We are about half way into the 2008 season, so what better time than now to launch a new series? In this new annual feature I will rank/list the top ten current players on the Minnesota Twins and all their minor league affiliates for every position. All statistics are current as of June 26th, 2008, and all rankings are based on where the player is in the organization.
Mauer is in his fifth year as a Minnesota Twin. During that time he has been one of the most consistent batters in the entire organization. His career average is .315, and he has only two seasons when his average dipped below .300; .294 in 2005 and .293 in 2007. Mauer has never been known as a power hitter as his high in home runs came in 2006 when he had 13. There is no doubt that he is the best catcher in this organization. Actually, there is little doubt that he is one of the best catchers in the league.
2. Mike Redmond, Minnesota Twins
Redmond is a quality backup catcher in MLB. He is losing the skill he once had as he is 37 years old, but is still very effective. He usually takes over for Mauer on day games after night games. Redmond has never had more than four home runs in a single season during his 11 year career, but is a great role player and is a good mentor for younger players. Redmond also provides some humor to the clubhouse.
3. Jose Morales, Rochester Red Wings
Morales flew up nearly everyone’s board by hitting .311/.366/.399 with the Rochester Red Wings last year. He hasn’t been the fastest mover through the organization, spending two years in rookie ball, one in single A, one and a half in high A, one and a half in AA, and 2008 is his second year as a Red Wing. He is ready and waiting for Redmond to retire so he can assume that coveted backup role.
4. Jeff Christy, Rochester Red Wings
Christy was called up to Rochester a few days ago. He is rapidly moving his way up among the organization, spending 2006 in the Rookie League, high A, and double A ball. In 2007 he was promoted mid-season to New Britain, and again, he was called up to Rochester a few days ago. After the loss of Eli Whiteside, the Red Wings found themselves with one catcher, and they brought up Christy to back Morales up.
Butera came aboard last year from the New York Mets in the Castillo trade. He is currently hitting .233/.325/.360. He has never hit above .235, and doesn’t drive in many runs. Butera isn’t very fast either, only have four stolen base attempts in his career. He will never be a great hitter, but supposedly has the game smarts and defensive ability to thrive in the majors some day.
6. Rodolfo Palacios, New Britain Rock Cats
Palacios is currently backing up Butera in New Britain. He was called up from Fort Meyers a few days ago, where he had a season line of .231/.275/.262. He doesn’t have much power at all, as he has never hit a home run or triple is his professional career. He is not very fast, as he only has one stolen base attempt in his career, which he failed.
7. Wilson Ramos, Fort Myers Miracle
Much is being made of Ramos and his potential as a major league catcher. He was called up after last season to the Fort Meyers Miracle and has since posted a .254/.315/.405 line through 74 games. He should move his way through the organization very fast and should be a great major leaguer.
8. Allan de San Miguel, Fort Myers Miracle
De San Miguel was called up from Beloit a few days ago. He now sits at Fort Meyers, sharing starts with Ramos. He doesn’t have the best arm, catching only two of the ten people who attempted to steal a base off him while with Beloit. He doesn’t have the best bat, either. His line is currently .123/.224/.215.
9. Jair Fernandez, Beloit Snappers
Fernandez has a good line of .283/.333/.370 so far in low A ball. He will likely be promoted at the end of this year to Fort Meyers. He currently has 20 RBI through 36 games, and doesn’t strike out much. He, at age 21, has a great future ahead of him if he can stay on top of low A pitching.
10. Greg Yerisch, Beloit Snappers
Yersich does not have the best bat, and that may keep him down in low A Beloit for a while. His line currently sits at .195/.258/.325. He doesn’t have the best arm in the world, and he strikes out a lot. He tore up rookie league pitching last year, though, hitting .311/.373/.409. Unless he can prove that he can hit low A pitching, he will not be moved up.