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Twins Minor League Report (7/7): Moran Strikes Out 6 Straight, Granite Gets the Call

Now that the short-season leagues have been underway for a little while we’re starting to see some new names emerge. One of those has been Jovani Moran, who struck out six-straight batters over two perfect innings Friday. And while Hunter Greene was finally signing with the Reds, Royce Lewis was busy hitting a couple of doubles in what was already his ninth professional game.

Oh, and there were some significant transactions, too.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Zack Granite)
Find out everything that happened in the Twins minor league system on Friday.

TRANSACTIONS

Joe Mauer was placed on the DL with an ailing back, leading to Kennys Vargas being called back up from Rochester. Surprisingly, that was the least interesting of the team’s three big transactions on the night.

During the Twins game it was announced the team has signed 44-year-old Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal. He’s on his way to Rochester.

Last, but certainly not least, was the huge news that Zack Granite was being called up to make his major league debut. With the All-Star break upcoming, the Twins have no need to carry a fifth starter. So Felix Jorge, who started for the Twins Friday night, is being sent back down to Chattanooga to make room for Granite.

UPDATE: Edgar Corcino is also getting a promotion up to Rochester.

RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 9, Syracuse 3
Box Score

Mitch Garver led off the third inning with a single that sparked an offensive outburst. That frame was highlighted by a Niko Goodrum three-run homer … which was immediately followed by a Garver home run. It was an eight-run inning for the Red Wings.

Garver, who was playing left field tonight, is now hitting .284/.390/.505 (.895 OPS). He’s been even more impressive against southpaws, posting a .327/.450/.551 line (1.001 OPS). Joining Garver and Goodrum with two hits on the night were Tommy Field, Bengie Gonzalez and Engelb Vielma.

David Hurlbut pitched very well with the lead. He gave up two runs over six innings on seven hits and two walks to go with three strikeouts. The lefty lowered his ERA to 3.44 on the season. Alan Busenitz pitched a scoreless inning and was followed by John Curtiss, who gave up a run over two innings of work.

Here are the homers from Goodrum and Garver:


CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 6, Tennessee 1
Box Score

At this time last season, Andy Wilkins was playing with the Milwaukee Brewers. Tonight, he had a huge game for the Lookouts, hitting a three-run homer to go with a pair of doubles.

Edgar Corcino has had an excellent season, earning a mid-season All-Star nod, but he hasn’t been a big source of power. Well, the Puerto Rican right fielder popped his second homer of the year, a two-run shot, and was 2-for-4, pushing his average to .299. Jonathan Rodriguez also had two hits for the Lookouts. Nick Gordon was not in the lineup for Chattanooga.

Randy LeBlanc held the Smokies to one run on three hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out four batters. Randy Rosario threw two scoreless innings.

At this time last season, Paul Clemens was playing with the San Diego Padres. Tonight he pitched a scoreless ninth inning of a 6-1 game for the Lookouts.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 6, Palm Beach 5
Box Score

Fort Myers was leading 3-1 before Williams Ramirez gave up four runs in the top of the fifth. It appeared he may have blown the game for the Miracle … for about 10 minutes. Fort Myers stormed back with three runs in the bottom of the inning, putting them up 6-5 for good.

Sean Miller and Jermaine Palacios opened the bottom of the fifth with consecutive walks, but the next two batters were retired. With two outs, Palacios stole second and Miller scored on a throwing error. Brandon Lopez plated Palacios with a double, then Kevin Garcia drove in Lopez with a single.

Mitchell Kranson hit his first home run with Fort Myers, a two-run shot in the first inning. Miracle starter Brady Anderson gave up one run over four innings. Michael Theofanopoulos picked up his fourth win after tossing two scoreless innings. Alex Muren threw a scoreless eighth and Tom Hackimer registered his second save by pitching a perfect ninth with two strikeouts.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 5, Peoria 2
Box Score

Shortstop Gorge Munoz hit a two-out, two-run double in a big fourth inning for the Kernels. That gave Clark Beeker a 5-1 lead, not that he needed that kind of cushion. The Davidson product put together his seventh start in which he went at least five innings and gave up one or no runs.

Beeker improved his record to 8-2 after surrendering one run over six innings. He gave up just three hits and a walk. Alex Robinson earned his second save by pitching 1.1 perfect innings with three strikeouts. Aaron Whitefield and Lewin Diaz each had two hits. Munoz also drew a walk and stole a base in this game.

E-TWINS E-NOTES
Elizabethton 5, Johnson City 0
Box Score

Charlie Barnes, the Twins fourth-round pick this year out of Clemson, was excellent. He threw five one-hit innings, striking out seven batters while issuing one walk. He was pulled after 65 pitches, 45 of which were strikes. The crazy thing is that he wasn’t even the most dominant E-Town pitcher Friday night.

After Juan Gamez threw two scoreless innings, Jovani Moran came on for the Twins. Here’s how the 20-year-old Puerto Rican lefty’s two innings went: BB, K, K, K, K, K, K. Moran now has 16 strikeouts in 8.2 innings this season. Filthy.

Jose Miranda drove in three runs, Mark Contreras had a pair of hits and Brent Rooker had the team’s only extra-base hit, a double.

GCL TWINS TAKES
GCL Red Sox 10, GCL Twins 5
Box Score

Hunter Green finally signed with the Reds today. Meanwhile, Royce Lewis went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a walk in what was his ninth professional game. The Twins No. 1 pick has gotten off to a great start, hitting .324/.419/.58 (.986 OPS).

Akil Baddoo drew four walks (!) and scored twice. Catcher Jhon Alvarez was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Twins starter Petru Balan struggled, giving up four runs over 1.2 innings, and the bullpen didn't do much better, though Zach Featherstone finished things off with a scoreless inning.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Jovani Moran, Elizabethton (2 IP, 0 hits, 6 Ks)
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Andy Wilkins, Chattanooga (3-for-4, HR, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 2 runs)

SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester vs. Syracuse, 6:05 pm CT, Aaron Slegers (4.08 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)
Chattanooga va. Tennessee, 6:15 pm CT, TBA
Fort Myers vs. Palm Beach, 5:05 pm CT, Cody Stashak (3.84 ERA, 1.12 WHIP)
Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria, 6:35 pm CT, Griffin Jax (0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP)
Elizabethton vs. Johnson City, 5:00 pm CT, Bryan Sammons (1.59 ERA, 0.88 WHIP)
GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox, 9:00 am CT, TBA

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday's games.

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18 Comments

Gordon is already in Miami for the Futures Game.

Featherstone was moved to the mound about 4-6weeks ago.

This is just the second time all season that Curtiss has given up a run
    • glunn, gunnarthor, Tom Froemming and 1 other like this
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ScooterDance
Jul 07 2017 11:10 PM
Seems like my interest in these milb recaps goes in waves. Right now I'm in a peak. Want to see how the bullpen arms do. Gordon and Palacios. The rookie leagues with all the new draft picks.

squeeee!
    • glunn, birdwatcher, Tom Froemming and 1 other like this
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Tommygun921
Jul 08 2017 04:50 AM
Nice to see Granite get the call. Wonder how he'll be worked into the lineup. Seems Buxton, Kepler and Rosario are all 3 playing well currently. Well deserved. Hopefully he sticks but I'm sure he'll be the odd man out baring an injury when a pitcher or Mauer returns.
    • glunn and HitInAPinch like this
My guess is Granite will be up for two games, then get optioned and play in the AAA All Star Game.
    • glunn likes this
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Old Twins Cap
Jul 08 2017 06:18 AM

Granite will be late inning replacement for Grossman, if Grossman is in the field, and a potential pinch-runner late in a close game.

 

Smart FO move to get him some experience up against the All-Star Break so when he is needed, and he will be, it won't be frying pan to fire.

    • glunn likes this

I am very happy to see Granite moved up.  Giving players a MLB chance is a great reward and incentive.  That's why I would like to see them give Gonsalves and Romero a shot at starting - still not sure how Jorge got ahead of them in the pecking order.  

 

Like my recent comment on Rooker, I would love to see them push Lewis up a grade and challenge him.  I think the really good ones respond to challenges. 

    • glunn likes this
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Cap'n Piranha
Jul 08 2017 07:09 AM
Jorge got ahead of Gonsalves and Romero by being on the 40 man, and not having injury/inning limit concerns.
    • USAFChief and birdwatcher like this

Baddoo with four walks, awesome. He's a long way off but if he ends up with good plate discipline to go with all those other tools, woo-hoo.

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Bob Sacamento
Jul 08 2017 07:59 AM

 

Like my recent comment on Rooker, I would love to see them push Lewis up a grade and challenge him.  I think the really good ones respond to challenges. 

If Lewis and Baddoo keep up their pace and are still in GCL in two weeks I'd be very surprised.  Deron Johnson sat by me yesterday and we chatted it up about a few of the GCL prospects (Lewis, Baddoo, Robles, Tademo, Graterol, B. Rodriguez) .  He asked what I thought about Akil and Royce, told him Baddoo was killing it with his power/speed combo and improved plate discipline and that Lewis was better than advertised.  It sounds like DJ was a big pusher of the Twins drafting Lewis.  This is his first weekend seeing the GCL kids in action, as he'll also be scouting the Miracle as well.

 

Side note, DJ asked for no pictures as he was wearing shorts to the 100+ degree ballgame, out of respect to his former bosses Terry Ryan and Bill Smith, who apparently had a no shorts policy.

    • glunn, birdwatcher, gunnarthor and 4 others like this
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Bob Sacamento
Jul 08 2017 08:04 AM

 

Baddoo with four walks, awesome. He's a long way off but if he ends up with good plate discipline to go with all those other tools, woo-hoo.

Talking with DJ, a lefthanded swinging Rondell White comp came up for Akil, 20/20 ability with a strong contact and plate recognition.

    • glunn, birdwatcher, gunnarthor and 1 other like this
Curtiss era skyrockets to .83
    • glunn, birdwatcher and bluechipper like this
I'm trying not to put any stock in Lewis' first couple of weeks, good or bad. But, it's hard not to be encouraged right now.
    • glunn likes this
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Bob Sacamento
Jul 08 2017 11:31 AM

 

I'm trying not to put any stock in Lewis' first couple of weeks, good or bad. But, it's hard not to be encouraged right now.

While at the game, it sounded like Royce is getting moved up the ladder soon.Like got pulled into the Manager Ramon Borrego's office before the game and told your getting promoted soon.

    • glunn and birdwatcher like this
I hope they put granite in left and sit Rosario for a while. He is hitting but these bone head plays have to stop. Last night he almost killed a rally by getting caught off third on a grounder right to Machado. This has to stop. It is beneath a 4th year player to let that happen.

It's cool that Granite's getting called up, but isn't "huge news" overselling it a bit?

 

We're talking about a fringe Top-20 org guy that probably projects as a 4th OF, right? So, slightly better version of Jason Tyner, not the next coming of Mike Trout.

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birdwatcher
Jul 08 2017 03:10 PM

 

I hope they put granite in left and sit Rosario for a while. He is hitting but these bone head plays have to stop. Last night he almost killed a rally by getting caught off third on a grounder right to Machado. This has to stop. It is beneath a 4th year player to let that happen.

 

 

In his defense, that was a "run on contact" play. To his credit, he stretched his hit into a double in impressive style.

    • glunn likes this
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birdwatcher
Jul 08 2017 03:12 PM

 

It's cool that Granite's getting called up, but isn't "huge news" overselling it a bit?

 

We're talking about a fringe Top-20 org guy that probably projects as a 4th OF, right? So, slightly better version of Jason Tyner, not the next coming of Mike Trout.

 

He might be better than Tyner. It's safe to say Trout has the edge.

    • glunn and D.C Twins like this

Good for Granite....and good for the minor leagues to know that hard work and productivitywill be rewarded even for prospects outside of the top 10!

    • glunn likes this

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