Minnesota Twins Prospect Octopus: Week 8
By Brad Swanson
Mar 7, 2013; Fort Myers, FL, USA; dMinnesota Twins center fielderJoe Benson
(12) reacts after strike out during a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at Hammond Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Taylor, the Prospect Octopus, has now gone two consecutive weeks profiling a AAA player who would earn an MLB call-up before his next piece. Two weeks ago, it was Minnesota-native Caleb Thielbar. Last week, Independent League veteran Chris Colabello made his MLB debut. Will the ProsOct make it three weeks in a row? In short, probably not. However, one guy in today’s feature was recently promoted and a couple of others are probably honing in.
Rochester Red Wings
This will be the final time that Joe Benson appears in this space. Benson was put on waivers over the weekend and claimed by the Texas Rangers. I gave my thoughts on Saturday, and you can read them here. I am writing this while Benson’s second game with AA Frisco is in progress, but he already has hit two home runs in just two games. Benson has a ton of talent, great tools and he is still quite young. I would not be surprised to see Benson turn things around and end up in Texas this season. Even if he doesn’t, I still see an MLB-caliber player. Taylor and I wish him the best.
The Red Wings lost a prospect and gained a prospect this weekend. Oswaldo Arcia is back in AAA, being sent down after a week or so of struggles and a few games on the bench. Arcia’s call-up back in April was surprising. It seemed like he was going to stick for the rest of the season and I even thought he might win the Rookie of the Year award. For now, it seems the Twins want an extended look at Chris Parmelee. I suppose that makes sense, but Arcia is simply a better player. I’ll bet Arcia is back in Minnesota before long.
New Britain Rock Cats
D.J. Baxendale was promoted from Fort Myers to New Britain over the weekend. Don’t believe me?
Baxendale has been incredible this season. In 57.2 innings, he has struck out 48 and walked only 11, posting a 1.10 ERA. He clearly mastered single A and is ready for the jump to AA. There are some scouts and experts who feel that Baxendale will be able to dominate at the lower levels, but his stuff might not be enough to carry him beyond that. It won’t take too long to find out and hopefully Baxendale will make a career of proving that idea wrong.
James Beresford is not someone who was not on my prospect radar prior to this season, although I was familiar with his work. Beresford is a second baseman, but he can play other infield positions in a pinch. He has an OBP over .400 this season and he doesn’t strike out much at all. He doesn’t have a lot of power, but he can hit for a solid average. He’s not a star in the making, but he might one day be a useful utility player and while that doesn’t sound glamorous, it is very important.
Fort Myers Miracle
Eddie Rosario was benched earlier this week, but returned to action over the weekend. Speculating on why he was benched is a futile exercise. Rosario wasn’t released, or sent back a level or anything like that. He was benched and whatever reason existed for the benching came and went. Hopefully, it won’t happen again. On the field, Rosario is as promising as ever. Rosario can hit, and there are no questions about that. More promising is that he has made just three errors in 39 games at second base. While errors do not tell the whole story, the fact is that Rosario is making routine plays while transitioning to a new position. If he can keep making strides at second, his stock will continue to rise. Plus, there’s this:
2011 first-round pick Levi Michael is starting to get his offensive game going:
Michael has played all but two games with Fort Myers at shortstop as the Twins seem to be giving him a chance to show that he can handle the position. I remember reading all along that many think he is a future second baseman, but that is a move the organization will make at the last possible second. Michael is probably a future utility player in his own right, but that is tremendous value from a late first-round pick.
Cedar Rapids Kernels
We haven’t talked about Byron Buxton for a couple weeks. Buxton is not raking like he had early in the season, but his overall numbers are still crazy good. His .316/.423/.554 triple slash is extremely impressive for a 19-year-old playing his first full season. There isn’t really much new to report, but this can just serve as a reminder that Byron Buxton is a special player.
Another special player from the 2012 draft is Jose Berrios. Berrios started his season a bit late, but he has wasted little time showing the type of pitcher he is. The Twins have to be ecstatic to have drafted with the 32nd overall pick. In 33.1 innings pitched, Berrios has struck out 40 and walked just 6. He hasn’t allowed a home run and has posted an ERA of 2.70. Berrios turned nineteen yesterday. Nineteen! Oh, to be so young and so talented.
The Next Couple Weeks
The Prospect Octopus will be shifting gears ever so slightly in the next couple weeks. Next Monday, he will highlight some draft prospects who the Twins might be looking at with their first-round pick. The following week, he will review some the Twins’ actual picks. Once the draft comes and goes, we will return to discussing prospects already in the system.
Thanks for reading everyone, have a nice week!