Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs is a product planner for Marvin Windows & Doors by day, and a Minnesota Twins blogger by night. His Twins blog, located at SethSpeaks.net, discusses all topics Twins-related, with an emphasis on the Twins minor league system. Read more Seth Stohs.

TwinsCentric Prospectus: Early Dividends

Posted by: Seth Stohs Updated: April 22, 2013 - 10:16 PM

We are already about 15 games into the minor league season. It’s not a lot of games, but it is just over 10% of the season’s schedule, even if there have been a lot of weather-related postponements and double headers. It’s too early to call any of the numbers more than a Small Sample Size, but it’s always fun to take an early look at Twins prospects.

Below, you will find my preseason Top 30 Minnesota Twins prospects along with their statistics through Sunday, along with some of my thoughts and observations on many of the players. It’s exciting to see so many of those top prospects have started the season strong.  

(Note this is my personal prospect ranking, use for entertainment purposes – and for learning about Twins prospects – only.)

1.       Miguel Sano – Ft. Myers Miracle - .375/.438/.734 (1.173) with 5-2B, 0-3B, 6-HR, 16-RBI in 64 AB.

2.       Byron Buxton – Cedar Rapids Kernels - .415/.523/.642 (1.165) with 2-2B, 2-3B, 2-HR, 10-RBI in 53 AB. Also 6-10 in SB attempts.

3.       Oswaldo Arcia – Rochester Red Wings - .394/.474/.727 (1.201) with 2-2B, 3-HR, 8-RBI. Also 1-9 in 3 games with the Minnesota Twins.

4.       Alex Meyer – New Britain Rock Cats – 1-0, 1.69 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 16 IP, 13 H, 7 BB, 19 K

These top four prospects would most likely fit into an “Elite” category. These are the guys who should be in Top 50 lists by any publication. All four of them are off to spectacular starts. Sano and Buxton are like Prospects 1a and 1b. Arcia and Meyer would be #1 prospects in several organizations.

5.       Aaron Hicks – Minnesota Twins – .059/.200/.059 (.259) with 4-RBI.

6.       Kyle Gibson – Rochester Red Wings – 0-3, 4.43 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 20.1 IP, 19 H, 7 BB, 19 K

7.       Eddie Rosario – Ft. Myers Miracle – .352/.385/.507 (.892) with 5-2B, 2-HR, 11-RBI in 71 AB

8.       J.O. Berrios – Extended Spring Training –

This would be the second tier of prospects. They aren’t quite in the elite category, but they are highly regarded in the industry. Hicks’s struggles at the onset of his big league career have been chronicled, but there is no reason to believe that he will not adjust. Gibson is still working on his gradual return from Tommy John surgery and is really just building up strength. Rosario made a name for himself in Puerto Rico this offseason, and earned his spot on that country’s WBC team. He impressed in Ft. Myers in spring training and he is off to a fast start with the Miracle. Berrios is also from Puerto Rico and despite his youth, he too was on the Puerto Rican WBC team. Because of that, he spent the first three weeks of the season in Ft. Myers, in Extended Spring Training. He made his first Cedar Rapids start on Monday night and gave up two runs in five innings. He sat between 92 and 94 with his fastball and touched 96. He got a couple of strikeouts on a strong breaking ball.

9.       Trevor May – New Britain Rock Cats – 0-1, 3.14 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 13 H, 10 BB, 19 K

10.   Max Kepler – Extended Spring Training Disabled List –

Rounding out the Top 10, these prospects have high ceilings yet have something to overcome. For May, it is his ability to consistently throw strikes. He has the ‘stuff,’ but if he can’t control it, it will be hard to him to get big league hitters out. Kepler is yet to play because of an elbow injury. He’s still young and raw, but incredibly talented. He has to stay on the field.

11.   Joe Benson – Rochester Red Wings – .170/.235/.191 (.427) with 1-2B, 0-HR, 1-RBI (Benson has been bothered by his wrist early in the season and is off to a slow start. He’s primarily playing left field although he has already played all three outfield positions).

12.   Kennys Vargas – Ft. Myers Miracle – .238/.294/.460 (.754) with 5-2B, 3-HR, 12-RBI in 63 AB (Vargas just looks like David Ortiz. He’s fun-loving, and strong. He has a ton of power, but has a lot of work to do to advance. The talent is there!)

13.   Danny Santana – New Britain Rock Cats – .250/.267/.319 (.586) with 1-2B, 2-3B, 0-HR, 7 RBI in 72 AB. (Santana has struggled some in the early season with the bat. That can be attributed to small sample size. However, one concern would be the eight errors he already has committed at shortstop.)

14.   Travis Harrison – Cedar Rapids Kernels – .291/.349/.527 (.876) with 7-2B, 2-HR, 8-RBI in 55 AB (Harrison has tremendous power potential, potential that is still yet to develop. He certainly looks the part with a strong, balanced swing. He has five errors on the season.)

15.   Alex Wimmers – Disabled List –  (Alex Wimmers had Tommy John surgery last August, so he will likely be getting on a mound in another 4-6 weeks for the first time. It’s possible that he could start rehabbing when the GCL season begins.)

16.   Adam Walker – Cedar Rapids Kernels – .264/.328/.358 (.686) with 2-2B, 1-HR, 9-RBI in 53 AB (Walker has as much power as anyone in the organization, including Miguel Sano. HE is a big, strong man. Last night, he added a long blast for his second home run. His father was a replacement player for the Vikings back in the ‘80s.)

17.   Chris Herrmann – Rochester Red Wings – .175/.233/.200 (.433) with 1-2B, 2-RBI, in 40 AB (Herrmann is struggling early in the season, in his first games at the AAA level. He has primarily been catching early in the season, though he has the versatility to play other positions as well.)

18.   BJ Hermsen – New Britain Rock Cats – 0-1, 9.64 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, 4.2 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K (Hermsen went to big league spring training. After being optioned, he was sidelined by an intercostal strain. He made just his first start of the season on Sunday for the Rock Cats. )

19.   Jorge Polanco – Cedar Rapids Kernels – .300/.323/.417 (.739) with 4-2B, 1-HR, 11-RBI in 60 AB (Polanco had a good offensive numbers a year ago in Elizabethton, but I wasn’t able to move him higher up this list. Whenever I update this list, Polanco will move up. Having seen him play, he was a pleasant surprise. Specifically, he was great to see him swing and hit. I now am a believer in his potential with the bat. He has a ways to go, but he has a real chance.)

20.   Luke Bard – Extended Spring Training Disabled List – (Bard is in extended spring training fighting some arm soreness. When he is able to reach the pitch count limit, he will move up to Cedar Rapids, or possibly right to Ft. Myers.)

21.   Adrian Salcedo – Ft. Myers  Miracle – 1-0, 5.63 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 8 IP, 10 H, 0 BB, 8 K (a former Top 10 prospect, he had a lost 2012 season due to elbow and shoulder injuries. He did not have surgery, and he is being brought along slowly. So far, he has been used only out of the bullpen.)

22.   Mason Melotakis – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 1-1, 2.84 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 12 H, 7 BB, 11 K (Melotakis was one of the 2012 draft picks who was a college reliever but will get an opportunity to start in 2013. He has had mixed results through three starts. He’s limited runs, though he has given up a lot of base runners. He throws 94 from the left-side, so he’s got a chance.)

23.   Nate Roberts – Disabled List – (Roberts had a good year at Beloit last year, and then he went to Arizona and led the AFL in Batting Average, On-Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage. Unfortunately, he tore his meniscus while preparing for the season and is on the disabled list awaiting clearance to play.)

24.   Michael Tonkin – New Britain Rock Cats – 1-0, 6.23 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 8.2 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 7 K (Tonkin took a big step forward in 2012, and with a big fastball/slider combination, he has a chance to move up quickly in 2013. Off to a slow start so far in New Britain.)

25.   Pedro Hernandez – Minnesota Twins – 0-0, 3.86 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 4 K (The lefty had a very good camp with the Twins but he went back to Rochester to stretch out and start. He never did pitch for the Red Wings as he was needed for a spot start with the Twins. He has stuck.)

26.   Danny Ortiz – New Britain Rock Cats – .313/.356/.582 (.938) with 7-2B, 1-3B, 3-HR, 13-RBI in 67 AB (Often overlooked among all of the Twins outfield prospects, but Ortiz can hit. The Puerto Rican is off to a fast start with the Rock Cats. He can play all three positions. He’s not a big guy, but he packs a big punch.)

27.   Niko Goodrum – Cedar Rapids Kernels – .298/.400/.383 (.783) with 4-2B, 0-HR, 5-RBI in 47 AB (Niko is a tremendous athlete who is finally growing into his frame. He plays a very good shortstop. He has greatly improved his swing from the left-side. He’s got a chance to keep moving up.)

28.   Matt Summers – Ft. Myers Miracle – 1-1, 4.30 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 16 H, 5 BB, 5 K (Summers certainly looks the part of potential starter. He has the motion and the delivery. He has stuff and touches 93 at times. Not sure why he doesn’t get many strikeouts as a starter.)

29.   Hudson Boyd – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 1-1, 5.14 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 14.0 IP, 13 H, 7 BB, 12 K (Boyd is young, and has a lot to improve, but seeing him in person, you can see why the team would make him a supplemental first-round pick. He’s got a good arm, a good changeup and a good curveball. He’ll develop and has a chance to be good.)

30.   Levi Michael – Disabled List – (Michael struggled throughout his first pro season in 2012. In 2013, he has fought a shoulder injury. In his stead, former Gopher and Minnetonka native AJ Pettersen has run with the shortstop job in Ft. Myers, hitting .360 on the season and hitting at the top of the order. Michael is likely out another week or two, and when he’s healthy, he’ll likely be starting.)
 

Feel free to ask questions about these 30 prospects or any other prospect in the Twins farm system. 

 

Head over to Twins Daily for just a ton of new content each day on the Twins and their minor league system. Join the discussion in the Forums. 

 

Follow Twins Daily and their writers on Twitter: Twins Daily, John Bonnes, Nick Nelson, Parker Hageman, Seth Stohs

Trade Target Team Profile: St. Louis Cardinals

Posted by: Seth Stohs Updated: July 19, 2012 - 10:36 AM

The Big Picture
The defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals are currently 47-45, 4.5 games behind both the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates. They are also 4.5 games behind those two teams in the Wild Card race, but just three games back of the Atlanta Braves and 1.5 games behind the Dodgers for the second Wild Card. The team traditionally is not afraid to make a splash at the trade deadline. Last year, it was a deadline deal that is often credited for propelling the team to the playoffs late in the season. They won’t be afraid to pull the trigger on another deal this July.

Carlos Beltran is playing like an MVP. Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman continue to rake. David Freese became a household name in the playoffs last year and has broken out for real this season. This is a good, deep team that frankly, should not be outside of the current playoff picture looking in.

Why They Will Trade With the Twins The Cardinals are blessed with one of baseball’s best offenses. Their pitching is pretty middle-of-the-pack, and their bullpen could use some proven, quality arms. The Red Birds are 12th in baseball with a 3.89 ERA, 15th in WHIP at 1.31, and 22nd in opponent batting average, at .260. Their starters have generally been just find, providing the team with 55 Quality Starts, which ranks sixth in the game. Adam Wainright (7-10, 4.42, 1.29), Kyle Lohse (9-2, 2.80, 1.10), Lance Lynn (11-4, 3.27, 1.21), and Jake Westbrook (7-8, 3.82, 1.33) make up four-fifths of the starting rotation. Jaime Garcia is most likely out until at least mid-August. He had an elbow injury in May and is now out with a shoulder injury. Just last week, ace Chris Carpenter had shoulder surgery and is out for the year. Joe Kelly has stepped in and is 1-2 with a 2.75 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP, but I am certain that the Cardinals would be on the lookout for an impact starter. In fact, they are rumored to be kicking the tires on Mariners LHP Jason Vargas.

Considering that several of the other big name pitchers who are likely on the trade block are from the NL Central (Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza of the Cubs, and Zach Greinke and Shawn Marcum of the Brewers), it certainly helps make a case for the Cardinals and Twins having some in-depth conversations surrounding lefty Francisco Liriano. Liriano has been pitching as well as anyone in baseball of late. He could also balance out their rotation a little bit by giving them a left-handed starting pitcher.

The Cardinals bullpen after Jason Motte and righty Mitchell Boggs is kind of a mess. If the Twins are willing to deal the likes of Glen Perkins or Jared Burton, they could get back quite a haul at this time. That said, someone like Casey Fien, who has come up recently as a minor league veteran and pitched very well and shown a lot of life on his pitches, might be someone of interest in a much more minor deal.

Why They Won't Trade With the Twins
Tom Brunansky for Tommy Herr.

OK, that deal was horrible, but it was made 24 years ago, so I think we should be able to move past it by now.

The Cardinals offense is very strong. They rank 2nd in MLB in batting average (.274), 2nd in on-base percentage (.340), 7th in slugging percentage (.478) and 5th in runs scored. With Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran playing the corner outfield spots, and John Joy posting an OBP around .360, they are one team that doesn't need to go after an outfielder. The only players among their regulars that are currently posting sub-.700 OPS are 2B Daniel Descalso and All Star SS Rafael Furcal (.699). Frankly, the Twins don't have a better option for them at that position.

Conclusion
The Cardinals are used to being in the playoffs and the teams they are chasing may not have better teams on paper. This team may just need to infuse one piece to go on a run. They may also see the Joey Votto injury and think that now is the time to go for it. They will never say it, but I'm sure that Mike Matheny and his ball players would love to get back to the playoffs and show that they can do it without manager Tony LaRussa or all-time great Albert Pujols.

And it turns out that the Cardinals have a few high-ceiling pitching prospects that, so sad, aren't quite ready to take a spot in the rotation. If you want to get a little excited about the return that Liriano could fetch from the Cardinals, stop by Twins Daily where Seth lists some pretty exciting pitching talent the Twins might be able to acquire from the Cardinals.

On More Clap (for Zach and the Jackets)

Posted by: Seth Stohs Updated: March 19, 2011 - 9:30 AM

March is tournament time. I may be the only person in the country who did not fill out a single NCAA Basketball bracket, but millions are watching it intently. On the high school level, the state tournaments are winding down. Next week, when the Minnesota High School Boys Basketball tournament gets started, Perham will be making its first appearance in school history. On Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. at Williams Arena, the Yellowjackets will play the Section 7 AA champions (Virginia and Moose Lake-Willow River play Saturday night at 7:00 at the University of Minnesota-Duluth).

It has been an amazing season for the Perham Yellowjackets. They are now 28-1. Their lone loss came in overtime to perennial power Pelican Rapids. In the sub-section semi-final game last Saturday, they played without one of their key players Jordan Bruhn, who was out sick. The team needed overtime to finish a 65-59 win over Hawley. On Tuesday, the sixth-ranked Jackets beat #4 ranked Pequot Lakes 64-48 to win its first Sub-Section title.

On Friday night, Thief River Falls took a 2-0 lead over Perham. That would be the Prowlers only lead of the entire game. At one point, the Yellowjackets held a 14 point lead, but Thief River Falls cut the lead as low as three points in the second half. The Jackets allowed the game to stay tight because of missed free throws. At one point, they were 4-16 from the line. However, they hit some big free throws down the stretch and held on for the 55-44 win in the Section 8AA final.

It has been an amazing season for the Yellowjackets, and it has been a trying season for the team as well.

In late January, I wrote a Your Voices article called One Clap for Zach. In it, I wrote about a 17 year old Perham boys basketball player named Zach Gabbard who had a cardiac arrest on the court in a game against Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton on January 20.

Since that time, he has gone through a lot. Here is a brief timeline of highlights since then (according to his Caring Bridge site):

  • He was transferred from Fargo to the University of Minnesota hospital on January 23.
  • January 27 - signs of improvement, but still in critical condition
  • January 28 - early morning emergency heart surgery
  • February 2 - heart full working on it's own. Still on a ventilator and the dialysis machine.
  • February 4 - In their fourth attempt, they were able to close his chest.
  • February 6 - he was able to respond to nurse's request to squeeze hand.
  • February 9 - he begins occupational therapy.
  • February 10 - his breathing tube was removed and he as able to sit up in a chair.
  • February 11 - a "minor" heart surgery was done when a clot was found in a vital spot.
  • February 13 - he was able to be visited by Coach Cresap and some teammates
  • February 14 - his ventilator was removed and he smiled.
  • February 22 - sat up on his bed under his own power.
  • February 24 - With little help, he stood up by his bed and moved three feet forward and three feet back.
  • February 24 - Doctors now believe that a respiratory virus he had in December was the cause of his collapse.
  • February 26 - He was moved from the Cardio ICU to the Intermediate ICU
  • February 27 - with help from speech therapy, he is able to utter loud whispers.
  • March 2 - No more kidney dialysis.
  • March 3 - An internal defribulator was inserted into his chest.
  • March 5 - Zach moved from U of MN hospital to Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul.

Since being at Bethesda, he has continued to make strides in his physical and speech therapy. On Tuesday night, when Perham had taken a large lead over Pequot Lakes with two minutes to go, Zach uttered, "Yes! We're playing at Concordia on Friday I want to go to the game in a wheelchair!"

Of course, he was not able to go to the game last night in Moorhead. However, with the help of Arvig Communications (ACS), he and his mom were able to watch Friday night's game on a special internet feed. I imagine he was very excited for his teammates, friend and coach. Seeing the black and gold One Clap for Zach t-shirts had to feel good. Seeing his team make it to the state tournament. I can only imagine what was going through his mind.

On Tuesday, his teammates will all come to see him. Will Zach Gabbard be allowed to go to Williams Arena on Wednesday night to watch them make their state tournament appearance? I really, really hope so!

Congrats to Coach Cresap

I played basketball at Perham during the 1991/92 and 1992/93 seasons (Yes, I'm old!), and in those two seasons, we went a combined 3-39. Things did not get better for a couple of years. Not until Coach Dave Cresap came to Perham and changed the basketball mentality of the town.

To gain a perspective of what Coach Cresap has done at Perham, I asked one of his former players to help. Cory Hepola played for Perham in the mid-and-late '90s. He is now a sports anchor for WROC-TV in Rochester, New York, where he is asked to cover many teams including the Twins' AAA Affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings, the Buffalo Bills and Syracuse sports. He wanted to share his thoughts on the Perham coach:

No Coach deserves this success more than Dave Cresap.

When Cresap arrived in Perham in 1995, the Yellowjacket basketball program was coming off a 1 win season. He quickly turned the program into a competitive one, producing double-digit win seasons through endless enthusiasm and a passion for his student-athletes.. 

It certainly hasn't been easy. I know he thought he might never win a playoff game. And, at times - including last year - he's been harshly criticized for playing time or his motivational tactics.

But, Cresap always stayed positive and continued to outwork everyone.

Most importantly to him, Cresap kept that same passion for his student-athletes. Under his competitive exterior is a compassionate, caring, and sensitive man. He'll do anything for his players, and his goal is to prepare them to succeed on the court, in the classroom, and later in life.

I played for Cresap during the late 90's - it wasn't always easy. But, his valuable lessons of hard work and persistence have had a strong influence on my life. Even today we stay in close contact; he's still my mentor, only now I consider him a good friend.

All of Cresap's lessons have an overriding theme: that nothing worthwhile in life ever comes easy. No, it doesn't, which is why leading the Perham boys basketball team to its first State Tournament in school history is going to taste extra sweet.

Coach Cresap is assisted by Brian Schwantz and Brent Hanson.

When he suffered his cardiac arrest in late January, Gabbard had been Perham's leading scorer in three of the team's four previous games. He was arguably their best player. This run to the state tournament (and that 28-1 record) is a testiment to the rest of the 16 and 17 year olds on the Perham roster. 6-7 Mark Schumacher and guard Jordan Bruhn lead the way while they get major contributions from Sam Stratton, Nick Tobkin and Jordan Cresap. This is a true  team, brought together in one purpose.

The story of the 2010/11 Perham Yellowjackets basketball team has been a very interesting one, to say the least. They have experienced the lowest of lows, and the highest of highs. With their win on Friday night, the story continues for one more week. If you are a fan of the high school tournament, and want a team to cheer for next week, this might be your choice.

The story of Zach Gabbard this year has certainly seen the lowest of lows, but a lot of really hard work on his part and encouragement from his family, friends, the basketball community and many people that do not even know him, that story continues. Thankfully, it is a story that will have many chapters to come.

Twins Travel

Posted by: Seth Stohs Updated: February 21, 2011 - 12:02 PM

In 2010, Target Field became the place to be for Twins fans. The picturesque stadium became more than most Twins fans ever could have hoped for. If you have yet to see Target Field in person, I certainly recommend it and assume most in the chat room would agree.

Right now, as the Twin Cities are shoveling out from yet another snow downfall (and another one coming later this week?), the place to be for Twins fans is Ft. Myers, Florida. If you are reading this site, you know that the Twins spring training facility is located in the southwest Florida community. Along with getting out of the cold, fans are closer to the action in Ft. Myers than you might even believe. You can watch the players on the practice fields and even interact with them between sessions as they walk between fields. You can go to their spring training games or walk the back fields and watch more practice. Minor league fans would really enjoy getting an opportunity to see some of the top prospects working out.

Of course, if you can't travel now, Ft. Myers remains a great destination for Twins fans throughout the season. The Twins High-Class A affiliate plays its games at Hammond Stadium (where the Twins play their spring games). These are the players who have passed through several levels and are just three more promotions from the big leagues. Whenever players are rehabbing from injuries, they most often work in Ft. Myers.

Those minor leaguers that don't travel to one of the team's four full-season affiliates often remain in Ft. Myers, in Extended Spring Training. They play some games and work on skills. After the June amateur draft, those that sign go to Ft. Myers for evaluation, physicals and work outs. Some of those players stay in Ft. Myers and play for the Gulf Coast League Twins. They are generally the youngest players in the organization, players coming over from the Dominican Summer League or high school players from the current year's draft. Their games are played on the back fields at noon, and fans don't have to pay to watch the games. Usually the only fans at these games are family members.

The other players at Extended Spring Training, more advanced that those who will play at the GCL level, will play for the Elizabethton Twins. Elizabethton is found in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee. The E-Twins traditionally have won a lot of games in Appalachian League. They are annually in the league's championship series. This is a place that I definitely would love to visit!

Last year, I had my first opportunity to travel the 5 1/2 hour drive from the Twin Cities to Beloit, Wisconsin, and watch two Beloit Snappers games. Beloit is right on the border of Wisconsin and Illinois. It was great to see the likes of Aaron Hicks, Angel Morales and James Beresford play. Seeing players play can often give a different perspective on a prospect than just looking at box scores or stat lines. I learned a lot from the experience and hope to get there again once or twice in 2011. I definitely recommend a trip, if you are able.  In case you were wondering... the weekend when the Twins play in Milwaukee in late June, the Snappers are home as well. Might be a great opportunity to see the Twins and their Low A affiliate in one trip.

If you want to see the Twins AA-affiliate, it is located in New Britain, Connecticut. You can fly in to Hartford. ESPN's studios are in Bristol, Connecticut, just miles from New Britain Stadium. The stadium holds over 6,100 fans and is referred to as the "Emerald of the Eastern League."  If you're on a baseball trip, New Britain is about halfway in between Boston and New York City.

Finally, if you want to see the Twins AAA team, it is in Rochester, New York. Frontier Field holds over 12,000 fans. As we have seen in recent years, the Twins are frequently calling the Red Wings and sending players back and forth. Rochester is near Lake Ontario, but also not too far from Buffalo, Lake Erie, and Niagra Falls.

If you're a real, real diehard, you could go to Boca Chica, Dominican Republic and see the Twins Dominican Summer League team.

And this summer, Twins fans can show their support for Bert Blyleven with a trip to Cooperstown, New York. It is within driving distance from Rochester. I made the trek to Cooperstown in 2001 when Kirby Puckett was inducted. What a great little village, and what an incredible baseball atmosphere during induction weekend.

But of course, Twins fans now have Target Field which is always a great spot for a Twins fan to go to see terrific baseball. But if you are looking for a summer vacation, yet still want to get a Twins fix, consider traveling to see one or more of the Twins minor league affiliates.

If any of you have gone to these places, please feel free to comment below with your thoughts.

Tweet Tweet

Posted by: Seth Stohs Updated: February 1, 2011 - 1:00 PM

How many have seen the movie Social Network? It is a terrific story of the man behind Facebook. But Social Networking is much more than Facebook, and if you went to Twins Fest this past weekend, you found out that Twitter appears to be the social network of choice for many Twins people and several players.

I reluctantly joined Facebook about two years ago, completely oblivious to what it was all about. I had just heard that it was a way to interact with friends and family, but in my case, it was also a way to potential drum up some interest in my first book. I like Facebook, and it certainly has a lot of great features, but primarily it is a great way to keep up with your friends. I have also been able to interact with a lot of people who have been reading SethSpeaks.net for several years.

It was about 18 months ago that I reluctantly gave in and set up a Twitter account. I figured, "I have Facebook, why would I need or want Twitter too?" Well, over those 18 months, I have found out just how great Twitter can be. It can be incredibly addictive. The immediacy that it creates can be both positive and negative. Twitter is a tremendous place to find out Twins news fast. Most baseball news is broken on Twitter. It can also be frustrating when you are watching a game and a player strikes out, maybe even in an important situation, and he suddenly becomes a bum.

For me, I use Twitter as a way to gain information quickly. I put many opinions on there in a day. I love Re-Tweeting other baseball people whose opinions I value so that those who read me can hear other opinions. In my mind, being on Twitter is a must for baseball fans.

Before Twins Fest, Danny Valencia signed up for Twitter, and he immediately was looking for followers. Incredibly, in four days, he has accumulated over 4,600 followers to his Twitter account. He has said that he will give a signed bat to his 5,000th follower. He has been showing pictures from the Diamond Awards, Twins Fest, a commercial and the Twins Caravan as well as answering some questions from readers.

Pat Neshek has been the most fan-friendly Twins player for a long time. He has his blog at PatNeshek.com which includes a forum with a great community of participants. He has been on Twitter for a long time and occasionally answers questions.

Denard Span started his Twitter account following the Twins 2010 season. He has already racked up over 16,000 followers already. He shared a lot during Twins Fest, and throughout his offseason. He answers fan questions as well.

Michael Cuddyer has almost 11,000 followers and he just signed on to Twitter in the last two months. He is tremendous at answering many questions from his fans every day.

On Sunday, the Minnesota Twins official Twitter Feed announced that there would be a special Q&A with Span and Cuddyer in a special Twins Fest location to be tweeted at a certain time. Fans would need to show that specific Tweet to get into the room. Many Twins fans attended the event, but the first person in the allowed in the room after showing the Tweet was new-Twitter add, Drew Butera.

Anthony Slama has been Tweeting for awhile, and Ben Revere became a "Tweeter" just last week while on the Twins Caravan.

Rob Delaney, who was claimed last week by the Tampa Bay Rays, is on Twitter. Craig Breslow is quite active. Another former Twins player, Tommy Watkins, is a frequent Twitter contributor. He is now the hitting coach of the Beloit Snappers whose manager, Nelson Prada, is also on Twitter.

There are also several Twins minor leaguers who have become Twitter people. Top prospect Kyle Gibson is new to Twitter. Carlos Gutierrez is a regular contributor.  Outfielder Rene Tosoni is new to Twitter too. Other minor leaguers on Twitter include: Pitcher Chris Province, shortstop and 2010 2nd round pick Niko Goodrum, Hard-throwing pitcher Bruce Pugh, power catching prospect Danny Rams, Netherlands hero and Twins pitchings prospect Tom Stuifbergen, non-roster invite and shortstop Brian Dozier, and 2010 draft pick, pitcher Nick Alloway.

You will also want to follow Dustin Morse, the Twins Manager of Baseball Communications, who does a nice job on Twitter keeping fans updated.

Of course, there are many people on Twitter that you can follow. Many (or most) bloggers are on Twitter at this point. You can follow TwinsCentric, or any of the four TwinsCentric bloggers (John Bonnes, Nick Nelson, Parker Hageman, Seth Stohs).

And the StarTribune's excellent writers can be found on Twitter as well. Be sure to follow LaVelle E. Neal, Joe Christensen and Howard Sinker.

Twitter definitely is becoming more and more popular in baseball. Whether that is good or bad is up to you. In my opinion, it is a terrific vehicle for gaining new information, for interacting with players and to find out information even more quickly.

What are your thoughts on Twitter? Are you a Twitter person, or is there a good reason you're not? I'm always curious what people think of this new phenomenon. Is it something that is here to stay, or should teams crack down on their players? (also, if I'm missing any Twins players on Twitter, be sure to link to them below.)

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