Twins Midseason Report





Best Player: Outfielder Ben Revere is causing the Twins a problem, and the organization is considering a bold solution. "We might just name our (minor league) MVP award after him," farm director Jim Rantz joked, "so we can start giving it to somebody else."

That's because the 22-year-old Revere, honored by the Twins the past two seasons, is having another typical high-energy season. A 5-foot-8 speedster, he was batting .307/.380/.361 in 241 at-bats for Double-A New Britain, seemingly poised to lead his team in average for a third straight season. His 24 stolen bases ranked third in the Eastern League.

"You worry that a leadoff hitter might take awhile to figure out how to get on base when he faces better pitching," Rantz said, "but not with Ben. He never stops hitting."

Biggest Leap Forward: The Twins aren't certain how Liam Hendriks learned to mix in four different pitches while growing up in Perth, Australia, but the repertoire has crossed the ocean intact.

The 21-year-old righthander, who will pitch for the World team at the Futures Game, has made himself a legitimate prospect just two years after spinal surgery. Hendriks, who has gone 7-3 1.66 in 15 starts, made short work of the low Class A Midwest League on his way to high Class A Fort Myers. With a fastball that tops out at 91 mph, he's allowed an astonishing one home run in 92 innings and owns a strikeout-to-walk ratio bordering on 10-to-1. In other words, he's a perfect fit for the Twins' pitch-to-contact philosophy.

Biggest Disappointment: Catcher Wilson Ramos' incredible winter made the Twins wonder how they would fit him on a roster with Joe Mauer. Now they're wondering where that hitter went.

After leading the Venezuelan League in RBIs, the 22-year-old Ramos opened the Triple-A Rochester season in a deep slump. He was batting .213/.248/.325 through 197 at-bats, while his defense behind the plate was erratic. To top it off, he remained prone to injury.

Ramos' big league stint during a Mauer injury reminded the Twins of how promising, but frustrating, the Venezuelan catcher can be. Ramos went 7-for-9 with three doubles in his first two games, then 1-for-18 until he was sent back down.

TWIN KILLINGS

• Lefthander Matt Bashore had Tommy John surgery after experiencing a recurrence of elbow pain in extended spring training. The 2009 supplemental first-rounder appeared in only one game for Rookie-level Elizabethtown after signing.

• Second-round pick Niko Goodrum, a prep shortstop from Fayetteville, Ga., surprised the Twins by quickly signing for $514,800 and reporting to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.