• Twins Minor League Report (6/4): Gibson and Baxendale make their pitches

    It was a big day for a couple of Twins pitching prospects, and one of their top offensive prospects added to his organization-leading home run total. It was also a day in which there were several transactions. Twins Daily has learned the following (though there could be more coming):

    RHP Tom Stuifbergen has been promoted from Ft. Myers to AA New Britain. Meanwhile, RHPs Tyler Duffey and Manuel Soliman will move up to the Miracle. Finally, 2012 8th round pick RHP Christian Powell will join the Cedar Rapids Kernels from Extended Spring Training. Also, a second pitcher will be joining the Kernels. The pitcher was released by another organization a week ago and signed by the Twins. Check out the Minor League Movement forum for more. ‘Tis the season for transactions!!

    With that, check out what happened in the Twins minor league system on Tuesday:

    Rochester Red Wings 4, Gwinnett Braves 3

    Box Score

    Kyle Gibson was back on the mound for the Red Wings. The lanky right-hander did allow some base runners but put together a nice game. He went six innings and did not allow a run in the first five; he gave up two in the sixth frame. Overall, he went six innings and gave up two runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out four, leaving with a 4-2 lead. Luis Perdomo came in for the seventh inning and got just two outs, giving up one run thanks to three walks. Aaron Thompson got the save by getting the final seven outs. He gave up a hit, walked one and struck out two.



    Eric Fryer went 2-4. He had the game’s biggest hit, a bases-clearing double. Antoan Richardson was 2-5 with his seventh and eighth stolen bases. Doug Bernier was 2-3 with a walk. Chris Colabello was 1-3 with two walks and his 18th double; he also stole his first base of the year.

    New Britain Rock Cats 4, Richmond Flying Squirrels 1

    Box Score

    DJ Baxendale had a rough first appearance in Double-A last week. A part of the beauty of baseball is that you quickly get a chance to redeem yourself. Baxendale did just that on Tuesday night. The right-hander gave up one run on three hits and two walks in seven innings. He struck out seven. Bobby Lanigan came on and got just one out while giving up a walk and a hit. Edgar Ibarra came on and got the final two outs without the inherited runners scoring. Matt Hauser entered for the ninth inning and recorded his first Rock Cats save.

    The Rock Cats got three hits from Danny Santana. They scored two runs in the first inning on ground out RBI's from Josmil Pinto and Danny Ortiz. In the second frame, they scored runs on a sacrifice fly by Mark Sobolewski and on a ground out by James Beresford.

    Ft. Myers Miracle 2, Brevard County Manatees 3

    Box Score

    The Miracle bats were kept quiet most of this game. Jason Wheeler started for the Miracle. He gave up three runs on nine hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out six. Ryan O’Rourke was brought in, and he struck out two in two scoreless innings. Zack Jones pitched a perfect ninth and struck out one.
    The Miracle had seven hits and five free passes. However, only Matt Koch had more than one hit, going 2-4. Miguel Sano knocked his 14th homer run and stole his eighth base.

    Cedar Rapids Kernels


    The Kernels had a scheduled day off.


    Please feel free to comment or ask questions below.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report (6/4): Gibson and Baxendale make their pitches started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Baxendale kept a couple of good hitters quiet in this one.
      Good to see
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Baxendale was awesome. I was following it through gameday and was very excited as each inning progressed. The 7th inning he finished very strong with 2Ks and no baserunners. He was up to 93 pitches at that point though, so his departure was predictable. The line is impressive in itself, obviously. What makes this even better is that this was the same Richmond team that shoved him around in his first AA start.

      Also important note: The run DJ gave up was an inside the park HR. The Rock Cats defense was pretty pitiful, but Baxendale still was near perfect despite the obstacles. In addition, they committed 2 Errors prior to that.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      Baxendale kept a couple of good hitters quiet in this one.
      Good to see
      Was looking through their box one guy that jumped out at me was SS Joe Panik (He played 2B in this one, but is listed at SS). Did some research and he was a first round pick in 2011 and he's put up an impressive combo of SB/HR throughout his minor league career. OPS is good too for his position. He's also 22, so fairly young and has been advancing at a steady pace. You'd think he'd be a borderline top 100 player, but I couldn't find him in any (not even Sickels 150). He'd be a player I'd really like to have. For the record, he went 0-3 with a BB.
    1. Red Bull's Avatar
      Red Bull -
      Baxendale keeps on impressing me every game. I am sick of seeing Gibsons name in Rochesters box scores, call him up and lets get this kid some experience. Looks like Sano had a decent game aswell. Hopefully Buxton can return soon, its kinda boring watching the box scores when hes not playing.
    1. rickyhawaii's Avatar
      rickyhawaii -
      Andrew Susac is another Giants prospect that is interesting. Catcher with pretty good numbers. He'll probably be blocked by Posey. Giants would be good trade partners.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Quote Originally Posted by YourHouseIsMyHouse View Post
      Also important note: The run DJ gave up was an inside the park HR. The Rock Cats defense was pretty pitiful, but Baxendale still was near perfect despite the obstacles. In addition, they committed 2 Errors prior to that.
      The defense in New Britain is an embarrassment. Something needs to change there.
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      What's the scouting report on Baxendale? What kind of pitcher is he?
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Excited about Baxendale's start. Good news indeed.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Excited about Baxendale's start. Good news indeed.
      Yes, this is good news and likely a relief for him and for the Twins brass. The first one was rough. Important to get back out there and see the success. Hopefully it will continue!
    1. admgngl's Avatar
      admgngl -
      Is there a good, recent scouting report for Baxendale (FB velocity, best breaking pitches, etc.)? He keeps putting up great lines and was just wondering how he might translate to the bigs.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by admgngl View Post
      Is there a good, recent scouting report for Baxendale (FB velocity, best breaking pitches, etc.)? He keeps putting up great lines and was just wondering how he might translate to the bigs.
      From April's SP of the Month article:

      Ft. Myers – DJ Baxendale - 5 GS, 4-0, 1.84 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 29.1 IP, 21 H, 6 BB, 25 K
      Baxendale was the top starter of the Arkansas Razorbacks team that advanced to the College World Series. During that season he set the Arkansas record with 20 starts. He went 8-5 with a 3.11 ERA. The Twins were thrilled to use their 10th round pick on the right-hander as they believed he had the talent to be selected much earlier. He began his pro career with the Elizabethton Twins but quickly moved up to Beloit. Combined, he walked just two and struck out 31 in 18.2 innings.

      He pitched out of the bullpen primarily because of the 107 innings he threw during the college season. The plan was for him to move to a starter's role this season, but it was somewhat surprising that he began the season with the Miracle. However, as Steil said, the things he’s done so well in April are the things that got him pushed to Ft. Myers. “He’s been locating well, keeping hitters off balance by changing speeds and keeping the ball down. Along with (those things), just his maturity and poise on the mound.”

      Take a look at the numbers: 4-0 with a sub-2.00 ERA and a sub-1.00 WHIP. He has limited long balls and walks. The Miracle were 21-4 in April, and Baxendale was a big part of it.

      So, what does he throw? A scouting report will tell you that he throws both a 2-seam and a 4-seam fastball that range from 87 to 92 mph. He has a big bending curveball in the low 70s, with downward break, which makes it a pitch that induces ground balls. He also has a very good, late-breaking slider in the 78 to 82 mph range. He has terrific control of it and when he spots it on the outside corner he can get hitters to chase. He also has good arm speed and sink on his changeup.

      What would Baxendale himself say? “I throw a four-seam fastball, sinker, change-up, curve ball and slider. I try to use the slider and curveball both as strikeout pitches in order to keep the hitters guessing what pitch I will come with ahead in the count.”

      Baxendale has great command and makeup. He has the ability to move the ball around the strike zone very well. He can pitch to all zones of the plate, up and down, inside and out. He gets a lot of swings and misses outside of the zone, in part, because he hides the ball well. He is competitive and wants to win at everything. He has a knack of getting out of jams, and has grittiness and intensity on the mound.

      Baxendale credits his pitching coach and his control for his success so far this year. “The biggest key to my success so far is throwing low, quality strikes with all of my pitches. I’ve been working hard with pitching coach Ivan Arteaga to be able to consistently repeat my mechanics which improves my command and control of all pitches.”

      It’s also been about making adjustments to the professional game. Baxendale explained, “The biggest adjustment I’ve made so far in pro ball is to be efficient in my innings and keep the pitch count down. I’ve done this by pitching to contact, throwing the ball down in the zone and getting outs in early counts.”

      For Baxendale to continue to develop and rise through the Twins system, he may need to get a little bigger and strong. By adding some weight and strength, he would likely see a little increased velocity.

      But for now, Baxendale is happy to be part of this tremendous Miracle team. “Being part of a talented team is always fun. We are all really competitive so we want to win. It’s pretty special to be a part of a team that is as talented as we are because every game is fun to watch.”
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by YourHouseIsMyHouse View Post
      Was looking through their box one guy that jumped out at me was SS Joe Panik (He played 2B in this one, but is listed at SS). Did some research and he was a first round pick in 2011 and he's put up an impressive combo of SB/HR throughout his minor league career. OPS is good too for his position. He's also 22, so fairly young and has been advancing at a steady pace. You'd think he'd be a borderline top 100 player, but I couldn't find him in any (not even Sickels 150). He'd be a player I'd really like to have. For the record, he went 0-3 with a BB.
      Yeah, Panik was a SS drafted one spot ahead of Levi Michael in the 2011 draft and a lot of Twins fans were dissapointed. Had they both been available I guess we'll never know which one the Twins would have taken.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      It is interesting to see what he does in AA. The thing that is interesting about it is that his success is at least as good as in college, and yet many say college is like low A. Seth, can his slider work at higher levels at that speed? Does it break that much?
    1. chopper0080's Avatar
      chopper0080 -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      The defense in New Britain is an embarrassment. Something needs to change there.
      Buxton and Morales would probably improve that though I doubt the Twins would be that agressive with Buxton.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      My guess is that Buxton gets promoted when Morales does and takes his place.
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