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Twins Minor League Report (7/15): Javier Breaks Out with Big Day

We hear it from time to time, but it is a phrase that is important to remember. Player development is not linear. From the time a player signs until he reaches the big leagues - should that happen - is filled with ups and downs. The hope, of course, is that there are more ups than downs. But more important is the development. Not the stats, but the development. Several of the Twins top prospects have had rough first halves this season. A few former prospects had a rough year last year. A few of them have regained prospect status in 2019. At the end of the day, it is really hard to get to the big leagues, much less stay there.

Wander Javier has been struggling since joining the Kernels about six weeks ago. He also missed all of 2018 and the first couple of months this season with injury. Hopefully he is working on things. Royce Lewis hasn’t put up huge numbers in Ft. Myers, but as we know, he continues to work on things. Pitchers are working on new pitches, or tightening up their current pitches, or working in a different role.

Remember that the goal isn’t about being great, or even necessarily good, in Cedar Rapids or Ft. Myers. The goal is for them to be great or at least productive big leaguers. And again, that is a lofty goal.

On Monday, Wander Javier had the kind of game that hopefully can help relax him and propel him to a strong second half. Perhaps playing in the Futures Game and in that environment will catapult Royce Lewis to a strong second half, maybe pushing toward a promotion to Double-A. Zander Wiel and Jaylin Davis are two late-round draft picks out of college who have gradually worked their way up to the minor league’s highest level where they are finding a lot of success. Lewin Diaz's prospect status has certainly been regained with his 2019 performance.

The list is - or at least could - go on and on with examples, good and bad… and that’s what makes following the minor leagues and the prospects fun and intriguing.

With that little sermonette, I certainly hope that you will enjoy today’s Twins Minor League Report. Enjoy the ups and downs and remember it’s all about the process, and it’s all with a goal to get productive players to the big leagues.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Wander Javier)
Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day.


TRANSACTIONS
  • Pensacola announced that LHP Jovani Moran was activated from the IL. Also, Tom Hackimer was activated from the suspended list. Veterans Jeff Ames and Zack Weiss were released.
AWARDS
  • Cedar Rapids Kernels RHP Kai-Wei Teng was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 11 Norfolk 4
Box Score

Zander Wiel continued his impressive power display in 2019. For the third time this season, and the second time in three games, he hit two homers in a game. Wiel last played last Thursday in a doubleheader. In Game 1, he went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two homers. Before Friday’s game, he tweaked his back and missed the Red Wings weekend games. He returned on Monday and went 2-for-4 with his 16th and 17 home runs. The second came in the team’s five-run fifth inning when his two-run homer was later followed by a three-run homer by Drew Maggi. It was Maggi’s eighth homer of the Red Wings season. He went 1-for-3 with two walks.



Jaylin Davis went 3-for-4 with a walk, and he hit his 11th home run (in 27 games) with the Red Wings. Nick Gordon went 2-for-5 with his 23rd double. Wilin Rosario was 2-for-5 with his 14th double.

Devin Smeltzer pitched well again. He started with five shutout innings before giving up a solo homer in the sixth inning. In total, he worked six innings and gave up one run on three hits. He walked two and struck out eight. Carlos Torres came on and gave up two runs in the seventh inning. He followed it with a scoreless eighth inning. Cody Stashak gave up a run on three hits in the ninth.

BLUE WAHOOS BITES
Pensacola 2, Montgomery 6
Box Score

Griffin Jax started for the Wahoos. He gave up five runs on nine hits and a walk. He struck out three batters. Anthony Vizcaya came on and gave up a run on a hit and two walks over two innings. He struck out three. Alex Phillips tossed two scoreless innings.

Alex Kirilloff and Jordan Gore each had two hits in the game. Lewin Diaz went Oppo for his third homer with the Blue Wahoos and 16th overall.



MIRACLE MATTERS
Ft. Myers
Box Score

Scheduled off day for the Miracle.
KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 14, Lansing 7
Box Score

The Kernels offense broke out on Monday afternoon in Lansing. Yes, even Wander Javier had a huge game. Javier broke out with a big game. Here is a glimpse through the eyes of Jeff Johnson who was covering the game for The Gazette in Cedar Rapids.









In his previous 25 games, Javier was hitting .067/.170/.090 (.260) with two doubles, ten walks and 39 strikeouts in 100 plate appearances. Just six hits. So, yes, a cynic might say that now he has 10 hits in his last 105 plate appearances, but hey, you have to start somewhere and a 4-for-5 game with two crushed home runs and some line drive singles is a good way to start.



But obviously in a 14-run game, the Kernels got offense from many others besides Javier. Spencer Steer (2019 third round, Oregon) went 3-for-4 with a walk and his first MWL homer. Gilberto Celestino had two hits including a bases-clearing double. Gabe Snyder knocked his ninth home run. Tyler Webb hit his first Kernels home run. Alex Isola, another 2019 draft pick (29th round, TCU) who has been with the Kernels for about ten days, went 3-for-5 with his first MWL home run (he did have one with Elizabethton).

Austin Schulfer started and gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out six. Alex Schick got the next four outs. 2019 25th-round pick (from UCLA) Nate Hadley picked up his first Kernels win. He struck out two over a scoreless 1 1/3 innings. Ricky Ramirez got the final six outs and gave up just one run on two hits.

E-TWINS E-NOTES
E-Twins 5, Johnson City 9
Box Score

Things didn’t exactly start out well for the E-Twins hitters. Through six innings, 18 batters came to the plate and 18 batters were gotten out.

In the seventh inning, Ruben Santana singled to break up the perfect game. Anthony Prato was then hit by a pitch. Soon after, Albee Weiss came up and drilled a three-run homer, his ninth of the E-Twins season. In the ninth, Weiss tripled in a run and then scored on a ground out. However, it wasn’t enough and the Twins fell to 15-11.

Lefty Ryley Widell started and was charged with six runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out six batters. Erik Cha came on and gave up one run on three hits over 3 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four. Osiris German gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in the ninth inning.

GCL TWINS TAKES
GCL Twins 1, GCL Rays 3
Box Score

Dutch right-hander Donny Breek was on the mound to start Monday’s game. He gave up three runs (just one earned) on two hits and three walks over the first four innings. He struck out one. Moldovan lefty Petru Balan walked two and struck out two over two scoreless, hitless innings. Recently-signed Evan Gillespie worked two scoreless frames. The lefty gave up one hit, walked one and struck out two.

Top 2019 draft pick Keoni Cavaco went 2-for-5 and drove in the team’s lone run. Parker Phillips went 2-for-4. Jake Hirabayashi got hit by a pitch twice.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Devin Smeltzer, Rochester Red Wings
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier, Cedar Rapids Kernels

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

#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled.
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-4, R, K
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder)
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled.
#5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 4-5, 2 HR(4), 2 R, 6 RBI
#6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled.
#7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - 2-5, RBI, K
#8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Did Not Play.
#9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled.
#10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled.
#11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch.
#12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 2-5, 2B(23), R, K
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled.
#14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - All Star Break
#15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-4, K
#16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-3, BB, 2B(3), K
#17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John)
#18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch
#19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 2-5, HR(2), 2 R, RBI, K, OF Assist
#20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Did Not Play.

TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester @ Norfolk (6:05 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen (5-0, 2.39 ERA)
Montgomery @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (2-2, 5.30 ERA)
Tampa @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - RHP Cole Sands (2-2, 2.22 ERA)
Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled.
Johnson City @ Elizabethton (5:30 CST) - RHP Tyler Benninghoff (1-1, 9.49 ERA)
GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00 CST) - TBD

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

  • mikelink45, Tibs, dbminn and 2 others like this

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17 Comments

Thanks, Seth. Jaylin Davis is on an absolute tear. Talk about progress not being linear! He's going to be hard to ignore if he keeps this up. He has 107 PA in AAA. It's a small sample size. He strikes out too much. But a slash of .343/.404/.758? Wow. 

 

And congrats to Zander Wiel. He's doing everything he can to reach the show. I hope he makes it, even if it isn't with the Twins.

 

    • Danchat, Dman, rdehring and 3 others like this

The Twins are stacked on outfielders. It'll be interesting to see which one is dealt at the deadline.

    • mikelink45 and rdehring like this

Awesome sermon, and wow, what a day for Wander.  Good for him.  Also nice to see Cavaco have a good line.  But as you say, there is more to the story.

 

Albee Weiss has got my attention.  Seems like every year, someone at E-town makes a run at 20 homers.  

 

I'm starting to think Larnach is close to (or beyond) that spot where he could headline a major trade.  Not that I want to trade him, just that our top packages don't end after Lewis/AK/Graterol.  There might be scouts out there that would value Larnach higher than any of those guys in a trade.

 

Great night.

    • Dman, MN_ExPat and rdehring like this

Seeing Javier's line was a real treat this morning. I do hope he goes on a tear and that he justifies his high ranking among prospects.I love it when the prospects are trying to tear down the barrier between them and MLB.

 

Isn't it time to challenge Larnach in AA?

    • Steve Lein, MN_ExPat and Faucet like this
Photo
In My La-Z-boy
Jul 16 2019 06:20 AM

Excellent sermonette! What a perfect time for our young prospects to be performing. Lots of scouts in the stands these days and we have so many rule 5 eligible talented kids to protect this winter. We are in a very good place as an organization today. Pivotal moment in Twins history coming in the next 15 days. I have many opinions - but am very glad it isn't on me to decide what to do here. I promise not to complain about whatever moves we make & let it play out. The decisions made here could throw us over the top in '19 - or could give us heartburn in a couple years watching one of our own excel for someone else. Whew. I am a little nervous. 

    • blindeke, wabene and rdehring like this

What a fantastic morning seeing the big night Javier had.Only problem is it was on a day when the opposing hurlers were serving up balls that everyone was hitting.Now lets see him put a streak of good games together to ignite his finish to this season.

 

Bit disappointing seeing Jax have his second consecutive so-so game.Any word on his health?Great seeing Smeltzer put up another great start.Could he be part of the Twins rotation in 2020?Or could he be elsewhere next week?

    • Doctor Wu, In My La-Z-boy and Faucet like this

JD is definitely in a zone. I'm surprised when he DOESN'T go deep. Can someone start talking about the staff behind the scene responsible for the development?

Looking over the top prospects list I was reminded of Akil Baddoo and his injury. Apologies if this question was answered in a previous thread: I assume he's out for the rest of this season but what's the timeline for his return next year?

 

Looking over the top prospects list I was reminded of Akil Baddoo and his injury. Apologies if this question was answered in a previous thread: I assume he's out for the rest of this season but what's the timeline for his return next year?

 

Yeah, he should be ready by spring training.

 

Nit-picking: The box score says that the Red Wings' score was 11-4. 

It is interesting to hear little tid bits about pitchers like Littel and Smeltzer having betters years under the new system the Twins have in place.I am wondering how much it will be similar to what Cleveland had when Falvey was there.May reports were Falvey had a lot to do with the pitching system they had in place.They managed to find many diamonds in the rough over the years.Here is to hoping Twins can do the same.There has been some good early results.  

 

It will also be interesting to see how many OF get traded.I know many talking Kiroloff is off limits, but why?He may be good hitter but he is not only one that can hit, and if we can get good starter controled through next year for him I say jump at it. 

 

Nit-picking: The box score says that the Red Wings' score was 11-4. 

 

Updated...thank you!

 

It is interesting to hear little tid bits about pitchers like Littel and Smeltzer having betters years under the new system the Twins have in place.I am wondering how much it will be similar to what Cleveland had when Falvey was there.May reports were Falvey had a lot to do with the pitching system they had in place.They managed to find many diamonds in the rough over the years.Here is to hoping Twins can do the same.There has been some good early results.  

 

It will also be interesting to see how many OF get traded.I know many talking Kiroloff is off limits, but why?He may be good hitter but he is not only one that can hit, and if we can get good starter controled through next year for him I say jump at it. 

 

That's how you end of trading Yordan Alvarez for a Kyle Gibson type pitcher.

Trevor Larnach has been promoted to AA Pensacola. 

 

Travis Blankenhorn placed on the Injured List.

    • Danchat, mikelink45, jkcarew and 1 other like this

It is interesting to hear little tid bits about pitchers like Littel and Smeltzer having betters years under the new system the Twins have in place. I am wondering how much it will be similar to what Cleveland had when Falvey was there. May reports were Falvey had a lot to do with the pitching system they had in place. They managed to find many diamonds in the rough over the years. Here is to hoping Twins can do the same. There has been some good early results.

It will also be interesting to see how many OF get traded. I know many talking Kiroloff is off limits, but why? He may be good hitter but he is not only one that can hit, and if we can get good starter controled through next year for him I say jump at it.


I think the belief, by some, is that Kirilloff can be better than just a "good hitter".
    • rdehring likes this
Photo
South Dakota Tom
Jul 16 2019 02:26 PM

Just looked at Roster Resource, and counted 38 on the 40-man roster; am I missing someone?Also, much discussion about the glut of players who must be added this fall, but can't put my finger on a list anywhere.Just wanted to go through the annual exercise of seeing who I would keep and let go and expose to the Rule 5, and am lacking (knowledge) (intelligence) (perseverance)(all of the above)? Can someone help?Thanks.

 

Seeing Javier's line was a real treat this morning. I do hope he goes on a tear and that he justifies his high ranking among prospects.I love it when the prospects are trying to tear down the barrier between them and MLB.

 

Isn't it time to challenge Larnach in AA?

Trevor Larnach has been promoted to AA Pensacola. 

 

Well, Mike, it looks like the Twins heard you and agreed!

 

Just looked at Roster Resource, and counted 38 on the 40-man roster; am I missing someone?Also, much discussion about the glut of players who must be added this fall, but can't put my finger on a list anywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

No, and with Morin being DFA'd the Twins have only 37 players on the roster. There is plenty of room for trades now.

 

This is my 40 man list: 

 

 

Keepers:

Travis Blankenhorn

Brusdar Graterol

Jorge Alcala

Griffin Jax

Jhoan Duran

Borderline:

Wander Javier

Tom Hackimer

Gilberto Celestino

Luis Rijo

 

Players who were already Rule 5 eligible but are having good years

 

Lewin Diaz (has been eligible for the 2017 & 2018 rule 5 drafts!)

Cody Stashak

Jaylin Davis

 

    • mikelink45 likes this

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