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Minor League Report...Gulf Coast League Twins

Oswaldo Arcia ran away with the Twinkie Town Elizabethton Player of the Year voting, collecting 144 of the 179 votes cast (80%). Adrian Salcedo was a distant second with 17 votes (9%).

The Peoria Saguaros were 2-4 as they fell to 5.5 games back in their division. Ben Revere continues to be the best story out of the AFL for Twins fans. Revere was 11-25 (.440) this week with three stolen bases and five runs scored. Revere continues to lead the AFL with eight stolen bases while ranking amongst the top hitters with the league's most hits (24), fourth best average (.400), ninth best OBP (.455), and tied for the seventh most runs (11). Chris Parmelee was 7-17 to get his average up to .308 with the league's fourth most doubles (6). Joe Benson was 2-8 and is hitting for a .208 average in 29 at bats.

Tyler Robertson had his best week. On Tuesday, he pitched 2.0 innings with two unearned runs in a game the Saguaros lost 18-9. Robertson also had a hitless inning yesterday, dropping his ERA to 5.63. David Bromberg made one start, allowing seven hits and five runs (four earned) in 4.2 innings of a 7-0 loss. Bromberg is 0-2 with a 8.44 ERA. Kyle Waldrop has a 7.27 ERA while Carlos Gutierrez has a 9.00 ERA in 6.0 innings.

Before jumping to my review of the GCL Twins, I would like to give everyone a scheduling update for the next month. I will be reviewing the 2010 Twinkie Town Top 50 in groups of five players beginning next week. When that is completed, we will begin our selection of the Twinkie Town 2011 Top 50 following the Winter meetings in early December. I will also post my annual organizational all-star team on Seth Stoh's site at Thanksgiving.

The Gulf Coast League Twins were 29-31, which was good for third place in their four team division. Although they finished five games back, they were in the hunt for the league title the entire summer. As would be expected with a roster that included three seventeen year olds, the Twins were the second youngest team in the league with an everyday lineup almost a year younger than league average. And it is the three seventeen year olds that made the GCL Twins one of the most exciting teams for Twins fans.

Miguel Sano was Baseball America's second ranked GCL prospect, while Max Kepler-Rozycki was ranked as the ninth best. Jorge Polanco is an outstanding shortstop prospect with an excellent glove. Add this year's fourth round pick, Eddie Rosario, and the GCL Twins had four young prospects who all have the potential of becoming stars.

Sano and Polanco began their season in EST before moving back to their native Dominican Republic when the DSL Summer League began. Sano played in only 20 games (64 at bats), yet he led the team with three home runs. He also had the DSL Twins highest average (.344) while putting up a team best 1.009 OPS. Sano returned to Florida and the GCL in early July, where he hit a respectable .291/.338/.466 in 148 at bats with the GCL Twins second most home runs (4) and doubles (14). Jorge Polanco made only seven errors in 34 GCL games while hitting .223/.299/.301. Kepler-Rozycki remained in EST until the GCL season began where he hit .286/.346/.343 in 140 at bats with six doubles and a triple. Eddie Rosario was a star for the GCL Twins, leading the league in stolen bases (22 in 27 attempts), while hitting the league's eighth most home runs (5). Rosario hit .294/.343/.438 in 194 at bats with 16 walks while striking out only 28 times.

Kennys Vargas is a 6'5" first baseman who was signed as a free agent in 2009 out of Puerto Rico. Vargas returned to the GCL Twins for a second season to hit a team best 15 doubles and best average of .324/.388/.507 in 142 at bats. Vargas would have had the third best batting average in the league had he had a few more at bats to qualify. Rory Rhodes is a 6'7" third baseman from Australia who hit .319/.410/.407 in 91 at bats. Candido Pimental moved up to the GCL following an excellent 2009 season in the DSL. Pimental hit .265/.352/.323 in 155 at bats with 13 stolen bases in 18 attempts. This year's second round pick, Niko Goodrum hit .161/.219/.195 in 118 at bats in his first exposure to professional baseball. Tenth round pick, JaDamion Williams, hit .214/.279/.295 in 112 at bats.

Cesar Ciurcina moved up to the GCL after arguably being the DSL Twins top starter in 2009. The nineteen year-old Ciurcina led the Twins and GCL in innings pitched (65.0) with the league's eleventh best ERA (2.91) and sixth best WHIP (1.05) along with 53 strikeouts and only 8 walks. Pedro Guerra also moved up from the DSL this year. He had an excellent 2.84 ERA in seven starts before skipping Elizabethton and moving on to Beloit. The Twins forty-fifth round pick in 2009, Puerto Rican Eddie Ahorrio, led the bullpen with four saves with a 2.38 ERA in 22.2 innings with 24 strikeouts and 13 walks. Luis Nunez is an eighteen year-old short reliever who moved up from last year's division champion DSL Twins. Nunez was 1-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 19 games (29.0 innings).

Most of the pitchers drafted in the lower rounds this year were assigned to the GCL Twins. The thirty-third round pick, Justin Parker, had the league's fifth best ERA (2.23) and a 6-2 record in 60.2 innings. David Deminsky, who was taken in the forty-fourth round, had the league's ninth best ERA (2.70), fourth best WHIP (0.99), 51 strikeouts and 8 walks in 53.1 innings before moving across the parking lot to make two starts for the Miracle during the last week of their season. This year's forty-third round pick, Derek Christensen, had a 3-0 record with an excellent 0.66 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 13.2 innings. The Twins thirty-ninth round pick, Bart Carter, was 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 34 strikeouts and only 5 walks in 29.2 innings. Brett Carroll appeared in 15 games (30.1 innings) with a 3.26 ERA before the forty-second round pick also moved up to the Miracle the last few weeks of the season.

What will be interesting as we look forward to 2011 is where Sano, Kepler-Rozycki and Polanco will be assigned. Will they return to the GCL as eighteen year olds? Or will they move on to Elizabethton after a stint in EST?