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Updated: August 19th, 2013 9:06am
Warne: These Twins position prospects could earn a September call-up

Warne: These Twins position prospects could earn a September call-up

by Brandon Warne
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- September is just around the corner, and for the Minnesota Twins that means it'll be time for roster expansion as the season enters its final full month.

Any player on the 40-man roster can be called up in that month, although there can be procedural, professional, or other reasons as to why a player may not be promoted despite being on the 40-man roster.

Taking all of this -- along with weighing conversations with various members of the Twins' brass -- here is a look at potential September call-ups for the local nine.

We'll start with a look at the positions players. We'll tackle pitcher probabilities Tuesday.

Editor's note: Here's the link for pitching prospects.

1B-OF Chris Colabello

Level: Triple-A Rochester
40-man roster: Yes
Stats: .355/.432/.651, 24 HR (AAA); .221/.302/.372, 4 HR (MLB)
Analysis: Both general manager Terry Ryan and manager Ron Gardenhire said they were pleased with Colabello's development and disappointed to send him down when his second tour of duty with the club came to an end in the last week. If not for Chris Herrmann's ability to catch, Colabello might still be with the big-league club right now. In all likelihood, the Twins will get a second look at the 29-year-old as soon as Rochester's season comes to a close. The Red Wings season, however, might include a playoff berth. Colabello still leads the International League in home runs despite spending a decent chunk of time in Minnesota.
Verdict: Pretty much guaranteed.

Utility Eduardo Escobar

Level: Triple-A Rochester
40-man roster: Yes
Stats: .316/.373/.474, 11 2B (AAA), .214/.268/.328, 3 HR (MLB)
Analysis: Escobar started out red-hot for the Twins in April (.378/.395/.541), but hit just .149/.221/.245 in 39 games thereafter. That earned him a ticket to Rochester at the All-Star break, and that demotion seems to have kicked Escobar back into gear. He's been hitting well out of the leadoff spot for the Red Wings, and could even return before September considering the Twins currently only have Doug Bernier to back up between second, short, and third base. Either way, it seems very likely that Escobar will be back soon.
Verdict: Extremely likely, if not before September.

OF Darin Mastroianni

Level: Triple-A Rochester
40-man roster: Yes
Stats: .244/.407/.293, 5 SB, 9/10 K/BB ratio (Rookie/A+/AAA), .222/.300/.222 in 9 AB (MLB)
Analysis: Mastroianni's bat has been slow to return after nearly four full months off thanks to injury. That's likely a big reason why he was optioned to Rochester when he was activated from the disabled list rather than returning directly to Minnesota. Of course, the lack of minor league options for Clete Thomas and Wilkin Ramirez probably factored in, as well. Mastroianni still seems likely to be the club's preferred option as a backup centerfielder/fourth outfielder but he will also need to prove his 2012 performance wasn't an aberration.
Verdict: Extremely likely, provided he's healthy.

1B-OF Chris Parmelee

Level: Triple-A Rochester
40-man roster: Yes
Stats: .234/.353/.369, 23/20 K/BB ratio (AAA), .223/.303/.372, 8 HR (MLB)
Analysis: Parmelee was part of the mass exodus at the All-Star break, and was reportedly shocked by the news. That's sort of surprising, given that his production didn't measure up to what a big league team wants out of a corner guy. Granted, Parmelee had some very good hot streaks, but those weren't frequent enough to sustain a quality statistical line. After crushing International League pitching in 2012, Parmelee's bat has been muted this time around. If he's brought back, his stats suggest he might be jockeying with Colabello for late-game pinch-hitting opportunities.
Verdict: Very likely, but playing time could be limited.

CF Aaron Hicks

Level: Triple-A Rochester
40-man roster: Yes
Stats: .202/.292/.233 (AAA), .192/.259/.338, 8 HR (MLB)
Analysis: It's been a stunning turn of events for the uber-talented centerfielder. The Twins felt it necessary to bring Hicks along after a scorching spring and stuck by him despite an April in which Hicks hit 8-for-71 (.113/.229/.127). At times it looked like it was getting better -- including multiple highlight-reel catches and a few solid games -- but ultimately Hicks hit only .219/.270/.410 after June 1. That won't do for a guy who at times showed lapses in effort and focus in center. Ryan said the biggest reason he sent down Hicks was his on-base percentage, and Hicks hasn't shown much more of that down in Rochester in the interim (although to be fair, he's been hurt). He may just be sent home after Rochester's season ends, rather than being recalled to the Twins.
Verdict: Remember Brian Dozier last year? When Rochester's season ended, he was not recalled to the Twins, even with expanded September rosters. Hicks could be a repeat of that. He'll have to earn a promotion, per multiple Twins sources.

3B Miguel Sano

Level: Double-A New Britain
40-man roster: No
Stats: .289/.387/.620, 31 HR (A+/AA)
Analysis: Sano has been an absolute monster, hitting 31 home runs in a pair of pitcher-heavy leagues to be the first Twins farmhand since Garrett Jones in 2004 to go deep 30-plus times. The Twins staff has nothing but good things to say about Sano, including that his disciplinary suspension was little more than a good kid who made a simple mistake. His defense is coming around, and he looks like he's got a chance to stake a claim to an opening day job in 2014. But for now it looks like he'll have to settle for a possible Arizona Fall League invite if he's going to play baseball outside of Double-A New Britain this calendar year.
Verdict: Per Terry Ryan, Sano's callup is unlikely barring injury to players in front of him on the organizational depth chart.

C Josmil Pinto

Level: Triple-A Rochester
40-man roster: Yes
Stats: .305/.399/.467, 14 HR, 79/64 K/BB ratio (AA/AAA)
Analysis: Pinto has rounded into a very good all-around offensive catcher, showing good extra-base pop, a discerning eye, and good contact skills. Still, Pinto is only about 50 plate appearances into his first stint at Triple-A, and the results haven't come with him in the move (.273/.283/.341). The Twins love him long-term as a hitter, and say he's coming around as a defensive catcher. But he's still raw enough that he probably won't see big league action until 2014.
Verdict: Not very likely.

Longshots to make the expanded big league roster in September include 2B Eddie Rosario, OF Antoan Richardson, IF James Beresford, IF Danny Santana and IF Deibinson Romero. Of that list, only Santana is currently on the Twins' 40-man roster.

Brandon Warne covers the Minnesota Twins for 1500ESPN.com. He has also contributed as a baseball analyst for Fangraphs.com and BaseballProspectus.com
Email Brandon | @Brandon_Warne
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