It is hard to believe that we are now into August and four months of the baseball season is already complete. The minor league seasons will be complete right around Labor Day, so we are about three-quarters of the way through the season. Today, it is time for me to again consider the top performers in the Twins minor league system for July.
Real quickly, here are the top players from the season's first three months:
- April: Daniel Ortiz - Beloit Snappers
- May: Brian Dozier - Ft. Myers Miracle
- June: Aaron Hicks - Ft. Myers Miracle
- April: Cole DeVries - New Britain Rock Cats
- May: Chuck James - Rochester Red Wings
- June: Andrew Albers - Ft. Myers Miracle
- April: Steve Hirschfeld - New Britain Rock Cats
- May: Steve Hirschfeld - New Britain Rock Cats
- June: Tom Stuifbergen - Ft. Myers Miracle
So, who are the choices for July? Below, I will post the stats for my choices for #5, #4, #3, and #2 before announcing the choice for the #1. I will write a little about the winner while giving stats for #2-5. For more on the runners-up, and more honorable mentions, go to SethSpeaks.net over the next couple of days.
HITTER of JULY
- #5 - Jeff Bailey - Rochester Red Wings (.314/.402/.614 with 6 doubles, 3 triples, 4 home runs and 21 RBI)
- #4 - Deibinson Romero - New Britain Rock Cats (.308/.360/615 with 7 doubles, 7 home runs and 16 RBI)
- #3 - Chris Parmelee - New Britain Rock Cats (.305/.397/.559 with 8 doubles, 2 triples, 6 home runs and 26 RBI)
- #2 - Lance Ray - Beloit Snappers (.312/389/.602 with 12 doubles, 5 home runs and 22 RBI)
And the July Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is... Jairo Perez, Beloit Snappers.
The Twins signed Perez out of Venezuela in July of 2006. He had a pretty non-descript career coming into this season. In fact, he missed the entire 2010 season after having Tommy John surgery. He did not play in 2011 until mid-June. But since his return, he has done nothing but hit, and hit for power. On the season, he has hit .351/.427/.613 with 11 doubles, 11 home runs and 46 RBI in just 45 games. In July, he hit .320/.393/.610 with eight doubles, seven home runs and 30 RBI. With the Snappers, he is primarily playing 3B but also getting some playing time at 2B. At just 5-10 and 160 pounds, the 23 year old takes a mammoth swing and does hit the ball very hard. It will be interesting to see if he advances to Ft. Myers by the end of the season.
RELIEF PITCHER of JULY
- #4 - Madison Boer - Elizabethton Twins - 1-1, 5 Saves, 3.75 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 12 IP, 2 BB, 21 K, .239 BAA.
- #3 - Matt Summers - Elizabethton Twins - 1-1, 3 Saves, 1.50 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 12 IP, 3 BB, 21 K, .186 BAA
- #2 - Matt Hauser - Ft. Myers Miracle - 0-2, 1.72 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 15.2 IP, 6 BB, 16 K, .167 BA
And the July Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is... Kyle Waldrop, Rochester Red Wings.
We keep reading that the Twins don't have anyone in Rochester who could help out the Twins bullpen. If you look at Waldrop's season stats (4.20 ERA, 1.32 WHIP), it is hard to believe that he is ready to contribute, but in July, he was terrific! He went 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP. In 13 games, he threw 19.2 innings. He gave up just 12 hits, walked three and struck out 14. What is most impressive is his 11.67 ground balls per fly balls. He has always been a major ground ball pitcher, but those numbers are incredible. One of the Twins first-round picks in 2004, he could have become a 6-year minor league free agent last offseason. Instead, he signed back with the Twins quickly. He did a great job in spring training again, and looks to an opportunity to make his big league debut with the Twins.
STARTING PITCHER of JULY
- #5 - Hung-yi Chen - GCL Twins - 0-2, 2.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 18 IP, 4 BB, 19 K, .246 BAA
- #4 - Angel Mata - GCL Twins - 0-0, 0.56 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 16 IP, 4 BB, 12 K, .135 BAA
- #3 - Pedro Guerra - Elizabethton Twins - 2-1, 3.41 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 29 IP, 4 BB, 30 K, .154 BAA
- #2 - Liam Hendriks - New Britain Rock Cats & Rochester Red Wings, 3-0, 3.38 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 26.2 IP, 2 BB, 17 K.
- BONUS INFO (because Twins fans need to start getting to know Liam Hendriks!) - July was a busy month for Hendriks, the one person who has been in the Top 5 all three months previously this year. He began the month in New Britain where he made just one start. He went seven innings and gave up just two runs on four hits and a walk. He then pitched an inning in the Futures Game, representing the Twins and his home of Australia. He then went and played in the Double A Eastern League All Star game. He was then promoted to Triple-A Rochester, where he has gone 2-0 with a 3.66 ERA in three starts. He has given up eight runs on 22 hits and a walk in 19.2 innings. Hendriks began the 2010 season in Beloit before moving up to Ft. Myers for the remainder of the season. This year, he began in New Britain and now is toiling in Rochester. Don't be surprised if Hendriks earns a September call-up to the Twins because he has to be added to the 40 man roster following the season anyway.
And the July Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is... BJ Hermsen, Beloit Snappers.
After spending some time in Beloit in 2010, Hermsen is having a terrific first full season with the Snappers. He is 11-7 with a 3.08 ERA on the year. In 117 innings, he has given up 124 hits and walked just 30. He isn't a strikeout pitcher (just 75). At 6-5 and 235 pounds, the 21 year old from Iowa was the team's 6th round pick in 2008. In July, Hermsen went 5-1 with a 1.89 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. In 38 innings, he walked nine and struck out 25. Opponents hit just .227 against him. Hermsen teams with Adrian Salcedo for a very strong 1-2 punch for the Snappers.
So there you have it. Congratulations to the July players of the month - Hitter: Jairo Perez (Beloit), Reliever: Kyle Waldrop (Rochester) and Starting Pitcher: BJ Hermsen (Beloit). There were a lot of good hitting and pitching performances in July.
- For much more on the Twins minor league system, be sure to listen to last night's Twins Minor League Weekly podcast.
- Parker has a contest and a t-shirt giveaway, both regarding the 1991 World Series which the Twins will be celebrating at Target Field this coming weekend.
- Seth also has a DVD contest going on this morning.