Roster Preview: 2009 Beloit Snappers

11 Feb

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

OK, today we are going to be trying to project the roster of the Beloit Snappers to start the 2009 season. In case you’ve missed any of my projections, here are my thoughts on the 2009 Minnesota Twins roster, the 2009 Rochester Red Wings roster, the 2009 New Britain Rockcats roster, and the 2009 Ft. Myers Miracle roster. This list will include many from that 2008 Appalachian League champion Elizabethton Twins. 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.

 

A couple of quick notes before proceeding:

·         I wish I knew my geography and world better. One area that Twins fans should get to know would be Australia. They have a great connection to players from that country. Grant Balfour is from Sydney. Glenn Williams and his 13 game hitting streak grew up in Gosford. Luke Hughes is from Perth, and Brad Tippett is from Mone Vale. Pert and New South Wales have baseball teams, and this past weekend, they played a best of three series in the Claxton Shield Grand Final. Tim Schumacher is a Minnesotan in western Australia who went to Game 2 and posted some of his thoughts. It is quite impressive the contribution that the two teams got from Twins prospects. Liam Hendicks started Game 1 for Perth. Luke Hughes went 3-5. Allan de San Miguel twice prevented a go ahead run from scoring by blocking the plate. Brad Tippett took the loss, but was impressive. He entered the game with the bases loaded and the game tied in the 6th inning and got out of the inning without allowing another run to score.

·         Luke Hughes was named the series MVP as he went 7-13 in the three games.

·         Tippett was impressive on the mound, but it may be even a little more impressive when you find out that he found out a couple of days later that he was pitching with a broken finger. He won’t be able to throw for four weeks, ending his hope of pitching for Australia in the WBC. However, he anticipates being ready for minor league camp in mid-March.

·         Speaking of prospects, Aaron Gleeman posted his thoughts on his #11-15 Twins prospects.

·         Josh Johnson posted his choices for the #7 and # 8 Twins Prospects.

·          Phil Mackey posted his early 2009 projections for Twins players on his blog.

·         For some interesting notes on the other teams in the AL Central, check out Over the Baggy

·         Be sure to head to Twinkie Town to participate in their series of Player Projections. You can do the same thing at Twins Territory too.

·         Nick Nelson discusses a fun-filled blogger get together from last Saturday afternoon, and then discussed the Odd Man Out.

·         Roberto Alomar was one of my favorite players. Maybe it was that little mustache thing on his 1988 Donruss Rated Rookie mug shot. Well, this story that came out yesterday is pretty sad, and questionable… I really like Stick & Ball Guy’s perspective on it!    

·         LIVE MINNESOTA TWINS CHAT TONIGHT AT 8:00! I will open up the chat room at 7:30 and answer questions until they run out. It’s always a good time, so tune in and participate. Get an answer to any of your questions. And yes, I will be watching the Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice special at the same time! Check back later today for the link to the chat.

 

2009 BELOIT SNAPPERS

Starting Pitchers

Carlos Gutierrez

Shooter Hunt

Dan Osterbrock

Bobby Lanigan

Brad Tippett

The Twins have had a tremendous amount of success drafting college pitchers over the last four drafts (Garza,  Slowey, Duensing, Mullins, Manship, McCardell). Well, 2008 was another year for the Twins drafting strong college pitchers. Carlos Gutierrez was the Twins second first round pick as a closer out of the University of Miami. To limit his work load, he went to Ft. Myers after signing and pitched out of the Miracle bullpen. To transition back to starting, I think it is best for him to go back to Beloit and experience success as a starter, even if it is just ten to twelve starts. Many believe that Shooter Hunt has as good of stuff as anyone in the organization. Very good fastball, and a big time curveball. If he shows any measure of control, he could fly through the system. Dan Osterbrock may not throw hard, but the lefty knows how to pitch and get hitters out. He signed quickly and was the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year. Eight walks and 104 strikeouts in 75 innings says a lot about his control. I expect him to dominate the Midwest League as well. Bobby Lanigan went to a Division II school and really impressed the Twins. He pitched very well at Elizabethton as well, and like the other three 2008 draft picks, I expect him to be very successful at this level. What an exciting and potential dominating starting five. I think that all five of them could legitimately move up one level during the season. Maybe the more difficult thing would be determining which other five starters will be here at the end of the season!? And to call Brad Tippett a #5 starter on any team is a little silly. He was dominant in the E-Town bullpen in 2007. He did well in the Snappers bullpen the first half of last season. He was excellent at an E-Twins starter last year. He’s definitely ready to move up and I expect he will do well again.     

Closer

Michael Allen

Michael Allen was the Twins 13th round pick in 2005 out of high school. After a suspension, he came back and was excellent out of the Snappers bullpen in 14 games. I think he could  be a very good starter but he could really dominate as a closer. And he may end up starting later in the season… although I think there is a better chance that he is in the Ft. Myers bullpen.

Relief Pitcher

Michael Tarsi

Santos Arias

Henry Reyes

Chris Anderson

Curtis Leavitt

Joe Testa

Santos Arias started the 2008 season in the Snappers’ starting rotation. He made 15 starts and then moved to the bullpen in the second half. He seems to profile well as a reliever, and his stuff is good enough to be a closer. He will likely get plenty of time closing too. Michael Tarsi was in the Snappers starting rotation the first half of 2008 as well, but he really struggled. He is left-handed, so it is worth keeping him around. Henry Reyes is another lefty with good stuff. He is 6-7 and thin. He gave up too many homers and walked too much, but he is someone you keep around. Chris Anderson is a great story. A former draft pick, the lefty had to have surgery. The Twins released him, but when he came back and pitched for a town team, the Twins showed up and signed him again. He went right to Beloit, and had his moments. I think he can be a very solid relief pitcher. Curtis Leavitt has really pitched well the last two years at Elizabethton. He stayed in the Appy League last year for a chance to start, but didn’t get much opportunity. He can be a dominant reliever. Joe Testa went undrafted last year. He then dominated the GCL before four games in Ft. Myers. It is likely he will at least start this season in Beloit.

Starting Lineup

Joe Benson CF

Dominic de la Osa 2B

Evan Bigley RF

Jonathan Waltenbury 1B

Michael Harrington DH

Angel Morales LF

Nick Romero 3B

Alexander Soto C

James Beresford SS

The Appalachian League champions at Elizabethton last year, this lineup features many players from that powerful lineup. But it starts with Joe Benson who will be back for his third season. Because he missed half of 2008 with a back injury, I think he needs to get a month more time in Beloit just to get some everyday at bats before moving up to Ft. Myers. Dominic de la Osa is a good on base guy with some pop not typical at the 2B position. Evan Bigley is someone who could jump to Ft. Myers, if there is an opportunity. He seems to be a solid all around hitter. Jonathan Waltenbury has a strong left-handed bat that must be in the middle of the lineup. Michael Harrington put up amazing numbers last year in his senior season at the College of Charleston and continued to hit in Tennessee. Angel Morales is maybe the player I am most intrigued by what he is able to do in 2009. He is so young and yet, he led the Appy League in home runs. He also was on base over 40% of the time. The strikeouts are a concern though. Nick Romero is a solid hitter who is able to do a little of everything. Alexander Soto is a very good hitting catcher, with a very strong arm. Finally, James Beresford will likely get a lot of playing time at SS and 2B for this team. 

Reserves

 

Greg Yersich

Backup Catcher

Nick Papasan

2B, SS

Yangervis Solarte

Backup IF/OF

Andrew Schmiesing

Backup OF

Jeff Lanning

Backup Catcher

Greg Yersich was much better in 2008 than 2007, and he will get a lot of playing time. Jeff Lanning also needs to move up to the Snappers. Yangervis Solarte was promoted to Ft. Myers mid-season last year. He was only supposed to be there a few games, and played well and stayed. When he was finally moved down to Beloit, he struggled. I expect him to stay with the Snappers and although I have him on the bench, he will play all over the field and be nearly a regular. As with Paul Kelly at Ft. Myers, I would really like to see what Nick Papasan can do offensively if he can stay healthy for the full season. If he plays SS, he likely would not be hitting 9th! And St. Olaf grad Andrew Schmiesing should start 2009 where he ended 2008. 

The starting pitching staff on this roster will carry this team. There are plenty of good bats on this roster as well. I mentioned Joe Benson playing for the Snappers for maybe a month. It is at that time that I think 2009 top pick Aaron Hicks will get the call and move from Extended Spring Training to the Snappers. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Twins decide that the even-younger-than-Hicks Angel Morales to start the season at EST as well. That was the path planned for 2007 top pick Ben Revere before injury forced him to the Snappers. This roster could see much change throughout the season!

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

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8 Responses to “Roster Preview: 2009 Beloit Snappers”

  1. Funkytown February 12, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    They will need better SS play. Beresford committed over 20 errors in rookie ball.

    Will some of that Rook Ball power transfer over? I sure hope so.

  2. nick February 12, 2009 at 7:38 am #

    Alexander Soto any relation to Cubs catcher Geovonni Soto?

  3. Dome Dog February 12, 2009 at 8:47 am #

    So my wife and I are planning on driving out to Beloit the 2nd week in July to catch a game and get away from the kids for a day or two. Has anyone been there to see a game? Any advice on things to do in/around Beloit, places to stay, etc…?

  4. mike wants wins February 12, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    I don’t understand teh Twins philosophy on EST for Hicks and Morales. I’m sure that is what they’ll do, but I don’t understand it. Those two are ready for the challenge.

  5. Melshmeister February 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm #

    Seth, its great to hear your comments and you’ve definitely made the off-season more baseball entertaining. Thanks

    Based on how the Twins have handled things in the past with position players:

    Unless there are injuries involved, players don’t move around after ‘one month’ into a season… players are moved around the all-star break near mid-season. And when injuries do necessitate a move, they will involve players such as Solarte… more experienced, but with less upside. Revere and Beloit was the exception due to the mass of OF injuries at Beloit and I’d also assume that Revere was raking in EST given his great start out of the gate. The Twins also are apt to move a player up to the next level despite that player not really doing so well, even when injuries are involved (at least the higher draft picks). The Twins are also apt to move along players with strong defense before those with weaker defense (hence Benson skipping Elizabethton, going directly to A-ball in 2007 and Revere starting out in EST last year).

    In summary, I’d expect:
    Morales to definately start out in Beloit
    Benson will start out in FSL
    Hicks may have a chance to start out at Beloit rather than EST

  6. Luke Maynard February 12, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    Where has Van Mil gone? I thought he would be down in the FSL this year.

    grtz Luke

  7. Seth February 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    I would agree that Van Mil will go to Ft. Myers this year. I’m just not certain if he will be ready for the start of the season. I still should have mentioned him. I know he is beginning a throwing program early in March.

  8. RyanW February 13, 2009 at 9:30 am #

    I think I read that the Twins kept Revere at EST last season because they wanted to work on his throwing mechanics (which I believe is pretty bad). It may have been just been that simple, Hicks might start the season in Beloit..

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