically imposing man who reminds many of David Ortiz. He is often referred to as “Little Papi” though he may be bigger than the Red Sox star.

    This leaves several Twins players at risk of being selected in MLB’s Rule 5 draft on Thursday, December 5, the final day of the Winter Meetings. 2010 top pick Alex Wimmers will be eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 draft. Relief pitchers such as AJ Achter, Adrian Salcedo, Lester Oliveros and Dakota Watts could be picked. Others, such as James Beresford and Pat Dean, could also be taken.

    Any thoughts?
    Comments 50 Comments
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      bit surprised on Achter. Guess the Twins didn't want to risk losking Kepler and Polanco.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Pretty much what I predicted, including the Hermsen drop. Think they wanted to sneak him through waivers. I just had Wimmers and Oliveros slightly ahead of Darnell if healthy, which they might not be.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      bit surprised on Achter. Guess the Twins didn't want to risk losking Kepler and Polanco.
      I have a feeling Achter may be the next Slama in the sense that he will continue to put up good numbers in the minors but will never get a fair shot in the majors.

      I watched him pitch in the AFL and came away thinking he will have a tough time in the majors. He throws four pitches, but his fastball barely touches 90 so he relies a lot on deception and mixing his pitches.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Adding Darnell and trading for and keeping Kris Johnson on the 40-man roster seems kind of strange. Diamond and Albers are still on the list too. Seems like four guys are filling the same whim here.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      No Achter? What? He was the most likely guy to be added!
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Eric Fryer is not going to be more valuable than A.J. Achter. Good lord.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      No Achter? What? He was the most likely guy to be added!
      Nope. Vargas was. And he was added. Darnell too. And he was added. Achter? Not that sure.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      Eric Fryer is not going to be more valuable than A.J. Achter. Good lord.
      Yeah but that split deal he signed (like Tim Wood last season) meant that he has to be on the 40-man roster at least until opening day. Not sure I agree with what they did, but...
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      Nope. Vargas was. And he was added. Darnell too. And he was added. Achter? Not that sure.
      Achter is the most likely player to be lost out of all of them.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      I'm most suprised about Vargas.

      I think the twins feel even if someone takes Achter they have enough similar talents it doesn't matter. But I dont think he will be taken
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I used to get all upset about this stuff, but generally speaking, they get it right... at least from the sense of actually losing players. Who is the last player they didn't protect that they actually lost to the other team? (I'm sure there have been, I just can't think of it)

      The report on Achter is right, though I think earlier in the year, he was closer to 92-93 with four pitches. I can't really argue with any of these picks.
    1. lee_the_twins_fan's Avatar
      lee_the_twins_fan -
      I suspect Achter will be gone - selected by the Cubs in Rule 5 draft.
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      Adding Darnell and trading for and keeping Kris Johnson on the 40-man roster seems kind of strange. Diamond and Albers are still on the list too. Seems like four guys are filling the same whim here.
      You can never have enough mediocre lefthanded pitching.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      In other ridiculous news, the Twins signed a Clete Thomas clone in Chris Rahl. About to turn 30 and has never been in the majors.
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      In other ridiculous news, the Twins signed a Clete Thomas clone in Chris Rahl. About to turn 30 and has never been in the majors.
      He will get his "well-deserved" cup of coffee at some point in 2014.

      Anotan Richardson signed elsewhere,so they need that AAA Filler for when guys get hurt.
    1. SarasotaBill's Avatar
      SarasotaBill -
      Protected Polanco, Kepler, and Vargas from the likes of Astros, Cubs, ....

      Darnell - LP at AAA - likely to be plucked in Rule 5

      Once they sign two FA pitchers - who gets dropped:
      - Albers?
      - Johnson?
      - Duensing - not offered arb?
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      It would seem that the Astros and Cubs have their own roster decisions to make with their own players and are not going to use a roster spot on a guy who would then need one or two years back down in the minors.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Nothing surprising here. I'm not too worried about Achter - he walked a lot of batters and we have depth in the bullpen.
    1. SarasotaBill's Avatar
      SarasotaBill -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      It would seem that the Astros and Cubs have their own roster decisions to make with their own players and are not going to use a roster spot on a guy who would then need one or two years back down in the minors.
      Carrying a prospect on the 40 man roster for two years is normal.

      The twins will carry Polanco, Kepler, and Vargas for at least two years before they get a sniff of MLB.

      There are many examples of guys taken in Rule V while in Class A - Johann Santana, Jorge Bell, ..

      Bell had to play for the Jays as a 21 year old, was in AAA the next year and most of the following year. Three years after being taken in the Rule 5 draft, he started a streak of nine years averaging over 20 HRs a year.
    1. Han Joelo's Avatar
      Han Joelo -
      Re: Fryer
      I have a feeling the biggest shock to the system all of us armchair GM/stat-heads would have if we actually got a job as the Assistant to the Traveling Secretary a la George Costanza--Major League Catching is a riddle wrapped in a cipher shrouded by a mysterious shroud of enigmatic uncertainty wrapped in an invisible cloak of doubt and dart throwing.

      Seriously, in a world where Drewby nets a top 20 prospect and 42 year old Henry Blanco is still bouncing around, I have to think we blog commentors seriously undervalue the unquantified intangibles of catching.

      As for the list, no surprises except Vargas a little bit. Gives me confidence that he's a legit prospect though.
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