Friday, June 25, 2010

Hard Hittin' New Britain comes to town

Being back in Binghamton, Offtheroad if you will, I was excited to see the New Britain Rock Cats come to town this week. It's fun to see some of the Twins best prospects come to town.

Despite their 19-53 record, New Britain has some of the better prospects in the Twins system. Levelle E. Neal III, one of the Star Tribune's Twins writers posted his top 10 here yesterday. Five of the players are on New Britain's roster.

#3 Kyle Gibson Starting Pitcher: He's 22 and Neal predicts he will be with the Twins by mid next year. I agree with his assessment. I believe Gibson will be with the team mid next season, perhaps sooner if the Twins trade pitching for Cliff Lee. I was looking forward to seeing Gibson pitch, but he was skipped this week. He has been struggling lately, perhaps due to a jump in innings over college. He also missed time last year due to a forearm injury. I might have to travel to see Gibson pitch this year.

#4 Ben Revere Center Field:  He's also 22 and Neal also predicts he will be with the Twins in 2011. He played yesterday after missing some time with injury. He went 1-4 with a strikeout. While he didn't do much in the game, it was great to see him play. I saw his speed trying to beat out ground balls.

#5 Carlos Gutierrez Starter/Reliever: He's 23 and Neal predicts he could be on the MLB club in late 2010. I don't see him with the club this year but maybe next year, probably as a reliever. He started the game Wednesday. He got the win, going 6 innings, giving up 6 hits, walking 2, and striking out 3. He looked very confident on the mound. His sinker was working for him, topping out at 95 MPH and sitting around 91-93. Some of the hits could have been outs with better defense. (Jair Fernandez, a catcher played a few innings at 3rd base when Chris Cates was thrown out of the game) His off speed pitches looked ok but I'm not sure if they are swing and miss pitches right now.

#8 David Bromberg Starting Pitcher: He's 22 and could be with the Twins mid/late next year. I did not see him this trip. I will try to check him out later this year.

#10 Joe Benson Outfield: He's 22 and Neal thinks he'll arrive in 2012. For some reason, he was sent back to Fort Myers this year. I personally think he is a better player than Revere right now. He certainly looks to have more upside. He is almost as fast as Revere but also has power. He went 2-5 with a 2B and a walk on Wednesday and 1-4 with a HR in Thursday's game. He leads New Britain with 9 HRs. The bounce in power is great especially since he is considered more of a speed guy. He already has 13 HRs in 2010 between Fort Myers/New Britain. He's never had more than 5 HRs in a season. If Micheal Cuddyer were traded in the off-season, Benson may be better equipped then Revere to replace some of his offense by next season.

The Rock Cats won Wednesday 10-2. Michael Dolenc had 3 hits including a 2b, Erik Lis had 3 hits, and Jair Fernandez went 2-3, not letting his defensive troubles (key to Binghamton's 2nd run) affect his bat. Chris Parmalee also had 3 hits and hit a very hard foul ball right by us. Dude has scary power, if he can ever put it all together. I also got to see Jenrry Mejia pitch for the Mets. He has been sent to AA from the Mets to transition from reliever to starter. He only went 2.1 innings, giving up 2 hits and 2 walks but his arm was electric. He was hitting 97 consistently. He's only 20, if he can keep the velocity while pitching as a starter, he will be sick.

The Cats lost Thursday 5-1. Mike McCardell pitched pretty well, giving up 2 hits through the first 6 innings. He got in trouble in the 7th. He loaded the bases before Cole DeVries gave up a first pitch HR to Brahiam Maldonado. Brahiam looks a lot like Candy Maldonado and they are both from Puerto Rico, but I cannot find proof of a relation.

Well, that's it. The two games were pretty quiet. There is not a lot to report, but it's always nice to see the Twins prospects play. My stepson got a signed ball from Revere, Bromberg, Benson, Dolenc, Steve Singleton, Danny Lehmann, and Chris Cates. The 11 year old stood about even with Cates. It was fun to see Cates play, especially when the little guy got tossed. I will report again when New Britain returns later this summer.

No comments:

Post a Comment