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.
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.