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Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month - April 2018

April was an interesting month for baseball, in the big leagues and in the minor leagues. Weather effected many teams including the Rochester Red Wings and the Cedar Rapids Kernels. But we have a month worth of games, so it’s time to post our first monthly minor league award. Today, we start with the Twins minor league relief pitchers of the month. We’ll count down the Top 5 Twins minor league relievers, and there are enough good bullpen performances that we’ll include some honorable mentions.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Relievers for April, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut.

HONORABLE MENTION
  • Tyler Duffey - Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 11.0 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 14 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.36 WHIP.
  • Matt Magill - Elizabethton Twins - 5 G, 8.2 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 13 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.81 WHIP.
  • Andrew Vasquez - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 8 G, 14.0 IP, 8 H, 6 BB, 14 K, 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
  • Todd Van Steensel - Chattanooga Lookouts - 7 G, 13.2 IP, 10 H, 6 BB, 17 K, 2.63 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
THE TOP FIVE RELIEF PITCHERS





#5 - Kevin Marnon - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 G, 1.46 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 14 K


Kevin Marnon went undrafted last year after his college career, a career that took him to East Tennessee State, Akron and Ball State. He went to the USPBL, but soon after, the Twins called him and he signed. The 6-8 left-hander began the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids. As you can see, he did a nice job out of the Kernels bullpen. He worked two innings most times and once worked in five innings in an extra-innings game. As the calendar changed from April to May, Marnon learned that he had been promoted to the Ft. Myers Miracle.


#4 - John Curtiss - Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 2.89 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 17 K


Curtiss was the Twins sixth-round pick in 2014 out of the University of Texas. In college, he had both thoracic outlet surgery and Tommy John surgery. He missed time his first full season in the minor leagues. However, the last two seasons, he has been as good as any other pitcher in the system and moved up very quickly. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2017 and ended the year with nine games with the Twins. He had a really good April with the Red Wings and earned his promotion to the Twins at the end of the month. He was returned to Rochester last night where he’ll jump back into late-inning relief work.


#3 - DJ Baxendale - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G (2 GS), 0.00 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 9 K


Baxendale was the Twins 10th-round pick in 2012 out of the University of Arkansas. He began his career as a starter, but he has worked primarily out of the bullpen in recent years. He’s worked in many roles including short-relief, long-relief and spot starting, a role he has continued to have in 2018. Baxendale was very good in April. While he isn’t a strikeout pitcher, he works fast and has a real good slider and good control.


#2 - Ryan Mason - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 2.20 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 9 H, 1 BB, 19 K


Mason led all Twins minor league relievers in innings pitched in April. It’s impressive, in part, because he received a promotion to Ft. Myers mid-month. He moved up and didn’t miss a beat. He’s mostly been working two to three innings late in games. He went 2-1 with three saves in his eight outings. At 6-6, he was drafted in the 13th round out of Cal-Berkeley in 2016. He’s got a good fastball, and he can throw as many as four pitches thanks to his college years as a starter.


And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is:

Rochester Red Wings – RHP Nick Anderson - 6 G, 0.82 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 17 K





Anderson won this month award a couple of times in 2017 and was a finalist for Twins Daily’s Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. He spent most of 2017 in Chattanooga, but he jumped right to Rochester to start the 2018 season. He continues to do what he has done since signing with the Twins. He throws a lot of strikes. He throws hard, mid-90s, touching 97. He’s got a wipeout slider. He’s able to miss bats. Opponents hit just .162 off of him for the month. While he is not on the 40-man roster, it will be interesting to see if he is given an opportunity with the big league club in 2018.


For those still unaware, Anderson’s is a great story. He is a graduate of Brainerd High School. He went to St. Cloud State for three years before heading to Mayville State for a season. The Brewers drafted him, but they didn’t even offer him a contract. After working in the indy leagues for a few seasons, the Twins signed him late in 2015, and he’s been a dominant late inning reliever wherever he’s played. He is in his first season with the Rochester Red Wings.


There were several very strong relief pitcher performances in April throughout the Twins minor league system. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today, but again, Congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for April 2018, Nick Anderson.

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13 Comments

Love seeing these players recognized; not to mention new guys pop on the radar.  Anderson seems like he could be legit help for the big club.

    • Tom Froemming likes this

 

The Brewers drafted him, but they didn’t even offer him a contract.

 

How often does this happen? Seems like a huge waste of a pick, unless saving money is more important than not screwing over someone's future.

Good deal. He's a great story.

 

How often does this happen? Seems like a huge waste of a pick, unless saving money is more important than not screwing over someone's future.

 

It's against the CBA to do that... It should never happen. 

 

It's against the CBA to do that... It should never happen. 

Then (and pardon ignorance) how did it happen here?

 

Then (and pardon ignorance) how did it happen here?

 

I don''t know... It shouldn't have. 

Photo
Tom Froemming
May 03 2018 07:41 AM

Great to see Marnon and Mason emerge.

 

Ryan Mason has some intensity to him and has been going right after batters. Per his MiLB profile, he's thrown 74.1 percent of his pitches for strikes. That's just bonkers especially for a guy who had a very modest 2.32 K:BB ratio in college, though I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised to see that from a guy who can do stuff like this.

    • Steve Lein, TNTwinsFan and MN_ExPat like this
Photo
clutterheart
May 03 2018 08:02 AM

 

I don''t know... It shouldn't have. 

 

According to this it was because he got drunk, beat someone with a baseball bat and got a felony.

Hopefully it works out for both him and the Twins

http://www.thegazett...-dream-20150813

 

According to this it was because he got drunk, beat someone with a baseball bat and got a felony.
Hopefully it works out for both him and the Twins
http://www.thegazett...-dream-20150813


Hmmm. That makes him a lot less good story. A lot.
    • jud6312 likes this

According to this it was because he got drunk, beat someone with a baseball bat and got a felony.
Hopefully it works out for both him and the Twins
http://www.thegazett...-dream-20150813


I actually kind of appreciate the intensity there. Would LOVE to know the full story behind it though! Can you imagine him against the White Sox or the Yankees after one of our batters (say Kepler) gets plunked?! Anderson comes on with that INSANE accuracy and plunks Didi in the ribs then follows it up with a bunch of jaw jacking and bench clearing!!! Ejections everywhere! He's the kind of guy that let's teams like the Yankees know we don't take no sh** from you or anyone! Boom! Franchise changer! Let's get some freaking attitude out there! I wanna see the brawl between Sano and ANYONE on the Yankees roster when something like this happens! Man! I love hockey!
    • goulik likes this

I'm willing to give him a chance to see if he is actually sorry for his actions, made his peace with God and truly realizes what he almost lost because he got drunk and stupid.  

 

That leash is very short in my book though, don't blow this second chance.

    • Mike Sixel likes this
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ToddlerHarmon
May 04 2018 07:14 AM
Based on stats, how does this not go to Tyler Duffey?

Interesting... Nick Anderson was not on my radar, but looking at the stats now, he's blown through the minors with some phenomenal numbers, especially in the upper minors. Sure, he's already 27, but he started with the Twins at age 24, so it's impressive he's made it all the way to AAA at this point.

 

I think he could help the Twins at some point this year. I'd rather see him than other guys like Duffey.


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