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Minor League Report...DSL Twins

Our Twinkie Town GCL Twins Player of the Year was Eddie Rosario. Rosario collected 64 of the 100 votes, while Kennys Vargas was a distant second with 15 votes.

Joe Christensen posted an article about several players who have become six year minor league free agents and will likely no longer be with the Twins. He advised that the Twins have signed Kyle Waldrop, Jair Fernandez and Juan Portes to minor league contracts. All should return to the Twins next year unless they are lost in the Rule V draft, which is a possibility for Waldrop unless he is added to their 40-man roster.

If you are interested in the Rochester Red Wings, Jim Mandelaro posted on his website about how upset many Rochester fans were that Manager Tom Nieto and his entire staff will return for next year.

For those of you interested in watching some baseball today, the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars game will be televised tonight on and the MLB Network at 8pm Central Time. Ben Revere and Carlos Guetierrez will be the two Twins playing in the game.

The Peoria Saguaros had a better week, winning three games (3-3). They are now 7-14-1 and 6.5 games out of first place. When looking at the Twins pitchers ERA's, one needs to keep in mind typical scores in this league. The Saguaros three wins this week were by scores of 13-8, 8-0, and 14-5. Their losses were 13-9, 15-1 and 13-5.

Ben Revere cooled a bit, 3-18, as his average dipped to .346/.407/.397 in 75 at bats. His nine stolen bases without being thrown out continue to lead the league. As Revere cooled, Chris Parmelee had one of the hottest bats in the league, 12-23 (.521 average) with six runs scored, three runs batted in, three doubles, a triple and two walks. Parmelee has surpassed Revere and is now hitting .373/.440/.547 in 78 at bats with a league second most nine doubles. Joe Benson is hitting .233/.283/.372 in only 43 at bats with six doubles in only ten hits. Former Twins tenth round pick and White Sox first round pick, Jared Mitchell, is hitting .183 average.

David Bromberg allowed three runs in 4.0 innings on Tuesday as the Saguaros won, 13-8. He has a 0-2 record in 14.2 innings with a 7.98 ERA, 11 strikeouts and 4 walks. Tyler Robertson has pitched the best of the Twins foursome with a 4.91 ERA in 11.0 innings out of the bullpen. Kyle Waldrop has a 1-0 record with a 8.44 ERA in 10.2 innings while Carlos Gutierrez has a 1-0 record, and 9.00 ERA in 8.0 innings.

The Caribbean Winter Leagues also began play recently. I will begin covering those next week when my review of the Twins organization is complete. The one surprise that I saw is that Rochester Red Wing pitcher, Anthony Swarzak, is playing with the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League. Swarzak currently leads the Tigres with 19.2 innings pitched with a 0-3 record and 5.03 ERA.

When we think of the Dominican Summer League Twins, we often don't think of them as the second most important source of talent for the Twins organization. The DSL Twins provide more players to the organization than any source other than the annual draft with twenty players joining the organization from the DSL Twins the past two years.

Nine players moved up to the GCL Twins in 2009 from the 2008 DSL Twins, including Jairo Perez, Oswaldo Arcia, Daniel Santana, Jhonatan Arias, Eliecer Cardenas, Adrian Salcedo, Edison Alvarez, Jose Gonzalez and Jhon Garcia. This past spring nine more moved up including Wander Guillen, Candido Pimentel, Kelvin Silvania, Yorby Martinez, Jairo Rodriguez, Cesar Ciurcina and Luis Nunez who played for the GCL Twins with Manuel Soliman and Pedro Guerra moving up to the Elizabethton twins. Two other players signed in 2009, Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco, began this past season in the DSL before returning to the GCL Twins in July. Not only do the DSL Twins provide a lot of players, looking at the names the past two years reminds us that several of them are amongst the organization's top young prospects.

The 2010 DSL Twins weren't as successful as the 2009 squad that lost in the championship round of the playoffs. They were a young team with a solid pitching staff and not a lot of hitting once Sano and Polanco moved up to the GCL. Some of the names that we will begin hearing about next June when the GCL Twins begin play will likely include starting pitchers (with their ages as of this past year) Sterling Bonilla (18), Jose Jimenez (18), Angel Mata (17), Orlando Villaroel (20) and Ezequiel Zarzuela (19). Relievers may include Junior Subero (18), Edgar Martinez (19) and Elias Villasana (17), although Villasana and Mata both may return to the DSL for another season. Others could include second baseman Juan Blanco (21), centerfielder Romy Trinidad (19), and outfielder Kelvin Ortiz (18).

Sterling Bonilla was the leader of the staff, finishing with a 4-2 record in a team high 66.0 innings. Bonilla had the league's ninth best ERA (1.36) and sixth best WHIP (0.86) with 40 strikeouts and 14 walks. Angel Mata was only 1-5, however had an excellent 2.12 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with 54 strikeouts and 15 walks in 59.1 innings. Jose Jimenez was also 1-5 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 60.0 innings. Orlando Villaroel was 4-4 with a 3.47 ERA in 57.0 innings while Ezequiel Zarzuela led the staff with a 7-3 record with a 2.68 ERA in 53.2 innings.

Junior Subero had a 1-4 record with a 2.91 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 46.1 innings. Edgar Martinez led the staff with four saves and a 6-2 record, appearing in 26 games (40.2 innings) with a 3.10 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 38 strikeouts and only 9 walks. Villasana had an excellent 2.08 ERA in 43.1 innings.

When Sano left for the GCL, the team lost its most productive hitter who had a 1.009 OPS in 20 games (64 at bats). Sano led the team with a .344 average, .463 on base percentage, .547 slugging percentage and 3 home runs. Juan Blanco had an excellent season at .319/.379/.398 while leading the team with 11 doubles and 18 stolen bases. Centerfielder Romy Trinidad didn't repeat his 2009 all-star season, however, had an excellent season at .301/.371/.415 with 17 RBI. Kelvin Ortiz hit .264/.378/.377 with twelve stolen bases. First baseman Alexandre De Oliveira led the team with 19 runs batted in while second baseman Pedro Estaba had 18 RBI.

If recent history holds, we should see eight to ten of these young men in Ft. Myers next spring with the GCL Twins. By this time next year, it is likely we all will be very familiar with a few who will be amongst the best players on the 2011 GCL Twins squad.