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  • Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year


    Earlier in the week, we announced the Minor league Relief Pitcher of the Year and the Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year for the Twins. Today, it’s time to point out the hitters that performed very well in the Twins minor league system. There were a lot of great performances and performers that don’t even make the top six for various reasons, be it injury, big league time or simply playing in a short-season league. Here are three honorable mentions that I think will illustrate just how good the top 6 are!
    Honorable Mention

    • Chris Parmelee – Rochester Red Wings – 77-228 - .338/.457/.645 (1.102) – 17-2B, 1-3B, 17-HR, 49-RBI, 45-R
    • Nate Roberts – Beloit Snappers – 84-281 - .299/.433/.427 (.860) – 18-2B, 3-3B, 4-HR, 33-RBI, 60-R
    • Max Kepler – Elizabethton Twins – 69-232 - .297/.387/.539 (.925) – 16-2B, 5-3B, 10-HR, 49-RBI, 40-R



    Hitter of the Year Nominees


    There were a lot more good hitters up for Hitter of the Year consideration, or at least mention, than there were

    #6 – Eddie Rosario – Beloit Snappers (123-411 - .299/.347/.499 (.846), with 35 doubles, 4 triples, 13 HR, 74 RBI, 62 R)

    Consider the numbers Rosario put up for the Snappers in 2012, and then remember that he missed about six weeks of the season after surgery on his mouth. What could he have done with another 120 plate appearances? After hitting 21 homers in E-Town in 2011, it is no surprise that he hit less home runs in the bigger ballparks, but he still hit for average and hit a lot of doubles. Rosario is so good at letting the ball get deep and uses the whole field well. And, his transition to 2B went well in year one, although there is still much room for improvement.

    #5 – Josmil Pinto – Ft. Myers Miracle / New Britain Rock Cats (117-396 - .295/.362/.482 (.844), with 26 doubles, 3 triples, 14 HR, 60 RBI, 53 R)

    One of the organization’s more interesting decisions when the offseason starts involves Pinto. The catcher had a tremendous 2012 season. After hitting .295 with 22 doubles and 12 homers in 93 games with the Miracle, he was promoted to New Britain to help them in their playoff push as their DH. He hit .298 with seven extra base hits (including two homers) in the final 12 games. The 23-year-old can become a six-year minor league free agent following the World Series.

    #4 – Chris Colabello – New Britain Rock Cats (141-496 - .284/.358/.478 (.836), with 37 doubles, 1 triple, 19 HR, 98 RBI, 78 R)

    A year ago at this time, Colabello was finishing another season, his seventh, with the Worcester Tornadoes of the independent Can-Am League. Baseball America would soon name him their Independent League Player of the Year. The Twins, needing another bat for New Britain, gave him an opportunity. He made the best of it! The 28-year-old who had never played a single game for an affiliated team was a very consistent producer in the middle of the Rock Cats lineup all season long.

    #3 – Aaron Hicks – New Britain Rock Cats (.286/.384/.460 (.844), with 21 doubles, 11 triples, 13 HR, 61 RBI, 100 R, 32 SB)

    When the Twins used the 14th pick in the 2008 draft, scouts loved it because Hicks is a great athlete with the potential to be a 5-tool player. As is normal for young players, Hicks struggled in Beloit for a season-and-a-half and last year in Ft. Myers. The Twins pushed him to the AFL last season where he put up very good numbers. They again pushed him to New Britain to start this season, and he responded. Following the All Star break, he hit .301/.409/.480. He did post an OPS of .881 against lefties. Very important, he posted a very good .828 OPS against right-handed pitchers, an area he needed to improve upon. Once Hicks was moved to the leadoff position, his patience at the plate worked to his advantage. He got on base, stole bases and scored a lot of runs. The well-rounded game of Hicks finally started filling up box scores and stat lines!

    #2 – Miguel Sano – Beloit Snappers (118-457 - .258/.373/.521 (893), with 28 doubles, 4 triples, 28 HR, 100 RBI, 75 R)

    Expectations were high for Sano when the 2012 season began. I think it’s safe to say that Sano met all expectations. He didn’t hit for much average, but he hit for a lot of power. He drove in runs. He struckout a ton (144 times), and he committed a lot of errors (42). He certainly showed improvement throughout the season. His first-half OPS was .841. After the All-Star break, his OPS was .955. He had less than half as many errors in the second half as in the first. He was named the MWL Prospect of the Year and the Snappers named him their co-MVP. It was a nice first full-season performance for the 19-year-old.

    Hitter of the Year –



    Oswaldo Arcia
    – Ft. Myers Miracle / New Britain Rock Cats (150-469 - .320/.388/.539 (.925), with 36 doubles, 8 triples, 17 HR, 98 RBI, 76 R)

    Signed in July of 2007, Arcia was an easy choice to add to the Twins 40 man roster last offseason. In 2010, he was the Appy League Player of the Year when he hit .375 with an OPS of 1.096. In 2011, he spent a month in Beloit before elbow surgery. Upon his return, he went to Ft. Myers. That’s where he began the 2012 season. In 55 games, he hit .309 with 26 extra base hits. He played in the FSL All Star game and had a double off of Jameson Taillon in the Futures Game before being promoted to New Britain. That’s when his offensive game really took off. In 69 games with the Rock Cats, he hit .328 with 35 extra base hits. He was an RBI machine. He plays a very good outfield with a strong arm. Arcia will return to big league spring training in 2013, and depending upon offseason moves, he will get a chance to impress the coaching staff with his power.


    So there you have it. There were some really terrific offensively performances by Twins minor leaguers in 2012. It’s especially nice to see big years coming from some of the team’s top prospects. Feel free to discuss.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 27 Comments
    1. Thegrin's Avatar
      Thegrin -
      It doesn't look like any of them will go North with the team after Spring Training. However, we can look forward to seeing Hicks and Arcia next September and for years afterwards,
    1. SurroundedByTigers's Avatar
      SurroundedByTigers -
      As crazy as this sounds, I would consider trading Sano for a couple of top, AND I MEAN TOP!!!, pitching prospects. We have some really top notch hitters coming through the system, so I think we can afford to deal on some of these hitters. Sano's my choice to deal. ... One other thing, nobody's talking about Kennys Vargas, but I think he can be a stud-and-a-half player for the Twins.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Vargas can be a big power hitter, but he'll have to prove/show that he can hit a good fastball as he moves up.
    1. twinsfiend's Avatar
      twinsfiend -
      Should be an interesting off-season, with major league top rotation starters needed, hopefully we don't have to give up some of these prospects to get them. I'd love to see Arcia in a Twins uniform (and Sano eventually too).
    1. Lonestar's Avatar
      Lonestar -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsfiend View Post
      Should be an interesting off-season, with major league top rotation starters needed, hopefully we don't have to give up some of these prospects to get them. I'd love to see Arcia in a Twins uniform (and Sano eventually too).
      When is the last time any teams exchanged elite prospects?

      Other than Ramos, when was the last time the Twins traded a prospect?
    1. Lonestar's Avatar
      Lonestar -
      I'm guess Parmelee didn't make it because of the limited number of plate appearances. But Kepler and Roberts had better OPS than Colabello at younger ages. Colabello was 28 playing 1b in AA. I know he's a feel good story but he does not merit an honorable mention.

      Kepler was young for his league and played CF until Buxton was called up.

      Roberts is not young for league and was repeating (which may or may not have been a organization mistake). He played only one game in CF. Can he suffice in CF? If YES, he might be something more than an organization soldier.

      Describe Pinto as a defensive catcher.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lonestar View Post
      I'm guess Parmelee didn't make it because of the limited number of plate appearances. But Kepler and Roberts had better OPS than Colabello at younger ages. Colabello was 28 playing 1b in AA. I know he's a feel good story but he does not merit an honorable mention.
      Yup, it's totally about plate appearances. I know Kepler couldn't do much about that. He played the full season that he was sent to, so a good case could be made there. Parmelee was amazing, but had about 250 less plate appearances. Roberts just missed time again. All three deserve recognition, for sure... And second, this isn't some "prospect list." Age didn't factor into this ranking in anyway.

      Can he suffice in CF? If YES, he might be something more than an organization soldier.
      From what I saw, I don't think he can play CF. I mean, he can, but there's no way that he's in the same caliber as good CF. I wasn't impressed with him defensively, and he doesn't have a great arm at all. He's an offensively player, a great leadoff guy.

      Describe Pinto as a defensive catcher.
      Pinto's defense is said to not be great. He's not a great athlete. However, if you look at his CS%, he's been good. He threw out 38% of base runners this year and is at 32% for his career. He moved up to AA though, and he didn't catch much. He was there to DH.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Eddie Rosario – Beloit Snappers (123-411 - .299/.347/.499 (.846), with 35 doubles, 4 triples, 13 HR, 74 RBI, 62 R)

      ...What could he have done with another 120 plate appearances?
      Another point in Rosario's favor is that his numbers still looked good after returning from the injury to his face. He batted .326 in April, and was batting .325 in June when the injury happened. Back again in August Rosario batted .304, and I'm guessing his slight drop in average was probably more due to rust and a new face shield than being gun shy at the plate. You don't bat over .300 if you're afraid of the ball.

      Who adopted Rosario around here? I'd be interested to read how the young guy dealt with his injury and his comeback.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      I would hope that either Arcia or Hicks will make the club out of spring training. That would mean an outfielder would have to be moved, as it would make no sense to carry them north as a 4th outfielder. Twins should work to this plan as it is unlikely they will contend in 2013
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      I hope Nate Roberts skips A+ and goes straight to AA. They have been extremely passive in promoting him. He's always been just a little too old for his league.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      jimbo - Rosario didn't wear a face shield when he came back. Really, it's remarkable how he came back.
    1. Twins Fan From Afar's Avatar
      Twins Fan From Afar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lonestar View Post
      I'm guess Parmelee didn't make it because of the limited number of plate appearances. But Kepler and Roberts had better OPS than Colabello at younger ages. Colabello was 28 playing 1b in AA. I know he's a feel good story but he does not merit an honorable mention.
      I respectfully disagree on Colabello. Seth's post was about the Twins' minor league hitters of the year, not a prospect ranking list (where, of course, Colabello would not crack the top 40, and where your comparisons about his OPS, age and level of competition would have merit).

      Aside from being a feel-good story, keep in mind that Colabello set a Rock Cats' franchise record for RBIs.
      And here's how he ranked in the entire Eastern League in some offensive categories: Hits -- 141 (7th); doubles -- 37 (1st); home runs -- 19 (T5); RBIs -- 98 (2nd); total bases -- 237 (2nd); OBP -- .358 (13th); SLG -- .478 (T5); OPS -- .836 (T5).

      It's a pretty solid offensive season.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by SurroundedByTigers View Post
      As crazy as this sounds, I would consider trading Sano for a couple of top, AND I MEAN TOP!!!, pitching prospects. We have some really top notch hitters coming through the system, so I think we can afford to deal on some of these hitters. Sano's my choice to deal. ... One other thing, nobody's talking about Kennys Vargas, but I think he can be a stud-and-a-half player for the Twins.
      good thing your not terry ryan ....or are you? sounds like a ryan move our best power hitter for a pair of soft tossing controll single A pitchers
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      No, Ryan has never traded a top prospect for anyone. That is one reason, imo, why they did not win the series in the early 2000s.
    1. Lonestar's Avatar
      Lonestar -
      I hope I conveyed to Seth that I respectfully disagreed with him. And while I don't deny Colabello had a good season relative to his league, look at Kepler's.

      Drawing the line at 140 AB's because I didn't know where else to draw the line and focusing only on rate stats, Kepler was 13th in BA, 7th in OBP, 1st in Slugging, 3rd in OPS and 7th in Iso P.

      And why didn't Polanco get mentioned when he was Apply League MVP: 7th in BA, 6th in OBP, 6th in Slugging, and 4th in OPS as an 18-year-old shortstop.

      What you are implying to me is that if the Twins would have signed Manny Ramirez to a AA contract and he would have put up better numbers than Arcia as a DH, then he would have been Hitter of the Year. I think you have to adjust for age relative to league and position. Or are you going to come up with a later list of MiLB Players of the Year.

      I wouldn't exclude players just because they are in short-season ball. Would we have done that to Sano, Rosario, or Arcia.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lonestar View Post
      I hope I conveyed to Seth that I respectfully disagreed with him. And while I don't deny Colabello had a good season relative to his league, look at Kepler's.

      Drawing the line at 140 AB's because I didn't know where else to draw the line and focusing only on rate stats, Kepler was 13th in BA, 7th in OBP, 1st in Slugging, 3rd in OPS and 7th in Iso P.

      And why didn't Polanco get mentioned when he was Apply League MVP: 7th in BA, 6th in OBP, 6th in Slugging, and 4th in OPS as an 18-year-old shortstop.

      What you are implying to me is that if the Twins would have signed Manny Ramirez to a AA contract and he would have put up better numbers than Arcia as a DH, then he would have been Hitter of the Year. I think you have to adjust for age relative to league and position. Or are you going to come up with a later list of MiLB Players of the Year.

      I wouldn't exclude players just because they are in short-season ball. Would we have done that to Sano, Rosario, or Arcia.
      Post more.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I have included short-season guys before. In fact, last year, I had Rosario at #2 or 3, and Sano at #6 or 7, I think.

      Age doesn't really factor into these rankings, for me, but I Think position does. Last year, Brian Dozier and Joe Benson had the same (or very close) OPS, but I went with Dozier because he was a middle infielder.

      The purpose of this list is to recognize players, and then to have this type of discussion. I enjoy it. I certainly don't expect everyone to agree with me 100%
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Good stuff. I think that what Vargas did (albeit in a short season) deserves a spot in the list (heck, if Kepler can make it, so should other short season guys.) The one I do not get is how Colabello can be ahead of Pinto, even though Pinto was better in all rate categories: AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, HR/AB etc. The fact that he played less was manager's choice and should not penalized him. Really excited to see Pinto give the Twins a legit C prospect something they did not have since the Ramos trade.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Very interested in what they decide to do with Pinto. They'll have to make a decision quick because once the World Series is done, he can become a free agent, unless the Twins put him on the 40 man roster.
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Very interested in what they decide to do with Pinto. They'll have to make a decision quick because once the World Series is done, he can become a free agent, unless the Twins put him on the 40 man roster.
      Wonder how close the decision was to calling up Pinto instead of Hermann. Could have gotten a free look at him before the offseason.

      Got a feeling that MN views Pinto the same way they did Yangercis Solarte & will let him go (very much because they wont protect 5 C's & is there any shot they DFA Butera....no IMO)
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