I've lived less than a half hour from New Britain Stadium for most of my 33 years, so I have seen a lot of Twins minor-league baseball. You'd think by now I'd have a pretty good feel for how their player development system operates, but I really have no clue what they are looking for or if there is any actual medium-term plan for many of the guys I have seen. Vargas showed easy plus power from both sides of the plate when I saw him in New Britain in 2014. He did not look like someone ready for a callup to the majors, but even so he acquitted himself pretty well. Vargas struggled off the hop in 2015, so was sent down to Rochester. Okay, that's reasonable. A second major-league stint in June didn't go much better, so this time Minnesota sent him back to Double-A. Um, okay? He hit well at both minor-league levels and is only 25, but with the Twins crowded DH/1B situation going into 2016, Vargas may be very close to seeing if he can make those David Ortiz comps truly prescient.
I best remember Roth as the subject of an e-mail to the Up and In podcast wondering why such a great college pitcher went so late in the draft. Kevin and Jason explained that Roth's ability to throw multiple pitches for strikes in any count would work great in college, but his lack of velocity or a major-league out pitch would hamper his professional career. Roth did make it to the majors with the Angels, but that scouting report has more or less played out. In related news, man I miss Up and In.
Other names of note
With the Yankees dealing John Ryan Murphy to the Twins, there is now an opening for backup catcher behind Brian McCann. Sanchez has been a frustrating prospect throughout his professional career, looking like a solid, offense-first catcher or a backup first baseman, depending on the day you caught him. The power is obvious and has been on full display during the AFL, and his arm is a weapon behind the plate. So there is really nothing blocking Sanchez's path to a major-league job at this point, other than perhaps Sanchez himself.
Magnifico has never missed as many bats as you would expect from a guy that sits 97-98. posting a sub-20 percent K-rate at every full-season stop in his professional career. But given that he sits 97-98, he will get every chance to prove that his sudden strikeout success in Arizona is not just a blip.
Lewis Brinson, CF, Tezas Rangers (Indios de Mayaguez) 1-5, HR, 3 RBI
Brinson's Puerto Rican sojourn marks his fifth stop of 2015. All told he's hit 23 home runs in 116 games, and while a lot of that damage came in the friendly confines of High Desert, he's hit everywhere man, he's hit everywhere. Brinson boasts a toolshed as large as any in the minors, and while the 21-year-old will likely start 2016 back in Round Rock, 2016 looks like it will bring a much less hectic travel itinerary.
Mejia is currently serving a season-long suspension for a second positive PED test, which he failed while on suspension for the first positive PED test. That might be enough to make any major-league team shy away from employing him, but as he doesn't count against the 40-man, and the Mets don't have to pay him anything until the suspension is up next Summer, Mejia may find himself with one more major-league shot. He's struggled so far in the Dominican, where he is working as a starter, but he's been one of the Mets best relievers when he's, you know, not been suspended.
Austin Hedges, C, San Diego Padres (Leones de Escogido) 0-4, 2 K
It was recently confirmed during our internal discussion of the Padres system that Rymer Liriano is still prospect-eligible. Some cursory research on my part suggests that means Austin Hedges is the only non-prospect likely to make the Padres U-25 list. That is not ideal.
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