Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Prospects in the Pen
Three minor leaguers you will hear about in 2008:
2007 Batters Faced K% BB%
AA/AAA 316 25.6% 16.7%

A girthier Dennys Reyes (if that's possible), the 22-year-old, 6 foot, 230 lb lefty has made a quick ascension through the Twins organization. Originally signed as a 17-year-old out of Venezula, Mijares dominated in the bullpen at every level moving from from a 19-year-old rookie ball closer to the 22-year-old left-handed specialist who is currently playing for the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuela Winter League. Last season when camp broke, Mijares had the tragedy of losing his brother to violence in Venezuela. He is certain to begin the season in Rochester, however, if Liriano is not ready by the opener and Glen Perkins is moved into the starting rotation, Mijares might be tapped to be an additional left-hander out of the bullpen.

Bobby Korecky

Senior Bobby Korecky is one of the many pitchers Steve Merriman has helped since he rejoined the Michigan coaching staff. [BRENDAN O’DONNELL/Daily]

2007 Batters Faced K% BB%
AAA 358 19.8% 9.4%
The 28-year-old Korecky was the final player sent to the Twins in the Eric Milton deal with Philadelphia in December 2003. Drafted by the Phillies in 2002 out of Michigan, Korecky was the centerpiece of their pitching staff. In the Phillies farm system, Korecky bounced between a starter and a reliever until his final season there in high-A Clearwater. Once with the Twins, he moved to Double-A New Britain and continued to perform well in the pen. In April 2005, Korecky underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery but reemerged in 2006 with 13 saves he split between Double and Triple-A. Rochester leveraged Korecky like the relief aces of old. In 66 appearances, Korecky pitched 85 innings and saved 35 games an all-time high for Rochester (a mark that was previous set at 23 by Travis Bowyer). Currently pitching with the Tigres in the Venezuelan league, Korecky has held batters to a .179 average in 10.2 innings pitched. Because of the Twins' glutton of bullpen help, his age and his overinflated saves, Korecky could stand as a great bargaining chip much like Bowyer was in getting Luis Castillo. I would not be surprised to see him move prior to the beginning of spring training. If he is not, he could be brought in midseason to play the role Matt Guerrier played in 2006 if Guerrier expands to be more of a specialist of late inning stopper that Juan Rincon once was.

Eduardo Morlan

2007 Batters Faced K% BB%
A+/AA 289 34.2% 6.9%

This 21-year-old right-handed Cuban, tore through the Florida League in 2007. He was dispatching batters at a 30%+ rate. If you watch this video of him warming-up, you will notice that he is built solid from the waist-down much like a younger version of Juan Rincon. While his lead foot does not reach and drive as much as some of the other pitchers who generate power from their legs (Colon comes to mind), it is obvious that he has a very steady, very balanced delivery. While still a season away from the majors since Morlan only has limited time in Double-A, Baseball Prospectus's Joe Sheehan views him as potential trade bait for the Twins to find a power-hitting third baseman (namely Garrett Atkins).