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  1. Minnesota’s Internal First Base Options

    Miguel Sano
    Over the last two seasons, Sano has played 20 games at first and he has logged 31 games at the position throughout his career. Sano has always had a strong arm at third base and that skill would be taken away with a move to first base. Besides his arm, he has struggled at the hot corner as he was the third lowest ranked AL third baseman according to SABR’s Defensive Index. Sano missed all of spring training last season due to an offseason injury and that could have hindered some defensive improvement.

    Mitch Garver
    Garver clocked 31 home runs last season and he was able to do this while being limited to 93 games. Health wasn’t an issue for Garver as the team used a rotation of Garver and Jason Castro behind the plate. Over the last three seasons, Garver has played parts of nine games at first, but he has made only four career starts at the position. If Minnesota could sign an underrated free agent like Alex Avila, it could open more time for Garver to move out from behind the plate.

    Marwin Gonzalez
    Gonzalez was signed last season because of his versatility and the veteran presence he would add to a young line-up. He’s played over 200 games at first base during his career and the Twins used him for over 160 innings last year at first. Minnesota was forced to use Gonzalez for 59 games in the outfield last season because of injuries to multiple players. If Gonzalez is penciled in as the everyday first baseman, that takes away some of his value because his versatility would be taken away.

    Alex Kirilloff
    Minnesota’s future at first base might be Alex Kirilloff, one of the team’s top-rated prospects. During his first two professional seasons, Kirilloff had played only in the outfield, but last season he accumulated over 300 innings at first base. His bat is his best tool so being able to play first base might be a way to fast-track him to the big leagues. He played all last season at Double-A and posted a .756 OPS, so it might be unlikely for him to play significant time at first for the 2020 Twins.

    Will any of these options be the Twins everyday first baseman next season?

    Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.

    Non-Tendered Players that Could Interest the Minnesota Twins
    The Three Biggest What-Ifs from the 2019 Season
    One of the Greatest Trades in Twins History

    • Dec 02 2019 09:33 PM
    • by Cody Christie
  2. Alex Kirilloff Should Make his Twins Debut in 2020

    Kirilloff experienced an up and down 2019 campaign compared to his stellar 2018 at A/A+ where he hit .348/.392/.578 (.970) with 20 home runs. The 2019 season was riddled with injuries, resulting in only 94 games played and 150 fewer plate appearances. He still put together a pretty average line of .283/.343/.413 (.756) but the .
    165 point drop off in slugging is a bit concerning. Along with the drop off in plate appearances, Kirilloff had 26 fewer doubles, five fewer triples, and 11 fewer home runs.

    Nonetheless, Kirilloff has shown he has the ability to be an excellent hitter and he was still solid last season despite constant injuries and being one of the youngest players at AA. His final month was great as he slashed .311/.351/.500 (.851) in 26 games and tacked on his final five home runs.

    Could Kirilloff make the opening day roster?

    Alex Kirilloff will likely enter spring training fighting for a roster spot depending on what takes place this offseason. Will C.J. Cron be coming back? Could the Twins trade a starting outfielder? I don’t know, but if Cron or any of the three outfielders aren’t here to start 2020, then Kirilloff could win a starting spot on the roster. I doubt he makes the roster as a bench player because the Twins would rather have him get consistent at-bats in the minors so it's starter or minor leagues.

    He could take Cron’s spot because it appeared he was being groomed to do just that last season. The Twins began experimenting with him as a first baseman, and he played 35 games there while still playing 49 in the outfield. At first base he did fine for his first season with five errors in those games to give him a .981 fielding percentage. He will never be an elite fielder so if he is going to be a star then his bat will have to do most of the work.

    When is it most likely he makes his debut?

    If I had to project when I think Kirilloff will actually be up with the Twins, I would say late August or early September. If Cron or an outfielder is gone for the 2020 season I would expect the Twins to find a veteran placeholder like Avisail Garcia rather than immediately rely on a rookie. If Alex Kirilloff is performing well enough in the minors during the season to the point where he just has to be called up, I don’t think the Twins will hesitate to do so. They know the type of player he could become if everything breaks right. There is a reason he has earned some comparison to Joey Votto.

    He may not make it until late in the season, but I definitely expect we will see Alex Kirilloff wearing a Twins uniform before the season is over. When do you hope to see Kirilloff make his debut? What do you expect from him when he does finally make it to the majors? Leave a comment below.

    Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.

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    • Nov 07 2019 09:22 AM
    • by Cooper Carlson
  3. Mark Contreras Named 2019 Rawlings Gold Glove Award Winner

    Contreras was drafted by the Twins in the ninth round of the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft from the University of California, Riverside. He spent all his pro debut in Elizabethton hitting .275/.319/.421 (.740) while logging innings at all three outfield positions. During the 2018 season, he played the majority of the season as the left fielder in Fort Myers with a .689 OPS.

    He’d start the 2019 campaign back in Fort Myers but 85 of his 112 games came in Pensacola. Miracle. In 182 total chances, he made no errors and recorded 13 outfield assists. For the Blue Wahoos, Contreras played 46 games in left field, 16 in center field, and seven in right field, totaling 576.1 innings in the Pensacola outfield while maintaining a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

    “It’s crazy to think that I just won the Gold Glove for all the minor leagues in left field,” Contreras said. “It’s an honor to be recognized for my defense. It’s awesome and it just goes to show that the hard work is paying off. Everything we did during spring training with the outfield coordinator got us ready to do the right things.”

    So, what does the award mean to him?

    “It means a lot. At a young age, every coach I had said ‘Defense helps wins games,’” Contreras added. My Pops always told me if it’s not working with the bat today, you can always go out there and make a play and change the momentum. It means a lot that it’s not only just offense getting recognized, it’s defense.”

    Contreras got to play with some very good players in 2019 and the culture seems to be changing in the Twins organization.

    ““It’s a great group of guys. We work hard in spring training with one goal in mind, to play hard and showcase that the Twins aren’t just about winning in the big leagues, but across the minor league system. A lot of the Blue Wahoos from Opening Day ended up making their big-league debuts. It shows that it’s a great group of guys out there doing their jobs and we all are a big family. To say that we made the playoffs again, that’s awesome. That’s the end goal. It was a great year as a whole.”

    Contreras is still working hard this week even after winning one of the minor league’s top honors.

    “I’m going back to Fort Myers in November for [off-season instructional] camps,” Contreras said. “It keeps us on our toes and working on the right things in the off-season. It tunes us up for what the organization expects us to show up with in spring training. It’s very helpful to get pointers and work with the coordinators one-on-one. I really enjoy it and it keeps the players on the right track and gives me an understanding of what I need to keep working on.”

    Congrats to Contreras on the honor.

    • Oct 15 2019 04:17 AM
    • by Cody Christie
  4. Leading Off Podcast: Offseason SZN is Upon Us

    Hey everyone, your favorite or probably least favorite duo is back with another podcast! This is our first official episode during what we expect to be a fun offseason, and we previewed it all here. We included some free agent targets, 40-man roster questions, building a rotation, and much more so check it out.

    Click this link to go to the Spotify playlist!

    Time stamps

    2:10 The baseball is different?

    6:45 The offseason is here...what now?

    14:15 Twins have some free agents

    27:40 40-Man roster questions

    42:00 discussing some free agent targets

    55:00 Fan questions

    • Alex Kirilloff or Rosario on opening day?
    • Realistic starting rotation?
    • Which SP is likely to sign with Twins
    • A genie question

    • Oct 14 2019 09:59 AM
    • by Cooper Carlson
  5. Can the Twins Become the New Astros? Part 2

    Click here for Part 1 of this series.

    Building the Farm

    While Houston’s farm system isn’t as strong as it once was, Jeff Luhnow and company did a great job of using their high draft pics to add invaluable pieces like SS Carlos Correa and 3B Alex Bregman to rebuild the farm. While they added plenty of major league talent, rebuilding the farm also gave the Astros the prospect capital they needed to add key pieces such as Verlander in 2017, Gerrit Cole and Pressly last season, and Zack Greinke this year. Repeated success and the corresponding lower draft position along with several trades have weakened Houston’s farm, but they have been able to add high-end talent without giving up too much and the whole point of having a good farm system is to eventually have success at the highest level, a tradeoff I’m sure the Astros would take ad infinitum.

    While the Twins struggles since 2010 were not as intentional as Houston’s, Minnesota received plenty of top 10 draft pics due to their struggles. Ryan and company’s results are a bit of a mixed bag up to this point. With the second pick in the 2012 draft, the Twins picked Byron Buxton immediately after the Astros selected Correa, and although he has suffered several injury setbacks and taken some time to establish himself in the big leagues, Minnesota did well with that pick (if you disagree, look at the pics who followed Buxton). They also selected Jose Berrios with a supplemental first-round pick in that draft, along with Tyler Duffey in the fifth round and Taylor Rogers in the 12th.

    After the 2012 draft the results weren’t quite as sterling for the Twins. In 2013 they picked high school righty Kohl Stewart (SP), with the fourth overall pick, and although he has reached the majors his upside is extremely limited and he has to be considered a disappointment at this point. The verdict on 2014 fifth overall pick Nick Gordon is still out. He has yet to reach the majors, but had a good year in Triple A that was shortened due to injury, however questions about his ability to remain at shortstop remain. Hindsight is 20/20 but both Aaron Nola and Trey Turner were available.

    With the sixth overall pick in 2015 Minnesota selected Tyler Jay, a college reliever that the Twins tried to turn into a starter and was a complete failure (he’s no longer in the organization), but 2016 first rounder, outfielder Alex Kirilloff (No. 15 overall), has become a top prospect who should join the Twins soon.

    Of course, the Astros also wasted a top pick on pitcher Mark Appel who was a bust and the Twins did hit on some later round picks, but given the high draft position that Minnesota had from 2012-15, the results have been underwhelming. Falvey and Levine are too early in their tenure to put too much stock in their draft picks but they were gifted the number one overall pick in their first year. They selected shortstop Royce Lewis, who is very high on most national prospect lists despite a somewhat disappointing 2019, although he has been much younger than his competition and is off to a great start in the Arizona Fall League. Last year’s first-round pick, College World Series hero Trevor Larnach, has had a promising start to his career as well. The Twins went for a high-risk, high-reward high school prospect in this year’s draft, selecting SS/3B Keoni Cavaco who has a long road to travel before reaching Minnesota.

    The FO has done a lot to bolster the farm through trades. They gained the most at the 2018 trade deadline due to being out of contention, unlike 2017 where they were surprise contenders, although they did pick up Zack Littell that year, picking up multiple prospects including pitchers Johan Duran, Jorge Alcala, and Dakota Chalmers and outfielders Gilberto Celestino, Gabriel Maciel, and Luke Raley. They gained several other smaller pieces as well, including Devin Smeltzer, and greatly improved the overall depth of the system.

    Even while being obvious buyers at the deadline this season the FO was clearly hesitant to let go of top prospects like Lewis and Kirilloff to obtain a top-notch starter, though they even managed to add a pitching prospect, Chris Vallimont, in the Sergio Romo trade. They have built one of the best farm systems in baseball and seem keen to keep it that way. While teams like the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox were willing to part with some of their best prospects, teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and to a lesser extent Houston, have been less willing to give away prized prospects. This has allowed the Dodgers to be good for a very long time, and both the Dodgers and the Astros seem to have new stars come out of their system almost every year. Falvey and Levine like to talk about the long-term future for the organization and seemed poised to follow a similar path.

    The Young Core

    Although Houston did a lot to improve their club through drafts and trades, a few key pieces of the future World Series champs were in the organization when Luhnow took over. One of the most important pieces of the Astros run of success has been Jose Altuve, an undersized player who puts up big numbers while playing second base. Along with Altuve, Houston had also drafted outfielder George Springer prior to the new FO and he has also been a huge cog in their always potent lineup, batting leadoff for the World Series run. But outside of Altuve and Springer, most of Houston’s players came from within the system after Luhnow took over or were acquired through trades and free agency.

    Falvey and Levine were fortunate to inherit a pretty impressive young core to build around. A lot of the credit should actually go to former GM Bill Smith, who in his short tenure was able to sign Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco, and Max Kepler in one international signing period. As previously noted, both Buxton and Berrios were drafted under Ryan, as were Mitch Garver and Eddie Rosario. The new FO does deserve credit for extending both Polanco and Kepler to team-friendly deals prior to their breakout seasons this year and it is possible that they will seek more extensions with some of the others this offseason.

    • Oct 17 2019 05:36 AM
    • by Patrick Wozniak
  6. Leading Off Podcast: Alex Kirilloff Time?

    Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/episode/5n8sCVvjqbedPf1qDCu2oI

    Hey everyone, we're back after a pretty interesting week. We discuss everything that happens including the Pineda suspension and the blockbuster Ryan LaMarre trade along with much more.

    Time stamps:

    2:20 Week in review

    8:30 Michael Pineda suspended. How can the Twins replace him?'

    18:00 With Pineda out, how are playoff hopes looking?

    24:00 Chances of a Kirilloff promotion?

    31:30 Discussing all 4,963 of the injuries

    39:30 Fan questions

    54:45 Martin Perez... again

    66:45 Looking ahead

    76:20 Reading mean tweets

    Link: https://open.spotify...jqbedPf1qDCu2oI

    Let us know what you think!

    • Sep 09 2019 10:17 AM
    • by Cooper Carlson
  7. Week in Review: Ups and Downs

    Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 9/2 through Sun, 9/8


    Record Last Week: 4-3 (Overall: 88-55)

    Run Differential Last Week: -6 (Overall: +168)

    Standing: 1st Place in the AL Central (5.5 GA)

    Willians Watch: 5-for-14, RBI, R


    Eddie Rosario might have had one of the biggest Twins highlights of the year with his game-saving throw off Boston’s Green Monster. He helped save the game and put the Twins up 6.5 games entering their critical three-game weekend series against the Indians.

    Rosario’s game-saving throw capped off a tremendous road trip for the Twins where the club won eight of 10 games with 104 hits, 63 runs, and 19 home runs. This included breaking the single-season MLB home run record before Minnesota headed home to face Cleveland in a critical three-game set.

    On Friday night, Minnesota ended up falling in extra-innings to the Indians, but one of the coolest moments happened earlier in the game. Carlos Carrasco has been battling leukemia throughout the 2019 campaign and he recently returned to action. When Miguel Sano stepped to the plate in the eighth inning, he tipped his helmet to the pitcher fondly referred to as “Cookie.” Sano would strike out in the at-bat, but it shows that some things are bigger than the game.

    Not knowing his suspension was coming on Saturday, it was impressive to see Michael Pineda in what could be his last time on the Target Field mound. He went six strong innings by allowing one run on four hits and striking out a season-high 10 Cleveland batters. In his last 10 starts (59 1/3 innings), he posted a 2.88 ERA with a 65-to-13 strikeout to walk ratio, but now he’s done for the year.


    Pineda’s suspension might be the biggest lowlight in the Twins season, especially since it sounds like he deliberately took the drug without consulting the Twins medical staff. In case you missed it, Pineda took hydrochlorothiazide, a banned diuretic, that he obtained from a close acquaintance. He does become the first MLB player to appeal the suspension and have it reduced from 80 games to 60 games. It was still a crushing blow to Minnesota’s playoff hopes.

    With Pineda out of the picture, Berrios and his recent struggles take on an even bigger importance. Many have been calling for him to get some time off and he had his start pushed back a day last week, but the results weren’t much better. At one point in the game, he retired 11 of 13 batters and this included a web gem play by himself. However, he allowed six earned runs on eight hits (two Mookie Betts home runs) with six strikeouts and three walks. Berrios likely has three more starts before the playoffs and the Twins need to find a solution to what ails him.

    Rosario, a core piece of Minnesota’s line-up, might have provided the biggest defensive play of the week, but he looked lost at the plate with almost no plate discipline. He’s always been a free swinger and that has certainly been the case in recent weeks. Over his last 24 games, he is hitting .235/.252/.392 with 19 strikeouts and three walks. For a player with a career .309 OBP, it’s been tough to watch some of his at-bats, especially his approach at the plate.


    On Saturday, Mitch Garver helped the Twins to victory with two home runs and he also joined the franchise record books. Garver has hit all his homers as a catcher so his 27th and 28th home run moved him past Earl Battey’s 1963 total of 26.

    What Garver has done is truly impressive because of the limited number of games he has played this year. Battey played 147 games during his record-setting season and Garver’s 28 homers have come in a half-time role where he just cracked the 80 games played mark. He added another home run on Sunday, but it came as the designated hitter.

    Minnesota is also closing in on the single-season home run record for catchers in baseball history. Three MLB teams have accumulated 43 homers from the catcher’s position and Minnesota finished play on Sunday with 41 catcher home runs on the year.

    Another record within Minnesota’s reach is the most players in franchise history with 30 or more homers in a season. Right now, Max Kepler and Nelson Cruz have already crossed the 30-homer plateau. Garver is one homer away and Rosario is two short of 30. Sano is also sitting at 27 long balls, so there is a realistic chance for five players to finish with 30 home runs or more.


    Playoffs were the name of the game in the minor leagues as two Twins affiliates, the Kernels and the Blue Wahoos, attempted to advance. Alex Kiriloff and Royce Lewis came up big in Pensacola’s first playoff game, but they can’t play both sides of the ball.

    Kirilloff has been a one-man wrecking crew during postseason play as he homered in the Blue Wahoos’ first four playoff games. The Blue Wahoos pushed Biloxi to a decisive fifth game on Sunday night. Cedar Rapids fell in their first game of the best-of-three Western Division Championship, which means the club needs to roll off two straight wins to advance.

    Check out Sunday’s Minor League Report to see how the clubs fared and if Kirilloff was able to continue his home run streak.


    Minnesota will get an off-day on Monday before facing a strong Washington team for three games. Currently, the Nationals hold a three-game lead on the NL’s top Wild Card spot, so they have plenty to play for with the hot Arizona Diamondbacks making a quick move toward the top. Luckily, the Twins will avoid Max Scherzer as he isn’t scheduled to start in the series, but the trio of Sanchez, Strasburg and Corbin will be tough.

    Following the Nationals series, the Twins head to Cleveland for their final three games with the Indians. Cleveland faces off with the Angels for three games and has an off-day on Thursday. If Cleveland were able to sweep Los Angeles and Minnesota lost three to Washington, the division lead could be down to 2.5 games entering next weekend.

    Buckle up, Twins Territory.

    TUESDAY, 9/10: NATIONALS @ TWINS – RHP Anibal Sanchez vs. RHP Jose Berrios
    WEDNESDAY, 9/11: NATIONALS @ TWINS – RHP Stephen Strasburg vs. LHP Martin Perez
    THURSDAY, 9/12: NATIONALS @ TWINS – LHP Patrick Corbin vs. RHP Kyle Gibson
    FRIDAY, 9/13: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Randy Dobnak vs. RHP Aaron Civale
    SATURDAY, 9/14: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Jake Odorizzi vs. RHP Mike Clevinger
    SUNDAY, 9/15: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Jose Berrios vs. RHP Shane Bieber

    Catch Up on Twins Daily Game Recaps

    • Sep 09 2019 09:54 AM
    • by Cody Christie
  8. Twins Minor League Report (9/8): Do or Die

    IF Ryan Costello placed on 7-day IL with Pensacola.
    RHP Bailey Ober placed on 7-day IL with Pensacola.
    IF Joe Cronin transferred to Pensacola from Rochester.
    LHP Bryan Sammons promoted to Pensacola from Fort Myers.

    Pensacola 4, Biloxi 8
    Box Score
    If this was a best of three series like in Cedar Rapids, Pensacola would have already been eliminated, but the club managed a comeback in the series, and they would need a dramatic comeback in this game. Bryan Sammons started on the mound and put the club in position to have the lead. He pitched 4 2/3 innings by scattering two runs (both home runs) and adding in five strikeouts.

    Anthony Vizcaya took over for Sammons and he allowed the game-tying run. Over 2 1/3 innings, he allowed one run on two hits with three strikeouts. Former top pitching prospect Stephen Gonsalves struggled on the mound as he didn’t record an out and allowed three earned runs. Alex Phillips tried to stop the bleeding.

    Offensively, Mark Contreras tripled with two outs in the second and scampered home after a throwing error by the shortstop. This briefly gave Pensacola the lead at 1-0. In the fourth frame, Ryan Jeffers led off with a double and came in on a Contreras ground out. Jose Miranda walked in the inning and eventually scored on a Caleb Hamilton double that took back the lead for Pensacola at 3-2. Jeffers had another big hit in the eighth as he took the lead back with a solo home run.

    Pensacola wouldn’t have their season end quietly in the ninth. Jimmy Kerrigan coaxed a six-pitch walk with two outs in the inning that saw the Blue Wahoos down to their last strike. Alex Kirilloff followed with a single, but he too had been down to his last strike. Royce Lewis stepped to the plate with two runners aboard and he already had three hits on the night. Unfortunately, he struck out swinging.

    Congrats to the Blue Wahoos on a terrific season.

    Cedar Rapids 3, Clinton 2
    Box Score
    Kody Funderburk started for Cedar Rapids, but in a do-or-die game, pitchers can have a short leash. He made it into the fourth inning (3 1/3 innings) by allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks. From there the Kernels’ bullpen was unreal. Dylan Thomas and Rickey Ramirez combined for 5 2/3 shutout innings with each pitcher limiting Clinton to one hit.

    Cedar Rapids got on the board in the second inning after back-to-back one-out hits. Tyler Webb got into scoring position with a double before DaShawn Keirsey drove him in with a single. Keirsey was left stranded at second after a wild pitch, but the Kernels had tied the game at 1-1.

    The Kernels found themselves down a run in the bottom of the ninth with the season on the line. Matt Wallner reached base on a throwing error by the shortstop and was replaced by pinch runner Daniel Ozoria. Seth Gray moved the runner to third with a single before Webb drove in the tying run. Cedar Rapids still had yet to make an out in the inning. Keirsey came up with his second big hit of the night to keep Cedar Rapids alive.

    The last five home wins at home for Cedar Rapids have ended with a walk-off single in the ninth. They will need to win a decisive game on Monday to advance the Midwest League Championship Series.

    TD Pitcher of the Day- Rickey Ramirez, Cedar Rapids (3.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 4 K, 0 BB)
    TD Hitter of the Day- Ryan Jeffers, Pensacola (3-4, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 R)

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – 3-5, K
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 1-4, BB
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Minnesota) – Did not pitch
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 0-4, 2 K
    #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-3, BB, 2 K
    #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI
    #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 1-4, R
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4, K
    #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – 0-3, BB, 2 K

    Cedar Rapids vs. Clinton (6:35 CST) – RHP Tyler Palm (4-11, 4.06 ERA)

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.

    • Sep 08 2019 08:27 PM
    • by Cody Christie
  9. Twins Minor League Report (9/7) You Win One, You Lose One


    C Kyle Schmidt activated from the 7 day IL at A Cedar Rapids

    LHP J.T. Perez activated from the 7 day IL at A Cedar Rapids

    RHP Matt Cantinero assigned to Elizabethton from A Cedar Rapids

    1B Chris Williams assigned to A+ Fort Myers from A Cedar Rapids

    Pensacola 10, Biloxi 5
    Box Score

    Charlie Barnes: 1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
    HR: Alex Kirilloff (4)
    Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI), Ryan Jeffers (2-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI), Jose Miranda (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI), Mark Contreras (3-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI)

    The Blue Wahoos won a feisty game against the Shuckers and pushed the series to a decisive game 5 tomorrow.

    The Blue Wahoos offense was popping all day and it got kicked off immediately with Alex Kirilloff’s fourth home run of the series. Did I mention that that’s four straight games with a homer for Kirilloff?

    The home runs didn’t end there as Ryan Jeffers blasted his first homer of the series and Mark Contreras got in on the action with his first homer of the series as well. In total, the Blue Wahoos knocked out 11 hits in the game with every player except for one in the starting lineup reaching base safely at least once.

    Ryan Costello left the game early when he was awkwardly tagged while diving back to 1st base. He walked back to the dugout holding his left arm and left the game early. Hopefully, he’ll be fine and back in the lineup tomorrow.

    On the pitching side of things, Charlie Barnes only went one inning and gave up four earned runs. He didn’t reach the 35-pitches-in-one-inning rule that the Twins have in their minor league system but Pensacola still played it on the safe side. Marcos Diplan and Tom Hackimer combined for four scoreless innings in relief of Barnes to help stabilize the game for Pensacola. Jovani Moran and Jonathan Cheshire then came in and combined for just a single earned run over their four combined innings.

    In total, that’s eight innings of just one-run ball from the Blue Wahoos’ bullpen to help win the game as the offense made quick work of almost every pitcher the Shuckers sent out there.

    Cedar Rapids 0, Clinton 4
    Box Score

    Andrew Cabezas: 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Tyler Webb (2-for-3, 3B)

    The Kernels lost the first game of the playoff series against the Clinton LumberKings.

    Andrew Cabezas had a tough start with four earned runs given up over 4 2/3 innings pitched. Nate Hadley and Denny Bentley both pitched in relief for Cabezas and combined for no earned runs through the end of the game. In total, the Kernels’ pitchers struck out 11 batters over eight innings.

    The Kernels offense was held at bay for the entire game as they struck out 14 times in the game with just four hits. The only extra-base hit was a triple from Tyler Webb who also was the only Kernels hitter who had a multi-hit game.

    The Kernels will have to win two straight games in order to advance in the postseason and game two will be tomorrow.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tom Hackimer (basically the entire Blue Wahoos bullpen)
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ryan Jeffers

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-for-3, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Twins) - Did not pitch
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, R, BB, 2 K
    #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, 2 K
    #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Pensacola) - Did not pitch
    #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - No game
    #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured list
    #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did not pitch
    #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - No game
    #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Twins) - Did not pitch
    #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured list
    #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - 2-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI
    #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - 1-for-3
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 2 K
    #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - No game
    #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery
    #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) - No game
    #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - No game
    #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 0-for-3, RBI, BB, 2 K

    Pensacola @ Biloxi (5:05 P.M.) - TBD
    Clinton @ Cedar Rapids (5:05 P.M.) - LHP Kody Funderburk

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.

    • Sep 08 2019 10:05 AM
    • by Matt Braun
  10. Twins Minor League Report (9/6): Balazovic, Chalmers Boost Blue Wahoos While Winder, Snyder Advance Kernels

    Pensacola 3, Biloxi 2 (Biloxi leads best of five series 2-1)
    Box Score

    Jordan Balazovic: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches)
    HR: Alex Kirilloff, Ryan Costello
    Multi-hit games: Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR)

    Facing elimination tonight, Pensacola turned to a pair of pitchers making their Double-A debuts. The element of surprise paid off. Jordan Balazovic struck out seven batters in his 4 2/3 innings of work, allowing two runs on three hits.

    Dakota Chalmers finished off the fifth inning for Balazovic and ended up pitching 3 1/3 no-hit innings while striking out four batters. Quite the first impressions in Pensacola for Balazovic and Chalmers.

    ALex Kirilloff opened the scoring with a solo home run in the third inning, his third homer in as many postseason games for the Blue Wahoos.

    Ryan Costello added a solo homer of his own in the fourth inning. Biloxi tied the game in the top of the fifth inning, but Travis Blankenhorn delivered a key two-out, go-ahead single that plated Royce Lewis and would prove to be the difference in this game.

    Anthony Vizcaya struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn the save and keep the Blue Wahoo’s 2019 season alive. They still trail in the series 2-1, so they’ll have to win the next two games in order to advance.

    Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 2 (Cedar Rapids wins series 2-1)
    Box Score

    Josh Winder: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 71.4% strikes (55 of 77 pitches)
    HR: Gabe Snyder
    Multi-hit games: Snyder (2-for-4, HR, 2B), Wander Javier (2-for-4, 3B), DaShawn Keirsey (2-for-4, 2B)

    Behind big efforts from familiar faces, the Kernels won Friday night to advance in the Midwest League playoffs. Starting pitcher Josh Winder and first baseman Gabe Snyder set the tone in this game.

    Winder provided Cedar Rapids with six shutout innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter. This is the fourth time in 2019 Winder has gone at least six innings and surrendered zero runs.

    Winder was pitching with a lead the entire night thanks to Snyder’s home run in the top of the first inning. He added a double in the fourth inning and came around to score on a Chris Williams hit. Winder led the Kernels in virtually every pitching stat while Snyder was the top dog on the team in nearly every hitting stat, so it seemed fitting those two were the catalysts who pushed Cedar Rapids' season into the next round.

    Wander Javier had a two-hit night that included a triple and an RBI single. DaShawn Kerisey led off the top of the ninth inning with a double and scored a huge insurance run on a Tyler Webb RBI single. Austin Schulfer pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to earn the save.

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Josh Winder, Cedar Rapids
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed:

    1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 1-for-4, R, K, E (fielding)
    2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI
    4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 1-for-3, 3B, BB, K
    5. Wander Javier (CR): 2-for-4, 3B, R, RBI, K, E (fielding)
    6. Jordan Balazovic (PNS): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches)
    13. Ryan Jeffers (PNS): 0-for-4
    15. Matt Wallner (CR): 0-for-4, 3 K
    20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 1-for-3, BB, RBI

    Pensacola at Biloxi, 6:35 pm CT (TBD)

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

    • Sep 06 2019 09:42 PM
    • by Tom Froemming
  11. Twins Minor League Report (9/5): Kernels Force Game 3, Kirilloff Homers For Blue Wahoos

    Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day.


    • The playoff teams are unable to make transactions once the playoff round starts.
    • Not really a transaction, but I’m sure many saw on Wednesday that it was announced that Alex Kirilloff will not be playing in the Arizona Fall League. He is being replaced by Luke Raley.
    • In addition, it was also announced that Ben Rortvedt will be the “Catcher to be Named Later” on the AFL squad.
    Pensacola 1, Biloxi 4
    Box Score

    For the second straight night, Alex Kirilloff came through with a ninth-inning home run with the team down by four runs. Unfortunately on this night, the bases weren’t loaded. In fact, they were empty and it accounted for the Blue Wahoo’s lone run in Game 2.

    Biloxi’s starter Dylan File was fantastic. Before the ninth inning, he gave up just one hit and hit one batter. He gave up the Kirilloff home run, but he earned the win.

    Jose Miranda had the only other Pensacola hit, a second-inning single. Trevor Larnach reached base early in the game when he was hit by a pitch. Royce Lewis followed Kirilloff’s home run with a walk. But those were the only four base runners of the game.

    Griffin Jax started and was charged with four runs on five hits and two walks over the first four innings. Two of those hits left the park. Dillon Thomas, who hit the game-winning homer in Game 1, hit a three-run homer in the third inning. Jake Gatewood hit a solo homer in the fourth inning.

    Edwar Colina came on for the fifth inning. He gave up one hit, hit one and struck out one batter. He left because he was ejected after the benches cleared. Stephen Gonsalves came on and got the final two outs of the sixth inning. He worked two more scoreless innings. He walked three and struck out one. Tom Hackimer got the final out of the eighth inning.

    The Blue Wahoos will need to win the next three games to advance to the Southern League’s second round. They return home to Pensacola for game 3 on Friday.

    Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1
    Box Score

    Like the Twins game, the Kernels were able to complete a 2-1 pitcher’s duel to even their series at one game a piece.

    Matt Canterino certainly set the tone for the game. The right-hander started with 4 2/3 innings before giving up a hit. He gave up two hits which scored the River Bandits’ lone run. He ended the inning with a pick-off. He gave up just those two hits, walked none and struck out eight batters.

    Dylan Thomas came on and tossed two scoreless innings in relief.

    For the second straight game, it was Tyler Webb that got the Kernels on the scoreboard. Following a Wander Javier triple, Webb beat a shift and singled in the game’s first run.

    In the seventh inning, Webb doubled and then scored on a Jared Akins double to take back the lead, a lead that they would hold onto.

    Ricky Ramirez worked the final two innings. He struck out three to record the save.

    The Kernels will send Josh Winder to the mound for Game 3 on Wednesday trying to win the best-of-three series.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Matt Canterino, Cedar Rapids Kernels
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Tyler Webb, Cedar Rapids Kernels

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 0-3, BB
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-4, R, RBI, HR(2), K
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 0-3, HBP
    #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, 3B, R
    #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - 0-4, K
    #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 1-3, BB
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 2 K
    #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 0-3, K


    Biloxi @ Pensacola (6:35 CT) - RHP Jordan Balazovic
    Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:35) - RHP Josh Winder

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games or any other minor league topics you would like.

    • Sep 06 2019 02:03 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  12. Twins Minor League Report (9/4): Postseason Baseball with a Heaping Helping of Taters

    LHP Bryan Sammons transferred to Fort Myers
    LHP Andrew Vasquez transferred to Rochester
    RHP Jordan Balazovic promoted from Fort Myers
    RHP Dakota Chalmers promoted from Fort myers

    Biloxi 11, Pensacola 10
    Box Score

    What an absolute doozy. Jhoan Duran drew the start for the Blue Wahoos and it could have definitely gone better. He made it to just one out into the fifth inning, and despite striking out six and walking one, he allowed four earned runs on eight hits. This game was all about offense though, so let’s fast forward to where things got crazy.

    Despite there being 20 runs and 28 hits through the first nine frames, Pensacola had no home runs. Down 9-5 with no outs and only owning their final three outs, Alex Kirilloff stepped in for the away team. Minnesota’s #2 prospect launched a grand slam into the night and tied this one. After a ball to start the at-bat for top prospect Royce Lewis, he launched a solo shot of his own and the Blue Wahoos owned their most important lead of the night.

    Alex Phillips came on to close it out in the ninth and came one errant pitch from getting it done. A leadoff single turned into a runner on second following a one-out wild pitch, and the runner came around to score on a two-out single a couple of batters later. The game that had everything was now headed to extras.

    After going down in order during the top half, Pensacola tasked Jovani Moran with getting them to the 11th. Moran worked around a leadoff walk by getting a ground ball double play from the next batter, but a walk off homer, while needing just one more out, did him in. Griffin Jax will look to send the series back to Florida all knotted up after a win tomorrow night.

    Quad Cities 4, Cedar Rapids 1
    Box Score

    Luis Rijo earned the game one start for Cedar Rapids and he gave the home team everything they could ask for and then some. Working six innings, he allowed just two runs (one earned) while striking out six and issuing zero free passes. Down just one run when he left the contest, Rijo put the Kernels in striking distance to take game one of their postseason run.

    Unfortunately the Tyler Webb solo shot in the bottom of the third inning was the only production that Cedar Rapids mustered. The five hits were scattered and the home field advantage didn’t provide a lift in the ninth as Kernels hitters went down in order on strikes.

    Seth Gray was the lone Cedar Rapids hitter to rack up multiple hits, and only Gabe Snyder joined him by reaching base more than once on the evening. Tomorrow, Matt Canterino will look to draw things back even on the road, and the Kernels will attempt to play a more crisp game after having three errors tonight.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Luis Rijo (Cedar Rapids) 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-5, 2B, HR(GS), 2 R, 4 RBI, K

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-5, 2B, HR(GS), 2 R, 4 RBI, K
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Minnesota) - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB, K
    #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K
    #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - 4.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
    #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - 1-5, K
    #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - Defensive replacement
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K
    #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 1-3, R, 2 BB


    Pensacola vs Biloxi (6:35PM CST) - RHP Griffin Jax
    Cedar Rapids vs Quad Cities (6:35PM CST) - RHP Matt Canterino

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Wednesday’s games or any other minor league topics you would like.

    • Sep 05 2019 07:47 AM
    • by Ted Schwerzler
  13. Twins Minor League Report (9/2): Minor League Season's Final Day

    Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the awards and transactions of the day.


    • Rochester announced their 2019 team awards, voted by their fans. Congratulations to all three!
    • Wilin Rosario was named the team’s MVP.
    • Zander Wiel was named the most popular.
    • Jake Reed was named the Most Civic-Minded for the second straight year for his work in the community. He volunteered his time at various events and programs throughout the Rochester area, including heavy involvement with Rochester Challenger Baseball..
    • Rochester announced that infielder Joe Cronin joined them from Pensacola. LHP Denny Bentley was transferred to the Elizabethton roster after pitching on Sunday.
    • Pensacola announced that they have received infielder Jose Miranda from the Miracle for their playoff roster.
    • Darren Wolfson has reported that Trevor Hildenberger will be joining the Twins in Boston on Tuesday. He likely isn’t the last player who will be added to the Twins September roster. (according to Doogie's new The Scoops podcast, the Twins will also recall Ryne Harper and Fernando Romero.)

    Rochester 4, Syracuse 8
    Box Score

    The Red Wings end their season with a .500 record, 70-70. With several players already up with the Twins, the Red Wings used several players from lower levels to fill their roster.

    The game was a bullpen game. Jake Reed made the start. He gave up two runs on four hits over the first two innings. He struck out four batters. Next in was Alex Schick who spent most of the second half of the season in Cedar Rapids. He gave up one run on two hits over three innings of work. Sam Clay came on and gave up five runs on six hits and a walk in just 1 2/3 innings. Trevor Hildenberger allowed two inherited runners to score and then recorded the next four outs, two on strikeouts. Ryne Harper struck out three, and walked one, in the final inning.

    Drew Maggi led the offense. He went 3-for-4. Ramon Flores was 2-for-4. The Red Wings had a couple of milestone homers. Brandon Barnes hit his 30th International League home run of the year. Wilin Rosario hit his 20th home run of the year.

    Pensacola 8, Montgomery 0
    Box Score

    The Blue Wahoos finished their schedule with a strong all-around game.

    As we like to do, if a team throws a shutout, we’ll start with the pitching update. It is most impressive because they only had their starter, Bailey Ober, go three innings before much of the bullpen got an opportunity. Ober continued his impressive run with three scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit and struck out three batters. Anthony Vizcaya gave up one hit and struck out two batters in his inning. Jovani Moran then struck out four batters over two scoreless innings. Andrew Vazquez and Tom Hackimer each struck out the side in their inning. Marcos Diplan finished it off with a scoreless ninth inning.

    The bats came out for the final game as well. They also weren’t afraid to take their walks. Trevor Larnach went 1-for-2 and walked three times. Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis each had a single and two walks. Jose Miranda made his Double-A debut and went 3-for-5 with a double. Travis Blankenhorn, Ryan Costello, Caleb Hamilton and Taylor Grzelakowski each had two hits.

    Also of note, after playing centerfield on Sunday, Royce Lewis split Monday’s game between second base and third base.

    The Blue Wahoos end their regular season with an overall record of 76-63.

    Cedar Rapids 9, Beloit 3
    Box Score

    Gabe Snyder has had a very strong first full season in professional baseball. He ended his regular season strong. The Midwest League’s postseason All Star first baseman went 2-for-5 with his 19th home run and three RBI. Seth Gray and Chris Williams each had two hits in the game. Wander Javier hit his 11th homer of the season.

    It was a bullpen game for the Kernels as they prepare for their playoff run. Brian Rapp gave up one run on three hits over 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three batters. JT Perez came on and gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits and a walk over two innings. Nate Hadley got the next four outs. Austin Schulfer struck out the side in the eighth inning. Dylan Thomas gave up two hits and a walk in the ninth inning but did not allow a run.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Bailey Ober, Pensacola Blue Wahoos
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jose Miranda, Pensacola Blue Wahoos

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-4, 2 BB, R, 2 K
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-4, 2 BB, R, RBI
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-2, 3 BB, R, 2 RBI
    #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, R, 2 RBI, K
    #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 3-4, 2 R, 2B(13)
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, R, K
    #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 2-6, R


    Pensacola vs Biloxi - No game on Tuesday. Their series begins in Biloxi on Wednesday.
    Cedar Rapids vs Quad Cities - Not game on Tuesday. Their series begins on Wednesday in Quad Cities. Luis Rijo the likely Game 1 starter.

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like.

    • Sep 03 2019 09:44 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  14. Twins Minor League Report (8/25): Buxton Starts Rehab Assignment

    The Twins announced their weekly Hitter and Pitcher of the Week

    • Hitter of the Week: Alex Kirilloff, Pensacola
    Kirilloff, 21, played in seven games for Double-A Pensacola this week, hitting .444 (12-for-27) with one double, one home run, five RBI and a 1.075 OPS. Kirilloff was drafted by the Twins 15th overall in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft and represented the Twins at the SiriusXM Futures Game in Cleveland this summer
    • Pitcher of the Week: Bailey Ober, Pensacola
    Ober, 24, made one start for the Blue Wahoos on Wednesday at Mississippi, pitching 7.0 shutout innings with three hits, no walks and 12 strikeouts. Ober was drafted by the Twins in the 12th round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of College of Charleston.

    LHP Gabriel Moya placed on the IL for Pensacola.
    OF Byron Buxton began MLB rehab assignment with Cedar Rapids.

    Rochester 3, Syracuse 11
    Box Score
    Rochester took an early 1-0 lead in this one before falling behind in the middle innings. Wilin Rosario collected an RBI-double in the top of the first to score Ramon Flores. The Red Wings wouldn’t score again until the fourth inning when Brandon Barnes drilled his 29th home run of the year. Zander Wiel lead off the seventh inning with his 37th double and came around to score on a one-out single from Wynston Sawyer.

    Devin Smeltzer started for Rochester and couldn’t make it out of the fourth frame. He was charged with five earned runs on five hits including three home runs. He struck out five and walked one. Edwar Colina made his Triple-A debut and didn’t find much success. He allowed five runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings. Jorge Alcala limited Syracuse to one hit in almost two innings and he struck out three. Zack Littell walked a pair of batters in the eighth and saw one runner come around to score.

    Rochester had a chance to gain ground on first-place Scranton/WB. Unfortunately, the Red Wings are four games back with just eight remaining in the season.

    Pensacola 1, Jackson 4
    Box Score
    Griffin Jax was cruising along in a pitcher’s duel before Jackson was able to break things open in the mid to late innings. He pitched six innings and was charged with one earned run (three total runs) with seven strikeouts and one walk. Following Jax, Tom Hackimer gave up one earned run on two hits over two frames. Andrew Vasquez finished off the game with a hitless ninth inning.

    Fresh off his Player of the Week honors (see above), Alex Kirilloff continued his hot hitting. Kirilloff and LaMonte Wade both finished 2-for-4. Wade added his second double as part of his MLB rehab assignment. Ryan Costello reached base twice and Mark Contreras knocked in a run with his 12th double. Pensacola matched Jackson with six hits but finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

    Ft. Myers --, Palm Beach – (Cancelled)

    Rain forced the cancellation of the final game of the three-game series between the Miracle and the Cardinals. Fort Myers won the first two games in the series to stretch their winning streak to five games. Currently, the team is a season high 18 games over .500 (73-55).

    Cedar Rapids 5, Peoria 9
    Box Score
    Byron Buxton made a quick impression back in Low-A as he stretched what looked like a routine single into a hustle double. He was left at second base, but he would make it around the bases in his second at-bat. With two outs in the third inning, Buxton drew a walk in front of Matt Walner’s second home runs since being promoted from Elizabethton. He would get one more at-bat and he struck out.

    There was more to this game than Buxton cruising around the bases. Josh Winder started and put together another strong outing. He limited Peoria to four hits over six shutout innings with five strikeouts and two walks. His season ERA dropped to 2.68 to go along with a sub-1.00 WHIP. It was his team-high 11th quality start.

    Dylan Thomas kept the shutout alive by tossing two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out one. Brian Rapp and Austin Schulfer each had a tough time at the end of the game. Rapp couldn’t record an out and was charged with four earned runs on three hits. Schulfer took the loss and the blown save after allowing five earned runs on three hits.

    Cedar Rapids loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t mount a comeback.

    Elizabethton 1, Danville 7
    Box Score
    After allowing seven earned runs in his last start, Andriu Marin did much better as he limited Danville to four hits and two runs. He struck out four and walked two. Frandy Torres got hit around in his inning of work. He allowed three earned runs (four total) on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. Steven Cruz and Benjamin Dum combined to allow one earned run over the final three innings. Cruz struck out the side in both innings he worked.

    The E-Twins didn’t have much to speak of on the offensive side of the ball as the team was limited to three hits. Trevor Jensen had the team’s lone extra-base hit, a double. Charles Mack reached base twice and had the team’s only RBI. Overall, the team went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.

    TD Pitcher of the Day- Josh Winder, Cedar Rapids (6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 K, 2 BB)
    TD Hitter of the Day- Tyler Webb, Cedar Rapids (2-3, 3B, 2 R, BB)

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – 0-3, BB, K
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 2-4, K
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Rochester) – Did not pitch
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 1-4
    #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 2-5, R, K
    #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) – Game cancelled
    #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) – No scheduled game
    #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list
    #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) – Did not pitch
    #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) – Game cancelled
    #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) – 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, K
    #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – Did not play
    #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – 0-4, K
    #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 0-2, BB
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 K
    #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – Did not play
    #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery
    #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, H, 3 K, 0 BB
    #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) – No scheduled game
    #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – 0-4, K

    Rochester @ Buffalo (6:05 CST) – TBD
    Pensacola vs. Jackson (6:35 CST) – TBD
    Fort Myers @ Dunedin (4:00 CST) – LHP Lachlan Wells (2-5, 4.30 ERA)
    Fort Myers @ Dunedin (Game 2) – TBD
    Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria (6:35 CST) – LHP Kody Funderburk (0-3, 4.85 ERA)
    Elizabethton vs. Greeneville (5:30 CST) – TBD
    GCL Twins vs. GCL Braves (11:00 am CST) – TBD

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.

    • Aug 25 2019 07:33 PM
    • by Cody Christie
  15. Twins Minor League Report (8/17) Bullpens Bring The Bull And The Horn


    OF Lamonte Wade Jr. sent to A Cedar Rapids on a rehab assignment

    RHP Yancarlos Baez assigned to Elizabethton from extended spring training

    RHP Brusdar Graterol will reportedly be promoted to AAA Rochester along with RHP Jorge Alcala

    Rochester 1, Louisville 2 (10 innings)
    Box Score

    Adam Bray: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Ian Miller (2-for-4), Tomás Telis (2-for-4)

    The Red Wings made everything perfectly balanced as they won a 10 inning game last Saturday and then lost a 10-inning game this Saturday.

    The Red Wings ran a bullpen game to much success as Adam Bray, Jeremy Bleich, Preston Guilmet, and Fernando Romero combined for nine and a third innings pitched with just two earned runs. Bray was effective to start as he struck out seven over four innings and Guilmet was the other pitcher who allowed no runs as he threw three shutout innings.

    Fernando Romero had an interesting outing as the lead-off batter bunted the starting runner to third (remember the extra innings rule in the minors) and after an intentional walk, an infield single ended up winning the game.

    The Red Wings offense was scattered and the only time a run was scored was when Zander Wiel tripled home Brandon Barnes after Barnes hit a double.

    Pensacola 5, Chattanooga 1
    Box Score

    Alex Phillips: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
    HR: Alex Kirilloff (9)
    Multi-hit games: Willians Astudillo (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI), Alex Kirilloff (3-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI), Travis Blankenhorn (2-for-4, 2B)

    The Blue Wahoos flirted with a no-hitter during a very successful bullpen game.

    Alex Phillips, Brusdar Graterol, Jorge Alcala, Andrew Vasquez, and Tom Hackimer combined to give up just one measly single (an infield single in the 9th) en route to their attempt at pitching a no-hitter. The end result was still just one earned run, one hit, three walks, and 10 strikeouts, a pretty good performance all around.

    Willians Astudillo had a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs thanks to a 3rd inning double. He ended up catching seven innings before being replaced behind the plate by Taylor Grzelakowski.

    Not to be outdone by the rehabbing major leaguer, Alex Kirilloff had a three RBI game thanks in part to a two run blast in the 5th inning. He is well on his way to getting back to doing Alex Kirilloff things as he had a 149 wRC+ over the week coming into Saturday’s game.

    Ft. Myers 3, Jupiter 1
    Box Score

    Chris Vallimont: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Jacob Pearson (2-for-4), Ernie De La Trinidad (2-for-4, 2B)

    Chris Vallimont had his second straight seven inning performance and the best start of his in the Twins’ system. His nine strikeouts is tied for his third highest amount in a game this year and he has now given up just five hits over his last 14 innings combined.

    Melvi Acosta relieved Vallimont and would eventually end the game with no earned runs given up but one unearned run so not shutout would be had for the Miracle on Saturday.

    There’s more to the game than pitching, however, and the Miracle received all their scoring in the 8th inning thanks to a bases-clearing double off the bat of Andrew Bechtold.

    Gabriel Maciel was hit by a pitch in the 3rd inning and eventually left the game, hopefully the move was more preemptive than anything and Maciel is fine.

    Cedar Rapids 1, Quad Cities 4
    Box Score

    Tyler Palm: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
    HR: Spencer Steer (2)
    Multi-hit games: Spencer Steer (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI)

    It had seemed like a game that was going to go well for the Kernels as Spencer Steer blasted a home run to lead-off the game for the Kernels but that was all the offense they would get as there would only be three more hits in the game for the Kernels and Steer was the only player with multiple hits.

    Tyler Palm fought through six innings but was ruined by a 5th inning three-run home run that stained the ledger and put the Kernels in a deficit that they would not overcome.

    Rickey Ramirez relieved Palm and tossed a pair of scoreless innings to lower his Kernels ERA to an incredible 0.90.

    Lamonte Wade Jr. played in his first rehab game and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout as he played seven innings.

    E-Town E-Notes
    Elizabethton 2, Danville 3
    Box Score

    Tyler Benninghoff: 0 IP (left with injury)
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Kidany Salva (2-for-4, 2B)

    Tyler Benninghoff had the first pitch of the game hit back at him off his hand and left the game. Hopefully everything is alright for him.

    Frandy Torres took over and was outstanding for pitching on a moment’s notice as he fired off four scoreless innings to keep the Twins’ heads up despite having their starter leave the game early.

    The Elizabethton offense left many ducks on the pond as they went just 1-for-14 w/RISP and had a team LOB of 12. The two runs scored were not enough and the chances the Twins had with runners on proved to be their downfall.

    In total, Elizabethton’s pitching was impressive as Torres, Denny Bentley, and Benjamin Dum combined for just two earned runs allowed over nine and a third innings pitched. Seems like a number of teams in the Twins’ system received fine performances as they attempted to piece the game together with their bullpen.

    GCL Twins Takes
    Game one: GCL Twins 5, GCL Red Sox 6 (7 innings)
    Box Score

    Stephen Gonsalves: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
    HR: Jesus Feliz (4), Francisco Martinez (4)
    Multi-hit games: Wander Valdez (3-for-3, 2 2B, R)

    Stephen Gonsalves made another rehab start for the GCL Twins. In this start he allowed a homer and a double but also got five of his six outs on strikeouts, a solid sign for the lefty. Trevor Hildenberger relieved Gonsalves and he also went two innings with a pair of strikeouts and only one hit allowed. Strangely enough, only one out came on a ground ball, an unusual feat for Hildenberger.

    The GCL Twins’ offense was firing early as Jesus Feliz hit a three-run home run in the 1st inning and Francisco Martinez hit a two-run home run in the 4th which gave the GCL Twins a 5-1 lead.

    Unfortunately for the Twins, the lead would not last as some sloppy play allowed a handful of runs to score and the GCL Red Sox would eventually walk them off in the 7th.

    It started with a throwing error by catcher Jeferson Morales in the 5th on a steal that allowed a run to score to make it 5-2. Then in the 6th, a balk by Donny Breek scored another run before a bases-loaded walk made it a 5-4 game. Jose Guevara took over for the 7th and with two outs he allowed the game-tying single before a passed ball from Jeferson Morales allowed the winning run to score.

    Game two: GCL Twins 7, GCL Red Sox 4 (7 innings)
    Box Score

    Anthony Escobar: 2 ⅓ IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
    HR: Francisco Martinez (5)
    Multi-hit games: Jeferson Morales (2-for-2, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Jake Hirabayashi (2-for-3, 2 RBI)

    The GCL Twins again got out to a quick offensive start thanks to a two RBI single from Jake Hirabayashi in the 1st that was followed by a wild pitch which scored another run in the inning.

    Much like the game before, the scoring did not stop there for the GCL Twins as a Jeferson Morales double in the next inning scored another run and Francisco Martinez’s second homer of the day plated two more runs to give them seven runs total in the game.

    The big difference was that the pitching held firm as just two pitchers gave up runs and even though runs were given up in the 7th again, the lead was much bigger this time around so it didn’t matter. Steeve Theetge pitched two and a third shutout innings to earn the win and Niall Windeler punched out the side in his lone inning of work. Evan Gillespie was the culprit in giving up the runs in the 7th but it didn’t matter as the runs came with two outs and Gillespie was able to get the final out to win it.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Chris Vallimont
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Alex Kirilloff

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, R, K
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 3-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did not pitch
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 0-for-4, K
    #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-3, 3 K
    #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch
    #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Did not play
    #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured list
    #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did not pitch
    #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch
    #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Twins) - Did not pitch
    #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured list
    #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - Did not play
    #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) -
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - Did not play
    #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did not play
    #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery
    #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 1 ⅔ IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
    #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 2-for-4
    #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 2-for-4, 2B, K

    Rochester @ Louisville (1:00 P.M.) - RHP Randy Dobnak
    Pensacola @ Mississippi (5:05 P.M.) - TBD
    Fort Myers @ Jupiter (12:00 P.M.) - TBD
    Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (5:15 P.M.) - RHP Andrew Cabezas
    Elizabethton @ Princeton (4:00 P.M.) - RHP Ben Gross

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.

    • Aug 17 2019 08:55 PM
    • by Matt Braun
  16. Twins Minor League Report (8/14): Prospects in Pensacola

    Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Wednesday, starting with the transactions of the day.


    • RHP Ryan Eades was DFAd by the Twins and claimed by the Baltimore Orioles.
    • RHP DJ Baxendale was activated by the Red Wings, and RHP Cody Stashak returned from the Twins.
    • C Ben Rortvedt was placed on the Pensacola injured list. C/1B Taylor Grzelakowski returned to the Blue Wahoos from Ft. Myers.
    • RHP Jose Martinez was activated from the IL. RHP Alex Schick went on the IL with a hamstring injury.
    Rochester 3, Indianapolis 5
    Box Score

    Griffin Jax made his second start for the Red Wings. He gave up five runs (three earned) on seven hits in four innings. He gave up runs in three of the four innings he pitched. He did not walk or strike out anyone.

    Preston Guilmet and Ryan O’Rourke each tossed two scoreless innings. Guilmet gave up two hits, walked one and struck out three. O’Rourke gave up one hit and struck out three.

    Wynston Sawyer returned and led the offense. He went 4-for-4 in the game. Zander Wiel hit his 21st home run of the season in the ninth inning, but the rally came up short.

    Pensacola 9, Chattanooga 7
    Box Score

    Pensacola put up big, crooked numbers in two of the innings and held on when the Lookouts had one big inning.

    Alex Kirilloff led the way. He went 3-for-5 and hit his eighth home run in the first inning to put the Wahoos on the scoreboard. He also stole his sixth base. Trevor Larnach went 3-for-4. Royce Lewis went 2-for-5 and stole his third base. Jimmy Kerrigan was 2-for-5 and stole his 13th base. Caleb Hamilton was 1-for-2 with two walks.

    Lefty Bryan Sammons started and gave up two runs on six hits over the first six innings. He walked two and struck out five batters. Tom Hackimer started the seventh inning. He recorded just one out and was charged with four runs on two hits and two walks. Jorge Alcala came on and gave up one run on two hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings. Brusdar Graterol came on and got the final out of the eighth inning. He walked the leadoff batter in the ninth inning, but picked him off. He then walked a second batter before getting the three outs. It was the first save of Graterol’s professional career.

    Seth Aside (because I get asked a lot): I have no doubt that Brusdar Graterol will be called up on the last day of August, if not sooner, assuming he remains healthy.

    Ft. Myers 2, St. Lucie 1
    Box Score

    The Miracle put together a well-pitched game, and a couple of Florida State League “Firsts” helped them to the win.

    Tyler Watson started and gave up just one run on six hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out six. Johan Quezada came in and got out outs. Moises Gomez got the final five outs of the game, four on strikeouts.

    The Miracle got on the board in the third inning. Jacob Pearson knocked his first home run for the Miracle. He went 3-for-4 in the game and also stole his sixth base. In the seventh inning, Yeltsin Encarnacion crushed his first Miracle home run, and it proved to be the game-winner.

    Cedar Rapids 2, Wisconsin 3
    Box Score

    The Kernels fell behind early, but runs in the eighth and ninth innings tied the score. However, they fell on an infield hit in the bottom of the ninth.

    In the eighth inning, a Wander Javier single scored Daniel Ozoria. Then in the top of the ninth inning, Trevor Casanova lofted a fly ball deep enough to score Spencer Steer with the tying run.

    Ozoria led the offense. He went 2-for-2 and was hit by a pitch. He stole his 10th and 11th bases.

    Kody Funderburk started for the Kernels. The left-hander started with four scoreless innings before giving up two runs in the fifth frame. In his 4 2/3 innings, he gave up the two runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out five. Jose Martinez gave up two hits but no runs over the next 1 1/3 innings. He struck out two. Dylan Thomas tossed two scoreless innings. Nate Hadley came in for the ninth inning, but with two outs, he gave up an infield single that scored the winning run.

    Box Score

    No Game Scheduled.

    GCL Twins, GCL Braves
    Box Score

    The GCL Twins were postponed by rain… again. The two teams are scheduled to play two games on Thursday.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Tyler Watson, Ft. Myers Miracle
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Alex Kirilloff, Pensacola Blue Wahoos

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 2-5, R, K, SB(3)
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 3-5, HR(8), 2 R, 2 RBI, K, SB(6)
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K (13 pitches, 5 strikes)
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 3-4, R, RBI, K, SF
    #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-3, BB, RBI, K
    #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - 0-4, BB, R, 2 K
    #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (25 pitches, 17 strikes)
    #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 2-5, 3B(5), R, RBI, K, CS

    Rochester @ Indianapolis (6:05 CST) - LHP Charlie Barnes (0-0, 8.31 ERA)
    Chattanooga @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (3-0, 2.52 ERA)
    St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (6-3, 2.76 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (7:05 CST) - RHP Luis Rijo (4-7, 2.84 ERA)
    Elizabethton @ Danville (5:30 CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (0-1, 5.65 ERA)
    GCL Twins @ GCL Braves (DH @ 9:00 CST) - TBD, TBD

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Wednesday games or any other minor league topics you would like.

    • Aug 15 2019 07:20 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  17. Twins Minor League Report (8/9): Chris Vallimont Flirts With No-No, Pensacola Goes On Homer Binge

    Twins recalled RHP Cody Stashak from Rochester.
    LHP Charlie Barnes promoted to Rochester.
    RHP Bailey Ober promoted to Pensacola.

    Louisville 3, Rochester 1
    Box Score

    Adam Bray: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 59.7% strikes (40 of 67 pitches)
    HR: Tomas Telis (8)
    Multi-hit games: None

    A great pitching performance from the Red Wings staff was squandered by a quiet night from the bats and a slip up from Fernando Romero.

    Adam Bray pitched four shutout innings before Jake Reed followed with a pair of clean frames of his own. Romero gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits over 1 2/3 innings. The only Rochester run came on a homer from catcher Tomas Telis.

    Pensacola 8, Mobile 5
    Box Score

    Edwar Colina: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 56.7% strikes (51 of 90 pitches)
    HR: Alex Kirilloff (7), Trevor Larnach (4), Ryan Costello (5), Mark Contreras (8), Royce Lewis (1)
    Multi-hit games: Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR, HBP), Larnach (2-for-4, HR, BB), Travis Blankenhorn (2-for-5, 3B), Jordan Gore (2-for-4)

    What a first inning for Pensacola. Alex Kirilloff led things off with a home run, Travis Blankehorn added a one-out triple and Trevor Larnach brought him around on a two-run homer. The Blue Wahoos continued to serve up tater trot hotdish, as Ryan Costello, Mark Contreras and Royce Lewis would all also homer. It was Lewis’ first Double-A home run.

    Edwar Colina lasted just 3 1/3 innings, but the Pensacola pen stepped up. Jovani Moran (five outs), Jorge Alcala (six outs), Andrew Vasquez (two outs) and Jonathan Cheshire (four outs) combined to cover the final 5 2/3 innings. That quartet gave up just three hits and Vasquez was the only one of them to surrender a run.

    Jupiter 9, Fort Myers 1
    Box Score

    Chris Vallimont: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 67.9% strikes (55 of 81 pitches)
    HR: Ernie De La Trinidad (3)
    Multi-hit games: None

    Life comes at you fast. Chris Vallimont carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and the Miracle ended up getting blown out. Baseball can be cruel sometimes.

    Vallimont, who came over from Miami along with Sergio Romo in the Lewin Diaz trade, didn’t make the best first impression with his new org, giving up six runs over 2 2/3 innings in his first start. Tonight, he was brilliant.

    Entering the eighth inning, the only baserunner Vallimont allowed reached on a walk. Unfortunately, his first pitch of the eighth inning was hit into left field for a single. The next batter hit a double and that was it for Vallimont.

    Joe Record, who was recently named Twins Daily’s Reliever of the Month for July, couldn’t stop the skid, and the Hammerheads ended up scoring eight runs that inning. Ouch.

    Kane County 10, Cedar Rapids 9
    Box Score

    Matt Canterino: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 62.3% strikes (38 of 61 pitches)
    HR: Gabe Snyder (14)
    Multi-hit games: Tyler Webb (4-for-5), Snyder (2-for-5, HR)

    Cedar Rapids entered the top of the ninth inning trailing 6-4. Spencer Steer hit a two-run double to tie the game and Gabe Snyder added a sacrifice fly to put the Kernels up. The Cougars managed to answer and these two teams continued to go blow-for-blow in extras.

    Both teams scored in the 10th inning, Cedar Rapids added another run in the 11th, but Kane County answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to win on a walk-off.

    Johnson City 8, Elizabethton 7
    Box Score

    Ryley Widell: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 K
    HR: Willie Joe Garry Jr. (4)
    Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (3-for-5, 2B), Janingson Villalobos (2-for-4), Charles Mack (2-for-5)

    This was a back-and-forth affair. E-Town fell behind 4-1, stormed back to take the lead in the fourth inning, gave it up and fell behind 7-5 in the sixth, tied the game in the bottom of that inning thanks to a Willie Joe Garry Jr. two-run homer, but then relinquished the lead for good in the top of the seventh.

    Frandy Torres did his best to keep the E-Twins in it, closing things out with four strikeouts over three no-hit innings.

    GCL Twins 5, GCL Red Sox 2 (8 innings)
    Box Score

    Donny Breek: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Malique Ziegler (2-for-4), Francisco Martinez (2-for-4, 2B)

    Scheduled to be Game 1 of a doubleheader, this game was only supposed to go seven innings. The Red Sox managed to knot things up at 2-2 in the bottom of that inning, forcing this one into extras. Though it was only the eighth inning. Minor league doubleheaders get weird.

    Anyway, Victor Heredia, Malique Ziegler and Franscico Martinez all recorded hits to open the top of the eighth and the Twins managed to tally three runs that inning. Donny Breek gave up one unearned run over his 5 1/3 innings, dropping his ERA to 0.59. Bradley Hanner gave up one run over the final 2 2/3 innings.

    To make things all the more weird, game 2, which was the makeup of a game originally scheduled for last Sunday, was suspended in the bottom of the first inning and will be completed tomorrow. Third time’s the charm?

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Chris Vallimont, Fort Myers
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Alvor Larnilloff, Pensacola (I couldn't pick one, you decide between Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach)

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed:

    1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 1-for-4, HR, BB, R, 3 RBI, 2 K
    2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 2-for-4, HR, HBP, 2 R, RBI, K
    4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 2-for-4, HR, BB, R, 2 RBI
    5. Wander Javier (CR): 1-for-4, 2 BB, 2 R, E (throw)
    7: Keoni Cavaco (GCL): 0-for-4, R, K
    15. Matt Wallner (ELZ): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, K
    16. Ben Rortvedt (PNS): 0-for-4, BB, 2 K
    18. Jorge Alcala (PNS): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 59.0% strikes (23 of 39 pitches)
    20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 2-for-5, 3B, R

    Rochester vs. Louisville, 6:05 pm CT (Charlie Barnes)
    Pensacola at Mobile, 7:05 pm CT (TBD)
    Fort Myers vs. Jupiter, 5:00 pm CT (Blayne Enlow)
    Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit, 6:35 pm CT (Tyler Palm)
    Elizabethton vs. Johnson City, 5:30 pm CT (Tyler Benninghoff)
    GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox, 9:00 am CT (TBD)

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

    • Aug 10 2019 06:34 AM
    • by Tom Froemming
  18. Leading Off Podcast With Cooper & Matt: Post-Trade Deadline SZN

    Scroll to the bottom for time stamps.

    Hey everyone! Click the link below for the iTunes audio of the podcast.

    In this link you can find the Spotify audio of the podcast.


    Please be sure to let us know what you think whether it’s a question, you disagree with us, or you just hate my voice by commenting on this post or heading over to our Twitter accounts below

    Cooper: Carlson_MnTwins
    Matt: Matthew_bTwins

    Time stamps:

    7:50 lengthy trade deadline talk (Dyson, so SP trade for the Twins, etc)

    27:50 Zack Greinke

    31:00 Did Cleveland get better by trading Bauer?

    37:20 Should Smeltzer stick around?

    44:20 More Injuries…

    56:40 Fan questions (when will we see Kirilloff/Graterol)

    1:15:40 Looking ahead

    • Aug 05 2019 06:51 AM
    • by Cooper Carlson
  19. Twins Minor League Report (8/4): Larnach Perfect at Plate for Pensacola

    Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Sunday, starting with the awards of the week and the transactions of the day.


    • Hitter of the Week: Gilberto Celestino, OF, Cedar Rapids Kernels - Celestino is the choice for the second straight week. In his six games this week, he hit .458 with a double, a homer and an OPS of 1.144. He came to the Twins a year ago with Jorge Alcala in the Ryan Pressly trade.
    • Pitcher of the Week: Bailey Ober, RHP, Ft. Myers Miracle - He went 1-0 on the week and gave up only an unearned run on six hits over 6 1/3 innings. He was the 12th-round pick of the Twins in 2017 out of the College of Charleston.
    • Devin Smeltzer was called up to the Twins (And he had a terrific game!). Sam Dyson to the injured list.
    Rochester 3, Pawtucket 7
    Box Score

    With Devin Smeltzer getting called up to start for the Twins, it was a bullpen game for the Red Wings. Adam Bray started. He went three innings and gave up four hits and a walk. He gave up four runs in the second inning. Fernando Romero walked one and struck out three over two scoreless, no-hit innings. Jake Reed got the sixth inning and gave up three runs on three hits and a walk. Sam Clay and Jeremy Bleich each worked a scoreless in relief.

    Wilin Rosario continues to mash. He went 3-for-5 with his 16th home run. Ronald Torreyes went 2-or-4. Zander Wiel hit his 32nd double.

    Pensacola 10, Birmingham 1
    Box Score

    The lineup powered the Blue Wahoos to another win, but the pitching was really good too.

    Edwar Colina started and improved to 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA since his promotion to Pensacola last month. He gave up one run on two hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out five. Jovan Moran struck out two over two scoreless innings. Jorge Alcala gave up two hits over two scoreless innings to end the game.

    Trevor Larnach was perfect on the game. He went 3-for-3 and walked twice. Royce Lewis went 1-for-3 with two walks. He also stole a base. Alex Kirilloff hit his sixth Wahoos homer. Jordan Gore was 2-for-4 with his third home run. Ryan Costello provided some late-inning insurance with his fourth homer.

    Ft. Myers 7, Lakeland 8
    Box Score

    The Miracle jumped out to a 7-1 lead after six innings, but Lakeland scored one in the seventh, three in the eighth and three more in the ninth to walk off the Miracle.

    Bailey Ober continued his fantastic-when-healthy season for the Miracle. He gave up one run on four hits over six innings. He struck out eight batters without issuing a walk.

    Moises Gomez came on and gave up four runs on five hits in 1 1/3 innings Three of the hits were home runs. Joe Record got three outs. He gave up three runs on four hits and a walk. With one out and runners on second and third in the bottom of the ninth, Melvi Acosta came in with the game tied. He intentionally walked a batter to load the bases. It is a fine strategy to try to set up an inning-ending (and game-continuing) double play. Unfortunately, Acosta also walked the next batter which ended the game.

    Gabriel Maciel was terrific out of the leadoff spot. He went 4-for-5 with his third homer. He also stole his 13th base. Andrew Bechtold and Jacob Pearson each went 2-for-4 with their fifth doubles. Jose Miranda was also 2-for-4. Trey Cabbage hit his sixth home run, and Chris Williams hit his first Miracle home run since his promotion last week.

    Cedar Rapids 12, Burlington 4
    Box Score

    The Kernels used big innings to help them in this one. They had a three-run inning, a four-run innings and a five-run bottom of the eighth to put this one away. In the second inning, Gilberto Celestino cleared the bases with his 21st double. In the fifth inning, Albee Weiss hit a three-run homer. In the eighth inning, Tyler Webb homered and Wander Javier had a two-run double.

    Weiss led the offense. He went 2-for-3 with his sixth double and third home run. Tyler Webb was also 2-for-3 with his second Kernels homer. Javier had a walk in addition to his fifth double. Leadoff man, Spencer Steer, got on base three times. He walked twice and was hit by a pitch.

    E-Twins 1, Bristol 4
    Box Score

    Tyler Benninghoff put together a strong, quality start. The right-hander gave up three runs on seven this and a walk over six innings. He struck out four. Ryan Shreve came on and gave up one run over two innings. Steven Cruz struck out two in a one-hit inning.

    Max Smith led the offense. He went 2-for-4 with his seventh double. Seth Gray and Matt Wallner each added a double. DaShawn Keirsey and Trevor Jenson each went 1-for-3 with a walk.

    GCL Twins
    Box Score

    No Game Scheduled.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Bailey Ober, Ft. Myers Miracle
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Trevor Larnach, Pensacola Blue Wahoos

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-3, 2 BB, 2 R, K, SB(2)
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-4, BB, HR(6), R, 2 RBI
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Rehabbing in GCL
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 3-3, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 RBI
    #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, BB, HBP, 2B(5), R, 3 RBI.
    #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Temporary Inactive List (Pan Am Games)
    #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - No Game Scheduled
    #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List (groin).
    #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch
    #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch.
    #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch.
    #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did Not Play.
    #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - Did Not Play.
    #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 2-3, BB, 2 R
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-4, 2B(15), K
    #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-5, R, 2 K
    #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John)
    #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 2 IP
    #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - No Game Scheduled
    #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Injured List

    Rochester - No Game Scheduled.
    Birmingham @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - TBD
    Ft. Myers @ St. Lucie (5:30 CST) - LHP Lachlan Wells (1-2, 5.25 ERA)
    Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Andrew Cabezas (4-6, 3.93 ERA)
    Elizabethton @ Kingsport (5:30 CST) - RHP Ben Gross (3-1, 3.98 ERA)
    GCL Twins @ GCL Pirates (DH @ 9:00 CST) - TBD, TBD

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Sunday games or any other minor league topics you would like.

    • Aug 05 2019 04:21 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  20. Twins Minor League Report (8/1): Kirilloff Drives in Five, Graterol Continues Comeback

    OF Ramon Flores signed by Minnesota and assigned to Rochester.
    3B Jake Hirabayashi assigned to Rochester from GCL Twins.
    RHP Anthony Vizcaya placed on the 7-day IL with Pensacola.
    RHP Marcos Diplan acquired in trade with/ MIL and assigned to Pensacola.
    RHP Kai-Wei Ten to SF as part of the Sam Dyson deal.
    RHP Carlos Suniaga on 7-day IL with Pensacola.
    RHP Josh Winder on 7-day IL with Pensacola.

    Rochester 5, Scranton/WB 3
    Box Score
    Kohl Stewart got the nod for the Red Wings on Thursday afternoon. He pitched into the sixth inning (5 2/3 innings) and held the RailRiders to one run on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Jake Reed struggled in taking over for Stewart. He allowed two earned runs without allowing a hit. He struck out three and walked one in 1 1/3 innings.

    In the second inning, Alejandro De Aza got the scoring started with a solo-home run, his fourth long-ball of the year. Rochester added another in the fourth. De Aza and Zander Wiel both singled before Ramon Flores doubled in a run. De Aza was in the middle of the action in the fifth inning as well. Tomas Telis singled with two outs and De Aza cracked his second home run of the day. Jake Cave added his seventh home run in the seventh.

    Fernando Romero and Sam Clay finished off the game with two scoreless innings. Romero pitched 1 2/3 innings and limited Scranton/WB to one hit while striking out two and walking one. Clay was asked to get only one out and he recorded his first save.

    Pensacola 11, Birmingham 8
    Box Score
    Pensacola needed every one of Alex Kirilloff’s five RBIs in this one as they battled through a slugfest. Kirilloff finished 2-for-5 with his 14th double and his fifth home run, a three-run shot. Ivan De Jesus Jr also had a big night at the plate by going 3-for-4 with four RBIs including a three-run home run. Ben Rortvedt drove in a pair of runs with two outs in the inning. Overall, the club went 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

    Griffin Jax started and got roughed up. He allowed five runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Jorge Alcala pitched out the of the bullpen and surrendered one run on two hits with a strikeout in 1 2/3 innings. Andrew Vasquez blew the save but was credited with the win. He allowed two runs in two innings and struck out three. Jonathan Cheshire earned his first save since joining the Twins organization with a perfect ninth inning.

    Ft. Myers 3, Dunedin 0 (Game 1- 7 Innings)
    Box Score
    Cole Sands was outstanding even with a weather delay that impacted the start time of Game 1. He pitched six shutout innings and limited Dunedin to two hits. He struck out seven and walked one. Joe Record earned his third save with a perfect seventh inning.

    CJ Cron, on rehab assignment, got things started in the third inning with a solo home run. Jose Miranda also scored in that inning on a wild pitch. Miranda was also involved in the final run of the game. Jacob Pearson drove him in for an important insurance run in the bottom of the fifth. Andrew Bechtold reached base three times and was the lone Fort Myers batter with multiple hits.

    Ft. Myers 2, Dunedin 6 (Game 2- 7 Innings)
    Box Score
    Fort Myers got smoked for six runs in the third inning and it was tough to mount a comeback. Chris Vallimont was charged with all six earned runs as he couldn’t make it out of the third inning. Melvi Acosta pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings by striking out two.

    Gabriel Maciel got the Miracle on the scoreboard with a run-scoring triple in the fourth inning. Ernie De La Trinidad and Yelstin Encarnacion both doubled in the fifth to score another run but that was it for the Miracle.

    Cedar Rapids 4, Beloit 2
    Box Score
    Cedar Rapids and Luis Rijo allowed two runs in the first inning but that’s where the scoring stopped for the Snappers. Rijo settled in after the first and threw five straight scoreless frames. He compiled three strikeouts and one walk. He has pitched six innings or more in every start since July 4.

    Alex Schick and Rickey Ramirez combined for three shutout innings to end the game. Schick picked up his fourth win as he recorded four strikeouts out of the six outs he was asked to collect. Ramirez pitched a perfect ninth inning and added a strikeout.

    Tyler Webb led off the third inning with a single before Daniel Ozoria knocked his first home run of the season. The game remained tied until the ninth inning. Webb struck out to start the inning but reached first on a wild pitch. Ricky De La Torre walked to move a runner into scoring position. Ozoria bunted both runners over and then two batters later Gabe Snyder doubled, his 20th, to plate two runs.

    GCL Twins 3, GCL Braves 2
    Box Score
    Brusdar Graterol continued his comeback by making his second appearance in the GCL. He faced the minimum in the first inning as he allowed a single and then erased that runner on a double play. He was able to hit over 100 mph again. In his second inning, the first batter flew out to center. Then he struck out each of the next two batters on three pitches and they were all swinging strikes. Would the Twins consider adding him to the bullpen for the stretch run?

    With two outs in the third inning, Taylor Grzelakowski walked before moving to second on a Jesus Feliz single. Victor Heredia doubled, his third of the year, to drive in both runners. The GCL Twins added to their lead in the fourth when Sergio Toribio singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. After a ground out moved him to third, Yunior Severino drove in what turned out to be the game winning run.

    Regi Grace took over from Graterol and was credited with his first win. He pitched four innings and allowed one run, a solo home run, with four strikeouts and three walks. Petru Balan came in for the top of the seventh, but he walked the first two batters and was removed. Bradley Hanner stepped in to finish the game with three shutout innings. He struck out two and walked one.

    TD Pitcher of the Day- Cole Sands, Fort Myers (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 7 K, BB)
    TD Hitter of the Day- Alejandro De Aza, Rochester (3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, K)

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
    #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – 1-4, R, K
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 2-4, 5 RBI, HR, 2B, 2 R, K
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (GCL Twins- Rehab) – 2.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 2 K
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 0-4, 3 K
    #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play
    #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch
    #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) – 1-4, 3 K
    #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list
    #9 - Jhoan Duran (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch
    #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch
    #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) – Did not pitch
    #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-5
    #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – Did not play
    #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 1-6, R
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) – 1-4, R, RBI, BB, K
    #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – 1-3, 2 RBI, R
    #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – 1.2 IP, ER, 2 H, K
    #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) – Did not play
    #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – Injured list

    Rochester @ Pawtucket (6:05 CST) – TBD
    Pensacola vs. Birmingham (6:35 CST) – RHP Jhoan Duran (3-9, 3.04 ERA)
    Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 3.88 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:30 CST) – TBD
    Elizabethton vs. Bristol (5:30 CST) – TBD
    GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox (11:00 AM CST) – TBD

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games.

    • Aug 02 2019 05:57 AM
    • by Cody Christie
  21. Trade Deadline Thread: How Far Would You Go to Add an Ace?

    Friday, La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported that the Mets asking price for Noah Syndergaard is sky high. According Neal’s sources, the Mets are “eyeing both Lewis and Kirilloff as part of a package for Syndergaard.”

    Wow. Royce Lewis AND Alex Kirilloff ... and that’s just PART of the package?

    Last night, La Velle passed along another trade tidbit, saying that the Mets’ asking price included Byron Buxton.

    It’s not at all surprising the Twins were “turned off” by that price, but from the Mets’ perspective, the worst thing that could happen is the Twins say no. Why not ask, right?

    Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that an executive who has communicated with the Mets said “They are definitely trading Syndergaard.” If that truly is the case, the Mets front office will need to lower its asking price, but they can certainly expect to command a hefty return for the 26-year-old Syndergaard, who still has two more seasons of team control.

    The beauty of the deadline is this will all have to be resolved one way or another by 3 pm CT tomorrow afternoon.

    La Velle’s piece called Syndergaard a target “no longer viable,” but only time will tell. That price may drop. Among the bullpen targets the Twins could pivot to, Neal listed Kirby Yates, Greg Holland, Archie Bradley and Mychal Givens.

    What do I think is going to happen? Well, here’s nearly 15 minutes of me sharing my thoughts on the deadline, the front office’s intentions and some of what my expectations are. This could end up looking really, really bad. It’s so difficult to even guess what may happen, since this is the first real contending Twins team of the Derek Falvey era.

    To answer my own question purposed in the headline, the furthest I’d personally go to trade for an ace-calibur pitcher would be Alex Kirilloff as the marquee piece. Cody wrote an article last night that asked Is Alex Kirilloff Expendale? I think to a certain degree he is. That’s much less of a shot at Alex as it is an indication of how stacked this organization is with corner outfield/first base options right now.

    It’s not that I view Lewis as completely untouchable, but it’d take multiple good, long-term pieces coming back. There’s a chance Royce both reaches his ceiling and stays at shortstop. If that happens, he’ll be among the most valuable players in the league. It’d take a lot to walk away from that.

    Not that I don’t believe in Alex. There’s no questioning his feel for hitting, and I think he’s more athletic than most people give him credit for, but corner outfielders or first basemen are easy to find, relatively speaking. C.J. Cron hit 30 homers and was non-tendered. The entire current Twins outfield will remain in tact for multiple seasons and there are some other attractive outfielders in the pipeline as well.

    If the Twins end up aiming lower on the trade market, there are reasons why I could understand that. This is the first year on the job for Rocco Baldelli, Wes Johnson and Jeremy Hefner. This is a franchise on the rise, not one who sees its window closing.

    A lot of the players carrying this team right now will be around for years to come and the minor league system ranks among the best in the game. That doesn’t guarantee you anything, but I feel like there’s a very good chance we’re entering an extended period of sustained winning baseball in Twins Territory.

    Even if they aim gets lower, this front office still has plenty of incentive to make some moves. In mid-June, I wrote about the potential impending roster crunch this offseason. Lewin Diaz was among the guys I mentioned who needed to be added to the 40-man roster at the end of the season. He’s already been shipped out to Miami.

    Beyond all the top prospects is a nice tier of players that should be attractive to a team who has a barren system. Ben Rortvedt, Ryan Jeffers, Jose Miranda and (though he’s injured right now) Travis Blankenhorn could be dangled for more pitching help. Guys performing in Triple-A like Nick Gordon or Jaylin Davis would have some appeal to certain teams. And those are just some of the bats.

    This is going to sound harsh, but it wouldn’t take a lot to improve the outlook of the Twins bullpen right now. Even marginal upgrades would go a long way. They’ve looked good at times, but it’s just not realistic to roll with rookies Lewis Thorpe, Sean Poppen and Cody Stashak in the bullpen down the stretch.

    So while the market for a top of the rotation starter may seem steep right now, there’s still time for things to change. If prices don't come down, I still fully expect the Twins to make multiple moves between now and the deadline, given their incentive to clear some room.

    I still can’t believe how quiet things have been league-wide to this point. Things could get nuts leading up to tomorrow’s 3 pm CT deadline.

    Twins Moving on From SP Trade Targets?
    What Sergio Romo Brings to the Twins Bullpen
    Could the Twins Afford to Take on Zack Greinke’s Contract?
    Trade Deadline Thread: The Rumor Mill is Working Overtime
    Trade Deadline Topics: Prospects, Scouting, Rumors
    Trade Deadline Thread: What To Do About the Rotation?
    The Gauntlet 1.2; A Complete Breakdown of the Top Relief Arms
    For Enlow and Other Minor Leaguers, “No One Is Safe” At Trade Deadline
    Twins Won't Rule Out Trading For Lance Lynn

    Let's Make A Deal, Part V: Are We Getting Noah Syndergaard or Someone Else?
    Let's Make A Deal, Part IV: The Sellers
    Let's Make A Deal, Part III: The Ammunition
    Let's Make A Deal, Part II: Payroll
    Let's Make A Deal, Part I: 2020

    • Jul 30 2019 05:43 AM
    • by Tom Froemming
  22. Is Alex Kirilloff Expendable?

    Offensive Power
    Kirilloff is coming off one of Minnesota’s best seasons ever for a minor league player. Between Low- and High-A, he hit .348/.392/.578 with 71 extra-base hits in 130 games. He also showed a decent approach at the plate as he posted an 86 to 28 strikeout to walk ratio. By season’s end, Kirilloff would be named MiLB’s Breakout Prospect of the Year and the Twins awarded him the Sherry Robertson Award as the team’s Minor League Player of the Year.

    It was going to be hard for Kirilloff to repeat his 2018 campaign, especially since the Twins decided to be aggressive with him to start the year. He only played 65 games in the Florida State League to end 2018 and the organization still sent him to Pensacola to begin the year. In 65 games at that level, he has hit .271/.336/.384 with 19 extra-base hits and a 60 to 21 strikeout to walk ratio.

    Some of his offensive struggles this season have resulted from multiple trips to the injured list with a wrist injury. For batters, wrist injuries can be a nagging and follow a player through an entire season. Since returning from the IL on June 20, he has a .686 OPS with nine extra-base hits in 36 games. He has failed to draw a walk in each of his last 18 games.

    Defensive Questions
    Kirilloff’s bat tool has always been his key to making it to the big leagues. Throughout his professional career, he has spent the majority of his defensive innings in right field. There have been a few opportunities for him to play in both other outfield positions and he has played over 180 innings at first base this year. It still seems most likely for him to stick at a corner outfield spot in the years ahead.

    Minnesota is amid a tight race for the top of the AL Central and prospect like Kirilloff can hold a lot of value at this time of year. If the right deal comes along, Kirilloff should be a prospect the Twins consider selling. This doesn’t mean the front office should give him away for a mid-level relief prospect. However, the club needs another starter to go deep into October and Kirilloff could be a center piece to a big-time trade.

    He would currently be in line to play a corner outfield spot, but Minnesota has some other strong players already occupying those places in the line-up. Max Kepler, the team’s current right fielder, leads the team with 28 home runs and he has team’s second highest WAR total behind Jorge Polanco. Kepler also signed an extension this off-season that could keep him with the Twins through 2024.

    On the other side of the outfield, Eddie Rosario has certainly evolved into one of the team’s leaders. He has hit .280/.307/.514 with 38 extra-base hits including one of the most memorable home runs in recent Twins history. The 27-year old is still arbitration eligible and the earliest he can reach free agency is 2022. With both corner outfield spots occupied, the Twins might have to get creative to fit Kepler, Rosario, and Kirilloff into the same line-up.

    First base seems like a natural spot for Kepler or Kirilloff to end up, but the Twins might also need to play Miguel Sano at first in the years ahead. While using one of these players at first is an option, Minnesota showed this year that a team can find a first baseman like CJ Cron without giving anything up in return.

    Deadline Deal?
    It seems unlikely for the front office to move any of the team’s top prospects unless the club is acquiring a starting pitcher with multiple years of team control. Some players that fit this mold would be the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard (team control through 2021) and the Tigers’ Matthew Boyd (2022).

    According to the Star Tribune’s La Velle E. Neal, the Mets are asking for both Royce Lewis and Kirilloff in any potential trade for Syndergaard. This seems like a king’s ransom for the right-handed hurler, but it’s tough to know what the Mets are thinking at this point. Already this week, the club acquired one of the top available pitchers, Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays.

    Could the Mets asking price decrease before Wednesday? Could they settle for Kirilloff along with other players not named Royce Lewis? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

    • Jul 30 2019 07:08 AM
    • by Cody Christie
  23. Trade Deadline Topics: Prospects, Scouting, Rumors

    The first thing we all need to admit, the term Prospect means something different to everyone. People aren’t going to agree on every prospect or rank them exactly the same. My Top prospect ranking looks a little different than Cody’s rankings or Tom’s rankings and with others, we have our Twins Daily Top 40 rankings. It looks different than Baseball America which looks a little different than Baseball Prospectus which looks a little different than FanGraphs which looks a little different than MLB Pipeline Which looks different than ESPNs rankings. And that’s OK.

    But as it relates to the Trade Deadline, the only prospect rankings and organizational depth charts that matter are the Minnesota Twins and any team that is scouting their players.

    That is the reason that each individual can have a slightly different, or fully different, opinion on a trade and the players dealt away.

    To that degree, we love our prospects, right? Every fan base loves its own prospects. No matter the deal, any trade that sends a player away hurts to some degree because, even if we don’t know that player personally, he’s part of the “We” that includes players, front office and fans too.

    At the same time, we all understand that in order to get something, something has to be given up, and in baseball, especially at the trade deadline, that comes in the form of prospects.

    I’ve been giving it some thought… let me know in the Comments if this makes sense.

    By definition, signing a free agent means that a team was willing to pay a little bit more than the other 29 teams were willing to pay. So it is overpaying, but hopefully just by a little bit. However, each team should also have a maximum amount (in years and dollars) for each player.

    It is sort of the same at the trade deadline. You know in every trade, the seller accepts the trade from the team that offered them the most. The acquiring team overpaid by just enough to “win” the trade.

    So, the goal of a Buyer when they really want to acquire a player should be to overpay, but just by a little bit. Each team should also have a maximum amount (in terms of prospects) for each player.

    So as it relates to the trade deadline, what does that mean? For each of the following players, how much would you be willing to trade? How much is too much?

    Noah Syndergaard:
    Marcus Stroman:
    Ken Giles:
    Mike Minor:
    Lance Lynn;
    Sergio Romo:
    Daniel Hudson:
    And the list goes on and on.

    How much do we love “our” prospects? But how much do we want to increase the Twins likelihood of winning a World Series incrementally? That is the question for you in the comments below, but it is also the question for the Twins front office in the next four to five days.


    There are often scouts from other organizations at minor league games, just doing their job and getting information on players from the Twins organization. However, I have heard that there have been a lot of scouts in the last couple of weeks, particularly in Ft. Myers and Pensacola. The teams that have sent scouts to the Twins include (but certainly not limited to) the Blue Jays, Mets, Tigers, Royals, Giants, Rangers and Diamondbacks.

    That only makes sense. Teams are looking for pitching, and almost every night, there are real quality pitching prospects going for those affiliates. Teams certainly want to get a look at the likes of Edwar Colina, Jhoan Duran, Blayne Enlow, and even a guy like Cole Sands who has been really strong in his professional debut. Scouts have seen Jordan Balazovic, though his next start will be for Team Canada against Cuba on Tuesday at the Pan Am games in Peru. And they would certainly like to see Brusdar Graterol who hasn’t pitched in a game since May 19th, though there were reports this week that he could start a rehab assignment soon in the GCL.

    As for position players, the players that teams are scouting are in the lineup most every day, so it’s easier to know that they can be seen.

    There are scouts assigned to cover certain teams, and generally speaking they continue to be on-hand and scout as usual. However, over these last week or two they may be asked to focus on a target or two. Also over this time frame, teams may pull one of their other scouts will be pull off of their regular duty to get extra eyes on an organization that could be a trade partner.

    Twins Rumors

    On Thursday afternoon, the big talker became Noah Syndergaard.

    On Friday afternoon, the spotlight shifted again, this time north of the border to Marcus Stroman and Ken Giles.

    Jon Morosi from MLB Network got Twins fans talking for going very specific. A top-of-rotation starter and a veteran reliever are available, but Morosi says the Twins aren’t sure that they would give up both Trevor Larnach and Brusdar Graterol for him.

    Would the price come down if the teams waiting until Tuesday or Wednesday, or will another team swoop them up? Would it cost more or less to acquire the two together or in separate deals? In other words, what would the cost be for the Twins to acquire Stroman and then to acquire Giles (or another top reliever) in individual deals?

    And how does the Twins interest in Daniel Hudson factor into these discussions?

    Hey Sergio!

    The Twins will be in Miami during the trade deadline next week. Could they get Sergio Romo to switch dugouts mid-series?

    The 36-year-old is in his 12th season in the big leagues. He won three World Series titles with the Giants. He has 126 saves. He has 10.0 K/9 rate and 2.1 BB/9. This year with the Marlins, he has a 7.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 to go with a 3.58 ERA. He is also 17 for 18 in save opportunities.

    Romo is now a soft-tosser, reliant on his moxie, and a good mix of changeup and slider. The cost to acquire him would be quite low.

    Syndergaard Updates

    Joel Sherman from the New York Post.reported again on Friday night that the Mets are definitely looking to trade Noah Syndergaard. He mentions the Astros, Braves and Padres are the teams they feel have the best opportunity to acquire him.

    LaVelle Neal from the Star Tribune noted on Thursday that it might take Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff to acquire Syndergaard. That should not be the case for the hard-throwing right-hander who has an ERA over 4 this year and missed most of the 2017 season with injury. But he is an ace caliber right-hander who has two more years of team control after this year.

    Dan Hayes from The Athletic pointed out that the Twins would be willing to move Lewis or Kirilloffin the right deal, meaning, for an Ace starting pitcher.

    In the same Sherman article, he pointed out that the likelihood that closer Edwin Diaz being traded “has greatly increased as well.” In fact, Jim Bowden says there may be more interest in the hard-throwing right-hander.

    And hey, Ken Rosenthal has found a scenario where the Mets trade Syndergaard to the Padres and then the Mets would acquire Marcus Stroman. Ah, trade deadline rumors.

    Twins Inquire on Robbie Ray Availability

    Yeah, that’s really it. The Twins have called the Diamondbacks to ask about Robbie Ray…

    As they have called on probably every potentially available pitcher at the trade deadline.

    Cross Him Off the List…

    One name mentioned in Twins rumors over the last month has been traded. On Saturday afternoon, Royals lefty reliever Jake Diekman became A’s lefty reliever Jake Diekman, per Jeff Passon:

    The A’s sent two minor leaguers to Kansas City to complete the deal,20-year-old right-hander Ismael Aquino (second season in the Arizona League) and outfielder Dairon Blanco, a 26-year-old Cuban outfielder in AA.

    (I was asked what an equivalent trade from the Twins may have looked like. I think the best I could do to compare would be GCL RHP Donny Breek and AA/AAA OF Jimmy Kerrigan.

    • Jul 27 2019 03:51 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  24. Let's Make A Deal, Part III: The Ammunition

    In May, I assumed the Twins would make Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff and Brusdar Graterol off-limits. I don’t think answering the phone and responding that anyone is untouchable is acceptable. That simply means you have to at least listen to any potential deal that would make your team better. Sure, you can say Lewis is untouchable. But what if the Padres offered Fernando Tatis Jr. for him straight up? You couldn’t say yes fast enough. (That’s just one of hundreds of examples.)

    Let’s start there.

    Royce Lewis has dropped a little in the eyes of evaluators. Keith Law dropped him to #34 on his midseason Top 50, citing both concerns offensively (a changed swing) and defensively (can’t stick at shortstop). Neither Law nor Baseball America considers him the best prospect in the organization anymore, though BA ranks him #21 overall. Of course, things can turn on a dime and have started to for Lewis, July has been good to the 20-year-old. He’s hitting over .300 and OPSing near .900 in the month.

    Alex Kirilloff has missed time with injuries but has continued to show the ability to hit and play right field adequately. Both Law (#15) and Baseball America (#17) rank him as one of the elite prospects in baseball. Kirilloff is plenty athletic and has defensive flexibility. If he remains in the organization, Kirilloff could see a move to the dirt and play first base. My personal opinion is that he would be passable in center, and if the Twins had interest in moving him, they would have showcased that ability occasionally in 2019. They haven’t.

    Brusdar Graterol has moved up 20 spots in Baseball America’s ratings (from #55 to #35) despite missing significant time this year with a shoulder ailment. He wasn’t going to show up in Law’s Top 50, as he wasn’t listed in his preseason Top 100.

    Both Jordan Balazovic and Trevor Larnach have improved their prospect stock throughout the first half of the season. Balazovic (#44) moved into Law’s Top 50 and BA’s top 100 (#98) and though Larnach didn’t make either list, it’s fair to assume he is just outside the Top 100.

    Fangraphs views them all a little less consistently than Law and Baseball America. They still view Royce Lewis one of the highest ceiling prospects in baseball (#2 overall) and have Kirilloff (#44), Graterol (#54), Larnach (#76) and Jhoan Duran (#99) in the Top 100. Balazovic is not.

    All of that is mentioned for two reasons: 1) It’s information that people are interested in. 2) It goes to show how differently people/publications and teams can view prospects.

    It also gives us a pretty good idea that the Twins have six prospects (one shortstop, two corner outfielders, and three pitchers) that are a cut above the rest. When it comes to potentially dealing any of these six, there shouldn’t be any consideration if the return is simply a rental.

    If the return is more significant - Thor, Stroman, Bauer - then maybe those conversations can last a little longer.

    Let’s look at some other pieces the Twins may consider moving and how they might be viewed in other organizations.

    The Twins have one of the best shortstops in baseball on a long-term, team-friendly deal in Jorge Polanco. They also have the emerging Luis Arraez, who fits best at second base. If Royce Lewis remains in the organization, everyone else who plays in the middle infield could easily be dealt.

    Wander Javier is a well-known name to prospect hounds - he cracked BA’s Top 100 before the 2018 season - but has dealt with injuries and an inability to hit. He’s hitting below .160 and has committed 10 errors in 36 games. He’s less headliner currently and more well-known lottery ticket. Those players have value… just not as much as we’d like Javier to have at this point. A shoo-in to be added to the 40-man in November before the season started, though that now appears to be far from a sure thing.

    The other obvious name is Nick Gordon, who is on the 40-man but hasn’t been able to make his MLB debut despite playing at AA or AAA since the beginning of the 2017 season. He’s showing the ability to hit (just shy of .290) and hit for a little power (29 extra base hits), but evaluators around the game appear to be only lukewarm about Gordon. Could a team with a dearth of middle infield prospects be willing to trade a rental for Gordon? Probably. But is Gordon more than just a part of a deal right now? Probably not. Does his value take a ding because he’s already on the 40-man and will be out of options after the 2021 season? Likely.

    The Twins also have Jose Miranda (mostly 3B, but some 2B), Yunior Severino (primarily 2B, but hurt) and Travis Blankenhorn (mostly 2B, but also some LF and 3B) in the middle levels of the organization. All provide nice depth, none of which project as anything more than future regulars.

    A very interesting note is that of the nine largest signing bonuses handed out by the Twins in the 2019 draft, six of them (Keoni Cavaco, Spencer Steer, Eduoard Julien, Seth Gray, Will Holland and Anthony Prato) project as infielders. Five of them were college players.

    There might not be a lot of high-end depth, but there is both quality and quantity in the organization.

    Best prospect: Royce Lewis
    Most likely to move: Nick Gordon
    Who has helped their stock the most this season: Travis Blankenhorn
    Who has hurt their stock the most this season: Wander Javier

    Though we haven’t seen them together in quite a while, the Twins offer one of the best outfield cores in baseball in Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler. They have high level prospects in Kirilloff and Larnach. They have nice depth pieces in Jake Cave and LaMonte Wade. Jaylin Davis has really emerged in AAA.

    But the real depth in the organization is in the corner outfield and first base. Kepler is locked in long-term. The Twins would like Rosario to be. CJ Cron is under control for one more year. Miguel Sano might eventually have to make the move from third base. Kirilloff will play right field or first base. Larnach is probably a left-fielder. Lewin Diaz has emerged and is a plus-defender at first base. Brent Rooker is the classic corner profile. Gabriel Maciel will get every chance to stay in center field, where he profiles best but is a high-ceiling dude who can rake, though he lacks power. Akil Baddoo is another non-traditional corner outfield option, who is out for the year after having Tommy John surgery. Masiel Urbina is far, far away but has looked like a good signing so far in his very young career.

    Best prospect: Alex Kirilloff
    Most likely to move: Trevor Larnach and Brent Rooker
    Who has helped their stock the most this season: Lewin Diaz
    Who has hurt their stock the most this season: Akil Baddoo

    Of course, baseball always coming down to pitching. The best teams have it. The worst teams don’t. And all teams are looking to add more. We’ve talked about the Twins Big Three and how they’d probably hope not to deal from it. But it’s not going to be as easy as just not trading pitching.

    The Twins have had eight young guys debut this season - including Lewis Thorpe, Devin Smeltzer and Sean Poppen - but don’t have a lot of other guys just banging on the door.

    They have, however, had a number of guys who have forced people to take notice. Randy Dobnak, now at AAA, has been a great story since signing as an undrafted free agent. Jorge Alcala, Griffin Jax and Edwar Colina are all at AA and have all shown either the ability or the potential to be future big leaguers. Blayne Enlow and Cole Sands are doing the same at high-A. But once you get further down than that - like Luis Rijo at Cedar Rapids, Tyler Benninghoff or Prelander Berroa at Elizabethton, or Miguel Rodriguez in the GCL - it’s almost exclusively hoping you hit on a project.

    Best prospect: Brusdar Graterol
    Most likely to move: No one is safe
    Who has helped their stock the most this season: Jordan Balazovic
    Who has hurt their stock the most this season: Fernando Romero

    The other positions (catcher, relief pitchers and center field) just don’t have enough depth to comfortably project dealing from it. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. The Twins could trade either of catchers Ryan Jeffers or Ben Rortvedt and be ok. They could deal an outfielder that projects to stay in center. They could move any of a number of guys that project solely as relief pitchers.

    But it’s all going to come down to finding a team where value aligns. And that’s going to be the extremely difficult part.

    We all have our favorites, but who do you think is most likely to be involved in a trade?

    • Jul 25 2019 08:08 AM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  25. Buyer Beware: Avoiding a Chris Archer Trade

    Pittsburgh sat with a 56-52 record on July 31, 2018. This was good enough for third in their division and they were trailing multiple teams for a Wild Card spot. Being on the outside looking in, didn’t stop them from making a franchise altering trade. The Pirates wanted right-handed pitcher Chris Archer, so they went and got him. Spoiler alert… Pittsburgh would finish fourth in their own division last season.

    During his last three seasons in Tampa, Archer posted a 3.77 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP while averaging 245 strikeouts and 205 innings per season. He had one top-5 finish for the AL Cy Young and he represented the Rays in the 2015 and 2017 MLB All-Star Game. He was a workhorse as he led the AL in games started in both of his All-Star campaigns.

    Archer had seemed to be on the trade block for multiple seasons because Tampa Bay had him signed to a team friendly deal and the two-time All-Star might not have a higher value. Because of their market, the Rays are forced to part with players as their contract costs rise. Tampa has been able to flourish through strong scouting and thinking outside of the box.

    Tampa certainly knew what they were doing when they dealt Archer for a package that included Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz. Meadows was elected to his first All-Star Game this season after hitting .289/.364/.502 in the first half with 30 extra-base hits including 12 homers. He currently looks like the biggest piece of the trade for Tampa, but both pitchers could still turn out to be very good.

    Glasnow has an injury history including currently being on the IL with a right forearm strain. In his eight starts (48 1/3 innings) since being dealt, he has a 1.86 ERA with a 0.91 WHIP and 55 strikeouts and 9 walks. Fans might remember Baz’s name because he was one of the top prospects in the 2017 Draft, when the Twins had the first pick. He’s pitching in the Midwest League and has a 3.45 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP in 10 starts.

    Since being traded, Archer has not been the same pitcher that he was in Tampa. He has a brutal 4.97 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 143 innings. His strikeout rate has gone up from 9.7 K/9 in Tampa to 10.4 K/9 in Pittsburgh, but his walk rate has also increased (2.9 to 4.0 BB/9). He’s giving up home runs at almost twice the rate and one of the biggest concerns might be the amount of hard contact he is giving up. His 12.3 Barrel % is in the bottom 4% of the NL.

    So how can the Twins avoid an Archer style fleecing by another club?

    In all reality, it’s rarely known this quickly after a trade if one team has gained a significant advantage. Meadows was a consensus top-50 prospect for most of his professional career. In comparison, Minnesota’s closest prospect might be Alex Kirilloff. It seems likely that Kirilloff is on a short list of prospects that Minnesota wouldn’t be willing to trade unless they were floored by a deal.

    The Twins might not have a comparable pitcher in their farm system to Glasnow. Entering the 2017 season, he was ranked in the top-25 prospects in baseball by all three major rankings and he was big league ready at the time of the trade. Someone like Jordan Balazovic might be the closest as he continues to rise in prospect rankings. He, like Glasnow, was a fifth-round pick, but he isn’t close to being big league ready.

    Few saw this kind of drop-off coming for Archer and that’s what can happen with some of the big deals that will happen before next week. Back in 2016, Cubs fans saw their club deal future All-Star Gleyber Torres to the Yankees for closer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman and the Cubs went on to win the World Series and he returned to New York that winter as a free agent.

    My guess is Cubs fans will take the World Series flag flying over Wrigley instead of having Torres in the middle of their infield.

    What are your thoughts as the Twins become buyers? How can they avoid an Archer deal? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

    • Jul 22 2019 12:42 PM
    • by Cody Christie