Born: January 19, 1989 in Glen Waverley, Victoria, Australia
Bats: Left – Throws: Right
Signed in 2005 by the Twins as a 16 year old.
Named to Australian team for both the 2009 World Baseball Classic and 2009 Baseball World Cup.
Current Minor League Career totals:
485 Games .280 BA / .340 OBP / .318 SLG / .658 OPS / 41 SB / 224 Runs / 50 2B / 7 3B / 1 HR / 152 BB / 253 K
Current Season (New Britain Rock Cats - AA):
14 Games .231 BA / .318 OBP / .256 SLG / .575 OPS / 0 SB / 3 Runs / 1 2B / 0 3B / 0 HR / 4 BB / 6 K
I first recall seeing Australian James Beresford playing for the Beloit Snappers in 2009 during a game here in Cedar Rapids against the Kernels. He looked a lot like most of the middle infielders we see coming through the Class Low-A Midwest League… that is to say, he looked a lot like any kid you might expect to see on a local high school diamond.
He was still with the Snappers a year later when they made their first trip of the season to play the Kernels and it was during one of those games that James really caught my eye.
He hadn’t grown a lot over the offseason, but he certainly didn’t play the field like many high school kids I’d seen… or many minor leaguers I’d seen, for that matter. In a single game, I saw him turn a very difficult double play from his shortstop position and make a play deep in the hole to his right and make a leaping/turning throw to first base for an out.
Since that time, I’ve continued to keep an eye on Beresford during my annual trips to Spring Training and as he’s worked his way up the ladder within the Twins organization. He’s filled out a bit and while he definitely needs to start driving the ball harder, his batting average has been fine for a middle infielder over the past couple of seasons.
He’s off to a bit of a slow start with the stick in New Britain this season, where he’s been playing second base, and with the Twins adding Levi Michael through the draft last year and attempting to convert promising prospect Eddie Rosario in to a second baseman, James is going to have to continue stepping up his game to stay ahead of those guys in the Twins’ middle infield pecking order. But he's still only 23 years old and, from what I’ve seen, he has the work ethic to do just that. He’s also the kind of young man that it’s easy to root for.
You can follow James on Twitter at @JamesBeresford2
Let's add a couple of pictures, shall we? Beresford has had a few opportunities to suit up with the Twins in Spring Training the last couple of years. Below, he signs autographs after a game with the Pirates in Bradenton in 2011 and shows his form at 2B against the Red Sox this past March.
Attachment 716 Attachment 717
I appreciate your affinity for Beresford as he is the exact same kind of player I was through high school plus way more talent.
James has reacted well to being adopted on Monday, the 23rd.
He didn't play in the Rock Cats' game that night (the Cats have a bit of a 3-man rotation thing going on in the middle infield with Beresford, Estarlin De Los Santos and Pedro Florimon each starting a couple of games and then sitting a game out), but he went 1 for 3 and scored a run in Tuesday's win over Portland and 2 for 3 in Wednesday's loss to the same opponent.
The beauty of early season small sample sizes means that James managed to raise his BA 36 points to .267 in those two games and his on-base percentage rose a similar amount to .353. Defensively, Beresford has yet to make an error on the season.
New Britain has tonight (Thursday) off before opening a three game series Friday in Richmod against the Flying Squirrels, the Giants' AA affiliate.
If I had to put together a list of Snappers that I was most impressed with by position since I have been going to games here-Beresford would easily be the Shortstop. He fielded the position very well and had a air of confidence and command of the middle infield most of the kids playing out there don't possess. He is not going to hit many homers, but he may fill out enough to keep the defense honest in playing him.
I think that's the hope... that he develops enough gap power to take advantage of pretty decent contact skills and excellent middle infield defense. I believe he has that potential and I'm obviously rooting for him.
Just thought I would point out that James has a little hitting streak going. He's hit safely in the past 7 games in which he's played. On April 19, he was sporting a cringe-worthy .182 BA, but starting with the Rock Cats' game on April 20 and running through last night's extra-inning win over Richmond, Beresford has 10 hits in 23 ABs with 4 walks against only 3 strike outs. That's good for a .435 batting average over the course of the hitting streak and, if my math is correct, a .519 OBP.
Not bad for the guy hitting 9th in the order in all but one of those games!
The streak has raised his BA for the season up to .286 and his OBP up to .375.
Keep it up James!
I like that James is performing a bit well right now. I expected him to be struggling more than this right now. Good for him.
Originally Posted by shanewahl
He had another multi-hit game last night in the Cats' loss to Harrisburg (yes, still both hits were singles, but why quibble with that?) along with a walk and run scored. That brings his BA back up to .286 to go with a nice .384 OBP. A few extra-base hits would elevate his OPS from its current .685 level, but I'm still hopeful that some of those balls will start finding some gaps. His 10/9 strikeout/walk ratio beats the heck out of everyone else with New Britain except Danny Lehmann, who's sitting at 6/7.
Just a quick Sunday night update...
After a 1 for 3 day in Sunday's game, James' BA is .262 and his OBP is up to .361. He's still flashing the leather in the field... the next error he makes will be his first of the season!
And tonight, James shared this little Mothers Day gift with his Twitter followers... a picture of he and team mate Nathan Hanson in their pink "cancer awareness" New Britain Rock Cat Mothers Day jerseys.
(Hope you don't mind that I lifted your picture, James!)
james as a fielder
re your comments on James, he has always been an excellent fielder no matter the game level. Starting as an 8 year old he managed to perform at 2nd against U13 players in Australia. He has always shown great coverage, good hands and a very strong arm. It is pleasing to see he continues to be a good contact batter as he works his way up the Twins system, hopefully extra base power will come soon.
Things have become a bit more interesting for James since the Rock Cats lost their leadoff hitter, Wilkin Ramirez, and their primary shortstop, Pedro Florimon, to the Rochester Red Wings.
First, and most obviously, he's been getting more starts. Prior to Florimon's departure, the Cats were pretty much rotating Beresford, Florimon and Estarlin De Los Santos through the middle infield, meaning each player pretty much would play two games and then sit one out. Now, Beresford and De Los Santos are starting almost every game, with newcomer Shawn Roof being worked in to the rotation only one or two games a week.
Beyond just getting more playing time, after being used pretty much exclusively at 2B while Florimon was with the Cats, Beresford has begun getting a lot more time at shortstop. In fact, he's been at shortstop four of the past six games he's been in the line up. I like seeing that. I still believe he's one of the best defensive shortstops I've watched come through the Midwest League and until he develops a bit more gap power with the bat, his defense is going to go a long way in determining his future in with the Twins and in the game, itself.
Finally, in the absence of Ramirez, the Cats are looking for a new leadoff hitter and Beresford and De Los Santos are probably the two most likely options. Beresford's 70 point OBP advantage over De Los Santos might make him the better option. James did get an opportunity to lead off on Sunday, going 1/4 plus a walk. He also scored a run and drove one in.
The Rock Cats have understandably missed the offense provided by the players that have been promoted recently. If they're going to continue contending in the Eastern League, other players are going to have to step up their games. Let's home James is one of those players.
Here's Beresford's current stat line:
26 H, 101 AB, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, .257 BA, .345 BP, .267 SLG, .612 OPS, 6 RBI, 13 BB, 15 K, still errorless in the field.
Beresford had a bit of a Jeckyll and Hyde week, getting off to a great start Monday and Tuesday with two hits in each game, both Rock Cats wins. He struggled a bit the rest of the week, adding only one more hit in games through Saturday. The Cats themselves have finished the week with plenty of frustration, losing their past three games through Saturday all by identical 4-3 scores.
James' current stat line through Saturday, May 26:
In 39 games: 31 H, 119 AB, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, .261 BA, ..336 OBP, 277 SLG, .613 OPS, 8 RBI, 13 BB, 18 K. Beresford committed his first error of the year this week, a throwing error on Wednesday.
Mis-typed that... the Cats lost their last TWO games (the completion of a suspended game from Friday, as well as Saturday's game) by identical 4-3 scores.
As I was glancing over the recap of Wednesday night's Rock Cats victory, this note caught my eye. It occurred in the top of the 6th inning with two outs and runners on 1st and 3rd, with the New Britain leading 2-0 at the time.
James Beresford triples (1) on a line drive to right fielder Brad Glenn. Matt Rizzotti scores. Danny Lehmann scores. James Beresford out at home, left fielder Brian Van Kirk to catcher Sean Ochinko.
So... James hit his first triple of the season (to left field, no less), racking up a couple of two-out ribbies in the process. But he also got thrown out at the plate, apparently going for his first home run of the season (of the inside-the-park variety). I'd sure like to have seen a video of that!
Wonder who will hit the next XBH......Beresford or someone on this board that gets drafted on Monday.:o
Yanno I just noticed something... Beresford "tripled to right fielder Brad Glenn"... but got thrown out at home, "left fielder Brian Van Kirk to catcher Sean Ochinko." Tripled to RF and got thrown out at home by the LF. There's gotta be an interesting story behind that.
Originally Posted by Jim Crikket
Wild throw by right field, picked up by left field who got the out at home on the attempt to score on the original throw, no error though as out was made on 'the play'
I also believe James 1st and only error this season was a 'toss' throw to 2nd that was not gloved, apparently the game commentator may have seen it a bit different as far as the error was scored.
Let's be perfectly honest... it's not a particularly good sign for a team when the guy they have slotted most games as their #9 hitter in their order has the best batting average on their team. The Rock Cats are in that situation, at the moment, and that's probably one of the main reasons they've dropped a few games in a row and have dropped out of the top spot in their division standings.
But this is not a Rock Cats thread, this is a James Beresford thread... so we're going to tout the fact that James' .282 batting average is the best on his team, among active players.
The Cats have played five games thus far in June and after racking up 10 runs in their month opener on June 1, they've lost their last four games. Beresford has played in four of those five games (three at SS and one at 2B) this month, going 5 for 12 (.417) with a couple of runs scored and a couple of ribbies. Now, if only New Britain can get some of the rest of the bats going, there's still time for them to lay claim to the first-half division championship.
Great to see James with some extra bases today, in order ground out, single , double , triple and was in the hole when end of game ...was it going to be a home run?
With over 200 fielding plays for only 1 error, today he was involved in 3 double plays