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Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month - August 2019

In recent days, we have announced our choices for the August Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month (Zander Wiel) and Starting Pitcher of the Month (Bailey Ober). Today, we will discuss the relief pitchers who ended the season strong, and there were a lot of very good performances. For instance, one pitcher had 20 strikeouts and zero walks this month, and can be found in the Honorable Mentions.

Previous 2019 Relief Pitchers of the Month:

April: Ryan Mason, Pensacola Blue Wahoos
May: Hector Lujan, Ft. Myers Miracle
June: Derek Molina, Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle
July: Joe Record, Ft. Myers Miracle
August: Keep Reading
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (graphics by Finn Pearson)
Before we get to our Top 5 relievers in the Twins system in August, here are several Honorable Mentions.
  • Jovani Moran - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 7 G, 2.13 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 7 BB, 15 K
  • Calvin Faucher - Ft. Myers Miracle - 7 G, 1.54 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 11 H, 3 BB, 16 K
  • Moises Gomez - Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 3.29 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 13.2 IP, 9 H, 5 BB, 23 K
  • Nate Hadley - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 3.14 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 11 H, 5 BB, 15 K
  • Tyler Beck - Elizabethton Twins - 8 G, 1.23 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 14 H, 4 BB, 19 K
  • Benjamin Dum - Elizabethton Twins - 8 G, 3.21 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 14.0 IP, 14 H, 0 BB, 20 K
  • Ryan Shreve - Elizabethton Twins - 6 G, 2.70 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 20.0 IP, 20 H, 2 BB, 20 K
  • Bradley Hanner - GCL Twins - 5 G, 2.45 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 4 H, 6 BB, 13 K
  • Niall Windeler - GCL Twins - 5 G, 1.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 9.0 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 10 K.
THE TOP FIVE RELIEF PITCHERS


#5 - Preston Guilmet - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 2 GS, 2.33 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 19.1 IP, 15 H, 2 BB, 27 K


The 32-year-old Guilmet made his MLB debut in 2013. He played for four MLB teams between 2013 and 2015. Then he returned to the big leagues and played for two more MLB teams in 2018. He signed early in the offseason with the Twins hoping for an opportunity to make it to the big leagues again, for a seventh team. That didn’t happen as Guilmet struggled some, especially early in the Red Wings season. However, he finished the season with a strong month. Call me impressed with the two walks to 27 strikeouts ratio. In addition, opponents hit just .214 with a .547 OPS against him during the month.


#4 - Jonathan Cheshire - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 10 K


Cheshire was the Blue Jays 37th-round pick in 2017 out of college. Toronto released him in early June and the Twins signed him in late July. The 24-year-old made a solid first impression in the Twins organization by posting a 0.00 ERA over his first full month in the organization. Opponents hit .205 off of him with a .510 OPS.


#3 - Gabriel Moya - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 5 G, 1 GS, 1.69 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 10.2 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 13 K


The Twins acquired Moya just over two years ago from the Diamondbacks in exchange for catcher John Ryan Murphy. He helped Chattanooga to a Southern League title that year and earned a promotion to the Twins. He spent time with the Twins last year. Unfortunately, he began the 2019 season hurt and when he went to Rochester, he really struggled. He ended up back in Double-A to end the season. But, he pitched well. Most important is that he didn’t issue walks and was back to recording strikeouts. Opponents hit just .179 with a .456 OPS against him. He is now off of the Twins 40-man roster, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the still just 24-year-old lefty resurfaces in the big leagues in 2020.


#2 - Jorge Alcala - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 10 G, 1.10 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 11 H, 4 BB, 18 K


It was a generally tough season for the hard-throwing right-hander. The Twins finally made the decision to move him to the bullpen in July, and he had mixed results. However, he and Brusdar Graterol were promoted to Triple-A Rochester in mid-August. Graterol was good, but Alcala was fantastic. With the Red Wings, he pitched in 7 2/3 innings over five games. He didn’t give up a run, gave up just four hits, walked two and struck out 11 batters. For the month, opponents hit .186 with a .526 OPS against him.


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

Pensacola Blue Wahoos – RHP Anthony Vizcaya - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 14.0 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 13 K

Every year there are a number of great stories in any MLB organization. One such story in the Twins organization in 2019 is that of Anthony Vizcaya. He signed with Cleveland in 2011 from Venezuela. However, he was released in 2014 after posting an ERA over 10 in the advanced rookie league. Since that time, he has only played in the Venezuelan Winter Leagues, and event that was very limited. He didn’t play during the 2017-18 season but returned last winter. He pitched in eight games, but it was enough to catch the eye of Twins pro scout Rafael Yanez who recommended the Twins sign him. They did, and he has been terrific all year.

He posted a 2.22 ERA over 15 games with the Miracle. In 28 1/3 innings, he struck out 35 batters. He has now pitched in 26 games for the Blue Wahoos and has a 0.78 ERA. In his 46 Double-A innings, he has struck out 48 batters. Combined, he has 11 saves.

In August, he was at his finest. The 25-year-old did not allow a run in eight games and 14 innings. Opponents hit just .149 with a .370 OPS against him.

It’s a great story, but those great stories are always even a little more fun when they pan out with a successful season.

-------------------------------------------------------

As you can see, there were several strong relief pitcher performances in August. These guys are all worthy of some recognition. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today.

Congratulations to Anthony Vizcaya, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for August 2019.

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1 Comments

I find it hard to believe, but I know almost nothing about most of the guys listed in today's report.Hopefully, a couple will work their way up to being key members of a future Twins bullpen.

 

Will Vizcaya have the opportunity to pick up three saves this weekend?Is it Vizcaya or Vizcayal, as printed on the above photo?

 

 


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