Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Travis Talks prospect list: Prospect #5

Today I will be continuing my prospect list as we move into the top 5 prospects. Today I will bring prospect number 5 in the Twins organization. Let me know what you think either by emailing me at travis_aune@yahoo.com or leaving a comment in the comment box.

5. Tyler Robertson LHP 21 (12/23/1987)

2008 teams: Fort Myers Miracle

  • Tyler Robertson was a 3rd round draft pick by the Twins in the 2006 draft out of high school in Fair Oaks, California. After signing with the Twins Tyler was assigned to GCL where he made 10 starts there and went 4-2 with a 4.25 era. In 48.2 innings he walked 15 and struck out 54 for a whip of 1.42. In 2007 Tyler moved up to Beloit where he dominated and really was put on the map for Twins prospects. After the season he had in 2007 many people had him rated as the top prospect in the entire system and I will admit I was one of those people. In 2007 with Beloit Robertson went 9-5 with an awesome 2.29 era in 16 starts. In 102.1 innings Tyler walked only 33 and struck an impressive 123 batters for a whip of 1.17 which was way down from the 1.42 he had in 2006. With the great 2007 Tyler was promoted to 2008 season and that is where the trouble started. Tyler had a very good 2008 season statistically, but missed the whole second half with arm problems. Last year in 15 starts Tyler went 5-3 with a very good 2.72 era. In 82.2 innings Tyler walked 31 and struck out 73 for a whip of 1.32. After an offseason of rehab Tyler Robertson had alot of questions to answer on whether he could come back the same pitcher and after a few struggles early on he has done a phenomenal job in June. Overall, Tyler has been pretty good going 4-3 with a good 3.66 era in 13 starts. In 66.1 innings Tyler has 28 walks and 47 strikeouts for a whip of 1.46. At age 21 Tyler Robertson in my opinion is the top pitching prospect in the system. Tyler won't be 22 until December so he is way young for his level of play. Tyler has a good fasball, a nice curveball, with a slider and changeup. Tyler has succeded every where he has pitched and I expect that to continue. It just shows you the fortitude he has to come back this year like he has coming off an arm injury. Tyler has gotten better every month as he gets more and more confidence in that arm. He told me that his arm feels good and that is the most important thing because if the arm is sound his god given ability will take over. Tyler is still probably 3 or 4 years away from being with the Twins, but Robertson posseses something not many other pitchers in the system possess and that is ace stuff. He has the ability to be an ace for the Twins at 6'5 he throws on a downward plane that is hard to pick up. His walk total is up a bit this year, but I expect Tyler to fix that problem and for him to continue to progress through the system. Even though he is ready for AA I think the Twins will be careful with him because you don't want to risk getting him hurt again. I expect Tyler to finish the year at Fort Myers and next spring start the season at New Britain at only 22 years old which is way young for the level. Mark this down 5 years from now Tyler Robertson will be pitching for the Twins and pitching well as the ace of the staff.

  • 2009: Continue starting at Fort Myers and outside chance of promotion to New Britain.

  • Projection: I project Tyler Robertson as an ace type for the Twins in 3 to 4 years and have a long and productive career in the majors.

Tuesday, June, 23rd

Twins Talk
  • The Twins had yesterday off before beginning a 3 game series in Milwaukee with the Brewers as Francisco Liriano will start for the Twins.

Rochester Wrap

Toledo 9 Rochester 4

  • The Red Wings had their dreadful series with Toledo end with a thud as they once again could not do much in the pitching department. Jason Jones got the start in this one for the Wings and really was not very good. In 5 innings and gave up 5 runs on 8 hits along with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts to raise his era to a very bad 6.49 and dropped his record to 2-6. I am probably the most disappointed with Jason Jones then anyone on the Rochester staff because the Twins gave up a pretty solid relief prospect in Charles Nolte to keep him and he has done nothing. The Twins gave up too much to just release him so I would atleast try him out of the bullpen to see if he can right himself and possibly go back into the rotation, but right now he has no chance to get hitters out. Another guy like that is Reid Santos out of the bullpen who came in for Jones and got shelled again. Santos went 2 innings and gave up 4 runs on 4 hits although only 2 were earned along with 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, and 2 homeruns to raise his era to 5.95 on the year. As a minor league free agent I was not expecting alot out of Santos and he has been just about what I thought he would be. I actually think it is time to cut the cord with Santos and bring up Matt Fox from AA New Britain and move Jason Jones to the bullpen. You can't keep sending out the same people time after time and expect a different result sometimes you just have to shake things up. Jesse Crain then came on and pitched a very good inning of work on 1 hit along with 2 strikeouts. I do not expect Crain to be with the Wings very long and if he keeps pitching like this he will be back with the Twins by the end of July. Armando Gabino pitched a 1-2-3 ninth a day after giving up the winning homerun so it was good that he bounced back. Gabino struck out a batter and lowered his era to a very good 3.02 on the year.

  • I know I am getting repetitive with this and I am sorry for that, but the Wings keep piling up the hits and are not able to score enough runs because they constantly strand runners on base. In this one the Wings had 10 hits and only 4 runs because they left 7 guys on base. Twins outfielder Denard Span made a rehab start for the Wings and did what he always does for the Twins and that is get on base. Span went 1-4 with a double and a walk adn was constantly working the count and having good at bats. Span is scheduled to play again tonight and if all goes well join the Twins on Thursday to continue their roadtrip. Justin Huber went 1-4 with his 7th homerun of the year for the Wings along with his 34th rbi to bring his average down to .277. Matt Macri went 2-4 with his 2nd double of the year and drove in his 22nd run of the year to bring his average up to .211. Dustin Martin went 2-4 with his 9th double of the year to bring his average up to .251. Dustin Martin has had an awful June hitting only .211 in June after doing much better in April and May. Hopefully, he is starting to come out of it because he is too good of a hitter for this. Trevor Plouffe went 2-5 with his team leading 38th rbi of the year. David Winfree and Brock Peterson also added hits in the losing cause.
  • Tonight, the Wings begin a series with Columbus and will send Anthony Swarzak to the mound for Rochester.

New Britain Business

  • The Rockcats had yesterday off and will begin a series with Harrisburg tonight as Jay Rainville will get the start for New Britain.

Fort Myers Minutes

Jupiter 4 Fort Myers 3

  • The Miracle made their return to the field last night in a losing cause to Jupiter by a score of 4-3. Most of the Miracle starters sat out this one as a reward for being all-stars and for clinching the first half title before the break. Ben Revere, Steve Singelton, and Chris Cates did not start this one for the Miracle. Fresh off a good outing in the all-star game Steve Hirschfeld got the start for the Miracle and was very good. Hirschfeld went 5.1 shutout innings in this one on only 6 hits along with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts to lower his era to 1.50 on the year. Santos Arias then came on and really struggled giving up 3 runs and 5 hits in 2 innings of work and let a 3 run lead slip through his fingers. Santo saw his era rise to 2.70 with this outing. Santos Arias has been one of the most reliable relievers for the Miracle this year and everyone has a bad outing every once in a while and last night was Arias' turn and I fully expect him to bounce back next time out. Blair Erickson came into the game and gave up the go ahead run to take the loss for the Miracle to drop his record to o-3 and raise his era to 2.78. Erickson went 1.2 innings and gave up 1 run on 2 hits to take the loss for the Miracle.

  • The Miracle could not do alot with the bats last night as they could only muster 3 runs on 7 hits against Jupiter. Danny Berg led the attack going 2-4 with his 2nd triple of the year along with his 17th and 18th rbi's and brought his average up to .239 on the year. Congratulations again to Danny for the promotion to AA New Britain and the possiblilty of playing every day. Juan Richardson went 1-3 with his 3rd rbi of the year. Jair Fernandez went 2-4 at the plate to raise his average up to .193 on the year. With Danny Lehman and Allan De San Miguel up in New Britain the Miracle really need Jair Fernandez to pick it up hitting and his .193 batting average will not cut it so hopefully last night was just the beginning of a better second half. Chris Parmalee and Rene Leveret each added a hit in the losing cause.
  • This morning the Miracle take on Jupiter in game 2 of their 3 game series as the Miracle will send Tyler Robertson to the mound this afternoon.

Beloit Beat

  • The Snappers are on their all-star break and will not start the second half of the season until Thursday Night in Clinton.

E-town Tidbits

  • The Twins had the day off and will begin their season tonight as they take on Bluefield with Tom Stuifbergen getting the start for E-town.

Valencia Promoted

I would like to thank Seth over at Sethspeaks.net for breaking the story that Danny Valencia has been promoted to AAA Rochester. Valencia had been in a rough slump but the last 6 games he is 10-24 to come out of it and with some injuries in Rochester he will be a good guy to come in and play 3rd for them. I hope expectations are not out of his world in Rochester because Danny has a history of needing time to adjust to the new league. Last year he struggled at New Britain for a while until he adjusted before taking off and I expect the same thing at Rochester. When he gets his 50-60 at bats then look to see the real Danny Valencia and don't pay attention to his numbers before then while he adjusts. But it is great news for Danny and Twins fans all over the world because Danny is that good. For us Twins fans that have been hoping Danny will open up Target Field next season as the Twins 3rd baseman this is another sign that it is possible. Here is hoping Danny does very well at Rochester.

Another big thank you to Seth for breaking the news that Danny Berg will take Valencia's spot with New Britain as he got promoted to New Britain. Danny is a very solid player that can play just about anywhere. I know he only hit .232 with Fort Myers, but he is so versatile that he will be good at New Britain. The interesting question is who plays 3rd for New Britain on a regular basis now. Their only 2 choices that are on the roster right now are Berg and Toby Gardenhire and both of them are better suited for part time roles so it should be interesting to see if they split the position for the rest of the year.