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Twins Minor League Report (4/24): Gonsalves Improves to 3-0

There wasn’t much hitting throughout the system on this day as the affiliates combined for just seventeen hits in their four games, but there were plenty of solid pitching performances that kept all of them close. Those pitchers were led by a top prospect who improved to 3-0 on the year with a season high in Ks, and an unheralded reliever who deserves to start getting some serious attention as he continues to put up impressive numbers.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
Keep reading find out how all your Minnesota Twins prospects performed in Tuesday’s games!

TRANSACTIONS
Early in the afternoon the option of Alan Busenitz to Rochester and the recall of Tyler Duffey to the Twins bullpen was made official.

RED WINGS REPORT
Gwinnett 5, Rochester 2
Box Score

Red Wings starter Myles Jaye was able to scatter five hits and two walks through the game's first four innings, but the Braves finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth thanks to another walk and two singles to take a 1-0 lead. In total for his five innings, Jaye allowed just the one run on seven hits and three walks while striking out four.

Rochester tied the game in the bottom of the sixth as they were able to take advantage of an error by left fielder and top prospect Ronald Acuna. Gregorio Petit scored that run after leading off the inning with a single.

In the top of the seventh however, the Braves took back control of the game, putting up four runs against reliever Ryne Harper. Harper had pitched a one-two-three sixth inning but walks to Jose Bautista and Acuna leading off the seventh led to surrendering a grand slam a few hitters later, and a 5-1 Gwinnett lead they would not relinquish.

The lineup for the Red Wings would make the final 5-2 in the ninth, but managed just two hits to go along with five walks on the game. They were 1-4 with runners in scoring position and left only five men on base in dropping to 6-9 on the season.

In an otherwise forgettable game, one positive to mention is the pitching of the aforementioned reliever Nick Anderson. He finished the game for the home team with two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out four. After a beyond-stellar MiLB career thus far before reaching AAA this season, Anderson has allowed only one run on six hits and three walks in nine innings while striking out 13. His age prevents him from getting much notice as a prospect (he will turn 28 in July), but Anderson (also #OneOfUs) continues to put up numbers that are hard to ignore.



CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 2, Jackson 1
Box Score

The Lookouts got on the board in the first inning thanks to a Nick Gordon single that was followed by the seventh double on the season from Zander Wiel. In the second inning Brian Navarreto launched his first home run of the season for the early 2-0 lead.

Stephen Gonsalves got the start for Chattanooga and a walk to lead off the second inning turned the score to 2-1 when he allowed a two-out double. But It would remain that way until Gonsalves exited the game after five strong innings. His pitch count did climb to 91 pitches, as he struck out nine Generals hitters. Of those pitches, 60 went for strikes including 12 of the swing and miss variety. He struck out two hitters in each of the second, third, and fifth innings, and the side in the fourth. His ERA on the year held steady after the outing at 1.77.

Zack Jones pitched a scoreless sixth inning, striking out three around a leadoff single and a walk. Tyler Jay made his return from the disabled list in the seventh and recorded two quick outs before an error on a grounder to second base that was followed by a single put a runner in scoring position. Jay buckled down and got another ground ball to end the threat and keep the Lookouts up 2-1.

Todd Van Steensel was summoned from the bullpen in the eighth, and finished the game for Chattanooga, picking up his first save of the season along the way. In his two innings he walked one and struck out two.

Gordon led the offense with a 2-for-4 night including a run scored and his third triple. He was also caught stealing and picked off third base on the basepaths. Wiel and LaMonte Wade both finished 1-3 with a walk in the victory that put the Lookouts above .500 on the year.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 2, Clearwater 3
Box Score

Fort Myers also took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning and were up 2-1 after three in this one, but unlike their AA brothers, they were unable to hold on for the victory.

They scored first after the newly promoted Mark Contreras drew a walk to start the game and came around on the double from Joe Cronin that followed. In the second inning a double from Contreras scored Jared Foster, who had singled earlier to account for Chattanooga’s two runs on the game.

Starting pitcher Anthony Marzi was effective for five innings, allowing only one earned run on four hits and one walk with six strikeouts, but one of those hits was a solo home run in the second and an error in the fourth allowed Clearwater to tie the game at two before Marzi exited the game.

Ryan Mason kept the score that way until the ninth inning, when a one-out solo home run walked it off for the Threshers. Mason had set down all ten hitters he’d faced to that point, including five strikeouts so any second guessing of a manager doesn’t really hold up. 25 of Mason’s 31 pitches went for strikes, including eight swing-and-misses.

On offense the Lookouts got another double from third baseman Nelson Molina, but just two other hits to go along with 12 strikeouts as a team. They were hitless in eight plate appearances with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Burlington 1, Cedar Rapids 3
Box Score

The Bees and Kernels combined for just nine hits on the game, but luckily for the home team they were able to take advantage of their scoring opportunities.

Singles from Ben Rortvedt and Ben Rodriguez got a one-out rally started in the second inning, and a sac fly from Jean Carlos Arias and a Shane Carrier double put them out front 2-0 early.

From there, starter Edwar Colina kept the sting of Burlington at bay with some old-fashioned wildness. In five innings, he threw 79 pitches with just 37 going for strikes (47%). Despite that, he retired the last ten hitters he faced and allowed just two hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts in picking up his first win of the year.

Jose Martinez pitched the next two innings, allowing the only Bees' run to score on a balk in the sixth inning. He gave up a single and walked two while picking up two Ks. Kevin Marnon picked up his first save of the year by finishing with two scoreless innings allowing one hit and striking out two.

The Kernels offense was led by Rodriguez, who finished the game 2-for-3 with a run scored. Royce Lewis picked up the final RBI with a single in the eighth inning in a 1-for-4 night and stole his fourth base. Akil Baddoo drew two walks, scored a run, and stole his fourth base. As a team Cedar Rapids went 2-4 with runners in scoring position while the Bees finished 1-9.

STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Stephen Gonsalves, Chattanooga Lookouts (W, 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 K)
Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Chattanooga Lookouts (2-4, R, 3B)

TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, RBI, SB (4)
3. Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) – 2-4, R, 3B (3), CS (2)
4. Stephen Gonsalves (Chattanooga) – W (3-0), 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 K’s
5. Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 0-3, BB, K
7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 0-4, 2 K’s
10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-2, R, 2 BB, SB (4)
13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 0-4
14. LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) – 1-3, BB
15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – 1-4, K
16. Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) – 1-3, R
17. Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 1-3, BB, K
19. Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) – Hold (2), 1.0 IP, H

WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Gwinnett @ Rochester (10:05AM CST) – LHP Adalberto Mejia (0-0, 5.63 ERA)
Chattanooga @ Jackson (11:05AM CST) – RHP Randy LeBlanc (2-1, 1.69 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Clearwater (11:00AM CST) – LHP Tyler Wells (2-0, 1.29 ERA)
Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (1-0, 1.08 ERA)

Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!

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35 Comments

Rooker with his 36% strikeout rate coupled with a big fat 0% walk rate is rather worrisome. With nearly 80 plate appearances, he is quickly becoming a non prospect especially considering his age.

    • caninatl04 likes this
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108Stitches
Apr 24 2018 09:37 PM
Congrats to Tyler Wells and Jimmy Kerrigan for Florida state league pitcher and hitter of the week! Crazy that both PoW are on the same team...and are in last place. Hopefully Wells can repeat his last two outings tomorrow. Gonsalves is ready for a shot guys, what are they waiting for?? Why is he still in AA?

 

Rooker with his 36% strikeout rate coupled with a big fat 0% walk rate is rather worrisome. With nearly 80 plate appearances, he is quickly becoming a non prospect especially considering his age.

All it takes is 80 plate appearances to become a non-prospect? Well then, the Angels should have give up on Mike Trout when his first 80 PAs looked bad.

 

Rooker's path to the majors has been accelerated and he's struggling upon reaching the upper minors. I'm not surprised that he's striking out a lot - he's got plenty of time to adjust and learn how to hit AA pitchers. I have little to no concerns for him in the long run.

    • brvama, raindog, TheLeviathan and 8 others like this

 

Congrats to Tyler Wells and Jimmy Kerrigan for Florida state league pitcher and hitter of the week! Crazy that both PoW are on the same team...and are in last place. Hopefully Wells can repeat his last two outings tomorrow. Gonsalves is ready for a shot guys, what are they waiting for?? Why is he still in AA?

Gonsalves and Gordon should be getting promotions to AAA very soon... I don't know what the holdup is. These guys should/might be contributing to the big league club sooner than later.

    • twinssouth likes this

Gordon's start has me feeling the same as last season. looks like a top 10 prospect in baseball again. Hope this time he doesn't fade away. Nice to see all the top prospects are doing alright, would like to see a couple break out though. Praying Rooker and Baddoo get back into last years funk.

 

Zander Wiel might be interesting to watch.

    • jrod23 and rdehring like this

Rochester .... didn't I read somewhere how they had veteran leadership and were going to be good?

    • Mike Sixel likes this

He has been watching Sano too much.

Gonsalves and Romero should be there now.What is holding them back - Gibson, Hughes, Lynn??? Bring them up or do we have to wait until some special deadline passes?The Twins need some adrenalin and a good starting pitcher would help.Put LaMonte Wade as the fourth outfielder, Grossman can't field, can't hit, and they are not letting him do his walk specialty. 

Great seeing Jay back on the mound.Hopefully he can stay there for the rest of the year so we have a chance of seeing whether or not he is worthy of filling a late inning spot in the Twins bullpen.

 

And for all of those who are disappointed in the start to the season for the Twins or any specific prospects.Lets keep in mind that this season's start has been ridiculous with all the games cancelled.Although I never played the game, I have to believe the gaps in playing must affect the performance of players, some more than others.

    • DocBauer and MN_ExPat like this
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FormerMinnasotan
Apr 25 2018 06:32 AM
Looks like Gonsalves should be moved up to AAA. There’s no reason to continue to keep Enns and Jaye in the rotation over Gonsalves. Gonsalves might need to clean up his command, but his strike % is getting higher and he’s walking less batters.
    • Danchat likes this

Rooker with his 36% strikeout rate coupled with a big fat 0% walk rate is rather worrisome. With nearly 80 plate appearances, he is quickly becoming a non prospect especially considering his age.


This is a good hawt taek!! But now you owe me a new computer..

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    • DocBauer and Tom Froemming like this

 

Rooker with his 36% strikeout rate coupled with a big fat 0% walk rate is rather worrisome. With nearly 80 plate appearances, he is quickly becoming a non prospect especially considering his age.

 

Dude is 23 and the 4th youngest player on the Chattanooga roster. Age-to-level doesn't' apply (as much) when the guy was drafted 10 months ago and is already in AA. That said, the lack of walks is a bit alarming and the strikeouts are as well. 80 plate appearances is way too soon to worry, but it is all noteworthy. He started out slow at each level and then figured it out. Tommy Watkins continues to play him most every day and bat him second, so he'll get the chances to keep working through it. Everyone says that AA is the biggest leap in the minor leagues. 

    • birdwatcher, twinssouth, Tom Froemming and 2 others like this

 

Gonsalves and Gordon should be getting promotions to AAA very soon... I don't know what the holdup is. These guys should/might be contributing to the big league club sooner than later.

 

I'd add LaMonte Wade to that as well. He's been the Lookouts catalyst. All three were there last year, and there's little reason to keep them there for long, unless the plan is to call them up directly from AA. I think all three would benefit from some time in AAA. 

 

I''d also add that making promotions for non-injury reasons less than a month into a season probably doesn't make much sense either. I mean, Travis Blankenhorn started out really hot for the first week of the season and people were already clamoring for him to move up to AA... Two weeks later, he's hitting about .250 and we realize that it's not smart to jump to promotions too quickly. That said, it's a little different when the guys mentioned already spent a full season at a level. 

    • Tom Froemming, Tomj14 and MN_ExPat like this

 

Gordon's start has me feeling the same as last season. looks like a top 10 prospect in baseball again. 

 

Top 10 for the Twins ... Sure.

 

Top 10 in baseball ... Lol.

 

 

Rochester .... didn't I read somewhere how they had veteran leadership and were going to be good?

 

i don't remember reading that... They definitely have a lot of veterans though. 

 

Gonsalves and Romero should be there now.What is holding them back - Gibson, Hughes, Lynn??? Bring them up or do we have to wait until some special deadline passes?The Twins need some adrenalin and a good starting pitcher would help.Put LaMonte Wade as the fourth outfielder, Grossman can't field, can't hit, and they are not letting him do his walk specialty. 

 

I certainly wouldn't put Lance Lynn in that same category. He's struggled with control through his first few starts, but he's a legit mid-rotation starter. Gibson's fine in the back of a rotation. Those aren't the guys that should be replaced on April 24th by prospects. Hughes... well, I can't imagine that will last too much longer. 

 

And, LaMonte Wade should be playing, not sitting the bench. Not yet, at least. Get him to AAA first, and then he's close. 

    • DocBauer, caninatl04 and MN_ExPat like this

 

 

Zander Wiel might be interesting to watch.

 

Zander seems to be doing exactly what everyone expected Rooker too do.  Zander is no slouch, being a product of Vandy baseball.  Very commendable start for him.

    • caninatl04 likes this

 

Gonsalves and Romero should be there now.What is holding them back - Gibson, Hughes, Lynn??? Bring them up or do we have to wait until some special deadline passes?The Twins need some adrenalin and a good starting pitcher would help.Put LaMonte Wade as the fourth outfielder, Grossman can't field, can't hit, and they are not letting him do his walk specialty. 

91 pitches in 5 innings in AA might also be the issue?or 4 games and 20.1 innings.

I really like Gonzo, but the big league club doesn't need another guy 5 inning guy right now.

    • birdwatcher, WLFINN and caninatl04 like this

Gotta be impressed by what Nick Anderson has done on the mound thus far. As Steve wrote, those numbers are hard to ignore. Let's hope he can sustain those impressive strikeout numbers especially.

We should just be glad that Goncalves and Romero are showing so much promise. Remember, at the end of the season Santana, Gibson and Lynnn will be gone. The Twins will (hopefuylly) make a decision on Hughes. Depending on the quality of any of these guys, they might be able to flip them out for a solid prospect before the trade deadline or thru waivers in August.

 

Next year: Berrios, Odorizzi, Pineda, May and build from there.

 

Same with the bullpen. The Twins DID make some decent moves to bolster their pitching for a possible run at the Wild Card (if not the division). But they happily didn't tie into longterm contracts and we do know there are POSSIBLE arms in the system to work into the mix. 

    • caninatl04 likes this

Rochester .... didn't I read somewhere how they had veteran leadership and were going to be good?


Kind of showing talent matters too...imo.

Gonsalves and Gordon should be there, that would help. But they aren't.

 

All it takes is 80 plate appearances to become a non-prospect? Well then, the Angels should have give up on Mike Trout when his first 80 PAs looked bad.

 

Rooker's path to the majors has been accelerated and he's struggling upon reaching the upper minors. I'm not surprised that he's striking out a lot - he's got plenty of time to adjust and learn how to hit AA pitchers. I have little to no concerns for him in the long run.

(Actually, Trout's first 80 PA in MLB were pretty good -- 120 wRC+, and that was held down by a .222 BABIP. Good ISO and K%, and even a decent BB%.)

 

K and BB rates stabilize faster than other stats, so I think it's fair to have some concern about Rooker. Yeah, he's been rushed a bit from the draft a year ago to AA now, but he hit well in high-A last year and he's 23 years old, so you would think he'd be able to at least show a solid approach in AA, even if the other results weren't quite there yet. 68 PA, 0 walks, 24 K is a bit of a concern. He certainly has time to right the ship, but the longer this continues, he does seem to be trending toward Adam Brett Walker status...

    • birdwatcher and drock2190 like this

What does Nick Anderson do that makes him so hard to hit?

 

Velocity? Movement? Strange arm angle?

 

It's been fun to watch him dominate every level, hope he can keep it going. 

    • ashburyjohn likes this

 

(Actually, Trout's first 80 PA in MLB were pretty good -- 120 wRC+, and that was held down by a .222 BABIP. Good ISO and K%, and even a decent BB%.)

 

K and BB rates stabilize faster than other stats, so I think it's fair to have some concern about Rooker. Yeah, he's been rushed a bit from the draft a year ago to AA now, but he hit well in high-A last year and he's 23 years old, so you would think he'd be able to at least show a solid approach in AA, even if the other results weren't quite there yet. 68 PA, 0 walks, 24 K is a bit of a concern. He certainly has time to right the ship, but the longer this continues, he does seem to be trending toward Adam Brett Walker status...

Well, I'll check back on the Rooker situation in a few months and see how he's doing. I just find it hard to believe that 80 PAs is all it takes for a hitter to become the next ABW.

 

I was mainly referring to Trout's subpar 135 PAs in his rookie year, though now looking at the game log, it seemed it was the tail end of those 135 PAs where he didn't hit as well and not as much the first 80, so perhaps that wasn't the best comparison.

    • MN_ExPat likes this
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birdwatcher
Apr 25 2018 10:02 AM

 

Rochester .... didn't I read somewhere how they had veteran leadership and were going to be good?

 

Probably not. I think expectations in general have been tepid. This is not an exciting roster.


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