|This picture of Justin Morneau hangs in a suite at New Britain Stadium.|
The Rock Cats do a great job of paying tribute to the Twins' greats
that have come and gone from this stadium.
I try not to read much at all into small sample sizes, but there are several players that have had noteworthy performances thus far. I'll start with offense. One player I've been very impressed with is infielder James Beresford. He had to fight for playing time the first week or so, but has demonstrated that he deserves to be the Rock Cats' starting second baseman. In 36 at-bats, Beresford has a .333/.444/.389 slash line, including 3 stolen bases. There's not much power to speak of, but Beresford can be successful as a singles hitter with a good eye (7 walks already) and above-average speed. Additionally, Beresford is an excellent defender. This is Beresford's second full season in Connecticut, and he's 24 years old. If he keeps the batting average up, and continues to demonstrate a good eye, I think a promotion to AAA is in his future. As I've said before, aside from starting pitching, if there's one area where Twins prospects should quickly advance in the system, it's the middle infield.
Daniel Ortiz has been tearing the cover off the ball. With a .345/.391/.638 line in 58 at-bats, Ortiz has impressed. He has 3 home runs, 6 doubles, a triple, and 13 RBIs. He does lead the Rock Cats with 16 Ks, so there is room for improvement, but it's fair to state that Ortiz, 23 years old, has exceeded expectations, and has helped this club make up for the absence of players like Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Arcia in the lineup.
The final hitter I'm going to highlight for the moment is Josmil Pinto. He ended 2012 with the Rock Cats, looking good in 47 at-bats. Currently with a .295/.394/.574 line, Pinto leads New Britain with 4 home runs and 14 RBIs. He's also hit safely in 9 of his last 10 games, including 4 multi-hit games.
On the whole, I've been impressed with the offense. They haven't quite replicated the Arcia/Hicks/Herrmann/Colabello power from 2012, but players like Beresford, Ortiz, Pinto, and even Antoan Richardson, have helped to keep the team in games.
Starting pitching has been exciting. Right now -- and probably only until the All-Star break -- the Rock Cats have both Alex Meyer and Trevor May, both top 10 prospects in the Twins' organization. Both have been as advertised. Meyer has a 1-0 record, a 1.69 ERA, and has struck out 19 and walked 7 in 16 innings. His WHIP is 1.25. Rock Cats broadcaster Jeff Dooley noted that Meyer hit 98 mph on the radar gun in one of his starts. He's doing exactly what we expect: missing bats. Hopefully, the control will improve just a little, and he'll be in AAA by July.
Trevor May has an 0-1 record, and a 3.14 ERA, but has 19 Ks and 10 walks in 14 and 1/3 innings. His WHIP is 1.60. Yes, there are control issues, but there's no reason that those can't be ironed out. May, who is 23, has a promising future, and he, too, can be out of New Britain later this season if he gets his control under control. As a fan, it's exciting to see Meyer's and May's (the new M & M Boys???) K totals. Twins fans should be excited.
The Rock Cats are currently on the road in Portland, Maine, and lost a tough one, 12-1, last night. I'll be in attendance and reporting when the return to New Britain Stadium next weekend, so expect some good content in the near future.