Minor League Prospect Report: Chris Herrmann, C, Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins have promoted catching prospect Chris Herrmann to help bolster roster depth for the remaining portion of the season. Herrmann isn't a hot prospect, but he could be a useful reserve asset.
Drafted in the sixth round from the University of Miami-Florida in 2009, Hermann was a multi-position player in college, seeing time at third base and the outfield. Listed at 6-0, 200 pounds, he is a left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower, born November 24, 1987. His physical tools are considered average but he is a decent athlete.
The Twins have used him mainly as a catcher, where he has sufficient arm strength and mobility to be useful. He's thrown out 39% of runners in his career, including 44% this year in Double-A, along with low error and passed ball rates. He's made good progress learning to call games, and overall his defense is solid. He's also seen additional time in the outfield this year to enhance his versatility. He's not a gold glove but you can put him in left field and he won't hurt you.
With the bat, Herrmann features solid plate discipline and some pop to the gaps, but his level swing prevents big home run output. He hit .276/.350/.392 this year with 58 walks and 89 strikeouts in 490 at-bats for Double-A New Britain, very much in line with his career .264/.357/.382 slash line. His best attributes are his willingness to take a walk and ability to knock some doubles. He won't set the league on fire with the bat, but he isn't a wild hacker and seems like the kind of guy who could have a surprise season or two in his late 20s.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, Herrmann won't be a major league regular, but he could prove very useful as a bench player and backup to Joe Mauer.