The Grades: Full-Season First Basemen

In our next installment of Rating Twins Prospects, we look at the full-season first basemen. In this article, we grade all those first base prospects who appeared on full-season team rosters in 2007, and talk about each prospects season. Take a look at the Twins first base prospects.

Garrett Jones: Rochester Red Wings, Minnesota Twins
The 2007 season was another productive season for Garrett Jones, who has long been one of the better power hitting prospects in the Twins organization. The sweet-swinging left-handed slugger made his Major League debut in 2007, after being the best home run hitter in Rochester for the last two seasons. Jones has the kind of power that can make a mark at any level of professional baseball, and will get a long look this Spring Training to make the Twins out of camp. Overall, it was a very successful season for Garrett.
Grade: B+

Brock Peterson: New Britain Rock Cats
Peterson continues to hit the ball at every level that he plays at, and the 2007 season was no different. Always a threat to hit the long ball, Peterson hit for a good average at Double-A this past season, and has had a tremendous career so far for somebody who was drafted so late. He was once again among the organizational leaders in home runs, and will likely be a starter in Rochester if Garrett Jones is in Minnesota. He is just a pleasure to watch, and his growth has been a pleasant surprise.
Grade: B

Matt Betsill: Fort Myers Miracle, Beloit Snappers
Betsill split time between Fort Myers and Beloit during the 2007 season, though he struggled mightily at the plate. Usually a guy with good gap power, Betsill batted below the Mendoza Line for the Miracle before barely making it over the line for the Beloit Snappers. He will likely be back with Fort Myers in 2008, but if he cannot figure out a way to hit consistently, then he will be in big trouble. There are plenty of good first base bats in the Twins farm system, and there is no reason why Betsill cannot be one of them.
Grade: D-

Erik Lis: Fort Myers Miracle
For the second straight season, Lis had a year at a level that should have warranted a call-up. However, Lis stayed with the Fort Myers Miracle for the entire season, and really put on a highlight reel at the plate for the Twins High-A affiliate. After a home run off of future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens, Lis regained his power potential, and led the organization in home runs and runs batted in. A sweet-swinging slugger with gap and home run power, Lis is an RBI machine, who will be in the middle of the lineup for the New Britain Rock Cats next season.
Grade: A-

Whitney Robbins: Fort Myers Miracle
What a bad season for Whit, who had such high hopes coming into 2007. After a breakout season after being drafted by the Minnesota Twins last season, Robbins battled injuries and inconsistency in 2007, leading to a demotion to Beloit, where he did not get to play due to an injury. His season was cut short, and his tiny batting average at Fort Myers does in no way show the kind of hitter he is. Robbins is a good first baseman with good power to all fields, and I expect him to hit better in 2008.
Grade: INC

Johnny Woodard: Fort Myers Miracle, Beloit Snappers
In 2007, Johnny Woodard finally came into his own. After teaming with Brian Dinkelman and Danny Valencia to form one of the better three-man combos in the Midwest League, Woodard made the jump to Fort Myers, where he struggled to hit the ball on a consistent basis. Still, he did smack seven home runs in 51 Florida State League at-bats, showing the kind of power the Twins hoped he would develop when they drafted him so high a few years ago.
Grade: B

Daniel Berg: Beloit Snappers
Berg took over as the Beloit Snappers everyday first baseman when Johnny Woodard was promoted to High-A Fort Myers, but he did not have a very successful season. Splitting time between catcher and first base, Berg hit barely over .200, which is something that came as quite a surprise. I believe that he has the ability to be at least a .250 hitter, and the Twins need to find a steady position for him. If he can find some solidarity in a position on the field, it should equate to some consistency at the plate.
Grade: D

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