Puckett’s Pond’s Minnesota Twins 2018 Top-40 Prospects: #36-40

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BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 20: A Minnesota Twins cap and glove in the dug out before a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards at on August 20, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 20: A Minnesota Twins cap and glove in the dug out before a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards at on August 20, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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No. 38 Devin Smeltzer, LHP, 22-years-old

Devin Smeltzer is one of those new guys joining the Twins system. The Twins acquired Smeltzer at the trade deadline in the deal that sent second baseman Brian Dozier to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Smeltzer was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 5th round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of San Jacinto Junior College.

The left-handed Smeltzer comes to the Twins system with quite the arsenal of pitches. He throws both a four and two-seam fastball which both sit in the low 90’s with the four-seamer topping out at 93 mph. He also throws a cutter and a slider, but it is Smeltzer’s changeup that has caught scouts’ attention.

Bobby DeMuro wrote the following about Smeltzer’s changeup at Baseball Census,

"“Tunnels it extremely well; it looks identical to his two-seam fastball both out of his and with late arm-side movement, only several miles per hour slower.”"

Prospect writers across the board agree with DeMuro’s assessment of Smeltzer’s changeup and most also agree that while Smeltzer has very good command it may actually be his achilles heel as he hangs around the zone just a little too much.

In 2017, Smeltzer operated mainly as a starter and combined across two different leagues of Single-A and made 25 starts (26 games total), held a 4.17 ERA and a 10.1 K/9. Since being drafted there have been questions about Smeltzer sticking as a starter while he waswith the Dodgers. Now with the Twins, his new team has moved Smeltzer to a relief role. His strikeout rate is down in 2018, but Smeltzer still looks like he could become a quality major league bullpen arm as early as 2019.

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