Name: Gregory Yersich
DOB: October 7, 1986
The Twins drafted Yersich in the seventh round of the 2005 Major League draft, taking the 18-year old catcher who was rated the best catching prospect in the Midwest. Five days after winning a High School state title, Yersich was already signed with the Twins and heading to Fort Myers. It was quite a jump for the young man, who father packed up his car and made the trip to see his young son play professional baseball for the first time.
Yersich transferred to Andrean High School for his senior season, and on his first day promised his coach he would win the state championship. His team rode Yersich's .308 batting average to do just that, and he gave his new manager his first state championship in the coach's 26-year coaching career. During the season, Yersich drove in 47 runs, and blasted eight home runs.
He was first assigned to the Gulf Coast League Twins, where he had to get used to playing in front of small crowds of people. He did struggle with the bat, batting only .238 in 31 games, but he gained valuable experience. He played well behind the plate, making the quick jump to professional baseball, and earned himself a promotion to Elizabethton this past season.
During this past season, Yersich was a main cog in the Elizabethton Twins title run, which ended in the Appalachian League finals. The young man batted only .244, but every pitcher from that team will tell you that he is a fantastic game caller. He may remain with the Twins next season, due to the fact that he is still adjusting to professional pitching.
Batting and Power: Yersich is going to be a good hitter, just as soon as he gets used to professional pitching. He made a tough jump to professional baseball in 2005, and he needs to start getting some confidence in himself at the plate. He also needs to work on his batting eye, as he only walked eight times this past season. In 81 career professional games, Yerisch has struck out 59 times, and he has walked only on 18 occasions. He does have the ability to hit the ball to all fields, but sometimes he gets into the habit of trying to pull the ball too much. He is never going to be a .300 hitter, but I do feel he has the ability to hit in the .260-.275 range.
Baserunning and Speed: Yersich is not a fast man, and nobody in the Twins organization expects him to be. The young catcher has catcher speed, which translates into not much. He is a good baserunner, but he is not somebody who is going to give pitchers fits. He is probably good for about three stolen bases a season, and those will mostly come when he is given a free base with the runner on third. He is not going to kill you on the basepaths, but he will most likely be pinch-run for if he gets on and the game is on the line.
Defense: Yersich is going to be a fantastic professional catcher, but right now he has been struggling behind the plate. He has already committed 11 errors through his brief career, but pitchers will tell you that they are more than confident with him behind the plate. He has a rocket for a right arm, and once he gets more games behind the dish, he should begin to flourish in that role. He was the best high school catcher in the Midwest, so it is only a matter of time before he is playing at a high level.
ETA. 2011 It is going to be a long road to the Major Leagues for Yersich, but he undoubtedly has the talent to get himself there. He a respectful, nice young man, who goes out of his way to make himself better. He is always working, and that kind of stuff does not go unnoticed in the world of professional baseball. I do believe he needs more seasoning at the short-season levels, but with the lack of depth in the Twins Minor League system at the catching spot, I would not be surprised if he got some run with the Beloit Snappers this season. It is going to be a year-to-year story for Yerisch, but he has the work ethic to make himself a legitimate prospect in the coming years.