Minnesota Twins Sign Darin Mastroianni
The Minnesota Twins have signed Darin Mastroianni to a minor league deal.
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The Mastro is back with the Minnesota Twins. Outfielder Darin Mastroianni has been inked to a minor league deal. An invite to spring training seems likely as well. The Twins also signed shortstop Wilfredo Tovar and righty Brandon Kintzler to minor league deals today. We will profile Tovar and Kintzler in our Daily News tomorrow morning. Mastroianni gets an article all to himself—congrats!
Darin is familiar to most Twins fans. He had 271 PAs over parts of 3 seasons with the Twins from 2012 to 2014. He was originally drafted by the Blue Jays in 2007. He got his first taste of the big leagues in 2011 with Toronto—3 PAs. He was selected off waivers by the Twins prior to the 2012 season (the Blue Jays returned the favor in 2014). He had a solid season with the Twins that year. He had a .678 OPS, good defensive numbers, 21 steals (just 3 caught stealing) and a 0.9 WAR in 186 PAs. It looked as if the Twins had found a solid 4th outfielder for next to nothing. 2013 had other ideas in store. Mastroianni saw nearly every statistic plummet: playing time, steals, OPS, WAR and defensive numbers. The numbers fell further in 2014. Darin found himself DFA’d again after spending most of the year in the minors.
In 2015, Darin signed with Nationals and was traded to the Phillies. He spent the whole year in the minors. He had a .654 OPS and 25 steals (4 caught stealing) in AAA that season.
In re-acquiring him, the Twins are hoping he can rediscover his 2012 self. He’s only 29 so he shouldn’t be in decline yet. If he doesn’t look like he can reach that level, he’ll provide important minor league outfield depth. Just like we mentioned in our Buddy Boshers profile, there’s only upside here.
Mastroianni is a fairly poor hitter with a .564 OPS in the majors. He shown an ability to get on base in the minors. If he can translate that to the bigs, that would boost his value significantly. He doesn’t hit for much power at all. He plays all 3 outfield position and a little bit of second base. Left and right are better fits for him than centre field. He’s posted 3 DRS in the outfield and 6.7 defensive runs above average for his career. He’s quite speedy with 267 steals (58 caught) in the minors and 24 steal (4 caught) in the majors. He made $200 000 on his minor league deal in 2015. Expect his new one with the Twins to be in the same vicinity.
This is a good fit. The Twins need outfield depth and Mastroianni is familiar with the organization. There’s good chance Darin sees some major league time—probably limited and in September. Darin is a hard worker, has a great attitude and always hustles. Puckett’s Pond extends its (re-) welcome.