Here are 10 interesting 40-man roster additions

November 22nd, 2019

When teams finalized their 40-man rosters on Wednesday night, they made several obvious moves. Thirteen of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects had to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft and clubs kept all of them.

All told, 28 teams (everyone but the Giants and the Mariners) combined to add 112 players to their 40-man rosters. The vast majority of them currently reside on our organization Top 30 Prospects lists, but there were 25 exceptions. Below, we note 10 interesting players from that group:

Dakota Chalmers, RHP, Twins
One of the top high school arms in the 2015 Draft, Chalmers signed with the Athletics for $1.2 million as an over-slot third-rounder out of a Georgia high school. He has totaled just 167 innings in five pro seasons, missing almost all of 2017 (personal issues) and 2018 (Tommy John surgery) before going to Minnesota in an August 2018 trade for Fernando Rodney. He impressed with his stuff in the Arizona Fall League, reaching 98 mph with his fastball and snapping off some nice curveballs.

Demarcus Evans, RHP, Rangers
After leading all Minor League relievers in strikeout rate (16.6 per nine innings) in 2018, Evans was even more dominant this year, ranking first in opponent average (.119) and third in ERA (0.90) while giving up just one extra-base hit to a left-hander all season. A 25th-round choice from a Mississippi high school in 2015, he has an explosive mid-90s fastball and backs it up with a curveball that's an absolute hammer when it's on.

Ashton Goudeau, RHP, Rockies
Goudeau was a revelation in the AFL, which he led in ERA (0.00), K/BB ratio (18/0 in 13 innings), WHIP (0.31) and opponent average (.095). He pounded the strike zone with 93-96 mph fastballs and plus curveballs while working as a reliever after thriving as a starter in Double-A during the regular season. A Royals 27th-rounder out of Maple Woods (Mo.) CC in 2012, he signed with Colorado last offseason as a Minor League free agent.

Nick Heath, OF, Royals
The son of Kimberly Milleson, a former Kansas State track star and U.S. Olympic trials participant, Heath also has speed to burn. Drafted in the 16th round from Northwestern State in 2016, he grades as at least a 70 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale and topped the Minors with 60 steals in 73 attempts this year while batting .255/.345/.387 between Double-A and Triple-A.

Wyatt Mathisen, 3B/2B, D-backs
The consensus top high school catcher in the 2012 Draft, Mathisen went in the second round to the Pirates and moved to third base in 2014 in an attempt to get his bat going. That didn't really happen until this year, when he batted .283/.403/.601 with 23 homers in 87 Triple-A games after signing with Arizona as a Minor League free agent during the offseason.

Zach McKinstry, INF/OF, Dodgers
McKinstry went from not homering in two college seasons at Central Michigan -- from where he was drafted in the 33rd round in 2016 -- to going deep 19 times this season while batting .300/.366/.516 in the upper Minors. Los Angeles liked his hitting ability and helped him add leverage to his left-handed swing, while his solid speed and plus arm strength give him defensive versatility.

Jorge Oña, OF, Padres
Oña's power potential earned him a $7 million bonus from San Diego in 2016 after he defected from Cuba, though it translated into just a .259/.333/.393 line in his first two pro seasons. He batted .348/.417/.539 in Double-A this year, albeit in just 25 games before injuring his right shoulder in May.

Philip Pfeifer, LHP, Braves
Pfeifer won four Tennessee state championships and a state-record 46 games in four years of high school before matriculating at Vanderbilt, where he missed the Commodores' 2014 College World Series championship season while battling drug and alcohol addiction. A Dodgers third-round pick in 2015, he reached Double-A in his first full year as a pro after Atlanta acquired him in a trade for Bud Norris, but then he stalled in the upper Minors over the next two seasons and wound up back in Class A Advanced this May. He struck out 17 in a July start and worked his way back to Triple-A, finishing 2019 with a 2.97 ERA and 159 whiffs in 133 1/3 innings between three levels. He projects more as a reliever and found more success in 2019 by adding a slider to his low-90s fastball and big-breaking curveball.

Manuel Rodriguez, RHP, Cubs
Purchased from the Mexican League's Yucatan Lions for $400,000 in July 2016, Rodriguez has yet to pitch above Class A Advanced. But Chicago didn't want to risk losing him after he used a 94-98 mph fastball with crazy armside run and a power curveball to strike out 29 of the last 72 batters (40 percent) he faced this season.

Cristopher Sanchez, LHP, Phillies
The Rays didn't have room on their roster for Sanchez, so they dealt him to Philadelphia on roster deadline day for infield prospect Curtis Mead, who doesn't have to be protected. Signed out of the Dominican Republic for $65,000 in 2013, Sanchez spent five years in Rookie ball and has pitched exactly one game above Class A Advanced -- but his fastball reaches 98 mph and he complements it with a solid slider and a decent changeup.