Twinkie Town 2010 Top 50 Review...41 thru 45

After several groups including prospects with limited upside, this group includes several players who could someday play with the Twins. Included is a player who is worthy of consideration as the top prospect in 2011, and possibly the organization's top shortstop. The five players are: Steve Hirschfield (41), Brian Dozier (42), Dustin Martin (43), Oswaldo Arcia (44), and Derek McCallum (45).

41 - Steven Hirschfield

Steve Hirschfield was a pitcher New Britain was counting on this year. A capable starter or long reliever, Hirschfield was coming off a strong 2009 season at Ft. Myers where he had a 7-7 record with a 2.23 ERA. He followed up his 2009 season with one of the Twins assignments to the AFL. Following his excellent season and fall, Hirschfield was one of several pitchers the Twins could envision pitching for them a few years in the future.

As was the case with several pitchers on the Rock Cats roster, Hirschfield spent most of his season on the disabled list. He appeared in only eleven games for the Cats, pitching 22.0 innings with a 5.32 ERA. He would receive a late season promotion to Rochester where he made one start, pitching 6.0 innings with three earned runs.

With all the free agent signings the Twins are making this winter, look for Hirschfield to begin next season back with New Britain. If healthy, he should be an asset to the Cats most likely as a starter.

42 - Brian Dozier

Dozier was the lone member of the Miracle to be a post season all-star. This followed his rookie season in the Appy League where he was also named an all-star after hitting .353/.417/.432 in 218 at bats. With his first two seasons under his belt, Dozier just may have claimed the right to call himself the best shortstop prospect in the organization.

The 2009 eighth round pick out of the University of Southern Mississippi began this season in Beloit where he was .278/.347/.338 in 151 at bats. Dozier also stole six bases in seven attempts while striking out and walking an equal number of times (16). He would move on to Ft. Myers where he would continue his strong season, hitting .274/.352/.354 with ten steals in fourteen attempts. He continued to limit his strikeouts to only 41 in 350 at bats while walking three times more than he struck out.

With the 2010 season behind him, Dozier is poised to to take that big step to AA either out of spring training or by the all-star break. A solid defender who will hit for a good average with great plate discipline and decent speed, we just might see Dozier in a Twins uniform a couple years from now.

43 - Dustin Martin

Following a 2008 season when he would hit .290/.355/.447 for AA New Britain, Martin appeared to be on the Twins radar as evidenced by his invitation to spring training in 2009. Following an excellent spring training, Martin would struggle in Rochester where he hit only .254 average with five home runs. Martin demonstrated his desire to improve by going to to Venezuela to play with Aragua a year ago, where he would hit .298/.395/.477.

For whatever reason, the Twins didn't offer Martin an invitation to spring training this past spring. He began last year back in Rochester and on fire, hitting for a .302 average in April and May as he earned recognition as a mid-season all-star. His success wouldn't hold however, as he finished with very similar numbers to the prior year at .257/.329/.404 with twelve stolen bases and eleven home runs.

Jim Mandelaro wasn't kind last summer as the Rochester franchise went thought one of their worst seasons in their 100+ year history. With the Twins signing several free agents recently, including Jeff Bailey, Mandalero complimented Martin when he wrote, "The Wings could have a strong outfield next year with Dustin Martin in right, top prospect Ben Revere in center and Bailey in left." Does Martin still have a future with the Twins or will he be lost in the dust of players such as Revere and Joe Benson?

44 - Oswaldo Arcia

I recall that Arcia was included in last year's balloting several times before finally earning a spot in the Top 50 at Number 44. What a difference a year makes as he just might take away the honors this year as our top prospect.

There isn't much that hasn't already been said about Arcia, who was Baseball America's third best prospect in the Appalachian League as a nineteen year old. Arcia led the Appy League in most offensive categories while finishing either second or third in a few. An excellent defensive outfielder who played both center and right field, Arcia played in 64 games without a single error.

He is a long way from Minnesota and lots of players have put up big numbers in the Appy League, players who were never heard from again. Yet, most of those players were older college players out of the draft and none of them dominated the league as did Arcia. I for one cannot wait until this coming spring to see how he does in A Ball at Beloit. My intuition tells me he is going to dominate that league, or is that the fan in me? In any case, it will be fun to take a late spring trip to southern Wisconsin to see this young man play!

45 - Derek McCallum

McCallum was another member of the Twins 2009 draft class when the Twins selected him out of the University of Minnesota in the fourth round.

After putting up solid numbers at Elizabethton in his first exposure to professional ball, McCallum was promoted to Beloit this past spring. Unfortunately, his year would be mostly wasted as he spent a good part of the season on the disabled list and played through injuries when he did play. In a season limited to 162 at bats, McCallum hit .228/.323/.296 with eleven doubles.

McCallum has the potential to develop into a solid second baseman, one who could someday play with the Twins. If he will is unknown, however, his first step is to get himself healthy so that he has the opportunity to gain experience and improve his game. Lets hope this young man from Shoreview has put his physical problems behind him.

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