Updated: 01/09/2014 12:21 PM KSTP.com By: Nick Tabbert
The Minnesota Twins will have their three top prospects in camp next month: center fielder Byron Buxton, starting pitcher Alex Meyer and third baseman Miguel Sano. The team also announced Thursday it has invited 23 non-roster players.
Buxton was the second overall pick in the 2012 draft and finished last season at Class-A Fort Myers.
The right-handed Meyer was acquired a year ago in a trade with Washington for outfielder Denard Span and pitched last season for Double-A New Britain, where Sano also finished the year. Sano was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2009.
According to a team release, the Spring Training invite list will include six other pitchers: lefthanders Sean Gilmartin, who was recently acquired from Atlanta for Ryan Doumit; Matt Hoffman, who has posted a career 3.90 ERA in 218 career minor league appearances in Detroit’s minor league system; and Aaron Thompson, who made a combined 42 appearances for Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Rochester last season.
Also included are right-handed pitchers Deolis Guerra, who missed most of last season with a blood clot in his right shoulder; Lester Oliveros, who spent last year recovering from Tommy John surgery; and Yohan Pino, who was originally signed by the Twins before being traded to Cleveland in 2009 for Carl Pavano.
Four catchers have been invited to camp: Kyle Knudson, the Twins ninth round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Minnesota; Matt Koch, the Twins 12th round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft; Dan Rohlfing, the Twins 14th round pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft; and Stuart Turner, the Twins third round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
Five other infielders have been invited to camp: Jason Bartlett, who played for the Twins from 2004-07 before being traded to Tampa Bay; James Beresford, who was originally signed by the Twins as a non-drafted free agent in 2005; Doug Bernier, who played for the Twins last season and signed a minor league contract this offseason; Deibinson Romero, who originally signed with the Twins as a non-drafted free agent in 2004; and Brandon Waring, who spent the last five seasons in Baltimore’s minor league system.
A total of six outfielders including Buxton have been invited to camp: Jason Kubel, who played for the Twins from 2004-11 before splitting the last two seasons between Arizona and Cleveland; Darin Mastroianni, who spent parts of the last two seasons with the Twins; Jermaine Mitchell, who has eight years of minor league experience with Oakland, Philadelphia and Minnesota; Chris Rahl, who has nine years of minor league experience with Washington and Arizona; and Wilkin Ramirez, who spent 2012 with Triple-A Rochester and 2013 with the Twins.
In addition to 10 minor league staff members, the major league staff will be joined by the following individuals during Spring Training: Tom Kelly, Tony Oliva and Eddie Guardado, as well as National Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew.
Twins pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Fort Myers, Fla. Sunday, February 16 with workouts beginning February 17. The balance of the squad reports on Friday, February 21 with the first full-squad workout taking place Saturday, February 22. The Twins annual photo day will be held Tuesday, February 25 at 7:30 am. The Twins, who have a 31-game Grapefruit League exhibition schedule, will open their spring home season on Saturday, March 1 against the Boston Red Sox at 1:05 pm (EST).