The past two days, you have seen the top minor league performances by relief pitchers and starting pitchers. Today, you’ll get to see which minor league hitters finished the year with a strong month. Today is the final day of the regular season for all of the full season minor leagues. Rochester will be playing their final game of the year. New Britain has a chance still as they are one game back. They would need to win and hope. Ft. Myers finished its season on Sunday. Beloit has one more tune up today before starting their Midwest League playoff series on Wednesday at Clinton. Elizabethton will be playing a winner-takes-all game tonight against Burlington for the Appalachian League championship.
There have been months where it has been hard to come up with a list of five hitters to mention for this report. This month, it was hard to keep the list short. Here are my selections for the Top 5 Twins Minor League hitters in August, but we will start with some Honorable Mentions:
- New Britain – Chris Colabello – (37-115) .322/.402/.496 (.897) with 8-2B, 4-HR, 20 RBI
- Elizabethton – Jorge Polanco – (23-71) .324/.370/.563 (.934) with 3-2B, 1-3B, 4-HR, 14 RBI
- Beloit – Nate Roberts – (37-114) .325/.442/.447 (.889) with 10-2B, 2-3B, 0-HR, 12 RBI, 11 SB
- New Britain – Aaron Hicks – (36-113) .319/.402/.496 (.897) with 5-2B, 3-3B, 3-HR, 12 RBI, 9 SB
Number 5 – Rochester – Wilkin Ramirez
- (35-104) .337/.400/.529 (.929) with six doubles, one triple, four home runs and 21 RBI.
Ramirez came to the Twins as a minor league free agent this season. After starting the season injured, he rehabbed in Ft. Myer and New Britain. He struggled early in Rochester, but in August, he has been terrific. He has hit for average and power while driving in a lot of runs. The former Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves outfielder is still just 26 years old.
Number 4 – Beloit – Kennys Vargas
- (36-113) .319/.410/.513 (.924) with seven doubles, no triples, five home runs and 22 RBI.
Vargas has been such an important addition to the Beloit Snappers lineup since he joined the team in mid-July. His power has been evident by all of his home runs and doubles, but it has also helped other hitters in the lineup. Aside from his Snappers teammate, there may not be a hitter in the Twins organization with more power potential this this switch-hitter.
Number 3 – New Britain – Oswaldo Arcia
- (35-106) .330/.408/.585 (.993) with 11 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 28 RBI.
Arcia has been a staple near the top of this list each month. Since his promotion to AA New Britain, he has not stopped hitting. He’s hit for average, hit doubles all over the field and hit some big home runs. He also has a knack for driving in a lot of runs. I used to call Rene Tosoni Jason Kubel-Lite when he was first in AA. Arcia may be the Twins next Jason Kubel, and it doesn’t even need the “Lite” designation. The next guy on this list may have the most potential and upside, but right now, it’s clear that Arcia is the best hitter in the Twins farm system.
Number 2 - Beloit – Miguel Sano
- (30-96) .313/.389/.646 (1.035) with nine doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 23 RBI.
Sano is another guy who has been on this list most months. Even when he doesn’t hit for average, his power and his ability to take walks this year have kept his OPS high. Maybe it was the return of Vargas who primarily hit behind Sano that helped him to another month like this. Sano actually walked a little less in August, but his power returned in a big way. He’s missed the last several games with a sprained ankle (or these numbers might be even bigger), but he should be back and ready for the playoffs.
The August Minnesota Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is...
Rochester Red Wings 1B Chris Parmelee
(32-99) .323/.444/.667 (1.110) with eight doubles, one triple, eight home runs and 20 RBI.
I don’t know if there are enough superlatives to describe what Parmelee did in Rochester this year and particularly the last two months. Some get sent back to AAA and sulk or struggle for whatever reason. Like Liam Hendriks, Parmelee has been sent down to Rochester a couple of times this year and each time, he has responded by putting up some monster, video-game numbers. He has hit for average as well as for tremendous power. He has walked more than he struck out. Again, like Hendriks, he worked and earned his August promotion to the Twins where it appears that they will make a spot for him to play at this point.
There you have it, the top 5 hitters in the Twins system for the month of August. Now it’s time to debate. There were some great performances, many of them by guys you would hope to see on these lists. What’s encouraging is that they finished strong. What do you think? Please feel free to discuss.