The first thing you need to know about The Fish Watch is that it’s not a list of sleepers. It is instead a list of players at various points in their respective minor league journeys that for one reason or another have piqued my interest enough that I am watching their development more closely than the bulk of prospects out there. To read more about this project, check out the introduction and master list.
This is the second round of updates in this series so I will not rehash why each player made my list but you can always go back and read previous installments of the series. While doing the installments by division worked the first time around, I’m going to go team-by-team for the June recaps (yes I realize it is mid-July already).
Minnesota Twins (S2S 2012 Twins Prospect List)
RHP – Angel Mata (19) – Signed out of Venezuela as a NDFA on January 12th, 2010
2011 – GCL Twins (Rk): 1.46 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 23 H, 19 BB and 30 SO in 37.0 IP
2012 – Elizabethton (Rk): 2.53 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 14 H, 14 BB and 19 SO in 21.1 IP
Notes – Since the Appalachian League didn’t kick off it’s season until the middle of June, Mata only made two starts during the month. The first was a lackluster 4.2 IP that included seven baserunners and two runs. His second start, a 5.0 inning 2-hit shutout with 4 SO and just 1 BB went far better.
SS – Levi Michael (21) – Twins 2011 1st Round Pick
Notes – Michael got off to a very rough start in his first professional season but it was understandable since the Twins dropped him into the Florida State League which is far from being a kind environment for a young hitter just starting out. After hitting 0.168/.264/.242 during the month of May, Levi rebounded to hit 0.292/.361/.375 during 21 June games. During the month he upped his LD% from 16% to 20% and dropped his K% from 21.4% to 12.9%. Defensively he’s split his time in the middle infield between 2B (34 games) and SS (43 games) and has been reliable at both spots in the field.
C/OF – Chris Herrmann (24) – Twins 2009 6th Round Pick
2011 – Fort Myers/New Britain: 0.269/.385/.399, 33 XBH, 10 SB, 79 BB and 74 SO in 512 PA
2012 – New Britain (AA): 0.263/.328/.394, 20 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 2 SB, 32 BB and 60 SO in 365 PA
Notes – Herrmann’s trademark plate discipline returned during the month of June as he drew 17 BB to offset 13 SO in 113 PA. Given that he had a 39-14 SO-to-BB in 198 PA from the start of the season to the end of May, it was a sign of significant progress. With 28 XBH in 85 games this season, he’s on pace to set a new personal best in that department, but power remains one of the weak points of his overall skillset. While his June slash line of 0.255/.363/.330 is nothing to jump up and down about we have to acknowledge that a lot of his development focus is on learning the nuances of playing catcher while still occasionally playing LF for the Rock Cats. Defensively he’s now thrown out 19 of 42 (45%) base runners and has allowed just 3 PB in 53 games behind the plate.