According to CBSSports’ Dan Knobler on Twitter via MLB Trade Rumors, the Minnesota Twins claimed outfielder Darin Mastroianni from the Jays earlier today. After the signing of Francisco Cordero was made official on February 1, Mastroianni was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the Jays’ 40-man roster.
A 16th-round pick by the Blue Jays in 2007, Mastroianni started opening eyes in 2009, when he began the year with High-A Dunedin and finished it with Double-A New Hampshire, hitting a combined .297/.398/.364 in the process. Baseball America rated him as having the best strike zone discipline in the Florida State League and he showcased his speed on the base paths, finishing third in the minors with 70 stolen bases.
He followed that up with an even better 2010, when he hit .301/.390/.398 with 25 doubles and seven triples as the Fisher Cats’ primary leadoff hitter. He also set new Fisher Cats single-season records with 158 hits, 101 runs and 46 stolen bases (though Anthony Gose eclipsed that stolen base record this past season with 70).
Instead of playing his way to a potential bench role with the Blue Jays at some point in 2011, though, Mastroianni went back and forth this past season between Las Vegas and New Hampshire after struggling in his first two months of Triple-A action. The Mount Kisco, New York native did manage to make his Major League debut two days before his 26th birthday in August for one game.