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Twins announce Spring Training non-roster invitees

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Minnesota will bring in 20 NRIs for 2020 Spring Training. 20!

MiLB: JUL 01 Columbus Clippers at Toledo Mud Hens Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Most of the teams in Major League Baseball had already announced their non-roster invitees (NRIs) to their respective Spring Training camps, which start within two weeks. One of the teams that had not released that list included the Minnesota Twins. However, the organization announced the players that they have invited to camp that are not on their 40-man roster.

Pitchers:

  • LHP Charlie Barnes, who is a starting pitcher within the Twins farm system, drafted in 2017. Last year, he spent time in High-A Fort Myers, AA Pensacola, and AAA Rochester, putting up a 4.88 ERA/5.56 RA9 and a WHIP of 1.557 in 131.0 innings of work across all three levels.
  • LHP Sam Clay is a reliever who has also been with the Minnesota organization his whole career since being drafted in 2014. He posted a 3.25 ERA in 45 appearances with 69.1 innings of work. His K/9 was 9.3, but his H/9 was a high 9.1.
  • LHP Danny Coulombe was signed this winter. He had spent some time in the majors with the Oakland Athletics from 2015 to 2018, but was in the minors all last season, where he put up a 15.1 K/9 (that is not a typo) in 36.1 innings of work from the bullpen between New York and Milwaukee AAA affiliates.
  • LHP Blaine Hardy was with the Detroit Tigers for most of his career and was part of an announcement of the Twins signing three players in late November.
  • LHP Caleb Thielbar should be a familiar name as he spent some time with Minnesota in the minors from 2011 to 2013, when he was called up to the big-leagues. He was a fixture in the bullpen for two-plus seasons and then was selected off of waivers from the San Diego Padres in 2015. You also may recognize him if you’re into independent league ball; he was with the St Paul Saints for three years (2011, 2016, and 2017). He was spent time with the Detroit farm system and ended 2019 with the Atlanta Braves AAA affiliate, posting some solid number; 3.22 ERA/3.33 RA9, 78.1 IP, 1.162 WHIP, 10.8 K/9.
  • RHP Jhoulys Chacin was signed this weekend by the Twins; read it here!
  • RHP Edwar Colina has been in the Twins system since 2016, signed as a free agent. The Venezuelan has started at every level and, like Barnes, spent time at three levels last season: 2.96 ERA/3.42 RA9, 19 games (14 starts), 97.1 IP, 1.171 WHIP, 7.6 H/9, 0.4 HR/9, 9.4 K/9, 3.19 K/BB.
  • RHP Ryan Garton has been with the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners systems since 2012, seeing some action in the big leagues. He may or may not be wanted for his high K/9 rate of 10.6 that he posted last season in AAA.
  • RHP Griffin Jax has had some turbulence as being part of some rule changes with the military and professional sports within the past few years as he serves in the Air Force. He started 23 games between Pensacola and Rochester, posting a 2.90 ERA/3.39 RA9 with a 1.131 WHIP in 127.1 innings.
  • RHP Jake Reed is another home-grown prospect. He spent all last season with the Red Wings, pitching to a 5.76 ERA in 75 innings of work. A high WHIP (1.467) was accompanied by an eye-popping K/9 (11.0).

Position players:

  • C Juan Graterol has spent some time in Minnesota and was signed along with Hardy back in late November as a Thanksgiving gift from the front office.
  • C Ryan Jeffers was ranked as the eighth-best prospect in our annual voting. He spent 2019 between Pensacola and Fort Myers, batting .264/.341/.421 with 14 homers and 49 RBI.
  • C Ben Rortvedt was not ranked as the eighth-best prospect in our annual voting, but also spent time between Pensacola and Fort Myers, batting .238/.334/.379 with 7 homers and 29 RBI. Try harder, Benny.
  • C Tomas Telis has some major-league experience, most recently in 2018 with the Miami Marlins. The 28-year-old spent 2019 with the Red wings, where he slashed .330/.365/.490 with eight homers an 46 RBI across 82 games.
  • INF Royce Lewis is our #2 prospect in our prospect voting this winter. He was the #1 pick in 2017 by the Twins, if you didn’t know! He had an “oof” year between high-A and AA: .236/.290/.371, 12 HR, 49 RBI. He gets to see some major-league action in ST now.
  • INF Jack Reinheimer has three positions listed on baseball-reference.com and the very first one is “Pinch Hitter” so I’m not thinking very highly on him before I scroll down to his stats. With the Baltimore Orioles’ AAA affiliate in 2019: .246/.323/.336, four homers, 31 RBI.
  • INF Wilfredo Tovar played in 31 games for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last season, batting .193/.239/.253 with five RBI. His minor-league numbers are a bit better: .321/.355/.446, four homers, 57 RBI.
  • OF Alex Kirilloff is the top dog on our prospect list this winter; he spent 2019 with Pensacola, batting .283/.343/.413 with nine homers and 43 RBI.
  • OF Trevor Larnach is the fourth top dog on our prospect list this winter. He slashed .309/.384/.458 with 13 homers and 66 RBI between high-A and AA in 2019.
  • OF Brent Rooker is the seventh top dog on our prospect list this winter. He slashed .282/.399/.530 with 14 homers and 47 RBI, mostly in Rochester.

There you have it - sixty-one players will be in the Minnesota major-league camp this spring. A good number of Twins prospects are among them while some outsiders will get a chance to be a dark horse candidate and crack the major-league roster in March.

Are there any surprises from this list? Or maybe you think there is someone missing? Who do you think is most likely to make the Twins’ 26-man roster out of Spring Training? Let us know in the comments!