SethSpeaks.net May Twins Minor League Hitters of the Month

1 Jun

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

It doesn’t seem like long ago that I was handing out the SethSpeaks.net Hitter and Pitchers of the Month for April, and here we are on June 1 and it is time to hand out the awards for May. As always, there have been some good performances and some bad performances, but you know what I am going to choose to look at.

In April, our top two players of the month came from the Beloit Snappers. Number Two, Oswaldo Arcia, went on the Disabled List on May 1 and had elbow surgery and is likely out for a couple of months. Danny Ortiz was the choice for Hitter of the Month in April when he hit .377/.429/.768 with seven doubles, a triple and six home runs in 69 at bats. In May, he hit .236/.267/.364 with eleven doubles and one home run in 110 at bats.

Today, I will post my top 5 choices for Twins minor league hitter of the month. Tomorrow, I will point out the top 5 Twins starting pitchers for May as well as well as the top 3 relievers that deserve recognition.

Before getting to the Top 5, here are some guys who just missed the subjective list:

  • Rochester – Brian Dinkelman (35-103) .340/.400/.476 with nine doubles, a triple, one home run and ten RBI.
  • Rochester – Ray Chang (28-87) .322/.375/.448 with five doubles, two home runs and nine RBI.
  • Rochester – Aaron Bates (20-63) .317/.434/.476 with four doubles, two home runs and five RBI.
  • New Britain – Yangervis Solarte (32-99) .323/.374/.455 with six doubles, two triples, one home run and 10 RBI.
  • Ft. Myers – Aaron Hicks (24-84) .286/.390/.440 with seven doubles, two homers and 12 RBI.
  • Beloit – Wang-Wei Lin (32-101) .317/.439/.512 with eight doubles, and nine RBI.

Number 5 – Beloit – Michael Gonzales – 1B (31-104) .298/.412/.433 with five doubles, three home runs and 24 RBI.

Gonzales stands out on the Beloit Snappers roster. Part of that is because he stands at 6-6 and 270 pounds. He was the Twins 9th round pick in the 2008 draft out of Diablo Valley College. Last year at Beloit, he hit .236/.322/.439 with 27 doubles and 13 home runs. He walked 36 times and struck out 107 times, about one in three at bats. He had 52 RBI, so the fact that he drove in 24 runs in 32 May games certainly stands out. On the season, Gonzales is hitting .288/.400/.466 with five doubles and seven home runs. When I saw him play in Beloit last year about this time, he had a very slow bat, a very long swing, so the strikeouts are understandable. He also has a ton of power. He had little range at 1B a year ago, but I am told that he has greatly improved his defense over the past year. Gonzales will turn 23 on June 16 and is a candidate for a call up to Ft. Myers later in the season. To this point, he has 38 strikeouts in 175 plate appearances.  

Number 4 – New Britain – Joe Benson - OF (30-101) .297/.398/.485 with eight doubles, a triple, three home runs and 14 RBI.

Benson was honorable mention in April, and only because he really struggled the final week of April. Those struggles continued the first couple of weeks of May, but he has been terrific of late. In his last 10 games, he has hit .484/.579/.774 (15-31) with four doubles, a triple and a home run. In other words, he went 15 for his first 70 in May (.214) and ended the season strong. During his struggles, Benson’s strikeout rate was very poor. On the season, he has 49 strikeouts in 198 plate appearances. Again, this is the key number for Benson as we look at him each month. He isn’t hitting for quite the same power as he did a year ago when he hit a combined 31 doubles, eight triples and 27 home runs in 459 at bats. This year, in 179 at bats, he has 16 doubles, two triples and five home runs. The team’s 2006 second round pick is playing well overall. The reason I think he should remain in Double-A is to try to help him become more consistent.

Number 3 – Beloit – Nate Roberts - OF (29-96) .302/.456/.396 with seven doubles, a triple, and 12 RBI.

The day that Oswaldo Arcia was put on the Disabled List (May 1), Roberts was summoned from Beloit where he had been rehabbing. The 22 year old was the Twins fifth round pick a year ago out of High Point University. After hitting .336/.444/.547 in 128 at bats at Elizabethton last year after signing, he has shown that it was not a fluke. The reason he is this high on the list is because he got on base 45.6% of the time for the month. That is hard to do! He struck out 13 times while walking 16 times. The highlight of his month likely came on May 27 when he went 3-3 with a walk and three doubles. He

Number 2 – Ft. Myers – Evan Bigley - OF (31-103) .301/.363/.544 with ten doubles, three triples, three home runs and 18 RBI.

The Twins drafted Bigley with their 10th round pick in the 2008 draft out of Lew Ford’s alma mater, Dallas Baptist University. Bigley was tremendous for the Rock Cats, especially in the first half of the month. In five games from May 3 to May 7, Bigley had five multi-hit games. Of his 11 hits, he had four doubles, two triples and a home run. He had an 0-2, and then came back with a 2-4 game with another double. Since May 12, he has gone 3-31 (.097) with ten strikeouts. The overall numbers are still good enough for the #2 spot.

The SethSpeaks Minnesota Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month of May is…

Ft. Myers SS Brian Dozier (33-98) .337/.426/.469 with seven doubles, three triple, and 11 RBI.

Brian Dozier celebrated his 24th birthday on May 15th and really hit great after that point. Although, it’s hard to notice because one of the great attributes of Dozier since the Twins used their 8th round pick on the Southern Mississippi shortstop has been his consistency. In April he hit .299 with and OPS of .863. In May, he hit .337 with an OPS of .895. Both months, he walked more than he struck out. On the season, he has 27 walks to go with 20 strikeouts. He is now hitting .320/.430/.464 with 11 doubles, five triples and one home run. He has 13 steals in 17 attempts. And, he plays very good defense. All that said, I expect that his tenure with the Miracle will last until the FSL Western Division first-half title is determined.

For the most part, May was a rough month for hitters throughout the Twins minor league system, but that is not to say there weren’t some really solid performances. Congratulations to Brian Dozier on being the top hitter of the month of May, but also to the others discussed and even those receiving honorable mention.  

Please feel free to discuss and ask questions.

7 Responses to “SethSpeaks.net May Twins Minor League Hitters of the Month”

  1. TT June 1, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    New Britain hitters had a good month. Chris Parmelee could have been on this list as well. I agree with Seth, you want to see them do it consistently. They may have just had a stretch of hittable pitchers.

  2. Twins r BAD June 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    It has to be tough feigning enthusiasm about a season that is lost and flushed down the toilet. Twins prospects – yea right!!! Alex Wimmers – nice waste of money

  3. mike wants wins June 2, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    Good consistency would be nice from the top prospects. We could use some feel goodness around here right now….

  4. Kevin M June 2, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    Thanks Seth. I am a big Brian Dozier fan and would love to see him get promoted up through the system. What odds would you give him of ever playing a game with the Twins? His numbers are excellent and the Twins obviously need a shortstop. Also, considering how many left-handed batters the team has it wouldn’t hurt to have a right handed batter who crushes (21 hits in 54 at bats with a .485 OBP) left handed pitching. I know I am getting ahead of myself, but it is hard to look at those numbers and not hope that Dozier could eventually contribute to the Twins.

  5. gobbledy June 2, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    i see wimmers rated the biggest bust of last yrs first round and shooter hunt has had the same problems what is happening with these guys and why don’t we see some guys just step up and over achieve? hicks is progressing at a snails pace and all the guys coming up look unprepared and lacking basic skills. it’s really hard to have any faith in the twins minor league system right now.

  6. TT June 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Hicks is progressing one year at a time. That is he is progressing exactly as expected, not a snails pace. I have been listening to these complaints about the Twins farm system for at least the last decade. Players drafted in baseball are usually five years or more away from the big leagues. There are exceptions, but not as many as people seem to think. And the exceptions are more like Ben Revere, needing time to adapt to the major leagues, than Joe Mauer who arrived major league ready.

    Wimmers and Hunt look to be busts. Hunt has surprised me with his progress this year. But going from walking over one in four batters to “only” one in five still leaves you a long way to go.

    • mike wants wins June 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      Hicks is in his third year in A ball. Keith Law has stated on two different chats that he cannot think of one elite prospect that has had to repeat that level like Hicks has. You can say that is not a problem, that’s fine, but people with a lot more experience and a wider view than us think this is a problem. BA also said in a recent chat that they still believe in him, but are beginning to have doubts.

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