The Minnesota Twins have several players in the minors that could help their team before the season is over. Who are closest to the big leagues?
The easy answer is to take a look at the Minnesota Twins 40-man roster. This makes it easier for the team to call up a player without dropping someone, risking the player to the waiver wire.
However, just because a player is not on the 40-man, it does not mean it is impossible for them to get called up. Let’s take a look position by position who are the most likely to make the team this year.
Daniel Palka (Right Field/First Base)- Palka was acquired from the Diamondbacks in exchange for Chris Herrmann in 2015. He has been putting on a power show ever since. Currently he is leading the Red Wings with seven home runs and will likely be a candidate for a September call up if not sooner. He can play some corner outfield, but will be mostly valuable for his bat.
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Mitch Garver (Catcher/First Base)- Garver has been one of the Twins highest rated prospects due to his ability to handle the bat at a position of need. Some critics are down on his defense, however he did throw out a career high 48% of would be base thieves last season. If the Twins need a backup catcher in case of an injury, he is making his case for the job.
Zach Granite (Center Field)- The Minnesota Twins are currently leading the AL Central in large part due to improved outfield defense. Granite could help fill any voids left in case of an injury or trade.
He is a speedy center fielder who is a terror on the base paths. He stole 56 bases last year and already leads Rochester in steals, despite only playing 12 games due to injury. Granite is back in action and knocking on the door to the majors.
Engelb Vielma (Shortstop)- Vielma may not be a name most fans are familiar with. He isn’t exactly considered a top prospect, but Vielma has proven to be a defensive whiz at shortstop. He was just promoted to Triple A in front of Nick Gordon due to his glove work. His bat might never play in the big leagues, however being a utility player on the bench could be a fit.
Nick Gordon (Shortstop)- Gordon has been great again to start out 2017. He is great at hitting for average, getting on base, and proving he can handle his position defensively. However, it might be a stretch to think he can make the big leagues this year.
With the Minnesota Twins likely not wanting to start the clock on this 21 year old’s service time, it would probably take a trade to see Gordon with the club in 2017.
Nick Burdi (Right Handed Pitcher)- Burdi is building the strongest case out of everyone mentioned for the first call up. He is currently striking everyone out in Double A. He has an absolute cannon of an arm, lighting up the radar gun to the tune of triple digits.
His ERA currently sits at 0.57 with a WHIP of 0.638. With the Minnesota Twins consistently in last place in forcing strikeouts, Burdi looks to be in good position to help this team now.
Mason Melotakis (Left Handed Pitcher) – It’s truly a wonder how any team hopes to get a hit off the Twins Double A bullpen. Burdi has been dominant, and Melotakis is not far behind. He has 15 strike outs in 17 innings pitched.
He also averages less than one walk or hit per inning pitched. Melotakis is likely the first name on the list if any of the lefties in the big league bullpen start to struggle.
Randy Rosario (Left Handed Pitcher)- Rosario is another candidate that has been impressive in Double A this year. He has pitched at least two innings in every appearance except one. Therefore, if the Twins are in need of a long reliever, Rosario would be a great candidate to fill that role. He has an ERA of 2.01 on the season, and is just 23 years old.
One place you might notice a large absence is starting pitching. There are talented players in the minors such as Kohl Stewart, Stephen Gonsalves, and Fernando Romero. However, due to struggles, injury, and age, the Minnesota Twins will have to wait longer to get the help they need with starting pitching.