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As games finished on Labor Day in the Twins minor league system, the Twins minor league season came to an end. New Britain had an opportunity to make the playoffs had Reading lost and the Rock Cats won. Unfortunately, the R-Phillies won their game. The Elizabethton Twins were the lone playoff team in the organization, although they lost in the first round. It was a disappointing season in the Twins farm system. However, there are a lot of guys who had very good seasons. Today, I’ll present for you my choices for the Twins Minor League Hitter, Starting Pitcher and Relief Pitcher of the Year in three separate blog entries. We will start with the Relief Pitchers. Feel free to debate them, or ask any questions you may have in the Comments section:
Relief Pitcher of the Year
#4 – Chuck James – Rochester Red Wings (3-2, 2.30 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 62.2 IP, 49 H, 27 BB, 67 K)
James was inexplicably not a September call-up, but he had a terrific year with the Rochester Red Wings.
#3 – Matt Hauser – Beloit Snappers/Ft. Myers Miracle/New Britain Rock Cats (5-6, 12 saves, 1.98 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 63.2 IP, 29 BB, 75 K)
Hauser was the Twins 7th round pick in 2010 out of the University of San Diego. He throws hard and racks up strikeouts. The 23 year old threw 17 games for Beloit, 24 games for Ft. Myers, and then gave up just one run in 2.2 innings in this AA debut on Labor Day.
#2 – Jose Gonzalez – Beloit Snappers (5-3, 13 saves, 2.47 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 62 IP, 49 H, 23 BB, 63 K)
At 5-9, Jose Gonzalez is a mini-Jose Mijares, in stature. Like Mijares (circa 2009), Gonzalez throws hard and has a very good slider. He gave up just two home runs and opponents hit just .210 against him. Left-handers hit just .143 off of him.
Relief Pitcher of the Year – Andrew Albers – Ft. Myers Miracle/New Britain Rock Cats (8-2, 4 saves, 2.16 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 95.2 IP, 92 H, 14 BB, 80 K)
Albers ended the 2010 season playing independent league ball in his native Canada. He got a late tryout with the Twins this spring and made the most of it. He began the season at Extended Spring Training, but he was quickly promoted to Ft. Myers where he was 4-1 with a 1.55 ERA. Quickly, he moved to New Britain and was 4-1 with a 2.91 ERA. He fulfilled many roles for his teams this year. He made seven starts. He pitched long relief and short relief, and he closed out some games. The 25 year old was a tremendous minor league free agent signing!
Feel free to discuss in the Comments section.