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Twinkie Town 2011 Top 50...Prospect #50!

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In our second preliminary round, Ben Tootle clearly beat Martire Garcia. He will join Spencer Steedley as the two pitchers in the final round of this year's poll.

Today's preliminary round will include ten position players from Rochester, New Britain and Ft. Myers. This group includes several players who may soon see action in the major leagues, whether with the Twins or another team. The ten players are catchers Jair Fernandez, Dan Lehmann and Allan de San Miguel, infielders Nate Hansen and Nick Romero, outfielders Mark Dolenc, Jonathan Goncalves, Brandon Roberts and utility players Brian Dinkelman and Yangervis Solarte. I will have brief comments about each following the jump.

This round will remain open through 3pm, Friday, February 18th.

Jair Fernandez was obtained from Seattle in the R. A. Dickey trade in spring training, 2008. Fernandez had his break-out year last year, hitting .267/.326/.409 in 176 at bats at New Britain with a brief trip to Rochester. Fernandez should begin this season back at New Britain and could be ready to be the Twins 'third' catcher by spring, 2012.

Danny Lehmann is another catcher working to become that third catcher who is a call away in Rochester. The former eighth round pick and all-star at Beloit and Ft. Myers had a solid season last year. Lehmann split his year between New Britain and Rochester, hitting .263/.341/.355 in 76 AAA at bats.

Allan de San Miguel seems to have been around forever, yet didn't celebrate his 23rd birthday until a few days ago. de San Miguel spent time at all four full-season teams in 2009 and at the highest three clubs again last year. An excellent defensive catcher, de San Miguel hasn't hit much finishing with combined averages of .229 in 2009 and .166 last year. He gets included in this round because of his age, the fact the Twins moved him all over the place often to teams they knew he wasn't ready for and because he just finished an excellent winter in Australia where he started every day with a .283 average.

Nate Hansen is an ex Gopher who had a break-out season this year in Ft. Myers. Hansen hit .254/.324/.385 with a team high eleven home runs in 405 at bats.

Nick Romero was the Twins fifth round pick in 2008 out of San Diego State University. Romero spent all of last year at Ft. Myers where he hit .251/.326/.368 in 394 at bats with a team best 27 doubles.

Mark Dolenc was the Twins fifteenth round pick in 2006 out of Minnesota State University-Mankato. Dolenc began his career in the Gulf Coast League, moving up a level each season. He played regularly last year in New Britain's outfield, hitting a respectable .259/.312/.374 in 382 at bats with 7 home runs 15 stolen bases.

Jonathan Goncalves is a 21 year old outfielder from Venezuela who was likely headed to Beloit last year after a fine 2009 season at Elizabethton. When Ft. Myers needed an outfielder early in the season, Goncalves got the call from extended spring training. He hit so well that he would spent his entire season with the Miracle. Although his average dipped late in the year, he hit a solid .240/.332/.286 in 325 at bats.

Brandon Roberts has a history of spending much of each year on the disabled list. The outfielder the Twins received in the Juan Castro trade finally had a healthy year in 2010. Roberts hit .327/.404/.417 in 321 at bats with 22 stolen bases including 153 at bats for Rochester where he hit .333 average. If Roberts has another year like last year he should be ready to be a fill in with the big club if needed during the year.

Brian Dinkelman is a player who is the definition of a utility player. A natural second baseman, Dinkelman also played both corner outfield positions last year for the Red Wings. Dinkelman hit a respectable .265/.336/.379 in 525 at bats with a team high 32 doubles.

Yangervis Solarte is another young man with an excellent bat who struggles at times defensively. After hitting for a .320 average in 172 at bats for the Miracle, Solarte moved up to New Britain where he hit .276/.290/.417 in 127 at bats. Solarte was back with Aragua in the Venezuelan League this winter where he hit .268/.342/.361 in 97 at bats.