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Article: Twins Minor League Report (4/20): Pitching Trio...

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Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - April

Earlier this week, I handed out the “awards” for Twins minor league relief pitcher and starting pitcher of April. In each case, I was able to profile six pitchers and there were good numbers. Today, I am going to profile five Twins minor league hitters who had solid Aprils. Unlike with the pitchers, it was really tough to come up with hitters. If I’m being honest, it was a two-player race for the April Hitter of the Month. And, today, when the Twins have an off day after being shut out two straight games (and no-hit late last night by Jered Weaver), I wish I could tell you that there were several players at AAA Rochester who are hitting so well that they are pushing their way up to the big leagues. There aren’t.

Here are my selections for the Top 5 Twins Minor League hitters in April: [PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

Number 5 - Ft. Myers - Danny Santana - (29-95) .305/.327/.453 with four doubles, two triples, two home runs and 11 RBI.

The diminutive middle infielder got off to a very fast start before a mini-slump. However he did end the month strong again to garner a spot on this list. Although his game is speed, he is not afraid to take a big swing and will get a lot of extra base hits. To advance through the minors and eventually get to the big leagues, he will have to learn to take an occasional walk, but he does have really good tools.

Number 4 – New Britain – Deibinson Romero - (25-89) .281/.337/.494 with eight doubles, a triple, 3 home runs and 17 RBI.

Although he’ll play at 25 years old throughout this season, this is already his ninth season in the Twins organization. He was on the Twins 40 man roster, but quickly fell out of favor. However, last year he had a semi-revival season in New Britain in 2011 (.256/.327/.411, with 27 doubles and 11 home runs), and he has continued that success into the first month of the 2012 season.

Number 3 - New Britain – Aaron Hicks - (24-88) .273/.347/.477 with four doubles, a triple, four home runs and 14 RBI.

I truly thought that Hicks would really struggle in the early going at AA New Britain. To this point, he has certainly held his own. He has shown patience. He has shown power. He has struck out a lot and been a little inconsistent, but overall, a very impressive start for the ultra-talented outfielder prospect. Consistency will be the thing to watch with Hicks throughout the year. Can he limit the longevity of the slumps better? That will be important.

Number 2 - Beloit – Eddie Rosario - (29-89) .326/.429/.472 with eight doubles, a triple, one home run and 16 RBI.

Rosario was the Appy League Player of the Year in 2011. He has already had some ups and downs in his first month of a full-season league, but overall, the numbers are definitely there. Some may expect more home runs from Rosario after leading the league last year with 21, but that’s not the type of hitter he is. He has very quick hands and will hit for average, gap power and certainly can hit his share of homers. He has a good approach at the plate as well. He stole 7 bases in the season’s first month. His transition to 2B has been shaky at times (7 errors in April), but reports indicate that he may be able to handle the position given time.

The April Minnesota Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is...

Beloit Snappers 3B Miguel Sano
(24-87) .276/.422/.586 with five doubles, two triples, six home runs and 19 RBI.

Sure, the batting average isn’t the highest, and he leads the Midwest League in strikeouts. He has a ton to learn about defense, plate approach and has a lot of maturing to do. But at the end of the day, Sano was the clear-cut top hitter of the month in the Twins organization. Along with the strikeouts, he is the league leader in walks which means he has a tremendous OBP. And 13 extra base hits in 87 at bats is pretty impressive. Sano is a powerful individual and when he makes contact, he does very good things. It will be a lot of fun to track his development.

There were several strong performances in April, even if there weren’t many strong hitters. Earlier in the week, we named the Twins Relief Pitcher and Starting Pitcher of the month of April. Please feel free to discuss.

Attached Image: Miguel Sano.jpg

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