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2019/20 Off-season Manager Openings

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JOB OPENING: TC Bear

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Which TD member is going to step up and wear the costume? Squirrel? Chief? North?
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Twins Minor League Report (6/17): Elizabethton Twins Preview

The Elizabethton Twins are coming off back-to-back Appalachian League Championships and the club has qualified for the postseason in four of the last five seasons. Hopes are high again in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. With a handful of returning players and a new crop of rookies, can the E-Twins continue their winning ways?
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (Willie Joe Garry Jr.)
The Coaches
Ray Smith will enter his 33rd season as a member of the E-Twins coaching staff and his 26th season as manager. On the way to Elizabethton’s eighth Apply League title last season, Smith recorded his 1000th career win. His managerial record sits at 1020-676 for a .601 winning percentage. He has been part of the Twins organization since he was signed as an undrafted free agent in 1977.

Hitting coach Jeff Reed has been with Smith for a large chunk of his managerial journey. The 2019 season will be his 18th season as the E-Twins hitting coach. Richard Salazar will be in his first year as the pitching coach. He pitched seven seasons in the Orioles organization and reached as high as Triple-A (2007). From there, he pitched in independent leagues and was on Spain’s roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Takashi Miyoshi will be in his second year as the fourth member of the coaching staff.

Prospects to Watch
No members of the preseason Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects are on the Elizabethton Twins Opening Day roster. However, we will be updating our list in the coming weeks so things could change, especially with an influx of newly drafted players.

One name you won’t see on the list below was just signed by the Twins on Monday and he is on his way to Elizabethton. Matt Walner, a Forest Lake native, was Minnesota’s supplemental first round pick. He’s an outfielder that just finished his collegiate career at Southern Mississippi. He set that school’s career home run mark (58) and won three straight Conference USA home run titles

THE ROSTER

The Pitchers
RHP Tyler Benninghoff (22)- 11th round pick in 2016 from Rockhurst HS in Kansas City, MO
LHP Denny Bentley (21)- 33rd round pick in 2018 from Howard College
RHP Prelander Berroa (19)- signed July 2, 2016 out of the Dominican Republic
LHP Erik Cha (21)- 17th round pick in 2018 from Cal State Fullerton
RHP Steven Cruz (20)- signed March 20, 2017 out of the Dominican Republic
RHP Osiris German (20)- signed July 2, 2016 out of the Dominica Republic
RHP Owen Grifith (21)- 20th round pick in 2019 from Clemson University
RHP Ben Gross (22)- 10th round pick in 2019 from Duke University
LHP Brent Headrick (21)- 9th round pick in 2019 from Illinois State
RHP Cody Laweryson (21)- 14th round pick in 2019 from the University of Maine
RHP Andriu Marin (20)- signed November 17, 2014 out of Venezuela
LHP J.T. Perez (23)- 29th round pick in 2018 from the University of Cincinnati
RHP Ryan Shreve (20)- 16th round pick in 2019 from University of the Pacific
RHP Dylan Thomas (22)- 13th round pick in 2019 from the University of Hawaii
RHP Louie Varland (21)- 15th round pick in 2019 from Concordia University-St. Paul
LHP Ryley Widell (22)- 7th round pick in 2017 from Central Arizona College

Prelander Berroa is certainly an arm to keep an eye on after he found some success with the GCL Twins last year. In 10 games (41 2/3 innings), he posed a 2.81 ERA with a 41 to 18 strikeout to walk ratio. Ryley Widell will be back with the E-Twins after making his pro debut with the club in 2018. He struck out 41 batters in 29 2/3 inning and only allowed eight earned runs (2.43 ERA). Tyler Benninghoff will be looking to transition his GCL success (3.89 ERA) to the Appy League. Out of the 2019 draft class, Brent Headrick and Ben Gross are the two highest drafted pitchers on this roster and they will be making their professional debuts.

The Catchers
Yeremi De La Cruz (21)- signed September 15, 2015 out of the Dominican Republic
Alex Isola (20)- 29th round pick in 2019 from Texas Christian University
Kidany Salva (20)- 17th round pick in 2016 from Klein Forest HS in Houston, TX
Janigson Villalobos (22)- acquired from San Diego for Phil Hughes in 2018

With four catchers on the roster, the E-Twins will probably have each player catch twice a week with the possibility of getting some designated hitter appearances as well. Janigson Villalobos hit well with the GCL Twins last year as he finished with a .310 BA and .393 OPS. However, he was 1.2 years older than the competition in that league. Injuries cost Yeremi De La Cruz all but two games last season with the GCL Twins.

The Infielders
Seth Gray (21)- 4th round pick in 2019 from Wright State University
Trevor Jenson (22)- 24th round pick in 2019 from Tulane University
Charlie Mack (19)- 6th round pick in 2018 from Williamsville East HS in East Amherst, NY
Daniel Ozoria (18)- acquired from Los Angeles for John Curtiss
Anthony Prato (21)- 7th round pick in 2019 from the University of Connecticut
Reuben Santana (21)- signed September 15, 2015 out of the Dominican Republic

Seth Gray is the highest draft pick on the Opening Day roster, but he will shortly be joined by Walner. In 59 collegiate games this season, Gray hit .351 with 11 home runs and 70 RBI and that was good enough to earn him first-team, All-Horizon league honors. Ozoria is an interesting player since he’s young for the league and he was acquired this year for John Curtiss. In his pro career, he’s hit .222/.293/.263 with 13 extra-base hits in 111 games.

The Outfielders
Willie Joe Garry Jr. (19)- 9th round in 2018 from Pascagoula HS in Pascagoula, MS
Max Smith (22)- 31st round in 2019 from UNLV
Tyler Webb (23)- 40th round in 2018 from the University of Memphis
Albee Weiss (23)- 23rd round in 2018 from Cal State Northridge
Willie Joe Garry Jr. was one of only a few high school players drafted by the Twins in 2018. He struggled with the transition to the professional level, but he adjusted near the end of the season. In the final 14 games, he got on base over 29% of the time. Tyler Webb led the GCL Twins with a .398 on-base percentage. Albee Weiss has some power potential as he combined for 24 home runs between his collegiate (20 HR) and professional (4 HR) seasons last year.

There are 30 players listed above and others like Walner are on their way after they sign with the Twins. Six players have previously played in Elizabethton (Widell, Perez, Cha, Berroa, Weiss, and Webb). Thirteen players were drafted by the Twins in 2019 (Grifith, Gross, Headrick, Laweryson, Shreve, Thomas, Varland, Isola, Gray, Jenson, Mack, Prato, and Smith).

For more information on the 2019 Twins draft picks, please click here (links at bottom of the article)
-------------------
Here are the rest of the minor league notes on Monday (written by Seth)

I can’t remember the last time that there were no minor league games, at all, between April and August. However, that’s exactly what happened in the Twins farm system on Monday.
  • Rochester had a scheduled day off.
  • Pensacola and Cedar Rapids began their All-Star breaks.
  • Ft. Myers was just set to start their second half with a home game against Charlotte, but the rains came and they were postponed.
But there are still quite a few minor league notes from the day, we here we go:

TRANSACTIONS
  • The Twins signed Comp A pick Matt Wallner on Monday. Keep up with the signings of their their 2019 draft picks here.
  • Rochester announced that Trevor Hildenberger was placed on the Injured List with a right flexor mass strain. He had not pitched since June 8th.
  • Pensacola announced that Taylor Grzelakowski is going on the 7-day IL.
  • Also, the Blue Wahoos announced that OF Tanner English and 3B Randy Cesar have been released.
  • On Sunday night, we learned that LHP Zach Neff and 3B Andrew Bechtold have been promoted to FT. Myers.
  • We also heard that Frandy Torres was being sent from Cedar Rapids to Elizabethton.
  • RHP Tyler Palm has been transferred to Cedar Rapids. Jeff Johnson is also reporting that RHP Tanner Howell will also be joining the Kernels.
ALL STAR FESTIVITIES

At the Southern League All-Star site, they held the Home Run Derby. Blue Wahoos Jaylin Davis and Travis Blankenhorn will participate in the event. A year ago, Blankenhorn won the Florida State League home run derby.

TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Columbus (6:05 CST) - TBD
Pensacola (6:35 CST) - All Star Break
Ft. Myers @ Charlotte (5:30 CST) - TBD
Cedar Rapids - All Star Break

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like.


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22 Comments

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clutterheart
Jun 17 2019 08:40 PM
Is Mack the most expensive player on the E-town roster?
Is Landon Leach still in the GCL? Seem to be moving extremely slow for a 2nd round pick.
    • Steve Lein and Dman like this

Landon Leach heading for a 3rd year in the GCL?Guy is going to be Rule V eligible before he gets to Cedar Rapids.  

    • Dman likes this
Anyone seen Alex Kirilloff lately? Has he been with the club in Pensacola, or perhaps in Ft Myers? Will he be back after the Southern league all-star game? Should we file a missing persons report? Two weeks and counting for a 7-day IL ‘undisclosed’ injury...for a #2 prospect...and apparently nobody in the Twins Cities can get an update?
    • Kevin likes this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 18 2019 12:02 AM

I hope that injury to Hildenberger was the source of all of his troubles and now if he can let it heal, maybe he can return to form? The bullpen is certainly a big concern, so getting the previous version of Hildenberger would be great.

    • birdwatcher likes this

Well, with Tanner English finally let go, it seems that there's a spot open for Kiriloff now?

 

Really strange how tight-lipped the Twins are about this situation. I don't like the potential implications from the injury bug track record for Kiriloff thus far.

 

Hopefully, it's just a fluky set of circumstances that are setting him back.

Too bad to hear about Hildenberger, coupled with his ineffectiveness at both levels this year, this news sounds ominous about his potential future back with the big club

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birdwatcher
Jun 18 2019 05:27 AM

 

I hope that injury to Hildenberger was the source of all of his troubles and now if he can let it heal, maybe he can return to form? The bullpen is certainly a big concern, so getting the previous version of Hildenberger would be great.

 

 

This might actually be good news for Hildenberger and for the team. Even the more acute cases, from what I've read, don't require surgery. His program will involve resting the arm to calm it down, a rehab stint to strengthen that muscle group, and then a throwing program, which puts him on a schedule to return to action by late August. I don't think there's much doubt that this injury was affecting his abiity to snap off his pitches as he did before the breakdown. This is the same injury that shut down Strasberg a couple years ago.

 

All that said, I doubt the team will count on his return in time to be a postseason asset. I sure hope not.

Now that Benninghoff is 2+ years past his TJ surgery, really looking forward to seeing what he can do.Should be very good pitching staff.

 

Surprised that Canterino (Twins #2 pick) isn't on this roster.Certainly can't be headed to GCL, will he be going to Cedar Rapids next week?

 

Also, any word on where the Cuban will be going?Should be higher than ETon, but where?

The Appy League roster limit is 30, correct?With 30 listed above, any word on who will be going to the IL to make room for Wallner and others still unsigned?

Has anyone discussed the changes to the Elizabethton organization this year?If memory serves, the team and ballpark were owned and managed by the City of Elizabethton Rec Department.Per several news releases, I understand that Boyd Sports LLC has entered into an agreement with the City to takeover management of the park and team.The Twins agreement with the City has been transferred to Boyd Sports. 

 

As part of this change $2.3mm has been spent on Joe O'Brien Field, including a new locker room for the Twins.I believe the ballpark had been in pretty rough condition, so this should be a welcome change. 

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Aerodeliria
Jun 18 2019 08:19 AM

This might actually be good news for Hildenberger and for the team. Even the more acute cases, from what I've read, don't require surgery. His program will involve resting the arm to calm it down, a rehab stint to strengthen that muscle group, and then a throwing program, which puts him on a schedule to return to action by late August. I don't think there's much doubt that this injury was affecting his abiity to snap off his pitches as he did before the breakdown. This is the same injury that shut down Strasberg a couple years ago.

All that said, I doubt the team will count on his return in time to be a postseason asset. I sure hope not.


Thanks for this info.

 

Is Mack the most expensive player on the E-town roster?

 

Interesting and I think that the answer is Yes. At least until Wallner gets there. 

 

Is Landon Leach still in the GCL? Seem to be moving extremely slow for a 2nd round pick.

 

He's been listed on the IL in spring trainings. I truly don't' know what the deal is because watching him in the bullpen is pretty impressive. Throws really hard. 

 

Anyone seen Alex Kirilloff lately? Has he been with the club in Pensacola, or perhaps in Ft Myers? Will he be back after the Southern league all-star game? Should we file a missing persons report? Two weeks and counting for a 7-day IL ‘undisclosed’ injury...for a #2 prospect...and apparently nobody in the Twins Cities can get an update?

 

It's his wrist. He got a cortisone shot recently, so he shouldn't be out too much longer. He is in Ft. Myers. 

    • MN_ExPat likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Jun 18 2019 08:49 AM

Anyone seen Alex Kirilloff lately? Has he been with the club in Pensacola, or perhaps in Ft Myers? Will he be back after the Southern league all-star game? Should we file a missing persons report? Two weeks and counting for a 7-day IL ‘undisclosed’ injury...for a #2 prospect...and apparently nobody in the Twins Cities can get an update?

Re Kirilloff: Someone updated on an earlier minor league thread that it was his wrist again. Didn’t hear how he re-aggravated it. Someone also said Kirilloff took a cortisone shot and wants to play again as soon as possible. That seems unwise to me, given how we saw Cruz take longer with his wrist than we expected (and heck with his recent PAs it might still be nagging him) and Buxton not playing for several days now. But anyway.


Edit: Seth beat me to it. I’m still of the opinion Kirilloff should take it slow.

 

Well, with Tanner English finally let go, it seems that there's a spot open for Kiriloff now?

 

Really strange how tight-lipped the Twins are about this situation. I don't like the potential implications from the injury bug track record for Kiriloff thus far.

 

Hopefully, it's just a fluky set of circumstances that are setting him back.

 

Ft. Myers hasn't announced their moves yet. I assume a couple of guys will get moved up. Could be Kirilloff... but they could promote Aaron Whitefield to play CF as well. 

 

We know the Kirilloff injury. It's been written about in recent minor league reports. 

 

The Appy League roster limit is 30, correct?With 30 listed above, any word on who will be going to the IL to make room for Wallner and others still unsigned?

 

My assumption is that Wallner will go to Ft. Myers for a little bit just to get going, get some workouts in and then get him to E-Town. There could be an IL situation or someone sent back to GCL. 

 

Now that Benninghoff is 2+ years past his TJ surgery, really looking forward to seeing what he can do.Should be very good pitching staff.

 

Surprised that Canterino (Twins #2 pick) isn't on this roster.Certainly can't be headed to GCL, will he be going to Cedar Rapids next week?

 

Also, any word on where the Cuban will be going?Should be higher than ETon, but where?

 

Benninghoff looked good in spring training. Had some control issues (in the one or two innings I saw, admittedly), but he throws pretty hard. 

 

Canterino may not even pitch this year. They may just have him on the GCL roster and keep him there. Or maybe have him throw a couple of innings for E-Town ,or maybe a couple of innings for Cedar Rapids. I dont' think he'll throw much this year at all. 

 

Yeiner Cano is listed on the GCL roster... Just guessing, he'll get some work there,, maybe a couple of appearances, and then move him up somewhere. I wouldn't be surprised to see him start with the Miracle and see how that goes for a couple weeks. If it goes well, he could go to AA and see how that goes. 

 

Has anyone discussed the changes to the Elizabethton organization this year?If memory serves, the team and ballpark were owned and managed by the City of Elizabethton Rec Department.Per several news releases, I understand that Boyd Sports LLC has entered into an agreement with the City to takeover management of the park and team.The Twins agreement with the City has been transferred to Boyd Sports. 

 

As part of this change $2.3mm has been spent on Joe O'Brien Field, including a new locker room for the Twins.I believe the ballpark had been in pretty rough condition, so this should be a welcome change. 

 

They''ve shows some of the improvements on social media. The clubhouse looks so much nicer. (from the pictures)

 

Also, yes, the Parks and Rec no longer runs the day-to-day of the ball club.

 

Anyone seen Alex Kirilloff lately? Has he been with the club in Pensacola, or perhaps in Ft Myers? Will he be back after the Southern league all-star game? Should we file a missing persons report? Two weeks and counting for a 7-day IL ‘undisclosed’ injury...for a #2 prospect...and apparently nobody in the Twins Cities can get an update?

From Danchat

(I take this to mean...after the Southern League all-star break.)

 

http://twinsdaily.co...os/#entry863217

Is the Eliz Twins showing older players? The Twins system, on the lowest levels, is well-stocked. Hoping for the day when they don't have to fill AAA with minors free agents that also trickle down to the AA-ball level, too.