As of August 21, the Minnesota Twins will be sending seven players to the Arizona Fall League for the 2006 season. The list includes four pitchers and three position players. Of the seven, the Twins are sending some of their best talent, which includes Kevin Slowey, David Winfree, and Matthew Moses.
Moses played in the AFL during the 2005 season, and did a decent job there. The slugging third baseman hit .275 for the Grand Canyon Rafters, smacking two home runs and six runs batted in. The prospects will be coached by former Major League Pat Listach, as they make the switch from Grand Canyon to the Mesa Solar Sox.
Slowey will join the team after his stint with Team USA, and he will most likely be one of the bigger draws in the league. Slowey took Minor League Baseball by storm this past year, and is shooting for his Major League debut sometime during the 2007 season. Slowey, who last played for the New Britain Rock Cats, will be joined on the Solar Sox pitching staff by fellow Cats, Errol Simonitsch, Adam Harben, and Jay Sawatski.
Simonitsch is one of the better left-handed starting pitching prospects in the Twins organization, and he has had an up and down season in 2006. The Twins are hoping he can hone his skills in the prestigious league, as he is a member of their 40-man roster. Harben had a breakout season for Fort Myers in 2005, but has split time between the starting rotation and the bullpen for New Britain this season.
Sawatski has been shuttled from Fort Myers to New Britain all season long, and has posted pretty solid numbers at both stops.
Moses will be joined on the squad by fellow third base prospect David Winfree, who has come back to the Twins after requesting off, and is starting to mash the ball for the Fort Myers Miracle. Winfree was the Twins Minor League Player of the Year in 2005, driving in better than 100 runs for the Beloit Snappers. The final position player is Matt Tolbert, as slick-fielding infielder who has also spent time in both High-A and Double-A this season.
Some notable names who were left off the Arizona Fall League roster were Glen Perkins, Denard Span, and Garrett Jones. Perkins was one of the better starting pitchers in the AFL last fall, and Jones led Grand Canyon in home runs and runs batted in. Span had a decent season in the AFL, and him being left off has to make you wonder if he is still considered the top outfield prospect in the Twins organization anymore.
Either way, we will be bringing you the best coverage of the AFL just as we did last season, as we watch our prospects bring recognition to the organization.