Monday, June 21, 2010

Travis Talks Minnesota Sports Podcast tonight at 9pm

I am back with another edition of the Travis Talks Minnesota Sports Podcast tonight at 9 and it should be a fun show. I will start out with Darren "Doogie" Wolfson and we will talk the NBA draft and what his thoughts are for the future of the Timberwolves. I will then be joined by Dez Tobin of the great Blog of Dez Says and we will talk about the Twins and look back at the series against the Phillies and look forward to the Brewers series with maybe a little bit of minor league talk. So join us tonight at 9 for the Travis Talks Minnesota Sports Podcast tonight and you can find the show at

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Travis Talks prospect List 50-46

It is that time again to take a look at the Twins prospects and how they are doing and What i think about the future for them. I will take five at a time and give their stats in 2010 and talk a little bit about them. Don't expect a lot of info on them as it is a busy time for me, but I felt like it was important to get them down on paper and see what everyone thinks. I added the 2010 draft picks that I felt are worthy of being in the top 50. Let me know what you think by leaving comments in the comment box or shooting me an email at

50. Santos Arias RHP (3/17/1987) 23

2010 teams: New Britain and Fort Myers

2010 Stats: 0-7 4.50 era 22games 36 innings 20bb 25k .268 OBA

How Acquired:
  • Santos Arias had a rough time of it this year who had alot of expectations going into the year after a great year in Fort Myers last year. He recently was demoted down to Fort Myers to try to get his confidence back after struggling in New Britain. Twins fans should not give up on the tiny right hander who is still a good prospect. He throws hard and when he is throwing strikes he is hard to hit. I look for a bounce back second half out of the righty from The Dominican Republic as he is too good of a pitcher to pitch this horribly for the Twins.

49. Josmil Pinto C (3/31/1989) 21

2010 teams: Beloit Snappers

2010 Stats: .235 5 homeruns 26 rbi's 11 doubles 10bb 20k .282/.395/.678

How Acquired:
  • Josmil Pinto has a ton of power as you saw with his 13 homeruns in Elizabethton last season. He is struggling a little bit more this year and that is to be expected as he moved up a level to better competition. This year has been kind of a struggle as he is battling for playing time with Danny Rams and Tobias Streich so when he was playing sparingly it was hard to do much. However, since he has gotten more at bats his numbers have gradually come up. There is a lot of value in Pinto as he is one of the few hitters in the system that hits homeruns. He has tremendous power at the plate and given more time his average will improve also. His defense behind the plate is something that he is going to have to continuially work on as right now it is not great. I see him as a DH with occasionally some time at 1st base and behind the plate. He has no speed so he is going to have to do it with his bat and be a station to station player. I really think Josmil Pinto is one to keep an eye on as he moves through the system.
48. Andrei Lobanov LHP (1/25/1990) 20

2010 teams: Fort Myers Miracle

2010 stats: 1-0 2.29 era 12 games 19.2 innings 4bb 18k .269 OBA

how acquired: Signed as Free Agent in 2007 out of Moscow, Russia
  • Andrei Lobanov really has come on the scene the last year and a half as he put up good numbers last year in the GCL. So the big expectation was that Lobanov would move up to Elizabethton this year and work as the closer there. However, with a combination of injuries and bad pitching in Fort Myers the 6'3 Russian walked across the parking lot and has really been good for the Miracle. He has a good demeanor on the mound and like most Twins pitchers he pitches to contact as he has given up 21 hits in 19.2 innings of work. However, he works out of situations very well and his breaking pitches are very good. I still would not be surprised to see him go to Elizabethton, but I do think he has done enough in Fort Myers to stay there for the whole season. I don't think it would be the worst thing in the world for him to go to Elizabethton, but I feel like the right place for him is Fort Myers.
47. Edgar Ibarra LHP (5/31/1989) 21

2010 teams: Beloit Snappers

2010 Stats: 4-6 4.06 era 18 games 7 starts 1save 51 inn 33bb 55k .217 oba

How aquired: signed as a free agent in 2006 out of Venezuela
  • Edgar Ibarra is quite the prospect in that he has four pitches that he can throw for strikes in just about any situation. I am kind of perplexed why he hasn't had more success than he has so far. He has a good fastball along with a plus curveball and a decent slider and changeup. A friend of mine that saw him in person came away very impressed with what he brought to the table. Ibarra just turned 21 and in Beloit so he is ahead of the game and quite young for his level. He has pitched well at every level they have put him at, but for some reason every season they put him in the bullpen to start the season because he doesn't throw 95. However, he throws good enough to get guys out which is all that should matter. The one thing I think he needs to work on in the second half is his control as he has walked 33 batters in only 51 innings of work. That is just way too many walks and until he figures that out he won't get out of Beloit. I look for him to finish the season in Beloit and then next year move up to Fort Myers, but definatly Edgar Ibarra is someone to keep a close eye on as he has quite a bit of potential.
46. Brad Stillings RHP (1/20/1988) 22

2010 teams: Beloit Snappers

2010 stats: 6-3 4.15 era 13 starts 65 inn 29bb 51k .296 oba

How acquired: 7th round pick in 2009 draft out of Kent State

  • Brad Stillings is another college pitchers that the Twins love to take so much. I am a little perplexed that he has struggled as much as he has so far. He has three solid pitches and is only 22 years old so he is right on track. He got off to a rough start to the season, but seems to be rounding into form. In the month of June he is 3-0 with a 1.56 era so I don't think it will be much longer before he is up in Fort Myers. He has a pretty high upside being he is an experienced college guy who had some success in college and is doing well for Beloit right now. I really look for him to take off in the second half and get up to Fort Myers before the year is out. I am very high on Stillings and believe he really has a chance to succeed in the Twins organization. He is someone that Twins fans should keep an eye on as I think he will move through the system fast and he has a real chance in my opinion and it will be fun watching him develop.

Monday, June 14, 2010

May Awards/Beloit Snappers

Today, I will finish off my look at the month of May as I look at the Beloit Snappers who did not have a great month of May, but had some decent performances that are worth looking at. The Snappers had a rough month in that they lost 12 out of 13 games in a stretch that took them out of playoff contention. After talking about the Snappers today I will begin my look at the top 50 prospects in the Twins organization. I will include the Twins 2010 draft picks in my look at the prospects so check back tommorrow for a look at that. However, today is about the Beloit Snappers and some of the good performances in the month of May. Like always you can either leave a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at and let me know what you think.

  • Hitter of the Month: Anderson Hidalgo- Talk about a guy going under the radar as not many people talk about the quality season that Hidalgo is having this year with the Snappers. After hitting .314 in April, Hidalgo followed that up with an even better month of May. In 28 games in May, Hidalgo hit .317 with a homerun and 10 rbi's along with a very impressive 13 doubles. He does not have a lot of homerun power, but he is a doubles machine as he already has 16 doubles on the season. He does not walk much as he only walked four times in 101 at bats. However, he does not strikeout much either as he only struck out 14 times along with stealing two bases. Anderson Hidalgo had a very good .349 on base percentage along with a not bad .475 slugging percentage for a very good .824 OPS for the Snappers. The 21 year old out of Venezuela that the Twins signed in 2006 is not known as a huge prospect, but he has put up numbers so far this year that some of the higher prospects would be jealous of. He is struggling a little bit in June, but he still has half a month and I expect him to get his numbers back up before the end of the month. It will be interesting if people start getting on board with the young third baseman and put them on their prospect lists because this year he deserves the recognition.
  • Others Considered: James Beresford, Brian Dozier

  • Pitcher of the Month: Michael Tonkin- Tonkin really made quite the impression in his debut in Beloit. There were many that felt that he was not ready for A ball and that he would be better served going to Elizabethton. However, he really did well in May as he showed that he is ready for Beloit. Tonkin made four May starts and went 0-2 due to lack of run support and a very good 3.38 era. Tonkin worked 21.1 innings in those four starts so just over 5 innings a start for the 20 year old out of Palmdale, California who the Twins drafted in the 30th round of the 2008 draft. In his 21.1 innings he only gave up eight runs. The fact that he is Jason Kubel's brother in law should not fool you as he is a very talented pitcher that you will be hearing quite a bit about his good pitching. Tonkin only walked four batters in his 21.1 innings of work while striking out 13. Tonkin held opponents to a .282 opponents batting average.
  • Others Considered: Kane Holbrooks, Dakota Watts

Sunday, June 13, 2010

May Awards/Fort Myers Miracle

Today, I will continue my look at the month of May in the Twins organization. Today, I look at the Fort Myers Miracle who did not have a very good month as they fell out of playoff contention in the first half. They also had a talent influx with some guys coming from Beloit and some others coming back down from New Britain. They may not have a lot of wins in May, but they had some good performances that I feel deserve to be mentioned. Let me know what you think and you can either leave a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at and let me know what you think.

  • Hitter of the Month: Joe Benson- I really wanted to choose someone that was in Fort Myers all month, but that was not possible as the offense for the Miracle in May was non-existant. Therefore I included the guys that spent half the month in Fort Myers guys like Chris Parmelee, Esterlin De Los Santos, and Joe Benson who were demoted from New Britain. Parmelee was under consideration, but since he went back up to New Britain he was disqualified and even he was still in Fort Myers I still would have gone with Benson. Joe Benson had to be upset that he was sent back to Fort Myers after hitting four homeruns and being the hottest hitter in New Britain in the month of May. However, after going down to Fort Myers he used it as a positive and not a negative to put together a good month of May. In Fort Myers in the month of May Benson hit .263 in 14 games for the Miracle. He showed his extra base power by hitting four homeruns along with five doubles along with 11 rbis. He walked eight times while striking out 14 times. He also stole four bases. Benson had a very good .364 on base percentage along with a very good .561 slugging percentage for an OPS of .925. Joe Benson really had a good month of May as he hit 8 homeruns if you combine his New Britain stats. Benson had a very good month and it won't be long until he is back in New Britain.
  • Others Considered: Esterlin De Los Santos, Dan Rohlfing

  • Pitcher of the Month: Liam Hendriks- After arriving from Beloit in early May Liam Hendriks kept it going all month long. After putting up a very good 1.32 in 34 innings in Beloit, he got promoted to Fort Myers and was also very good. Hendriks made four May starts and went 2-1 with a very good 2.70 era. He worked 23.1 innings so just about 6 innings a start for the Australian pitcher. In his 23.1 innings he only gave up seven runs which is very good. Now this is impressive he only walked four batters while striking out 25 batters. Hendriks held opponents to a .230 opponents batting average, which is very good. Liam Hendriks has taken huge steps in 2010 and has put his injury past behind him to become a very good prospect for the Twins. It will be interesting to see how good he becomes, because the talent is there and his arm is finally completely healthy and is finally showing it on the mound. He is definately you should keep an eye on in the years ahead as he moves through the system.
  • Others Considered: Billy Bulluck, Shooter Hunt, Andrei Lobanov

Saturday, June 12, 2010

May Awards/New Britain Rockcats

I will continue my look at the month of May in the Twins minor league affiliates. Today, I will talk about the New Britain Rockcats who had a terrible month of May as they continue to have a historically bad year. That is not to say that a few guys did not have solid months and I think it is good recognize their good play so that is what this posting is all about. I welcome your comments or questions whether they are positive or negative as long as they are constructive to make this blog better. You can either leave a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at Thanks for reading

  • Hitter of the Month: Ben Revere- After getting off to a very un Ben Revere like start in April the phenom came out on fire in the month of May. After hitting only .274 in April Revere turned it on in May. In 30 games in the month of May Revere hit .336 in 119 at bats. He had six doubles, a triple, and a homerun along with a very good month of May in rbi's as he recorded 15 for the month. Revere is not usually a run producer as he is mainly a singles hitter, that is why the 15 rbi's in May is so noteworthy. Revere only struck out seven times while walking 13. You would like to see the walk total go up, but you can't complain about seven strikeouts in 119 at bats a rate of one strikeout every 17 at bats which is awesome. In May, Revere stole 12 bases that is what makes him special as in his first two full seasons he stole 90 bases as he is lightning fast. Revere had an awesome .412 on base percentage in May, while compiling a decent for him .429 slugging percentage for an ops of .840. Ben Revere is a hitting machine and it won't be long before he roaming the outfield with Denard Span and Delmon Young to form a new soul patrol.
  • Others Considered: Steve Singleton, Yangervis Solarte

  • Pitcher of the Month: Kyle Gibson- Although Gibson only made four starts in New Britain in the month of May after being promoted from Fort Myers he really made them count. Kyle Gibson is the real deal and will be a member of the Minnesota Twins sometime in 2011. In May Gibson was just absolutely filthy as he made four starts and went 3-0 along with a complete game and a miniscule 1.37 era in 26.1 innings. In those 26.1 innings he only gave up four earned runs. He had a very good five walks and 23 strikeouts in his 26.1 innings so almost a strikeout an inning and a little over a walk per nine innings. The most impressive stat that I found about Gibson's 3.23 ground ball to fly out rate as he is a ground ball machine. He also held opponents to a very good .208 opponents batting average. Kyle Gibson is the real deal and will be a key contributer for the Twins next season if not this year. He is going through a few bumps in early June, but I have no doubt that he will overcome them to have a very good rookie season in the Twins organization as he works his way up to the majors.
  • Others Considered: Carlos Gutierrez, Michael Allen

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

May Awards/Rochester Red Wings

Today I will continue to look at the month of May in the Twins system. Today I will be moving to the Rochester Red Wings who did not have a very good month of May as a team, but collectively there was some solid performances. I thought I would acknowledge those performances. If you have a comment on my selections I welcome you to leave a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at

  • Hitter of the Month: Jose Morales- Jose Morales came on the scene in May for the Red Wings and had a very solid month at the plate. He has played mostly as the designated hitter with Wilson Ramos getting most of the catching duties. That has hurt Morales chances to make it back up to the Twins as he just has not had enough opportunities to show he ready to take over the backup catching duties for the Twins. However, swinging the bat was not a problem in May and I know he has struggled in June so far, but he is too good to not hit. He may not be a gold glove catcher or hit a lot of homeruns, but he is a 300 hitter and by years end that is where he will be if he is in Rochester that long and right now I think it is a 50-50 chance he spends the season in Rochester. In May Morales hit a very good .309 along with four doubles and five rbi's. He walked eight times while striking out eleven times. Morales had a very good .397 on base percentage which is very good for someone not taking a lot of walks. His .382 slugging percentage is pretty typical for a guy that is a singles hitter who does not hit for much power so that is not surprising. Morales OPS was a very respectable .779 at the plate and the big thing for him is if he can keep his on base percentage up he will be just fine. It will be interesting if he can bounce back the second half of June and get his average back in the 300's like it belongs. If that should happen I happen to think it would not be long before he gets called back up to the big leagues.
  • Others Considered: Brock Peterson, Trevor Plouffe, Danny Valencia

  • Pitcher of the Month: Kyle Waldrop- Normally I don't like to give this award to a reliever so one of two things needed to happen for a reliever to get the award. One if the starters weren't worthy of it, but that is not the case as their was a starter that was heavily considered. The second is if a reliever has an especially good month and that is totally the case in the month of May. Kyle Waldrop was filthy in the month of May and got himself in position for a promotion to the Twins if their is a need. Kyle Waldrop is a name many Twins fans are not familiar with as he has kind of came out of nowhere, but he was a 1st round pick in 2004 out of high school in Knoxville, Tennessee. He suffered a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the entire 2008 season and finally now he is completely healthy and showing what people thought of him coming out of high school. He has been awesome this year, but May was especially good for Waldrop as he put up great numbers in May for the Red Wings. In May, Waldrop went 1-0 with a miniscule 0.84 era in 11 games along with a save. Waldrop worked 21.1 innings and only gave up two earned runs. He only walked four guys while striking out 16. He held opponents to a very good .214 batting average. The stat that really stood out to me in May for Waldrop was he had a 3.27 to 1 ground ball to fly out rate which means he is a ground ball machine and that really transfers well into the Major Leagues. If Waldrop keeps it up it will not be long before he is up with the Twins.
  • Others Considered: Matt Fox, Anthony Slama

Saturday, June 5, 2010

May Awards/Twins

As you can see I am making some changes with the Travis Talks blog here. I have moved all my minor league talk over to So if you want to read my material on the minor league affiliates go over there. If you want to read about Minnesota Twins material though this is the right place to be. There will be a little bit of minor league talk here as I will continue my monthly awards with all the teams in the Twins organization. Also I will after the draft next week bring the Travis Talks Minnesota Prospect Rankings. I will start my look at the month of May by looking at the Twins. I will give a hitter and pitcher of the month along with a pitcher and hitter that really struggled in the Month. Let me know what you think of it by either leaving a comment in the comment box or shooting me an email at

  • Hitter of the Month: Justin Morneau 1b- Justin Morneau had a very historic month of May that will challenge the month of May that Joe Mauer made last year. Morneau hit for average, hit for power, got on base, played great defense, and made himself the early favorite for American League MVP. In the month of May Morneau hit an unbelievable .400 in 100 May at bats along with six homeruns and 19 rbi's and 13 doubles. Morneau also walked an unbelievable 20 times in May as he would not help the pitchers out who wanted to pitch around him in key situations. Morneau only struck out 23 times in comparision to the 20 walks. Morneau had a great .496 on base percentage in May which is very impressive. Along with a .710 slugging percentage and a season high 1.206 OPS. It was a great month for Morneau and if he can keep up anything close to this going forward he will win the MVP going away and led a good Twins attack in May.
  • Others Considered:Orlando Hudson, Denard Span, Delmon Young

  • Pitcher of the Month: Nick Blackburn- Nick Blackburn found his groove in May for whatever reason. After really struggling in April to a 6.85 era Black Jack really came back in May and was the ace of the staff in May. He still gave up a lot of hits, but did not walk anybody and got a lot of ground balls to put up zeros on the scoreboard. In the month of May Blackburn went 5-0 with a an awesome 2.65 era in 5 starts. He worked 37.1 innings which averages over 7 innings a start. Blackburn gave up 40 hits in those 37.1 innings so he still is very hittable, but walked only 5 batters in the five starts along with 10 strikeouts. Nick Blackburn really turned it around in May to become the pitcher that most Twins fans expect out of Blackburn. I know he has gotten off to a rough start in June, but the Twins need him to be the innings eater that he has been in the first 2 years of his career if the Twins want to stay on top.
  • Others Considered: Scott Baker, Brian Duensing, Alex Burnett

Tommorrow I will continue my look at the month of May as I will bring pitcher and hitter of the month in Rochester and so on for the rest of the week. After I finish that I will bring you my top 50 Twins prospect including the new Twins drafted this week. So keep checking back every day for this information.