Here are profiles of the Twins' minor league free agent signees who finished the game against the Yankees tonight.
Sean Henn a left handed pitcher from Fort Worth Texas who will turn 29 this April, was drafted in 26th round of the 2000 amateur draft by the Yankees. Even though he was drafted very low, he climbed in the prospect charts of the organization listed as number 6 prospect in 2002 and number 10 in 2003, by Baseball America. Sean started 8 games as a 20 year old for the Staten Island Yankees of the New York/Penn (A) league in 2001, pitching 42 innings, striking out 49 and walking 15, finishing with 3 wins and a loss and producing a 3.00 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. That was his best season as a pro. His missed all of 2002 with elbow surgery and had nagging injuries through his career. In addition, he has only 2 pitches (2-seamer fastball and Slider) and his lack over a slow pitch turned him into a reliever in 2007 and resulted to his release and signing by the Padres mid-season 2008.
His career major league pitching line is: 4 seasons, 40 games, 5 GS, 2 wins, 6 loses, 66.7 IP, 52 BB, 47 K, 7.56 ERA, 2.04 WHIP
His career minor league pitching line is: 7 seasons, 125 games, 81 GS, 23 wins, 22 loses, 1 save, 490 IP, 194 BB, 392 K, 3.67 ERA, 1.34 WHIP
I am not really sure what Henn's future in the Twins' organization is; Scouts might like his 92 mph sinker (pretty fast and very rare for a lefty) but the lack of a change up and lack of control do not project very highly for Henn. He has an outside chance to make the Rochester roster as a reliever, but unless he surprises in Spring Training, chances are that he will not be in the Twins' organization past March.
(any resemblance to Shawn from VH1's Tool Academy -pictured below- is accidental)
Bobby Keppel, who will turn 27 next June and is from St. Louis, is a different story than Henn, but had a similar career once in the pros. He was drafted in the 1st round of the 2000 draft by the New York Mets and in Mets' fashion climbed quickly in the organization, making the AAA Norfolk Tides club of the International league in 2004, as a 22 year old. Keppel was ranked by Baseball America as the Mets' number 9th prospect in 2003 and number 6 in 2004. Unlike Henn, he is not a power lefty. He is a junk ball righty who relies on his control to get batters out. He has four pitches (85-91 mph 4-seam fastball, slider, curve and change up) that he mixes and matches. His best season in the minors came as a 19 year old with the Capital City Bombers of the South Atlantic (A) League in 2001, when he started 20 games and relieved in 6, pitching for 124 innings, giving 25 walks and striking out 87, winning six games (including a complete game) and losing 7. His ERA was 3.12 and WHIP 1.15. Even though, unlike Henn, Keppel has been pretty much injury free, his career did not amount to much. After the Mets did not protect him in 2005, he signed annual contracts with the Royals, Rockies and Marlins and ended up pitching at the AAA for each or those teams, which happen to have AAA teams competing in the Pacific Coast League (Omaha, Colorado Springs and Alberqueque). His best ERA the last 2 seasons was 5.48 (in 2007 with the Sky Box) and his best WHIP was 1.57 (in 2006 with the Omaha Royals). Unlike Henn, he remained a starter. Keppel had 2 cups of coffee in the majors, in 2006 with the Royals and 2007 with the Rockies; both were forgettable.
His career major league pitching line is: 2 seasons, 45 games, 6 GS, 0 wins, 4 loses, 38.3 IP, 18 BB, 21 K, 6.10 ERA, 1.80 WHIP
His career minor league pitching line is: 7 seasons, 185 games, 159 GS, 48 wins, 50 loses, 1 save, 940.7 IP, 285 BB, 543 K, 4.65 ERA, 1.42 WHIP
What does the future hold for Keppel in the Twins' organization? I think that potentially he could have a spot in Rochester (as a long reliever, spot starter), especially if R.A. Dickey makes the Twins and Jason Jones returns to the Yankees.