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Twins Minor League Predictions - The Pitchers

Happy Minor League Opening Day to all of you again!! One Twins affiliate already has a win under its belt as the Rochester Red Wings topped Syracuse 7-4. Three more games tonight!

Earlier this morning, we looked at the Twins minor league hitters and made some predictions for the 2012 season. Now we’re back and we will be looking at some predictions for Twins minor league pitchers in 2012. The purpose of this is strictly for fun and we encourage you to participate and make your predictions too.

Again, our panel includes some other Twins bloggers who talk about the Twins minor leagues. Our categories are “Breakout” and “Best” Pitcher for three levels. The Upper Levels includes Rochester and New Britain. The Lower Levels includes Ft. Myers and Beloit. And of course, the EST category covers those players who are starting their 2012 campaign in Extended Spring Training. What is your definition of “Breakout,” and what will it take for you to characterize a pitcher as “Best.” Let’s find out!
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Once again, thank you to our other guest predictors: Andrew from Twins Fran from Afar, Roger Dehring from Twinkie Town, Paul Pleiss from Puckett’s Pond, Cody Christie (the Nodak Twins Fan), and Travis Aune, my co-host on Twins Minor League Weekly every Thursday night (starting tonight at 9:00 central!).

So, let’s get started, and again, please feel free to get your predictions in below!!

Breakout Pitcher (Upper Levels):

Seth: Logan Darnell – He pitched at three levels last year, but I don’t think many know who Darnell is. The lefty has very good stuff, and he should spend the full year with one team and continue to improve.

Andrew: Tyler Robertson. Earned a promotion to AAA after a good season in New Britain.

Roger: Cole DeVries, I don't know if he qualifies as he was awfully good in 2011. Look for him to stay in the Red Wings starting rotation and get a September call-up to the Twins.

Paul: Tyler Robertson. Robertson will be back in Rochester for the first time since getting moved to the bullpen at the beginning of 2011. Although Robertson doesn't have any pitch that is outstanding, he commands his pitches well and I look forward to the lefty making big strides in his second full season working out of the pen.

Cody: Alex Wimmers: The Twins need more starting pitching in the upper levels and Wimmers has to be that guy.

Travis: Scott Diamond- Last year was an anomaly and will come back to his career norm with a much better season.

Best Pitcher (Upper Levels):

Seth: PJ Walters – He gets the Opening Day nod for the Red Wings today, but he’s been a very good prospect for several years. It hasn’t turned to a lot of big league success… at least not yet.

Andrew: Andrew Albers. Maybe not the "best," but playing in an organization that lacks good relievers, if Albers puts together a 2012 as solid as his 2011, he'll be on a fast track for Target Field.

Roger: Assuming that Liam Hendriks isn't in Rochester much this summer, my selection is Alex Wimmers. He will begin in New Britain and force a move to Rochester by the end of June.

Paul: Alex Wimmers who moves up to AA New Britain this year after a season at Ft. Myers hopes to build off of the late season success from 2011. Wimmers who started 2011 by walking six batters is hoping that his control issues from last season remain in the past. Wimmers only pitched 40.2 innings in A+ last season in addition to the added competition of AA, Wimmers will need to log a bunch of innings. If Wimmers can get back to his 2010 form it's not unreasonable to expect him to move up to AAA by the end of the season.

Cody: Alex Wimmers: The best hope for the Twins is that his control problems are behind him.

Travis: Liam Hendriks- Hendriks is probably ready for MLB and will take it out on the International League.

Breakout Pitcher (Lower Levels):

Seth: Matt Summers – Last year’s 4th round pick, the righty gets less notoriety than the three players drafted ahead of him. But a guy that throws hard with good secondary pitches is exciting.

Andrew: BJ Hermsen. I like the potential of this Masonville, Iowa youngster.

Roger: Corey Williams, he has nasty stuff and will challenge Salcedo and Wimmers for best in the organization.

Paul: Madison Boer. Boer is a hometown kid from Eden Prairie, MN and will be given a chance to start in Beloit this season and with a solid defense behind him and an offense that will impress Boer should put up some eye-popping numbers in his first full season in Beloit.

Cody: Madison Boer: A collegiate pitcher who could move up the ladder quickly if he finds success.

Travis: Madison Boer- The second round pick will dominate in Beloit.

Best Pitcher (Lower Levels):

Seth: Pat Dean – He appears to be healthy for the first time since signing with the Twins. The talented lefty from BC has three good pitches and profiles as a mix of Glen Perkins and Brian Duensing.

Andrew: Adrian Salcedo. Great control, hopefully will add a little more velocity.

Roger: Adrian Salcedo, will be the Miracle's top pitcher as he finally reaches Ace status!

Paul: Adrian Salcedo. Salcedo was outstanding last year and although he's moving up from Beloit to Ft Myers this season I look for him to continue to be a shining star in the lower levels of the Twins organization. Unlike most "classic" Twins style pitchers Salcedo is not a pitch to contact control guy, and while his control is above average, he also misses a lot of bats, striking out 281 while only giving up 56 walks since singing late in 2007.

Cody: Miguel Sano: Adrian Salcedo: One of the best arms in the lower levels and he should continue to be a workhorse.

Travis: Adrian Salcedo- Salcedo will develop the consistency that he has lacked and dominate the FSL.

Breakout Pitcher (EST):

Seth: Josh Burris – Incredible athlete played 2B and OF last year in college, as well as pitching out of the bullpen. He throws hard, and has a killer curveball. Control is the issue, but he is certainly one to watch.

Andrew: Hudson Boyd. Let's see what he can do!

Roger: Hung-Yi Chen, was solid as a rookie in the GCL last year and will dominate the Appy League this year.

Paul: Hudson Boyd. Boyd was drafted out of HS last season and signed late so he'll make his professional debut this season in EST. As a high school pitcher he is a raw talent, but he throws hard and has good control. If he can stay healthy and keep his weight under control he should put up good numbers in 2012.

Cody: Matthew Summers: His time with the E-Twins was good last year and he looks to do more of the same.

Travis: Hudson Boyd- Boyd will dominate the GCL throwing nothing but gas the key is picking up a second pitch.

Best Pitcher (EST):

Seth: Trent Higginbotham – He has a long name, but he has a big fastball. Higginbotham signed late last year for big money despite being a lower draft pick. He could start, or he could dominate as a closer. It might be time to start working on proper spelling of his name because Twins fans will be hearing it for years to come.

Andrew: Hudson Boyd. He's not yet 20 and throws a mid-90s fastball. Enough said.

Roger: Hudson Boyd, 29 other teams will be wondering why they didn't draft this kid!

Paul: Steven Evans was drafted in the 13th round last year, signed quickly and put up eye popping numbers after he reported to Elizabethon. Coming back for a full season Evans will continue to impress against hitters in the Appy League. Already with an impressive arsenal of pitches, 2012 should be a successful season for the young lefty.

Cody: Matthew Summers: EST is full of last year's draft class but his age and collegiate experience should help him.

Travis: Angel Mata- Mata will continue to develop and cut down on his walk rate and keep his strikeout rate very high.

So there you have it, our picks for the 2012 season. Now it is your turn. Make your picks.
Attached Image: AdrianSalcedo.jpg


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