Yesterday, I profiled the Twins Major League rule 5 draft pick Jason Jones; today, I will give you the profiles of the other players involved in the Twins' Rule 5 draft:
Henry Arias will be 24 years old next January and was the player to be named later in the the trade that sent minor leaguer Brad Salmon to the Royals from the Reds last summer. Probably his biggest claims to fame are that he shared last names with one of the best players to wear a Twins' uniform and that he was involved in the infamous bench clearing brawl between the Dayton Dragons and the Peoria Chiefs last July, and was almost hit by lightening when on the mount for the Burlington Bees against the Clinton LumberKings, before his trade last June.
His highest level of play was the Midwest league, last season, where he was fairly old at 23. In the previous two seasons he pitched at the Arizona League (low Rookie) and the Appalachian league. Being in the same league as Twins' farm clubs the last two seasons, the Twins had plenty of time to scout him. He has been a set up man the last year and finished 24 games of the 39 he appeared, accumulating 3 saves on the way. I think that the Twins see more to him than his numbers (career: 4.76 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 1.61 K/BB and 7.23 K/9) or his scouting report (borderline plus sinker at 88-90 mph, curve, change up) indicate. He is slated to start the season in Rochester (which will be more appropriate for his age, 24); however, Delaney and Slame are better suited for a promotion there. He may end up in New Britain or Ft. Myers (both places will be promotions for him).
Juan Sanchez was selected by Milwaukee in the 4th round of the AAA portion of the draft. The soon to be 22 year old righty made the transition from the DSL in 2007 to the GCL in 2008, where he was a major contribution posting .314/.382/.467 as a SS and 3B. His OPS was 4th in the team and the best for an infielder. He was blocked in the team by Tyler Ladendorf and was one of the oldest players in the league. Juan ranked 13th in my Twins hitting prospects list, ahead of names such as Danny Valencia and Luke Hughes. He did not figure as a top prospect in other lists. He will be missed by the Twins more than any other player selected, but there was no way to put him in the AAA roster. Milwaukee is taking a chance, because he probably is not ready for AAA. It has to be noted that, unlike the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft, a player taken in the minor league portions is not required to be in a AAA roster all season. He is automatically property of the new club.
David Shinskie was selected by Toronto in the minor league portion of the draft. He is a 24 year old RHP former starter turned reliever the last few years. He signed out of high school at 19 and took a long time to develop, mainly because of injuries. His highest level was in New Britain in 2006 and 2008 season. Career 4.68 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 2.22 K/BB, 6 K/9. He was blocked by several relievers in the Twins system. In 2006 he was thought as a better prospect than Scott Baker, Glen Perkins and Nick Blackburn (this is a good reason not to believe prospect rankings), but he regressed due to injuries. He was the 16th relief pitching prospect in my list. I hope he turns it around with the Blue Jays organization.
Jose Lugo was a pick that did not make much sense. He was the 9th overall player selected in the Major league portion of the draft by the Kansas City Royals and his rights were immediately sold to the Mariners. He needs to be in the Mariners 25-man roster all season, otherwise he will return to the Twins. Lugo is a 24 year old lefty starter turned reliever who pitched at Ft. Myers last season. He accumulated a 4.04 ERA a 1.46 WHIP and a 2.3 K/BB but he was a strikeout (9.91 K/9) and ground ball (57%) machine. He has a great hard sinker. As a fist sight he has the makings (and the name) to be a ML LOOGY; however, his problems are that LHB hit .264 (vs .253 for RHB) off him and his WHIP was 1.57 against LHB vs. 1.29 against RHB. He does strike out lefties at a rate of 12.90 K/9, but this is in the Florida State League. Would it be sustainable in the majors? Jose ranked 20 in my Twins relief pitching prospect list
Make sure that you participate in the December contest! You do want Seth's book, don't you? Much more information about these players and a whole slew of Twins prospects in there!