The Minnesota Twins released their official 60 man roster for the re-opening of Spring Training Camp. We break it down for you.
Baseball is set to return, and with training camp just days away from resuming, MLB teams are showing off their new rosters with a maximum of sixty players eligible for the season restart. The Minnesota Twins dropped their roster Monday morning:
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) June 29, 2020
This is a pretty expansive list of the top players in the Twins’ entire system. The base of the roster has been set for a while, and with the Twins’ forty-man roster set prior to this, we had a good idea of who would make the team. That being said, there’s a lot to go over, so we’ll start with the 60-man roster breakdown.
Minnesota Twins 60-Man Roster Breakdown
Locks to Make the Minnesota Twins Roster (25)
Designated Hitter (1): Nelson Cruz.
With the Minnesota Twins roster eventually getting trimmed down to 30 players by the start of the regular season, we have a pretty good idea who will be making the team. While a couple of these guys could get injured or struggle, it’s pretty likely that these 25 players will make that 30 player roster.
With these players likely making the real roster, it would make no sense for them not to make the sixty man roster. This is one of the best benefits of having such a competitive roster, as there isn’t a lot left to decide.
Minnesota Twins 40-Man Veterans Vying for a spot (8)
Infielders (1): Nick Gordon
Outfielders (1): Lamonte Wade Jr.
Catchers (1): Willians Astudillo
These seven players all have major league experience and played at least a little for the Twins or a different major league club in 2019. With four possible spots on that opening thirty man roster, I expect some combination of these seven will get it.
I also think that there’s a possibility of the Twins keeping Willians Astudillo on the 3 Person Taxi Squad, as the Taxi Squad can only be three players if there’s a catcher in the group. There’s also a very real possibility that all of these players somehow squeeze onto the Opening Day Roster (and Taxi Squad), but we’ll see how this spring training goes.
Minnesota Twins Players on the Restricted List (2)
These two players make the 60-Man roster but aren’t going to make the immediate roster for two very different reasons. Micheal Pineda is still serving his sixty game suspension from last year (his remaining 39 games were upheld), while Fernando Romero is still fighting to get into the U.S.
Pineda is a lock to join the roster when his suspension ends, and Romero would have a really good chance to make the roster if his visa issues had been resolved. Instead, Romero isn’t likely to play this season, even if the visa issues are resolved.
Top Prospects on the 40-Man Roster (5)
Infielders (1): Travis Blankenhorn
Outfielders (1): Gilberto Celestino
The Twins have 38 active players on their 40-Man roster that made the 60-Man “Summer Camp” roster. This includes the 33 players listed above and five prospects who made our Preseason Top 30 Prospects list: Duran (No. 5), Celestino (No. 14), Blankenhorn (No. 17), Alcala (No. 19), and Chalmers (No. 24).
Alcala is the only one on this list with any major league experience (1.2 innings), so it would be a bit of shock if one of these players snuck onto the 30 man roster. That being said, it’s good to get these guys, some of the oldest, and most MLB-ready players more experience.
Non-Roster Invitees with Minnesota Twins or MLB experience (10)
Outfielders (1): Lane Adams
This group of invitees isn’t particularly inspiring past Chacin. Chacin has a real shot at making the roster with a good second spring training, but he has to beat out Homer Bailey and Randy Dobnak. Theilbar and Columbe had a good first spring training, but aren’t going to beat out the Twins current relievers.
For the hitters, all five weren’t worth anything during the first spring training and would take a miracle for them to be moved to even the forty man roster or taxi squad. This group doesn’t have a lot of potential, and there’s not much to remember.
Non-Roster Invitees that are Top Minnesota Twins Prospects (6)
Pitchers (1): Edwar Colina
Infielders (1): Royce Lewis
Catchers (1): Ryan Jeffers
The Twins kept five of their seven best hitting prospects with sixty man roster as non-roster invitees to give these key prospects more at bats for their development. Bringing Colina (who is 23), also makes sense, given he’s pretty close to MLB-ready.
Royce Lewis (No. 1 Overall), Alex Kirilloff (No. 2), Trevor Larnach (No. 4), Ryan Jeffers (No. 7), Brent Rooker (No. 10) all are getting some valuable at-bats towards being ready for their eventual turns in the major leagues.
Non-Roster Invitees that are other Minnesota Twins Prospects (3)
Pitchers (1): Sam Clay
I questioned where to put Drew Maggi, as he is 31, and has pretty much reached his peak as a player, despite never making the majors. Clay and Wiel are a completely different story. Both are 27 and are major-league ready with a solid amount of potential look for those two to debut this year.
Three Biggest Surprises for the Minnesota Twins 60-Man Roster
- I’m completely surprised Jordan Balazovic was left off the roster. The Twins’ No. 3 Prospect is set to turn 22 in a couple months and I thought he would have benefited from more innings this spring.
- I’m a little disappointed that Tovar, Gearrin, and Garton made the roster. I think they didn’t show enough in Spring Training to be worth a second look, and I’m sure that those three empty slots would have been more valuable than those three players.
- This isn’t technically a Minnesota Twins surprise, but i’m stunned Brian Dozier wasn’t on the initial 52 man roster the San Diego Padres put together. He had a solid year in 2019, and I would’ve thought he’d be a lock for a chance at the DH role.
Three Big Predictions for the 60-Man Roster
- I think the battle for the 4th and 5th Starter Spots (Berrios, Odorizzi, Maeda are 1-3) gets really interesting during Spring Training II. Bailey, Hill, and Dobnak all have reasonable claims to those spots, but I wouldn’t count Chacin (or maybe even Smeltzer completely out).
- Jeffers makes the Taxi Squad. The Taxi Squad can only have three players if one of them is a catcher. If Jeffers has a good second spring training, I think Astudillo, Avila, and Garver all make the team and Jeffers stays on as an extra.
- Sam Clay and Zander Wiel will surprise a couple people. They might not be blue chip prospects, but they can be valuable players for a team that could have some absences (COVID or otherwise).
This Summer Camp version of Spring Training will be the most interesting one in a while, and with several Twins questions left to be answered, it’ll be lots of fun to watch.