Minor Twins Signings: Brandon Boggs

I love following the players in spring training that sign on with the Twins as minor league free agents. These are the guys that used to be big names or high draft choices, and either got injured or haven’t fulfilled their promise yet. Think guys like J.R. Towles and Sean Burroughs.

Mar 14, 2011; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Brandon Boggs (12) against the San Francisco Giants in a game at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

But for every Joel Zumaya who comes and goes without getting back to The Show with the Twins, there’s a Jared Burton who breaks camp with the big league club and reinvents himself as a quality contributor. Actually, it’s probably more like one Burton for every five Zumayas.

The Twins have invited 26 non-roster players to spring training at this point, but that number could change in the next week or so if Terry Ryan picks up some scraps between now and the start of camp. Seven of those players signed on as minor league free agents from other organizations and will be spending their first spring in a Twins uniform.

In theory, at least, these guys will have a chance to compete for a spot on the big-league club. The Twins, however, tend to prefer to promote players from within the organization. These guys will, with a couple of possible exceptions, be facing an upward battle in Fort Meyers over the coming weeks.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at some of these minor league free agents. Today, we’ll kick off the series by taking a look at outfielder Brandon Boggs.


2004 TEX-min A- 45 186 27 35 11 0 3 19 6 29 43 .235 .373 .369
2005 TEX-min A 85 363 54 76 16 2 13 51 14 50 69 .246 .353 .437
2006 TEX-min A+ 78 327 48 74 20 4 8 37 13 40 63 .261 .352 .444
2007 TEX-min AA,A+ 130 537 86 117 30 5 23 72 15 84 131 .262 .380 .507
2008 TEX AL 101 334 30 64 17 4 8 41 3 44 93 .226 .333 .399
2008 TEX-min AAA 18 76 12 21 4 3 0 6 1 7 20 .309 .368 .456
2009 TEX AL 9 18 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 8 .059 .111 .118
2009 TEX-min AAA 93 398 45 89 15 2 8 47 9 59 98 .268 .380 .398
2010 TEX AL 4 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 .000 .125 .000
2010 TEX-min AAA 103 439 72 105 25 5 10 50 3 72 93 .290 .406 .470
2011 MIL NL 16 22 4 3 0 0 2 2 1 3 8 .158 .273 .474
2011 MIL-min AAA 94 333 45 65 19 1 9 38 3 53 82 .241 .381 .419
2012 PIT-min AAA 127 481 64 106 24 5 9 57 6 62 120 .259 .359 .408
4 Yrs 130 382 34 68 18 4 10 43 4 49 113 .209 .315 .380
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/2/2013.


Rich Harden is the guy that everyone’s talking about when it comes to minor league signings this year, but don’t be surprised if Brandon Boggs has a bigger impact on the 2013 Twins season. He’s a 30-year-old switch hitter who can play all three outfield positions with proficiency, carries a career OBP over 100 points higher than his batting average, knows how to bat leadoff, and has about a full season’s worth of MLB experience. Sounds like a pretty solid fourth outfielder to me.

Most of Boggs’s major league experience came in 2008 with Texas, where he hit poorly as a rookie but made up for it by getting on base a third of the times he stepped into the batters box. He’s got enough pop to keep pitchers honest, too.

Boggs, a fourth round pick of the Rangers out of Georgia Tech in 2004, played a handful of games with Texas and Milwaukee each year over the few seasons, but spent the majority of his time in AAA over that span. Last year, he played the entire season in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh’s top minor league affiliate, along with fellow Twins minor league free agent signings Tim Wood and Eric Fryer.

Did you know?

Boggs pitched an inning last year in the minors: three up, three down, no hits, Ks or walks. You know who else pitched a couple of innings? Wade Boggs. The last time he did so was in his final season at age 41. And no, they’re not related.

Chances of making the Twins out of spring training:

I actually think they’re pretty good. I like Joe Benson, but my gut says he falters in the spring, and I expect the Twins to have Aaron Hicks start the season in AAA for a few weeks to extend team control an extra year. That means Darin Mastroianni starts the season in center field until Hicks gets called up, with Boggs the best candidate to serve as fourth outfielder. Once the Twins are ready to call up Hicks, we might not see Boggs again in a Twins uniform.


Tags: Minnesota Twins

  • http://twitter.com/BaseballPirate Paul Pleiss

    Ben, where can I find you on Twitter? I agree with your Boggs talk, but I think Hicks is up to start the season, which means Mastro is the 4th guy. If they do choose to put Hicks in AAA, I like Joe Benson as the opening day CF, again with Mastro. Unless Benson poops the bed down in Ft Myers this spring I think he goes north with the team, might as well just see what he can do. I love Benson’s tools, i’m prospect drunk on them and I want him to succeed. But if Mastro does take the CF job to start the season then I think you’re right Boggs is the 4th guy, really nothing more than a place holder until Hicks arrives.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13948569 Benjamin Emerson Noble


      I know: in my perfect world, I want to see Benson start the season as the Twins center fielder and have Hicks take over the position once he’s had enough time in AAA for an extra year of team control. With inevitable injuries and trades, I’d like to see Benson in LF, Hicks in CF and Arcia in RF at the end of the season, with Parmelee at 1B and Willingham the DH. I can see Boggs as the 4th OF if Mastro gets hurt or struggles, too.

      The more talk I hear from Twins brass, the more I think they might let Hicks start the season in Minnesota. From what I’ve read, he’s been MLB ready defensively for a couple of seasons now, and his ability to take pitches and get on base will translate well to the majors. I can deal with that while he learns to hit in the majors.

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