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Twins Minor League Report (7/24): Kirilloff Keeps Hitting

The Minnesota Twins were unable to complete their comeback against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday afternoon, but there were still five games to be played in the minor leagues for the organization.

Left-hander Stephen Gonsalves was on the mound for the Lookouts, and put zeroes on the board for the first five innings of a game that went into extras. How did he and Chattanooga finish? Rochester got little offense and Elizabethton traded blows with their Appalachian League rival, Johnson City. Were they able to come out on top? 2016’s top draft pick also continued a hot stretch in the Appy League. Just how hot has it become?
Image courtesy of David Hague Photo
To find out the answers to those questions and how the rest of the affiliates fared on Sunday, keep reading!

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 0, Syracuse 6
Box Score

Rochester starter Pat Dean got roughed up for six runs in five innings of work. He allowed eight hits, including two home runs, walked two and struck out two. Five of those six runs came in the third inning, and Dean did recover and finish two more innings. Ryan O’Rourke (1.2IP, 2 K’s), D.J. Baxendale (0.1IP, K), and J.T. Chargois (1.0IP, 1 H) combined to pitch three scoreless innings of relief.

Top pitching prospect Reynaldo Lopez held the Red Wings to just four hits on the day, and they didn’t have a single plate appearance with a runner in scoring position. Lopez threw a complete game shutout, striking out seven along the way.

John Ryan Murphy was 2-3 in the game. James Beresford and Jorge Polanco added the other singles for Rochester.

CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 3, Jackson 4 (12 innings)
Box Score

Chattanooga took the first lead of the game in the top of the fourth inning as they sent eight men to the plate and scored three runs on two hits and two walks in the inning. The big hit was an Edgar Corcino triple to score two and put the Lookouts out front 3-0.

Lookout’s starter Stephen Gonsalves was effectively wild for the game's first five innings, as he held the Jackson Generals scoreless despite five walks and three hits allowed. He also did not strike out a single hitter.

It finally caught up to him in the sixth. He walked the first two men he faced, and threw a wild pitch, before Raul Fernandez came in from the bullpen. Both inherited runners would score, one on a bases loaded passed ball, and the other on a ground out. Fernandez allowed a run of his own to on a single to tie the game at three. He came back out for the seventh and allowed a double, but struck out two to finish the inning.

Mason Melotakis walked three hitters around two consecutive K’s in the eighth before Zack Jones was brought on with the bases loaded. He got a fly out to end the inning and keep the game tied. Jones added a scoreless bottom of the ninth to push the game to extra innings.

Trevor Hildenberger was the next reliever up for the Lookouts, and went one-two-three in each of the tenth and eleventh innings, striking out two along the way.

In the top of the twelfth and a runner on second base, Corcino sent a single into right field, but D.J. Hicks was out at home on the throw, keeping the game tied.

Hildenberger came back out for the bottom of the twelfth and struck out the first batter of the inning, but a throwing error on a ground ball to third baseman Niko Goodrum put the winning run on base. A single to the next batter moved him to third and an intentional walk loaded the bases with one out. The next batter sent a ground ball through the hole on the right side and brought in the walk-off winning run for Jackson.

The Lookouts have the day off on Monday and head back home for a five-game series starting on Tuesday against the Tennessee Smokies after losing the five-game set with the Generals 4-1.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 2, Clearwater 7
Box score

The Miracle fell behind early in the second inning as starter Miles Nordgren ran into trouble. The Threshers scored three runs on four singles and a wild pitch in the inning, and another potential run was erased on a 1-2-3 double play ball. Nordgren allowed one more unearned run in the fourth and finished five innings in the game. He allowed six hits and walked two while striking out three.

The first three runs against Nordgren would be all Clearwater needed in the game, as Fort Myers managed just five hits. Reynaldo Rodriguez hit his second Florida State League home run of the year. Joe Maloney, Trey Vavra, Tanner Witt and Brian Olson all had singles.

Michael Theofanopoulos threw a scoreless sixth and struck out two. Luke Westphal allowed three runs (zero earned) in the seventh to put the final score on the board, thanks to a throwing error charged to third baseman T.J. White. Yorman Landa started the eighth and struck out two, but allowed a double and two walks to load the bases before Nick Anderson came on and ended the threat with a strikeout of his own.

The Miracle lost the four-game series with the Threshers 3-1 and are now an even 50-50 on the season. They return home to Fort Myers on Monday to take on the Palm Beach Cardinals.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Dayton 6, Cedar Rapids 10
Box Score

Cedar Rapids fell behind 2-0 before their first at bat, but responded with six runs of their own in the first two innings to take an early 6-2 lead.

An RBI double from Sean Miller, an RBI single from Jaylin Davis, and a two-run triple from Chris Ibarra put the Kernels out front 4-2 after one. A bases loaded walk from Luis Arreaz and a run scoring double play ball in the second made it 6-2

Kernels starter Cody Stashak recovered from the first inning runs to pitch four straight scoreless innings. He allowed two more runs in the sixth but finished the inning. In his six innings he allowed the four runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out four and improves to 7-5 on the season.

Cedar Rapids added four more runs in the seventh inning thanks to bases loaded walks from Davis and Ibarra, and a two-RBI ground-rule double off the bat of Rainis Silva to make it 10-4.

Reliever Andrew Vasquez picked up his first hold with the Kernels, throwing two scoreless innings and striking out four. Cam Booser allowed two runs on one hit and two walks in the ninth inning. He struck out one.

The Kernels offense got multi-hit efforts from Miller (2-3, 2 R’s, 2B, RBI, BB) and Nelson Molina (2-4, R, 2B). Casey Scoggins drew four walks and scored three runs out of the leadoff spot.

The Dragons and Kernels wrap up their three-game series with a high-noon rubber match tomorrow at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

E-TWINS E-NOTES
Johnson City 4, Elizabethton 5
Box Score

The Twins and Cardinals traded blows in this one, as Elizabethton scored one in the bottom of the first to take the early lead thanks to an errant pick-off throw with runners on the corners.

Right fielder Alex Kirilloff may have saved a run in the first inning, as he cut down a runner at third on a single for the outfield assist and the inning's first out. It was the beginning off a good day that brought his average on the year up to .383. He singled in the bottom of the inning to move Ariel Montesino into scoring position for the errant pickoff (Kirilloff was also thrown out at third trying to stretch the error into a two-base error).

Johnson City scored two runs in the third against Elizabethton starter Jose Martinez to go up 2-1, and scored a third in the fourth thanks to an error. Kirilloff scored the Twins second run in the bottom of the fourth, as he singled and scored on a single from Shane Carrier to bring them within one.

The Cardinals went up 4-2 in the top of the fifth as another Twins error led to another unearned run for their starter. Martinez would finish six innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on nine hits while striking out four.

In the bottom of the fifth Elizabethton tied the game at four, with the tying run being driven in by none other than Alex Kirilloff. Luis Martinez had driven in Robert Molina with a double earlier in the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth the Twins took back the lead thanks to an RBI single from Martinez to drive in Carrier, and the bullpen took it from there.

Quin Grogan recorded five outs and allowed three hits and a walk, but got some help thanks to a 9-6-4 double play that was started by Kirilloff in right field. The runner on first also tagged on the fly and shortstop Montesino cut the throw off and nabbed the trailing runner at second. Kirilloff got credit for his second outfield assist of the game.

Grogan got a double play ball in the eighth but then allowed a double that summoned Johan Quezada from the bullpen. He got the final out of the inning, and though he walked the bases loaded in the ninth, he also struck out two including the final out of the game to pick up his second save with Elizabethton.

Kirilloff finished 3-4 with a run scored and RBI and is second in the Appalachian League in batting average. He also owns a ten game hitting streak over which time he is 21-44 (.477) with two doubles, three home runs, fourteen runs scored and ten RBIs. Carrier (2-4, R, RBI), Molina (2-4, R), and Martinez (2-3, R, RBI) also added multiple hits.

GCL TWINS TAKES

The GCL Twins, like most the rest of the Gulf Coast League, had the day off on Sunday. They get back to action tomorrow morning on the road against the GCL Orioles.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Pitcher of the Day – Andrew Vasquez, Cedar Rapids Kernels (Hold, 2.0IP, BB, 4 K’s)
Hitter of the Day – Casey Scoggins, Cedar Rapids Kernels (0-1, 3 R’s, 4 BB) (Because I love a day like that out of a leadoff hitter!)

MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Rochester @ Pawtucket (6:05PM CST) – LHP Nick Greenwood (2-1, 3.75 ERA)
Chattanooga – Scheduled day-off.
Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:05PM CST) – RHP Keaton Steele (4-9, 4.64 ERA)
Dayton @ Cedar Rapids (12:05PM PM CST) – LHP Lachlan Wells (2-2, 2.05 ERA)
Elizabethton @ Pulaski (6:00PM CST) – TBD
GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00AM CST) – TBD

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


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12 Comments

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twinsfanstreif
Jul 24 2016 11:08 PM

Any chance Kirilloff sees Cedar Rapids this year? Seems like he should

    • Dman likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jul 25 2016 03:47 AM

 

Any chance Kirilloff sees Cedar Rapids this year? Seems like he should

 

I'd have to think so at some point if he keeps this up.We're still in SSS territory, but if he keeps doing what he's doing, I'd have to think he gets the bump.

Tony O and Joe Mauer introduced themselves by hitting .400 in the Appy League. Kirilliloff is approaching select territory. I just checked to make sure my memory was correct, and I was surprised to see that Tony was 22 years old at the time, and he was 25 during his MLB rookie season.

    • bluechipper likes this

 

Any chance Kirilloff sees Cedar Rapids this year? Seems like he should

 

It's possible after the E-Town season is done. 

 

Tony O and Joe Mauer introduced themselves by hitting .400 in the Appy League. Kirilliloff is approaching select territory. I just checked to make sure my memory was correct, and I was surprised to see that Tony was 22 years old at the time, and he was 25 during his MLB rookie season.

 

Another good example of why looking at age to level of competition just isn't as important as we like to think. 

Any thought on Zack Jones being considered pitcher of the day? Getting out of a bases loaded jam, no runs, is good stuff. He needs to be moved up to Rochester.
Oh, want to thank Milwaukee. Brewers for returning Jones back to Twins with the posting check.

 

Another good example of why looking at age to level of competition just isn't as important as we like to think. 

 

Going back 55 years for an example tends to support the opposite point.  The age of the prospect and the age of the competition are very important for player evaluation, especially if a young prospect is succeeding against older competition or an older prospect is struggling against young competition.

 

Tearing up the Appy league says something different about a 19-yr-old than it does about a 22-year old.At 19, it says "good prospect." (For Kiriloff, is says SSS, but so far, so good.)At 22, it says "get this guy to an appropriate level of competition so we can find out what we have here." 

 

The Twins really didn't do that for Oliva until age 24 in 1963, which is part of the reason he didn't make the majors to stay until he was 25.I think his defense also held him back some, but the MiLB landscape was quite a bit different in the early 60s, and Tony O's path to the majors was unusual enough at the time to make it difficult to use him to make any general statements about prospect evaluation today. 

    • Mike Sixel likes this

 

Going back 55 years for an example tends to support the opposite point.  The age of the prospect and the age of the competition are very important for player evaluation, especially if a young prospect is succeeding against older competition or an older prospect is struggling against young competition.

 

Tearing up the Appy league says something different about a 19-yr-old than it does about a 22-year old.At 19, it says "good prospect." (For Kiriloff, is says SSS, but so far, so good.)At 22, it says "get this guy to an appropriate level of competition so we can find out what we have here." 

 

The Twins really didn't do that for Oliva until age 24 in 1963, which is part of the reason he didn't make the majors to stay until he was 25.I think his defense also held him back some, but the MiLB landscape was quite a bit different in the early 60s, and Tony O's path to the majors was unusual enough at the time to make it difficult to use him to make any general statements about prospect evaluation today. 

 

My only point is that you just never know with prospects. So many want to write off a guy who is 22 at E-Town and that's just silly. Odds they become Tony Oliva... very small. 

 

My only point is that you just never know with prospects. So many want to write off a guy who is 22 at E-Town and that's just silly. Odds they become Tony Oliva... very small. 

If they are 22 and struggle for a year at E-Town, it's probably time to play indy ball or go put that degree to good use.Maybe make an exception for a college guy with a good pedigree who's just getting started (although he really should have been in a full-season league to start.)

 

If they are 22 and rake for a month,they need to move up and find some competition, because the clock is definitely ticking and most of their peers are in hi-A or above.

 

Any thought on Zack Jones being considered pitcher of the day? Getting out of a bases loaded jam, no runs, is good stuff. He needs to be moved up to Rochester.

 

He got out of that jam, but 1.1IP with a hit allowed, walk, and just 1 K doesn't stack up to what Vasquez did :) 

 

If they are 22 and struggle for a year at E-Town, it's probably time to play indy ball or go put that degree to good use.Maybe make an exception for a college guy with a good pedigree who's just getting started (although he really should have been in a full-season league to start.)

 

If they are 22 and rake for a month,they need to move up and find some competition, because the clock is definitely ticking and most of their peers are in hi-A or above.

 

There are just so many variables that you'd hate to put any sort of progress timeline in concrete. It's just not fair. Sure, the stars and Hall of Famers tend to come up to the big leagues by 22 or so, but there are plenty of All Stars and solid regulars who come up at 24 and 25, and there are plenty of contributing utility guys, bullpen arms, etc., who come up when they're 25-27. By that theory, Hildenberger should never have even been drafted as a 5th year senior.

    • Mike Sixel and James like this

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