September 28, 2007

Twins-Dodgers Trade Rumor

Yesterday, Nick & Nick touched up on the rumored trade of Johan Santana heading to the Dodgers in a deal that would send 5-tool outfielder Matt Kemp and 19-year-old Southpaw Clayton Kershaw to the Twins.

My personal thought is that Kemp & Kershaw is nice, but we'd need more. So today, I'm going to look at a few other players the twins could pursue if this rumor did hold any truth.

Dodgers: The Kemp & Kershaw deal is a good start, but I think the Twins need at least 1 more top-prospect in return, mainly because Kershaw is still very raw and although is probably the top pitching prospect heading into '08, he still has a lot to work on before he reaches the Majors.

Kershaw will likely begin the 2008 season in AA as a 20-year-old, which is still 3-4 years behind the average age of AA players. His dominating 12.02 K/9 IP in 2007 is something that should stand out. But his 17 walks in 24 innings isn't something to brag about. I will say that he does look like he has all the tools to become a potential #1-type starter, but he's still very young and still has (probably) 2 years before he'd help out the Twins.

Kemp is a potential 5-tool player and a great replacement if the Twins cannot retain Torii Hunter's services. I can see him batting anywhere between #1-5 with the Twins and with his combination of speed and power, he'll be a force in the AL Central. I think he'd fit right in with Grady Sizemore and Curtis Granderson as far as top CF in the AL Central are.

But who else? Well, the Dodgers are fortunate to be blessed with a pluthera of top-prospects in the majors and in the minors.

Andy LaRoche - 3B - 24-years-old

LaRoche would definitely help the Twins out immediately as he'd fit two things that the Twins are looking for; a 3rd baseman and a right-handed power-hitter. He'd be a good addition in this trade, although I'm not sure the Dodgers would be willing to give up there 3 top prospects.

Blake DeWitt - 2B/3B - 22-years-old.

DeWitt is likely the future 2nd baseman for the Dodgers since they have LaRoche at the "hot corner." After a solid '07 campaign, DeWitt could start 2008 in AAA. He hit .292/.327/.466 with 42 doubles, 3 triples 14 home runs and 66 RBI's in 128 games. He definitely poses the potential to be a solid infielder for the Twins, but as a left-handed hitter, he's likely going to have to bat 6th-7th.

James Loney -1B/DH/OF - 23-years-old

James Loney is my player of choice if I had to be honest. The young 1st baseman has hit .335/.385/.537 with 18 doubles, 3 triples, 14 home runs, and 63 runs batted in in just 92 games. Although he hasn't had a lot of experience in the outfield, he has played there before and could become an option in LF/RF if he did come to the Twins. I say "/RF" because I think it'd be the smartest if they moved Cuddy over to LF if we planned on playing Loney in Right, just because I think Cuddy's speed would be better than Loney's in left. Loney's a left-handed hitter, but to me he's the best all-around hitter of the 3 so far (LaRoche and DeWitt). Although I'd probably do this trade in a heart beat if Loney were involved, but I really think that the Dodgers wouldn't do it.

Chin-Lung Hu - 2B/SS - 23-years-old

I think that the best prospect that the Twins could "snatch" besides Kemp & Kershaw would be Hu. Hu jumped from AA to the Majors this season and did so while hitting an impressive .325 with 40 doubles and 14 home runs in the minors. Hu was named the All-Star Futures game MVP while going 1-3 with an RBI. He's not really a power threat, more of an oppisite field hitter, but his 5'10'' 150 lbs. frame could produce 15-20 home runs a season with a respectable average.

September 27, 2007

Twins News/Notes

Thursday's Links
  • had a rumor yesterday that had Johan Santana going west to the Dodgers in exchange for LHP Prospect Clayton Kershaw and OF Matt Kemp. If they also gave up LaRoche or Loney, then I'd be interested, but nothing short of that.
  • Incase you haven't already heard, Twins outfield prospect Eli Tintor has been suspended for the first 50 games of the 2008 season after testing positive for Drug of Abuse (not a PED). Anthony Swarzak was suspended this season and came back very dominating. Hopefully Eli can do the same.
  • According to LEN3, Joe Mauer may need to have hernia surgery if his physical shows he needs it. He's likely only going to start another game or two before being shut down, but he should be ready to go next season.
  • Fashion designer Marc Ecko who bought Barry Bonds' 756 home run ball for $752,467 finally has made up his mind on what he's going to do with the ball. Well actually the public did. Over 10 Million people voted and the winning fate was to brand the ball with an asterisk and send it to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Personally, I think it's ridiculous for him to do that after spending 3/4 of a $1 Million and I also think it's very disrespectful of the Baseball Hall of Fame to accept it even after that happened.
  • Milton Bradley's "flip out" resulted in umpire Mike Winters to be suspended for the remainder of the 2007 season. As much as a lot of people don't care for Milton, I think that he'd be a great player to have on the team. Regardless of his attitude (which is very bad), he's a great player and I think that a clubhouse like Minnesota would help keep him in check. The Padres clubhouse is also good, and besides this, they did a good job with him.
  • Also too, head over to to view his 11-20 prospects, as well as his 21-30 and 31-40. And if you'd wish, you can compare his to mine.

September 25, 2007

Why the Twins will resign Torii Hunter

As I said yesterday, today's post will be a counterpoint to yesterday's post of "Why the Twins will not sign Torii Hunter."

Why do I feel like the Twins will resign Torii? Well for starters, this is his home. He's been with the Twins organization for 14 (going on 15) years. He was drafted with the Twins first pick back in the 1993 draft. This is the only team that Torii has been with and I don't think he truly wants to leave behind all his friends that he's made along the way. Last week, he was asked about some of the fans that he has relationships with, and said that it'll be part of the hardest things having to say goodbye to them.

Yesterday, he was quoted as saying that his goal is to be a Twin as the Twins open their new stadium. In the same article, he also said that his heart is in Minnesota and with the Twins.

Here's some of what he said:

"That definitely is my goal, and you never know," Hunter said Sunday. "Everybody's talking about the goodbyes and different things like that. You never know, the Twins might step up and they come in and save the day. But at the same time, you've got to say your goodbyes because you never know what's going to happen.

"It's still a business, anything can happen. And it was tough, man, walking into the stadium [Sunday] ... saying goodbye to everybody that I see on my way to the clubhouse."

"I mean, this is a business and I understand that, but at the same time my heart is here in Minnesota and as a Twin. So whatever happens, man, I get to play the game of baseball no matter what, but my heart is here in Minnesota. If not, then I get to play the game, which I really love."

He also goes on to contradict his previous reports of being interested in playing with the Texas Rangers, saying:

"That's what they say, but I don't favor Texas," he said. "My family doesn't even favor Texas, but we're just going to kind of wait and see."

Torii has watched his friends come and go, he has been with the Twins through the best of times as well as the worst of times. He stuck with the Twins through talk of contraction. He has been the emotional leader out on the field, as well as in the clubhouse. He's the face of the team and although he's likely going to get a very large contract, I think the Twins will not let him leave under any circumstances. The team didn't allow Kirby Puckett walk away in 1992, offering him the second largest contract in baseball history (which has obviously been surpassed by many), and I don't think that Carl Pohlad and the Twins will let Torii Hunter slip away either.

September 24, 2007

Why the Twins will not sign Torii Hunter

Alright, today I will post why I believe the Twins will not be having Torii Hunter roaming center field after this season, and tomorrow I will share why I believe he will be roaming in center field next season. (Confusin' ain't it?)

Yesterday was a very emotional day for both Twins players, and also for Twins fans. They had to (potentially) say goodbye to the beloved Torii Hunter. Although he will still be with the Twins for another 7 games which will be held in Detroit and in Boston, he may have played his last game in the Metrodome as a member of the Minnesota Twins.

Torii Hunter has been the most influential and lovable Twin since the retirement of Kirby Puckett right before the 1996 season. He has won 5 consecutive Rawlings Gold Gloves between 2002-2006 and he could add a 6th this season. The home run snatching, center fielder was given the nickname "Spider Man" by Sammy Sosa, after robbing Barry Bonds of a home run in the 2002 MLB All-Star Game.

Torii has been the face of the franchise for the better part of a decade and his loss on the field and in the clubhouse will be missed.

Torii hasn't made anything official just yet. But a lot of speculation is that the Twins may lose out to Torii Hunter in a "weak" free agency market this off-season. Torii's wife and son live about an hour away from the Ballpark at Arlington where the Texas Rangers play. And wouldn't ya know it, the Rangers are looking for a Center Fielder as well.

Torii was offered a 3-year $45 Million contract by the Twins in the beginning of September, but he quickly declined. Speculation is that he wants at least a 5 year deal.

Since then, Torii has expressed his interest of playing with the Rangers multiple times. Earlier this week, he said:

"I haven't thought about it a little bit," Hunter said of playing for the Rangers. "I've thought about it a lot a bit. I'm going to be a free agent and I'm just watching. I'm watching to see what all the teams out there are going to do."

"My family's there and that's the main thing," Hunter said. "My family wants me there. My kids want me there. But at the same, we're just seeing what the situation looks like because I do have to be in a winning situation. Any player wants that."

"I almost bet you that the Texas Rangers have a better chance than anybody,"

The thing to also think about is this: Alex Rodriguez is still being payed by the Texas Rangers and if he chooses to opt out at the end of the season, the Rangers will be relieved of paying him $10 Million. That money is already a good "down payment" to Torii Hunter's services. The team will still need to bring in a couple pitchers as well as another bat or two to make Hunter really be swayed the Rangers way. But I think that Torii wanting to be close to his family will play a big role in his decision. Another place he could land is the Houston Astro's, who are about 3.5-4 hours from Torii's family, but are a little closer to contention.

Ultimately, if he leaves, I am going to predict that Torii signs a 6-year $85 Million deal with the Texas Rangers. It almost makes too much sense.

Stay tuned for the "flip side" tomorrow.

September 21, 2007

Friday's News 'N Notes

  • The Twins will begin a series against the Chicago White Sox tonight. Here are the pitching matchups:
Game 1: LHP Mark Buehrle (9-9, 3.55) vs. LHP Johan Santana (15-12, 3.14)
Game 2: RHP Javier Vazquez (13-8, 3.83) vs. RHP Scott Baker (9-8, 4.15)
Game 3: RHP Gavin Flloyd (1-4, 5.65) vs. RHP Kevin Slowey (3-0, 5.00)
  • Unfortunately, Ken Griffey Jr. couldn't stay healthy for an entire season. On Wednesday, Griffey came up lame while in right field and suffered a strained groin. Hopefully, he won't have any lingering effects from it next season and he can come back strong.
  • Checking the standings last night, I wanted to give my thoughts and opinions on the division races:
AL West: The Angels have it locked. The Mariners came on strong and gave them a run for their money, but they fell behind and will most likely miss the playoffs.

AL Central: Again, the Tribe has it locked. I would like to see the Tigers give them a strong run, but too little too late.

AL East: From the looks of things, both the Red Sox and the Yankees will make the playoffs. The question is who will win the division? The Yankees were "out of it" in July and now have found themselves just 1.5 games behind the Red Sox. This is definitely one for the ages. I will predict that the Yankees will win the Division on one of the last days of the season.

NL West: The "Baby 'backs" are in first place by just 1/2 a game over the San Diego Padres. The Rockies are also in the mix just 5 games back, but with just 9 games back and the fact that the Padres and Diamonbacks are both playing great baseball right now, the Rockies look to be on the outs.

NL Central: The Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs are giving fans one of the greatest races in a long time. Both teams have had their ups and downs but continue to stay strong down the stretch. As great as the Brewers season has been, I can't say I wouldn't mind seeing the Cubs in the playoffs.

NL East: This is somewhat hard for me. I like a lot of the Mets players which makes me a little bit of a Mets fan, but I have to say I would like to see the Phillies make the playoffs. The Mets have really struggled as of late while the Phil's have come on very strong. Should be a good race as well.

AL Wild Card: The Yankees/Red Sox are going to win the Wild Card, both just have been too strong for a team like the Mariners to actually contend at this point.

NL Wild Card: The Padres, Rockies and Phillies look to be the most realistic to win the last playoff spot. I am predicting the Padres/Diamondbacks will be the team to ultimately come out on top.
  • Some good news coming from the doctors of Kevin Everett. It looks like the Bills Tight End could "walk within days or weeks". It's amazing since he was thought to be permanently paralyzed at one point. Great news.
  • It turns out that Floyd Landis will have to forfeit his 2006 Tour de France title after he was found guilty of doping. The title will be awarded to Oscar Pereiro the "official winner" of the 2006 title. My reaction? Thank god! Can we move on please?
  • La Velle E. Neal III gives a good update on Twins 1st-round draft pick, Ben Revere. Definitely nice to hear his take on the Twins young outfielder.
  • Seth Stohs at SethSpeaks continues to make great posts. On Wednesday, he gave us his Top 10 Prospects. Although it's a bit different than my own, it's always fun to speculate. And yesterday, he gave us a great Q&A with outfielder, Garrett Guzman. He was also featured in SBG's "Better Know A Citizen" feature. Definitely check both of them out if you haven't already.

September 20, 2007

Beloit Snappers Season Recap

Beloit Snappers

Twins Single-A Affiliate
Team Record: 79-61 (44-26 in the first half, 35-35 in the 2nd half)

The Beloit Snappers had a season to remember in '07. The team won the Midwest Western Division in the first half with a 44-26 record and the team won 27 games at home. The first-half victory ensured them a playoff spot, regardless of how they played in the 2nd half. The Snappers tailed off to a 35-35 record in the second half, but thanks to their young talent, they advanced to the Midwest League Championship.

Twins '06 first round pick Chris Parmelee really helped carry the load on offense. The 19 year old outfielder hit .239/.313/.414 with 23 doubles, 5 triples, 15 home runs and 70 RBI. He continues to struggle to get on base, and he strikes out a lot, but his numbers show that he has the potential to be a huge power threat in the big leagues. He will probably be in Ft. Myers for the majority (if not all) of the 2008 season.

Chris Parmelee

Another '06 draft pick Joe Benson will likely be joining him in Ft. Myers. The converted catcher hit .255/.347/.368 with 18 doubles, 8 triples, 5 home runs, 38 RBI's with 18 stolen bases in 122 games as the Snappers outfielder. Benson had a poor April, batting just .170 and May wasn't great either, batting just .230. He improved as the season progressed, which made people remember his potential. He is one of the most athletic players through the system, and is a potential 5-tool player.

Wilson Ramos joined the team out of extended Spring Training in June, and was an immediate impact hitter for the Snappers. Ramos hit .291/.345/.438 with 17 doubles, 1 triple, 8 home runs and 42 RBI's in just 73 games with the team. He could quickly move up the top prospects charts as being the best catcher in our system. As another 20-year-old, he will also likely join Benson and Parmelee in Ft. Myers next season.

The pitching was definitely the Snappers strongest asset in '08.

Tyler Robertson absolutely dominated the Midwest League with a 9-5 record, a 2.29 ERA and 123 strikeouts in just 102.1 innings. Robertson gave up just 3 home runs and 33 walks as well. The thing that impresses me the most about him, is that he gave up just 3 home runs on the year. As a strikeout pitcher, he's more likely to be susceptible to the long ball while he's trying to throw harder (example: Johan Santana). He had such a strong season, that he was named the Twins #1 prospect by Seth Stohs over at Seth Speaks.

Alex Burnett also had a strong season. The 20-year-old right hander went 9-8 with a 3.02 ERA and struck out 117 batters in his 155 innings pitched. Burnett blew lefties away with a .188 average and 64 of his strikeouts also came against lefties. He went 6-4 with a 2.44 ERA in the 2nd half of the season. He will also join Robertson and the rest of the youngsters in Ft. Myers in '08.

A very pleasant surprise for the Snappers came from former 1st round pick, Matt Fox. Fox missed all of the 2005 season while recovering from a labrum and rototator cuff surgery, he pitched well for Elizabethton in 2006 and as a 24-year-old, he pitched well with Beloit in 2007. He could quickly advance through the system, but he may be limited to middle reliever if he makes it to the big leagues. But 2007 was definitely a promising season for him and the Twins.

The Snappers lost to the West Michigan White Caps in the 5th game of the Championship series. The team got strong contributions by Danny Santiesteban and Joe Benson in the playoffs as well as strong outings from Matt Fox, Robertson, Cole Devries and Alex Burnett. The team will have a pluthera of great prospects in 2008 and will be a top-contender to take the Midwest League Championship.

Team Batting Leaders
  • Average: .302, Danny Valencia
  • SLG %: .500, Danny Valencia
  • OBP: .398, Johnny Woodard
  • Hits: 110, Joe Benson
  • Doubles: 23, Chris Parmelee
  • Triples: 8, Joe Benson
  • Home Runs: 15, Chris Parmelee
  • Runs Batted In: 70, Chris Parmelee
  • Stolen Bases: 18, Joe Benson
Team Pitching Leaders
  • Wins: 9, Alex Burnett/Cole Devries
  • Loses: 8, Alex Burnett/Brian Kirwan
  • ERA: 1.51, Jeff Manship
  • Innings Pitched: 155, Alex Burnett
  • Strikeouts: 123, Tyler Robertson
  • WHIP: 0.77, Jeff Manship
  • Holds: 12, Danny Leatherman
  • Saves: 28, Robert Delaney

September 19, 2007

Short post

Sorry, I have quite a bit of homework to do (again) tonight, so I'm sorry to say that it's going to be a short post today.

A few thoughts
  • As I'm sure everyone has heard, Ron Gardenhire has named Nick Punto the front-runner for the starting second base job next season. A lot of people disagree with the decision and rightfully so, Nick Punto has been pretty dreadful offensively. Defensively, he has made some great plays as usual, but not enough to make him an everyday starter.
  • What does this mean for Alexi Casilla? Seth Stohs said that he believes that Gardy's comments about him and Punto could be to light a fire under Casilla's arse to put in more effort on the field. I hope he's right, but I'm not that hopeful. I think Casilla will find his way between Rochester and Minnesota until he's ready. I think the Twins would like to play him as much as possible, even if it's not in Minnesota. Matt Tolbert will likely be used as a backup 2nd baseman next year.
  • Another intriguing thought is that Matt Moses played a little 2nd base at the end of the season, could he be in the Twins future plans for 2nd base? As much as I like Casilla, I can't help but be optimistic about what Moses could bring (offensively) at 2nd base. He has a lot of work to do before even considering him into the future plans, but I like the thought.
  • Joe Christensen made an excellent post, asking the fans to stay optimistic for the remainder of the season, and (although it's tough) I agree!
  • Speaking of Seth Stohs, he has a great Q&A with Reliever Tim Lahey. It's another fantastic interview.
  • I don't like making promises that I can't keep, but I promise I will have the Snappers Season Recap up tomorrow.

September 18, 2007

Rochester Red Wings Season Recap

I'm posting a bit early tonight, I have a bunch of school work to do.

To continue with some of my recent posts, I will continue to do my "Season Recaps" series, this time focusing on the Rochester Red Wings. In case you missed some of the other season recaps, here they are:
Rochester Red Wings

Twins Triple-A Affiliate
Team Record: 77-67
(2nd Place in International League North)

The Rochester Red Wings post season dreams fell short by 7.5 games to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. The Red Wings were close to the top for the majority of the season, but a 15-15 August put the Red Wings back and the Yankees ran away with it. A large reason for the August drop off was the dismantle of some of the Red Wings roster (due to injury's on the Twins) and (not to put all the fault on his shoulders, but...) a slump by their biggest run producer.

Garrett Jones had a fantastic season for the Red Wings. He hit .280/.334/.473 with 32 doubles, 3 triples, 13 Home Runs and 70 RBI. Unfortunately he was the batter I was referring to in the introduction. After a July where Jones hit .333 with 4 home runs and 15 RBI, Jones regressed in August and hit .228 with 2 home runs and 9 RBI. Although he was hot and cold for a big part of the season, he found himself on a roller coaster between AAA and the Big Leagues. He hasn't been given a fair shot of proving himself at the major league level, but if he can produce like he did in Rochester, he could prove to be a short-term answer at DH for the Twins.

Matt Tolbert also had a great year for the Red Wings. Besides filling in at second base, short stop, and third base, Tolbert also put up some great offensive numbers. The 24-year old infielder hit .293/.353/.427 with 24 doubles, 7 triples, 6 home runs and 53 RBI's. Tolbert primarily played second base but in June, the Twins wanted to see him move to 3rd as a possible replacement for the struggling Nick Punto. Unfortunately, the promotion of Brian Buscher derailed that scenario, but Tolbert definitely showed promise as being part of the Twins future plans. He will more than likely take on the role of a guy like Luis Rodriguez for the Twins, if he doesn't return.

Quite possibly the biggest surprise for the Red Wings came from behind the plate. The emergence of Jose Morales was instrumental to the Red Wings playoff hopes. The middle-infielder turned catcher finished just 7 points in batting average to Cleveland's Ben Francisco with a .311 batting average. Although he showed little power, he's a fairly good gap hitter which showed with his 25 doubles. He had 3 at bats with the Twins earlier this month and went 3-3 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. The Twins may keep him on their roster if he has a strong spring and in doing so could choose not to bring back Chris Heintz. Morales would be a more than capable 3rd catcher for the Twins and his bat had some people chattering about the possibility of moving Joe Mauer to another position in place of him. He has a bright future and I can't wait to see his stuff in '08.

Jose Morales

When almost everyone had a poor month of August, the one player that truly stood out was former 1st round pick, Denard Span. Span hit .324/.415/.412 in the 30 games. Span's season numbers can be deceiving though. Why? Because he hit .214 in April and .212 in May. But between June-September, Span hit .301 with 11 doubles, 5 triples, 3 home runs and 39 RBI's. Even with that, many don't feel that Span is a suitable replacement if the Twins end up losing Torii Hunter to free agency, but I think otherwise and believe that he would be alright.

The rotation was strong for the Red Wings again.

The rotation's ace was without a doubt Kevin Slowey. The 23-year old righty dominated the International League and finished the year with a 10-5 record and a 1.88 ERA. He also struck out 107 batters through the 20 games he pitched. The next closest ERA in the League was 3.16. Slowey also found himself between Minnesota and Rochester this season, but he hopes to stick with the Twins next year out of Spring Training.

Brian Duensing and Nick Blackburn both made the jump from New Britain to Rochester this season. After both pitching well in the Eastern League, both made a great transition to the International League. Duensing went 11-5 with a 3.24 ERA in 19 starts for the Red Wings. Blackburn's transition was a little better, believe it or not. Blackburn had a period of 41 innings of scoreless pitching. He finished June with a 5-0 mark and pitched 2 complete game shutouts through 39 innings. He finished the season 7-3 with a 2.11 ERA and only gave up 12 walks through 110 innings. He also hopes to be a candidate to start in 2008 for the Twins.

Bobby Korecky shattered the Red Wings record of 23 Wings set by Travis Bowyer in 2005 with a new mark which will be hard to break of 35 saves. Although by the number of saves it looked like he was damn-near dominant he did so in a not-so dominate fashion. His 3.71 ERA fluctuated all season and he also gave up 81 hits and 34 walks in his 85 innings pitched. The Twins will need to make a decision on him this off season since he's a possible 6-year MiLB free agent.

The Red Wings will hope to be back in the playoffs in 2008 and hopefully the Twins can go a season without dismantling their roster midway through the season.

Team Batting Leaders
  • Average: .311, Jose Morales
  • SLG %: .473, Garrett Jones
  • OBP: .366, Jose Morales
  • Hits: 130, Denard Span
  • Doubles: 32, Garrett Jones
  • Triples: 7, Denard Span/Matt Tolbert
  • Home Runs: 13, Garrett Jones
  • Runs Batted In: 70, Garrett Jones
  • Stolen Bases: 25, Denard Span
Team Pitching Leaders
  • Wins: 12, Julio DePaula
  • Loses: 12, Dave Gassner
  • ERA: 1.89, Kevin Slowey
  • Innings Pitched: 149, Dave Gassner
  • Strikeouts: 107, Kevin Slowey
  • WHIP: 0.96, Kevin Slowey
  • Holds: 11, Julio DePaula
  • Saves: 35, Bobby Korecky

September 17, 2007

Top 50 Prospects

  1. Anthony Swarzak, RHP
  2. Danny Valencia, 3B
  3. Jeff Manship, RHP
  4. Chirs Parmelee, OF/1B
  5. Eduardo Morlan, RHP
  6. Trevor Plouffe, SS
  7. Nick Blackburn, RHP
  8. Jay Rainville, RHP
  9. Brian Duensing, LHP
  10. Ben Revere, OF
  11. Tyler Robertson, LHP
  12. Erik Lis, OF/1B
  13. Joe Benson, OF
  14. Alex Burnett, RHP
  15. David Winfree, 3B
  16. Rob Delaney, RHP
  17. Oswaldo Sosa, RHP
  18. Brock Peterson, 1B/DH
  19. Kyle Waldrop, RHP
  20. Ryan Mullins, LHP
  21. Brandon Roberts, OF
  22. Ozzie Lewis, OF
  23. Denard Span, OF
  24. D.J. Romero, 3B
  25. Garrett Guzman, OF
  26. Yohan Pino, RHP
  27. Dustin Martin, OF
  28. Trent Oeltjen, OF
  29. Danny Rams, C/DH
  30. Angel Morales, OF
  31. Rene Tosoni, OF
  32. Jose Morales, C
  33. Cole DeVries, RHP
  34. Juan Portes, IF/OF
  35. Brian Dinkelman, 2B
  36. Rene Leveret, 1B
  37. Matt Tolbert, INF
  38. David Bromberg, RHP
  39. Matt Moses, 3B
  40. Michael McCardell, RHP
  41. Wilson Ramos, C
  42. Paul Kelly, SS
  43. Danny Santiesteban, OF
  44. Eli Tintor, OF
  45. Jose Mijares, LHP
  46. Whit Robbins, 1B/3B
  47. Matthew Fox, RHP
  48. Johnny Woodard, 1B
  49. Henry Reyes, LHP
  50. Drew Thompson, INF
Short Explanation: I put a lot of emphasis in the age of the player which is why a guy like Julio DePaula or Armando Gabino didn't make the list, even though they are more then likely a top 50 prospect. I think that the top ten is fairly close, with Valencia being the only question mark. But after that, it's pretty hard to sort out the players. Garrett Guzman could also be moved up on most list's, but at 25 or so next year, I gave him a lower ranking. Any other question's just ask.

Here are other guys I considered (In no particular order): Anthony Slama, Juan Richardson, Andrew Schmiesing Matt Macri, Danny Rondon, Daniel Berlind, Bradley Tippett, Zach Ward, Henry Sanches, Armando Gabino, Greg Yersich, Spencer Steedley, Estarlin De Los Santos, Garrett Olson, Julio DePaula, Felix Molina, Luke Hughes, Liam Hendricks.

Obviously, it’s pretty hard to sort out the guys after the top 5-10 or so. We don’t really have many “Top Prospects” but we have a good group of “2nd tier” prospects which made this a very tough list to make. Anyone could make a case for a guy like Rene Leveret to be a top 20 pick, but because of the talent we have he’s down in the mid-30’s.

I wasn't going to make a top-50 list, but I was interested in what some of your opinions are on some of our young talent. Sorry for no explanations, if you would like to know why I put someone too high/low just ask me.

Twins swept

Can't say I am surprised by the way the Twins played against the Tigers young pitchers over the weekend. We've had some serious funks this season against some "no-namers" who have pitched against us as if they were Cy Young himself.

Twins/Rangers Game 1:

Kevin Slowey (3-0, 5.44) will take the mound for the Twins in game 1. He will be facing Edison Valquez (2-1, 4.24) of the Rangers.

Snappers lose game 5, 11-5.
The Beloit Snappers battled from a 2 game to zero deficit to lose the 5th game of the Midwest League Championship. Alex Burnett started and gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in 3 innings of work. Danny Leatherman came on and gave up 3 unearned runs to receive the loss. Julio Lugo gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in the 5th inning. In that inning, the Snappers commited 5 errors as a team. Danny Vais, Anthony Slama and Jesus Carneveles combined for 4.1 innings of relief, 1 unearned run and 6 strikeouts. Joe Benson went 1-5 with a triple. DJ Romero went 1-4 with an RBI. Greg Yersich went 1-4 with a 3-run triple. Danny Santiesteban went 2-4 with an RBI.

The West Michigan White Caps have now won the Midwest League Championship for two consecutive years.

September 14, 2007

Ryan Steps Down

Today, the Twins scheduled a 2:00 pm press conference to announce a "major announcement" of Terry Ryan stepping down as the Twins General Manager to become the Twins Senior Advisor to the GM. He will hand the reigns over to long-time Assistant GM Bill Smith.

The news is actually very shocking and quite drastic considering the job that he has done as the Twins GM in his 12 seasons. I'm not sure if it's due to the players taking a few potshots at him, which I'm sure where a factor, even if he doesn't admit it.

I have to say that I'm still pretty speechless from the news. It's not that it's going to be that bad, just that it's very surprising to have happen right now. Terry Ryan has made this organization one of the best in all of the league. He has turned us from being the laughing stock to division winners. And although he was one of the best GM's in the game, he may be better suited as a talent evaluator. Smith will still have him here to help him make decisions and to help guide him (which may be the best part of this whole ordeal), and Ryan gets to go back to scouting players which is what he has always liked doing the most.

I think that this could make us a better organization in the sense that both Ryan and Smith will be doing what they love the most and Ryan will be here to help Smith along the way.

I can't say I thought he'd be our GM for all of eternity, and I suppose that with the new stadium coming up, it's better to do it now then later.

What does this mean for the Twins chances of signing Johan Santana? Torii Hunter? Justin Morneau? Joe Nathan? Michael Cuddyer? That will be the topic of choice as the season dwindles down.

The Twins will open a 3-game series tonight against the Detroit Tigers:
  • Game 1: RHP Matt Garza (3-5, 3.71) vs. LHP Nate Robertson (7-11, 5.04)
  • Game 2: LHP Johan Santana vs. RHP Yorman Bazardo (1-1, 3.00)
  • Game 3: RHP Jair Jurrjens (2-1, 3.15) vs. RHP Scott Baker (9-7, 4.17)

The Beloit Snappers beat the West Michigan Whitecaps, 8-5. (W.M. leads the series, 2-1)

Cole DeVries got roughed up, but the offense already had a 7 run advantage by the 3rd inning, and they never looked back. Danny Vais pitched 2.2 innings to get the win. Danny Leatherman and Anthony Slama pitched scoreless innings of relief as well. Garrett Olson went deep for the 2nd straight game. D.J. Romero, Chris Parmelee, Greg Yersich, Rene Tosoni, Danny Santiesteban, and Olson all had 1 RBI apiece. Steve Singleton drove in 2 runs. Joe Benson went 2-4 with a double and 2 runs scored.

September 13, 2007

Ft. Myers Miracle Season Review

Twins Advanced-A Affiliate
Team Record: 70-70 (30-40 in 1st half, 40-30 in 2nd half)

The Miracle finished in 4th place in the Florida State League West Division. They were 4 games behind the 1st place Clearwater Threshers (who won the FSL Championship on Tuesday). With 4 teams within 4 games of the leader, it was obviously a very tough division. Unfortunately, the Miracle got the low end of the stick after getting off to a slow start.

Although the team struggled on offense for the majority of the first half, they improved immensely in the second half.

One of the reasons was the promotion of Danny Valencia.Valencia, a 19th round draft choice in the 2006 draft started the season in Beloit, and after a quick start, he was promoted to Ft. Myers and picked up where he left off in Beloit. He finished the season hitting .297/.354/.462 with 23 doubles, 17 home runs, and 66 RBI’s in 127 games between Beloit and Ft. Myers. He emerged as one of the top hitters in the Twins MiLB system. He will more than likely start next year in New Britain and may be promoted to Rochester by the end of the season if all goes well.

Another key contributor to the Miracle’s late season offensive surge was the emergence of Erik Lis. Lis had a pretty bad May and June after getting off to a hot start in April. He hit .274/.334/.470 with 34 doubles, 4 triples, 18 home runs and 97 RBI’s in 132 games all for the Miracle. 7 of his home runs came in August which made people remember his potent bat as being a possible contributor to the Twins down the road. He played the majority of the games in Left Field and 1st Base while he also DH’d a bit as well.

Erik Lis

Brian Dinkelman was having a career year until August came around. After hitting .351 with 3 home runs from the leadoff spot in July, he then hit .180 in August to finish the season with a .255 avg.

Dustin Martin was another player who helped the Miracle late in the season. Martin who came over in the Luis Castillo trade hit .294/.366/.437 with 3 home runs and 19 RBI in just 32 games with the Miracle. He finished the season hitting .290/.361/.426 with 30 doubles, 6 triples, 8 home runs and 71 RBI. Many fans were very critical of the Luis Castillo trade, I have to admit that I was too, but Martin may make us all forget about Castillo in just a short time. He will be 23 years old next year and will likely start the season in New Britain where he will be right behind Denard Span and Brandon Roberts as far as top center field prospects are concerned.

Opposed the hitters, the pitching staff were strong from beginning to end. The team had a collective .329 ERA and gave up a league low 59 home runs on (also a league low) 442 earned runs.

Jeff Manship lead the Miracle in the second half of the season after he was promoted from Beloit on June 25th, and continued to progress at Ft. Myers after dominating Midwest League Batters. He was 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA and 77 K’s in 77.2 IP (13 starts) in Beloit and went 8-5 with a 3.15 ERA and 59 K’s in 71.1 IP (13 starts). In his interview with me, he mentioned that he wanted to learn to pitch for more “contact more often rather than trying to strike everyone out.” It looks like he was trying to do that in Ft. Myers and will likely continue to try to do that in AA next season.

The workhorse and ace of the club wasn’t necessarily the most dominate pitcher. It was the Jay Rainville. Yes the same Jay Rainville that missed the entire 2006 season after having surgery to repair a nerve problem in his shoulder. The 21-year-old righty was on the fast track to be with the Twins around the time he was 22-24 but after a derailment, he really impressed many with his fantastic 2007 season. He finished 9-11 with a 3.29 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 142.1 innings (27 games). He will be in New Britain as a 22 year old and everyone can only hope he continues to pitch well.

Oswaldo Sosa and Yohan Pino were both promoted to New Britain on July 19th, and they definitely deserved it. Sosa was 5-5 with a 2.23 ERA and 82 K’s in 105 IP. Pino was baffling hitters with a 4-3 record to go along with a 1.73 ERA and 64 K’s in 67.2 IP. He also pitched a no-hitter on June 30th against the St. Lucie Mets.

Eduardo Morlan and Robert Delaney provided most of the closing for the Miracle. Morlan had 18 saves with a 3.15 ERA and also struck out 92 batters in just 65.2 innings. After his promotion to New Britain, Rob Delaney took the reigns as closer and was every bit as dominate. He had 7 saves to go along with a 1.54 ERA and 27 K’s in 23.1 innings. But Ft. Myers wasn’t the only place that Delaney was dominating as a closer in 2007, he also dominated the Midwest League with Beloit. He picked up a record 28 saves with a 0.77 ERA and 56 K’s in 46.2 innings. He and Morlan are giving the Twins a lot of options as far as the club’s future closer is concerned. Morlan has experience and success as a starter, if it comes down to the two, the Twins may consider moving him back to starter. But either way, both look to have a very bright future in the Twins system.

Team Batting Leaders
  • Average: .288, Dustin Martin
  • SLG %: .470, Erik Lis
  • OBP: .388, Steven Tolleson
  • Hits: 139, Steven Tolleson/Dustin Martin
  • Doubles: 34, Erik Lis
  • Triples: 6, Ed Ovalle
  • Home Runs: 18, Erik Lis
  • Runs Batted In: 97, Erik Lis
  • Stolen Bases: 27, Steven Tolleson

Team Pitching Stats

  • Wins: 15, Jeff Manship
  • Loses: 17, Zach Ward
  • ERA: 2.30, Jeff Manship
  • Innings Pitched: 149.0, Jeff Manship
  • Strikeouts: 136, Jeff Manship
  • WHIP: 0.95, Yohan Pino
  • Holds: 5, Kyle Aselton/Armando Gabino/Danny Powers
  • Saves: 18, Eddie Morlan

September 12, 2007

Wednesday's News/Notes

  • The Twins beat the Royals, 6-3. Scott Baker gave up 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings and allowed the 3 runs. Juan Rincon put two runners on before Pat Neshek came on in the 7th. After walking a batter to load the bases, Neshek got a much-needed double play to end the inning. Matt Guerrier pitched a scoreless inning of relief before Joe Nathan came on to pick up save #32. Jason Bartlett, Joe Mauer and Torii Hunter all went 2-4 with an RBI. Mauer's two hits were doubles. Hunter's RBI put him at 100 on the season. Justin Morneau also drove in a run and also hit a double. Jason Kubel reached base 3 times (including 2 walks) while batting in the #2 spot for the 3rd straight game. He really looks comfortable there and with teams unwilling to want to face Joe Mauer, he should get some good, fat pitches to hit. Carlos Silva will face Gil Meche at 1:10 CT this afternoon. The game will be televised on FSN. Although there was talk that Garrett Jones will play 1st Base again while Justin Morneau DH's in today's game, don't be surprised to see Joe Mauer DH while Matt LeCroy or Chris Heintz catch.
  • As expected, Glen Perkins was activated from the DL prior to the game.
  • What about the Royals? I am really going to be scared when both Billy Butler and Alex Gordon are at their peeks. Gordon is just 23 years old and Butler is only 21. Not to mention Zach Greinke who had "personal issues"in a disappointing '06 may be back on track and they have some great talent in the minor leagues. (As a baseball fan) I really am looking forward to watching these guys develope. It reminds me a bit of the '07 Milwaukee Brewers team. Only I don't think the Royals will compete for another 2-3 years (or until they get a couple more arms in their rotation. (As a Twins fan) I am worried.
  • The Beloit Snappers lost yesterday to the West Michigan White Caps, 4-3 in game one of the Midwest League Championship,. Alex Burnett pitched 8 complete innings for the Snappers, but gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in the loss. All four runs were scored off of home runs. Garrett Olson and Chris Cates drove in run each. Greg Yersich went 2-4 with 2 runs scored. Chris Parmelee and Danny Santiesteban both went 1-4 with a double. Matt Betsill also went had 2 hits. Southpaw Tyler Robertson is scheduled to start game 2 of the series. Robertson picked up 11 strikeouts over 5 2/3 shutout innings in the semi-finals against the Quad Cities Swing.
  • Despite the team's lackluster season, the Chicago White Sox have extended Ozzie Guillen's contract through the 2012 season. As many things as Ozzie Guillen has said/done in his career that we all may not agree with, I have to say I appreciate his views. Mainly because he has praised the Twins organization as being "top notch" in the past and shows a great deal of respect towards to Twins franchise.
  • Some encouraging news, Kevin Everett has shown movement in his arms and legs. The latest is encouraging that the 25-year-old will someday walk again. To be honest, I can see a feel good story coming in 3-4 years for this guy. I don't want to be overly optimistic and I really think that this may be asking for too much, but I have a gut feeling that he will play football again.
  • Yesterday, the story broke that the Patriots were caught video-taping the Jets defensive signals from the sideline. What does this mean? Well I have to say that my thoughts on the Patriots "legacy" is a bit tarnished in that I believe that an asterisk should be put by their Super Bowl "victories." Many think that Barry Bonds should have that, shouldn't they then? Again, it is cheating after all. I wouldn't think a ton about this if it were the first time I heard of them doing this, but unfortunately, it's not. And I agree that the Patriots should be penalized multiple draft picks and the team should also be fined a very hefty amount.
  • Things really can't get much worse for the Michigan Wolverines. After falling to 0-2 on the season, the team found out they may be without starting QB Chad Henne for 2-3 weeks with an injured left knee. I thought that Michigan was going to be a good team this year, despite having their defense diminished by the draft. Reason why I was optimistic about the Wolverines? Well, 3 top seniors, Henne, Jake Long (OT), and Mike Hart (RB) all elected to return for their senior seasons. Those three along with Junior sensation Mario Manningham (WR) gave me optimism for a phenomenal offensive season. They will play the 0-2 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame on Saturday. Should be an interesting season for the Wolverines and Lloyd Carr who I personally don't see finishing the season as Michigan's head coach.

September 11, 2007

Tuesday's News/Notes

Before I post, I want to offer my thoughts and prayers to the troops and armed forces that are continuing to fight the "War on Terror" even after the 6th year anniversary of 9/11. Thank you and god bless.

That day is a day I will forever remember. I was sitting in my 8th grade government class when my 7th grade geography teacher came running to our door and told us the news. He was drenched in sweat after running room-to-room to tell each class. I went home and remembered seeing the events and seeing the people on the streets running from the smoke and debris that fell from the two towers. I remembered laying in bed that night asking the question "Why?" over, and over, and over again. And still to this day, I don't have an answer.

I am really thankful to all of those men and women who have served this country in order to maintain our freedom. God bless all of you and I hope that one day we can live in peace so that my own children don't have to see what we have seen.


  • The Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 last night. Boof Bonser went the first 5 innings and gave up just 2 runs before being taken out in place of Nick Blackburn who pitched 2+ innings of shutout relief before Joe Nathan later came out to pick up his 31st save of the season. Jason Kubel continued to hit well from the #2 spot in the order. He pitched in with 2 doubles and 2 RBI's. Justin Morneau also drove in 2 runs on a double and a single.
  • The Twins will send Scott Baker to the mound tonight to face Kyle Davies.
  • According to rumors, Johan Santana wants a 6-year contract extension with the Twins.
  • Make sure to check out Seth Speaks to see how I (and many others) did on the "NFL Expert" Picks. It's awsome to have guys like Kevin Slowey, Kyle Waldrop, Jeff Manship and Joe Benson apart of the picks.
  • Also, check out to see his "Who is..." feature on Nick Blackburn.
  • The Beloit Snappers will play the West Michigan White Cap's in the Midwest League Championship. The teams split their season series 4-4. Alex Burnett will likely take the mound in game 1 of the series. Burnett pitched 5 scoreless innings in game one of the semi finals to lead the Snappers to a game 1 victory. For a fantastic preview of the series click here.
  • Is Johan Santana a Cy Young candidate? As much as you may think he's not, he is. And his chances just got a little better with Erik Bedard being placed on the disabled list with an Oblique strain. I know he's a dark horse candidate to win his 2nd Cy Young in a row and his 3rd in the last 4 years, but if he can continue to pitch well (and win) the rest of his games, I think he has a legitimate chance of winning it. Unfortunately, the voters put a lot of emphasis on victories which is more so a team effort and not an individual effort. It's the only reason Bartolo Colon beat Santana in '05 and it'll likely be the only reason why C.C. Sabathia or Josh Beckett beat Santana in '07. It's truly unfortunate, but it's reality.
  • Away from MLB and onto the NFL. Sad news for Bills Fans/players. Kevin Everett sustained a 'catastrophic ' and 'life threatening' injury on Sunday. The 25-year-old Tight End was playing special teams and collapsed after tackling Domenik Hixon on the 2nd half kickoff. Although 'full recovery' is possible, it's likely he will be paralyzed and unable to walk again. Truly a sad story. God bless him and his family.
  • Over the weekend, UFC 75 was on and to my pleasure, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson continued to impress MMA viewers with a victory over Dan Henderson. A lot of people were surprised with Jackson's victory, but I didn't have a doubt in my mind that he would win. Although I'm a big Matt Hughes and Chuck Liddell fan, Rampage Jackson has been a guy I've liked ever since I saw this slam in Pride fighting.

September 10, 2007


"Top o' the mornin' to ya!"

Well, I'll try to get some things going this week. I recently started school again and things have been pretty crazy with studying and working. Mainly, I've just been extremely tired, so I've been trying to catch up on some sleep as much as possible.

  • The Twins lost to the Chicago White Sox 2 games to 1, despite scoring 22 runs in the 3 games. On Friday, the Twins couldn't hold off a 10-4 lead in the 9th and they later lost the game in the 13th inning. Julio DePaula gave up 5 runs without recording an out. On Saturday, the Twins lost 7-8 while Matt Garza gave up 5 runs (3 earned) in just 4 innings of work. Carmen CaliBrian Buscher hit his 2nd home run and Torii Hunter hit his 28th home run. And finally yesterday, Johan SantanaJason Kubel went 2-4 with 4 RBI's and his 11th home run.later gave up 2 runs without recording an out and received the loss. recorded 10 strikeouts in route to his 15th win of the season. He gave up just 1 run over 7 innings.
  • Jose Morales was injured in his first game of the season on Saturday. He will now miss the rest of the season after the Twins placed him on the 60-day DL to make room for former Twin, Matt LeCroy. Morlaes went 3-3 with a double before leaving with an ankle sprain.
  • Glen Perkins looks like he will be activated on Tuesday.
  • Joe Mauer returned to the lineup on Sunday as the starting catcher and went 1-3. He also walked and later scored off of Justin Morneau's triple.
  • In case you haven't heard, quite possibly the best "feel-good-story" of the season my be a fraud. Rick Ankiel has now been linked to receiving HGH a few years ago. Sure, he's likely not taking it now, but that won't matter to those who look at the situation and those who are disgusted with the whole "steroid era."
  • Detroit's Curtis Granderson found his way into the record books on Sunday. He's now the first player to record 20 homer's, 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 stolen bases and steal 20 bases since Willie Mays in 1957. Frank Schulte did it first back in 1911. This is a great success and I really enjoy watching him play. He and Cameron Maybin will cause havoc for the Twins for a long time.
  • The Beloit Snappers have advanced to the Midwest League Championships after sweeping the Clinton Lumberjacks on Sunday. Cole Devries pitched a complete game on Saturday. He gave up just 1 run (a home run) while struck out 5 while the team won 4-1. On Sunday, Matt Fox and Jose Lugo went the first 7.2 innings before Aaron Craig came on to finish the 8th. In the bottom of the 8th, Rene Tosoni and Chris Parmelee drove in 2 runs to put the team ahead 2-0 in the 9th. Anthony Slama came out and struck out 2 batters while recording the save to give the Snappers the victory and it has allowed them to advance to the championship.
I hope to have the Miracle and Red Wings season recaps up at some point this week. I didn't get a chance to do them over the weekend.

September 7, 2007

Jose Morales called up

The Twins have purchased the contract of catcher Jose Morales from the Rochester Red Wings. He should be in Chicago in time for Friday's series opener against the White Sox.

Morales was drafted as a middle-infielder and has also played a handful of games at 3rd base. He has 11 career home runs in almost 1,500 MiLB AB's. He finished 2nd in the batting title to Indians outfielder Ben Francisco. Morales hit .311/.366/.399 with 2 HR's and 37 RBI's. He also had 25 doubles in his 376 AB's.The Twins are currently without catchers Joe Mauer and Mike Redmond. Mauer hopes to return at some point in the next few days, but he may be limited to DH for a little while. And Redmond will likely be out until sometime next week with a sore middle finger in his left hand. The Twins will likely have Chris Heintz start on Friday with Carlos Silva on the mound. But with a day game on Saturday, Morales may get the start with former Red Wing Matt Garza scheduled to start.

What does this mean for the future? Morales could be a viable #2 catcher in his career, but his potential is limited and will likely never be viewed as a starter.

I should have the Ft. Myers Miracle season recap and the Rochester Red Wings season recap up at some point this weekend or on Monday/Tuesday. Have a great day/weekend!

September 5, 2007

New Britain Rock Cats Season Recap

New Britain Rock Cats

Twins Double-A Affiliate
Team Record: 69-72

The Rock Cats didn't exactly have the season they envisioned. The team failed to reach .500 and finished 13.5 games back behind the Eastern Division leading Trenton Thunder.

Although the team was unsuccessful, there were a few players who really stepped up their games this season. Trevor Plouffe was drafted in the 1st round of the 2004 draft by the Twins. After struggling in both 2005 and 2006, Plouffe came on strong in '07 and hit .274/.326/.410 with 37 doubles, 9 home runs and 50 RBI in 497 AB's. Although Plouffe is only 21, many thought that this could be a make or break year for him with a few other players who could surpass him in the system (Paul Kelly and Drew Thompson, both of who were injured).

Quite possibly the best bat on the team, Garrett Guzman stepped up with another good season at the plate. The 24-year-old outfielder finished the season hitting .312/.359/.453 with 23 doubles, 14 HR's and 88 RBI's. He figures to be in Rochester next season, but only if the Twins add him to their 40-man roster.

Brandon Roberts improved immensely after hitting .148 in April. The speedy outfielder hit .313, .303, .359 and .327 between May and August. He finished the season hitting .293/.355/.374. He stole just 14 bases after stealing 50 in '06. He should also be expected in Rochester next season.

Brock Peterson broke onto the scene in '06 hitting 21 home runs while having an average of .291 with a high slugging percentage. He was hoping to progress in '07, and after a shaky start, he managed to put together a good season. He hit 15 home runs with 64 RBI's while working his average up to .285. Peterson is 23 years old and the Twins hope to have him as their future designated hitter in 2009 or 2010.

Brock Peterson

Anther batter who the Twins have high-hopes for is David Winfree. Winfree started out strong and was in a major funk in June and July before hitting .330/.354/.495 with 4 of his 12 home runs and 14 of his 51 RBI's in August. Winfree may start the season in Rochester, but will have to earn his spot on the team in Spring Training. But his strong finish is a reason for optimism.

The pitchers were without star prospect Anthony Swarzak for a big chunk of the season. Swarzak tested positive for a "drug of abuse" (not steroids) in April and when he returned, he was phenomenal. Swarzak went 5-4 with a 3.23 ERA. He also collected 76 strikeouts in his 86+ innings of work. He went 5-2 with a 2.69 ERA and 69 strikeouts after he returned.

Ryan Mullins also had success in his 14 games with the Cats. He was promoted from Ft. Myers in May and was later back-and-forth between Rochester and New Britain. He went 4-3 with a 3.99 ERA and 68 K's in 14 starts with the Rock Cats.

Tim Lahey became one of the more reliable relievers for the Rock Cats. The 6'5'' Righty pitched in 50 games. He went 8-4 with a 3.45 with 13 saves. He was promoted to Rochester in late-August in hope to help them in their fight for the playoffs.

Next season, the Rock Cats should be pitcher-heavy with a couple more highly regarded pitching prospects set to join the rotation and bullpen. Also, the team will be stacked with a couple highly-regarded position players who hope to score some runs in hopes to make a run for an Eastern League Championship.

Team Batting Leaders
  • Average: .312, Garrett Guzman
  • SLG%: .476, Brock Peterson
  • OBP: .382, Brock Peterson
  • Hits: 148, Garrett Guzman
  • Doubles: 37, Trevor Plouffe
  • Triples: 5, David Winfree
  • Home Runs: 15, Brock Peterson
  • Runs Batted In: 88, Garrett Guzman
  • Stolen Bases: 14, Brandon Roberts

Team Pitching Stats
  • Wins: 8, Tim Lahey/Tristan Crawford
  • Loses: 9, Jesse Floyd
  • ERA: 3.23, Anthony Swarzak (He doesn't qualify, but I couldn't put Floyd's 5.05 on here)
  • Innings Pitched: 130, Jesse Floyd
  • Strikeouts: 100, Jesse Floyd
  • WHIP: 1.07, Brian Duensing (Again, he doesn't qualify, but Floyd's was 1.46)
  • Holds: 5, Jay Sawatski
  • Saves: 13, Tim Lahey

September 4, 2007

Elizabethton Twins Season Recap

Elizabethton Twins
Twins Rookie-Level Affiliate
Team Record: 50-18
Appalachian League Champions

The Elizabethton Twins ended their season the way they envisioned it, with a championship. The Twins beat the Danville Braves in 2 games (in the best of 3) to win the Appalachian League Championship for the 2nd time in the last 3 years.

The Twins were stacked with fantastic talent this season. Ozzie Lewis was named the Appalachian Player of the Year, and rightfully so. The 21-year-old rookie outfielder out of Fresno State finished the season hitting .323/.375/.523 with 18 doubles, 9 home runs, and 50 RBI’s. He will be with the Beloit Snappers next season in his first full professional season. If he can continue his offensive surge at the next level, he will move up the prospect rankings to be one of the Twins best sluggers.

Rene Leveret was a beast in June for the Twins. He hit .375 with 3 home runs and 18 RBI’s in just 10 games. He cooled off in July but regained his form in August and finished the season hitting .308/.399/.463 with 8 HR and 65 RBI’s. He also compiled a good BB/K ratio of 34/36.

Rene Leveret

Deibinson (D.J.) Romero finished 2nd to Ozzie Lewis for the Appy League P.O.Y., he too was deserving of the award. The 20-year-old third baseman hit .316/.406/.506 with 16 doubles, 9 HR, and 52 RBI’s. He was recently promoted to Beloit to help the Snappers in their quest to win the Midwest League Championship.

Rene Tosoni and Estarlin De Los Santos were also great contributors to the Twins. Tosonoi sported a .301 average with 3 homers and 31 RBI’s while De Los Santos stole a team high 27 bases. Tosoni has now joined Romero in Beloit.

Not only did the Twins have great offensive players, they also had great pitching which kept them in the game.

Most noticeably, David Bromberg emerged as the ace of the staff. The 19-year-old rookie finished the season 9-0 with a 2.78 ERA and 81 K’s. He was named Appalachian Pitcher of the Year. The only downside to Bromberg was his walks allowed. In 58.1 innings, he gave up 32 walks. This southpaw has a bright future ahead of him and next season should join plenty of his teammates in Beloit.

Splitting time between the GCL and the Appalachian League, Michael McCardell domintated for both teams in '07. The Twins 6th-round draft pick out of Krutztown University finished the season 7-1 with a 2.14 ERA and 93 K’s in just 63 innings pitched. He went 5-1 with a 2.00 ERA and 70 K’s with the Elizabethton Twins.

Bradley Tippett was a key pitcher to the Twins success. The Australian reliever went 7-1 with an 0.93 ERA and 51 K’s. What’s even more impressive is that in his 38.2 innings pitched, he only gave up 4 walks. That’s a 12/1 K/BB ratio. That’s unbelievable from a 19-year-old. He will likely continue to pitch in relief, but he has shown that he can go 4-5 innings per game which makes him a candidate to be a starter down the road.

Team Batting Leaders

  • Average: .323, Ozzie Lewis
  • SLG %: .523, Ozzie Lewis
  • OBP: .406, Deibinson Romero
  • Hits: 78, Deibinson Romero
  • Doubles: 18, Ozzie Lewis
  • Triples: 6, Estarlin De Los Santos
  • Home Runs: 9, Ozzie Lewis/Deibinson Romero
  • Runs Batted In: 65, Rene Leveret
  • Stolen Bases: 27, Estarlin De Los Santos
Team Pitching Leaders
  • Wins: 9, David Bromberg
  • Loses: 3, Spencer Steedley
  • ERA: 2.78, David Bromberg
  • Innings Pitched: Michael Allen
  • Strikeouts: 81, David Bromberg
  • WHIP: 1.25, Michael Allen
  • Holds: 6, Daniel Latham
  • Saves: 11, Blair Erickson