Minnesota Twins 2009 Minor League Review
Overall farm ranking via Baseball America (2009):
2009 (22) | 2008 (18) | 2007 (8) | 2006 (6) | 2005 (4) | 2004 (5)
Record of Major and Minor League Teams
The Run Down
The Twins traded one of the better young defensive center fielders in Carlos Gomez for J.J. Hardy. For analysis from a Twins fan’s perspective, check out what Eric from The Blog that Boredom Built had to say. On a different note, Minnesota still has to figure out what it wants to do with third base, the middle or top of their rotation, second base, and how to reshuffle their bullpen – in that order. As a Minnesota native, I am able to read the local sports writers. Aside from Joe Christiansen and LaVelle E. Neal III, the writers are mentioning how the Twins have Danny Valencia as the heir apparent at third base – a 24 year old minor league player who just reached Triple-A this past summer and hasn’t played a lick in the majors. Never mind the fact that Valencia isn’t a stud prospect, either. Additionally, the Twins don’t have any internal options to fill out the rotation. Kevin Slowey is returning from a wrist injury and they just offered arbitration to Carl Pavano. However, if there is an injury again next year, the unexpected pitching the Twins got from Brian Duensing shouldn’t be counted upon. The Twins and Bill Smith have a lot to work this winter, like signing Mauer to a contract that rivals Singapore’s GDP.
Players of Interest
#2 –Ben Revere | CF | 21 | A+ | .311/.372/.369 | 466 AB | 13 2B | 2 HR | .058 ISO | 45/17 SB/CS | 34:40 K:BB | .333 BABIP | 54.7 GB% | 16.8 LD% | 28.5 FB%
Scouting the Unknown broke him down well in July. The power, or gap power, never materialized after a significantly better 2008 slash line of .379/.433/.497. He still stole 45 bases after he stole 44 in 2008. His average isn’t a mirage; he should be able to sustain it. Revere is considered the fastest baserunner and best hitter for average in the Twins farm system. He’ll start 2010 in Double-A and will probably end the year with a September call-up, especially if the Twins falter down the stretch.
#5 – Danny Valencia | 3B | 24 | AA/AAA | .285/.337/.466 | 487 AB | 38 2B | 14 HR | .181 ISO | 77:39 K:BB | .313 BABIP | 50.5 GB% | 14.2 LD% | 35.1 FB%
Maybe the second coming of Ron Coomer. Only thing, Coomer didn’t produce at the majors until his late twenties. Honestly, he’ll be much better than Coomer, probably something more like a poor man’s Robin Ventura (a .267/.362/.444 career hitter in the majors) without the amazing defense. If, and that’s a big if, Valencia gets the starting gig out of spring training, his big league numbers will look, at best, what Bill James has predicted (12 HRs, .276 average in 438 ABs). He does have average to above-average defense with a strong arm. Look for him to emerge from the minor leagues around June and contribute a fantasy line of 50/10/60/.270 in 425 AB.
#28 – David Winfree | RF | 23 | AAA | .273/.317/.460 | 422 AB | 31 2B | 14 HR | .187 ISO | 88:28 K:BB | .316 BABIP | 38.9 GB% | 19.2 LD% | 41.9 FB%
He could be a sneaky sleeper in 2010 if there are any injuries in the Twins outfield. Typically he hits mid to upper teens in homers. Striking out has been a forte of his in the past, and was again this year. However, he plays good defense in right field and has a strong arm to boot. He’ll never hit for high average, but a little Matt Joyce-like production could be in his future.
#20 – Deolis Guerra | SP (RH) | 20 | A+/AA | 6.4 K/9 | 2.5 BB/9 | 149 IP | 4.89 ERA (FIP ~3.75) | 1.34 WHIP | .320 BABIP | 45.7 GB% | 17.3 LD% | 34.6 FB%
The most promising player acquired in the now infamous Johan Santana trade. His change-up is a plus pitch. However, his 2008 season was pretty much a waste as he wasn’t the same pitcher he was in 2007 with the Mets. This year he was back to his old self. He threw 62 2/3 innings at Double-A and his total was in line with the Verducci rule. I would imagine he’d make it to Triple-A in 2010 since his numbers improved from High-A to Double-A. Also, note that his FIP at Double-A was 3.52 compared to his ERA which sat at 5.17. Another plus, he did an acceptable job keeping the ball on the ground (45.7 GB%).
#19 – David Bromberg | SP (RH) | 21 | A+ | 8.7 K/9 | 3.7 BB/9 | 153 1/3 IP | 2.70 ERA (3.28 FIP) | 1.23 WHIP | .295 BABIP | 39.9 GB% | 17.6 LD% | 37.3 FB %
He has an 88 to 92 MPH fastball that can reach 95 MPH, a shape curve and a solid change-up. He won’t be near the majors next year. He has pitched over 150 inning two years in a row, and has the makings to be a solid innings eater.
#1 – Aaron Hicks | CF | 20 | A | .251/.353/.382 | 251 AB | 15 2B | 4 HR | .131 ISO | 10/8 SB/CS | 55:40 K:BB | .307 BABIP | 45.3 GB% | 20.9 LD% | 33.8 FB%
The first pick in the 2008 draft for the Twins had a much better 2008 season than 2009. This year was pretty abysmal. The strikeout to walk ratio is nice, as is the line-drive rate. However, he may have to start in Single-A again next year, slowing down the extremely fast pace that was assumed he was going to make.
#14 – Chris Parmelee | 1B | 21 | A+ | .258/.359/.441 | 27 2B | 16 HR | .183 ISO | 109:65 K:BB | .313 BABIP | 35.8 GB% | 15.3 LD% | 48.3 FB%
I swear I’ve been hearing about this guy for years. Actually I have! He was drafted in 2006 and ever since then he has been the heir apparent for Morneau. Alas, this was his first year above Single-A. He continuously has a low average with mid-teen home runs.
#18 – Rene Tosoni | OF | 22 | AA | .271/.360/.454 | 425 AB | 25 2B | 15 HR | .183 ISO | 8/8 SB/CS | 98:45 K:BB | .321 BABIP | 45.7 GB% | 14.5 LD% | 39.8 FB%
He earned the MVP award in the Futures Game (Minor League All-Star game) this year. Baseball America says that he has a solid, yet short, swing that projects to hit for better average than he has so far in his career. His defense is above-average and has a good arm. Seems like a good fourth outfielder.
Alex Burnett | RP (RH) | 21 | A+/AA | 9 K/9 | 3 BB/9 | 78 IP | 1.85 ERA | .974 WHIP | .255 BABIP | 41.7 GB% | 13.2 LD% | 41.7 FB%
He would have been in the “Players of Interests” section if he wasn’t a reliever. He pitched the majority of his innings (55) at Double-A. The extremely low batting average on balls in play definitely improved his “old-timer’s” stat line.
#9 – Carlos Gutierrez | SP (RH) | 22 | AA | 5.5 K/9 | 4.1 BB/9 | 52 1/3 IP | 6.19 ERA (5.02 FIP) | 1.64 WHIP | .326 BABIP
2009 second pick in first round failed to live up to his hype. He still has a lot of talent and has the “best fastball in the Twins minor league farm” according to the Baseball America.