Position: First Baseman
How He Became A Twin: Signed as a non-drafted free agent on August 28, 2003
The 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.
During the 2007 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.
In 2008, Leveret had an injury cause his season to start in June, but he did finish the year strong. He was back in Elizabethton to start the season, but would soon make the jump to Beloit. He played well for the Snappers, playing mostly first base, and hit close to .300.
Leveret has one of the better batting eyes in the Twins organization, and he is very patient when he gets to the plate. Though he did not hit the ball well early in his career, Leveret has become a professional hitter, and will likely be a main bat for Beloit in 2009. One thing he needs to work on is his ability to hit left-handed pitching, but that is something he should improve on as he moves up the organizational ladder. Still, Leveret is one of the better pure hitters at the lower levels, and he needs to keep progressing.
Leveret is a decent fielder, but is never going to win any gold gloves. He played some outfield throughout his career, and can play the corner infield positions, but he made the switch to first base in 2007 and that is where he is likely to stay. He has a good feel around the bag, and has good feet, and his arm is more than serviceable. He looks very comfortable at first now, and he is getting better.
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.
Leveret will be 23 during the 2009 season, so he needs to make sure he has a solid season. He likely should return to Beloit, but he also is likely to make it to Fort Myers at some point. If he has another solid season with the bat then he could be slated for New Britain in 2010 and that should put him in position to start making moves. He is starting to get too old for A ball, so he is going to need to really breakout in 2009.