Monday, June 8, 2009

Travis Talks Top 50 Twins Prospects: Prospects 50-41

I will be starting with prospect number 50 and work my way down until we get to number 1 and do 10 a day so Friday will have prospects 10-1 so I hope everyone enjoys and gives me as much feedback as possible. You can either email me at or leave a comment in the comment box. Thanks!

50. Steve Hirschfeld P 23 (9/8/1985)

2009 team: Fort Myers Miracle

  • Steve was a 9th round pick in 2007 out of San Diego St University and has been very solid in his career. Last season he went 11-7 with a combined 3.76 era in 39 games between E-town and Beloit. This season he has a 1.23 era out of the Fort Myers bullpen which is good in itself, but I think he can be a very good starter and that is why I am so high on him. Now with Carlos Gutierrez in New Britain I hope the Miracle give Hirschfeld a chance to start and see how he does. If nothing else he will make a very solid reliever and someone we should continue to hear from. Steve was a midwest league all star last year with the Snappers and has very good stuff to rocket through the system.

  • 2009 projection: Join starting staff at Fort Myers and start rest of year.

  • Potential: Long reliever for the Twins

49. James Beresford- Shortstop 20 (1/19/1989)

2009 team: Beloit Snappers

  • James was a free agent signing by the Twins in 2005 out of Australia. His entire 2006 season and part of his 2007 injury were in rehab after he had to have shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. In 2007 in 45 games with the GCL Twins he hit .288. In 2008 he moved up to E-town and hit .246 in 55 games with the Twins. However, he hit .328 in home games. This year after spending time on the DL again he has come back and been very good for the Beloit Snappers hitting .295 in 39 games with the Snappers. Beresford is a very slick infielder that is blessed with great speed as his 8 stolen bases so far this season have shown. Even after the surgery James is blessed with a strong arm and is a very good defensive shortstop. He will hit for a high average no matter where he is playing and if he can stay healthy he has a bright future.

  • 2009 Projection: Spend season playing shortstop for Beloit

  • Potential: Starting Shortstop for Twins with high OBP

48. Erik Lis- 1b/Dh 24 (3/8/1985)

2009 : New Britain Rockcats

  • Erik was the Twins 9th round pick of Evansville University in 2005. Erik has progressed through the Twins system, but has kind of stalled at New Britain. The main problem is he does not have a position and he is best used at DH and the Twins don't normally keep progressing players without a position. Another problem is he is not hitting as good as did last year. Last year Lis hit .277 with 36 doubles and 11 homeruns in New Britain. After that there was a clamoring for Lis to get promoted to AAA and for some reason it did not happen. I don't know if he is disappointed or what the problem is, but he is not having as good of a year this year. Although he is hitting .276 he only has 7 doubles and 5 homeruns in 163 at bats. Erik Lis has a big bat and if he can start hitting some more doubles he could be the type of bat that the Twins are looking for.

  • 2009: Spend season at New Britain

  • Projection: Major League Bat but might get stuck in numbers crunch with the Twins so might make it elsewhere.

47. Jon Waltenbury- 1B 21 (4/1/1988)

2009 team: Beloit Snappers

  • Jon Waltenbury was the Twins 7th round pick in 2006 out of Canada. Spent the 2007 season with the GCL Twins and did ok hitting .242 in 41 games at gcl. In 2008 Jon moved to E-town and took off hitting .319 with 10 homeruns and 45 rbi's along with 22 doubles in 263 at bats. The Canadian first baseman has all the makings of another Canadian First Baseman that you might know and that is Justin Morneau. Waltenbury has found the adjustment to full season to be very challenging as he has hit .245 with only 3 homeruns and 2o rbi's in 184 at bats. Jon has all the talent to really take off and the power to be a middle of the order guy for the Twins. He just needs to be a little bit more consistant at the plate to be the kind of hitter the Twins need him to be.

  • 2009 teams: Spend season with Beloit Snappers

  • Projection: Has chance to be middle of the order power hitter

46. Esterlin De Los Santos- SS 22 (1/20/1987)

2009 team: Fort Myers Miracle

  • Esterlin De Los Santos signed with the Twins as a free agent in 2005 out of the Dominican Republic. Started Twins career with 24 games at the gcg hitting only .195. In 2007 he spent the year at E-town and really thrived there scoring 60 runs, along with 6 triples, and finished 4th in the league in hits with 75 and 3rd in stolen bases with 24. In 2008 De Los Santos spent the season with Beloit and struggled with injuries and only hit .242 with 15 stolen bases for the Snappers. This season he moved on to Fort Myers and was doing awesome before a stress fracture in his leg landed him on the disabled list. In 15 games with the Miracle he was hitting .300 at the plate and playing great defense. Esterlin De Los Santos is tiny as he is only 5'10 165lbs, but for as little as he is he is a very good prospect. He is very smooth playing short and has a great arm. He is probably the best defensive shortstop in the system and if he can hit enough to stay in the game he will be very good because his defense and his speed will take care of itself. I am very high on him and if he stays healthy will shoot up the rankings.

  • 2009: Spend season with the Fort Myers Miracle

  • Projection: Future starting shortstop with Twins who can steal 40-50 bases.

45. Bobby Lanigan- RHP 22 (5/5/1987)

2009: Beloit Snappers

  • Bobby was a 3rd round pick by the Twins out of Aldephi University in 2008. Bobby spent the 2008 season with E-town after signing with the Twins and did very good going 6-5 with a 2.78 era with E-town. This year he moved up to Beloit and has been very uneven in his performances. In 11 starts with the Snappers so far this year he is 5-4 with a 5.49 era. There are starts that Lanigan will look lights out and then there are other starts where he gets shelled. Going into the season I had high hopes for Bobby that he would breeze through Beloit and be a prime canidate for a promotion to Fort Myers. However, after the season he has had he needs to develop more consistancy in his pitching. The good thing is doesn't walk batters much by his 14 walks in 60 innings says. He is a pitch to contact pitcher, but the hitters have been putting a little too much contact on the ball so far this year. I still have high hopes for him and expect a big second half out of him and look for him much higher on the list next spring.

  • 2009: Spend season starting for Beloit

  • Projection: I look at him as a back of a rotation guy who could develop into a middle of the rotation starter.

44. Ramon Santana- SS 22 (6/20/1986)

2009 team: Beloit Snappers

  • Ramon Santana signed with the Twins in 2004 out of Venezuela. Made his American debut in 2007 where he hit .211 in 18 games at gcl and spent rest of the year at Beloit. Spent the entire 2008 season in Beloit compiling a .241 average with 8 homeruns and 26 rbi's in 75 games with the Snappers. This season he has totally taken off for the Snappers. In 34 games Santana has hit .360 with 5 homeruns and 22 rbi's. If it were not for a sprained ankle the numbers would of been better yet. Ramon Santana is tiny only 5ft 9 and weighing 152 lbs so injuries are always going to be a worry with him. He is very good defensively, but you have to wonder is 2009 an anomaly or has he finally gotten it after his 3rd season in Beloit. I really think he could develop into a very good utility player as he moves along in the system. It will depend on two things and they are one can he stay healthy and two is he this good of a hitter or is just having a career year.

  • 2009: Start season in Beloit and move up to Fort Myers midseason

  • Projection: A very good utility player who can play any infield position very well.

43. Juan Portes- OF 23 (11/26/1985)

2009 teams: New Britain Rockcats

  • Juan Portes was a 15th round pick by the Twins in 2004. Spent 2004 season at gcl where he led the league in homeruns and slugging and second in batting. In 2005 spent the season in e-town and was 4th in homeruns with 12. In 2006 he moved on to Beloit and struggled hitting only .231 with 2 homeruns and 33 rbi's in 75 games with the Snappers. Spent 2007 and 2008 in Fort Myers with the Miracle and gradually got better. In 2008 he hit .270 with 12 homeruns and 54 rbi's. This year so far has been Juan's coming out party as he was moved up to New Britain and has done a terrific job there. In 37 games with the Rockcats Portes has hit .309 with 2 homeruns and 15 rbi's along with 10 doubles. Juan Portes came into the season without much fan fest and a bad year might of led to his release. But, Juan has shown all the promise that was expected out of him when the Twins drafted him. He has power and speed and is a very good defensive outfielder. If he can continue to hit like this he will continue to progress through the system.

  • 2009: Spend Season with the Rockcats

  • Projection: 4th outfielder with the Twins

42. Alex Burnett- P 21 (7/26/1987)

2009 teams: Fort Myers and now New Britain

  • Alex Burnett was selected by the Twins in the 12th round of the 2005 draft. After signing with the Twins went 4-2 with a 4.10 era in 13 games with the gcl Twins. In 2006 spent year at E-town compiling a 4-3 4.04 era in 13 starts for E-town. In 2007 Burnett moved on to Beloit where he had a great year tieing for 3rd in innings with 155 and 5th in era at 3.02. Struck out 117 batters in 155 innings. In 2008 he moved up to Fort Myers and compiled a 8-6 record with a 3.76 era in 143 innings. This year he found a new role and that is as a short reliever and has done a phenomenal year going 2-1 with a 1.99 era in 18 games with the Miracle before he was promoted to AA New Britain. Alex Burnett has really turned the corner and has good strikeout totals and is way above his level to be at AA at age 21 is great. I really have a lot of excitement when it comes to Burnett. I really look for him to take off now that he has found a role as a closer. In a game in New Britain he hit 94 on the gun so I think he could jump through the sytem quickly.

  • 2009: Set Up Man for New Britain

  • Projection: a middle reliever for the Twins

41. Brian Duensing- LHP 26 (2/22/1983)

2009 teams: Minnesota Twins and now Rochester

  • Brian Duensing was taken in the 3rd round by the Twins in 2005 out of Nebraska University. After signing with the Twins Brian went 4-3 with a 2.32 era for E-Town. In 2006 Duensing made stops at Beloit, Fort Myers, and New Britain in the same year. At Beloit he went 2-3 with a 2.94 era in 11 starts. In Fort Myers he went 2-5 with a 4.24 era in 7 starts. For New Britain he went 1-2 with a 3.65 era in 11 games with the Rockcats. In 2007 he started season at AA and went 3-0 with a 2.14 in 6 starts before being promoted to Rochester. With Rochester he was third in era and 3rd in wins. After his 2007 season Duensing was thought of as the next great Twins pitching prospect. In 2008 Brian took a step back going 5-11 with a 4.22 era. This year he got a break and started the season with the Twins as a lefty out of the bullpen but did not get much of a chance only pitching in 1 game. Duensing was sent back to Rochester and has been not very good going 3-4 with a 5.21 era. Duensing is at a crossroads in his career as he seems to have peaked and getting worse every year. He either needs to show something soon or he will probably not be back with the Twins next season.

  • 2009: Spend season starting for Rochester

  • Projection: A AAAA pitcher who probably will pitch his entire career in the minors.

That is it for today and will bring you prospects 31-40 tommorrow so come back.

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