The Minnesota Twins have added five prospects to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft at next month’s winter meetings.
The Minnesota Twins made some minor news earlier this week as they added five prospects to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from next month’s Rule 5 draft. As Jhoan Duran, Dakota Chalmers, Gilberto Celestino, Luke Raley, and Travis Blankenhorn made the cut, all five were approaching the four years of minor league service time that would allow other teams to poach them at the Winter Meetings.
Of the group, the biggest headliner is Duran, who is currently listed as the ninth-ranked prospect in the Twins’ organization according to MLB Pipeline. The 21-year old was acquired in the 2018 trade that sent Eduardo Escobar to the Arizona Diamondbacks but has been doing his best to even the deal thanks to a fastball that has reached 101 miles per hour.
Duran went 5-12 between High-A Fort Myers and Double-A Pensacola this season, but posted an ERA of 3.76 and struck out 136 batters in 115 innings.
Another prospect that was acquired in the trade deadline purge of 2018 was also protected in Celestino. After coming over in the Ryan Pressly trade, the outfielder ranks 20th per MLB Pipeline and showed some power and some speed while spending most of the year at Low-A Cedar Rapids. The 20-year old hit .276 for the Kernels with 10 home runs and 51 RBI to go with 14 stolen bases.
Blakenhorn (No. 23) was the final addition that ranks in the organization’s Top 25 rankings. The 2015 third-round pick had a nice rebound season in 2019, hitting .277 with 19 home runs and 59 RBI for Double-A Pensacola while playing at second base and the corner outfield spots for the Blue Wahoos.
Rounding out the additions were Raley, who spent most of 2019 on the shelf with an ankle injury, but had a strong showing (.244, 3 HR, 14 RBI) for Salt River in the Arizona Fall League and Chalmers, a right-hander who was acquired in the Fernando Rodney trade, but also missed a good chunk of last season recovering from an elbow injury.