Goodbye Charles Nolte

Over the weekend the Twins traded Charles Nolte to the Yankees to retain the rights of Jason Jones. This made somewhat obsolete my predictions for the Rochester Red Wings and Ft. Myers Miracle rosters, since Jason Jones was not accounted in the former and Charles Nolte was projected to be in the latter. Looking at the rosters for those teams, it is likely that one of Sean Henn or Bobby Keppel will opt or be forced out and Jason Jones will take that spot in the Red Wings' rotation. As far as the Miracle pen goes, Michael Allen would be the most likely person to make the jump from the Beloit Snappers to the Miracle.

I profiled Jason Jones when the Twins' drafted him in the rule 5 draft; so, who is Charles Nolte? Charles is an interesting case. He has a very highly rated RHP prospect in the beginning of his senior year of high school (Junipero Serra High in San Diego), throwing a mid 90s four-seamer and a plus curve as a prep athlete and a lock to be a top 2-3 round pick. However, he blew his elbow later in his senior season in high school and required Tommy John surgery. He accepted an earlier scholarship offer from San Diego State and went to College majoring in Business Administation. He played for the Aztecs as a reliever in his junior and senior years and never found the control he had in high school before his surgery: He appeared in 8 games in each of his junior and senior seasons (all but 3 games in his senior season as a reliever) and issued more walks than strikeouts. Regardless, the Twins took a flier and drafted him in the 24th round of the 2007 draft. He spent the 2007 with the GCL Twins (Gulf Coast, low Rookie) where he pitched in 14 games (all in relief) and 24.1 innings, accumulating a 1.85 ERA and 1.15 WHIP producing 8.1 K/9 and having 2 K/BB. A very encouraging sight for someone who lost the plate in College. This allowed him to start the 2008 season in Beloit (Midwest League, A) where he pitched in 44 games for 70.1 innings (he is not an one inning guy), resulting in a 2.05 ERA and 1.39 WHIP, while striking out 9.6 batters per 9 innings and having a 2.14 K/BB ration. That was his age 22 season.

It is very hard to predict what Nolte could have become in the Twins' organization, but there are probably about 10-15 relief prospects ahead of him at this point. Is this a good trade for the Twins? Only time will tell, but I think that at this point it is all about organizational depth at the higher levels.

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