How the 2019 Minnesota Twins were built

With system players, waiver claims, trades and free agents, here’s how the 2019 AL Central Division champion Minnesota Twins were put together. (* – indicates not on ALDS roster)

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SELECTED/SIGNED AND DEVELOPED

Luis Arraez

How acquired: Signed by the Minnesota Twins as an amateur free agent in November 2013 when he was 16 years old.

Notable: Perhaps a surprising call-up by the Twins, Arraez was with Minnesota to stay by mid-June. He hit .334 in 92 games, the highest batting average for a rookie with at least 300 plate appearances since Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.

 

Jose Berrios

How acquired: Selected by the Twins in the first round (No. 32 overall) of the 2012 draft.

Notable: While Berrios might have had his struggles, especially in August, he set career highs in innings (200 1/3) and ERA (3.68). Over his last four starts, Berrios had a 3.08 ERA with just six walks and 26 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings.

 

Byron Buxton*

How acquired: Selected by the Twins in the first round (No. 2 overall) of the 2012 draft.

Notable: Buxton hit .262/.314/.513 with 30 doubles, 10 homers and 14 steals in just 87 games – he also had a 3.0 WAR and 1.1 defensive WAR despite limited playing time – but a torn labrum in his shoulder landed him on the 60-day disabled list.

 

Randy Dobnak

How acquired: Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Twins in July 2017.

Notable: Pitched in Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A in 2019 before being recalled by the Twins. While he was used as a reliever and opener to start, Dobnak went at least five innings in his last three starts, including a one-hit, six-inning outing on Sept. 25 at Detroit. In 28 1/3 innings, he had a 159 ERA and 1.129 WHIP.

 

Tyler Duffey

How acquired: Selected by the Twins in the fifth round of the 2012 draft.

Notable: Had a breakout season, with a 2.50 ERA, 1.006 WHIP and 12.8 K/9 in 57 2/3 innings after entering the year with a career 5.46 ERA, 1.401 WHIP and 7.9 K/9. Allowed two runs on Sept. 28, snapping a 23 2/3 innings scoreless streak, which spanned 26 games dating back to July 28.

 

Mitch Garver

How acquired: Selected by the Twins in the ninth round of the 2013 draft.

Notable: Garver set a Twins record for most home runs by a catcher, with 31, and had the most multi-HR games for a catcher in the majors (5) since Javy Lopez had eight in 2003.

 

Brusdar Graterol

How acquired: Signed by the Minnesota Twins as an amateur free agent in August 2014, three days after turning 16.

Notable: Graterol, who had a pitch recorded at over 103 mph in the minors, became the first Twins pitcher to exceed 100 mph since 2009. Having turned 21 on Aug. 28, Graterol was the youngest pitcher to appear in a regular-season game for Minnesota since Rich Garces in 1990.

 

 

Kyle Gibson

How acquired: Selected by the Twins in the first round (No. 22 overall) of the 2009 draft.

Notable: Gibson was much better in the first half of the season (4.09 ERA, 1.257 WHIP) compared to the second half (5.92, 1.714). He did have a career-high 9.0 K/9 while his 3.2 BB/9 was his lowest since 2015.

 

Max Kepler

How acquired: Signed by the Minnesota Twins as an amateur free agent in July 2009 as a 16-year-old.

Notable: Set career highs in batting average (.252), on-base percentage (.336), slugging percentage (.519), OPS (.855), runs (98), home runs (36) and RBI (90) and tied his personal best with 32 doubles.

 

Jorge Polanco

How acquired: Signed by the Minnesota Twins as an amateur free agent in July 2009, four days after turning 16.

Notable: An All-Star for the first time in his career, Polanco finished sixth in the American League in hits (186), fifth in doubles (40) and triples (7), sixth in Offensive WAR (5.4) and eighth in WAR for position players (5.7).

 

Taylor Rogers

How acquired: Selected by the Twins in the 11th round of the 2012 draft.

Notable: Had the best road ERA of any left-handed reliever in the American League (1.54). Rogers was better against right-handers (.208/.251/.359) than against lefties (.273/.333/.333) in 2019.

 

Eddie Rosario

How acquired: Selected by the Twins in the fourth round of the 2010 draft.

Notable: Set career highs in runs (91), home runs (32) and RBI (109), the latter of which was sixth-best in the American League. Rosario’s seven assists were the third-most by an AL left fielder while his nine overall assists ranked fifth for outfielders.

 

Miguel Sano

How acquired: Signed by the Minnesota Twins as an amateur free agent in October 2009 as a 16-year-old.

Notable: Didn’t play until May because of an injury. Heated up in July, hitting .300/.411/.613 and finished with a bang in September, slashing .288/.395/.671 with eight homers. Bashed a career-high 34 home runs and also set personal bests in runs (76), RBI (79), slugging percentage (.576) and OPS (.923).

 

Cody Stashak

How acquired: Selected by the Twins in the 13th round of the 2015 draft.

Notable: Walked just one batter in 25 innings. His 0.4 BB/9 was the best of any pitcher in baseball who had at least 10 innings and it’s the third-best mark for any pitcher with at least 20 innings since 1941.

 

Kohl Stewart*

How acquired: Selected by the Twins in the first round (No. 4 overall) of the 2013 draft.

Notable: Made two starts early in the season (Apirl24, May 11), going six innings in each. His other seven appearances were all in relief.

 

Lewis Thorpe*

How acquired: Signed by the Minnesota Twins as an amateur free agent in July 2012 as a 16-year-old.

Notable: Struck out 10.1 batters per nine innings in 27 2/3 innings with Minnesota while also fanning 11.1 per 9 win 96 1/3 inning with Triple-A Rochester.

 

LaMonte Wade*

How acquired: Selected by the Twins in the ninth round of the 2015 draft.

Notable: Owns a career .389 on-base percentage in his five minor-league seasons and had 11 walks (to nine strikeouts) in 69 plate appearances with the Twins (.348 OBP).

 

 

FREE AGENTS

Willians Astudillo*

How acquired: Signed to a minor-league contract as a free agent in November 2017. Astudillo was originally signed by the Phillies in 2009 and left that organization and signed as a minor-league free agent with Atlanta in 2015, then inked a minor-league contract with Arizona in 2017.

Notable: Played six positions for the Twins in 2019 – catcher, first base, second base, third base, left field and right field – as well as two games at designated hitter. In 204 plate appearances, Astudillo had but five walks and eight strikeouts.

 

Jason Castro

How acquired: Signed with the Twins in November 2016.

Notable: Played in just 79 games but his 13 home runs were his most since 2014 and his .435 slugging percentage was his highest since 2013.

 

Nelson Cruz

How acquired: Signed with the Twins in January 2019.

Notable: Cruz joined rare company by hitting 40 home runs after turning 39 years old. It was hit first time hitting 40+ in a season since 2015. His .311 batting average was his highest since 2010 while Cruz’s .639 slugging percentage was a career high and .392 on-base percentage was his best in any full season.

 

Marwin Gonzalez

How acquired: Signed with the Twins in February 2019.

Notable: Injuries limited him to just six games in September. Gonzalez played 18 or more games inleft field, right field, first base and third base. He also appeared at second base, shortstop and designated hitter.

 

Ryne Harper*

How acquired: Signed to a minor-league contract as a free agent in January 2018.

Notable: Appeared in 61 games, second-most on the Twins behind Trevor May’s 65.

 

Martin Perez*

How acquired: Signed with the Twins in January 2019.

Notable: His 7.3 K/9 was a career high, having not been over 6.1 K/9 since doing it in back-to-back years in 2013-14. Perez had a 4.26 ERA in the first half of the season but 6.27 in the second half.

 

Jonathan Schoop

How acquired: Signed with the Twins in December 2018.

Notable: One of nine second basemen in MLB history to have 5+ multiple-homer games in a season (Schoop had five). Overall, Schoop had 23 home runs.

 

Ronald Torreyes*

How acquired: Signed with the Twins in December 2018.

Notable: Played in only seven games, which included being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th inning to force in the winning run in a 9-8 victory over the White Sox.

 

 

WAIVER CLAIMS

Ehire Adrianza

How acquired: Selected off waivers in February 2017 from the Milwaukee Brewers, who had claimed him off waivers from San Francisco a week earlier.

Notable: A valuable reserve since joining the Twins, Adrianza played first base, second base, third base, shortstop, outfield and even pitched one inning in 2019. In 83 games, he set career highs in batting average (.272), on-base percentage (.349) and slugging percentage (.416). However, Adrianza hasn’t played since Sept. 12 due to an oblique strain.

 

C.J. Cron

How acquired: Selected off waivers in November 2018 from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Notable: Cron’s 25 home runs were the most for a Twins first baseman since 2009, when Justin Morneau hit 30.

 

DEADLINE DEALS

Sam Dyson*

How acquired: Traded by the San Francisco Giants to the Twins for Prelander Berrora, Kai-Wei Teng and Jaylin Davis on July 31.

Notable: Pitched in 12 games for the Twins, allowing nine runs on 14 hits in 11 1/3 innings, before being shut down with an injury. Had shoulder surgery in late September which could cause him to miss most or all of the 2020 season.

 

Sergio Romo

How acquired: Traded by the Miami Marlins with Chris Vallimont and a player to be named later to the Twins for Lewin Davis on July 27.

Notable: Pitched in 27 games after coming over from the Marlins, posting a 3.18 ERA, 0.926 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9 and 10.7 K/9 in 22 2/3 innings.

 

 

OTHER TRADES

Jake Cave

How acquired: Traded by the New York Yankees to the Twins for Luis Gil in March 2018.

Notable: Has played at least 10 games in each of the three outfield positions. In the second half of the season, Cave hit .306/.383/.581 in 35 games (141 plate appearances) with seven home runs.

 

Ryan LaMarre*

How acquired: Purchased by the Twins from the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 8.

Notable: Waived by Minnesota in July 2018, LaMarre returned and made seven starts after being re-acquired.

 

Zack Littell

How acquired: Traded by the New York Yankees with Dietrich Enns to the Twins for Jamie Garcia in July 2017.

Notable: One of three MLB pitchers with 5+ wins and no losses in 2019, and among those three Littell pitched in the fewest games (29) and innings (37). Had a 2.68 ERA and 1.162 WHIP.

 

Trevor May

How acquired: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies with Vance Worley to the Twins for Ben Revere in December 2012.

Notable: Pitched in a career-high 65 games and allowed a career-low 6.0 hits per nine innings. May had a 1.38 ERA in August and September.

 

Jake Odorizzi

How acquired: Traded by the Tampa Bay Rays to the Twins for Jermaine Palacios in February 2018.

Notable: Set career highs in wins (15), winning percentage (.682) and K/9 (10.1). Odorizzi’s 3.51 ERA was his lowest since 2015 and his 1.208 WHIP the lowest since 2016. In four September starts, Odorizzi walked just four and struck out 33 in 22 innings.

 

Devin Smeltzer

How acquired: Traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers with Logan Forsythe and Luke Raley to the Twins for Brian Dozier in July 2018.

Notable: Made MLB debut May 28 with six scoreless innings vs. Milwaukee. Used more as a reliever/opener starting in mid-August, going no more than four innings in four of his last five appearances.