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Twins Minor League Report (6/17): Kirilloff Doubles Twice

Life as a minor league player can be tough. Few players ever get to live out their dream as a regular player at the big league level. For every player who realizes their dream, another player is forced to be released or find another organization to keep his dream alive.

Right-handed pitcher Zack Jones was released from the Twins organization on Sunday. The 27-year old was drafted by the organization in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He pitched seven years in the minor leagues and reached Triple-A once in 2016. This actually came in the Brewers organization after being taken by Milwaukee in the Rule 5 Draft.

This year with the Lookouts he had a 2.49 ERA in 25.1 innings with a 39 to 25 strikeout to walk ratio. He was over 2.5 years older than the competition in the Southern League.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (Alex Kirilloff)
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 2, Buffalo 3
Box Score
Rochester jumped out to a 1-0 lead without recording a hit in the second inning. With one out, Jake Cave and Kennys Vargas coaxed back-to-back walks. Cameron Rupp moved both runners into scoring position with a groundout. Then with Gregorio Petit batting, a wild pitch allowed Cave to scamper home.

Aaron Slegers started for the Red Wings and he saw the lead disappear in the bottom half of the second. With two outs, Slegers allowed a solo home run. He walked the following batter and then a throwing error by third baseman Taylor Featherston allowed an unearned run to score. Overall, Slegers lasted five frames, struck out four and walked two.

The Red Wings tied the game in the top of the fifth. Zack Granite led off the inning with a walk before moving to second on a LaMonte Wade single. Nick Gordon grounded out into a near double play to allow Granite to score. However, his hustle down the line forced the pitcher to drop the ball while covering first.

Jake Reed took over for Slegers in the sixth and promptly gave up a lead-off double. After a ground out and a sacrifice fly, Bufflo had taken a 3-2 lead. Tyler Duffey and Nick Anderson combined for two shutout innings. Anderson pitched a perfect ninth with a pair of strikeouts.

Vargas was the lone Rochester hitter with multiple hits. He finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. Granite and Wade both reached base twice.

CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga --, Birmingham – (Cancelled – Rain)
Chattanooga and Birmingham sat in a rain delay before the game was eventually cancelled. The Lookouts finished the first half with a record of 36-33. The club will return home on Thursday to face the Biloxi Shuckers to kick off the second half.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 12
Box Score
Cedar Rapids took a first inning lead thanks to back-to-back hits from Jacob Pearson and Alex Kirilloff. Pearson singled with one out before Kirilloff cracked his 19th double of the season. Pearson came all the way around from first to score. Later in the game, Kirilloff collected his 20th double.

Jordan Balazovic took his first loss after allowing three earned runs on eight hits. He struck out six and walked two. In relief of Balazovic, Jose Martinez surrendered three earned runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings. Tanner Kiest ran into a little trouble in the late innings as he allowed six earned runs on five hits while recording only two outs. Calvin Fauchers finished off the final two outs for the Kernels and without allowing a run.

Pearson and Kirilloff got the offense started again in the sixth. With two outs, both batters walked before a Jose Miranda single singled to drive in Pearson. Cedar Rapids loaded the bases the bottom of the ninth but only pushed across one run.

STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Alex Kirilloff, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB)
Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Aaron Slegers, Rochester (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 2 BB)

TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
#3 – Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-4, K
#5 – Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB
#10 – Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-5, BB, K
MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Fort Myers vs. Tampa (6:00 CST) – TBD
GCL Twins vs. GCL Orioles (11:00 AM CST) – TBD
Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.


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5 Comments

Although a small sample size, Wade is facing another wall he must climb.

 

This Pearson kid looks to be a decent pick up over the winter.And Balazovic is reminding us that he is very young.Still really like the kid.

Sad to see that Zack Jones was released. I recall not so long ago when he was a hot prospect, and how much many people howled when he wasn't protected in that Rule 5 draft a fewyears ago. Baseball is such a cruel mistress.

    • Oldgoat_MN and 70charger like this
Photo
ashburyjohn
Jun 18 2018 07:57 AM

Baseball is such a cruel mistress.

And inability to throw your best stuff for strikes is many a pitcher's undoing.

Zack Jones was one of those arms, like Chargois and Melotakis and a couple more guys, who were going to be the new foundation of the bullpen. Just reminds you that the road to the majors is very very difficult. Even when you egt drafted as a Rule 5 with a shot at the majors.

 

He's 27, would be a minor league free agent, strikes out a ton of batters but walks too much poundage on the bases.

 

It becomes a look at "how valuable is that roster spot" and "who can better fill it" -- even if it might be filled by someone still older and from outside the organization.

 

Quite frankly, the Twins start looking at their own prospects right now and if thy are about to become minor league free agents, do you bother to roster them if you aren't going to 40-man them, are they worthwhile enough to gamble that they will resign with your organization, or do you just let them go and search out similar prospects in the same boat from other organizations in the off-season.

 

We all somewhat scream about the number of AAAA-type guys an organization signs, but the system is working to not lock players into an organization forever. If the 40-man is full, and you have shown ability, they is the Rule 5 which allows another team to pluck you away. Otherwise, after x-amount of seasons, you are free to move to another system where blockage to AAA or even the majors is slimer than the organization that has youngsters pushing you.

 

Good luck to Zack. He has the stuff, just needs the control.

 

 

 

I wonder if Kirilloff has played his last game in a Kernels jersey.As I look through the numbers, it's hard to find an element of his hitting game that would be challenged more without a promotion. 

 

The walk rate could improve more, but it has improved since April from 5.3% to 9.8% (8.5% overall). 

 

He sprays the ball all over the place. 

 

The K-rate has dropped since April from 21.1% to 15.1% (16.7% overall).  

 

His GB rate is 54%, so that's probably an area for improvement (he's not a speed demon).It's also hard to easily see if that has improved since April, since Fangraphs doesn't have splits for minor leaguers.

 

He has jumped 32 places in the prospect rankings from 99 to 67.

 

If Kirilloff doesn't make the jump to A+, you'd have to think that defense or some lingering concern about season stamina coming off the injury would be what is holding him back.

 


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