Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Down on the Farm: AA Report

The Twins AA affiliate is the New Britain Rock Cats.

Like yesterday's post on the Rochester Red Wings, this post will focus more on setting the stage for who the Twins have at the AA level right now, with future posts focusing on who has had a good or bad week.

Starting Pitchers
The Rock Cats have a surprisingly stable set of starters, although Justin Jones (who the Twins acquired in the Doug Mientkiewicz trade), who started the season with the Rock Cats, was sent down to high-A Ft. Myers to make room for 2005 draft phenom Matt Garza, who earned a promotion. The starters, with stats, are as follows:

1.) Errol Simonitsch - 2.66 ERA, 5-3 Record, 61.1 innings in 10 starts, 42-15 K/BB ratio
2.) Glen Perkins - 2.93 ERA, 2-5 Record, 58.1 innings in 11 starts, 68-20 K/BB ratio
3.) Matt Garza - 1.90 ERA, 3-0 Record, 23.2 innings in 4 starts, 30-6 K/BB ratio
4.) Adam Harben - 3.24 ERA, 1-2 Record, 41.2 innings in 9 starts, 19-29 K/BB ratio (ouch)
5.) Nick Blackburn - 4.85 ERA, 4-5 Record, 55.2 innings in 10 starts, 29-16 K/BB ratio

The record of a minor league pitcher isn't particularly relevant, but I thought I'd throw it in anyway. Clearly, Glen Perkins and Matt Garza are on the fast track, and Simonitsch, a lesser prospect, is also pitching very, very well. This is where the big name Twins pitching prospects are at the moment. Any of them could burst onto the scene in the next year or so. Garza seems to be the real deal, as he's developed very quickly (that's what you get for drafting a polished college pitcher early in the draft). All three of the above-named pitchers have remarkable K/BB ratios, which is a very good sign.

Relief Pitchers
The Rock Cats have used a closer by committee structure this year, with most of the opportunities going to Bobby Korecky and Levale Speigner. That's why I list them first on the following list:

1.) Bobby Korecky - 3.24 ERA, 25 innings, 14-13 K/BB ratio, 5 saves
2.) Levale Speigner - 2.40 ERA, 30 innings, 20-6 K/BB ratio, 4 saves
3.) Tristan Crawford - 3.11 ERA, 37.2 innings, 38-9 K/BB ratio
4.) John Thomas - 3.43 ERA, 21 innings, 19-6 K/BB ratio
5.) Julio DePaula - 3.63 ERA, 17.1 innings, 15-9 K/BB ratio
6.) Jay Sawatski - 4.98 ERA, 21.2 innings, 19-12 K/BB ratio
7.) Justin Olson - 5.18 ERA, 24.1 innings, 27-11 K/BB ratio

Korecky, Speigner, and Crawford are the guys to watch out for, although I've also heard DePaula's name mentioned favorably in the past. Speigner is pitching great and probably the most likely to be called up to AAA this season.

Talk about an uninspiring group. Neither of these guys seems destined to reach the big show anytime soon. But who knows...

1.) Jose Morales - 37 games, .149 batting average
2.) Jose Leger - 3 games, .143 batting average

1B - Daniel Matienzo - 49 games, .253 BA, 6 HR, 38 RBI
2B - Felix Molina - 41 games, .275 BA, 6 HR, 22 RBI
SS - J.R. Taylor - 43 games, .208 BA, 0 HR, 4 RBI
3B - Matt Moses - 45 games, .279 BA, 8 HR, 25 BRI
IF - Tommy Watkins - 26 games, .247 BA, 0 HR, 8 RBI

Moses is listed on the website as a SS, but he is the club's primary 3B, and also the most likely guy on this to get called up this season. He is seen as having the offensive ability to take over as the Twins' 3B by the end of the season, or at least by the start of next year. The problem is his defense, which is supposedly not very good at all. Molina's power has been a pleasant surprise this year. Not much else to talk about with this bunch.

1.) Doug Deeds - 47 games, .250 BA, 3 HR, 22 RBI
2.) Trent Oeltjen - 37 games, .294 BA, 0 HR, 11 RBI
3.) Denard Span - 51 games, .275 BA, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 10 SB
4.) Alex Romero - 38 games, .299 BA, 5 HR, 15 RBI
5.) Scott Whitrock - 27 games, .264 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI

The big name to watch out for here is Span, who is being groomed as Torii Hunter's eventual replacement in Center Field. He is known for his speed, which is why I included his stolen base total in his line. Alex Romero has been coming on strong this year, despite being sidelined with an injury for part of the season. Deeds and Oeltjen have been around awhile, and Oeltjen seems to be having a decent season.

Span started out this season on a ridiculous high, but has since cooled off considerably. At one point, it looked like he would win a promotion by the end of the season. I now expect him to stay at AA for the rest of this season, and he may even start next season there depending on how he finishes out the year.


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