The Twins AAA affiliate's roster was finalized a while ago. I was waiting for the AA roster to be finalized on their website. However, according to the Rock Cat's website they have 0 outfielders and Alex Meyer is not on their staff. So I will skip AA until they get their digital act together,
The AAA roster traditionally has a few AAAA all-stars, some, retreads, some hanger-ons and a few prospects who just can't catch on with the MLB club. The Twins do not disappoint in this regard. In last few years there was an effort by the FO to get more guys who qualify as AAAA all-stars but this year it looks like less of an emphasis was made.
In terms of prospect watching, I am only really watching 4 guys. Kyle Gibson, Chris Herrmann, Oswaldo Arcia, & Joe Benson. We all know those players, so need to go over them. But I am interested to see how players like Robert (Mark) Sobolewski, Bruce Pugh, Caleb Theilbar, PJ Walters & Chris Colabello, do at AAA. Sobolewski, was taken in the Rule 5 draft. He is a third baseman who hit 20 HR in the minors last year. He seems to be a poor in the field, but looks to have some power. Pugh has adapted well to the Bullpen in 2012. He is supposed to have a good slider and a good fastball with movement. He is not on the 40 man roster so don't expect him to make the big league club this year, but he is interesting to watch. Theilbar came out of nowhere last year and impressed the Twins so much they added him to 40 man roster. In his short stint at AAA last year he didn't strike out many and seemed hittable. He did OK in the AFL but opponents hit .375 off him. I predict he will be the first Bull Pen arm called up to the majors, or the first guy removed from the 40 man. Waters and Colabello are "good stories" type of players. I would like to see Colabello get a call up just for the human interest side to it.
Perennial AAA all-star Antony Slama continues to be someone to watch. After his long career of dominating AAA hitters, he should start declining due to age soon. Too bad. We will never know how good/bad he could've been.
Outside of that, the AAA DL list is interesting. Can Harden & Rafael Perez get healthy? Can Deduno recapture his WBC magic?
Overall this team looks weak. The starting pitching looks iffy & the Middle Infield is a joke. They don't even have a listed second baseman on their roster! The OF looks interesting but only if Arcia doesn't get called up quickly. Jeff Clement is the only guy who has produced at this level on the team. Brandon Boggs has some MLB experience, so those two are going to have to really produce. If Benson struggles at the plate, Rochester might be in the cellar.
The real story line this year is if the citizens of Rochester NY finally get fed up with this team. The Twins contract with Rochester ends in '14 but after watching the double-play combo of Doug Bernier / Brian Dinkelman they might just cancel it early. Their local media has been hard on the Twins FO and I expect that to continue. That being said, I really like the manager Gene Glynn. In '12 the Wings started terrible, but he held them together and they turned the season around. They were in contention for the final playoff spot- which was quite the achievement considering their poor start. Based on '12, he would be my choice to replace Gardy if a change is made.
Full Roster Below
|Nick Blackburn||P||R||R||2/24/1982||7-day DL||No|
|Deolis Guerra||P||R||R||4/17/1989||7-day DL||No|
|Lester Oliveros||P||R||R||5/28/1988||7-day DL||No|
|Bryan Augenstein||P||R||R||7/11/1986||7-day DL||No|
|Samuel Deduno||P||R||R||7/2/1983||7-day DL||No|
|Kyle Davies||P||R||R||9/9/1983||7-day DL||No|
|Rafael Perez||P||L||L||5/15/1982||7-day DL||No|
|Esmerling Vasquez||P||R||R||11/7/1983||7-day DL||No|