Minnesota Twins prospect Devin Smeltzer selected as AFL All-Star
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins are watching to see how their prospects perform in the Arizona Fall League as Devin Smeltzer makes the All-Star roster.
The Minnesota Twins sent six prospects to participate in the Arizona Fall League this fall. The league which is comprised of six teams often serves as a launching point for minor leaguers to put some polish in their development or prove they are ready for the major leagues. Out of the players the Twins have sent to participate in 2018, one in pitcher Devin Smeltzer has been selected to the Arizona Fall League East All-Star team.
Smeltzer came to the Twins at this season’s trade deadline in the deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers that sent Brian Dozier west. The left-hander had worked as a starter much of his professional career but has now spent his whole AFL season working in relief.
In five appearances and 6.0 innings of work, Smeltzer is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA, six Strikeouts, one walk, and a 1.33 WHIP. With the abbreviated amount of games, it is hard to get super excited about some of those numbers but it does look like Smeltzer is proving himself as a reliever on the AFL stage.
The other Twins farmhand who could have been considered for an All-Star spot would be Minnesota native Adam Bray. Bray has pitched in five games, logged 7.0 innings and holds a 1.29 ERA with six strikeouts, two walks, and a 1.00 WHIP. While his ERA doesn’t hold up to Smeltzer and Bray, Griffin Jax has also performed well in three games (two starts) with a 3.24 ERA over 8.0 innings. Hector Lujan rounds out the four Twins pitcher in the AFL with a 9.64 ERA in five games and 4.2 innings.
Things have been a bit more rough for the Twins position players participating in the AFL. It all started with Brent Rooker who never even made it on the field after suffering an ankle injury during mini-camp before league action began. Luke Raley was removed early from the AFL and in four games held an average of .214 and a triple.
Jaylin Davis has had the best AFL at the plate with eight games played and a .219/.333/.357. Rounding out the group is third baseman Travis Blankenhorn. In 10 games, Blankenhorn has hit .161/.333/.194 with a double among his five hits. As one of the few third base prospects within any sort of a striking distance of the majors it will be interesting to see how Blankenhorn plays through the rest of the AFL season. His continued development could prove very valuable for the Twins down the road.