The Twins hid lefty reliever Mason Melotakis from other teams during instructional league play, Phil Miller writes for Baseball America (subscription only). The idea was that Melotakis was recovering from Tommy John surgery, and the Twins didn’t want scouts from other teams to see him before the Rule 5 Draft. “We’ve got a lot of fields down there. There’s always an empty one,” says Twins vice president for player personnel Mike Radcliff. As it turned out, Melotakis looked so good this fall (throwing in the mid-90s) that the Twins decided not to take the risk of losing him, and they added him to their 40-man roster. “We’re not projecting what his stuff might be—we saw it, we know it’s back. He’s going to be a major leaguer very soon,” says Radcliff. Here’s more on baseball outside the Majors.
- Former Phillies first-round pick Greg Golson writes for Baseball America that he’s not yet ready to give up the game. Since playing independent ball in the US in 2014, the 30-year-old Golson has played in Mexico, both in the last two winters and in the 2015 regular season. Golson writes that, after initially struggling to adjust to a new culture and to strike zones in Mexico, he settled in and began to enjoy playing in an environment in which his team was focused on winning, rather than on developing players for the Majors. “Not to knock the minor leagues or affiliated ball, but there is a focus on development there that takes away from the game,” Golson writes. “I fell in love with the game again because I was put in a position where the only thing that mattered was winning.”
- Tyler Maun of MiLB.com’s look at the Nationals’ farm system features plenty of tidbits from Nats director of player development Mark Scialabba. As one might expect, Scialabba sounds particularly high on top prospects Lucas Giolito and Trea Turner. Of Giolito, Scialabba says, “He’s improving his fastball command. It’s getting to the point now where he has a lot of confidence in using the fastball to different parts of the strike zone. … He continues to work on the little things like holding runners and fielding his position.” Scialabba also praises 18-year-old outfielder Victor Robles, a Dominican who hit .352/.445/.507 in an outstanding first season in the US in 2015. “Just overall, his natural instincts as a baseball player [stand out],” says Scialabba. “There are great athletes that are very raw, that don’t have those sorts of baseball instincts at a young age, but he has a little bit of everything.”