Minnesota Twins Moves in the Rule 5 Draft: Phase 2-The Minor League Phase
The Orioles struck again, this time taking Rickey Ramirez fifth in Round 1 of the Minor League phase of the draft. A fireballer who struck out 50 batters in 42 2/3 innings for three different Twins minor league teams in 2019.
Six picks later, the Twins lost pitcher Joe Record to the Astros. Record, another hard-throwing righty, that struggled in 2019 with the Mighty Mussels in High-A. Both pitchers were decent players, but not guys that will really be missed (hopefully).
The last player the Twins lost in the draft came in the third round, pick 51, where the Braves took Jacob Pearson. Pearson, a former third round pick of the Angels, was purchased by the Twins in 2018. He’s not an elite talent, but he showed a little something at High A last year. It’ll be interesting to see what he makes of his opportunity.
The Twins did make a couple additions of their own in the later rounds: Jhonleider Salinas and Josh Mitchell. Salinas was picked from the Rays organization with the 22nd pick of the first round of the minor league phase, while Mitchell was picked from the Royals in the second round, 40th overall in the minor league phase.
In Salinas, the Twins are getting a 6’7″ towering reliever who struck out 39 batters in 30 innings at the Double-AA level for the Twins. He also posted a 2.70 ERA over those thirty innings with good control. Don’t be surprised if he makes a big league appearance in 2021.
In Mitchell, the Twins added a left-handed reliever who had a bit of a breakout in 2019. With a career-low 3.30 ERA, a good fastball, and a 47-13 K-BB ratio, Mitchell has potential to be a solid bullpen piece for the team down the line.
Since 1970, the Minnesota Twins have found some gems in the Rule 5 draft including reliever Doug Corbett in 1979, catcher Mark Salas in 1984, outfielder Shane Mack in 1989, and relief pitcher Ryan Pressly in 2012. While management’s strategy for this draft is clearly to pass on a lot of the Rule 5 talent, hopefully one of their relievers can make the jump.