• Twins Minor League Hitters of the Month - July

    After looking at the top starting pitchers in the Minnesota Twins system in July, today we turn our attention to the hitters (and tomorrow, we’ll discuss the top relievers for the month).

    Chris Colabello won this ‘award’ the last two months. He’s now with the Twins, so there is actually quite a bit of competition for this award for the first time in a couple months. A couple top prospects are near the top of the list.

    July is always an interesting month for these awards. Consider that the players at the upper levels participate in the All-Star game (or get their All-Star break). Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton both played in the Futures Game. The season is also now four months gone, and some players are really starting to feel the long season, particularly those who are on a full-season team for the first time.

    Here’s a look at the Top 5 hitters from July.


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    Number 5 – Cedar Rapids – OF Jonathan Murphy – (29-94) .309/.393/.383 (.776) with four doubles, one home run and nine RBI.

    Murphy was the Twins’ 19th round pick just last year out of Jacksonville University where he teamed with Adam Walker for three years and Miracle pitcher Matt Tomshaw. He began this season by staying at Extended Spring Training, but when the Miracle had a short-term need in the outfield, Murphy went across the parking lot. He played so well right away that he stayed with the Miracle for 37 games. When he began to struggle, he went to Cedar Rapids in late June. The 23-year-old has now played 25 games with the Kernels. He is hitting .293/.375/.364 (.739) with four doubles and a home run. Murphy is a speed guy and a good outfielder. He is also 4-5 in stolen base attempts. For much more from and about Murphy, check out SD Buhr’s article from earlier this week.

    Number 4 – Ft. Myers – OF Mike Kvasnicka – (30-100) .300/.366/.490 (.856) with eight doubles, one triple, three home runs and 15 RBI.

    The Twins drafted Kvasnicka in the 31st round of the 2007 draft out of Lakeville (MN) high school, but he went on to play for the Minnesota Gophers. The Astros took him with the first supplemental pick of the first round of the 2010 draft. They moved him from third base and catcher and he struggled with the bat in Low A ball. Last year, he got hurt. This spring, the Twins were able to acquire him for Gonzalo Sanudo, who pitched for the Twins GCL team last year. Unfortunately, he broke his hamate bone before the season started and didn’t play until mid-June. However, since that time, Kvasnicka has hit like crazy while playing solely in the outfield. His father, Jay, was the Twins 8th round draft pick in 1988. Mike has power and is certainly worth the risk to acquire.

    Number 3 – Rochester – 3B Deibinson Romero – (27-84) .321/.426/.548 (.973) with seven doubles, four home runs and 21 RBI.

    Romero has been with the Twins organization for a long time, since signing with the team in July of 2004 out of the Dominican Republic. He was added to the 40 man roster following an injury-plaqued season at Beloit in 2008. After a promotion however, he really struggled with the Florida State League and came off the 40 man roster. He has been with the organization since, and continued to struggle until the 2012 season when he performed well in his second season at New Britain. He could have become a free agent the last two offseasons, but he has elected to stay with the Twins organization. He was invited to big league spring training again this spring, but visa issues caused hin to miss all spring training and his season began late. After eight games in New Britain, he made his AAA debut, and he has been pretty good ever since. He was terrific in July, showing both power and patience (14 walks).

    Number 2 – New Britain – 2B Eddie Rosario – (36-102) .353/.394/.549 (.944) with nine doubles, one triple, three home runs and 17 RBI.

    When the Twins drafted Rosario with their 4th round pick in 2010, he was considered the best hitter out of Puerto Rico that year. He has kept hitting since. He has been the Appalachian League MVP and last winter, he played so well in the Puerto Rican Winter League that he was named to their World Baseball Classic team. He began this season in Ft. Myers, but once the Miracle clinched the first half title, he was promoted to New Britain where he has continued to hit. Rosario has incredibly quick hands which allows him to see the pitches a little longer. He has plenty of extra base power, though he doesn’t necessarily like to walk. What makes him a possible 2014 call up that his defense has greatly improved at second base. He definitely is a top prospect.

    And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is:



    Cedar Rapids – OF Adam Walker – (35-115) .304/.325/.652 (.977) with eight doubles, one triple, ten home runs and 31 RBI.

    The question I have probably been asked the most in the last month is, “Why is Adam Walker still in Cedar Rapids?” My answer remains the same. I really have no idea. He hasn’t been all that consistent, but in the first 100 games of his season, he has hit .282/.323/.543 (.866) with 25 doubles, six triples, 22 home runs and 91 RBI. He is also 8-8 in stolen base attempts and plays a solid right field. At 6-4 and 225 pounds, Walker has as much power potential as any player in the Twins farm system, with the possible (though I’m not sure) exception of Miguel Sano. He has struck out 93 times in 427 plate appearances which isn’t bad for a power hitter, but he has walked just 23 times. Despite playing three seasons at Jacksonville U, he is still just 21 years old. His future is bright.


    What do you think? No Byron Buxton. No Miguel Sano. That said, both of them had very solid months as well. It’s always good to recognize different players in the Twins farm system. Please feel free to discuss and ask questions.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Hitters of the Month - July started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. Lonestar's Avatar
      Lonestar -
      Romero is 101 days younger than Plouffe. How does his defense compare to Plouffe's? Can he play the outfield? Can he make Plouffe expendable while we wait for Sano? Should he be considered for the 40-man roster?

      I know Kvasnicka is 24 in A+ ball. The question is: How much was his offense held back by trying to play 3B and catcher? Should he try that again? He might make a heckuva super utility player.
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      I know I'm a huge Adam Brett Walker fan, but am I the only one who finds it amazing that he has 3 years of DI College ball and 2 years of Pro ball under his belt at the young age of 21. He accomplished alot in college as a young player (19 years old) in obtaining [Perfect Game 1st Team All American; NCBWA District Player of the Year; Golden Spike Semi Finalist; & Dick Howser Semi Finalist]. I agree - His Future is Bright
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      Why no love for J.D. Williams? He was on a tear at the beginning of the month in CR, and has already stolen 7 bases since his promotion to FM (w/ a .390 OBP).
    1. Joe A. Preusser's Avatar
      Joe A. Preusser -
      Quote Originally Posted by lightfoot789 View Post
      I know I'm a huge Adam Brett Walker fan, but am I the only one who finds it amazing that he has 3 years of DI College ball and 2 years of Pro ball under his belt at the young age of 21. He accomplished alot in college as a young player (19 years old) in obtaining [Perfect Game 1st Team All American; NCBWA District Player of the Year; Golden Spike Semi Finalist; & Dick Howser Semi Finalist]. I agree - His Future is Bright
      REALLY hoping he gets a taste of high A this year so we feel comfortable starting him at AA next year. Very few guys are allowed to go right from low A to AA.
    1. Waverley Wildcat's Avatar
      Waverley Wildcat -
      Hey Seth, I know he did not hit any home runs etc. but James Beresford batted .351 at Rochester in July with 20 hits from 18 games.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by TRex View Post
      Why no love for J.D. Williams? He was on a tear at the beginning of the month in CR, and has already stolen 7 bases since his promotion to FM (w/ a .390 OBP).

      I'm a big fan of JD Williams. He definitely earned his promotion. He was an on-base machine in Cedar Rapids, and he has hit well since the promotion. He was definitely on the list to be considered!
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Joe A. Preusser View Post
      REALLY hoping he gets a taste of high A this year so we feel comfortable starting him at AA next year. Very few guys are allowed to go right from low A to AA.
      If he moved up to Ft. Myers now, he would still start next season in Ft. Myers. Not sure why they would start him in AA. He could get there by the second half.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Waverley Wildcat View Post
      Hey Seth, I know he did not hit any home runs etc. but James Beresford batted .351 at Rochester in July with 20 hits from 18 games.
      Great, and very fair, question. Beresford has had a tremendous season this year, starting with New Britain and now in Rochester. Fair or not, he had just 57 plate appearances. Although I try not to make that a huge factor, others did have much more than that. That's often a tie-breaker. He was also on the list to consider.
    1. J-Dog Dungan's Avatar
      J-Dog Dungan -
      What, no more "just missed" players on the list anymore?
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      It will be fun to see Adam Brett Walker (RF) - Jonathan Murphy (CF) of the Kernels and Dan Gulbransen (LF) of the Quad City Bandits play against each other this Saturday. The 3 of them formed the entire outfield for Jacksonville University in 2012. For a small school like (JU / Jacksonville University) - they did a great job of turning out pro prospects. 2 guys on the hitter of the month squad (#5 & #1) for the Twins organization and the guy who was argueably the best hitter of the 3 in Dan Gulbransen for the Astros. Should be fun watching them play against each other for the first time. I read that Walker and Gulbransen were roommates in college too.
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      Oh yeah - I forgot about Matt Tomshaw (P) for the Ft. Myer Miracle. He's from JU too. He was an honorable mention for the July Pitcher of the month. Go JU
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