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  • Twins Minor League Leader Board (Hitters)

    Last week, the Midwest League (MWL) and the Florida State League (FSL) hosted their league All Star games. The Cedar Rapids Kernels had three players on the MWL roster while the Ft. Myers Miracle had four on the FSL South roster.

    Those All-Star games approximate the halfway point of the minor league season. Two-and-a-half months of season have passed and there is just about two-and-a-half months remaining. I thought it would be a good time to look at some of the top performers in the Twins farm system so far this season by looking at the leader boards in the organization in several statistics. Today, I'll look at the hitters. Later in the week we’ll take a look at the pitchers.

    Mitch Garver

    PLATE APPEARANCES

    1.) Jorge Polanco – Ft. Myers - 313
    2.) Nate Hanson - New Britain - 300
    3.) Adam Walker - Ft. Myers - 299
    4.) James Beresford - Rochester - 298
    5.) Kennys Vargas - New Britain - 291

    This is a list that shows a lot of guys at the top of their team's order who have remained healthy and have performed well enough to remain there.

    BATTING AVERAGE (minimum 200 PA)

    1.) Kennys Vargas - New Britain - .322
    2.) Mitch Garver - Cedar Rapids - .310
    3.) Doug Bernier - Rochester - .307
    4.) Chad Christensen - Cedar Rapids - .299
    4.) Reynaldo Rodriguez - New Britain - .299

    Yes, I agree. On-base percentage is more important, but batting average doesn't hurt anything. In fact, it represents the biggest part of the on-base percentage formula.

    ON-BASE PERCENTAGE (minimum 200 PA)

    1.) Mitch Garver - Cedar Rapids - .411
    2.) Kennys Vargas - New Britain - .395
    2.) Deibinson Romero - Rochester - .395
    4.) Doug Bernier - Rochester - .386
    5.) Jorge Polanco - Ft. Myers - .365

    Outs are important. Not getting out should be the goal of every plate appearance. On-base percentage is important, especially for top of the order hitters, but also for middle of the order hitters that pitchers may try to pitch around.

    SLUGGING PERCENTAGE (minimum 200 PA)

    1.) Kennys Vargas - New Britain - .537
    2.) Reynaldo Rodriguez - New Britain - .516
    3.) Mitch Garver - Cedar Rapids - .488
    4.) Danny Ortiz - New Britain/Rochester - .467
    5.) Jason Kanzler - Cedar Rapids - .462

    Power is pretty important for middle of the lineup guys. A lineup needs to have several guys that can hit for enough average, but also sprinkle in a bunch of extra base hits as well. Extra base hits certainly increase the probability of scoring runs, which is important in any game.

    OPS

    1.) Kennys Vargas - New Britain - .932
    2.) Mitch Garver - Cedar Rapids - .898
    3.) Reynaldo Rodriguez - New Britain - .855
    4.) Deibinson Romero - Rochester - .849
    5.) Doug Bernier - Rochester - .812

    OPS is typically going to be led by middle of the order hitters, the guys who can get on base but also have good pop in their bats.

    HITS

    1.) Kennys Vargas - New Britain - 82
    2.) Jorge Polanco - Ft. Myers - 80
    3.) Reynaldo Rodriguez - New Britain - 76
    4.) Chad Christensen/Mitch Garver - Cedar Rapids - 75
    4.) Eric Farris - Rochester - 75

    DOUBLES

    1.) Reynaldo Rodriguez - New Britain - 20
    2.) Travis Harrison - Ft. Myers - 19
    3.) Deibinson Romero - Rochester - 18
    4.) Mitch Garver - Cedar Rapids - 17
    4.) Danny Ortiz - New Britain/Rochester - 17

    When I look at minor league stats, doubles is one that I look at as important. In my mind, doubles are line drives to the gaps, a sign of developing power. As young players develop, maybe those line drives to the gaps can become home runs over the walls. And if not, doubles tend to drive in a lot of runs.

    HOME RUNS

    1.) Adam Walker - Ft. Myers - 14
    1.) Kennys Vargas - New Britain - 14
    3.) Reynaldo Rodriguez - New Britain - 11
    4.) Bryan Haar - Cedar Rapids - 8
    4.) Mitch Garver - Cedar Rapids - 8

    OK, home runs are good too. It shows power, and hopefully that power will continue as they grow. Obviously you have to look at other numbers in conjunction with the homers, but it is a sign of power and the ability to occasionally square up a baseball.

    RUNS

    1.) Jorge Polanco - Ft. Myers - 48
    2.) Reynaldo Rodriguez - New Britain - 47
    3.) Kennys Vargas - New Britain - 43
    4.) Chad Christensen - Cedar Rapids - 42
    4.) Mitch Garver - Cedar Rapids - 42

    Runs are scored either by the table-setters who get on base a lot, or by the power guys who, with one swing can put themselves in scoring position, and perhaps score themselves.

    RBI

    1.) Kennys Vargas - New Britain - 57
    2.) Adam Walker - Ft. Myers - 53
    3.) Mitch Garver - Cedar Rapids - 47
    4.) Danny Ortiz - New Britain/Rock Cats - 44
    5.) Chad Christensen - Cedar Rapids - 41

    For awhile, there was a belief that the RBI stat is completely overrated. While I agree that it can be, I also think it is a number that matters. When there is a runner on third base and less than two outs, the batter needs to get that runner in. It can mean the player is prone to coming through with a bases-clearing double or a two-run single when there are runners on second and third. In my mind, that is fundamental baseball.

    STOLEN BASES

    1.) Chad Christensen - Cedar Rapids - 18
    2.) Niko Goodrum - Ft. Myers - 12
    2.) Eric Farris - Rochester - 12
    2.) Corey Wimberly - New Britain - 12
    5.) Jason Kanzler - 11

    Speed. This is certainly an area that has become less important in baseball over the last couple decades, but it can be important. If a player can move up one base (at a high percentage), it can mean a lot. In the minor leagues, the Twins (and many teams) encourage speedy base runners to attempt to steal a lot of bases, even if they get caught, because that is the only way that they can learn that skill.

    SUMMARY

    What you've read above is just a numerical look at some of the hitters who have performed well in the first half. What you may have noticed is that there are several guys who have really stood out in the first half.

    Kennys Vargas - He's #1 in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, hits, home runs and RBI. He's #2 in on-base percentage and #3 in runs scored.

    Mitch Garver - He's been playing catcher which means he will get a few days off, so he doesn't appear quite as high on some of the counting stats. However, he is #1 in on-base percentage, #2 in batting average and OPS, and #3 in slugging percentage.

    Reynaldo Rodriguez - He's a veteran of AA, but he continues to put up solid numbers in 2013 despite switching from first base to the outfield.

    Jorge Polanco - He has slowed since his fast offensive start in Ft. Myers this year, but he has continued to rack up hits and get on base at a strong rate.
    Comments 24 Comments
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Bases on Balls ***

      1.) Deibinson Romero - Rochester - 34
      2.) Jorge Polanco - Ft. Myers - 33
      2.) Mitch Garver - Cedar Rapids - 33
      4.) Kennys Vargas - New Britain - 32
      5.) Dalton Hicks- Ft. Myers - 31

      *** Hereby noted as the "Aaron Hicks Somewhat Meritorious Performance Below the Call of Duty Award"...as the actual winner for the Twins minor leaguer Base on Balls award can now be revealed.....it was in fact, Ivory Thomas, who had 37 walks for Cedar Rapids. He took the separation between BA and OBP to the greatest extreme I've ever seen- BA of .163....and....OBP at an incredible .433. But perhaps foreshadowing Aaron Hicks, Thomas had a 32.2% K-rate and alas, was asked to move on on June 12. Best of luck, Ivory!
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Bases on Balls ***

      1.) Deibinson Romero - Rocehster - 34
      2.) Jorge Polanco - Ft. Myers - 33
      2.) Mitch Garver - Cedar Rapids - 33
      4.) Kennys Vargas - New Britain - 32
      5.) Dalton Hicks- Ft. Myers - 31

      *** Hereby noted as the "Aaron Hicks Somewhat Meritorious Performance Below the Call of Duty Award"...as the actual winner for the Twins minor leaguer Base on Balls award can now be revealed.....it was in fact, Ivory Thomas, who had 37 walks for Cedar Rapids. He took the separation between BA and OBP to the greatest extreme I've ever seen- BA of .163....and....OBP at an incredible .433. But perhaps foreshadowing Aaron Hicks, Thomas had a 32.2% K-rate and alas, was asked to move on on June 12. Best of luck, Ivory!
      Love this one. How many bloggers would want him in the Twins line-up if his OBP was actually .433 with the MLB Twins? Would you be satisfied with the fact that he got on base more than any other Twin or would the .163 BA just kill you mentally? Since he was released - It tells me what the Twins are more concerned with.................................. Ask Hicks what he thinks the Twins care about most?
    1. big dog's Avatar
      big dog -
      Thanks, Seth, for the comprehensive look at the hitters. Here's hoping Vargas hits the fast track to the majors.

      Jokin, inquiring minds want to know if Thomas was good at fouling off strikes and waiting for Ball Four, or if he was 3 feet tall. That's an incredible split. Very funny stat, thanks.
    1. Cody Christie's Avatar
      Cody Christie -
      So it looks like Vargas would be the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Year for the first half...

      I hope Polanco is able to put together a strong second half at the plate.
    1. puckstopper1's Avatar
      puckstopper1 -
      WOW - Only 3 hitters with 200 PA hitting over .300? To me this shows little depth beyong the big name prospects...
    1. Beezer07's Avatar
      Beezer07 -
      Quote Originally Posted by puckstopper1 View Post
      WOW - Only 3 hitters with 200 PA hitting over .300? To me this shows little depth beyong the big name prospects...
      Well sure, it looks bad, until you see the two guys hitting .299. And the presence of two guys on the top 5 OBP who aren't on the top 5 avg.

      I'm gonna go with what my main man Dozier said...Avg is an overrated stat.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by big dog View Post
      Thanks, Seth, for the comprehensive look at the hitters. Here's hoping Vargas hits the fast track to the majors.

      Jokin, inquiring minds want to know if Thomas was good at fouling off strikes and waiting for Ball Four, or if he was 3 feet tall. That's an incredible split. Very funny stat, thanks.
      Ivory Thomas is a very, very curious case. I never saw him play, but he is listed at only 5'9", and until this year, he had had good BB% rates in the GCL and his last 3 years in college, but nothing like his 30.6% rate this season. (That rate of 30.6% BTW, is easily the best in all of MiLB for those with at least 120 PAs....the next closest number was "just" 20% for someone in AA in the Astros organization http://www.fangraphs.com/minorleader...ers=0&sort=4,d).

      And even more curious, Thomas's HBP% in his last 3 years in college was 7.2%- as he was plunked 40 times in 137 games. Had Thomas continued to pursue that aspect to his colorful "hitting" repertoire in Cedar Rapids, his OBP would have been closer to .450. In Thomas' senior year playing at the NCAA D-II level, he was first in his athletic conference, winning both the Batting Title (.383) and OBP Title (.523), so at one point anyway, he was more than just a modern-day Eddie Gaedel.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Might be time for a couple of those guys to advance, and to clear out players ahead of them that are "just" organization depth. IMO, of course.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      Quote Originally Posted by lightfoot789 View Post
      Love this one. How many bloggers would want him in the Twins line-up if his OBP was actually .433 with the MLB Twins? Would you be satisfied with the fact that he got on base more than any other Twin or would the .163 BA just kill you mentally? Since he was released - It tells me what the Twins are more concerned with.................................. Ask Hicks what he thinks the Twins care about most?
      Hicks at the time of demotion had a better OBP than Revere or Span. These two were leadoff hitters whose sole responsibility was getting on base. Hicks did a better job of that from the 9 hole than they did from the #1 spot and yet posters were pining about trading these two guys away and calling for Hicks' head. If it was sustainable I would have been fine with Hicks walking .370 of the time and striking out .630 of the time for a .000 batting average. He could have gone up there with a wiffle bat and turned the wrong way for all I care. Would probably kill me mentally to have a whole team made up of that but from the 9 or 1 spot it would make me happy.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Might be time for a couple of those guys to advance, and to clear out players ahead of them that are "just" organization depth. IMO, of course.
      How is Garver behind the plate? Any chance he sticks as a catcher?
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
      How is Garver behind the plate? Any chance he sticks as a catcher?
      I encourage you to do a search for "Mitch Garver" on this site. SD Buhr gave a very strong first-hand account for Garver's defense this year at Cedar Rapids. Sounds like a take-charge guy. And a guy who was ranked in college just behind Turner and one other top Catcher over his last 2 years at New Mexico.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Looking forward to seeing Mitch Garver, Chad Christensen and the rest of the Kernels play this weekend!! Including Nick Burdi!
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Was Burdi sent to low A?
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Was Burdi sent to low A?
      No. Cedar Rapids
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
      No. Cedar Rapids
      Isn't that low A? I'm confused.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Isn't that low A? I'm confused.

      CR is A

      Fort Myers Miracle are "A Advanced" (I'd call it High A, I guess).


      I thought Elizabethtown was low A but it is actually called "Rookie Affiliate".

      I know Berardino thought Burdi might end up at E'town but they put him in CR. I think that was pretty much as high as anyone thought he'd start.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Either way, I'm glad he's at least in CR, and not below that. I'd have preferred FtM myself......I just want him to move quickly before his arm decreases in ability, which is inevitable.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
      CR is A

      Fort Myers Miracle are "A Advanced" (I'd call it High A, I guess).


      I thought Elizabethtown was low A but it is actually called "Rookie Affiliate".

      I know Berardino thought Burdi might end up at E'town but they put him in CR. I think that was pretty much as high as anyone thought he'd start.
      The New York-Penn League is classified as "A-". The Midwest League is "A".
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Isn't that low A? I'm confused.
      I think the confusion comes from calling "A" low A.

      There are only A and high A so that's probably where you and I differ.

      I guess A can be thought of as "low A" since it's not "high A" but technically it is "A".
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
      I think the confusion comes from calling "A" low A.

      There are only A and high A so that's probably where you and I differ.

      I guess A can be thought of as "low A" since it's not "high A" but technically it is "A".
      Except for the fact that there's also "A-". NY-Penn League and Northwest League.
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