Who should be the Minnesota Twins fifth starter?

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 12: Dillon Gee
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 12: Dillon Gee /
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Stephen Gonsalves, LHP

Minnesota Twins Twitter was all a-flutter over the weekend when a pair of national websites, seemingly from sourced information around the Twins, listed Gonsalves as one of the two Monday starters against the White Sox. Fans were excited to see this lefty that they’d been hearing about in prospect lists for a few years now.

Gonsalves was drafted out of high school in the San Diego area in the 2013 draft by the Twins. He was incredible in rookie ball in his draft year, striking out 39 hitters in 28 1/3 innings with a combined 0.95 ERA between GCL and Elizabethton. He threw well with Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids in 2014, but his real breakthrough came in 2015 when he combined between Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers to make 24 starts, throwing 134 1/3 innings, with a 2.01 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and a 53/132 BB/K ratio.

He followed that up with a similar performance between Fort Myers and Chattanooga in 2016, and then he performed well again in Chattanooga this year, earning a promotion to AAA Rochester, where he’s made 3 starts so far, with one bad start and two solid ones. He’ll certainly be in play for the 2018 rotation, so getting a look at the end of the season would be a wise idea.

Fernando Romero, RHP

One could argue whether Romero or Gonsalves has the brightest future as a pitcher from 2018 going forward. Romero has a fastball that can reach the upper 90s with excellent location and two off-speed pitches that can make hitters look simply foolish.

However for 2017, Romero’s a long shot to make the big league club. He had Tommy John surgery in 2014 and returned to the mound in 2016 with a force, but the team has been very careful about managing his innings. He’s put up a 3.30 ERA and 1.33 WHIP with AA Chattanooga over 120 innings with a 45/117 BB/K ratio.

Next: AA Rotation