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Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - July 2019

Over the weekend, we announced our choice (and lots of Honorable Mentions) for Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month. Today, we shift our attention to the starting pitchers. And again, there were many choices for the award and at least three that could be argued should be the winner. With the short-season teams fully underway, there is more to sift through, so enjoy.

Previous 2019 Starting Pitchers of the Month:
April - Devin Smeltzer - Pensacola Blue Wahoos
May - Jordan Balazovic - Ft. Myers Miracle
June - Josh Winder - Cedar Rapids Kernels
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (graphics by Finn Pearson)
Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for July, there were some other strong starting performers that just missed the cut. You can certainly agree or disagree with the rankings. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in June.

HONORABLE MENTION
  • Niklas Rimmel - GCL Twins - 5 GS, 20.0 IP, 2.70 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 17 H, 6 BB, 19 K (.230/576)
  • Jhoan Duran - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 5 GS, 23.2 IP, 2.66 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 22 H, 9 BB, 23 K (.253/656)
  • Bailey Ober - Ft. Myers Miracle/GCL Twins - 5 G, 4 GS, 29.2 IP, 1.46 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 23 H, 4 BB, 32 K, (237/553)
  • Cole Sands - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 24.2 IP, 2.55 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 22 H, 2 BB, 23 K (247/586)
  • Tyler Watson - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 21.2 IP, 1.66 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 16 H, 4 BB, 13 K (208/574)
  • Tyler Palm - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 5 GS, 25.2 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 24 H, 9 BB, 24 K (242/628)
  • Donny Breek - GCL Twins - 5 G, 4 GS, 15.0 IP, 1.20 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 7 H, 13 BB, 13 K.(137/495)
  • Anthony Escobar - GCL Twins - 5 G, 2 GS, 22.2 IP, 2.38 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 17 H, 6 BB, 20 K
THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS


#5 - LHP Charlie Barnes - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 6 GS, 35.1 IP, 2.04 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 30 H, 11 BB, 35 K


Barnes was the Twins fourth-round draft pick in 2017 out of Clemson. The southpaw signed quickly and has moved up consistently. He began 2019 with the Ft. Myers Miracle before being promoted to Pensacola. He’s 2-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 12 games. In 65 innings, the 23-year-old has 67 strikeouts and just 19 walks.



#4 - RHP Luis Rijo - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 26.2 IP, 2.36 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 21 H, 3 BB, 27 K


Rijo signed with the Yankees in 2015 from Venezuela. At the 2018 July trade deadline, he came to the Twins with Tyler Austin in the Lance Lynn trade. He ended the season going 2-0 with a 1.27 ERA in Elizabethton. He was known as an advanced pitcher with a good three-pitch mix, but he didn’t have the velocity. This year, he is often touching 96 with his fastball. Overall with the Kernels, he is 4-6 with a 2.58 ERA. In his first start in July, he struck out ten batters in seven, one-hit, shutout innings. He went at least six innings in each of his starts. For the month, opponents hit just .219 off of him, and that 9:1 K:BB ratio is really good.


#3 - RHP Kai-Wei Teng - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 GS, 29.2 IP, 0.91 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 21 H, 7 BB, 26 K

The Twins signed Kai-Wei Teng out of Taiwan in October of 2017. He spent 2018 in Extended Spring Training and the Gulf Coast League. This year, he joined the Kernels from extended spring training in June. His first three starts in July, he gave up just one earned run in 19 innings. He ended the month with seven shutout innings. Well, actually he ended the month as a member of the San Francisco Giants organization as he was traded as part of the deal that sent Sam Dyson to the Twins.


#2 - RHP Randy Dobnak - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 6 GS, 40.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 23 H, 5 BB, 33 K

If anyone wants to argue that Randy Dobnak should be the pitcher of the month for July, I won’t put up much of an argument. He split the month between AA and AAA. He began the year by going 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA. In Double-A, he has gone 4-2 with a 2.67 ERA. And now in Triple-A, he is 4-1 with a 2.00 ERA, even with the MLB baseball. Dobnak provides innings. His 40 innings was most in the Twins system. He didn’t give up runs. He barely gave up base runners, and he missed enough bats to rack up quite a few strikeouts. In the month, batters hit just .159 with a .397 OPS off of him. In fact, in his most recent blog, Patrick Reusse says that Dobnak could be the next pitcher called up from Triple-A, maybe even as early as this weekend. After signing as a non-drafted free agent in 2017 and spending all of 2018 with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, his 2019 season has already been remarkable.



And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is:

Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - RHP Edwar Colina - 5 G, 4 GS, 31.2 IP, 0.57 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, 14 H, 7 BB, 36 K

The Twins signed Colina when he was 18 years old in late September 2015 out of Venezuela. He took major strides in 2018 when he pitched at Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. Unfortunately, he began the 2019 season in the injured list. He missed the first month of the season. He made just ten starts before being promoted.

His first two starts in July came with the Miracle. In the first outing, he gave up just one hit over eight innings. In the next outing, he gave up three hits over seven shutout innings. He was then promoted to Double-A Pensacola. He went just four innings in his first AA start. He followed that up by giving up just an unearned run over seven innings, and he struck out ten batters for the second time this month. And in his final start, he threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

For the month, opponents hit just .135 with a .377 OPS off of him in July. He struck out more than a batter an inning.

Colina throws hard. He’s barely 6-0 tall and remarkably sturdy and strong. He has hit 100 mph on multiple occasions, though he sits between 96 and 98 mph. He has a good three-pitch mix and mixes speeds well too. While we have heard names like Brusdar Graterol, Jorge Alcala and even Jhoan Duran as possible hard-throwing options down the stretch for the Twins, Colina is in on par with each of them.

Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of July, Pensacola Blue Wahoos right-hander Edwar Colina.

Feel free to discuss and ask questions.

  • pbrezeasap, nicksaviking, dbminn and 2 others like this

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16 Comments

Interesting month, Seth.

 

Would have thought from recalling the daily reports that Ober and Duran had better months.Nothing wrong with their results, just seem to recall several games where they were dominant.Do recall that Ober had one so-so game since returning from the IL which must have been in July.  

 

Will be interesting to see if Dobnak gets the call.Everyone knows the Twins are going to need starters in 2020.Could he be one of them?Getting a few or more starts under his belt before the end of this season will help with the answer.Not certain I want to see him get that first start, however, in what is going to be a critical weekend series with the Tribe.

    • nicksaviking likes this

Uggh--the Dyson trade isn't looking good from this perspective.  I don't think Berroa was merely an afterthought either.  But I guess another way to look at it is that the Twins didn't give up Colina in the deal.  Probably just coincidence, but with Berrios, Graterol, and Colina, I'm seeing a certain body type.  Might not happen if Keith Law is the head scout!

    • pbrezeasap, Trov, operation mindcrime and 2 others like this

 

Uggh--the Dyson trade isn't looking good from this perspective.  I don't think Berroa was merely an afterthought either.  But I guess another way to look at it is that the Twins didn't give up Colina in the deal.  Probably just coincidence, but with Berrios, Graterol, and Colina, I'm seeing a certain body type.  Might not happen if Keith Law is the head scout!

Yup, Keith Law walks around with a ruler, if you under 6'2" you are not a top pitching prospect and cannot make it in the majors.Maybe someone should show him video of Pedro Martinez, and may others.I never pay attention to Keith Law's lists because he pays way too much attention to height, something that really is not all that important in baseball. 

    • pbrezeasap and operation mindcrime like this

I hope many of these guys will become legit MLB guys, not too many on prospect lists, or not that high at least.Let's hope our system is set up like Cleveland and we keep pumping out top arms, you cannot have too much pitching. 

    • pbrezeasap, beckmt, SF Twins Fan and 2 others like this

 

I hope many of these guys will become legit MLB guys, not too many on prospect lists, or not that high at least.Let's hope our system is set up like Cleveland and we keep pumping out top arms, you cannot have too much pitching. 

Talking about Cleveland, Trov, wasn't Kluber a pleasant surprise?A good prospect, but not one of their top guys?Maybe Dobnak can be our version of Kluber?

    • operation mindcrime likes this

Yup, Keith Law walks around with a ruler, if you under 6'2" you are not a top pitching prospect and cannot make it in the majors.Maybe someone should show him video of Pedro Martinez, and may others.I never pay attention to Keith Law's lists because he pays way too much attention to height, something that really is not all that important in baseball. 

If you rank the truly top MLB pitchers last year, you'll probably find what I did this morning when I used WAR as the ranking, that among the top ten, Trevor Bauer is the shortest at 6'1", Aaron Nola is listed at 6'2", and the other eight are taller.

 

I do not believe Law has ever stated "cannot make it in the majors" regarding pitchers under 6'2". That would indeed be a position easy to debunk.

 

But if you are trying to identify the best prospects, you might want to weed out the guys who don't profile the same way as the top guys who actually are established - there will always be exceptions like Pedro but you want the volume to be on your side.

 

You can get good innings from a lot of sources, but if great gobs of good innings are coming from the taller guys, it doesn't mean every tall guy is destined for greatness, but conversely height "really is not all that important in baseball" might be going too far.

    • Dman, howieramone2, jkcarew and 1 other like this
Photo
MMMordabito
Aug 06 2019 09:52 AM

I liked that last pitch from a tall guy last night (8/5).

 

Congrats to Colina!He seems to be well on his way to at least the top 20 prospects (two spots should be opening via Arraez and Thorpe soon).

 

I'd once again like to get excited about Ober, but his knack for getting hurt gives me pause.It's the same type of pause that happens when I want to hope that we will all look back to August 5th, 2019 as the night that Trevor May became a true bullpen beast. 

 

Damn you, Molly Hatchet, and your damn song too.

 

    • cjj td and operation mindcrime like this

 

Uggh--the Dyson trade isn't looking good from this perspective.  I don't think Berroa was merely an afterthought either.  But I guess another way to look at it is that the Twins didn't give up Colina in the deal.  Probably just coincidence, but with Berrios, Graterol, and Colina, I'm seeing a certain body type.  Might not happen if Keith Law is the head scout!

+ Fernando Romero

    • Han Joelo likes this

The Shaolin and the Wei Teng could be dangerous.

 

 

Alright.. I'm done.One last parting shot.

    • operation mindcrime likes this

I liked that last pitch from a tall guy last night (8/5).

Wow. Eight foot five. That IS tall. Downward plane FTW.

    • operation mindcrime and MMMordabito like this

 

If you rank the truly top MLB pitchers last year, you'll probably find what I did this morning when I used WAR as the ranking, that among the top ten, Trevor Bauer is the shortest at 6'1", Aaron Nola is listed at 6'2", and the other eight are taller.

 

I do not believe Law has ever stated "cannot make it in the majors" regarding pitchers under 6'2". That would indeed be a position easy to debunk.

 

But if you are trying to identify the best prospects, you might want to weed out the guys who don't profile the same way as the top guys who actually are established - there will always be exceptions like Pedro but you want the volume to be on your side.

 

You can get good innings from a lot of sources, but if great gobs of good innings are coming from the taller guys, it doesn't mean every tall guy is destined for greatness, but conversely height "really is not all that important in baseball" might be going too far.

I would think that a big part of that is because not as many under 6'2 guys can throw 95-100. 

What happened with Balazovich? Everyone was talking about him for a while and now crickets.
    • operation mindcrime likes this
Photo
twinstalker
Aug 06 2019 03:43 PM

 

What happened with Balazovich? Everyone was talking about him for a while and now crickets.

He couldn't carry the weight of the added "h"

    • jimbo92107 and Brandon like this

I like the guys with ERA's below 1. And investment charts that always go up.

What happened with Balazovich? Everyone was talking about him for a while and now crickets.


He hasn't pitched for the Twins org in awhile, because he's been participating in the Pan Am games earning a silver medal with Canada.
    • SD Buhr likes this

 

What happened with Balazovich? Everyone was talking about him for a while and now crickets.

 

He was added back to the Miracle roster today. 


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