Seth Stohs over at SethSpeaks.net has put together a series of posts this week where bloggers have picked out who they think will shine in the Twins Minor Leagues this year. You can check out all of the picks from the other writers over at Seth's site, but here are my picks and a little about each player.
Breakout Hitter (Upper Levels): Chris Parmelee, 1B Parmelee had a good enough season last year that the Twins placed him on their 40-man roster for the 2011 campaign. He has shown steady improvement in the minor leagues and this could be the year that he breaks out of his shell. The power numbers have been there and he continues to improve in other areas of the game. Big things are in order for Parmelee this season.
Hendriks was well on his way to being the break-out pitcher of the lower levels last season with the Twins. He fits the mold of a "Twins Pitcher" by throwing strikes and keeping the ball down in the zone. It is going to be great to see what kind of season he can have without an injury interrupting the middle of his year.
Runner-Up: Kyle Waldrop, RHP
Breakout Hitter (Lower Levels): Oswald Arcia, OF
One of the Twins rising starts from the Dominican Republic, Arcia had a great season in 2010 and that should transfer to the coming year. He seems to be a pure hitter that can spray pitches to every part of the field. At only 19-years-old, he still has plenty of time to develop a more muscular physique and continue to add power.
Runner-Up: Niko Goodrum, SS
Breakout Pitcher (Lower Levels): Alex Wimmers, RHP
Many are comparing Wimmers to last year's break-out prospect, Kyle Gibson. Wimmers has the chance to make some big strides this year and it will be interesting to see if he can advance all the way to AAA like Gibson did in 2010. Since he doesn't have an overpowering fastball, keep an eye on his ability to strike out batters as moves through the Twins system.
Runner-Up: Adrian Salcedo, RHP
Minor League Hitter of the Year: Chris Parmelee, 1B
There are so many good players in the Twins minor league system that it is tough to decide on which player will shine above the rest. There are many players in my top prospect list that I feel will have great seasons this year. Parmelee seems to be on the right track with the path he is on in the farm system. He seems poised to make strides this season that will be hard for the organization to ignore. He is ready to make the jump and that advancement will lead him to this award.
Runner-Up: Aaron Hicks, OF
Minor League Pitcher of the Year: Liam Hendriks, RHP
Depending on how the season is going at the major league level, the Twins could be digging deep into their pitching prospect pool at the major league level. This award is a tough call for me between Hendriks and Wimmers. If Wimmers can be successful at three different levels for the Twins, the award could be his for the taking. Hendriks will be pitching against tougher competition for the entire season and his success against those players will be what puts him over the top.