La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Minor details: A look at the Twins minor league system

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Twins Farm System, Twins prospects Updated: July 1, 2010 - 2:14 PM

The Twins have signed Taiwanese righthander Hung-Yi Chen out of Shiyuan high school in Taichung City. He's 17 years old and can touch 90 miles an hour with his fastball.

According to this report   he signed for about $100,000, but a Twins official would not confirm the amount. He'll probably join the Twins GCL team in Fort Myers. He's the second player from Taiwan in the Twins system, the other being Class A Beloit outfielder Wang-Wei Lint.

RAMOS RETURNS

Catcher Wilson Ramos has returned to action at Class AAA Rochester, so let all those Cliff Lee rumors re-percolate. Ramos strained an oblique while running the bases just over a week ago.

Ramos has been mentioned as a potential piece in any Twins deal with the Mariners for ace lefty Cliff Lee.

I asked Jim Rantz, the Twins' director of minor leagues, on how Jose Morales has done behind the plate. ``I would say he still has some work to do,'' Rantz said.

Morales has thrown out just 3 of 15 runners (20 percent) trying to steal for the Red Wings and lead the catching staff with four passed balls.

REVERE INJURED AGAIN

Class AA New Britain outfielder Ben Revere left a game on Tuesday because of a tweaked hamstring. This kid can't stay on the field. The Twins are going to be very careful with him because they really want him to play in the All-Star Futures game on July 12.

HENDRIKS IMPRESSES

Aussie righthander Liam Hendriks has been named to the futures games, too. He's one pitcher I considered for my top ten prospects list last week and might add to that list when I update the list in a couple weeks.

Hendricks is 7-3. 1.66 between Class A Beloit and Fort Myers and has walked just nine batters in 92 innings. Rantz said Hendriks has the basic four-pitch mix and uses them all with excellent control (hence the low walk rate).

``He's got all the things you look for,'' Rantz said. ``He moves the ball, slows it down. He can touch 90-91 and is a good competitor. He dominated Beloit and moved him to Fort Myers and he's done a nice job there.''

DOZIER DAZZLES

The Twins really like the potential of Class A Fort Myers shortstop Brian Dozier, who was their minor league player of the week last week,

Dozier, an 8th round pick last year, is batting .292 between Beloit and Fort Myers. Since moving to Fort Myers, Dozier is batting .310 with a .368 on base percentage.

He can put the bat on the ball, use the whole field. He can run and bunt. ``He's very polished,'' Rantz said. Rantz agreed when I said he sounds like a future No. 2 hitter.

He doesn't hit for power but could have a role as a table setter-facilitator if he keeps developing,

He turned down an invitation to instructional league last year so he could return to Southern Mississippi and finish his degree work.

``We never force the issue or never make it mandatory that they go to instructional league,'' Rantz said.

ETC...

Outfielder Rene Tosoni last week had successful surgery to repair his shoulder, but he's done for the season.

Infielder Luke Hughes is still hobbled by a groin muscle injury and remains in recovery mode in Fort Myers.

Infielder Yangervis Solarte, who was having a breakthrough season, will have surgery in the Twin Cities next week to repair a torn meniscus. Twins physician Dr, John Steubs will perform the surgery.

New Britain outfielder Brandon Roberts is out, again. This time it's an oblique strain.

After three bad outings, New Britain righthander Kyle Gibson has allowed one earned run over last two starts. He got the win last night, although he walked four in 6.2 innings.

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