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  • A Very Early Look at the 2014 Rochester Red Wings

    It's been just four days since the Red Wings lost game five of their playoff series against the Pawtucket Red Sox, 3-0. Immediately after the game the Minnesota Twins selected contracts of seven Rochester players, which started me thinking about what the Red Wings could look like in 2014.

    While there will be free agent signings and trades will take place, it will be interesting to see exactly what the Rochester Red Wings are going to look like next season, and see if they’ll be able to build off of a successful 2013 season.

    Catcher – Josmil Pinto

    2013 Minor League Stats (AA New Britain/AAA Rochester)

    126 G - .309 BA, 141 H, 32 2B, 15 HR, 74 RBI, 66 BB, 83 SO.

    As I write this Josmil Pinto is batting .500 with the Twins (13-26) with one home run and four RBI’s. However he played just 19 games with the Rochester Red Wings after spending the majority of the season with Double-A New Britain. While there is little doubt in my mind that Pinto will be with the Twins next season, on opening day he should be in Rochester.

    First Base – Chris Colabello

    2013 Minor League Stats (AAA Rochester)

    89 G - .352 BA, 119 H, 25 2B, 24 HR, 76 RBI, 43 BB, 89 SO.

    Chris Colabello’s first season in AAA was definitely one to remember. Not only did he put up the numbers that you see above, he also won the IL MVP award as well as the IL Rookie of the Year award as well. The Twins have invested two years in the 29 year old slugger, and I cannot see them giving up on him after the year he had for the Red Wings in 2013.

    Second Base – Eddie Rosario

    2013 Minor League Stats (A+ Fort Myers/AA New Britain)

    122 G - .302 BA, 150 H, 2 2B, 10 HR, 73 RBI, 38 BB, 96 SO, 10 SB, 10 CS.

    There’s a slight chance, in my opinion, that Rosario starts the year in AA again next season, but I’m optimistic that he’ll make the jump and start the year in Rochester. While there isn’t an overwhelming amount of home run power in his bat there is a good combination of speed and power to make him a dangerous batter hitting either second or sixth in the lineup.

    Shortstop – Danny Santana

    2013 Minor League Stats (AA New Britain)

    131 G - .297 BA, 160 H, 22 2B, 10 3B, 2 HR, 45 RBI, 24 BB, 94 SO, 30 SB, 13 CS.
    Of all of the prospects that the Twins have in their system Danny Santana may be the one most suited to bat leadoff in the major leagues. With his ability to bat near .300, stealing 30 bases and striking out fewer than 100 times this year there’s a lot to like. The only downside to Santana really is his lack of walks. In 539 at bats, he drew just 24 walks, which resulted in an OBP of .333; Santana could be an Elvis Andrus type player by the time he reaches Minnesota.

    Third Base – Miguel Sano

    2013 Minor League Stats (A+ Fort Myers/AA New Britain)

    123 G - .280 BA, 123 H, 30 2B, 35 HR, 103 RBI, 65 BB, 142 SO, 11 SB, 3 CS.

    Many people think that Sano could start the season in Minnesota coming out of spring training in 2014, but after what happened with Aaron Hicks that probably will not be the case. There is no disputing Sano’s power, it’s real and it’s spectacular (Seinfeld Reference… anyone?), but hitting just .236 in 67 games in New Britain is a reason to give him more time in the minors.

    Outfield - Dan Rohlfing

    2013 Minor League Stats (AA New Britain/AAA Rochester)

    112 G - .267 BA, 100 H, 15 2B, 3 HR, 42 RBI, 48 BB, 96 SO.

    Dan Rohlfing is one of the players the Twins organization loves, he has the ability to catch, play first base, and outfield. While there’s not a lot of major league upside for Rohlfing, in my opinion, there’s definitely an opportunity for him to make an impact with the Red Wings and he will potentially see a lot of at-bats with his multi-position availability.

    Outfield – Aaron Hicks

    2013 Minor League Stats (AAA Rochester)

    22 G - .222 BA, 16 H, 4 2B, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 10 BB, 21 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS

    This may be the craziest prediction in this article, but in my opinion and from what the numbers show, it might not be a bad idea to give him a couple months in Rochester. There was talk about his hustle and his splits vs. LHP and RHP were not very good (.385 vs. LHP, .186 vs. RHP). With Hicks being just 24 years old his career is far from over and unless the Twins make some major off-season moves the likelihood of them contending in 2014 is not high.

    Outfield – Chris Parmelee

    2013 Minor League Stats (AAA Rochester)

    45 G - .231 BA, 40 H, 13 2B, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 22 BB, 32 SO.

    Chris Parmelee is the other prediction that could be a little shaky for 2014. Like Hicks he has major league experience and the Twins want to know for sure what they have with him. There is one other similarity between Hicks and Parmelee: neither one of them did very well during his time in Rochester. Whether it’s motivation or something else, Parmelee hit just .193 in August, with 1 HR in 114 at- bats. Maybe I’m pulling the plug a little early, but it seems like he’s either a fourth outfielder or the dreaded “Organizational Depth” type of player.

    Designated Hitter – James Beresford

    2013 Minor League Stats (AA New Britain/AAA Rochester)

    103 G – .306 BA, 109 H, 12 2B, 0 HR, 40 RBI, 30 BB, 51 SO, 10 SB, 2 CS.

    James Beresford was one of the more consistent hitters in the Red Wings lineup down the stretch and was a big reason why they made the playoffs in 2013. There was a bit of a steep learning curve when he was first promoted in June where he batted just .233. However in July Beresford hit .351 in 18 games and then followed that up with a .303 average in 24 games in August. While Rosario is the better prospect without a doubt, having Beresford’s bat in the lineup makes the Red Wings from top to bottom extremely dangerous.

    2014 Opening Day Starting Lineup

    SS – Danny Santana
    2B – Eddie Rosario
    3B - Miguel Sano
    1B – Chris Colabello
    C – Josmil Pinto
    OF – Aaron Hicks
    OF – Chris Parmelee
    DH – James Beresford
    OF – Dan Rohlfing

    Rochester Red Wings Rotation

    Alex Meyer

    2013 Minor League Stats (GCL Twins/AA New Britain)

    16 GS – 4-3, 2.99 ERA, 78.1 IP, 32 BB, 100 SO

    After missing almost two months this season due to injury, Alex Meyer was impressive in his last two August starts for New Britain, pitching nine shutout innings and striking out 11 batters while walking just two. While Meyer may not be the opening day starter for the Rochester Red Wings in 2014, after all Kyle Gibson was the #2 starter this season, his starts will be watched closely by GM Terry Ryan and Twins fans everywhere.

    Trevor May

    2013 Minor League Stats (AA New Britain)

    27 GS – 9-9, 4.51 ERA, 151.2 IP, 67 BB, 159 SO

    After spending the entire regular season with the New Britain Rock Cats, Trevor May has to prove what he’s able to do at the next level. After being traded to Minnesota in the off-season in 2012, May spent his second full season in the Eastern League and the numbers were slightly better in 2013 than they were in 2012. It’ll be interesting to see if May is able to have a strong 2014 season in Rochester and have his name added to the list of September call-ups.

    Pat Dean

    2013 Minor League Stats (AA New Britain/AAA Rochester)

    28 GS – 9-13, 4.04 ERA, 165 IP, 22 BB, 83 SO.

    Pat Dean only made six starts in Rochester this season, but there was a substantial difference between what he did in Double- A versus Triple-A. Dean went 6-11 in N.B. with a 4.68 ERA, but was an impressive 3-2 in Rochester with a 2.03 ERA. It’s safe to assume that he will perform somewhere in the middle but he averaged almost six innings per start and will no doubt be a staple in the Wings rotation.

    Logan Darnell

    2013 Minor League Stats (AA New Britain/AAA Rochester)

    26 GS – 10-10, 3.22 ERA, 153.2 IP, 45 BB, 120 SO

    Logan Darnell’s season went in the opposite direction of Pat Dean’s in the sense that he was outstanding with in Double-A and had some trouble when he was called up to the Red Wings. With the Rock Cats, Darnell was 6-6 with a 2.61 ERA. When he was in Rochester he was 4-4 with a 4.26 ERA. There were starts where Darnell showed that he has some very good stuff and could make a big impact next season.

    Pedro Hernandez

    2013 Minor League Stats (GCL Twins/AA New Britain/AAA Rochester)

    10 GS – 3-3, 3.66 ERA, 64 IP, 15 BB, 45 SO

    This is one of the guys that I just don’t know where he will end up next season. Hernandez did not overwhelm while in Rochester this year, going 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA in seven starts, but it was a small sample size. He’s not a power pitcher, won’t strike out a lot of batters, but he doesn’t give up many home runs either. Control is the key to his success. I thought that Pedro would be an impact player last season for the Red Wings, so why not try again for next season.
    This article was originally published in blog: A Very Early Look at the 2014 Rochester Red Wings started by Christopher Fee
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      If I were the Twins, I would keep Albers, Hendriks, and Hernandez around amongst all of the AAA starters brought up. Actually I would have Albers be the long man for the Twins and then pay Hendriks and Hernandez (both are too young to simply let go away) to stay around in Rochester next year. I am basing this off of FA signings (plural) because otherwise Hendriks would just be in the rotation anyway.
    1. pierre75275's Avatar
      pierre75275 -
      A good informative article. I just have a couple questions. Who plays first for the ML club if colabello and parmalee and pinto all play AAA? And what happens to pitchers named Deduno Hendricks Albers Diamond Gibson in the offseason, especially if the twins sign a couple more in the offseason
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Hopefully Pinto, Hicks and Sano are in the majors and Meyer makes the Twins' rotation out of Spring Training. I am certain that Parmelee will not be in Rochester. Add 6-7 MiLB FA to your list (signed or re-signed) and you are about right.
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      After how quick a lot of people soured on Hicks after struggling after being rushed to the bigs I hope they don't make the same mistake with Sano.
    1. MichiganTwins's Avatar
      MichiganTwins -
      Hicks is going be alright. He just needs some time and looking at our ML roster next year. No need to rush him up because we are not going to be competitive without a drastic change, but that change is coming soon i.e. our prospects are fast approaching.
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