MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced Tuesday they've invited 13 non-roster players to Major League Spring Training, including shortstop prospect Nick Gordon, who heads to big league camp for a second straight year.Gordon is joined by right-handers Myles Jaye, Michael Kohn and Jake Reed; catchers Willians Astudillo, Brian Navarreto and Bobby
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced Tuesday they've invited 13 non-roster players to Major League Spring Training, including shortstop prospect Nick Gordon, who heads to big league camp for a second straight year.
Gordon is joined by right-handers Myles Jaye, Michael Kohn and Jake Reed; catchers Willians Astudillo, Brian Navarreto and Bobby Wilson; infielders Taylor Featherston, Gregorio Petit and Brock Stassi; and outfielders Nick Buss, Ryan LaMarre and LaMonte Wade. Of the 13, eight have Major League experience, while Gordon, Reed and Wade are considered among Minnesota's top prospects.
The announcement comes later in the offseason than usual, but it's been an untypical offseason with several top players still unsigned. The Twins are still looking to sign a starting pitcher before pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 13, and have 53 players scheduled to report to Spring Training.
Gordon, ranked as the No. 80 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, is expected to open the season at Triple-A Rochester, but is considered close to the big leagues after a strong year at Double-A Chattanooga. The younger brother of the Mariners' Dee Gordon and son of former Major League pitcher Tom Gordon, he can handle shortstop or second base and could make his debut this season. His future will ultimately be dictated on how the Twins handle their middle infield going forward, with second baseman James Dozier in the last year of his contract and Jorge Polanco trying to establish himself as a long-term starter at short.
Of the three right-handers, Reed is one of the club's better relief prospects, while Jaye was signed to a Minor League deal after a brief appearance in the Majors with the Tigers last year and Kohn was brought back after pitching in the Minors with Minnesota in 2017. Jaye can start or relieve, while Kohn has pitched in parts of five seasons in the Majors as a hard-throwing reliever. Kohn originally signed with the Twins last summer after a tryout based on the recommendation of former Angels teammate Torii Hunter.
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As for the catchers, Wilson, who has played parts of eight seasons in the Majors, was brought in to compete for the backup role with Mitch Garver. Astudillo has had strong numbers offensively throughout the Minors, hitting .311/.350/.401 in eight seasons, while Navarreto has been in Minnesota's system since 2013.
Featherston, Petit and Stassi all have Major League experience. with Stassi more of a corner infielder/outfielder. They add to Minnesota's infield depth behind backups Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza.
Among the outfielders, Buss and LaMarre were both brought in this offseason and have played in the big leagues. Buss is a corner outfielder who won the batting title in the Pacific Coast League last year, while LaMarre can handle center. Wade is a fast-rising prospect in the organization who is likely to start the season at Triple-A, but is close to reaching the Majors with his combination of athleticism and plate discipline.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.