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  • Twins Minor League Report (7/21): Arcia, Sano, Walker Provide Power

    More close games in the system today. With the deadline looming, all affiliates at the max and all affiliates in their playoff hunts, it will be interesting to see how each team is shuffled in the coming weeks.

    The Twins, too, may be looking for help both sooner and later. Some of the guys on the doorstep fared well today; others didn’t.

    Box Score

    The Red Wings got back to their winning ways behind the left arm of Andrew Albers. He threw 91 pitches in 5.1 shutout innings. He struck out four and walked two. Albers collected his 10th win and dropped his ERA to 2.97. (How much longer before he replaces fellow Canadian Scott Diamond in the rotation? Discuss amongst yourselves.)

    Edgar Ibarra, making his second AAA appearance pitched 2.1 perfect innings, striking out four. He didn’t allow a ball out of the infield. If the Twins find themselves re-tooling their bullpen, Ibarra adds another lefty to the mix.

    Michael Tonkin pitched the ninth and it wasn’t pretty: two hits – including a home run – and a walk resulted in three earned runs. He struck out one.

    Oswaldo Arcia continues to make his presence felt. Today he was 3-for-4 with another home run.

    Eric Farris doubled in two runs.

    Chris Parmelee was 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.

    Logan Darnell starts tomorrow at 7:05 ET.

    Box Score

    The 9th inning rally fell short as Nate Hanson, who was batting as the potentially winning run, grounded into a fielder’s choice with both Danny Santana and Eddie Rosario on base.

    Pat Dean continued his consistently up-and-down season. Tonight, he managed only three innings, allowing four runs on five hits. With the Rochester rotation in flux and the trickle-down effect being felt in New Britain, Dean’s rotation spot is probably safe, but a move to the bullpen wouldn’t be surprising.

    Daniel Turpen pitched three shutout innings. Ryan O’Rourke gave up a run in 2/3 of an inning. Dakota Watts struck out one in recording four outs. Cole Johnson struck out the side in the 9th.

    More of the same offensively tonight: Nate Hanson homered.

    Miguel Sano hit another home run today and went 2-for-4. He struck out twice.

    Danny Santana had his fourth multi-hit game in his last five games. Eddie Rosario also had two hits and added a stolen base.

    D.J. Baxendale and B.J. Hermsen will both get starts in tomorrow’s doubleheader.

    Box Score

    Levi Michael’s RBI single in the top of the 7th was the difference in this rain-affected game.

    Aderlin Mejia doubled. Byron Buxton, Jhon Goncalves and J.D. Willams all added singles. Goncalves (8th) and Williams (2nd) both stole bases.

    Jason Wheeler pitched the first 5.1 innings before the rain delay. He struck out four while scattering three hits and two walks; he also hit a batter. He retired nine batters by groundout, two by flyout.

    Adrian Salcedo pitched the next 2.2 innings. He struck out four and allowed only two hits.

    Tyler Jones picked up his first High-A save with two strikeouts in the ninth inning. (This is interesting: Corey Williams hasn’t pitched since July 15, when he gave up five runs and recorded only one out.)

    Tyler Duffey looks to continue his stellar season tomorrow night at 6:35 ET.

    Box Score

    After “cooling off” yesterday – and by that I mean “not homering” - Adam Walker got back on it this afternoon. Hitting a 2-run, sixth-inning home run, Walker's blast accounted for enough runs to get the Kernels the win.

    Walker now has 21 home runs and 85 RBI. The 21 home runs lead the MWL by six over five others (including Travis Harrison). The 85 RBI are also league-leading. Former Kernel DJ Hicks had 82; the current second-place RBI man is Beloit 2B Chris Bostick with 70. Walker's slugging is 2nd to only super-prospect Byron Buxton, now at High-A Ft. Myers.

    Adam Walker has been swinging such a hot bat, he needs to apply sunscreen to himself.

    So why is Walker not a top prospect you ask? Well, the strikeout rate has always been concerning, but this year has been an improvement. He’s athletic enough to hold down a corner outfield position (for now anyway). The biggest factor is he’s of league-average age. What you’re buying in Walker is his power – and no doubt it’s there – probably a 70 tool. The difference between him and his measuring stick, Miguel Sano, is that Sano showed more power in the same league at nearly two years younger than Walker. Walker missed Baseball America’s preseason Top 30 Twins prospects, but was included in their “Plus One” Edition, checking in at 31st. He should be ranked considerably higher coming into next year.

    Many folks are wondering when Walker is going to be promoted to Fort Myers. There isn’t a rush. Much like the Twins wanted to see how Kennys Vargas did without Miguel Sano in the lineup, Adam Walker is getting a chance to prove his worth without Byron Buxton and DJ Hicks in the lineup. While moving up yet this season is possible, it makes just as much sense to start Walker in Fort Myers in 2014 and move him up mid-season if the power keeps up. At that point, we’re looking at a 22-year old in AA and knocking on the door the following season (2015) at 23.

    Getting back to today’s game, Walker’s college teammate Jonathan Murphy reached base four times (2-for-3, two walks) and Jorge Polanco, Max Keper and Travis Harrison all doubled. The offense, again, was done in by a lack of production with runners in scoring position (0-for-5).

    Also of note, Niko Goodrum was injured while covering second base on a stolen base attempt. He left the game with a twisted knee. Joel Licon replaced him at second base, while Polanco got the start at shortstop.

    Mason Melotakis got his 8th win of the season, going six innings. He allowed a run on four hits. He struck out six and reports were that he looked good. There is some concern with his four wild pitches, but a 9:3 GO:FO rate is pretty good. Melotakis, who pitched a combined 86 innings last year, is already over 90 for this season. It will be interesting to see how he is handled as the year progresses and the playoffs approach.

    David Hurlbut picked up a three-inning save, his sixth, with three perfect innings.

    J.O. Berrios will be on the hill at Fort Wayne tomorrow at 6:05 pm.

    Box Score

    After E-Town staged a late-inning rally, a ninth-inning run by the Braves gave them a victory over the Twins.

    Randy Rosario hit the ground running this season, but has struggled in his last two starts. After giving up four earned runs on July 14, today he lasted only three innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits and, more alarmingly, four walks. He struck out three.

    The bullpen struck out ten in the final six innings (including Carson Goldsmith, 4 and Andre Martinez, 3). Brandon Peterson took the loss.

    Dereck Rodriguez was the standout offensive performer, contributing both a double and a home run while driving in two runs. His batting average is up to .306. Logan Wade also doubled. Stuart Turner and Mitch Garver both drove in a run.

    The series continues tomorrow at 7pm ET with Tanner Mendonca the scheduled starter.


    Kohl Stewart is scheduled to pitch tomorrow.

    Please leave your questions and/or comments below.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Minor League Report (7/21): Arcia, Sano, Walker Provide Power started by Jeremy Nygaard
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      Is Walker the 11th best prospect on his own team? Where would you rank him amongst the below list? Why or Why Not? That being said: Where would you rank Dalton Hicks and his 80+ RBI's?

      The following players would have or have already played in Cedar Rapids this year:
      PROSPECT RANKINGS on TWINS SITE - MLBPipeline.com | MLB Prospect Central | twinsbaseball.com: News
      1. Byron Buxton (2nd) -
      2. Jose Berrios (7th) -
      3. Max Kepler (8th) -
      4. J.T. Chargois (9th) -
      5. Luke Bard (11th) -
      6. Travis Harrison (12th) -
      7. Mason Melotakis (14th) -
      8. Hudson Boyd (15th) -
      9. Niko Goodrum (16th) -
      10. Jorge Polanco (17th) -
      11. Adam Brett Walker (18th)
      12. Dalton Hicks (NR)
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Off the top of my head, I put him sixth behind Buxton, Berrios, Kepler, Harrison and Polanco, in no particular order after Buxton. I'm guessing that the 8ish to mid-teen region is gonna be pretty interchangeable, though.

      Through the many Miracle transactions, I missed that Corey Williams was placed on the 7-day DL.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Re: Hicks- let's see how he does at an age-appropriate level over the rest of the year. Right now, he's not a Top 30 guy for me. Do well in the FSL and maybe I'll change my mind.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      I'd put Walker much higher in the rankings after this season. And it's not just numbers. My close friend with a good scouting eye said he was clearly the best player on the field after seeing him live in Cedar Rapids this year. Now, he's older than a lot of the guys there, so you have to factor that in. Such is the fate of college players in the Twins system. He is a man among boys there. You could say he should be a man among boys, but he has no control over his promotion schedule. I'd say he should be at the more age appropriate Fort Myers. I'm not going to penalize him in my rankings for earning a promotion and not getting one.

      One note from John Sickels over the weekend on Twitter that Walker has stolen 84 out of 85 bases in college and the pros. He said he is known for his power, but his speed is also a plus tool. This makes it ever more likely that he can stick at a corner outfield spot.
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      Albers should replace ineffective Diamond now. Ibarra or Tonkin could replace ineffective Duensing in the bullpen.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Walker is about 21.5/21.6 years old. The average hitter in the Midwest league is 21.3, and the average pitcher in the MWL is 21.9. He's really not "too old" for this level at all.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Walker is about 21.5/21.6 years old. The average hitter in the Midwest league is 21.3, and the average pitcher in the MWL is 21.9. He's really not "too old" for this level at all.
      I agree. I was just responding to the revised list Jeremy provided, where most of the players ahead of Walker on that list are younger than him. It is a very young team for that league. Still, I would put him ahead of everyone except Berrios on that team right now, though I am very high on Kepler, Polanco, and Harrison.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Yeah. He's of league-average age, most top prospects are younger.

      I'm heading down to watch him this weekend, curious to see how he looks.
    1. tjsyam921's Avatar
      tjsyam921 -
      What ever happened to Luke Bard? Still injured?
    1. lightfoot789's Avatar
      lightfoot789 -
      88 RBI in 91 Games is incredible production. 22 HRs isn't bad either. Walker at 21.6 years old in the Midwest League (A). He was projected as a possible 1st rounder at one point in the 2012 draft. He slipped for contact concerns. If the Twins would have taken him in the supplemental round that year and he was producing as he is now - Would he be a Top 10 prospect in the system following this year? or is it his draft round (3rd) concerns that continues to be a red flag?
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