La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Twins select pitchers in minor league phase of Rule 5 draft

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: December 12, 2013 - 8:45 AM

The Twins did not take anyone during the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft this morning, but they selected pitchers in the minor league phase.

Kevin Thomas, a righthander, was selected in the Class AAA phase from the Memphis roster of the Cardinals organization. Thomas, a reliever last season, was 6-5, 3.00 in 50 games between Class AA Springfield and Class AAA Memphis (just four games there). He's 27 years old. He struck out 80 in 63 innings.

Vern Followell, the Twins director of pro scouting, said Thomas throws up to 95 miles an hour and has added a slider, so they decided to take a chance on him.

The Twins also selected lefthander James Fuller from Binghamton of the Mets organization. Fuller, 26, was 1-0, 0.84 in 16 games at Class A St. Lucie and 3-2, 7.50 in nine games at Binghamton.

Twins lost righthander Jon Velazquez (New Britain) to the Mets and righthander Tim Atherton (New Britain) to Oakland in the minor league phase.

And that's it for the Rule 5 draft! Now we'll see if the Twins have made any progress on deals for their major league team.


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