Minnesota Twins 2017 Minor League Awards
Mitch Garver, 26, Rochester
Garver has overcome obstacles at every step with the Minnesota Twins organization. He was the third catcher selected by the team in the 2013 draft, where he was selected in the 9th round out of the University of New Mexico.
Garver has always had a positive rating on his bat, from the time he busted out with a .298/.399/.481 season in Cedar Rapids with 16 home runs. The Twins have still put Garver behind other catchers in the system throughout his career, but his bat has continued to push him forward.
This season has forced the team’s hand, as Garver hit .291/.387/.541 in AAA with Rochester with 29 doubles and 17 home runs. He’s now made his way to Minnesota for the end of the season. He could very well have a spot on the 2018 Twins opening day roster, perhaps even splitting time with Jason Castro or even getting the majority of the time.
Others to note: Yeremi De La Cruz, 19, DSL; Rainis Silva, 21, Elizabethton; Carlos Paulino, 27, Chattanooga/Rochester
Catchers across the system really didn’t have a great offensive season in general. However, one bright spot was Silva, who has been with the Twins since signing in 2012 out of Venezuela. After working his way up the system, Silva struggled mightily at the plate with Cedar Rapids in 2016, but back in Elizabethton in 2017, Silva not just hit well and drove the ball, but he also showed plate discipline that he hadn’t previously shown with a 17/8 BB/K ratio in 30 games (roughly the same amount of plate appearances he’s had in other stops with typically a slightly lower walk rate, but a MUCH higher strikeout rate).
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