Rating Twins Prospects: Full-Season Catchers

In our first installment of Rating Twins Prospects, we take a look at all those prospects who spent the majority of their time behind the plate in 2008. Each prospect is talked about and given a grade, with some getting a projection for 2009. Take a look at the full-season catchers.

Jeff Christy, New Britain and Rochester
Christy did not hit well during the 2008 season, which was disappointing considering how well he hit in his short stint with New Britain in 2007. The former sixth round selection out of the University of Nebraska batted a combined .213 between his two stints this season, and did not hit a home run. However, he is a great game caller, and will likely be with Rochester to begin the 2009 season.
Grade: D

Ryan Jorgensen, Rochester and Minnesota
Jorgensen had a good season with Rochester in 2008, his first season with the Twins organization. The journeyman batted .247 with the Red Wings before being called up to Minnesota at the end of the season. He was relied upon to groom a very good pitching staff in Rochester, which he did very well. He proved invaluable to the team and could be back with the organization in 2009.
Grade: C

Jose Morales, Rochester
Morales is arguably the best hitting catcher in the Twins organization, and he was on his way to another great season before an injury it short. He was once again batting over .300 for the Rochester Red Wings, and could be a backup catcher for the Twins at some point next season. When healthy, Morales is a good defensive catcher with great offensive skills.
Grade: B

Drew Butera, New Britain
A Florida State League mid-season All-Star in 2007, Butera spent his second season with the Twins in New Britain in 2008. It was his second stint with the Twins Double-A affiliate, though he struggled at the plate. For the season, Butera batted only .219 in 96 games, though he batted better over his last ten games. He has a good batting eye, and if a full season, has the potential to hit 10-15 home runs.
Grade: C-

Rodolfo Palacios, Fort Myers and New Britain
Palacios missed most of the 2007 season with a left lateral meniscus injury. He began the 2008 season with the Fort Myers Miracle, batting .231 in 28 games. When New Britain needed an extra backstop, Palacios stepped in and did a decent job when needed. He did not bat well for the Cats, batting only .207, but would do a lot better if he works on his batting eye. I would think he will be with Fort Myers in 2009.
Grade: C-

Allan de San Miguel, Beloit and Fort Myers
Allan de San Miguel struggled at the beginning of the season with Fort Myers, but once he was demoted to Beloit, he was able to settle into a groove for the Snappers. He ended the season with Beloit, batting .265, and finished the year batting .400 in his last ten games. He will get another shot at Fort Myers in 2009, and should fair better.
Grade: B-

Danny Lehmann, Beloit and Fort Myers
Lehmann was a mid-season All-Star in the Midwest League, and did enough to earn a promotion to Fort Myers. The Twins eighth round selection in 2007, the Rice product could develop into one of the better catching prospects in the Twins organization. He batted a combined .243 during the 2008 season, and is one of the better defensive catchers in the system.
Grade: B

Wilson Ramos, Fort Myers
Ramos is arguably the top catching prospect in the Twins organization, and batted an impressive .288 in the Florida State League in 2008. Ramos can hit for average, showed great pop, and is a top defensive catcher. He is slated to be the starting catcher in New Britain in 2009, and has the potential to be an everyday catcher in the Major Leagues if he continues to progress at this rate. He was an FSL All-Star this past season.
Grade: A

Jair Fernandez, Beloit
Fernandez was a mid-season All-Star for the Beloit Snappers in his first season with the Twins organization, and was having a great season before an injury cut him down in June. Fernandez came over to the Twins when the traded R.A. Dickey to the Mariners, and was a top prospect in the Seattle system prior to the trade. The Twins are not very deep at the catcher position, so Fernandez could make a big splash next season in Fort Myers.
Grade: B

Greg Yersich, Beloit
Yersich was a post-season All-Star for Elizabethton in 2007, though he did not bat well for the Snappers in 2008. Yersich has the ability to be a good catching prospect, though he has yet to show the ability to be able to hit in the Midwest League. He will likely be slotted for Beloit in 2009, which will be his third season with the Snappers, and will need to have a big season in order to get to Fort Myers.
Grade: D

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