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  • Minnesota Twins Top 15 Longest Tenured Players

    Late in the year, the Twins traded Justin Morneau who had been in the organization since he was the team’s 3rd round draft choice in 1999. After the season, Nick Blackburn, who had been with the organization since signing after the 2001 draft, was allowed to become a free agent. As the Twins have added players to their 40 man roster and made free agent decisions on others, I got to wondering which players in the Twins organization have been around the longest.

    To make the top 15 on this list, a player had to be signed before 2009. There are some interesting names that you may not have realized have been with the Twins for so long. In fact, there may be a couple that you have never heard of and I’ll add a few more names to take us to 2008.

    So, here you have it, a look at the Top 15 most tenured players in the Minnesota Twins organization:

    Honorable Mention:


    • Hein Robb – Signed from South Africa as a 16 year old in July 2008.
    • The June 2008 Twins draft class and round taken – Aaron Hicks (1), Danny Ortiz (4), BJ Hermsen (6), Michael Gonzales (9), Evan Bigley (10), Nate Hanson (28), Michael Tonkin (30).
    • Deolis Guerra came to the Twins in the January 2008 trade from the Mets for a certain left-handed pitcher.
    • In December 2007, the Twins signed Danny Santana and Adrian Salcedo as 16 year old free agents.


    The Top 15

    #14/#15 – On July 4, 2007, the Twins signed a left-handed reliever named Jose Gonzalez and a left-handed hitting outfielder named Oswaldo Arcia. Arcia debuted as a 21-year-old in April and showed signs of the type of hitter that he has become. Gonzalez has been a very good reliever in the lower levels of the system, but he has struggled in his transition to AA the last two years.

    #13 – Dan Rohlfing was the Twins 14th round pick of the Twins in 2007 out of his high school in St. Louis. After splitting the 2013 season between New Britain and Rochester, he signed quickly with the Twins following the season to avoid becoming a free agent. He has primarily caught in the Twins system, though he’s a good athlete and can play a solid corner outfield, too.

    #12 – Jairo Rodriguez signed with the Twins in May of 2007. Like Rohlfing, he signed quickly to return to the Twins as a backup minor league catcher. In 2013, he played for Cedar Rapids, New Britain and even played in a game with Rochester.

    #11 – Liam Hendriks signed out of Australia in February of 2007. After missing the 2008 season with a spinal injury, Hendriks flew through the minor leagues in 2010 and 2011, pitching at five levels those seasons. Since then, he has gone back and forth between the Twins and the Red Wings, hoping to stick with the big league club.

    #10 – Chris Parmelee is the only member of the Twins 2006 draft who is still in the organization. He is out of options so he will need to remain with the Twins or they risk losing him to another team. With Joe Mauer’s move to first base, Parmelee will need to make it as a corner outfielder and pinch hitter.

    #9 – Josmil Pinto signed with the Twins in February of 2006. He could have become a minor league free agent following the World Series in 2012, but he decided to avoid that and return to the Twins. They added him to the 40 man roster a year ago and he had another strong season in 2013, including a tremendous showing with the Twins in September.

    #8 – Edgar Ibarra signed with the Twins in January of 2006. Like Pinto, Ibarra avoided free agency after the 2012 season and put together a solid 2013 campaign. That, along with a good repertoire, including a fastball the regularly hits 94, earned him a spot on the Twins 40 man roster following the 2013 season. 2014 will mark his first big league camp with the Twins.

    #7 – James Beresford, from Australia, signed with the Twins in August of 2005 as a skinny kid. His missed a season and has just gradually worked his way up the system. Again, he became a minor league free agent last offseason and came back to the Twins. He re-signed much more quickly with the Twins this offseason.

    #6 – Brian Duensing was one of two third round picks by the Twins in 2005, out of the University of Nebraska. He moved quickly through the Twins minor league system as a starter. He was given a couple opportunities as a starter in the big leagues, but his inability to get right-handers out while dominating lefties meant he would be given an opportunity out of the bullpen. In 2013, he struggled against lefties too, but he should bounce back strong in 2014.

    #5 – Deibinson Romero signed out of the Dominican Republic in July of 2004 and has been with the organization since. He was actually a member of the Twins 40 man roster in his first year of eligibility, but injuries affected him earlier in this career. He was invited to the big league camp last year, but he had visa issues and could not come to America until the regular season was about to start. He’s got good power and provides organizational depth at third base.

    #4, #3, #2 – The Twins had a lot of draft picks in 2004 and three of them remain with the Twins. Second round pick Anthony Swarzak has been very good as a long reliever the last couple seasons. Glen Perkins became an All-Star for the first time in 2013. Trevor Plouffe remains a question mark at the hot corner, though that six week stretch in 2012 still gives us hope.



    #1 – Joe Mauer is now the longest tenured Twins player, having signed in 2001 after being the #1 overall pick in the draft. I won’t get into all of the accolades, the AL MVP, the three batting titles, the Gold Glove Awards, the Silver Sluggers, etc. He’s moving to first base this year after his Hall of Fame first decade in a Twins uniform at catcher.

    So there you have it, the players in the Twins farm system who have been in the system the longest, consecutively. Some of the names may not surprise you, but I’m certain you wouldn’t have guessed everyone on this list.

    Feel free to leave your thoughts, or let me know if I forgot anyone. I didn’t count Ron Gardenhire who has been in the organization since 1987, or Terry Ryan who has been around since 1986, though maybe not consecutively.
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. SgtSchmidt11's Avatar
      SgtSchmidt11 -
      I'm not getting to point out I'm awesome, I'm just going to point out my trophy case...
    1. Krasnoludki's Avatar
      Krasnoludki -
      Interesting article! It made me also wonder which players were with the organization the longest throughout the history of the team.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Krasnoludki View Post
      Interesting article! It made me also wonder which players were with the organization the longest throughout the history of the team.
      Tied. With 21 years Walter Johnson and Harmon Killebrew. Killebrew spent his 22nd season in the majors with the Royals.

      Good stuff Seth!
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      With Morneau gone there are no Twins left that have played in a Twin playoff game win. Last win was in 04 and Blanco was the catcher, Joe was injured.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      That was a good read. Something actually new!
    1. DeepFriedTwinkie's Avatar
      DeepFriedTwinkie -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      Tied. With 21 years Walter Johnson and Harmon Killebrew. Killebrew spent his 22nd season in the majors with the Royals.

      Good stuff Seth!
      Both guys played for the Senators. Anybody know the longest tenures since the team moved? I suppose Killebrew is probably still near the top of the list.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
      With Morneau gone there are no Twins left that have played in a Twin playoff game win. Last win was in 04 and Blanco was the catcher, Joe was injured.

      Fun!
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      It is interesting about what the Twins actually have in their systems from all those years ago. People would be amazed at how many draftees and such cut after one or two years. That they actually make it to the minor league free agency or Rule 5 consideration shows how hard it is to be a baseball player. There are always room for role players if you do your job consistently, but just one bad year in a system can make you a job search candidate very quickly (will B.J. Hermsen even be in the Twins system next year, for example). With 35-50 draftees joining an organization, and a team adding 10-15 grizzled AAAA veterans each year and their total minor league roster numbers being something like 150-170 names at the most, thurnover is a natural and a player must listen and excel in such a short period of time (or be heavily invested in) to stay with the club's system for anything longer than three seasons, it seems.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Fun!
      Not the first thought that came to my mind!

    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
      With Morneau gone there are no Twins left that have played in a Twin playoff game win. Last win was in 04 and Blanco was the catcher, Joe was injured.
      That's why we need Santana back!

      Lew Ford would probably listen if we called too.
    1. notoriousgod71's Avatar
      notoriousgod71 -
      One guy from the 2006 draft... wow.
    1. Paul Pleiss's Avatar
      Paul Pleiss -
      Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
      that's why we need santana back!

      Lew ford would probably listen if we called too.
      leeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
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