Glove Works: All-Defensive Team

Maza leads a pretty impressive group.

One of the most important phases of the game gets lost in our stat-happy wolrd...defense! Not every prospect will be a legitimate 30-30 candidate and not everyone will hit .300 at the Major League level. Some prospects will get to the big leagues on the merits of their excellent glove work. Here is our "All-Defensive Team" among the Twins' prospects.

Catcher- Allan de San Miguel: San Miguel is by far the best defensive catcher in the Twins organization, as he possesses one of the best throwing arms in the Minor Leagues. He scares runners, and committed no errors in 34 games behind the plate in 2005. Baseball America ranked him as the best defensive catcher in the organization, and we could not agree more. He should be an anchor for the talented class of pitchers headed to Fort Myers next season.
Alternate- Kyle Phillips: Phillips committed only four errors in 92 games behind the dish in 2005, and had a .995 fielding percentage. Not to mention, he helped mold some of the best arms in the organization.

First Baseman- Erik Lis: Not only does Lis carry a big bat, but he also is solid as a rock at first base. After committing only 14 errors during his career at Evansville, Lis committed only three this past season. He also was involved in 21 double plays, and his leadership wore off on some of the younger players in the infield. While he is not very tall, he is very smooth around the bag, and saved numerous errors last season.
Alternate- Johnny Woodard: While his defensive statistics do not jump out at you, he is one of the best athletes playing first base in the organization. He is great around the bag, and has prototypical size.

Second Baseman- Luis Maza: Maza could possibly be the best fielding infielder in the organization, as he has put up staggering defensive numbers over the past two seasons. After struggling with the glove to start his career, Maza committed only seven errors in 132 games in 2004. He was just as solid this past season, as he turned 42 double plays, and really anchored the New Britain infield.
Alternate-Luke Hughes: Hughes started off on the left-side of the infield, but has made a smooth transition to the right side during the past few years.He was involved in 59 double plays last season.

Third Baseman- Matthew Moses: One of the overall best players in the Twins organization, Moses brings it in the field, as well as at the plate. After seeing him in New Britain on several occasions, he showed the ability to work at the position, as he could be seen taking hundreds of practice balls before the game. Many scouts have been downplaying his defensive skills, but it is only a matter of time before he gets fully acclimated to third base.
Alternate- Glenn Williams: Good fielding third baseman are tough to come by in the Twins organization, but Williams is pretty solid with the leather. He'll hold this spot until David Winfree finds his glove underneath all that lumber.

Shortstop- Trevor Plouffe: I know he struggled mightily with the glove this past season, but you can not look past his talent. He is a pure shortstop, and has been ranked as the best fielding shortstop in the organization by Baseball America for two straight seasons. Some Twins officials see him as a Greg Gagne type player.
Alternate- Paul Kelly: The man with the golden arm, Kelly could be the best infielder to enter the organization this past season. He committed only five errors this past season, and held his own after a promotion to full-season Beloit.

Left Field- Trent Oeltjen: Oeltjen's glove has been tremendous during the past two seasons, after committing a career-high eight errors in 2003. After committing just one error during the 2004 campaign, he committed only two this past season. In his five seasons of professional ball, Oeltjen has committed only 17 errors, and has a pretty solid arm to go along with his great glove.
Alternate- Dwayne White: White had a flawless season in left field of the Snappers in 2005, as he went the entire season without committing an errors. He is a quick, heady outfielder, who seems to always be in the right place at the right time.

Center Field- Denard Span: What can I say about Mr. Span that has not already been said on this site before? He is possibly the best defensive outfield prospect in all of Minor League baseball, and he just keeps getting better. He has speed to burn, gets to every ball, and continues to shed his "raw" status. While he does not have a great arm, he is more than capable of being a solid Major League center fielder.
Alternate- Danny Santiesteban: This kid has the ability to play anywhere, and was even tried out at third base this past winter. He has the best outfield arm in the Twins organization, and combines with it some blazing speed.

Right Field- Douglas Deeds: Deeds continues to surprise all his naysayers and in 2005, put together his finest season yet. Throughout his entire career, Deeds has committed only six errors, and he posted a .988 fielding percentage last season. Him being left off the Baseball America Top 30 prospect list was a complete joke, and he could be in Minnesota by the end of the 2006 season.
Alternate- Richard Sojo: Sojo is a great all-around player, and he just edged out Deacon Burns for this spot. While he has all the tools to play centerfield, he appears to have a nice future in right. Oh yeah, six assists is nice too.

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