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  1. Episode 6: Get to Know Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade

    Travis Blankenhorn was a star, three-sport athlete in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, growing up. We discuss the sports he played and how good he was in all three sports. He had a very nice 2019 season and was named the 2019 Twins Daily Minor League All Star second baseman. He spent three weeks in Ft. Myers before being promoted to AA Pensacola where he hit 18 doubles and 18 home runs in 93 games. He is a candidate to be added to the Twins 40-man roster in November. He also talked about what analytics and statistics were most important to him. We discuss it all with him.

    LaMonte Wade was called up in late June and made his big-league debut in late June. He returned about a week later and got hurt. He rehabbed and was brought back to the Twins on September 1st. He played nearly every day for the Twins down the stretch. We talked about all of that, plus there was a section about his beloved Baltimore Ravens and their big match up coming up on Sunday night.

    Leave questions or comments below on this podcast. Send me names of people you would like to see interviewed in the future. And send your questions for Tyler Wells as well, as he will return to the show next week to answer your questions.

    You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well.


    Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado)
    Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker
    Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter
    Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer
    Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells

    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.

    • Oct 30 2019 12:45 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  2. Twins Game Recap (9/21): Twins Blow Lead, Implode in Ninth

    Box Score
    Berrios: 6IP, 8H, 5 ER, 1BB, 5K, 68% strikes (66 of 97 pitches)
    Bullpen: 3IP, 8H, 7ER,2 BB, 2K

    Home Runs: Wade Jr. (2)
    Multi-Hit Games: Wade Jr. (2-for-3 HR, 3B, BB), Arraez (2-for-5, 2B), Cruz (2-for-5), Sano (2-for-4)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Rogers (-0.43), Berrios (-0.24), Rosario (-0.14)

    Kansas City Strikes First

    In the top of the second inning, with one out, Jose Berrios hit Alex Gordon in the foot. After a bloop single, Ryan O’Hearn doubled, scoring Gordon. Meibrys Viloria then hit a shallow fly ball to Eddie Rosario and Ryan McBroom tagged from third. Rosario’s throw was slightly off-line, but appeared good enough to get McBroom. However, after reaching across to tag McBroom the ball popped out of the webbing of Jason Castro’s mitt when it hit the ground. Berrios was able to strike out Brett Phillips and keep the score at 2-0.

    Rookies Spark the Offense, Man

    With Dick Bremer lamenting about how many first pitch fastballs Twins hitters were taking, LaMonte Wade Jr. came up in the bottom of the third and turned on the first pitch Glenn Sparkman had to offer. 416 feet later Kansas City’s lead was cut to one. The home run was the second of Wade Jr.’s young Twins MLB career.


    Latroy Hawkins claimed that he joked with Wade Jr. before the game that he hit like Reggie Jackson in batting practice, but like Michael Jackson in games. It appears that Wade Jr. took Hawkins' words to heart.

    In his next at-bat, Wade Jr. led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple. Luis Arraez followed Wade Jr.’s triple with his second hit of the game, a hustle double that scored Wade Jr. to tie the game. With the rookies doing their job, the anti-rookie, Nelson Cruz stepped up and singled in Arraez for his team-leading 104th RBI.

    That marked the end of the day for Sparkman.

    With runners on first and second and no outs, Eddie Rosario stepped up to the plate and did the most Eddie thing possible – he immediately popped out on the first pitch. But luckily for Minnesota Miguel Sano stepped up and singled in Jorge Polanco (who had earlier walked) to put the Twins up 4 – 2. Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi was kind enough to gift Minnesota another run by botching a Willians Astudillo groundball, allowing Nelson Cruz to come home and put the Twins momentarily ahead.

    Berrios stumbles, Royals Strike Back

    Things were looking good going into the sixth and Jose Berrios was able to induce a double play after allowing the first two Kansas City hitters of the inning to single. With a runner on third and two outs, McBroom singled to bring the score to 5 -3. The next batter, the other Ryan, took a Berrios’ changeup for a ride, tying the game up. Berrios was able to finish out the inning, but it marked the end of the day for Berrios.

    Rogers, Hildenberger Falter

    Both Kansas City and Minnesota got great efforts from their bullpens after Sparkman and Berrios left the game. However, after Tyler Duffy and Serio Romo went six up, six down in the seventh and eighth innings, Taylor Rogers struggled mightily in the ninth. Rogers managed to get only one out, giving up three hits, the most damaging one a two-run dinger coming off the bat of pinch-hitter Cheslor Cuthbert. It’s worth mentioning that it is the fourth time in the last six games that Rogers has pitched (although he hadn’t thrown more than 14 pitches in any of the appearances).

    Trevor Hildenberger relieved Rogers and the wheels really fell off. Hildenberger faced six batters and failed to record an out. It doesn’t get much uglier than that. By the time the top of the ninth finally ended the Twins were down 12 – 5 and the game had been lost.

    Jorge Alcala Debuts

    If you bothered to stick around after the meltdown, you were rewarded by getting to see Jorge Alcala make his MLB debut (and see a seemingly never ending, nearly 50-minute(!) top of the ninth). He came into the game with the bases loaded and one out and gave up a single that Marwin Gonzalez had a chance to catch but didn’t. His four-seam fastball topped out at 95. He would go on to walk in another run but finally ended the inning by retiring two Royals batters.

    Postgame With Baldelli

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

    Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.

    • Sep 22 2019 12:24 PM
    • by Patrick Wozniak
  3. Catching Up With Nick Gordon

    Nick Gordon had a strong spring training, but when teams broke camp to start their seasons, he found himself on the Rochester IL with a stomach ailment and missed all of April. He returned to the Red Wings at the start of May and began hitting right away. In 70 games this season, he has hit .298/.342/.459 (.801) with 29 doubles, three triples and four home runs. He also stole 14 based in 17 attempts.

    It was a terrific showing, especially after the struggles he endured in the second half of 2018 for Rochester when he hit just .212/.262/.283 (.544) in 99 games in the International League.

    Gordon has always worked hard to improve in the offseason. He continued to work out with his brother (Dee) and others such as Francisco Lindor under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. However, he also took his struggles at minor league baseball’s highest level last year and learned from it. It has paid off with his much-improved stat line in 2019.

    Gordon said, “I’ve felt more like myself, knowing that last year I let a lot get to me and I changed a bunch of things. This year, it’s about trusting what I did (in the offseason) and what I’ve done.”

    Gordon, still just 23 years old, was competing with and against players several years older than him and many with big league service time. He continued, “Not getting into my own head. They (opponents) are going to be good, and I have to be good. You can’t just go out and beat up on everybody and then get down when you don’t. It doesn’t work that way. Just needed to stick to the things I worked with and the things I did during the offseason and stick with them, stick to a routine.”

    Unfortunately, as August started, Gordon was hit in the back leg by a pitch and was placed on the IL the next day.While it looked like a “normal” back-knee hit by pitch, it was anything but that.

    “I actually couldn’t walk. It was a little tough to walk for a week. It was difficult, a lot of pain. It was very unusual, kind of a freak accident.”

    As for a return, he hopes to get back “as soon as possible,” but he understands that it will be “however long it takes.”

    The reality is that Gordon has been very healthy for the most part since being the Twins first-round draft pick in 2014 out of high school in Orlando. By season, he has played in 120 games, 116 games, 122 games, and 141 games in 2018.

    It would be fair to say that he isn’t exactly enjoying his time on the IL either. “It isn’t a good feeling. The days are so much longer. It’s been tough.”

    But he has chosen not to sulk and to try to get some benefit from it, trying to make it into an opportunity for learning.

    “It’s been a lot of learning, a lot of self-time and picking up myself and paying attention to things around the game. I’ve taken the time and felt like I’ve learned, so I don’t feel like I wasted time but it’s been kind of frustrating not being out there.”

    Throughout the season, there have been very frequent Red Wing travelers on the flight between Rochester and Minneapolis. It’s been pretty exciting for him to see teammates get their call to the big leagues.

    One of his good friends in the Twins organization for several years is LaMonte Wade. They have played with each other each season since 2016. One night in late June, the two were hanging out together.

    “It was awesome. I was actually with him when he got called. It was a cool experience to see, knowing how hard he worked for it. He goes about it the right way. He wants to be better and he wants to win. When he got that call, that opportunity, I was so excited for him. I was really happy for him.”

    What did Gordon tell Wade?

    “I didn’t know what to tell him because I haven’t got that call. It was overwhelming. It was exciting. So I just told him to go up there and do your thing. Play your game. You’re there for a reason!”

    Has seeing several teammates get that call to the big leagues been motivating for Gordon, or has it been a source of frustration?

    “I don’t really believe much in being mad about things I can’t control. It doesn’t really frustrate me. Motivation? I mean, I’ve been motivated to get to the big leagues since I was a little kid. There is always more motivation there. When stuff like that happens, it’s more positive than negative (seeing teammates called up). It’s just so great seeing guys I’ve played with for years get a chance at the top level.”

    But through any frustrations and struggles, Gordon has had a very good support system. As we have discussed with him before, he gets a lot of support and encouragement from his family, including his father (Tom) and brother (Dee). But Nick spoke glowingly of the support players get from within the organization.

    “We were just talking about it today. There are a lot of guys in our organization that are good people, awesome human beings. It’s awesome to be around. In situations that are tough, your teammates are there.”

    In Rochester, Gordon is one of the youngest Red Wings. He is able to hear from older teammates who have spent time in the big leagues and experienced the highs and lows of this baseball life. In Ft. Myers, he is working and rehabbing with several other players who are injured. They are able to confide with and in each other.

    “Everybody understands that this game is hard. Everybody wants to be on the field. They are there for you, have your back. You can’t ask for more than that. I have a lot of guys that I’m close to. There are a lot of guys in the organization that are just awesome.”

    Gordon said that he stays away from rumors in the game as much as possible. While his name was occasionally mentioned in trade rumors, it was one of his teammates that ended up being traded at the deadline..

    Regarding Jaylin Davis, Gordon noted, “He’s awesome. He’s just great. Every single time he steps in the box, a baseball is about to get hit hard. He’s getting an opportunity. He’s a great guy, a great hitter I’m happy for him.” He continued, “”But I didn’t want to see him go. I loved playing with him.”

    One thing is certain when speaking to Nick Gordon. He has a strong passion for the game of baseball. He speaks with such great perspective, and his perspective has changed to some degree since this time last year. Sure, the passion for baseball remains the same and his drive to play in the big leagues for a long time is still very strong. But he has other priorities in life too. At least one.

    Last September, Jaxon Nicholas Gordon was born.

    As excited as Gordon sounds when talking about baseball, you can hear the joy coming through the phone when he talks about his son.

    Has becoming a father changed his perspective or anything in his day-to-day life?

    “I would say it is more in my day-to-day. Having my son definitely does show me how to care and I feel like I care more for people. I’ve always loved kids, but I love this kid to an entirely different level. It’s a smile of joy. It’s everything that I wish for. I pray for him. I love him endlessly. It definitely drives me. I spend as much time as I can with him. It’s tough in the season. Down in Florida, I’ve seen him a lot more. He’s an awesome little man.”

    Congratulations to Nick and his family. Hopefully he can get healthy and get back on the field before season’s end, and maybe get a trip to Minneapolis in September.

    • Aug 22 2019 07:24 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  4. Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - June 2019

    Let’s take a look at the Top 5 hitters for the month of June, but first here are some players deserving of honorable mention.


    • Andrew Bechtold - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 22-74, .297/.404/.405 (.810) with 5 doubles, 1 home run.
    • Travis Blankenhorn - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 28-108, .259/.308/.491 (.798) with 7 doubles, 6 home runs.
    • Ryan Jeffers - Ft. Myers Miracle - 16-65, .246/.320/.477 (.797) with five home runs.
    • Trevor Larnach - Ft. Myers Miracle - 28-92, .304/.360/.424 (.784) with 3 doubles, 1 triple.
    • Gabriel Maciel - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 25-82, .309/.378/.395 (.773) with 3 doubles, 2 triples.
    • Wilin Rosario - Rochester Red Wings - 30-94, .319/.354/.489 (.843) with 7 doubles, 3 home runs. (27 RBI)
    • Tomas Telis - Rochester Red Wings - 18-52, .346/.382/.500 (.882) with 5 doubles, 1 home run.

    Number 5 - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos – 1B Lewin Diaz - 24-94, .255/.297/.521 (.818) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs.

    It’s been a terrific season for the Dominican first baseman. He has put in the work over the last couple of years to improve his body, to improve his tools and his talents, and it has to be rewarding to see the results. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month in May and had a big June too. He played in his second straight Florida State League All-Star game, and when that was done, he made the move up to Double-A Pensacola where he got off to a fast start. In his first dozen games with the Blue Wahoos, he had nine doubles, a triple and two home runs.

    Number 4 - Rochester Red Wings - 1B Zander Wiel - 26-101, .257/.315/.505 (.820), 7 doubles, 6 home runs.

    Wiel just continues to fly under the radar, but he has been a quality, consistent contributor for the Red Wings all season. He continues to play most every day. He may not hit for average, but he does a nice job around the plate. He also has really increased his extra-base hit power, including home runs. Through June, Wiel had an .834 OPS, 19 doubles and 13 home runs. And to make his month better, Vanderbilt won the College World Series.

    Number 3 – Rochester Red Wings - OF LaMonte Wade, Jr. - 23-81, .284/.429/.432 (.861) with 6 doubles, 2 home runs.

    Wade got off to a slow start in 2019, but he had a real strong month in June. The key seemed to be regaining his on-base percentage. He did a great job of getting on base in June, and that seemed to help him find more pitches to drive for extra-base hits. Late in the month, Wade received The Call every ballplayer dreams of. He was called up to the Twins. He watched one game, and then he made his big league debut over the weekend. He came to the plate twice. He was hit by the first pitch thrown to him. He was then robbed of a hit in his second plate appearance by a diving catch in center field. He returned to the Red Wings the next day, but he will be back.

    Number 2 - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings – OF Jaylin Davis - 28-105, .267/.366/.543 (.909) with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs.

    Another Twins prospect that just doesn’t get talked about as much as he should. However, Jaylin Davis has consistently produced and worked his way up the Twins organizational ladder. In mid-June, Davis was promoted to the Red Wings where he has hit five home runs in his last nine games. Drafted out of Appalachian State in 2016, Davis big tool is his power, but he has made improvements this season, particularly an improved approach at the plate which has created more contact. He’s also made big strides in the outfield.

    And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is:

    Rochester Red Wings – LF Brent Rooker - .337/.507/.612 (1.120) with 9 doubles, 6 homers.

    There were a lot of Twins minor league hitters that had strong months in June, but the choice for the minor league hitter of the month was pretty easy. Rooker has been one of the best hitters in the entire minor leagues. He has hit for average. He got on base more than half of his plate appearances. He showed the power that makes him such an impressive power prospect coming out of Mississippi State when the Twins drafted him with the 35th overall pick in 2017. He was named to the International League All-Star team last week.

    Rooker got off to a slow start. In April, he hit just .214/.279/.464 (.743). Not horrible numbers, but he had 28 strikeouts in 61 plate appearances (45.9% K-rate). In June, he struck out 39 times in 134 plate appearances (29.1%). When Rooker hits the ball, good things happen. But Rooker also walked 27 times (20.1%), a great rate.

    Will we see Rooker at some point in 2019? That is a question that comes up often. The Twins have an outfield of Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler. Marwin Gonzalez can play the corners. If there is a short-term outfield need (as there has been recently), Jake Cave and LaMonte Wade, Jr., are already on the 40-man roster. If there were a long-term need, Rooker could be an option. He also plays first base and DH. The Twins have CJ Cron and Nelson Cruz. If one of them were to be hurt for a long period of time, Rooker could be an option.

    Rooker doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2020 season. However, I can also see a scenario in mid-to-late August where the Twins want to start considering a playoff roster. If they want to add a big bat off the bench, Rooker could be an option at that time.

    Of course, the other question being asked more frequently now is if Rooker could be a trade target for other teams. The obvious answer is Yes, teams will be asking about Rooker. However, Rooker fits into a category where you better get something really good (and long-term) to give up his bat for the next six or seven seasons.

    We would like to congratulate Brent Rooker, Twins Daily’s choice for Minor League Hitter of the Month for June 2019. Feel free to share your thoughts and ask questions.

    • Jul 03 2019 04:22 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  5. Depth Has Been Beneficial in Minnesota

    Willians Astudillo has been a fan favorite and although he’s produced a negative fWAR tally there’s value in what he’s brought to the table. His defensive flexibility is more happenstance than it is desired reality, and the approach offensively has gotten him in trouble, but Minnesota has been better off having him at their disposal.

    After a strong debut season Jake Cave hasn’t seen the same success in 2019, but he’s been a necessary body for the Twins weathering a depleted outfield. LaMonte Wade is now up and awaiting his chance, and if more things make it necessary, Brent Rooker could join the fray as well.

    Having hit for average across every level of the system, Luis Arraez is making his presence felt. He’s got 22 hits in 49 at bats and consistently puts together great plate appearances. With a similar profile to Astudillo it’s Arraez that takes it up a notch. He doesn’t swing and miss, he doesn’t chase, and the balls he does attack are ones that he can do something with.

    If there’s an area of depth that hasn’t been tested it’s on the pitching side. From a starting perspective Minnesota has a few options that have been easy to turn to. Zack Littell has thrown big league innings, as has Kohl Stewart. Devin Smeltzer earned a shot and held his own through a couple of turns as well. None of these guys look like front of the rotation arms, but they’ve all allowed the Twins to stay in games that required someone to step up.

    We’ve all but exhausted the bullpen possibilities, and that’s a direct reflection of players like Ian Kroll, Carlos Torres, and Cody Allen being brought into the fray. The front office obviously needs to make an impact move or two there, but the record has been compiled with players like Poppen, Eades, Morin and Duffey giving Wes Johnson serviceable innings.

    There’s a real need for the Twins to make some moves. The 40-man roster is going to get tight this offseason and needing to make decisions ahead of time is a real thing. For now, though, the Twins front office has seen minor league guys come up and contribute amidst the team's overall success. Although the injury need hasn’t been significant, the call has been answered when opportunity has presented itself.

    • Jun 28 2019 02:13 PM
    • by Ted Schwerzler
  6. 2019 Twins Midseason Top Prospect List: 31-35

    Over the next two weeks, Twins Daily will be revealing the Twins Daily Midseason Top 40 Prospects rankings. Our preseason Top Prospect rankings go 20 deep. Our midseason rankings double that output and give some recognition to twice as many players. Several of our minor league writers provided player rankings. They were consolidated

    Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for 35th through 31st prospects of the Minnesota Twins below.

    35. Jaylin Davis – RF
    Age: 24
    ETA: 2020
    2019 Stats (AA): .274/.382/.458 (.840 OPS), 9 2B, 0 3B, 10 HR, 64 K, 36 BB
    2019 Preseason Ranking: NR
    Seth: 38 | Tom: 36 | Cody: 34 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR

    Davis was taken by the Twins in the 24th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Appalachian State University. Davis got a brief taste of rookie ball that season, but the Twins have steadily moved him through the system over the last four years. In Pensacola this year, he is slightly older than the competition, but his OPS is higher than the last two years. After knocking 11 home runs in 120 games in 2018, he has already hit double-digit home runs this season. He’s played all three outfield positions, but the vast majority of his innings have come in right field. Tom took a deeper look at Davis as part of his Prospect Spotlight video series.

    34. Cole Sands - RHP
    Age: 21
    ETA: 2021
    2019 Stats (A+/A-): 52.2 IP, 3.08 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 10.6 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 5.17 K/BB
    2019 Ranking: NR
    Seth: 33 | Tom: 24 | Cody: 40 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR

    Sands, a fifth-round pick in 2018, is making his professional debut this season. The Twins felt he had pitched enough in college last season, so he didn’t make any appearances in rookie ball. He started the year in Cedar Rapids and posted a 3.05 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 11 walks in 41 1/3 innings. At the beginning of June, he was moved to Fort Myers and made two starts. He allowed four earned runs and struck out 13 in 11 1/3 innings. Since then, he was placed on the IL with a blister on the third digit of his right hand. His fast ball usually sits in the low 90s, but he can reach the mid-90s when needed. His curveball and his change-up are his best secondary pitches.

    33. Tyler Wells - RHP
    Age: 24
    ETA: 2022
    2019 Stats: Out for the Year (Tommy John Surgery)
    2019 Ranking: HM
    Seth: 35 | Tom: 33 | Cody: 23 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR

    Wells found out near the end of May that he would need Tommy John surgery and he will miss all of 2019. He split time between High-A and Double-A last year and he was almost a year and a half younger than the competition in the Southern League. Wells posted a 2.49 ERA and a 121 to 31 strikeout to walk ratio in 119 1/3 innings during the 2018 campaign. He was named the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year and he won the Harmon Killebrew Award for the Miracle. It was a breakout season for him and it’s tough to lose a year of development. However, he should be back at some point in the second half of 2020. Wells was originally a 15th round pick back in 2016.

    32. Griffin Jax - RHP
    Age: 24
    ETA: 2021
    2019 Stats (AA): 51.2 IP, 1.92 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 5.9 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 3.09 K/BB
    2019 Preseason Ranking: HM
    Seth: 26 | Tom: 34 | Cody: 31 | Ted: 28 | Steve: 24

    Jax was the highest player ever taken from the United States Air Force Academy and that’s just part of his story. In order to pitch in the Twins system, he is taking part in the military’s World Class Athlete Program which allows active-duty military personnel to make training for the Olympics their full-time responsibility. Jax is taking full advantage of the opportunity as he is off to a tremendous start at Double-A. In eight of his ten appearances, he has allowed one earned run or less. He doesn’t strike out a ton of batters (5.9 K/9), but he’s been efficient at getting outs. Jax pitched in last year’s Arizona Fall League and allowed nine earned runs on 21 hits in 21 innings (3.86 ERA). His fastball sits in the low 90s and he has a great change-up and an improving slider.

    31. LaMonte Wade - OF
    ETA: 2019
    Age: 25
    2019 Stats (AAA): .232/.374/.332 (.706 OPS), 7 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 38 K, 42 BB.
    2019 Ranking: NR
    Seth: 29 | Tom: 32 | Cody: 29 | Ted: 23 | Steve: 25

    Wade was the Twins 9th-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Maryland. He’s worked his way through the Twins system over the last five seasons and he’s spent parts of the last two seasons in Rochester. Wade doesn’t strikeout. Well, that might not be completely true. Throughout his professional career, he has 283 walks compared to 263 strikeouts. He has a great approach at the plate and he has the ability to attack the strike zone. He can play all three outfield positions, but he probably fits better in a corner outfield spot. Wade could make his way to Minnesota at some point this season, even if it comes as a September call-up.

    Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Also, check back next week to see who made the top-30 prospects.

    Twins Daily 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings
    Prospects 36-40
    Prospects 31-35 (Today)
    Prospects 26-30 Coming Soon

    • Jun 21 2019 06:17 AM
    • by Cody Christie
  7. Twins Minor League Report (4/23): Thorpe Derails Scranton/WB

    To find out everything that happened in the minor leagues for Twins affiliates on Tuesday, keep reading!


    • Pensacola Blue Wahoos place CF Jimmy Kerrigan on 7-day IL and assigned C Kidany Salva from GCL Twins
    Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1, Rochester 8
    Box Score

    Left-hander Lewis Thorpe toed the rubber for the Red Wings and after giving up a solo home run in the top of the first, derailed Scranton/Wilkes-Barre the rest of the way. After that blip, he retired eighteen men in a row, including a stretch of five straight strikeouts on his way to totaling 12 K’s on the game. He picked up his first win of the year by going eight innings, allowing just the lone run on three hits and zero walks. He was a strike throwing machine on the game, with 71 of his 95 pitches going for strikes, including an #Elite 21 swings and misses. After having some trouble by allowing 15 earned runs in his first two starts of the year, Thorpe has dialed it in in his last two, allowing just three runs in 13 2/3 innings while striking out 24 against just one walk.

    Rochester’s offense got on the board in the third inning to tie the game at one thanks to a LaMonte Wade single that drove in Ronald Torreyes, who had doubled earlier. They took control of the game in the fourth in part thanks to Brent Rooker’s fourth home run of the year:

    After that smash doubles from Tomas Telis and Torreyes around an Adam Rosales walk made the score 4-1 in favor of the home team. Another Telis double and RBI single from Wade in the sixth made it 5-1, before they tacked on three more in the eighth thanks to a Wade double and Randy Cesar 2-RBI single.

    Reliever Preston Guilmet came in for Thorpe in the ninth, delivering a one-two-three ninth and punctuating the victory with a strikeout.

    Mobile 1, Pensacola 0
    Box Score

    The only things that can stop Pensacola’s starter Devin Smeltzer so far on the year, are apparently when a line drive back at him takes him out of the game (his last start) or his offense abandons him (this one). Luckily after that scary sequence in his last start, he checked out fine and didn’t miss a beat on Tuesday. The lefthander went seven innings in this one, allowing just one run on six hits while picking up nine more strikeouts that puts him in the Southern League lead in that category. Mobile scored in the third inning thanks to some small ball, as a single, stolen base, and another single with two outs accounted for the game’s only run.

    The Blue Wahoos collected just three hits on the game and were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Luis Arraez, Jaylin Davis, and Brian Navarreto each singled, while Ernie De La Trinidad drew two walks.

    Fort Myers 2, Bradenton 1
    Box Score

    The middle of the Miracle lineup got the game started off on the right foot as number three hitter Trevor Larnach and cleanup man Jose Miranda swapped places at second base with consecutive doubles in the top of the first for a 1-0 lead.

    Bradenton knotted the game at one in the second, as they managed to score the first run of the year on Fort Myers starter Bryan Sammons thanks to a two-out double and RBI single. That’s all they’d manage, and Sammons ended the game with a 0.42 ERA on the season after finishing 5 1/3 innings. He allowed just three hits and walked three while striking out four to pick up his third win of the year.

    The Miracle took the lead back in the sixth when leadoff man Akil Baddoo launched his third home run of the season.

    After Sammons' exit Calvin Faucher went the next 2 1/3, walking one and striking out two. Tom Hackimer recorded the final out of the eighth with a strikeout, then finished the ninth by striking out three in a row after a leadoff walk to pick up his first save.

    Game 1: Cedar Rapids 0, Wisconsin 9
    Box Score

    In the first game of their doubleheader, the Kernels were in danger of being no-hit going into the top of the sixth inning, as the Timber Rattlers and their starter Aaron Ashby had built a 5-0 lead. Luckily, Michael Davis ended that effort with a leadoff double after Ashby’s day was done but that would be their only hit on the game. Gabriel Maciel drew two walks and Trey Cabbage one to account for the only baserunners on the day.

    Andrew Cabezas got the start for Cedar Rapids and went the first four innings. He allowed four earned runs on six hits and a walk but did strike out five. Carlos Suniaga went the next 1 2/3 and was unable to make it through the sixth. He surrendered five runs on four hits and two walks. Derek Molina inherited a runner who would score the final tally for Wisconsin when he gave up a single but got the final out with a strikeout to end the bleeding. The Kernels went down in order in the seventh and prepped for game two.

    Game 2: Cedar Rapids 7, Wisconsin 6
    Box Score

    Cedar Rapids turned to their bullpen in game two, and while each of their first three pitchers surrendered at least one run, the offense was there in this one to pick them up.

    Brian Rapp got the start and pitched into the third inning when a walk and a single ended his day. In total he was charged with three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four. Austin Schulfer did his best to keep his team in the game, tallying three innings and allowing one run on two hits and three walks while striking out seven. He would be credited with his third win on the year when it was all said and done. Zach Neff came on for the sixth with a 7-4 lead for the Kernels but allowed two runs on two walks and a double before Joe Record was brought in to close out the game. Record retired all four hitters he faced, including two strikeouts in the seventh, to pick up his first save.

    Cedar Rapids did most of their damage in a four-run fourth inning started by a home run from Hunter Lee, his first hit of the season. That was followed by three straight singles from Gabriel Maciel, Gabe Snyder, and Trey Cabbage before a two-out single from Gilberto Celestino put the Kernels up 7-3. Cabbage added his sixth home run of the young season in the third inning and ended the day tied for the Midwest League lead in bombs. Catcher Ben Rodriguez followed Cabbage’s shot with a back-to-back blast of his own for his first home run of the year. Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4, 2B), Cabbage (3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI), and Maciel (2-for-3, BB) had multiple hits.


    Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Lewis Thorpe, Rochester Red Wings (W, 8 IP, ER, 3 H, 12 K)
    Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Trey Cabbage, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-for-6, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, BB, K)


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

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did not pitch
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-3, R, 2B, SB, K
    #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game
    #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 2-for-5, R, HR, 3 K
    #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch
    #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - W, 8 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 12 K
    #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
    #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, HR, K
    #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List
    #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List
    #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Did not play
    #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3, BB, K
    #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List
    #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, RBI, K
    #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch
    #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 3-for-4, R, 2B, 3 RBI, BB
    #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch
    #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, K


    Scranton/Wilkes-Barre @ Rochester (5:05PM CST) – RHP Kohl Stewart (1-2, 6.00 ERA)
    Mobile @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (1-0, 0.54 ERA)
    Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:30PM CST) – RHP Jhoan Duran (0-2, 3.65 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35PM CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (0-2, 4.35 ERA)

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!

    • Apr 24 2019 05:12 AM
    • by Steve Lein
  8. Twins Minor League Report (4/18): Balazovic Strong, Stewart Struggles

    ACTIVATED: C David Banuelos from the 7-day injured list for Cedar Rapids

    Rochester 5, Lehigh Valley 6
    Box Score
    Rochester outhit the IronPigs (10 to 7) and scored a late run to make things interesting, but it wasn’t enough. The club didn’t take advantage of some opportunities as they left eight runners on base and went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

    Kohl Stewart took his bumps and bruises in this one as he couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning. He allowed six runs on six hits including two home runs. He struggled to find the zone for most of the night as he threw 100 pitches and only 52 of them were for strikes. After a promising first start of the season, Stewart has thrown clunkers his last two times out.

    Rochester continued to rely on the long ball in this game. With three solo shots on Thursday, Rochester has hit 22 home runs to produce 33 of the 62 total runs scored this season. LaMonte Wade, Tomas Telis, and Jordany Valdespin joined the home run parade. Also, Telis and Valdespin each added a double.

    DJ Baxendale pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings by only allowing one hit. He struck out six and walked one. Matt Magill took the final frame and didn’t allow a runner. He had one strikeout and he has yet to allow a run this season.

    Pensacola --, Biloxi – (Postponed-Rain)
    The Blue Wahoos and the Schuckers were postponed on Thursday due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a double-header on Friday, April 19 with first pitch scheduled for 5:35 CST. Pensacola currently has a 9-4 record and they are in first place by two games in the Southern League South.

    In other news, the Blue Wahoos have teamed up with Silver Airways for a Kazoo- themed airplane. Kazoo is the name of the Blue Wahoos mascot. Silver Airways has flights from Pensacola to Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Orlando.

    Ft. Myers 3, Charlotte 6
    Box Score
    Fort Myers rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but a six-run deficit was too much to overcome. Tyler Watson started and pitched into the sixth inning for the second consecutive game. He allowed two runs on three hits while striking out five and walking one.

    Anthony Vizcaya took over for Watson and struggled in parts of two innings. He allowed four runs on four hits as Charlotte pushed their lead to 6-0. Calvin Faucher had a very nice bounce back game. In his last appearance, he allowed three runs while only recording one out. Tonight, he pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings with a pair of strikeouts and two walks.

    In the bottom of the ninth, Akil Baddoo lead off with a triple and was driven home on a Lewin Diaz groundout. Jose Miranda followed with a double before Trevor Larnach singled to put runners on the corners. A double from Ryan Jeffers scored a run and there were still runners on the corners. Ben Rortvedt would ground out to score another run and Michael Helman recorded the game’s final out.

    Cedar Rapids 8, Beloit 2
    Box Score
    Cedar Rapids jumped out to an early 4-0 thanks to some miscues by the Snappers. With one out, Gabe Snyder was hit by a pitch. Trey Cabbage followed and reached base on an error by the shortstop. Jacob Pearson struck out for the second out of the inning and it looked like Beloit might get out without allowing a run.

    However, Gilberto Celestino and Andrew Bechtold knocked back-to-back singles to push across a pair of runs. Celestino then stole third but it wouldn’t matter because David Banuelos tripled to score two more runs and put Cedar Rapids up 4-0.

    Cedar Rapids allowed a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning, but the club got those runs back in the bottom of the frame. The Kernels were able to do this without recording a hit. Celestino and Bechtold walked to start the inning. With Banuelos batting, an error by the third baseman loaded up the bases. Michael Davis drew a walk to score one run and a wild pitch put the score at 6-2.

    Jordan Balazovic pitched five strong innings. He struck out eight, walked one, and limited the Snappers to two runs (one earned). He has allowed two runs or fewer in every start this season. His eight strikeouts tonight were the fewest he’s had all year (nine strikeouts in both previous starts). Jose Martinez pitched two shutout innings and struck out one. Joe Record collected the final six outs with four strikeouts.

    TD Pitcher of the Day- Jordan Balazovic, Cedar Rapids (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 8 K, 1 BB)
    TD Hitter of the Day- Tomas Telis, Rochester (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, R)

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

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – Did not play
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - No Game
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, R
    #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game
    #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Did not play
    #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch
    #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch
    #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch
    #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – 1-3, 3B, R, K
    #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List
    #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List
    #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, 2B, RBI, K
    #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, RBI
    #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List
    #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – 1-3, RBI, 2 K
    #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) – Did not pitch
    #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 2-4, HR, R, RBI, BB
    #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – No Game
    #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, 2B, R, K

    Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) – RHP Zack Littell (0-2, 7.71 ERA)
    Pensacola @ Biloxi (5:35 CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
    Pensacola @ Biloxi (Game 2) – TBD
    Fort Myers vs. Charlotte (5:30 CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit (6:35 CST) – RHP Cole Sands (0-0, 3.00 ERA)

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

    • Apr 19 2019 04:59 AM
    • by Cody Christie
  9. Twins Minor League Report (4/4): Opening Night

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


    There were no transactions in the Twins system on Thursday. Maybe some of you saw that in the past week a couple of Twins minor league pitchers, Colton Davis and Anthony Marzi, chose to retire.

    Here are the Opening Day Roster Previews for each of the Twins full-season affiliates, in case you missed them on Monday.

    Rochester 4, Lehigh Valley 2
    Box Score

    Ronald Torreyes knows how to start a season. He was the Red Wings second batter in the first inning, and he launched a long home run. It was the first hit in the organization in 2019, the first home run, the first run and the first RBI.

    Kohl Stewart got the Opening Night call for the Red Wings. Things didn’t go well early for the right-hander. He went walk, strikeout, walk, strikeout with the first four batters of the first inning. He then gave up a bloop single to score run. Then a wild pitch scored a second run. He needed 34 pitches to complete the first frame.

    The Twins have a rule that if a pitcher throws 35 or more pitches in an inning, he will be done for the night. Stewart was one pitch from being done. He went on to throw four zeroes on the scoreboard and earned the Win in this contest. In his five innings, he gave up the two runs (1 earned) on just three hits. He walked two, hit one and struck out eight batters.

    Ryan Eades came on and struck out four over two perfect innings. He needed just 18 pitches. Then Tyler Duffey came on and earned the save with two scoreless innings. He struck out four as well, though he did hit one batter.

    LaMonte Wade led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with a walk in the game. Wilin Rosario went 2-for-5 with a home run. Randy Cesar had a walk and a big, two-run homer that gave the Red Wings the two-run lead late in the game.

    Pensacola , Mobile
    Box Score

    Opening Night was pushed back a day as rains came to Mobile. For Mobile, it means that they will get to face Jorge Alcala and Brusdar Graterol on Friday!

    Ft. Myers 11, Charlotte 3
    Box Score

    Hard to believe that in the sixth inning, Jeff Smith’s Charlotte squad tied the game at three. The potent Miracle took off at that point, led by the return of Lewin Diaz.

    Diaz played half of last season with the Miracle but unfortunately needed wrist surgery and missed the rest of the season. He continued his body transformation in the offseason and his work paid off on Opening Night. The now-slender slugger went 4-for-5 with a double and three RBI to lead the offense.

    Bryan Sammons gave up an unearned run in the first inning, but he was able to escape danger several times. He gave up just the unearned run on seven hits and two walks over just 4 1/3 innings. He left the game with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth. Anthony Vizcaya came on and struck out the fourth and fifth batters of Charlotte. It was Vizcaya’s first game with an affiliated team since 2014.

    The Miracle got on the board in the 2nd inning when Lewin Diaz doubled off of the wall in right field to score Travis Blankenhorn. Ben Rortvedt followed with a single to right that scored Diaz.

    Following the Vizcaya strikeouts in the top of the 5th, the Miracle got back on the board in the bottom of the inning. Akil Baddoo homered to the berm in left field for the first Miracle homer of the season.

    But as mentioned, the Stone Crabs tied it up in the sixth. The Miracle regained the lead 4-3 and then Royce Lewis put together a long at-bat that culminated in a two-run single that broke the game open. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Miracle really broke things open with a five-run inning.

    The loaded Miracle lineup got production from more than just Lewin Diaz. Ben Rortvedt went 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI singles. Akil Baddoo added a triple late in the game to go with his homer. Travis Blankenhorn had a walk and a double, and he scored three runs.

    Vizcaya was clutch to end the fifth inning, but he gave up two runs on two hits and a walk the next inning. Alex Phillips came on and struck out four batters over two scoreless, one-hit innings. He was hitting 95 and 96 mph consistently. Johan Quezada pitched a scoreless ninth frame, and he was hitting 97 a couple of times in the inning.

    Cedar Rapids 2, Peoria 10
    Box Score

    Blayne Enlow returned to the Kernels after a solid showing in his first full pro season in 2018. He earned the Opening Night call for the team this year. Things went all right the first couple of innings. He gave up leadoff walks in the first two innings, but neither came back to hurt him. He did give up a solo homer in the second inning. But then came the third inning. Enlow faced seven batters. He walked one and the other six got hits, the final was a double. Austin Schulfer came on and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. However, he then struck out the next three batters to end the inning.

    Schulfer was good. He struck out five batters over three scoreless, two-hit innings. Jose Martinez came on next and was charged with four runs on six hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Carlos Suniaga got the final seven outs for the Kernels.He gave up two hits and struck out three.

    There wasn’t much offense for the Kernels. The team scored two runs in the sixth inning, on RBI singles from Andrew Bechtold and David Banuelos. Yunior Severino led the team with a 2-for-4 game.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day –Ryan Eades, Rochester Red Wings
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Lewin Diaz, Ft. Myers Miracle (hat tip to LaMonte Wade - Red Wings - as well)

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

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, 2 BB, R, 2 RBI
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - No Game
    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, SF, RBI, K
    #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game
    #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 0-4, BB, 3 K
    #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Pitches Friday
    #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch
    #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 2.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP
    #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, 3B, HR, 2 K
    #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List
    #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List
    #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB, 2B, K, R, 2 RBI,
    #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, BB, R, 2 RBI, 2 K
    #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, R
    #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, K
    #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch
    #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 3-4, BB,
    #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Rained out.
    #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-2, 2 BB, HBP, R, K


    Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) - RHP Chase De Jong
    Pensacola @ Mobile (DH starting at 4:05 CST) - RHP, Jorge Alcala, RHP Brusdar Graterol
    Charlotte @ Ft. Myers (5:30 CST) - RHP Jhoan Duran
    Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic

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

    • Apr 05 2019 05:40 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  10. 2019 Rochester Red Wings Preliminary Roster

    Today we look at the Rochester Red Wings players and coaching staff. We try to figure out a solid everyday lineup, and discuss the top prospects. Feel free to share any thoughts you may have on the team or roster, and ask as many questions as you would like.


    Joel Skinner returns to the Red Wings for his second season as their manager. Stu Cliburn returns for his 28th year in the organization and his seventh as the Red Wings pitching coach (fourth in a row). Michael McCarthy enters his second season as the team’s bullpen coach. Former Twins catcher Javier Valentin moves up from Double-A to be hitting coach for the Red Wings.


    Here is a look at the Red Wings Opening Day roster. 17 of these 28 players have spent at least some time in the big leagues. 14 of the players spent at least some time with the Red Wings last year. Nine players are on the 40-man roster. Note that this is a tentative roster and will be updated before their season starts on Thursday. In particular, a couple of players will be placed on the Injured List.

    HITTERS (13)
    Catchers: Tomas Telis, Wynston Sawyer
    Infielders: Wilin Rosario, Adam Rosales, Nick Gordon (IL), Ronald Torreyes, Jordany Valdespin, Randy Cesar
    Outfielders: Brent Rooker, LaMonte Wade, Luke Raley, John Andreoli, Zander Wiel

    PITCHERS (15)
    Starting Pitchers: Lewis Thorpe, Justin Nicolino, Zack Littell, Chase De Jong, Kohl Stewart. Stephen Gonsalves (IL)
    Relief Pitchers: Andrew Vasquez, Austin Adams, Tyler Duffey, Ryan Eades, Preston Guilmet, Mike Morin, Jake Reed, Fernando Romero. DJ Baxendale (IL), Zack Weiss (IL)


    3B - Ronald Torreyes
    LF - Brent Rooker
    CF - LaMonte Wade
    SS - Adam Rosales
    1B - Zander Wiel
    RF - Luke Raley
    DH - Wilin Rosario
    C - Tomas Telis
    2B - Jordany Valdespin


    • Brent Rooker (Twins Daily #6 Prospect) - Powerful slugger hit 32 doubles and 22 homers in 2018 in Chattanooga. He received his first big league spring training invitation this year and could be in line to make his major league debut.
    • Nick Gordon (Twins Daily #11 Prospect) - Gordon made his AAA debut in 2018s second half and struggled, but he still is one to watch and should make his major league debut in 2019.
    • Stephen Gonsalves (Twins Daily #12 Prospect) - Gonsalves has long been one of the best Twins pitching prospects. He made his MLB debut in 2018 and struggled with his control. Control and command, along with a couple more ticks of velocity, and Gonsalves should help the Twins in 2019.
    • Zack Littell (Twins Daily #17 Prospect) - Littell debuted in 2018 with the Twins as well and also struggled. But he has done well in the upper levels of the minors the last two years and will likely get several more opportunities in 2019.
    • LaMonte Wade (Twins Daily #18 Prospect) - Like Gordon, Wade made his AAA debut in 2019 and things didn’t come easy. However, he maintained his strong plate discipline and approach and continued to increase his power output. Another player who should make his debut with the Twins in 2019.
    • Kohl Stewart - The 2013 first-round pick make his big league debut in August last year after and showed well for himself, especially against the Tigers.
    • Andrew Vasquez - Vasquez began 2018 in Ft. Myers where he pitched in the Florida State League All-Star Game in June. He was promoted to AA Chattanooga after that game and spent a little over a month there. He moved up to Rochester for one week and then received a promotion to the big league on September 1st. He posted 108 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings in the minors and then seven strikeouts in five innings for the Twins.
    • Luke Raley - Raley came to the Twins at the deadline last year from the Dodgers as part of the Brian Dozier trade. A big, strong guy, Raley has a lot of power potential. Combined at AA in 2018, Raley hit .275/.350/.471 (.821) with 19 doubles, eight triples and 20 home runs. He was a non-roster invitation to spring training.
    • Zander Wiel - Quietly, the former Vanderbilt star had a terrific season in 2018. He spent the majority of the year at Chattanooga before ending the season with the Red Wings. In the second-to-last game of the year, Wiel hit a walk-off homer for the Red Wings.
    • The Twins are starting the season with just 11 pitchers. At some point in a couple of weeks, they are likely to add a pitcher, unless one of the Injured List relievers (Addison Reed, Gabriel Moya, Matt Magill) is ready.
    • Nick Gordon, second base or shortstop? That story will likely continue in 2019, and in playing with Adam Rosales and Ronald Torreyes, he can pick their brain on the subject.
    • The Twins have their five-man starting rotation to start the season. There is certainly depth at AAA. Stephen Gonsalves, Kohl Stewart, Zack Littell and Chase De Jong all made starts for the Twins last year (and hopefully made some adjustments). Justin Nicolino has made 33 big-league starts (and 17 relief appearances) as well. Lewis Thorpe is the one without the big-league service time, but he may have the most potential.
    Please feel free to discuss this roster. Ask lots of questions and check back often. What stories will you be following?

    • Apr 01 2019 04:38 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  11. Twins Daily 2019 Top Prospects: 16-20

    20. Jose Miranda, 2B/3B
    Age: 20 (DOB 6/29/1998)
    2018 Stats (A/+A): 552 PA, .264/.319/.417, 16 HR, 82 RBI
    ETA: 2021
    2018 Ranking: NR

    Since joining the Twins as the 73rd overall pick in 2016 draft, Miranda has been getting his feet wet all around the infield. This past season, the product of Puerto Rico basically split time between second base and third base with a couple appearances at shortstop mixed in.

    At the plate, Miranda provides an intriguing mix of power and contact skills. He actually had the lowest strikeout rate of any Midwest League hitter with at least 400 plate appearances last season. The really crazy thing is he struck out even less after he was promoted to Fort Myers, dropping from 11.62 K% to a 9.73 K%.

    “No, I don’t like striking out,” Miranda emphatically told SD Buhr in June. “I hate it. Since I was little, I’ve tried to battle.”

    And it’s not like he sacrifices power to do it, as Miranda finished fourth in the system in both doubles (27) and home runs (16). He was second to Alex Kirilloff in RBIs with 82 and even ranked second in the system by getting hit with 12 pitches. Miranda capped the season by making a huge impact in Fort Myers’ championship run, going 10-for-25 with three doubles and two home runs in the postseason.

    19. Jorge Alcala, RHP
    Age: 23 (DOB 7/28/1995)
    2018 Stats (AA/+A): 99.1 IP, 3.81 ERA, 9.4 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 1.34 WHIP
    ETA: 2020
    2018 Ranking: NR

    Alcala came to the Twins this July in the trade that sent Ryan Pressly to Houston. Prior to the deal, Alcala had a 3.29 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 79 1/3 innings in the Astros’ system, but finished things out in Chattanooga pitching to a 5.85 ERA and 1.85 WHIP in 20 innings. So, not the best first impression.

    Armed with a fastball that’s been clocked as high as 102 mph, his slider doesn’t give batters much time to react either. That’s a late-breaking pitch ranging in the upper 80s. He seemed to learn how to put batters away last season, boosting his strikeout rate from 7.8 K/9 in 2017 to 9.4 K/9 last year.

    Alcala’s secondary offerings have some work to do in terms of consistency, which has put some uncertainty around his future role. Of his 24 outings on the season, 13 were for four innings or fewer. Even if the consistency with the full repertoire doesn’t develop, Alcala could make for a very exciting relief prospect.

    18. LaMonte Wade, OF
    Age: 25 (DOB 1/1/1994)
    2018 Stats (AAA/AA): 495 PA, .257/.360/.380, 11 HR, 48 RBI
    ETA: 2019
    2018 Ranking: 14

    Wade doesn’t have any especially loud tools but he also lacks any clear weaknesses. His true calling card is the ability to grind out at bats. He actually had more strikeouts (74) than walks (64) for the first time in his career last season, but he certainly makes pitchers earn it. His two-strike approach is outstanding and he’s not above choking up on the bat. Here’s a look back at one of his impressive plate appearances from spring training last year:

    Wade was hitting .278/.388/.419 (.807 OPS) through July, then had a really tough final 25 games of the season that put a damper on his final year-end numbers. He gave right-handed pitchers all kinds of trouble, hitting .281/.391/.409 (.800 OPS), but had just a .563 OPS against same-sided pitching.

    Wade has seen a fair amount of time in center field over his pro career, but he seemed to settle into left field with some right field mixed in last season. He also played some first base back in college. Wade was added to the 40-man roster this offseason, and while he’s a bit buried on the current depth chart, there’s a chance we’ll see him at Target Field in 2019.

    17. Zack Littell, RHP
    Age: 23 (DOB 10/5/1995)
    2018 Stats (MLB/AAA/AA): 149.1 IP, 8.7 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 1.31 WHIP
    ETA: Debuted in 2018
    2018 Ranking: 11

    Littell got knocked around in his first taste of the big leagues, posting a 6.20 ERA in 20 1/3 innings for the Twins, but he put together a strong season down on the farm. Only Lewis Thorpe racked up more strikeouts among Twins minor league pitchers. Littell boosted his K/9 rate a full strikeout from 8.1 in 2017 to 9.1 during his time in the minor leagues in 2018.

    Littell was the youngest player to surface with the Twins last season and faced batters who were older than him 96 percent of the time through the course of the year (629 of 655 plate appearances). He's never picked up much steam in prospect circles due to a relative lack of velocity, but Littell actually topped out at 96 mph during his time with the Twins, per Baseball Savant. It's rare for him to reach back with that kind of heat, he typically sits more like 92, but it appears he could be on the verge of unlocking something extra.

    Littell lacks a true plus secondary offering, but the curveball can really shine some days and he has enough of a changeup to keep hitters off balance. Wrap in solid command and you’ve got an excellent baseline package to continue to build upon.

    16. Gilberto Celestino, CF
    Age: 19 (DOB 2/13/1999)
    2018 Stats (AA/-A/Rk): 268 PA, .287/.341/.406, 5 HR, 34 RBI
    ETA: 2022
    2018 Ranking: NR

    Speaking of the Ryan Pressly trade, Celestino was the other piece to the deal that was simply just too good for the Twins to turn down. A premiere athlete, this Dominican import is considered among the top defensive outfielders in the minor leagues. He’s regarded as having excellent instincts, good range and a strong arm.

    Celestino also uses his speed effectively on the basepaths. He’s 47-for-54 in stolen base attempts in his career, an 87 percent success rate. In addition to his athleticism, he also already has an idea of what he’s doing at the plate. He has a career .345 on-base percentage, a strikeout rate under 19 percent and a walk rate of over nine percent. Pretty solid stuff coming from a guy who’s faced older pitchers in nearly 95 percent of his plate appearances.

    Similar to Alcala, Celestino didn’t make the greatest first impression with the Twins. Luckily he had the opportunity to more than make up for it in the postseason. After posting a .656 OPS in 27 regular games with Elizabethton, Celestino reached base safely 12 times in five postseason games, going 7-for-19 with four walks and a hit-by-pitch.

    Twins Daily 2019 Top 20 Prospects
    Honorable Mentions
    Prospects 11-15 Coming Soon

    Get to know more about these five Minnesota Twins prospects and much more in the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It’s available in paperback or as an eBook.

    • Feb 01 2019 12:18 AM
    • by Tom Froemming
  12. Twins Add Gordon, Wade, Arraez To 40-Man Roster

    When we considered which minor leaguers could be added to the 40-man roster, Nick Gordon and LaMonte Wade were the two players listed as "Givens." Luis Arraez was among the group of players in that next tier.

    Gordon was the Twins top pick in the 2014 draft out of high school in Orlando. He began his career in Elizabethton and moved up one level each season until he began 2017 in Double-A for the second straight year. He struggled offensively in the second half of his Triple-A debut. His shortstop defense continues to get very mixed reviews and he will most likely wind up at second base. He has been an invite to big league spring training the last two years.

    Wade was the Twins ninth-round draft pick in 2015 out of the University of Maryland. He put up strong numbers as well until struggling to some degree in his Triple-A debut in the second half of the 2018 season. Known for his patient approach and knowledge of the strike zone, Wade added some pop in his bat in 2018. He can play all three outfield positions. He went to big league camp in 2018 for the first time as a non-roster invite.

    Arraez has pretty much hit since joining the organization. If not for a missed 2017 season (torn ACL), he might already be in the big leagues.

    Also Dan Hayes noted that the Twins have traded Minnesota native and one of the top relief pitchers in the system Nick Anderson to the Miami Marlins for infielder Brian Schales

    Info on Brian Schales:

    Here is a list of other Twins minor leaguers who were not added to the 40-man roster. These players will be eligible to be selected in the December Winter Meetings.
    Right-Handed PItchers: Jake Reed, Cody Stashak, Johan Quezada, Andro Cutura, Hector Lujan, Ryan Eades

    Left-Handed Relief Pitchers: Tyler Jay

    Outfielders: Zander Wiel, Jaylin Davis

    Catchers: Brian Navarreto

    • Nov 20 2018 08:23 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  13. 2018 Twins 40-Man Roster Decisions

    As a reminder, here are some of the criteria for who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft if not protected. Here is this year’s criteria:

    • Players who signed when they were 18 or younger in 2014 (during the minor league season).
    • Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2015.
    • Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again.
    • Players drafted or signed during the 2012 season became free agents after the World Series was complete. That includes Luke Bard and DJ Baxendale. If the Twins signed them (or other minor league free agents) before the Rule 5 draft, they would be eligible to for the Rule 5 draft.
    But back to the players needing to be added or risk losing to the Rule 5 draft, I’ll break them into a few categories. The Givens are players that I think have to be added or there is a high percentage that they will be selected if they are not. The next are players that are more On The Bubble. It will be interesting to see which of these guys are added. How many spots are available on the team’s 40-man roster, etc. I’m going to add a couple of Sleepers. Finally, the Next category are those players that probably won’t be added and yet do have a chance to be selected by the right team with the right need or the right report.

    The Givens

    Andrew Vasquez would have been in this list, but he was called up to the Twins on September 1st. I have two players listed as givens.
    • SS/2B Nick Gordon - He may have struggled in the second half of the season after his promotion to the Red Wings, but Gordon, the team’s top pick in 2014 just turned 23 and remains a quality prospect. Will he play second base or shortstop, or both, in the big leagues? Yes.
    • OF LaMonte Wade - Wade will turn 25 on New Years Day. He returned to AA to start 2018 and hit the same number of home runs in less than half as many games. He hit .229 in Rochester and still got on base 33% of the time. The outfielder is close and for the right team, he could start in the big leagues now.
    On The Bubble

    Again, this group is the players on the bubble. Depending upon how many players the Twins add, a couple of these players could be added.
    • 2B Luis Arraez - After missing most of 2017, Arraez returned to form with the Miracle in 2018 and ended the season with two months in Chattanooga. While not a high ranking prospect, the second baseman can hit single after single.
    • RHP Jake Reed - If it was me, Reed would be a given, but he already didn’t get selected a year ago in the Rule 5 draft, and he didn’t get a September call up despite being tremendous over the final three months of the season. Now 26, he is ready for a big league opportunity.
    • RHP Nick Anderson - As good as Reed was over the final three months, that’s how good Anderson was during the season’s first three months. Another inexplicable exclusion from the September roster adds, Anderson is absolutely ready for a big league opportunity, making him a strong Rule 5 candidate.
    • LHP Tyler Jay - The Twins top pick in 2015 has endured a series of arm injuries which have cost him time and some of his stuff. Now a reliever, he still has a chance to be a big league contributor.
    The Sleepers

    Here are a couple of guys who might be brought up some places as possible .
    • RHP Johan Quezada - Signed way back in September of 2012, Quezada only has four games pitched above the rookie leagues. He was very raw when he signed. He grew a ton, but then he struggled with shoulder issues for a couple of years. He returned this year and found an upper-90s fastball. He turned 24 late in the season and isn’t likely to stick, but he is a very intriguing arm.
    • RHP Andro Cutura - Cutura returned in May after missing two years due to Tommy John surgery. The former seventh-round pick threw well for the Miracle in his return. Again, probably not so much a Rule 5 guy as one to watch in 2019.
    The Next

    This is a group that contains some intriguing names. While they aren’t obvious choices, there could be a team that likes them enough to take a shot with a Rule 5 pick.
    • 1B/OF Zander Wiel - Now playing first base and left field, Wiel had a really nice season in AA Chattanooga before a late-season promotion to Rochester.
    • RHP Ryan Eades - The Twins second round pick in 2013, Eades continued to pitch in multiple roles. Not a starter, and not a late-inning guy, Eades could be intriguing for teams interested in using him as an Opener candidate.
    • C Brian Navarreto - Navaretto is such a strong defensive catcher. If he can hit even a little bit, he could have a long big league career. He’s got the size, but he just hasn’t put up the numbers offensively.
    • OF Jaylin Davis - Davis is playing well in the Arizona Fall League. He was able to cut down his K-rate and increase his walk rate in 2018.
    • RHP Hector Lujan - Another AFL candidate, Lujan has slowly worked up the system and continued to add pieces to his game. He throws hard and has some intriguing secondary pitches.
    • RHP Cody Stashak - Stashak moved to the bullpen in 2018 and really had a nice season. He too could be intriguing as teams look to use the Opener of bullpening strategies in coming years.
    The Rest

    Here is a list of other players who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft in the Twins organization.
    • LHP Sam Clay
    • OF Tanner English
    • RHP Randy LeBlanc
    • IF Alex Perez
    • LHP Alex Robinson
    • 1B/3B Chris Paul
    • OF Jean-Carlos Arias
    • RHP Miguel De Jesus
    • RHP Sandy Lugo
    • LHP Lachlan Wells
    • RHP Yancarlos Baez
    • RHP Williams Ramirez
    • RHP Moises Gomez
    Now, the number of players added to the 40-man roster will in large part depend upon how many players that the front office is willing to remove from the 40-man roster over the next couple of weeks. In the comments below, discuss my ranking and rank them by how you would protect them.

    • Oct 30 2018 10:52 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  14. Twins Minor League Report (7/22): Thorpe Strong, Kernels Hit Parade

    Rochester 5, Norfolk 9
    Box Score
    Rochester began experimenting with a bullpen-style game on Sunday with Trevor May making the start and only pitching one inning. He walked one and allowed a hit but kept the Tides off the board. Zack Littell took over for May and allowed four runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings.. He struck out four and walked four so entering in the second inning might have thrown him off a little.

    Nick Anderson and Gabriel Moya finished off the game and both ran into some issues that cost the team the game. Anderson allowed a solo home run in 1 1/3 innings. Moya surrendered three runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout.

    At the plate, the Red Wings had four players collect multiple hits. Alex Perez and Nick Gordon helped from the top of the line-up as each went 2-for-4 while scoring two runs apiece. LaMonte Wade and Juan Graterol both also joined the multiple hit club. Jon Kemmer pinch-hit for Wade and drove in a pair of runs with his second double.

    Miguel Sano went 0-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts.

    Chattanooga 9, Mobile 4
    Box Score
    A big fifth inning allowed the Lookouts to jump out to a lead that wouldn’t be surmounted. Jordan Gore reached on an error and Tanner English singled to set up the biggest hit of the inning. Zander Wiel pounced for his seventh home run of the season. By the time the inning was done, the Red Wings had plated five runs.

    Luis Arraez had a big game at the plate as he reached base four times and cracked two doubles. Mitchell Kranson went 2-for-5 with three RBI. With the exception of Brent Rooker, every batter collected at least one hit.

    Lewis Thorpe picked up his fifth win after allowing two runs on four hits in six innings. He struck out five and didn’t allow a walk. Williams Ramirez struck out four over two innings and allowed one earned run. Paco Rodriguez finished off the game by allowing one run, an unearned run, on two hits

    Cedar Rapids 8, Lansing 5
    Box Score
    Five runs in the first two innings and 17 total hits allowed the Kernels to take this one from the Lugnuts. Four batters had three hits or more for Cedar Rapids. Jose Miranda was part of the hit barrage as he went 3-for-6 including a three-run home run in the second. Michael Davis led the team with four hits and he scored a pair of runs. Robby Rinn and David Banuelos both went 3-for-5. Jacob Pearson was the lone batter who failed to collect a hit.

    Jordan Balazovic started and went 1 2/3 innings by allowing four runs on three hits. He struck out three and walked two. Derek Molina picked up his second win after he pitched 3 1/3 scoreless frames. He racked up five strikeouts and walked one. Calvin Faucher gave up a solo home run in three innings of work while striking out four. Jose Martinez earned the save after pitching a scoreless ninth.

    Elizabethton --, Princeton – (Postponed)
    Weather got in the way of this one. The two clubs will play a doubleheader on Monday so check back tomorrow night to see how the E-Twins came out in those contests.

    Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jose Miranda, Cedar Rapids (3-for-6, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, K)
    Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Lewis Thorpe, Chattanooga (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 5 K, 0 BB)

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that this Prospect Summary has been updated.

    1. Royce Lewis (FM): Did not play.
    2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): Did not play.
    3. Brusdar Graterol (FM): Did not play.
    4. Nick Gordon (ROC): 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, K
    5. Stephen Gonsalves (ROC): Did not play.
    6. Trevor Larnach (ET): Did not play.
    7. Brent Rooker (CHAT): 0-for-5, 2 K
    8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 1-for-6, 2B, R, K, SB
    9. Wander Javier: Out of for the season
    10. Zack Littell (ROC): 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 4 K, 4 BB
    11. Blayne Enlow (CR): Did not play.
    12. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 2-for-3, RBI, K
    13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): Did not play.
    14. Lewis Thorpe (CHAT): 6.0 IP, 2 ER 4 H, 5 K, 0 BB)
    15. Ben Rortvedt (FM): Did not play.
    16. Yunior Severino (ET): Did not play.
    17. Lewin Diaz (FM): Did not play.
    18. Ryan Jeffers (ET): Did not play.
    19. Jacob Pearson (CR): 0-for-5
    20. Luis Arraez (CHAT): 2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 BB

    Rochester- Scheduled Off Day
    Chattanooga vs. Pensacola (6:15 CST) – TBD
    Fort Myers @ Jupiter (5:30 CST) – LHP Bryan Sammons (FSL Debut)
    Cedar Rapids @ Lansing (11:05 am CST) – RHP Randy Dobnak (7-2, 3.66 ERA)
    Elizabethton vs Princeton (4:00 CST) – TBD
    Elizabethton vs Princeton (Game 2) – TBD
    GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 AM CST) – TBD

    Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.

    • Jul 23 2018 04:42 AM
    • by Cody Christie
  15. Twins Minor League Report (7/16): Doubleheader Triple Singles For Davis

    Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions.


    • Infielder Leonardo Reginnato was placed on the Rochester disabled list with a fracture in his left hand. Andy Wilkins was promoted from Chattanooga to Rochester. Also, Fernando Romero rejoined the Red Wings.
    • Lewis Thorpe and Alex Kirilloff were removed from the temporary Inactive List of the Lookouts and Miracle, respectively.
    • Infielder Yeltsin Encarnacion and RHP Tanner Howell have been promoted from the GCL Twins to the Elizabethton Twins. RHP Niklas Rimmel has moved from the E-Twins to the GCL.
    • Finally, Miguel Sano was placed on the temporary inactive list. According to Twins farm director Jeremy Zoll, via Mike Berardino on Twitter, Sano has returned to the Dominican Republic due to a “family situation.” Obviously we wish Sano and his family the best.

    In addition, Darren “Doogie” Wolfson tweeted that the plan was for Trevor Larnach to get to Elizabethton on Monday and make his pro debut with the E-Twins on Wednesday.

    Rochester 13, Louisville 6
    Box Score

    Zack Littell started and went just 4 1/3 innings. He was charged with five runs on five hits. He walked four and struck out five batters. Gabriel Moya recorded five outs, four of them on strikeouts. Trevor May struck out three over two scoreless innings. Nick Anderson gave up a solo homer in the ninth, but he struck out the other three batters he faced.

    LaMonte Wade went 3-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs. Taylor Motter went 2-for-4 with a walk, his fourth double and his second Red Wings homer. Kennys Vargas had two hits and a walk. Jordan Pacheco also had two hits. Andy Wilkins knocked a grand slam in his first game with the Red Wings. The 29-year-old Wilkins has big league time with the White Sox (2014) and the Brewers (2016).

    Game 1: Chattanooga 7, Montgomery 11
    Box Score

    After completing just two innings on Sunday, these teams resumed the game on Monday. Sean Poppen had started on Sunday and threw two scoreless innings, striking out four. When play resumed Monday, lefty Dietrich Enns was on the mound. It didn’t go well. He was charged with eight earned runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked on and struck out one. Todd Van Steensel came on and was charged with three runs on three hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings. William Ramirez struck out two in a scoreless inning.

    Jaylin Davis led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and stole his second base. Luis Arraez went 2-for-5 with his first double. Tanner English went 2-for-4 with his 11th double. Jordan Gore had two hits, including his first AA double. Zander Wiel also had two hits.

    Game 2: Chattanooga 8, Montgomery 1
    Box Score

    The regularly-scheduled game was just a seven inning affair. Jaylin Davis had another 3-for-4 game. Tanner English hit his third home run, driving in three runs. Alex Perez had a hit, a walk and was hit by a pitch. Jimmy Kerrigan and Jordan Gore each had two walks.

    It was a bullpen game for the Lookouts. Tyler Jay started and threw two scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and struck out two batters. Ryan Eades gave up one run over the next two innings. He struck out four. Lefties Sam Clay and Ryne Harper combined for three shutout innings.

    Ft. Myers 7, St. Lucie 4
    Box Score

    Mark Contreras has been a pleasant surprise throughout the season, starting in Cedar Rapids and especially since moving up to Ft. Myers. On this night, he went 3-for-4 with his sixth home run and two RBIs. Travis Blankenhorn went 2-for-3 with a walk, his 17th double and three RBIs.

    Clark Beeker started and went 4 2/3 innings. He gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out three. Ryan Mason came on and gave up just two hits over 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out two. Hector Lujan worked a scoreless inning.

    Cedar Rapids 10, Lake County 4
    Box Score

    Randy Dobnak doing Randy Dobnak things. When the Kernels need innings, Dobnak provides them. He improved to 7-2 with seven solid innings. He was charged with three runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Jared Finkel gave up a solo homer in the ninth innings, but he struck out three over the final two innings.

    Trey Cabbage was the subject of Steve Buhr’s article this week. The article talked about how well he’s been hitting on the road. Well, in this game, he went 3-for-5 with his 13th and 14th doubles. David Banuelos went 3-for-4 with his 12th double and three RBI. Jose Miranda, fresh off being named the Midwest League’s Player of the Week, went 3-for-4 with his 20th double. Ben Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with a walk and his ninth and tenth doubles. Jean Carlos Arias went 2-for-4 with his 11th double. He also stole his sixth base. Ariel Montesino added his first double since joining the Kernels recently.

    Elizabethton 4, Kingsport 14
    Box Score

    After scoring in double digits in five of their last six games, the E-Twins had it done against them. Pedro Garcia started and gave up six runs on five hits and four walks over 2 1/3 innings. He struck out three. Seth Pinkerton came on and went the next 2 1/3 innings. He gave up four runs (3 earned) on two hits and five walks. He struck out four. Juan Gamez then gave up just one run over the next 2 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out two. Tanner Howell made his Appy League debut and gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in 2/3 of an inning. Derek Molina walked two but got the final out.

    Ryan Jeffers and Alex Robles each went 2-for-4 with a walk. Chris Williams also had two hits. Yunior Severino hit his third home run of the season.

    GCL Twins 2, GCL Orioles 9
    Box Score

    The Twins got a solid start from Prelander Berroa on Monday. The right-hander gave up two runs on five hits and two walks over the game’s first five innings. He struck out two. Petru Balan came on and gave up two runs on four hits and two walks over the next two innings. He struck out three. It was his seventh outing of the season, the first in which he gave up any runs. Dylan Stowell came on for the final two innings. He gave up five runs on seven hits.

    The Twins had six hits and four walks in the game. Agustin Marte went 2-for-4 with his first double of the season. Yeison Perez walked and hit his fifth double.

    Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jaylin Davis, Chattanooga Lookouts (6-8, R, 3 RBI, K)
    Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Ryan Mason, Ft. Myers Miracle (3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K)

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that this Prospect Summary has been updated.

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, K
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - Did not play.
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch.
    #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-5, 2B(10), 2 R, 2 K
    #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch.
    #6 - Trevor Larnach (Elizabethton) - Not playing yet. Could play by Wednesday (per Doogie)
    #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-5, 3 K
    #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, R, 3 K
    #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season
    #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch.
    #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch.
    #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 3-4, BB, R, 2 RBI
    #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 2-3, BB, 2B(17), 3 RBI, K
    #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch.
    #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Did not play.
    #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 1-4, BB, HR(3), RBI, 2 R, 2 K
    #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, 3 K
    #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Elizabethton) - 2-4, BB, K, R
    #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, RBI SF, 3 K
    #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - 2-9, 2B(1), R, RBI, K
    #21 - Jose Miranda (Cedar Rapids) - 3-4, 2B(20), 2 R,
    *I figured that since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list.

    Louisville @ Rochester (10:05 CST) - LHP Adalberto Mejia (5-2, 2.56 ERA)
    Chattanooga - No Game Scheduled
    St. Lucie @ Ft.. Myers (6:00 CST) - LHP Charlie Barnes (3-5, 3.19 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled
    Elizabethton - No Game Scheduled
    GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (9:00 am CST) - TBD

    Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.

    • Jul 17 2018 04:22 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  16. 2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospect List: 11-15

    15. Ben Rortvedt – C
    Age: 20
    ETA: 2021
    2018 Stats (A-/A+): .274/.329/.387 (.716 OPS), 11 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 46 K, 16 BB
    2018 Ranking: 16 | 2017 Ranking: 19
    Seth: 21 | Tom: 10 | Cody: 15

    When the Twins took Ben Rortvedt 56th overall in 2016, he became their highest-selected catcher since No. 1 pick Joe Mauer in '01. Having kept a close eye on the Verona, WI, kid as he excelled in high school just hours away, Minnesota was clearly sold on his defensive chops. He had all the tools and a tremendous rep behind the plate. "The kid was born to catch," said Twins scouting director Deron Johnson after the draft.

    This in and of itself makes him an asset, but a quality bat is a differentiator for such player profiles. And while Rortvedt's receiving skills and powerful arm were quickly on display once he signed and reported to rookie ball, his offensive game lagged behind. In 113 plate appearances between the Gulf Coast and Appy leagues, the small-framed teenager batted .222 and slugged .253.

    His struggles carried over into the 2017 season, which saw Rortvedt slashing .139/.214/.174 in Cedar Rapids at the end of May. But he put up a solid .721 OPS the rest of the way, and then produced similarly there over the first two months this year before a promotion to Fort Myers. In the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, he's sporting a handsome .269/.338/.388 line with two homers (half of his 2017 total) in 20 games.

    Rortvedt's upward ascent in our rankings – from 19th pre-2017 to 16th pre-2018 to 15 now – has reflected his progression at the dish. The compact and strong-armed backstop has a naturally high floor thanks to his defensive value, and if his bat keeps improving, his ceiling will follow suit.

    14. Lewis Thorpe – LHP
    Age: 22
    ETA: 2019
    2018 Stats (AA): 82.2 IP, 4.03 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 11.3 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 4.33 K:BB
    2018 Ranking: 12 | 2017 Ranking: NR
    Seth: 13 | Tom: 14 | Cody: 16

    When he has been on the mound, Lewis Thorpe has dominated. That's been a consistent trend since he signed with the Twins as a 16-year-old out of Australia. Staying on that mound has been his issue. With 82 2/3 innings in the book this season, he's already one out away from his career high (83, last year).

    In 2017, the lefty was easing back into action after two full seasons lost to injury. But it speaks to his immense talent that, despite all the missed time, Thorpe still finds himself in Double-A at age 22. And he's wreaking havoc.

    Never mind the ho-hum ERA and WHIP – they are byproducts of an inflated .370 BABIP. What matters is this: Facing high-minors competition for the first time, with only 250 total pro innings under his belt, Thorpe has put up a phenomenal 104-to-24 K/BB ratio. He has posted a phenomenal 16% swinging strike rate (Jose Berrios, for comparison, had a 10% whiff rate in his first turn at Double-A – granted he was 20).

    The arsenal, a balanced four-pitch mix, is terrific. But it always has been. What Thorpe needs to do is stay healthy and stay on that mound. If he can do so all year while continuing to make batters miss, he'll absolutely be in our Top 10 come next spring.

    13. Travis Blankenhorn – 3B
    Age: 21
    ETA: 2020
    2018 Stats (A+): .241/.302/.406 (.708 OPS), 16 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 82 K, 19 BB
    2018 Ranking: 17 | 2017 Ranking: 9
    Seth: 12 | Tom: 9 | Cody: 21

    Sometimes power takes a while to develop in young hitters. There's no better testament to this than Brian Dozier, who hit 32 total home runs in college and the minor leagues before launching 164 (and counting) in the big leagues. It's possible that Travis Blankenhorn will be Dozier's successor somewhere down the line – he has played a fair amount of second base since joining the organization as a third-round pick in 2015 – but the 21-year-old profiles better as a third baseman.

    Coming out of high school, he was the prototype for a slugging corner infielder. Blankenhorn was already big when drafted at 6'1" and 195 lbs. He has since grown a little taller and a little burlier.

    But the power hasn't quite manifested. Through 308 pro games he has 34 home runs and a .429 slugging percentage, including eight and .406 this year at Fort Myers. His innate strength is plain enough to see – he participated in the Florida State League Home Run Derby a month ago, and won. It's just not flashing consistently enough in games, leading to mediocre production in the FSL.

    But that power? It's in there, and Blankenhorn is on track to set new career highs in both doubles and home runs. He's still awaiting his true breakthrough but the Pottsville, PA, native has a slugger's frame, keeps the strikeouts in check, and plays quality defense at multiple infield spots.

    12. LaMonte Wade – OF
    Age: 24
    ETA: 2018
    2018 Stats (AA/AAA): .286/.397/.448 (.845 OPS), 6 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 36 K, 45 BB
    2018 Ranking: 14 | 2017 Ranking: 15
    Seth: 9 | Tom: 15 | Cody: 14

    LaMonte Wade has never been a great hitter, in terms of being able to swing the bat and drive the ball with consistency. But he has always, ever since joining the Twins organization in 2015, been a daunting adversary for opposing pitchers, and one of the toughest outs in pro baseball.

    During his career at the University of Maryland, Wade walked more than he struck out. But his lack of standout speed or power – he hit seven home runs and stole 25 bases in three collegiate seasons – suppressed his stock and caused him to slip to the ninth round, where Minnesota selected him in 2015.

    The plate discipline that punched his ticket has translated to the pros, and then some. Thanks to his elite skill for laying off non-strikes and coaxing walks, Wade has a .403 OBP and 187-to-222 K/BB ratio in 346 minor-league games. He has never finished at any level with an OBP below .386.

    Wade impressed the Twins with his approach during spring training, opened the season in Chattanooga, and is now in Rochester doing his usual thing (.261/.404/.455 in 27 games). I'd be surprised if he doesn't get a look as a September call-up, if not before. He'll probably never hit for much power, and he should be relegated to the outfield corners, but Wade can play a valuable role in the majors thanks to a Mauer-esque understanding of the strike zone.

    11. Blayne Enlow – RHP
    Age: 19
    ETA: 2022
    2018 Stats (A): 50.2 IP, 3.73 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 1.61 K/BB
    2018 Ranking: 8 | 2017 Ranking: NR
    Seth: 10 | Tom: 13 | Cody: 13

    Coming in under-slot with two of their top three 2017 draft picks (Royce Lewis and Landon Leach) enabled the Twins to go nearly three times over-slot for No. 76 overall pick Blayne Enlow, who turned down a scholarship from Louisiana State to sign for $2 million.

    Enlow's curveball, vaunted as the best in the country among preps, was unleashed to devastating effect after he signed, leading to eye-popping rookie ball stats and a spot among Twins Daily's Top 10 this spring. Now, after a bit of a tumultuous first half in 2018, he finds himself just on the outside.

    Impressed with his phenomenal debut, the Twins aggressively pushed Enlow straight to Low-A this year, even though he turned 19 in March. Only three qualified starters in the Midwest League are under 20. Enlow is younger than any of them, but he's not in the "qualified" category, since he's been limited to 12 appearances (10 starts) and 50 2/3 innings by a pair of injuries – first to his back, then his ankle.

    No, his numbers with the Kernels haven't been great when healthy. But the Twins have been very cautious with his pitch counts (he hasn't thrown 90 pitches in a game, and has only gone over 75 twice in his past 10 outings). He's facing almost exclusively older and more experienced competition. That's not the kind of combo that lends itself to sparkly numbers.

    That Enlow is even holding his own under these circumstances is commendable. If he gets on a roll in the second half, he'll skyrocket in the ranks. The talent is absolutely there.


    2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 36-40
    2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 31-35
    2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 26-30
    2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 21-25
    2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 16-20

    • Jul 12 2018 07:01 PM
    • by Nick Nelson
  17. Twins Minor League Report (7/6): Diaz Powers Miracle Win

    Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Friday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions.


    • The Twins acquired minor league outfielder Jon Kemmer from the Astros. The 27-year-old has played in AAA the last three seasons. He is a left-handed hitting corner outfielder.
    • The Twins activated utility man Taylor Motter and optioned him to AA Chattanooga. The decision to send him to Chattanooga rather than Rochester is because the Red Wings start their All-Star break on Monday and they want Motter to play.
    • Gabriel Moya reported back to Rochester. Luke Bard was placed on the disabled list (calf).
    • Ft. Myers activated OF Shane Carrier on Friday.
    And before we go further, a quick fireworks show for Tom Froemming, a huge fireworks enthusiast (or not really).

    Rochester 6, Lehigh Valley 7 (10 innings)
    Box Score

    The Red Wings got the offense, but not quite enough pitching or defense in this game. Kohl Stewart made his second Red Wings start of the season. He gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out five. Two of the hits left the ballpark, including one from former Red Wings outfielder Danny Ortiz. Trevor May walked one in an otherwise uneventful outing. Gabriel Moya struck out two batters over two scoreless innings. Alan Busenitz pitched a scoreless ninth inning, but he gave up two runs (both deemed unearned) in the 10th inning to take the loss.

    LaMonte Wade led the offense. He went 2-for-3 with two walks and his third home run of the season. Nick Gordon went 2-for-5 with his eighth double and his second Red Wing home run. Kennys Vargas went 2-for-5 with his tenth double.

    Chattanooga 1, Birmingham 3
    Box Score

    While the Lookouts were unable to garner much offense in this game, there were some interesting notes from the game. Luis Arraez made his first start for Chattanooga and recorded his first hit. Zander Wiel went 2-for-4. Jaylin Davis went 1-for-3 with a walk and drove in the lone run for the Lookouts.

    Lefty Anthony Marzi fell to 0-6 for Chattanooga, but he pitched better than he has of late. He was charged with three runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings. However, he also had 11 strikeouts. In his previous start, he went five innings without recording any strikeouts, and his 11 strikeouts on Friday night equaled his strikeout total over his previous four starts. Another lefty, Andrew Vasquez came on in relief. He walked one and struck out three over two hitless, scoreless innings. He has yet to give up an earned run over his first ten innings with the Lookouts this season, including 8 1/3 innings over his four appearance since returning following the Florida State League All Star game. A third lefty, Ryne Harper, struck out four batters over the final two innings.

    Ft. Myers 5, Bradenton 4
    Box Score

    Things got a little feisty when the Miracle and Bradenton played on Friday night. Three members of the Miracle were ejected in the eighth inning. The Miracle took a 5-4 lead in the eighth frame when Lewin Diaz hit the go-ahead home run. The next batter was the red-hot Caleb Hamilton who was called out on strikes and was ejected. Soon after, his manager Ramon Borrego was tossed.

    Tom Hackimer was in the game for the bottom of the eighth inning. After getting the first out, he proceeded to hit the next three batters. After a force out at home and a fly out, the inning ended without the tying run scoring, Hackimer was ejected as he left the field.

    Tyler Wells was the story early in the game. He retired the first 16 batters that he faced. In total, he gave up two runs on three hits over six innings. He struck out eight without a walk. Colton Davis came on and gave up two runs on two hits and a walk before Hackimer was brought in. He got the final two outs of the seventh before his eighth inning. Alex Robinson came on for the ninth inning and pitched a perfect inning for the save.

    Lewin Diaz was the offensive hero. He went 3-for-4 with his 11th double and his sixth home run, which proved to be the game-winner. Caleb Hamilton was 2-for-4 in the game. Alex Kirilloff batted in the leadoff spot for the first time and went 1-for-5. Miguel Sano was 1-for-4 in the game.

    Cedar Rapids 0, Kane County 1
    Box Score

    Not much scoring in this game. In fact, the lone run in the game was unearned. Blayne Enlow worked a career-high six shutout innings. He worked out of some jams as he gave up six hits, walked three and hit one. He struck out three. Melvi Acosta worked the final two innings. He was charged with the unearned run on three hits. He struck out two.

    The Kernels managed just five hits in the game. Jacob Pearson moved into the leadoff spot when Akil Baddoo was a late scratch from the lineup. Pearson went 2-for-3 with a walk. Andrew Bechtold hit his 13th double. Trey Cabbage had a single and walked once.

    Elizabethton, Kingsport
    Box Score

    This game was been postponed by rain as the weather affected several games in the Appalachian League on Friday night.

    GCL Twins 4, GCL Red Sox 2
    Box Score

    The GCL Twins got a little hitting and a little pitching, enough to come out of this game with a little win.
    Landon Leach started for the Twins. The 2017 draft pick went two scoreless innings. He didn’t give up a hit, but he did walk three and struck out two. Donny Breek came on and also threw two scoreless innings. He walked two, hit one and struck out two. Frandy Torres gave up one run on two hits, a walk and a hit batter over 1 2/3 innings. He struck out three. Amilcar Cruz gave up one run on one hit, one walk and two hit batters. He struck out one. Tanner Howell came in and got the final seven outs to record the save. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out two.

    Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Lewin Diaz, Ft. Myers Miracle (3-4, 2B(11), HR(6), R, 2 RBI)
    Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Blayne Enlow, Cedar Rapids Kernels (6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 3 K)

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that we will be updating our Top Prospect rankings so this list will be updated soon.

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4
    #2 - Fernando Romero (Rochester) - Did not pitch
    #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) -2-5, 2B(8), HR(2), 2 R, RBI, K
    #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch
    #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, 2K
    #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season
    #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-3, BB, 2 K
    #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 3 K
    #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch
    #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play
    #11 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch
    #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 3-4, 2B(11), HR(6), R, 2 RBI
    #14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 2-3, 2 BB, HR(3), 2 R, RBI
    #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-0
    #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, 3K
    #18 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) - Did not play
    #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch
    #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - DFAd and Released (though he did become a father on Friday, so congratulations to him.

    Rochester @ Lehigh Valley(5:35 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (1-3, 3.00 ERA)
    Birmingham @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (4-4, 4.04 ERA)
    Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (5:30 CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (1-0, 3.26 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (3-1, 2.36 ERA)
    Danville @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (0-0, -.00 ERA)
    GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox(9:00 am CST) - TBD

    Please feel free to ask any questions about Friday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.

    • Jul 07 2018 08:23 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  18. Twins Minor League Report (6/25): Sammons Shuts Out Snappers

    Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions.


    • Fernando Romero was placed back on the Rochester roster.

    • Jordan Pacheco was reinstated from the Disabled List. Wynston Sawyer was placed on the disabled list with a fractured hamate bone.

    Game 1 - Rochester 4, Syracuse 1
    Box Score

    Adalberto Mejia put together another terrific start. Will it be his last with the Red Wings before re-joining the Twins rotation? The left-hander gave up one run on just two hits over six innings. He didn’t allow a hit until there was an out in the sixth inning. He walked two and struck out four. John Curtiss gave up a hit and walked two in the seventh, but he didn’t give up a run and recorded his seventh save.

    LaMonte Wade provided the power. His first AAA homer, a three-run shot, was more than enough for the Red Wings. Zack Granite and Willians Astudillo each added a double. Granite stole his ninth base. Astudillo was hit by a pitch in his second plate appearance and left the game. Byron Buxton’s rehab continued, and he went 0-4 with two strikeouts.

    Game 2 - Rochester 3, Syracuse 2 (8 innings)
    Box Score

    The second game of the double header needed an extra inning to decide it. It was a bullpen game for the Red Wings as Gabriel Moya started. In 2 2/3 innings, he gave up a run on four hits. He struck out three without issuing a walk. DJ Baxendale came on and threw two scoreless innings. He gave up four hits and struck out one. Nick Andersen then threw 2 1/3 innings. He gave up no runs on two hits. He walked none and struck out two. Tyler Duffey got the eighth inning and took the loss. He gave up two runs (1 earned, due to starting the inning at second base) on one hit and an intentional walk.

    Jordan Pacheco, returning from the DL, went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Edgar Corcino also played his first Red Wings game of this season and hit his first double. The Red Wings had just five hits. Byron Buxton went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in this game.

    Chattanooga 2, Biloxi 4
    Box Score

    Kohl Stewart had another solid start on Monday night. The right-hander gave up one run on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out eight batters. Sam Clay came on and gave up a run on two hits and a walk and recorded two outs. He struck one out. Ryne Harper gave up a hit and a walk in a scoreless inning. Tyler Jay pitched the ninth and gave up one run on two hits and a walk. He struck out one.

    Alex Perez led the offense. He went 2-for-4 with his fifth double and an RBI. Andy Wilkins went 1-for-2 with two walks and his fourth double. Brent Rooker added his 16th double.

    Ft. Myers
    Box Score

    No Game Scheduled.

    Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 0
    Box Score

    Bryan Sammons was the start of this game for the Kernels. The 2017 draft pick tossed eight shutout innings. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out five. With the Win, he improves to 4-4 with a 2.69 ERA. Calvin Faucher recorded his second save. He gave up a hit and a walk, and struck out two, in maintaining and completing the shutout.

    Jose Miranda led the offense with his 15th and 16th doubles. Jordan Gore was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Jacob Pearson hit a single and walked. Royce Lewis walked twice and stole his 17th base. David Banuelos hit his seventh double.

    Elizabethton , Johnson City
    Box Score

    Rain and poor field condition meant no game for the E-Twins on Monday night.

    GCL Twins Talk
    GCL Twins 5, GCL Rays 2
    Box Score

    After a tough first outing, Andriu Marin put together a good start on Monday. He gave up two runs on three hits over five innings. He walked two and struck out five. Lefty Petru Balan threw two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and a walk while striking out one. Steven Cruz picked up his first Save after throwing two shutout frames. He gave up two hits and struck two out.

    Victor Tademo went 3-for-5. Estamy Urena went 2-for-3 with two walks. Kidany Salva was 2-for-3. He was also hit by a pitch, had a sacrifice fly and a stolen base. Austin Hale caught the second half of the game and knocked his first double. Aaron Whitefield’s rehab continued as he went 1-for-4 with a walk.

    Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Victor Tademo, GCL Twins (3-5)
    Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Bryan Sammons, Cedar Rapids Kernels (8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K)

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

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 0-2, 2 BB, R, SB(17)
    #2 - Fernando Romero (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-8, R, 2 K
    #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch
    #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - No Game.
    #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season
    #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-4, 2B(16), K
    #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
    #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
    #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K
    #11 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch
    #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch
    #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - No Game
    #14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-5, 2 BB, HR(1), 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K
    #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - No Game
    #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - No Game
    #18 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) - Game rained out
    #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (1 HR allowed)
    #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - Disabled List, began rehab on June 19.

    Rochester @ Syracuse (6:35 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (1-3, 3.05 ERA)
    Biloxi @ Chattanooga (10:15 am CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (4-4, 4.26 ERA)
    Ft. Myers @ Tampa (5:30 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (0-0, 5.29 ERA)
    Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (2-2, 3.68 ERA)
    Johnson City @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) - TBD
    GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00 am CST) - TBD

    Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.

    • Jun 25 2018 08:46 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  19. Twins Minor League Report (6/11): Balazovic, Cabbage Key Kernels Win

    Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions.


    • Things were quiet on the transaction front in the Twins system on Tuesday.
    Rochester 3, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 10
    Box Score

    For Stephen Gonsalves at Rochester, his starts have either been very good or very, well, non-good. Unfortunately on this night, he had one of the latter. In four innings, Gonsalves gave up nine runs on nine hits (including two home runs). He walked five and struck out three. With a doubleheader on Tuesday, I’m sure manager Joel Skinner had hoped to get more innings from the lefty. Gonsalves threw 91 pitches. Just 47 of them were strikes.

    Jake Reed came on and provided three strong innings of relief. He gave up one run on three hits. He struck one batter out. Luke Bard pitched a scoreless inning.

    Chris Carter led the offense. He went 2-for-4 with his fifth home run. LaMonte Wade was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Cameron Rupp added a single and a walk.

    The Red Wings are now 28-31 on the season.

    Chattanooga 2, Montgomery 4
    Box Score

    Sean Poppen’s first two starts for the Lookouts were rough. In eight innings, he gave up 11 runs. On Monday, he posted a quality start. He gave up three runs on seven hits in six innings. He struck out two and didn’t walk anyone. Sam Clay worked the final two innings. He gave up one run on one hit and one walk. He struck out two.

    James Ramsey led the offense. He went 2-for-3 with a walk and his third home run. He also stole his first base. Andy Wilkins picked up his first walk and his first two hits, including a double, of the season after returning from the disabled list (hamate bone surgery). Edgar Corcino was also 2-for-3 in the game.

    The Lookouts are now 34-30.

    Ft. Myers 4, Palm Beach 3 (completion of suspended game)
    Box Score

    On Monday, the Miracle resumed a game that started last week against Palm Beach. Their game was suspended in the bottom of the seventh inning with the score tied at three. Griffin Jax had started the game last week and gave up three runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six and didn’t walk any. That is when the game was suspended.

    Fast-forward to Monday. Tom Hackimer “started” for the Miracle, and he worked 3 1/3 perfect innings to earn the win.

    With Brandon Lopez starting the bottom of the tenth inning at second base, Luis Arraez singled to center to score Lopez and end the game.
    Arraez went 2-for-3 in the game. Shane Carrier and Joe Cronin each went 2-for-4 with a home run. It was Carrier’s second and Cronin’s fourth.

    Ft. Myers 4, Palm Beach 5 (regularly-scheduled game)
    Box Score

    Lefty Tyler Watson started the second game with four scoreless innings. He gave up two runs in the fifth frame. Those were the only runs he gave up in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out four. Hector Lujan came on. He got the final out of the sixth inning. He gave up an unearned run in the seventh inning. Then in the bottom of the eighth, he gave up a double and a single but got two outs. Kevin Marnon was brought in, but he gave up a two-run double to give Palm Beach the lead before getting the final out.

    Luis Arraez went 3-for-5 with his second triple. He also stole his first bag. Travis Blankenhorn went 2-for-4 with his 12th double and an RBI.

    With the split, the Miracle are 25-37 on the season.

    Cedar Rapids 3, Wisconsin 1
    Box Score

    In a get-away afternoon game in Wisconsin, the Kernels got a fantastic start from a guy making his first Midwest League start. Jordan Balazovic came up on Memorial Day and worked 3 2/3 shutout innings in relief. After a brief stint back in extended spring training, he was called back up and made his first start on Monday. The right-hander from Canada gave the Kernels seven strong innings. He gave up one run on three hits. He struck out 11 batters without issuing a walk.
    Jared Finkel and Calvin Faucher each threw a scoreless inning which included a strikeout. Faucher recorded his first save.

    Trey Cabbage provided most of the Kernels offense. He had three of the team’s six hits including his eighth double and his fifth home run.

    Royce Lewis, who left the Kernels game on Sunday with an apparent leg injury, did not play on Monday afternoon.

    The Kernels are now 28-35.

    Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Trey Cabbage, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-3, 2B(8), HR(5))
    Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Jordan Balazovic, Cedar Rapids Kernels (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K)

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

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play
    #2 - Fernando Romero (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-4, 2 K
    #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - 4 IP, 9 H, 9 ER, 5 BB, 3 K
    #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, R, 2 K
    #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season
    #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-4, 2 K
    #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Disabled List
    #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch
    #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, RBI, K
    #11 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch
    #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch
    #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, K
    #14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 2-4, 2 RBI
    #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-1
    #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, 2B(12), RBI
    #18 - Yunior Severino (Extended Spring Training) -
    #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - Did Not Pitch
    #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - Disabled List, still no official timetable for return.

    Rochester @ Scranton/Wilkes Barre (DH @ 4:00 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers (5-3, 3.43 ERA), LHP Gabriel Moya (0-0, 2.11 ERA)
    Chattanooga @ Montgomery (12:05 CST) - RHP Todd Van Steensel (5-1, 1.60 ERA)
    Ft. Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker (1-4, 3.59 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) - RHP Randy Dobnak (3-2, 4.65 ERA)

    Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.

    • Jun 12 2018 07:18 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  20. Twins Minor League Report (6/10): Tough Day For The Bats

    Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Sunday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions.


    • Tyler Duffey returned to Rochester. To make room on the roster, infielder Leonardo Reginnato was placed on the DL (ankle).
    • Following their Sunday win, the Twins announced that Joe Mauer is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment in Rochester on Tuesday.
    Rochester 1, Durham 6
    Box Score

    Zack Littell made his first start for the Red Wings since his major league debut earlier in the week. It started out well, but he struggled in a three-run fourth inning. On the day, Littell gave up four runs on five hits and four walks in four innings. He struck out three. Tyler Duffey came on and threw two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and struck one out. Nick Anderson pitched the seventh inning. He gave up two runs on three hits. He walked one and struck one out. Alan Busenitz dropped his ERA to 0.38 with two more scoreless innings.

    Zack Granite and Willians Astudillo each went 2-for-4. LaMonte Wade went 1-for-2 with two walks. Former Twins prospect Chih-Wei Hu got the win. He gave up one run on four hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out two. He improves to 2-5 with a 4.87 ERA.

    The Red Wings are now 28-30 on the season.

    Chattanooga 1, Montgomery 2
    Box Score

    Things started out well for the the Lookouts. The second batter, Brent Rooker hit a solo home run to give the team a 1-0 lead. It was his ninth home run. Unfortunately, the team had just two more hits, both by Edgar Corcino who also stole his third base. Mitchell Kranson made his Double-A debut and went 0-for-2 and was hit by a pitch.

    Kohl Stewart put together one of his best starts of the season. In seven innings, he gave up two runs on just six hits. He walked two and struck out nine. Cody Stashak worked one perfect inning.

    The Lookouts are now 34-29.

    Ft. Myers 2, Dunedin 1
    Box Score

    Right-hander Tyler Wells put together a second straight very strong start for the Miracle. He gave up just three hits over seven scoreless innings. He walked two and struck out four to improve to 5-3 with a 2.47 ERA. Ryan Mason picked up his second Miracle save with two innings of work. He gave up one run on two hits.

    The Miracle scored their two runs in the third inning on back-to-back RBI singles from Joe Cronin and Travis Blankenhorn. Jimmy Kerrigan went 2-for-3 in the game.

    The Miracle are now 24-36. They are about to begin their final series before the All- Star Game.

    Cedar Rapids 1, Wisconsin 5
    Box Score

    The Kernels had a bullpen game started by Melvi Acosta. The right-hander gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits over just two innings. He walked one and struck out two. Jovani Moran came on and gave up one run on two hits and two walks in his two innings. He struck out one. Tanner Kiest went the final four innings. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk while striking out two.

    Alex Kirilloff went 2-for-4 with his fifth triple. Jose Miranda and Andrew Bechtold went 2-for-4. Trey Cabbage went 1-for-3 with a walk and his first stolen base.

    Royce Lewis started at DH. He batted once and then was replaced in the game by Jacob Pearson. No reports yet on the reason that Lewis left the game.

    The Kernels are now 28-34.

    Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Brent Rooker, Chattanooga Lookouts (1-3, BB, HR(9))
    Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Wells, Fort Myers Miracle (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K)

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

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 0-1, left game
    #2 - Fernando Romero (Minnesota) - 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)
    #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did not play.
    #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch
    #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 3B(5)
    #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season
    #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-3, BB, HR(9)
    #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Disabled List
    #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch
    #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Play
    #11 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - 4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K)
    #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch
    #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Did not play
    #14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-2, 2 BB
    #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-3
    #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, RBI
    #18 - Yunior Severino (Extended Spring Training) -
    #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - Did Not Pitch
    #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - Disabled List, still no official timetable for return.

    Rochester @ Scranton/Wilkes Barre (5:35 CST) - Stephen Gonsalves (4-2, 4.13 ERA)
    Chattanooga @ Montgomery (6:35 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen (0-2, 12.38 ERA)
    Ft. Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (0-0, 1.13 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (12:05 CST) - Jordan Balazovic (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

    Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.

    • Jun 11 2018 04:19 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  21. Twins Minor League Report (6/2): Wells, Thorpe Provide Great Starts

    Keep reading to find out more on the events in the Twins minor league system on Sunday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions.

    The Twins announced that Cedar Rapids infielder Jose Miranda was the organization’s Player of the Week. Lookouts righty Omar Bencomo was named the organization’s Pitcher of the Week.


    • Almost surprisingly, there were no Twins minor league transactions on Sunday.
    Rochester, Norfolk
    Box Score

    The game was delayed and soon after it was called. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader in Rochester in July.

    Chattanooga 13, Mobile 5
    Box Score

    Maybe Lewis Thorpe has figured things out in the Southern League. After posting his best start of the season last time out, he posted a new best start of the year on Sunday. The lefty from Australia threw six shutout innings. He gave up just three hits, walked two and struck out six.

    Sam Clay came on and was charged with five runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks over 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two. Zack Jones got the final four outs. He gave up a hit and walked one.

    The Lookouts offense was helped by some shaky pitching. They scored their 13 runs on just seven hits, but they also took 12 walks. A nine-run fifth inning started with an error. LaMonte Wade then hit his seventh home run. After an out, Mobile pitchers went on to walk six straight batters. When Wade came back to the plate, he added another run-scoring single.

    Wade led the way. He went 2-for-3 with a walk, his seventh homer and four RBIs. He also stole his fifth base. Zander Wiel went 2-for-5 with his 17th double. Chris Paul walked twice while Alex Perez and James Ramsey each walked twice.

    Ft. Myers 3, St. Lucie 1
    Box Score

    Right-hander Tyler Wells has had a strong start to his 2018 season for Ft. Myers. Wells put together the best start of his season on Sunday afternoon. In eight innings, Wells gave up just one run on two hits. The only blemish was a solo home run in the seventh inning. He walked one and struck out seven. He improved to 4-3 with a 2.86 ERA.

    Well noted following the outing, “I would say that commanding the inside part of the plate with my fastball was the key. Really made my offspeed better, and more effective!”

    As impressive, Wells completed eight innings for the first time this season and just the second time since being drafted in the 15th round of the 2016 draft out of college. Not only was it the first time he’d completed eight, it was the first time this season that he had made pitches in the seventh or eighth innings. Wells was at 90 pitches through seven innings and manager Ramon Borrego had him go out for the eighth. He finished with 101 pitches. Was he surprised he got the eighth inning?

    “I wouldn’t say surprised is the right word. I’ve had issues this season and many seasons before with pitch counts getting high very fast. So I would say I was pleased to get there and the fact I could finish it off strong!”

    Wells threw a one-two-three eighth inning and struck out the final two batters. Lefty Andrew Vasquez picked up his fourth save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning. He walked one and reduced his ERA to 0.64.

    With one out in the fifth inning, Taylor Grzelakowski walked. Jimmy Kerrigan was next to the plate and he hit a double to score Grzelakowski to give the Miracle a 1-0 lead. Following the game-tying home run in the seventh inning, the Miracle quickly responded with two runs in the top of the eighth inning. Caleb Hamilton and Luis Arraez walked. Then Brandon Lopez hit a double that scored Hamilton. Arraez scored on a passed ball with two outs to give the Miracle their third run.

    Cedar Rapids 9, Burlington 10
    Box Score

    The offense showed up in Burlington on Sunday afternoon, but unfortunately, the home team bats scored one more run.

    Alex Kirilloff got things going. He went 2-for-5 and hit his 10th home run of the season in the first inning. Jean Carlos Arias went 3-for-4 with his fourth double and also stole his fourth base. Andrew Bechtold went 2-for-4. Ben Rodriguez was 2-for-3 with a walk and a hit, a three-run homer. It was his third homer of the year.

    Edwar Colina gave up five runs on five hits. Unfortunately he recorded just five outs. He also walked two and struck out two. Jose Martinez came on and did a nice job. He gave up one run on two hits over 4 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three. Calvin Faucher gave up two runs on one hit and one walk. He struck out two in 1 2/3 innings. Carlos Suniaga got the final out of the eighth inning, but he got just one out in the ninth before taking the loss. Each of the four Kernels pitchers gave up one home run.

    Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: LaMonte Wade, Chattanooga Lookouts (2-3, BB, HR(7), 4 RBI, SB(5))
    Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Lewis Thorpe, Chattanooga Lookouts (6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K) or Tyler Wells, Fort Myers Miracle (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)...

    Vote here:

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

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, 2B(11), RBI, K
    #2 - Fernando Romero (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch
    #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Rained Out.
    #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Rained Out.
    #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 2-5, HR(10), R, RBI, K
    #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season
    #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-3, BB, 2 K, RBI, SF
    #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch
    #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) - Disabled List (hand contusion)
    #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 0-5, R, K
    #11 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch (MLB Debut on Tuesday)
    #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 89 pitches, 59 strikes)
    #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Did not play.
    #14 - LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) - 2-3, BB, HR(7), 4 RBI, SB(5)
    #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Play
    #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, 2 K
    #18 - Yunior Severino (Extended Spring Training) -
    #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - Did Not Pitch
    #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - Disabled List, still no official timetable for return.

    Rochester - No Game Scheduled
    Mobile @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart (3-3, 6.60 ERA)
    Palm Beach @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - TBD
    Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled

    Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.

    • Jun 03 2018 08:26 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  22. Twins Minor League Report (6/2): Yabba Da-Baddoo!

    Transactions & Other Notes
    Moises Gomez was added to Fort Myers with Kevin Marnon being transferred from the Miracle to Elizabethton.

    Cedar Rapids activated Bryan Sammons and placed Brusdar Graterol on the DL due to a right hand contusion.

    Also, I just wanted to mention real quickly that the DSL Twins had their Opening Day. Unfortunately, they lost 15-5.

    Norfolk 7, Rochester 3
    Box Score

    SP: Gabriel Moya (2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Jake Cave

    I guess Nick Anderson is human after all. He’d given up three earned runs in 23 1/3 innings entering this game (1.16 ERA) but gave up twice that many runs while recording just two outs tonight.

    The Red Wings were trying to bullpen their way through this one, and other than Anderson it worked out pretty well. Gabriel Moya made his first start since 2014 and gave up one run over 2 2/3 innings. Jake Reed (1 1/3 innings), Alan Busenitz (2 1/3 innings) and John Curtis (one inning) all had scoreless outings.

    Jake Cave was 2-for-3 with a walk. He’s been on a tear since his brief cup of coffee with the Twins, going 13-for-39 (.333) with four homers in 11 games. Nick Gordon had a double and Chris Carter had a double of his own to go with a couple of RBIs.

    Chattanooga 7, Birmingham 5
    Box Score

    W: Paco Rodriguez (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K)
    SP: Cody Stashak (3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)
    HR: Chris Paul (3)
    Multi-hit games: LaMonte Wade, Brent Rooker, Zander Wiel

    LaMonte Wade has been one of the better performing prospects in the entire Twins system, so much so that a lot of fans have been calling for him to be promoted all the way up to the majors. He’s been getting on base (of course) and hitting for some more power, but coming into tonight there was one thing he hadn’t done.

    Hit a double.

    That’s right, Wade had six home runs and even a triple in 38 games played, but zero doubles. How weird is that!?

    Wade finally hit a double in what was a two-hit night. Brent Rooker continued to roll, hitting both a double and a triple. Zander Wiel also had a double in a multi-hit effort. Chris Paul homered in what was a three-RBI night.

    The Lookouts scored all seven of their runs in the first three innings. Todd Van Steensel pitched two more scoreless, no-hit innings to go with a pair of strikeouts. He’s given up just one run on three hits over his last 16 innings pitched.

    Hey, remember that one time Michael Jordan played for the Birmingham Barons? How crazy is it that he was a like "I wanna play baseball” and the White Sox were just like “OK, go to Double-A, I guess.”

    Hmmm ... how do you think LeBron James would do on the Lookouts right now?

    Game 1: Fort Myers 3, St. Lucie 1 (7 innings)
    Box Score

    W: Andro Cutura (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Lewin Diaz

    This was a makeup game that was originally postponed on May 20. Andro Cutura, a seventh-rounder from the 2014 draft, picked up his first career complete game, though being part of a doubleheader it was only scheduled for seven innings. Still counts.

    Cutura threw 54 of his 87 pitches for strikes (62.1 percent). This was the second-consecutive start in which he went seven innings. He’s given up just six hits and one earned run over his last 14 innings pitched.

    This game was tied at 1-1 heading into the seventh inning, but the Miracle got their only extra-base hits of this game all in a row in the top of the seventh. Jimmy Kerrigan hit a one-out double, Lewin Diaz brought him around to score on another double, then Caleb Hamilton doubled in Diaz for a nice insurance run.

    Game 2: Fort Myers 5, St. Lucie 1
    Box Score

    W: Ryan Mason (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)
    SP: Charlie Barnes (6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K)
    HR: Mark Contreras (3)
    Multi-hit games: Luis Arraez

    This game was also tied at 1-1, but instead of Fort Myers breaking through in the seventh, this game went into extra innings. There, the Miracle offense awoke.

    Luis Arraez led off the inning with a single, then Travis Blankenhorn, who was the “free” runner that started the inning at second base, scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. St. Lucie unraveled from there, as Mitchell Kranson walked, Taylor Grzelakowski hit an RBI single and Lewin Diaz followed with a run-scoring single of his own.

    Charlie Barnes struck out six batters over six innings of one-run ball. He got off to a slow start, but has pitched to a 3.04 ERA over his last four starts (23 2/3 innings). Ryan Mason finished the game with two scoreless innings. This was his 14th appearance with Fort Myers and already his seventh decision. He’s 5-2.

    Cedar Rapids 7, Burlington 5
    Box Score

    W: Bryan Sammons (6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)
    SV: Jovani Moran (2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K)
    HR: Trey Cabbage (4)
    Multi-hit games: Akil Baddoo, Alex Kirilloff, Ben Rortvedt, Trey Cabbage

    What a night for Akil Baddoo. He led off this game with a double, added a bunt single in the second inning and tripled in the fourth inning. That’s right, he was already a home run shy of the cycle after just four frames. Baddoo struck out in the seventh, then cracked yet another tripe in the eighth inning, giving him nine total bases on the night.

    Bryan Sammons struck out eight batters over six innings of two-run ball. In his first full season as a pro, Sammons now has a 2.74 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over nine starts. Jovani Moran’s line tonight syncs up pretty well with the rest of his season so far. He was nasty, striking out five batters in 2 1/3 innings while surrendering just one hit, but he also walked three batters.

    Andrew Bechtold played second base for the first time in his professional career.

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Bryan Sammons, Cedar Rapids
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Akil Baddoo, Cedar Rapids

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

    1. Royce Lewis, CR: 0-for-4, BB
    2. Fernando Romero, MIN
    3. Nick Gordon, ROC: 1-for-4, 2B
    4. Stephen Gonsalves, ROC: Did not pitch.
    5. Alex Kirilloff, CR: 2-for-4, BB, RBI, 2 Rs
    6. Wander Javier: Out for the season with a shoulder injury.
    7. Brent Rooker, CHAT: 2-for-5, 2B 3B, RBI, R
    8. Blayne Enlow, CR: Did not pitch.
    9. Brusdar Graterol, CR: Out with a right hand contusion.
    10. Akil Baddoo, CR: 4-for-5, 2B, 2 3Bs, R
    11. Zack Littell, ROC: Did not pitch.
    12. Lewis Thorpe, CHAT: Did not pitch.
    13. Lewin Diaz, FM: 3-for-7, 2B, R, 3 RBI
    14. LaMonte Wade, CHAT: 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, R
    15. Mitch Garver, MIN
    16. Ben Rortvedt, CR: 2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBIs
    17. Travis Blankenhorn, FM: 1-for-4, R
    18. Yunior Severino: Inactive, expected to join E-Town later this month.
    19. Tyler Jay, CHAT: Did not pitch.
    20. Felix Jorge: Out with knee injury.

    Rochester at Norfolk, 12:05 pm CT (Stephen Gonsalves)
    Chattanooga vs. Mobile, 4:15 pm CT (Lewis Thorpe)
    Fort Myers at St. Lucie, 11:00 am CT (Tyler Wells)
    Cedar Rapids at Burlington, 2:00 pm CT (Edwar Colina)

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

    • Jun 03 2018 05:32 AM
    • by Tom Froemming
  23. Top Five Twins Prospects Who Should Be Promoted

    Important note on the selection process: In this list, I avoided putting players in their first year with the level. Because of that, I did not put Alex Kirilloff on this list, even though he has been the best player in the organization this season. Other players who were not added because of this stipulation are Zander Wiel, Tyler Wells and Brusdar Graterol. Perhaps they could be added to my next one in late July or early August if they keep performing.

    Here is my list...

    Honorable Mentions:
    Tyler Jay, LHP, Chattanooga
    Jordan Gore, 2B, Cedar Rapids
    Bryan Sammons, LHP, Cedar Rapids

    5. Ben Rortvedt, C, Cedar Rapids

    Everyone knows how much of a fan I am of him. My last article for Twins Daily raved about Rotvedt as the catcher of the future. It has been an up and down season for the Verona, Wis., native. At the time I wrote my Rortvedt piece, the catcher was hitting .471 through his first four games of the season. But apparently I was the kiss of the death, as he went on a month-long slump.

    In a stretch that saw his batting average plummet down to .225 on May 10, Rortvedt only had eight hits in 54 at-bats (.148). In addition to his .148 batting average, his OBP slipped down to .286 and he had an OPS of just .624. After having three extra- base hits in his first four games, he had just three during that 15-game stretch.

    But Rortvedt has since rebounded. In the three weeks (17 games) since the slump ended, he has hit .333 (21-63) with five of the 21 hits being extra-base hits. His batting average has ballooned up to .276 with an OPS of .719. The 2016 second round pick has improved in every single area. His average has improved by 52 points, his OBP by 47 points and his OPS by an incredible 122 points. Despite his homer numbers being down a bit, his extra-base numbers are up. His strikeout numbers are up a bit, but I think it is time to move up the 20-year-old to Fort Myers.

    4. LaMonte Wade, OF, Chattanooga

    Wade is one of the more under-the-radar prospects in the Twins organization. With Byron Buxton on the disabled list once again, I wish they would put Wade up in the majors instead of rolling with Ryan LaMarre. The 24-year-old was drafted in the ninth round in 2015 and has been as consistent as any player in the system.

    After dominating the Florida State League in the last half of 2016, Wade played the entire 2017 season in Double-A Chattanooga. All he did there was hit .292 with seven homers and an OPS of .805. Wade started this season in Chattanooga once again, and has done as well, or maybe even better. Currently, his average sits at .289, but has struggled a bit since coming off the DL (1-11). However, the Baltimore native was hitting .305 before the injury with an OPS of .864. That is promotion worthy.

    In a weird stat, he has hit six homers this year after hitting seven in 2017, but Wade does not yet have a double. Gordon was promoted to Rochester in May, and I have a feeling the former Maryland Terrapin is not far away.

    3. Andrew Vasquez, LHP, Fort Myers

    Vasquez has pitched 1 1/3 innings with Chattanooga this year, but I do not count that as primarily being a member of the Lookouts. So, I am putting the 24-year-old as No. 3 on this list. I am a bit surprised he didn’t start the season with the Lookouts, even if he only pitched 35 2/3 innings with the Miracle in 2017. But the 24-year-old started this season in Florida, and has done even better.

    In 27 1/3 innings this season, Vasquez has a minuscule 0.66 ERA, along with a .210 batting average and a 1.06 WHIP. Last year, in his 35 2/3 innings, he had a 1.51 ERA and a .241 opponents batting average. His strikeout numbers are a bit down from last year, but still very good. In 2016, Vasquez struck out 52 batters in the 35 2/3 innings, and in 2017, he has struck out 30 in 27 1/3 innings.

    I know he was promoted to Chattanooga for a game, but then he went back to High-A Fort Myers. It is time to promote him for good. Chattanooga has a few relievers who are worthy of a promotion, so he might be promoted for good once that happens.

    2. Royce Lewis, SS, Cedar Rapids

    Many probably think I am crazy for not putting him at the top spot. I mean, it would make sense. He has been really good for the Kernels this year. After hitting .296 last year for the Kernels in 18 games, Lewis has been on fire in 2018.

    In 41 games this year, last year’s top overall pick has hit .307. Lewis, who turns 19 on Tuesday, has hit three homers in 163 at-bats after hitting one in 71 last year. He only has 13 extra base hits, but that will come in time. He still has an OPS of a solid .775, including a slugging percentage of .423.

    Last year, in 36 games in the Gulf Coast League, Lewis had 15 stolen bases, but only three in 18 games with the Kernels. However, he has 15 in 41 games in Iowa this season, and has only been caught once.

    It is just a matter of time before he gets promoted to High-A Fort Myers. I am biased, so I hope he at least is in Cedar Rapids until after next weekend since I will be in Appleton for the Saturday and Sunday games. I will say, I think he will be with the Miracle by my birthday (June 16).

    1. Todd Van Steensel, RHP, Chattanooga

    Some may think Lewis should be higher, but I chose Van Steensel since he has been so dominant with the Lookouts the last two-plus seasons.

    It has been a weird trip through the system for the Australian. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009, but he was released after a year. Van Steensel then signed with the Twins in 2011, but then was cut after a year. After a few years in the Australian Baseball League, Minnesota signed him back and he has been with the organization ever since.

    With the exception of a year in which he had an ERA of 3.46 with Fort Myers in 2016, he has been lights out. He has been especially great for Chattanooga. In eight games for the Lookouts in 2016, he allowed two runs in eight innings. Coming back with the Lookouts in 2017, he was even better. In 58 2/3 innings, he only allowed nine runs and struck out 59. His opponents batting average was just .207 with a WHIP of 1.14. Even though he was outstanding in 2017, he has been even more amazing in 2018.

    In 15 (29 2/3 innings) games, the 27-year-old is 5-1 with an ERA of 1.82. The opposing batting average against Van Steensel is just .152 and his WHIP is a microscopic 0.78, which are both career-bests. He should be in Rochester at some point this season, which would open the door for Andrew Vasquez to be promoted.

    As always, feel free to tell me which Twins prospects you hope to see promoted soon.

    • Jun 02 2018 01:59 PM
    • by Jonathon Zenk
  24. Ready To Move Up

    I believe that the below six players are ready for the next challenge in their careers and on the ladder up the Twins minor league system. Check out my list of a half-dozen players, and then add others that you would like to see promoted.

    Rochester to Minnesota:

    Pitcher: Aaron Slegers

    Trevor May will likely be back in a Minnesota Twins uniform, and Ervin Santana isn’t too far behind him. Those two MLB veterans are returning to a starting rotation that is already full. Stephen Gonsalves and Zack Littell are also in the Rochester rotation and, especially Gonsalves, appear close to big-league ready. Slegers isn’t the big prospect. He was a fifth-round pick and basically moved up one level each year. All the while, he put up good numbers. But Slegers is a legit MLB prospect. He can pitch in the big leagues, and frankly, he’s got little left to prove in AAA. Over his first eight starts in 2018, he is 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA. That is after going 15-4 with a 3.40 ERA in 2017 with the Red Wings. If an organization has a pitcher like Slegers in AAA providing depth, that organization is pretty solid.

    Chattanooga to Rochester:

    Hitter: LaMonte Wade

    Yes, he’s been on the 7-day disabled list for a week now with a shoulder injury, but if not for that, he might have joined Nick Gordon on the trip up to Rochester. Wade had a solid 2017 in Chattanooga when he hit .292/.397/.408 (.805) with 22 doubles and seven home runs. As he has done at every level, he walked more than he struck out. It’s that plate discipline and approach that make me think he might even be ready to move up to the big leagues if needed. For whatever reason, he was returned to the Lookouts to start 2018. Maybe it was to work on something, possibly adding more home run power to his game. If that’s the case, well, he’s already got six home runs this year. There’s little doubt in my mind that Wade is ready for Triple A, if not the big leagues.

    Pitcher: Todd Van Steensel

    Van Steensel signed with the Twins a long time ago. Way back in 2011, to be exact. He was a starting pitcher at that time and was released after the Elizabethton season. Fast-forward to 2014, and the Twins brought Van Steensel back, this time as a reliever. Ever since then, he has been one of the best relievers in the Twins system. For whatever reason, he has not been promoted quickly. He posted a 2.62 ERA over 101 games in Ft. Myers (157 strikeouts in 144 1/3 innings). He pitched in Chattanooga last year and posted a 1.38 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings. Yet he finds himself back with the Lookouts again this year. He’s got 28 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings, but he also has just seven walks. If anything was holding him back in the past, he was some control issues. If that’s a thing of the past, Van Steensel deserves to move up.

    Ft. Myers to Chattanooga:

    Hitter: Jaylin Davis

    The Twins drafted Davis late in the 2015 draft. He was hurt, so his playing career didn’t start until the Elizabethton season started in 2016. He hit 16 home runs in 64 the rest of that season (between E-Town and Cedar Rapids). He hit 15 homers in 2017, splitting the season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He’s hit for power, but he’s also swung and missed a lot. So far in 2018, Davis has cut down on his strikeout rate while increasing his walk rate. He’s hitting .285/.385/.431 (.806) with the Miracle. He may be in line for another midseason promotion.

    Pitcher: Andrew Vasquez (or Sean Poppen)

    Vasquez was another late-round pick in 2015 (32nd round) out of Division III Westmont College. He split 2017 between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, and ended the year with a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League. After 23 games in Ft. Myers in 2017, he began there again in 2018. He spent a few days in Chattanooga, but he’s ready to be sent there full-time. In a combined 15 games (14 with the Miracle), he’s posted a 0.68 ERA. In 25 2/3 innings, he’s struck out 28 and walked just seven (something he struggled with in the past). He’s got a good fastball, but his slider can be a wipe-out pitch, and he should soon be making the move to Double-A permanently.

    Cedar Rapids to Ft. Myers:

    Hitter: Alex Kirilloff

    While Royce Lewis has garnered a lot of the headlines, and deservedly so, Alex Kirilloff has provided the Kernels with average, extra base power, and he’s driven in a ton of runs. After missing all of 2017 due to Tommy John surgery, it didn’t take Kirilloff long to get rolling in 2018. He is currently hitting .325/.373/.584 (.957) with 13 doubles, seven home runs and 35 RBI. He’s played well in the outfield and notes that his arm is feeling strong. I would expect Kirilloff, along with Lewis, to move up to Ft. Myers at or around the All-Star break.

    So there are six Twins minor leaguers who are making a strong case for promotion. Certainly, there are others who are deserving as well for performance or other reasons.

    • May 25 2018 07:34 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  25. Twins Minor League Report (5/17): Lookout for Chattanooga Homers

    I apologize for the extremely abbreviated report tonight. I had to spring into action unexpectedly and this was the best I could do.

    A couple of real quick things to note: LaMonte Wade hit a big game-tying home run for the Lookouts in the top of the fifth inning tonight, but then was removed from the game in the bottom of the sixth. No word on why that was. Also, infielder Joe Cronin pitched for the Miracle tonight, getting out the only two batters he faced.

    Syracuse 4, Rochester 2
    Box Score

    SP: Trevor May (4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Jake Cave (2-for-3, 2B, BB)

    Chattanooga 6, Biloxi 4
    Box Score

    W: Lewis Thorpe (5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)
    SV: Ryne Harper (2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)
    HR: Chris Paul (2), LaMonte Wade (6), Zander Wiel (3)
    Multi-hit games: Brian Navarreto (2-for-4, RBI)

    Jupiter 5, Fort Myers 2
    Box Score

    SP: Charlie Barnes (5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K)
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Brandon Lopez (2-for-4), Luis Arraez (2-for-3, 2B)

    Quad Cities 2, Cedar Rapids 1
    Box Score

    SP: Bailey Ober (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-for-4, RBI)

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Bailey Ober
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: LaMonte Wade

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed:
    1. Royce Lewis: 0-for-4, K
    3. Nick Gordon: 1-for-4, 2B
    5. Alex Kirilloff: 2-for-4, RBI, K
    7. Brent Rooker: 1-for-4, 2B, 2 K
    10. Akil Baddoo: 0-for-2, BB, R, 2 K
    11. Zack Littell: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
    12. Lewis Thorpe: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
    13. Lewin Diaz: 0-for-3, BB, K, SB
    14. LaMonte Wade: 1-for-3, HR, R, RBI, K
    16. Ben Rortvedt: 0-for-3, BB, K
    17. Travis Blankenhorn: 0-for-3, R, 2 K

    Rochester vs. Pawtuckett, 6:05 pm CT (Stephen Gonsalves)
    Chattanooga at Biloxi, 6:35 pm CT (Kohl Stewart)
    Fort Myers vs. St Lucie, 6:00 pm CT (Brady Anderson)
    Cedar Rapids at Clinton, 6:30 pm CT (Blayne Enlow

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

    • May 18 2018 04:14 AM
    • by Tom Froemming