Friday, June 12, 2009

Travis Talks top 50: Prospects 40-31

Sorry I haven't been more consistant with my prospect list, but this week has been a nightmare with so much going on in my life. I will be bringing you prospects 40-31 today, 30-21 tommorrow, 20-11 on Sunday, and 10-1 on Monday so enjoy. Just to make it easier I will list the 50-41 prospects and if you want the analysis on them just scroll down on the article about them. Thanks.

50. Steve Hirschfeld

49. James Beresford

48. Erik Lis

47. Jon Waltenbury

46. Esterlin De Los Santos

45. Bobby Lanigan

44. Ramon Santana

43. Juan Portes

42. Alex Burnett

41. Brian Duensing

Now here is Prospects 40-31:

40. Steve Singelton 2b 23 (9/12/1985)

2008 teams: Beloit and then Fort Myers

  • Steve Singelton was taken by the Twins in the 11th round of the 2006 draft out of San Diego University. After signing with the Twins after the draft Singelton was put with E-town and did very well there by hitting .340 with 4 homeruns and 24 rbi's in only 41 games. In 2007 he moved on to Beloit and hit .271 with 2 homeruns and 3o rbi's in 102 games. In 2008 he split the season between Beloit before being promoted to Fort Myers. In 65 games at Beloit Singelton hit .302 with 6 homeruns and 32 rbi's. He was then promoted to Fort Myers where he hit .298 with 5hr and 25rbi's. This season back at Fort Myers Steve has struggled only hitting .235 with 1 hr and 22 rbi. Going into this season there was a lot expected out of Singelton after he made the seamless transition from Beloit to Fort Myers. That coupled with the recovery he seems to be getting in his shoulder. He was drafted as a SS but a shoulder injury took all his arm strength so they moved him to 2nd. I thought if he got the arm strength back he would be fine because he has always had a good bat. Well up until this year that is and he may have a big second half and get his numbers back to where we are accustomed to seeing out him. If that happens I will eat a big piece of crow pie because in my mind he has been the biggest dissapointment in the organization this year because so much was expected out of him this year. I really hope I am wrong because he is too talented of a hitter to be hitting .235. I really thought he was going to be the 2nd baseman of the future and thought he would get a promotion to New Britain this year, but that likely won't happen. Here's hoping that he can find his swing and be the hitter we are so used to seeing out of him.

  • 2009: Spend season playing 2nd at Fort Myers

  • Projection: I still project him to be the Twins starting 2nd baseman in 2013.

39. Rene Leveret 1b 23 (11/19/1985)

2008 teams: 1st base at E-town

  • Rene Leveret was signed by the Twins as a free agent out of Saint Maartin in 2003 as a 18 year old. After joining the 2004, 2005, and 2006 seasons in the Dominican Summer League, Leveret joined the E-town Twins in 2007. With E-town Leveret hit .307 with 8 homeruns and an Appalacian League leading 65 rbi's. In 2008 Leveret started the season at E-town once again and hit .306 with 2 hr and 7 rbi's in 9 games before moving up to Beloit. With the Snappers Leveret hit .286 with 3hr and 34 rbi's along with 9 doubles in 182 at bats with the Snappers. In 2009 Leveret joined Fort Myers and that is where his career has taken off. In 38 games with the Miracle Leveret is hitting .315 with 2 hr and 21 rbi's along with 8 doubles in only 127 at bats because he missed a couple weeks due to an injury. Rene Leveret plays a decent 1st base, but probably is more suited to DH duties. My sources say the Twins are not real high on him and I really don't get it as he is a .306 career hitter. I know he doesn't hit a lot of homeruns, but he is hitting more doubles as he has moved up. He reminds me a lot of Erik Lis and that he is probably better suited for DH duty and as he keeps maturing he will be a doubles machine. Maybe I am not seeing something other people are seeing, but I think he is a very solid prospect and if given the chance to advance could do very well.

  • 2009: Spend season playing 1b/dh for the Fort Myers Miracle

  • Projection: I could see him as a good pinch hitter off the bench for the Twins by 2013.

38. Alex Soto C 22 (11/8/1986)

2008 teams: Catcher at E-town

  • Alex Soto was signed by the Twins as a free agent in 2005 out of Dominican Republic. Soto spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons in the Dominican Summer League before joining the US teams in 2007. In 2007 Soto spent the season with the gcl Twins where he hit .273 with 2 homeruns and 10 rbi's in 22 games with the gcl Twins. In 2008 he moved up to E-town and that is where he really started getting noticed. In 31 games at E-town he hit .276 with 10 homeruns and 26 rbi's. What stood out was the 10 homeruns in only 116 at bats which is a great percentage of at bats per homerun. This season he moved up to Beloit and it has been a little bit of a struggle for him. In 38 games with the Snappers Soto is hitting only .252 with 5 hr and 22 rbi's in 115 at bats along with 5 doubles. The homerun power is still there, but he is not hitting as many doubles and singles as he has in his career. The good news for Soto is though he is a very good defensive catcher. Most catchers in the system are not hitting a fraction of what he is so he is ahead of the game. That is not to say he is a sure fire prospect, because he needs to work on his hitting because he is only a .264 career hitter and he needs to improve on that. From what I hear his defense is probably the best in the system this side of Joe Mauer so that is a plus. Secondly, his other problem is Joe Mauer and as long as Joe Mauer is with the Twins he will be blocked from getting to the big leagues. However, he is only at Low A so he has plenty of time to develop into a big time prospect. The bottom line is with a lack of quality catchers in the organization Soto really stands out and is someone to keep your eye on.

  • 2009: Spend season catching at Beloit

  • Projection: I think he has the chance to be a Major League Starting catcher if he continues to develop.

37. Steve Blevins RHP 22 (11/17/1986)

2008 teams: Relief pitcher at E-town

  • Steve Blevins was drafted by the Twins in the 21st round of the 2008 draft out of Marshall University. In 2008 Blevins made his debut in the organization with the gcl Twins going 1-1 with a 3.00 era in 8 outings. He then moved on to E-town and went 1-2 with a 5.47 era in 17 games along with a save. That really does not tell the whole story though as Blevins went 0-1 with a 2.31 era along with a save in 8 August outings. Blevins throws a fastball, changeup and a very good slider to go with a low 90's fastball. He was the closer last year at the end of the year at E-town. He moved on to Beloit this year and has had a up and down year going 2-2 with a 4.02 era. He got off to a rough start at Beloit as he had a 6 era in April. However, as the season has gone on he has done much better by having a 2.83 era in 12 games in May and June. I really am high on Blevins as I think his future is as a closer. That is something that there is a shortage in the system and I think Blevins if he can continue to improve on his command will be worth keeping an eye on. I really believe that Blevins may be a future closer for the Twins.
  • 2009: Relief Pitcher for the Snappers maybe get closing responsibilities.
  • Projection: Solid Big League reliever and possibly closer for Twins

36. Tyler Ladendorf SS 21 (3/7/1988)

2008: SS at the GCL Twins

  • Tyler Ladendorf was drafted by the Twins in the 2nd round in the 2008 draft out of Howard College. After signing with the Twins Ladendorf played for the gcl Twins. He really struggled hitting only .204 with 1 hr and 13 rbi's along with 8 doubles and 6 stolen bases. That was not what the Twins were looking for when they took Ladendorf with the 60th overall pick, but we should not look too much into it. He played a lot of baseball last year playing a full season in college and then signing with the Twins and playing 45 games at GCL. With a offseason to rest I really look for a bounceback year from Ladendorf who is too talented of a player to have a year like that again. There was a reason he was taken in the 2nd round and I believe this year we will see what he is all about. At 6ft 180 Ladendorf has good size, good speed and a very good shortstop. I think he will hit for average and steal bases. I think he is a future shortstop for the Twins and be a very good one.
  • 2009: Play Shortstop at E-town
  • Projection: I project Ladendorf to be the eventual everyday shortstop for the Twins.

35. Matire Garcia LHP 19 (3/1/1990)

2008 teams: Starter at GCL Twins

  • Matire Garcia signed with the Twins as a free agent in 2007 out of the Dominican Republic. Garcia spent the 2007 season in the Dominican Summer League before coming over to America for the 2008 season. Last year Garcia pitched for the GCL Twins. In 11 starts for the Twins he went Matire went 2-2 with a very good 2.91 era. In 52.2 innings Garcia only gave up 17 earned runs which is very impressive. Another interesting thing is he struck out 53 batters in his 52.2 innings of work. Which my Minnesota math tells me is 9 strikeouts per 9 innings which is very good. The main reason Matire Garcia made the list is because of his age. He is so young that the fact that he pitched at GCL level at 18 years old says a lot about his pitching. Garcia is tiny in that he is only 5ft 10in and only weighs 150 lbs. If he is going to be able to handle it when he eventually goes to full seasons he is going to have to put on some weight. However, the sky is the limit with his potential. It should be fun to see how he does as he develops.
  • 2009: Start season at GCL and then get promotion to E-town
  • Projection: He is so young it is hard, but I could see him as a middle of the rotation guy.

34. Jay Rainville RHP 23 (10/16/1985)

2008 team: New Britain and Fort Myers

  • Jay Rainville was a 2nd round pick by the Twins in the 2004 draft out of Warwick, Rhode Island. After signing with the Twins Rainville went to the GCL and went 3-2 with a 1.84 era in 7 starts. In 2005 Jay split the season between Beloit and Fort Myers. He started in Beloit and going 8-2 with a very good 3.77 era before being promoted to Fort Myers where he went 4-3 with a even better 2.67 in 9 games at Fort Myers. In 2006 Jay spent the entire season on the Disabled List because of a Right Shoulder nerve problem. He bounced back in 2007 and went 9-11 with a very good 3.29 era at Fort Myers. In 2008 Jay got promoted to AA New Britain where he went 9-9 with a 5.48 era. In 2008 Rainville's career stalled a little bit after overcoming the shoulder injury Jay got the chance to go to New Britain and really was not very good. So this year he is repeating New Britain and the results have been very similiar as he is 3-2 with a 4.87 in 12 starts for the Rockcats. Jay's problem is inconsistancy because he definately has the stuff to be a big time prospect. There are games where he just blows people away. However, just as often Jay will struggle to throw strikes and when he does throw a strike it gets hit. Jay Rainville needs to develop better command of his pitches because he walks to many batters. Last year he walked 44 batters in 138 innings which is way to many. I still have him on the prospect list because he is too talented and he should be way higher than this. I really hope he can find the consistancy the Twins are looking for because he has the talent to be a really good pitcher.
  • 2009: Starting pitcher all year for the New Britain Rockcats
  • Projection: I hope he can be more consistant, but I see him as probably a career minor leaguer.

33. Brad Tippett RHP 21 (2/11/1988)

2008 teams: E-town and Beloit

  • Brad Tippett signed with the Twins as a free agent in 2006 out of Australia. Brad started his career in 2006 at GCL where he 3-5 with a very good 2.53 era in 19 games. In 2007 Brad moved to E-town where his career really took off and got him noticed. Tippett went 7-1 with a awesome 0.93 era in 21 games. Because of the good games the Twins decided to switch Brad into a starter to maximize his potential. In 2008 Brad started season at Beloit where he went 2-1 witha 4.24 era in 13 games before they sent him back to E-town to transition him into a starter. At E-town he went 8-3 with a very good 2.55 era in 14 starts. This year he moved up to Beloit as a starter and is having a phenomenal half. He is 5-3 with a very good 3.17 era in 10 starts so far. Brad Tippett is one of those guys that could succeed as a Starter or a Reliever he has that good of stuff. He has done both so that will help in the future because I believe he has a future as a Tweener that could be in the bullpen, but also make spot starts. Brad has very good control as his 11 walks in 60 innings says and also can overpower some hitters even though he doesn't throw real hard. The only thing with Brad is he going to keep getting better because he will be 22 in Febuary so he probably is a little behind for his age. If he works hard I think he really has a big league future.
  • 2009: Spend season in Rotation for the Beloit Snappers
  • Projection: I project him to be a long reliever in the big leagues who can make some spot starts.

32. Jose Morales C 26 (2/20/1983)

2008 teams: Rochester Red Wings

  • Jose Morales was drafted by the Twins in the 3rd round of the 2001 draft out of Puerto Rico. Jose began his pro career at GCL in 2001 by hitting .248 along with 18 rbi's. In 2002 Jose spent his second season at GCL hitting .309 in 53 games. After the 2002 season the Twins moved Morales from 2b to Catcher to maximize his potential. In 2003 he moved up to A ball where he hit .271 with 2 hr and 25 rbi in 48 games. In 2004 he moved up to Fort Myers where he hit .286 with 4 homeruns and 46 rbi's in 91 games. In 2005 Morales moved on to New Britain where he missed most of the year due to an injury. In 2006 Jose bounced back and played in 80 games and hit 3 homeruns and 26 rbi's. In 2007 Morales moved up to AAA Rochester where he hit .311 with 2 homeruns and 37 rbi's in 108 games before getting promoted to the Twins in September. In 2008 Morales returned to Rochester and suffered through a injury plagued season where he hit .315 in only 54 games for the Red Wings. This season He started the season with the Twins and hit .358 in 22 games. He was then sent down to Rochester where he is hitting .274 in 28 games. That is a lot of baseball in a long time and at age 26 Morales probably needs to get to the bigs soon and stay there. Thats the negative the positive is he is a phenomenal hitter that is just waiting for the opprotunity with the Twins. That chance is probably coming after this season when the Twins are not expected to bring back Mike Redmond so there will be a spot open with the Twins. Morales is more known for his offense then defense, but he has worked very hard to improve his defense. I really look at him as the backup catcher for many years who can fill in if a catcher gets hurt. I really like Jose Morales as a prospect and he is probably the best catching prospect in the system right now.
  • 2009: Spend season Catching with Rochester
  • Projection: I see him as a backup catcher in the Majors

31. BJ Hermson RHP 19 (12/1/1989)

2008 teams: none

  • BJ Hermson was a 6th round pick for the Twins in the 2008 draft out of high school in Iowa. You may be surprised that I would pick someone this high that has not thrown a professional pitch, but this guy's potential is phenomenal. Noone expect him to sign because he had a scholorship to Oregon St all lined up and was expected to go there. He was a 2nd round talent that dropped to the 6th round because noone thought the Twins could sign him. 500,000 seemed to change his mind. That is not taking away from the potential as he had filthy stuff last year. He has a mid 90's fastball and great breaking pitches. After the year I really think he will fly up the prospect chart after this season so get ready because BJ Hermson is going to be the next big Twins pitching prospect.
  • 2009: Starting pitcher at GCL
  • Projection: I think potentially he could be an ace of a staff

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