Wade, Jay among Twins' AFL standouts

Wade, Jay among Twins' AFL standouts

A quartet of Twins prospects stood out during their Arizona Fall League debuts on Tuesday with the Surprise Saguaros, who lost their season-opener to Salt River, 4-3.

Left-handers Tyler Jay and Andrew Vasquez both struck out a pair in scoreless frames, while outfielder LaMonte Wade went 1-for-3 with a double, and first baseman Chris Paul went 3-for-4 with two RBIs out of the cleanup spot.

Jay, Minnesota's No. 8 prospect, per MLBPipeline.com, worked a 1-2-3 seventh and got both of his punchouts on called third strikes. The 23-year-old was the sixth overall pick by Minnesota in the 2015 Draft out of the University of Illinois.

Jay missed much of the 2017 season due to biceps tendonitis and a shoulder impingement. He went 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA in eight appearances (one start) split between the Gulf Coast League Twins (Rookie), Class A Advanced Fort Myers and Double-A Chattanooga.

Vasquez followed Jay and bookended his scoreless inning with a pair of swinging strikeouts while working around a two-out double by Brewers prospect Lucas Erceg.

McMaster, Mayo on AFL

A 32nd-round pick out of Westmont (Calif.) College, Vasquez has been outstanding in his three professional seasons, going 7-1 with a 1.66 ERA in 66 games. The 6-foot-6, 228-pound southpaw has struck out 158 batters in 108 2/3 innings, while walking 52 and posting a .196 opponents average. He has posted a sub-2.00 ERA at each of his four stops in the Minors over the past two seasons, ranging from rookie-level Elizabethton to Class A Advanced Fort Myers.

Wade, the Twins' No. 17 prospect, was selected by Minnesota in the ninth round of the 2015 Draft out of the University of Maryland, and slashed .292/.397/.408 with seven home runs in 117 games for Double-A Chattanooga this season. He moved from rookie ball to Class A in 2015, and from Class A to Class A Advanced in 2016. He's shown good plate discipline, walking 76 times in 519 plate appearances for Chattanooga.

Paul, the Twins' sixth-round pick in 2015, has yet to play more than 99 games in a season since being selected out of Cal. He has spent time on the disabled list in each of his first three professional seasons, including two stints during each of the past two years. The 24-year-old missed more than two months with a left wrist sprain this year.

When he was on the field this season, Paul put up career-best numbers, slashing .320/.373/.460 with four homers and 32 RBIs in 64 games, 61 of them at Class A Advanced Fort Myers. He can play first base, third base and the outfield.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.