Friday, August 22, 2014

Wake Me Up When September Ends: Prospect Promotions

This is the second in a series of posts looking at different parts of the Twins roster as the season winds down. Clearly, there have been some rough moments at the end of the last few seasons. The moto of those years might have been "Wake Me Up When September Ends" but the hope is that this year will be a little different. Overall, there seems to be a little hope on the horizon. That hope might mean you won't want to sleep through this September.

Earlier in the week, I looked at how this year's pitching staff seems to offer more hope than the last few Septembers. I'd rather see Kyle Gibson, Tommy Milone, and Trevor May on the mound over the likes of Cole De Vries, Andrew Albers, and PJ Walters. There might be some lumps with the new trio of starters but they could be part of the next winning team in Minnesota.

The key to any organizational improvement is the play of young cost-effective players. The last few Septembers haven't exactly produced a cornucopia of everyday players but this year's crew could be the key to getting the Twins back on the right track.

2014: Trevor May, Kennys Vargas, Danny Santana
There was a lot of fans calling for Trevor May to make his debut. He's struggled in his first handful of appearances but the Twins aren't fighting for a playoff spot. May can take his lumps this season and be better prepared for the beginning of next year. Kennys Vargas was considered a top 10 Twins prospect entering this season but he had one of his best minor league seasons at the Double-A level. Since getting called up, he's hit for a higher average than expected and there have still been some signs of power. Danny Santana might be the biggest surprise this season. He's turned into a spark plug for the Twins offense and he's been doing it while learning a new defense position.

2013: Oswaldo Arcia, Josmil Pinto, Kyle Gibson
Last year's trio of rookies have all played a significant role on the 2014 Twins team. Oswaldo Arcia is in the midst of quite the power surge over the last handful of games. He might be finally figuring out how to hit at the big league level and that's certainly a good thing for the Twins. Josmil Pinto made the Twins team out of spring training but he hasn't been heard from since the beginning of June. Minnesota signed Kurt Suzuki to a contract extension so Pinto is going to have to use his bat to get back to the big leagues. Kyle Gibson was rough at the end of last year but he has proven himself useful in 2014. Behind Phil Hughes, he's been the second best starter on the team and he could end up fitting into the middle of the rotation for the next handful of years.

2012: Chris Parmelee, Eduardo Escobar, Chris Herrmann
This was a down year for younger players being promoted and getting playing time. Brian Dozier had played a chunk of the season at shortstop but he didn't get called up for September. Chris Parmelee had been a hit the cover off the ball as a September call-up the previous season but that didn't last. He's collected over 200 at-bats for the third straight season but he doesn't seem to have a long-term place with the club. Eduardo Escobar was brought over from Chicago in the Francisco Liriano trade and he's had quite the season this year. He's fifth in the AL in doubles and fourth in range factor for shortstops. Chris Herrmann has played parts of the last three seasons in Minnesota but he's not really considered much of a prospect any more. He offers some defensive versatility but not much of an offensive punch.

Other prospects like Alex Meyer or Jorge Polanco could get a look this September but the trio of Santana, Vargas, and May are certainly enough to keep you from falling asleep.

Don't sleep through this September because the future might be playing right in front of you.

No comments: