Tuesday, February 12, 2008
2008 Beloit Snappers
Today we finish our preview of the 2008 Minnesota Twins and their affiliate's rosters. Since this is done before spring training even starts, it is very much subject to change. But it is fun to start thinking it through now that the Johan Santana trade has been completed. Last Tuesday, we looked at my projection of the Minnesota Twins opening day roster. Last Wednesday, we looked at a potential Rochester Red Wings roster. Last Thursday, it was the New Britain Rockcats roster that we projected. Yesterday we looked at a possible Ft. Myers Miracle roster. Today, we look at the Beloit Snappers potential 2008 roster. There are a lot of guys on this roster that will make it to the Twins at some point. It may be three to five years from now, but there is a lot of talent that is worth getting to know. Anyway, let's get to the projections.
2008 BELOIT SNAPPERS
|Starting Pitchers||Mike McCardell||David Bromberg||Michael Allen||Michael Tarsi||Henry Reyes|
Mike McCardell was drafted by the Twins last year in the 6th round out of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. At 6-5 and a solid 220 pounds, he has the build to be a power pitcher. But what makes him such an intriguing prospect is that, in 63 innings of rookie league ball, he walked eight and struck out 95. McCardell is likely this year's Jeff Manship, a guy who we could wonder for awhile why he hasn't been promoted to Ft. Myers, but he won't be with the Snappers for more than half the season. David Bromberg was named the pitcher of the year in the Appalachian League last year when he went 9-0 with a 2.78 ERA for the E-Twins. In 58.1 innings, he walked 32 but he struck out 81. At just 20, he is one to watch in 2008. Another 20 year old, Michael Allen went 4-2 with a 3.47 ERA for the E-Twins, but in 62.1 innings he walked just 11 and struck out 70. The 22 year old Michael Tarsi, a 6-8 lefty was the Twins 12th round pick last year out of UConn. For the E-Twins, he went 5-2 with a 2.22 ERA. In 52.2 innings, he walked just 13 and struck out 59. This is an impressive group of starters who have the ability to dominate hitters, particularly with the strikeout. Henry Reyes was a strong starter for E-Town last year too. He went 7-2 with a 2.87 ERA. In 53.1 innings, he gave up 44 hits, walked 17 and struck out 68. He was not in the E-Twins post-season rotation, so he was promoted to Beloit to make a spot start for them before their regular season ended. What is really exciting is that they each clearly have plenty of room to improve.
Brad Tippett signed with the Twins out of Australia before the 2006 season. He pitched for the GCL Twins that season. Last year, he played for Elizabethton and put up numbers that would be incredible for anyone, much less an 18 year old (he just turned 19 yesterday). Tippett went 7-1 with three saves and a 0.93 ERA. In 38.2 innings, he gave up just 20 hits, walked just four and struck out 51. That definitely warrants a promotion to Beloit where he will be among the youngest in the league. Others could close as well if the Twins don't want to throw too much on his shoulders, but numbers like those deserve to be highlighted.
|Relief Pitcher||Danny Hernandez||Curtis Leavitt||Brian Kirwan||Loek Van Mil||Dan Latham||Danny Rondon|
Danny Hernandez pitched in just seven games for Beloit last year before an arm injury ended his season. He was a dominant closer for E-Town in 2006 and will likely be brought back slowly. Curtis Leavitt took some major strides during the 2007 season at Elizabethton. Midway through the short-season, you would look at a E-Town box score and see (Leavitt 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K) a lot. Something clicked and he's ready for the full season. The Twins signed Brian Kirwan to a big contract for an 11th round pick in 2005. He spent last year with Beloit where he went 2-8 with a 5.30 ERA in 18 starts. In 90 innings, he walked 37 and struck out 67. He has to be fully recovered from his high school knee injury and really needs to show the Twins why they gave him so much money. Loek Van Mil is now 23 years old, so it is time for him to start advancing. The struggle for the Twins (and their fans) is to maintain patience with the 7-3 righty from the Netherlands. In 24 innings for E-Town, he walked 17 and struck out 23. Dan Latham is another college reliever pegged by the Twins in the 2007 draft (15th round). In 25.2 innings, he walked just three and gave up 28. Danny Rondon was the closer for the GCL Twins last year. He recorded 12 saves and was 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA. However, in 23.2 innings, he walked too many (11) and struck out too few (16).
|Ben Revere CF|
|Estarlin de los Santos SS|
|Rene Tosoni LF|
|Deibinson Romero 3B|
|Chris Parmelee RF|
|Ozzie Lewis DH|
|Rene Leveret 1B|
|Danny Lehman C|
|Chris Cates 2B|
I struggled with the CF situation because part of me thinks that Joe Benson would benefit from a half-season refresher with the Snappers. That said, the talent (and age) of Ben Revere really forces its way onto the Beloit roster. Sixteen extra base hits in 191 at bats is impressive, especially when 10 of them are triples. 21 stolen bases in 50 games. Does that mean he could get 60-80 in a full season? He will be one to watch! The 20 year old Dominican SS Starling de los Santos is a guy who does everything well. He is also a great athlete who should continue to improve. Great glove! Rene Tosoni can flat-out hit. He will hit for pop and average (And he had a .106 Isolated Discipline at E-Town last year) and I think if there is a guy in the low-levels that I want to compare to a current Twins player, I would compare Tosoni to Jason Kubel in terms of the types of minor league numbers he could put up. Deibinson Romero is definitely the best prospect at this time on that amazing E-Town team from 2007. The 3B is a great hitter, but he is also a great fielder with a very strong arm. I projected that Chris Parmelee will remain in Beloit. He has tremendous power potential and has shown a very good eye. He does need to develop the ability to put the bat on the ball more. But think Adam Dunn when you think of the potential of Parmelee. Ozzie Lewis was kind of the surprise, out-of-nowhere prospect from last year. He was the Twins 21st round pick out of Fresno State University a year ago and ended up the season as the Appalachian League's MVP. An incredible athlete, he'll need to prove that he really has put all the tools together. Rene Leveret is a huge, powerful man. Huge like Walter Young kind of huge. Can he transfer that power, or will he hold himself back? That is the question that the Twins (and he) must answer. Danny Lehman was one of the best catchers in college baseball a year ago when the Twins took him in the 8th round out of Rice. He is great behind the plate, but he will also hit much more than he did in limited time at E-Town. Chris Cates was the Twins 38th round pick last year out of Louisville. Cates, at just 5-3, is the shortest player in pro ball right now (which makes for great photo ops with potential teammate Van Mil). He was pushed to Beloit last year where he played OK defense, but just barely hit over the Mendoza Line. Based on the round he was drafted in (and unfortunately his size), he will have to produce right away, especially if Andrew Thompson comes back healthy.
|Greg Yersich||Backup Catcher|
|Eric Santiago||Backup 2B, 3B, SS|
|Mark Dolenc||Backup OF|
|Andrew Thompson||Backup 2B, SS|
|Ben Petsch||Backup C, OF|
Greg Yersich began the 2007 season at Beloit, but he really struggled before being sent back to Elizabethton, where he actually did well. He should move back to Beloit and likely split time with Lehman. Eric Santiago appears to be a typical Twins utility type. He hasn't hit for average, gets hit by a lot of pitches and has no power. He must have a great glove. The Twins like him as they took him in the 21st round in 2006... and the 20th round in 2005. Mark Dolenc went to Minnesota State - Mankato and is a very solid prospect with plenty of potential, but it will be about opportunity for him. Andrew Thompson needs to be healthy and if he is, he will get a lot of playing time. Ben Petsch was the Twins 19th round pick in 2007 out of Belmont University. He hit well in 74 E-Town at bats. He earned a promotion to Beloit where he went 3-10 before a season-ending injury. He played in the OF, but he also got time behind the plate, so he can be valuable all the way up the system.
Again, the strength of this roster appears to be in the starting rotation. There are five guys who have shown the ability to strikeout more than a batter an inning without excessive walks. The bullpen has potential. There are several in that lineup that could become big league stars and there is some talent on the bench. I would expect this team to continue to play well together as they have the last two years.
Any thoughts? Send me an e-mail, or let's talk about it in the Comments here.