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Minnesota nabs tall Indiana hurler Slegers

With their fifth-round pick (No. 140 overall) in the First-Year Player Draft on Friday, the Twins selected Indiana University right-hander Aaron Slegers.

Injuries plagued Slegers at the end of his high school career and into the start of his stint in college. Forearm pain from a growth spurt, a broken right wrist and a stress fracture in his right tibia limited Slegers to just 10 innings from 2010 -- his senior year of high school in Arizona -- to 2012. He was finally healthy this season and took over as Indiana's ace, helping lead the Hoosiers to a Big Ten championship.

"He's fine, our doctors cleared him," scouting director Deron Johnson said. "He's a big guy too, he's 6-10. He's durable. He doesn't throw quite as hard as the other few guys we took in this Draft, but he's got really good control. He throws strikes. He throws it downhill. He's got a pretty good slider and he's pretty athletic for a big guy."

The right-hander went 9-1 with a 1.94 ERA while striking out 53 over 92 2/3 innings.

Slegers typically throws his fastball at about 90 mph and has touched 95. He has a good approach on the mound and is able to add and subtract from his fastball as needed. Slegers also throws a solid changeup and is working to improve his slider.

"He's more of a sinkerball guy," Johnson said. "He gets a lot of groundouts. You won't see strikeout numbers from him. But our area scout has seen him touch 95 this spring, so you never know what you'll get."

He is listed at 6-foot-10 and 250 pounds, but he repeats his delivery well for a pitcher of his size.

Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for
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