Twins protect 7 prospects from Rule 5 Draft
Outfielder Walker among those added to 40-man roster; catcher Pinto, reliever Achter lost to waivers
MINNEAPOLIS -- With Friday's deadline to add players to the 40-man roster to protect them from December's Rule 5 Draft, the Twins added outfielder Adam Brett Walker and pitchers Taylor Rogers, J.T. Chargois, Pat Dean, Mason Melotakis, Randy Rosario and Yorman Landa to their Major League roster.
Additionally, the Twins announced catcher Josmil Pinto was claimed off waivers by the Padres and right-handed reliever A.J. Achter was claimed by the Phillies. Pinto, who dealt with concussion issues in 2015 and spent the year at Triple-A Rochester, was deemed expendable after the Twins acquired catcher John Ryan Murphy from the Yankees. Achter has been dominant at Triple-A, posting a 2.57 ERA with 136 strikeouts in 143 2/3 innings with Rochester over the last three seasons, but has had trouble translating that success to the Majors.
Walker and Rogers, who are both playing in the Arizona Fall League, were considered locks to be added to the roster, while Dean, Chargois and Melotakis were all good bets to be added. The additions of Rosario and Landa were more surprising, as neither have pitched above Class A Cedar Rapids.
Landa, who had a 1.67 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 27 innings as a right-handed reliever for Cedar Rapids, is ranked as Minnesota's No. 30 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, while Rosario isn't ranked among the Top 30. Rosario, a left-handed starter, had a 3.52 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings at Cedar Rapids.
"There's always some guys on the bubble we discuss, and some make the cut and some don't make the cut," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "But we feel pretty comfortable we're protecting the guys we need to protect. I think every club runs a risk and there's always at least one guy you're hoping they don't take [in the Rule 5 Draft], but if you're really that concerned, you can find a way to add them to your 40-man roster."
Joining Landa among Minnesota's Top 30 Prospects is Walker (No. 10), Chargois (No. 11), Rogers (No. 13) and Melotakis (No. 27). Dean is not among the club's Top 30 Prospects, but the lefty had a breakout year at Rochester, posting a 2.82 ERA with five complete games in 27 starts. Rogers, a fellow lefty, was also part of that rotation at Rochester, with a 3.98 ERA in 174 innings
Walker was added for his power potential, as he hit .239 with 31 homers and 106 RBIs in 133 games with Double-A Chattanooga, while Chargois and Melotakis were added for their power arms as hard-throwing relievers. After missing the previous two seasons due to elbow surgery, Chargois had a 2.63 ERA and struck out 53 in 48 innings with Class A Advanced Fort Myers and Chattanooga. Melotakis missed the 2015 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow.
Notable players the Twins didn't protect from the Rule 5 Draft include outfielder Travis Harrison, infielder Levi Michael and pitchers Jason Wheeler, Zack Jones, Corey Williams, Alex Wimmers and Luke Bard. Of that group, Harrison (No. 19), Jones (No. 23) and Wheeler (No. 24) are among Minnesota's Top 30 Prospects. Harrison and Michael are the two biggest surprises, as they were both first-round picks in the 2011 Draft, but have been slow to develop in the Minors.