2020 Twins Spring Training Performances – Pitchers Edition

Jhoan Duran, Spring Training, February 8, 2020 - photo credit Bryan Green on Flickr

As you we all now, Spring Training 2020 was unfortunately cut short due to the coronavirus outbreak. Previously I took a look at certain Twins’ minor leaguers Spring Training performances from the hitting side, which showed that we had some mini breakouts. This time, I’d like to do the same, but look at different pitchers. Did we see any breakouts here? Again, as a frame of reference, I used my 2020 Minnesota Twins Top 50 Prospects.

Cody Stashak, RHP
2020 ranking: #36
Prospects1500 Tier: 4
2020 Spring Training stats: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 9 K, 0 ER, 0.00 ERA, 0.43 WHIP

Already with 25 innings pitched in the majors last year, Stashak needed to come in and prove that he deserved one of the final bullpen spots. Looking at the numbers with which he finished, he was nothing short of spectacular. His problem in 2019 was pitching against lefties, and overall this solid spring shows he may have taken that next step. As someone soon to be 26, he might be the most reliable option they have. Grade: A

Devin Smeltzer, LHP
2020 ranking: #23
Prospects1500 Tier: 4
2020 Spring Training stats: 9.1 IP, 18 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 9 ER, 8.68 ERA, 1.93 WHIP

Smeltzer had an ugly spring, not really able to get anything going. After a nice start where he debuted a new slider, he was roughed up repeatedly. Already a soft tosser, he needs to better develop that pitch in order to remain effective. Perhaps starting in the majors in that bullpen will be a good omen for a guy who looks a lot like Rich Hill who doesn’t throw hard either. The only advantage Devin has right now is the fact that he’s left handed, so hopefully, experience-wise, something good can come from staying with the club. Grade: C-

Jhoan Duran, RHP
2020 ranking: #7
Prospects1500 Tier: 3
2020 Spring Training stats: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 ER, 0.00 ERA, 1.50 WHIP

We didn’t see much from Duran, but what we did see was three strikeouts and no walks, which is nice for the up and coming pitcher. He’s on the 40-man roster and will likely be stretched out to help for future starts once the minor league camps re-open. He’s one of the reasons the Twins were comfortable with trading away Brusdar Graterol. This will be an important year of development for the young arm. Grade: B+

Sean Poppen, RHP
2020 ranking: NR
Prospects1500 Tier: NR
2020 Spring Training stats: 9.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 10 K, 3 ER, 3.00 ERA, 1.44 WHIP

Unranked by me, and many others, Poppen came into 2020 fighting for the last bullpen spot with some of the aforementioned players on this list. Had Spring Training continued, he held what looked to be a slim chance of making it, but his K/9 rate stands at a very impressive rate. Drafted in 2016 be the Twins, hopefully he gets a chance to build on this success and climb into and up these rankings. Grade: B

Edwar Colina, RHP
2020 ranking: #30
Prospects1500 Tier: 4
2020 Spring Training stats: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 ER, 3.86 ERA, 1.29 WHIP

This was more about getting worthwhile experience for Colina, as he was bound to go back down to the minors regardless of performance. He’s got a nice 1-2 punch in his arsenal, as his fastball can hit triple digits while his slider gets people out. He’s also working on a third pitch which could lead to eventual spot starts, but his bread and butter pitches point in the direction of the bullpen. Grade: B

Other notable players:

Dakota Chalmers, RHP
2020 ranking: #37
Prospects1500 Tier: 4
2020 Spring Training stats: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 ER, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP

Nothing much here to note, as the sample size is very small. He pitched one full inning and struck out the side, which is encouraging. A once higher touted pitcher who needed surgery, it would be nice to see him improve back to where he was before injury. Grade: B

Jorge Alcala, RHP
2020 ranking: #34
Prospects1500 Tier: 4
2020 Spring Training stats: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 5 K, 4 ER, 7.20 ERA, 2.00 WHIP

He was all over the place this spring, struggling to get any outs. He’ll need to get back to it if he wants to get a call back to the Twins when they need an arm for relief. Grade: D

Dave Funnell covers the Minnesota Twins minor leagues for Prospects1500. Located just south of Toronto in the city of Hamilton, he's an hour away from Buffalo (and the Bisons). He's been a fan of baseball his entire life and doesn't have a favorite team, which hopefully gives way for objectivty in analysis. Dave is in multiple keeper fantasy baseball leagues and is active on Twitter at @sportz_nutt51.

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