Saturday, March 23, 2013

The end of a Matthew LeCroy Memorial Pick

Danny 'Bam Bam' Rams
was regarded as one
of the best power bats
in the 2007 draft. 
Friday's demotion of  Joe Benson was far from the only move the Twins made that day.

In a handful of minor league releases, two names stood out: Cole Nelson, a LHP and Minnesota native acquired in the Delmon Young trade, and Danny Rams, a second round pick in 2007. Both men ran aground in high A ball.

Rams was what I have come to think of as a Matthew LeCroy Memorial Pick -- a high draft pick whose primary, perhap only, tool was power. Like LeCroy, Rams was drafted as a catcher amid doubts that he could remain a catcher. (Other Twins draftees I view as part of this line, with various levels of justification: Henry Sanchez, Parmelee, Adam Brett Walker).

As it turned out, Rams didn't develop the catching skills he needed to remain behind the plate, and he didn't hit enough (including the power) to justify playing him at another position.

On the major league side, also optioned out Friday was LHP Pedro Hernandez, who threw 11 scoreless innings this spring but seldom was used against established major leaguers. It's not clear to me if the Twins view him as a potential starter or bullpen guy, but he certainly never got a genuine opportunity to compete for the fifth starter slot.

Third baseman Delbinson Romero, who remains stuck in visa limbo in the Dominican Republic, was offically reassigned to minor league camp Friday, as was RHP Luis Perdomo, who ended the 2012 season in the Twins bullpen. None of the three were real threats to make the 25-man roster.

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