Friday, May 2, 2008
April Minor League Report
With May upon us, it is time to name the SethSpeaks Minor League Hitter and Pitcher of the month and recognize several Twins minor leaguers who deserve is.
So please, feel free to leave some comments or send me an e-mail with any thoughts that you may have. Let's get started
#5 - Brian Buscher - Infielder - Rochester Red Wings
Buscher came to the Twins as a minor league Rule V pick after the 2006 season. He started last year at AA New Britain and moved up to Rochester. He continued to rake, so the Twins called him up. He was named the organization's minor league player of the year last year. He is showing thus far in 2008 that 2007 was no fluke. In fact, he may be higher up this list had he stayed with the Red Wings. He actually got to spend a little more than a week with the Twins. But at Rochester, he was 20-58 (.345/.397/.586) with two doubles, four homers and 11 RBI in 15 games. He will likely be a guy called up as a bat off the bench for the Twins throughout the season. His only shot at consistent time with the Twins would be due to an injury to Mike Lamb.
#4 - Steve Singleton - 2B - Beloit Snappers
Singleton was the Twins 11th round pick in 2006 out of the University of San Diego. Last year, hew as hurt coming into the season, missed some time and never was really at 100% He is at 100% this year and he is playing well for the Snappers. In 23 April games, he went 29-83 (.349/.393/.470) with two doubles, a triple, two homers and 12 RBI. I anticipate Singleton moving up to Ft. Myers at the All Star time, or whenever Brian Dinkelman jumps up to AA New Britain.
#3 - Dustin Martin - Outfielder - New Britain Rockcats
Martin came to the Twins last July with Drew Butera from the Mets in exchange for Luis Castillo. He got off to a terrific start with the Rockcats and has remained solid until a late-month hamstring injury. For the month, he went 25-72 (.347/.398/.500) with six doubles, one triple, one homer and 12 RBI. He was also 6-6 in stolen bases.
#2 - Brian Dinkelman - 2B - Ft. Myers Miracle
Brian Dinkelman was the Twins 8th round pick in 2006 out of a small NAIA school, McKendree College, in Illinois. He definitely can hit. He spent the second half of last year with the Miracle and after a fast start, he really plummeted down the stretch. So, he begins this season back with the Miracle. In 25 April games, he went 29-91 (.319/.410/.473 with nine doubles, a triple, a homer and nine RBI. He also walked 12 times while striking out just ten times. As mentioned above, I expect Dinkelman to move up to New Britain around midseason.
The SethSpeaks April Player of the Month is... (drum roll please)
# 1 - Luke Hughes - 3B/2B/CF - New Britain Rockcats
I can't imagine anyone was thinking there could be another possible choice for this month. Hughes was an All-Star at New Britain last year, and he is back there to start this year. He spent the offseason helping Team Australia in the World Cup. He started well and has not stopped hitting all month. In 24 April Games, he has got 35-99. He has hit .354/.430/.677. He has walked 14 times and struck out 18 times. He also has hit six doubles, one triple and hit eight home runs in the month. He drove in 18 runs as the team's leadoff hitter. So, he plays solid defense, hits for average, gets on base and hits for power... sounds like a pretty good prospect to me. He's still just 23 years old.
HONORABLE MENTION: Danny Valencia, Ft. Myers Miracle (.286/.377/.451, 26-91, 6-2B, 3-HR, 19-RBI, 14 BB, 17 K) - Rene Tosoni, Ft. Myers Miracle (.316/.402/.380, 25-79, 3-2B, 1-3B, 8-RBI, 8 BB, 23 K) - Brock Peterson, New Britain Rockcats (.286/.345/.459, 28-98, 8-2B, 3-HR, 20 RBI, 8 BB, 23 K) - Jason Pridie, Rochester Red Wings (.311/.354/.447, 32-103, 3-2B, 4-3B, 1-HR, 13 RBI, 7 BB, 31K).
#5 - Spencer Steedley - Reliever - Beloit Snappers
The Twins 27th round pick in 2007 out of UNC-Charlotte had an excellent first month of his first pro season. In eight games pitched out of the bullpen, Steedley worked 17.2 innings. He went 1-1 with a 2.04 ERA. He gave up 11 hits, walked seven and struck out 22 hitters. He will likely spend the whole 2008 season in Beloit.
#4 - Robert Delaney - Reliever - Ft. Myers Miracle
The Twins may have found something special in St. John's grad, Delaney. They signed him after he went undrafted in 2005 and he has been a regular in the monthly top pitchers lists. In April, the Miracle closer pitched in nine games. He was 0-2 but had a 0.66 ERA and six saves. In 13.2 innings, he gave up just ten hits. More impressive was his two walks and 15 strikeouts. That equates to a WHIP of 0.88. Combining with Anthony Slama, they mak a great duo at the end of ball games, but assuming he keeps it up, expect him to be promoted to New Britain.
#3 - Yohan Pino - Starter - New Britain Rockcats
Pino is not a guy who impresses scouts with his velocity. It has been reported that he probably doesn't even hit 88 mph on the radar gun. But all he does, and all he has done in all of his years with the Twins organization is get people out. Despite an offseason broken ankle, Pino was able to start the season with an impressive first month. He started the season with two bullpen outings, and then he moved into the rotation where he has made four starts. All together, he is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA. In 25 innings, he has give up 19 hits and just four walks, a 0.92 WHIP. Despite his lack of velocity, he still struck out an adequate 18 batters. Pino will likely spend the majority of 2008 with the Rockcats but could see a stint in Rochester toward season's end. He is still just 24 years old.
#2 - Danny Vais - Reliever - Ft. Myers Miracle
Vais has been around the Twins organization for a long time. Their 17th pick in 2003 out of Seward County Community College, Vais signed as a draft and follow. He has slowly worked his way up the system with a year with the GCL Twins, a year with the E-Twins and the last two years have been spent in Beloit. He has pitched in nine games out of the Miracle bullpen. He is an impressive 4-0 with some quality vulturisms! However, in 15 innings, he has given up just six hits and four walks for a very strong 0.67 WHIP. He has also struck out 15 hitters and his ERA is down at 1.20. He'll likely spend the full season with Ft. Myers, although if he keeps this up, he could move up.
The SethSpeaks April Pitcher of the Month is... (drum roll please)
# 1 - Anthony Swarzak - Starter - New Britain Rockcats
Swarzak was the Twins 2nd round pick in 2004 out of high school and has been very impressive since. Yes, he had his 50 game "learning period" but he has come back even stronger after that. In five April starts, he is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA. In 26 innings, he has give up 22 hits. He has a great four walks to 29 strikeout ratio going as well. His WHIP is at 1.00. I personally think that, if needed, Swarzak could come up to the Twins right now, but with the depth of starters at Rochester and the fact that he is still just 22 years old, there is no rush. That said, I do anticipate him being promoted to Rochester, even before the All-Star break.
HONORABLE MENTION - Brian Duensing, Rochester Red Wings (2-3, 2.75 ERA, 6 GS, 36.0 IP, 6 BB, 20 K, 1.03 WHIP) - Bobby Korecky, Rochester Red Wings (2-1, 5 Saves, 0.68 ERA, 10 G, 13.1 IP, 4 BB, 10 K, 1.05 WHIP) - Ryan Mullins, New Britain Rockcats (1-2, 2.33 ERA, 5 GS, 27.0 IP, 9 BB, 14 K, 1.41 WHIP) - Armando Gabino, New Britain Rockcats (1-1, 1.29 ERA, 9 G, 14.0 IP, 1 BB, 14 K, 1.07 WHIP) - Tyler Robertson, Ft. Myers Miracle (0-1, 2.84 ERA, 5 GS, 25.1 IP, 12 BB, 27 K, 1.54 WHIP) - Jeff Manship, Ft. Myers Miracle (3-0, 3.38 ERA, 5 GS, 26.2 IP, 10 BB, 23 K, 1.31 WHIP) - Mike McCardell, Beloit Snappers (0-1, 2.53 ERA, 4 GS, 21.1 IP, 6 BB, 24 K, 1.31 WHIP)- Matt Williams, Beloit Snappers (1-0, 1.40 ERA, 9 G, 19.1 IP, 7 BB, 21 K, 1.09 WHIP)
So there you have it. The April SethSpeaks hitter and pitcher of the month along with some other very worthy candidates.
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