Earlier this week, I handed out the “awards” for Twins minor league relief pitcher and starting pitcher of the month for May. Today, it’s time to recognize the hitters. You’ll certainly notice that I ranked a top 6 for the two pitching categories and yet, today, I rank just five hitters. I wanted to give six, but there were a lot of guys that were in the same range, and none quite made me say that he had to be added. Miguel Sano, for instance, had an 0-24 stretch and a 1-39 stretch, and yet, he posted a .791 OPS for the month due to six doubles and seven home runs. He may have been #6 despite a .233 batting average. Tyler Grimes and Adam Bryant of the Snappers also had very solid months of day.
Here are my selections for the Top 5 Twins Minor League hitters in May:
Number 5 – New Britain/Rochester – Wilkin Ramirez
- (34-116) .293/.305/500 with six doubles, three triples, four home runs and 12 RBI.
The Twins signed Wilkin Ramirez early in the offseason as a minor league free agent. He was once a top prospect in the Tigers organization and spent time in 2009 with the big league club. He also got time with the Atlanta Braves just last season. Ramirez began a rehab stint with Ft. Myers in late April and that continued in New Britain as the calendar changed to May. He hit .388 with three doubles, three triples and four home runs in just 11 games with the Rock Cats. He got off to a fast start with Rochester, but has really slumped of late. He has just three hits in his last 28 at bats. He is a rather free swinger which shows in his 3:34 walk to strikeout rate this season. Still just 26 years old, Ramirez does have some potential to help the Twins or other teams in the future.
Number 4 – Beloit – Drew Leachman
- (27-96) .281/.381/.396 with two doubles, 3 home runs and 12 RBI.
Leachman started his June last night with a three-hit game at Quad Cities, a continuation of the solid hitting that he put forth throughout the month of May. Leachman was a late-round pick last year out of Division III Birmingham Southern. He began this season in the GCL, so he just made his Snappers debut in May. He quickly produced, showing power, and has been a regular in the lineup since, splitting time between the corner outfield positions and first base.
Number 3 – Beloit – Jonathan Goncalves
- (27-92) .293/.393/.402 with five doubles, one triple, one home run and 11 RBI.
Goncalves has been in the organization for a long time. Two years ago, he was working in Extended Spring Training when there was an outfield shortage with the Ft. Myers Miracle. He has always been fast and had a very good glove, so he was promoted directly to the Miracle. It was supposed to be short-term, but he held his own and stayed the full season. He went back to the FSL last year and although the defense remained a constant, his bat really struggled. Late in the year, he was sent back to Beloit, where he should have been. He returns there this year and after a slow start, he has come on strong in May. He is not a small guy, built strong which explains the extra base hits.
Number 2 - Rochester – Matt Carson
- (27-92) .293/.393/.435 with eight doubles, one triple, one home run and nine RBI.
Carson signed as a minor league free agent in the offseason. He has had a lot of AAA success, but has had just a few short cups of coffee in the big leagues. He has had several 25 homer seasons in recent years. At 30, people (myself included) wondered why the Twins signed Carson (and Ramirez) when the Rochester roster was to include Joe Benson and Rene Tosoni (and later included Ben Revere). But Carson has been the most consistent hitter in the Red Wings roster. In May, he produced ten extra base hits. If the Twins want someone to kind of take over in right field, or a right-handed pinch hitter, don’t be surprised if Carson gets an opportunity.
The May Minnesota Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is...
Ft. Myers Miracle OF Oswaldo Arcia
(29-109) .358/.388/.598 with ten doubles, one triple, four home runs and 18 RBI.
In the offseason, the Twins added Arcia to the 40 man roster. He has made a name for himself with his bat. He was the Appy League Hitter of the year in 2010. He dominated for Beloit last April, and then after elbow surgery he was promoted to Ft. Myers. That’s where he returned in 2012. In April, he missed some time due to a leg injury, but in May, he has been tremendous. Sure, he is not a big fan of walking and probably strikes out too much. He also really struggles against left-handed pitching. However, against righties, he is incredible, and that really started to show again in May. He had many multi-hit games and the 15 extra base hits in the month. Oswaldo Arcia was the easy choice for Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month.
Please feel free to discuss.