Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - August 2017
- Charlie Barnes - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 17.0 IP, 2-0, 3.71 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 12 H, 6 BB, 15 K
- Nick Brown - Elizabethton Twins - 5 GS, 28.0 IP, 3-0, 2.89 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 28 H, 7 BB, 26 K.
- Felix Jorge - Rochester Red Wings - 6 GS, 37.0 IP, 2-2, 3.16 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 37 H, 10 BB, 29 K.
- Lewis Thorpe - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 6 GS, 30.0 IP, 2-0, 2.70 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 25 H, 12 BB, 36 K.
#5 - DJ Baxendale - Chattanooga Lookouts - 7 G, 4 GS, 0-0, 1.99 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 22.2 IP, 20 H, 4 BB, 21 K
In late July, Baxendale was sent from Rochester to Chattanooga despite putting up decent numbers out of the bullpen. With the Lookouts, he has also made some spot starts and long relief outings. And he’s pitched well, as you would hope, against AA competition after success in AAA. But maybe a step back is exactly what Baxendale will need to take a step forward. In August, batters hit just .244/.273/.317 (.590) off of him. He had nearly a strikeout an inning and showed good control.
#4 - Randy Dobnak - Elizabethton Twins - 5 G, 3 GS, 2-0, 1.69 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 26.1 IP, 19 H, 6 BB, 22 K
Shortly after the rookie league seasons began, the Twins made a call to Randy Dobnak. The Pennsylvania native attended Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia. He went undrafted, so he signed with the Utica Unicorns of the United Shore Professional Baseball League. Six weeks later, he signed with the Twins and was sent to Elizabethton. He was very good. As you can see, he made starts after beginning in the bullpen. He threw strikes, he missed some bats, and opponents just .198/.252/.313 (.565) against him during the month of August. He made his first start for the Kernels in September and will work with them in the playoffs.
#3 - Anthony Marzi - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 2-0, 1.57 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 23.0 IP, 17 H, 9 BB, 13 K
Marzi was a graduate of the University of Connecticut in 2014. He went undrafted, but that winter he signed with the New York Yankees. In 2015, he pitched in six games for the GCL Yankees and then was released in March of 2016. He tried out for the independent New Britain Bees of the independent Atlantic League and did well in 2016 and 2017. In late June, he was signed by the Twins because they needed starters in Cedar Rapids. He made nine starts for the Kernels and pitched well enough that his final regular season start came for the Ft. Myers Miracle. While the left-hander does not throw hard or miss a lot of bats, he can be effective by hitting his spots. He has been able to do that since signing.
#2- Carlos Suniaga - GCL Twins - 5 G, 3 GS, 2-0, 1.07 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 25.1 IP, 21 H, 4 BB, 19 K
The Twins signed Suniaga out of the Dominican in September of 2014. He spent the last two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. Still just 20, Suniaga began the season with one appearance in Elizabethton before joining the GCL Twins for the rest of the season. He pitched well, particularly in August. He worked a lot of innings. He threw strikes. He had a solid strikeout rate. Opponents hit just .223/.272/.330 (.602) off of him in the month.
And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is:
Chattanooga Lookouts - RHP Zack Littell - 7 GS, 5-0, 2.81 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 41.2 IP, 33 H, 18 BB, 33 K
Zack Littell was the 11th-round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners in 2013 out of high school in North Carolina. He spent a year in the rookie Arizona League (similar to the GCL). Then he spent a season in the Appalachian League. Then he spent the 2015 season in the Midwest League. That’s where he began the 2016 season again, and things went much better. He took his step forward. He split the season between the Midwest League and the Florida State League.
Last offseason, he was traded from the Mariners to the Yankees organization in exchange for lefty reliever James Pazos. He began this season in the Florida State League. For Tampa, he went 9-1 with a 1.77 ERA. He was promoted to AA Trenton of the Eastern League. There, he went 5-0 with a 2.05 ERA. He was supposed to make a start in late July but was scratched. Hours later, news came out that he had been traded, along with lefty Dietrich Enns, in exchange for Jaime Garcia.
He was assigned to Chattanooga in the Southern League. For the Lookouts, he has gone 5-0 with a 2.81 ERA. So overall this season, he has gone 19-1 with a 2.12 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. In 157 innings, he has given up 135 hits, walked 41 and struck out 142 batters.
He was good in August too, posting a 5-0 record. Opponents hit just .223/.324/.331 (.655) off of him.
The Twins will most likely add him to the 40-man roster in November to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.
Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of August, Chattanooga starter Zack Littell.
Feel free to agree or disagree with the order, if you like. It wasn’t as easy a decision as you might think. There were several solid starters in August.
- Cory Engelhardt likes this