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Rene Tosoni

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Rene Michael Tosoni

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Rene Tosoni was the MVP of the 2009 Futures Game and made his major league debut in 2011.

Tosoni graduated from high school in 2004, where he also played hockey and volleyball. He represented his country in past competitions, playing for Canada's Junior National Team in 2003 and 2004. After a year of junior college, he was a draft-and-follow 36th-round pick for the Minnesota Twins in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft. He was signed in 2006 by scout Jim Ridley, but visa restrictions prevented him from starting his pro career, so he worked out at the Twins' Dominican complex instead.

Tosoni began his professional career in 2007 and hit .301/.407/.428 for the Elizabethton Twins. He ranked third in runs (58, only 2 shy of the co-leaders) and OBP (.407) in the Appalachian League and was 10th in average. He was named to the Appalachian League All-Star Team as the utility outfielder. He helped his team post the best record of the regular season. His 9 assists tied Wilson Tucker for the lead among Appy League outfielders. He also went 3 for 11 for the Beloit Snappers that year.

He batted .300/.408/.413 in 42 games for the 2008 Fort Myers Miracle but missed over three months with a left foot fracture. He was 4 for 6 with a homer, steal, 3 runs and 3 RBI in a rehab stint with the GCL Twins.

In 2009, Tosoni hit .271/.360/.454 with 15 home runs for the New Britain Rock Cats. He had 11 outfield assists. Chosen for the 2009 Futures Game, he starred, winning the Larry Doby Award as MVP. With the World Team down 4-3 in the 7th and final inning, Tosoni pinch-hit for Alex Liddi with two outs and the tying run aboard in Alcides Escobar. Facing Brad Lincoln, Rene doubled to right, scoring Escobar. Dayán Viciedo doubled home Tosoni with the go-ahead run as the World team went on to victory.

He joined Team Canada for the 2009 Baseball World Cup. As their starting right fielder, he batted .345/.457/.690 with 18 runs and 16 RBI in 15 games as Canada won their first Bronze ever at a Baseball World Cup. He had 5 RBI in a win over Sweden and threw out Ikuhiro Kiyota at home in the 8th to preserve a tie in an eventual win over Japan. In the Bronze Medal Game, he went 0 for 2 with two walks and two runs as Canada's #2 batter in a 6-2 win over Puerto Rico. Tosoni led the event in runs and trailed Rene Reyes, Justin Smoak, Terry Tiffee and Alfredo Despaigne in RBI. He was left off the All-Tournament team as Despaigne, Jon Weber and Miguel Abreu were picked in the outfield. Tosoni had a better OPS than Abreu and more runs produced than Weber.

In 2010, Tosoni only played 52 games at New Britain, putting up a batting line very similar to the previous year's: .270/.369/.422. His season ended on June 6 when he was placed on the disabled list with a right labrum strain. Healthy again, he was promoted to the AAA Rochester Red Wings of the International League at the start of the 2011 season, and began the year on the right foot. In his first 19 games, he hit .286/.329/.500, with 3 homers and 16 RBI as the team's clean-up hitter.

Tosoni was called up by the Twins on April 28, Twins with the big league team racked by injuries. He made his major league debut starting both ends of a twi-night doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays in left field. He went 2 for 4 with an RBI in the opener, then 0 for 3 in the nightcap as the Twins were swept.

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