The Minnesota Twins promoted relief pitcher Michael Tonkin to the major league roster yesterday. He was having an excellent season in the high minors, posting a 2.22 ERA with a 30/8 K/BB in 24 innings for Double-A New Britain, followed by a 1.23 ERA with a 16/3 K/BB in 15 innings for Triple-A Rochester, combining for 12 saves at the two levels.
Here is what I wrote about Tonkin in the 2013 Baseball Prospect Book.
SLEEPER ALERT!! Tonkin was drafted from a California high school in the 30th round in 2008, although it took an overslot $230,000 bonus to get him away from college. He made slow progress at the lower levels, but took a step forward in 2012, showing improved command of his 93-94 MPH fastball. His slider can be downright vicious, and he's very tough on right-handed hitters. He has a high- effort delivery but hasn't had any serious health issues thus far, and it looks like he can be a durable reliever. Tonkin's excellent K/IP and H/IP marks are sabermetric confirmation of his plus stuff. If the command holds up, he could help sooner than people anticipate. Grade C+.
I'm happy that the report held up. Tonkin throws hard, throws strikes, and has been effective at every level of the minors. Not bad for a 30th round pick I'd say. He has a future in the bullpen and it is possible he could close eventually if his command stays sharp.