2019 Twins non-roster spring training invitee capsules
FOX Sports North
The Minnesota Twins will have 20 non-roster players at spring training this season -- in 2017 they brought in 13 but the previous year had 22. Some are prospects getting their first taste of the majors while others are veterans hoping for another chance. Don't discount these guys -- among last year's non-roster spring training camp players, Willians Astudillo, Ryan LaMarre, Gregorio Petit and Bobby Wilson all were with the big club at some point during the season. Here's a look at each of this year's 20 invitees to Minnesota's camp.
SS Dean Anna
Anna is an unlikely non-roster invite, 32 years old and having played in Triple-A the past three seasons. A good defensive player who can play all over the infield, Anna is also proficient at reaching base, owning a career .374 on-base percentage in the minor leagues. The last three years, for three different Triple-A teams, his OBP was .344, .364 and .367. Anna has had a couple cup of coffees with the Yankees and Cardinals in 2014 and '15, compiling 26 plate appearances.
3B Randy Cesar
After spending eight years in the Houston organization, Cesar signed with Minnesota in the offseason. Cesar was invited to Houston's major-league camp last year despite never having played about Single-A. In 2018 for Double-A Round Rock he hit .298/.348/.428 with 10 home runs. Cesar turned 24 in January.
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LHP Tim Collins
Collins was used as a situation lefty last year for Washington, appearing in 22 2/3 innings in 38 games, posting a 4.37 ERA and 1.544 WHIP. Left-handers batted just .222 against him in 2018 and .224 over his major-league career, which includes 2011-14 with Kansas City. However, he missed two seasons due to Tommy John surgeries and pitched just 17 1/3 innings in the minors in 2017. With the Royals, Collins had a 3.62 ERA, 1.412 WHIP and 9.3 K/9 over 233 2/3 innings. While righties hit Collins hard last year, over his career he's held them to a .235 average.
RHP Chase De Jong
Acquired last season from Seattle in the Zach Duke trade, De Jong made four starts for the Twins, pitching 17 2/3 innings with a 3.57 ERA, 1.358 WHIP and 6.6 K/9, as well as seven appearances, with five starts, at Triple-A Rochester (3.20 ERA, 1.25 WHIP). De Jong was taken off the 40-man roster by Minnesota in the offseason and designated for assignment.
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1B Lucas Duda
The left-handed hitting Duda has played for four teams over the last two years, the Mets, Rays, Royals and Braves. In 2018, Duda hit .241 with 14 home runs playing Kansas City and Atlanta. In 2017, with New York and Tampa Bay (where Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was the Rays' major-league field coordinator) he combined to hit 30 home runs. Duda also hit 30 homers for the Mets in 2014 and 27 in '15. In nine seasons he owns a career slash line of .242/.337/.452 with 152 homers.
RHP Ryan Eades
A second-round pick in 2013, the 27-year-old Eades has mainly pitched at Double-A Chattanooga the past three seasons. In 2018, he made 29 appearances for the Lookouts with a 4.28 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 61 innings, with 68 strikeouts. Eades also pitched in three games for Triple-A Rochester, allowing two runs (one earned) in 15 1/3 innings with a 1.11 WHIP and 20 strikeouts.
RHP Preston Guilmet
Since 2013, Guilmet has pitched for six major-league teams but pitched in only 33 innings with a 9.27 ERA. The right-hander has a career 2.62 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 364 minor-league games with 543 strikeouts in 488 1/3 innings. In 33 2/3 innings in Triple-A in 2018 with two teams, Guilmet had a 1.60 ERA and 0.65 WHIP. Guilmet will be 32 in July.
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RHP Ryne Harper
Signed as a minor-league free agent last season by the Twins, Harper began the year with Double-A Chattanooga, recording a 2.54 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 39 innings with 51 strikeouts. Promoted to Triple-A Rochester, Harper had a 5.19 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 26 innings with 35 strikeouts. Harper, who turns 30 in late March, has never pitched in the major leagues.
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OF Alex Kirilloff
Minnesota's top pick in 2016 has done nothing but hit since turning pro. As an 18-year-old in 2016, he hit .306/.341/.454 in 55 games. After missing 2017 due to injury, last season Kirilloff combined to hit .348/.392/.578 with two Single-A teams with 44 doubles, which led all minor leaguers, 20 homers and 101 RBI. He was named the Twins' minor-league player of the year in 2018. Don't expect the 21-year-old to break camp with the Twins -- he's there to gain exposure to the big leagues -- but it's not hard to imagine him in a Minnesota uniform in the near future.
SS Royce Lewis
Like Kirilloff, Lewis is around to get some big-league exposure. Also like Kirilloff, Lewis split his time between two Single-A teams in 2018. The No. 1 overall pick in 2017 combined to hit .292/.352/.451 with 14 home runs and 28 stolen bases last season. Lewis doesn't turn 20 until June 5.
RHP Mike Morin
Morin has plenty of major-league experience. From 2014-16 he appeared in 167 games for the Angels, compiling a 4.26 ERA, 1.213 WHIP and 8.6 K/9 in 150 innings. He was waived by Los Angeles in 2017 after recording a 6.91 ERA in 14 1/3 innings, finishing out the year with Kansas City, allowing five runs in 5 2/3 innings. In 2018, he pitched for Triple-A Tacoma with a 3.86 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 53 2/3 innings and also made three appearances for Seattle, allowing three runs in four innings. Morin, who turns 28 in May, was signed as a free agent by Minnesota this offseason.
C Brian Navarreto
There's always extra catchers in camp to help save the wear-and-tear of those who likely will make the 25-man roster and for the second straight year Navarreto will serve in that role for the Twins in spring training. Known for his defense and arm, he threw out nearly 40 percent of attempted basestealers in 2018 at Double-A Chattanooga. In his six-year minor-league career, Navarreto has nearly a 50 percent caught stealing percentage. He hit .246 last season for the Lookouts, which was his career high.
LHP Justin Nicolino
There's always room to give a look to a left-hander. Nicolino spent last year with Cincinnati's Triple-A team in Louisville. Making 25 appearances with 24 starts, Nicolino had a 4.69 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. The Reds had claimed him off waivers from Miami, where Nicolino pitched from 2015-17. In 50 games, with 33 starts, for the Marlins, he had a 4.65 ERA and 1.460 WHIP. Signed in early February by the Twins, Nicolino is 27 years old.
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OF Luke Raley
A seventh-round pick in 2016 by the Dodgers, Minnesota acquired Raley from Los Angeles in the Brian Dozier trade. Playing for the first time at the Double-A level, Raley hit .275/346/.477 with 17 home runs in 93 games for Tulsa and then, after the trade, .278/.371/.449 with three homers in 27 games for Chattanooga. Raley, 24, can play all three outfield positions as well as first base.
RHP Jake Reed
Minnesota's fifth-round pick in 2014 also received a spring training invite last season. Reed spent the entire 2018 season with Triple-A Rochester -- he also spent some time there in 2016 and '17 -- posting a 1.89 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over 47 2/3 innings with 50 strikeouts. In 61 career games and 89 innings at the Triple-A level, the 26-year-old Reed has a 1.92 ERA and 1.12 WHIP.
1B/OF Brent Rooker
A competitive balance first-round pick in 2017, Rooker has moved up the Twins' chain quickly. After playing in Rookie ball and Single-A in his first year as a pro, Rooker played the entire 2018 season at Double-A Chattanooga, where he hit .254/.333/.465 with 22 home runs. In 2017, he hit a combined .280/.364/.552 with 18 homers. Rooker split his time in Chattanooga at first base, left field and designated hitter.
C Ben Rortvedt
Minnesota's second-round pick in 2016 is another in camp to get some exposure to the majors while also supplying some valuable innings behind the dish. The 21-year-old Rortvedt has yet to play above the Single-A level. He split time between Single-A Cedar Rapids and Fort Meyers in 2018, batting a combined .262 while throwing out nearly 40 percent of attempted basestealers.
IF Adam Rosales
A career backup utility player, Rosales has played for six teams in his 11 years in the major leagues, but has never had more than 312 plate appearances in any season. Rosales, who turns 36 in May, played in just 13 games in the majors in 2018, with Cleveland. Rosales has played every position in his career other than catcher and center field (yes he's pitched two innings), but his main spots are second, third and short. Rosales played for Texas from 2013-15; the Rangers' assistant general manager at the time was current Twins GM Thad Levine.
C Wynston Sawyer
The 27-year-old Sawyer has been in pro ball since 2010 but played at the Triple-A level for the first time last year, when he played for Rochester. A broken hamate limited him to just 23 games with the Red Wings, where he batted .318. Sawyer started the year in Double-A and combined at the two levels he had a 48 caught stealing percentage. In addition to catcher, Sawyer has spent some time at first base the past two seasons.
C Tomas Telis
Yet another catcher in camp, Telis has 122 games of major-league experience with Texas and Miami. He played 23 games for the Marlins last season, compiling just 31 plate appearances and hitting .207. With Triple-A New Orleans in 2018, Telis batted .309 in 76 games and threw out 52 percent of attempted basestealers. He has a career minor-league slash line of .294/.333/.401. Telis will turn 28 in June.