Minnesota Twins 2011 Minor League Review
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:
2012 (19) | 2011 (13) | 2010 (6) | 2009 (22) | 2008 (15) | 2007 (8) | 2006 (6)
2011 Affiliate Records
MLB: [63-99] AL Central
AAA: [53-91] International League ‚Äď Rochester
AA: [72-70] Eastern League ‚Äď New Britain
A+: [63-76] Florida State League ‚Äď Fort Meyers
A: [69-69] Midwest League ‚Äď Beloit
R: [42-26] Appalachian League ‚Äď Elizabethton
The Run Down
Much of the Twins best talent is years away from its arrival in the big leagues.¬† The club‚Äôs top prospect, Miguel Sano, is not yet 19.¬† He headlines a handful of talented prospects beneath the Double-A level, including Eddie Rosario, Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Arcia.¬† With their first round pick in the June Draft, the Twins added Levi Michael out of UNC.¬† They hope the shortstop will add some polish to their system‚Äôs hitting prospects and climb the ladder quickly, though he‚Äôs yet to step foot on a ball field as a pro.
While the bulk of its talent remains distant, the system isn‚Äôt void of big league-ready prospects.¬† Joe Benson will try to earn a spot in the Twins outfield this spring.¬† Given Justin Morneau‚Äôs injury woes (see Aaron Gleeman‚Äôs Twins Preview), Chris Parmelee could see the field often.¬† Right-handed starter, Liam Hendriks, is on the verge, too. Beyond that, there isn‚Äôt much here to draw excitement.¬† Not for a few years, at least.
Arizona Fall League Players ‚Äď Mesa Solar Sox
Cole DeVries (RHP); Scott Diamond (LHP); Brett Jacobson (RHP); Bruce Pugh (RHP); Chris Herrmann (C); Brian Dozier (SS/2B); Aaron Hicks (OF)
Ben Revere (OF); Luke Hughes (3B); Trevor Plouffe (SS); Tsuyoshi Nishioka (2B); Rene Tosoni (LF)
Players of Interest
Joe Benson | OF:
Benson will compete for a spot in the Minnesota outfield at Twins camp this spring, but he‚Äôs skipped Triple-A to this point, and it seems more likely that he‚Äôll end up with Rochester for opening day.¬† With great power potential, he could be a 25 HR guy if he can keep improving on plate discipline, although he‚Äôll probably struggle in AVG and OBP throughout his career.¬† Even so, Benson should bring quite a bit more fantasy value than Ben Revere, so keep an eye on that battle during the coming weeks.
Chris Parmelee | 1B/OF:
Parmelee‚Äôs first stint with the big club was impressive:¬† .355/.443/.592 including 10 XBH (4 homers) in 88 trips to the plate.¬† Granted, that‚Äôs a tiny sample, but it‚Äôs reflective of his ability to swing with confidence versus major league pitching.¬† He‚Äôll need to improve his approach against lefties, but with Justin Morneau‚Äôs injured brain tissue and all, Parmelee is in good position to collect significant AB‚Äôs in 2012.
Liam Hendriks | RHP ‚Äď SP:
Hendricks was forgettable in four starts with Minnesota last year, but the Aussie maintains a great competitive demeanor and he shouldn‚Äôt be deterred.¬† He‚Äôs a command-first righty and he needs to keep his pitches down in order to be effective.¬† When he‚Äôs on, though, he works quickly and induces weak contact.¬† Hendricks is probably ready for a backend role in the Twins‚Äô rotation, but he‚Äôll begin 2012 in Triple-A.
Brian Dozier | SS/2B:
Dozier broke out in 2011, slashing .320/.399/.491 between High-A and Double-A.¬† The 24-year-old has never been highly touted, but it‚Äôs hard to ignore his numbers.¬† With Jamey Carroll signed through 2013, don‚Äôt expect to see Dozier in a full time role ‚Äėtil 2014.¬† He could certainly be used in a utility role at some point this year, though.
Aaron Hicks | OF:
Hicks is an extremely toolsy prospect, but his numbers hardly reflect his potential.¬† After posting a worrisome .722 OPS in a full season at High-A, the Twins are hoping he‚Äôs ready for Double-A in 2012.¬† With his level of talent, Hicks should move quickly once he‚Äôs figured it out.
Oswaldo Arcia | OF:
Arcia, like Hicks, is yet to reach Double-A.¬† He hit 23 homers across three levels in 2011, and that figure should only grow in the coming years.¬† 9 BB as opposed to 53 K‚Äôs at High-A is concerning.¬† The Twins would like to see him draw more walks in 2012 in order to justify his spot on the 40-man.
Chris Herrmann | C/OF:
Herrmann is positioned to step in as Joe Mauer‚Äôs backup in 2013, which is to say:¬† Herrmann stands to see plenty of AB‚Äôs in 2013.¬† He‚Äôs at least a year away, and his numbers have never been spectacular, but he‚Äôs worth noting for his potential to land a near-regular role next season.¬† Keep an eye on him as he pushes through to Triple-A in 2012.
Kyle Gibson | RHP ‚Äď SP:
Gibson was Minnesota‚Äôs #1 prospect just a year ago, but his stock has dropped significantly after the righty underwent Tommy John surgery last July.¬† With excellent secondary pitches to go along with a low-90s fastball with movement, Gibson profiles nicely as a #2 or #3 starter.¬† Unfortunately, it‚Äôs not likely that we‚Äôll see him in the Majors until 2013.