On Tuesday the Minnesota Twins promoted infielder James Beresford to the major league roster for the September stretch run. You won't find his name on many prospect lists but he's been a valuable farmhand for Minnesota for a decade now. Can he stick in the majors? Let's take a look.
Beresford was signed by the Twins as a free agent from Australia back in 2005. His career got off to a slow start due to a shoulder injury and he didn't really get going until 2007, when he hit .288/.349/.302 in rookie ball. From that point he rose up the ladder slowly but steadily: one year in the Appalachian League, two years in the Midwest League, one year in the Florida State League, two years in the Eastern League. He's spent the last three seasons playing for Triple-A Rochester in the International League.
Through this long trek Beresford's skill set has remained steady. He's a line drive hitter who bats somewhere between .270 and .300 every year depending on how the BABIP bounces. His career slash line is .283/.338/.330. He has very little power and doesn't steal a ton of bases, but he is a versatile infielder who is excellent when used at second base (.984 career fielding with good range metrics) and adequately decent at shortstop and third base.
Beresford is a left-handed hitter, listed at 6-1, 170, born January 19, 1989. He doesn't stand out for his tools but has cultivated a high level of baseball knowledge and is a favorite within the organization. His lack of power has hindered his prospect status. My guess is that he could hit .240-.250 in the majors, without much OBP or power, but his defensive ability could be useful on a bench under the right circumstances. He's fun to watch and root for, and it is nice to see a long-term farmhand like Beresford rewarded.