Twins Prospects Excelling In Arizona

The Twins sent six prospects to the Arizona Fall League this season, including some of their top prospects. While Matt Moses and Kevin Slowey are doing great, David Winfree and Adam Harben have struggled so far, and Kevin Cameron has Mesa's only victory this season. Here is a look at how all six players have fared five games into the season.

The Twins sent six players to this year's Arizona Fall League, and for the most part, these six prospects are having terrific seasons for the Mesa Solar Sox. Two of their hitters are in the top four on their team in batting average, and two of their pitchers have a combined earned run average of 0.00. The AFL is the premier prospect-laden league in all of Minor League Baseball, and if these guys can succeed in the AFL, it usually means they are going to be ready for the 2007 season.

Infielder Matt Tolbert has the second highest batting average on the Mesa squad, after putting together a successful season in the Twins farm system this past summer. Tolbert batted .303 for Fort Myers this season, before hitting .258 for New Britain. Overall, he batted .275, and established himself as one of the better infield prospects in the organization. So far for Mesa, Tolbert is batting a robust .475, and he has swiped two bags in five games.

Third base prospect Matthew Moses is also off to a hot start, after really struggling in his second season with the Rock Cats this past summer. Moses has already driven in four runs in five games, and he has ten total bases. In 20 at-bats, Moses has ripped seven base hits, including three doubles. This is a great sign for a player who has so much pressure on him going into the 2007 season.

One player who is making a run at Moses for the top third baseman spot in the Twins organization is David Winfree, although the young slugger is struggling mightily for Mesa this season. Winfree is batting only .083 for the Solar Sox in four games, although his only hit was a double. The balls just aren't dropping for Winfree, who has struck out only twice this season.

On the pitching side, Errol Simonitsch looked good in his first outing, tossing 2.2 innings of scoreless ball. The young left-hander allowed three hits in his only start, while striking out two. He is slated to get another start this week.

Kevin Cameron, who was one of the better relief pitchers in the Eastern League during the 2006 season, is another pitcher who is off to a good start in his first season in the Arizona Fall League. Cameron has appeared in two games out of the bullpen for the Solar Sox, and has allowed only one base hit while striking out four in 2.1 innings of work. He has also notched a win.

Adam Harben, who is another guy who needs a strong showing in the AFL this season, looked decent in his first start, before being hammered in his second outing. The right-hander now has a 6.75 earned run average through his two starts, and has an 0-1 record. In his last start, Harben allowed two runs in two innings, striking out one.

Super prospect Kevin Slowey is the final member of the Twins organization pitching in the Arizona Fall League, though the usual starter is pitching out of the bullpen for Mesa due to the workload he pitched during the 2006 season. After excelling at both the High-A and Double-A levels, Slowey pitched for Team USA, and work out of the bullpen at this time is a good thing for the young right-hander. Slowey has posted a 2.45 earned run average during his two appearances, and he has allowed only one earned run.

Mesa is currently 1-4 during the young season, with Cameron having the only win for the Solar Sox thus far.


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