Minor League Update: The Good, the Good, and the Great

DJ Baxendale, or as I've come to call him, Captain Awesome.

Covering this week's top 25 minor league players

This week, we'll be covering the brightest the Twins have to offer in their Twinkie Town top 25 minor league systems. We'll be doing much of the same as last week, focusing on the better performances that the farm system had to offer over the past 7 days.

Starting with top prospect number...

1) Miguel Sano - Sano's bat cooled off a bit, as he hit just .233 over the past week. He's still hitting .376 on the season, with 10 HRs so far. His season OPS dropped to 1.167 after the past week's performance.

2) Oswaldo Arcia - Arcia's having a pretty great week in the Bigs. He's hitting .304, he's knocked in a couple runs with a well-timed dinger, and his K rate has gone down (from 8+ last week to just 5 this week). He's definitely making himself a nice case to stay with the club, and he's now raised his OPS to .840 on the season.

3) Byron Buxton - Buxton's bat has also cooled down a bit this week, but I'm going to talk about the game on May 12, where Buxton went 4-for-7 with a double, triple, and 4 RBI. Not a bad game at all for the young player. His season OPS is now at 1.049.

5) Aaron Hicks - We've all been dealing with our frustrations regarding the much-touted center fielder, but I'd like to just cover the game Hicks had against the Chicago White Sox on Monday. Hicks went 2-for-3 with a walk, 2 HR (yes, that's right, I said TWO home runs), and 2 RBI. He also made a catch over the wall to rob the Sox of a home run that was quite the web gem (check it out here). Sadly, the great performance only raised his season batting average to .152, with a season OPS of .542.

7) Kyle Gibson - Last Wednesday, Gibson pitched one hell of a good game against Toledo, as he went 9 innings, giving up just 4 hits and no earned runs. He walked 2, but struck out 8 batters. Needless to say-excellent performance. He unfortunately followed that up with his start on Tuesday evening against Durham, where he went only 3 innings and gave up 4 earned runs on 7 hits. He struck out 3 and walked 1 in that performance. I can only imagine how frustrating that kind of performance can be for a young player coming off an injury.

10) Trevor May - May had himself a very nice game on May 10 against Portland, which is nice to see from the young righty. He went 7 solid innings, giving up just 2 hits and 1 walk--and no earned runs. The best part? May struck out 10 batters in those 7 innings. His season ERA has gone down to 3.20 in 39.1 innings pitched.

11) Joe Benson - I'd really like to write about Benson in one of these "Great Players!" pieces. Unfortunately, this week, I can't. Again. C'mon, Joe.

14) Travis Harrison - On May 10, Harrison had a great game for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, as he went 2-for-3 with a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored (in the second game of a double-header -- he went 0-fer in the first). His season has been touch-and-go so far, with his OPS now sitting at .831. The third base prospect's season batting average is now .270.

15) Danny Santana - The Twins' SS prospect had a fantastic week this past week. He hit .500 in 5 games, with just 3 RBI, but also 4 stolen bases (in 5 games!). Santana's batting average for the season rose to .278, with 6 stolen bases now on the year and 15 RBI. His OPS has climbed to .648 (not very impressive, but if he continues to hit like he did this past week, we can expect to see that go up as well).

16) Mason Melotakis - Melotakis' season hadn't started out very well, racking up a higher ERA (3.77 in 5 starts), but his performance on May 10 hopefully will have started turning things around. Melotakis went just 5.1 innings, but he only gave up 3 hits and 3 walks, with no runs given up. He also struck out 9 batters in those 5.1 innings, so we can say it was a pretty good performance from the Southpaw. His season ERA dropped to 3.10 with a 3-1 record in 29 innings pitched.

18) Hudson Boyd - Boyd's one start this week went pretty well. He was very solid, with nothing too flashy, but sometimes, flashy is just overrated and solid is all you're looking for (right, Kevin Correia?). Boyd went 6 innings on May 10 (notice a pattern here? A LOT of these 'good performances happened on this date...hmm), giving up 2 hits, walking 1, and gave up 0 earned runs. He also struck out 4 and lowered his season ERA to 4.34. He's now 1-1 in 29 innings pitched.

20) Niko Goodrum - Another SS prospect, Niko Goodrum had a promising week, hitting .333 over a 7-game period. He had 3 doubles and a triple in that time, as well as 5 RBI. Goodrum also struck out 7 times over that period, but hopefully he can have a better eye at the plate (while still hitting well, of course). His season OPS is now .840, with a .289 batting average.

23) DJ Baxendale - I'm so excited I get to add Baxendale again, as he threw another great game on May 11. Baxendale went 7 innings, giving up just 3 hits and a run, walking only one, but striking out 6. His season ERA is at a still-attractive 1.25, with a 5-0 record in 43.1 innings pitched. I continue to keep an eye on his performances, because he's been really, really promising this season so far. I suggest you do the same.

25) Adam Walker - I haven't covered much of Walker's progress this season (mainly because there haven't been a lot of notable events that have happened), but I'm going to acknowledge the young RF prospect's great game on May 12 against Beloit. Walker went 4-for-6 in that game with two doubles and two home runs -- and SEVEN RBI. Walker's season ERA has risen to a pleasant .311 with 9 HR and 40 RBI.

News and Notes
--I'm not going to give any opinion on this piece, by Yahoo! contributor Chris Schad, but it is an interesting read, no matter your position on Terry Ryan and the minor league system as it currently stands.
--A good read from MLB flunky/weird-name-haver Rhett Bollinger about the great April Byron Buxton and DJ Baxendale had. Remember you read how great they were here first, probably.
--Finally, some minor league news and notes from Twins Daily's Jeremy Nygard, regarding some moves made by the minor league teams and notes about players and performances over the past few days.

Make sure to stop by later today for the early-afternoon-baseball game thread!

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