The 2010 Beloit Snappers should be a fun team to watch in 2010, and could challenge for the Midwest League crown. With players like Aaron Hicks, Angel Morales, and James Beresford in the lineup, Beloit will have some of the better position players in their division. When you add arms like Liam Hendriks, Steve Blevins, and Tom Stuifbergen to the mix, this team has the potential to have a special season.
Behind the plate for the Snappers will be Danny Rams, who is one of the better catching prospects in the organization. Rams will be making his second stop in Beloit, after hitting seven home runs in 48 games for the Snappers in 2009. Josmil Pinto, who is a great hitter, and Tobias Streich will help with the catching duties in 2010, giving Beloit three good catchers. Streich hit ten home runs in 51 games for Elizabethton in 2009, and Pinto will be seeing his first action since 2008 with the GCL Twins.
The infield will consist of some big names, and also some key draft choices from last year. Beresford will be the team’s second baseman in 2010, with newcomer Brian Dozier manning shortstop. Dozier appeared for the GCL Twins and Elizabethton in 2009, after being drafted in the eighth round, and Derek McCallum should also see some time in the infield. Anderson Hidalgo will be the team’s third baseman, with slugger Michael Gonzales at first. Hidalgo hit .285 for Elizabethton in 2009, and Gonzales batted near .300, driving in 43 runs in 57 games. Reggie Williams will round out the infield, and has shown the ability to hit for extra-bases.
The outfield is loaded with talent, with Morales and Hicks leading the way. Hicks in the consensus best prospect in the Twins organization, and Morales has been ranked as high as two by some publications. Steven Liddle will join the two top prospects in the outfield, and some believe he has the best power potential in the entire organization, even ranking higher than Chris Parmelee. Wang-Wei Lin will round out the outfield, and will be making his full-season debut in 2010, after spending the past three seasons in the Gulf Coast League.
Liam Hendriks will lead a staff that should be very consistent throughout the season. Steven Blevins completed 23 games for Beloit in 2009, and will be counted on once again out of the bullpen. Dakota Watts was very solid for Elizabethton in 2009, and Tom Stuifbergen has some of the better stuff of all the young arms in the system. Peter Kennelly was very solid in college for Fordham, and Matthew Tone has a 1.31 earned run average in 2009. Kane Holbrooks struck out better than a batter per inning in Elizabethton last year, and Dan Osterbrock is a very good pitching prospect.
Brad Stillings appeared in seven games for Beloit last year, gaining valuable experience, and Ben Tootle did not allow an earned run in six appearances for E-Town in 2009. Miguel Munoz started 13 games for Elizabethton in 2009, and should be in the Beloit rotation this season, and Edgar Ibarra pitched very well in a starting and relief role last year. Overall, the pitching rotation should shape up to be a good one, and should keep the Snappers in many games.