This is a day we've seen coming for a long time. Actually this is true from two perspectives. First, due to the luck (or lack thereof) that the Twins have been witness to this season, it was only a matter of time before Delmon Young was shunted to the disabled list considering how much he hasn't played lately. So in that sense, yeah, we saw it coming. But we've also seen Rene Tosoni's callup coming, too.
Originally drafted in the 34th round of the 2004 draft, straight out of high school by the Minnesota Twins, Tosoni didn't sign and re-entered the draft the following year. He dropped two rounds lower, to the 36th, but he was still selected by the Twins. Clearly the brain trust saw something they liked.
All Tosoni has done in 1258 minor league plate appearances is hit .284/.377/.444, with an ability to play all three outfield positions. This includes his .286/.329/.500 start with the Red Wings this season, in his first stint at triple-A. More after the jump...
After being drafted in '05, Tosoni missed all of 2006 due to visa issues. While certainly not the best start, it's one of those issues where at this point you probably just chalk it up to "one of those things". He isn't exactly Jose Mijares when it comes to visa troubles. While at times he's missed stretches of games for a broken foot and, last year, a bum shoulder, I wouldn't say he's been one of those injury-riddled cautionary tales either.
Over the course of his minor league career, Tosoni has adjusted and performed at every level. While he doesn't have the raw power of fellow outfield prospect like Angel Morales, he's certainly more capable of putting a charge into the ball than Ben Revere. His moderate power, combined with modest contact skills and more than solid plate discipline make him a well-rounded offensive player.
In his minor league career, Tosoni carries roughly a 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, striking out in roughly 23% of his at-bats. But he's also walked in more than 10% of his at-bats, which is pretty good.
That "well-rounded" label can carry over to his defensive scouting report as well. Tosoni isn't fast but it's already been mentioned that he can shift positions, with his strong arm meaning he can play any spot without struggling to get the ball back to the infield. With Repko still healthy, it's most likely that Tosoni will see most of his time in the corners, but it's good to know he can cover all three spots.
It will be interesting to see how the Twins choose to deploy him over his duration with the Twins. With Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, and Jason Repko all still available, will Tosoni be relegated to bench duty? Or, with Cuddyer playing some infield, will Tosoni have a chance to start a few games over the next week or so? Whatever happens, at age 24 it's safe to say that Tosoni has earned this opportunity and I'm excited to see what he does with it.