• Twins Minor League Report (6/25): A Night of Debuts

    It was a night of debuts in the Twins system Tuesday. Aaron Hicks finally made his first ever appearance in a AAA game as he started rehab from his hamstring injury. Logan Darnell also made his AAA debut. Matt Summers replaced Darnell in the Rock Cats rotation and started Tuesday. And likely, the debut you were most looking forward to came in Palm Beach as Byron Buxton played his first game for the Miracle. How did their debuts go, and how was 2013 draft pick Tanner Mendonca in his professional debut?

    Check out what happened in the Twins farm system on Tuesday:

    Rochester Red Wings 3, Indianapolis Indians 5

    Box Score

    Aaron Hicks made his AAA debut on Tuesday night in Indianapolis. He made out in his first at-bat, but had a single, a double and an RBI single in his next three plate appearances. Following the double, he attempted to score from second base on a passed ball. He was out, but that indicated his hamstring was at 100%. It will be interesting to see how he is able to come back on Wednesday after running in this game. He was the teamís DH, so he will still need to get some time in the outfield before he is fully ready to come back.

    Hicks had three of the Red Wings five hits in this game. Jeff Clement hit his 12th home run of the season.

    Logan Darnell made his first AAA start. He gave up a solo home run in the first inning to Josh Harrison before posting a 1-2-3 second frame. He got the first two outs of the third inning, then he walked the next two batters. He was taken out with what play-by-play man Josh Whetzel guessed was a blister. In total, he gave up one run on two hits. He walked three and struck out two in just 2.2 innings. Luis Perdomo replaced him and went the next 2.1 innings. He gave up two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out two. Aaron Thompson gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in two innings. He struck out two. Cody Eppley pitched a scoreless inning.

    New Britain Rock Cats, Altoona Curve


    The game was suspended after two innings with the score of 3-0 Rock Cats. Matt Summer didnít give up a run in his AA debut in those two frames. Curt Smith hit a three-run homer in the 2nd. The game will continue Ö

    Ft. Myers Miracle 4, Palm Beach 5

    Box Score

    Byron Buxton was the big story of this game. Baseballís best prospect made his much-anticipated Miracle debut. As he had with the Kernels, he hit leadoff and played center field. He singled in his second at-bat, but was subsequently thrown out attempting a steal. He was 1-5 in the game. Mike Kvasnicka continues to hit well; in this game, he was 2-3 with a walk and his third home run. Jhon Goncalves hit his ninth double.

    Jason Wheeler had a rough one. The lefty gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks in four innings. Ryan OíRourke came on and went three scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, walked one and struck out two. Jose Gonzalez worked a scoreless eighth inning.

    Cedar Rapids Kernels 6, Burlington Bees 4

    Box Score

    With Buxton promoted, it was Max Kepler taking over in center field for the Kernels. He has taken up some of the offensive slack produced by Buxton's promotion. On this night, he got a chance to play hero. Having doubled earlier in the game, Kepler came up in a tied game in the 8th inning, and launched a two-run homer that proved to be the game winner. Through five games, he is now hitting .318 with a 1.011 OPS. He is 7-22 and has four doubles and home run. Nice to make a good first impression!



    Jorge Polanco added his ninth triple and drove in three runs. JD Williams was 1-2 with a walk. Dalton Hicks knocked his 23rd double.

    Mason Melotakis was on the mound for the Kernels. The lefty went the first six innings and was charged with four runs (3 earned). He gave up five hits, walked three and struck out five. Tim Atherton came on to start the seventh. He got two outs and walked two. Kaleb Merck went the final 2.1 innings and it was 7 up, 7 down with three strikeouts.

    Elizabethton Twins 8, Greeneville Astros 4

    Box Score

    The offense showed up Monday, and the E-Twins improved to 5-1 on the season. Rory Rhodes went 3-5 with his third double. Mitch Garver was 2-5 with his second and third doubles. Zach Granite was 2-3 with a walk, a triple and his first pro stolen base. Romy Jimenez was 2-5 with a triple. Javier Pimentel went 2-5.

    Tanner Mendonca made his first pro start; he went the first three innings and did not allow a run. He gave up two hits, walked three and struck out three. Tim Shibuya came on in relief and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in four innings. He improved to 2-0. Carson Goldsmith gave up two runs on three hits in the final two innings.

    GCL Twins 6, GCL Rays 5

    Box Score

    You take the good, you take the bad. You take them both and there you have it, life in the minor leagues. In the GCLís first two games, Amaurys Minier went 4-7 with a double, triple and home run. On Tuesday, he went 1-5 with four strikeouts. In his last two games, he has gone 1-9 with seven strikeouts. Even for the most talented players, it is a process and is about development.
    Joel Polanco went 2-4 with a triple and two RBI. Will Hurt went 2-2 with a walk. Chad Christensen was 2-5. Lance Ray went 0-4 with two strikeouts in his rehab game.

    Chih-Wei Hu started and gave up four runs on six hits in 4.1 innings. He walked none and struck out four. Jose Abreu came on and went the next 2.2 innings. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out one. Josh Guyer picked up the save. He went the final two innings and gave up one run on two hits and a walk, striking out four.


    Please feel free to comment or ask questions below.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report (6/25): A Night of Debuts started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      what was the setback that WRamirez had? Just basic concussion issues??
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      The report is the Ramirez tried to make a diving catch on Saturday night in a Miracle game and suffered more concussion symptoms.
    1. Twins45's Avatar
      Twins45 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      The report is the Ramirez tried to make a diving catch on Saturday night in a Miracle game and suffered more concussion symptoms.
      Seth, do you know when Kohl Stewart is going to make his GCL debut?
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I'd say basestealing is the skill Buxton needs a lot of work on right now.....again, Seth, thanks for doing this. One of the first things I read every am.
    1. Boone's Avatar
      Boone -
      Any chance the Twins keep Hicks in AAA "rehabbing?" This is the perfect time to let him develop for a few weeks in AAA. Sending Arcia back down has seemed to help him out, so I'm hoping the Twins do the same thing with Hicks.
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boone View Post
      Any chance the Twins keep Hicks in AAA "rehabbing?" This is the perfect time to let him develop for a few weeks in AAA. Sending Arcia back down has seemed to help him out, so I'm hoping the Twins do the same thing with Hicks.
      They are severely lacking in RHH OFs, so Hicks is actually needed as is (esp if Ramirez is done for awhile). I think they will keep him in ROC as they dont have a transaction that they want to make.
      I have no problem with keeping him down as long as its not to get his 20 days in to get a 7th yr of service time as there is gonna be no way that Hicks is w/MN when that 7th year comes but shouldnt affect his arbitration time.
    1. Twinsfan46's Avatar
      Twinsfan46 -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      They are severely lacking in RHH OFs, so Hicks is actually needed as is (esp if Ramirez is done for awhile). I think they will keep him in ROC as they dont have a transaction that they want to make.
      I have no problem with keeping him down as long as its not to get his 20 days in to get a 7th yr of service time as there is gonna be no way that Hicks is w/MN when that 7th year comes but shouldnt affect his arbitration time.
      Because he was put on the MLB DL this time in AAA doesn't stop his clock, I don't believe. I think that I would actually like to see him back up with the Twins to balance out the lineup a bit. He was starting to slowly turn it around when he got hurt.
    1. Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
      Cap'n Piranha -
      There is no reason to keep Hicks in AAA. He needs to be in the bigs, getting AB's, and if that means Clete Thomas collects splinters, so be it. Hicks and Arcia are foundational players for our next wave, and should not be messed with. Also, when will some of the other Cedar Rapids guys go to Fort Myers? In particular, Polanco and Hicks.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Twinsfan46 View Post
      Because he was put on the MLB DL this time in AAA doesn't stop his clock, I don't believe. I think that I would actually like to see him back up with the Twins to balance out the lineup a bit. He was starting to slowly turn it around when he got hurt.
      Yeah rehab assignments still are included in MLB service time. Of course they could still demote him, but I don't think that's the right move.
    1. MWLFan's Avatar
      MWLFan -
      The more I see of Polanco the more I like him at 2nd. (Not SS) His bat is ready for the next level, maybe the one after that. I think his D is ready too at 2nd. Goodrum is the one I am more interested in seeing how the Twins handle. He is the best SS prospect I have seen come through the MWL for the Twins and is coming back from injury. How long they keep him in CR will be interesting to watch.
    1. MWLFan's Avatar
      MWLFan -
      Also good to see Rory Rhodes having some success at the plate in E-Town. The Kernals may not lose a beat at 1B when Vargas shifts to NB and Hicks goes to FM. Rory has some pop in that Aussie bat and will be nice to have him back in the MWL.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Twins45 View Post
      Seth, do you know when Kohl Stewart is going to make his GCL debut?
      Earlier today, Mike Berardino tweeted that Stewart and Gonsalves would likely not pitch for a couple of weeks, maybe July 10th range. They haven't pitched for awhile, so they'll get them through some bullpens and such first.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Piranha View Post
      Also, when will some of the other Cedar Rapids guys go to Fort Myers? In particular, Polanco and Hicks.
      I don't think Polanco moves up. I think Hicks and Vargas are tied together. As long as Vargas is in Ft. Myers, there's no reason to move Hicks up. I'm sure they'll both move up on the same day.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by MWLFan View Post
      The more I see of Polanco the more I like him at 2nd. (Not SS) His bat is ready for the next level, maybe the one after that. I think his D is ready too at 2nd. Goodrum is the one I am more interested in seeing how the Twins handle. He is the best SS prospect I have seen come through the MWL for the Twins and is coming back from injury. How long they keep him in CR will be interesting to watch.
      I would say he'll stay there all year as well, just my opinion. He's got plenty of developing to do, which is excited because he does have very good upside.
    1. Jim H's Avatar
      Jim H -
      One of the things people tend to ignore when they talk about their favorite hot prospect being promoted is that a coresponding move or more likely moves need to be made when that happens. Sometimes promotions occur when injuries happen, but even when that happens eventually some corresponding moves will have to be made.

      Sometimes players are just swapped, one is promoted, one is demoted. That really doesn't happen too often though. Usually when a hot prospect is promoted, a whole series of moves often happen around him, with someone often getting released.

      Another consideration is, you want your best prospects to be playing everyday, at their optimum position. Ideally you have 4 good shortstop prospects(for example) one each at every full season level. The problem comes in when one deserves/needs to be promoted and the others don't or can't be(It could be hard to promote your AAA shortstop if you have a good major league one). I think one of the reasons(but hardly the most important one) that the Twins have their players work at more than one position is to help resolve these promotion issues.

      Years ago, the Twins and probably many other teams, did few in season promotions. Mostly just in response to injuries. One year Tim Laudner was left in AA all year even though he had super year hitting 40 home runs. That likely wouldn't happen anymore.

      I have no problems with in season promotions myself, I was just trying to point out why promotions often don't happen as fast as fans think they should, sometimes. Often the various corresponding moves have to be worked out so that one or more of the affiliates is not left shorthanded or perhaps so some prospect is not rushed to a level he is not ready for.
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