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Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - June

As the Fourth of July is approaching, I have found myself asking several people, “What happened to June? It just flew by. It seemed like just four or so weeks ago that I was posing my May Twins Minor League Hitter, Starting Pitcher and Reliever of the month. And here we are again. Over the next couple of days, I will post my June recipients. I am going to start by the area that was far and away the weakest for the organization in June, starting pitching.

BJ Hermsen won the award in April and May, but in June he fell back to a solid, but unspectacular level. In previous months, I’ve been posting a top five or a top six. This month, I can only give you a top four Twins minor league starting pitchers. I guess if I went to five, I would pick tonight’s Twins starter Liam Hendricks. However, he made just two starts in Rochester in June before being promoted to the Twins. He was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.64 WHIP. In 15.2 innings, he gave up seven hits, walked three and struck out 18.

Unfortunately, the starting pitching in June was pretty weak. Hendriks was strongly considered. Below, you will find my rankings of the Top 5 starting pitchers in the Twins farm system in the month of June.

Be sure to vote for your choice in the comments.

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Number 4 – Beloit – RHP Tyler Jones - 3 GS, 0-2, 3.50 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 5 BB, 23 K

The Milwaukee native was promoted to the Snappers in late May. After one relief appearance, he was moved in to the rotation. He made just three starts in June and wasn’t credited with a win, but he showed an ability to throw strikes while still missing bats. The 2011 draft pick out of LSU has a ton of talent. Of course, in his first July appearance, he was again pitching out of the bullpen.

Number 3 – Rochester – RHP Sam Deduno - 4 GS, 1-0, 1.42 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 19.0 IP, 8 H, 13 BB, 28 K

With Liam Hendriks unable to get through five innings again tonight despite being given a five-run lead, it would hardly be shocking if Hendriks is sent back to Rochester and Deduno gets added to the 40 and 25 man rosters. He missed over six weeks due to a bum shoulder, and when he returned in early June, they were quite patient with him. But Deduno pitched well. Certainly, he walked too many, but the hits allowed and strikeouts are encouraging. The Twins signed him this offseason as a six-year minor league free agent. He does have previous big league service time.

Number 2 – Beloit – Matt Summers - 6 GS, 3-1, 3.18 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 34.0 IP, 26 H, 10 BB, 20 K

Summers was the Twins 4th round pick in last year’s draft out of UC-Irvine where he was the conference’s pitcher of the year. He went to Elizabethton and pitched/dominated out of the bullpen. He began the 2012 season with the Snappers and in the starting rotation. After a rough April, Summers was on this last in May, and had his best month in June. Although the strikeouts are down

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

Beloit – LHP David Hurlbut - 5 GS, 1-1, 1.61 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 28.0 IP, 23 H, 9 BB, 26 K

The Twins scouts must have liked something they saw in Hurlbut. Despite very mediocre numbers his first year of junior college, the Twins drafted him in 2009. Instead of signing, he went to play at his hometown Cal State-Fullerton. He pitched in just 34 innings out of the Fullerton bullpen over two years, but the Twins still drafted him in the 28th round last year. He came up to Beloit in mid-May and after spending time in the bullpen, he made some starts starting at the beginning of June. He was terrific posting solid all-around numbers. The lefty doesn’t throw hard, but he controls three pitches.

Attached Image: DavidHurlbut2.jpg
Photo courtesy Jim Crikket/Knuckleballs.

What do you think? Only four pitchers were mentioned for June (unless you count a few words on Hendriks). For those of you who are in Minnesota or the Upper Midwest, this list is another sign that you need to make the trip to Beloit and see the Snappers. Yes, Summers was a known commodity a year ago as a fourth round pick, but David Hurlbut is a late-round pick that is also worth watching. I saw two Snappers game in early June and saw both Hurlbut and Summers pitch. Let’s be honest. This list is a pretty strong indicator of where the Twins are currently at regarding starting pitching. There were few other choices. Who would your choice be? How would you rank these guys (and feel free to include others)?


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