Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Oh, What a Night!
Well, last night was sure an interesting night, to be sure. It started, of course, with the announcement that the Twins and Jim Thome has reached an agreement on a contract for the 2010 season. (Seth Thoughts Here) Again, low risk, potentially high reward. Of course, ideally Jason Kubel gets 80% of the DH at bats, and Delmon Young gets 80% of the left field at bats and Jim Thome gets maybe 10-12% of the DH at bats and Kubel can spell Young against some pitchers. I’m happy about the signing. I do still believe they need to attempt to address second base, but I don’t think they will. And if they don’t address second base, then I hope they’re basically done with the exception of bringing in some competition for Jason Pridie. But that can be someone on a minor league contract.
The delay in mentioning the subsequent 40 man roster move is intriguing to me. Call it a gut feeling (and I have a big gut, so I have to listen to it!), but I think something is brewing.
And there, there was last night’s two-hour SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast. It was really a lot of fun. It started with John Sickels of Minor League Ball, discussing The Baseball Prospect Book 2010. You can order his book now. It contains 1,170 prospect profiles, including 41 on Twins prospects. We also discussed several Twins prospects including his takes on Wilson Ramos, Aaron Hicks, Ben Revere, Angel Morales and more. Then Pat Neshek called in from Southwest Florida. We talked about the Twins Caravan, Twins Fest experiences, how his arm is doing, what he’s doing to get ready for spring training and the season ahead, and much more. Next up was Joe Benson, the Twins talented outfield prospect who hit .285 and got on-base over 41% of the time in Ft. Myers this year. He’s already down in Florida working out in preparation for the season. I gave him trouble about being a Bears fan, and he got me back good. Then Carlos Gutierrez called in. The righty and I talked about how he and his dad and brother would go to most University of Miami baseball games because they lived so close to the stadium. He talked about getting the opportunity to pitch for the Hurricanes, to pitch in the College World Series, to pitch in the WBC. He talked about his early struggles after his promotion to Double A, the type of pitcher he is and much more. Kyle Gibson, the Twins top pick in 2009, called in. We talked about what he’s been doing since instructional league to get ready for the upcoming season, his engagement, the economics of MLB’s draft, and again, much more. Now, we were hoping that Denard Span and Jeff Manship would be able to call in as well. They are both part of the Twins Winter Caravan this week, so they were in Sioux Falls. I got an e-mail from them about 10:15 apologizing and explaining that over 1,200 fans showed up in Sioux Falls and they had just finished signing. So, hopefully we’ll be able to get them on a future show.
The thing about each of the guests, besides that I really appreciate them taking the time to talk to me and the Twins fans who were able to listen, is that they will all be in attendance at Twins Fest all weekend. If you get the opportunity to go to the event, I’d definitely encourage or recommend it. If you do, and you happen to get the autographs of any of the above, be sure to thank them for coming on. It sounds like there will be a lot of bloggers there. I know I will be there all three days, so if anyone wants to, say hi!
A quick reminder – if you haven’t already, be sure to pre-order your copy (or copies) of the SethSpeaks.net Minnesota Twins 2010 Prospect Handbook this week. It will be $12.95 through this weekend before moving to its normal $13.95 price. Here’s more information:
Last year’s book had 81 pages. The 2010 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook has 123 pages. There are stories on:
· Foreword by Kelly Thesier
· Just over 150 Twins minor league profiles
o With more in-depth statistics and splits
o Scouting reports from several people in, around and outside the Twins organization
· Top 5 Prospects from the Twins DSL Team
· Twins as Players in the International Markets
· Twins in the AFL
· Interview with Jeff Manship: Big Leaguer
· Danny Valencia: On the Cusp
· 2009 Draft and Derek McCallum Q&A
· SethSpeaks Top 30 Twins Prospect lists, 2006-2010
· Top 10 Twins prospect lists from several minor league experts and some of your favorite Twins bloggers.