Your place for Minnesota Twins and New Britain Rock Cats coverage, analysis and opinion.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Solid Weekend for the Rock Cats

The Rock Cats had a successful road trip to Harrisburg over the weekend, taking 3 of 4 from the Senators. The offense showed up in all of the wins, scoring 13, 5, and 8 runs. New Britain was shut out, 5-0, in the loss. New Britain is still 2.5 games back of the Trenton Thunder in their division, but if the season ended today, they would make the playoffs. As I've mentioned recently, most impact pitchers have already been promoted to AAA by this point in the season, so for the Rock Cats to continue to win during this final month or so of the season, it's going to be up to the offense.

Luckily, offense hasn't been in short supply. Let's take a look at how some of the players are doing.

Oswaldo Arcia (in 113 AA at-bats): .319/.381/.540, 6 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 32 RBIs, 10 BB, 29K. In just over a month, Arcia has probably moved up a couple spots on my Twins top 10 prospect list. About the only negative thing you can say about him is that he is striking out too often. But, then again, he's also only 21 years old, and is basically tearing up AA. He hit a walk-off home run last week, and his stock is on the rise.

Aaron Hicks: .276/.372/.436, 12 2B, 6 3B, 9 HR, 43 RBIs, 51 BB, 85 K, 22 SB (9 CS). Hicks, the "forgotten" top prospect going into 2012, has put together a very solid season. Defensively, there's no question that he is ready for the major leagues, and offensively he has increasingly become a catalyst for this team. At the beginning of the season, Hicks was often batting 5th in the order, but he has become the leadoff hitter since Arcia's promotion. This move seems to make sense -- Hicks draws a lot of walks, and has great speed. The fact that he hits for some power is a bonus.

Chris Herrmann: .269/.344/.394, 21 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 38 RBIs, 41 BB, 63 K. Herrmann's average isn't quite where I'd like to see it, but he, too, has been solid and has shown some pop in the bat. He is good behind the plate, and can play a decent left field, as well. Has he done enough, right now, for a promotion (forget for the sake of this discussion that Danny Lehmann was recently promoted to AAA for some crazy reason)? I'm not sure. I'd like to see Herrmann get a September call-up, and he has to be added to the 40-man roster after this season.

Chris Colabello: .276/.339/.480, 29 2B, 1 3B, 13 HR, 70 RBIs, 26 BB, 63 K. Colabello has been nothing if not a pleasant surprise. Initially signed to provide what might be characterized as "minor league depth," he has done that, and then some. He currently leads the Eastern League in both doubles and RBIs, and has really picked things up after a slump a couple months ago saw his average down close to .220. I'm not sure what the future holds for Colabello. Certainly, he's behind Justin Morneau and Chris Parmelee on the Twins' first base depth chart, but it's almost crazy to think that I'd be writing about Colabello being deserving of a promotion to AAA when, just a few months ago, he seemed likely to be nothing more than a roster-filler for New Britain.

The Rock Cats are back home tonight for 3 games against the Binghamton Mets, then hit the road for a stretch against the Reading Phillies and the Bowie Baysox. Be sure to check back here for updates!

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