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Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - August 2017

Our final monthly award of 2017 comes to you today in the form of the August 2017 Minor League Hitter of the Month. While the pitcher awards this month may have been underwhelming, the hitters more than made up for it. Four hitters ended the month with an OPS over 1.000 which is tremendous. I think you'll enjoy reading today's installment.

However, if you missed either of the other awards, here are the quick links:
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Akil Baddoo)
Let’s take a look at the Top 6 hitters for the month of July, but first here are some players deserving of honorable mention.


HONORABLE MENTION
  • Shane Carrier - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 23 G, 26-88, .295/.340/.568 (.909) with six doubles, six homers and 12 RBI
  • Lewin Diaz - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 24 G, 31-94, .330/.373/.457 (830) with six doubles, two homers and 11 RBI.
  • Wander Javier - Elizabethton Twins - 19 G, 25-77, .325/.384/.506 (.890) with five doubles, three home runs and 14 RBI.
  • Leonardo Reginnato - Rochester Red Wings - 27 G, 27-80, .338/.427/.463 (.890) with seven doubles, one triple and 11 RBI.
  • Zander Wiel - Ft. Myers Miracle - 25 G, 27-92, .297/.365/.516 (.882) with six doubles, one triple, four home runs and 18 RBI.
THE TOP SIX HITTERS

Number 6 – GCL Twins - Jean Carlos Arias - 24 G, .315/.382/.533 (.915). 29-92 with four doubles, two triples, four home runs and 21 RBI.



Arias signed with the Twins way back in July of 2014 out of the Dominican Republic. He has slowly worked his way up. 2017 was his second season in the GCL, and it was a nice improvement from his first season. While he played all three outfield positions, he spent most of his time in center field. Arias is a multi-talented player who has the potential to be a five-tool player (though those ultimately are rare). He’s fast, and some believe he’ll add more power as he continues to grow.



Number 5 – Jonathan Rodriguez – 1B Jonathan Rodriguez - 27 G, 281/.418/.542 (.960). 27-96 with seven doubles, six home runs and 18 RBI.

Rodriguez was our choice for minor league hitter of the month in July. Frankly, he had an incredible season. The 28-year-old spent the first eight seasons of his career in the Cardinals organization. He came to the Twins this offseason and hasn’t stopped hitting. In 119 games for the Lookouts, he hit .309/.414/.525 (.939) with 31 doubles, 21 homers and 76 RBI. His season ended with five games in Rochester, and another home run.



Number 4 – Cedar Rapids Kernels - Travis Blankenhorn - 17 G, .338/.390/.634 (1.023). 24-71 with four doubles, one triple, five home runs and 18 RBI.

It was a bit of an inconsistent season for Blankenhorn, which likely explains why the recently-turned-21-year-old stayed in Cedar Rapids all year. But, he ended his season on a very strong note in August. His OPS by month were .776, .604, 1.048, .449, 1.023, as well as 1.500 in September where he was 3-6 with two walks, a double and a triple. Blankenhorn spent the first half of the season playing third base. After some roster changes after the All-Star break, he has primarily played second base.


Get to know Travis Blankenhorn

Catching Up With Travis Blankenhorn



Number 3 - Chattanooga Lookouts – 3B TJ White - 27 G, .340/.397/.613 (1.010), 36-106 with ten doubles, two triples, five homers and 20 RBI.

The 25-year-old from Las Vegas, and drafted out of UNLV in 2014, quietly put together a strong 2017 season. Considering that he started the season in extended spring training before re-joining the Lookouts in mid-May, he was impressive. Overall, he hit .276/.358/.484 (.842) with 26 doubles and 14 home runs. White is a strong kid, but he’s also quicker than you might think. At third base, he had a fielding percentage of .959 and reports say he showed quite a bit of improvement.


Get to know TJ White (including comments from his high school teammate, Joey Gallo)



Number 2 - Ft. Myers Miracle – 1B/OF Brent Rooker - 27 G, .341/.411/.706 (1.116), 29-85 with four doubles, nine homers and 31 RBI.

Most months, the numbers that Brent Rooker put up in August would be tops on the board. This month, it falls just a little bit short. Rooker played his initial 22 pro games in Elizabethton, getting back into the swing of things and getting some at-bats under his belt. But the plan all along was to get him to Ft. Myers quickly, which they did. While he struggled some early in his move to the Florida State League (hit .163 through his first 12 games), he has been terrific since, and most of that has been in the month of August. Sure, he still struck out 32% of the time (30 K in 95 PA), but when he made contact, big things happened. He was an extra-base machine. Not only did he have nine homers, but most of them drove in more than one run. Overall, it’s been a strong pro debut for Rooker, who had 18 total home runs. It’s certainly something to build on in 2018. I guess he answered the question of whether or not he was promoted too aggressively.


Get to know Brent Rooker


And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is:

Elizabethton Twins – OF Akil Baddoo - .389/.504/.622 (1.127), 35-90 with 13 doubles, one triple, two homers and 13 RBI.

He got on base in over 50% of his plate appearances over the final month of the season, while playing at a new level. Not only did Akil Baddoo walk a lot, but when he did hit, he drove the ball with authority with his 16 extra-base hits.


Akil Baddoo was one of the two Comp picks that the Twins had after the second round of the 2016 draft. One was used to draft Jose Miranda, the other on Baddoo, a prep player from Georgia. Baddoo debuted with 38 games in the GCL last year. He stayed in the GCL to start the 2017 season as well where he hit .267/.360/.440 (.800) with eight extra base hits in 20 games. When Rooker was promoted to Ft. Myers, Baddoo took his spot in Elizabethton. He has been their leadoff man pretty much every day since.


In 33 games for Elizabethton, the 19-year-old outfielder hit .357/.478/.579 (1.057) with 15 doubles, two triples and three home runs. He reportedly gained 15 pounds in the offseason which gave him more power. He did so without losing speed. He was Elizabethton’s center fielder most games, getting the occasional DH day.


A tremendous athlete, Baddoo should find his name moving up prospect rankings this year. He should begin the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids.


While you could argue for as many as four players to win the award, we would like to congratulate Akil Baddoo, Twins Daily’s choice for Minor League Hitter of the Month for August 2017.


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18 Comments

Well, that came as advertised with some sizzling numbers! Badoo (and Miranda) seemed like daily names in the minor league reports. It's also nice to see some robust OBP's with some of these guys!
    • Seth Stohs, Yoke, glunn and 1 other like this
Wow, what a month of performers! Can't wait already to se how the various teams are stocked next season and what some of this talent does in 2018 with growth and new challenges. Just a note I think you meant Badoo was milb "hitter" of the month and not "pitcher". Unless you're holding something out on us. Lol
    • glunn likes this
The name I find interesting here, Seth, is T.J. White. I don't follow this like I used to and to be honest, don't know much about him. Was this month a fluke? Or is he a potential big league third baseman? If so, might be arriving two years from now about the time the Twins will have some decisions to make about a new contract for their current third baseman.
    • TJW and RaymondLuxuryYacht like this

Blankenhorn's inconsistency is interesting. You can see the skills are there, but what makes those off months so far off?

 

Badoo sounds like he would be a fun player to watch. If he keeps it up, he could do two levels again next year, and maybe be up by the end of 2019 (that's probably rushing). So much outfield depth in the organization, and that's never a bad thing.

Did we get it right? Who would you have voted for? Here's a quick Twitter poll where you can help vote...

 

 

 

The name I find interesting here, Seth, is T.J. White. I don't follow this like I used to and to be honest, don't know much about him. Was this month a fluke? Or is he a potential big league third baseman? If so, might be arriving two years from now about the time the Twins will have some decisions to make about a new contract for their current third baseman.

 

He's a good player. Stocky guy, but very strong and surprisingly quick. Fun to watch. Really good kid. But he's already 25, so he has a chance, but it'll be tough to crack 3B with the Twins in the next couple of years.

 

Blankenhorn's inconsistency is interesting. You can see the skills are there, but what makes those off months so far off?

 

Badoo sounds like he would be a fun player to watch. If he keeps it up, he could do two levels again next year, and maybe be up by the end of 2019 (that's probably rushing). So much outfield depth in the organization, and that's never a bad thing.

 

I don't think those bad months are unique to such your players. The difference is that a lot of young players aren't capable of putting up those incredible months. So, more consistency (which typically eventually happens) will have a higher ceiling than most players. That's - at least for me - why Blankenhorn is such an intriguing prospect. He's got real good talent, but it is a long season and those valleys weren't pretty. Lots of swing and miss.

 

And yes, I think that's pretty aggressive for Baddoo, but he is incredibly talented. 

Really excited about Baddoo.He made leaps and bounds as far as development went this year and should be in the conversation for a top 10 prospect

 

Rooker might be the steal of the draft.I can see him with the Twins some time next season and replacing Mauer at 1B in 2019.Aggressive somewhat, but I think that it is realistic (but we got to see how he will play in Chattanooga next season.) 

 

Good to see Blackenhorn pick it up as well.Interesting to see where he will end up position wise.

 

From the Forgotten Affiliate:

Yeremi De La Cruz .364/.450/.576, 6 BB, 5 K, 1 HR
Alberoni Nunez.311/.429/.533, 9 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 6 SB
Samuel Vasquez .319/.439/.489, 9 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 13 SB
Ruben Santana.327/.421/.469, 8 BB, 6 K, 0 HR, 2 SB

    • caninatl04 likes this

 

I don't think those bad months are unique to such your players. The difference is that a lot of young players aren't capable of putting up those incredible months. So, more consistency (which typically eventually happens) will have a higher ceiling than most players. That's - at least for me - why Blankenhorn is such an intriguing prospect. He's got real good talent, but it is a long season and those valleys weren't pretty. Lots of swing and miss.

 

And yes, I think that's pretty aggressive for Baddoo, but he is incredibly talented. 

Very aggressive. I write that as the absolute best case scenario. Would you think the odds are higher of late 2020 or 2021 if he keeps putting up the numbers he did this year?

Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Sep 08 2017 09:48 AM

If Badoo continues doing what he's doing, he'll be in the top 100 next year. Blankenhorn too I suspect.

 

Rooker has shown the ability to quickly adjust to the pace of pro work. He started out slow in Etown and then took off. Same thing in FTM. I suspect he starts next year in AA, and while I don't see him in MN in 2018, I'll be real surprised if he's not in conversation for starting 1B in 2019.

    • Thrylos likes this

 

Very aggressive. I write that as the absolute best case scenario. Would you think the odds are higher of late 2020 or 2021 if he keeps putting up the numbers he did this year?

 

Just guessing:

 

2018 - Cedar Rapids

2019 - Ft. Myers

2020 - Chattanooga

2021 - Rochester and Twins?

 

Even that is pretty standard. Many of the top guys will maybe do a half-year somewhere, but even some of the good prospects will repeat, or spend an extra half-season at a level... So hard to know.

I don't think Baddoo's in the top 100 conversation, usually rookie level numbers have little effect on that.

 

Perform in Cedar Rapids though, and he'll start earning more time/looks from evaluators and you never know.

 

Lots of Rooker votes in the poll, and I agree that he's deserving (I think he's going to be recognized more than expected next week in our Award series), but this is Baddoo's award. I think the .504 OBP ends that conversation on its own. That's incredible!

I know* that Eric L on Fangraphs has said that if people think Badoo's power is legit, he'll make some top 100 lists, or just miss.

 

*or maybe KLAW, or someone else on FG, but I think it was Eric

Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Sep 09 2017 10:47 AM

 

I don't think Baddoo's in the top 100 conversation, usually rookie level numbers have little effect on that.

 

Perform in Cedar Rapids though, and he'll start earning more time/looks from evaluators and you never know.

 

Lots of Rooker votes in the poll, and I agree that he's deserving (I think he's going to be recognized more than expected next week in our Award series), but this is Baddoo's award. I think the .504 OBP ends that conversation on its own. That's incredible!

 

Should clarify I was referring to this time next year... not when lists come out early next year.

    • Steve Lein likes this
Badoo is goodoo.
    • ashburyjohn likes this

 

Really excited about Baddoo.He made leaps and bounds as far as development went this year and should be in the conversation for a top 10 prospect

 

Rooker might be the steal of the draft.I can see him with the Twins some time next season and replacing Mauer at 1B in 2019.Aggressive somewhat, but I think that it is realistic (but we got to see how he will play in Chattanooga next season.) 

 

Good to see Blackenhorn pick it up as well.Interesting to see where he will end up position wise.

 

From the Forgotten Affiliate:

Yeremi De La Cruz .364/.450/.576, 6 BB, 5 K, 1 HR
Alberoni Nunez.311/.429/.533, 9 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 6 SB
Samuel Vasquez .319/.439/.489, 9 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 13 SB
Ruben Santana.327/.421/.469, 8 BB, 6 K, 0 HR, 2 SB

Be aware!About a month ago, I not only pointed out that there were a number of DSL players hitting the proverbial cover off the ball, but that, by nay measure, they were doing so by 20 points.

Hi Seth;

 

I've been following Johnathan Rodriguez for a few months now.Obviously the numbers speak for themselves.  But at 27, are we looking at a 16 year old tee-ing off on Little League opponents?

 

(More precisely, a 27 year old versus 23 year olds).

 

Does his age / level suggest AAA at 28? The pros at 29?

 

Thanks

Just for the name alone, Akil Baddoo, this kid rates highly. But the bonus is that he seems to have all the right tools to reach the majors. Hope the climb continues.


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