Thursday, July 7, 2016

Futures Game Preview: J.T. Chargois

Photo Credit: Kim Klement, USA Today Sports
When the Twins drafted J.T. Chargois in the second round in 2012, there were plenty of unknowns. The right-handed pitcher out of Rice University played both sides of the ball in college. This limited him to just 72 combined innings on the mound across three college seasons.

After signing with the Twins, he was assigned to Elizabethton and served as the team's closer in the middle of the playoff hunt. The E-Twins would go on to win the Appalachian League Championship and Chargois would combine to post a 1.69 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP across 16 innings. His fastball could hit the high 90's and it looked like he could move through the system very quickly.

Chargois wouldn't make it out of extended spring training in 2013 as he dealt with elbow issues. In fact, he wouldn't take the mound in 2013 or 2014 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Most pitchers miss one year because of this surgery so to miss two years but the Twins wanted him to try and rehab before going under the knife.

By 2015, Chargois was ready to return. He made 48 appearances between Fort Myers and Chattanooga as he combined for a 2.62 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP, and a 53 to 25 strikeout to walk ratio. He ended the year on quite the run. Over his last 18 appearances (19.2 IP), he allowed one earned run and posted a 24 to 9 strikeout to walk ratio as opponents were limited to a .164 BA.

Chargois was clearly back on the prospect radar and the Twins added him to their 40-man roster.

He ended the 2015 season at Double-A and that's where he'd start the 2016 campaign. After posting a 2.73 ERA with the Lookouts last year, Chargois lowered that mark to 1.54 on the way to collecting seven saves. His time in Rochester might be even better as he has posted a 30 to 5 strikeout to walk rate along with lowering his WHIP from 1.32 at Double-A to 1.02 at Triple-A.

His MLB debut was a disaster as he allowed five earned runs in 0.2 innings. He walked a pair of batters and failed to record a strikeout. His 67.50 ERA at the big league level is tough to look at but it hasn't impacted his performance in the minors. The Twins were faced with a bit of a roster crunch so this was the only MLB appearance Chargois has made. One would have to think that it left a bad taste in his mouth.

Maybe his Futures Game roster spot was a reward for being sent down after his rough debut. There are only 10 pitchers on the U.S roster so there is a good chance that he will get to collect at least an inning of work. This will be the 18th edition of the Futures Game and it will take place on Sunday, July 10, at Petco Park in San Diego (6 PM CST on MLB Network).

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