Dean put together the most impressive season of any of the Twins in 2005, posting a .340 batting average in 34 games. Although he hit only one home run, Dean finished with 20 RBI, and struck out only nine times all season. Dean finished the year with 36 hits, good for third on the team, and finished with a .426 on-base percentage. In 2006, the Twins would like to see more power numbers from Dean, as he should begin the season in Low-A Beloit. Dean appears to be a legitimate prospect, and it will be interesting to see what his 2006 season brings.
Juan Delgado- 3B/SS
Delgado had a terrible 2005 season, splitting his time between shortstop and third base. He appeared in 27 games for the GCL Twins, and hit only .097. Amazingly, of his seven hits, five went for extra-bases, including two home runs. The most gaudy statistic he put up was in the strikeout department, where he struck out 28 times to only two walks. He needs a complete offensive overhaul if he wishes to continue playing in the Twins' organization.
Paul Kelly- SS
Kelly was the Twins' everyday shortstop, and finished second on the team with 137 at-bats. He had four different double-play partners throughout the season, and was able to anchor the Twins' infield. Kelly was the third of the Twins' three second round draft picks in 2005, and finished his inaugural season with a promotion to Low-A Beloit. For the GCL Twins, Kelly finished the year second in RBI with 20, second in total bases with 50, and grounded into only one double play all season. For his efforts, Baseball America ranked him the 12th best prospect in the Gulf Coast League. He did strike out 36 times, while finishing with a .277 batting average. At Beloit, Kelly hit .313 in five games, homering once, and driving in four runs.
Marion Knowles- 1B/OF
Knowles had a pretty unsuccessful season in 2005, and will be looking to bounce back in 2006. All though he gave the Twins a pretty steady glove in both the outfield and at first base, he did not do very much of anything at the plate. He hit .248 in 121 at-bats, and struck out 30 times. He scored 16 times in 36 games, and drove in 17 runs. At 22-years old, it will be interesting to see where Knowles fits in during the 2006 campaign.
William Luque- 3B/SS
Luque was one of the better Twins' hitters in 2005, finishing the year with a .322 batting average in 33 games. He scored 21 times, and finished second on the team with 13 stolen bases. Luque has tremendous speed, and it was evident by not only his 13 stolen bases, but also by the two triples he legged out. He does need to work a bit on his glove work, as he committed six errors in 2005. I expect Luque to make two stops in 2006, the first at Beloit, and the second at High-A Fort Myers.
Michael Lysaught- 2B
The name of the game for Lysaught is consistency, which he showed the ability to have in 2005. Lysaught hit .250 in his 23 games played, and committed only one error in the field all season. Like many other young players, he needs to cut down on his strikeouts, as he posted 26 of them in 2005. He is a steady glove, and should be a very decent utility infielder throughout his minor league career.
Henri Sanchez- 1B
Sanchez was the prize signing for the Twins in 2005, but struggled in his inaugural season. Many questioned whether or not Sanchez would even sign with the Twins, after the Twins took him with a supplemental pick in the first round. He played the entire season as an 18-year old, and batted .229 in 21 games. I fully expect Sanchez to live up to his potential in 2006, and begin making a name for himself within the organization.
Probably the most intriguing player on the 2005 Gulf Coast League Twins roster was Santiesteban. He absolutely took the GCL by storm, before an injury cut his season short. Santiesteban hit four home runs in his first five professional games, and led the team in home runs with six, despite playing in only 21 games. He also led the team with 24 RBI, and posted a remarkable .640 slugging percentage. In 2006, look for Santiesteban to skyrocket through the organization, possibly finishing up with High-A Fort Myers.
Richard Sojo- RF
Sojo was one of the more consistent bats in the Twins' lineup in 2005. He led the team with 148 at-bats, and that is only the beginning of the story. Sojo led the 2005 GCL Twins in runs (36), hits (47), doubles (11), triples (5), and finished third with 11 stolen bases. His five triples were good enough for second in the GCL, as were his 26 runs. At the end of the season, Sojo had the seventh-best batting average in the league with a .318 mark. The only bad side to his season was the fact that he struck out 32 times, but that is something he will be able to work on in 2006.
Andrew Thompson- INF
Thompson, who was ranked the 17th best prospect in the league by Baseball America, batted .257 for the GCL Twins before a promotion to High-A Fort Myers. Thompson led the team with 22 walks, and finished tied for second with 20 RBI. He hit .308 for Fort Myers after his call-up, and may be their Opening Day second baseman in 2006. As the Twins' first second round pick in 2005, it is plain to see he has a place in the future of the organization.
Odannys Valdez- 2B/OF
Valdez had an interesting season in 2005, and had it not been for a terrible July, could have posted some impressive all-around numbers. Instead, he finished the year with a .219 batting average, thanks mostly to a July where he hit only .167 in 18 games. He did prove to be a versatile player for the Twins, splitting his time between second base and the outfield. He finished the year third in the GCL with 15 stolen bases, and actually had a .338 on-base percentage, thanks to his 21 walks. He had his moments in 2005, but he needs to continue to grow as a hitter if he wants to be a legitimate Twins' prospect.
John Wilson- UTIL
Wilson, who was the Twins' 2005 sixth round draft pick, had a sub-par inaugural season. He played four different positions for the Twins, but hit only .229 in 26 games. It was his ability to play all three outfield positions, and a little bit of first base, that kept him in the lineup. He is going to have to cut down on the strikeouts, as he struck out 22 times in his 26 appearances, and begin to start using all parts of the field. He looks to have some talent, so the Twins will be watching him closely in 2006.
Yersich followed Wilson in the draft, and follows him here. He was the Twins starting catcher in 2005, and played well, despite his .238 average. The heat of the GCL can sometimes get to catchers, and that was the problem for Yersich in 2005. On the bright side, he drove in 11 runs, and scored 13 times. I expect Yersich to be in Beloit in 2006, fighting for the starting catcher job.