Scouting Twin Prospect #6: Glen Perkins

The Twins selected Glen Perkins in the first round of the 2004 draft, and since then, he has developed into a great starting pitcher. A solid starter with a great arsenal, Perkins made three stops in 2006, ending the season with the Minnesota Twins. If the Twins starters falter to open the 2007 season, expect Perkins to be back in the Majors early on.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Glen Perkins
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: March 2, 1983
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 200
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

Glen Perkins had a breakout freshman season at the University of Minnesota, and from there, has not looked back. He went 10-2 that season, including 8-0 in the Big Ten, as he started to pop up on the scouts' radar. The Twins drafted Perkins in the first round of the 2004 draft, and although he was the last pick to sign, he went right to work after putting his name on the dotted line.

He made his professional debut with the Elizabethton Twins of the Appalachian League, although it took him only three starts to earn a promotion. For Elizabethton, Perkins posted a 1-0 record, and finished his Apply League season with a 2.25 earned run average. In 12 innings of work, Perkins struck out 22 batters, and walked only four.

After his promotion to Beloit of the Midwest League, Perkins made nine starts, and did not look overmatched by his first taste of full-season ball. He went 2-1 for the Snappers, posted a miniscule ERA of 1.30, and held the opposition to a .205 batting average. It was one of the better inaugural seasons of professional baseball of the 2004 season, and it enabled Perkins to be ready to make his High-A debut in 2005.

In 2005, Perkins was one of the better pitchers on the Fort Myers Miracle pitching staff, although he did not last too long there. Getting his second promotion in as many years, Perkins had a 2.13 ERA in ten appearances for the Miracle, and posted two complete games. Again he held the opposition to a .205 batting average, and struck out 66 batters in 55 innings of work.

Once he was promoted to New Britain of the Eastern League, Perkins struggled for the first time in his Twins career, as he finished the year with a 4.90 ERA in 14 starts. Making the jump through four levels in two years is enough to rattle any pitcher, and Perkins kept his confidence and composure even through the rough times this past season. During the Arizona Fall League, he was one of the best pitchers in the entire league, which is a prestigious league to even be in.

During the 2006 season, Perkins went from ace of the New Britain staff, to Rochester, to the Major Leagues. It was a whirlwind season for the lefty, who cemented his place in the Twins future. He made 23 starts for the Rock Cats, tossing two complete games, and he had an earned run average under 4.00.

However, Perkins posted only a 4-11 record for the Cats, though he was on the losing end of some tough outings. He held the opposition to a .243 batting average, and struck out better than a batter per inning. In 117 innings of work, Perkins struck out 131 batters, but he did allow 11 home runs.

Perkins made only one appearance for the Rochester Red Wings, as he tossed four innings of one-run ball in a losing effort. He was then promoted to the Twins, and he made quite the impression.

For the Twins, Perkins appeared in four games, posting a 1.59 earned run average. He pitched six innings, striking out six, and held his opponents to a .150 batting average. His work for the big league club gave Twins fans plenty of optimism for the 2007 season.

This spring, Perkins was right in the running for a spot in the Twins rotation, especially after the performance he put on during 2006. Although he lost out on a Twins roster spot, he should be back in the Major Leagues at some point in 2007, and now joins top prospect Matt Garza at the top of the Rochester Red Wings rotation. However, if the Twins need a lefty starter early in the year, look for Perkins to get the first look.

Repertoire. Fastball, Curveballs, Changeup \

Fastball. Perkins has a live fastball, which usually sits in the low-90s. For a lefty, that is some good heat, and he has been known to dial it up to the mid-90s on some occasions. He has used this as his outpitch during his professional career, and continues to rack up some great strikeout numbers. He has struck out better than a batter per inning during his pro career, and the Twins still feel he can get even better.

Other Pitches. Perkins ranks up there with having one of the better changeups in the organization, and it is a pitch that he uses well with his nice fastball. He also throws two different kinds of curveballs, one that breaks hard, and another one that is slow, and really gives the opposition fits. He has tremendous control with all of his pitches, and when he is on, is nearly untouchable. Now that he has gained more velocity on his heater, the other pitches he throws seem even better.

Pitching. Perkins is a great pitcher, who has the ability to take over a game when he is on the mound. He also has tremendous stamina, and now that he is in better shape than he was in college, can really go deep into a game. Perkins is also the kind of pitcher who can pitch in any situation, bearing down in pressure situations and really making it hard for batters to get a feel on what is working for him in each of his starts. He has really developed into a tremendous pitcher, and seems to get better every season.

Projection. Perkins is the best left-handed starting pitcher in the Twins farm system, though the Twins also like what he brings to the table as a reliever. He got great experience coming out of the pen for the Twins in 2007, though the Twins still view him as a starting pitcher. He is great in any role, and that is only going to help him get back to the Major Leagues. He is still projected as a starter, and I expect that to be the role where he pays huge dividends for the Twins in the future.

ETA. 2007. Glen will be back in the Major Leagues at some point during the 2007 season, and it could be sooner than later. He has become a proven starter at any level of Minor League baseball, and the Twins are hoping he gets off to a fast start for the Red Wings in 2007. I expect Perkins to be back with the Minnesota Twins by May, and he could get his first Major League start soon after. If he continues to develop into the pitcher he can be, then the Twins will have three great left-handed starters in 2008 and beyond.

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