You are in the hands of Brian Lee Rivers every day 10am-3pm on KJ-108. This is working man's radio with a guy at the controls that REALLY knows his rock! BLR brings you Classic and new rock that you can listen to all day long. Plus, at high noon, the Electric Lunch; Win lunch from the Red Pepper of Grand Forks with the Lost Lyric Competition, Name That Album, and more! This REALLY is radio that you can lock into and stay with all day long!
I’ve got two boys that I’m raising and so far they have picked up none of my bad habits. Now that I’m a family man, I left the rock band thing that I did when I was younger. I spent age 17 to 35 or so moonlighting as lead vocalist with a little keyboard playing to help fill out the sound with different bands over those years, Ranging from high school garage bands to serious regional bands that toured a little and to local bands that got it’s ya-ya’s out in small clubs around the area. I was never close to the big time and never expected to get close; I just had a good time doing it. I realized I had to quit because my kids were young and demanding and it was too hard to function as a parent on Sunday morning when you got back from Warroad at . God, do I miss the band thing, but my life with my kids is beyond words and I have no regrets, just a little longing that would probably go away a couple of weeks later if I got back into it again.
My life is Family, Work and Youth Sports right now and it’s been blur.
The Twins were off last night but that's OK... We have plenty to talk about in the minor leagues. With the Twins off... FSN broadcasted a Cedar Rapids Kernals Game. I assume that many did not watch the game and that's understandable but this broadcast was special for a couple of reasons.
1. Tom Kelly was providing in depth commentary about players and the farm system overall. TK was worth the viewing alone in my opinion but I'm a baseball geek and love this stuff.
2. Byron Buxton
Byron Buxton was last year's first round selection out of a Georgia High School. Buxton was the 2nd pick overall and he has been fantastic playing single A ball for Cedar Rapids this year.
This televised game was his debut for Twins fans and he didn't disapoint. He collected 3 hits including a bases loaded double and a triple and he made a jaw dropping diving catch in CF.
The Twins farm system is starting to bear fruit and it isn't a stretch to say that the Twins may have the best farm system in all of baseball led by two superstars. That would be Byron Buxton and recently promoted to AA 3B Migual Sano. Between those two players I don't know who's better but Buxton looks like Mike Trout so if you have a Mike Trout type player in Buxton and you can't decide who is better between him and Sano. That speaks volumes about what the Twins have knocking on the door.
Here is what you need to know.
Byron Buxton: Serious 5 tool player... The 5 Tools are Hitting for Average, Hitting for Power, Speed, Defense and Arm. All 5 tools grade out as well above average. Buxton is just 19 years old out of Baxley Georgia... He is in his first full year of pro baseball. So Far at Cedar Rapids... 269 at bats... .350 Batting Average... 7 Home Runs and 8 Triples to go along with 26 Stolen Bases.
It has been said that he is the fastest baseball player in all of baseball. He has hit a home run in Cedar Rapids that struck a house across the street. His range in CF is off the charts with his problem being that he tends to be so fast that he out runs flyballs forcing himself to reach back to catch balls after he runs past them. In case you are wondering... That is not a problem at all. It's something that makes baseball evaluators laugh and marvel at.
Buxton has proven himself by dominating in Low A ball and he will be moving up to the High A level in Ft. Myers very soon. Ft. Myers will have to be replenished because they just moved up 3 of their best players to AA and Buxton would help Ft. Myers out.
Miguel Sano: The top power hitter in all of minor league baseball. 20 Years old from the Dominican Republic. Sano was actually signed as a 16 year old in 2009 and has been in the Twins System for awhile now. He was a nice sized 16 year old when he signed but he kept growing and is now standing monster sized at 6-3 245 pounds with an athletic build.
Sano was recently promoted over the weekend from High A Ft. Myers to AA New Britain and current Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe had to hear that giant footstep behind him when the move to New Britain was announced. It probably left a Jurassic Park type ripple in Trevor's water glass. Sano had dominated at High A... 243 at bats... .330 Batting Average... 33 of his 68 hits were extra bases with 16 home runs. Not just 16 home runs... Many of those homers were 450 foot plus no doubters.
It hasn't been totally smooth for Sano in the Twins system. The Power was always there but everybody in the minors knows about his power and pitchers were not throwing anything to him out of fear and respect and it worked because the young Sano would be over anxious and chase it anyway and it led to a lot of strikeouts and bad contact. He has learned to be more patient and the results are starting to show. Sano isn't a big fat guy power hitter. He's built like a linebacker and he can run a little as well stealing 9 bases in Ft. Myers. Think Mike Stanton of the Marlins playing 3B. He is reported to have a great arm from 3B but the thing he has to work on the most is defense. He still makes a lot of errors at 3B. He made 42 errors last year and he has shown improvement this year but still has committed 12 and that's still too many.
So when will we see them in a Twins uniform... Not an easy answer because the Twins don't plan things chronologically. They are patient and say that when they dominate a level... They will move them up so when we see them in a Twins Uniform is up to them.
If I had to guess... Assuming they keep dominating.
Sano might see the final minor league stop at AAA late this year or start there next year and probably start at AAA next year and show up in Minnesota next year around June or earlier if an injury happens. There is very little doubt that he will be starting for the Twins in 2015 at the latest but I think it will be next year.
Buxton will most likely finish the year at Ft. Myers and start at AA New Britain next year. Depending on Aaron Hicks getting thing straightened out with the big club. We could see Buxton skip AAA and Join Sano with the Club in June. If Hicks starts performing... The Twins may delay Buxton and let him move up to AAA for more seasoning. Making 2015 the year for his debut.
The Beautiful thing is that Sano and Buxton are two of the top prospects in all of baseball but it doesn't stop there.
Here are some other names you should know.
Oswaldo Arcia: 22 years old... Minnesota Twins OF... He's been up and was sent back down to make some adjustments. He was called back up yesterday and I assume he will be in the starting lineup for the Twins tonight. In my opinion... He immediately becomes the 2nd best power threat in the current Twins lineup after Josh Willingham. He has performed very well against minor league pitching at all levels and he needs to adjust to major league pitching for the final step. I think you can add Arcia to Sano and Buxton to the list of talented young players playing for the Twins for a long time.
Kyle Gibson: 25 Years old... Starting Pitcher AAA Rochester... He will be in Minnesota Very Soon. Next Twin Starter to Fall apart and Gibson will replace him. He's been the top pitching prospect with the Twins for quite some time. He has great stuff but he has been injury prone. He spent most of last year on the shelf with Tommy John surgery. He has been inconsistent this year either being completely dominent or complete dominated. Because of the bad starts his ERA sits at a respectable 3.16... Without the bad starts his numbers would be redicously good and he has started to string a few great starts together and will be with the Twins very soon. Pelfrey and Walters are the top candidates to be replaced by Gibson but someone is going to be replaced by Gibson fairly soon.
Alex Meyer: 23 Years old... Starting Pitcher AA New Britain... Alex was who we recieved in the Denard Span trade with Washington... He was the top pitcher in the Nationals system at the time of the trade and he is probably the top pitcher ahead of Gibson in the Twins system right now. He's 6 foot 9 and he throws hard... 73 Strikeouts in 61 innings in AA... ERA is a little inflated at 3.69 and that's because he still needs work on his mechanics and control. A 6 foot 9 frame can be hard to keep together. Stictly a guess but he could start next year at AAA and if all goes well... He could be up with the rotation around June next year providing he makes progress with his control.
Eddie Rosario: 21 Years old... 2B AA New Britain... Eddie was also called up with Miguel Sano to AA New Britain over the weekend. Like Sano he has to continue to improve the defensive side of his game. He is a converted OF and is still learning the nuances of playing 2B. However, he can hit and hit well. In 207 at bats... He was hitting .329 in Ft. Myers when moved to AA along with 6 home runs. I'd guess that he spends the rest of the year at AA... If he adjusts to AA pitching... He will start in Rochester next year at AAA and we may see him in Minnesota as an injury replacement next year. Maybe he will be given the starting 2B in 2015. Eddie he has to keep hitting but he for sure has to improve his defense. Major League Managers are not going to mess around with struggling defense in the middle infield. If he can't adapt to 2B he may get moved back to the OF and that will delay his arrival and block him because the Twins are loaded in the OF with Hicks, Arcia, Buxton and Parmelee all young and all outfielders.
Jose Berrios: 19 years old... Starting Pitcher Low A Cedar Rapids... 50 strikeouts in 42 innings... ERA 3.61... Very Young and Very Talented... He still has a lot of things to work on but the potential is there. I'd guess next year he will be in High A at Ft. Myers... 2015 He should be in AA... 2016 Rochester if he keeps progressing. Maybe 2017 in Minnesota... So we got a ways to wait.
Trevor May: 23 Years old... Starting Pitcher AA New Britain. Trevor May along with Vance Worley were acquired by the Twins from the Phillies for Ben Revere. Trevor has incredible stuff but he has been struggling real hard with his control and this isn't a new devolopment. He's been struggling for a couple of years now. His ERA is 3.92 right now in AA but it would be much lower with better control. Trevor May will advance quickly once he straightens out his mechanics and pitch location. Until he does... He will advance slowly. No Way of guessing which way that will go.
Kohl Stewart 18 Years old... Kohl hasn't signed yet but he would be crazy to turn down the 4.5 million bonus and risk injury playing backup QB for Texas A&M. Kohl is projected so high that he becomes the #4 prospect in the Twins organization (behind Sano, Buxton and possibly Meyer) before he even throws a pitch for us. He's coming out of high school and there is so much work that needs to be done... I don't think you can expect Kohl in Minnesota until 2017 at the very earliest. Unless he just blows everyone away right out of the gate and keeps doing it. If that happens... Maybe 2016 but he would have to look like the greatest 21 year old pitcher ever.
And let's not forget about Vance Worley. Vance Worley is still only 25 years old... He was brutal with the Twins this year but he was decent with the Phillies as a 23 and 24 year old... He was once considered a real good prospect and I don't think we should look at this year and say that he's done. He's not... He just has to find his sinker again and let it start sinking. Instead of sinking himself.
The Future looks great for our Twins but none of these players are money in the bank. It's probable money in the bank.