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2003 Wrapups: Minnesota Twins

With the 2003 season coming to a close, we will be providing a brief wrapup of the season for all 30 minor league teams. In each report, we will take a look at how the team's Top 10 Prospects performed, identify some emerging prospects and organizational leaders, and report on the performance of their top draft pick.
Complete index of Team Wrapups               2003 League Wrapups

By Kevin Goldstein
October 23, 2003

Season Results

Level Team League W L PCT
AAA Rochester International 68 75 .476
AA New Britain Eastern 73 68 .518
A+ Fort Myers Florida State 73 63 .537
A Quad City Midwest 59 78 .431
R Elizabethton* Appalachian 42 24 .636
R GCL Twins Gulf Coast 28 31 .475
TOTAL 343 339 .503
   * won league championship


Performance of Top 10 Prospects

Here's how our top 10 prospects entering this season performed in 2003.

1. Joe Mauer, c      Age: 20
Baseball America's 2003 Minor League Player of the Year, Mauer hit just .232 in his first 15 games at Fort Myers, but hit .367 for the next two months, earning a promotion to Double-A New Britain, where he continued to produce, batting .402 in July. Physical dissimilarities aside, he might best project value-wise as another Ivan Rodriguez (gold glove catcher capable of hitting 300+ w/ 15-25 HRs) but with more walks.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Fort Myers (High Class A) 62 233 25 78 13 1 1 44 24 24 3 .335 .395 .412
New Britain (Double-A) 73 276 48 94 17 0 4 41 25 25 0 .341 .400 .453

2. Justin Morneau, 1b      Age: 22
Hit four home runs in his first six games, earning a quick promotion to Triple-A, and was among the minor league leaders in home runs when he was promoted to the Twins in late June. Started hot in his big league debut, but fell into an 8-for-54 slump (.148), and found himself back in Rochester. Failed to find his first half magic after the demotion, as he hit just .236-3-13 in 34 games after going back down.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
New Britain (Double-A) 20 79 14 26 3 1 6 13 7 14 0 .329 .384 .620
Rochester (Triple-A) 71 265 39 71 11 1 16 42 28 56 0 .268 .344 .498
Twins (MLB) 40 106 14 24 4 0 4 16 9 30 0 .226 .287 .377

3. Michael Cuddyer, of/if      Age: 24
Made the big league squad out of spring training, but lasted just five weeks (batting .233-2-5) before heading back to Triple-A. Hit .397 in his first 15 games for Rochester, but played sparingly over the next two months due to hamstring troubles. Drafted as a shortstop and converted to third base and then the outfield over the past three years, Cuddyer played every position except catcher, shortstop and centerfield at Rochester as Minnesota tries to find some way to get his bat in the lineup every day.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Twins (MLB) 35 102 14 25 1 3 4 8 12 19 1 .245 .325 .431
Rochester (Triple-A) 53 186 25 57 17 0 3 34 25 49 5 .306 .381 .446
GCL Twins (Rookie) 2 5 1 4 0 0 1 3 1 0 0 .800 .857 1.400

4. Michael Restovich, of      Age: 24
Restovich hit 53 homers in 2001-2002, but saw a tremendous drop this season in his power output, at one point going 27 games between home runs. This is not good news for player for whom power is his only true plus tool. Reduced his strikeouts, but it didn't lead to a higher batting average.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Rochester (Triple-A) 119 454 75 125 34 2 16 72 47 117 10 .275 .346 .465
Twins (MLB) 24 53 10 15 3 2 0 4 10 12 0 .283 .406 .415

5. Denard Span, of      Age: 19
Last year's first-round pick spent the first half of the season in extended spring training and made his pro debut in the Appalachian League. A top-flight athlete who's still a little rough around the edges when it comes to baseball, Span nonetheless showed the potential to be an offensive threat from the top of the order, as he scored at least one run in 17 of his first 23 games.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Elizabethton (Rookie) 50 207 34 56 5 1 1 18 23 34 15 .271 .355 .319

6. Scott Tyler, rhp      Age: 21
A second round pick in 2001, Tyler was the most dominant pitcher in the Appalachian League in 2002, but failed to build on his breakout campaign in his full-season debut. Tyler had tremendous control problems as his mechanics got out of whack and tried to right himself from the bullpen in the last two months of the season. Pitched very well in a relief role (2.84 ERA, 24 K in 19 IP), and got another start on the final day of the season, where he whiffed 10 over five innings.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Quad City (Low Class A) 6-12 0 5.50 30 106.1 93 70 65 82 110

7. J.D. Durbin, rhp      Age: 21
Durbin had a 5.72 ERA on May 3, but then reeled of seven straight excellent starts (6-0, 0.94) to earn a promotion to Double-A. Was a little more hitable at New Britain, but still had quality starts in 11 of 14 outings and led the organization in wins and strikeouts.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Fort Myers (High Class A) 9-2 0 3.09 14 87.1 73 35 30 22 69
New Britain (Double-A) 6-3 0 3.14 14 94.2 102 39 33 29 70

8. Jason Kubel, of      Age: 21
Finished among the Florida State League leaders in batting average and RBIs with only a July slump (.226) keeping him from the batting title. Has a quick bat and a plus arm, but will need to add some power to project as a starting corner outfielder.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Fort Myers (High Class A) 116 420 56 125 20 4 5 82 48 54 4 .298 .361 .400

9. Lew Ford, of      Age: 27
Ford led the minor leagues in runs scores (121) last year, and went on a 20-game hot streak in May (.357) to earn his first big league callup at the age of 26. Was performing admirably in a bench role before breaking his arm in a batting practice mishap. Has the ability to contribute in the majors, but where he fits into the Twins' outfielder logjam is still a question mark.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Rochester (Triple-A) 53 211 33 64 18 2 3 31 10 28 4 .303 .357 .450
Twins (MLB) 34 73 16 24 7 1 3 15 8 9 2 .329 .402 .575

10. Adam Johnson, rhp      Age: 24
The second overall pick in 2000, Johnson suffered through a second consecutive miserable season and his career ERA at Triple-A is now 5.45 in 59 starts. It didn't get any better for Johnson, who started for the Twins on the final day of the season, and gave up six runs in the first inning while retiring just one batter against the Tigers.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Rochester (Triple-A) 6-11 0 5.35 28 114.1 128 73 68 48 78
Twins (MLB) 0-1 0 47.25 2 1.1 8 8 7 1 0


Top Draft Pick:

Matt Moses, 3b    Mills Godwin HS, Richmond, Va.   Bonus: $1.45M
Generally considered one of the better high school bats available in the draft, Moses' pro debut was delayed for a month when a routine physical revealed a tiny hole in his heart, which was corrected through minor surgery. Displayed his hitting prowess in the Gulf Coast League, but his defense remains well behind his bat.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
GCL Twins (Rookie) 18 65 6 25 5 1 0 11 5 9 0 .385 .417 .492


Emerging Prospects:

Jesse Crain, rhp: A 2002 second-round pick, Crain was one of the most dominant relievers in the minors, splitting the year between New Britain and Rochester and allowing just 37 hits in 65 innings while striking out 89.
Jason Bartlett, ss: Acquired from the Padres in a minor deal last season, Bartlett didn't make our Top 30 list entering the season, but was the offensive catalyst at New Britain, hitting .296-8-48 and finishing among the Eastern League leaders in runs and stolen bases while showing solid defensive skills.
Alexander Smit, lhp: A Dutch lefty who signed for $800K at 16, Smit was scintillating in his pro debut for the GCL Twins, putting up a 1.18 ERA in eight games while limiting opposing batters to a .156 average.


Statistical Leaders

Batting Average Joe Mauer .338
Home Runs Justin Morneau 22
Runs Batted In Terry Tiffee 93
Stolen Bases Jason Bartlett 41
Earned Run Average Jim Abbott 2.44
Wins J.D. Durbin 15
Strikeouts J.D. Durbin 139
Saves Beau Kemp 22

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