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The Minnesota Twins lost one of their top pitching prospects on Monday as left-hander Stephen Gonsalves was claimed off of waivers from the New York Mets. The 25-year old was coming off a lost season in 2019 due to an elbow injury but the 2013 fourth-round pick also flashed some potential as he came up through the Twins system.
Gonsalves entered the Twins organization out of high school and quickly made an impression in the lower levels of their system. After putting together a pair of solid seasons in his first two years, he exploded onto the scene as a 20-year old in 2015 going 13-3 with a 2.01 ERA between Low-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers.
That trend continued as he posted another solid season the following year going 13-5 with a 2.06 ERA between Fort Myers and Double-A Chattanooga and broke into the top prospect lists nationally ranking as high as 78th on MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospects list prior to the 2018 season and 97th on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list that same year.
That would lead to his major league debut for a Twins team that struggled mightily in 2018 and while he showed some decent stuff, his overall numbers were what you would expect from a rookie, going 2-2 with a 6.57 ERA in seven appearances for Minnesota.
The season could have set up an opportunity to help the Twins’ injury and performance-ravaged rotation late in the season, but after suffering a stress reaction in his forearm in mid-May, the Twins opted to shut him down.
The Mets will hope to get the most out of the 6-5 left-hander as the Twins look to overhaul their rotation. While Gonsalves likely wasn’t going to fit the bill of “impact pitching,” he could have provided depth that the Twins will have to look for somewhere else.