ROCHESTER – The Minnesota Twins announced Feb. 4 the signing of infielder/outfielder Jordany Valdespin, catcher/first baseman Wilin Rosario, left-handed pitcher Pat Dean and right-handed pitchers Adam Atkins and Kevin Comer to minor league contracts. The announcement was made by Jeremy Zoll, Twins director of minor league operations
Valdespin, 31, was named Baseball America’s Independent Leagues Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player of the Atlantic League for the Long Island Ducks in 2018 after batting .338/.399/.487 with 18 doubles, seven triples, 12 home runs, 55 RBI, 30 stolen bases and 94 runs scored in 113 games. He led the league in hits (154), triples and runs while ranking in the top five in batting average (2nd), on-base percentage (2nd), total bases (2nd, 222) and slugging percentage (5th). The utility man from San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic was originally signed by the New York Mets as a non-drafted free agent June 12, 2007. He batted .216 in 214 career MLB games with the Mets and Miami Marlins from 2012-15 while also playing in the Tigers organization in 2016. Valdespin spent all of 2017 in the Mexican League.
Rosario, 29, spent last season with the Hanshin Tigers of the Japan Central League (Nippon Professional Baseball) while batting .242/.285/.374 with 13 doubles, eight homers, 40 RBI and 28 runs scored in 75 games. He was with Hanwha of the Korean Baseball Organization in 2016-17, batting a combined .330 with 70 home runs in 245 games for the Eagles. Rosario’s time in Korea included a four-homer game on June 16, 2017 and a three-homer game two days later. The catcher/first baseman from Bonao, Dominican Republic was originally signed by Colorado as a non-drafted free agent Feb. 13, 2006. He is the only catcher in Rockies history to have multiple 20-home run seasons and is the franchise’s leader in home runs by a catcher with 71.
Returning to Rochester is Dean, 29, who spent each of the last two years in the Korean Baseball Organization with Kia, going a combined 15-14 with a 5.04 ERA (171 ER, 305.1 IP) with 385 hits, 45 home runs, 66 walks, 20 hit batters and 244 strikeouts in 66 appearances (50 starts) for the Tigers. He was part of the Korean Series Championship team in 2017. The left-hander was 20-20 with a 3.50 ERA (132 ER, 306.1 IP) in 49 career starts for the Red Wings and his six complete games are the most by a Rochester pitcher during the Twins era (since 2003) and his three shutouts for the Wings are tied for the most in the team’s affiliation with Minnesota. Dean, who was born in Waterbury, CT, was originally selected by the Twins in the third round of the 2010 Draft out of Boston College.
Atkins, 25, appeared in 38 games in the Mets organization in 2018, going 3-3 with five saves and a 2.31 ERA (16 ER, 62.1 IP) with 47 hits, two home runs, 20 walks, nine hit batters and 68 strikeouts between Single-A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. The right-hander, born in Arlington, TX, was originally selected by the Mets in the 18th round of the 2016 Draft out of Louisiana Tech University.
Comer, 26, spent all of last season with Triple-A Toledo in the Tigers organization while going 3-1 with four saves and a 3.86 ERA (24 ER, 56.0 IP) with 56 hits, five homers, 20 walks, three hit batters and 57 strikeouts in 48 games (one start) for the Mud Hens. The right-hander, born in Shamong, NJ, was originally selected by Toronto in the Compensation A (57th overall) round of the 2011 Draft out of Seneca High School (NJ). He was acquired as the player-to-be-named in a deal that sent Francisco Cordero, Ben Francisco, Joe Musgrove, Carlos Perez, David Rollins and Asher Wojciechowski from Toronto to Houston in exchange for David Carpenter, J.A. Happ and Brandon Lyon on July 20, 2012.
Minnesota will announce all minor league signings that receive an invite to spring training at a later date