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Organizational Depth Chart: Middle Infielders

31 Jan

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Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook 2012 – Now Available as an e-book for $6.99 by clicking here. You can, of course, still get the print version for $13.99 by clicking here.

 Last week, I started looking at the depth throughout the Twins system. I reviewed the catchers, first basemen and third basemen. After a weekend at Twins Fest (which I’ll write about very soon), I thought it would be good to get back into the Organizational Depth Chart series. Today, I am going to write about the Middle Infielders. I decided to put the shortstops and second basemen together because so many of these players can and will play both positions. As I’ve said before, the purpose of this series is two-fold (if not more). First, it’s a look at the depth at or near the big leagues. Second, it’s a glance at the depth at the position throughout the system. You can find out who might be coming up to the Twins if there is a need, and you can find out who the prospects to watch might be.

I need to reiterate that these are my thoughts. I have no insider information to know where players will be playing for certain in 2012. Obviously after spring training, some of these players will be let go. There will be Disabled List players, extended

Minnesota Twins  

Jamey Carroll (SS), Alexi Casilla (2B), Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Luke Hughes

About the time spring training starts, Carroll will turn 38 years old. Most consider him a utility player, and he probably is because he plays multiple positions. He has accumulated more than 350 plate appearances five of the last six years. The last two years, he has combined for 924 plate appearances. He played 129 games at second base, and another 135 and shortstop. The Twins are bringing him in for the next two seasons to be their starting shortstop. He’s an on-base machine, perfect for the #2 spot in the lineup. Alexi Casilla has proven himself to be a solid utility infielder but has often shown that he can’t handle an every day job. I thought last year was his last chance to prove that, but he’s getting another opportunity in 2012. I’m not going to say Luke Hughes is the answer, but Casilla has received so many opportunities, I’d rather Hughes get a shot at the regular, daily second base job with Casilla as a role player. We don’t know if Hughes will hit, but he does have some pop in his bat. We know that Casilla won’t do much. I’m understanding that Nishioka needs and deserves to start 2012 with an empty slate. 2011 was an awful year for him. He was adjusting to so many things on and off the field, and then he was hurt within the first week and never fully recovered. The best thing would have been for him to get a lot of time in the minors last year. Maybe that can happen in 2012.  

Rochester Red Wings

Brian Dozier (SS), Pedro Florimon (2B), Ray Chang, Brian Dinkelman

Brian Dozier was the minor league player of the year in 2011 and hopes to build upon that starting in spring training in 2012. There is little chance he’ll open with the Twins. In fact, there’s a better chance he returns to New Britain and based on the past, I would not be shocked if he did start the season with the Rock Cats. But he’s ready for AAA, and nearly ready for the big leagues. Part of why I would like to see Hughes get the starting gig with the Twins, is because by June, he could move to the bench with Carroll shifting to second base and Dozier jumping to the Twins. But, let’s see how he starts the 2012 season before counting any eggs, or something like that. The Twins claimed Florimon from the Orioles in December, but nearly immediately placed him on waivers. He cleared and was outrighted to Rochester. He jumped from AA to the big leagues with a September call-up. He will certainly get plenty of time at shortstop with Dozier moving to second. Chang will play all around the infield. He was the Red Wings starting shortstop while he was with the team last year, before his broken leg. Dinkelman finally got his chance with the Twins last year and hit .301. He struggled in Rochester. He can play second base but can also play the corner outfield positions.

New Britain Rock Cats

James Beresford (SS), Estarlin de Los Santos (2B), Chris Cates

James Beresford is tremendous with the glove. He is a smooth fielder with soft hands and a strong arm. He can play both middle infield positions well and is a leader on the infield. His play in international competition has really been impressive. He has hit for average in his minor league career. He takes really good, quality at bats. But because he is almost exclusively a singles hitter, he will not be walked often. He also doesn’t strike out much. He works very hard to gain weight, and hopefully that will happen soon to give the opponents a little concern for extra base hits. De Los Santos was once considered a quality prospect in the Twins system. He was added to the 40 man roster, but that lasted just a year. 2011 was a lost year for him. He spent most of the season on the Disabled List, rehabbed quite a bit in the GCL. He got a little time at Ft. Myers, played second base before he finally ended his season with elbow surgery. Although he could have become a free agent at the end of the season, he signed quickly to remain with the Twins. Cates is a strong defender at both middle infield positions. He also has a very strong arm.

Ft. Myers Miracle

Tyler Grimes (SS), Danny Santana (2B), Reggie Williams, Adam Bryant

Grimes was the Twins 5th round pick just last year out of college baseball power house Wichita State. He missed a little bit of time after signing with the Twins and reporting to Beloit. He can hit. He’s another on-base percentage guy with some pop in his bat. He has good speed and plays solid defense. Santana primarily played shortstop in Beloit, but he will likely get time at second base and in centerfield as well in 2011. He has great range, soft hands and a very strong arm. He does have pop in his bat although his 2011 numbers don’t necessarily show it. He has a immense talent and all the tools, but he will need to start putting it together. Reggie Williams was a fourth round pick in 2007 out of high school. He is a terrific athlete, and he will play all around the diamond in 2012. He can play four infield positions and probably all three outfield positions. He primarily plays 2B, 3B and LF, but who knows, we may even see him behind the plate this year.

Beloit Snappers

Levi Michael (SS), Eddie Rosario (2B), AJ Pettersen, Stephen Wickens, Nick Lockwood

One question we’ve been hearing all offseason is Where will Levi Michael start his 2012 season? The Twins have had top college pitchers jump straight to Ft. Myers. All indications are the Michael will begin the season with the Beloit Snappers. Making me want to get to Beloit early in the season is an infield that should include Michael, Rosario and Miguel Sano. I would also expect that Michael would get no more than a half-season in Beloit before being promoted. Rosario was the Appy League co-MVP last year when he hit .337 with 38 extra base hits, including 21 home runs in 67 games. He also is a tremendous center fielder. During Instructional League, he was moved to second base. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. I would assume he will continue to get some time in the outfield as well. Sano will likely see some time at shortstop. Minnetonka native and former Gopher and last year’s 25th round pick AJ Pettersen said he is willing to play anywhere, but he is a natural shortstop who started there for the Gophers four years. Wickens is a Canadian who is a four year college shortstop as well with very good on-base skills. I would expect that Michael will be promoted in mid-June with Niko Goodrum moving up to take his spot. Nick Lockwood is a tremendous defensive second baseman. Although he didn’t hit much at E-town last year, he has a strong, line drive swing and uses the whole field.

Extended Spring Training/Short-Season

Niko Goodrum (SS), Jorge Polanco (SS), Wander Guillen (2B)

Goodrum had a very strong season with the Elizabethton Twins, even if it was lost behind the big seasons of Sano and Rosario. He is a tremendous athlete who will take a while to develop. That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts the season at Extended Spring Training. I would, however, be surprised if he spends any more time with Elizabethton. I would expect him to be promoted to Beloit whenever there is a need, or whenever Michael is promoted. Polanco signed with the Twins for over $750,000 two years ago. He and Miguel Sano split 2010 between the DSL and GCL. Polanco returned to the GCL in 2011 and didn’t do much with the bat. Touted for his terrific defense at shortstop, he played 19 games there in 2011, 14 at third base and 11 at second base. He also played all three outfield positions. He will spend 2012 in Elizabethton. Wander Guillen is a third baseman, but with Travis Harrison around, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Guillen play more at second base, where he has played a little the past two seasons. He also should advance to E-Town in 2012 after splitting 2011 between the DSL and GCL.


1.)    Eddie Rosario, 2.) Brian Dozier, 3.) Levi Michael, 4.) Niko Goodrum, 5.) Danny Santana, 6.) James Beresford, 7.) Tyler Grimes, 8.) Jorge Polanco


After what Twins fans saw at the shortstop position in 2011, it was pretty clear that the Twins needed a change in 2012! Alexi Casilla started the season as the shortstop and through five weeks was hitting about .150. Trevor Plouffe got a couple of games. Tsuyoshi Nishioka was given an opportunity. It wasn’t pretty all season. Jamey Carroll should bring consistency to the position. He may not have a ton of range, but he will make most of the routine plays and it winds up that trait is pretty important. Cailla and Hughes may be a solid platoon and the Twins should see again what they have in Nishioka, if anything. Brian Dozier is on the cusp and we should (or at least could) see him by July. The lower levels of the system actually provide a bunch of solid prospects to at least be excited about. Rosario is intriguing as a second baseman. Scouts love Levi Michael and he could move fairly quickly. He was one of five college shortstops the Twins drafted in 2011 (Michael-1, Grimes-5, Bryant-9, Pettersen-25, Wickens-33), each of which should get a lot of playing time in 2012. Accumulating a lot of talent in the lower levels is great, and hopefully a couple of them will continue to progress through the system.  

If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail me at or leave your thoughts in the Comments Section!

Twins Minors Playoff Push

27 Aug

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The Twins lost yet again. They are bad. The Rochester Red Wings will lose over 90 games this year. The Ft. Myers Miracle have had a bad second half after nearly winning their division title in the first half. The GCL Twins are in second place, but will not make the playoffs in the Gulf Coast League. The Beloit Snappers were competing for a Wild Card spot in the Midwest League until their recent losing streak. However, there are two Twins affiliates that do have a chance to make their league’s playoffs.


As they do pretty much every year, the E-Twins will most likely make the playoffs again this year. In fact, it is possibly that the team could clinch a spot today. They will finish in second place behind Johnson City, but the E-Twins are playing really well right now. They are being led by Appalachian League co-MVP Eddie Rosario, who has hit eight home runs in the team’s last ten games.

On Thursday, the E-Twins beat Bluefield (the team they could play in the first round of the playoffs) by a score of 17-8. Rosario went 3-5 with a walk and his 18th and 19th home runs. Matt Koch went 3-6 with his fourth and fifth doubles, his second home run and four RBI. AJ Pettersen went 3-4 with two walks. Niko Goodrum was 3-5. Miguel Sano went 2-6. Tyler Koelling went 2-4 with a walk. JD Williams was 2-6 with his third home run. Tyler Jones made his first start and gave up six runs on six hits and two walks in three innings. David Hurlbut came in and gave up just one run on five hits and a walk in five innings. Corey Williams finished the game.

On Friday, the E-Twins picked up an 11-4 win over Bluefield, who decided it wouldn’t let Rosario beat them. He went 0-1 before being walked the next four times he came to the plate, twice intentionally. Miguel Sano made them pay for it. He was 2-5 with his seventh triple, 17th home run and five RBI. Nick Lockwood went 3-5 with a walk and his 11th and 12th doubles. Jairo Rodriguez was 3-5. Niko Goodrum went 2-4 with a walk, his 10th double and eighth stolen base. Max Kepler was 2-4 with a walk. JD Williams was 2-5 with his 11th double. Tim Shibuya, the Appalachian League’s Pitcher of the Year started and gave up just one run on three hits and a walk in six innings. He left with a 4-1 lead, in line for his 9th win. However, Steven Gruver gave up three runs in the seventh inning to create a 4-4 tie. He got two outs in the 8th inning before Steve Evans came in and got the final four outs.

Eddie Rosario is now hitting .317/.384/.635 (1.018 OPS) with nine doubles, seven triples, 19 home runs and 54 RBI. He also has 15 stolen bases, and he plays an incredible centerfield. In his last ten games, he is hitting. 417/.553/1.139 (1.692 OPS) with one triple, eight home runs and 16 RBI. He also has 11 walks with just six strikeouts. Over the same period, Miguel Sano is hitting .318/.388/.659 with four doubles, a triple, three home runs and 16 RBI. In his last ten games, Niko Goodrum is hitting .459/.545/.649 (1.194 OPS) with two doubles, a triple, a home run, and seven walks.  


Over the last two days the Rock Cats have made up two games in the standing and currently are tied with Reading for a wild card spot in the Eastern League playoffs.

On Thursday night, the Rock Casts grabbed an early 9-2 lead through seven innings when the game was delayed by rain. When they came back, Trenton scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth to cut the lead to 9-8. However, in the top of the 9th, Chris Cates came through with a two-run single to score Yangervis Solarte and Joe Benson and give the Rock Cats some insurance and an 11-8 win. Spencer Steedley started and gave up two runs on five hits and a walk in five innings. Steve Hirschfeld gave up just one hit over two scoreless innings and struck out three. Michael Tarsi came in for the 8th inning and faced five batters. He gave up three hits, and he and Cates each commented an error before Dakota Watts came in. Tarsi was charged with five runs (2 earned). Watts got two outs but gave up another run. Tyler Robertson came in and gave up another hit and walk in the 8th but got out of that inning with the one run lead. He then got all three outs in the 9th for his 16th save. Chris Herrmann went 3-4 with his seventh home run and four RBI. Brian Dozier was 2-5 with his sixth double. Deibinson Romero went 2-4 with his 26th double. Evan Bigley was 2-5.

On Friday night, Andrew Albers gave the Rock Cats a chance to win. The lefty started and went the first six innings. He gave up one run on seven hits. Deolis Guerra came in for the 7th inning and gave up a run. So, the Rock Cats were down 2-1, a deficit they faced until the top of the 9th. However, with two runners on, Joe Benson hit a triple that gave the Rock Cats a 3-2 lead. Chris Parmelee came up next and singled in Benson for the 4-2 lead. Deolis Guerra went three innings and gave up just that one run. He gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out six for the Win. Benson was 1-3 with two walks and that big triple. Yangervis Solarte had two hits. Brian Dozier went 3-4.

The Rock Cats were to play two more games in Trenton over the weekend. However, they decided to move Sunday’s game to Saturday and play a double header. Of course, Hurricane Irene may have something to say about that as they have called a state of emergency in New Jersey for today.


Hey, just because your favorite team or teams may not be in the playoff hunt doesn’t mean that we stop watching them, right? I mean, who wants to be a fair-weather fan!? Even in bad seasons and bad games, good things can happen.

For instance, the Rochester Red Wings played a double header on Friday against Syracuse, and they threw two of the organization’s best pitching prospects. In the first game, Liam Hendriks (who I expect to make a start for the Twins within the next eight to ten days) started and threw six shutout innings. He allowed five hits, walked none and struck out five. Jim Hoey then pitched a perfect seventh for his 8th save. Sure, the Red Wings managed just three hits, but one of them was a big, two-run home run off the bat of Aaron Bates (his fifth).

In the second game, Tom Stuifbergen made his AAA debut. Not wanting to mess with the New Britain playoff hopes, the Red Wings called down to Ft. Myers and Stuifbergen was summoned. He gave up two runs in the first inning, and that was it. The Dutch right-hander gave up two runs (1 earned) on four hits in five innings for his first AAA win. He walked none and struck out five. Chuck James came in and got the final six outs for his first save. He walked three and struck out four. Jair Fernandez went 2-3 with his fifth double and first stolen base. Jeff Bailey was 2-2. Dustin Martin drove in two runs.

The GCL Twins lost 6-1 to the GCL Red Sox. Hung-yi Chen started and gave up five runs (4 earned) on seven hits in 1.2 innings. Ricardo Arevalo came in and gave up only an unearned run on two hits in 3.1 innings. He walked two and struck out four. Nick Cicio threw three one-hit, no-run innings. The Twins managed just five hits. Dereck Rodriguez went 2-3 with a walk.

The Ft. Myers Miracle got a nice start from Pat Dean and the offense for a 6-3 win over Charlotte. Dean gave up two runs on seven hits in seven innings. He walked none and struck out five. Ricky Bowen then gave up one run on three hits and a walk in two innings. He struck out three. Oswaldo Arcia went 2-4. Dan Rohlfing went 1-2 with two walks. Reggie Williams was 1-2 with two walks and his first triple. Angel Morales hit his second home run, and Danny Rams hit his 15th double and drove in three runs.

Beloit got a terrific start and some power in their 6-3 win over Burlington. Pedro Guerra started and gave up only an unearned run on four hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out 11. In his 20 innings with the Snappers, he has nine walks and 34 strikeouts! Bart Carter then struck out two in two scoreless innings. Jose Gonzalez struck out three in his one-hit inning. Madison Boer then gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits in his inning. He struck out two. Lance Ray went 2-4 with his 33rd and 34th doubles. Nate Roberts was 1-3 with his fourth home run. Andy Leer was 1-2 with a walk and his third home run.  

Care to share any thoughts? Comment here.

Roster Projections: Beloit Snappers

26 Mar

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Before we jump into my Beloit Snappers (Twins Low-A affiliate) roster projection, here are a couple of quick updates:

  • Last night was one of my favorite episodes of The Show.
  1. The first guest was Twins prospect Trayvone Johnson. This was one of my favorite interviews that I’ve done. The 2009 draft pick was selected as a catcher, but he has been moved to the mound. He was drafted out of high school, and explained why he had not played organized baseball for three years before the Twins drafted him last June. He is just a really good guy and I was very happy with the interview.
  2. Next, JJ Stankevitz from the White Sox Examiner came on and we talked about the White Sox. We spent time talking about their starting rotation. I also asked for his thoughts on Gordon Beckham and how his name keeps popping up in rumors about Adrian Gonzalez. I asked for his thoughts on Carlos Quentin, Alex Rios, Paul Konerko, AJ Pierzynski, Bobby Jenks and more.  
  3. Finally, Twins 17-year-old outfield prospect Max Kepler spent about 15 minutes answering questions. He is currently sidelined by some tendonitis in his shoulder, but talked about how his first spring training is going. We talked about his early baseball days in Germany and the reasons he signed with the Twins. He corrected me on some German pronunciations. It was a lot of fun.  So be sure to listen to The Show.
  4. We also noted that the planned time for The Show throughout the season will be 9 p.m. central time on Sunday nights. I think it’s a good time. Generally, the Twins will play Sunday afternoon games (with a couple of exceptions). They will have ended a weekend series and will be about to start a new series. Hopefully that will mean more major league and minor league interviews can be done. Although I am working on adding other guests, Pat Neshek has already confirmed that he will be on The Show


The Beloit Snappers’ season also begins on April 8th with a road series at Cedar Rapids. Starting on April 11th, the Snappers begin their home schedule with games against Peoria. The Snappers will be again managed this year by Nelson Prada. Tommy Watkins begins his full-time coaching career as the Snappers hitting coach.

So here are my thoughts on the 2010 Opening Day roster of the Beloit Snappers:

The Hitters

C Tobias Streich
1B Michael Gonzales
2B Derek McCallum
3B Anderson Hidalgo
SS Brian Dozier
LF Chris Herrmann ( C)
CF Aaron Hicks
RF Steve Liddle
DH Josmil Pinto
Bu C Buddy Munroe
Bu IF Matt Gaski
Bu OF Reggie Williams
Bench Jonathan Goncalves
DL (Dan Rohlfing)
  (Adan Severino)

Analysis: The Twins have some quality catching depth in these low levels. In fact, yesterday I pushed Danny Rams up to Ft. Myers, in part, due to the number of catchers that could (or should) be in Beloit. Tobias Streich was the best defensive catcher in the 2009 draft, so he should be here. Buddy Munroe was drafted last year as well and is another defensive catcher. Josmil Pinto has a very strong arm, but he is not known for his defense. However, he has a tremendous bat. Chris Herrmann was drafted as a catcher last year, but he played only outfield in 2009. He moved to catcher in Instructional league, but with his bat, he needs to be in Beloit and needs to be in the lineup. I think that Aaron Hicks will go back to Beloit for at least six weeks. Steve Liddle signed quite late last year, but he’s an advanced hitter, from Vanderbilt, and should play here. The infield has some quality prospects as well. Michael Gonzales is a large man, but he can hit. He had a strong run last year for a few weeks at Elizabethton. Former Gopher standout Derek McCallum will be the primary second baseman. Fellow 2009 draftee Brian Dozier will play a lot at shortstop. Anderson Hidalgo will be at 3B. Reggie Williams is likely to play a lot, but he is a tremendous athlete and should be able to play the infield and outfield positions and be in the lineup most days. Matt Gaski is about the glove. Jonathan Goncalves is another solid athlete who will get plenty of playing time in the outfield. Its’ hard to find a place for Dan Rohlfing even after he was moved to the outfield from behind the plate last year. Also, Adan Severino was hurt most of 2009, so this will be a big year for him.    

The Pitchers


SP Liam Hendriks
SP Tom Stuifbergen
SP Edgar Ibarra
SP Miguel Munoz
SP Brad Stillings
CL Zach See
8L Nelvin Fuentes
8R Dakota Watts
BP Matt Tone
BP Kane Holbrooks
BP Ben Tootle
BP Tony Davis
  (Matt Bashore)
  (Shooter Hunt)
  (Brian Kirwan)



Analysis: This gets a little bit tricky here. There are still a lot of good pitching prospects, but here are my thoughts. Liam Hendriks missed all of 2008 and last year started with Elizabethton before moving up to Beloit. I think he starts here again, but he could move up quickly. Tom Stuifbergen just knows how to pitch. He’s still very young, but he will do well. He was E-town’s top pitcher last season. However, toward the end of the year, Edgar Ibarra certainly put himself into consideration as well. Miguel Munoz is up and down, but he is probably the hardest thrower and working on other pitches. Brad Stillings was selected in 2009 and started with E-Town. He came up to Beloit but pitched out of the bullpen, so I would suspect that he will be a starter here to start the season at least.

Zach See signed as an undrafted free agent last year and pitched very well, good strikeout numbers. The three lefties that I have on this roster are all capable of dominating. Nelvin Fuentes also missed all of 2008. He pitched well in 2009, especially for Puerto Rico in the World Cup. Matt Tone and Tony Davis were both drafted in 2009. Tone dominated Appy League hitters. At one point, he went over 15 innings without giving up a hit, and over 18 innings without allowing a run. Tony Davis played for a couple of teams, but he ended the season on the New Britain playoff roster. Ben Tootle, when healthy, can approach 100 mph with his fastball. That’s how you get drafted in the third round. Hopefully he is fully healthy and strong in 2010. Dakota Watts was drafted in 2009 as well and played for three affiliates. Kane Holbrooks was a college All-American last year and the Twins got him after the 20th round. He had always started but feels that he is probably better suited for relief work.

If Matt Bashore is healthy, he will definitely be starting somewhere, maybe even in Ft. Myers. It’s hard to tell what the Twins will do with Shooter Hunt. And Brian Kirwan will be back after missing all of 2009 with shoulder surgery.

So, who isn’t here? Who did I not put on a full-season roster?

Those top three pitchers at the GCL last year will probably all have a chance to pitch for Beloit at some point this season. On Tuesday night’s podcast, Adam Foster said that Adrian Salcedo was turning eyes. The 18 year old was hitting 93 mph with a sharp curveball and a very good changeup. BJ Hermsen also put up silly numbers last year in the GCL. Blayne Weller often gets overlooked because of those first two, but his numbers are right on par. All three could be with the Snappers by June, and if any of them go to Elizabethton, I would consider them favorites for Appy League Pitcher of the Year. Michael Tonkin is likely going to E-town, and I think that Martire Garcia may repeat at E-Town. Relief Pitcher Andrei Lobanov had an incredible 2009 in the GCL as well (1 BB, 35 K in 22 IP!), but I think he will go to E-Town too.

The young’ns (Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler) will all likely play for the GCL Twins. Sano and Polanco may go to the Dominican Summer League and play during Extended Spring Training.


It’s impossible to project the Elizabethton or GCL Twins rosters because they will also contain players drafted in the 2010 draft. The college draftees will mainly play in E-Town. But just to try to send a reminder of some of the other players in the Twins system, here are some Elizabethton “projections.”

C Jhonatan Arias
1B Kennys Vargas
2B Daniel Santana
3B Rory Rhodes
SS Jairo Perez
LF Matej Hejma
CF Oswaldo Arcia
RF Daniel Ortiz
DH Wang-Wei Lin
Bu C Nick Freitas
Bu IF Hyeon-rok Choi
Bu OF Brian Bistagne
Bench Fred Hanvi
SP Martire Garcia
SP BJ Hermsen
SP Adrian Salcedo
SP Blayne Weller
SP Michael Tonkin
CL Andrei Lobanov
8L Jose Gonzalez
8R Jan Rehacek
BP Peter Kennelly
BP Jhon Garcia
BP Jean Mijares
BP Eliecer Cardenas
BP Trayvone Johnson

I hope everyone has enjoyed this series of Roster Projections. Of course, I don’t have any inside information into these rosters, so they are just what they are, projections. I like to think that they may be fairly close, but we shall see in less than two weeks.            

If you would like, you can e-mail me, or feel free to leave your comments here.

Spring Training Q&A: Nick Lockwood

7 Mar

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As I pointed out in the Minnesota Twins 2010 Prospect Handbook, the Twins like drafting college pitchers and high school hitters. The Twins went the college route in 2009. The first high school bat taken was in the 9th round, and it was infielder Nick Lockwood. On March 13, he will begin his first minor league spring training with the Twins.  Today we’ll try to learn a little more about him.

Here is today’s Q&A with Twins infielder, Nick Lockwood. (To see all previous Q&As, click here) (and feel free to leave questions or comments here)

…Let the Questions Begin!

SethSpeaks: Now that you’ve had a few months to look back and reflect, what are your thoughts on your 2009 season?

Nick Lockwood: The 2009 season was a great learning experience for me. The coaches were great and worked with me a lot on transitioning me into the pro game.

SethSpeaks: What do you do when you’re not playing baseball or working out in preparation for the upcoming season?

Nick Lockwood: When I’m not playing baseball or working out for the season i spend a lot of time with my family and friends but even then the discussion is usually baseball oriented.

SethSpeaks: When did you start getting ready for the 2010 season, and what was your routine?

Nick Lockwood: I started getting ready for the season a week or two after I got home from instructional league. I worked out for a month or so then started hitting and throwing as well, once I had gotten a little rest.

SethSpeaks: What are your goals for the 2010 season? Where would you like to play, and are there any statistics that you are looking to improve?

Nick Lockwood: My goals for the 2010 season are to keep getting better and help whatever team I end up on win.

SethSpeaks:  What does spring training mean for you, and what are you looking forward to this year?

Nick Lockwood: I’m really excited about my first spring training. I remember when I was growing up my family and I would drive from Colorado to Arizona to watch spring training and now I’m going to be playing in it, it’s a dream come true for me.

SethSpeaks: Who was your favorite player to watch when you were growing up?

Nick Lockwood: My favorite player growing up was Ken Griffey Jr. but now I really like watching Chase Utley play.

SethSpeaks: What team did you grow up watching and cheering for?

Nick Lockwood: My favorite team was the Rockies when I was younger.

SethSpeaks: What do you remember about the draft and events leading up to your signings?

Nick Lockwood: The entire draft was really exciting for my entire family. My brother and I both got selected, so to say the least both of my parents were pretty emotional.

SethSpeaks: Best thing of career in baseball?

Nick Lockwood: The best thing in my career so far was getting invited to participate in instructional league. It was a great learning experience and developed me as a player a lot.

SethSpeaks:  Toughest thing about career in baseball?

Nick Lockwood: The toughest thing so far would be double headers in the middle of summer. It can get pretty hot down in Florida.

SethSpeaks: What would it mean to make your big league debut?

Nick Lockwood: To make a big league debut would be incredible. I grew up dreaming about playing in the big leagues and to be able to do it would be amazing. 

Thank you so much to Nick Lockwood for taking some of his time to respond to all the questions. If you would like, you can e-mail me, or feel free to leave your comments here.