Minnesota Twins Prospect Octopus: Year-End Review Week 10
By Brad Swanson
Sep 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The Minnesota Twins catcher Josmil Pinto (43) walks to the dugout before the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Target Field. Twins win 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to week 10 of the Prospect Octopus year-end review. 10 is the roundest number you’ll find in this summary, so eat it up. Every prospect’s last name starts with “P” today, so be prepared.
WHO? Penilla was the Twins’ 15th round selection this past June. He’s 21 and comes out of Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, California. So, you know he has a pedigree. Penilla had a pretty rough pro debut, surrendering 19 hits and 7 walks in 13.1 innings pitched. He did strike out 13 and he only gave up eight runs even though basically every other batter he faced reached base. Penilla is a long-shot as all 15th rounders are, but he pitches and was drafted so he’s worth mentioning.
Local Boy! Peterson was the Twins’ 13th round pick this past June and he hails from Burnsville, Minnesota. Peterson is a 6′ 1″ righty who had a pretty decent pro debut. In 27.1 innings with Elizabethton, Peterson gave up just 22 hits, 9 walks and struck out 40. He posted a 2.96 ERA and 1.134 WHIP. Peterson is just as much of a long-shot as Penilla, but his debut was certainly more impressive. Again, he pitches and he was drafted, so keep an eye on him.
Pettersen is a utility-type player, who can handle short but has played other positions as well. He was a 25th-round pick back in 2011 and he comes from Minneapolis and played for the University of Minnesota. Consecutive local boys? WHOA! Pettersen has a career .232/.318/.295 triple slash and had a really rough time at AA in 2013. His value comes from his versatility on defense, so if his offense can improve a bit, he could be interesting. He’s 24, so some development would be nice to see in 2014. He also writes for Twins Daily from time to time, and it’s really interesting to get his perspective as an active Minor League player.
Pimentel was originally signed out of the Dominican Republic back in 2009. He has slowly climbed through the system since making his pro debut in 2009. He made his full-season debut in 2013 and actually moved up to Fort Myers in June. Pimentel was originally an outfielder, but the Twins have been moving him around the diamond, giving him 45 games at second base and a couple at short. He hit a combined .271/.329/.316 between Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers in 2013. He’s interesting, especially if he can make a full transition to the middle infield. He’s not going to be a power hitter, but he has made good contact as a pro.
Note: Pimentel is no longer with the Twins organization. Thanks to Jeremy Nygaard for the heads up. You should follow him on Twitter – @jeremynygaard. He’s full of great information about Twins prospects.
Two Pimentels for the price of one! Javier Pimentel is just 19 and signed with the Twins in 2010. Pimentel signed as a shortstop, but hasn’t played that position since the 2011 season. He’s mostly played third, although he also saw a few games at first in 2013. His .216/.275/.314 triple slash would be troubling at short, but it’s scary at third and simply unacceptable at first. He had 11 doubles in 167 plate appearances, but basically provided no other offense. He hasn’t made his full-season debut and I’m not sure that he will in 2014 either.
Pineda was acquired in exchange for Danny Valencia. You’re probably wondering, “a team gave something up for Danny Valencia?” Yep. Pineda is an outfielder, increasingly playing left instead of center. He made his full-season debut at 22 last year and hit .239/.318/.300. He has almost no power to speak of and he doesn’t take walks. His slide down the defensive spectrum isn’t ideal either. Hey, what can you really expect from a player who was traded for Danny Valencia?
I think Twins fans have become acquainted with Josmil Pinto. The Twins signed Pinto out of Venezuela way back in 2006. He’s been in the organization ever since, making the slow climb toward Minnesota. Pinto really broke out in 2012, hitting .295/.361/.473 between Fort Myers and New Britain. In 2013, he bested that, hitting .309/.400/.482 between New Britain and Rochester. Then, he hit .342/.398/.566 during his September call-up. This guy can hit. He may never be a full-time MLB catcher, but he could be a Ryan Doumit-style player if he can effectively pick up a second position. He’s only really played catcher and DH in the Minors, so that might be his role in the Majors.
If he can hit like he has the past two years, a part-time catcher/part-time DH is just fine with me. Terry Ryan has recently indicated that Pinto has “things to work on” but those things aren’t hitting. He’s got that down. I think he’s going to be a Twin for a long time. It’s fun to have success stories!
Catcher! Consecutive catchers! Polanco is in his third pro season and has played 108 games. He reached the GCL last season and had some struggles. He hit just .203 with almost no power. The year prior, he had hit .254/.369/.381, but he was repeating the Dominican Summer League. Polanco might not have much of a future in the Twins’ system, as they added three catchers in the first nine rounds of last June’s draft and each will need to play a lot. Therefore, he may not have a place in Elizabethton next season. He’s a catcher, so I’ll remain interested until he isn’t any longer.
Thank you for reading about these wonderful men. Next week, we’ll have eight more prospects including an AFL hero from 2012 and the biggest prospect breakout candidate in the entire system. Intrigued? Have a nice week, everyone!