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  • Twins Minor League Report (6/16): Kernels Krumble

    Coming into Sunday, the final day of the first half of the Midwest League season, the Cedar Rapids Kernels had won just three of their last ten games. Meanwhile, the Beloit Snappers had won eight of ten. Both teams had clinched a playoff spot, but each was a possible winner of the division crown. For the Kernels, they had to win AND the Snappers needed to lose. So, what happened? Well, you’ll need to read below for the answer. Another question to ask: did Byron Buxton and/or anyone else play their last game for Cedar Rapids?

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

    Rochester Red Wings 6, Gwinnett Braves 3

    Box Score

    The bats showed up for the Red Wings on Sunday. Chris Colabello, Jeff Clement and Dan Rohlfing all homered in a four-run fifth inning to give Rochester all the runs they needed. Colabello was 2-4 with his 21st double and the homer was his 14th. Clement’s homer was his 10th. Rohlfing went 2-3 with a walk. The homer was his second of the weekend. He also stole his first AAA base. Chris Herrmann added his sixth home run. Deibinson Romero went 2-4 with his third double. Doug Bernier hit his eighth and ninth doubles.

    Cole De Vries got the win. He went 5.1 innings and gave up three runs. He allowed eight hits, walked none and struck out five. Blake Martin gave up two hits over 2.2 scoreless innings, striking out two. Michael Tonkin struck out two in a scoreless ninth.



    New Britain Rock Cats 2, Harrisburg Senators 5

    Box Score

    The Rock Cats had plenty of hits but were unable score enough to win. DJ Baxendale started. He gave up four runs on six hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out one. Bobby Lanigan gave up one run on a walk and two hits in the 7th. Dakota Watts and Dan Turpen each worked a scoreless inning.

    Danny Ortiz led the way with a 3-5 day. Kyle Knudson was 2-3 with a walk. Jordan Parraz, Nate Hanson and Reynaldo Rodriguez were each 2-5. Miguel Sano was 0-3 to drop his batting average to .091 through his first five games with the Rock Cats. He is 1-11, but he has six walks and just three strikeouts.

    Ft. Myers Miracle


    All-Star break’s last day. The Miracle start their second half on Monday night, with Tyler Duffey on the mound.

    Cedar Rapids Kernels 9, Peoria Chiefs 10

    Box Score

    Needing a win and a Snappers loss to win the first-half division title, the Kernels didn't have a good game, but they did have a chance at the end. The hitters showed up. The best news came in the form of the return of Niko Goodrum. The all-star shortstop has missed about two weeks after suffering a concussion; he went 3-4 with a walk and his 13th double. Dalton Hicks has been on fire. Sunday, he went 3-4 with his 21st double and his 12th home run (homering for the 3rd straight game). He also drove in six runs and ended the first half with 63 RBI. Jorge Polanco and JD Williams each went 2-4. Was it Byron Buxton’s final game with the Kernels? We’ll likely find out on Tuesday night or Wednesday, but if so, he ended his stay in the mid-west with two hits. The Kernels scored nine runs.



    Mason Melotakis got the nod on the mound. He gave up five runs on six hits and three walks in 6.1 innings. He struck out two. Tyler Jones came on and took it to the ninth.

    The Kernels held a 9-5 lead heading to the ninth. Beloit was down a run in the ninth inning of their game. Things were looking positive. Jones was able to get just one out in the ninth though and was charged with two runs. Josue Montanez came on and gave up two hits and hit a batter. He left and was replaced by Alex Muren who got the final two outs, but not before Peoria had scored five in the inning and taken a 10-9 lead .The Kernels were unable to score in the bottom of the 9th. The drama was for naught anyway, as Beloit had won in walk-off fashion to win the Western Division’s first-half title.

    The Midwest League All-Star game is Tuesday night. The second half will begin on Friday.


    Please feel free to comment or ask questions below.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report (6/16): Kernels Krumble started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. Pitz's Avatar
      Pitz -
      Very nice to see Niko back in action (and having a great game).
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      No question. It was a scary injury, so it's great that he's back and had a terrific first game.
    1. Jeff A's Avatar
      Jeff A -
      Looks like DeVries was pretty good for five innings before hitting the wall in the sixth.
    1. MWLFan's Avatar
      MWLFan -
      I made it down to CR to catch Buxton and maybe Hicks one last time. Was very happy to have seen Niko. A couple of other people around me were there to see Buxton before he went and we chatted about his tools and promise, but by the end of the game the players we talked about more were Niko, Polanco and Hicks. Niko looks good at Shortstop, for a taller middle infielder he moves well and covers a lot of ground. His foot work was solid and smooth and his arm strong and accurate. His bat is as advertised for yesterday at least. Dalton was hitting everything hard, his homer was a monster to right field and his double was a opposite field shot to the power alley in left that screamed over the left fielder. Polanco I have seen a few times now and finally get to see him at second were he looks more comfortable and natural. Once again his bat impressed me, this maybe lunacy but I like him as much as I liked Rosario last year for the Snappers. Two real good second baseman in the system. Guys who looked lost right now, Adam Walker. Chasing a lot of stuff low and away. JD Williams. He will probably move up and maybe he needs a boost, but I just don't see in him a player in this system that will make it past the log jam in the OF. Also the Kernals bullpen....wtf? Wow. Melotakis looked ok, he got a bad hop single in the second followed by a well hit double and then a infield hit that lead to 2 runs with one scoring on a DP. In the 5th he had some trouble with another long double and some singles leading to 1 run with a suicide squeeze play perfectly executed bringing in another. Over all I was a bit underwhlemed by his velcoity, he looked to be sitting in the 90-91 range with some 92-93 pitches. His control was good however and he fields his postion pretty well. Not sure if he is going to stay long term in the rotation, if he can bring the FB velocity up to mid 90's or so as a lefty reliever that could be his ticket. But this is just low A ball and a lot can happen.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Anyone who thinks the Kernels players didn't care about winning the first half championship once they locked in a playoff spot hasn't been anywhere near the players after the past few games. They were clearly upset at letting the first half division title get away.

      I give those guys credit, though, while going through an autograph session was probably the last thing any of them wanted to do after letting Sunday's game get away from them, they were all out in right field for the weekly fan autograph session after the game. Byron Buxton sat very patiently for a very long time until everyone who wanted his autograph got it. Classy all around.

      MWLFan, re: pitch speed, keep in mind the MPH on the CR scoreboard registers 1.5-2 MPH slower than actual speed because the gun is up at pressbox level. So when you see 91-93 on the board, the ball is actually coming in 92.5-95 mph.

      I confirmed that again recently with BA's JJ Cooper when he was in town. He told me he has a new model of the "Stalker" radar gun and it not only was registering 1.5-2 mph higher than the scoreboard, but also somewhat higher than what the Kernels pitchers who sit in the scouts area in civies during games charting pitches were getting with the team's older version of the "Stalker." (The pitchers obviously wish the team would get the new model so they would get credit for those extra MPH!)

      And... just to add a teaser... I interviewed Melotakis (as well as DJ Hicks) Saturday and I asked for his thoughts on starting vs relieving. Look for the interview to be posted in the next day or so.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by SD Buhr View Post
      Anyone who thinks the Kernels players didn't care about winning the first half championship once they locked in a playoff spot hasn't been anywhere near the players after the past few games. They were clearly upset at letting the first half division title get away.

      I give those guys credit, though, while going through an autograph session was probably the last thing any of them wanted to do after letting Sunday's game get away from them, they were all out in right field for the weekly fan autograph session after the game. Byron Buxton sat very patiently for a very long time until everyone who wanted his autograph got it. Classy all around.

      MWLFan, re: pitch speed, keep in mind the MPH on the CR scoreboard registers 1.5-2 MPH slower than actual speed because the gun is up at pressbox level. So when you see 91-93 on the board, the ball is actually coming in 92.5-95 mph.

      I confirmed that again recently with BA's JJ Cooper when he was in town. He told me he has a new model of the "Stalker" radar gun and it not only was registering 1.5-2 mph higher than the scoreboard, but also somewhat higher than what the Kernels pitchers who sit in the scouts area in civies during games charting pitches were getting with the team's older version of the "Stalker." (The pitchers obviously wish the team would get the new model so they would get credit for those extra MPH!)

      And... just to add a teaser... I interviewed Melotakis (as well as DJ Hicks) Saturday and I asked for his thoughts on starting vs relieving. Look for the interview to be posted in the next day or so.
      Anxious to hear about Melotakis. Is he still the #2 pitching prospect behind Berrios at Cedar Rapids? What has happened with his strikeout pitch and all of his wildness this season?
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Melotakis
      He is a relief pitcher. Twins are wasting his time trying to get him to start.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Nice to read about the autographs. Classy.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      Melotakis
      He is a relief pitcher. Twins are wasting his time trying to get him to start.
      I agree long-term, but I don't see it as a waste of time at all. Carlos Gutierrez was never able to figure out a 2nd pitch, but Melotakis has three pitches that are solid. He should work on those and that will make him a better, more dominant reliever long term as well.

      If it were me, I'd get him to 100 innings, then move him to the bullpen. or, I'd promote him now to the Ft. Myers bullpen. Then next year, I'd again have him start the season as a starter. And end it up a level in the bullpen.

      Also, there is a ton more value in starters than relievers, so if it does work out, that would be great. He's been solid enough as a starter in the first half not to give up on that.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I'm ok with leaving Melo as a starter for now, but there are other, more experienced minor leaguers who have never pitched well as a starter, if I'm them, I want to move to relief and see if I can have a career, or even a year or two.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I'm ok with leaving Melo as a starter for now, but there are other, more experienced minor leaguers who have never pitched well as a starter, if I'm them, I want to move to relief and see if I can have a career, or even a year or two.
      I also agree... Boer is the top example of that. When he returns from his non-baseball related broken hand, hopefully he's in the bullpen.
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