Sunday, September 13, 2009

Is Wilson Ramos ready for the major leagues

I think I would do something that is on a lot of Twins fans minds and what i get asked a lot is super prospect Wilson Ramos ready for the major leagues. In this I will give the positive and the negative for Wilson Ramos being ready for the majors and finally give my opinion. So the hypothetical question is if the Twins couldn't sign Joe Mauer and decided the best course of action was to trade him do you think Wilson Ramos is ready to take over the full time starting catcher duties for the Twins.

  • Reason for Wilson Ramos being ready for the big leagues: Wilson Ramos is a stud by anyone's definition. Ramos has transformed the Eastern League playoffs into the Wilson Ramos show as he is hitting .538 in the 3 games so far going 7-13 with a homerun and 4 rbi's. Ramos' defensive game is unbelievable as he threw out an incredible 42 percent of runners attempting to steal off of him. The only negative about him is his injury history as he was limited to 54 games because of a broken finger and a pulled hamstring. However, those are freak injuries and I believe he will be fine. When he is on the field though he is a stud as he hit .317 with 4 homeruns and 29 rbi's along with 16 doubles in the 54 games he has played in. Listening to the games on the radio you year the respect has for him and when the game is on the line the other team wants nothing to do with him. He has good size and he is getting better every day. He would be the perfect replacement for Mauer as there is an aura about him that players want to be around him because they feel he is going to make them better. Given the fact that he is only 22 years old it just shows you that he is gifted way beyond his years. His offensive game is getting better and better and with the Twins he can rely on his defense until his offense comes around. I really view him as a star in the making.

  • Argument for Wilson Ramos not being ready for the majors: The bottom line is Wilson Ramos has gotten injured 2 years in a row and 3 of the last 4 so there is no reason to think he is going to stay injury free at the major league level. Even though he is very advanced he is still only barely 22 years old and could use another year in the minors to develop his offense and defense. He will be much more ready after a year in AAA next year to help the Twins in 2011. With this much talent whats the rush as we all know he will be good so why rush him to the major and all that you would be doing by rushing him to the majors is hurt his confidence when he struggles and he will struggle because not very many people go from AA to the majors. So let him develop at AAA next year and in 2011 bring him up and let him be the player we know he can.

  • My Feelings: I am really really high on Wilson Ramos as I think he has it all good defense, can hit for average, hit for power, has a cannon for an arm, is a doubles machine, and puts fear in the pitchers head. If the Twins lose Mauer the Twins fans need hope and that is exactly what Ramos can bring to the Twins. Is he as good as Mauer of course not and probably won't ever be, but that doesn't mean he can't be a All-Star catcher because all Twins fans know there is only 1 Joe Mauer. However, I do think another year in the minors for Ramos would do him good as he can get that injury prone label off of him and put up a huge year at AAA before coming up in September. You could start Jose Morales and sign a veteran backup or even Drew Butera and let Ramos dominate at AAA. That being said I think Wilson Ramos is going to be a superstar and someone in 10 years we are going to say yeah i thought he would be good.
  • I want to say though that I would not trade Joe Mauer because he is too valuable to the future of the Twins, but if he wants crazy amounts of money I would not pay him 25 million a year or something like that. I am just throwing out there a hypothetical because my hope in 2011 the Twins have the best combo in the league in Joe Mauer and Wilson Ramos.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Yearly Awards: Fort Myers Miracle

  • With the minor league season coming to an end I thought I would continue my year end awards and hand out 5 awards to each team. I will continue with the Fort Myers Miracle who have had a great season as they went 80-58 which was good enough for first place in both halves of the season. The awards that I will be giving out are hitter of the year, pitcher of the the year, Rookie of the year and the only prerequisite is you couldn't have spent any time at High A previously. Also the most surprising player and the most disappointing player of the year. I welcome everyone's thoughts on the players I have chosen and you can either leave me a comment in the comment box or send me an email at

    Hitter of the Year: Ben Revere- Ben Revere built on his great season in Beloit last year with another monster season in Fort Myers. Last year at Beloit he hit .379 in 83 games for the Snappers and there was some question whether he would be able to follow that up with another good year. If there were any doubts about Revere's longevity and if he could keep it going he answered that with another great year. He did not hit .379 again, but he should not of been expected to because of the rise in competition and the fact that the Florida State League is more of a pitchers league so you don't see the offensive stats that you see in the Midwest League. Revere hit a very good .311 in 121 games for the Miracle with 2 homeruns and 48 rbi's along with a career high 45 stolen bases along with 13 doubles and 4 triples. He showed very good plate discipline because he had more walks than strikeouts with 40 walks and only 34 strikeouts in 466 at bats. Ben had a very good .372 on base percentage which is very good for a leadoff hitter. Revere only had a .369 slugging percentage, but that should not be surprising because by and large Revere is a singles hitter who does not get many extra base hits and as he keeps developing you would like to see some more extra base hits. Revere had a .741 OPS which is pretty good for a leadoff hitter. With that being said there are things that Revere needs to work on and one of the big things is Stolen Base percentage as he gets thrown out alot. Revere had 45 stolen bases but it was on 62 attempts which is only a 73% percentage. He needs to get that up to 80-85 percent as he moves forward. Overall, Ben Revere showed he was not a 1 year thing and I look for him to move up to New Britain for the 2010 and continue his success as I think he will be a member of the Twins come September 2011

  • Pitcher of the Year: David Bromberg- David Bromberg really picked it up this year after a so so last year. Not only did he win my award as Fort Myers pitcher of the year, but he also won the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year award. That is quite an accomplishment for a guy that kind of struggled last year in Beloit. He was not bad at Beloit, but nothing compared to the year he had this year in Fort Myers. After going 9-10 with a 4.44 era in 27 starts last year in Beloit. He pitched 150 inn and struck out an organization high 177 batters, but also walked 54 batters. Those numbers are pretty average and nothing in those numbers show the type of season he had this year. Bromberg moved up to Fort Myers this year and put up a heck of a season. Bromberg went 13-4 with an incredible 2.70 era in 26 starts. What an improvement as he won 4 more games and cut almost 2 runs off his era. In 153.1 innings Bromberg only gave up 52 earned runs compared to 81 last year. His walk to strikeout total even improved as he struck out 148 batters while walking 63 batters. David Bromberg has improved himself from a average pitcher to probably the best pitching prospect in the organization. It is quite unbelievable the changes that Bromberg has made this year. Look for Bromberg to start next season in New Britain pitching for the Rockcats and make his major league debut September 2011 and be a fixture in the Twins rotation for years to come.

  • Rookie of the Year: Santos Arias- Santos Arias really stepped up this year after getting promoted to Fort Myers after spending last year with Beloit. Arias split last year between the bullpen and the starting rotation. He had a solid year in the rotation, but they moved him to the bullpen to protect his arm because he is razor thin as he is only 5'11 162 lbs. Last year in 30 games Arias went 5-6 with a very good 3.27 era along with 29 walks and an impressive 91 strikeouts in 110 innings. With his size and his strikeout rate when it was decided to move Arias up to Fort Myers this spring they decided to send him to the bullpen and have him as a good setup man. When Mike Mccardell was promoted to New Britain it opened a spot in the rotation and the Miracle decided that Arias was the right guy for the job and he really showed that they were right. Santos Arias went 6-3 with a very good 2.15 era in 38 games including 9 starts for the Miracle. In 100.2 innings of work Arias walked only 27 and struck out 72. Santos Arias showed that you can't judge the book by his cover because all he does is get people out and that is all that should matter not how big he is or how hard he throws. If Arias can stay healthy I look for him to continue starting going into next year and if he has a good start at Fort Myers he should be up in New Britain very soon.

  • Most Surprising Player: Rene Leveret- Going into the season I did not know much about Leveret after he split last season between Elizabethton and Beloit. Last year in 58 games Leveret hit .289 with 5 homeruns and 40 rbi's along with 12 doubles and a .361/.413/.773 line last year which is very average. Not bad, but also nothing to make you think he is capable of great numbers either. Leveret moved up to Fort Myers this year and even though he cooled off in the last month or 2 there was a time during the year that Leveret really carried the Miracle when the Miracle really were not scoring very many runs so that should not be forgotten. Overall, Leveret hit .286 with 5 homeruns and 38 rbi's in 92 games and 301 at bats along with 17 doubles and a triple. His line was .363/.399/.762 which was decent once again. Overall, it was not a great year for Leveret, but it definately was unexpected for me because I did not expect hardly anything from Leveret this year and there was a time that he carried the Miracle. He will likely start next season back in Fort Myers splitting time between Dh and 1st base and should have another solid year for the Miracle and it would not surprise me to see him get a promotion to New Britain sometime next year.

  • Most Disappointing player: Deibinson Romero- Going into the year I expected a bigtime bounceback performance from Romero after a injury filled 2008 season. The Twins added him to the 40 man roster and he was promoted to Fort Myers. I really expect big things out of Romero and he really did not get the job done. He got off to a good start, but went through a 1-30 streak in June and never was really to recover from it. In all Romero hit just .222 with 5 homeruns and 56 rbi's in 120 games along with 18 doubles and 3 triples in 424 at bats. His line was not very good either hitting .308/.314/.622 for the year. To make things worse Romero committed a organization high 25 errors at third base. After the season there are some that are going to wonder if it was a mistake to put Romero on the 40 man roster and there will be some that will have to rethink their plans of having Romero as 3rd baseman of the future. There are a lot more questions about Romero now than there was going into the season. He will be back at Fort Myers next year and hope that he can reestablish himself next year and make people forget about this year or he could be looking for a job with another organization. I still have some hopes that Romero can turn it around, but my hopes for him are not what they were before and I could not tell you what he is going to do next year.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Look ahead to 2010

With the Twins struggles of late and the Detroit Tigers finding their groove I am ready to do something that I was hoping I would not have to do till the playoffs and that is close the book on the 2009 season. The Twins trail the Tigers by 7 games with only 27 games left so it would take an absolute collapse by the Tigers and unbelievable baseball for the Twins to catch them but realistically we all know it is not going to happen. Losing 3 starting pitchers because of injuries and Justin Morneau going into the tank once again was too big of a pill to swallow. So for this purpose I am looking forward to next year and who I expect to be on the opening day roster and the probable payroll going into the season. I will write a little bit about every player. So everyone let me know what you think if you disagree with me or agree with me. You can either leave me a comment in the comment box or send me a email at

  • C- Joe Mauer- I project the Twins will sign Mauer to a 6 year 126 million contract with an option of 25 million for 2016. 2010 salary: 21 million

  • 1b Justin Morneau- I think Justin will come back better next year and be what he has always been for the Twins. 2010 salary: 14 million

  • 2b Alexi Casilla- The second half for Casilla has gotten him his job back at 2nd base as he has hit .208 compared to .180, but that is only have the story as his defense has been much better and I still look for him to hit. 2010 salary: 450,000

  • SS Orlando Cabrera- I project the Twins to sign Cabrera to a 2 year 11 million dollar contract in the offseason. Cabrera has not been the offensive force he was in the first half, but the Twins like the affect he has had on Alexi Casilla and Carlos Gomez and their other options are not real appealing either. 2010 salary: 5.5 million

  • 3b Brendan Harris- I project the Twins to start top prospect Danny Valencia in AAA to start the season so the majority of the time at 3rd will go to Harris who has done a decent job at 3rd this year when the many times Joe Crede has been unavailable. I look for Valencia to be up with the Twins at some point next season, but I look for Harris to be the starter on opening day. 2010 salary: 950,000

  • Left Field: Denard Span- Denard Span has been everything we have been expecting out of him this year hitting .300 stealing 20+ bases and playing phenomenal defense in all 3 outfield spots. 2010 salary: 450,000

  • Center Field: Carlos Gomez- With the Twins decision to keep Gomez up with the Twins all year he will be a super 2 and eligible for arbitration this winter. That being said he remains inconsistant at the plate and his plate discipline is something that he is going to have to work on to be a consistantly good hitter, but his defense continues to be awesome and he just might be the best centerfielder in the major leagues and should continue to get better as he is only 23 years old. 2010 salary: 750,000

  • Right Field: Michael Cuddyer- I admit I was wrong over the winter when I said the Twins should trade Cuddyer as he has had a phenomenal not only at the plate, but also in the field as his arm scares teams from attempting to take the extra base. Even though Cuddyer is 31 years old I would keep him next year and depending on how he does next year picking up his 2011 option. 2010 salary: 8.5 million

  • Designated Hitter: Jason Kubel- Jason Kubel has put together a career year this year and established himself as one of the top dh's in the league and when Joe Mauer or Justin Morneau need a DH day I am ok with putting him in the outfield because we need his bat in lineup every day. The Twins signed him cheaply this winter and if he was available this winter he would get double what the Twins paid him, but I look for him to have another big year next year. 2010 salary: 4.1 million

  • Delmon Young- Delmon Young has really not done much to establish himself as a starter at this level with that being said he has shown how powerful he can be when given a chance. I look for more out of the same out of him next year as they will have a platoon between Young and Carlos Gomez going forward. 2010 salary: 1.4 million

  • Nick Punto- Nick Punto is not a starter and nor should he be and his salary says he should be a starter. However, the Twins signed him to a bad contract last offseason so no team is going to take him so Punto will return to his old role of utility player where he belongs if he is going to be on the team. 2010 salary: 4 million

  • Steve Tolleson- I project Steve Tolleson to beat out Matt Tolbert, Brian Buscher and others for a utility role on the team. I look for Tolleson to play 2nd base, Shortstop and maybe a little bit of outfield. 2010 salary: 390,000

  • Jose Morales- I think it is safe to say that the Mike Redmond era will come to an end at the end of the month and Morales will back up Joe Mauer. Morales has some work to do defensively and he is not as good of a hitter as he is showing right now but I believe he will be a solid backup for the Twins. 2010 salary: 395,000

  • Starting Pitcher: Scott Baker- In the second half Baker has established himself as the ace of the Twins by going 6-0 with a 2.64 era in 10 starts. Baker is living up to the contract that the Twins gave him this spring and will anchor the starting rotation going into Target Field next year. 2010 salary: 3 million

  • Starting Pitcher: Kevin Slowey- Slowey was on pace for a career year before a bone chip in his wrist ended his season prematurely. I look for Slowey to come back next year and be the horse that we know he can be. 2010 salary : 480,000

  • Starting Pitcher: Nick Blackburn- Blackburn had a terrific first half and has struggled in the second half, but he is a solid 3/4 starter who keeps you in the game most games and will be a solid pitcher in 2010. 2010 salary: 480,000

  • Starting Pitcher: Francisco Liriano- I am still a believer in Liriano even though he did nothing to show that he can be The Franchise again. However, he has too much talent to give up on and I look for a bounceback performance in 2010. 2010 salary: 850,000

  • Starting Pitcher: Jeff Manship- I look for Manship to win a tough hard fought battle in Spring Training for the 5th starter job over Brian Duensing and Anthony Swarzak. I think Manship has the highest ceiling of those 3 and will do a terrific job in that role for next season. 2010 salary: 410,000

  • Bullpen: Joe Nathan- Joe Nathan had another very good year for the Twins and will be back anchoring the back of the bullpen for the Twins. 2010 salary: 11.25 million

  • Bullpen: Matt Guerrier- Guerrier has really established himself as a very good setup man for the Twins and I look for him to get a 2 year extention for 6 million with an option for 2012 at 4 million. 2010 salary: 3 million

  • Bullpen: Jose Mijares- Jose Mijares has had his ups and downs with walks and coming to camp out of shape. If he comes to camp in shape next year he will be the top left handed setup guy if not the Twins won't be pleased. 2010 salary: 430,000

  • Bullpen: Jon Rauch- Rauch will be the 7th inning guy for the Twins next year and be a solid contributer to the bullpen. 2010 salary: 2.9 million

  • Bullpen: Jesse Crain- This is where I have trouble because Crain has not had a good year, but he has pulled it together since his demotion to AAA. I look for him to get a paycut this year to stay with the Twins and wouldn't be surprised to see him traded this offseason if he doesn't want to take a paycut. 2010 salary: 1.5 million

  • Bullpen: Boof Bonser- Boof is coming off of shoulder surgery so the Twins will take it easy with Boof and start him in long relief to see how he is coming off the major surgery, but as he becomes more comfortable they will put him in tougher situations. I look for Boof to be a big contributer next year. 2010 Salary: 455,000

  • Bullpen: Brian Duensing- I look for Duensing after losing out to Jeff Manship in the rotation to find a nice niche as the second lefthander in the Twins bullpen next year and be a good spot starter if there is an injury. 2010 salary: 400,000

  • According to my projections I view the Twins parting ways with Mike Redmond, Ron Mahey, and Carl Pavano. I also view the Twins taking their time with Pat Neshek and start him in Fort Myers for the first month or so while it is cold in Minnesota. Those are my picks let me know what you think.

  • 2010 projected Payroll: 87 million dollars- that may be too high and if they need to cut corners it may be replacing Jesse Crain and Orlando Cabrera with Matt Tolbert and Anthony Slama which would get it down to around 80 million which is more what I think the Twins are willing to spend. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Yearly Awards: New Britain Rockcats

With the Minor League season coming to the end this weekend I thought it would be interesting to hand out 5 awards for every team in the Twins organization. I will continue with the New Britain Rockcats who have had an up and down season going 70-69 which is good enough for 2nd place 11.5 games behind first place Connecticut. However, thanks to the wildcard they have a chance to make the playoffs. They lead third place Trenton by 1 game with 2 games left against Trenton with only needing to win 1 of those to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2003. The awards I will be giving out are Hitter of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Rookie of the Year(prerequisite never spent a day in AA before this year), Most surprising player of the year, and most disappointing player of the year. I welcome everyone's thoughts on the players I have chosen and you can either leave me a comment in the comment box or send me an email at Thanks and enjoy.

  • Hitter of the Year: Brian Dinkelman- With the Rockcats most talented hitter Wilson Ramos only playing 53 games the Rockcats needed someone to step up and Brian Dinkelman really stepped up. After struggling last year after his promotion from Fort Myers Dinkelman really stepped up this year. Brian showed his versatility as he not only played 2nd base for the Rockcats, but also spent quite a bit of time in the outfield. Offensively, Dinkelman hit a very good .297 with 8 homeruns and 65 rbi's along with an organization high 38 doubles and 2 triples. He has shown a very good eye at the plate as he had 55 walks while only striking out 73 times in 455 at bats. Dinkelman had a very good .385 on base percentage. He also had a .442 slugging percentage which should not be surprising considering he is not a homerun hitter. That being said his doubles bring his slugging percentage up and brought a very good .826 ops for a top of the order hitter. There were some doubt about his future going into the season after he hit .247 in 52 games with the Rockcats last year. His season has gotten him back on prospect lists where I look for Dinkelman to start next season up at AAA and if there is an injury or ineffectiveness at 2nd base with the Twins you would see Dinkelman making his major league debut next year with the Twins. The reason most people are down on Dinkelman is his age as he is 25 and will be 26 by the start of next season. I think Brian Dinkelman future is still bright and I look for him to reach the Twins next year and be there for stay and wouldn't surprise me if he is the starting 2nd baseman for the Twins sometime next year.

  • Pitcher of the Year: Matt Fox- Matt Fox has turned around his career around with a very good season this year for the Rockcats. Going into the season there was some concern if Fox was ever going to make it because of arm surgery in 2005 and his slow progression through the system. Last year he made 14 starts with Fort Myers and went 7-7 with a 3.37 era. Going into the season this year some said it was a make or break season for Fox as he moved up to AA and got the chance to pitch in the starting rotation for the Rockcats and he did not disappoint. Fox made 26 starts and went 9-9 with a very good 3.58 era in 151 innings. He showed good control walking only 56 batters while striking out an impressive 120 batters. Matt Fox has reestablished himself as a prospect in the Twins organization and should get the promotion to AAA next spring. His future is probably as a reliever with the Twins so I think he would be best to work out of the Rochester bullpen next year. I think that he has a chance to make it to the big leagues if he continues to get better. Because the bottom line is Matt Fox has the stuff to pitch in the big leagues and you can tell he works hard based on the fact that he came back from an injury that many guys have to retire from. His age doesn't help the factor because he will be 27 when next season starts, but after the things Matt Fox has been through I will not put anything past him and I will look forward to seeing him in a Twins uniform.

  • Rookie of the Year: Juan Portes- Going into the season Juan Portes was kind of on the fence going into the season because he really had not done a whole lot going into this season. He had kind of hit a snag in his Twins career as he had spent the last 2 years in Fort Myers and kind of wasn't going anywhere. So I was happy for Juan when he got promoted to AA for this year because I thought he is either going to sink or swim and we would have a better idea of what he is after stepping up in competition. Portes really showed that he is a Twins prospect and someone to keep an eye on. After hitting .270 with 12 homeruns and 54 rbi's with Fort Myers last year he put up good numbers this year at New Britain. Despite missing some time because of injuries Juan played in 99 games and is hitting .296 with 6 homeruns and 40 rbi's along with 21 doubles and 3 triples. He showed very good discipline at the plate with only 44 strikeouts along with 33 walks. He had a very good .365 on base percentage for a middle of the order bat. His slugging percentage is not real great at .435, but his overall OPS was very respectable .800. The 23 year old out of Boston has alot of potential as a outfielder. I view him as a extra outfielder in his future if he can hit good enough to stay in the lineup. I would like to see him hit a few more doubles and a few more homeruns, because honestly his Slugging percentage needs to come up to keep moving up. Overall though Juan Portes has had a very successful first year with the Rockcats and I look for him to start next season back with the Rockcats, but wouldn't surprise me to see him with Rochester sometime next year.

  • Most Surprising Player: Alex Burnett- Alex Burnett really jumped up the prospect lists with the season he has put together this year. Going into the season he was viewed as a back of the rotation kind of starting pitcher. A bulldog type that would keep you in the game, but did not have lights out stuff. The decision this winter changed Alex's career and paved the way for him to have a career with the Twins. The decision was to move Alex to the bullpen as a late inning reliever. At first I thought why would they do that as he was a solid starting pitcher and turn him into a reliever I thought was a waste because Starting Pitchers have more value than relievers. However, I will be the first one to admit that I was wrong on this one. Burnett has established himself as one of the top relieving prospects in the organization and someone to keep track of. Burnett split the season between Fort Myers and New Britain and put up very good numbers. Between the 2 teams Burnett went 3-3 with a 1.85 era in 58 games along with 13 saves. Burnett worked 78 innings out of the bullpen and only gave up 16 earned runs. The most impressive stat for me was his walk to strikeout ratio of 26/78. With his 94 mile per hour fastball he has the stuff to get a lot of strikeouts. He held opponents to a very good .183 average. The 23 year old from Anaheim, CA has really turned heads with this season and I look for him to start next season as the closer for the Rockcats next year and probably get a midseason promotion to Rochester and wouldn't surprise me if he got a September callup next fall to the Twins. Alex Burnett is a shining star whose future appears pretty bright and I look for him to be the future at closer for the Twins.

  • Most Disappointing Player: Matt Moses- This season was probably the last straw for the first round pick in 2003. Moses has played several different positions in his career starting at 3rd base and then finally in the outfield and has struggled everywhere he has played. Most people felt like this was going to be a make or break year for Moses as he probably needed to get up to AAA this year if he was going to stay in the organization. Truthfully, if he wasn't a first round pick and had been paid what he was paid he wouldn't still be in the organization. With that being said he is very talented in that he has good power at the plate and someone that has the talent to be a everyday player, but likely it will have to be with someone else. Matt Moses suffered a serious finger injury late in the year so here is hoping that he can recover from this and get a job with someone else because I expect the Twins to part ways with him after the season. Moses played 78 games with the Rockcats this year and hit just .224 with 7 homeruns and 43 rbi's along with 10 doubles and a triple. He posted a .274/.353/.627 (obp/slug/ops) line this year. I really expected Moses to take off this year with all the marbles on the table and disappointed he could not get it done, however I really hope his finger injury is not too serious and he is able to continue his career next year.
  • I would like to congratulate the Rockcats on their first playoff appearance since the 2003 season and heres hoping they can bring a championship back to New Britain.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yearly Awards: Rochester Red Wings

With the Minor League season coming to an end this weekend I thought it would be interesting to hand out 5 awards for every team in the Twins organization. I will start with the Rochester Red Wings who have underacheived to go 69-70 and in third place in the International League North division. However, you need to realize the Red Wings are the youngest team in the International League and should have a good portion of their team back next year as they should improve. The awards I will be giving out is Hitter of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Most surprising performance, and most disappointing performance. For the Rookie of the Year award the player could not of spent any time in AAA before this year. I welcome everyone's thoughts on the players I have chosen and you can either leave me a comment in the comment box or send me an email at Thanks and I hope you enjoy.

  • Hitter of the Year: Justin Huber- Huber was signed as a minor league free agent this winter and the 27 year old from Australia did not disappoint this year. When you look at his stats this year you need to also take in consideration he missed the first 2 weeks of the season with visa problems. In 116 games with the Red Wings Huber is hitting .272 with 22 homeruns and 76 rbi's along with 21 doubles and 2 triples for an OPS of .834. The people of Rochester were really disappointed when the Twins let Garrett Jones go as a free agent this winter so they knew they needed to find someone who could replace his production and they found that guy in Huber. Huber played 1st base, DH and the Outfield and put up one of the best years of his career. I would like to see the Twins call him up for September as a bat off the bench, but we knew that was not going to happen when he accepted an invite to join the Australian National team in the World Cup this fall. He definately deserved the call for the Twins and it really is too bad for him, but I hope he does well in the World Cup. I know the Twins will try to resign Huber this winter, but I don't think it will happen and if I was Justin Huber I wouldn't resign with the Twins because his primary position is 1st base and his chances to get a recall up to the Twins are not very good. At 27 years old he needs to go to a team where he has a chance to make the big club and that team is not the Twins. What he did do this summer is won some games for the Red Wings and reestablished himself as a prospect once again and I look to see him in the Major Leagues sometime next year.

  • Pitcher of the Year: Armando Gabino- Going into the season not many people had heard about Gabino because he had very average stats as he went up and as a reliever stats like his are usually overlooked. Gabino really turned his career around this year and even got a cup of coffee with the Twins. He is better served as a reliever, but has been making some starts for the Red Wings. The 26 year old from the Dominican Republic put up a very solid season for the Red Wings. Gabino has appeared in 37 games this year including 6 starts and has gone 6-3 with a 3.03 era along with 1 save and 1 complete game. Gabino worked 92 innings for the Red Wings. He showed good control with a 23/60 walk to strikeout ratio which means he doesn't strike out a lot of guys, but at the same time he also doesn't walk people. Armando Gabino has put himself on the map going into next season and he has the good fortune of being on the 40 man roster now so next year if there is injuries he will be one of the first call ups if he continues to pitch like this. I look for him to be in the Rochester rotation especially after the loss of Kevin Mulvey. He needs to work on a few things down in Rochester, but he changed quite of few peoples opinions of him with the season that he had this season. I could of chosen Anthony Swarzak, but Gabino has been there longer and to be honest he had the better season if you ask me. I expect that Twins fans will see Armando Gabino in a Twins uniform sometime next year and next time he might be here to stay.

  • Rookie of the Year: David Winfree- There was actually quite a few people I could of picked for this award because of how young the Red Wings team is this year, but it was pretty obvious in my mind that the most deserving guy for this award is David Winfree. The 24 year old from Virginia really stepped up to the plate in AAA this year. After spending 2 years struggling in AA Winfree got the call up to AAA and did not disappoint. Winfree is out the rest of the year with a leg injury, but he hit .273 with 14 homeruns and 61 rbi's in 116 games. That is after hitting .252 in AA last year and it was a huge surprise that he was able to get off to such a great start. Many including myself expected Winfree to struggle much like he had at AA. I think that he has positioned himself that next year if there is an injury to one of the corner outfielders that he would get the call up to the Twins. Also he is only 24 years old which is very young for a AAA prospect so he has many years to make it to the Twins and stay there as a backup outfielder. I look for Winfree to spend 1 more year in AAA then in 2011 I expect Winfree to join the Twins and be there for the rest of his career.

  • Most Disappointing player: Trevor Plouffe- Trevor Plouffe really got an opprotunity this year with the Red Wings and he really did not take advantage of it. Plouffe for many years has been viewed as the shortstop of the future for the Twins and many thought that 2009 would be his breakout year and would be the starting SS for the Twins when they opened up Target Field next year. In 2009 he really took a step backwards both at the plate and especially in the field. The 23 year old from California hit .260 with 10 homeruns and 60 rbi's along with 23 doubles and 5 triples in 116 games. Those numbers are not terrible if he had played good defense. However, Plouffe committed an unbelievable 22 errors at shortstop which obviously is way to many. His loosy goosy persona has reached the office of Ron Gardenhire and when the manager of the big league team is questioning how bad you want it theres a problem. There really is no question that the Twins want Plouffe to be the shortstop of the future and athletically there is not another shortstop in the Twins organization that can touch Plouffe, but until he shows how bad he wants it on the field the Twins are not going to trust him to be the shortstop. That said Plouffe is only 23 years old and loads of talent and plenty of time to turn it around. For the Twins going forward with the big contracts for Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan, and Michael Cuddyer as a small market team they really need Trevor to step up and be the player we all know he can be.

  • Most Surprising Player: Steve Tolleson- Tolleson has a lot of talent, but what makes him a surprising player is the start he got off to in New Britain before the promotion to Rochester. It is unbelievable how he turned it on once he got to Rochester and has kept it going the rest of the season. In 38 games at New Britain this year Tolleson hit .258 with 2 homeruns and 13 rbi's. For most of the time in his stay at New Britain this year he was hovering around .200 so he was totally underacheiving. Once he got to Rochester he took off and has been pretty consistant the time he has been there. He went through a small slump, but is still hitting .276 with 6 homeruns and 26 rbi's along with 17 doubles and a triple in 87 games with the Red Wings. Tolleson is so versatile as he can play 2nd and shortstop, the outfield and I am sure he can play third as well. He is 25 years old so he is about the right age to be in AAA. I look for Tolle to compete for a utility job next spring for the Twins and if not be the second baseman for the Red Wings and at some point next season will join the Twins due to injury. Overall, Steve Tolleson has put himself back on the map in the Twins organization and I expect some big things out of Steve Tolleson in the future.