Minnesota Twins Prospect Watch: Week 1
By Brad Swanson
Feb 19, 2013; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins right fielder Oswaldo Arcia (78) poses for a portrait during photo day at Hammond Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Prospect Watch – Week 1
Welcome to the first Prospect Watch of the season. I am still working on a clever or obnoxious name for this post, so bear with me. If you have a suggestion, please make one. In this weekly feature, I will highlight a couple players from each level of the Twins’ minor leagues. I’ll be focusing on prospects (sorry Clete Thomas) and I will let the players’ performances dictate who is highlighted. I’ll end by giving you a preview of what you can watch on MiLB.tv.
Rochester Red Wings
Oswaldo Arcia is legit. You can see just how highly I think of him here. While four games mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, Arcia’s AAA debut is just too impressive to ignore. In four games this season, he has gone 6 for 15 with 2 home runs, 6 RBI, 2 doubles and 2 walks. The man can hit. Oh, he’s still 21. Arcia absolutely will force his way to Minnesota this season.
Kyle Gibson had a nice start on Friday. Here is his final line:
5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR
Gibson will likely spend a decent chunk of 2013 in Rochester. His performance combined with the Twins’ starters’ performances will dictate how long he stays in AAA. His stuff is MLB ready, although I wouldn’t anticipate consistent results if he were to get a call-up. It is also important to remember that he is probably on a roughly 130 inning limit this season.
New Britain Rock Cats
Here’s a Tweet from Rock Cats’ play-by-play announcer, Jeff Dooley:
Alex Meyer‘s development is one of the most key elements of the Twins’ potential future success. Meyer is the only pitcher in the system with “ace” potential. He has a hard fastball, as evidenced by that tweet. His slider is plus and he is working on his command every day. His development into a number 1 or 2 starter would be huge. Here is his line from Sunday’s start:
5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 0 HR
One start in: lookin’ good!
Daniel Ortiz did not make my top 25 and likely would have been just outside my top 40. However, the Rock Cats aren’t overflowing with prospects, and Ortiz had a nice weekend. This weekend, Ortiz had two doubles, a triple and added 3 RBI. He’s playing a little center field too. He needs to work on plate discipline, so his two walks on Sunday are worth noting.
Fort Myers Miracle
Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario are not new names. Anyone who follows the Twins’ Minor Leagues knows that they are two of the best prospects in the system. In four games this season, here is what they have posted so far:
Sano: 7 for 16 (.438), 5 R, 2 2B, 3 BB
Rosario: 7 for 18 (.389), 5 R, 1 2B, 1HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
It’s early but, wowzers! The Florida State League better be ready for these two. Honestly, the Eastern League might need to be ready as well.
Cedar Rapids Kernels
Tyler Duffey had a decent start on Sunday:
OH MAN! Duffey might have the best command of all the college relievers the Twins drafted last June. As a result, he may have the best chance to remain in the rotation as he moves up levels. You can’t really have a better debut than he had, and while it is only one start, it is hard to not be excited. He is just another name on the list of Kernels’ players that are worth driving to Cedar Rapids for.
Byron Buxton is really something. He hit a missile home run on Friday. Then, he went 4-5 with a double, triple and two singles on Sunday. He has scored four runs in four games, added two stolen bases and posted a crazy .563 batting average with an OPS well over 1.000. Buxton could end this season as the top prospect in all of baseball, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all. He is crazy talented.
The Kernels’ outfield is a bit more crowded than I had anticipated. I was ready to watch an outfield of Buxton, Adam Walker and Romy Jimenez, for the vast majority of the season. However, J.D. Williams, the Twins’ 10th round pick in 2010 is complicating things by being an explosive player. Williams is repeating Low A and is old for the level, but has some interesting tools, including his speed and projectable pop. Adding another prospect to Cedar Rapids just makes them more swoon-worthy and gives fans yet another reason to head to Cedar Rapids for a weekend series.
This Week in MiLB.TV
If you do not have MiLB.TV and you love Minor League Baseball, then what are you doing?!? It will only cost you 40 bucks for the season. All AAA games are included, as are many from Low A to AA. I’ll share all Twins’ Organization games that you can watch on MiLB.TV each Monday, so you can plan out your week properly.
Rochester plays Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday-Wednesday, all games at 5:35pm. On Wednesday, Kyle Gibson goes against Dellin Betances, who was once a top prospect for the Yankees.
Rochester then plays Pawtucket from Thursday to Sunday. Here are the game times:
Thursday and Friday – 6:05pm
Saturday and Sunday – 12:05pm
The Pawtucket Red Sox have former Team USA outfielder Bryce Brentz and a couple of former Dodgers farm hands in Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster. Probable starters have not been released yet, but both of those guys are worth watching.
New Britain’s series against Harrisburg is on MiLB.TV from Monday-Wednesday. All games are at 6:00pm. Matthew LeCroy is Harrisburg’s manager and talented prospects Anthony Rendon and Brian Goodwin play for the Senators.
Finally, Cedar Rapids’ series against Wisconsin is also on MiLB.TV from Monday-Wednesday. All games are at 6:35pm. Orlando Arcia, brother of Oswaldo, plays for the Timber Rattlers.
That is all for the Prospect Watch to be named more obnoxiously later.
Have a great week!