Hard thrower, great slider, needs work on locating it. The Twins like to collect these raw materials and turn them into refined bullpen parts.
It worked with Trevor May, it worked with Matt Wisler, and now they hope to make it work with righthander Ian Hamilton, whom they claimed off waivers from the Phillies on Friday.
One day after trading for Shaun Anderson, a Giants reliever with a similar pitching profile, the Twins added Hamilton, another once highly regarded prospect whose career has been muffled by command issues. Hamilton, 25, pitched four innings for the White Sox in 2020, struck out four batters, but walked five. He posted a 4.50 ERA, a disappointing performance after some impressive minor-league seasons for Washington State's all-time saves leader.
The Mariners claimed Hamilton at season's end but ran out of roster spots, so the Phillies claimed him from Seattle in December. The same thing happened to Philadelphia two days ago, when they added Matt Moore, so the Twins became Hamilton's fourth team in five months. The Twins will face a similar squeeze on their 40-man roster next week, when Nelson Cruz signs and becomes their 40th player, and another White Sox reliever, Alex Colome, signs his contract, forcing the team to cut a current player.
But the Twins seems intrigued enough by Hamilton's fastball, which can reach 97 mph, and especially his slider, which is close to 90 mph, to keep him on the roster and try to fix his control issues at spring training.
An 11th-round pick in 2016, Hamilton made his major-league debut in 2018, pitching eight total innings in 10 appearances, with a 4.50 ERA and five strikeouts. But his 2019 season was short-circuited in June when he was struck in the face by a line drive while pitching for Class AAA Charlotte. He required surgery to repair multiple fractures in his jaw and replace several teeth.
Hamilton's major league statistics are here.