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  • Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - May

    It’s hard to believe that the month of May is already complete, and with it, it is time to announce the choices for Twins minor league hitter, starting pitcher and relief pitcher of the month. This month, we are going to start with the starting pitching. There were some very solid starting pitchers during the month of May. Instead of making four starts, as they did in April, they had to be good for five or six starts in May.

    Below, you will find my rankings of the Top 6 starting pitchers in the Twins farm system in the month of May. Be sure to vote for your choice in the comments.


    Number 6 - Beloit – Jason Wheeler - 5 GS, 3-1, 3.09 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 32.0 IP, 34 H, 5 BB, 22 K

    Wheeler, the Twins 8th round pick in 2011 out of Loyola Marymount, was on this list in April. Overall, the lefty is now 6-1 with a 2.75 ERA. In ten starts, he has given up more than three earned runs just once. In fact, he has given up three runs just once.

    Number 5 – Beloit – RHP Matt Summers - 6 GS, 3-1, 2.50 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 36.0 IP, 35 H, 10 BB, 24 K

    Summers was the Twins 4th round pick in 2011 out of UC-Irvine. The big right-hander had a rough April with the Snappers. He went 1-2 with a 6.64 ERA. However, in May, he warmed up with the weather. He walked the same number of batters in over 15 more innings while striking out 11 more.

    Number 4 – New Britain/Rochester – RHP David Bromberg - 5 GS, 3-1, 2.48 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 29.0 IP, 23 H, 12 BB, 28 K

    It’s been well documented. Bromberg’s 2011 was a lost season after having a line drive back at him break his forearm. He began this season in the Rock Cats bullpen and gave up nine runs in his first two innings. However, since May, Bromberg was spectacular. At one point, he threw 20 consecutive scoreless innings. The month ended with a start for the Rochester Red Wings.

    Number 3 – Rochester – RHP Liam Hendriks - 5 GS, 3-1, 2.93 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 30.2 IP, 22 H, 10 BB, 24 K

    Hendriks was sent back to Rochester after struggling with the Twins in April. He pitched great, and if not for a bad starting on Wednesday night (6 ER in 5 IP), he probably would be #1 on this list. Coming into the game on Wednesday, he was 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP. The right-hander should get another month with the Red Wings and then potentially come back to the Twins in July.

    Number 2 – Ft. Myers – LHP Pat Dean - 6 GS, 4-0, 1.34 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 33.2 IP, 34 H, 6 BB, 16 K

    Dean got an extra start in May because he pitched just three innings before there was a rain delay one game, so he was able to come back on short rest. Although he strikes out very few, Dean doesn’t hurt himself with walks. The 2010 third round pick just turned 23. On the season, he’s 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA. He has just 30 strikeouts in 63.1 innings.

    And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is:

    New Britain – BJ Hermsen - 6 GS, 3-1, 2.68 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 43.2 IP, 39 H, 2 BB, 23 K

    For the second straight month, BJ Hermsen is my choice for Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Month. Last month, he pitched for Ft. Myers. At the end of the month of April, he was promoted to AA New Britain, and he hasn’t missed a beat. What is remarkable is that he averaged almost 7.5 innings per start. He definitely is a pitch to contact pitcher, reliant upon a lot of movement and pinpoint control (note, two walks in 43.2 innings). Overall this year between the two stops, he is 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA in 66.2 innings.

    What do you think? I listed six pitchers here that pitched quite well in the month of May. There were actually a few other choices. Who would your choice be? How would you rank these guys (and feel free to include others)?

    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - May started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      This is an interesting report and the order is logical.

      What stands out for me is that the best pitchers in the system do not have great strikeout rates. I wonder how much of this is due to drafting and how much is due to coaching and a pitch to contact mentality. I would love an explanation as to why the Twins don't have at least a couple of top prospects who get lots of strikeouts.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Most of that is due to drafting. I like these guys, but I am worried about Hermsen and Dean making it to MLB.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Velocity is important. Topping out someone like Hermsen is Brad Radke, but it could end in Nick Blackburn. Pat Dean might be another Scott Diamond, which is fine, but it just points to DRAFTING college top notch pitchers instead of Buxton and co. and SIGNING one top FA pitcher in the offseason (like Dempster). But oh well . .
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Hermsen is such a great success story this year. Strikeouts or not, he's still a possibility for the future. Not sure what he tops out at, but with a big 6'5" frame I'd be surprised if he didn't gain a little more zip in the next few months.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Jermaine still could add a few MPH on his fastball but he seems to be happy getting ground outs. As he progresses he gets better defense behind him so o only expect him to improve
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Jermaine? (If you are talking about BJ Hermsen, BJ stands for Brett Joseph)

      Good to see Bromberg in this list and good to see him with a K/9 approaching 9. Shibuya and Albers are the only 2 other SPs in the organization with K/9 approaching that benchmark. I have no problem seeing Hermsen topping this list, especially since he made the jump from high A to double A and still getting results (no strikeouts, but...). Albers could had make the list, but who do you take off...
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I usually look at WHIP and K rate for some reason.....not a lot of strikeouts here, which makes me nervous. Not sure how old all of these guys are for their level, so it's hard for me to say a lot about their futures. The WHIP is a bit high on several of them, but again, more mediocre than bad. Not one of these guys looks like a sure fire #3, let alone a #2. That part is pretty scary to me, and points out why they need to take about 100 pitchers next week, because they just don't have many/any with serious upside. If you keep passing on pitchers, "because you can get them later in the draft", this is what you end up with.

      I'll keep saying it, find a way to get AZ's 2nd or 3rd best minor league pitcher into this system....

      All that said, there are some very nice numbers and outcomes here, and these guys all pitched very well in May. I look forward to their progress.
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      GO IOWA. Way to go Hermsen. Someone else's misfortune has turned into success for him. If not for owies/promotions, he'd still be in Ft.Myers.

      One situation where a forced promotion has paid off. Looking forward to seeing some others get moving soon.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      MWW - for starters, I do tend to look some more at ERA because they're starting most of their own innings. For relievers, it is more about WHIP, but ERA and Ks and stuff matter. This is certainly not a top prospect list, although some will be solid big leaguers, it's just who did well in May. And to me, that's about getting outs, K or otherwise. Prospect lists are more about K rate and such.
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      no question that lack of K's for Hermsen/Dean are troubling......but they get guys out.
      Rather have that than a strikeout pitcher who gets knocked around.
      Beggars cant be choosers.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      great point Seth, thanks. I was trying not to muddy teh conversation with the future....either way, very nice outcomes by these guys this last month, and like I said, I think there is some opportunity here....
    1. Congo Hammer's Avatar
      Congo Hammer -
      Oh boy, none have more Ks than IPs...more pitch to impact SPs
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