Minnesota Twins sign undrafted free agent John Stankiewicz
By Otto Johnson
On the first day for teams to sign players that weren’t picked in the MLB draft, the Minnesota Twins only signed one: John Stankiewicz from Fordham.
On Friday night, I wrote about how the Minnesota Twins would be in a stellar position to sign some of the top undrafted free agents once the period for signing players opened up on Sunday morning. Day one of the signing period came and went, and the Twins signed just one player.
This was disappointing, as some teams came away with five or more players (the Cubs signed eight), and I would have thought the Twins would make more moves. That being said, there is still lots of time left and the Twins appear to have gotten a pretty good player in John Stankiewicz.
John Stankiewicz is a right-handed pitcher from Fordham University, where he racked up awards at the small school. The 2019 A-10 Pitcher of the Year was named a third team All-American last season by just about every single collegiate baseball awards committee possible.
Despite all this, Fangraphs, Baseball America, and MLB.com didn’t rank them in their top 200 prospects, and that’s probably due to his lack of speed. Stankiewicz doesn’t have a great fastball, but he does an expert job of using his four pitch mix including a mean curveball, leading to lots of strikeouts:
Despite that lack of speed, Stankiewicz’s incredible command helped him rank as the ninth best pitcher in college baseball according to D1 Baseball’s analytics, and the Twins just signed him for only $20,000. That’s a very good deal.
The key part to note there is that Stankiewicz is an excellent analytical college pitcher, the exact type of player that I thought the Twins would draft all along. Turns out, they didn’t even need to spend a pick to get him.
Because he already has his command figured out, Stankiewicz could fly through the system if he get’s strikeouts like he did in college. There are a couple of hiccups that could have given teams pause: he’s only been a college starter for a season, and despite being 6’4″, he still doesn’t throw hard.
Overly Optimistic MLB Comparison: Mark Buehrle, former White Sox pitcher
Buehrle put together a very good sixteen year career despite not having an excellent fastball by controlling the zone and using his whole arsenal to get outs. If Stankiewicz can be even half the pitcher that Buehrle was, the Twins got a steal.