Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Taking a couple dozen for the team

There probably aren't many farm systems as heavy on outfield prospects as the Twins. As noted here in recent posts, Baseball America's Top 10 list for the Twins system has at least four outfielders -- Bryon Buxton, Oswaldo Arcia, Aaron Hicks and Max Kepler -- and that's counting Eddie Rosario as an infielder. Then there are past-rookie-status young outfielder Ben Revere and (arguably) Chris Parmelee, and former Top 10 prospects Joe Benson and Angel Morales.

Such a surplus of outfielder perhaps explains why Nate Roberts flies under the radar. I don't know much about Roberts beyond what's on his Baseball Reference page, but what's there has some interesting points to it.

Roberts is, like Rosario, a left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower taken in the 2010 draft. Rosario went in the fourth round, Roberts in the fifth. Roberts was drafted out of college, Rosario out of high school, so Roberts is a couple years older. Neither has gotten above Low A ball yet.

Roberts hasn't hit for Rosario's power, but he has hit .300 each year since turning pro. And he has a specialty skill of note: He gets hit by pitches.

Last season, in 76 games with Beloit, he was hit 23 times. In 2011, in 68 games, he was hit 29 times. That's 52 HBP in 144 Midwest League games, better than one HBP per three games. Throw in his time in the Appy League in 2010, and he has 56 HBP in 179 professional games.

That's gotta hurt.

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