The Twins' first-round pick in 2008, Hicks seems to improve with every at-bat, had been successful on 11 of his last 14 steals. He posted an OPS of .830 in May and .999 through 20 games in June. "One bad month, and then he just exploded," Rantz said.
Biggest Leap Forward: Perhaps shortstop Brian Dozier wishes he could have stayed in Fort Myers just a few days longer. After battering Florida State League pitching for 18 extra-base hits in 49 games, the 2008 eighth-round pick earned a promotion to Double-A. In his third game with New Britain, Dozier took a fastball to the face, breaking his sinus bone.
The 24-year-old Southern Mississippi alum missed just 10 days, however, and resumed hitting right away. Dozier's OPS in Double-A registered at .979, and he was batting .325/.427/.481 for the season, getting the attention of a parent club that lacks middle-infield answers.
Biggest Disappointment: Righthander Alex Wimmers was billed as a sure thing coming out of Ohio State, a two-time Big Ten Conference pitcher of the year who figured to go from first-round pick in 2010 to the big leagues in no time. But that timetable is history now.
Wimmers' first start this year at Fort Myers was a disaster: six batters faced, six walks, three wild pitches, only four strikes among 28 pitches. The Twins sent him to extended spring training to solve whatever's wrong, but nobody is certain what that is.
• Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was so impressive in his rehab work at the Twins' headquarters in Fort Myers, the team decided to keep him there once he was ready to return from elbow surgery. Serving as DH, he batted .352 with five home runs for low Class A Beloit in April.
• Righthander Jeff Manship sought an early-July return from a shoulder injury. He made five relief appearances for the Twins in April.