Thursday, June 25, 2009

Travis Talks prospect list: Prospect #3

Tonight I will continue my prospect list with prospect number 3 for the Twins. This guy is someone that I have more confidence in that he will be a star than just about anybody that I have profiled so far. Let me know what you think of the selection you can either leave a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at

3. Danny Valencia 3b 24 (9/19/1984)

2008 teams: Fort Myers and New Britain

  • Danny Valencia was a 19th round pick by the Twins in the 2006 draft out of Miami University. After signing with the Twins Valencia reported to Elizabethton where in 48 games he hit .311 with 8 homeruns and 29 rbi's along with 13 doubles for an ops of .870. In 2007 Danny split the season between Beloit and Fort Myers. Valencia started the season at Beloit and in 66 games with the Snappers he hit .302 with 11 homeruns and 35 rbi's along with 15 doubles for a ops of .874. That led to a promotion to Fort Myers where in 61 games Danny hit .291 with 6 homeruns and 31 rbi's along with 8 doubles and 2 triples for an ops of .754. In 2008 Valencia split the season between Fort Myers and AA New Britain. In 60 games at Fort Myers Danny hit .336 with 5 homeruns and 44 rbi's along with 19 doubles and 3 triples for an ops of .920. That led to a promotion to AA New Britain where in 69 games with the Rockcats he hit .289 with 10 homeruns and 32 rbi's along with 18 doubles and a triple for an ops of .819. Danny started this year in New Britain and just recently got promoted to AAA Rochester. In 57 games at New Britain Danny hit .284 with 7 homeruns and 29 rbi's along with 14 doubles and 4 triples for an ops of .855. In just a few games at Rochester Danny is 7-14 with 1 homerun and 3 rbi's. Danny Valencia really took the Twins brass by surprise when he did as well as he did after being drafted in the 19th round out of Miami. He has hit every place he has been at as his .302 career batting average would say. He plays a very good 3rd base where he has soft hands and a strong arm. He has some power, not crazy power numbers, but a little pop in his bat that will lead to 15-20 homeruns at the big league level. There really is nothing about him that you look at and say yeah he needs to work on that if he is going to be in the bigs. For the last 2 years plus the thinking wasn't if he makes it to the bigs it is all about when. Danny Valencia is going to be a starting 3rd baseman in the Major Leagues you can write that down. He has good patience as his 135 walks to 289 strikeouts in 1300 at bats would indicate. He does not walk alot, but he also doesn't strike out a ton either which is big once you get to the majors. The biggest thing that Danny needs to work at is to be more consistant as he can be a little streaky sometimes where he goes into cold streaks and then will rattle off an impressive hot streak. I expect Danny Valencia to be the starting 3rd baseman for the Twins when they open up Target Field next spring and be the starter over there for the next 10-15 years because he has all the tools you look for in a 3rd baseman along with the hard work and dedication he possesses makes him a superstar in waiting.

  • 2009: Play 3rd base for Rochester all season

  • Projection: Starting 3rd baseman for the Twins for the next 10-15 years with superstar written all over him.

Thursday, June, 25th

Twins Talk
Brewers 4 Twins 3
  • The Twins were involved in one of the wackiest endings to a ball game that I have ever seen. In the bottom of the 8th with the Twins ahead 3-2 and Twins starter Nick Blackburn cruising towards his 7th win of the year. J.J. Hardy hits a bloop single. Then Jason Kendall comes up and hits a pitch off the fence that Hardy tries to score on and does thanks to a poor relay throw from Brendan Harris. So the score is tied end of the play right. Nope the ball squirted away from Joe Mauer and Nick Blackburn picks it up and thinks he can throw out Kendall going to 3rd and airmails it into left field to the winning run score. You can't write up an ending like that if you tried. Nick Blackburn had an awesome start ruined with the last inning. Blackburn went 8 innings and gave up 3 earned runs on 11 hits along with a walk and 2 strikeouts. With the 3 runs allowed Blackburn saw his era raise to a very good 3.11 era. Blackburn has shown that he is the best pitcher in the Twins staff and this start will do nothing to damper that feeling by Twins fans.

  • The Twins really struggled to score in this one as Brewers pitcher Braden Looper kept the Twins off balance. The Twins really did not have anyone step out, but Michael Cuddyer had the best night going 2-4 with his 15th double and raised his average up to .281. Jason Kubel went 1-4 with his 13th homerun and drove in his 40th run of the year. Kubel struggles against lefthanded pitchers, but against right handed pitchers he kills them. Look at his average against right handed pitchers at a .354 rate. Joe Mauer went 1-4 to lower his average to an unbelievable .394 average. Joe Crede continued his production as of late going 1-3 with his 11th double of the year and drove in his 34th run of the year. Carlos Gomez and Brendan Harris each contributed a hit in the Twins loss.
  • Today, the Twins finish off their series with the Brewers and send Scott Baker to the mound for the Twins.

Rochester Wrap

Columbus 9 Rochester 5

  • The Red Wings dropped their 5th straight game in blowout fashion last night as they went down to Columbus by a score of 9-5. Philip Humber got the start for the Wings and in a word was awful. Humber went only 3.1 innings and gave up 6 runs on 9 hits although only 4 were earned along with 1 walk and 3 strikeouts to raise his era to 5.88 and lower his record to 2-5. Humber has been up and down all year and with more downs than up. With the addition of Manship to the rotation it would not bother me at all to see Humber thrown in the bullpen to see if he can do a better there than in the rotation. Tim Lahey then came in and gave up 1 run on 2 hits in 2.2 solid innings along with 1 walk and 3 strikeouts to lower his era to 8.57. Lahey has not been good but he has made slow but sure progress as the season has gone on. Armando Gabino then came in and gave up a run on 3 hits in 2 solid innings of relief. Reid Santos finished the game by going 1 inning and giving a run on 3 hits to raise his era to 6.02

  • The Red Wings were behind the 8 ball as their pitching did not let the offense get anything going against Columbus pitching. They were still able to get 5 runs on 9 hits to make it halfway respectable. Unbelievably Tommy Watkins led the offense by going 3-5 with his 6th double of the year to bring hsi average up to .253. Drew Butera went 2-4 with his first homerun as a Red Wing along with his 13th rbi of the year. Brock Peterson went 2-4 with his 7th double of the year to bring his average up to .246 which is quite an improvement where he was a month ago when he was hitting in the .160's. Justin Huber and new Red Wing Danny Valencia each added a base hit in the losing cause.
  • Today, the Wings continue their series with Columbus as new Red Wing Jeff Manship starts for Rochester.

New Britain Business

Harrisburg 5 New Britain 3

  • The Rockcats suffered a tough loss last night to Harrisburg as they lost by a score of 5-3. Carlos Gutierrez got the start for the Rockcats and was very good as they continue to protect his innings as they hope he can make it through the year because they have a certain number of innings that they won't let him go past since it is his first year as a starter. Gutierrez went 5 innings in this one and gave up only 1 run on 2 hits along with 4 strikeouts and the important thing 0 walks to lower his era to 5.21 on the year. Kyle Waldrop then came in and pitched a very good 6th inning. Jose Lugo pitched a clean 7th along with a strikeout to lower his era to 4.42. Things were going good with a 3-1 lead going into the top of the 8th and then everything went bad. Alex Burnett came in and tried to protect the lead and just imploded. Burnett was only able to get 2 outs and gave up 4 runs on 4 hits along with a walk to raise his era to 3.18 on the year. Last night was just a bad outing for Burnett so hopefully he can shake it off and do a better time next time out. Frank Mata came in and pitched a perfect 1.1 innings along with 2 strikeouts to lower hsi era to 4.93.

  • The Rockcats could not do alot offensively as they could only push 3 runs across on 11 hits and that is because they left 8 guys on base and it is starting to become a problem for the Rockcats. Whit Robbins led the offense going 2-3 with his 3oth rbi of the year. Robbins had been in a bit of a slump lately so it was nice of him to come out of it and improve his average to .319. Brandon Roberts went 2-4 with his 8th double of the year to bring his average up to .288. Rene Tosoni continued this hot streak by going 2-4 with his 12th double of the year. Allan De San Miguel went 1-3 with his first triple and 3rd and 4th rbi's of the year. Brian Dinkelman, Erik Lis, Matt Moses, and Toby Gardenhire all added hits in the losing cause.
  • Today, the Rockcats finish off their series with Harrisburg as Ryan Mullins gets the start for New Britain.

Fort Myers Minutes

Fort Myers 9 Jupiter 6

  • The Miracle rebounded from what looked like a for sure loss to make it an unbelievable victory. Trailing 6-2 going into the bottom of the 8th the Miracle pounced on Jupiter for 7 runs in the last 2 innings to pick up a 9-6 victory over Jupiter. David Bromberg got the start and he was not real great in this one. Bromberg went 5.1 innings and gave up 5 runs on 8 hits along with 1 walk and 7 strikeouts to raise his era on the year to 2.66. I am not concerned at all about Bromberg because he has been so dominant this year that I am not going to let 1 start let me change my mind about him. Henry Arias then came in and went 2.2 innings and only gave up an unearned run to lower his era to 5.28. Blair Erickson pitched a scoreless 9th to pick up the win for the Miracle to bring his record to 1-3 and lower his era to 2.66

  • The Miracle got their offense going late, but it was just enough as they won the game on a Deibinson Romero 3 run homerun after Ben Revere had tied it with an rbi double to score Evan Bigley. Deibinson Romero was the story of the night going 2-3 with his 3rd homerun of the year and 4 rbi's to bring his season total up to 35. Chris Parmalee went 3-3 along with his 36th rbi to bring his average on the year to .258. Nick Romero went 2-3 with his 9th rbi of the year and brought his average up to .260. Ben Revere went 1-5 with his 8th double and his 29th rbi of the year. Steve Singelton, Jair Fernandez, and Evan Bigley all added hits in the winning cause for the Miracle.
  • Tonight, the Miracle begin the second half as they take on Daytona with Tyler Robertson on the mound for Fort Myers.

Beloit Beat

  • The Snappers had their last day off last night and will begin the second half tonight as they take on Clinton with Dan Berlind scheduled to start for Beloit.

E-town Entertainment

E-town 4 Bluefield 1

  • The E-town Twins proved one night after slugging the ball all over the ballpark that they also could win a pitchers duel as they beat Bluefield last night by a score of 4-1. Liam Hendricks got the start for the Twins and was very good. He went 6 innings and only gave up 3 hits and no runs along with 6 strikeouts. Edgar Ibarra went 1 inning of relief and gave up a run on 2 hits to pick up the win for the Twins. Kane Holbrooks pitched a clean 8th inning on 1 hit along with a strikeout. Tony Davis picked up his first professional save as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning as he struck out the side for the Twins.

  • In a game that the Twins were not able to get much across offensively the Twins were able to get the key hits to pull off the victory. The Twins were only able to muster 4 runs on 6 hits, but that proved to be enough on the night to pull out a victory. Dan Rohlfing led the offense in this one going 2-3 at the plate in his first outing of the year. Reggie Williams went 1-4 with 1st double and drove in his first 2 rbi's of the year to pace the Twins. Mike Gonzalez, Jon Goncalves, and Tobias Streich each contributed hits in the winning cause for the E-town Twins on this night.
  • Tonight, the Twins try to go for the sweep as they will send Matire Garcia to the mound for Elizabethton

Travis Talks prospect list: Prospect #4

I am sorry that I was not able to bring you the latest player in the prospect list yesterday, but I will make up for it by bringing you players 4 and 3 on my list. I hope you all enjoy and let me know what you think of my choices by leaving a comment in the comment box or emailing me at Thanks alot for reading.

4. Wilson Ramos C 21 (8/10/1987)

2008 teams: Fort Myers Miracle

  • Wilson Ramos was signed by the Twins as a free agent in 2004 out of Venezuela as a 16 year old kid. Wilson spent the rest of 2004 and the 2005 seasons playing for the Dominican Summer League Twins. In 2006 Wilson came over to the states and played with the GCL Twins. At GCL in 46 games Wilson hit .286 with 3 homeruns and 26 rbi's along with 12 doubles and a triple for an ops of .774. In 2007 Ramos moved up to Class A Beloit where he spent the entire year there hitting .291 in 73 games with 8 homeruns and 42 rbi's along with 17 doubles and a triple for an ops of .783. In 2008 Ramos moved up to high A Fort Myers where he also had a solid year. In 126 games with the Miracle Wilson hit .288 with 13 homeruns and 78 rbi's along with 23 doubles and 2 triples for an ops of .780. A cause for concern though was in 452 at bats Ramos only walked 37 times and struck out 103 times which is too many and not enough walks. This year Ramos moved up to New Britain and in a word to describe his year would be injuries. A broken finger and now a pulled hamstring have caused Wilson Ramos to spend most of the season on the disabled list. In only 36 games Wilson is hitting .308 with 3 homeruns and 18 rbi's along with 9 doubles for an ops of .770. In 133 at bats he has really improved the strikeouts as he has only 15 strikeouts, but the walk total continues to be an issue as he has only walked 3 times in 133 at bats. Wilson Ramos is by far the top catching prospect in the organization and if it were not for Joe Mauer being with the Twins he would get more props than he does. If Mauer was not with the Twins there would be clammoring for Ramos to be up with the Twins, but as long as Mauer is with the Twins Ramos will not get the chance to play everyday with the Twins. At only 21 years old Ramos is way young for his level and won't be 22 until August. He possesses a very good arm and calls a terrific game. He can hit for average, and has a little pop in his bat as the 13 homeruns last year at Fort Myers would indicate. Hopefully, the injury problems he is facing this year won't slow him down too much. The thing that Wilson needs to work on is being more disciplined at the plate because as he keeps moving if he swings at everything his average will go down so I would like to see his walk rate go up. So far this year he has done alot better making contact as his 103 strikeouts last year were too many. Those 2 things are the main things I think he needs to work on, but there is so much talent there that I can just about guarantee you that he will be in the big leagues by 2011 if not sooner. The question is with Joe Mauer with the Twins atleaast through next year will it be with the Twins? It wouldn't surprise me for the Twins to use Ramos as a negotiating ploy with Mauer's agent because if we lost Mauer we would have a very good catcher to replace him with. Is he as good as Joe Mauer well the answer is no because there is only 1 Joe Mauer, but is Wilson Ramos good enough to be a very good starting catcher in the big leagues that answer is YES! It will be interesting to see what happens with that, but make no mistake about it whether it is with the Twins or if the Twins trade Ramos Wilson Ramos will be a future starting catcher in the major leagues sooner rather than later.

  • 2009: Try to stay healthy and catch for New Britain

  • Projection: I project Wilson Ramos as a starting catcher who will be around for 15+ years and be a very good offensive catcher.