2005 New Britain Position Prospect Review

TwinCitiesDugout.com looks at the New Britain Rock Cats' position players from 2005, examining the guys who played a majority of the season with the New Britain Rock Cats, and had a minimum of 175 at-bats in the Eastern League.

Douglas Deeds- RF

Deeds had a tremendous 2005 season, earning a spot on the Eastern League All-Star Team. He batted .304, and blasted 16 home runs in 133 games, while starring as the Rock Cats' rightfielder. He finished third overall in the Twins' organization in batting average, and also ranked third in runs batted in, with 82 on the year. He finished the season second on the team in doubles (34), runs (77), and triples (2). Deeds also played a rock-solid right field for the Cats, committing only three errors the entire season.

Luis Jimenez- 1B/DH

Jimenez was one of the big bats in the Cats lineup in 2005, as he matched Deeds with 16 home runs. The big slugger also drove in 69 runs, scored 61 times, and finished the year with a .462 slugging percentage. While splitting his time between designated hitter and first base, Jimenez was a constant fixture in the Rock Cats' lineup, appearing in 116 games. He does need to work on his batting eye, as he struck out 104 times in 2005, while walking only 45 times.

Bryan Kennedy- C

Kennedy served as the Rock Cats starting catcher in 2005, and was pretty solid behind the plate. It was his work at the plate that needs help in 2006, as he finished the year with a meager .239 average in 72 contests. The brother of Anaheim Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy, he needs to work on getting on base, and will never be considered a legitimate catching prospect until he does so. Although he did struggle a bit behind the plate, committing six errors on the year, he did provide crucial leadership to the younger guys on the team, and handled the pitching staff well all season long.

Daniel Matienzo- 1B/DH

Matienzo was one of the best power hitters in the organization in 2005, as he put himself in a position to make the Major League roster sometime during the 2006 season. He finished second in the organization in both home runs (23), and runs batted in (87), and batted a respectable .282. He was an Eastern League All-Star, and was one of the main reasons why the Rock Cats almost made the playoffs in 2005. A former star at the University of Miami, Matienzo carries a big bat, and should make a big splash in Rochester in 2006.

Luis Maza- 2B

Maza appeared in 49 games for the Rock Cats during the 2005 season, and did not play very well. He batted only .249 for the season, and had an on-base percentage under .300. He did prove to be a steady glove in the field, as he committed only three errors all season long. He fared much better at the Triple-A level, as he batted .291 for the Rochester Red Wings in 79 games. He also finished the season with 17 home runs during his two stops, good enough for forth in the organization. He is a good infield prospect, and could see some time at the Major League level in the 2006 season.

Matthew Moses- 3B

Moses did not play well after being promoted to Double-A New Britain, but that can happen to a 21-year old playing in the Eastern League. He appeared in 48 games after his call-up, batting .210, as he tried to get accustomed to Double-A ball. He also struggled with the glove while playing for the Cats', committing nine errors. He should start the 2006 season with the Cats once more, and will put up much better numbers in his second stint with the team. He is the top third base prospect in the organization, and is only going to get better. He did show the ability to drive in a run, pushing 30 runners across home plate.

Alexander Romero- LF

Romero had the best season of any player on the New Britain roster, as he used the 2005 season to catapult himself into being one of the best outfield prospects in the organization. He was the only Cat to be named to the Post-season All-Star Team after batting .301 in 139 games. His batting average was good enough for fourth in the organization, and his 77 runs batted in were the fifth best total. He also tied for the New Britain lead with 12 stolen bases, led the team with 153 hits, and finished third on the team with 31 doubles. He possibly put himself in position to crack the Major League roster in 2006.

Denard Span- CF

Nothing seems to phase Denard Span, as he was called up to New Britain and inserted as their leadoff man. He did not miss a beat, setting the table for the big hitters like Matienzo, Romero, Deeds, and Moses. He batted .285 in his 68 Eastern League games, and finished second on the team with ten stolen bases, despite playing only half the season with the team. He was the only player on the team to walk more than he struck out, as he demonstrated his excellent batting eye. He excited the Rock Cat faithful by legging out five triples, scoring 47 times, and playing a great centerfield.

James Tomlin- OF

Tomlin was often overlooked in the Rock Cats lineup, but he had a solid season in the shadows. He batted a respectable .274 in 119 games, and tied Span for second place on the team's stolen base list with ten. He proved to be the ultimate team player, as he led the team with 17 sacrifices. He was also pretty solid in the field, committing only four errors on the year, as he played all three outfield positions.

Gabby Torres- C

Torres split time with Kennedy behind the plate in 2005, and had a pretty weak season overall. He batted only .242 for the season, and committed five errors during his 61 starts. Statistics aside, he did do a good job in handling the pitching staff, and should continue to be a backup catcher in 2006. He did show that he has a pretty decent batting eye, as he walked 16 times compared to only 23 strikeouts.

Gilbert Velazquez- SS

Gilbert was another player who spent his 2005 season with both the New Britain Rock Cats, and the Rochester Red Wings. As did Luis Maza, Velazquez put up better numbers at the Triple-A level than he did at the Double-A level. He batted only .231 in 81 games for the Rock Cats, while batting .265 in 17 International League games. And while his glove was shaky at times for the Cats, committing 16 errors, he committed only two errors for the Red Wings. He should continue to be a utility infielder in 2006, but will spend the entire season with the Wings.

Thomas Watkins- INF

Watkins played a big role on the New Britain squad during the 2005 season, mostly because of his ability to play shortstop, third base, and second base. His ability to play those three positions enabled Manager Stu Cliburn to work Moses at third, and JR Taylor at shortstop after their call-ups. While he basically has no bat, he hit .229 in 116 games, he definitely proved his worth throughout the season. Very fast, Watkins tied Romero for the team lead with 12 stolen bases.

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