Twins Prospects Get Off To Hot Start In 2008

Here is a look at those position players and pitchers who have gotten off to a fast start to the 2008 season. The Twins organization got some incredible starting pitching during the first week of the 2008 minor league season, and some key names have came through with the bats.

Though it was a short week, week one of the 2008 minor league season is in the books, and some of the Twins bigger named prospects are already paying dividends. With a handful of games done at each level, the Twins prospects are still getting used to the season beginning. All four of the Twins full-season teams are supposed to make noise in their respective leagues, and here is a quick glance at who is performing at a top level early in the season.

The Bats

Rochester centerfielder Denard Span has already been promoted to Minnesota, after Michael Cuddyer went on the 15-day disabled list. Span was hitting .333 at Rochester in only a couple of games, and played right field in his Major League debut for the Twins on Sunday. While his stint with Minnesota should be short, it will give the former first rounder a chance to make a name for himself in the Twin Cities.

Fellow Red Wings player Garrett Jones has gotten off to a hot start, and really has proven that he is a great Triple-A hitter. He is batting .500 on the young season, with already six hits on the year. He has also homered and driven in four runs, proving why he should be up with the big league club once again.

Steven Singleton has gotten off to a fast start for Beloit, batting .364 in three games to open the season. Teammates Deibinson Romero and Ramon Santana are also hitting above .300, with Chris Parmelee hitting two home runs in the early going. Parmelee shook off a bad opening day, where he struck out five times in five at-bats. Ozzie Lewis has also homered for Beloit.

Fort Myers has gotten off to a slow start with the bats, though Danny Valencia has picked up where he left off last season. He currently leads the team with a .364 batting average, and is really the only consistent bat in the Fort Myers lineup. Brian Dinkelman is currently second in batting, hitting .267 on the young season.

New Britain's lineup is filled with good talent, but they are currently riding a cool streak to open the season. As a team, New Britain is batting only .158, with Dustin Martin and Drew Butera leading the way, hitting .500 and .333 respectively. Both prospects have appeared in only two games to start the season. Luke Hughes and Matt Moses both have two hits on the year, with the team collecting only 15 knocks all season long.

The Arms

As always, the Twins have been getting great pitching efforts from their prospects to open the season, with New Britain's Ryan Mullins leading the way. The young left-hander threw five shutout innings in his season debut, striking out three along the way. Fellow rotation mate Anthony Swarzak also got off to a good start to the 2008 season, allowing only one earned run in his five innings of work.

18-year old Deolis Guerra, the Mets number one pitching prospect who the Twins got in the Johan Santana trade, showed exactly why he is regarded as such a big name prospect. Guerra, pitching for the Fort Myers Miracle, also allowed only one earned run in his five innings of work, striking out six while walking only one.

Tyler Robertson struck out six in his 2008 debut, and Francisco Liriano looked very good in his rehab start for the Fort Myers Miracle. Rochester relievers Casey Daigle and New Britain reliever Zach Ward have also looked good early on, and Fort Myers closer Robert Delaney picked up his first save of the season.

Rochester's Ricky Barrett and Fort Myers' Jeff Manship have picked up early season wins, and Brian Duensing look sharp for Rochester in his first start of the season.

If the early season is any indicator, it will once again be the pitching that carries the Twins organization in the minor leagues in 2008.

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