Opening Day for the Minnesota Twins is little more than a month away. Puckett’s Pond is here to keep you informed on every player currently on the Twins 40 man roster.
Tyler Kinley will have his work cut out for him during his attempt to make the Minnesota Twins Opening Day roster 2018. The right-handed pitcher has earned this opportunity after spending five seasons working his way through the Miami Marlins Minor League system.
The Minnesota Twins selected Kinley in the Rule-5 draft over the Winter and he’ll have every opportunity to stick in the Majors this season. It’s always hard to predict whether a Rule-5 draftee will have any impact in MLB, and Kinley is no different. However, he has shown a lot of promise in the Minors and Minnesota will need him to pitch to his potential to justify using a roster spot on him.
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What Kinley’s Minor League stats tell us
Kinley has been a reliable bullpen piece while pitching in the Marlins system. He has pitched 204 1/3 innings with 212 strikeouts and 80 walks during his Minor League career. He improved his K/9 from 9.5 in 2016 to a career high 12.2 last season, while displaying improved command. Kinley does a good job of keeping the ball in the yard while limiting baserunners and the Minnesota Twins will need all the pitching they can get to contend this season.
Kinley throws a big fastball in the mid-upper 90’s along with a hard upper 80’s slider. He has closing experience in the Minors and definitely has the pitching repertoire to have success in that role. However, the Minnesota Twins don’t need Kinley to finish games, they’ll just need him to help get out of innings this season.
The Twins bullpen is set on the back-end with Fernando Rodney and Addison Reed. There will be some stiff competition for remaining bullpen slots so Kinley will have his work cut out for him. John Curtiss is more advanced in his development and should fill a larger role in Twins bullpen than Kinley in ’18. However, they will both have an impact on the success of the Twins this season.
Kinley could develop into a late inning threat down the road. However, first Kinley will have to survive his first taste of Major League Baseball. From there, the sky is the limit and the future is bright for the Minnesota Twins bullpen.