I told you I’d find an obnoxious name for this. Since I’ll be featuring eight players each week, and an octopus has eight legs, it just makes sense. Going forward, we’ll go with Prospect Octopus, but once we all settle in, I might change it to just Prospectopus or Prost-oct. Sorry, that’s a little more “making the sausage” than you probably need. I did make a logo, which is inserted below. Anyway, here are some players that caught my eye this week.
Rochester Red Wings
Chris Colabello is killing it in Rochester. He is hitting over .400, has an OBP over .500 and is slugging over .800. Small samples aside, this is quite a AAA debut. Colabello is 29-years-old, and therefore, is extremely old for the Minors. He spent most of his career in independent baseball, and would be quite a huge story if he makes it to Minnesota this season. I did not think he was much of a prospect, but prospects can come in many shapes and sizes. Colabello has power and discipline. If he continues to rake, the Twins will have to find a way to add him to the active roster. Oh, and then there’s this:
— Jeremy Nygaard (@jeremynygaard) April 14, 2013
Chris Herrmann has been a much less impressive Chris this season. He was hitting just over .200 going into Sunday’s game and then went 0-5. Herrmann is versatile player who could really play an important bench role for the Twins in the future. This is Herrmann’s first shot at AAA pitching, so an adjustment period is reasonable. Being on the 40-man roster would seem to point toward a future call-up, but then, someone on his team may have passed him in the pecking order, but more on that in a little bit.
New Britain Rock Cats
Josmil Pinto is that player who may pass Chris Herrmann by the end of the season, however, he still has more damage to do before that is certain. So far this season, Pinto has shown great power, great plate discipline and has handled the catcher position as well as he needs to. Pinto is also on the 40-man, and could push to become Joe Mauer‘s backup in the near future. Here is a scouting report written by John Sickles of SB Nation. You can see that Sickels is more impressed the more he sees.
Trevor May has now had two starts for New Britain. He has struck out more than a batter per inning, but has also walked six batters in nine innings. May is in his second season in AA and his sixth season of professional baseball. He has moved up the ranks very slowly, mostly due to issues with command and control. While the strikeout rate is impressive, if he can’t put together a decent walk rate at AA, a move to the bullpen may be in May’s future. It’s early though, so don’t be sad.
Fort Myers Miracle
Kennys Vargas is another older prospect that is making it easier to ignore his advanced age and simply focus on his excellent performance. Vargas is older for a few reasons, most notably a suspension and the simple fact that he has lived longer than people who are younger than him. I’m not sure you can hold the second thing against him. What I am sure of is that Vargas is hitting for power in Fort Myers. His average isn’t high right now, but Vargas is here to hit bombs. So far, he has two in nine games, and has added three doubles as well.
Matthew Summers is a converted outfielder who was drafted back in 2011 out of the University of California-Irvine. Through two starts, Summers has as many walks as strikeouts. Last year at Fort Myers, Summers posted similar rates of strikeouts and walks, which is not a good sign. However, Summers is still learning his craft as a pitcher and stats aren’t the most important element of minor league development. One would still hope that these numbers improve as the season progresses.
Cedar Rapids Kernels
Niko Goodrum is probably my most favorite prospect. He hasn’t done much on the field to reinforce my love, but his tools are so impressive that I just can’t help myself. Perhaps this will be the season when he rewards my love. In seven games through Saturday, Goodrum is hitting .269/.296/.346 and has made three errors. Ok, maybe he isn’t rewarding me just yet. Goodrum has great speed and projectable power. He just hasn’t hit consistently enough to show off those tools. If nothing else, he has a great arm and that will always keep our fake marriage from falling apart.
Mason Melotakis is one of 5000 college relievers that the Twins drafted last June. Exaggeration. The Twins have to be encouraged by Melotakis’s early performance. Whenever you take a short inning pitcher and stretch him out, you worry that the power and velocity will decrease. This tweet from Jim Crikket, during Saturday’s game, is quite encouraging in that area:
Melotakis needs just 13 pitches to retire Clinton in the 4th. 11 straight hitters down. Hit 96 mph (verified by scouts down below)
— JimCrikket (@JimCrikket) April 14, 2013
This week in MiLB.tv
Unfortunately, it is a lean week for Twins’ Minor Leaguers on MiLB.tv. Rochester is on all week though, with a three game series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starting Monday and a four game series against Pawtucket that follows and ends on Sunday.
Oswaldo Arcia will seemingly make his MLB debut this week. Wilkin Ramirez is on paternity leave and Arcia was called up to take his place. While this doesn’t necessarily accelerate his timetable, it does show that the Twins are just as intrigued by Arcia as the fans are. If he has an impressive debut, it may be hard to part with him. Sorry Rochester, he wasn’t long for your city anyway.
Which prospects are you more or less excited about, now that games are being played? Please answer in the comments below. As always, if you want more from me, I’ll gladly share more. Here are some thoughts I had on the short weekend series with the Mets.