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Gonsalves among Twins added to 40-man

Littell, Thorpe also protected from Rule 5 Draft
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins added pitching prospects Stephen Gonsalves, Zack Littell and Lewis Thorpe to their 40-man roster in advance of Monday's 7 p.m. CT deadline to protect players from December's Rule 5 Draft.

Gonsalves is the headliner, as he's ranked as Minnesota's No. 3 prospect and the No. 63 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com. Thorpe is the club's No. 15 prospect, while Littell is ranked No. 16.

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins added pitching prospects Stephen Gonsalves, Zack Littell and Lewis Thorpe to their 40-man roster in advance of Monday's 7 p.m. CT deadline to protect players from December's Rule 5 Draft.

Gonsalves is the headliner, as he's ranked as Minnesota's No. 3 prospect and the No. 63 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com. Thorpe is the club's No. 15 prospect, while Littell is ranked No. 16.

• Top 30 Twins prospects

Notable Twins prospects ranked among their Top 30 by MLBPipeline.com who were not added to the roster and will be eligible to be selected by other organizations in Dec. 14's Rule 5 Draft include right-hander Kohl Stewart (No. 9), first baseman Lewin Diaz (No. 10) and right-handed relievers Jake Reed (No. 23) and Nick Burdi (No. 28). Reliever Luke Bard was another right-handed reliever coming off a strong season who warranted consideration.

Players signed at age 18 have to be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons or they become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. Players signed at 19 years or older must be protected within four seasons.

Gonsalves, 23, posted a 3.27 ERA with 118 strikeouts in 110 innings between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester last season. The lefty has dealt with some shoulder issues in recent seasons, but is likely to make his Major League debut in 2018.

Thorpe, who turns 22 on Thursday, had a successful return in 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, posting a combined 2.93 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 83 innings between Class A Advanced Fort Myers and Chattanooga. Thorpe was one of the club's fastest rising prospects but missed both the 2015 and '16 seasons due to injury and illness, including contracting mononucleosis in '16.

Littell was acquired by the Twins in the trade that sent Jaime Garcia to the Yankees at the Trade Deadline and is coming off a tremendous year, going 19-1 with a 2.12 ERA with 142 strikeouts in 157 innings between the two organizations. The 22-year-old went a combined 10-0 with a 2.42 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 85 2/3 innings at Double-A Trenton and Chattanooga.

Video: Top Prospects: Zack Littell, RHP, Twins

Stewart, 23, was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 Draft, but has been inconsistent in the Minors while dealing with shoulder and knee injuries. He has a career 3.10 ERA in parts of five seasons in the Minors, but posted a 4.09 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 77 innings at Chattanooga, going on the disabled list twice with left knee tendonitis.

Reed, 25, is considered close to being Major League ready and could be a candidate to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft after posting a 2.13 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 38 innings between Chattanooga and Rochester. He missed time early in the season with a right shoulder strain.

The Twins hoped Burdi would be on the fast track to the Majors after the hard thrower was taken in the second round of the 2014 Draft, but he has dealt with injuries, including Tommy John surgery. He threw only three innings in '16 and returned to post a 0.53 ERA in 17 innings with Chattanooga in '17.

Diaz, 21, hit .292/.329/.444 with 12 homers and 68 RBIs in 122 games at Class A Advanced Cedar Rapids. The first baseman is expected to develop more power and is likely too far from being ready for the Majors to be selected.

Video: Top Prospects: Lewin Diaz, 1B, Twins

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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