This week we go into the Minnesota Twins minor league organization to find the shining talent that we name the Minor League Stars of the Week. There was some good competition for the awards at all levels but was especially tough to name stars at Cedar Rapids (Kernels) and at Rochester (Red Wings), where multiple players have been shining. Read on to see who we have named for this week's stars and take a moment to answer the poll and comment on any other players you feel that should have been named.
- Cedar Rapids (A - Low) - Stephen Gonsalves (P) - This was one of the levels in the Twins organization that made it tough to name a single player for the star of the week as other players such as Felix Jorge, Nick Gordon, Zach Granite, and Trey Vavra have been playing well but the pitching on Gonsalves to start the season has been dominating. Stephen has started the season with a 2-0 record but even more impressive is the 0.90 ERA and 0.65 WHIP. His command has been electric as well with 30 SO/2 BB ratio and has only allowed 11 hits in 20 IP. The ceiling continues to rise for Gonsalves and if he continues to pitch like this his stay in Cedar Rapids won't be a very long one.
- Fort Myers (A - High) - Chih-Wei Hu (P) - The Miracle have been struggling offensively to start the season but one position that hasn't been struggling is their starting pitching and Hu has been a huge reason why. In three starts so far this season, Hu is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA over 18 IP. To go with those numbers, Hu also has a miniscule 0.61 WHIP and has also shown great command with 20 SO/1 BB. If he continues on this path, it won't be long before you see him in a Chattanooga Lookouts uniform.
- Chattanooga (AA) - Dalton Hicks (1B) - The first position player of the Minor League Stars of the Week, Hicks has definitely earned it with his play to start the 2015 season for the Lookouts. Hicks has been red-hot at the plate with a .352 average, .593 slugging percentage, and an OPS of 1.046. When you look further into his numbers, it's hard to find something that he hasn't been doing right. Hicks has 19 hits out of 54 at-bats and that includes 5 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, and 7 RBI. He has also been solid defensively in the field with just 1 error in 15 games. Hicks was impressive in 2014 at both Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers and could be a Red Wing in the near future. If Hicks does get to Rochester quickly and performs well there, it will be interesting to see what the Twins will do with him already having Joe Mauer and Kennys Vargas.
- Rochester (AAA) - Pat Dean (P) - Our final Minor League Star of the Week is one that may be flying under the radar for a lot of Minnesota Twins fans but it's a name that you should keep an eye on. Dean has looked very solid to start the season for the Red Wings, including being named the Batavia Downs Player of the Week this past week. It's easy to see why with his start to the 2015 season. Pat has started the season 2-0 for Rochester with a 0.90 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP. As with some of the other stars this week, command has been one of the mention points and that continues with Dean. In 20 IP he has a very nice 22 SO/5 BB ratio, which should definitely open some eyes. Keep an eye on Dean as he could be a player that could sneak into the Minnesota Twins bullpen soon.