Roster Preview: 2009 Ft. Myers Miracle

10 Feb

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

It is time to continue my series of trying to project the opening day rosters of the Minnesota Twins and their affiliates. It is impossible to project spring training injuries, so I am going as if all is wonderful. You’ve read my thoughts on the 2009 Minnesota Twins roster, the 2009 Rochester Red Wings roster., and the 2009 New Britain Rockcats roster already this week. Today, we will be trying to project how the Hi-A Ft. Myers Miracle roster will be made up. It obviously becomes a little bit more difficult to project these rosters as we move down the system, but it isn’t due to a lack of quality prospects and depth. Most agree that the Twins have some of their best talent, players with the highest ceilings down at these lower levels. Please remember that these rosters are simply my opinions. I have been following the Twins minor league system for several years and tried to figure out patterns and such. So at worst, it’s a relatively educated guess.

 

 

2009 FT. MYERS MIRACLE

Starting Pitchers

Tyler Robertson

Alex Burnett

Mike McCardell

David Bromberg

Kyle Waldrop

Tyler Robertson missed a half season last year, so I think it makes perfect sense for him to spend at least a half-season back with the Miracle. The toughest name to put on this list is Alex Burnett. He has always been so young for his level of competition, and I put him here just because he has always been good, but I would like to see him take another step up the prospect ladder with a little more dominance. I don’t know if he can or will, but another half season of A-Ball won’t hurt him at all. Michael McCardell should have been at Ft. Myers during the second half of 2008. If not for missing a month early in the season with an arm issue, it is likely he would have moved up. Any of these first three names could be promoted to AA if needed. David Bromberg led all of minor league baseball in strikeouts in 2008 while pitching for Beloit. He has terrific stuff and deserves this promotion. He will have to continue to gain better control of all of his pitches. Kyle Waldrop missed all of the 2008 season after shoulder surgery. He returned for Instructional League and says he is ready to go. Hopefully that is the case, but I see no harm in having him spend a month in Ft. Myers getting back into a routine rather than doing so in the frigid April temperatures in Connecticut. It will also be interesting to see if he is starting right away or spends any time in the bullpen.

Closer

Danny Hernandez

As long as it isn’t Anthony Slama, I think we can all be happy. In reality, there are a couple of these pitchers that could close. Danny Hernandez had both Tommy John surgery and labrum surgery in 2007. It shouldn’t surprise us that he struggled so much in 2008 with the Miracle and was then sent back to Beloit for the end of the season. That said, if he can come back and be what he was before surgery, he is probably the best choice…

Relief Pitcher

Charles Nolte

Spencer Steedley

Blake Martin

Steve Hirschfeld

Henry Arias

Danny Santiesteban

… although you couldn’t go wrong if you picked Charles Nolte. Nolte had one of the more underrated seasons of any of the Twins minor league pitchers in 2008 at Beloit. He keeps the ball on the ground with amazing regularity which is great for a reliever. Spencer Steedley is a strong lefty who struggled with the Miracle after his call up, but he should do well out of the bullpen because of good strikeout numbers. Blake Martin is another college reliever who is ready to move up. Steve Hirschfeld began 2008 in the Snappers bullpen, but a midseason move into the rotation later he was one of the better starters on that team. He likely could again jump into the rotation if needed. Henry Arias came to the Twins in the minor league Rule 5 draft. Last year, he had very good strikeout numbers in Low A ball, but a lot of walks. It’s possible that the Twins may send him back to Beloit for another year in the Midwest League. And finally, Danny Santiesteban is making the transition from outfield prospect to relief pitcher. He throws hard, and has been spending the offseason working on secondary pitches. He’s never really pitched and had instruction, so it will be interesting to see how he does.

Starting Lineup

Ben Revere CF

Steve Singleton 2B

Paul Kelly SS

Rene Tosoni RF

Deibinson Romero 3B

Chris Parmelee LF/1B

Rene Leveret DH

Garrett Olson 1B/LF

Danny Lehman C

This lineup is actually pretty exciting as well with a lot of talent. There are a couple of guys that could move up quickly. There are a couple of guys that simply need to stay healthy. And of course, there are a couple of guys that need to show something quickly as options in Beloit are lurking. Many Twins fans saw the batting average of Ben Revere last year at Beloit and thought he was ready to move up. With the bat, he’s a sure thing, but holding him back was probably the best thing for him. He still has work to do with the glove, his arm, on the base paths and with pitch selection. The scary thing is that he can still get better. Steve Singleton should be at New Britain, but I don’t think he will be. He can hit, takes great at bats, and plays great defense. I do believe that if he has the arm to play SS this spring, he should compete for the SS job at New Britain. My biggest hope for 2009 would be a full season from Paul Kelly. He hasn’t played more than a handful of games in the last couple of seasons, but clearly he can hit and is considered very good defensively. You could make an argument that Rene Tosoni could continue to be pushed and start at New Britain, but he missed so much time last year that I think spending a month or two with the Miracle would not hurt him. 2008 was a lost year for Deibinson Romero as he missed time due to knee surgery and a broken leg. But it ended well when he was added to the Twins 40 man roster. Clearly that is a signal of how much upside the brass believes he has. Chris Parmelee was having a very solid 2008 season when he hurt his wrist and missed the rest of the year. We just have to know that he won’t hit for average, but he will take a ton of walks and has great power. Rene Leveret is huge, and has some power and keeps playing well wherever the Twins send him. Garrett Olson struggled in 2008 at Beloit but was still promoted to the Miracle where he didn’t hit much. He should be back with the Miracle and should be much better. It is likely that there will be three catchers on the Miracle roster, but I do think that Danny Lehmann likely is the top right now. 

Reserves

 

Jair Fernandez

Backup Catcher

Estarlin de Los Santos

2B, SS

Chris Cates

Backup IF

Mark Dolenc

Backup OF

Allan de San Miguel

Backup Catcher

Jair Fernandez missed the second half of 2008 after a strong first half with Beloit. He should move up as he spent the past two seasons in the Midwest League. Allan de San Miguel doesn’t turn 21 for a couple of weeks, and this is his sixth season with the organization. After he was sent down to Beloit last year, he played much more consistently and actually showed some offensive promise. Estarlin de Los Santos has big time speed and a solid middle infield glove. Chris Cates has likely surprised a lot of people. In my mind, his play on the field is way more impressive than the fact that he is the shortest player in baseball. And Mark Dolenc was good enough with significant playing time in Beloit that it is worth giving him a shot in the Florida State League. He also has great speed.

Again, this is a solid lineup to start the season. As it typical with the Miracle, it is likely that several of their top players will move up to New Britain around the All-Star break, but there will be players moving up to replace them as well. This roster has a pretty strong starting nine and some quality depth. It has some very exciting pitching as well. It is definitely worth watching this team this season… Oh, and did I mention that it is also possible that Carlos Gutierrez could be here. He is probably the one name that was hardest to keep off of here.

Any thoughts?  Send me an e-mail, or let’s talk about it in the Comments here.

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13 Responses to “Roster Preview: 2009 Ft. Myers Miracle”

  1. thrylos98 February 10, 2009 at 9:47 pm #

    What about Gutterriez? I think he belongs to the Rock Cats’ rotation; I just hope that he makes it at least to the Miracle rotation. He is probably too good for Beloit…

  2. Seth February 10, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    Gutierrez hasn’t started for two years… What makes him ready for AA as a starter? What in his pitching history makes him ready for AA when Jeff Manship, who earned his way up to AA struggled at that level? If he’s as good as you think, he will be in Ft. Myers in no time. In fact, I did comment that it is possible, almost likely that he will start at Ft. Myers… I just think Beloit makes a lot more sense, and again, if he is that good, he’ll be up in Ft. Myers in a month or two.

  3. twinlves February 11, 2009 at 12:11 am #

    I’m looking forward to seeing the Beloit outfield

  4. JA February 11, 2009 at 12:24 am #

    I understand your thoughts on Gutierrez, but he starts in Fort Myers with Waldrop in the pen of FM or NB. I do like that line-up. Three or Four of those guys have a legit shot at the bigs.

  5. Funkytown February 11, 2009 at 7:02 am #

    It’s a shame Singleton will likely start the year in FM again. He was very very solid, and will hopefully move up to AA before the end of the year. Paul Kelly is really the wildcard.Given all his injuries,it will be great if he plays a lot.

    Santiesteban will be fun to watch develop, as he threw in several games last year when the Miracle were short-handed. Heck, he even gives them an extra PH bat on days not pitching.

  6. roger February 11, 2009 at 8:20 am #

    Seth, surprised that you don’t have Joe Benson on this list. Is he more seriously injured and won’t be healthy to start the year? If he is, we should see him with the Miracle.

  7. mike wants wins February 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    That low A staff should be dominant, if that draft was as good as people say. Hunt and Guttierez both in low A.

  8. DH in Philly February 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm #

    What about Jason Jones – the rule five pick up? I don’t remember seeing his name on any roster so far?

  9. clyde February 11, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    hey seth i see that everyone has counted out eli tintor from hibbing, minnesota this year.. i dont beleive he has been released and i have heard very good things from the people in the organization that really do matter and have a say.. thoughts anyone?

  10. Seth February 11, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    that’s the danger of doing these types of lists. Occasionally a player is missed. I think that he will have a chance at going to New Britain. I can’t see him heading back to Ft. Myers again.

  11. maxisagod February 11, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    Predictions: Carlos Gutierrez starts at Fort Myers (he hasn’t earn a promotion or a demotion. Charles Nolte is the teams closer for most the year. Estarlin de Los Santos get’s the starting job at Ft. Myers (read in to that how ever you like), Jair Fernandez plays more game behind the plate than Danny Lehman. Garrett Olson is the 1st to feel the over crowed Of/1B position eat up his playing time.

  12. JRSMITH February 26, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    RENE LEVERET SHOULD BE MOVE TO AA NEW BRITAIN.

    VERY POWERFUL.

  13. autumn September 26, 2009 at 8:12 pm #

    number 12 message me. michael lee allen plzzzz. <3;)

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