By La Velle
Had a ball Saturday night at the 25th Annual Hot Stove League Baseball Banquet held near downtown Minneapolis. An impressive group of speakers, including Clark Griffith. Mike Veeck, Tony Oliva and Bill, `Spaceman,’ Lee, were there.
It was my first time experiencing Bill Lee. Wow. During his time on the stage, he talked about Shelby Foote, Alaskan baseball, Victor Conte, Peter Rose, Bert Blyleven, Woodstock, Don Zimmer, Holstein cows, Jim Perry, Claude Brochu, Top Hat, Jethro Tull, Dick Williams, Gene Mauch and Perdue Chickens. And those are the parts I remembered. Once again, Wow.
In light of the major offseason additions to the Twins’ farm system, I’ve decided to not only update my top ten prospects list but have expanded it to a top 20. I’ve also made adjustments to correct some boneheaded decisions.
1. Tyler Robertson, LHP, Beloit (A).
2. Deolis Guerra, RHP St. Luice (A) – really could be No. 1
3. Carlos Gomez, OF Mets
4. Joe Benson, OF, Beloit (A)
5. Jeff Manship, RHP, Fort Myers (A).
6. Ben Revere, OF, Fort Myers (rookie). Early in pro career but Twins are excited about him.
7. Kevin Mulvey, RHP, New Orleans (AAA)
8. Wilson Ramos, C, Beloit (A). One to watch
9. Brian Duensing, LHP, Rochester (AAA).
10. Anthony Swarzak, RHP New Britain (AA) – Will jump up fast if he learns from drug suspension.
11. Nick Blackburn, RHP, Twins.
12. Trevor Plouffe, SS, Rochester (AAA).
13. Danny Valencia, 3B, Fort Myers (A).
14. Phil Humber, RHP, Mets.
15. Christopher Parmalee, OF, Beloit (A).
16. Jason Pridie, OF, Durham (AAA).
17. Alexi Casilla, IF, Twins. – could make big jump if he smooths out rough edges in game.
18. Deibinson Romero, 3B, Elizabethton (rookie) – very encouraging debut last year.
19. Denard Span, OF, Rochester (AAA).
20. Matt Moses, 3B, Rochester (AAA). Still is a fine hitting prospect. Candidate for a position switch.
On the cusp: Ryan Mullins, LHP; Oswaldo Sosa, RHP; Johan Pino, RHP; Alex Burnett, RHP; Mike McCardell, RHP; Danny Rams, C; Dustin Martin, OF; David Winfree, 3B; Brandon Roberts, OF.
Have fun with that.
I may have one more story for you this week. Other than that, see you next week. The baseball department usually shuts down between the end of the winter meetings through TwinsFest, but the high-profile Santana case threw a wrench in everything. It’s time to lay low as much as possible until Feb. 16 when the 60-hour work weeks begin in Fort Myers, Fla.