One week down in this offseason and the World Series just finished today. Congrats to my 3rd Favorite Team the Giants. Their GM was the one fleeced by Ryan in the Liriano / Nathan trade so its interesting to see how he has bounced back and won two WS while the Twins went in the other direction. In my mind this team is a blueprint for the Twins. With a reasonable payroll of only 120+ Million, they kept their own players, and filled gaps with revenue derived from one of the best stadiums in all of baseball. They made mistakes like Zito but mitigated those mistakes with player development, smart Free Agent signings and spending big when they had to.
Now that the offseason can officially begin, we have learned that Ryan expects to get three starting pitchers from this free agent class. I will leave the speculation of who that might be to others but the big league team needs pitching and only Kyle Gibson has shown the talent to become an impact arm in 2013. If they do bring in three new guys, its stands to reason that Gibson would have a chance to grab the finial starting spot out of spring.
This week In the Arizona Fall league we learned Herrmann is out with an injury so Dan Rohlfing was called into his place. Rohfing is another "happy to be there guy" but it will be interesting to see what he can do to showcase his talent. he was a 14th round pick out of High School in 2007. After 5 years he made it to AA and looks to be role of organizational catcher. So its a nice reward for him for sticking with it for so long. Also he is only 24 so he does have a chance to evolve into a role player if he is opportunistic with his chances. The injury is a bummer as Herrmann had been playing well with a 1.18 OPS and out hitting vaunted Mariner prospect Mike Zunnino. However Herrmann only played a few games so we can’t look too much into those stats. I think this injury ruins any chance that he wins a MLB spot out of spring in 2013. Unless injuries take their toll its sweet Drew as the 3rd catcher (who is playing in the Dominican league now and doing OK)
Oswaldo Arcia is looking like he is finally making contact as he connected for his first HR over the week. He started out pretty terrible so his stats still look poor but what’s nice about his HR is it came against a LH. Arcia needs to start showing that he can hit LH pitching so this is a big hit, hope it continues. Nate Roberts is still dominating the AFL. He is not hitting any HR’s but keeps hitting singles and getting walks. He has an unreal .647 OBP going right now and hitting .552 with a 1.29 OPS. I still don’t think he has a chance to play as an MLB regular based on his regular season stats, but what he is doing now is pretty fun.
This week we saw the first appearance of one of the young twins pitchers I am watching named Yorman Landa. The 18 year old pitched out of the GCL last year and did very well. Now he is getting his first taste in the Venezuelan leagues and he is doing pretty poor. From what I can tell via google translate he hit a guy in the hand and broke some team prospect’s wrist, he was pulled after 3 IP in his first start. He started again on Saturday and got only 1 out Walking 3 and giving up 1 hit. Not a good start. However keep in mind he is facing guys who are probably 6-8 years older than him so just the fact he is out there is interesting to me. The fact they are starting him is also interesting because this is not a developmental league. They are down there to win so someone on the coaching staff must think he has talent. Too bad he has not rewarded that faith they showed in him. The Venezuelan ended the regular season with a 2.43 ERA, 20 BB with 27 SO, and opponents hit .204 against him in the GCL. I expect him to be a contributor to E-Town in 2013 as a 19 year old.
Since I am talking about young GCL pitchers, I thought I would mention again my favorite, Randy Rosario. Not to be confused with the "other" Rosario, Randy is a 18 year old pitcher out of the Dominican who hasn’t given up a HR for the Twins during his Career with a 1.64 ERA, 38 IP, 19 BB and 42 SO with a killer GB rate. I keep checking the Dominican league in the hopes he makes an appearance but so far nothing. I fear I will have to wait for E-town to get started in June before I can start seeing fresh data from him. Landa and Rosario are two guys for Twins fans to watch to find glimmers of hope in the short season rookie leagues and part of what makes prospect watching fun.
One low Minors guys who is looking to graduate to full season low A starter is Angel Mata. He continues his nice run working out of the Bullpen in the Venezuelan league. 11 SO to 3 Walks in 8 IP. He is impressing me against competition probably at or near the AA level and his performance bodes well for next year’s Cedar Rapids Rotation. The Kernals should see an interesting slew of pitchers next year. With many of the 2012 guys like Bard, Burris and Baxendale getting a shot to start but with Berrios and Mata in my mind locks to be starters in the rotation. A lot is riding on that crop of pitchers hopefully good things can happen and injuries can be avoided.
My Darkhorse to pitch for the Twins in 2013 is David Bromberg and he did nothing to validate my hope in him. He got another start and pitched 5.1 Innings, gave up 8 hits 2 runs and 4 walks. Bromberg still holds a very respectable 2.04 ERA but opponents are hitting .284 against him and he needs to do better. Unless he can get more SO and limit base runners he is looking like a AAA pitcher and nothing more.
Some other performances with a 2013 MLB impact: Anthony Slama is pitching well in the Mexican league. Deolis Guerra is off to a shaky start. Butera as mentioned above is doing OK. Starting SS Florimon is not hitting at all with utility man Escobar also not hitting well. Their performances make me wonder if Alexi is coming back next year. Aaron Hicks seems to have hit a slump. After his hot start he is struggling at the plate. He had 4 days off from Oct 20 – 25th. Since then he has 1 Hit in 4 games. It early but most prospect watchers are hoping for consistency from Hicks and so far he is not showing it.
Here are some links I found this week:
John Sickels continues to pour out the Twins content with 2 artles. 1 on Hicks and the other on Max Kepler
Kepler: http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/10/24/3548420/prospect-update-max-kepler-of-minnesota-twins Hicks: http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/10/28/3562462/aaron-hicks-finally-reaching-his-potential
If you haven't clicked on Annelle's great posts on the visit to the Arizona Fall Leauge you need to revoke your TwinkieTown membership. Great pictures and a beautiful setting! http://www.twinkietown.com/2012/10/28/3565620/arizona-fall-league-peoria-at-salt-river-and-surprise
There is a picture of Evan Bigley's autograph which is very elaborate, especially for such a marginal player. He must have spent a lot of time perfecting that on the long bus trips. With that signature, it'll be a shame if he doesn't make it to the big leagues.
Current stats as below:
Arcia, Oswaldo 0.207 Batting Ave, 12 Games, 29 At Bats, 1 Home Runs, 11 Strike Outs, 0.226 On base %, 0.345 Slugging %, 0.571 OPS,
Arias, Jhonatan 1 Batting Ave, 1 Games, 1 At Bats, 0 Home Runs, 0 Strike Outs, 1 On base %, 1 Slugging %, 2 OPS,
Bigley, Evan 0.206 Batting Ave, 9 Games, 34 At Bats, 0 Home Runs, 7 Strike Outs, 0.27 On base %, 0.294 Slugging %, 0.564 OPS,
Butera, Drew 0.267 Batting Ave, 6 Games, 15 At Bats, 0 Home Runs, 5 Strike Outs, 0.421 On base %, 0.333 Slugging %, 0.754 OPS,
Colabello, Chris 0.234 Batting Ave, 13 Games, 47 At Bats, 0 Home Runs, 15 Strike Outs, 0.28 On base %, 0.362 Slugging %, 0.642 OPS,
Escobar, Eduardo 0.118 Batting Ave, 5 Games, 17 At Bats, 0 Home Runs, 5 Strike Outs, 0.25 On base %, 0.118 Slugging %, 0.368 OPS,
Florimon, Pedro 0.087 Batting Ave, 6 Games, 23 At Bats, 0 Home Runs, 6 Strike Outs, 0.222 On base %, 0.087 Slugging %, 0.309 OPS,
Herrmann, Chris 0.5 Batting Ave, 3 Games, 10 At Bats, 0 Home Runs, 1 Strike Outs, 0.583 On base %, 0.6 Slugging %, 1.183 OPS,
Hicks, Aaron .238 Batting Ave, 10 Games, 39 At Bats, 1 Home Runs, 15 Strike Outs, 0.37 On base %, 0.385 Slugging %, 0.704 OPS, 0.
Pinto, Josmil 0.00 Batting Ave, 2 Games, 4 At Bats, 0 Home Runs, 1 Strike Outs, 0 On base %, 0 Slugging %, 0 OPS,
Ramirez, Wilkin 0.143 Batting Ave, 7 Games, 21 At Bats, 0 Home Runs, 5 Strike Outs, 0.296 On base %, 0.286 Slugging %, 0.582 OPS,
Roberts, Nate 0.522 Batting Ave, 8 Games, 23 At Bats, 0 Home Runs, 2 Strike Outs, 0.647 On base %, 0.652 Slugging %, 1.299 OPS,
Rohlfing, Dan 0.333 Batting Ave, 1 Games, 3 At Bats, 0 Home Runs, 0 Strike Outs, 0.4 On base %, 0.333 Slugging %, 0.733 OPS,
Bromberg, David 0 Wins, 0 Losses, 2.08 ERA, 3 Games Started, 13 Innings Pitched, 8 Walks, 9 Strike Outs, 0.286 , Batting Ave Against.
Ciurcina, Cesar 0 Wins, 1 Losses, 16.2 ERA, 0 Games Started, 3.1 Innings Pitched, 2 Walks, 2 Strike Outs, 0.267 , Batting Ave Against.
Darnell, Logan 0 Wins, 0 Losses, 2.35 ERA, 0 Games Started, 7.2 Innings Pitched, 2 Walks, 6 Strike Outs, 0.29 , Batting Ave Against.
Gibson, Kyle 3 Wins, 0 Losses, 0.69 ERA, 3 Games Started, 13 Innings Pitched, 2 Walks, 19 Strike Outs, 0.26 , Batting Ave Against.
Guerra, Deolis 0 Wins, 0 Losses, 5.4 ERA, 0 Games Started, 1.2 Innings Pitched, 0 Walks, 3 Strike Outs, 0.375 , Batting Ave Against.
Ibarra, Edgar 1 Wins, 2 Losses, 9.9 ERA, 3 Games Started, 10 Innings Pitched, 5 Walks, 11 Strike Outs, 0.289 , Batting Ave Against.
Landa, Yorman 0 Wins, 1 Losses, 5.4 ERA, 1 Games Started, 3.1 Innings Pitched, 3 Walks, 4 Strike Outs, 0.2 , Batting Ave Against.
Mata, Angel 0 Wins, 0 Losses, 1.13 ERA, 0 Games Started, 8 Innings Pitched, 3 Walks, 11 Strike Outs, 0.2 , Batting Ave Against.
Munoz, Miguel 0 Wins, 0 Losses, 0.00 ERA, 0 Games Started, 1 Innings Pitched, 1 Walks, 1 Strike Outs, 0.25 , Batting Ave Against.
Slama, Anthony 0 Wins, 0 Losses, 0 ERA, 0 Games Started, 4.2 Innings Pitched, 2 Walks, 2 Strike Outs, 0.214 , Batting Ave Against.
Thielbar, Caleb 1 Wins, 0 Losses, 10.8 ERA, 0 Games Started, 6.2 Innings Pitched, 1 Walks, 5 Strike Outs, 0.379 , Batting Ave Against.
Tonkin, Michael 1 Wins, 0 Losses, 0 ERA, 0 Games Started, 6.1 Innings Pitched, 1 Walks, 5 Strike Outs, 0.15 , Batting Ave Against.
Watts, Dakota 0 Wins, 1 Losses, 15.43 ERA, 0 Games Started, 2.1 Innings Pitched, 2 Walks, 0 Strike Outs, 0.25 , Batting Ave Against.