12/08/11 12:16 PM EST
Twins land pitcher Doyle in Rule 5 Draft
Right-hander selected from White Sox on Thursday
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Doyle, 26, posted a 3.07 ERA with 122 strikeouts and 33 walks in 173 innings between Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham last season. He also went 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA in eight starts totaling 27 1/3 innings in the Arizona Fall League.
"If you look at his line this year, it's impressive, and he was impressive in the Arizona Fall League," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "The one thing that sticks out is the innings he's logged. This guy is a workhorse. He's going to take the ball. He's big and strong and durable."
Doyle, a 6-foot-4, 225-pounder, must remain on the Twins' 25-man roster for the entire season, or else he must be offered back to the White Sox. Another option -- if they don't want to keep him on the active roster all year -- would be to offer him back and acquire him in a trade like the Twins did last year with left-hander Scott Diamond.
But Doyle, whose fastball is in the 88-94 mph range, could make the club as a long reliever and spot starter before evolving into a full-time starter in the future.
"If he's good enough to stick, you find a spot for him," Ryan said. "This is one of those where you take a shot and hopefully everything fits. This is more of an opportunity to acquire talent."
Doyle has a career 2.94 ERA in the Minors with 381 strikeouts and 97 walks in 422 2/3 innings. The Twins opted to go with a more polished and experienced pitcher instead of a younger player with high upside with the No. 2 pick in the Draft.
"I think there are always young guys with big arms and high ceilings, but they're young and hard to keep in the Major Leagues. Then there's this type of guy, who is older and more mature and probably has a better chance to handle it up there," Twins director of pro scouting Vern Followell said. "We're hoping for him to get through a year, and then maybe we have a starter at the end of that process."
The Twins also selected right-handed pitcher Marty Popham, 24, from the Indians organization and lost right-handed pitcher Shooter Hunt to the Cardinals organization in the Minor League phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
Popham, a 6-foot-6, 235-pounder, went 6-3 with a 4.58 ERA last season across Class-A, Double-A and Triple-A.
"He's a big guy also," Followell said. "It's a similar deal. He's been a starter in the Minor Leagues, and his numbers are fine. This is more or less a depth draft to add inventory. We hope some of the projections we think are possible will happen, and we'll have another guy."