Thursday Thoughts: Mauricio Silva, Snubbed Prospects, and Todd Coffey
Congratulations to Mauricio Silva, the newest member of the Twins organization. The 16 year old Venezuelan right-hander signed a deal, and he’ll soon be cashing a $370,000 check. Even Nostradamus would have trouble accurately projecting the career of a player who is that young, but I’m an optimist, so I’m going to go ahead and name Silva the early favorite for the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year Award (you heard it here first, folks!). According to TwinkieTown, Silva can hit 93 mph with his fastball. Not bad for a guy who’s barely old enough to drive in the U.S. He also has a good hard curveball.
With a little luck, Silva may be just the first in a bumper crop of international signings for the Twins this year. Sources claim that the team may spend up to $18 million between the draft and the global free agent market when all is said and done.
Silva is several years away from playing in the United States, but the Twins have a small army of good prospects emerging at the lower levels of the minors. Seedlings to Stars recently finished their Top 100 prospects countdown, and earlier this week they took some time to acknowledge the players they snubbed in the AL Central. The Twins had by far the most snubs, with five. Snub Numero Uno was Eddie Rosario, who was one of the last players dropped from the S2S top 100. On the top 100 list, the Royals led the division with seven players selected. The Twins were second with three, while the White Sox, Tigers, and Indians had just one apiece. The high number of near misses means that if some of their guys have a good year in 2012, next year’s top 100 list could be full of Twins prospects.
In other news, the Twins have been in contact with relief pitcher Todd Coffey. Coffey would seem to be a nice addition to the ‘pen. He can hit 96 mph with his fastball, and he has a decent track record as a short reliever. In 2011, Coffey went 5-1 with a 3.62 ERA in 69 appearances for the Nats. His strikeout rate was just 6.9 per nine innings, but he had a respectable 8.1 K/9 rate in 2010. He wouldn’t be the answer to all of the bullpen’s problems, but he would be a nice addition that would prevent the team from relying on a parade of minor league free agents to eat innings.
Warning: if this player does sign with the Twins, be prepared for an endless supply of jokes along the lines of “I like my relief pitchers the same way I like my Coffey…” I don’t want to make those puns, but I will have no choice.