Twins Option Six Players to Minors
Likely the biggest surprise is that catcher Chris Herrmann has been optioned to Triple-A Rochester (1st option). This is his third big league camp with the Twins, but it is the earliest that he has been sent to the minor league side of the complex. The reason? He is now on the 40 man roster. He was unlikely to make the Twins Opening Day roster. He will head down to make his Triple-A debut with the Rochester Red Wings. He will likely continue to catch quite a bit, but he will also get time in the outfield, and maybe even some at first base in an attempt to make him more versatile.
Starting pitching prospect Trevor May showed his upside in camp, but he also had a couple of outings in which his control got away from him. That is to be expected because of nervousness, but it is also the biggest question out there for whether he can be a big league starter or reliever. He will likely go back to AA, this time with New Britain, to start the 2013 season, but he should debut in 2013 as well, if he throws strikes.
BJ Hermsen was the Twins minor league pitcher of the year in 2012 when he split time between Ft. Myers and New Britain. He showed his work ethic in his first big league camp, but he showed that he still has things to work on before he is ready. He will likely return to New Britain to start the season.
Hard-throwing Michael Tonkin also made a strong impression during spring training, but he only spent the 2nd half of the 2012 season in Hi-A Ft. Myers. His strikeout numbers are noteworthy, and his pitches are sharp. He has a chance to advance quickly, but he may begin the season back in Ft. Myers.
Shortstop Danny Santana jumped onto the prospect map with a strong showing offensively and defensively in 2012 in Ft. Myers. The speedy Santana showed the good and the bad in spring training. He showed tremendous range and a very strong arm, but he will have to improve his consistency to continue to advance toward the big leagues. He missed a couple of routine plays with the glove and made some aggressive mistakes on the base paths. He will likely start the season in New Britain.
Josmil Pinto reclaimed his place as a prospect in the Twins system in 2012. He had a great season in Elizabethton a few years ago, but it wasn’t until his 2012 season in Ft. Myers that he put up solid offensive numbers again. He ended the season in New Britain, hitting well. He could have become a minor league free agent, but he re-signed quickly with the Twins and was added to the 40 man roster. He’ll return to New Britain to catch and DH.
Hermsen, May, Tonkin, Pinto and Santana were optioned to AA New Britain. With 56 players in big league camp, 31 will still need to be sent to minor league camp, optioned, released of put on the Disabled List before April 1st, Opening Day.