Twinkie Town 2011 Top 50...Prospect #50!

With a flurry of late voting, catcher Danny Lehmann took the third preliminary round, beating Brandon Roberts by 23 votes. Brian Dinkelman also had alot of late votes to capture third. Lehmann will join Ben Tootle and Spencer Steedley as three of the four players competing for the Fiftieth spot in this year's poll.

We will now turn to the final preliminary round including players from Beloit, Elizabethton and the Gulf Coast League. As one might expect these players all have some aspect of their game that is lacking, otherwise they would have already been selected. The good news is that most of them also do some things very well.

The players included in this round include Beloit's Josmil Pinto, Michael Gonzales, Steve Liddle, Daniel Santana and Lance Ray; Elizabethton's Brian Burke, and the Gulf Coast League Twins' Wander Guillen, Candido Pimentel, Rory Rhodes and Kennys Vargas. I will briefly comment on each of them after the jump.

This round will remain open until 3pm, Sunday, February 20th. On Sunday we will begin voting for the final 50th prospect, with that round open through Tuesday.

Josmil Pinto came to the States in 2008, immediately becomming a force with his bat in the GCL. He continued his strong hitting again in 2009 at Elizabethton where he hit for a .332 average with 13 home runs. He moved on to Beloit last year where his average dipped to .225, however, he did hit ten home runs in only 347 at bats.

Michael Gonzales is a big first baseman who was the Twins ninth round pick in 2008. Gonzales also moved up to Beloit last year after a big season at Elizabethton. Although his batting average was only .236, he continued to hit for power with 13 home runs in 326 at bats with 27 doubles and 52 runs batted in.

Steve Liddle was the Twins fifteenth round pick in 2009 out of Vanderbilt University. Liddle reported to Elizabethton where he hit for a .360 average in only 50 at bats. Liddle was at Beloit last year where he hit a respectable .253 average with fifteen home runs and a team high 70 runs batted in.

After a very good 2009 in the Gulf Coast League, Daniel Santana was slated to be at Elizabethton last year. He began there, however, when Beloit needed a shortstop Santana moved up to low A as a nineteen year old. Considering his age, Santana faired well with a .238 average with ten stolen bases.

Lance Ray was the Twins eighth round pick last year out of the University of Kentucky. Ray began his professional career at Elizabethton where he hit .314/.360/.414 in 70 at bats. He was promoted to Beloit where he continued his fine hitting at .279/.377/.418.

Brian Burke was also a 2010 draft pick as the Twins picked him in the 29th round. The corner infielder began his career at Elizabethton where he was one of their better hitters at .286/.343/.437 with six home runs.

Wander Guillen had an incredible rookie season in 2009 in the Dominican Summer League where he led the Twins with a .336 average. He moved on to the GCL Twins last year as a seventeen year old, thus, it wasn't a surprise that he struggled. He will likely return to the GCL this year as an eighteen year old where he will work to regain his hitting prowness from two years ago.

Candido Pimentel is a name that may not be familiar to some of you. After a solid 2009 in the DSL as an eighteen year old, he moved up to the GCL last year. Pimentel hit for a .265 average with an excellent .352 on base percentage. The speedy outfielder also stole 13 bases in 18 attempts.

Rory Rhodes has been in this voting several times. The big corner infielder hit an impressive .319/.410/.407 for the GCL Twins last year as eighteen year old. He returned to his native Australia this winter where he hit .279/.362/.514 in the Australian Baseball League with five home runs in 111 at bats. I expect he will have huge power numbers this summer in the Appalachian League.

Kennys Vargas was the GCL Twins leading hitter last year at .324/.388/.507 with three home runs in 142 at bats. Vargas will be twenty this summer and should move up to the Appalachian League where he also is likely to continue putting up big offensive numbers.

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