Minor League Twins - Kane Holbrooks & Dakota Watts
This originally appeared as a "Minor League Musing" at TwinsTarget. Please check out my post there on Oswaldo Arcia. All minor league posts here, will be posted there first. Please click the link on the right frequently or just check out my posts after reading Andrew's!
In the world of social media, one has an opportunity to connect to people much easier than in the past. Famous people, semi-famous people, even Twins minor league players. I have been Kane Holbrooks "friend" on Facebook for some time. He once interjected on a Facebook post I had written: "I think u forgot to mention that Kane holbrooks is throwing 99 not to mention just overall sexy" On Sept 2, he posted on his page: "Everybody dakota watts hit 99 tonight. I will hear about this for at least 2 months. Until he hits 100. Then I'm removing his arm from his body." When he & Dakota Watts got promoted to New Britain the next day, I wrote: "Congrats on the promotion, who will throw harder at New Britain? Dakota or you?" Kane responded with "Haha come on you know I throw harder than his little pansy ass".
Kane seems like a funny guy and seems to have a friendly competition with Dakota. Without knowing either of them personally, they seem to have a lot in common. They were both picked in the later in the 2009 draft, they are both tall right-handers & both born in 1987. Could they both be Minnesota Twins someday?
Holbrooks was selected in the 21st round of the draft out of Texas State. He started slow in 2009, compiling a 5.04 ERA on 25 innings at rookie Elizabethtown. He has been great in 2010. He went 5-3 with 9 saves and a 1.67 ERA in Beloit. Pitching mostly in relief, he had 71 strikeouts and 13 walks in 54 innings. He made the transition to starter and was promoted to Fort Myers in mid July. He was 3-3 with a 2.27 ERA with 36 Ks and 15 walks in 43.2 innings. As he has stated above, he throws hard. He also has a good slider and changeup.
Watts was selected in the 16th round of the draft out of Cal State Stanislaus. He had a 4.60 ERA in 29.1 innings at 3 levels in 2009. He also had a great year in 2010. He went 2-1 with 2 saves and a 2.31 ERA with Beloit. He had 55 strikeouts and 30 walks in 46.2 innings. He was promoted to Fort Myers a couple days before Holbrooks and went 4-2 with 6 saves and a 3.19 ERA. He struck out 29 and walked 12 in 31 innings. He is another guy who throws hard and has a good slider.
Both pitchers had breakout years in the Twins system, spending the whole year together at 3 levels. Both have great stuff. Both guys will probably start the season back in Fort Myers and could be on the fast track to the major leagues. Both could be premium relievers or Holbrooks could start. Watts could close out those starts. It will be interesting to watch the careers of these two "Twins" as they make their unexpected rise up prospect lists. For now, they'll have to settle for being Fort Myers "Twins" or New Britain "Twins", but someday it would be great if they were both Minnesota Twins.
This blog will from here on out be written in honor of my friends Paul Hemmingsen (August 13, 1972 - October 10, 2009) & Bob O'Neill (September 25, 1975 - December 12, 2011) Two great friends, gone too soon!
The blog name "On the Road with Shawn" is in reference to playing games on the road. I am a Twins fan that travels a lot and no longer lives in Minnesota. The name seemed appropriate. The blog posts focus on game adventures (usually road games), Minnesota Twins content and other baseball content. Many posts are stat driven, others are lighter. My hope is to bring a fresh voice to Twins territory.