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  • Twins Minor League Awards - July

    As I was beginning my trek to Beloit last week, I realized that it was already into August. I have no idea where the entire month of July went, but it was already time to present awards for the minor league hitter, starting pitcher and relief pitcher of the month. To keep things brief, this is a little late, so I’m going to consolidate the reports. Along with the three “winners,” I’ll give a top five as well as post some honorable mentions, if appropriate.

    I apologize for the delay, but it is important for me to post this as there were a lot of strong performances. In fact, the player selected as the Eastern League Player of the Month finished third on this list. We’ll start with some honorable mentions, followed by choices five through two. It will then culminate with the July hitter of the month. We’ll start with the hitters before moving on to the pitchers.

    Honorable Mention
    • Rochester Brian Dinkelman 27-81 (.333/.449/.580 – .965), 7-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 7-RBI
    • Rochester Matt Carson 26-84 (.310/.370/.500 - .870) 1-2B, 0-3B, 5-HR, 14-RBI
    • New Britain Chris Colabello 38-113 (.336/.400/.487 – 887), 11-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 20 RBI
    • New Britain Deibinson Romero 33-104 (.317/.385/.500 - .885), 7-2B, 0-3B, 4-HR, 21-RBI
    • Beloit Miguel Sano 21-76 (.276/.426/.461 - .886), 3-2B, 1-3B, 3-HR, 21-RBI
    • Elizabethton Romy Jimenez 25-67 (.373/.475/.597 – 1.072), 9-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 22-RBI
    • Elizabethton Candido Pimentel 36-88 (.409/.464/.523 - .987), 5-2B, 1-3B, 1-3B, 14-RBI
    • Elizabethton Jorge Polanco 22-71 (.310/.417/.507 - .924), 9-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 9-RBI
    • Elizabethton Adam Walker 30-101 (.297/.355/.564 - .919), 3-2B, 1-3B, 7-HR, 26-RBI

    • #5 – New Britain Aaron Hicks 35-110 (.318/.433/.518 - .951), 7-2B, 3-3B, 3-HR, 11-RBI
    • #4 – Ft. Myers Josmil Pinto 31-79 (.392/.437/.582 – 1.019), 4-2B, 1-3B, 3-HR, 10-RBI
    • #3 – New Britain Oswaldo Arcia 34-96 (.354/.426/.583 – 1.009), 6-2B, 2-3B, 4-HR, 25-RBI
    • #2 – Rochester Chris Parmelee 27-81 (.333/.449/.580 – 1.029), 5-2B, 0-3B, 5-HR, 17-RBI

    The July Minnesota Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is...

    Elizabethton Twins – OF Max Kepler
    (32-96) .333/.439/.688 (1.126) with 7-2B, 3-3B, 7-HR, 28 RBI

    Kepler was signed by the Twins as a 16-year-old from Berlin, Germany, in July of 2009. He was immediately touted as the top prospect ever signed out of Europe. It has been a slow progression for the lefty-hitting outfielder. He posted a .689 OPS in the GCL in 210. Last year in Elizabethton, he hit .262 with 11 doubles, three triples and a homer. He produced solid numbers, but it made sense for such a toolsy player to go back to the Appalachian League. After a very slow start at the beginning of the E-Town season, Kepler started hitting very well in July, as you can see from the numbers above. At one point, he hit four home runs in five games and seven homers in 11 games. After four hits last night, he is now hitting .297 on the season with eight homers. He is 6-4 and 180 pounds and hopes to continue to fill out and add more power, but he is also a very speedy player.


    Honorable Mention

    • Rochester Esmerling Vasquez – 6 G, 4 GS, 2-1, 3.60 ERA, 25 IP, 20 H, 5 BB, 24 K

    • #5 – Rochester Liam Hendriks – 5 GS, 2-2, 3.09 ERA, 32 IP, 29 H, 8 BB, 19 K
    • #4 – New Britain BJ Hermsen – 5 GS, 4-1, 2.30 ERA, 31.1 IP, 29 H, 9 BB, 21 K
    • #3 – Elizabethton Hudson Boyd – 5 GS, 2-1, 1.82 ERA, 24.2 IP, 22 H, 7 BB, 17 K
    • #2 – Rochester Jeff Manship – 6 GS, 2-1, 1.67 ERA, 27 IP, 29 H, 12 BB, 20 K

    The July Minnesota Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is...

    Beloit –
    LHP Jason Wheeler - 5 GS, 4-0, 2.03 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 31 IP, 26 H, 12 BB, 22 K

    For the second straight month, a left-handed starter for the Beloit Snappers is our choice for starting pitcher of the month. Last month, he was David Hurlbut. This month, it is 2011 8th round pick Jason Wheeler. Wheeler has been one of the more consistent starting pitchers in the organization. Overall, he is 12-5 with a 3.35 ERA. In 22 starts and 126.2 innings, he has allowed 133 hits, walked 35 and struck out 96 batters. He is listed at 6-8 and 265. He stands out on the field due to his height, but he appears to be in very good shape. He does not throw hard, touching 90, but he does have some very good off-speed pitches that keep batters off balance. It’s surprising to many that the 21 year old from Loyola Marymount has not yet been promoted to Ft. Myers.


    Honorable Mention

    • #4 – New Britain Bruce Pugh – 9 G, 15 IP, 9 H, 7 BB, 13 K, 1-1, 1.20 ERA, 3 Saves
    • #3 – Beloit Cole Johnson – 10 G, 17.1 IP, 9 H, 5 BB, 20 K, 1-1, 1.04 ERA
    • #2 – Rochester Luis Perdomo – 9 G, 16.1 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 16 K, 1-0, 0.55 ERA, 7 Saves

    The July Minnesota Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is...

    Ft. Myers –
    AJ Achter – 9 G, 16.1 IP, 12 H, 1 BB, 18 K, 1-1, 0.55 ERA, 4 Saves

    Last month’s relief pitcher of the month, Michael Tonkin, moved up to Ft. Myers about two weeks before AJ Achter did. Achter was pitching very well in Beloit, striking out 49 and walking just 12 in 40 innings. He was promoted to Ft. Myers where he has been even better. Achter was the Twins 46th round pick in 2010 out of Michigan State. Last year at Beloit, he was used exclusively as a starter. This year, he has been much better in the bullpen and seems to have found a role suited well for him!

    There you have it. The top hitters and pitchers in the Twins system for the month of July. Now it’s time to debate. What do you think? Please feel free to discuss.

    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Awards - July started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      This is encouraging.

      Do you think that Kepler should be promoted to Beloit?
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      No love for Kenys? I know he just played in 9 games in July, but he did more in those 9 games than more players in the organization did in 30
    1. Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
      Cap'n Piranha -
      Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
      This is encouraging.

      Do you think that Kepler should be promoted to Beloit?
      I would keep Kepler in E-Town so he can experience being a key cog in a playoff run. Let him start next year in Beloit along with Buxton, Goodrum, and Walker.
    1. MWLFan's Avatar
      MWLFan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Piranha View Post
      I would keep Kepler in E-Town so he can experience being a key cog in a playoff run. Let him start next year in Beloit along with Buxton, Goodrum, and Walker.

      Beloit will be in the Playoffs also with Sano, Rosario, Vargas, Williams and Wheeler. It would be great to have him up.
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      This was a fun read, Seth. Thinking back to last season, I wonder if we had this many strong one-month performances all year!
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
      This is encouraging.

      Do you think that Kepler should be promoted to Beloit?
      I've honestly been surprised he didn't play with Beloit this year. I realize he had to play with somebody's roster during ST, but he played with Beloit's while I was down there this year and he stood out during in-game action more than anybody (far more). Wasn't really all that impressed with Sano or Rosario's in game action then (other things about them impressed though, obviously), but Kepler impressed mightily. Here's one of his hits I caught on tape: http://www.twitpic.com/8zswq4 (Every time I saw him bat, he hit something like this. Every time.)

      Since then, he basically been my favorite prospect. It was kind of frustrating having to wait until June for him to play. What I like best about his season with E-Town so far (besides the power that's shown up), is he's walked just as many times as he's struck out....
    1. Paul's Avatar
      Paul -
      "...(Every time I saw him bat, he hit something like this. Every time.)

      Since then, he basically been my favorite prospect..."

      When the Twins drafted him, at 16 yrs old, I sought out videos of the kid. Two that I found were startling and very memorable. In fact it's fair to say they were so startling my whole universe shifted at that point. The first was him taking BP. Launching ball after ball. He exhibited a swing reminiscent of Griffey. So smooth, graceful and powerful it looked lazy. I thought incredible swing for a kid that young from a country where BB was about eighteenth down on the list of sports kids were interested in. Then I found a video of him with a couple of game at bats. He showed a swing like Maurer's. Hands inside, short to the ball with great balance. From my point of view, showing either style would've been impressive. But to demonstrate competence at 2 distinct and viable styles, at 16 with his background, was something I would not have believed possible if I hadn't seen it. I knew then that the kid was given a gift, and if he didn't fall off the rails the Twins had a monster on their hands. From everthing I've read since, it sounds like the kids got fantastic makeup. IMO, he's the surest thing the Twins have in the minors.

      Seth, thanks for the work that goes into this stuff. I greatly appreciate it.
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Paul - Not sure if you're mocking me or being serious...maybe a little of both?! But he's the first Twins prospect In my years of following them where watching him play in person drastically altered my opinion of him from what I had formed reading and watching elsewhere. In my opinion, he's legit, and should be up much higher on peoples Top 10 prospect lists next year.
    1. Paul's Avatar
      Paul -
      Steve, I was not mocking you. I was 100% sincere. I do believe he is the surest thing in the system.

      I'm sorry you got the impression you did. I try and catch myself from making disparaging or belittling comments about, or to, other commenters. (Except my filter seems to go offline when it is a "return in kind" situation.)

      Anyway, I value your firsthand observation. Your opinion carries weight with me.
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      haha, no worries. Something while reading it just made me wonder, but the sincerity is there as well. I started a "Max Kepler" thread not too long after I watched him (before the "adopt-a-prospect" series was started), trying to see if anyone else would jump on the bandwagon. Now perhaps they are.
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