Twins Prospect #38: Brian Dinkelman

Dinkelman made his way to Double-A in 2008.

Since being drafted by the Minnesota Twins, Brian Dinkelman has hit at every level, and this past season, was promoted to New Britain. He is likely slated to return to New Britain in 2009, and will man the second base position for the Twins Double-A affiliate. Here is a look at Dinkelman.

Name: Brian Dinkelman
D.O.B. November 10, 1983
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 195

The Twins selected Brian Dinkelman in the eighth round of the 2006 June Draft, and it did not take the young middle infielder long to make a splash in the organization. Dinkelman, who was named the 2006 NAIA Player of the Year after a stellar senior season at McKendree College, was more than excited about coming to the Twins when TwinCitiesDugout interviewed him back in June.

"I really like the Twins a lot," Dinkelman stated. " I like the way they run their organization, and they are very good at developing their players."

During his time at McKendree, Dinkelman proved to be one of the better hitters in the history of NAIA baseball. He set five NAIA records, becoming the organization's leader in hits (373), doubles (96), runs scored (303), total bases (670), and assists (679). In addition, he set 25 McKendree school records.

During his NAIA Player of the Year season, Dinkelman batted .462, stole 26 bases, drove in 65, and scored 82 times. He was named American Midwest Conference Player of the Year for the third consecutive year, and added a fourth first-team All-Conference honor.

However, as decorated as his personal achievements were, it is his team's highest accomplishment that Dinkelman ranks as his crowning achievement in college.

"Probably two years ago when our team made it to the Regional Championship Game," Dinkelman said when asked his best moment in baseball so far. "We won like 50 games that season."

After college, Dinkelman worked out for the Twins at the Metrodome, and the organization was excited about his ability to hit, run, and field the middle infield positions. After being drafted, Dinkelman signed quickly, and would be sent directly to Elizabethton of the Appalachian League.

For the Elizabethton Twins, Dinkelman became one of the better players on a team that went to the league's championship game. In 46 games, Dinkelman batted .298, smacking four home runs, while driving in 32. As the team's second baseman, Dinkelman took on a leadership role on the team, using his collegiate experience to really help out the younger players.

During the 2007 season, Dinkelman would make two stops in the Twins farm system, as he began the season with the Beloit Snappers. He would go on to hit .283 for the Snappers before a mid-season call up to Fort Myers, where he would finish out the year. He did not hit as well with the Miracle, and would open up the 2008 season right there.

In 2008, Dinkelman hit so good in the first half of the season that he would be named to the Florida State League All-Star Game. After batting .293 in the first half of the season, Dinkelman would get the call to New Britain, and he finished the season by hitting .247 for the Rock Cats. He is slated to open the 2009 season back in Connecticut.

Batting and Power: Dinkelman is a great hitter, as he showed during his collegiate career, and throughout his professional career thus far. He has the ability to hit line drives to all areas of the ballpark, and his short, compact swing has been known to produce a couple of home runs. Hitting did not come easy for Dinkelman, who worked extra hard to become the hitter he is today. "I would say probably my hitting," Dinkelman said when asked what his best attribute is. "I have been working on that aspect of my game all my life, and it really seemed to carry me through college."

Baserunning and Speed: When we spoke to Dinkelman's collegiate coach after the draft, he told us that he believed that Brian's speed is what sets him apart from other players. He swiped 26 bases during his senior season at McKendree, but he really was not given the green light during his first season in the Twins organization. He is a smart base runner as well, and seems to have a good knowledge of the situation when he is on the basepaths. I expect him to steal 15-20 bases in New Britain next season.

Defense: Dinkelman is pretty close to being a five-tool player, and his defense has been said to be his best attribute by some scouts. He compares himself to a Marcus Giles-type player, being a good hitter whose defense is really starting to come around. He makes all the plays at second base, and could also be used at shortstop in a tight spot. Dinkelman also has some great range up the middle, and can make a tough double play look very easy.

ETA. 2010. Dinkelman has made a steady rise through the Twins farm system, and it will be interesting to see how he does to start the season with New Britain. A skilled infielder who has also got some time in the outfield, Dinkelman could be a utility guy for the big league club within the next two years. If he continues to hit, he should have no problem making his Major League debut sometime during the 2010 season.

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