SeedlingsToStars.com looks at Liam Hendriks and the Twins
As a part of their “leave no stone unturned” approach, no organization does a better job mining for talent in all parts of the world than the Twins.
By Wally Fish for Seedlings to Stars.
Beyond the international hotbeds of the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, the Twins have a strong presence in Australia and have found talent in plenty of other non-traditional places including Germany, Russia, and South Africa. Aiding their search for future major league contributors, Minnesota has a clearly defined organizational philosophy which has proven to be a successful and winning model, but they aren’t afraid to deviate from that model when they identify a special talent…
2011 was a season to forget as things went wrong early and often both in the majors and minors but the team isn’t as far off as many may think. This is a system that is more substance than hype and flash and as a result it will almost always be underrated. The Twins seem to embrace the little engine that could concept (despite playing in a top-12 market) and clearly were uncomfortable playing the role of big market, big payroll team last season.
They may not compete for the AL Central crown in 2012 but they are positioned better than any of their divisional foes to produce and maintain a winning team at the major league level going forward. The White Sox, Tigers and Indians have very weak farm systems and the Royals lack the financial resources to retain a significant portion of their homegrown talent once it reaches free agency.
Starting Pitcher #1 – Liam Hendriks (22): 3.36 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 21 BB and 111 SO in 139.1 IP (25 G/24 GS) between New Britain (AA) and Rochester (AAA). Also made 4 starts in the majors and finished with a 6.17 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 16-6 SO-to-BB ratio in 23.1 IP.
Liam is your typical Twins starter with excellent command and control of his 4-pitch mix (fastball, curveball, slider and changeup).
Known for keeping the ball down in the zone during his minor league career, Hendriks failed to consistently display that ability in his brief time in the majors and it’s something he will need to get back to the next time he gets his shot in Minnesota. That chance could come early on as he’s capable of making the Twins Opening Day rotation, and failing that will almost certainly contribute to the Twins at some point during the season.
Long term he’s most likely a #4 or #5 starter but could pitch at the level of a #3 a couple of seasons over the course of his career.