Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Rule 5 Draft -- Minor League Phase (Updated)

Three more casualties for the Twins in the minor league phase of the draft (interestingly, the first two picks of the AAA phase were property of the Twins) -- and no picks made by the Twins. That leaves the tally at 6 players gone and 0 new Twins. For my discussion of the three players lost by the Twins in the Major League phase of the draft, click here (or scroll down to the previous post). Now the new names on the list:

Rashad Eldridge - OF - Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays must have felt that they needed to raid the Twins system for more talent after the Delmon Young/Matt Garza swap, because they took Tim Lahey in the Major League phase of the draft and then swooped in to pick up Eldridge here (although Lahey is likely being moved to the Cubs). Eldridge doesn't exactly have a long history as a Twin -- he was signed as a minor league free agent prior to the start of the 2007 season, and played all year in New Britain. Eldridge hit .291 with a 789 OPS in 361 AB's, so he wasn't exactly a slouch, and as I've said before, with the Twins outfield situation looking rather grim at the AA-AAA levels, the loss of Garrett Guzman and Eldridge on the same day stings a little bit.

Josh Hill - RHP - Pittsburgh Pirates
Hill has seemingly been in the Twins minor league system forever, as he played his first game in the GCL back in 2001, when he was 18. Since that time, he's compiled reasonable but unspectacular numbers (4.00 ERA/1.39 WHIP/7.93 K9), and last year finally made it to the AA level, where he picked up a 4.36 ERA in 53.2 innings of work. Hill is a solid player, but he more than likely wasn't good enough to go anywhere with the Twins, and probably would have left as a minor league free agent before too long anyway.

J.P. Martinez - RHP - Baltimore Orioles
Martinez was taken in the AA-phase of the draft, and I somehow missed him the first time that I looked through the list. Martinez is a 25-year-old who was drafted in the 9th round of the 2004 draft. He spent the bulk of the 2007 season in AA New Britain, where he posted a 4.19 ERA in 53.2 innings. He also spent time in High A Ft. Myers, where he had a 2.49 ERA in 21.2 innings. His career minor league ERA of 3.01 coupled with an excellent 9.44/4.33 K9/BB9 ratio indicate that, at least at the lower levels of the organization, Martinez was getting it done. Of the losses in the minor league phases of the Rule 5 draft, Martinez is probably the most unfortunate.

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4 Comments:

  • At Thu Dec 06, 11:10:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Are the Twins really that short in the outfield at AA-AAA?

    Admittedly they lost most of their AA outifield. But they have Span and McDonald on the major league roster and likely destined for AAA. Jason Pridie could end up there as well. Roberts looks like he is ready to move up a level, although he may be blocked by those three. They were also trying to sign Oeltjen, but I don't remember whether that happened. They did sign Jon Knott.

    At AA, they will have Lis and Portes moving up from Fort Myers.

     
  • At Thu Dec 06, 02:21:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    I'm not suggesting that the Rock Cats and Red Wings won't have players to stick in the outfield when the season rolls around -- the question is whether any of them will be worth having. Guzman was, in my opinion, a reasonable enough prospect (probably won't ever be a major league starter, but I could see him as a backup). Eldridge wasn't a huge loss, especially because we have comparable players -- but he also wasn't a bad player to have around, so losing him does hurt a little.

    So, whether the Twins are "that short" of outfielders depends on how you look at it. I would say yes -- and the outfielders we do have all tend to be the speedy skinny guys who don't hit a lot of home runs (Lis will be an exception, of course).

     
  • At Thu Dec 06, 09:17:00 PM , Anonymous SethSpeaks said...

    Josh Hill - who cares...

    Rashad Eldridge - he wasn't even a starter the first half of last season. He was brought in as favor to Torii. Solid player, no big league future. Not worth worrying about.

    Note - I found out last week that Oeltjen signed with the Diamondbacks.

    JP Martinez - Actually, he started the season at AA. Move up to AAA because of injury situations. Was horrible. Moved back to AA. Was even worse. Was demoted down to Ft. Myers for the last month or so where he was ok, but not close to as good as he was when he was a good closer for the Miracle. Not a big loss. He's 25 as well.

     
  • At Thu Dec 06, 09:35:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Seth -- thanks for clarifying Martinez's progress through the system the past year. Sadly, I wasn't able to follow the minor league system as closely as I would have liked to this past summer, so I appreciate your fact-checking on that.

    I'm not particularly concerned about losing any of the three players that the Twins lost through the minor league phase of the draft, but I also don't think any of the three were slouches, either. Not big losses, not anyone I'll lose sleep over, but names I was at least partially familiar with. And it's always a little sad to see a guy like Hill, who has been with the organization for so long, get taken in a draft like this. Hopefully for his sake he gets a chance to prove himself with the Pirates.

     

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