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TwinsCentric: Twins Minor League Hitters of the Month - May

Posted by: Seth Stohs Updated: June 3, 2014 - 3:41 AM

In the last two days, we’ve discussed the top pitchers, starters and relievers, in the Minnesota Twins farm system. Today, we’ll write up some of the top hitters. While there were tons of great pitching performances in the month of May, it was a bit more difficult to find top hitting performances. That said, we have five below, and a couple of honorable mentions, that are deserving of recognition. 

A quick reminder. Twins Daily is covering all angles of the Major League draft, which starts on Thursday night with the first two picks. On Thursday at 6:00, join Jeremy Nygaard and Seth Stohs, with guest John Bonnes, for a special Twins Hangout. The Twins should pick around 6:30, so we’ll be discussing what the previous picks could mean for the Twins. Be sure to check out TwinsDaily.com for more details on Thursday night. Also, on Thursday at 9:00, the show will continue on KFAN where we will discuss the draft’s first round, as well as the Twins second pick which should be made during that hour. 

So without further ado, here are my selections for the Top 5 Twins Minor League hitters in May: 

Number 5 – Rochester – Oswaldo Arcia - (21-70) .300/.342/.614 (.956) with seven doubles, five home runs and 18 RBI.

Should Arcia be on this list? Maybe not. Part of these stats were compiled as part of his Major League rehabilitation stint. About half of them were after he was taken off of the DL and optioned to Rochester. While he was rehabbing, he was unable to stay on the field for more than two days in a row. Seemingly the day he was optioned, he started crushing the baseball. That isn’t a surprise. Arcia is a big leaguer who was just getting rid of some rust with the Red Wings. 

Number 4 – New Britain – Reynaldo Rodriguez – (36-107) .336/.368/.579 (.947) with eight doubles, six home runs and 16 RBI.

After hitting 21 home runs last year for New Britain, Rodriguez resigned with the Twins in the offseason. The 28 year old Columbian returns to the Rock Cats this year, but this year he moved into the outfield. He hit just .231 last year, but to this point this year, he is hitting .306/.353/.527 (.880). He has 15 doubles and eight homers, but as you can see, most of those extra base hits came in May. Originally signed in 2003 by the Yankees, Rodriguez spent a couple of years in the independent leagues before the Red Sox signed. 

Number 3 – Cedar Rapids – Jason Kanzler - (29-81) .358/.411/.6205 (1.016) with three doubles, one triple, five home runs and 19 RBI.

Kanzler began the 2014 season at Extended Spring Training. A week later, he was promoted to the Kernels to play centerfield. He was the Twins 20th round pick last year out of the University of Buffalo where he won a couple of NCAA Gold Glove Awards. He hit just .220 last year in the GCL with 15 extra base hits. He was also 13 for 14 in stolen base attempts. He has been very good this year with the Kernels. Overall, he is hitting .309/.358/.481 with five doubles, four triples and five home runs. He also has ten steals in 12 attempts. 

Number 2 – New Britain – Kennys Vargas - (38-106) .358/.430/.566 (.996) with seven doubles, five home runs and 24 RBI.

Little Papi (who is actually bigger than Big Papi) had a very impressive month. As important, he was pretty consistent throughout the month with a couple of six game hot streaks. Early in the month, he had a six-game streak where he went 12-28. Later in the month, he had a six game stretch in which he went 12-21. He continues to show that he can hit for average and hit for power from both sides of the plate. 

The 24-year-old from Puerto Rico has put himself squarely into future Twins plans. He has greatly improved his plate discipline and approach. 

The May Minnesota Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is...

New Britain Rock Cats OF Danny Ortiz (40-103) .388/.402/.660 (1.062) with 12 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 23 RBI.

Ortiz was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2008 out of high school in Puerto Rico. The 24-year-old had a tough first month, likely disappointed to be back in the Eastern League. He hit .227 and managed just four extra base hits. He took off in May. He has certainly been a streaky hitter, having some really terrific months over the years. Although his MLB future would appear to be a fourth or fifth outfielder, he is the kind of guy who is still young and could play for a long time. He can play all three positions well. He is a fundamentally sound defender. His biggest flaw is that he completely lacks the will to do much walking. 

In May, he had 14 multi-hit games, including four three-hit games for the Rock Cats. Although he was consistent throughout the month, he finished very strong. In his final five games, he went 10-19 with three doubles and a triple. In a mid-month, three-game series against Richmond, he had eight hits including three doubles and a home run. Listed at just 5-11 and 175 pounds (which seems pretty accurate), Ortiz can pack a big punch.

Overall, he is hitting .324/.340/.500 (.840) with 16 doubles, two triples and four home runs. He and Vargas, along with Eddie Rosario, teamed together this spring to help their Puerto Rican team into the Caribbean Series. All three could contribute to the Twins in time as well. 


There were several solid performances in May that weren’t included in the Top 5. Here are some Honorable Mentions just missed out on the Top 5.
 

  • Deibinson Romero (29-102) .284/.378/.490 (.868) with 10 doubles, a triple, three homers and 15 RBI.
  • Adam Walker (27-103) .262/.296/.524 (.821) with six doubles, seven homers and 20 RBI.


Feel free to comment and discuss. 

And when you're done with all of the great Star Tribune Twins content, head over to TwinsDaily.com for more. Things have been very busy as we look forward to the Twins 2014 draft which starts on Thursday. On Sunday and into Monday, a dozen new articles were posted, so be sure to check that out and then engage in the Forums. Here's some of that information:

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@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

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Kansas City - LP: B. Finnegan 4 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 11
Detroit 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 2 FINAL
San Jose 1
Boston 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
Montreal 3
New Jersey 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Dallas 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 7
Detroit 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Chicago 2 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL
Nashville 0
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Minnesota 7
Florida 1 FINAL(OT)
Arizona 2
Washington 3 FINAL
Calgary 1
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 21 FINAL
Rice 41
UAB 17 FINAL
Arkansas 45
Rutgers 24 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 42
Maryland 7 FINAL
Wisconsin 52
Texas 0 FINAL
(11) Kansas State 23
Minnesota 24 FINAL
Illinois 28
Memphis 48 FINAL
SMU 10
North Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia 27
San Jose St 31 FINAL
Navy 41
Northern Ill 28 FINAL
Eastern Mich 17
(25) UCLA 40 FINAL
Colorado 37
Akron 21 FINAL
Ball State 35
Massachusetts 35 FINAL
Toledo 42
Ohio U 21 FINAL
Western Mich 42
Ga Southern 69 FINAL
Georgia State 31
Kent State 3 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 10
Oregon State 14 FINAL
Stanford 38
Fla Atlantic 16 FINAL
(23) Marshall 35
Louisiana Tech 31 FINAL
Southern Miss 20
(1) Miss State 45 FINAL
Kentucky 31
Georgia Tech 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 28
(22) West Virginia 34 FINAL
Oklahoma State 10
Texas Tech 27 FINAL
(10) TCU 82
Michigan 11 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 35
Boston College 23 FINAL
Wake Forest 17
Central Mich 20 FINAL
Buffalo 14
Vanderbilt 14 FINAL
Missouri 24
Old Dominion 51 FINAL
Western Ky 66
UNLV 20 FINAL
Utah State 34
Temple 14 FINAL
UCF 34
(15) Arizona 59 FINAL
Washington St 37
Texas-El Paso 34 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 0
Wyoming 31 FINAL
Colorado State 45
Syracuse 6 FINAL
(21) Clemson 16
Texas State 22 FINAL
ULM 18
(3) Ole Miss 7 FINAL
(24) LSU 10
(4) Alabama 34 FINAL
Tennessee 20
So Carolina 35 FINAL
(5) Auburn 42
(13) Ohio State 31 FINAL
Penn State 24
(20) USC 21 FINAL
(19) Utah 24
(14) Arizona State 24 FINAL
Washington 10
Nevada 26 FINAL
Hawaii 18
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(18) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Texas State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico St
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
(20) USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(5) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(1) Miss State
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(6) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(7) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(15) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(19) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(14) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Seattle 2
D.C. 1 FINAL
Montreal 1
Toronto FC 0 FINAL
New England 1
Portland 2 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Colorado 0 FINAL
Vancouver FC 1
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 24 FINAL
Toronto 26
Brt Columbia 28 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
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