The Twins surprised many by earning the second American League Wild Card spot last season. Before they try to fight their way back to the playoffs, they want to get a close look at a top prospect who could help that chase in 2018.Minnesota made No. 80 overall prospectNick Gordon
The Twins surprised many by earning the second American League Wild Card spot last season. Before they try to fight their way back to the playoffs, they want to get a close look at a top prospect who could help that chase in 2018.
Minnesota made No. 80 overall prospectNick Gordon an official non-roster invitee to Major League Spring Training camp, the club announced Tuesday. This is the second straight season in which Gordon received such an invite.
The 22-year-old has been one of the steadiest performers in the Twins' system since the organization took him with the fifth overall pick in the 2014 Draft. He spent all of last season at Double-A Chattanooga, hitting .270/.341/.408 with nine homers, eight triples, 29 doubles and 13 stolen bases in 122 games. Along the way, he earned spots on the Southern League mid- and post-season All-Star teams, participated in the Futures Game in Miami and helped Chattanooga capture a share of the league title.
The Florida native began the season playing both shortstop and second base but moved back to the former -- his dominant position in all four of his Minor League seasons -- on a full-time basis in mid-May. The Twins will likely get Gordon looks at both spots again this spring to hasten his route to the big leagues, though it might be easier to knock off Jorge Polanco out of his starting spot at short than veteran Brian Dozier at second. Gordon is ticketed to start the season at Triple-A Rochester and will be Rule 5 eligible next offseason if he isn't added to the 40-man roster.
Outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr and right-handed reliever Jake Reed -- the Nos. 17 and 25 prospects in the Twins system at the end of the 2017 season, according to MLB.com -- also received non-roster invites to big league camp. Like Gordon, Wade spent his entire season with Chattanooga, where he hit .292/.397/.408 with seven homers and a 71/76 K/BB ratio in 117 games. Reed missed time with a shoulder injury early in 2017 but returned to post a 2.13 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 38 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.