Day 2 in Beloit

24 May

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On Saturday night, I blogged some thoughts live from Beloit on seeing the Beloit Snappers and the Cedar Rapids Kernels play on Friday night. Today I’ll discuss my thoughts on seeing the teams play on Saturday. (If you don’t want to read my thoughts, you can scroll down for the Minor League updates from the games). Josh Johnson and I got to Beloit on Friday afternoon and watched the team’s play that night. We found a hotel room, but we had to check out by 11:00 a.m. One thing we didn’t consider is what to do from the time we had to get out of the hotel until going to the ballpark around 5:00. Well, I got an oil change in my car and we ate at a sports bar called Jerseys in Beloit. We decided to go to the theatre and watched Iron Man 2. I actually really liked it, which surprised me, considering I hadn’t seen the first and don’t really get into the Marvel Comics movies. But it was very good and we (as in me) really like Scarlett Johansson. She just seems very, well, friendly. Then we went to Applebee’s to watch the Twins/Brewers game until we headed over to the park.  

 Here are a few quick notes from watching the Saturday night Snappers game in person (so take it for what it is worth, a very small sample size):

  • Aaron Hicks is where he should be. Going 2-4 with two walks is very good. It shows his ability to take pitches and work a walk. He stands right on the plate and has very quick hands. He has a very strong swing. His second hit was a line drive to the opposite field. He played CF in this game and completely misplayed a ball to dead center. He froze and even took a step forward on a fly ball that ended up landing on the warning track. He showed a good arm, or course. He is close to ready to advance, but there is zero rush, so it would be good to see him stay for a little longer.
  • Angel Morales struck out just once in the two games. That is good because he had really been struggling. He struggles some with curveball and sliders, as a lot of hitters at this level do. But he has such a strong, quick swing. I was expecting to see more bad swings on breaking balls, but he was on all of them and fouled a couple straight back. His speed is very impressive. He played RF in this game (after DHing on Friday night), and did alright out there. Nothing stood out either way. Good arm, certainly not comparable to Hicks, but pretty accurate. It would be nice to see Morales go on a strong run for the next month and then move up.
  • James Beresford was the most impressive players to me. He looks very young and is very skinny, but I was impressed by how he looked at the plate. In this game, he was 1-6, but I was still impressed by the type of at bat. He took pitches, he had very good bat control. But I was especially impressed by his defense. He is a very good shortstop, but he played 2B both games. He made all the plays and made them look easy. In this game, he made a play going far up the middle, back-handing the ball and leaping toward left field to throw out the runner at first base (similar to the play that Derek Jeter has made famous). He’s got a good arm and good range on grounders or pop ups. And then there are the intangibles. He was the clear leader of that infield. He took charge out there. In fact, there was one time during a tough situation that he called catcher Tobias Streich out to the mound for a quick discussion. We keep hearing that when he grows into his body and gains weight, he will be very good. I now completely agree with it.
  • Danny Rams can crush the ball. He can hit fastballs pretty well. But he also has struck out a lot in his career, and watching, it is pretty clear why. He swings and misses a lot at breaking balls. After crushing a fastball to the right center field gap and then drilling a fastball for a single in his second at bat, he struck out the final three at bats, on curveballs. One of them landed in the left-handed batters box.
  • Michael Tonkin looked alright. Decent fastball. Doesn’t throw real hard. Early in the game, his curveball just rolled, but as the game went on, it got more and more sharp and was very good. Very thin, he has a chance to be good if he can get bigger and stronger, add some velocity and maintain his terrific control.
  • Dakota Watts is a reliever to watch. He throws pretty hard and has a solid slider. But he came into a tough position and got out of it with strikeouts. One thing I noticed about all of the Snappers relievers is that they have the ability to work out of really tough situations. Of course, they also showed a great ability to put the team in some really tough situations to get out of.
  • Tobias Streich had a rough game too on Saturday night. He threw out two would-be base stealers… out of 11. That’s right, nine stolen bases against the Snappers. On two of them, the ball went in to centerfield and he was changed with an error. Now, some of that is on the pitchers and I believe that a middle infielder should try to knock the ball down if it could go in the outfield, but it was a tough game for the defensive-minded catcher.
  • Reggie Williams was drafted as a great athlete. He played 3B both games and had a couple of plays that made me, a former 3B, cringe, and then he had a couple of plays there that made me say “Wow!” He looks more like a 2B to me.
  • Daniel Santana came up and had a rough Midwest League debut. He went 1-5 with three strikeouts. In his first at bat, he had three fastballs blown right by of them. A couple of them were at head level. As the game went on, you could see that he has an ability to be a line drive hitter if he swings at good pitches. Defensively, I saw a guy who could be a very good defensive shortstop. He has good hands and a very strong arm. However, a couple of his throws were wild. He had three errors in the game as well. Josh said the first part of the following and I added the second part: “Daniel Santana makes James Beresford look old and chubby.” Santana is tiny. He may be 5-7, and he may be 150 pounds, but he has a chance if he keeps working. Ideally he would head back to Elizabethton for the 2010 season.  
  • Finally, in a couple of games that had Aaron Hicks and Angel Morales, the best prospect that I saw was Mike Trout of the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He was the Angels 1st round pick (25th overall) last year. The 19 year old centerfielder is hitting about .360 so far this year, gets on base via walk, and has nearly 20 extra base hits already this year, including five home runs. Offensively, he is incredible. In centerfield, I thought he was pretty advanced. His arm may not be as good as Aaron Hicks, but he got tremendous reads on fly balls. In general, I just think he looks like a guy that prospect fans will want to get to know.

In all, I think that going to Beloit was a great experience. Saturday’s game went 11 innings and didn’t finish until about 10:20 p.m. It was a great game. The only negative is that we had to drive back to the Twin Cities after the game to get Josh back for a previous commitment. I drove until about 12:30 and then couldn’t keep my eyes open, so I asked Josh if he could. He did, and I got into the passenger’s seat. After talking for a couple of minutes, the next thing I knew, I looked at the clock and it had been 40 minutes. I apparently fell asleep mid-sentence. I was awake for another couple of minutes, and the next thing I knew, it was an hour after that. I asked how he was doing driving and he said just fine. Next thing I knew, it was 3:00 and we were to St. Paul, just about to 35E! Dropped Josh off at 3:30 and then I got home about 3:50. I am WAY too old for that. I am thinking of getting back to Beloit again in June if it works out.

If you have any questions or comments about Beloit, the trip or any of the players, please feel free to e-mail me.  

Here is a quick glance at what happened on Saturday and Sunday in the Twins minor league system:

SethSpeaks Saturday Minor League Hitter of the Day – Chris Parmelee – Ft. Myers Miracle

SethSpeaks Saturday Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Joe Testa – New Britain Rockcats

SethSpeaks Sunday Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ben Revere – New Britain Rockcats

SethSpeaks Sunday Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Carlos Gutierrez – New Britain Rockcats

  • A bunch of people have asked me about what is happening with Matt Bashore. I finally received confirmation that he had, or will have, Tommy John surgery and miss this entire season.
  • Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco will begin their Twins playing career in the Dominican Summer League. They will play there for a few weeks, until the GCL Twins season starts. At that time, they will evaluate whether to push them to the GCL or let them continue to play in the DSL.
  • Paul Kelly and Drew Thompson are both currently out of the Ft. Myers Miracle lineup with injuries. Thompson has a hamstring injury, while Kelly is having wrist issues.
  • Tom Stuifbergen told me that he threw a bullpen on Friday and felt good. He expects to be out another week and probably pitch out of the bullpen a couple of times.
  • As LaVelle posted last week, Ben Tootle has been sent back to the Twin Cities to check out why he is experiencing elbow soreness and pain.  

Red Wings Report   

Saturday – Rochester 9, Norfolk 2 Matt Fox pitched well and was helped by plenty of offensive support to gain his fourth win of the year. In six innings, he gave up two runs (1 earned) on five hits. He struck out two and walked none. Jose Lugo gave up three hits and a walk, but no runs, in 1.2 innings. Anthony Slama struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings. Matt Tolbert went 3-5 with his eighth double and fifth stolen base. Toby Gardenhire went 3-5 with his first double (actually his first three hits with the Red Wings). Danny Valencia went 3-4 and was hit by a pitch. Brian Dinkelman went 2-5 with his ninth double. Wilson Ramos went 2-5 with his third double.

Sunday – Rochester 8, Norfolk 4 Jeff Manship started and gave up three runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings. He struck out four. Tim Lahey walked two in 1.1 scoreless innings. Kyle Waldrop gave up a solo home run in two innings. Rob Delaney walked one in a scoreless inning. Danny Valencia went 2-4 with a walk. Matt Macri went 2-3 with a walk and his seventh double. Jason Repko went 2-5 with two RBI and his fifth stolen base. Jacque Jones went 2-5. Brian Dinkelman hit his second home run.   

New Britain Notes

Saturday – New Britain 1, Binghamton 3Santos Arias made his first start of the 2010 season. He gave up two runs on three hits (two solo home runs). He walked two and struck out one in 4.2 innings. He falls to 0-6 with a 4.50 ERA. Joe Testa has come on of late. He was perfect for 2.1 innings. Loek Van Mil gave up one run on two hits and a walk in one inning. Matt Williams walked one and struck out one in an inning. Ben Revere went 3-5 with his 14th stolen base. Allan de San Miguel went 1-2 with two walks. Erik Lis hit his second home run.

Sunday – New Britain 5, Binghamton 2Ben Revere again led the offense. He went 3-4 with a walk and two stolen bases. Carlos Gutierrez recorded his first win of the year. He gave up just two runs on seven hits in 7.2 innings. He walked one and struck out four. Matt Williams recorded his first save with 1.1 scoreless innings.

  • Ben Revere is on a tear. In his last nine games, he has gone 18-38 (.474) with six walks, two doubles, a triple and a home run. In his last six games, he is 14-26 (.538).
  • Carlos Gutierrez improved to 1-3 with a 3.75 ERA. In his first start of the season, he gave up four runs in four innings. In his April 24th start, he gave up eight runs in four innings. In his seven other starts, he has given up two or less runs.

Miracle Matters

Saturday – Ft. Myers 1, Daytona 6 – Chris Parmelee got off to a slow start in Ft. Myers, but had a great weekend. In this game, he was 3-4. Brian Dozier made his Miracle debut and was 2-4. Jair Fernandez also was 2-4 and drove in the lone run. Liam Hendriks had his first rough start of the year. He gave up four runs on eight hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out six. Andrei Lobanov gave up just two hits in three shutout innings. Steve Blevins gave up two runs on four hits in two innings.

Sunday – Ft. Myers 7, Daytona 9 – Chris Parmelee again went 3-4 in this game, adding a walk, a triple and three RBI to raise his average to .360. Brian Dozier went 2-5 with two RBI. Dan Osterbrock fell to 0-4. In 5.1 innings, he gave up seven runs (5 earned) on 10 hits. He walked one and struck out three. Shooter Hunt came in and gave up a run on two hits and two walks in 1.2 innings. Billy Bullock struck out four in two scoreless innings.  

Snappers Snippets

Saturday – Beloit 5, Cedar Rapids 7 (11 innings)Michael Tonkin started and gave up four runs (3 earned) on eight hits. He walked none and struck out just two in 5.1 innings. Dakota Watts came in and walked two and struck out three in 1.2 innings. Kane Holbrooks gave up one run on two hits and two walks in his two innings. He struck out four. Jhon Garcia gave up two runs on two hits and two walks in two innings to take the loss. Aaron Hicks went 2-4 with two walks. Danny Rams went 2-5 with his tenth double and two RBI. Josmil Pinto was 2-5. Angel Morales went 0-2 with two walks and a hit by pitch. In the bottom of the ninth, he was hit in the helmet by a fastball. Josh Johnson has video of it that he will soon post on YouTube that you will want to watch. Daniel Santana made his Midwest League debut and it was a rough one. He went 1-5 with three strikeouts. He also committed three errors.   

Sunday – Beloit 2, Cedar Rapids 14 Miguel Munoz gave up four runs on six hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out three. Peter Kennelly gave up six runs (5 earned) on six hits and two walks in three innings. Matt Tone gave up a solo home run and struck out two in his inning. Catcher Tobias Streich gave up three runs on two hits and a walk in his inning of work. James Beresford went 2-3 with his fifth double. Aaron Hicks hit his eighth double.  

If you have any thoughts, please feel free to comment here.

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10 Responses to “Day 2 in Beloit”

  1. Brian May 24, 2010 at 3:44 am #

    Just made my first trip to Beloit last week (Tuesday the 18th) to watch the double header against Kane County. I agree with you about Beresford. He looked really natural in the field & turned some nice double plays (played 2nd that day). Dozier looked really good too. Josmil Pinto has a cannon behind the plate. Going back on June 8th. Great place for autographs, if you’re into that.

  2. mike wants wins May 24, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    Parmalee is hitting 360? Wow. I’m not sure I thought I’d ever see a BA like that from him. Any news on what progress he’s really making, or not?

  3. Seth May 24, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    Parmelee had two straight 3-4 days to hit .360. Two days earlier, he was hitting about .150.

    Speaks to why early season (and 6 games with a new team) stats mean very little. But it also speaks to maybe this being the best thing that hte Twins could have done for the careers of both Benson and Parmelee.

  4. mike wants wins May 24, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    ah, I read that wrong. I was thinking that was season stats….which is silly now that I think about it….

    • gobbledy May 24, 2010 at 10:40 am #

      mike what do you think about trying to get oswalt?

  5. mike wants wins May 24, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    ggg: Not sure. His summary stats look quite nice, but I’ve not really looked at his underlying stuff. He is owed a TON of money – I think someone wrote on line that only 1 pitcher has been traded that was owed more recently. He’s not young either. However, he sure looks like he’s better than anything the Twins have in their rotation today. I’d also think that the Astros would have to settle for less than they want, given the contract. However, the Astros (if I recall the conversation the last two years) are very irrational about their demands.

    That was pathetically mushy. I guess I’ll take a stand, since you asked. I’d rather have him than Slowey and possibly Liriano (right now anyway). I’ve never been a real believer in Slowey (which is not justifiable, just where I sit). I’d certainly deal Revere and Delaney and Perkins and a minor pitching prospect for him. But, I doubt that is enough. I would not include Gibson or Hicks or Gutteirrez in any deal for him. It’s not like he’s been healthy his whole career.

    • mike wants wins May 24, 2010 at 10:54 am #

      I think he’d be their best pitcher, so I’d rather have him than any other guy in the rotation, but I’m not sure I’d deal Baker or Blackburn for him.

      • gobbledy May 24, 2010 at 11:30 am #

        my first thought was slowey and revere. we have lots of outfield prospects and i think slowey is at best borderline. his control has to be perfect or he gets hit hard and the 5 inning stuff just doesn’t cut it. he may actually be a very decent pitcher in the nl.
        i see cuddy and dy have nearly indentical stats of course cuddy gets 3x salary. he isn’t earning his pay this year, hope he gets his ars in gear. nice to see dy make some improvements might still end up a good player. i haven’t given up hope for dy yet, he’s still the youngest guy on the team sure rather see him succeed than fail.

  6. jimcrikket May 24, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Seth, I couldn’t agree more regarding Mike Trout. I certainly don’t attend every Kernels game in CR, but I’ve yet to see him have a bad game. Off the top of my head, I think Trout and Luis Jimenez may be the best pair of Angels prospects I’ve seen play together in CR since Dallas McPherson and Casey Kotchman back in 2002.

    I’m glad you got over to Beloit (and home safely) and I’m looking forward to the Snappers coming back to CR in a couple of weeks. (By the way, CR is only 4 to 4.5 hours from the Twin Cities!)

  7. Ruth May 24, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Glad you had a fun trip to Beloit, Seth. Tip: it’s much easier to stay overnight after the game and drive back the next day. 🙂 We’re planning to go in August….can’t wait!

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