Miracle Hope Experience Translates On The Field
Image courtesy of Linwood Ferguson-Captive Photos (Brady Anderson)New Skipper At The Helm
Manager Ramon Borrego is making the jump from the GCL Twins. He doesn’t have to move towns but his new gig will certainly come with some high expectations. The native Venezuelan briefly reached Triple-A as a player before becoming a manager. His playing career started in 1996 with the GCL Twins and he finished in 2002.
His coaching career started in the Venezuelan Summer league, where he worked from 2005-2008. In 2009, he took the DSL Twins to the Dominican Summer League Finals before losing. He took over the GCL managing duties from Chris Heintz during the 2010 campaign. His team’s best finish was last season with first place finish in the South Division before losing in the first round of the playoffs. His career record with the GCL Twins was 236-235.
Borrego will be joined on his coaching staff by some familiar faces. Henry Bonilla will return for his third season as the Miracle pitching coach. Steve Singleton will begin his second season as the hitting coach in Fort Myers and his third as a hitting coach in the Twins organization.
Top Prospects To Watch
Two of Twins Daily’s Top 20 Prospects and three of Baseball America’s Top 30 Prospects populate the Miracle Opening Day roster. The biggest name might be first baseman Lewin Diaz, who finished 13th on the Twins Daily Top 20 and Baseball America ranks him 26th. Diaz led the Midwest League with 33 doubles last year and added 12 home runs.
Infielder Travis Blankenhorn is another familiar name to those who follow Twins prospects. At Twins Daily, we ranked him as the organization’s 17th best prospect entering the season. He’s stock is down a little after hitting .251 with 13 home runs in 117 games for Cedar Rapids last season. Baseball America squeezed him into their top-30 list at number 29.
A name less known to Twins fans might be outfielder Aaron Whitefield. Twins Daily didn’t include him in our top-20 prospect list but Baseball America thought highly enough of him to rank him 19th. He was dangerous on the base-paths last season with Cedar Rapids by swiping 32 bases. He added 11 home runs to show some signs of power as well.
Three important pieces of last year’s playoff starting rotation will return to Fort Myers. Right-handed pitcher Brady Anderson led the Miracle in innings pitched (113.0) and games started (18). In college he pitched at Florida Gulf Coast University so he is getting accustomed to pitching in the Florida sun.
Right-handed hurler Cody Stashak pitched at three different levels last season (Rookie, High-A, Double-A) but he was still able to finish second on the Miracle in innings pitched. His 1.10 WHIP was tops among Miracle pitchers with a minimum of 15 starts. He also finished second among starters with 72 strikeouts in 83.1 innings.
Sean Poppen, a right-handed pitcher, made 11 starts for Fort Myers last season. Lefty Andrew Vasquez will return to the bullpen where he posted a 1.51 ERA in 23 relief appearances (35.2 IP) with 52 strikeouts. Righty Tom Hackimer posted a 1.93 ERA in 27 relief appearances.
2018 MIRACLE OPENING DAY ROSTER (Returners in bold)
Pitchers (13): RHP Brady Anderson, LHP Charlie Barnes, RHP Clark Beeker, RHP Adam Bray, RHP Colton Davis, RHP Tom Hackimer, RHP Hector Lujan, LHP Anthony Marzi, RHP Sean Poppen, LHP Alex Robinson, RHP Cody Stashak, LHP Andrew Vasquez, RHP Tyler Wells
Catchers (3): Taylor Grzelakowski, Caleb Hamilton, Mitchell Kranson
Infielders (5): Travis Blankenhorn, Lewin Diaz, Brandon Lopez, Nelson Molina, Alex Perez
Outfielders (4): Jaylin Davis, Jared Foster, Jimmy Kerrigan, Aaron Whitefield
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