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  • Minnesota Twins Minor League Report (6/11): Boss Berrios

    The Twins got multi-hit games from seven hitters and seven shutout innings (nine strikeouts) from Phil Hughes on their way to a 7-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Joe Mauer and Kendrys Morales each had three hits, and Hughes improved to 7-2 on the season.

    Following the game, the Twins optioned Josmil Pinto to Rochester where he’ll join the Red Wings in Lehigh Valley on Thursday. The Twins will be adding a catcher to their roster on Thursday or before the game on Friday. Also, you can expect to hear about several Twins draft pick signings on Thursday.

    However, this is the Minnesota Twins Minor League Report, so let’s see what happened in the Twins farm system on Wednesday:

    RED WINGS REPORT


    No game scheduled.


    ROCK CATS REVIEW
    New Britain 8, Reading 5
    Box Score

    The Rock Cat bats powered their way to another win. Sam Fuld, in what likely was his final rehab game, went 3-5 with a walk and his second double. Brandon Waring hit his fourth and fifth home runs of the season. He also walked and was hit by a pitch. Matt Koch and Tony Thomas were both 2-4 with a walk. Kennys Vargas was 2-5 and drove in two runs.

    Sean Gilmartin gave up a lot of hits but was able to limit the damage. In five innings, he gave up 11 hits but just four runs. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out six. Mark Hamburger came on and gave up one run over his two innings. He gave up a solo homer. Jim Fuller gave up two hits but no runs over two innings. Cole Johnson recorded his fifth save when he struck out two in a perfect inning.


    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Ft. Myers 7, Charlotte 6
    Box Score

    The Miracle got yet another terrific start from JO Berrios. The offense supported him, and the team was able to hang on at the end for the win.

    Berrios went six innings and gave up two runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Steven Gruver struck out two over two perfect innings. With a five-run lead, Tyler Jones came on for the ninth inning. He was charged with four runs, all unearned, in the ninth, but was able to close the game for a one-run victory.

    Stuart Turner gave the Miracle an early lead with a two-run homer in the second inning. Michael Gonzales was also 1-3 with a walk and a home run. He drove in three runs. The Miracle had just six hits but they also walked six times. Travis Harrison doubled for the 18th time this season.

    In his last nine starts, Berrios has been incredible. He has gone 6-1 with a 1.75 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP, 11.5 K/9 and a 2.6 BB/9.




    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 5, Quad Cities 4
    Box Score

    This was a tight game throughout. The Kernels scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, then gave up three runs in the top of the ninth and barely hung on for the win.

    Phenom Fernando Romero made the start and went four innings. He gave up one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out one. 46 of his 76 pitches were strikes. SD Buhr pointed out that his fastball was sitting between 91 and 96 mph. He was replaced by Brandon Bixler who struck out two over three perfect innings. Hudson Boyd pitched a scoreless eighth inning. However, he gave up three runs in the ninth inning and got just the first two outs. Todd Van Steensel recorded his sixth save by getting a fly out to left.

    Mitch Garver went 3-4. Tanner Vavra and Bryan Haar each went 2-4. Jon Murphy was 2-3 with his second double. Jason Kanzler hit his sixth home run. Chad Christensen hit his third triple and drove in three runs.


    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – JO Berrios, Ft. Myers Miracle
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Brandon Waring, New Britain Rock Cats

    THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) – Yohan Pino (Listen)
    New Britain @ Reading (6:05 CST) – Virgil Vasquez (Listen)
    Charlotte @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) – Matt Tomshaw (Listen)
    Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) – Ryan Eades (Listen)


    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Wednesday games.


    A quick reminder:

    Thanks to the Twins win over the Blue Jays Wednesday, it means that on Thursday you can get 50% off a Large of Extra Large pizza when you use the “TWINSWIN” promotion code at PapaJohns.com.
    Comments 45 Comments
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Polanco has been leading off a lot these days. I'm not sure that is the place for him. He gets on base enough, but I think 2 or 3 suits better.
      It seems that his slump has corresponded to that switch, but I can't find stats to that level of detail for FM.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      Polanco has been leading off a lot these days. I'm not sure that is the place for him. He gets on base enough, but I think 2 or 3 suits better.
      It seems that his slump has corresponded to that switch, but I can't find stats to that level of detail for FM.
      Polanco isn't going to be a 3-4-5-6 type of hitter in the big leagues. He'll be a 1-2-8-9 hitter in the big leagues. It's about getting him as many plate appearances as they can, and that can be leading off. The spot in the batting order shouldn't affect his approach.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      If I was a betting man, I would see him as a #2 hitter. But maybe #3 If he is a 8th or 9th hitter when/if he becomes a big league regular, something went wrong.
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      Did Pino take someone's spot in the AAA rotation?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      If I was a betting man, I would see him as a #2 hitter. But maybe #3 If he is a 8th or 9th hitter when/if he becomes a big league regular, something went wrong.
      He's not a power hitter. As Lew Ford once told me, there are guys who drive in runs and there are guys who score runs. I would say that Polanco fits into the latter category. I think that he can be a #2 hitter, and that would be great. If he's hitting 8th or 9th, that means the lineup if functioning really well and that would likely be a pretty exciting team to watch.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      If I was a betting man, I would see him as a #2 hitter. But maybe #3 If he is a 8th or 9th hitter when/if he becomes a big league regular, something went wrong.
      When you take into consideration who all should be in the Twins' line up along with Polanco by the time he reaches the Show, I might argue that if he's your #3-4-5-6 hitter, something went wrong with several other guys.
    1. LimestoneBaggy's Avatar
      LimestoneBaggy -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      If I was a betting man, I would see him as a #2 hitter. But maybe #3 If he is a 8th or 9th hitter when/if he becomes a big league regular, something went wrong.
      Or something went really right
    1. slash129's Avatar
      slash129 -
      So does JO get the bump to New Britain after the first half wraps up, or is he better served staying at this level a full season considering his age?
    1. Trevor0333's Avatar
      Trevor0333 -
      Berrios has been utterly dominating, bump him up a level already.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      If I was a betting man, I would see him as a #2 hitter. But maybe #3 If he is a 8th or 9th hitter when/if he becomes a big league regular, something went wrong.
      Since when did we start setting the bar so high for our middle infielders?

      Can't wait to see Berrios in AA. When/if that happens he will be two levels ahead of Eades and picked only one year before him. I think the perception of "safe" or "MLB ready" pitchers is largely over-estimated.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      If you assume a couple of the AAA pitchers (say Meyer and May, just for the sake of argument) will move up in June and the guys they replace are released or traded, that would set off a chain reaction and I'd expect Berrios to get promoted.

      Almost everyone in the Twins organization that I've ever asked about promotions have said some form of, "when a guy dominates his current level over an extended period where he faces teams more than once, we start looking to promote him." Pretty hard to find many guys that description fits more appropriately than Berrios right now.
    1. slash129's Avatar
      slash129 -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      Since when did we start setting the bar so high for our middle infielders?
      Hey, these numbers are to be regularly expected

      64 251 54 61 114 11 0 14 33 41 0 53 14 4 .243 .353 .454 .808 0.77
    1. twinsbaby's Avatar
      twinsbaby -
      Fernando Romero pitched four innings, but he just 1 K. So, is he another overrated prospect or just pitch-to-contact? Why our pitchers always can't miss crazy bats?

      Jose Berrios is a better prospect than Kohl Stewart. NOT EVEN CLOSE. He is legit.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Got to think Berrios is headed to NB soon.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Regarding Berrios to AA... my thoughts a month ago were that he had pitched well but was so young, so let's see how he continues to do. At this point, he's at a half-season of dominance. I'd say 2-3 more starts like this and he could move up.
    1. twinsin17's Avatar
      twinsin17 -
      What is Berrios doing better this season that is making him more effective than he was against inferior competition in A ball?
    1. 2wins87's Avatar
      2wins87 -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsbaby View Post
      Fernando Romero pitched four innings, but he just 1 K. So, is he another overrated prospect or just pitch-to-contact? Why our pitchers always can't miss crazy bats?
      Jeez, small sample size much? He had 6 Ks in 5 innings in his first start. I wouldn't sweat a single performance.

      Reports are that he's added a few more MPHs to his fastball this year and his breaking ball is a legit swing and miss pitch if it's on.
    1. 2wins87's Avatar
      2wins87 -
      Berrios started falling a part a bit (presumably due to fatigue) around this time last year. That said, his first half has been even better than last year and he's already pitched a lot more innings than he had this time last year. The biggest thing is to see him hold up through the entire season. It'd be pretty nice to see him knocking on the door to the majors next year, but I'm more worried about seeing him build up his stamina this year rather than how quickly he moves.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsbaby View Post
      Fernando Romero pitched four innings, but he just 1 K. So, is he another overrated prospect or just pitch-to-contact? Why our pitchers always can't miss crazy bats?

      Jose Berrios is a better prospect than Kohl Stewart. NOT EVEN CLOSE. He is legit.
      Care to define what NOT EVEN CLOSE is? Kohl Stewart is widely regarded as a potential Ace with a plus fastball and plus slider. Berrios is a year further along and is therefor more polished. Lets see how Stewart performs the rest of the year.

      Not taking anything away from Berrios, but you're not being fair to a guy that has 75 professional innings.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsin17 View Post
      What is Berrios doing better this season that is making him more effective than he was against inferior competition in A ball?
      A year ago, Berrios spent the weeks leading up to the season being used sparingly out of the Puerto Rico bullpen in the WBC. When he did join the CR rotation later in April, he was still being stretched out. He had stuff, but he also tended to lose some composure/focus when things started going bad in a particular inning (as often happens at low-A).

      I haven't seen him since March in ST, but I would speculate that having a full spring training to prepare for a rotation role and another full year of physical/mental maturity may combine to see the improved results this season. Hopefully, a more 'normal' year also will mean having the stamina to be more effective through to the end of the minor league season.

      I'm really glad to see him having this kind of success this year.
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