Thursday, June 18, 2009

Travis Talks prospect list: Prospect #10

I have decided to do something a little bit different for the top 10. I will be bringing you 1 prospect a day until we have number 1. I will be bringing number 10 tonight. I hope everyone will leave a comment on these players and give them the recognition they deserve. Hope everyone enjoys.

10. Luke Hughes 3b 24 (8/2/1984)

  • Luke Hughes signed as a free agent with the Twins in 2002 out of Australia. Luke started his Twins career in 2003 with GCL where he hit .305 with 2hr and 25 rbi's along with 9 doubles and 4 triples in 54 games. Luke then moved on to E-town for the 2004 season where he hit .284 with 3hr and 19rbi's along with 8 doubles and a triple in 44 games. In 2005 Luke moved up to Beloit where in 72 games he hit .257 with 7 hr and 42 rbi's along with 14 doubles and 2 triples for a ops of .709 before being promoted to Fort Myers where in 23 games he hit .202 with 7 rbi's. In 2006 Luke spent the entire year in Fort Myers where he hit .231 with 4hr and 37 rbi's along with 15 doubles and a ops of .599 in 95 games. For the 2007 season Luke moved up to AA New Britain where in 92 games he hit .283 with 9 homeruns and 43 rbi's along with 18 doubles and 2 triples for a ops of .794. The 2007 season was where Luke took the next step to being a big time prospect as he showed some consistancy at the plate. In 2008 split the year between New Britain and AAA Rochester. In 70 games at New Britain he hit .319 with 15hr and 43 rbi's along with 15 doubles and 3 triples for an ops of .936. That led to a promotion to AAA Rochester where in 29 games Luke hit .283 with 3 hr and 21 rbi's along with 7 doubles and a triple for a ops of .778. This year Luke was back at Rochester and was doing pretty good until he strained an oblique that has cost him about 3 weeks. Luke was hitting .259 with 6hr and 28rbi's along with 8 doubles and 2 triples for an ops of .825. Luke Hughes went from a guy that was a candidate to be released to being possibly the future 3rd baseman for the Twins. He brings speed, versitility, power, and overall a very good offensive player. There are 2 things keeping him back and they are he is not a very good defensive player. That is the reason he will probably not be a full time starter at the next level. He is good enough offensively to be a starter, but his glove will hold him back. The other is he is very injury prone as his last 2 seasons have been interrupted due to injuries. I view him as a perfect utility player in that he can play 3rd, 2nd, all outfield positions. With his offense and the versitility he will always find a job in the big leagues and could debut as early as next spring.

  • 2009: play 3rd/2b/of for the Rochester Red Wings

  • Projection: I project him as a utility player for the Twins going into next season.

Thursday, June, 18th

Twins Talk

Pirates 8 Twins 2

  • The Twins really had a clunker last night as they struggled offensively and pitching wise in a 8-2 loss to the Pirates. Francisco Liriano got the start for the Twins and was decent except for 2 pitches that turned into 2 2run homeruns for the Pirates. In all Liriano went 7 innings and gave up 4 runs on 8 hits along with 1 walk and 6 strikeouts to lower his era to 5.91 on the year. With the loss Liriano lowered his record on the year to a very bad 2-8. I could get all negative about Liriano and how he continues to struggle witht he homerun ball and the big inning, but I am not going to do that because the honest truth is Liriano has been much better his last 3 starts. In those starts Liriano is 0-1 with a very solid 3.79 era in those games. He has cut down on the amount of people that he is walking and pitching more to contact than he did before. I really believe if he keeps pitching like he has the last 3 times out he will win his fair share of games and keep the Twins in the game which is what his job is supposed to be. The bullpen really struggled last night and let the game get out of hand. Sean Henn was the first one out of the bullpen and he was not very good as he only got 1 out and gave up 3 runs on 1 hit along with 2 walks to raise his era to 5.91 on the year. Luis Ayala then came on and was not much better as he gave up a run on 2 hits along with a walk to raise his era to 4.06. The Twins bullpen has done a very good job as of late and one bad game should not make people think that they are not very good because they have done very well.

  • Offensively, the biggest problem last night was the Twins could not get the clutch hit when they needed it. Last night they left 10 guys on base and you are not going to win too many games when you leave 10 on. Michael Cuddyer had a big night going 2-2 along with 2 walks to bring his average up to .273. Joe Crede went 1-4 with his 9th double of the year and drove in his 29th and 30th runs of the year. Joe Mauer went 1-4 with his 11th double of the year and brought down his average to .425. Another thing that I found out was Joe Mauer is leading the AL in hitting now because going into last night he is 17 at bats short of qualifying for the batting title. At the end of the year if you are short they figure a 0 for how many at bats you are short and thats how they figure your batting average for batting title purposes. So if you make Mauer 0-17 he would be at .386 well ahead of Ichiro for the lead. Mauer will make up the total in a week or so and probably win his 3rd batting title of his career. Brendan Harris and Jason Kubel added base hits in the losing cause for the Twins.
  • Today, the Twins finish off their 3 game series with the Pirates as they send staff ace Nick Blackburn to the mound as they try to take the series.

Rochester Wrap

Rochester 10 Columbus 2

  • The Red Wings really broke out of an offensive slump with a big game at the plate as they had 10 run to win in a laugher over Columbus by a score of 10-2 last night. Bobby Keppel continued his strong pitching as of late as he went 6 strong innings. In 6 innings Keppel gave up 2 runs on 9 hits along with 5 strikeouts to improve his era to 2.43 and improve his record on the year to 3-3. Keppel has been a very good surprise for the Red Wings as I was not expecting much out of Keppel and he has been the most consistant pitcher on the Red Wings staff either as a reliever or as a starter. With Anthony Swarzak back with the Red Wings I would NOT send Keppel back to the bullpen. I would replace either Jason Jones or Philip Humber in the starting staff with Keppel because neither one of those guys has been very good this year. My pick would be Humber because he has shown the ability to do a good job out of the Wings bullpen as that got him going last year. So I personally, would put Bobby Keppel in Philip Humber's spot in the rotation atleast as long as Swarzak is with the Wings. Armando Gabino then came in relief and threw 3 shutout innings of relief along with 3 strikeouts to lower his very good era down to 2.81 on the year.

  • The Red Wings finally broke out of an offensive slump as they put 10 runs on the board on 17 hits. There was not one guy that you could say was better than someone else. The offensive hero's of this game were Alexi Casilla, Trevor Plouffe, and Steve Tolleson who combined to go 9-16 with 2 walks and a homerun. Alexi Casilla went 3-5 with his first homerun as a Red Wing along with his 9th rbi of the year. Dustin Martin went 1-3 with 4 rbi's to bring his season total up to 22 on the season. Justin Huber went 2-5 with his 32nd rbi to bring his average up to .285 on the year. David Winfree went 2-5 with 2 rbi's to bring his total up to 32 also. Alejandro Machado, Brock Peterson, and Drew Butera also contributed hits to the big Red Wings victory.
  • Today, the Wings continue their series with Columbus as the Wings will send Anthony Swarzak to the mound for Rochester.

New Britain Business

  • The Rockcats had their game yesterday rained out and it will be made up with a doubleheader today. Matt Fox will get the start for New Britain in the first game and Carlos Gutierrez gets the ball in the second game.

Fort Myers Minutes

Dunedin 8 Fort Myers 4

  • The Miracle blew a chance to clinch the first half title yesterday afternoon as they lost to Dunedin by a score of 8-4. Deolis Guerra got the start for the Miracle and he was not very good in this one. Guerra only lasted 4 innings and gave up 8 runs on 10 hits along with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts and gave up 2 homeruns to raise his era up to 5.21. With the loss Guerra's record dropped to a disappointing 4-7. I really don't know what to make of Guerra because he can look like he is turning the corner and becoming the quality prospect that we thought we were getting when we traded Johan Santana. I guarantee you the Twins would not of made that trade if they would of known that Guerra was going to pitch like this. With that being said the honest truth is Deolis is only 20 years old it just is you would like to see some improvement. Something he has improved on is the walks as he has cut them way down. Hopefully, this start was just an anomaly and he will rebound next time out. A positive in the game was the pitching of Loek Van Mil who went the final 4 innings without giving up a run on only 2 hits along with 2 walks and three strikeouts. Van Mil has not given up a run in 12 innings since coming off the DL. At 7'1 Loek is a very intimidating figure and if he stays healthy the sky is the limit for him.

  • The Miracle kind of broke out of an offensive slump as they put up 12 hits in this one, but they were only able to push across 4 runs. The reason for this was the Miracle left 9 guys on base. Even though they left a lot of guys on base I will take the 12 hits any day, because most days the Miracle will make that into 6-7 runs which would be good enough for a victory with their pitching. Danny Berg, Ben Revere, Deibinson Romero, and Evan Bigley led the attack with 2 hits apiece. Berg came into the game late and went 2-2 with his 9th double and his 1st triple of the year. Revere went 2-3 with his 27th stolen base of the year and brought his average up to .322 as he has broken out of a hitting slump that saw his average go down to .307. Romero went 2-4 with his 13th double of the year and brought his average up to .233. Evan Bigley also went 2-4 with his 4th double and drove in his 13th run of the year. Steve Singelton, Nick Romero, Mark Dolenc, and Jair Fernandez added hits in the losing cause.
  • Tonight the Miracle finish off the first half and hope to clinch the first half title as they send Mike Mccardell to the mound for Fort Myers.

Beloit Beat

Clinton 4 Beloit 1

  • The Snappers continued their recent run of good pitching, but in this one it was not enough as they lost a tough game last night to Clinton by a score of 4-1. Dan Berlind got the start for the Snappers and was good once again going 6 innings and only giving up 3 runs on 3 hits along with 2 walks and 7 strikeouts to lower his era to 3.99 on the year. With the loss it dropped Berlind's record on the year to a tough 2-7. Berlind has pitched alot better than his record would indicate as the Snappers offense really has not helped him too much this year. Blake Martin came in relief and really struggled as he gave up a run on 2 hits in his 2 innings of work along with 3 walks and strikeouts to raise his era to 4.76. Blake's problem is he does not get hit hard it is a matter of throwing strikes because when he throws strikes he does a good job. So hopefully, from here on out he will improve in throwing strikes. Curtis Leavitt pitched the 9th and really bounced back from a poor outing his last time out. In this one he gave up 1 hit in a scoreless ninth to lower his era to 10.97.

  • The Snappers really could not get anything going at the plate in this one as they could only muster a run on 6 hits for the game. Ramon Santana led the charge going 2-3 with his 14th double and his 32nd rbi of the year and brought his average up to a very good .338. Dominic De La Osa also had a big game going 2-3 with a walk to bring his average up to .223. Drew Thompson and Jon Waltenbury added hits in a losing cause for the Snappers.
  • Tonight, the Snappers begin a weekend series with Quad Cities as Dan Osterbrock gets the star for Beloit.
  • Transactions: I have news that every Beloit fan has been waiting for as Aaron Hicks was promoted to Beloit today. He should be in uniform in time for tommorrow nights game against Quad Cities.