As hoped, the Twins will team several of their top infielders at low Class A Beloit. That includes No. 1 prospect Miguel Sano, as well as Eddie Rosario, his tag-team partner last year at Rookie-level Elizabethton. They combined to hit 41 homers in a half-season last summer. Tyler Grimes and Adam Bryant, a pair of solid college shortstop draftees, join them in the infield, with Grimes figuring to play shortstop. Speedster J.D. Williams mans the outfield, with sleeper Taiwainese prospect Wang-Wei Lin. Three 2011 draftees—righthanders Madison Boer and Matt Summers and lefthander Corey Williams—highlight the pitching staff. Boer, as expected, will start. The other two are currently listed in the bullpen.
Leap Of Faith
The Twins have a glut of shortstops everywhere but in Minnesota. That, and his polished bat, prompted the Twins to jump Levi Michael to high Class A Fort Myers to make his pro debut. The 2011 first-round pick out of North Carolina missed the summer and instructional league games with soft-tissue injuries in his pelvis and groin. The Double-A New Britain rotation will also feature a couple of mild leaps of faith. Righthander Alex Wimmers is a 2010 first-rounder who had “the thing” at the beginning of last season but had righted the ship by the end of the year. Indy ball find Andrew Albers, last seen beating the United States in Canada’s Pan American Games gold-medal victory, will join him in the rotation.
Where Is That Guy?
Several of the Twins' young prospects will be in extended spring training, starting with 2011 draftees Travis Harrison, a corner infielder, and righthander Hudson Boyd. The organization's shortstop glut means Niko Goodrum might start his season back in Elizabethton, along with German outfielder Max Kepler. Dutch righthander Tom Stuifbergen and 2009 first-rounder Kyle Gibson start the year on the disabled lists of Fort Myers and Triple-A Rochester, respectively.
Time Is Running Out
Righthanders David Bromberg and Bobby Lanigan were once seen as two interesting starting options for the organization, but both are in New Britain’s bullpen to start the year. Bromberg, a former Top 10 Prospect, missed most of last year with a broken forearm. His big, durable body once profiled him as an innings-eating starter, but the concern now is to get his stuff back. Lanigan never took to a third pitch, and the Twins hope a shift to the bullpen will help him unleash his slider, which at times has been a plus pitch.
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