We selected Miguel Sano as our pre-season Player of the Year with 121 of 455 votes (26%). Twins fans who remembered what Chris Parmelee did in September put him second with 80 votes. Top prospects Joe Benson, Aaron Hicks and Eddie Rosario filled out the top five with 44, 43 and 42 votes, respectively.
We will vote this week on our pre-season favorite for the organization's Pitcher of the Year. Our ballot will include thirteen pitchers who all should begin in the starting rotation of one of the four full-season teams. You will also have the option to vote for other, which could be an interesting selection. Do the Twins use their second overall pick for the top college pitcher? Is there someone special from the GCL Twins who will skip Elizabethton, perhaps Angel Mata, Hung Yi Chen or Gerardo Ramirez?
After the jump I will talk briefly about each of the pitchers, followed by the ballot. Voting will remain open through Friday evening. Next week we will vote on our pre-season favorite for Relief Pitcher of the Year.
We learned a lot about Liam Hendriks last September when he made four starts for the Twins. Recent scouting reports have been favorable, indicating that he potentially could become a solid front of the rotation starter. Will an early callup by the Twins keep Hendriks from repeating as the organization's Pitcher of the Year?
The Twins selected Scott Diamond in 2010's Rule 5 draft, then completed a trade with the Braves so they could send him to Rochester. After putting up disappointing numbers at Rochester (4-14 record with a 5.56 ERA), he was solid in seven starts with the Twins. Diamond should begin this year back at Rochester. Will his experience with the Twins enable him to be amongst the International League's best?
Two time former Pitcher of the Year David Bromberg was very good at New Britain last April when he was 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA. Then he was hit with a line drive that broke his arm causing him to miss much of the season. Will he return this spring as the pitcher he was before his injury? If he does he should earn a return trip to the Twins 40-man roster.
Logan Darnell made two big moves last year, beginning his season in Beloit and ending in New Britain. In between, he led the Miracle with eight wins (8-3 with a 4.17 ERA). He was 1-1 with a 5.58 ERA in five starts late in the year at New Britain.
Former third round pick Pat Dean took the same route as Darnell, although he made only one end of the season appearance in AA. Dean, who is known to have great stuff, was very good at Beloit (2-0 with a 2.86 ERA) before struggling a bit in Fort Myers where he had a 6.67 ERA.
Tom Stuifbergen is best known for pitching several special games in International competition. Unfortunately, he also has a history of battling some type of injury nearly every season. Last season was no exception as he posted a 5-9 record with a 4.40 ERA for the Miracle. He made an emergency start for Rochester in late August when he pitched five strong innings while allowing only four hits and one earned run.
We all are aware of the struggles 2010 first round pick Alex Wimmers had last year. Fortunately, he put his problems behind him late in a year that he closed out with a seven inning no hitter. As disappointing as 2011 was, can 2012 be equally bright? He certainly has the talent to make a Garza or Slowey type move through several stops this year.
After a couple early season starts that were only decent, B. J. Hermsen was an absolute work horse at Beloit where he had a 11-7 record in twenty starts (124.2 innings) with a 3.10 ERA. He moved on to Fort Myers where he continued pitching deep into games. In five starts for the Miracle, Hermsen had a 2-1 record with a 4.39 ERA. Hermsen should begin this season back in Fort Myers. Will he end it in New Britain?
Two young Latin starters spent all of last year in Beloit, Adrian Salcedo and Manuel Soliman. The 21 year old Soliman, skipped Elizabethton in only his third year as a pitcher. Soliman would lead the team in innings (136.0) and strikeouts (120) enroute to a 7-11 record with a 3.97 ERA. Salcedo, who celebrated his twentieth birthday late last April, finished with a 6-6 record in twenty starts (135.0 innings) with a 2.93 ERA and less than two walks (27) per nine innings. He doesn't get a lot of strikeouts (92), however, is one of few pitchers in the organization who could develop into a big league Ace!
The Twins took Madison Boer in the second round of last year's draft. The Eden Prairie native excelled in relief at Elizabethton before moving up to Beloit. The Twins have indicated that he will be a starter this year, likely beginning at Beloit.
The Twins selected Tim Shibuya in the 23rd round of last year's draft. The UC-San Diego alum went on to win the Appalachian League's Pitcher of the Year honors with a 8-2 record and 3.30 ERA in 73.2 innings with 70 strikeouts.
This coming year will be huge for 2009 supplemental first round pick Matt Bashore. After topping out at 96 mph at the University of Indiana, Bashore appeared in only one game for Elizabethton before being shut down with an elbow injury. He would miss all of 2010 following Tommy John surgery before making his comeback last year. He was back to the low 90's when he tired at Elizabethton after appearing in a dozen games. He should be 100% this year which will give him his first opportunity to show the Twins what he can be.