SethSpeaks.net Top 50 Twins Prospects – Part 2 (21-30)

29 Sep

Today we continue the SethSpeaks.net Top 50 Twins Prospects series with Part 2, numbers 21-30. Yesterday, we looked at Prospects 31-50. Again, I want to encourage discussion of this list. Feel free to e-mail me at SethSpeaksNet@hotmail.com or Comment here. For information on the purpose of this list and some of the criteria used to develop it, click here. 

So, with all that, let’s get to today’s Twins Prospects:

SethSpeaks Top 50 Twins Prospects

 

 

#30 – Alex Burnett – RHP – 21 (7/26/87)

2008 Team: Ft. Myers Miracle

Acquired: Twins 12th round pick in 2005 from Huntington Beach, CA

Alex Burnett is an interesting prospect. He is young for his level of competition, but was drafted very young, so has quality minor league experience. He doesn’t record a lot of strikeouts which is alarming. But again this year, he was his team’s workhorse. He led the team with 143.1 innings pitched. Lack of strikeouts. He was 8-6 with a 3.76 ERA. His ERA was under 4.00 in four out of five months. He has remained durable. It will be interesting to see if they continue to push him forward. I think he’s ready. 

2009 Projection: starter at New Britain

Potential: potential to be a #4-5 starter

Could be in Minnesota in: 2012

 

 

#29 – Daniel Ortiz – OF – 18 (1/5/90)

2008 Teams: GCL Twins

Acquired: Twins 4th round pick in 2008 out of Puerto Rico H.S.

Ortiz can thank 2007 third round pick Angel Morales for this ranking. Ortiz was the Twins 4th round pick in 2008, also out of Puerto Rico. Ortiz is another guy with the term “five-tool potential” associated to him. Will it all develop? Of course, it is far too early to tell. But he had a very nice start to his career with the GCL Twins. He led the team in at bats and hit .272/.327/.418 with 11 doubles, a team-hit five triples and two home runs. He struck out less than once every six at bats, which is solid. He certainly has a long ways to go to be big league ready. In fact, I would expect that next year, we won’t see him until the start of the Appalachian League season. But he is yet another high ceiling type of player in the lower levels of their system.

2009 Projection: Expect he’ll stay in Extended Spring Training and head to Elizabethton for the short season

Potential: 5-tool potential, but does need to get bigger.

Could be in Minnesota in: 2014

 

 

# 28 – Steve Singleton – 2B – 23 (9/12/85)

2008 Teams: Beloit Snappers, Ft. Myers Miracle

Acquired: Twins 11th round pick in 2006 out of U. of San Diego

Singleton may have been the Twins minor league prospect who improved the most from 2007 to 2008. He came into in to the 2007 season hardly able to throw a baseball, but  did play most of the season. He began the 2008 season back at Beloit, but he was a much different player. With the Snappers, he hit .302 with 14 extra base hits in 235 at bats. He moved up to Ft. Myers after the All Star break where he hit .295/.371/.452 with 26 extra base hits in 245 at bats. He also walked 26 times and struck out just 24 times. All of his numbers improved. In fact, I think he may be ready to start the 2009 season at New Britain. Defensively, he is excellent.  Offensively, he had a very strong season at two levels and appears to be ready for the next level. Another solid season and he could move quickly up this list. With more arm strength, maybe he is a shortstop of the future option.  By the way, check out the following statistical comparison:

·         Steve Singleton (2nd Half in Ft. Myers) – .295/.371/.452 with 19-2B, 2-3B, 5 HR, 26 BB, 24 K.

·         Brian Dinkelman (1st Half in Ft. Myers) – .293/.391/.414 with 18-2B, 2-3B, 2 HR, 33 BB, 28 K.

Pretty similar, huh? Slight edge maybe to Singleton? Now note that Singleton is nearly two years younger than Dinkelman. Now you may better understand why I have Singleton ranked ahead of Dinkleman.

2009 Projection: Ft. Myers infield, but should move up to New Britain in second half

Potential: utility infielder with bat and glove to be regular 2B

Could be in Minnesota in: 2011

 

 

#27 – Anthony Slama – RHP – 24 (1/6/84)

2008 Teams: Ft. Myers Miracle

Acquired: Twins 39th round pick in 2006 out of San Diego

 

Absolute dominance. That might be the best way to describe the 2008 season of Anthony Slama. In 51 games with Ft. Myers, he pitched 71 innings in 51 games. He was 4-1 with 25 saves and a 1.01 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. In those 71 innings, he struck out an insane 110 batters. He gave up just 43 hits and walked 24 batters. So, how can a guy who put up numbers like that be this far down the list? In part, you have to blame the Twins organization. How he spent the entire season, at age 24, in the Florida State League is beyond me. I rationalized it after the All-Star break saying that he could get a few weeks or a month as The Closer, but obviously he still didn’t move up. By the end of the year, with New Britain out of playoff contention and the Miracle in the playoffs, you could justify it by saying that he could help them in the playoffs. Again, just an excuse really. He had absolutely nothing to prove in Hi-A ball. Secondly, his is 24 years old, and will be 25 well before the next spring training. As dominant as he was, he is a relief pitcher who likely won’t pitch more than 75 innings in a season, and he is very old for his level of competition. That said, I fully expect Slama to get invited to spring training and start the season in New Britain. It is possible that he could move up to the big leagues as early as next year as well. First things first, it will be interesting to see how he does against the competition in the Arizona Fall League.

 

2009 Projection: Likely start the season in New Britain. Could be promoted quickly ‘09 to make up for not being promoted in ‘08.

Potential: Very solid set up man

Could be in Minnesota in: 2010

 

 

#26 – Erik Lis – DH – 24 (3/8/84)

2008 Team: New Britain Rockcats

Acquired: Twins 9th round pick in 2005 out of U. of Evansville

In my mind, Erik Lis seems to be just a natural hitter. He seems like a guy who could wake up and hit… Unless he gets hurt, which unfortunately derailed his season about a month early. He has always been fairly old for his level of competition, but he spent 2008 at 24 years old in AA New Britain. He hit .277/.318/.462 with a team-high 36 doubles. Now, the 0.41 Isolated Discipline isn’t great at all. But he is an absolute doubles machine and this year, and this year he added 11 home runs. Of course, the question remains, what position could he play at the big league level? He has struggled defensively at 1B, and he continues to play out in left field now. In reality, he may be a DH option.

2009 Projection: he can hit in Rochester, but could start season in New Britain

Potential: big league bat, could DH

Could be in Minnesota in: 2010

 

 

#25 – David Bromberg – RHP – 21 (9/14/87)

2008 Team: Beloit Snappers

Acquired: Twins 32nd round pick in 2005 out of Pacific Palisades (CA) HS

 

Bromberg was the Appalachian League pitcher of the year in 2007. Although his 9-10 win-loss record is not great, and neither is his 4.44 ERA, he remains a very solid prospect. The biggest reason he’s a big prospect though is the organizational leading 177 strikeouts in 150 innings. He gave up 149 hits. He walked 54, which is still a little bit high, but a significant improvement from previous years. Unafraid to pitch inside, Bromberg also hit 18 batters. In an interview with Beloit Media Relations Director Erik VanDyck said that he would not be surprised if Bromberg were to become a closer. He still has a lot of work to do, but he will spend the entire 2009 season at just 21 years of age, likely pitching in Ft. Myers. He is on the right path.

 

2009 Projection: Ft. Myers rotation all year

Potential: better control would make him a potential #2 starter, could be a closer

Could be in Minnesota in: 2012

 

 

#24 – Rob Delaney – RHP – 24 (9/8/84)

2008 Teams: Ft. Myers Miracle, New Britain Rockcats

Acquired: Non-Drafted Free Agent from St. John’s University in 2006

Although it is not like the Twins to promote a player, particularly a pitcher, very quickly, a very strong argument could have been made for Delaney being a September call up to the Twins. Delaney started the season with the Ft. Myers Miracle. In 31.2 innings, he went 1-2 with a 1.42 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. He had 13 saves. He had four walks and 34 strikeouts. After pitching in the Florida State All-Star game, he was promoted to New Britain where he continued to dominate. In 34.1 innings, he went 2-1 with a 1.05 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. He walked just seven batters while striking out 38. So, he doesn’t strikeout quite as many as Slama, but he still is averaging more than one strikeout per inning. However, the fact that he doesn’t hurt himself with walks really helps. I would suspect that Delaney will be invited to spring training. He’ll likely not make the roster out of camp, but with any bullpen struggles next season, we should see Delaney. It will also be good to see how he does in the Arizona Fall league.

2009 Projection: Could start season as Rockcats closer with promotion to Rochester and/or the Twins

Potential: Very solid set up man

Could be in Minnesota in: 2009

 

#23 – David Winfree – 3B – 23 (8/5/85)

2008 Teams: New Britain Rockcats
Acquired
: Twins 13th round pick in 2003 out of Virginia Beach (VA) H.S.

David Winfree just finished his second season at AA New Britain, and just turned 23 toward the end of the season. He also hit 27 doubles and 19 home runs, and he drove in 87 runs. How is that prospect not more highly touted? For David Winfree, it is two-fold. First, there was the time at the beginning of the 2006 season when he left the team for a month. But, the other reason is his batting average. In 2008, he ended on a hot streak to finish with a .252 average. His Isolated Discipline is a solid 0.67. He has tremendous power. And although it has a lot to do with other players getting on base in front of him, he has a knack for driving in a lot of runs. The reality is that he can play two more years at New Britain and still be the same age that Erik Lis played AA at this year. Although the batting average was down, it is important to note that Winfree cut down his strikeout rate, which is very important for him. He also had to learn a new position, as the Twins made him an OF this year. I can’t speak to his range, but he had just two errors. It will be interesting to see if the Twins put Winfree on the 40 man roster this year. They didn’t last year, and didn’t lose him, so my assumption is that they won’t protect him this year either. 

2009 Projection: should spend season in Rochester as DH and RF.
Potential
: Potential power hitting big league hitter
Could be in Minnesota in
: 2010

 

 

# 22 – Jose Mijares – LHP – 23 (10/29/84)

2008 Teams: GCL Twins, Ft. Myers Miracle, New Britain Rockcats, Minnesota Twins

Acquired: signed as free agent from Venezuela in 2003

Mijares was added to the Twins 40 man roster in December of 2006. In other words, he does have options for 2009. In short, the Twins did not have to call him up in September for any reason. However, reports indicate the Terry Ryan has seen him pitch this season and deemed him ready to help the Twins down the stretch. This situation likely occurs in many organizations each year. However, this case is a little different. Before spring training started, Mijares broke his elbow in a car accident in his home country of Venezuela. Although people kept saying he might be back toward the end of the season, I thought it was a lost year for him. Well, in late June, he began his comeback with the GCL Twins. He dominated in seven games. He moved up to Ft. Myers where he pitched in five more games and again pitched very well. So, he moved up to New Britain which put him right back where he ended the 2007 season. That alone would have meant a very successful season for Mijares. But he pitched in 11 games for the Rockcats and went 1-1 with two saves and a 2.93 ERA. When Mijares was called up to the Twins for September, I think it became one of the best stories in the Twins organization this year. But Mijares is more than a story. He is a hard throwing left-handed pitcher. In his stint with the Rockcats, against left-handed hitters, they hit just .217 against him. Mijares has basically taken over 8th inning duties in September. So, with Dennys Reyes and Eddie Guardado likely gone next season, and the three lefties in Rochester (Carmen Cali, Ricky Barrett and Mariano Gomez) not considered long-term options, I expect Mijares to be given every chance to make the roster to start next year.

2009 Projection: 8th inning reliever and part-time LOOGY for the Twins

Potential: dominating reliever who can get lefties and righties out

Could be in Minnesota in: 2008

 

#21 – Dustin Martin – OF – 24 (4/4/84)

2008 Teams: New Britain Rockcats
Acquired
: in July 30, 2007 trade with New York Mets for Luis Castillo

Luke Hughes got all of the glory. Steve Tolleson and Erik Lis hit very well. But Dustin Martin may have been the most consistent performer for the Rockcats all season.  Martin led the Rockcats in games played with 133 and at bats with 510. But he hit .290/.355/.485 with a very impressive 52 extra base hits including ten home runs. He also stole 22 bases in 33 attempts. He played a lot of centerfield, and may also have enough bat to play the corner positions. As we all know, he came to the Twins in last year’s Luis Castillo trade from the Mets with Drew Butera. At the time, people were upset about getting “nothing” for Castillo. But I think it is likely that both Martin and Butera will contribute at the big league level as role players.  I think Martin could be a very solid player, but in the Twins system where there are so many young, talented outfielders, it will be tough to crack the lineup. It will be good for him to be see in the Arizona Fall League this year.   

2009 Projection: OF in New Britain
Potential
: 4th OF that could start, solid all-around (See Jason Pridie, less strikeouts)
Could be in Minnesota in
: 2010

 

 

With that, you can anticipate Part 3 being posted in the next day or two. As you would expect, it depends on how the Twins are doing and how much time I have to get things posted. But I welcome your questions, comments, opinions, rankings or arguments. You can e-mail me at sethspeaksnet@hotmail.com or go to the WordPress Talkin’ Twins BB site and Comment there. I hope to discuss this ranking during my upcoming podcasts at www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SethSpeaks as well.

 

I appreciate all comments!

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30 Responses to “SethSpeaks.net Top 50 Twins Prospects – Part 2 (21-30)”

  1. Ryan September 30, 2008 at 12:30 am #

    Does anyone know what channel the game will be on tonight? I can’t seem to find it anywhere. I’m assuming it will be nationally televised, considering the White Sox-Tigers game was…

  2. SoCalTwinsfan September 30, 2008 at 2:11 am #

    If Mijares, Delaney, and Slama all stay on track and Neshek regains his form, that could be one heck of a bullpen for the Twins in 2010 with Joe Nathan still around to close.

  3. roger September 30, 2008 at 6:23 am #

    Seth, In my preliminary rankings for this year, I had Singleton moving up to #18 from #62 last year…an improvement of 44 spots which is more than any other player in the organization. Also had Singleton 2 spots higher than Dinkelman. On the other hand, no pitcher in the organization had a better season than Delaney and Slama was third…shouldn’t both Delaney and Slama should be ranked higher? A left handed reliever like Mijares who has been able to dominate at the major league level in his first several critical appearances must be ranked higher than 22nd, shouldn’t he?

  4. Bill in Sarasota September 30, 2008 at 6:32 am #

    Mijares at 22nd? This made sense before September but it’s obvious he deserves to be 10th – 12th after taking over the 8th inning for the Twins. We have seen the effect of a weak bullpen especially when Gardenhire keeps running out Guerrier.

    I would compare ranking Mijares at 22nd similar to Blackburn being ranked at 27th last year.

    Lis, Bromberg, and Winfree are ranked too high while Erickson and Gutierrez deserve recognition in the top 50.

  5. Jeff P September 30, 2008 at 8:23 am #

    I give you credit for consistency Seth, you have talked about not paying too much attention to a small sample size (good or bad) and he generally has been much lower ranked in your lists over the last couple of years. Historically he has had trouble with control (both temperment and location of pitches). It is hard to know from one month of work if he has those issues beaten, so a top 5 type ranking is premature.

    Still, I think the fact that the Twins would promote a 23 yr old from AA, especially when he has not played the full year, speaks volumes about what they think of his potential. Also, he has had a high strikeout rate and low opponents batting average in the minors so he must have some talent. I would have guessed he would be top 10 or at least close to top 10.

  6. Jeff P September 30, 2008 at 8:25 am #

    Obviously I was referring to Mijares in the prior post, sorry for the confustion.

  7. gil September 30, 2008 at 8:34 am #

    Lis is probably listed too high. He did nothing to really stand out this year and at the start of next season he will be 25 years old and in AA/AAA. He hasn’t hit for a lot of power so DH is not a spot for him. Unless he gets a homerun swing, he is Brian Buscher with no position.

    And I too am confused why Mijares would not be a top 10 guy.
    He is young for his level -AAA/Majors and dominating.
    What more do you need to break the top ten?

  8. mike wants wins September 30, 2008 at 10:47 am #

    Only 1 FSL guy made the BA top twenty list. How are they doing in other leagues? At the end of this, will you be comparing your rankings to some of BA’s very preliminary work (waht you can say that is free…)?

  9. mike wants wins September 30, 2008 at 10:51 am #

    No one from NB made the top twenty list. Not a real surprise there for me (unless they were 20th, as I can’t see that line on my computer for some reason).

  10. mike wants wins September 30, 2008 at 11:13 am #

    Where was Ben Revere on the BA list?

  11. travis September 30, 2008 at 12:25 pm #

    anybody else think Lavelle is being too negative in the star tribune article today. I know he is from Chicago but he is making it sound like the Twins need a miracle to win tonight and my opinion is if we play twins baseball, pitch good and with a few timeely hits we will win.

  12. Seth September 30, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    BA League lists – Ben Revere was 4th in the Midwest League, I believe. He was the only one. I question those lists, but don’t really pay much attention to them. OK, I pay a lot of attention to them, but don’t let them affect my thinking…

    Mijares – you all know I’m a big fan, but how many innings is he going to pitch in a typical season? 60? 70? Same with Delaney and Slama. I have a hard time putting relievers too high on the list. Neshek was in the top 12 or so when he dominated AA and AAA. He dominated more than what Mijares has. The injury is a concern. But I think he’s a very importnat part.

    Delaney/Slama – Delaney and Slama both dominated. Delaney got the promotion and continued to dominate. More than a strikeout an inning. Slama struck out over 1.5 per innings. However, Delaney doesn’t walk anyone, Slama does. Slama’s older, and although it isn’t his fault, he isn’t young. I do think both will be big leaguers, probably as early as next year, or by 2010. But again, 50-80 innings a year.

    That said, The idea of Joe Nathan, Pat Neshek, Jesse Crain, Jose Mijares, Rob Delaney and Anthony Slama in a bullpen is pretty exciting.

    Travis – LaVelle may be harsh, but any statistical analysis that you could look at would lead to the Twins needing a miracle to win. Home-Road records of the teams. Home-Road splits for the starters. The Twins bullpen splits. Does that mean that the White Sox will win? Of course, not, but that isn’t unfair analysis.

  13. mike wants wins September 30, 2008 at 3:29 pm #

    Intersting thoughts on RP importance. Santana is a good example this year. He dominated the NL as we thought he would, but the BP blew, what, 9 leads (I think it was more). While a RP is not as critical, they have importance. But, I can’t see how all three of those are in the top 20, which is what people seem to be questioning. If you have three good RPs in the minors (or great), then they just aren’t that valuable, and I’d also not rank them high, like Seth.

    That seems convoluted now that I’ve typed it…

  14. travis September 30, 2008 at 3:50 pm #

    my question is why did they decide to start flipping a coin for the home team in 1 game playoffs its stupid you battle for 162 games and the season could be determined by a coin flip. they should either go by season series or neutral field. They could play in Milwaukee and that would be as neutral as you can get

  15. thrylos98 September 30, 2008 at 3:59 pm #

    scout.com posted their list of 100 best prospect by season’s end. Here are the Twins who made it, with their ranking:

    Slama (43)
    Swarzak (57)
    Span (58)
    Mulvey (64)
    Humber (87)

    Not that I agree with them, but it is interesting… BA also is working on a list of the top 20 prospects in each league of the minors, so far (up to A) the Twins who made the cut and their ranking in their respective leagues are:

    Aaron Hicks of (1) Gulf Coast league
    Angel Morales of (8) Appalachian League
    Ben Revere of (4) Midwest League
    Wilson Ramos c (8) Florida State League

    One of these days in the off-season I will try to finalize my formula and see what I come up with. Just not enough time in the day and night :)

    One comment: please have a look at the pitchers in the Twins’ DSL, I’d probably rate the league talent at college level and the Twins have some real studs there

    Keep up the good work!

  16. mike wants wins September 30, 2008 at 4:05 pm #

    Revere does not make the list, but Humber does? That’s, um, suspect.

  17. thrylos98 September 30, 2008 at 4:15 pm #

    mike,

    I think that scout.com has a different perspective and premise than most of the traditional prospect list places, including BA. Traditionally (like BA) the higher the potential a player has, the higher he is ranked. With scout.com, the higher the potential MLB contribution, the earliest, gives a higher ranking…

    Apples and Oranges, but both systems have their advantage

  18. mike wants wins September 30, 2008 at 4:42 pm #

    Makes sense. Humber will be in the ‘pen next year, or dealt to another team and starting for them (assuming the Twins don’t deal one of their 5 starters).

  19. Brad September 30, 2008 at 6:07 pm #

    Seth are you the GM of the Tigers, Mets, Indians, or Brewers? You seem to value good closers and RP as much as they do. The Twins would have a 8 game lead in the division if they had solid RP the past 2 months. Slama, Mijares & Delaney have more value and upside than Dustin Martin ever will. No offense to Dustin, but lights out relievers are hard to find, granted most of Slama’s action was against a lot younger competition.

  20. Seth September 30, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    Just some comments to catch up, thanks for all the great comments.

    A guy with a ceiling at the big league level of 200+ innings is more valuable, in my mind, than someone with 60-80 innings. Doesn’t mean that I don’t think they’re valuable to a roster. I think they will all be very good with the Twins ,but a priority, maybe not. If Slama would have done what Delaney did, he’d probably be right with him.

    And, I think Scout’s rankings are weird, always have been. I think they’re looking at different things. You saw where I had Humber and Slama. Span will not be in my rankings because he is no longer rookie eligible after this season.

    No one made BA’s Eastern League Top 20 prospects. Only Span and Mulvey made it for Rochester in the International League.

    I just want to reiterate, we’ve seen in 2008 just how important relief pitching is. I just value 200 inning potential more than 70 inning potential. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think Mijares, Slama and Delaney have significant value to the future of the team.

  21. Bill in Sarasota October 1, 2008 at 6:29 am #

    Nathan gets $15 million and middle relievers get over $5 million. Relievers are not just ex-starting pitchers who couldn’t make it.

    Here’s my opinion of prospect lists: potential and impact in the majors, production in the minors (with relative age considered), and how close is the prospect to the majors.

    Mijares has already proven impact in the majors. He has been on the 40 man roster for the last two years which indicates the Twins mgmt have liked his potential for a while and that his play is not a one month blip.

    If he was a starting pitcher or every day player I would have him in the top five. However, I believe most above posts are stating 10th or so vs. 22nd.

  22. Bill in Sarasota October 1, 2008 at 6:44 am #

    One question: If a reliever in another organization was a RH copy of Mijares (same every thing – stuff, production in minors, majors call-up,….) you wouldn’t trade Dustin Martin for him?

    It would be a no brainer. In your words, Martin could be a role player and has potential as a 4th outfielder.

    One last point: You rank a potential 4th outfielder over a set-up reliever with stuff who has proven it in the majors for the past month.

    Just admit your Mijares’ ranking was a mistake like Blackburn’s ranking last year.

  23. thrylos98 October 1, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    Here is the problem that the Twins have (not a bad problem btw):

    -They have several decent to very good prospects at the OF (Martin, Winfree, Morales, Revere, Hicks) but their starters in the majors are 22, 22 and 23 years old and under club control for 3-6 years. Do I think that Martin (who is older than any of the current Twins starters) will spend any time in a Twins’ uniform? Only in a case of injury. If you have decent prospects who are blocked in your team, it makes sense to move them for pieces you are missing… and, Bill, I think that Delaney could be a mirror copy of Mijares (and even better)

  24. Seth October 1, 2008 at 12:31 pm #

    thrylos – Don’t you think that’s the reason that Martin was selected to play in the Arizona Fall League… Gets him visibility.

  25. thrylos98 October 1, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    Absolutely… Do you think that with Stan Cliburg as the Desert Dog manager the Twins would have the opportunity to do some hands on scouting on some other team’s prospects?

  26. Seth October 1, 2008 at 2:11 pm #

    It’s additional scouting, I’m sure for Cliburn. But then again, he and every other Twins coach or manager is doing opponent scouting reports after every game, so they probably have a pretty strong idea of all the players already, especially those that would get invited to the Arizona Fall League. He may get to coach some guys and ‘scout’ them on a personal level, beyond just the playing field.

  27. Bill in Sarasota October 1, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    OF – don’t forget Tosoni. He hit well .320 FSL, has a rifle arm, and is good defensively. He got hurt but he got back before the season was over.

    Twins can take their time developing the OF. Of course in a year or two they could trade one of the majors OF since they already have a glut of good to very good OF.

    Here’s my OF ranking:
    Revere
    Hicks (good start but mostly potential at this point)
    Morales (great season)
    Tosoni
    Parmelee
    Martin

  28. TT October 2, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    How many of the Twins relievers this year were relievers in the minors? Nathan, Guerrier, Reyes and Guardado were all starters. So were Bonser, Bass and Rincon. Crain, Breslow and Neshek are the only guys that pitched primarily out of the bullpen.

    Most minor league relievers are not major league quality pitchers. There are exceptions, but I don’t think Slama is one of them. Delaney might be. Mijares clearly is, if his pitching this fall is any indicator. But I think Bobby Korecky is the more typical ceiling for minor league relievers.

    The guys who have major league stuff are usually given the opportunity to start in the minors. They get moved to the bullpen when they get to the major leagues. Humber will probably be an example of that. A combination of no room at the inn and not really having enough good pitches to go through a batting order several times.

  29. Seth October 2, 2008 at 10:14 am #

    Well stated TT… although there are always exceptions to every rule, you put that perfectly. Delaney and Slama and Mijares will hopefully all be exceptions. Crain and Neshek were highly drafted (2nd round/6th round). Delaney wasn’t drafted and Slama was drafted very low. If either makes it, they are tremendous stories. But both definitely have a shot.

  30. TT October 2, 2008 at 11:32 am #

    I don’t get the fascination with Slama. He is an older guy who hasn’t pitched above A ball. It seems to me if the Twins thought he was a future major league pitcher he would have been moved up by now.

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