March 16, 2008

Parmelee, Benson starting in Beloit

The Twins are currently playing the Blue Jays, and Hernandez is pitching well. He's throwing strikes and is working the inner-half of the plate nicely. Adam Everett is leading off while Gomez is hitting last. Probably just to get Everett more at bats, but there is a possibility that the Twins go with this kind of lineup a few times this season.

Anyways, onto the real news.

The Twins have informed both Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee that they will start the season back in Beloit, after spending all of 2007 there. It doesn't come as a real shock, however with the amount of outfielders in the lower-levels of the organization, I thought they'd for sure start in Ft. Myers. Besides Benson and Parmelee, Ozzie Lewis, Rene Tosoni, Andrew Schmeising, and first round pick Ben Revere were all likely to start the season in Beloit.

Here's my prediction of what happens.

Ben Revere starts the season in extended Spring Training and then moves up to Elizabethton at some point.
For Beloit, Joe Benson starts in center field, Chris Parmelee starts in right field, Rene Tosoni starts in left field, while Ozzie Lewis starts at DH.

If any player skips a level, I believe it will be Rene Tosoni as many believe he has the best chances of advancing quickly through the organization. He makes good contact on the ball which allows him to hit to the gaps and he plays solid defense.

Benson, just 20 years old did not really impress last season in Beloit hitting just .255/.347/.368. He only had one really "good" month, which was in July when he hit .275/.367/.431 with 3 of his 5 home runs and 6 of his 18 stolen bases. He plays above average defense, and is one of the best athletes in the Twins system. He's a legitimate 5-tool player, but still needs to polish all of his skills.

Parmelee, also 20, also did not have a great season in Beloit, despite hitting 15 home runs and 70 RBI's. He hit .239 with a dreadful .313 on-base percentage and an unspectacular .414 slugging percentage. He was drafted for his power, which he definitely has. However, he has horrible plate discipline and struck out 137 times last season. He likely will never hit highly for average, but he needs to cut down on the number of strikeouts opposed to walks. If he can do that, he should move back up many of the top prospect lists.

The lower-levels of the Twins farm system is stacked with offensive potential, hopefully this season many of them will work on what they need to do to progress and there can be a strong waive of both pitching and hitting prospects in a couple years.