This afternoon the Minnesota Twins traded veteran left-hander Zach Duke to the Seattle Mariners for a pair of minor league prospects: right-hander Chase De Jong and infielder Ryan Costello. Here’s a quick look at the two newest members of the Twins system.
Ryan Costello, 1B-3B: Costello was drafted by the Mariners in the 31st round in 2017 from Central Connecticut State University. A small college star, he hit .331/.430/.634 in rookie ball last year and .266/.360/.486 this season for Clinton in the Low-A Midwest League, contributing 16 homers, 51 walks, and 82 strikeouts in 346 at-bats.
Costello is a left-handed hitter, age 22, listed at 6-2, 200. He’s a little old for the Midwest League but has shown good power and a patient approach this year, though whether his bat will hold up against more advanced competition remains to be seen. He came into pro ball as a third baseman but has moved to first base this year, where he’s struggled with a poor .984 fielding percentage. The defensive question limits his status at the moment but there’s enough sock in the bat to make him watchable as he moves up.
Chase De Jong, RHP: De Jong was originally a second round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012 but was traded to the Dodgers in 2015 then the Mariners in 2017. He suffered through a rough ‘17 campaign (5.99 ERA in 113 innings in the minors, 6.35 in 28 innings in the majors) but has rebounded to some extent this year with Arkansas in the Double-A Texas League, posting a 3.80 ERA in 121 innings, 89/34 K/BB.
De Jong is 24 years old, listed at 6-4, 205. He’s not overpowering, generally working around 90-91 with an average assortment of secondary pitches (curve, slider, change-up). He throws strikes but his general control is ahead of his command and he can get hit hard when he makes a location mistake.
ASSESSMENT: De Jong is a C+ prospect who could be a back-end starter or bullpen guy while Costello is a rather generic Grade C at the moment but provides some depth. It’s not a bad return for a 35-year-old reliever.