2005 Draft Recap: Rounds 5-8

Now that the 2005 Minor League season has come to a close, TCD will be recapping the first seasons for the Twins' top draft picks. We will look closely at the first 12 rounds of the 2005 draft, and see which players lived up to the hype. Some of these first year guys led Elizabethton to the Apply League title, while some had seasons worthy of promotions.

Round 5- Steven Tolleson: It was an up-and-down season for Tolleson, who got off to a blistering start for Elizabethton, before being promoted to Beloit. He struggled after his promotion, but showed enough poise in the middle infield, that he may be slated for High-A Fort Myers in 2006. He looks to be an exciting player, who proves college seasoning does help in some cases.

He played in 16 games for Elizabethton after signing, and hit .321. He showed some power, hitting two home runs and six doubles, while driving in 11 runs. He ended his short-season year with a six-game hitting streak, prompting his promotion to full-season Beloit of the Midwest League.

At E-Town, Tolleson played mostly shortstop, but got some looks at second base and designated hitter. He hit .433 in seven road games, and batted well against righties, hitting at a .389 clip. As the Twins leadoff hitter, Tolleson showed a good eye at the plate. He walked 11 times in his 16 contest, and most importantly, struck out on only four occasions.

He made his full-season debut on July 30, and went 0-3 with two strikeouts. It would be a precursor for things to come, as he finished with a .176 batting average in 31 games. At Beloit, he was switched to second base for most of the season, appearing in only five games as a shortstop.

One of his main problems after his call-up was that his strikeout numbers went up considerably. The jump from short-season to full-season is a tough one, and it showed by his 23 strikeouts. However, it can not be overlooked that he did in fact get a call-up, and will benefit from that in 2006.

Round 6- John Wilson: Wilson, who turned 19 just before the end of the season, had a dissapointing first year of professional baseball. He hit only .229 in 26 games for the Gulf Coast League Twins, playing all three outfield positions. However, for any player it is hard to make the jump from high school to professional baseball, and he should bounce back in 2006.

He spent more time playing right field than any of the other outfield position, but hit better as a centerfielder and a left-fielder. He hit only .189 as the Twins right-fielder, and hit .273 as both a centerfielder and a left-fielder. No matter where he plays next season, he should be able to put up better numbers than he did in 2005.

He only hit one home run this past season, while driving in 13, but he did score 18 times. He needs to work on his batting eye, as he struck out 22 times in his 26 appearances.

However, he did show the ability to come through in clutch situations in 2005. He hit .400 with runners in scoring position and two outs in ten chances, and .353 in 17 at-bats with runners on and two outs. He looks to be slated for Beloit in 2006.

Round 7- Gregory Yersich: Yersich played in the shadow of Allan de San Miguel in 2005, but the Twins may have struck gold with their seventh round pick. After struggling through his first two months of his professional career, Yersich rebounded after de San Miguel's call-up, putting together a nice August.

After batting .162 through July, Yersich suddenly found the swing that made the Twins select him right out of high school. He hit .298 in August, hitting his first professional home run, and driving in ten of his 11 RBI.

One thing he needs to work on is his ability to hit left-handed pitching. He hit only .192 against lefties this past season, opposed to a .259 mark against righties. While his average against righties does not jump off the page, the drop off is staggering when he is facing lefties.

Yersich should split time with Sean Richardson at Beloit next year, with de San Miguel starting off the year in Fort Myers. If he continues to hit like he did in August, he could get some promotions of his own, and create a shuffle within the catching prospects.

Round 8- Daniel Powers: Powers got off to a blazing start for Elizabethton this season, allowing only one base hit through the first 16 batters he faced. He ended the year as the main man in the bullpen, working as both a spot closer and a set up man. In 2006, he should proved to be a player who rises through the organization, and at age 22, may even see some time at High-A or Double-A.

Powers finished the year with a 2.53 ERA in 22 appearances for the Appalachian League Champions. He picked up four saves along the way, and also won three games. Impressively, he held the opposing batters to a .197 batting average, en-route to a pretty solid inaugural season.

His best month of the season was July, where he posted an ERA under 1.00. In fact, his ERA was only 0.50, and he picked up all three of his victories. In that month, he held batters to a .145 batting average, and struck out 22 batters in 18 innings of work.

At the end of the season, Powers finished with 47 strikeouts in 42.2 innings, and allowed only one home run. He looks to be a pretty special pickup for the Twins, and should figure to be one of the top relieving prospects for the Twins in 2006.


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