Dakota Chalmers is a lottery ticket for the Twins

The Minnesota Twins have traded closer Fernando Rodney to the Oakland Athletics for 21 year old RHP Dakota Chalmers.  Chalmers who underwent Tommy John surgery early this Spring and will miss the rest of the season was assigned to single A Cedar Rapids Kernals.

Looking at this numbers and progression in his professional career, it would appear that the 97th overall pick in the 2015 draft, who signed way over slot to prevent going to college, has been regressing on an annual basis; this is also reflected in his BA position in the Athletics' prospect list, falling from 10th in 2015, to 16th in 2016 and 2017, and 30th in 2018.  Chalmers pitched only 121-1/3 innings, mostly as a starter in 4 seasons from Rookie ball to short season A to single A with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP, hardly the numbers of a potential top of the rotation pitcher. 

However, Chalmers has that potential if one looks at his raw stuff:  Three above average pitches.  A Fastball that sits in the mid 90s and occasionally hits 97-98, a hammer curve with late break, and a change up that flashes plus, and is his best pitch.  The problem is that his delivery is horrible inconsistent resulting in lack of command and control of his pitches.  His career 1.48 WHIP in 121-1/3 innings, is driven by the 91 walks he allowed.  He held his opponents to a .198 batting average, allowing fewer hits than walks, and struck out 137 (10.2 K/9).

Last season he took a leave of absence from baseball for personal reasons in May, after just 10 games.  There is hope that whatever he was dealing with is done now and he can focus 100% on baseball.  That fact, his Tommy John surgery and his mechanical issues pose major questions about Chalmers's likelihood of success in the majors.  However, a potential fix in his mechanics, supplemented with dedication in his craft might turn him to the next Jose Berrios instead of the next Shooter Hunt.

I believe that the Twins traded someone that they did not need (a 41-year old closer) and who was about to leave for nothing as a free agent this off-season, for a lottery ticket.  Time only will show how charming the return from Chalmers will be for the Twins, but it looks good from this point of view.

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