Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Players of the Week Part II

Rochester Red Wings

Pitcher of the Week: Andy Baldwin- After getting off to a terrible start early in the season Baldwin has gotten a little bit better as of late. After having a 7.24 era in April he has slowly, but surely brought his era back down to respectable levels. His ERA in the last six weeks has been in the 3’s just where Rochester was hoping it would be all season. In his last three starts Baldwin has gone 0-2 with a respectable 3.32 era in 19 innings of work. That would equal out to over six innings a start which is very decent. Baldwin at age 28 was a veteran free agent that was supposed to solidify the rotation for the Red Wings and really has not done so. In those 19 innings he gave up just 16 hits along with a impressive two walks and thirteen strikeouts. The only thing that he has struggled with lately and really all year has been giving up the gopher ball. In his last three starts Baldwin has given up six homeruns in those three starts. On the year he has given up fourteen homeruns in 58 innings which is way too many for a starting pitcher. If Baldwin can continue to be more consistent the Twins can their money out of their investment in Andy Baldwin.

Hitter of the Week: Aaron Bates- Aaron Bates has been quite a surprise since signing at the beginning of May. Even though he is not a big time prospect as he is 28 years old and was without a team at the beginning of the year. However, since his signing with the Red Wings he has been totally on fire. In his last ten games he is hitting .333 on 13-39 with a homerun and four rbi’s along with two doubles and scored five runs. He also walked three times while striking out a few to many times by striking out 14 times in 39 at bats. He had a strong .372 on base percentage along with a .462 slugging percentage for an ops of .834. Aaron Bates has put up numbers that normally would be begging for a promotion. However, with his age and his productivity Ifind it hard to believe that he would get a promotion. However, he is a very solid AAA player that will continue to be productive for the Red Wings during the summer.

New Britain Rockcats

Pitcher of the Week: Liam Hendriks- If you want to talk about a prospect coming into his own that is exactly what Liam has done in 2011. He has gone from a good prospect to an elite prospect. Lately, he has been just filthy on the mound especially in his last three outings. In his last three outings Hendriks is 2-0 with a 0.90 era in twenty innings of work he only gave up two earned runs. Everyone let that sink in for a minute two runs in 20 innings. He only gave up 18 hits and anytime you can have less hits than innings pitched you are doing your job. Hendriks is not overpowering as he throws in the low 90’s so he is the quote on quote pitch to contact type of pitcher so he is going to give up some hits. In those twenty innings he walked only three batters while striking out an impressive sixteen batters. Liam Hendriks has really established himself as the ace of the Rockcats rotation and put him in contention as the top pitching prospect in the organization. If I had a vote right now I would name Liam Hendriks as the the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the year. It will be interesting to see if he can keep it up as so far it has been very impressive.

Hitter of the Week: Jair Fernandez- After missing out the first five to six weeks of the season due to a broken hamate bone. He has come back and done decent for the Rockcats. However, the Rockcats have really struggled offensively the last week or so. If it was not for the Rockcats strong pitching they would be struggling in the standings. Fernandez had a solid week as he played a lot due to the shortage of players. Fernandez hit .267 on 8-30 along with two doubles and a homerun with six rbi’s. He also had an impressive eight walks in those 30 at bats with just nine strikeouts. He had a very impressive .421 on base percentage with a .433 slugging percentage for a OPS of .854. Fernandez is an offensive catcher who won’t wow you with his defensive capabilities so he has to hit in order to stay in the lineup. If he can continue to hit at this level he will continue to be in the lineup and contribute to the Rockcats as they try to make a run at a playoff spot.

That are the players of the week for the Red Wing’s and the Rockcats. Check back tomorrow as I finish my look through the organization as I will look at the players of the week for the Fort Myers Miracle and the Beloit Snappers. Then also check back Thursday night after Twins Minor League Weekly as I will present another player profile similar to the one I did on Aaron Hicks last weekend.