Minnesota Twins: 5 minor league players who could impact the major league season

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 11: The Minnesota Twins congratulate Max Kepler
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 11: The Minnesota Twins congratulate Max Kepler /
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Stephen Gonsalves

This next name likely comes as no surprise. Like Romero, Stephen Gonsalves has been one of the most talked about near major league ready Twins minor leaguers all offseason. Until the Twins made the signing of Lance Lynn and the trade for Jake Odorizzi, Gonsalves was in the conversation as a potential starter for the Twins rotation.

While Romero has all the stuff that you want out of a shutdown arm, Gonsalves works a bit differently. Gonsalves does not have quite the velocity that Romero does but is still able to create swings and misses. The 6’5″ left-hander’s fastball sits in the 89-92 mph range and can ramp up a little higher than that if needed. Gonsalves controls his pitches well and has been able to pair his fastball with an especially good changeup.

Gonsalves was assigned to Double-A Chattanooga to start his season and has already started two games in 2018. In those two starts he has pitched 9.1 innings striking out eight batters, allowing three runs and six walks. Even though those aren’t complete shutdown numbers it has yielded shutout baseball as Gonsalves hasn’t allowed any runs yet this season.

Unlike Romero, Gonsalves is likely limited to coming up as a starter with the Twins. Don’t let his lower velocity numbers fool you. Gonsalves is an exciting arm in his own right. I had the opportunity to watch Gonsalves live for a start this past summer (something you can read about here) and while it wasn’t a perfect outing. The lefty showed the resiliency to adjust and get outs against quality batters. Something that will serve him well if and when he gets the call to the majors.