Thursday, August 9, 2007
Twins and their Tools
When I was young, I liked to go to West Acres Mall in Fargo when we would go there. I used to want to go to B. Dalton. Why, you might ask? That was the only place I could find Baseball America magazines. I thought it was a great magazine because of how much baseball was discussed besides just the big leagues. When I got out of college and actually got a job, I decided to subscribe and I'm glad I did. For a guy who is such a big fan of the minor leagues, it is perfect. I like following some of the high school and college reports, but also they do a great job with the draft. The best time of the year is during the offseason when they are doing the organization's top ten prospects lists. During the season, the best issue they put out is the Best Tools issue. In the issue, they talk to scouts and others 'in the game' to find out who the "best power hitter", "best bunter", "fastest baserunner", "best pitcher", "best slider" and "best defensive shortstop" among many other categories in each league are. Now, it's not just the American League and National League, but it is also those tools for Triple A down to A ball.
Today, I want to make you aware of which Twins showed up in the Best Tools. I would encourage you to go pick up a copy if you have a chance. There is also a nice article on Nick Blackburn and mention of others such as Garrett Jones and Deibinson Romero.
Here are the Twins and their minor leaguers that show up on the lists. The Major League lists show top 3. The minor league lists just show the #1.
Best Power Hitter - AL - Justin Morneau #2 (behind Alex Rodriguez)
Best Bunter - AL - Luis Castillo #3 (behind Ichiro and Kenny Lofton)
Best Pitcher - AL - Johan Santana #1 (ahead of Danny Haren, Josh Beckett)
Best Changeup - AL - Johan Santana #1 (ahead of James Shields, Daisuke Matsuzaka)
Best Control - AL - Johan Santana #2 (behind Paul Byrd)
Best Defensive Catcher - AL - Joe Mauer #2 (behind Ivan Rodriguez)
Best Defensive 2B - AL - Luis Castillo #1 (ahead of Placido Polanco)
Best Outfielder - AL - Torii Hunter #2 (behind Ichiro)
Best Manager - AL - Ron Gardenhire #3 (behind Jim Leyland, Mike Scioscia)
Best Pitching Prospect - International League AAA - Kevin Slowey
Best Control - International League AAA - Kevin Slowey
Best Defensive 2B - International League AAA - Matt Tolbert
Best Breaking Ball - Beloit Lo-A - Jeff Manship
Best Control - Beloit Lo-A - Jeff Manship
Best Reliever - Beloit Lo-A - Robert Delaney
The issue also gave their thoughts on the Top 10 prospects in baseball, by position. Only two Twins showed up. Alexi Casilla was shown as the #5 second base prospect. Oswaldo Sosa was named the #4 Relief Pitcher prospect. I'm not saying he isn't good. It is just a curious choice since Sosa has not pitched in relief in 2007.
Following Baseball America's lead, I thought that I would try my hand at this Best Tools thing. I will use the categories listed and come up with my choices for #1, #2 and #3. Now, some of the categories, I feel that I have a pretty good feel for. Some of the categories, such as Best Hit-and-Run Artist, I am going to ask for the help of the readers in the Twins minor league markets. If you live in Rochester, New Britain, Ft. Myers, Beloit or Elizabethton, I would love to either get an e-mail from you with your thoughts or ask for you to leave some Comments below. I also need to point out that I am talking about prospects, so the term Best Hitter will be Best Hitting Prospect. Why? Because in reality, a .250 hitter in AAA is likely a Better Hitter than a .350 hitter in Class A ball. That doesn't mean that the A ball guy isn't a Better Hitting Prospect. But again, discussing these types of things and the minor league system is all about discussion and asking questions and using the comments to answer each other and explain your opinions, so please take what I write and discuss it. Let's go:
Best Hitting Prospect
1.) Danny Valencia, 2.) Trevor Plouffe, 3.) Erik Lis
Best Power Hitting Prospect
1.) Chris Parmelee, 2.) Rene Leveret, 3.) Danny Rams
1.) Alexi Casilla, 2.) Tommy Watkins, 3.) Denard Span
Best Strike-Zone Judgment
1.) Brian Dinkelman, 2.) Trevor Plouffe, 3.) Chris Parmelee
Best Hit-and-Run Artist
1.) Brian Dinkelman, 2.) Steve Tolleson, 3.) Brandon Roberts
Best Base runner
1.) Brian Dinkelman, 2.) Steve Tolleson, 3.) Joe Benson
Fastest Base runner
1.) Denard Span, 2.) Alexi Casilla, 3.) Ben Revere
Most Exciting Player
1.) Alexi Casilla, 2.) Ben Revere, 3.) Joe Benson
1.) Kevin Slowey, 2.) Brian Duensing, 3.) Jeff Manship.
1.) Eduardo Morlan, 2.) Jose Mijares, 3.) Angel Garcia
1.) Jeff Manship, 2.) Brian Duensing, 3.) Ryan Mullins
1.) Jeff Manship, 2.) Yohan Pino, 3.) Nick Blackburn
1.) Kevin Slowey, 2.) Ryan Mullins, 3.) Kyle Waldrop
1.) Kevin Slowey, 2.) Jeff Manship, 3.) Yohan Pino
Best Pickoff Move
1.) Brian Duensing, 2.) Tyler Robertson, 3.) Ryan Mullins
Best Reliever Prospect
1.) Eduardo Morlan, 2.) Jose Mijares, 3.) Tim Lahey
Best Defensive Catcher
1.) Korey Feiner, 2.) Drew Butera, 3.) Dan Lehmann
Best Defensive 1B
1.) Brock Peterson, 2.) Matt Betsill, 3.) Johnny Woodard
Best Defensive 2B
1.) Alexi Casilla, 2.) Brian Dinkelman, 3.) Matt Tolbert
Best Defensive 3B
1.) Danny Valencia, 2.) Juan Richardson, 3.) Tommy Watkins
Best Defensive SS
1.) Trevor Plouffe, 2.) Paul Kelly, 3.) Steve Singleton
Best Infield Arm
1.) Alexi Casilla, 2.) Trevor Plouffe, 3.) Paul Kelly
Best Defensive Outfielder
1.) Danny Santiesteban, 2.) Denard Span, 3.) Brandon Roberts
Best Outfield Arm
1.) Danny Santiesteban, 2.) Joe Benson, 3.) Eli Tintor
1.) Riccardo Ingrim, 2.) Jeff Smith, 3.) Ray Smith
What do you think? Any thoughts? Send me your thoughts. Like I said before, I'm especially interested in the opinions of those in the Twins affiliates areas who have seen these guys play. I love scouting reports that are closer to the games themselves, so please fill me in with your thoughts.
Twins and their Minor League Updates
Here are the game reports of the Twins and their minor league affiliates.
Wednesday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Garrett Jones, Rochester Red Wings
Wednesday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Michael McCardell, Elizabethton Twins
Wednesday - Twins 11, Royals 4 – Johan Santana was the recipient of plenty of early run support and did well enough to improve to 12-9. Santana gave up two runs in six innings. He certainly wasn't at the top of his game. He gave up eight hits and two walks over the six innings. Matt Guerrier pitched a scoreless inning before Ramon Ortiz gave up two runs in his two innings. The offense was the story, especially the five run third inning. Michael Cuddyer provided a LONG home runs that was the big blow. All nine Twins starters had at least one hit. Mike Redmond, catching last night, went 4-5. Torii Hunter had a single, double, home run and three RBI. Michael Cuddyer went 3-5 with his 11th home run and three RBI. Justin Morneau should have had a triple, was given a homer, and somehow ended up with a double. Joe Mauer had two hits and two RBI. Jason Bartlett was leading off and he went 2-5 with a walk and three runs scored.
This afternoon, the Twins and Royals will play the third and final game of this series. Matt Garza will take on Kyle Davies, who the Twins faced when the Atlanta Braves came to Minnesota.
As I mentioned last night, the Twins put Brian Buscher on the Disabled List, and the Twins called up 10 year minor league veteran Tommy Watkins. Here is a great article by David Dorsey of the News-Press on Watkins' call up. It is a great article about how Watkins was told and how he told his family and such.
Wednesday - Red Wings 2, Syracuse 4 (12) – The night before they played just six innings in their game, so last night, they decided to play 12! Nick Blackburn got another start and went five innings. He gave up two runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out four. Of the 61 pitches he threw, 42 of them were strikes. Julio DePaula then threw two shutout innings. Everyday Bobby Korecky struckout five in three shutout innings. Jason Miller got five outs, but he couldn't get the sixth. With two outs in the bottom of the 12th, he gave up a home run to take the loss. Garrett Jones led the offense with a 4-5 day. Luis Ugueto, up from Ft. Myers because of the promotion of Tommy Watkins, went 2-5 with a double. Matt Tolbert was 2-5 with a double and a walk. Lew Ford was making his first non-rehab start for the Red Wings and went 1-4 with a walk.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Wednesday - Rockcats 5 Erie 3 – Trevor Plouffe continues to be a doubles machine. He hit his 32nd and 33rd doubles of year in five at bats. David Winfree went 3-4. Garrett Guzman was 3-5. Brock Peterson, back from his stint on the DL, went 2-5. Ryan Mullins made the start. In six innings, he gave up two runs on eight hits. He walked none and struck out five. Jose Mijares improved to 5-1 with two shutout innings (two walks, one strikeouts). Tim Lahey picked up his tenth save with a scoreless ninth.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Wednesday - Miracle 9, Daytona 8 – In the top of the 9th, Johnny Woodard hit a single to drive in the tying run, and it was followed by a sacrifice fly by Dwayne White which proved to be the game winner. Danny Valencia went 2-3 with two walks. Dustin Martin had two doubles in five at bats to give him 24 on the year. Erik Lis went 2-5 with his 27th double. Johnny Woodard was 2-4 with his fifth double and a walk. Errol Simonitsch put the team in a hole. He gave up six runs on nine hits and a walk in just 2.1 innings. JP Martinez gave up a run and struck out three in 2.2 innings. David Shinskie gave up a run in his 2.2 innings. Robert Delaney got the final out of the 8th inning and then pitched a scoreless ninth to improve to 2-0.
Wednesday - Snappers 4, Wisconsin 5 – Wilson Ramos ... another day, another great game. He went 3-4 with two doubles (he has 16 on the season). Eli Tintor went 2-4 with his tenth double. Matt Fox started and gave up four runs in five innings. He allowed seven hits, walked three and struck out two. Jesus Carnevales threw 2.1 shutout innings. Danny Vais gave up a run in his 2/3rd inning for the loss.
Wednesday - E-Twins 5, Bristol 2 – Michael McCardell improved to 3-1 with six innings of one-run ball. He gave up five hits, walked none and struck out eight. Curt Leavitt got two outs, gave up two hits and walked two, for one run. Caleb Moore came in and got his second save by recording the final out. Ozzie Lewis continues to star for this team. He went 2-4 with his eighth home runs and four RBI. Eric Santiago went 2-3 with his fifth and sixth doubles, and his third stolen base.
That is it for today. Have a great day!|
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