Minor League Awards

15 Oct

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

On Thursday, the Twins announced their Minor League award winners. David Bromberg was the choice for the Jim Rantz Award for top minor league pitcher in the Twins system. For the second straight year, Ben Revere was named the recipient of the Sherry Robertson Award for the organization’s top hitter.

David Bromberg had another terrific season, and although there were several very good pitchers in the Twins system in 2009, this was really an easy choice. Bromberg went 13-4 with a 2.70 ERA. In 153.3 innings this year, he struck out 148 batters, which was the most in the organization. In 2008, Bromberg led all minor league pitchers with 177 strikeouts while pitching for the Beloit Snappers. He was named, by Baseball America, the top pitching prospect in the Florida State League. Bromberg spent the entire 2009 season at the age of 21 and is clearly a Top 10 Twins prospect.

Here are some others who were likely considered:

  • In 51 games at AA New Britain, Anthony Slama struck out 93 in 65.1 innings. He was 4-2 with 25 saves and a 2.48 ERA. He pitched in 11 games at AAA Rochester. He was 0-2 with four saves and a 3.45 ERA. He struck out 19 in 15.2 innings. He gave up five of those six runs in one outing. Overall, he was 4-4 with 29 saves, a 2.67 ERA, and 112 strikeouts (with 40 walks) in 81 innings.
  • Alex Burnett was moved from being a starter and into the bullpen. In 18 games in Ft. Myers, he went 2-1 with a 1.99 ERA. Then in 40 games after being promoted to New Britain he was 1-2 with a 1.79 ERA. Overall, he was 3-3 with a 1.85 ERA. In 78 innings, he had 78 strikeouts and just 26 walks.
  • Steve Hirschfeld went 7-7 with a 2.2 ERA. He pitched in 15 games out of the bullpen before making 17 starts.
  • Santos Arias was 6-3 with a 2.15 ERA in 100.2 innings. He made 29 relief appearances before ending the season with nine starts.
  • Joe Testa spent the first half of the season pitching in Beloit. In 25 games, he was 0-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 45. 2 innings. Then in Ft. Myers, he was 5-0 with a 1.22 ERA in 21 games, and 37 innings. Altogether, in 82.2 innings, he struck out 116, and walked 41.
  • Adrian Salcedo (3-2, 1.46 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 3 BB, 58 K in 61.2 IP), Blayne Weller (5-1, 1.58 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 8 BB, 49 K in 57 IP), BJ Hermsen (6-2, 1.35 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 4 BB, 42 K in 53.1 IP) and Andrei Lobanov (2-1, 0.82 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 1 BB, 35 K in 22 IP) all had strong showing for the short-season GCL Twins.

The choice for hitter of the year was much more difficult, so it is hard to argue the selection of Ben Revere for winning for the second straight season. Revere finished second in the Florida State League in batting average in 2009 with a .311 average. He was on base 37.2% of the time and had 19 extra base hits. He also stole 45 bases in 62 attempts. Something I like to see in a top of the order hitter, he walked 40 times with just 34 strikeouts. No question, Revere has proven a lot of critics wrong through his first two full minor league seasons.

There are several other hitters who warranted strong consideration:

  • After a strong showing during big league spring training, Danny Valencia started his season back where he ended the 2008 season, in New Britain. There, he hit .284/.373/.482 with 14 homers, four triples and seven homers. That earned him a promotion to AAA where he got off to a fast start before tailing off late. He hit .286/.305/.454 with 24 doubles and seven home runs. All together, he his .285/.337/.466 with 38 doubles, four triples and 14 home runs.
  • Brian Dinkelman spent the entire 2009 season at New Britain. He played primarily in 2B, but in the 2nd half of the season, he played several games in LF as well. With the bat, he had a very strong season. He hit .296/.383/.440 with 38 doubles, two triples and eight home runs.
  • Rene Tosoni hit .271/.360/.454 with 25 doubles, four triples and 15 home runs for the New Britain Rockcats.
  • Also at AA was Erik Lis for the second straight full season. He hit .283/.353/.462 with 29 doubles and 17 home runs.
  • Chris Parmelee hit .258/.359/.441 with 27 doubles and 16 home runs for the Ft. Myers Miracle.
  • Ramon Santana spent most of the season at Beloit for the third season. There he hit .296/.384/.453 with 25 doubles, three triples and nine home runs. He went 4-15 in four games at AA New Britain at the end of the season.
  • In short season Elizabethton, Josmil Pinto hit .332/.387/.610 with 14 doubles, two triples and 13 home runs in just 53 games. Brian Dozier hit .353/.417/.431 with 17 doubles.

There were several very good performances in the Twins minor league system, some that I didn’t mention here. It’s hard to argue with either of the Twins choices. So, congratulations to both David Bromberg and Ben Revere. If you would like to share your thoughts, please click here.

Arizona Fall League Update – Yesterday, the Mesa Solar Sox lost 12-5 to Surprise. Rene Tosoni was 0-4 with a walk. Chris Parmelee went 0-3 with a walk. Steve Singleton went 1-4 with his second double in two games.

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7 Responses to “Minor League Awards”

  1. peterb18 October 16, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    Seth,

    After watching a lot of the top teams this year,especially, the playoff teams, there seems to a lot of really hard throwers. Guys that can hit the gun in the mid-90′s. Our pitchers, both starters and relievers, seem to be, as a whole, more control pitchers! Are any of the above hard throwers? A good fastball can eliminate many problems. Control pitchers generally need a favorable umpire.

  2. sam October 16, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    no good hitters in AAA ???????

  3. gobbledygookguy October 16, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    what players may actually have a chance to help the twins next year?

  4. TT October 16, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    “Sherry Robertson Award for the organization’s top hitter.”

    Unless they changed it, I think the Sherry Robertson Award goes to the organization’s top minor player, whether pitcher or fielder. It was reported elsewhere that Revere is the first two time recipient since Latroy Hawkins. Hawkins, of course, was a pitcher. Even if its limited to position players, I can’t imagine they evaluate players only on their hitting.

    As for Bromberg, the FSL managers said he was the top pitching prospect. But Baseball America’s own rankings had him the 15th prospect in the league, behind three other pitchers, including the Twins own Carlos Gutierrez. Revere was the 8th prospect in those rankings.

    Valencia looked more like he hit a wall after his fast start at AAA. He didn’t do much over the last half of the season except commit errors. If you look at pure hitters at AAA, Justin Huber was the biggest bat which is why he was called up for the stretch run.

    I would think Steven Singleton would have gotten some consideration. He hit well at New Britain after being promoted and I think he is a true shortstop. By contrast, Dinkelman apparently has range issues even at second base.

    In truth, I think Revere was a no-brainer. Ramos would have been considered if he had played more. You could also make a case for Joe Benson and Tosoni. But Revere really stood out again.

  5. mike wants wins October 16, 2009 at 10:54 am #

    I love Revere’s speed and OBP, but he needs to up his SB success rate signifcantly. You should not be stealing bases if you only succeed 66% of the time (he’s learning now, so I have no problem with the running now, but if he’s going run at higher levels, that has to go over 80% to be worthwhile).

    The lack of guys to even consider at AAA is a tad concerning. The lack of any starting pitcher on your list being close to the majors is a tad concerning.

    I hope Tosoni and a few others get a chance to really show what they can do soon, rather than years from now.

  6. sam October 16, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    NO. one on the 40 man for player of year. who are the best hitter in twins minor?????

  7. Joel Thingvall October 16, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    Pretty good recap, Seth.

    All the players you mentioned should find time with the Twins.

    Valencia seems to be the only one that may be a fulltime player, albeit modest (10-15 homers, .250 average) at third base. But he needs glove work, which may be why he’ll start 2010 at AAA. The other infielders tend to be spare parts, which, considering the state of the elft side of the infield, might be an improvement. Lis, Tosoni, Parmelee all look to be DH candidates, the bat off the bench. I think one of the three is a downright keeper, which the Twins brass have to evaluate. Naturally, having a first baseman mitt potential would be a plus for any of them.

    The bullpen candidates look strong, so see the Twins offering arbitration, again, to Guerrier. I think the powers-tha-be think Crain may have more closer potential than Guerrier, so look for Crain to get a two-year offer, if he’ll take a no raise contract for 2010. There’s closer poptential in the wings, but you can’t judge totally on minor league numbers (plus the return of Neshek). The Twins have lots of bodies, but which ones work is the question.

    Looks like starter potential right when Blackburn, Slowey, Perkins, Swarzak, Duensing start to get pricey. Which is a nice situation to be in…like Baker is good tradebait later in 2010 or 2011…solid pitcher with decent stats and a easy to absorb contract. If the Twins do more of that with their current guys, they have some trade chips down the line.

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