Berrios headlines Twins' non-roster invitees
No. 2 prospect among 22 heading to Spring Training
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced 22 players on Minor League contracts will be invited to Major League Spring Training, including prospects Jose Berrios, Nick Burdi, Jake Reed, Stuart Turner and Engelb Vielma.
Berrios headlines the group, as he's ranked as the club's No. 2 prospect and MLB's No. 20 overall prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com. The others ranked among Minnesota's Top 30 Prospects are Burdi (No. 12), Reed (No. 17), Turner (No. 18) and Vielma (No. 22). Berrios will compete for a spot in the rotation, while Burdi and Reed are relievers with power arms. Turner, who played in the Arizona Fall League, is one of five catchers invited to Spring Training, while Vielma is a slick-fielding shortstop who has yet to reach Double-A.
Additionally, 10 of the 22 players invited have Major League experience, including lefty relievers Fernando Abad, Buddy Boshers, Dan Runzler and Aaron Thompson, right-handed reliever Brandon Kintzler, former Twins outfielders Joe Benson and Darin Mastroianni, catcher Juan Centeno, infielder Wilfredo Tovar and outfielder Ryan Sweeney.
Others invited are catchers Mitch Garver, Carlos Paulino and Alex Swim, infielders James Beresford, Buck Britton and Heiker Meneses and first baseman/outfielder Reynaldo Rodriguez.
The Twins have been looking for left-handed relief help this offseason, and Abad, Boshers, Runzler and Thompson will all compete for a spot in Spring Training. Abad has six years of experience in the Majors with a career 3.72 ERA and 193 strikeouts in 227 1/3 innings. Boshers pitched with the Angels in 2013, posting a 4.70 ERA with 13 strikeouts and eight walks in 15 1/3 innings. Runzler last pitched in the Majors with the Giants in 2012 and spent last season in Triple-A with the D-backs. And Thompson appeared in 41 games with the Twins last season with a 5.01 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings.
Sweeney, who played in the Majors from 2006-14, is also expected to compete for a spot as a fourth outfielder. He's a career .276/.333/.380 hitter in 682 games, including 241 games in center field, 344 in right and 100 in left. Sweeney didn't play in 2015 after being released by the Cubs in April.
The Twins also brought back Benson and Mastroianni on Minor League deals to compete for a backup outfield role, as Benson is a former top prospect who played with the Twins in 2011, while Mastroianni has four years of Major League experience, including parts of three seasons with the Twins from 2012-14.
The Twins have 62 players scheduled to report to Spring Training, with pitchers and catchers set to report Feb. 21. The first workout will be held Feb. 22. The rest of the team reports Feb. 26, with the club's first full workout set for Feb. 27.