Was in Madison for a football game this weekend, thus am a day late with this report. All I can report from Madison is that Penn State is good, very good.
This time of year we have only the Fall Instructional League and Arizona Fall League to report on. I am not certain if a CIA agent could get much information out of the Fall Instructional League, thus, today I will only talk about the AFL. The seven Twins prospects are with the Phoenix Desert Dogs, who at 2-3 are tied for second in the three team AFL National Division...one game behind Peoria who is 3-2.
After hitting very well in the Dogs first few games, Danny Valencia has gone hitless in the last two and is now hitting .200/.238/.250. Valencia has played in all 5 games and is tied for the team lead with 20 at bats while usually hitting fourth or fifth in the order. Danny has 4 hits, 1 double, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts. Dustin Martin has played in 4 games with 15 at bats and is the team's leading hitter at .467/.500/.733 with a 1.233OPS. Martin has played left field while picking up a double, his first home run and 3 rbi. Martin has also struck out 4 times with 1 walk and a stolen base in his only attempt. Steve Tolleson has played short a couple of times and been a late inning replacement, appearing in 4 games with 8 at bats. Tolleson has the Dog's second highest average at .375/.500/.500 with a double, 2 rbi and 2 walks and 2 striktouts.
Jeff Manship got the start on Thursday night pitching 3.0 innings with 4 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 3K/0BB. Manship got the loss and has a 6.00ERA after his first appearance. Tim Lahey also has a 0-1 record after two appearances, pitching 2.0 innings with 2 hits, 1 run and 0K/0BB...for a 4.50ERA. Robert Delaney has also made two appearances, pitching 2.0 innings with 2 hits, 1 run and 1K/0BB for a 4.50ERA. Anthony Slama is the only Twins prospect who has not given up an earned run. Slama appeared in two games (1.2 innings) with 3 hits, 1 unearned run and 2K/0BB for a 0.00ERA.
There isn't a lot that can be said following a team's first few games, however, all seven of the Twins prospects have performed relatively well. If we look back to last year, Nick Blackburn was the AFL's top starting pitcher. Will any Twin step up with a Blackburn type performance this season so that Twins fans can begin to envision him playing a role for the Twins in 2009?