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Twins Minor League Report (5/11): Smeltzer Ya Later!

Unfortunately, there were no wins to be had in the Twins minor league system this Saturday but that does not mean that there was nothing to be excited about. Specifically, there was quite the start from a young left hander who could be on the major league team very soon. Read all about it and more as I take you through this journey.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Devin Smeltzer)
TRANSACTIONS

INF Miguel Sanó transferred from AA to AAA for his MLB rehab assignment

RHP Kohl Stewart recalled by Minnesota

RHP Tyler Duffey recalled by Minnesota (26th man for the DH)

Update: Following the game, Stewart and Fernando Romero were optioned to Rochester. Martine Perez was actvated from the paternity list. Willians Astudillo will be activated from the Injured List on Sunday morning. Also, as the 26th man, Tyler Duffey was sent back to Rochester, as well.
RED WINGS REPORT
Red Wings 0, Durham 1
Box Score

Devin Smeltzer: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 68% strikes (68 of 100 pitches)
HR: None
Multi-hit games: None

The talk so far about AAA has been the offensive explosion that seems to have come as a result of the MLB ball being implemented at the AAA level. Evidently, no one told Devin Smeltzer that this is an offense-heavy environment because he fired off eight impressive shutout innings to continue his absolute tear through the minors to start the season. So far, he has surrendered just two earned runs through his forty-five innings of work at AA and AAA combined. He may be at the majors sooner rather than later if this keeps up.

Unfortunately for the Red Wings, the Bulls pitching was just as good and were able to hold the Red Wings to two hits on the day. Old friend Oliver Drake served as the opener for Durham (they are the affiliate for the Rays after all, they have to get crafty somewhere) and in total, all but two outs thrown by the Bulls came from pitchers with major league experience.

Miguel Sanó went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts in his first AAA rehab game but played some nifty defense in the process.






BLUE WAHOO BITES
Pensacola 1, Chattanooga 5 (5 innings, ended due to rain)
Box Score

Sean Poppen: 3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 49.2% strikes (29 of 59 pitches)
HR: None
Multi-hit games: None

While the Miracle had to finish game that started the day before due to rain, the Blue Wahoos saw their game cut short for the same reason. Someone needs to find whatever voodoo doll or prayer would finally allow the teams to play games without unnecessary comments from Mother Nature.

No Blue Wahoos hitter reached base twice, but Jordan Gore was the only one who saw more than two plate appearances in the game.

Despite only playing five innings, the basepaths were an active highway as there were five stolen base attempts combined in the game. The Blue Wahoos only attempt was unsuccessful while the Lookouts were successful on three with a single caught stealing.


MIRACLE MATTERS
Game one:
Ft. Myers 2, Tampa 5 (continued from yesterday, 7 innings)
Box Score

Tyler Watson: 4 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 61.7% strikes (58 of 94 pitches)
HR: Lewin Diaz (3), Ryan Costello (4)
Multi-hit games: Akil Baddoo (2-for-4), Royce Lewis (2-for-4, 2B)

This game was suspended yesterday due to heavy rain because Mother Nature’s wrath on the Twins minor league teams refuses to end. Because of this, they started in the bottom of the fifth inning and would play until the end of the seventh.

Fort Myers flexed their muscles as Lewin Diaz launched another home run and Ryan Costello decided to join in on the fun and hit his own homer in the fifth.

Royce Lewis added another multi-hit game to his season total, a good sign as he struggled to start the year but appears to be turning it around. More strong hitting performances will punch his ticket to Pensacola eventually.

There were no runs scored today after play was resumed and despite out hitting the Tarpons, the Miracle eventually lost.





Game two:
Ft. Myers 3, Tampa 4 (7 innings)
Box Score

Charlie Barnes: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 53.3% strikes (8 of 15 pitches)
HR: None
Multi-hit games:Jose Miranda (2-for-4, RBI), Ryan Jeffers (2-for-3, R, BB), Trey Cabbage (2-for-3, 2B, RBI)

The second game of the doubleheader proved to be quite the match as it came down to the wire in the bottom of the seventh. The Miracle were able to put up some runs in the sixth thanks to an RBI double from Trey Cabbage and some wild pitch shenanigans. A Jose Miranda single in the seventh plated Royce Lewis and brought the game within a run, but Lewin Diaz and Ryan Jeffers both flew out to end the game.

The Miracle ran with somewhat of a bullpen game as Charlie Barnes only went for an inning before Hector Lujan, Joe Record, and Johan Quezada combined afterwards to end the game.

Trey Cabbage continued to sting the ball as his 2-for-3 effort raised his A+ average to .350 and his OPS to .909 (that’s high-A average to be clear, but a .350 is also worth an A plus so I guess it works).

The Miracle out-hit the Tarpons again but the team went 2-for-14 with RISP and that proved to be part of their downfall for the game.


KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 4, West Michigan 7
Box Score

Cole Sands: 5 ⅓ IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 65.0% strikes (63 of 97 pitches)
HR: Gabe Snyder (2)
Multi-hit games: Gabe Snyder (2-for-5, HR, R, RBI), Yeltsin Encarnacion (2-for-4, RBI)

A game that was played in full without any rain interference? I didn’t know that was allowed.

Anyways, despite getting hit for four runs in his start, Cole Sands was encouraging by punching out eight hitters while only walking a single batter, some better luck will result in a cleaner line eventually.

Gabe Snyder hit his second homer of the season and is now holding an OPS of .930 at A ball. Some more games like the one today will put his name in the conversation for a promotion.

The Kernels as a whole struck out fourteen Whitecaps despite only throwing eight innings today, an impressive total indeed.


TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Devin Smeltzer
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Gabe Snyder


PROSPECT SUMMARY
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 3-for-8, 2 2B, R, 2 K (2 games)
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-for-2
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did not pitch
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-5, 2B, 3 BB (2 games)
#5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Season has not started
#6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 0-for-3, 3 K
#7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch
#8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch
#9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-7, BB, 3 K (2 games)
#11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-for-4, 2 K
#12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-3, R, BB
#14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3
#15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list
#16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, R, BB
#17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch
#18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 0-for-4, K
#19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch
#20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-6, RBI, K (2 games)


SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Durham @ Rochester (12:05 P.M.) -
Pensacola @ Chattanooga (1:15 P.M.) - RHP Jorge Alcala

(The other leagues are off for Mother’s Day, which is in fact tomorrow)

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.


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18 Comments

Whoa... with more performances like that, Smeltzer is going to be with the big league club sometime this summer. This dude's just flat-out dominating!

 

I'm very concerned about Rooker - he's striking out waaay too much against AAA pitching that is giving up a lot more HRs now. His K rate was already shaky last year, but now I'd say we should be on red alert.

    • bluechipper, mikelink45, Dman and 3 others like this

Yes Stewart was the #4 pick of his class. And yes he is unlikely to ever live up to that selection. But I find myself strangely impressed with his perseverance. If he can end up being a #4-7 pitcher with some control.....many high draft picks have ended up providing far less...... just sayin'

    • birdwatcher, gunnarthor, DocBauer and 10 others like this
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diehardtwinsfan
May 12 2019 06:03 AM

 

Whoa... with more performances like that, Smeltzer is going to be with the big league club sometime this summer. This dude's just flat-out dominating!

 

I'm very concerned about Rooker - he's striking out waaay too much against AAA pitching that is giving up a lot more HRs now. His K rate was already shaky last year, but now I'd say we should be on red alert.

 

His MO is to strike out a lot at a new level and then slowly bring them down over time. To that extent, I'm not worried just yet... I do think, however, that none of us will like his ML debut.

 

Now that said, if it's a new level thing or a consistent spring thing, I don't think we know the answer to that. That's probably a bigger deal. It will be interesting to see how handles repeating a level, b/c I suspect he starts next year in AAA again.

    • DocBauer, MN_ExPat and Aerodeliria like this

My mom passed away several years ago. A perfect Mother's Day for her included a homemade breakfast made by others, followed by a baseball game on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Even if it was town ball.

 

I miss her.

    • Carole Keller, TRex, mikelink45 and 5 others like this

What an ugly day in the organization, at least as far as the results were concerned.But Smerltzer is making us take notice.A few more games like this and the Twins are gonna have to consider giving him a call next time the need arises.Although he isn't on the 40-man and the whole options thing will come into play.

 

Was looking at Lewis and the fact he only has stolen 6 bases in 11 attempts.Looked at last year and saw he was only successful in 6 of 10 at Fort Myers, or nearly the same results.Stole a ton of bases earlier at Cedar Rapids, 22 of 26.I know the FSL ballparks are bigger than most minor league parks.Is it also farther between bases? 

    • mikelink45 likes this

Rooker definitely has some flaws, but the power is still impressive. He's been pushed through the system fairly aggressively, so getting 1 repeat in AAA for some finishing wouldn't be a terrible result. But let's see where he finishes the season, and if he can trade some K's for BBs.

 

Smeltzer impresses. If he keeps shutting guys down in AAA that's going to look like a very fine acquisition.

    • DocBauer and MN_ExPat like this
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clutterheart
May 12 2019 08:08 AM
Maybe this has been posted here already
https://prospects365...ngs-april-29th/

He has a pretty recent scouting report on Smeltzer:
High 80s fastball
Good offspeed and control
Delivery deception.
    • jkcarew and Aerodeliria like this
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diehardtwinsfan
May 12 2019 08:08 AM

 

Rooker definitely has some flaws, but the power is still impressive. He's been pushed through the system fairly aggressively, so getting 1 repeat in AAA for some finishing wouldn't be a terrible result. But let's see where he finishes the season, and if he can trade some K's for BBs.

 

Smeltzer impresses. If he keeps shutting guys down in AAA that's going to look like a very fine acquisition.

Rooker is also slightly more than 3 years younger than the league average. That is worth noting as well. He's done nothing but destroy pitching so far and each time he goes up a level, he swings and misses a lot... but over the year, it tends to drop... I think the K rate is still concerning, but I'm hoping it's dropping because he's being that student of the game that people keep saying he is... If that's how he learns, so be it... just means his first few ML seasons may be a bit rough.

    • DocBauer, D.C Twins and MN_ExPat like this

I love the Smeltzer season and I hope he comes in and takes some Pineda starts - Pineda is not the future and Smeltzer might be.What I hope does not happen in the Romero treatment (an extension of the Sano to RF treatment).He should not be made a reliever at this point.

 

And speaking of Sano, I am not impressed by his good fielding, that is nice, but the 3Ks still makes me ill.He is not a defensive specialist and striking out does nothing good except for the pitchers stats.

 

Whoa... with more performances like that, Smeltzer is going to be with the big league club sometime this summer. This dude's just flat-out dominating!

 

I'm very concerned about Rooker - he's striking out waaay too much against AAA pitching that is giving up a lot more HRs now. His K rate was already shaky last year, but now I'd say we should be on red alert.

I think that Rooker has dropped drastically in my list of prospects.If we put Sano and Rooker in the same lineup we can start to rewrite the K records (already being done around the league) with our club and opposing pitchers.I like what we have now and I also see others in the Minors who I would prefer over Rooker.When we got him I was excited, but each whiff fans away a little more of the promise for me. 

 

Rooker definitely has some flaws, but the power is still impressive. He's been pushed through the system fairly aggressively, so getting 1 repeat in AAA for some finishing wouldn't be a terrible result. But let's see where he finishes the season, and if he can trade some K's for BBs.

 

Smeltzer impresses. If he keeps shutting guys down in AAA that's going to look like a very fine acquisition.

Rooker is an older player, a college draft meant to move quickly, but I do not see the progression. 

 

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jorgenswest
May 12 2019 08:40 AM
Smeltzer and Raley for Dozier. The deal looks pretty good so far.
    • birdwatcher, RaymondLuxuryYacht, D.C Twins and 1 other like this

 

Rooker is also slightly more than 3 years younger than the league average. That is worth noting as well. He's done nothing but destroy pitching so far and each time he goes up a level, he swings and misses a lot... but over the year, it tends to drop... I think the K rate is still concerning, but I'm hoping it's dropping because he's being that student of the game that people keep saying he is... If that's how he learns, so be it... just means his first few ML seasons may be a bit rough.

Rooker is 24 - look at the rookies that have made a splash in MLB the last two years.They are 20/21.If Rooker takes two more years he will be 26 - 27.That is okay if he is productive, but that is not aggressive movement.Hopefully someone starts working with him and he becomes more selective and productive soon. 

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drivlikejehu
May 12 2019 11:04 AM

Rooker's prospect status has taken a huge hit, without a doubt. Arguably he was overrated before the season anyway, but now he's probably not top 20. I'm still fine with the fact that the Twins drafted him, but it didn't work out.

Whoa... with more performances like that, Smeltzer is going to be with the big league club sometime this summer. This dude's just flat-out dominating!

I'm very concerned about Rooker - he's striking out waaay too much against AAA pitching that is giving up a lot more HRs now. His K rate was already shaky last year, but now I'd say we should be on red alert.


Not worried about Rooker at this point. Only 24yo and in his first year of AAA and 2nd full professional season. Further, like last year, he has started to heat up after a slow start.

But IMO, Raley has surpassed him as a prospect.

I want very much to believe in Smeltzer. He is obviously a "pitcher" and not a thrower. Some guys just figure it out and know how to do it. But I think we still need to see some more.
    • Dman likes this
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birdwatcher
May 12 2019 11:33 AM

 

Smeltzer and Raley for Dozier. The deal looks pretty good so far.

 

 

As I said before, the primary benefit of that decision was the opportunity gain. We avoided a nasty Dozier contract and gained Schoop as an excellent addition to a bona fide pennant chase. So if Raley and Smeltzer win the WAR war against Dozier over time, frosting on the cake.

    • ashbury likes this

I'm not sure what makes Rooker a better prospect than Raley. 

As I said before, the primary benefit of that decision was the opportunity gain. We avoided a nasty Dozier contract and gained Schoop as an excellent addition to a bona fide pennant chase. So if Raley and Smeltzer win the WAR war against Dozier over time, frosting on the cake.


I don't understand. The trade seems largely a separate decision from whether to re-sign him, no? Otherwise, you could argue that accepting Forsythe neutralized your "opportunity gain" because it increased our risk that we'd sign him for 2019 instead.

That said, it was a fine trade, in that Dozier was a low value expiring asset on a non-playoff team -- might as well cash him in. But I wouldn't count any chickens before they hatch and start awarding bonus points for the trade yet -- I've seen too many guys post minor league lines like Smeltzer and Raley and still turn out to be relative MLB nonentities.

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