Closer of the Future Watch: Could The Twins’ J.T. Chargois Emerge As An Option In ’16?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

A second round pick back in 2012, the career of J.T. Chargois was delayed two season due to Tommy John surgery.  He returned in 2015 and showed strikeout stuff (9.9 K/9), but his control clearly eluded him (4.7 BB/9) over his 48.0 innings of work.  Thus far in 2016 that has changed dramatically, as he’s shown the skills of a lights out closer at both Double and Triple-A:

  • Double-A (11.2 IP) – 10.8 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 1.10 GO/AO
  • Triple-A (8.1 IP) – 18.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 2.33 GO/AO

All told he’s compiled 30 K, 8 BB and a 1.38 GO/AO over 20.0 innings this season, going a perfect 10-for-10 in save chances.  There’s no questioning the upside and the potential to be the closer of the future in Minnesota…

Or could he be the closer of the present?  Glen Perkins remains without a timeline while Kevin Jepsen has continually struggled in the closer role.  Trevor May appeared to be the heir apparent, but he too as stumbled leaving Fernando Abad (who has generally been viewed as more of a specialist) likely next in line.

Chargois, though, is already on the 40-man roster and it shouldn’t be long before he arrives in Minnesota.  Just look at this description of his repertoire from prior to the season, courtesy of MLB.com:

“Chargois might have the best fastball in the system, and that’s saying something given the amount of power arms the Twins have drafted of late. He touches 100 mph regularly, but he’s more than just a thrower. His slider is more of a power slurve, thrown 85-86 mph and it has the chance to be an above-average breaking ball for him. Before he got hurt, Chargois also showed a solid changeup. He lacked consistent feel of it during his first year back, but it has the chance to also be better than average.”

He’s 25-years old, so the Twins have little reason to be patient with him.  They have a desperate need in their bullpen (4.53 ERA, the fourth worst in the league) and they have a potential solution marinating at Triple-A.

Don’t be surprised to see Chargois join the team within the next few weeks, with the potential to rise to the closer role by year’s end.  It’s a combination of a poor Twins’ bullpen as well as tremendous upside, but he could arrive quickly and run with the role.

Sources – MILB.com, MLB.com, Baseball Reference

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