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  • Twins Minor League Report (4/30): Amazing April in A Ball

    One month of minor league action is in the books, and for the most part, it has played out better than could have been anticipated. The Minnesota Twins' top prospects are performing very well. As important, several of the second-tier prospects have been able to establish themselves early. The Ft. Myers Miracle has the most wins of any team in the minor leagues. The Cedar Rapids Kernels have a roster filled with players who were on the Beloit playoff team a year ago and from the Appalachian League champion Elizabethton Twins.

    Over the next couple of days, I will be posting articles on the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month, Starting Pitcher of the Month and Relief Pitcher of the Month. There were a lot of very good choices. However, we still need to talk about what happened in the Twins system on Tuesday night.

    Rochester Red Wings 2, Buffalo Bisons 5

    Box Score

    Clete Thomas got the Red Wings on the scoreboard in the first inning with his fourth home run of the season. He went 3-5 with the home run and his third double. Chris Colabello went 2-5. Joe Benson had a hit to extend his hitting streak to seven games; in that time he is 9-26 (.346).

    Andrew Albers put together a solid start. The left-hander went six innings and gave up two runs on eight hits. He walked none and struck out seven. Shairon Martis came on and gave up one hit over two scoreless innings. The score was just 2-1 entering the ninth frame when the rehabbing Tim Wood came on. He recorded just one out and gave up three runs on three hits. Michael OíConnor came on and got the final two outs.

    The Red Wings finish April with a 10-16 record.

    New Britain Rock Cats 2, Harrisburg Senators 6

    Box Score

    Alex Meyer was back on the mound for the Rock Cats. He threw five scoreless innings in this game. Unfortunately, he pitched six innings and the third of the six didnít go so well. He gave up four runs in that frame. Overall, he gave up four runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out eight. On the bright side, Meyer did not allow a base runner following the third inning. Jose Gonzalez came on for the Rock Cats and gave up two runs on four hits in 1.2 innings. Michael Tonkin came on and got the final four outs.

    The Rock Cats bats didnít show up in this game. They managed just four hits. Curt Smith went 1-2 and walked once.

    New Britain ends April with a 13-12 mark.

    Ft. Myers Miracle 5, Clearwater Threshers 2

    Box Score

    The Miracle had an incredible month of April, ending the month with another win to give them a minor league best 21 victories. DJ Baxendale was back on the mound and was a winner for the fourth time in the month. The right-hander went six innings and gave up two runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out five. Chad Rodgers came on and threw two scoreless innings. Corey Williams came on and recorded his sixth save with a perfect ninth inning.

    Angel Morales had the key hits in this game. He was 2-4 with his ninth double and his second home run. He drove in two runs. Eddie Rosario was 2-4 with a walk and his seventh double. Andy Leer was also 2-4. Miguel Sano was 1-2 with two walks. Stephen Wickens and Levi Michael each doubled.

    Cedar Rapids Kernels 5, Lansing Lugnuts 4

    Box Score

    The Kernels managed just five hits in this game, but two of them were pretty important. Byron Buxton led off the bottom of the first with an infield single and came around to score on Dalton Hicksí fourth home run of the season. In the third inning, it was Buxtonís turn to hit his fourth homer of the year, another two-run blast.

    Matt Tomshaw made his first start of the season for Cedar Rapids. The lefty threw five shutout innings and gave up just four hits. He walked one and struck out two. Manuel Soliman came on in the sixth inning. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in 1.2 innings. He was replaced by David Hurlbut who gave up two unearned runs on three hits and a walk. Tyler Jones came on to get the final out and his fourth save of the month.

    The Kernelsí 18-5 record is overshadowed by the Miracle, but they are off to a tremendous start.

    A LOOK AHEAD to Wednesday

    The Rochester Red Wings will be enjoying an off day on Wednesday. New Britain will send lefty Logan Darnell to the mound against Harrisburg. Darnell is 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA so far. The Miracle will play an afternoon game in Clearwater. Jason Wheeler will look to improve to 3-0 despite going into the game with a 5.84 ERA. Cedar Rapids makes their first, long trek into the Eastern Division, when they play West Michigan. Lefty Brett Lee is scheduled to start and is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA.

    Twins 1, Tigers 6

    Justin Verlander was Justin Verlander. Alex Avila, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder all homered. Vance Worley gave up six runs. In general, it was not a good game for the Twins. The lone run came on a Wilkin Ramirez double.

    Please feel free to comment or ask questions below.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report (4/30): Amazing April in A Ball started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. AScheib50's Avatar
      AScheib50 -
      So what exactly is the book on Baxendale? I can't say I know much about him but he seems to be making a name for himself this year. Any thoughts on him?
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      When will we be seeing some promotions? I'm getting anxious!!
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Quote Originally Posted by AScheib50 View Post
      So what exactly is the book on Baxendale? I can't say I know much about him but he seems to be making a name for himself this year. Any thoughts on him?
      Not sure, but Baxendale and Duffey are both looking like gems from the draft if they continue to put in these starts.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Quote Originally Posted by AScheib50 View Post
      So what exactly is the book on Baxendale? I can't say I know much about him but he seems to be making a name for himself this year. Any thoughts on him?
      Average fastball decent curveball. Sickels says he has superb command. He probably won be challenged unit he gets to AA.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      a quick note: Miracle's 21 wins lead all professional baseball not only the minors

      Re: Baxendale: That was probably an old scouting report from his college days. He has a plus two seamer that sits at 91-92 and peaks at 93-94 with very good movement and deceptive cutter-like action. His slider is his out pitch and at this point it is a borderline plus plus pitch; needs to work on the command. His change has a very late action and it is still improving. This is a pitch he did not have much of in college, making it even more impressive. Still throws the curve as a change of pace pitch, but at this point it is on the back of his arsenal. Few command issues (but that is nitpicking.) I see him at AA before the end of the year and maybe at AAA to start next season. He had the single most dominating pitching performance I've ever seen (at any level) late this spring and I described it here. Frankly, he was amazing and at that point, I knew that he had it together this season...
    1. Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
      Cap'n Piranha -
      The sheer amount of talent in Cedar Rapids is positively mind-boggling, and Fort Myers isn't far behind.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Expect to read a bunch more here on Baxendale and several other of the top performers from April. There were a lot. Great month in the organization.

      I agree, Cap'n, that the talent in CR is incredible!
    1. halfchest's Avatar
      halfchest -
      A risers and fallers list might be kind of cool, and a surprise pitcher/hitter of the month. Someone who it might not be the best performance but one that kind of came out of nowhere.

      Gotta start wondering who might get an early season promotion. If some of these guys keep it up through May it's gonna be hard to not promote them, right?
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      Any updates on Max Keplar, Luke Bard , Nate Roberts & JT Chargois
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Great report Seth. I love how you recapped April for each team.
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