2005 Rochester Position Player Review

TwinCitiesDugout.com looks at the Rochester Red Wings position players from 2005, examining the guys who played a majority of the season with the Rochester Red Wings, and had a minimum of 225 at-bats in the International League.

Brent Abernathy- Util

Abernathy appeared in 57 games for the Red Wings in 2005, and batted a robust .326. He wrapped 70 hits in his 215 at-bats, and smacked six home runs. He possesses an excellent batting eye, and walked more than he struck out in 2005. At the end of the season, he was promoted to the Minnesota Twins, where he batted .239 in 24 games. This past offseason, the Twins outrighted him to Triple-A Rochester, but he turned it down to sign a Minor League deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. He has been invited to their Spring Training.

Jason Bartlett- SS

Bartlett should begin the 2006 season as the Twins' starting shortstop, after and up-and-down 2005 season. He began the 2005 season as the Twins' starting shortstop, but after hitting .242 as of May 13, he was demoted to Rochester. For the Red Wings, Bartlett tore the cover off the ball, batting .332 in 61 games. He was then promoted back to Minnesota, hitting .318 in August, before slumping in September. He has nothing left to prove at the Minor League level, and the 2006 season is a make or break one for him.

Rob Bowen- C

A member of the Twins 40-man roster, Bowen spent the entire 2005 season at Rochester. In his 87 games, the catcher batted .267, while committing four errors behind the plate. During the 2003 and 2004 season, Bowen made it to Minnesota, but failed to show the ability to hit Major League pitching. He should begin the season at Rochester in 2006, splitting time with newly acquired Shawn Wooten.

Todd Dunwoody- OF

Dunwoody struggled during the 2005 season, after showing flashes of brilliance for the Red Wings in 2004. After coming over from Buffalo that season, Dunwoody batted .305 in 85 games, and blasted nine home runs. This past season, he only batted .247, and hit four less home runs in 11 more games. He did manage to steal six bases, good enough for third on the team, and drove in a fourth-best 40 runs. A very solid defensive outfielder, he committed only two errors the entire season.

Chris Heintz- C

Heintz had an incredible 2005 season, playing well enough to earn his first shot in the Major Leagues. He batted .304 for the Red Wings in 89 games, and posted a .444 slugging percentage. Hi 100 hits were good enough for fourth on the team, and the three people ahead of him played in well over 100 games. During the week of June 17-July 3, Heintz was named International League Hitter of the Week. During that week, he batted .379, hit three home runs, and drove in 13 run. He also lifted his batting average from .290 to .308. After his promotion to Minnesota, he appeared in eight games for the Twins, posting a .200 batting average.

Garrett Jones- 1B

Jones had a typical season in 2005, but posted exceptional numbers in the Arizona Fall League. For the Red Wings, he batted only .244, while striking out over 100 times. He did put up great power numbers as usual, smacking a team and organization best 24 home runs. He also drove in 72 runs, and hit 22 doubles. The Twins have been looking for him to cut down on the strikeouts and lift his batting average, and he accomplished one of the two during the Fall League. While he batted a respectable .289, he did in fact strikeout 27 times in 25 games. The power numbers were still there as well, as he finished second in the league with nine home runs.

Luis Maza- Util

Maza split time between Triple-A and Double-A in 2005, appearing in 76 games for the Red Wings, and 49 games for Rock Cats. While he batted only .249 for the Rock Cats, he fared much better at the Triple-A level, as he batted .291 for the Rochester Red Wings in his 76 games. He also finished the season with 17 home runs during his two stops, good enough for forth in the organization. The 2005 season was the second straight season he split time between both levels, and he is going to have to find what it takes to get to the next level in 2006. However, he is a good infield prospect, and could see some time at the Major League level in the 2006 season.

Augie Ojeda- Inf.

The 2005 season was the first time since 2000 that Augie Ojeda did not make a Major League roster. After failing to hit over .230 in parts of four seasons with the Chicago Cubs, the Twins picked up Ojeda for the 2004 season. Although he struggled a bit at Rochester, he did go on to hit .339 for the Twins in 2004. However, he could not make it out of Rochester in 2005, batting .224 in 105 games as mostly a utility infielder. He hit three home runs, drove in 33, and swiped three bases. For his Major League career, Ojeda is a .219 hitter, and has three career home runs, and 31 career runs batted in.

Josh Rabe- OF

The 2005 season was Rabe's second full-year at Rochester, but he still struggled for the Red Wings. He batted only .239 in 90 games, as opposed to .263 the year before. This is actually his third stint with the Red Wings, as he was promoted to Rochester in 2003, and this season he saw his power numbers go up considerably. After hitting seven home runs in 122 games in 2004, Rabe hit 11 in 33 less games this past season. He is currently having a great Winter League season, as he is hitting .333 in 189 at-bats for the Aragua Tigers of the Venezuelan League.

Terry Tiffee- 3B

Tiffee put a lot of miles on his credit card in 2005, making three stops in Rochester, and three stops in Minnesota. After batting .227 in his first five games for the Red Wings, he was promoted to Minnesota, where he batted .280 before being demoted the first time. He went back to Rochester from April 23-May 3, and was hitting .267 by the time he was promoted again. He struggled for Minnesota in his second stint of the year, batting .143 before being demoted again. This time, Tiffee was on Rochester from June 6-July 24, and ended his Triple-A season with a .266 batting average. He was promoted back to Minnesota July 26, and spent the rest of the season with the Twins. For the year, he batted .207 for the Twins in 54 games.

Jason Tyner- OF

Tyner was one of the best hitters in the International League in 2005, as he finished fourth in the league with 150 hits. Organizationally, his .286 batting average was good for eighth overall, and his 18 stolen bases tied him for fourth. After being called up by Minnesota in early September, Tyner went on to hit .321 in 18 games for the Twins, and became a fan favorite in the outfield.

Kevin West- OF

Our choice for the Rochester Batter of the Year award, West was one of the most consistent bats in the Rochester lineup all season long. He batted .271, smacked 20 home runs, and drove in 64 runs. His 20 dingers were good for second on the team, and his .478 slugging percentage was tops. Unfortunately, he suffered a serious knee injury during Winter League play this past month, and will be out until mid-summer 2006. That is a big blow to someone who could have fought for a Major League roster spot this season.

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