...The organization has added more talent to the catcher spot, albeit many of the best are at the lower levels. Following are the organization's catchers with the highest level they are likely to start the season at:
AB RBI AVE/OBP/SLG
Rochester Red Wings (AAA)
Jose Morales Twins 3 0 1.000/1.000/1.333
AAA 376 37 .311/.366/.399
Eli Whiteside AAA 61 6 .180/.215/.295
AA 141 30 .291/.333/.482
Whiteside is another veteran minor league player who has been added for depth at the AAA level. Morales will replace Heinz as the Twins third catcher to be called up when injuries occur to either Mauer or Redmond.
New Britain Rock Cats (AA)
Kyle Geiger AA 276 35 .250/.301/.362
Drew Butera AA 167 7 .210/.241/.269
Hi-A 182 22 .258/.348/.418
AFL 32 6 .250/.314/.313
Korey Feiner AAA 42 1 .119/.213/.214
AA 126 15 .222/.315/.262
Hi-A 27 2 .222/.276/.259
Jeff Christy AA 19 1 .368/.500/.421
Hi-A 227 22 .225/.288/.282
Any of the four could be at New Britain to begin the season. Feiner is a solid defensive catcher who struggled in his brief stay at AAA last year. It will be interesting to see if any of this group improves enough that they can contribute at the next level as Rochester will certainly need to bring someone up at some point in 2008.
Ft. Myers Miracle (Hi-A)
Wilson Ramos A 292 42 .291/.345/.438
A. deSanMiguel A 105 20 .190/.263/.333
Jose Leger -Disabled List-
After joining the Snappers last season from EST, Ramos played so well many believe he is the best catching prospect in the organization. This 20 year old Venezuelan could make it to AA if he continues to hit in the FSL as he did for Beloit. Allan de San Miguel is a young Australian whom is one of the finest defensive catchers in the organization which is why he has been added to the Twins Spring Training Roster.
Beloit Snappers (A)
Greg Yersich A 122 9 .180/.221/.221
Eliz 186 30 .312/.373/.409
Ben Petsch A 10 2 .300/.500/.500
Eliz 74 16 .311/.463/.473
DavidHernandez A 21 4 .238/.333/.333
Eliz 26 3 .192/.250/.346
GCL 31 2 .323/.400/.452
Dan Lehman Eliz 77 17 .221/.333/.364
After struggling to start the season at Beloit, Greg Yersich was a key part of the Elizabethton Twins drive to the championship. This young catcher, who was drafted in the seventh round of the 2005 draft, has the potential to be one of the better hitting catching prospects in the system. Dan Lehman joined the Twins late in the summer after being one of the stars of the Rice University team at the CWS.
Elizabethton Twins (Rookie)
Rod Palacios Eliz 26 3 .346/.500/.462
Danny Rams GCL 97 13 .258/.311/.361
Dan Rohlfing GCL 56 7 .232/.313/.250
Alex Soto GCL 66 10 .273/.338/.439
Danny Rams is a candidate to hit for some power after being drafted in the second round of the 2007 draft. Palacios, Rohlfing and Soto will all be given the opportunity to prove themselves this spring. It is also likely that at least one catcher from the draft class of 2008 will join the Elizabethton Twins when their season begins in late June.
GCL Twins (Rookie)
Andres Diaz GCL 10 0 .300/.364/.400
M. Barrientos GCL -Disabled List-
JairoRodriguez VSL 112 14 .348/.405/.366
Barrientos has already spent two seasons with the GCL Twins before missing all of last year. Rodriguez was the top hitter for the VSL Cubs/Twins in 2007. Will this 19 year old skip the DSL league and move up to the GCL Twins in 2008? It is likely that the Twins will draft several catchers in next June's draft with most of them joining the GCL.
Jhonatan Arias DSL 121 9 .207/.299/.240
Josmil Pinto DSL 171 23 .193/.327/.269
Julio Diaz VSL 98 5 .204/.361/.255
Jairo Rodriguez could also end up with the DSL Twins should he not move up to the GCL.