Five (plus two) names to know for the Twins' rule 5 draft

The Twins have the first overall pick in the Rule 5 draft this week.  Previously, I discussed the potential Twins' liabilities in the draft.  Now that all major league 40-man rosters are settled in as far as who is unprotected, I will be listing five players who should be interesting targets for the Twins.

A bit of a reminder regarding how the draft works:  A team can select any unprotected player of any other team and pay $100,000 (increased from $50K in the new CBA).  The team has to keep the player on the 25-man roster (or the MLB Disabled List, which means that the player will burn an option and accrue MLB service.) If not, the team will offer the player back to his original team for half the cost ($50,000) or work a trade with that team.   And the draft can go on ad infinitum, so the Twins, if they open another spot on their 40-man roster that currently stands at 39, can pick first on the second round and so on.  The types of players who make sense to select are players who will be the last one on the best or out of the bullpen.  With the re-singing of Escobar and the glut of the Twins' outfields, as well as the lack of impact arms in the organization, pitching is the way to go.

Here are five potential targets for the Twins:

LHP Ismael Guillon (Cincinati Reds). Born on 2/13/1992 in Valencia, Venezuela.

Despite his 24 years, the highest competition level Guillon faced was at the Advanced A Florida State League.  He missed his first professional season recuperating from Tommy John surgery, and after two successful seasons at the Arizona (Rookie) and Pioneer (advanced Rookie) Leagues, the Reds added him on their 40-man roster to protect him from the 2012,2013, and 2014 rule 5 drafts.  He was taken off that roster before the 2015 season that he missed because of a torn lat muscle and he was not re-added after his 2016 campaign.  In 2016 he returned to Advanced A, a level he reached in 2014, and he was very successful:  He appeared in 32 games, making 13 starts, for a total of 99.3 innings. He struck out 116 (11.6 K/9) and walked 39 (3.76 BB/9).  He allowed 25 ERs (2.41 ERA) and finished the season with a 3.57 FIP and 0.95 WHIP.  He held all opponents to a .162 batting average, and lefties to a .133 average (.133/.233/.222 slash.)

Control of his fastball has been his problem and he tends to walk bit more than ideal, but it has been improving, as have been his strikeouts.  His fastball as a starter varied from 90-93 mph and as a reliever it reached 95-96 mph.  However, his best pitch is his change up that is a devastating plus plus pitch. It velocity is up to 15 mph less than his fastball, which is an incredible drop, and he is not tipping it.  He is also throwing an average curveball at this point.  Lefthanders with a 95+ mph fastball (that needs some work) and a devastating changeup do not grow on trees and he is a good bet for an arm out of the pen starting facing primarily lefties.  He potentially projects as a top of the rotation starter, if he improves his command of the fastball and the quality of his breaking ball.

I could have really stopped here, as far as the potential Twins targets go.  Guillon is of that quality.  Here are the rest:

RHP Pedro Payano (Rangers) . Born on September 27, 1994 in New York, NY, but his family return to the Dominican and was signed as an international free agent.

The New Twins' Front office has a good knowledge of the Indians' and Rangers' systems and will look there for potential bargains, and the 22 Payano might be the Rangers' best bargain.  Last season he played for the Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic (A) League.  He appeared in 15 games, making 13 starts, for a total of 73.6 innings. He struck out 82 (10.2 K/9) and walked 29 (3.54 BB/9).  He allowed 17 ERs (2.08 ERA) and finished the season with a 2.91 FIP and 1.19 WHIP.  He held all opponents to a .219 batting average, and righties to a .231 average.   He spent the second part of the season in the DL with an undisclosed injury.

Payano has three above average pitches: a 92-93 mph fastball, a low 80s change up, and a hammer curve that is borderline plus.  He has a great feel for the game and excellent mechanics, allowing him to keep his fastball velocity deep in games and also has the ability to throw any pitch at any count.  There were some undisclosed issues that kept him for his first 3 seasons in the Dominican Summer League, but it seems that he is over them and also Twins GM Thad Levine should be aware of them.  Mid to top of the rotation potential, another solid Rule 5 draft pick.

RHP Yimmi Brasoban (Padres) Born on June 22, 1994 in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.

The 22 year old started 2016 with the Lake Elsinore Storm of the Advanced A California league and after 10 games he was promoted to San Antonio Missions of the AA Texas League. He appeared as a reliever in 29 AA games, for a total of 35.6 innings. He struck out 35 (8.83 K/9) and walked 16 (4.04 BB/9).  He allowed 12 ERs (3.03 ERA) and finished the season with a 3.10 FIP and 1.21 WHIP.  He held all opponents to a .216 batting average, and righties to a .190 average.

Unlike Payano and Guillon, Brasoban is a pure reliever with two plus pitches and inconsistent command and control.  His FB sits at 96-98 mph and peaks higher and he supplements it with a hard breaking slider.  He kept righties to a .190/.292/.238 and has been successful in AA, so he is pretty intriguing.  His ceiling is late inning reliever.

LHP Corey Littrell (Cardinals)  Born on March 21, 1992 in Louisville, KY

The 24 year old played in both AA and AAA in 2016, and he made the transition from a starter to a reliever.   In both leagues he appeared as a reliever in 53 AA games, making 1 start, for a total of 67 innings. He struck out 63 (8.23 K/9) and walked 30 (4.34 BB/9).  He allowed 29 ERs (3.90 ERA) and finished the season with a 4.30 FIP and 1.33 WHIP.  He held all opponents to a .261 batting average.  These numbers are a bit inflated by his PCL performance, but his AA Texas League numbers were considerable better (1.72 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 0.570 WHIP, 8.04 K/9, 0.57 BB/9, .145 OBA).

Littrell was on his first year of transition to the pen and in a pitcher unfriendly league that destroyed his command. Polished pitcher with a great pickoff move.  Above average to plus fastball that sits and 91-93 but can peak to mid-nineties, has an additional avobe average circle change in the low 80s, a slow curve that is borderline plus and a cutter that is work in progress. Fourth starter potential or late inning reliever ceiling.

LHP Angel Perdomo (Blue Jays)  Born on May 7, 1994 in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic

The 22 year old played last season with the Full season A Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League, so the Twins have had the opportunity to face him. He appeared in 27 AA games, 25 starts, for a total of 127 innings. He struck out 156 (11.6 K/9) and walked 54 (3.83 BB/9).  He allowed 45 ERs (3.19 ERA) and finished the season with a 2.89 FIP and 1.22 WHIP.  He held all opponents to a .219 batting average, and lefties to a .193 average.

Perdomo is a very intriguing pick because he is projectible (he is 6'6" and 200 lbs), later bloomer (if you can say that for a 22 year old) and took a big step forward with his fastball last season.  Command and control is still an issue, but when it gets close to the zone, his fastball, that climbed up to 96-97 from 92-94 this season, is a hard ball for hitter to hit.  He has a slider that is above average and an change up that is a work in progress.  A lot of his projection depends on the development of secondary pitchers but lefties who throw 97 mph fastballs as starters do not grow on trees.  Top of the rotation potential if he develops both of the secondary offering to a plus level, but definitely late inning material.  A well worthy pick.

Two more names to know are 21 year old RHP Nabil Crismatt of the Mets' organization.  Really high potential, 3 good pitches, but Rookie level only make him much more of a risky pick.  RHP Mike Hauschild of the Astros' organization is a pitch to contact ground ball machine with five pitches: fastball, sinker, slider, change and splitter.  He is 26 and played in the PCL the last 2 seasons with some success and a career 61.6 % groundball inducing average.  Could he be the next Derek Lowe? Time will tell.


Rick N said...

It's a stretch, but what about Allen Cordoba?

thrylos98 said...

His highest lever is Rookie. This is like saying that the Twins can get Diaz (who hit better than Cordoba at the same level) and expect him to stick in the majors. The re-signing of Escobar really negates the need for another utility player, plus the Twins have Vielma on the 40-man and Goodrum in the organization (hopefully past Friday too), if necessary. They need pitching big time...

roth phallyka said...

They need pitching big time...