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    by 05-22-2014, 10:12 AM

    The MLB First-Year Player Draft may not be as popular as the NFL draft but is is still a fun and entertaining event that many baseball fans wait for all year. In the NFL, the players drafted will be putting on that teams colors come fall, but in baseball a draftee might spend years in the minor leagues learning his craft before he ever gets a sniff of a big league clubhouse.

    History
    The first draft took place in 1965, it was introduced to prevent richer teams from negotiating
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    by 05-22-2014, 07:31 AM

    I’m not in love with Aaron Hicks. I can’t disagree with Rob Antony and Ron Gardenhire’s critique of his preparation, and I’ve always been an unabashed Denard Span guy. (Note: I'm hugely excited that he ended up in DC, where I live now). But I do think we (the Twins-loving public) have been giving Hicks a raw deal by bashing the year he’s having.

    First off, the easy part: let’s look at his on-base percentage (OBP). I noticed today that, of the 32 major league center fielders that have
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    by 05-22-2014, 03:06 AM
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    The Minnesota Twins are currently two games above .500. I just felt like that would be a good, and fun, way to start today’s report. In his last five starts, Phil Hughes has worked a combined 33.1 innings. He has given up just four earned runs on 30 hits. He’s walked none and struck out 27 batters. I’d say he’s been everything Twins fans could have hoped for. His season ERA is now 3.15. Not bad considering he gave up four earned runs in each of his first three starts of the season. Can you imagine a Minnesota Twins starting pitcher winning the AL Pitcher of the Month award? It’s been a long time!

    With that, let’s get to the minor league discussion of the day.



    TRANSACTIONS

    On Wednesday morning, Engelb Vielma and Jason Kanzler were activated from the disabled list. However, it came at
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    by 05-21-2014, 11:11 PM
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    3. MLB Draft 2014

    The six-foot-two Aaron Nola might not fire the fastest bullets among this year’s draft class but the right-handed junior out of LSU might be the most major league ready arm. But is a pitcher the organization's highest priority?

    Who is this guy?

    Nola, a graduate of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, LA (that’s French for “Red Stick”), was an intriguing enough a prospect after his senior year of high school that the Toronto Blue Jays selected him with their 22nd round pick in 2011. At that time, the six-foot-two fungo bat was wheeling 92 mile an hour fastballs in Perfect Game events. Several rounds later, the Blue Jays took Aaron’s older brother
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    by 05-21-2014, 02:48 AM
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    3. MLB Draft 2014

    If the draft occurred on January 5th, instead of June 5th, there is a good chance Trea Turner would have been selected before the Minnesota Twins made their first round selection, fifth overall. Now just two weeks from the draft’s first round, there is no doubt that Turner will be available to the Twins with their pick. Could the Twins use that pick to take the college shortstop?

    Who is This Guy?

    Trea Turner grew up in Florida and following his high school career, he was drafted in the 20th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Instead of signing an above-slot offer, Turner enrolled at North Carolina State. He arrived as a skinny, 6-1, 170 pounder, and as
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    by 05-20-2014, 11:29 PM
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    The top end of the Minnesota Twins Top 10 Prospects list has unfortunately been marred by misfortune this year.

    No. 2 prospect Miguel Sano's season was over before it began, as he went under the knife for Tommy John surgery in March. The top guy, Byron Buxton, still hasn't been able to shake a nagging wrist injury that figures to cost him the first half of his season at least. Meanwhile, No. 5 prospect Eddie Rosario is finally set to return from a 50-game suspension next week.

    Glancing further down the list, we find some real positive stories that should help offset some of the disappointment surrounding the club's best hitting prospects.

    Today I'll take a look at the three prospects among our preseason Top
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    by 05-20-2014, 10:37 PM

    Kurt Suzuki is out producing the expectations of even the most optimistic Twins fan. He’s 30 years old and coming in to 2014 had a career line of .253/.309/.375, and even that is rosy considering what he’s done the past two seasons, .234/.282/.332 (for reference, Talk to Contact favorite, Drew “Boat Anchor” Butera, is hitting .231/.300/.385 in 2014). So the Twins bought low on a guy and brought him in with the hopes that he could help out Josmil Pinto, and because Suzuki is seen as a good “clubhouse
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    by 05-20-2014, 10:26 PM

    Close to two years ago, the Minnesota Twins and the New Britain Rock Cats extended their Player Development Contract. That agreement is the "affiliation" between New Britain and the Twins, whereby the Twins send players and staff (and provide other things we don't really know about) to New Britain. The agreement could have been for varying lengths of time, with two seasons being the minimum. For whatever reasons, the parties settled on the minimum two years. Now, here we are again, in
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    by 05-20-2014, 09:56 PM
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    Minnesota starts into a West Coast swing of baseball action on Tuesday. The club will play two games in San Diego before heading up the coast for a weekend series in San Francisco. This means some late night baseball action for Twins Territory, as most of the team's games won't be starting until 8:00 pm or later.

    The Twins have won each of their last three series including two out of three from Boston and Detroit. If the Twins want to continue to be relevant in the AL Central, they will need to continue to win series. The Tigers are out to an early lead in the division and they are playing at a very high level.

    Down in the minor leagues, there were three very strong starts by pitchers in New Britain, Fort Myers, and Cedar Rapids. Were their teams able
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    by 05-20-2014, 07:49 AM
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    Listen in on last night's Twins Hangouts podcast. Seth and Jeremy discussed many topics over two hours. The Twins pitching, some of the interesting roster moves coming up in the coming weeks (Willingham, Arcia, Pelfrey, Fuld and who could get sent down). We went through the minor leagues more quickly than normal, but we also spent some time on the draft. An interesting question... Where would some of the top draft prospects rank in our personal Top 10 Twins prospects, and how does that play into your thoughts on who the Twins should select?

    All episodes available
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    by 05-19-2014, 10:07 PM
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    2. Article,
    3. MLB Draft 2014

    Updated 5/24 - While all the previous mocks had the Minnesota Twins selecting shortstop Nick Gordon with the 5th overall pick in the MLB Draft, neither of the two released on Friday did. And the second hinted that the Twins could have some tough (but fruitful) decisions ahead.

    First, John Manuel released his 3rd mock draft and took things a step farther than he had in Mock 2, when he had high school pitcher Tyler Kolek falling to the Twins but the Twins passing on him to stick with Gordon. This time, they didn't pass:

    5. TWINS: Minnesota’s concerted effort to get more power arms in recent years synchronizes well with Kolek’s availability in this scenario.
    Then MLB.com released another mock draft, but this one was by Jim Callis, who is known
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    by 05-19-2014, 09:54 PM
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    The Twins, who fell back to .500 with yesterday’s loss, have an off day before starting their National League west-coast road-swing. It’s two against the Padres and three against the Giants before starting a four-game home stand against the Rangers.

    Moving on to the farm…

    Red Wings Report
    ROCHESTER 4, TOLEDO 0
    Box Score

    The story of this game revolves around two players: Trevor May and Oswaldo Arcia.

    Trevor May appeared to being gearing up for the Show with his second straight shutout performance. This one went eight innings on 107 pitches, with six strikeouts. He allowed four hits and four walks. His ERA dropped from 4.11 to 3.35 and he’s also shutting down left-handed batters (who are batting only .185). If it were up to me – and no, no it isn’t – Trevor May would be joining the team next Monday to make
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    by 05-19-2014, 09:36 PM
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    Entering his fifth professional season, Rochester Red Wings pitcher Logan Darnell is trying to stand out in a stacked rotation. Through his first six starts in Rochester, he is 1-1 with a 2.32 ERA, he has 33 strikeouts in 31 innings, including eight strikeouts in his last start on Sunday. Monday after batting practice, I had the chance to talk to him about how he's pitched this season, his time with the Kentucky Wildcats, his call up to the Twins, and Yoda socks.

    Chris Fee: You picked
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    by 05-19-2014, 04:36 PM
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    Weekend Recap
    I'm happy with two of three when the one the Twins lost was at the hands of Felix Hernandez. The Twins looked good this weekend and winning two of every three is a great way to win over 90 games. Not saying that will happen, but...it will probably happen.

    Josmil Pinto
    I'm two for two on mini-rants! Two weeks ago, I called for more Danny Santana and I got it (until I was hamstrung. get it?!?!). Last week, I called for more Pinto. Pinto has played in three of
    Article Preview
    by 05-19-2014, 06:57 AM

    The 1991 World Series will always hold a special place in the heart of Twins fans. Kirby Puckett's heroics in Game 6 and the magnificent pitching performance of Jack Morris are legendary moments etched into the minds of a generation of baseball fans. Many consider this World Series as the best of all time and it all comes into focus in the newly released book "Down to the Last Pitch."

    To get a better understanding of this legendary World Series, author Tim Wendel breaks down every game by using the words and stories from the players who were in the middle of the action. Wendel was a founding editor of USA Today Baseball
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    by 05-19-2014, 01:32 AM
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    Though the Minnesota Twins fell back to .500 with a 6-2 loss on Sunday to Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners, it wasn’t all bad news in the Twins organization. In fact, all four Twins full-season affiliates won their games. Three lefties led the highest level teams to victory while the Cedar Rapid Kernels had to come back to end their big losing streak.

    TRANSACTIONS

    Following the Twins game, OF/C Chris Herrmann was promoted back up to the Twins while reliever Michael Tonkin was sent back to Rochester. The move gives manager Ron Gardenhire an extra bat on the bench this coming week while playing in National League ballparks. In the ten days that Herrmann was in Rochester, he hit .400 (14-35) with three doubles, a triple and a home run. Tonkin, meanwhile, had a 5.84 ERA in 12.1 innings with the Twins.



    Let’s look at the goings on in

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