Beloit Snappers 2007 Recap: The Pitchers

Here is a list of the arms that carried the Beloit Snappers to the Midwest League Finals. To make the list, a pitcher must have had at least 15 starts, or have appeared in 13 games for the team. In this, we discuss what the pitchers meant to the team, and where they should be next season.

Alex Burnett
Burnett was one of the better starting pitchers in the Twins organization during the 2007 season, and helped lead the team to the Midwest League Finals. An innings eater, Burnett was relied on heavily when Jeff Manship was promoted to High-A Fort Myers, and he did not back down from the challenge. He tossed over 150 innings of work this season, and won nine regular season games. He made 27 starts, which was the most on the team, and finished second on the team in strikeouts. Burnett was a mid-season Midwest League All-Star. He'll be in Fort Myers in 2008.

Jesus Carnevales
Carnevales was relied on often when he was promoted from Extended Spring Training, and had a very good year out of the Beloit bullpen. He ranked third on the team in games pitched, appearing in 37 contests, and had an earned run average a bit over 4.00. He was used in plenty of situations, appearing in the mid to late innings, and should be in the bullpen for Fort Myers in 2008.

Aaron Craig
Personally, I think Aaron Craig is a pitcher that could one day be in the bullpen in the Major Leagues. I love the tenacity he brings to the table, and I love the fact that he succeeds in any kind of situation. He was a workhorse out of the Beloit bullpen this past season, and had a tiny 2.32 earned run average. He also has the ability to pick up the strikeout when he needs it.

Robert Delaney
Delaney put himself on the map in a big way during the 2007 season, and is slated to be in New Britain to start the 2008 season. He could conceivably help out the Minnesota Twins in 2008 if he has a strong start to the season. Like Burnett, he was also a Midwest League All-Star, and set the Beloit single-season save record in a little over a half a season. He was dominant from the outset of the season, and did not slow down when he was promoted to the Fort Myers Miracle. He is a big-time prospect, and will be on plenty of watch lists next season.

Cole Devries
One of the better starters on the Beloit Snappers roster the entire season, Devries showed why the Twins picked him up as a non-drafted free agent. He appeared in 27 games, making 25 starts, and for a while was a top starter in the entire league. A lefty with great stuff, Devries finished third on the team in strikeouts, and was an innings eater for the team when the bullpen needed some rest. In his first season with the organization, Devries was named a Midwest League All-Star. He is slated for Fort Myers in 2008, where he should once again be one of the top lefties in the rotation.

Matthew Fox
Fox put himself back in the prospect scene in 2007, as he was relied upon heavily for the Snappers. He worked from both the rotation and the bullpen, and succeeded in both fashions. In fact, his biggest win came with the season on the line in the playoffs against West Michigan. All told, he had a 7-2 regular season record, had a respectable 3.50 earned run average, and held the opposition to a .244 batting average. All those stats really jump out at you, considering where he came back from.

Adam Hawes
Hawes racked up 70 innings of work for the Snappers this past season, and made 13 starts. He pitched well when he was healthy, though he still needs to be more consistent when he is on the mound. Hawes was once considered one of the better young pitching prospects in the Twins organization, and may be slated for another season in the Midwest League in 2008. If that is the case, he will be at the top of the Snappers rotation.

Brian Kirwan
In the first edition of the Baseball Prospects Magazine, I rated Kirwan as a player to watch that most people have never heard of, after pitching well in 2006. To my surprise, he did not deliver, and really struggled during the 2007 season. However, I still think he is a pitcher that you need to keep an eye on, because I feel he has terrific stuff. His 2007 numbers are not indicative of what he can do on the mound.

Dan Leatherman
Leatherman recently told in an interview that he loves to pitch with the game on the line. In 2007, Leatherman rang true to his words, as he was one of the better relief pitchers in not only the Twins organization, but also the Midwest League. He led the Snappers in games pitched, even making one start, and was solid throughout the entire season. He won seven games, saved five, and held the opposition to a batting average under .250.

Jose Lugo
Lugo was the quintessential bullpen guy for the Snappers in 2007, and was really a main reason why the team made the post-season. He was used 40 times throughout the season, and even filled in when the rotation was going through some changes. Lugo was pretty good in any situation in 2007, and should be a main pitcher with the Fort Myers Miracle next season.

Jeff Manship
When he was with the Beloit Snappers, Jeff Manship was the best pitcher in the Midwest League, hands down. The young right-hander, who was ranked as a top prospect by Baseball America coming into the season, put himself into the upper echelon of Twins prospects in 2007. He appeared in 13 games, making all starts, and was a Midwest League All-Star. He posted a 1.51 earned run average, went 7-1, and held the opposition to a .185 batting average. He is now one of the better right-handed starting pitching prospects in the Twins organization.

Tyler Robertson
If there was one pitcher who turned heads as much as Manship did for the Snappers in 2007, it was Robertson, who came from Extended Spring Training to be one of the top starters in the Twins organization. The young left-hander took over role of staff ace when Manship went to Fort Myers, and did not look back. Robertson made 18 appearances, making 16 starts, and led the team in strikeouts. He also led all Midwest League playoff pitchers with 20 strikeouts. He may be the top left-handed starting pitching prospect in the Twins organization.

Anthony Slama
When Robert Delaney was promoted to Fort Myers, the Beloit Snappers were in dire need of a closer. Because Leatherman was so useful in the mid to late innings, the Snappers tabbed Slama as their closer, and he did not disappoint. He ended up appearing in 21 games for Beloit, and saved ten of his 12 save opportunities. He was nearly unhittable, posting a 1.48 earned run average, and holding the opposition to a .172 batting average. He could be back in Beloit in 2008, where he will once again be the team's closer.

Danny Vais
Vais was another pitcher in the Beloit staff that was used often, and he also was a guy who did not disappoint. Though he posted a 4.15 earned run average, Vais was clutch down the stretch, and really was called upon in plenty of crucial situations. He won five games, saved two, and struck out nearly a batter per inning.

Matthew Williams
Williams is a young arm who I believe could be a big name prospect in a couple of years. He was a top reliever for the Snappers in 2007, and could get more seasoning with the team in 2008. He had a low earned run average, but only appeared in 18 games for the team. He was solid with Elizabethton in 2006, and should make a steady rise through the organization.

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