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  • Twins Minor League Report (5/7): Top Pitching Prospects Dominate

    The Twins fell to the Indians 4-3 tonight in walk-off fashion, but received a quality start from Ricky Nolasco, who bucked his early season strikeout deficiency, and racked up nine K’s in his six innings.

    The strikeout trend would continue with a few of the Twins top pitching prospects on the evening.

    TRANSACTIONS
    The Twins activated their 2013 15th round draft pick, pitcher Derrick Pinella, and assigned him to Cedar Rapids. The 6’2” lefty pitched at the Mount San Antonio (California) Junior College where he pitched as both a starter and reliever. He made his first appearance of the season in the evening game (a forgettable one).



    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 0, Columbus 7
    Box score

    Trevor May got the start for the Red Wings, looking to build off his 11 K, 1 BB performance six days prior. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the same magic. A second inning two-run home run from Roberto Perez got the scoring started for Columbus, and they never looked back. May lasted 4.2 innings, allowing eight hits, five runs (four earned) with three walks and four strikeouts. He was relieved by Deolis Guerra, who finished off the fifth and the sixth, walking two and picking up one K. Edgar Ibarra then finished the game for Rochester. In two innings, he gave up two hits, two walks, and two runs with one strikeout.

    The Red Wings managed only four hits on the game, and were led by a 2-4 night from James Beresford. They threatened in the 4th and the 7th innings, but stranded runners on third both times. Chris Parmelee and Deibinson Romero provided the other two hits, both singles.

    ROCK CATS REVIEW
    Trenton 6, New Britain 4
    Box score

    Righthander Tyler Duffey took the mound, and retired the first twelve batters he faced as the Rock Cats built a 2-0 lead. In the fifth however, Duffey gave up a leadoff single that was followed by a home run off the bat of Kyle Roller, his Eastern League leading ninth of the season to tie the score at two (interesting note on Roller: he has these nine home runs while not qualifying for the Eastern League batting leaderboard, where he would be 2nd in BA, and 1st in OBP, slugging, and OPS). Duffey finished the 7th inning, allowing four runs on just four hits, but two of them were homers. He struck out four and did not issue a walk. Even with the inning-eating start, the Rock Cats bullpen got some exercise as the game went into extra innings. Adrian Salcedo, Jim Fuller, Daniel Turpen, and Ryan O’Rourke combined to throw five innings, allowed four hits and five strikeouts. O’Rourke was saddled with the loss after he too surrendered a two-run home run. Of note in the extended game, is the entirety of the pitching staff used did not issue a single base-on-balls (though they did have two HBP’s).

    The offensive contributions for the Rock Cats came from lead-off man Tony Thomas, who was 3-4 with a home run, three RBI, and a stolen base (was also caught stealing and picked off once each) and Kennys Vargas who was 3-6 with two doubles, though the three times he did not reach base he struck out and he was 3-3 at one point. Reynaldo Rodriguez, Mike Kvasnicka, and pinch-hitter Corey Wimberly collected New Britain’s three other hits on the night.

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Fort Myers 6, Jupiter 3
    Box score

    Twins Daily’s #6 Twins prospect, righty Jose Berrios, toed the rubber for the Miracle and was effectively erratic, which contributed to him lasting only five innings despite allowing only one hit and zero runs while racking up seven K’s. He was erratic only because he walked four batters. Mason Melotakis took over in sixth inning and pitched the next 2.1 innings giving up one hit and one walk, with two strikeouts. Madison Boer relieved Melotakis in the eighth inning and induced an inning-ending double play to end a threat, but would not fare as well in the ninth. A walk, double and home run plated the Hammerheads three runs before Boer recovered to retire the final three hitters.

    At the plate, eight of the nine hitters in the Miracle lineup collected hits, with Adam Brett Walker II providing two. Walker was also caught stealing for the second time this season and second time of his professional career in eighteen attempts. Extra-base hits were provided by Levi Michael with a bases clearing double in the 7th, and a triple from Niko Goodrum who went on to score. Byron Buxton continued to work his way back, singling in the fourth and he also struck out with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth.

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 3, Quad Cities 7
    Box score

    The Kernels jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the second inning, but those would be the only runs they could muster on the night. Jason Kanzler collected two hits, and Ivory Thomas drew three walks on the night. Engelb Vielma and Chad Christensen collecter their third and fourth doubles on the year, respectively. J.D. Williams and Zach Larson drove in two of the three runs, while the third scored on a bases loaded double-play ball off the bat of Mitch Garver.

    2014 first round pick, Kohl Stewart, continued his strong start to the 2014 season. He tossed five innings, allowing five hits and two walks, zero runs and struck out six. He lowered his ERA to 2.35 on the season in 30.2 innings, and sports a fantastic 0.88 WHIP after this start. As mentioned in the transactions section, Derrick Pinella made his 2014 debut but it was one he’d like to forget. He started with a groundball out, a walk, and then a strikeout, then proceeded to walk three consecutive batters before being replaced by Yorman Landa. Landa then walked the next 2 batters (with a passed ball thrown in). Hudson Boyd replaced him in the eighth and finished game, but allowed two runs, two hits and two walks before doing so.

    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jose Berrios, Fort Myers Miracle
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Kennys Vargas, New Britain Rock Cats

    THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    Rochester @ Columbus (5:35PM CST) – Scott Diamond
    New Britain @ Bowie (5:35PM CST) – TBD
    Fort Myers @ Jupiter (5:35PM CST) – David Hurlbut
    Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35PM CST) – Felix Jorge
    Comments 17 Comments
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Oops! fixed!
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Duplicate post deleted. My bad (SDB)
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      "Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jose Berrios, Cedar Rapids Kernels"

      I'd love to have Berrios back in Cedar Rapids this year, but unfortunately, he's in Fort Myers.

      Also, just thought I'd mention that Logan Wade, the Kernels infielder from Australia, dislocated his shoulder last night diving for a ball hit up the middle. Jake Mauer said after the game that they couldn't pop it back in to place and had to put him under. Nothing broken, from the x-ray, but he'll see a doctor in CR today and probably get an MRI.

      Kernels have really been bitten by the injury bug. Assuming Wade goes on the DL (which I think is a pretty safe bet), I think that's six guys already on the DL in the first six weeks of the season.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      Was expecting more and better from reading the headline. May getting beat up a bit, Berrios wildly effective and 5 innings with 5 hits and two walks did not live up to the dominating billing.
    1. kdrupp09's Avatar
      kdrupp09 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
      Was expecting more and better from reading the headline. May getting beat up a bit, Berrios wildly effective and 5 innings with 5 hits and two walks did not live up to the dominating billing.
      Stewart was pretty lights out though.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by kdrupp09 View Post
      Stewart was pretty lights out though.
      Kohl Stewart (19 years old) – Low A 25.2 IP, 2.35 ERA, .78 WHIP, 23 K

      Mark Appel (22 year old) - High A, 13 IP, 6.23 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 13 K

      Jon Gray (22 years old) - Double A ,29.2 IP, 3.64 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 32 K
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Stewart's stuff is too much for low A players. Kind of like Delmon Young's* natural talent was too much for low A pitchers. It's things like this that make me want to move natural talents faster, rather than slower. Challenge them. I would hope Stewart moves up by June or so.

      *I am NOT comparing their careers......but how their talent is too much for low A
    1. maxisagod's Avatar
      maxisagod -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Stewart's stuff is too much for low A players. Kind of like Delmon Young's* natural talent was too much for low A pitchers. It's things like this that make me want to move natural talents faster, rather than slower. Challenge them. I would hope Stewart moves up by June or so.


      *I am NOT comparing their careers......but how their talent is too much for low A
      But Young was moved too quickly, he relied on his natural talents, but didn't develop better skills, like approach, keeping in shape during the season, or learning about this thing called taking a walk.

      Stewart might even be able to blow away high A batter if he uses just two pitches, but the Twins are trying to develop an ace, and having a 4-5 MLB ready pitches to do it, now is the time for Stewart to learn how to pitch and not just throw. I'm fine keeping him in low A all year if he keeps progressing towards that goal.
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
      Was expecting more and better from reading the headline. May getting beat up a bit, Berrios wildly effective and 5 innings with 5 hits and two walks did not live up to the dominating billing.
      0 runs allowed in 10 innings with only 6 hits allowed and 13K's between them is okay for that billing on those guys for me (I don't include May in this category). They are both 19 years old playing in full season leagues. Sure, I'd like to see less walks, but did any of them score? No, and that's because they were dominant enough to shut down any of their own mistakes.
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Quote Originally Posted by maxisagod View Post
      Stewart might even be able to blow away high A batter if he uses just two pitches, but the Twins are trying to develop an ace, and having a 4-5 MLB ready pitches to do it, now is the time for Stewart to learn how to pitch and not just throw. I'm fine keeping him in low A all year if he keeps progressing towards that goal.
      Reports I've read on Stewart about his first few starts mentioned that he didn't throw a single slider, which means his best pitch has been left out of the equation so far, as well. Though I can't say if that has still been the case as it's warmed up a bit now.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by maxisagod View Post
      But Young was moved too quickly, he relied on his natural talents, but didn't develop better skills, like approach, keeping in shape during the season, or learning about this thing called taking a walk.

      Stewart might even be able to blow away high A batter if he uses just two pitches, but the Twins are trying to develop an ace, and having a 4-5 MLB ready pitches to do it, now is the time for Stewart to learn how to pitch and not just throw. I'm fine keeping him in low A all year if he keeps progressing towards that goal.

      Agreed, they should help him learn to pitch. My point is, he can do that at high A (middle of this year) and be more challenged.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by maxisagod View Post
      But Young was moved too quickly, he relied on his natural talents, but didn't develop better skills, like approach, keeping in shape during the season, or learning about this thing called taking a walk.

      Stewart might even be able to blow away high A batter if he uses just two pitches, but the Twins are trying to develop an ace, and having a 4-5 MLB ready pitches to do it, now is the time for Stewart to learn how to pitch and not just throw. I'm fine keeping him in low A all year if he keeps progressing towards that goal.
      I think that speaks more to how un-coachable Delmon was. We had him from 22 to 26 or so and he was still un-coachable. So keeping him in lower levels and trying to change his approach at 19 or 20 was probably not going to work. He knew it all and that is why he is on track to be a hall of famer and not a bust.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      Quote Originally Posted by kdrupp09 View Post
      Stewart was pretty lights out though.
      He was the 5 innings, 5 outs and 2 walks I was referring to. Nice outing but not how I describe lights out or dominating.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      " 0 runs allowed in 10 innings with only 6 hits allowed and 13K's between them is okay for that billing on those guys for me" I wasn't knocking them but don't really consider 12 base runners in 10 innings to be dominant. Effectively erratic or maybe erratically effective would have been the best descriptions because yes, to their credit, they didn't let any score..
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dantes929 View Post
      " 0 runs allowed in 10 innings with only 6 hits allowed and 13K's between them is okay for that billing on those guys for me" I wasn't knocking them but don't really consider 12 base runners in 10 innings to be dominant. Effectively erratic or maybe erratically effective would have been the best descriptions because yes, to their credit, they didn't let any score..
      And that's fair. I suppose it is not the best wording, but I did need a headline...
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
      Reports I've read on Stewart about his first few starts mentioned that he didn't throw a single slider, which means his best pitch has been left out of the equation so far, as well. Though I can't say if that has still been the case as it's warmed up a bit now.
      I just opened a new thread with a video of Stewart from last night. Not great video, but it's out there for your viewing pleasure.
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
      And that's fair. I suppose it is not the best wording, but I did need a headline...
      "...dominat...esque?"
      "...dominat...ey?"
      "...dominat....ish?"
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