Who the heck is Tyler Kinley for the Minnesota Twins?
For starters, La Velle Neal III was on KFAN on Tuesday raving about Kinley's wipeout slider, and how the right-hander will be borderline untouchable once he's able to consistently throw the slider for strikes.
Did we mention his fastball blows by hitters at 99 mph?
Twins fans have been dying to to see a Twins pitcher come out of the bullpen and blow hitters away with 99 mph fastballs. It just hasn't happened, but Kinley might be the saving grace.
His spring training numbers aren't eye-popping by any means – a 4.50 ERA in 10 innings with 11 strikeouts and 6 walks – but when he's throwing strikes he's extremely tough on opposing batters.
"When he gets ahead, it's hard to cover a 90 mph slider and a 98 mph fastball," manager Paul Molitor said earlier this month, via CBS Sports. "He's an interesting character. That arm's pretty big. We're just trying to keep bringing it along."
Kinley is not a sure bet to make the 25-man roster, but if he does he could help round out what's an already imposing, and much improved, bullpen.
Because the Twins took Kinley in the Rule 5 Draft, the only way they can keep him is if they have him on the 25-man roster all season. That's a big risk considering his control issues, but an even bigger reward if he's throwing strikes.