The starting rotation could be one of the better staffs in the FSL, and features two of the Twins top right-handed starting pitching prospects. Top prospects Kyle Waldrop and Jay Rainville head a staff that also includes Oswaldo Sosa, Alexander Smit, and Kyle Aselton. Rainville missed the 2006 season, but appears ready to eat innings once again in 2007. Waldrop was masterful in the Midwest League in 2006, and many believe he could be in Minnesota in two years.
Sosa and Aselton are two guys who also eat innings, and they are going to be relied upon heavily in 2007. Smit is one of the better lefties in the Twins organization, and he is a strikeout pitcher who racks up the K's in bunches. Zach Ward and Ryan Mullins are two other pitchers who could see time in the rotation, and it would not be surprising if Ward is in the rotation sooner than later.
Eduardo Morlan appears to be slated for the team's closer role, but he also is a very good starting pitcher. He has three plus-pitches, and can be unhittable at times. The bullpen also features David Shinskie and Yohan Pino, two pitchers who can flat out throw strikes. Angel Garcia, Frank Mata, and Josh Hill will round out the bullpen, and should see plenty of time this season.
The catching spot is one where the Miracle may have the most talent in the Twins organization. Caleb Moore is the top hitting catcher in the organization, and Jeff Christy is a 2006 draft choice who the Twins are very high on. Javi Sanchez is entering his third year in the Twins organization, and calls a very good game. Expect Moore and Christy to see most of the time behind the plate, though Moore could also be used as a designated hitter at times.
The corner infield spots will be solid once again for the Miracle in 2007, as two of the better young hitters in the organization will man those spots. Erik Lis will be the team's first baseman, after setting the Midwest League on fire during the 2006 season. Whitney Robbins is a 2006 draftee out of Georgia Tech, and he has the ability to hit the ball hard to all fields. Matt Betsill will also see time at the corner infield spots, and he has a plus glove to go along with a decent batting eye.
Up the middle should also be solid, though more so on the defensive side. Juan Portes is a good hitter, who has shown the ability to hit for average in the past. Steven Tolleson is a slick fielding middle infielder who will see most of the time at shortstop. Toby Gardenhire can play second base, shortstop, and third base, and got some work behind the plate during Spring Training drills.
Three prospects that should be in the outfield for the Miracle are Edward Ovalle, Eli Tintor, and Dwayne White. Tintor is coming off one of his better seasons in the Twins organization, and White is a blazer who may lead the team in stolen bases in 2007. Ovalle should man centerfield, and has a plus glove. The outfield in Beloit is pretty loaded, and the Miracle fans could see Chris Parmelee, Joe Benson, or Danny Santiesteban before the year is out.
Probable Fort Myers Miracle 2007 Roster:
Starting Rotation: Oswaldo Sosa, Kyle Aselton, Alexander Smit, Kyle Waldrop, Jay Rainville, Zach Ward
Bullpen: Eduardo Morlan (Closer), Yohan Pino, David Shinskie, Angel Garcia, Ryan Mullins, Josh Hill, Frank Mata
Catchers: Caleb Moore, Jeffrey Christy, Javier Sanchez
Infielders: Erik Lis, Juan Portes, Steven Tolleson, Toby Gardenhire, Whitney Robbins, Matt Betsill
Outfielders: Edward Ovalle, Eli Tintor, Dwayne White