LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Twins were active in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, selecting right-hander Tyler Kinley from the Marlins. Minnesota also lost right-hander Nick Burdi to the Phillies before he was traded to the Pirates while right-hander Luke Bard was selected by the Angels.Kinley, 26, is a hard-thrower
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Twins were active in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, selecting right-hander Tyler Kinley from the Marlins. Minnesota also lost right-hander Nick Burdi to the Phillies before he was traded to the Pirates while right-hander Luke Bard was selected by the Angels.
Kinley, 26, is a hard-thrower whose fastball sits in the high 90s to go along with his power slider that ranges in the high 80s. He posted a 3.54 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 22 walks in 53 1/3 innings across Class A Advanced and Double-A last year. The Twins must keep Kinley on their 25-man roster for the entire season or offer him back to Miami.
"Tyler is a big, strong kid," said Twins director of Minor League operations Brad Steil. "He has a good fastball and a good slider. He's a potential power arm for our 'pen and he'll come in competing for a job in Spring Training."
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Kinley has also shined in the Dominican Winter League this offseason, throwing 18 scoreless innings with 29 strikeouts for Tigres de Licey. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has a career 3.83 ERA with 212 strikeouts and 80 walks in 204 1/3 innings.
"We like what he's been doing in the Dominican," Steil said. "Control hasn't been his strength. But he's getting a lot of strikeouts. It's a consistency thing. He has a good delivery for a guy his size who throws that hard. Hopefully we can get him to be a little more consistent."
The Twins were expected to lose Burdi even after he underwent Tommy John surgery in May. The hard-thrower has had trouble staying healthy since being taken by the Twins in the second round of the 2014 Draft.
Bard, a first-round pick by the Twins in the 2012 MLB Draft, was also a strong candidate to be selected after a solid year that saw him strike out 99 batters in 65 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.
The Twins, though, were able to keep unprotected prospects such as Kohl Stewart, Lewin Diaz, Ryan Eades and Tanner English.
"We thought going into this we could lose a guy or two," Steil said. "It turned out that way. Those roster decisions are always difficult. Those are two guys we didn't want to lose. Guys that deserved to be taken. Luke had a great year for us and Nick was having a great year until his elbow went. It's unfortunate because he was just starting to come on."
Additionally, the Twins made two selections in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft, taking right-hander Yancarlos Baez from the Yankees and right-hander Sandy Lugo from the Reds.
Baez was just converted to pitching last season and posted a 3.51 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings in the Gulf Coast League. Lugo posted a 5.01 ERA between Class A and Class A Advanced but struck out 88 batters in 70 innings.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.