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  • Yes, The Twins Have Outfield Depth

    In the early-to-mid part of the season, legitimate question marks about the outfield depth were raised. Joe Benson (24, AA/AAA), and Rene Tosoni (26, AA/AAA), the two outfield prospects who spent time with the Twins in 2011, were struggling with injuries. The only prospect having a good year was Oswaldo Arcia.

    Parmelee, a recently promoted outfielder,  is congratulated after one of his home runs.Now at the beginning of September, things have changed dramatically, though it isn't because of Benson or Tosoni. Instead, Oswaldo Arcia (21, AA) and Aaron Hicks (22, AA) have turned in good-to-great seasons at AA. Arcia has not missed a step in his promotion to AA. He posted a .328/.398/.557 line with 10 homers in 299 plate appearances. Hicks emerged with a 286/.384/.460 line that amounted to the highest OPS of his career since the GCL in 2008. He also increased his power (13 homers) and stole 32 bases in 43 attempts. The AAA/AAAA contingent of outfielders (Darin Mastroianni, Matt Carson, Evan Bigley and Wilkin Ramirez) provide good 4th and 5th OF options. Chris Herrmann (24, AA), while mainly a catcher this year, still would provide 5th OF status for the Twins and could be a solid bench player for the Twins in the near future.

    Further down in the organization, Lance Ray (23, A) and Danny Ortiz (22, A) each produced OK seasons, but still show promise and, most importantly, improved overall from 2011. Ray's .234/.327/.403 slash with 13 homers and and improved BB/K rate signals good progress in his development. Ortiz's .269/.313/.424 line with 8 homers is also a step in the right direction, and he was promoted early in the season from low-A.

    While Angel Morales (22, A) and JD Williams (21, low-A) are now big question marks, Nate Roberts (23, A) has been excellent once again. He posted a .299/.433/.427 slash in his repeat Beloit season and walked more than he struck out (44/37). If healthy in 2013, he could end the season in New Britain.

    Romy Jimenez (21, Rookie) turned in a great year for E-Town and Candido Pimentel (22, Rookie) had a small breakthrough there while also playing some second base. Most importantly, Max Kepler (19, Rookie) had a huge breakout season and may move on to Beloit next year with increased power and plate discipline. His statistics were a sight for sore eyes: .297/.387/.539 with 16 doubles, 5 triples, and 10 homers in 269 plate appearances. He is emerging as a top 10 prospect for the Twins. Finally, Byron Buxton (18, Rookie) was promoted from the GCL and actually improved a bit after the promotion.

    Dereck Rodriguez (20, Rookie) was very good (.783 OPS) for the GCL Twins and the Danny Valencia trade brought in another quality player in Jeremias Pineda (21, Rookie). While Rodriguez will likely start for E-Town next year, Pineda might move up to Beloit as a 4th OF.

    I have not discussed Rory Rhodes (21 A/Rookie)--who was a 3B, then a 1B, and is now a potential corner OF--nor did I mention Zach Larson (18, Rookie) or Kelvin Ortiz (20, Rookie) from the GCL.

    With Benson and Tosoni included, I have mentioned 23 outfield candidates from Mastroianni and Carson currently on the Twins 25 man roster to players drafted in 2012. These players range from potential stars to never-will-make-it-to-The-Show-players, but they are all valuable contributors and demonstrate, as a whole, that there is significant OF depth in the system, especially up through Beloit.

    Only time will tell with these players, but I think it is now safe to say that there really is OF depth in the Twins' system.
    This article was originally published in blog: Yes, the Twins have outfield depth started by Shane Wahl
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      At least Terry Ryan can scratch OF off his list of things to do.
    1. mgraves's Avatar
      mgraves -
      Also fantastic about Kepler (alluded to in your write up) is that he drew almost as many walks as strikeouts, with BB and K rates of 10% and 12.3%. (And an ISO which has increased each year, from .057 to .105. to .241).
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      I am surprised to not see Adam Walker mentioned on OF Depth Chart. Although he struck out frequently in the regular season, his post season numbers were impressive in the Appy League Playoffs against better pitching. He led all Appy League players statistically with at least 6 playoff games in BA - .375 / OPS - 1.274 / Hits / HRs / & surprisingly SB's. He also showed to be a clutch player with his 2 out 3 rbi HR in championship finale. His 17 HRs in 64 short season games is also impressive for a kid only 20 years old. I'll be curious to see how Instructionals go for him.
    1. Karina's Avatar
      Karina -
      Nice blog, interesting to read
    1. SurroundedByTigers's Avatar
      SurroundedByTigers -
      Quote Originally Posted by Karina View Post
      Nice blog, interesting to read
      Nice bunch of outfielders. In fact, I like a lot of the depth that the Twins organization is developing in the minors. But the bottom line is, you won't see this franchise turn around until we have a post that shows a similar depth with pitching.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      All of that and it doesn't even include Eddie Rosario at A ball, who spent most of the season learning to play 2B, but clearly would have potential as a CF if need be.
    1. Alex's Avatar
      Alex -
      Definitely a change from mid-season. A lot of that has to do with Hicks improving, of course and some of the other players drafted recently and the younger players moving faster than expected.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Adam Walker being excluded was a mistake, but I kept Rosario off because of my deep hope that he sticks at 2B.
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