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What would Phil Hughes get?

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Right before Thanksgiving, the Minnesota Twins signed Phil Hughes to a 3 year, $21 million contract.    At the time, risk was t...
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Article: Twins Promote Eight for September

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Article: Twins Minor League Report (8/31): Rochester Elim...

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Article: Only One Spot to Address for 2015?

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Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - May 2014

In the last two days, we’ve discussed the top pitchers, starters and relievers, in the Minnesota Twins farm system. Today, we’ll write up some of the top hitters. While there were tons of great pitching performances in the month of May, it was a bit more difficult to find top hitting performances. That said, we have five below and a couple of honorable mentions that are deserving of recognition.

A quick reminder. Twins Daily is covering all angles of the Major League draft, which starts on Thursday night with the first two picks. On Thursday at 6:00 PM, join Jeremy Nygaard and Seth Stohs, with guest John Bonnes, for a special Twins Hangout. The Twins should pick around 6:30 PM, so we’ll be discussing what the previous picks could mean for the Twins. Be sure to check out TwinsDaily.com for more details on Thursday night. Also, on Thursday at 9:00 PM, the show will continue on KFAN where we will discuss the draft’s first round as well as the Twins second pick which should be made during that hour.

So without further ado, here are my selections for the Top 5 Twins Minor League hitters in May:

Number 5 – Rochester – Oswaldo Arcia - (21-70) .300/.342/.614 (.956) with seven doubles, five home runs and 18 RBI.

Should Arcia be on this list? Maybe not. Some of these stats were compiled as part of his major league rehabilitation stint. About half of them were after he was taken off the DL and optioned to Rochester. While he was rehabbing, he was unable to stay on the field for more than two days in a row. Seemingly the day he was optioned, he started crushing the baseball. That isn’t a surprise. Arcia is a big leaguer who was just getting rid of some rust with the Red Wings.

Number 4 – New Britain – Reynaldo Rodriguez – (36-107) .336/.368/.579 (.947) with eight doubles, six home runs and 16 RBI.

After hitting 21 home runs last year for New Britain, Rodriguez re-signed with the Twins in the offseason. The 28 year old Colombian returned to the Rock Cats this year, moving into the outfield. He hit just .231 in 2013 but this year he is hitting .306/.353/.527 (.880). He has 15 doubles and eight homers,and as you can see, most of those extra base hits came in May. Originally signed in 2003 by the Yankees, Rodriguez spent a couple years in the independent leagues before signing with the Red Sox.

Number 3 – Cedar Rapids – Jason Kanzler - (29-81) .358/.411/.605 (1.016) with three doubles, one triple, five home runs and 19 RBI.

Kanzler began the 2014 season at Extended Spring Training. A week later, he was promoted to the Kernels to play centerfield. He was the Twins 20th round pick last year out of the University of Buffalo where he had won a couple NCAA Gold Glove Awards. He hit just .220 last year in the GCL with 15 extra base hits. He was also 13 for 14 in stolen base attempts. He has been very good this year with the Kernels. Overall, he is hitting .309/.358/.481 with five doubles, four triples and five home runs. He also has ten steals in 12 attempts.

Number 2 – New Britain – Kennys Vargas - (38-106) .358/.430/.566 (.996) with seven doubles, five home runs and 24 RBI.

Little Papi (who is actually bigger than Big Papi) had a very impressive month. Importanlyt, he was pretty consistent throughout the month with a couple of six game hot streaks. Early in the month, he had a six-game streak where he went 12-28. Later in the month, he had a six game stretch in which he went 12-21. He continues to show he can hit for average and power from both sides of the plate.

The 24-year-old from Puerto Rico has put himself squarely into future Twins plans. He has greatly improved his plate discipline and approach.

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

Attached Image: Danny Ortiz.jpg

New Britain Rock Cats OF Danny Ortiz
(40-103) .388/.402/.660 (1.062) with 12 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 23 RBI.

Ortiz was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2008 out of high school in Puerto Rico. The 24-year-old had a tough first month, likely disappointed to be back in the Eastern League. He hit .227 and managed just four extra base hits. He took off in May, though. He has certainly been a streaky hitter, having had some really terrific months over the years. Although his MLB future would appear to be a fourth or fifth outfielder, he is the kind of guy who is still young and could play for a long time. He can play all three positions well. He is a fundamentally sound defender. His biggest flaw is that he completely lacks the will to do much walking.

In May, he had 14 multi-hit games, including four three-hit games for the Rock Cats. Although he was consistent throughout the month, he finished very strong. In his final five games, he went 10-19 with three doubles and a triple. In a mid-month three-game series against Richmond, he had eight hits including three doubles and a home run. Listed at just 5-11 and 175 pounds (which seems pretty accurate), Ortiz can pack a big punch.

Overall, he is hitting .324/.340/.500 (.840) with 16 doubles, two triples and four home runs. He and Vargas, along with Eddie Rosario, teamed together this spring to help their Puerto Rican team into the Caribbean Series. In time, all three could contribute to the Twins as well.


There were several solid performances in May that weren’t included in the Top 5. Here are some Honorable Mentions who just missed out on the Top 5.


  • Deibinson Romero (29-102) .284/.378/.490 (.868) with 10 doubles, a triple, three homers and 15 RBI.
  • Adam Walker (27-103) .262/.296/.524 (.821) with six doubles, seven homers and 20 RBI.

Feel free to comment and discuss.


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