Three of the many, many reasons that, in December, I am already eagerly awaiting the arrival of the 2010 Eastern League season lie in (what I expect to be) the outfield of the New Britain Rock Cats, who, unfortunately, make their only trip to Waterfront Park at the end of July.
Those reasons go by the names: Joe Benson, Ben Revere and (hopefully) Aaron Hicks. Benson and Revere spent 2009 with the High-A Fort Myers Miracle, and performed marvelously.
Here are their numbers:
Revere: .311/.372/.741, four 3B, two HRs, 48 RBIs, 45 SBs (but 17 CS)
Benson: .285/.403/.814, three 3B, five HRs, 29 RBIs, 14 SBs (but 7 CS
Hicks played all of last season with Lo-A Beloit, and produced thusly:
Hicks: .251/.353/.735, three 3B, four HRs, 29RBIs, 10 SB (8 CS).
Entering last season, Baseball America ranked Hicks, who turned 20 just two months ago, as the Twins' top prospect. They ranked Revere and Benson, who are both 21, as the system's No. 2 and No. 15 players, respectively.
Obviously, these are three very similar players. Each is young, speedy and raw, with developing power. They can all hit the ball into the gaps (as evidenced by the 10 triples among them) but not quite over the wall (as evidenced by the 11 home runs among them). It also seems as if each is in need of some refined discipline on the basepaths.
The three combined to steal at a 68% clip just above the 66% it is suggested that one needs to achieve to actually help his team. Although none are particularly bad, (Revere led the pack with 74%, Benson finished at 67% and Hicks brought up the rear with his 56% success rate), each could make himself that much more valuable by learning to cut down on his times caught stealing.
Photos, from left to right: Revere, Benson, Hicks.