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Thread: Levi Michael - Adopt-A-Prospect Project

  1. #1

    Levi Michael - Adopt-A-Prospect Project

    On April 23rd, 2012 at 10:19am, my first official prospect adoption was finalized! I hope the adoption papers are on their way!
    Levi Burt Michael

    Born on February 9th, 1991 in Lexington, NC
    Size at birth - small
    Height: 5'10"
    Weight: 180 lbs
    Position: SS (drafted as SS)
    Bats: Switch
    Throws: Right
    High School: North Davidson in Lexington, NC
    College: University of North Carolina Tar Heels (2009-11)
    Major: Exercise & Sports Science
    Acquired: 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft - Pick #30 of the 1st round
    Career Stats at UNC:
    Year Avg. GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SLG% BB HBP SO GDP OB% SF SH SB-ATT PO A E FLD%
    2009 .290 65-65 262 54 76 15 4 13 57 138 .527 26 14 56 5 .377 6 2 5-9 102 179 15 .949
    2010 .346 60-60 214 76 74 14 4 9 54 123 .575 44 17 26 4 .480 6 4 20-22 38 99 13 .913
    Total .315 125-125 476 130 150 29 8 22 111 261 .548 70 31 82 9 .426 12 6 25-31 140 278 28 .937

    Year AVG GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SLG% BB HBP SO GDP OB% SF SH SB-ATT PO A E FLD%
    2011 .289 65-65 242 53 70 14 3 5 48 105 .434 49 15 47 5 .434 3 0 15-16 99 154 8 .969




    This is what I wrote about him when he was drafted:
    The 2011 Minnesota Twins might’ve addressed their biggest need with the 30th pick in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft by taking University of North Carolina Junior SS Levi Michael. In his 3rd season with UNC, the switch hitting infielder is currently batting .297 with an on-base percentage of .444 while slugging .455 with 14 doubles, 3 triples, 5 HRs and 48 RBIs. He’s stolen 15 bases on 16 attempts and has 47 walks and 41 strikeouts. He’s had 8 errors in the 60 games he’s played so far this season. North Carolina is the 3rd overall seed in the NCAA Baseball Tournament. UNC made it to the Super Regionals and will host Stanford in a best of 3 series starting Friday at 2pm Central time on ESPN.

    It sounds like Levi Michael has great makeup as he finished high school early in January of his senior year so he could enroll at UNC and be their starting 2nd baseman by the time the season began in February of 2009. That’s pretty amazing for an 18-year-old kid. He finished that season with a .290/.377/.527 line while hitting 15 doubles, 4 triples, 13 HRs and 57 RBIs with 26 walks and 56 strikeouts. He was 5 for 9 in stolen base attempts and had 15 errors in his 65 games at second base.

    He got even better in his sophomore season. Levi had to move over to 3rd base for 59 of the 60 games played throughout the college season and he ended up with 13 errors and a .913 fielding percentage. He made up for it with the bat, his plate discipline and his speed. He batted .346/.480/.575 with 14 doubles, 4 triples, 9 HRs and 54 RBIs with 44 walks and 26 strikeouts. He also stole 20 bases in 22 attempts.

    It should be fun to watch Levi Michael progress through the Twins system. He has the versatility to play either middle infield spot although a lot of scouts think he will end up at second base.
    Last edited by TwinsTakes-RD; 04-24-2012 at 06:27 PM.



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  2. #2
    Levi played all over the infield in his career at North Carolina, playing 2nd base his freshman year, 3rd base his sophomore year and finally landing at SS in his junior year. That should give him some versatility but hopefully he can stick at SS. Levi struggled through his final season at UNC with an ankle injury that kept him from making his pro debut until the 2012 season. He signed just hours before the deadline on August 15th, 2011 for $1.175 million which might've also led to not playing in 2011.

    Levi's a nice prospect because he knows how to get on base, plays solid defense, can steal some bases and has some power in the bat. In an exhibition game against the Twins on April 4th, Levi had a fielding error in the first inning but made up for it when he went 3-for-4 with a 2b and an rbi in the 8-7 loss.

    He started his professional career on April 5th, 2012 with the Fort Myers Miracle of the Florida State League. In his first game, he hit 9th in the batting order (he's also wearing #9) and went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout and an error in the field. It took all of 2 games to move Levi to the 2-hole in the batting order and he responded with his first professional hit in the bottom of the 8th inning, a single off of C.J. Riefenhauser. He would later score off a Lance Ray double. Through 16 games so far this season, Levi is hitting just .228 with a .338 OBP and a .619 OPS. He did have a career night on Saturday though going 2-4 with 2 rbis and his first career home run in a 8-6 win over Bradenton. The solo home run came off of Hunter Strickland in the 1st inning on an 0-2 pitch!
    Last edited by TwinsTakes-RD; 04-24-2012 at 06:07 PM.



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  3. #3
    An article posted after the exhibition game against the Twins on April 5th - http://www.news-press.com/article/20...sey=nav%7Chead

    Paragraph of note that I didn't know about:

    After playing on an ankle injury throughout his junior year at North Carolina, he developed overcompensation injuries to his groin and abductor muscles. So after getting taken with the 30th pick by the Twins, he spent his first year as a pro in a strenuous rehab program.
    He rehabbed in the offseason and felt good going into opening day!



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  4. #4
    Levi Michael hit his first professional 2-bagger last night! In his 26th game and his 97th at-bat (111th plate appearance) and his most recent plate appearance since it was in the bottom of the 7th at Hammond Stadium, Levi hit a double to left field scoring Daniel Santana! Levi scored in the next at-bat when Oswaldo Arcia doubled to center field and that would be the last run scored in a 13 to 3 Miracle win over the Lakeland Flying Tigers (A Detroit Tigers affiliate). That victory improves the Miracle's record to 11-19, last place in the South Division of the Florida State League.

    Levi is now 22 for 97 so he's hitting .227/.321/.631 (AVG/OBP/OPS) with 1 double, 2 triples, 1 home run and 6 RBIs with 14 walks and 21 strikeouts and he's also stolen a base in his only stolen base attempt. On the defensive side, he has 5 errors on the season.

    His stats page says his OBP is .321 and he's slugging .309 and his OPS is .631 but one of them is wrong since .321 + .309 is .630! Weird? No big deal, just thought that was strange.
    Last edited by TwinsTakes-RD; 05-07-2012 at 03:04 AM.



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  5. #5
    Levi Michael hit the 2nd HR of his minor league career last night, a 2-run shot to right field in the top of the 9th inning that brought the Miracle to within 1 run at 5-4 but the Miracle couldn't pull off the late inning comeback and ended up losing by that same 5-4 score. Hopefully that HR can be the start of a good run for the Twins 2011 1st round pick.

    It's been a rough beginning to professional baseball for Levi. So far, through 44 games, Levi is hitting .204/.305/.583 (AVG/OBP/OPS) with 33 hits in 162 at bats. He has 2 doubles, 2 triples and now 2 home runs. He's stolen one base in one attempt and he has 24 walks and has struck out 35 times.

    Obviously those aren't great numbers but there's a learning curve for a young player in his first minor league season. That being said, how long should the Twins leave Levi Michael at the High-A level? It's good for a player to go through some struggles just to see how he deals with it and how he comes out of it but early in a player's career, is an organization playing with fire by letting him struggle for so long? Can this ruin a player like Levi Michael? He's undoubtedly got pretty good makeup being he graduated early so he could join North Carolina early and he played great. There's really no reason to demote him other than he's struggling. There's nobody in Beloit knocking on the door for a promotion either.

    He's played in 44 of 51 games so they've given Levi some days off and they've moved him around in the lineup.

    Believe it or not, there are some good things to take from Levi's stats. For example, with runners in scoring position (RISP), he's hitting .294/.357/.828 with 10 hits in 34 at-bats with a double, a triple, a home run, 13 RBIs, 4 walks and 5 strikeouts. Defensively, his fielding percentage is .962 through 44 games with 8 errors in 212 chances. That includes 4 errors in 21 games at 2B (.960) and 4 errors in 24 games at SS (.964).

    I'm sorry I haven't posted more about Levi but there really hasn't been much to write about. I will post his stats every week from now on.

    GO MIRACLE!
    Last edited by TwinsTakes-RD; 06-20-2012 at 10:15 PM.



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  6. #6
    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    Many of us in Midwest League territory hoped initially that we'd get a chance to see an infield at Beloit consisting of Sano, Rosario and Michael, but the Twins announced rather early this spring that Levi would start the year in Fort Myers. Maybe he'd have been better off starting in Beloit after all. Then again, the MWL is not exactly known as a hittters league, so who knows? Hope he figures it out soon and gets on track.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

    ~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~

  7. #7
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    I figured he'd do well in A ball, just with the experience from college and his general skill level we read about before the draft. So far, not great. But, I wouldn't worry yet. It's very early.
    Lighten up Francis....

  8. #8
    There are some bright spots but you have to look pretty hard to find them. I'm not worried about him. Just waiting on him to go on a tear!

    Is it a big deal for baseball players to reach the end of a month if they are struggling? Is it like, "hey, it's a new month! I can forget about the last 20 or so games and move on."?



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  9. #9
    Levi has been nothing short of a complete bust in his first 2 months.
    Could he be turning it around in June???
    10gms .313/.429/.438 in 32ABs 2 doubles triple 6rbi 7bb 7so

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
    Levi has been nothing short of a complete bust in his first 2 months.
    Could he be turning it around in June???
    10gms .313/.429/.438 in 32ABs 2 doubles triple 6rbi 7bb 7so
    Complete bust is a bit of reach for a 21 yr old in A+. He's also managed to draw 31 walks against 45 strike outs. That's pretty good. Just give him time.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Complete bust is a bit of reach for a 21 yr old in A+. He's also managed to draw 31 walks against 45 strike outs. That's pretty good. Just give him time.
    of course give him time....I didnt say give up on him but could anyone find anything remotely positive about his first 2 months??
    3 months left & his first 10 gms of the month were positive.

  12. #12
    The Twins think a lot of Levi to start his career at High-A ball. Did they error in putting him at that level or was it something they saw in him that they thought he'd figure it out eventually? Is this decent run in June the beginning of him figuring out High-A pitching and how to play the professional game?

    Also, what do you look for as a best and worst case scenario (barring injuries) for Levi's first professional season?

    Best case - finishing the season in Ft. Myers while showing some more power with extra base hits and being on the verge of promotion to New Britain.

    Worst case - struggling through the rest of the High-A season and having to repeat High-A next season and/or being demoted to Beloit at some point.

    Should we be ok with either of those and maybe even a case between those where he starts to show some promise and has to repeat High-A next season and doesn't get to AA New Britain until 2014?



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  13. #13
    3 singles in 4 ABs Wed afternoon.
    Since June 1....36gms 37/129 for a .287/.374/.372 21runs 7doubles 2triples 14rbi 3hbp 15bb 21K

  14. #14
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    Yeah, he seems to be settling in now.

  15. #15
    doin fine, BUT still doesnt seem like anything that resembles a first round pick/prospect yet. Isnt even outplaying Daniel Santana in Ft Myers.
    Better than it was in April/May tho

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
    doin fine, BUT still doesnt seem like anything that resembles a first round pick/prospect yet. Isnt even outplaying Daniel Santana in Ft Myers.
    Better than it was in April/May tho
    Oh, I'm not so sure his few months don't resemble a 1st rd pick. There were several players from 4 yr college programs drafted around him that haven't made it to A+ yet. Other guys are struggling in A+ at 21, just like him. I like his plate discipline and, obviously, as a MI, he'll never hit for power but I think he is, more or less, comparable to other recent late first round draft picks.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Oh, I'm not so sure his few months don't resemble a 1st rd pick. There were several players from 4 yr college programs drafted around him that haven't made it to A+ yet. Other guys are struggling in A+ at 21, just like him. I like his plate discipline and, obviously, as a MI, he'll never hit for power but I think he is, more or less, comparable to other recent late first round draft picks.
    But does a middle infielder HAVE to have no power/speed to be a middle infielder?? Isnt that a older philosiphy, or more so NOT a first round pick...2nd/3rd fine but I want plus tools from a first rounder.
    I love plate discipline and that is encouraging. For power also, Im not talking purely HRs but XBHs.
    Florida State Lg is sometimes hard to judge but a guy like Dozier was able to have 35xbh & 23 stls in 142gms there to Levi's 15 & 3 in 81gms.....tho Levi's 9 in last 36 is even to Doz's. I get that Brian was 23 when he got there, but wasnt a first round pick either.
    Just expect more from a first rounder, but it may be that 21 yr old Daniel Santana IS hitting in FSL (82gms 24xbh 12sb .287bave .400slgg no walks tho) so I dont like the age excuse as much
    Like I said, movin in the right direction is good

  18. #18
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    I think a college shortstop, who is supposed to be able to stick in the MI, with power isn't usually available at 30. IIRC, most scouts thought that Michael could develop some gap power. In any event, it seems like a normal 30ish pick to me.

  19. #19
    What were his comps in the scouting reports coming out of the draft?



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  20. #20
    Levi's July was hampered by a mid month 4/34 stretch
    27gms 105ABs .267/.366/.324 12runs 4doubles triple 5rbi 19k 12bb 2/2sb

    Since June 1
    48gms 178AB .275/.364/.343 25runs 8doubles 2triples 16rbi 30k 20bb 3/3sb

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