Good morning, folks. I don’t know why, but I am unable to post at www.SethSpeaks.net today. But I did want to post something. First, be sure to tune in at 10:00 central time tonight for Twins Minor League Weekly, a podcast from Travis Aune and myself to discuss the goings on in the Twins farm system.
Yesterday, the Twins again made several transactions in their farm system. Most of them make sense. One completely baffles me. Here is the rundown:
- Toby Gardenhire is promoted to AAA Rochester.
- Erik Lis demoted from Rochester to AA New Britain. (This combination of moves makes sense to me. With both Jose Morales and Wilson Ramos getting AAA at bats, and Brock Peterson at 1B, Lis would get very little playing time with the Red Wings. Gardenhire at least provides flexibility on the bench.
- Chris Cates and Brandon Roberts move to AA New Britain. Cates becomes a AA utilty player even though he’s really struggled at the plate this year. Roberts’ rehab is complete and he heads back to New Britain yet again.
- Loek Van Mil comes off of his rehab and reports to AA New Britain as well.
- Chris Parmelee, Estarlin de Los Santos are demoted from New Britain to High-A Ft. Myers. Both are really struggling. Parmelee never hit for high batting average, but he would take walks and show power. This year, he was not doing either. De Los Santos only played half of the 2009 season in Ft. Myers due to injury, and he coudln’t hit AA pitching either. He also had a lot of errors at SS.
- Joe Benson was demoted from New Britain to Ft. Myers. This is the one that has me completely perplexed. So, why am I so confused by the demotion of a 22 year old who is hitting .219? Let me count the ways:
- In the minor leagues, you look for continued improvement and adjustments. In April, Benson hit .169. In May, he was hitting .283.
- In April, he hit one home run. In May, he hit four home runs. His five homers are tops among all Twins minor leaguers so far this year.
- In 2009 at Ft. Myers, Benson hit .285 and got on base .414. Even when Benson hit .169 in April, he was taking walks and had an IsoD of .127. In May, his IsoD was .128. He consistently walked about 14% of his plate appearances.
- Defense is a strong suit of Benson’s. He has nearly the speed of Ben Revere and is fully capable in centerfield, but he has a very strong arm and can also play right field. He has shown his strong arm with several outfield assists, enough that in recent weeks, he is not being tested as much.
- I am told that this is not a disciplinary demotion in any way. So that is a good thing.
- The one number that is worth noting to be fair to this decision is striking out 27.6% of his plate appearances, and actually in his month of May (when he has an OPS of 1.020) he struck out 32.1% of his plate appearances.
- Maybe this is an attempt to help Ft. Myers win a 1st half title and allow Aaron Hicks and Angel Morales another month of development time in Beloit.
- I know my prospect rankings and thoughts don’t matter in the least, but last week, when I was considering how my Top 50 would look now, I had Joe Benson ranked ahead of Ben Revere, and I will stand by that. Benson’s potential is so much higher than Revere’s, and maybe this demotion will help him to achieve that. And if so, that’s all that matters. Benson’s upside is as high as anyone in the organization, with the possible exception of Aaron Hicks. Had this demotion happened in April, I would not have even been surprised. In fact, before the season, when I was projecting rosters, I actually had Benson starting the year in Ft. Myers. So, it’s not like he couldn’t have used more FSL at bats. I’m just not sure the message it sends when one of the top hitters of the month gets demoted while guys like Chris Cates and Toby Gardenhire get promoted.
But what do I know… I’m just a lowly blogger!! Any thoughts?