20. Steve Tolleson IF 25 (11/1/1983)
2008 teams: New Britain
- Steve Tolleson was drafted by the Twins in the 5th round of the 2005 draft out of South Carolina University. After signing with the Twins Tolleson started his career with E-town before moving on to Beloit. In 16 games at E-town Steve hit .321 with 2 homeruns and 8 rbi's along with 6 doubles. Tolleson then moved on to class A Beloit where he played in 31 games to finish the 2005 season where he hit .176 with 3hr and 10 rbi's along with 2 doubles. Tolleson split the 2006 season between Beloit and Fort Myers. In 47 games at Beloit Steve hit .287 with 2 homeruns and 16 rbi's along with 8 doubles and a .390 obp. He was then promoted to Fort Myers where he hit .268 in 49 games along with 4hr and 23 rbi's along with 8 doubles and a .353 obp. In 2007 Steve spent the entire year at Fort Myers where he hit .285 with 5 hr and 35 rbi's along witha very impressive 24 doubles and a very good 27 stolen bases along with a .388 obp. This led to a promotion to AA New Britain for the 2008 season where he followed up a very good 2007 season with an even better 2008 season. In 93 games Steve hit a even .300 with 9hr and 50 rbi's along with 28 doubles and a very impressive .382 obp. A season like that would have many teams promoting him to AAA. The Twins thought otherwise and kept him at AA and I don't know if he let his disappointment get to him but he really struggled early on with th Rockcats. He came on late which got him a promotion to Rochester where he has done very well. At New Britain in 38 games Steve hit .258 with 2hr and 13 rbi's along with 10 doubles. That led to his promotion where in 16 games Tolle is hittin .345 with a homer and 4 rbi's along with 7 doubles. Steve Tolleson has gone from a so so prospect to a possible starting possiblity with the Twins in the last 3 years. His 2007-2009 have been very good and has many people asking is he ready for the bigs. What I like about Steve is he can play all over as he has played second, short, and the outfield. That is a valuable skill to have because then he can serve as a backup infielder and outfielder and free up a roster spot for someone else. He plays good defense, a solid obp guy who will steal some bases. He does not hit for much power and his range is not great at short. If he can continue to play at the level he has the last 3 years I can see him making the Twins as a utility infielder as soon as this year.
- 2009: Spend season at 2nd for Rochester and maybe get call to Twins
- Projection: I project him as a utility player whether its for the Twins or someone he has a big league future.
19. Mike Mccardell RHP 24 (4/13/1985)
2008 teams: Beloit Snappers
- Mike Mccardell was a 6th round pick by the Twins in the 2007 draft out of Kutztown University. After signing with the Twins Mccardell split the 2007 season between the GCL and E-town. At GCL Mike made 2 starts and went 2-0 with a 2.50 era and a 0.78 whip. He was then promoted to E-town where he made 8 starts and went 5-1 with a awesome 2.00 era along with only 5 walks in 45 innings compared to 70 strikeouts with a 0.76 whip. Mike then moved on to Beloit for the 2008 season and had a phenomenal season. He went 9-4 with a very good 2.86 era in 21 starts as he missed a month of the season due to a shoulder injury. In 135 innings he struck out 139 batters and only walked 25 for a whip of 1.00. Mike moved up to Fort Myers this year and hasn't missed a beat going 7-4 with a very good 3.86 era in 12 starts. In 63 innings Mike has only walked 14 and struck out 50 for a whip of 1.16. The thing that I absolutely love about Mike Mccardell is his control as he doesn't walk anyone as he is Brad Radke like. He has only walked 48 batters in 263 innings which is an amazing total. Mike has a low 90's fastball with a great curveball and a nice changeup. He has everything you are looking for out of a pitcher and reminds me of a young Kevin Tapani with his control and ability to just get guys out. The only negative is his age as he is 24 and only in high A. You would like a 24 year old pitcher to be in AA or even better in AAA. However, that does not take away from the pitching ability that Mike has and I really believe he has major league stuff. With his control you are going to have to hit him to get on base and that is harder than you think because he has 2 great pitches and can spot them where he wants. Mike Mccardell is one guy I am excited to follow to see how good he is going to be.
- 2009: Remain in starting rotation for Fort Myers
- Projection: He has major league stuff who could be a number 4 or 5 starter in the big leagues.
18. Anthony Slama RHP 25 (1/6/1984)
2008 teams: Fort Myers Miracle
- Anthony Slama was drafted by the Twins in the 39th round of the 2006 draft out of the University of San Diego. After signing with the Twins Slama was sent to E-town in 2007. In 6 games he went 0-0 with a 2.46 era along with 4 saves before being promoted to Beloit. In 21 games with the Snappers Anthony went 1-1 with a very good 1.48era and 10 saves. In 24 innings he had 9 walks and an incredible 39 strikeouts. For the 2008 season Anthony moved on to Fort Myers where he was even better. Slama's 2008 season got him on scout's radars and led many to believe he was a big time prospect and someone to watch. In 2008 with the Miracle he went 4-1 with a very low 1.o1 era along with 25 saves in 51 games. In 71 innings he walked 24 and struck out an incredble 110 strikeouts.
That is an incredible 13.5 strikeouts per 9 innings. After that awesome season he moved on to New Britain this year and has kept it up. In 29 games with the Rockcats Slama is 4-1 with a 2.65 era along with 13 saves. In 34 innings Anthony has walked 18 and struck out 50. His strikeout rate is very comparable to what he did last year as he had 13.5 per/9 last year and this year he is 13.2 per/9. Anthony Slama's only problem is he walks to many hitters for a reliever. He has walked 90 batters in 226 innings. His wildness is the only thing holding him back from being a great reliever. However, his strikeout totals in my mind supercede his walk totals. He is absolutely dominant on the mound who keeps getting better as he moves along. Another red flag is his age as he will be 26 next season, but I think he is very close to being called up and I think he will be with the Twins before the year is out.
- 2009: Split season between New Britain and Rochester
- Projection: I project Slama to be the 8th inning guy with the Twins next season and for years to come.
17. Trevor Plouffe SS 23 (6/15/1986)
2008 teams: New Britain and Rochester
- Trevor Plouffe was a 1st round pick by the Twins in the 2004 draft out of high school in Encino, California. After signing with the Twins Plouffe went to E-town where he hit .283 with 4hr and 28rbi along with 7 doubles and a obp of .340. In 2005 Trevor moved up to Beloit and hit .223 with 13 hr and 60 rbi's along with 18 doubles. Even though his average was not great and his obp was not better he was productive enough that he was promoted to Fort Myers for the 2006 season. In 125 games with the Miracle Trevor hit .246 with 4 hr and 45 rbi's along with an incredible 26 doubles and a much better .333 obp. That led to a promotion for the 2007 season in New Britain. With the Rockcats in 2007 Plouffe hit .274 with 9 homeruns and 50 rbi's along with unbelievable 37 doubles in 126 games. After that season people started looking at Trevor as the shortstop of the future and why many were surprised he started the 2008 season back in New Britain. Plouffe split the 2008 season between New Britain and Rochester. At New Britain Trevor hit .269 with 3hr and 21 rbi's along with 17 doubles in 58 games. He was then promoted to AAA Rochester where he hit .256 with 6hr and 39 rbi's along with 17 doubles in 66 games. This year he started the season with Rochester and has struggled hitting only .238 with 5hr and 36 rbi's along with only 8 doubles in 214 at bats. Trevor Plouffe is a doubles machine as he has 130 doubles in 6 seasons would say. He will not hit for average, but he is good at hitting extra base hits and his defense is adequete. His defense is not as good as you would hope it would be. Sometimes he seems like he doesn't get fired up to play baseball, but that may have to do with being a California guy as he is very laid back. Overall, though Trevor Plouffe is the future starting shortstop for the Twins and that could happen as early as next season. He is smooth at shortstop and brings extra base power, speed, and overall a very good player.
- 2009: Play shortstop for the Rochester Redwings
- Projection: He will be the opening day shortstop next spring for the Twins
16. Deolis Guerra RHP 20 (4/17/1989)
2008 teams: Fort Myers Miracle
- Deolis Guerra was signed by the New York Mets as a free agent in 2005. Before the 2008 season he was traded to the Twins along with Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, and Philip Humber for Johan Santana. After signing with the Mets Deolis spent the 2006 season at Class A Hagerstown where he went 6-7 with a very good 2.20 era in 17 starts. In 81 innings Deolis walked 37 and struck out 64 batters. He was then promoted to high A St. Lucie for the 2007 season at the age of 18 where he went 2-6 with a 4.02 era in 20 starts. In 89 innings Guerra had 25 walks and 66 strikeouts. When he came over the Twins decided his mechanics were all screwed up and would lead to future arm problems so they switched his mechanics. By doing this Guerra went from a mid 90's fastball down to a low 90's fastball, but they felt that would keep him healthy. The Twins had Guerra spend the 2008 season in Fort Myers where he went 11-9 with a 5.47 era in 25 starts. In 130 innings he had 71 strikeouts, but he also walked an incredible 71 batters. This season he is spending his 3rd season at High A Fort Myers where he has gone 4-6 with a 4.41 era in 11 starts. In 63 innings he has walked 20 and struck out 44. Deolis Guerra might not be the prospect we thought he was going to be when he came over in the Santana trade. However, he is only 20 years old and has a good fastball in the low 90's and a good curveball and great slider. I think everyone is being a little bit premature in saying that Guerra is a bust or not what we needed. At the age of 20 most guys are in GCL and not in high A. I really believe that Guerra is going to develop into a number 1 type of pitcher we just need to give him some time. The big thing is he needs to quit walking people based on the 71 walks last year would say. He is doing much better with the walks this year. I really think it is time for him to go to AA and see what he is all about. He has spent 3 years at high A now and I would like to see him go to AA and see if he can take off like I think he would.
- 2009: I think he will spend season starting for Fort Myers
- Projection: I project him as a #1 type of starter eventually