Twins prospects get under way in AFL

Twins prospects get under way in AFL

Mesa's Jay Sawatski should be ready for a strong season in the Arizona Fall League, despite pitching for just over two months during the 2006 campaign.

Sawatski appeared in his first game on June 27 for Class A Advanced Fort Myers of the Florida State League, but quickly earned a promotion to Double-A New Britain.

The 24-year-old southpaw logged 44 games for the Rock Cats, all but two coming in relief. He was very effective in July and August, compiling a 4-2 record with a 2.87 ERA while limiting opposing batters to a .241 average.

Sawatski saw his first AFL action Tuesday, pitching a scoreless inning against the Phoenix Desert Dogs. He allowed a hit and a walk during the Solar Sox's 4-0 loss.

Here's a look at the rest of the Minnesota Twins' prospects:

RHP Adam Harben -- Harben went 4-9 with a 3.96 ERA for New Britain. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound right-hander was at his best in August, going 2-3 with a 3.82 ERA. He made his first start for Mesa on Tuesday and took the loss after yielding a run on two hits with three strikeouts over two innings.

RHP Kevin Slowey -- Slowey spent a couple of months in the Florida State League with the Fort Myers Miracle, going 4-2 with a 1.01 ERA in 14 starts. The 21-year-old right-hander allowed two unearned runs over his last 28 2/3 innings, earning a promotion to New Britain. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound right-hander fared well with the Rock Cats, going 4-3 with a 3.19 ERA. He also pitched a complete game against New Hampshire on July 15.

RHP Kevin Cameron -- Cameron is the only Twins prospect in the AFL who played regularly at the Triple-A level last season, giving Mesa an experienced veteran. The 26-year-old right-hander provided strong relief for Rochester of the International League, helping the Red Wings advance to the Governors' Cup against Toledo. He went 6-4 with nine saves and a 2.98 ERA in 40 appearances.

LHP Errol Simonitsch -- Simonitsch should be hungry for wins with Mesa after picking up just one victory since July 19 for Double-A New Britain. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound southpaw went 8-14 with a 4.48 ERA with the Rock Cats.

SS/3B Matt Moses -- Moses found his power stroke with New Britain last season, hitting a career-high 15 homers. He also matched his career high in RBIs with 72, despite hitting .249. Moses should be ready to play in Arizona, where the ball carries well in the hot desert air. The 21-year-old infielder is the only current Twins player back for a second year in AFL. He hit .275 with two homers, six RBIs and 11 runs scored in 18 games with the Grand Canyon Rafters in 2005.

SS Matt Tolbert -- The 24-year-old Tolbert put up respectable numbers while playing second and third base for New Britain. He hit .258 with three homers, 35 RBIs and 33 runs scored in 72 games.

3B David Winfree -- After hitting 16 homers and driving in 101 runs in the Midwest League in 2005, Winfree enjoyed a solid season with Fort Myers of the FSL. He batted .276 with 13 homers and 48 RBIs in 67 games with the Miracle.

Eric Justic is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.