The Twins announced that left-hander Stephen Gonsalves will come up from Triple-A Rochester on Monday to make his major league debut with a start against the White Sox. To make room for Gonsalves, the Twins optioned right-hander Tyler Duffey to Rochester.
Gonsalves, whom the Twins chose in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, has been among the game’s 100 best prospects in the past, including cracking Baseball America’s list after 2016 (No. 99) and ’17 (No. 97). None of BA, MLB.com or FanGraphs currently regard Gonsalves as a top-100 farmhand, though each outlet does place him among the Twins’ 10 best prospects.
In MLB.com’s free scouting report, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo – who rank Gonsalves fifth – compliment the 6-foot-5 hurler’s “combination of pitchability and deception” and “solid-average stuff.” Gonsalves’ repertoire includes a low-90s fastball, a quality changeup and an “average” curveball, per Callis and Mayo, who could see him eventually emerging as a capable mid-rotation starter. BA’s J.J. Cooper (subscription required) is less bullish on the other hand, writing he’s “a back-of-the-rotation starter at best,” in part because of control problems. Indeed, Gonsalves has issued 4.93 walks per nine over 100 1/3 innings in his first extensive Triple-A action this season. At the same time, Gonsalves has given up a mere 65 hits and struck out 8.52 batters per nine en route to a 2.96 ERA.
With the out-of-contention Twins looking toward 2019, Gonsalves may be in position to make a case for a spot in their rotation next year. However, barring trades, the Twins already appear to have at least six serious contenders (or, in some cases, locks) for next season’s staff in Kyle Gibson, Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Fernando Romero, Adalberto Mejia and Michael Pineda. Ervin Santana could also return to the club in 2019, but it’s uncertain whether Minnesota will pick up the soon-to-be 36-year-old’s $14MM option in light of his injury and performance issues this season.