The corner infielders reporting this spring and the teams they could break camp with. Also included is their age as of opening day:
Age AB RBI Ave/OBP/SLG
Rochester Red Wings (AAA)
Brock Peterson 24 AA 389 64 .285/.382/.476
Matt Macri 25 AA 275 33 .298/.349/.502
PCL 9 4 .667/.667/1.222
INT 47 6 .213/.260/.426
Tommy Watkins 27 Twins 28 0 .357/.357/.438
AAA 349 49 .272/.349/.404
Howie Clark 34 Toronto 49 2 .204/.298/.245
AAA 81 15 .272/.322/.420
AA 3 0 .333/.500/.333
Everthing appears set for Brock Peterson to move up to Rochester after an excellent season in New Britain. Matt Macri had a break-out season at AA Tulsa before being traded to the Twins from Colorado. Macri got 101 at bats in the AFL where he hit .257/.315/.406. Howie Clark is an older minor league veteran who spent considerable time with the Blue Jays in 2007. He is a former Red Wing, from when they were affiliated with Baltimore, who was mentioned in the Mitchell report. After a successful short stint with the Twins in 2007, Tommy Watkins will attempt to impress the Twins in spring training with the hopes of breaking camp as a utility player for the big club.
New Britain Rock Cats (AA)
Danny Valencia 23 Hi-A 230 31 .291/.332/.422
A 242 35 .302/.374/.500
Erik Lis 24 Hi-A 492 97 .274/.334/.470
David Winfree 22 AA 460 51 .267/.308/.426
Matt Moses 23 AAA 174 18 .224/.244/.305
AA 262 44 .263/.308/.401
With only a half season of Hi-A ball behind him, Valencia could begin the season back at Ft. Myers. However, he was one of the top hitters in the organization last year and should move up to New Britain where he would again play both first and third. Erik Lis is a man in search of a position. Listed as a first baseman, he also played a lot of left field last year as the Twins search for his best spot defensively. They certainly like his bat after finishing amongst the top six in the tough Florida State League in both doubles (34) and home runs (18), while leading the league and Twins organization with 97 rbi. Winfree and Moses are both former top prospects who struggled in 2007. Will Winfree, a former Twins Minor League Player of the Year, and Moses, their first round pick in 2003, turn it around this year? They both are still young enough to do so, however, time is beginning to work against them.
Ft. Myers (Hi-A)
Johnny Woodard 23 Hi-A 164 23 .201/.300/.390
A 203 31 .276/.398/.478
Whit Robbins 23 Hi-A 205 21 .210/.333/.249
A -Disabled List-
Garrett Olson 23 A 416 50 .219/.281/.310
Woodard is a former third round pick who has been injured much of his career with the Twins. This big first baseman began the year tearing the cover off the ball for the Snappers, however, was not able to continue hitting as well for the Miracle. Whit Robbins had a remarkable beginning to his professional career for the Snappers before being shelved with an injury in 2006. He began 2007 with the Miracle, where he was not able to produce offensively. He was sent back to the Snappers at mid-season, however, never played for them as he immediately went on the DL. If healthy, the Miracle should get a lot of offensive production from this former CWS star. After a successful rookie season with Elizabethton in 2006, Olson wasn't able to produce at the same level for the Snappers in 2007. He is another corner infielder who will need to make a statement in 2008 with either the Miracle or Snappers.
Beloit Snappers (A)
Rene Leveret 22 Eliz 244 65 .307/.399/.463
Henry Sanchez 21 Eliz 31 8 .258/.465/.419
Daniel Berg 23 A 323 36 .214/.298/.291
D.J. Romero 21 Eliz 247 52 .316/.406/.506
Leveret and Romero were two of the top hitters for the 2007 Championship Elizabethton Twins as well as two of the top hitters in the Appy League with Leveret's 65 rbi in 66 games leading the league. Henry Sanchez is a former first round (sandwich) pick who has struggled with injuries for much of 2006 and 2007. After struggling to adjust to the MidWest League pitching in 2006, it appeared he was improving at Elizabethton in 2007 where he walked 11 times with only 7 strikeouts in 31 at bats before again going down with a season ending injury. Berg is a minor league player who has been around for several seasons who may need a good spring to remain with the organization. Should Leveret and Romero remain injury free and continue to hit as they did in 2007, there will be few at bats for anyone else at either first or third as both could develop into the type of prospects most Twins fans dream of.
Elizabethton Twins (rookie)
Juan Richardson 21 GCL 202 33 .317/.364/.401
Jon Waltenbury 20 GCL 123 16 .244/.347/.366
The Elizabethton Twins will likely get several corner infielders from the 2008 draft, however, Juan Richardson should be their every day third baseman after being one of the top hitters for the GCL Twins in 2007. Jon Waltenbury is a big left handed hitting first baseman from Canada who led the GCL Twins with 3 home runs last year.
GCL Twins (rookie)
The GCL Twins do not have any players returning from last year's team for either corner spot. There are several middle infielders who could play some at third, however, they will all be included with the middle infielders. There also were not any corner infielders with the DSL Twins last year who appear ready to move up. Thus, look for the corner infield spots to be manned by players taken in this spring's draft.
DSL Twins (Dominican Summer League)
Feliz Caro 18 DSL 212 24 .212/.287/.259
Manuel Soliman 18 DSL 201 16 .189/.305/.269
Alfredo Martin 20 VSL 80 10 .225/.340/.313
Xavier Gonzalez 19 VSL 98 8 .184/.281/.204
Several of these players were very young last season and should get another year of seasoning with the DSL Twins in 2008. Caro could develop into a nice prospect as he won't turn 18 until this coming March.