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Prospects Lewis, Kirilloff among 20 ST invites

February 9, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins released their complete list of 20 non-roster invitees to Major League Spring Training on Saturday, headlined by Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff, the top two prospects in the organization and the No. 5 and No. 9 prospects in MLB Pipeline's Top 100.Lucas Duda and Adam Rosales

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins released their complete list of 20 non-roster invitees to Major League Spring Training on Saturday, headlined by Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff, the top two prospects in the organization and the No. 5 and No. 9 prospects in MLB Pipeline's Top 100.
Lucas Duda and Adam Rosales headline the nine players with Major League experience signed to Minor League deals with invites to Spring Training. Pitchers Tim Collins, Chase De Jong, Preston Guilmet, Mike Morin and Justin Nicolino are also part of that group, as are infielder Dean Anna and catcher Tomás Telis.
Pitchers Ryan Eades, Ryne Harper and Jake Reed; catchers Brian Navarreto, Ben Rortvedt and Wynston Sawyer; infielders Randy Cesar and Lewis; and outfielders Kirilloff, Luke Raley and Brent Rooker are the others with invites to camp.
The Twins also announced that eight guest instructors will attend camp this year: Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Bert Blyleven, and former Twins players Michael Cuddyer, LaTroy Hawkins, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan and Tony Oliva.
"I never look at invites, especially internal invites, as saying they're all competing to make the team," chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said earlier this offseason. "In fact, a lot of times, at the front end, I tell them that they're not, because the last thing you want is for someone to go out in their first bullpen of the year and try and throw 100 miles an hour. It's not good for anybody. But I would say that it's exposure."
Duda, 33, is a veteran of nine Major League seasons who hit .241/.313/.418 with 14 homers with the Royals and Braves last season. He hit 27 or more homers in each of the previous three seasons from the left side and could compete with the right-handed Tyler Austin for playing time behind starting first baseman C.J. Cron as a first base/outfield bench bat.

The versatile Rosales spent the majority of last season in Triple-A, but has played in parts of the last 11 seasons in the Majors with the Reds, A's, Rangers, Padres, D-backs and Indians. The 35-year-old is a career .226/.291/.365 hitter, with his best year coming with the Padres in 2016, when he hit 13 homers in 105 games with an .814 OPS.
Kirilloff, the Twins' first-round selection in the 2016 MLB Draft, and Lewis, the first overall selection a year later, both finished '18 with Class A Advanced Fort Myers.

The 19-year-old Lewis hit .292/.352/.451 wth 14 homers, 29 doubles and 28 stolen bases across two levels. In his return from Tommy John surgery, Kirilloff led all full-season Minor Leaguers with 44 doubles while hitting .348/.392/.578 with 20 homers as he was named the Twins' Minor League Player of the Year.
"We're excited about the investment in them from a developmental standpoint. It's a chance to get them around Rocco [Baldelli], maybe around the Major League staff," Falvey said. "We anticipate maybe they'll get back on the Minor League side at some point, soon, to get their seasons rolling. But that's a great way to get a taste, in my mind, to get the Major League feel before you take a run."
Rooker (No. 7), Raley (No. 19) and Rortvedt (No. 24) are the other Top 30 Twins prospects among the non-roster invitees. Rooker hit .254/.333/.465 with 22 homers and 32 doubles across a full season at Double-A, while Raley hit .275/.350/.471 with 20 homers in Double-A and came to the organization in the Brian Dozier trade with the Dodgers. Rortvedt, a second-round selection in 2016, climbed from Class A to Class A Advanced last season.
Twins Spring Training non-roster invitees
INF Dean Anna (highest level: MLB)
INF Randy Cesar (highest level: Double-A)
LHP Tim Collins (highest level: MLB)
RHP Chase De Jong (highest level: MLB)
1B/OF Lucas Duda (highest level: MLB)
RHP Ryan Eades (highest level: Triple-A)
RHP Preston Guilmet (highest level: MLB)
RHP Ryne Harper (highest level: Triple-A)
OF Alex Kirilloff (highest level: Class A Advanced)
SS Royce Lewis (highest level: Class A Advanced)
RHP Mike Morin (highest level: MLB)
C Brian Navarreto (highest level: Double-A)
LHP Justin Nicolino (highest level: MLB)
OF/1B Luke Raley (highest level: Double-A)
RHP Jake Reed (highest level: Triple-A)
1B/OF Brent Rooker (highest level: Double-A)
C Ben Rortvedt (highest level: Class A Advanced)
INF Adam Rosales (highest level: MLB)
C Wynston Sawyer (highest level: Triple-A)
C Tomas Telis (highest level: MLB)

Do-Hyoung Park covers the Twins for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark and on Instagram at dohyoung.park.