Leading the way this season was the short-season Elizabethton Twins, who took home the 2005 Appalachian League title. Yohan Pino led the league with nine wins, and Manager Ray Smith took home Manager of the Year honors. Closer Timothy Lahey also enjoyed a special season, tying for the league lead with nine saves.
Low-A Beloit made a mini-run in the Midwest League playoffs, but the Wildcard winners ended up losing in a three-game set against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. The team was led by Midwest League Post-Season All-Star David Winfree, who accumulated over 100 RBI for the season. The Twins may have found a future closer in Jonathan Martinez, who saved 20 games while posting a 1.83 ERA in 53 appearances.
The Rochester Red Wings had an up and down season, which ended with them fizzling out of the playoff race. Their year showcased the emergence of Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano as future starters for Minnesota, and the retirement of legendary Manager Phil Roof.
The New Britain Rock Cats, who had their roster revamped the entire season, fell just short of the Eastern League Playoffs. Alexander Romero proved he has the power to be a legitimate Major League prospect, and 21-year old Denard Span excelled after leading the Florida State League in batting prior to his call-up.
The Fort Myers Miracle struggled at the plate the entire season, but their arms were certainly up to the task of carrying the team. Justin Jones, who was acquired in the four-team Nomar Garciaparra trade, proved he is a legitimate pitching prospect, after struggling as a Twins' prospect last season. Third baseman Matthew Moses earned himself a call-up to Double-A New Britain towards the end of the season, depleting the Miracle of thier best hitter.
The Gulf Coast League Twins had a pretty decent year of their own. Danny Santiesteban proved to be a beast in the batters box, before an injury cut his season short. While the pitching staff struggled, the offense did their best to pick up the slack, but eventually missed out on the GCL championship.
Overall, there is more than a few reasons to be excited about the future of the Minnesota Twins. In the coming weeks, TwinCitiesDugout.com will be highlighting players and giving our readers our Top 50 prospect list. We will also be there this spring, when the Twins get ready for a return to their rightful spot atop the American League Central.
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