With Nats’ Meyer And Phils’ May In Tow, What Twins’ Rotation Could Look Like … in 2015

These are the facts as I know them. Eight days ago, the Minnesota Twins’ had just three starting pitchers on their Major League depth chart. The Twins also didn’t have a single ready-made option in the Minor Leagues — no one who had pitched consistently enough at Triple-A to move on up without first asking questions.

Eight days later — and without a significant free-agent signing in between — the Twins have acquired three starters in two trades. The headlines:

Top prospect Meyer shipped to Twins — 11/29/12

Twins add Phils’ May to prospect haul — 12/06/12

Trevor May at Double-A Reading in 2012 (David Monseur/MiLB.com)

Trevor May at Double-A Reading in 2012 (David Monseur/MiLB.com)

The one-week transformation from pitching-poor falls under my purview — and interests me — because all three are young, controllable assets and two are what we around here call top prospects. Alex Meyer was No. 2 in the Nationals’ system, and Trevor May was No. 2 in the Phils’; they are now the Twins’ third- and fifth-ranked farmhands by MLB.com’s standard. (The third pitcher, another twenty-something right-hander in Vance Worley, has already pitched in the Majors and pitched well.)

With that said and set up, here is what the Twins’ five-man rotation could like in 2015. As you can see, it could be quite formidable (and long-lasting, as none of the pitchers below can become a free agent before 2018).

1. Alex Meyer: Has two potentially wipeout pitches and is the one among the bunch with ace potential. Likely to start ’13 at Double-A New Britain.

2. Trevor May: A peg below Meyer, has a fastball-curveball combo that is very good, just not as good. Likely to start ’13 a step ahead, Triple-A Rochester.

3 .Scott Diamond: Proven commodity out of my purview.

4. Vance Worley: Proven commodity (as long as he can stay healthy) out of my purview.

5a. Liam Hendriks: Bounced between Rochester and Minnesota in ’12, is still learning how to mix his strong five pitches. Will be a solid back-end guy deeper into his 20s.

5b. Kyle Gibson: Once a more high-profile prospect (before undergoing elbow surgery), Gibson should be entrenched two seasons from now. Scouts differ on his ceiling, but he should slot in nicely here.

5c-g: 2011 first-round pick Hudson Boyd and 2012 first-round pick Jose Berrios won’t truly arrive before ’16. Right-handers Matthew Summers and Madison Boer could end up as middle relievers. And then there’s Cole De Vries, who will find a job harder to come by in the years ahead.

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