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I welcomed Twitter followers to send me Twins questions. So here is a quick Twitter mailbag, followed by some links and some updates from the World Cup and the Arizona Fall League.
@mrhorrorpants @SethTweets Twitter Mailbag question: What does Tosoni need to do in the offseason to reach his potential?
Seth Response: He needs to do the things he has done in recent offseasons. He just needs more games. He’s always been a good (top 10-12 Twins) prospect. We saw at the end of the season that he can hit. He has serious power. In the minor leagues, his only weakness was hitting against left-handed pitching. I mention this all the time, but he missed 2/3 of the 2009 season at AA with a shoulder surgery. He then got 19 games at AAA this season before being called up. He clearly was not ready, and then he struggled all season because he was shipped back and forth monthly between Rochester and Minnesota. I don’t know if he’ll be a great role player, but if he gets consistent at bats, he can be a solid player. He could be a .280/.350/.450 type with 12-15 HR and solid corner OF defense. So, again, to answer your question, just needs to keep working.
@bennyc50 @SethTweets do u think the Twins and Rochester will still be together after next season?
I think so. The Twins have done different things and certainly made an attempt to be successful there. They’ve had two horrible years in a row, in part due to poor play, and in part due to injuries in Rochester and with the Twins, both of which have an effect. I would think that a lot of those guys who played in New Britain should be there next year. Along with the appropriate returnees to Rochester, they should be better, more competitive in 2011. It does seem to be a good relationship, most of the time.
@fetch9 @SethTweets #Twins I noticed you tweeted you had Hicks ranked relatively low. How come?
If I were to jot down my Top 10 Twins prospects right now, I would go: 1.) Sano, 2.) Arcia, 3.) Benson, 4.) Hendriks, 5.) Rosario, 6.) Gibson, 7.) Hicks, 8.) Salcedo, 9.) A. Morales, 10.) Parmelee. That’s unofficial, and frankly, Brian Dozier and Alex Wimmers could both be in the top ten after I start doing more and more research. Although I think that Hicks has as much potential as anyone above him with the possible exception of Sano, I don’t know that I can justify putting him ahead of any of them. Arcia’s bat is more advanced than Hicks, and he’s younger. Benson’s got a huge upside. Hendriks can be a 2/3, and he’s two levels higher at about the same age. Rosario put up some huge numbers and is just as good defensively and also has a strong arm. And despite Tommy John, Gibson remains a top prospect. Salcedo is a very strong pitching prospect who is younger. A friend asked me a couple of weeks ago… what has Hicks done to be ranked higher than Angel Morales? I couldn’t come up with an answer. Of course, I added to the fun of prospect discussion by saying, “What has Brian Dozier done to be rated lower than most of these guys?” Prospect rankings are fun, and that’s all they should be. I try to base mine on several things including, but not limited to: 1.) Scouting reports from periodicals, but also from people who know and have seen these guys play, 2.) size, 3.) makeup, 4.) numbers do matter to some degree. Obviously the lower the minor league level, the less the stats mean, but when you add 5.) age to level of competition, a player should start putting up numbers at some point. Hicks is going to be a terrific big league player. I have little doubt in that. First, his signing bonus means he will be given a ton of opportunities. Second, when it comes to tools, he has them all with the probable exception of ‘hit for average.’ Third, he is already terrific with the glove, with speed and with his arm. He also takes a lot of walks. Who knows? By the time I come up with my official ranking in the 2012 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook, he could move up a ways from #7.
@sobermom2006 @SethTweets Any word on who is being traded for next season L
Nothing official, of course. The Twins brass won’t, and shouldn’t, divulge that kind of information. We can all speculate. We can assume that Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau won’t be traded. Obviously Cuddyer, Kubel, Nathan and Capps are free agents. There are several arbitration-eligible players and some tough decisions on some of them. I can’t help but wonder if Denard Span’s name pops up in rumors again this offseason. It’d be selling low on Francisco Liriano, but his name will likely be mentioned in rumors. Due to the whole Doghouse Effect, we could hear rumors of Danny Valencia being traded, which would be a huge mistake. I don’t know that there are many Twins big league players that would 1.) be available, and 2.) other teams would want.
@MNTwinsGUFS @SethTweets Mailbag question: Will Brian Dozier start next season in AAA?
I would certainly hope so based on what he did in New Britain for 2/3 of the season. It wouldn’t hurt him at all if he went back to New Britain for a month, but there’s really little value in doing that. I’d like to see him get a legitimate opportunity for a spot in the Twins opening day lineup, but I can’t imagine that making sense for many reasons.
@SDTwinsFan @SethTweets hey, Seth. What’s your guess for the “biggest upgrade” that we see this off season?”
Well, let me start by saying that I believe that the Twins’ biggest area for upgrade is in the starting pitching rotation. CJ Wilson will get way overpaid by (hopefully) someone else. After that, there are some decent #3 starts available. Doesn’t sound like a major upgrade, but getting a couple of #3 starters will be better than throwing Duensing and Blackburn back out there as starters. I also think they need an upgrade at shortstop. They need a bullpen arm or two. And then they need a backup catcher who can catch up to 75-80 games a year.
What will they do? Who knows? If they can find a way to get a legitimate #2 starter, that would be huge! My dream right now is Tim Hudson, although I can’t imagine he would be available.
@nackstars @SethTweets would the Twins consider Pudge Rodriguez as backup catcher, with his son in the Twins system? Play 1 year, then he could coach!
I doubt it. I mean, Dereck Rodriguez will go to Extended Spring Training again next year, and although he may go to Elizabethton, there is a chance that he will go back to the GCL. It’s not like by being in the same organization, he’d ever get to see his son page. I don’t know if Ivan would ever want to coach, but I think there’s a better chance of him coaching in the Twins farm system in 2011 than playing in it.
There you have it, tonight’s Twitter Mailbag. Hopefully people enjoyed it. As always, please follow me at www.Twitter.com/SethTweets, or just bookmark that link.
On that front:
- Very Well Then posted Brian Harper’s Index – 2011 Twins by the Numbers. Great stuff!
- K-Bro’s comments on the Bill Smith/Dave St. Petere fan forum earlier this week.
- Twins Geek writes that there is no reason for the Twins payroll to decrease next year. My guess is that payroll is based on projected revenues and projected attendance. They were able to add payroll for 2011 because they knew that fans would flock to Target Field again in 2012. Their projected revenues and attendance will most likely drop some in 2012. Therefore, it should come as little surprise that payroll would need to come down a little bit, even if no one wants to hear that. I’d also say that the Twins do have a bunch of money coming off the payroll when/if Nathan, Capps, Cuddyer and/or Kubel are lost to free agency. Sure, the team can go out and spend just to spend and reach a magical, predetermined number/salary that will make fans happy, but as you saw in 2012, payroll doesn’t necessarily equate to wins. Honestly, I don’t care if the Twins increase payroll to $120 million, or if it somehow drops down to $90 million. I want to see moves that make sense and get better. It’s possible for that to happen with less money.
Quick Minor League Notes
- In World Cup action on Thursday afternoon in Panama, Tom Stuifbergen got the start for The Netherlands against Puerto Rico. The right-hander threw seven shutout innings. He gave up five hits, walked just one and struck out two in Holland’s 5-0 win. For Puerto Rico, Nelvin Fuentes gave up two hits and recorded two outs, one on a strikeout.
- James Beresford helped Team Australia to a 4-3 win over Nicaragua. As the team’s leadoff hitter and shortstop, he went 2-5 with a double.
- Thursday – Not quite as far south, Brian Dozier had a big game for Mesa in the Arizona Fall League. He played shortstop and batted second. He went 4-4 with his first home run. He scored three runs and drove in three runs. Aaron Hicks led off and played center field. He went 0-4 with a walk, but he also threw out a base runner at 3B. Brett Jacobson made his first AFL appearance. He gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in 1.2 innings.
- On Wednesday afternoon in Arizona, Brian Dozier was the DH and batted second. He went 1-4 and was hit by a pitch. Aaron Hicks played CF and batted ninth. He was 0-4. Bruce Pugh went 1.1 innings in his first AFL appearance. He gave up four runs on four hits and two walks.
Feel free to comment or ask questions.