Starting Pitchers: Liam Hendriks, Daniel Osterbrock, Miguel Munoz, Edgar Ibarra, Brad Stillings
I’m guessing a bit on the starters because there are a few guys who could go either way (and because Tom Stuifbergen, who I would have anticipated being in the rotation, has a relief appearance under his belt already in this short season). Hendriks, Osterbrock, and Stillings all spent time primarily in Beloit last year. Hendriks had the best performance of the bunch, with a 3.52 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. That’s probably why he got the opening day start. Osterbrock and Stillings both struggled with + 5.00 ERA’s. and + 1.50 WHIP’s. Munoz and Ibarra come up from Elizabethton, with Ibarra and his 2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 10.1 IP having been particularly effective.
Bullpen: Steven Blevins, Kane Holbrooks, Peter Kennelly, Tom Stuifbergen, Matthew Tone, Ben Tootle, Dakota Watts
The Beloit bullpen is almost entirely revamped from 2010, with only Steven Blevins having spent any real time in a Snappers uniform in 2009. Blevins posted a 3.52/1.37 last season and, with his experience in A ball, should continue to perform reasonably well this season. The rest of the bunch all played primarily in Elizabethton a year ago. Tootle and Watts both had 0.00 ERA’s and sub-1.00 WHIP’s in limited action. Tone had a 1.31 ERA and 1.01 WHIP with an 11.8 K/9 in 34.1 IP’s. Stuifbergen, meanwhile, had a 3.41 ERA and 1.08 WHIP as a starter. Interesting bunch, but obviously success in Rookie Ball doesn’t always translate to full season leagues.
Catchers: Josmil Pinto, Daniel Rams, Tobias Streich
2007 second round pick Rams split last season between Elizabethton and Beloit, and had starkly different seasons with each. In Elizabethton, Rams hit .355/1234. In Beloit, he went .229/737. Now, Rams is back for a return engagement in Beloit to see if he can hit effectively in the less hitter friendly environs of the Midwest League. He is joined by 2009 5th round pick Streich, who hit .224/739 in Elizabethton after signing. They are joined by Josmil Pinto, who last played in 2008 in the Gulf Coast League. who spent 2009 in E-Town and hit .332/997 with 13 dingers.
Infielders: James Beresford, Brian Dozier, Michael Gonzales, Anderson Hidalgo, Derek McCallum, Reggie Williams
Michael Gonzales should get the bulk of time at 1B. He comes up from Elizabethton having put together a solid .298/826 in 2009. Second base should be shared mostly between former Golden Gopher McCallum, who hit .242/695 in Elizabethton after being drafted in ’09 and Reggie Williams, who will also play some third, and who also comes up from Elizabethton (with the exception of 10 AB’s he had in Beloit in ’09) with a .250/778 line. Beresford and Dozier will hold down SS, with Beresford getting a return engagement in Beloit after posting a .289/655 in 450 AB’s and Dozier getting a promotion from Elizabethton after putting together a very solid .347/833. Anderson Hidalgo, who will play mostly at 3B, also comes up from Elizabethton after putting together a .285/830 season.
Outfielders: Aaron Hicks, Steven Liddle, Wang-Wei Lin, Angel Morales
It seems likely that Hicks will be one of the most watched prospects in the entire Twins system in 2010 because of the high esteem in which he is held by prospect-followers. Hicks, the Twins first rounder in 2008, played in Beloit last year and hit .251/735. Fellow ’09 Snapper alum Angel Morales, a third round pick in ’07, also returns in 2010 after a season in which he hit .266/784 in 376 AB’s. They are joined by 2009 15th round pick Steven Liddle, who hit .360/961 in 50 AB’s in Elizabethton. Also, Taiwanese prospect Wang-Wei Lin makes the jump to Beloit after three partial seasons with limited AB’s in the Gulf Coast League. Last season, Lin hit .364/977 in just 33 AB’s. Obviously the Twins feel that he’s now familiar enough with the American game to get some action in a full-season league.