In our next installment of Rating Twins Prospects, we look at the short-season first basemen. In…
Scouting Twins Prospect #46: Rene Leveret
Vital Statistics:Name: Rene LeveretPosition: First BasemanDOB: November 19, 1985Height: 6'2''Weight: 224Bats: RightThrows: RightThe Minnesota Twins signed Rene Leveret as a non-drafted free agent on August 28, 1993. Only 18 years old at the time, Leveret spent the next three seasons as a member of the Twins Dominican Summer League Team. Getting better with each passing year, Leveret made his first appearance as a member of one of the Twins six major market minor league teams in 2007, and would go on to be an Appalachian League All-Star.In his first season with the DSL Twins, Leveret batted only .258, and did not really show any kind of potential at the plate. He did not hit for power, looked kind of lost at the plate. One thing he did show was the ability to draw walks, and he did not strike out very often.The following season showed a jump in the young first baseman's batting average, as he started to show his ability to get locked in at the plate. His batting average jumped over 20 points, and while he did not show much pop, he did strike out fewer times though he had less at-bats.In 2006, Leveret finally began to blossom into a top batting prospect, batting a robust .331 in 72 games. He appeared in a career high in games, started to show good power, and hit three more home runs then he did the previous two seasons combined. Leveret also hit 22 doubles, displaying gap power to go along with the ability to hit for average.Last season, Leveret helped lead the Elizabethton Twins to the Appalachian League championship, earning All-Star recognition. In 66 games, Leveret scored 50 times, hit a career-high eight home runs, and drove in nearly a batter per game. He led the league in runs batted in, was third in hits, and finished sixth in the league in batting.Batting and Power: Though his career got off to a slow start at the plate, Leveret has really raised his game lately. The budding slugger is now a legitimate power threat, with the ability to hit for average and extra-base hits. Overall, Leveret has one of the better batting eyes in the Twins organization, as he has struck out only 117 times in over 800 minor league at-bats. Though he does not walk much, he does get on base a lot, as he has the uncanny ability to put the ball into play on a consistent basis.Baserunning and Speed: Leveret is a good baserunner, but he will never win any stolen base crowns. Leveret is a heady baserunner when he gets on, but he does not have the kind of speed that is going to make him a top of the lineup hitter. He projects as a good number seven hitter, mostly because he does put the ball in play. He has grounded into plenty of double plays in his career, which is a good indicator that he does not beat out many groundballs.Defense: Leveret played mostly first base through his minor league career, and has also spent some time in the outfield. He is a good utility-type player, as he has the ability to play numerous positions in the field. He can play both corner outfield positions, and is a fairly consistent first baseman. Though he did commit a career-high seven errors in 2007, it was mostly due to the fact that he switched positions. He has a good arm and quick feet around the first base bag, which is where he is likely to stay.ETA. 2011 It has taken Leveret longer than expected to get to the short-season level, but he did show this past season that he was ready for the jump. In 2008, Leveret is likely to be an everyday player for the Beloit Snappers, and due to his age, he should get the call to Fort Myers if he plays well. From there, it is anybody's guess, mostly because of his age and his great batting eye. If he continues to hit over .300, then the promotions could keep coming for Leveret, who could blossom into a good slugging first baseman or outfielder. I project him reaching Triple-A by the 2010 season, and he could make his Major League debut sometime at the end of 2010 or in 2011, when he will be 25.
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