The Grades: Short-Season First Basemen

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

Jonathan Waltenbury, Gulf Coast League Twins
Waltenbury struggled a bit at the plate for the Gulf Coast League Twins in 2007, batting only .244 in 41 games. He did hit three home runs and displayed the ability to go the other way with the ball. He has a pretty decent batting eye, but still needs to cut down on his strikeouts. He will be with the Elizabethton Twins in 2008, but will likely begin the season in Extended Spring Training. He also needs to work on his defense, as he committed eight errors in only 38 games at first base this past season.
Grade: D+

Rene Leveret, Elizabethton Twins
Leveret had a Cinderella Season for the Elizabethton Twins, earning Appalachian League All-Star Honors. After batting over .300 for the season, Leveret helped the E-Town Twins get to the Appalachian League finals, where he hit a walk-off home run in Game One, eventually catapulting the Twins to the league championship. Overall, Leveret hit .307, hit eight home runs, and drove in nearly a run per game.
Grade: A

Henry Sanchez, Elizabethton Twins
Another wasted season for Sanchez, whom the Twins took as a Supplemental First Round selection in the 2005 draft. Drafted before guys like Kevin Slowey, Sanchez is already 21 years old, and has yet to play a full season of baseball. He appeared in only ten games this past season, smacking only one home run and driving in eight. He scored ten times in his ten games, and hopefully will be with Beloit next season.
Grade: INC

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