Thursday, August 23, 2012

What could have been for Rene Tosoni

At this point last season, Rene Tosoni was on the Twins MLB roster and he was playing on an almost daily basis for the club. Granted that team was on it's way to one of the worst finishes in franchise history but he was still an everyday player for a big league squad. He was 25-years old at the time and he was living his dream after reaching the big leagues in his fifth season as a professional. Things were looking up for Mr. Tosoni but things have gone in the complete opposite direction for him in 2012 as the team announced that he had been removed from the 40-man roster for the club.

It has been a disastrous season for Tosoni so far this year as he has battle through multiple injures and poor play on the field. After appearing in 60 games with the Twins in 2011, Tosoni struggled at Triple-A to start the 2012 campaign by hitting .167/.267/.197 with two extra-base hits in 21 games. The organization demoted him to New Britain and his season hasn't improved much from there. With a combined 564 plate appearances between the MLB and Triple-A level, things should have gone better for Tosoni with the Rock Cats but he has struggled to the tune of batting .220/.293/.317 with 12 extra-base hits in 50 games. To say that it has been a rough year for him is a major understatement.

Tosoni was taken by the Twins as a 36th round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of British Columbia but he wouldn't appear in a game until 2007. He was a draft and follow player that went to a Junior College in Canada. As a very late round pick, the Twins couldn't have been expecting a ton from Tosoni during his professional career but he showed promise in the first few seasons with the organization. He was 20-years old by the time he started in rookie ball but he hit .300/.402/.425 in his first professional season. A broken leg would shorten the next year for Tosoni but his batting numbers went up slightly by hitting .315/.417/.445 with almost all of his games played for Fort Myers.

Before the 2009 season, Tosoni had only hit five home runs in his two seasons of play. By the end of the 2009 season, he would clobber three times that amount. He showed the ability to drive the ball with 25 doubles and four triples in his first full season as a professional. His batting average took a dip to .271 but he was still getting on base at a .360 clip and the extra power was great to see from the 22-year old. During the All-Star Break, he was named to the MLB Future's Game and he was named the MVP of that contest. He would go to the Arizona Fall League during the offseason to compete with the top prospects in the game. The future couldn't have been brighter and it was looking more and more like the outfielder could have a future with the Twins.

The 2010 season might have been where things started to go bad for Mr. Tosoni. He had a sore shoulder to start the year and he eventually was forced to have surgery on his labrum. Following his breakout season in 2009, the Twins wanted to see more out of Tosoni but he only appeared in 52 games. In limited action, he hit .270/.369/.422 with 16 extra-base hits over 185 at-bats with New Britain. When the Twins called him up during the next season, he wasn't hitting the ball all that well with Rochester but the plague of injuries meant the team wanted a look at him. Tosoni showed some ability to knock the ball out of the park but he only batted .203 over the course of his 189 plate appearances at the big league level.

After passing through waivers, it looks as if Tosoni will stay in the Twins organization. His future looked bright a few short seasons ago but that's how fast a player's stock can fall. It has been tough for him to stay healthy in his professional career and this has cost him at-bats in multiple seasons. The last two seasons have been horrendous for him in the minor leagues and it's tough to know what the future will hold for him. Twins fans and the front office of the organization are left wondering what could have been for this 26-year old outfielder.

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