Three years ago, we Peanuts adopted a prospect. A delightful prospect we thought could grow into an intimidating reliever...or at least his beard could. A guy we cared for, and supported through thick and (more frequently) thin, until finally, we waved good bye as he ran joyfully through a field upstate, where all the released prospects go when they're released.
We spent a year in mourning, but we're ready to re-open our hearts, to another prospect. And to that end, we've adopted another in the long line of promising potential relievers. Who may make it themselves, or may be cobbled together by Terry Ryan in some sort of Genetically Modified "SUPER RELIEVER". But enough context, let's meet our guy!
This is JT Chargois
JT Chargois (pronounced SHA-gwa) was born in Sulphur, Louisiana, where he was a Golden Tornado just like former major leaguers "Jocko" Thomas, Pat Rapp and former Twin Casey Daigle.
JT was recruited by and joined the Rice Owls when he left High School in 2009, though apparently he didn't need much convincing to join Rice since his dad praised both their athletics and their academics. Still, he left the Owls after his impressive Junior year when the Twins drafted him (as well as fellow Owl Tyler Duffey) in the second round of the 2015 draft. Many were excited about him as a nearly developed prospect, while my traditional 5 word analysis was: "Spikey" Curveball helps: in ROLLERBALL!!
After a strong debut at Elizabethton (where he finished 8 games, had a 4.4 K/BB ratio and a sub 1 WHIP), Chargois came to spring training 2013 ready to rise quickly. But elbow soreness sent him to extended spring training, then rehab, and finally in the fall of 2013 Tommy John surgery. Having missed the entire 2014 season, Chargois has done well in instructional league and this year's spring training and has started the year with the Ft. Myers Miracle (where he already has one save to his credit). While he's a year older than most High A players, he's also in a good position to rise quickly.
That all makes this a critical year for JT. If everything goes great, he'll move fast and may even be a potential September call-up (assuming Twins relievers implode...a crazy notion I know). If it goes well, it would be reasonable to see him hit AAA and force the Twins into a tricky decision (as Seth already outlined), either putting him on the 40 man roster or risk losing him through the Rule 5 draft. If it goes poorly, the risk of not putting him on the 40-man Roster will plummet, and JT will be facing an even more pressing season coming up. At least so far it looks very good (as this video with the mix of his fastball and curve shows)
So why should you care about JT Chargois? Besides his tremendous upside, he seems like another excellent candidate for our "SUPER RELIEVER" project. His Curveball may be the kind of devastating secondary pitch a reliever needs. And also, if I can make it happen he promises an excellent nickname "SPIKE" Chargois anyone?
We'll keep up the bi-monthly updates in the forum, and will continue to work out a monthly major update