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Minor League Notes, September 24, 2011

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Random Thoughts on a Saturday Morning

**Poking around the end-of-season minor league results, I discovered that Florida Marlins prospect Christian Yelich stole 32 bases in 37 attempts for Low-A Greensboro in the Sally League. I knew he had a very good year with the bat, living up to expectations with a .312/.388/.484 line, but somehow I hadn't noticed that he had stolen so many bases. It will be interesting to see how much of that he maintains at higher levels. Although his first-round bat was strongly respected pre-season, he wasn't expected to be so useful on the bases.

**Given the horrific way his season began, it is easy to overlook the decent finish of Twins prospect Alex Wimmers, who threw seven shutout, hitless innings in his last start for High-A Fort Myers on September 3rd. He finished the season with a 4.10 ERA and a 40/23 K/BB in 42 innings with 28 hits allowed. That's not what the Twins expected when they drafted him out of Ohio State, and the deterioration in his mechanics, confidence, and command this spring remains puzzling, but he is far from a lost cause.

**A pitcher to watch closely in 2012: Greg Billo of the Kansas City Royals. The 6-4, 220 pound right-hander posted a 1.93 ERA with a 119/25 K/BB in 135 innings for Low-A Kane County in the Midwest League, with 113 hits and a 1.32 GO/AO. A 28th round pick in 2008 from high school in Illinois, he spent three seasons in rookie ball with mixed results, but made an easy transition to full-season ball this year and was outstanding. Scouts are more impressed with his curveball and changeup than they are with his fastball, but his control and feel for pitching are excellent.