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A Roster Full of Good Twins Minor Leaguers

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Because there has to be something positive to talk about, and in part as a lead-in to going through my top 50 prospects heading into the year, there are a number of players of interest to look at instead of looking at Carl Pavano, Jason Marquis, and Nick Blackburn starts. Here are 6 stories at each currently-playing level (and one extra):

At Rochester:
1. Ben Revere is hitting well again, and while he is not drawing walks, it is interesting to see that batting average rise above .320. I still wonder what the season would look like if the Twins had decided, properly, to make Willingham be a professional baseball player and move to RF while Revere platooned in LF with Plouffe or by now, Matt Carson. That decision to keep the Hammer in left had a chain effect. Parmelee was kept where he didn't belong. Clete Thomas and Eric Komatsu were signed and Mastroianni has been brought up. Those last three moves made the nice compliment to Revere, Matt Carson, not a possibility, even though it looks like a good platoon in LF with Revere and Carson. Willingham is going to have to move to RF or maybe first base. Or at least he should. I don't really understand it. I am not claiming that this would have been a monumental shift in the outcome of the season, but it is undoubtedly the case that Revere would have brought more than those players trying to play RF this year.

2. Matt Carson is hitting very well. .780 OPS, and he can play all three OF spots. Can hit the ball a long way, even if he has only homered once so far.

3. Anthony Slama's numbers are ridiculously good. He is deserving of a shot with this team struggling so much. I almost would say that the Twins are trying to save face . . . like they don't want to promote him and have it turn out that he is a good reliever after all of this time keeping him in AAA while he dominated every year. The walks do not make his WHIP egregious at all.

4. Deolis Guerra will be up with the Twins this year. And it won't just because the Twins have to see what he can do--he will have deserved the chance. The velocity is down, but he and Slama are interesting hurlers who don't hurl very hard, yet are still dominating at triple AAA.

5. Lester Oliveros. Powerish reliever, should get a chance again with the Twins this year. He got some good innings in AA since the AAA bullpen was crammed. With Guerra, could be an effective RH middle relief duo who pitch rather differently (and maybe they may Alex Burnett a trade candidate)

6. Pedro Florimon. A solid pickup to add minor league depth, but may be appearing this year for the Twins if injury hits any of the three middle infielders.

At New Britain:

1. Deibinson Romero is returning to serviceability, and at a position of need for the Twins right now. I am surprised that he has not been called up to AAA yet, but given that the Twins have sent their two third basemen down to AAA, my surprise is unfounded.

2. Chris Colabello is a good story. The indy league acquisition is holding his own at AA with a .768 OPS. He has shown some good power.

3. Aaron Hicks--the prospect some Twins fans have come to love to hate--is doing fairly well this year and is showing that he belongs at AA. He is striking out too much, but is on base for a 15 homer/30 steal season this year.

4. Steve Hirschfeld--off-speed pitcher who is repeating New Britain with slightly better numbers. He is not a strikeout pitcher, but 32 in 40.2 innings isn't terrible.

5. David Bromberg--Please let this poor guy have a comeback year. A lot of people have forgotten about Bromberg who a few years ago looked like the guy who would be the first replacement once the Twins starting pitching started going down the toilet. He turns 25 in September. As a starter for New Britain, he has been dominant. He has struck out 20 in his last 16 innings while giving up only five hits and no runs.

6. Andrew Albers--Albers has had some struggles as a starter, but he profiles as a middle or long reliever. He has struck out 34 and walked only three in 42 innings.

At Fort Myers:
1. Oswaldo Arcia--It was a little scary seeing Arcia struggle out of the gate this year after falling off last year after his promotion to Fort Myers. He still strikes out too much, but he has already drawn more walks this year than he did in nearly twice the time in Fort Myers last year. If his numbers keep improving and he gets above the .850 OPS mark, he may be moving up to New Britain.

2. Danny Santana--Santana has hit better than I thought, and I actually had high expectations for him this year. He is young like Arcia, but still getting the job done at high-A. The .430 slugging from the middle infielder is very encouraging. The 4/18 BB/K ratio is not. He should work on his plate discipline and he may also be knocking on the door for a promotion late this season.

3. Lance Ray--Ray's numbers in Fort Myers project to be almost identical to those last year in Beloit. That's good in itself, but he also has improved with BB/K rate significantly at the same time. He could be a valuable corner OF/1B guy for the Twins down the road. He is crushing RH pitching this year.

4. Jairo Perez--Perez is showing that his gaudy Beloit numbers in 2011 weren't some fluke. He is killing LH pitching. If he can manage 3B at all, he might be a guy to see time if the post-Danny Valencia era arrives soon.

5. Ricky Bowen--Bowen has pitched 24 innings, striking out 20 and walking only five. He is rather old for Fort Myers, so I would like to see what he does in New Britain.

6. Matthew Hauser--Another guy who belongs in New Britain rather soon. Hauser throws hard and strikes guys out. He has now logged over 62 innings at Fort Myers with 63 strikeouts and 22 walks.

At Beloit:

1. Miguel Sano--Sano hasn't slowed down--he has sped up. And now he has more walks than he did all of last year. He could hit 30 homers this year if he stays in Beloit. He strikes out a lot, but that shouldn't shy the organization away from promoting him at some point this year. Striking out isn't the end of the world, and this kind of power is obviously terribly rare in the organization.

2. Eddie Rosario--The power numbers are down, but Rosario's BB/K rate is fantastic (20/17) and the .830 OPS is still very good. The homers are becoming doubles, but that is OK, especially if he can stick at 2B. He still needs ample time at Beloit this year.

3. Matthew Koch--The sample size is very small (49 plate appearances), but Koch's OPS is .879 and he has two homers. Oh, and he is a catcher.

4. Adam Pettersen--The .711 OPS for the guy forced to move all-around the field defensively has been a good showing. I actually think he showed perhaps be promoted first to Fort Myers given his age and defensive versatility. And he was born eight years to the day after yours truly, so there's that.

5. Tim Shibuya--Shibuya just threw a complete game shutout and has been excellent with very similar projected stats from E-Town. He could be a fast-riser in the system plagued by starting pitching prospect injuries and starting pitchers who are terrible yet still pitch in MLB.

6. A.J. Achter--Not sure why he isn't pitching at Fort Myers already. He now has 120+ innings at Beloit with 131 Ks and 40 BB. He is dominating righties this year.

And one more:

My adopted prospect, Chris Herrmann. In the interest of having two catchers on this "roster" I wanted to include Herrmann. He is not repeating his plate discipline from 2011, and that is rather alarming. His power numbers have certainly jumped. Hopefully he can put it altogether in the remainder of the year.

So, that's:

C: Chris Herrmann and Matthew Koch.
1B: Chris Colabello and Lance Ray
2B: Eddie Rosario and Adam Pettersen
SS: Pedro Florimon and Danny Santana
3B: Miguel Sano, Jairo Perez, and Deibinson Romero
OF: Ben Revere, Matt Carson, Aaron Hicks, and Oswaldo Arcia

Pitchers: Steve Hirschfeld, David Bromberg, Andrew Albers, Tim Shibuya, Anthony Slama, Deolis Guerra, Lester Oliveros, Ricky Bowen, Matt Hauser, and A.J. Achter
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  1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
    very good story/informatoin!
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