Minnesota Twins announce non-roster spring training invites
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins have announced their non-roster invites for spring training. Who might have a shot to impress the major league staff the most?
The Minnesota Twins came out today with their 13 non-roster spring training invites. These 13 players are all players who are not currently on the Twins 40-man roster but the Twins want them in the big league camp at least to start their time down at Fort Myers this spring.
There can be a number of reasons to why a player who is not on the 40-man will be invited to camp. There are players who get invited that are highly regarded prospects that the team would like to see get some instruction and time with the rest of the major league players. Some of these players will actually be a bit of competition for guys who appear to have locked down a place on the Opening Day roster.
Here is the list of 13:
- RHP Myles Jaye
- RHP Michael Kohn
- RHP Jake Reed
- C Willians Astudillo
- C Brian Navarreto
- C Bobby Wilson
- 2B/3B/SS Taylor Featherston
- SS/2B Nick Gordon
- 2B/SS/3B Gregorio Petit
- 1B/LF Brock Stassi
- OF Nick Buss
- CF Ryan LaMarre
- OF LaMonte Wade
The headliner of this group is Nick Gordon. While on most prospects lists he has been overtaken by Royce Lewis as the top prospect in the system, he is the closest of the top middle infield prospects to the majors. Gordon’s goal in spring training has to be to set the stage for a possible call-up during the 2018 season. If he impresses in camp and then continues to improve and perform at Double-A Chattanooga he might move into a position where he could be the roster addition if anything happened long-term to Brian Dozier or Jorge Polanco.
Of course, Featherston and Petit hope that they might get that call-up as well. Both come with at least some major league experience and are brought into camp to see what they have. Their role during the season will likely be to help Triple-A Rochester compete, but you never know what might happen if they impress someone during camp. Same can be said for Brock Stassi who rounds out the infield invites.
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The prospect who may be able to actually turn a solid spring into a major league roster spot is Jake Reed. The offseason additions the Twins have made in the bullpen makes it more of a long shot, but he will be part of the first wave of reinforcements for the bullpen in 2018. Jaye and Kohn will be hoping to move into that same group of reinforcements.
The next most intriguing prospect comes in the form of outfielder LaMont Wade. He has turned heads through the minors and was given the opportunity to showcase his skills in the Arizona Fall League this past fall. Like Gordon, Wade should be at Double-A to begin the season and could position himself for a call-up depending on just how well he performs.
The one true battle may be at catcher. At this point, it seems pretty certain that Mitch Garver will end up as the Twins backup catcher in 2018, but Astudillo and Wilson are certainly in camp to challenge that thought. Don’t put it out of the question that the Twins might even carry three catchers with Garver’s potential to be a potent bat as a DH or first baseman.
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Spring Training is just around the corner. It will be exciting to see if any of these guys jump off the field and impress the big league staff enough to shake up the 25-man roster. At the very least someone should be able to help their future in the organization.