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  • Twins Minor League Report (4/27): Parmelee Plays Hero

    The Twins and Tigers were rained out on Sunday, so the Twins were able to avoid Justin Verlander. Monday is a scheduled off day before a three-game series at Target Field against the Dodgers where they will see former AL Central nemesis Zach Greinke in Game 1.

    In the minors, there were a couple of very strong starts. One of the affiliates won on a walk-off, and another used some big extra base hits to mount a huge comeback. On the other hand, one affiliate gave up a late-inning lead. But, one affiliate scored a dozen runs. So, mix and match. Which affiliate did each of these? Read below to find out.


    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 3, Pawtucket 2 (10 innings)
    Box Score

    Chris Parmelee went 0-3 with three strikeouts. It threatened to end his 11-game hitting streak. However, he singled in the 8th inning to help the Red Wings tie the game and send it to extra innings. In the bottom of the tenth, Parmelee hit a walk-off home run to get the Wings back in the win column after two losses.

    Logan Darnell was on the mound and again very good. He was charged with two runs (1 earned) on five hits and a walk in 6.1 innings. He struck out six. As he walked to the mound for the seventh inning, he had not yet allowed a run. Yohan Pino came in to replace Darnell. He got the final two outs of the seventh inning and then worked three more scoreless innings. It wasn’t until the 10th inning he even gave up a base runner. He was helped by right fielder Doug Bernier who threw out a runner at the plate that inning. Pino struck out six in this outing. He is now 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA.

    Parmelee was 2-5 in the game with the big hits. James Beresford was 2-4.


    ROCK CATS REVIEW
    New Britain 5, Richmond 7
    Box Score

    The Rock Cats got a great start and got some big hits. Until the bottom of the 8th inning, this was a terrific game in Richmond for the Rock Cats. And then came the eighth inning.

    Virgil Vasquez started and threw six shutout innings. He gave up three hits, walked one and struck out four. Not bad coming off his previous start when he threw seven three-hit, shutout innings. Ryan O’Rourke came in for the seventh inning and gave up a run while striking out two.

    The Rock Cats grabbed the lead early. Brandon Waring, who had a nice showing in big league camp this spring but was hitting under .180 coming into this game, hit a first inning double that scored Nate Hanson and Kennys Vargas. The Rock Cats added two more in the fourth inning. Former Gophers Kyle Knudson and AJ Pettersen each had an RBI double. With two outs in the seventh inning, Nate Hanson was hit by a pitch and Vargas singled. Then Waring drove in his third run of the game with a single.

    The Rock Cats had a 5-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 8th inning. Dan Turpen came in. He gave up a single, a walk, a single and a bases-loaded walk before striking out a batter. He was replaced by Jim Fuller who hit the one batter he faced to make the score 5-3. Cole Johnson came on. He hit the next two batters he faced to tie the score at five. A single then scored two more runs before Johnson got the final two outs.

    Kennys Vargas was 3-4 with his fourth double. Brandon Waring was 2-5 with his sixth double and three RBI. AJ Pettersen went 2-4 with his first double. Reynaldo Rodriguez hit his seventh double, and Kyle Knudson hit his second double.


    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Ft. Myers 10, Palm Beach 7
    Box Score

    The Miracle had a bit of a miracle on Sunday afternoon. Down 5-0 after just two innings, the team fought back and came away with a great team victory.

    Alex Wimmers made the start. He went five innings and was charged with seven runs, though just four were earned. He gave up seven hits (2 homers) and walked three. He struck out two. Mason Melotakis came on and gave up two hits (and a hit batter) over two scoreless innings. Madison Boer earned his third save with two perfect innings.

    Down 7-2 going into the sixth inning, the Miracle put six on the board to take the lead. The inning started with walks to Adam Walker and Mike Gonzales before Niko Goodrum’s single loaded the bases. Max Kepler came to the plate and picked the perfect time for his first home run of the season, a grand slam that cut the lead to 7-6. After a pitching change, Tyler Grimes doubles. Following a Levi Michael walk, Travis Harrison doubled to score Grimes and tie the game. Jorge Polanco came up and hit a sacrifice fly to give the Miracle an 8-7 lead.

    The Miracle added some insurance in the bottom of the 8th inning when Travis Harrison doubled in Levi Michael and scored on a Jorge Polanco single

    Harrison was 3-5 with the two doubles, his fifth and sixth on the season. Polanco was 2-4. Levi Michael was 1-2 with three walks. Adam Walker was 0-2 but walked three times.


    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 12, Clinton 1
    Box Score

    When a team scores 12 runs in a game, you’d think we’d start with a note on the offense. Not in this game. Aaron Slegers started and was terrific. He went seven innings and gave up just one run on six hits. He walked none and struck out eight batters. Todd Van Steensel made his Kernels debut and had a one, two, three inning with two strikeouts. Christian Powell came in for the ninth. He gave up a hit, but he struck out two in a scoreless inning.

    Chad Christensen went 3-5 with a walk. He stole his sixth base. Zack Larson went 3-5 with his league-leading tenth double and his third stolen base. Ivory Thomas was 2-3 with two walks and his first stolen base and Midwest League home run. Mitch Garver was 2-4 with a walk. Tanner Vavra was 2-5 with his sixth double.


    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Slegers, Cedar Rapids Kernels
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Chris Parmelee, Rochester Red Wings

    MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    Charlotte @ Rochester (6:05 CST) – Alex Meyer (Listen)
    New Britain @ Harrisburg (6:00 CST) – Matt Summers (Listen)
    Bradenton @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) – Jason Wheeler (Listen)
    Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) – Ryan Eades (Listen)


    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Sunday games.
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. twinsfan34's Avatar
      twinsfan34 -
      Glad to see Mad Max get off the schnide with a little grand salami time.

      Polanco continues to amaze with his stick. He's only 5 months older than Buxton and he's hitting .354 at Ft Myers...pretty impressive, early, but still pretty impressive for 1 month of ball.

      Slegers is impressive as well...he's only 21 despite coming from the college ranks.

      47.2 IP 6 BB 1 HR 45 SO...it's "rookie" rookie ball and A ball, but those are some pretty solid numbers.

      It's seemingly been a down beginning due to nothing coming from our top 3 offensive prospects (Buxton, Sano, and Rosario), but still some signs of hope and surprises from other sources.

      Garver could continue to rake.

      We still have a ton of solid prospects in extended spring training - wish we could find out more on how they're doing.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsfan34 View Post
      Glad to see Mad Max get off the schnide with a little grand salami time.

      Polanco continues to amaze with his stick. He's only 5 months older than Buxton and he's hitting .354 at Ft Myers...pretty impressive, early, but still pretty impressive for 1 month of ball.

      Slegers is impressive as well...he's only 21 despite coming from the college ranks.

      47.2 IP 6 BB 1 HR 45 SO...it's "rookie" rookie ball and A ball, but those are some pretty solid numbers.

      It's seemingly been a down beginning due to nothing coming from our top 3 offensive prospects (Buxton, Sano, and Rosario), but still some signs of hope and surprises from other sources.

      Garver could continue to rake.

      We still have a ton of solid prospects in extended spring training - wish we could find out more on how they're doing.
      Following you around the threads, twinsfan. I think the Polanco situation is the most significant development offensively in the Twins system thus far. While there is a general consensus on TD to keep him down in Ft Myers for a couple more months, I would hope the Twins see what's happening with him and consider their options. The guy has turned it around, literally at the plate, his BB/K rate is in the positive range, about 1.33- and much better thn his career numbers, and nearly the best in the Florida State League, despite the fact that he's just about the youngest player in the league. And he's doing all this with all the added pressure of being placed on the 40-man and playing SS full-time.

      I propose that as soon as the weather finally breaks to move Polanco to SS at New Britain. The Rock Cats lineup is a complete train wreck right now. Can you imagine them with this lineup at the top of the order, instead: Buxton, Polanco, Rosario, Vargas, Walker, Hicks? This will help protect Polanco and get him up with the class that is likely to be breaking onto the big club's roster in the near future. (Kepler is probably going to move up more slowly- looks like a one level per year guy to me at this point).
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      There's nothing wrong with letting a guy be at a level for two months. In 10 years I've followed, I've seen so many guys have a strong month and then do nothing after that. Let the league adjust to him and see what adjustments he makes.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      There's nothing wrong with letting a guy be at a level for two months. In 10 years I've followed, I've seen so many guys have a strong month and then do nothing after that. Let the league adjust to him and see what adjustments he makes.

      And there's nothing wrong in seeing if he can hack it at a higher level, especially when he appears ready (at the plate, anyways) and, that there's a crying need at the next level for what he brings to the table. If you have any doubts about this, see: Mejia, Aderlin, for further confirmation of this fact. If Polanco struggles, he can simply retrace his steps and make the necessary adjustments back in Ft Myers, no harm done.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      There's nothing wrong with letting a guy be at a level for two months. In 10 years I've followed, I've seen so many guys have a strong month and then do nothing after that. Let the league adjust to him and see what adjustments he makes.
      This. It's not hard for a ball player to have a hot streak. He should be kept around long enough to know the difference between a hot streak and just domination. That's why the Twins typically wait until around the allstar break to start promoting. I'm guessing sometime in June he moves up if this continues. I'm also guessing he will rocket into the top 100 if this continues as well.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Slow and steady.....it has worked so well the last 10 years that this team has lost 90+ games three years in a row, but don't change anything......if this team had drafted Stanton or Fernandez, would they even be in the majors yet?
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      A year ago when Buxton started out so hot in CR, I spoke with someone in the Twins organization about when he might be promoted and was told they usually wait until June, in part because they like to see a player face the same team for a couple of series. Those teams make adjustments and the organization wants to see how the player handles those adjustments. You can't see that when he's only faced an opponent for one series.

      Made sense to me at the time. Still does.
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      In 10 years I've followed, I've seen so many guys have a strong month and then do nothing after that.
      Hey Seth...
      Please take this ribbing with the good-natured intention with which is was meant!

      So what exactly was Daniel Ortiz's line that first month in Beloit after he was your 'prospect to watch' in 2011? I remember his OPS was >1.000! And then he broke your heart (and the rest of us with you)!
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Danny Ortiz that year didn't have an OPS over .700 in any other month (I don't believe, if so, barely). There have been several others.

      I'm not saying Polanco is Danny Ortiz (not that that's a terrible thing), but I'm not ready to say he's Buxton (or Stanton or Fernandez) either. If he's promoted in June, that's still really fast for a 20 year old!
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Slow and steady.....it has worked so well the last 10 years that this team has lost 90+ games three years in a row, but don't change anything......if this team had drafted Stanton or Fernandez, would they even be in the majors yet?
      Are you kidding? We'd still be having an ongoing debate about whether they need to wait until June to make sure they hit the Florida State and Eastern League All-Star games. Actually, I jest on Stanton, he would have been on the Buxton/Arcia track and debuted at 22 instead of age 20 (two years ago). With pitchers though- it's a different story, we would all be fretting right now about Fernandez going through 2 levels in one year, as it "doesn't hurt to make sure he masters each level" before even considering in "rushing him before he's truly ready". Probably would have made his debut in September, 2015, at the very risky and tender age of 23.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Polanco's D at SS is not AA ready. Why send him up there to boot balls around?

      His valve as a SS is extraordinarily high. If he is able to master the SS position, he will become a top 20 MLB prospect. If he can't he is probably in the Top 50 range.

      I say, keep him at High A and let him work on his D while continuing to feast on High A pitching. If he can't cut it there defensively, send him up to AA as a second baseman.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      Polanco's D at SS is not AA ready. Why send him up there to boot balls around?

      His valve as a SS is extraordinarily high. If he is able to master the SS position, he will become a top 20 MLB prospect. If he can't he is probably in the Top 50 range.

      I say, keep him at High A and let him work on his D while continuing to feast on High A pitching. If he can't cut it there defensively, send him up to AA as a second baseman.
      The ball bounces the same at both levels. And his current struggles in the field are making no difference to his hitting success. If he's going to master playing SS, once the weather gets more summer-like, it matters little whether he works on mastering it at A+ or AA. But if you hold him back on his hitting development- as all the evidence suggests would be the case in this instance, you retard his potential development at the plate and his early readiness in reaching the big club by next mid-season.

      Finding a position for a middle infield masher would be a wonderful "problem" to have. AFter seeing him play in Cedar Rapids, I am more than willing to put up with a Jhonny Peralta level of defense, I think Polanco can eventually pass that low-bar level, and possibly SUR-pass Peralta's offensive prowess. Move him on up!
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      "if this team had drafted Stanton or Fernandez, would they even be in the majors yet" .357 for a month with horrendous defense does not equate to Stanton track record. His path is similar to Sano minus Sano's injury. Stanton did play 3 years in the minors so my answer to that one is yes, he would be. Fernandez was 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA in the minors with a 10.6 strikeout per 9 and a 2.4 walk per 9. Which one of our pitchers has done that? So my answer too that would be yeah, maybe not quite as quick but within a half year. Garza is probably the closest and he was promoted and did not do nearly as well as Fernandez which brings us to another approach. Which minor leaguer has performed so well with the Twins once brought up that has made you say "we should have brought them up a lot quicker"?
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      The Cardinals. The Rays. The Marlins (who have more WS wins lately).

      And I was not comparing Polanco to those guys, I was commenting on the philosophy that a guy has to play in the same league until June (their words, according to Seth) before he gets promoted. Sorry if that was misunderstood, I thought it was clear.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      "The ball bounces the same at both levels. And his current struggles in the field are making no difference to his hitting success. If he's going to master playing SS, once the weather gets more summer-like, it matters little whether he works on mastering it at A+ or AA. But if you hold him back on his hitting development- as all the evidence suggests would be the case in this instance" Absolutely true about the ball bouncing the same at both levels. Less than a month of hitting .361 does not rise to the level of all the evidence suggests, imo so not concerned at this point about retarding his progress. I am not against a promotion offensively more because he had a solid year last year but lets say he continues to hit well and is promoted in June. If he hits great there or just hits well and improves his fielding I don't see anything that would prevent his promotion by mid 2015 season to the Twins except similar development by Santana and good performance from Dozier. He will be promoted if he continues to hit like this but I am guessing there are a lot of guys in the system capable of hitting .360 for 22 games. The .308 over 500 at bats last year backing it up makes me feel better about him.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      Being promoted 1 level for every 250 at bats that you hit over .300 gets you to the majors pretty quickly if you are not blocked and show improvement defensively.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
      "The ball bounces the same at both levels. And his current struggles in the field are making no difference to his hitting success. If he's going to master playing SS, once the weather gets more summer-like, it matters little whether he works on mastering it at A+ or AA. But if you hold him back on his hitting development- as all the evidence suggests would be the case in this instance" Absolutely true about the ball bouncing the same at both levels. Less than a month of hitting .361 does not rise to the level of all the evidence suggests, imo so not concerned at this point about retarding his progress. I am not against a promotion offensively more because he had a solid year last year but lets say he continues to hit well and is promoted in June. If he hits great there or just hits well and improves his fielding I don't see anything that would prevent his promotion by mid 2015 season to the Twins except similar development by Santana and good performance from Dozier. He will be promoted if he continues to hit like this but I am guessing there are a lot of guys in the system capable of hitting .360 for 22 games. The .308 over 500 at bats last year backing it up makes me feel better about him.
      You listed Polanco's batting average, "as if that's the" only evidence. The .360 by itself in one month of play is meaningless by itself, and I've stated the underlying case for him previously is far more convincing. Like being one of the top hitting performers in the Dominican Winter League- which is full of mature players. Regarding his first month in the FSL, it's especially the underlying quality of his batting performance that is so encouraging.


      First off, it's a tough pitcher's league and Polanco is dominating it at an age nearly 3 years younger than league average.

      Secondly, Polanco has reversed his K/BB ratio, from 1.50 previous to this year, to 0.75 in Ft Myers.

      Third, this has led to dropping his K% from 12% to 9.8%, and his BB% going up from 8% to 13% this season.

      Fourth, up until this year, his LD% has hovered in the 17% range- this year he sits at 27.1%.

      Fifth, despite lowering his K% significantly, and his swinging KOs by 33%, he's actually increased his ISO power from .144 to .178, with commensurate increases in his SLG %.

      Finally, he's accomplished all of this with no plate protection behind him from the slumping Hicks and Walker.

      Taken as a whole, this indicates that he's made a huge jump in his understanding of what it takes to be a very successful hitter at this level. Time to move him up, where there is a huge need for him in New Britain, and he would have the chance to join in playing with the core group that will make up the bulk of the next wave of impact players with the Twins- including his potential MI partner, Eddie Rosario.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      The Cardinals. The Rays. The Marlins (who have more WS wins lately).

      And I was not comparing Polanco to those guys, I was commenting on the philosophy that a guy has to play in the same league until June (their words, according to Seth) before he gets promoted. Sorry if that was misunderstood, I thought it was clear.
      The Mets. The Astros. The Orioles. The Rays. The list goes on and on. And Sano was a bad example to compare to Stanton. Stanton played in Hi-A FSL in his 3rd pro year, Sano in his 4th year, with Sano shattering virtually every hitting number and making a mockery out of Stanton's numbers, which were the previous standard for the league. Sano spun his wheels in low A the year previous, when a mid-season promotion to Ft Myers was more than warranted. There's no doubt the Twins have slow-played their prospects, even some of their best ones.
    1. savvyspy's Avatar
      savvyspy -
      I always wonder where the constant defense of the Twins slow approach on minor leagers comes from. I don't think any successful team would look at the Twins and their history and say "This is the way to do it". They have basically no track record of being very good at getting talent to the majors. They are basically middle of the pack in roster age. Take a team like Atlanta. They have 3 starting infielders who are 24, 2 starting pitchers who are 23, and their starting RF is 23. They aren't even the youngest roster in the league. But it CAN be done and teams CAN and do aggressively move top guys through the minors. Just because the Twins never do based on an unproven philosophy doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.
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