Rochester jumped out to a hot start during the 2006 season, as they boasted some of the best players in the league. Guys like Jason Bartlett, Jason Kubel, and Boof Bonser dotted their roster, all of whom have since graduated to the Major Leagues. They had to claw to clinch their spot as the Wild Card, but they seem to have the pieces in place to make a serious run through the IL playoffs, which start on Wednesday.
The Beloit Snappers sent nine of their players to the Midwest League All-Star game, and that stat has reflected on the standings. Erik Lis has been arguably the best hitter in the league all season long, and was recently named to the Midwest League Post-season All-Star team. Pitchers Yohan Pino, Eduardo Morlan, and Alexander Smit give them possibly the best starting three in the league, and should be a key component in their drive for the league championship.
In a recent article, we touched on what has made the 2006 season a special one for the Elizabethton Twins, which has most notably been their hitting. Danny Valencia is one of the best hitters in the league, and Danny Santiesteban has proved to have the extra-base hit potential that we all knew he has, though he did have a down year average-wise.
The fact that four of the Twins six farm teams have made their respective playoffs is a testament to the Twins organization. Aside from the playoffs, the farm system has also produced eight players on the team's current active roster who began the season at one of the affiliates. In that mix, the team has found a top reliever (Pat Neshek), their starting shortstop (Jason Bartlett), a future top of the rotation starter (Matt Garza), and one of their key "piranhas" (Jason Tyner).
With the new stadium to open in 2010, the Twins have the perfect mix of veterans and young talent to make this a serious contender for the next ten years.