Minor League Notes, April 12, 2012
**One of my favorite relatively unsung prospects is infielder Brian Dozier in the Minnesota Twins system. He's off to a blazing start at Triple-A Rochester, 11-for-21 in his first six games (.524) with three doubles, a homer, three walks, and just two strikeouts. He's started five games at shortstop and one at second base. He has good instincts and plays above his tools, and while he's not going to win gold gloves at shortstop, I would not be afraid to play him there. He's reliable and will show at least average range.
On offense Dozier has a line-drive swing with gap power, very good plate discipline, and has been on fire with the bat since April 2011: he hit .322/.423/.472 in High-A (49 games), .318/.384/.502 in Double-A (78 games), looked great in the Arizona Fall League, and is tearing up Triple-A so far in ‘12. An eighth-round pick from Southern Mississippi in 2009, he has the work ethic that excites coaches and managers, and he's been putting up the numbers to interest sabermetric types.
**Another fast starter is St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, 9-for-20 (.450) with two triples, a homer, four walks, and three strikeouts in his first six games for Double-A Springfield. The 2011 first-round pick from the University of Hawaii has a terrific swing with solid plate discipline and above-average power. He's also a fine defender at second base, and if current trends hold he should be ready for the majors by this time next year, if not sooner..
I've got a medical appointment but hope to have more notes for you this afternoon. Thanks for your patience.