also available at www.SethSpeaks.net –
- At 9:20 this morning, I will be on the Nine to Noon Show with Paul Allen on KFAN (am1130 in the Twin Cities), its affiliates around the region and at www.KFAN.com.
- At 10:05, I’ll be on The Jack Michaels Show on espn710 in Bismarck, ND, also talking about the Twins for a few minutes.
- For the Love of the Game’s Betsy was at the game on Tuesday night and stayed around Target Field by the dugout for the Twins celebration. She said it was Just Like 163, Only Better. Check out the pictures, she was really close! And she even got some TV time on FSN, although she quickly darted out of sight!
The Twins have clinched. The team has played remarkably. Now, they are tied with the Yankees for the best record in all of baseball. I would say that the starters earned their day off on Wednesday afternoon, and the whole team will benefit from another day off today. As a minor league guy, I enjoyed the Wednesday lineup that included only Denard Span and Jason Kubel among regular starters.
Following this team through a pennant race is exhausting and it feels like we have covered just about every possible topic as it relates to the 2010 Twins and the push toward the post season.
So today, I’m going to jump back into one of my favorite topics, Twins minor league baseball. Today, I’m going to give you my top five choices for Twins Pitcher of the Year and select the 2010 SethSpeaks.net Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Despite some disappointing team records through the minor league ranks, there were some very good pitching performances that deserve to be recognized. When it comes to my choice for Pitcher of the Year, that is different than a prospect ranking. Of the eight players that I will mention below, it is likely that three of them will be in my top ten Twins prospects list later this fall. It is possible that a couple of them won’t even be in the top fifty prospect list, but still had terrific seasons. Last year’s pitcher of the year, David Bromberg, quietly had another very strong season as he moves up the Twins organizational ladder. Let’s get to the list:
#5 – Anthony Slama – Rochester Red Wings – 26 years old – RHP
Anthony Slama finally got his opportunity to help the Twins at the big league level. He pitched in five games for the Twins. He again spent most of his season in Triple A Rochester. While there, he went 2-2 with 17 saves and a 2.20 ERA in 54 games. In 65.1 innings, he walked 32 and struck out 74. Opponents hit just .170 against him all year. Slama will turn 27 years old during the offseason and the Twins really need to just give him an opportunity in 2011 and see what he can do.
#4 – Kyle Gibson – Ft. Myers/New Britain/Rochester – 22 years old – RHP
Gibson made his much-anticipated official pro debut in 2010. He signed late after being the Twins top pick in 2009 and pitched some in the Instructional League. But he played his first official games this year, starting with Ft. Myers. There, he was 4-1 with a 1.87 ERA in 43.1 innings. He moved up to Double-A New Britain and went 7-5 with a 3.68 ERA. He was finally summoned to Triple-A Rochester where he was 0-0 with a 1.72 ERA before being shut down for the season. Overall, he went 11-6 with a 2.96 ERA. In 152 innings, he gave up 136 hits, walked 39 and struck out 126. Opponents hit a combined .242 against him. Gibson definitely fits the mold of a Twins pitcher. Throws strikes, mixes pitches, pitches to contact. We could see him at Target Field by the end of June.
#3 – Dan Osterbrock – Beloit/Ft. Myers – 23 years old – LHP
After being named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year in 2008, Osterbrock struggled in Beloit in 2009. He returned to the Midwest League to start the 2010 season. He made five starts, was twice the Pitcher of the Week and threw a no-hitter. And then he was promoted to Ft. Myers. There, he went 7-8, but had just a 2.73 ERA. Overall, he went 9-9 with a 2.65 ERA. In 139.1 innings, he walked just 28 and struck out 106. He does not throw very hard, so his .236 opponent batting average against is even more impressive. Just a tremendous bounce-back season for the lefty from the University of Cincinnati.
#2 – Kane Holbrooks – Beloit/Ft. Myers/New Britain – 23 years old – RHP
Holbrooks was a 2nd team All American in 2009 yet he fell to the Twins in the 21st round of the draft. He pitched solely out of the bullpen at Elizabethton after signing with the Twins. He began 2010 in the Beloit Snappers bullpen where he dominated before getting two starts. In Beloit, he was 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA and nine saves. In 54 inning, he walked 13 and struck out 71! He moved up to Ft. Myers and made seven starts. He was 3-3 with a 2.27 ERA. At the end of the year, he was moved up to New Britain where he made one start and gave up three runs in five innings. Overall, Holbrooks went 8-6 with a 2.10 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. He made 32 appearances out of the bullpen and ten starts. In 102.2 combined innings, he gave up 90 hits, walked 29 and struck out 120. Opponents hit just .231 off of him.
The SethSpeaks.net Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year is…
Liam Hendriks – Beloit/Ft. Myers – 21 years old – RHP
Hendriks missed just over a month of the season because of an emergency appendectomy and yet his numbers are so incredible that he is still my choice for Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Week. He began the season at Beloit where he went 2-1 with a 1.32 ERA. In 34 innings, he gave up just 16 hits, walked four and struck out 39 while batters hit just .138 against him. He moved up to Ft. Myers where he went 6-3 with a 1.93 ERA. In 74.2 innings, he gave up 63 hits, walked eight and struck out 66. Overall, he went 8-4 with a 1.74 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP. In 108.2 innings, he gave up just 79 hits, walked just 12 and struck out 105 while limiting batters to a .199 average.
Honorable Mention –
- David Bromberg – New Britain/Rochester – 23 years old – RHP (6-9. 3.75 ERA, 151.1 innings, 152 H, 48 BB, 112 K)
- Kyle Waldrop – Rochester Red Wings – 24 years old – RHP (59 G, 5-3, 2.57 ERA, 2 saves, 87.2 innings, 89 H, 20 BB, 60 K)
- Dakota Watts – Beloit/Ft. Myers/New Britain – 23 years old – RHP (6-3, 3.10 ERA, 8 saves, 81.1 innings, 61 H, 44 BB, 89 K)
What do you think? Who would get your vote? Remember, this is now a vote for the best prospect, but the Pitcher of the Year. I think it’s pretty easy to say that Kyle Gibson is the Twins best prospect, although Bromberg and Hendriks certainly have to be in the discussion. Where would your vote go?
Feel free to leave your questions and comments here.