In this edition of Twins' Minor League Notebook, the Wings bullpen leads them to a 6-5 come from…
Former Top Prospect Back From Injury
Former Twins' top-25 prospect Frank Mata will make his long awaited return to the pitching mound this week, as he returns from a right elbow injury that sidelined him for the entire 2005 season. Mata, who has a 10-5 career record in the Minor Leagues, replaces Adam Hawes on the Beloit Snappers' roster, as he was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a right elbow injury of his own. Mata will join the club in Quad Cities, where the Snappers are finishing up an eight-day road swing.Mata burst onto the scene in 2004, when some scouts were comparing him to Bartolo Colon. A big kid with a blazing fastball, Mata appeared in 26 games as a member of the Elizabethton Twins in 2004, and ended the year with 13 saves. In 31 innings of work, Mata struck out 39 batters, and held the opposition to a .193 batting average.During the beginning of his Minor League career, Mata was considered almost unhittable, as he baffled low level batters with his array of pitches. He was throwing a fastball in the mid-90s, and had what many considered to be developing into a plus-slider. The injury could not have come at a worse time for Mata, who was ready for his first taste of full-season baseball in 2005.For Hawes, the injury does not seem to be something major. He is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro, and in 2005, actually led the Appalachian League in earned run average. In 14 games for the Twins in 2005, Hawes made nine starts, and finished with a 1.53 earned run average. He also struck out 68 batters in 59 innings of work, while holding the opposition to a .183 batting average.This past season, he was rated as the 28th best prospect in the Twins' organization by Baseball America, and was off to a good start for Beloit this season. In three starts, Hawes has posted a 1-1 record, and his earned run average is currently at 3.71.
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