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  1. 2018 Killebrew Award Winner - Chris Paul (Chattanooga Lookouts)

    Chris Paul came to the Twins as their sixth round draft pick in 2015 out of Cal-Berkeley. After signing, he went to Elizabethton but quickly moved up to Cedar Rapids. That’s where he began the 2016 season but just a couple of weeks into the season, he was promoted to Ft. Myers. In 2017, he hit .328/.380/.471 (.851) in 61 games in Ft. Myers. Unfortunately he broke his hamate bone. He made up for some of the lost time by representing the Twins in the Arizona Fall League last year.

    Paul has done a nice job representing the Twins on the field, but also off of the field, and that’s why he’s been selected the Chattanooga Lookouts’ recipient of the Harmon Killebrew Award.

    Dan Kopf is the Lookouts Media Relations Manager. Asked about Chris Paul, he said, “Chris was our choice. He was also willing to get into the community. This year, Chris helped underprivileged youth go back-to-school shopping at Academy Sports. Chris was also always one of the first players to volunteer for player appearances or interviews.”

    Helping in the community, and especially working with kids, was something that Chris Paul really enjoyed. He pointed out, “I helped with some teammates to play games and hold camps for unprivileged kids, usually through the boys and girls club or YMCA. Also, I have helped these kids go back to school shopping and find things they needed to help them succeed in life and in school! It was very rewarding and humbling experience. You learn just as much from these kids as they do from you, and it reminds me to be grateful for everything and all the opportunities I have been given.“

    It’s obviously a great perspective. Paul understands and appreciates what this award means and the legacy that has been left behind by Killebrew.

    “It’s an incredible honor to be given the Harmon Killebrew Award. Both on and off the field, Mr. Killebrew was held in very high regards by all; so obviously, I’m gratefully accepting this award hoping to live up to such a high standard set by such an outstanding individual and baseball player.“


    Previous Twins Double-A Killebrew Award winners:

    2011 - Bobby Lanigan
    2012 - Shawn Roof
    2013 - Dan Rohlfing
    2014 - Tony Thomas
    2015 - Tim Shibuya
    2016 - David Hurlbut
    2017 - Travis Harrison
    2018 - Chris Paul


    2018 Killebrew Award Recipients

    Rochester Red Wings - Jake Reed
    Chattanooga Lookouts - Chris Paul
    Fort Myers Miracle -
    Cedar Rapids Kernels -


    Congratulations to Chris Paul on earning the 2018 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Chattanooga Lookouts.

    • Sep 19 2018 09:00 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  2. Twins Minor league Report (7/23): Kranson, Paul Star In Walkoff 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.

    TRANSACTIONS

    • Officially, Adalberto Mejia was called up to the Twins with Alan Busenitz being sent down to Rochester.
    • Infielder Alex Perez has returned to the Chattanooga Lookouts. Also, infielder Chris Paul has been activated from the disabled list. RHP Cody Stashak was activated from the temporary Inactive List. RHP Todd Van Steensel was placed on the disabled list.

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester
    Box Score

    No Game Scheduled.


    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 4, Pensacola 3
    Box Score

    Down 3-2 going into the bottom of the ninth, Lookouts baseball found itself with a few heroes. Mitchell Kranson was called upon to pinch hit, and he hit a game-tying home run, his second since joining the Lookouts. Tanner English followed with a triple. After two batters were walked intentionally, Chris Paul provided the walk off single.

    Brent Rooker led the offense. The powerful slugger went 2-for-3 with his 18th home run of the season. Paul went 2-for-5 in the game. Jaylin Davis also went 2-for-5 on the night.

    It was Sam Clay’s turn to play the role of “Opener” on Monday night. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk in his inning. He struck out one. Anthony Marzi then came on and worked the next five innings. He gave up just one run despite five hits, three walks and a hit batter. He struck out four. Andrew Vasquez got five outs, two on strikeouts, and Ryne Harper struck out the one batter he faced.


    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Ft. Myers 11, Jupiter 12 (11 innings)
    Box Score
    The Miracle began a road trip on Monday, and it was a ‘70s Road Trip…



    This game went back and forth starting in the ninth. One run given up by the Miracle in the bottom of the ninth tied it up. The Miracle scored three runs in the top of the tenth inning, but then they gave up three more in the bottom of the inning. The Miracle then scored a run in the top of the 11th, but they gave up two in the bottom of the 11th to take a tough loss.

    Bryan Sammons made his Florida State League debut, and it was a struggle. The left-hander gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits, two walks and a hit batter in just three innings. He struck out two. Colton Davis came on and struck out two over two scoreless, hitless innings. Clark Beeker came on in long relief. He gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out three. Jovani Moran came on for the 11th inning, and he was charged with two runs (one earned) on two hits. He recorded two outs, one via the strikeout.

    Yes, the hitting hero for the Miracle was again Alex Kirilloff. He went 3-for-4 with a walk and three more doubles. He now has 11 with the Miracle and 31 on the season. Royce Lewis gave the Miracle an early,second-inning lead with a bases-clearing double.




    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 0, Lansing 2
    Box Score

    The Kernels got another quality start from righty Randy Dobnak. He gave up two runs (one earned) on seven hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out four. Melvi Acosta came on and threw two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and walked one.

    Unfortunately, the Kernels managed just two hits and two walks in the game. Andrew Bechtold hit his 16th doubles while Ariel Montesino knocked his second two-bagger.


    E-TWINS E-TALK
    Elizabethton , Princeton
    Box Score

    The doubleheader at Princeton was cancelled. Obviously with a short-season, there are fewer off days to make up games, so instead of postponing, they need to cancel them.


    GCL TWINS TALK
    GCL Twins 4, GCL Rays 5 (10 innings)
    Box Score

    Another extra innings game for a Twins affiliate in Florida… Same result, unfortunately. The Twins scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning, but then gave up three runs in the bottom of the inning.

    Prelander Berroa started and gave up two runs on three hits over four innings. He walked four and struck out four. Niklas Rimmel, a 19-year-old from Germany, made his first pro appearance in the States. He gave up two hits over two scoreless innings. Michael Montero gave up a hit and walked one but did not allow a run over his two innings. JT Perez came on and gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits over 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two. Osiris German came on and gave up a home run that ended the game.

    Gabe Snyder led the offense. He went 2-for-4 with his fourth double. LaRon Smith and Janigson Villalobos both went 1-for-3 with two walks. Smith added his first double. Hunter Lee added his first GCL double, and Willie Joe Garry, Jr., added his third double.

    STARS OF THE DAY
    Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Alex Kirilloff, Ft. Myers Miracle (3-4, BB, 3-2B(11).
    Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Randy Dobnak, Cedar Rapids Kernels (6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    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) - 1-6, 2B(3), 3 RBI, R, K
    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 3-4, 3-2B(11),
    #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch.
    #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did not play.
    #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch.
    #6 - Trevor Larnach (Elizabethton) - Did not play
    #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 2-3, 2 BB, HR(18), K, R, RBI
    #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, 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) - Did not play.
    #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, 2 R, 2 K
    #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch.
    #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, R, K
    #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - Did not play
    #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 0-2
    #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Elizabethton) - Did not play.
    #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play.
    #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - Did not play.
    #21 - Jose Miranda (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4
    *I figured that since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list.


    TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    Rochester @ Indianapolis (6:05 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves (6-3. 3.34 ERA)
    Pensacola @ Chattanooga (7:05 CST) - TBD
    Ft. Myers @ Jupiter (5:30 CST) - LHP Charlie Barnes (4-5, 2.93 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Lansing (6:05 CST) - RHP Blayne Enlow (1-2, 3.49 ERA)
    Elizabethton @ Burlington (6:00 CST) - LHP Kody Funderburk (0-0, 3.55 ERA)
    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.

    • Jul 24 2018 04:14 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  3. Twins Minor League Report (6/26): Thorpe Dominant, Miranda Slams

    To find out how all your favorite prospects fared on Tuesday night, read on and be sure to add to the discussion in the comments!

    TRANSACTIONS

    Before we get to the games, there were a few transactions in the system on Tuesday:

    -Jake Cave was recalled by the Minnesota Twins and started in RF in their game.
    -Fort Myers activated RHP Adam Bray from the 7-day disabled list (and would debut tonight) and released RHP Logan Lombana.
    -After getting his stateside career started with a bang, C Yeremi De La Cruz was placed on the 60-day disabled list for the GCL Twins, effectively ending his 2018 season.
    -LHP J.T. Perez was assigned to the GCL Twins and pitched on Tuesday.

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 3, Syracuse 4 (10 innings)
    Box Score

    The Red Wings came out on the wrong side of an extra-inning affair on Tuesday, falling to the Chiefs 4-3 in the tenth inning.

    Rochester took the lead early, scratching two runs across after loading the bases with no outs thanks to a double-play ball with the defense back and an RBI single from Chris Carter.

    Starter Zack Littell kept it close for nearly seven innings, exiting after striking out the first two hitters of the seventh as he reached a pitch count threshold (100 pitches, 64 for strikes). He allowed two runs on nine hits and one walk, along with picking up four strikeouts and was in line for the win when he came out.

    Tyler Duffey got the final out of the seventh and retired the first two hitters in the eighth before he ran into trouble. A walk and consecutive singles tied the game at three and charged Duffey with his second blown save of the year. Jake Reed was summoned and got out of the eighth before also adding a scoreless ninth. Reed gave up one hit, walked two (one intentional), and struck out two.

    After the Red Wings went one-two-three in the top of the tenth, Luke Bard came on for the bottom half. He struck out the first batter of the inning, but with a runner starting on second base the double to the next hitter meant the end of the game.

    In the loss the offense got two hits from Zack Granite, Nick Gordon, and Carter who added a solo home run in the sixth. As the DH Kennys Vargas went 1-for-2 with three walks. LaMonte Wade finished 1-for-4 with a walk.

    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Biloxi 4, Chattanooga 5
    Box Score

    The Lookouts bullpen gave up a three-run lead in the ninth inning, but unlike their triple-A cohorts managed to walk it off in the bottom half to put them back above .500.

    Lewis Thorpe took the mound for Chattanooga and was again strong. In 5 2/3 innings he allowed one run on four hits while racking up seven strikeouts. He was removed in the sixth after loading the bases with his only walk and two outs.

    In his two starts in the second half of the Southern League season, Thorpe has allowed just one run on five hits and two walks in 12 2/3 innings and has struck out 19. Coming off surgery and other ailments, Thorpe appears to be rounding back into the form I saw when I had the chance to interview him with Cedar Rapids. In the month of April his WHIP was 1.61 and opposing batters hit .349 off him. In may his WHIP didn’t improve (1.62), but opponents hit .277. Now in June he’s improved his WHIP to 1.09 and that batting average against is just .229. That includes a disastrous game on June 9th where he allowed 9 earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.

    Chattanooga struck first in third inning, as a Jimmy Kerrigan double brought in Alex Perez who had singled a batter before him. They took the lead back 3-1 in the sixth on an RBI single from Mitchell Kranson and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch from Ryan Walker. Walker added a needed insurance run with a bases-loaded groundout in the eighth that made it 4-1.

    In relief of Thorpe, Andrew Vasquez mowed the Shuckers down for 2 1/3 innings. He retired every batter he faced, including sending five of them on walks of shame back to the dugout.

    Todd Van Steensel was summoned for the save opportunity in the ninth and got two quick outs, but then the wheels fell off. Two walks and three consecutive RBI singles tied the game before the Lookouts could get another arm warmed up. That was Paco Rodriguez and with the go-ahead run on third base he was able to coax a groundout to bring up the home team.

    A one out single from Perez put the winning run on base, and a deep fly to center got him into scoring position. The Shuckers chose to intentionally walk Brent Rooker to bring up Chris Paul, and he delivered with a single to left field.



    The Chattanooga offense got multiple hits from Perez (2-for-5, 2 R, K), Kerrigan (2-for-5, R, 2B, RBI, K), Paul (3-for-5, 2 R, GW-RBI), and Kranson (2-for-4, RBI) while no other batter picked up a hit. Jaylin Davis walked three times, and Walker drove in two.

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Fort Myers 3, Tampa 10
    Box Score

    Tyler Watson took the mound for the Miracle on Tuesday and got nickel and dimed by the Tarpons offense. He was finished after just three innings and sixty pitches as they took a 3-1 lead. Watson surrendered three runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks in those innings. He struck out four.

    An error on Lewin Diaz in the first led to the first run of the game, then a walk, passed ball, bunt single, wild pitch, and another single led to two runs in the third.

    Brady Anderson came out of the bullpen in the fourth, but before he got out of the inning three more runs were on the board for Tampa and they took a 6-2 lead. Anderson allowed four hits, walked two, and struck out two. Adam Bray managed to put a goose egg up in one of his two innings, but also gave up five hits and walked one while striking out two. Colton Davis finished the game for the Miracle, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk in his two innings. He struck out three.

    Fort Myers got multi-hit and multi-walk efforts from MLB-ers Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano, and Diaz and Taylor Grzelakowski each collected two hits themselves, but as a team they finished 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left twelve men on base.

    Polanco clubbed a home run in the third inning to put the Miracle on the board, and Grzelakowski added a double for their only extra base hits on the game. Alex Kiriloff went hitless in five at-bats, striking out three times.

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Beloit 0, Cedar Rapids 6
    Box Score

    The Kernels popped for four runs in the bottom of the first inning thanks to the bat of Jose Miranda, and that would be more than enough behind the arms of starter Edwar Colina and MWL All-Star Jared Finkel.

    Batting cleanup, Miranda stepped into the box with the bases loaded in the first and delivered a grand slam, his seventh home run of the season, to put Cedar Rapids out front 4-0. They would add two more runs in the fourth on a Royce Lewis two-RBI single to account for all of their scoring.

    Colina went the first six innings, holding the Snappers to just three hits and one walk. He struck out two and had three one-two-three innings. Finkel finished the game with three scoreless frames to pick up his second save. He allowed just one hit on the game.

    Akil Baddoo would finish 1-for-2 with two runs scored and two walks. Jacob Pearson scored two runs and drew a walk in addition to going 1-for-3. Lewis went 1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk.

    E-TWINS E-NOTES
    Game 1: Johnson City 9, Elizabethton 2 (6 innings, rain)
    Box Score
    Game 2: Postponed by Rain (no makeup date announced)

    Elizabethton was scheduled for a double-header due to their postponement yesterday, but rains continued to play a part on Tuesday. They were able to get just one game in, and even it was shortened due to the weather.

    It was probably an act of mercy for the Twins however, as they got rocked by their in-state rivals from the words “play ball.”

    Twins starter Pedro Garcia failed to record an out, and before he was lifted five runs had already crossed home plate. Another inherited runner would score to affect Garcia’s line along with another for an early 7-0 lead for the Cardinals.

    Christian Broussard ended up pitching the games first four official innings worth of outs, and he allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four. Juan Gamez allowed one run on two hits and a walk in his 1 2/3 innings before the rains cut the game short. He also struck out four.

    The Elizabethton offense scored their two runs in the third inning thanks to a two-run triple off the bat of Lean Marrero.

    GCL TWINS TAKES
    GCL Rays 6, GCL Twins 2
    Box Score

    In this one, both squads managed only six hits and committed five errors on defense, but the Rays were the only ones able to take advantage thanks in part to five walks and other miscues from Twins starter Tyler Benninghoff.

    In the top of the first a leadoff single was followed by a throwing error on a pickoff attempt and then three additional walks, two hit batters, and two wild pitches led to three runs for the Rays. Benninghoff settled down a little from there, finishing 3 1/3 innings without allowing another run. He gave up two hits and struck out two.

    The Twins scored single runs in each of the sixth and ninth innings. In the sixth it was a single to short that also included a throwing error on once upon a time Minnesota signee Jelfrey Marte, that allowed a run to score. In the ninth, a throwing error on a steal attempt put a runner on third and a groundout brought him in. Aaron Whitefield led the offense with two hits in three at-bats and also drew a walk. Gabe Snyder and Edgar Herrera picked up the RBIs.

    Out of the bullpen Dylan Stowell pitched 2 2/3 scoreless frames. He allowed two hits and a walk while striking out four. Thanks to four errors in the seventh inning, left-hander Erik Cha allowed three unearned runs on a hit and walk in 1 2/3 innings. He struck out one. J.T. Perez finished the game for the Twins with 1 1/3 scoreless. He gave up one hit, walked one, and struck out two.

    STARS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Lewis Thorpe, Chattanooga Lookouts (5.2 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 7 K)
    Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Jose Miranda, Cedar Rapids Kernels (1-for-3, R, GS (7), 4 RBI)

    TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY

    1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-3, R, 2 RBI, BB, K
    2. Fernando Romero (Rochester) – Did not pitch.
    3. Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 2-for-5, R
    4. Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Did not pitch.
    5. Alex Kirilloff (Fort Myers) – 0-for-5, 3 K
    6. Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Out for season with injury.
    7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 0-for-4, IBB, 2 K
    8. Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch.
    9. Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch.
    10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB, K
    11. Zack Littell (Rochester) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 9 H, BB, 4 K
    12. Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) – 5.2 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 7 K
    13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 2-for-5, 2 K
    14. LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 1-for-4, BB, K
    15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – (game in progress)
    16. Ben Rortvedt (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4
    17. Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, BB, 2 K
    18. Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) – 1-for-2
    19. Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) – Did not pitch.
    20. Felix Jorge (Rochester) – Did not pitch.

    WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Rochester @ Syracuse (5:35PM CST) – RHP Fernando Romero (0-1, 2.57 ERA)
    Chattanooga – Scheduled day off.
    Fort Myers @ Tampa (5:30PM CST) – RHP Clark Beeker (2-5, 3.20 ERA)
    Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (12:05PM CST) – RHP Randy Dobnak (5-2, 4.18 ERA)
    Elizabethton – Scheduled day off.
    GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00AM CST) - TBD

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

    • Jun 26 2018 09:39 PM
    • by Steve Lein
  4. 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.

    RED WINGS REPORT
    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 CHATTER
    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)

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    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)

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    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)

    STARS OF THE DAY
    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Bailey Ober
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: LaMonte Wade

    TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
    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

    FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    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
  5. Report From The Fort: Rooker Getting Into The Swing Of Spring

    On Monday on the back fields of the Lee County Sports Complex, Brent Rooker played first base for the Chattanooga Lookouts work group against the AA work group of the Boston Red Sox. Long-time big leaguer Chris Heisey came down from big league camp and introduced himself to the Twins 2017 draft pick.

    As usual in those games, he got a couple of at-bats and played half of the game at first base. He was then replaced by another quality Twins prospect, Lewin Diaz. However, Rooker’s day was not over. After watching an inning of the game, he shifted to the half-field adjacent to the field in which the game was being played.

    He and fellow prospect Chris Paul went to first base where Joel Lepel hit them ground balls, and they were to throw it to second base. They were working on turning and throwing and other footwork basics. After a while, the were joined by a couple of new Twins instructors. Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau found their way over there. Cuddyer mostly observed and later hit fungoes to other infielders. Morneau stood by Paul and Rooker, offering suggestions and even showing the footwork.

    The opportunity is great for the minor leaguers to learn from such talent. Twins Hall of Famer Torii Hunter has worked with the players. Michael Cuddyer was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame following the completion of his career. Justin Morneau announced his retirement in January. The former MVP has joined the Twins front office as a special assistant to Baseball Operations.

    These are guys who have accomplished so much, including All-Star Games in their long MLB careers. To get pointers from them can mean the world.

    Rooker noted later, “Having guys like Justin and Michael around is awesome because they have so much first hand experience and knowledge that they’re able to share. Just being around them and listening to them talk about the game is a huge help to guys like me who are trying to get where they have already been.”

    Rooker grew up in a small town, Germantown (TN), just miles from Memphis. His father played baseball at Memphis, and his younger brother is currently on the Memphis team. Rooker headed south a couple of hours and chose Mississippi State for his college baseball.

    Rooker noted, “I originally thought, in my junior year (of high school), that I was going to play football in college. Then I started getting bigger looks for baseball, from SEC schools. I went on a few visits. The atmosphere. The energy surrounding Mississippi State is what sets it apart.”

    Rooker is a great athlete and participated in three sports during his high school career at Evangelical Christian Academy. Not only did he participate, but he was a team leader in all three sports.

    “I did it because I really enjoyed all three of them. I was blessed to have the opportunity to play all three (sports) and compete for a state championship in all three sports. We won in baseball twice, and then lost in football and in basketball my senior year. When people ask what advice I have for younger players, it’s always to play multiple sports as long as you can and as long as they enjoy it and have some success and contribute to a team. I think they should try to compete in multiple sports for as long as possible because it helps develop young athletes both mentally and physically.”

    The coaches at Mississippi State told him that he would redshirt his freshman season. While it wasn’t ideal and could be frustrating at times, Rooker says it was the best thing for him.

    “Simply put, I wasn’t ready to compete at the level I needed to to help the team, so the redshirt was the best thing for me. I was told I was going to redshirt. It’s not the most fun thing to do. You have the choice though. I could leave and go to a JuCo and play right away, or I could stick around and try to figure out how to play at this level. I chose to do the latter and it really paid off for me. That year was hard. It was a lot of hard work, and it was tough not to be able to play and compete and practice all the time. At the end of the day, I really needed it and think it was the best decision for me.

    Following a strong junior year (redshirt sophomore season), the Twins took Rooker in the 38th round. He chose not to sign, betting on himself.

    “Going into the draft, I was telling teams, Top 5 rounds and I’ll sign. After that, it would be a financial decision that we can discuss. After I got picked, I did have some conversations with the Twins people. At the end of the day, it was a better decision for me from a development standpoint to go back to school and compete in the SEC which is as good as amateur baseball gets.”

    He continued, “I knew there was more in me.”

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    He spent a lot of time that summer trying to figure out how to take his game to the next level.

    “My focus was to figure out what that was for me whether it was an approach thing or a physical thing or a swing thing. I knew it was in there. I knew I had more capability than I was showing. I did whatever I could, talked to people to try to figure out what it was that would take me to the next step.”

    Video has become a big part of Rooker’s preparation and work toward becoming a better player. He notes that while he has had favorite players and favorite teams in the past, he now watches baseball players a little differently and has found a couple of guys whose swings he likes and studies.

    “I didn’t necessarily model my game after people. I found people that I liked what they did with their swing and watched a lot of video of those guys and tried to learn a lot from those guys. The two guys that I’ve watched the most video on and studied the most over the past two years while I was trying to figure out my swing. Josh Donaldson was one, and Barry Bonds is another guy I’ve watched a lot of video on.I look at how they move and how they made their swings work efficiently.I think those are the two guys I’ve probably learned the most from from an offensive standpoint.”

    On Sunday, Lance Lynn pitched in a minor league. In that game, Rooker lined a double to left field. The below video was recorded, and it illustrates the results of his work. You can see a nice, efficient swing with little extra movement and a lot of power generated.



    Later that day, Parker slowed down the video to better illustrate the efficiency.



    Rooker noted that the jump from the SEC to the Appalachian League “wasn’t too big, but the jump from E-Town to the Florida State League was a big jump for me in terms of seeing the quality of stuff that guys are throwing every day.”

    He is working with the Chattanooga group right now, so it makes sense the that organization may plan to have him start the season back in Ft. Myers where he posted a .917 OPS with six doubles and 11 homers in just 40 games in 2017. It’s also possible that he will begin the season with the Lookouts.

    While we will continue to look at his statistics, Rooker will continue to work on his process. As he said, the numbers will take care of themselves.

    Could we see Rooker in a Twins uniform, playing games at Target Field by season’s end? The odds probably aren’t high, but the fact that at this time a year ago, he hadn’t even started SEC games yet, it is remarkable to note that it is absolutely possible. If not, maybe 2019.

    He’s been working hard at first base, trying to learn some of the nuances of the position. Getting help from a guy like Justin Morneau, who made himself into a very solid defensive player over his career, can’t hurt. He’s also spent some time in left field this spring.

    “My job is not to worry about the assignment. My job is to show up wherever they put me and continue to work my process and get better every day. If I continue to take incremental steps, every game, every week, then I’ll be where I need to be and I think the numbers should take care of themselves. I don’t worry about the end results. I just worry about my own process and what I need to do to be the best player I can.”


    Twins fans, that player could be really good.

    • Mar 20 2018 06:16 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  6. Get To Know: Twins Minor League Catcher Mitchell Kranson

    Kranson spent four years at Cal, and after the draft, he went to Elizabethton for the remainder of the 2016 season. In 2017, he began the year in Cedar Rapids. After helping the Kernels to a first-half playoff berth, he moved up to Ft. Myers for the remainder of the season.

    Today, we have the opportunity to get to know a little bit about Mitchell Kranson. Thank you Mitchell!


    Seth Stohs (SS): Growing up in California, who were some of your favorite players and teams? Do you follow other professional or college sports teams throughout the offseason?


    Mitchell Kranson (MK): I grew up an Oakland A's fan. I am a Golden State Warrior fan as most of my Twins teammates know since I put almost every game on the TV whenever they are on.


    SS: What was your recruitment as a high school athlete like for you, and what was it about Berkeley that made it the right choice for you?


    MK: My recruitment in high school was a lot of fun. Stressful at times, but I really enjoyed the whole process. I took my time and didn't commit to a school before I was ready. I did my research and visited many schools, but in the end, the combination of world-class academics and being able to play in the Pac 12 made my decision to go to CAL one of the best decisions of my life.


    SS: You played all over the field during your four college seasons. Tell us about your position history there, and do you think that has been beneficial for you as you’ve started your pro career?


    MK: I have always taken pride in being able to play multiple positions. I want to be in the lineup every day and if playing more positions gives me a better opportunity to be in the game, then I have no problem making sure I am ready to play all over the field. I think it has really helped me in my pro career so far!


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    SS: What was the highlight (or two) of your time in college at Cal? Any memories that really stand out?



    MK: My biggest highlight of my time at CAL was hitting a walk-off home run in the 14th inning of the Texas A&M regional on ESPN.






    SS: What was it like for you leading up to the draft? Were there a lot of scouts, and specifically, did you speak with scouts from the Twins?


    MK: Leading up to the draft my senior year I had heard from nearly every team and spoken extensively with a few, including the Twins. It was a nervous yet exciting time!


    SS: The Twins selected you with their ninth-round pick in 2016. Was that about where you were expecting to be selected? What were your initial thoughts when it was the Twins that selected you?


    MK: I had a pretty good idea that I would be selected on the second day of the draft. I was extremely excited that the Twins decided to pick me and give me a chance to live out my dream of playing professional baseball



    SS: What was the transition to pro baseball like for you, both on and off the field?


    MK: I felt very prepared coming from Cal and playing in the Pac 12 for professional baseball. Nothing can completely prepare you for the grind of playing every day but after my first full season I learned it's all about preparation and sticking to a routine.


    SS: Your season has been done for a couple of months now. Have you had a chance to reflect on your season? In doing so, what are your thoughts on your first full season as a professional baseball player?


    MK: Yes, I have had a chance to reflect on my season. I was very happy with my season. I was a part of two great teams and had a bunch of great coaches make my first full season a memorable one. I have a lot to work on and that's what the off season is for so I will be ready for Spring Training.

    SS: You were part of a Cedar Rapids team that earned a playoff berth in the first half, and helped the Miracle to the second-half playoff spot. As a player, how do you weigh the idea of winning versus the idea of development and advancement up the organizational ladder?


    MK: It's always fun to be able to play for something. We were able to do that in Cedar Rapids and in Fort Myers. It was obvious that when our team was winning, our personal stats were better. It was an honor to be a part of both playoff teams. I think we have a really good group of guys.


    SS: What was that adjustment like for you from the Midwest League to the Florida State League? Did you notice much difference?


    MK: The biggest difference was the heat and humidity. Catching was tougher because you're just soaking wet of sweat.


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    SS: What were your thoughts about playing for Tommy Watkins and Brian Dinkelman, and then Doug Mientkiewicz and Steve Singleton? Maybe some styles are different, but were you able to glean information from each of them?



    MK: Playing for Tommy and Dink in my first experience of full season ball was great. They were extremely loose but when it was time to turn it on, they were serious. They were great resources to have while in Cedar Rapids and with their help and knowledge of the game, they absolutely helped me get the mid season call up to Fort Myers. I loved playing for Doug. Both he and Sing really helped me with my hitting approach. It would be ridiculous to not listen to Doug after the career he had. I was all ears trying to learn as much as I could from him.


    SS: How would you describe yourself as a player? What are your strengths?


    MK: I would describe myself as someone who comes prepared to play everyday and will do whatever it takes to win. I love to hit, but I know that I have the defense to not just be a hitter.


    SS: What are the areas of your game that you hope to work on this offseason to improve as you look to 2018?


    MK: I felt pretty consistent last season hitting, but I want to keep improving on being consistent. I also have continued to improve my catching!



    SS: Have you been able to do to get away from baseball this offseason at all? What do you do outside of baseball for fun?


    MK: GOLF. and Golf a lot!


    SS: At what point do you not only start thinking about the 2018 season, but when do your workouts and preparation begin? Do you think you’ll do anything new or different after going through a full season?


    MK: After getting home, I took about a week and a half off. I think I did three weeks of pre training where I would go to gym and get my body ready for my actual training with my trainer that started October 1st. I've been in the gym since then, mostly twice a day working with my trainer getting my body ready. It really helped me last year so I have committed even more this year .


    SS: Did you learn anything about yourself, or did anything surprise you about working through a full season?


    MK: All the days seem to be the same. Some days I didn't know what day of the week it was because they all just started to blend together. With that said, I learned how to turn the switch on to be ready to compete each and every day!


    SS: Who are some of the people who have helped you get to this point in your career?


    MK: I have had a lot of people help me get to the point I am in my career. Of course, my family has helped me out with their constant support and then all of my coaches as well. They all taught me how to play the game the right way. Also, my trainer, JJ, has changed my career and my body!


    SS: There are probably some high school baseball players reading this. What would one piece of advice be that you would share with them, or share with a 14-year-old Mitchell?


    MK: I would say that when being recruited, enjoy it and take it all in, but make sure that you never give a coach a reason to cross you off his list of players for something that doesn't have to do with your baseball abilities.


    SS: Favorite Baseball Movie?


    MK: The Rookie


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    Thank you very much to Mitchell Kranson for sharing his responses with the Twins Daily readers. Feel free to discuss or ask questions in the comments below.

    • Dec 27 2017 07:44 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  7. AFL Report – Week 6: AFL Season Comes to a Close

    To find out how each of these guys wrapped up the AFL season’s final week, keep reading!

    (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name)

    Tyler Jay: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, 3 H’s, ER, 2 K’s; 5.59 ERA (overall).

    The left-hander’s first appearance of the week came in Monday’s 2-0 loss to the Scottsdale Scorpions. He came on for the seventh inning and faced the middle of the lineup. He gave up a single to the leadoff man, but worked around it with a fly out, strikeout, and ground ball to the second baseman. Of his fourteen pitches in the inning, seven went for strikes, including two swings and misses. The single allowed was one of only two hits on the game for Scottsdale, but thanks to a walk, a triple, and a sac fly in the second inning, the two runs were more than enough.

    In the final game of the season on Thursday, a 10-5 win for the Sagauros against Mesa, Jay came on for the bottom of the sixth inning with his team out front 5-1. A nine-pitch battle with the leadoff hitter ended up with him clubbing a ground-rule double, and this time Jay wouldn’t come out unscathed. He got a swinging strikeout to the next hitter, but then allowed a single that put runners on the corners. A sac fly made the score 5-2 before Jay got a flyout for the final out. He threw 24 pitches in this outing, with 19 of them going for strikes (two swings and misses).

    Jay didn’t finish his season with eye-popping numbers, but the important thing for him in the AFL was logging innings and staying healthy after his entire 2017 MiLB season was basically wiped out. In 9.2 total innings, he gave up 13 hits (two home runs), walked five, and struck out 11. It’s likely Jay is back in AA to start the 2018 season, but if he comes out hot a bump to AAA could happen quickly.

    LaMonte Wade: Did not play (concussion); .238/.351/.413 (overall).

    As detailed in the Week 5 report, Wade did not play this week as he recovers from a concussion. Overall, he played in nineteen games collecting three doubles, a triple, and two home runs while scoring nine runs and driving in eight. Of note (facetiously), is for the first time in any league he’s played as a professional, Wade struck out more times than he walked (10/9).

    The on-base machine will be ready to take his talents to AAA next season, knocking on the door to his MLB debut.

    Chris Paul: 3 games (2 starts), 4-11, 3 R’s, 3 K’s; .292/.329/.444 (overall).

    In the shutout loss to Scottsdale on Monday, Paul entered the game in bottom of the third inning after the Saguaros right fielder, Michael O’Neill, was ejected after being picked off at first base. He took over in left field. He came up to the plate only twice the rest of the game as Surprise’s lineup wasn’t able to bunch any of their seven hits and three walks together. Paul flew out to center in the fifth and struck out leading off the eighth.

    In his first start of the week in Tuesday’s 6-5 walk-off win against the Scorpions, Paul batted cleanup and was again manning first base. He singled in the bottom of the fourth inning and reached base on an error in the sixth, but was left stranded both times. In the bottom of the eighth, with the score 5-2 in favor of Scottsdale, Paul got a rally started with a one-out single. He later scored on a double that brought them within one before an RBI single tied it at 5 heading to the ninth. Paul was on deck when teammate Yanio Perez delivered the game winning single to finish off the Surprise comeback.

    Paul’s final game of the AFL season came in Thursday’s season finale, and he again batted fourth and played first base. He and both his teammates in the second inning struck out swinging against Mesa starter Logan Shore (of Coon Rapids, MN), but they would get him back in the fourth inning. Paul’s first single of the game was part of four consecutive hits that led off the inning, and before it was over the Saguaros had extended their lead to 4-0 and ended Shore’s game. In the top of the sixth Paul led off the inning with his second single, and he scored on a sac fly that made it 5-1 Surprise. He finished this one 2-5 with two runs scored and two K’s.

    Overall on the AFL season, Paul led Twins hitters with a .773 OPS. In 18 games he racked up 21 hits including three doubles, a triple, and two home runs. He scored fifteen runs which tied for the Saguaros team lead, and drove in 10. He’s ticketed for AA in 2018.

    Andrew Vasquez: 1 appearances, 1.0IP, 2 H’s, ER, BB, K; 0.77 ERA (overall).

    Vasquez made just one appearance in the season’s final week, and it came on Wednesday in their 5-2 loss to the Mesa Solar Sox. He came on for the ninth inning, finishing the game for the Saguaros but not in the way he might have hoped to end his AFL campaign.

    He got a quick ground out for the first out, but went a little downhill from there. A double, passed ball, walk, and single to the next three hitters made the score 5-2, and was just his second earned run allowed on the season. He recovered and struck out the next batter before getting a line out for the third out. In the outing, eight of his eighteen pitches went for strikes.

    Vasquez finished his off-season season with 12.2 innings pitched, allowing two earned runs on nine hits and five walks. He struck out 14, which was good for a 9.9K/9IP rate which while dwarfed by his 13.2K/9IP during the regular season, is a solid number to build on considering he was coming to the AFL from A-ball. Due to that success and his showing here, I would expect he starts the 2018 season in Chattanooga.

    Ryan Eades: 1 appearance, 2.0 IP, 2 H’s, 3 K’s; 0.66 ERA (overall).

    Like Vasquez, Eades saw action in just one game during the season’s final week and it was in the 6-5 win over Scottsdale on Tuesday. He was the first reliever summoned in the game for the fifth inning with the score 5-0 in favor of the Scorpions at the time.

    He was again effective in the outing, with 23 of his 29 total pitches going for strikes, though he did hit one batter with a pitch. In his first inning, he got two outs before giving up a single, but promptly picked that runner off first base for the final out. In the sixth, he got all three of his outs on strikeouts, working around another single and the hit batter with swing and miss stuff. All the K’s were of the swinging variety, and three other pitches resulted in whiffs in the frame.

    Eades performance in the AFL was perhaps the best surprise among the Twins prospects. In 10 games and 13.2 innings, he allowed just one earned run (on a home run) on fourteen hits and three walks while striking out 13. He also picked up two wins and led Twins prospects with a 0.66 ERA.

    The right-hander has always had stuff that didn’t quite match the results, but he may yet still find a home in a bullpen in the future. After two years in AA, it’s time for him to perform in AAA in 2018 and see if he can jump over the final hurdle.

    Tom Hackimer: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, H, K; 2.31 ERA (overall).

    Hackimer got in on two games during the week, and finished on a high note.

    In Monday’s 2-0 loss he came on for the bottom of the eighth inning to finish the game for Surprise. He set the opposition down in order, including a strikeout for the final out. Of his 13 pitches, eight went for strikes.

    In Thursday’s season finale win for Surprise, he again came on for the bottom of the eighth, this time with his team up 10-4. He was greeted with a leadoff double, but that runner only made it to third as he retired the next three in order. In this outing 11 of his 19 pitches went for strikes.

    The sidewinder finished the AFL season with an 0-1 record in 10 appearances, totaling 11.2 innings pitched. He allowed three earned runs on eight hits and seven walks, while striking out 10. I would expect he begins his 2018 season back in Fort Myers, but if he can limit walks as he did in Cedar Rapids during the 2017 season, it may be only a few months before he’s with Chattanooga.

    Sean Miller: 3 games, 1-10, K; .255/.293/.273 (overall).

    Miller made the start in three games during the week, playing both middle infield positions in two games and DH-ing in the season finale.

    In Monday’s contest Miller played short and batted ninth, finishing 0-3 in the 2-0 loss to the Scottsdale Scorpions. He grounded out in the second, reached first on a fielder’s choice in the fifth, and flew out to right in the seventh.

    On Wednesday against the Mesa Solar Sox, he again finished 0-3 in the 5-2 loss to Mesa, batting eighth and manning second base. He struck out in the second inning, grounded into a double play in the fourth, and popped out in the seventh.

    In the season finale 10-5 win over Mesa, Miller batted ninth as the DH. He finished this one 1-4, with a single in the fifth inning. He also lined out once and flew out twice in the game.

    Miller finished the season with a .255 average in fifteen games. He collected 14 hits including a double, scored and drove in seven runs, and stole two bases. While he’s strictly a singles hitter, he had a hot stretch in weeks 2 through 4 of the season where he hit .379 in eight games and there’s plenty to like about his glove in the middle-infield. After playing 122 games with Fort Myers this season, it’s likely he takes another step up the rung to Chattanooga in 2018.

    Other AFL/Minor League Links:

    - David Schoenfield of ESPN.com examines several young pitchers who have the potential to become the next “superace” in the mold of Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, and Max Scherzer. Appearing on the list, is the Twins own Jose Berrios.

    - MiLB.com has started looking at organizational all-stars, and Stephen Gonsalves and John Curtiss are brought up as those closest to helping the Minnesota Twins in 2018. It’s also fun to compare their list with our at Twins Daily (hint: it’s basically the same).

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the AFL season!

    • Nov 21 2017 05:57 AM
    • by Steve Lein
  8. AFL Report – Week 5: Power From Paul, Wade Injured

    To find out what happened with all the Twins prospects in the AFL during week 5, keep reading!

    (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name)

    Tyler Jay: 1 appearance, 1.0IP, 2 BB’s, 2 K’s; 5.87 ERA (overall).

    After appearing in the Fall Stars game on Saturday of last week, Jay made just one appearance in week 5 of the AFL season.

    That came on Thursday in a 6-2 loss to the Glendale Desert Dogs. With the score already 6-2, Jay came on for the top of the sixth inning. He struck out the first batter of the inning, before issuing a walk to the next. This pattern repeated a second time giving him two outs with two runners on base. He got the final out with a pop up to second base to deliver a scoreless inning.

    LaMonte Wade: 4 games, 1-8, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K’s; .238/.351/.413 (overall).

    Wade had perhaps the most noteworthy week of Twins prospects in Arizona, but the reason for that was an unfortunate one. He appeared in four games on the week, but got at-bats only in the first three.

    In the first game of the week on Monday, a 2-1 walk-off loss to the Salt River Rafters, Wade batted seventh and played in right field. He finished the game 1-4, but was responsible for the Saguaros only run of the game, when he slugged his second AFL home run in the top of the fourth inning. This gave Surprise a 1-0 lead that they held until the bottom of the ninth inning.

    Wade’s second game of the week came in the loss to Glendale on Thursday, and like the rest of his team didn’t have much success. Batting fifth, he finished this one 0-2, but did draw a walk in the sixth and was hit by a pitch in the eighth, so he did reach base multiple times.

    In Friday’s 11-5 win over Peoria, Wade hit sixth in the lineup and was productive despite not reaching base in the game and also accounting for all three outs in the Saguaros seven-run fifth inning. Wade drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, then the last of the game with another in the seventh that made the score 11-2. In that seven run fifth inning, Wade led off with a strikeout, and when the lineup got back around to him he grounded into a double play. Weird and unfortunate things happen in baseball games, and that was the case for Wade on Saturday.

    In the top of the second inning, Wade and teammate Oscar Mercado collided on a fly-ball heading toward the gap. Mercado made the catch for the final out of the inning, but Wade’s diving attempt put him in harm’s way on the collision. Wade was taken off the field on a stretcher and diagnosed with a concussion, likely putting an end to his AFL campaign a little early. In good news, Wade was reportedly able to return to the stadium before the conclusion of the game, so it could have been a lot worse. I’ve had a concussion or two myself from playing baseball, so I know how this feels! Get well soon, LaMonte!

    Chris Paul: 3 games, 5-13, 4 R’s, 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 4 K’s; .279/.323/.459 (overall).

    Paul’s first game of the week came on Tuesday, in a 6-1 win over Glendale. Batting fifth and playing first base, Paul finished 1-5 with a strikeout. His hit came in the form of a single to lead off the sixth inning, but he was erased quickly on a double play ball from the next hitter.

    In Friday’s win, Paul batted seventh in the lineup behind Wade, and collected two hits on the day. In the seven-run fifth inning, Paul got the hitting started with a one-out single, and later scored on a ground ball from Sean Miller for the first run of the frame. He then led off the top of the sixth inning with his second AFL home run to left field. He finished 2-4 with two runs scored and the home run.

    Paul put up even better numbers in Saturday’s 11-10 loss to Peoria, where he batted sixth in the lineup. His first hit of the game came in the fourth inning, when Surprise again put seven runs on the scoreboard. His single brought in the first two runs of the game for Surprise to make the score 6-2, and they would take the lead with the long two-out rally before the inning was over. In the bottom of the fifth Paul came up with two runners on base and delivered a triple deep to center field to extend their lead to 9-6. He then scored on a passed ball to make it 10-6 before the Saguaros pitching gave the lead back in the last two innings. All told Paul was 2-4 with two runs scored and four RBI to end his week on a high note.

    Andrew Vasquez: 2 appearances, 1.1IP, H, BB, 3 K’s; 0.77 ERA (overall).

    Vasquez was the only Twins pitcher on the week to make multiple appearances, and they came in Thursday’s and Saturday’s contests, both losses.

    He got the eighth inning with his team down 6-2 to the Desert Dogs on Thursday, and retired the first two hitters of the inning with strikeouts before a fielding error and single put runners on the corners. He was able to get out of that jam by getting a ground ball for the inning's final out. He threw 27 pitches in the outing, with 19 going for strikes.

    On Saturday against the Javelinas, Vasquez again came into the game in the eighth inning but this time it was with the bases loaded, two outs, and his team now up by two. He was charged with a blown save after he walked in a run, then hit a batter to tie the game at 10 before picking up a strikeout to end the inning. On ten pitches, he threw just three strikes in the outing and in the ninth inning Peoria took back the lead.

    Ryan Eades: 1 appearance, 1.1IP, 3 H’s, ER, 2 K’s; 0.77 ERA (overall).

    The righthander’s lone appearance on the week came in Thursday’s 6-2 loss, when he was the first reliever summoned from the bullpen, with two outs in the third inning after the starter had run in to heaps of trouble.

    Three runs had already scored in the frame, and the first batter Eades faced clubbed a ground-rule double for a fourth before he picked up a strikeout to end the inning with the Saguaros now down 5-0 early. Back out for the fourth inning, Eades gave up his first earned run of the AFL season, as the leadoff man clubbed a home run to left field. He struck out one more hitter and gave up a single but no more damage in the inning. On the game, 15 of his 18 pitches went for strikes, including four swings-and-misses.

    Tom Hackimer: 1 appearance, 1.0IP, 2 BBs, K; 2.79 ERA (overall).

    Hackimer’s only appearance on the week was also in Thursday’s loss to Glendale, coming into the game after Tyler Jay for the seventh inning. He hit the first batter of the inning with a pitch and later walked two batters that loaded the bases with two outs, but picked up a big strikeout to keep any damage off the scoreboard. Of his 21 pitches in the inning, just 8 went for strikes.

    Sean Miller: 2 games, 1-7, RBI, BB, K; .289/.333/.311 (overall).

    The middle infielder saw action in two games in week five, playing second base and batting ninth on Tuesday and Friday, both wins for the Saguaros.

    Miller finished Tuesday’s game 1-4, picking up a single to leadoff the top of the ninth in the 6-1 victory over Glendale. He ended up stranded on third base with the bases loaded.

    On Friday Miller was 0-3 in the batters box, but picked up an RBI and scored a run for his team in the 11-5 rout. In the seven-run fifth inning, his ground ball to third base scored Chris Paul as the throw home was late, allowing him to reach first. He later scored on a single. In the sixth inning Miller drew a walk but ended up stranded in while in scoring position.


    Other AFL/Minor League Links:

    - If you want to hear more about the Twins prospects in some of these games from an in-person perspective, make sure to check out Twins Daily’s blog section, and the three entries from member ashburyjohn. He and a few friends were on hand in Arizona this week and he provided his thoughts each day they watched, along with some great pictures of the action! (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)

    - As they do every week during the minor league season, Baseball America has an AFL Hot Sheet, with Chris Paul checking in at #9 for his performance this week, and is the first Twins prospect to appear on the lists.

    - In somewhat disappointing news for a prospect follower like me (and perhaps since it’s fun to mention #SonOfPudge every once in a while in the minor league reports), pitcher Dereck Rodriguez has moved on from the Twins organization and signed with the San Francisco Giants. I’m disappointed to see him go as he was a very intriguing prospect to follow with his switch to pitching. Good luck Dereck, hope to see you in the bigs soon!

    - Paul Sporer of RotoGraphs gives his annual favorites from his time out in Arizona. While there aren’t any Twins in the list of prospects this year, he does mention Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario as some of his favorites that he has seen in the past.

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week!

    • Nov 14 2017 05:36 AM
    • by Steve Lein
  9. AFL Report – Week 4: Jay Pitches In Fall Stars Game

    Read on to find out how each of the Minnesota Twins prospects fared in the AFL during week 4 of the season!

    (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name)

    Tyler Jay: One appearance, 1.0IP, 2 H’s, 3 ER’s, 2 HR, 2BB; 6.75 ERA (overall).

    Gave up two HR’s on 10/31.

    With Jay being the only Twins prospect selected to play in the AFL Stars game on Saturday, he made only one appearance on the week for the Saguaros, and it wasn’t a very good one.

    In Tuesday’s 9-2 loss against the Peoria Javelinas, Jay was summoned for the top of the sixth inning with the score 4-2 Peoria. He walked the first two batters he faced before getting a double play ball that gave him a chance to salvage a scoreless inning. He instead gave up back-to-back home runs to Ronald Acuna and Austin Riley, the number two and three hitters in the Javelinas lineup. With the score now 7-2, Jay got a ground out to end his inning.

    Playing for the AFL West team in the Fall Stars game, Jay was brought in during the bottom of the eighth inning with one out, two men on base, and the tying run already across the plate in the frame. A single to the first batter put the East squad out front 3-2, and a sacrifice fly to the next made the final score of 4-2. Jay got a strikeout to end the inning, and none of the runs were charged to him. On a positive note, the Gameday tracking had him sitting 94-95 MPH with his fastball in the outing and 13 of his 19 pitches went for strikes.

    LaMonte Wade: Four games, 4-15, 2 R’s, 2B, 3B, 3 BB’s, 4 K’s; .255/.369/.400 (overall).

    Wade saw action in all but one game on the week for Surprise, getting Halloween night off. As he is known to do, he reached base at least once in each game and raised his OBP in the AFL to .369.

    In Monday’s 6-3 win on the road against Peoria, Wade batted second in the lineup and finished 1-4 with an RBI triple, run scored, and a walk. His triple followed another one from the hitter in front of him and put the Saguaros up 4-2.

    Against the Mesa Solar Sox on Wednesday, Wade batted fifth in their 8-5 loss. After drawing a walk to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning, he advanced to third on a single and scored on sac fly to put Surprise up 2-0. He finished 0-3 with the run scored and two strikeouts. He also added an outfield assist, as he combined with Sean Miller to throw out a runner at home in the top of the eighth.

    Wade batted third on Thursday, his first time taking up that mantle for his AFL team, and he delivered in the 8-6 loss to Mesa. He doubled in the first inning but was left stranded and added a single in the fifth to account for his two hits on the day. He also drew a walk in the second inning, finishing 2-4.

    Back to batting fifth on Friday, he was 1-4 in their 4-1 win over the Salt River Rafters. He singled in the fourth inning but did not tally any other marks in his stat line.

    Chris Paul: Three games, 1-12, 2 R’s, 2B, BB, 4 K’s; .250/.308/.375 (overall).

    Paul played in three games during the week and was a bit quiet, with his only hit coming in the loss to Mesa on Thursday. That was a good game for him, however.

    In the Monday tilt against Peoria, he was 0-4 with two strikeouts in the Saguaros 6-3 win. On Halloween he also 0-4 in the 9-2 loss to the Javelinas, striking out once. Of note in this one, Paul saw his first action in left field during the AFL season.

    On Thursday, Paul closed out his week with a good line, finishing 1-4 with a double, walk, and two runs scored batting sixth in the order. His double came in the second inning and put runners on second and third before Surprise took a 4-3 with the single and three-run home run that followed. He led off the top of the sixth with a walk and later would his second run of the game on an RBI single that closed the score to 6-5 Mesa.

    Andrew Vasquez: Two appearances, 3.0IP, 3 H’s, 2 BB’s, 3 K’s; 0.87 ERA (overall).

    Vasquez again made an appearance in two games on the week, pitching multiple innings in their Halloween night loss, and another inning on Friday in a win.

    He came on following Jay for the top of the seventh inning against Peoria, and although he gave up three hits in his two inning none led to any damage on the scoreboard and he also struck out three. 25 of his 39 pitches in the outing went for strikes.

    In Friday’s win against Salt River, Vasquez picked up his second hold in the AFL as he came on in the seventh with his team up 3-1. He walked two batters in the frame, but worked around them to record another scoreless inning, and lower his ERA on the AFL season to below 1.00 on the week.

    Ryan Eades: Two appearances, 4.0IP, 3 H’s, 2 BB’s, 2 K’s; 0.00 ERA (overall).

    Righthander Ryan Eades also saw action in two games on the week, going two innings in each appearance and picking up his second AFL win.

    That came in Monday’s game on the road against Peoria, when he was pitching while his offense took the lead in the top half of the sixth. He had a one-two-three fifth inning, picking up the last two outs with strikeouts. In the sixth, he made it a little interesting after giving up a leadoff double, hitting a batter, and walking one to load the bases with one out, but got an infield fly ball and grounder to escape the jam and keep himself in line for that win.

    Against Salt River on Friday, Eades made his first start of the AFL season and pitched two scoreless frames. The first hitter of the game singled to center field, but later got erased on a steal attempt which proved fortuitous, as the next hitter tripled but ended up stranded on third. In the second inning, he gave up a two-out walk but retired the other three, including a strikeout. He threw 35 pitches in the start, with 23 going for strikes.

    Tom Hackimer: Two appearances, 2.2IP, H, 0 BB, 2 K’s; 3.12 ERA (overall).

    The sidewinding Hackimer saw action in the loss to Peoria on Tuesday, and in Friday’s win against Salt River.

    He entered the game on Halloween in the fourth inning, after a double had scored two and left runners on second and third with just one out. He stopped the bleeding with a grounder back to him on the mound that caught the runner on third out at home. Then, after plunking a batter, he got a fly out to end the inning. Back out for the fifth Hackimer faced just three hitters, striking out one and doubling off a runner on first on a bunt attempt after giving up a single.

    Hackimer also picked up his second hold of the season in Friday’s win, when he came in to start the sixth inning. He got a ground out and a K for the first two outs before he hit another batter, but that runner ended up out at second base on a play the recap did not qualify as a caught stealing attempt (did he try to pull the “Little Big League” move after getting hit by the pitch?! I guess we’ll never know…).

    Sean Miller: Three games, 3-12, 3 RBI, 3 K’s, SB (2); .316/.350/.342 (overall).

    Miller saw action in the Saguaros wins on Monday and Friday, and in Wednesday’s loss. He batted ninth, eighth, and second respectively in those games, playing second base in two and shortstop in the third. After piling up the hits last week, Miller continued his recent success by collecting one in each game. In fact, his lines were the same in each: 1-4 with an RBI.

    On Monday, his RBI single in the fifth inning tied the score at two. In Wednesday’s loss, he singled in the fourth inning, but collected his RBI in the ninth on a ground out that made the score 8-4. Miller final hit of the week came in the fifth inning on Friday, when his single to center brought in a runner that tied the game at one before they tacked on two more to take a 3-1 lead.

    Other AFL/Minor League Links:

    - Twins Daily’s own Seth Stohs has kicked off his offseason Top 50 prospects list with entries covering number 50 through 41, and 40 through 31. It’s hard enough for me to put together my top 10, so his work to go through 50 names you should know is truly extraordinary. You can’t beat the little information nuggets he puts out for these guys, either. It’s also very telling about the Twins system that he has several players who you should see on the MLB team soon populating these lists so early in his countdown.

    - Also be sure to check out the Twins Daily forums, where several 40-man roster moves happened to kick off this week. Pitcher Nik Turley was claimed by the Pirates, lefthander Randy Rosario was claimed by the Cubs, and power-hitting outfielder Daniel Palka was claimed by the White Sox among a few other purges to clear room on the roster.

    - Bill Mitchell of Baseball America, tackles the question the Twins have been wondering since drafting him with the sixth overall pick in 2015: Will Tyler Jay be a starter or reliever?

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week!

    • Nov 08 2017 12:08 PM
    • by Steve Lein
  10. AFL Report – Week 3: Miller Piles Up Hits, Bullpen Dazzles

    To find out just how good each of the Minnesota Twins prospects performed in week 3 of the AFL season, keep reading!

    (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name)

    Tyler Jay: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, 2 H’s, 3 K’s; 3.18 ERA (overall).

    In Tuesday’s win, Jay got the ball for the bottom of the sixth inning with his team up 3-0. He started his outing with a strikeout but then got himself into some trouble, surrendering a double and single that put runners on second and third. Instead of giving up any runs, he went right after the next two hitters and bulldogged it, striking them both out on three pitches with the K’s coming on a pair of 93 MPH swing-and-miss fastballs. His strikeout to start the frame also came on just three pitches, with an 83 MPH backdoor slider sending the hitter back to the dugout. 14 of his 17 pitches went for strikes in the outing.

    In the 6-5 loss to Scorpions on Friday, Jay again was summoned for the sixth inning, this time with his team down 4-2. The first batter reached on an infield error, but Jay retired the next three hitters for a scoreless inning. 13 of his 17 pitches in this one went for strikes as Jay continues to demonstrate his strong control after a tough season.

    LaMonte Wade: 4 games, 4-14, 3 R’s, 2 BB’s, 2 K’s; .250/.362/.375 (overall).

    In Monday’s 4-3 win against the Salt River Rafters, Wade batted second and played in right field. He drew a walk in the third inning but was retired on a double-play ball from the next batter. In the fifth, his single was the second of three consecutive to start the inning, and he was on third base when the Saguaros attempted a double steal. He was thrown out at home to end the inning, and the Surprise was only able to score one with the bases loaded and no outs. He finished this game 1-3 with a walk and a strikeout.

    Against the Rafters again on Tuesday, Wade batted fifth in the lineup and was in right field yet again. In typical fashion he picked up a single, scored a run, and drew another walk to finish his day 1-3. After singling in the fifth, Wade stole his first base in the AFL and then scored on a double for the first run of the game in the 4-3 win.

    In a 10-5 loss versus the Glendale Desert Dogs on Thursday, Wade finished 1-5 with a run scored batting second. His hit came in the first inning with a single and he didn’t reach base again until the ninth when he grounded into a fielder’s choice. The next batter tripled to bring him in for the Saguaros final run and a tally in his overall stat line.

    Wade finished his week on Friday with yet typical day. In the 6-5 loss he went 1-3 with a run scored and was also hit by a pitch to reach multiple times. That HBP loaded the bases for Surprise in the sixth inning, and the next hitter cleared them with a triple that put them out front 5-4. He singled in the top of the eighth, but was later thrown out at home representing the tying run as unfortunately this was the game where an appearance went awry for a Twins reliever.

    Chris Paul: 3 games, 3-10, 2 R’s, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, 3 K’s; .306/.359/.443 (overall).

    Paul started his week 3 with a bang after winning the Bowman Hitting Challenge on Saturday, as he slugged his first AFL home run in Monday’s win against Salt River. His solo shot led off the bottom of the fourth inning and tied the game at two. Paul was also hit by a pitch in this one, so he reached base multiple times.

    Paul was the only Twins prospect to appear in Wednesday’s 6-4 win over Glendale, but he wasn’t able to make much of an impact, finishing 0-4 with a strikeout.

    In their loss on Friday to Scottsdale, Paul was back in the cleanup spot after batting fifth in the prior two games, and stood in at third base instead of first. He led off the top of the second inning with a double, but ended up stranded on third base. In the sixth inning he drew a walk and scored on the same triple as Wade that put Surprise out front briefly. He also singled in the eighth inning but was erased on a double play ball.

    Andrew Vasquez: two appearances, 2.2IP, 0 H’s, BB, K; 1.23 ERA (overall).

    Vasquez got the eighth inning in the Twins bullpen game on Tuesday, and threw 21 pitches (12 for strikes) in a scoreless inning. He did walk a batter, but no damage was done in a good appearance in the 4-3 win.

    In Friday’s 6-5 loss, Vasquez was summoned in the middle of the fourth inning as starter Zach Lovvorn ran into trouble. With two runs already in and runners on first and second, Vasquez came on and…hit his first batter to load the bases. But he still wasn’t the pitcher who gave up runs in this game, as he got the next hitter to line into an inning-ending double play. Back out for the fifth, Vasquez pitched a one-two-three inning, striking out the first batter of the frame to close out his week.

    Ryan Eades: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, H, 4 K’s; 0.00 ERA (overall).

    In Tuesday’s win Eades was the first Twins prospect called in from the bullpen for the fifth inning and was untouchable against the middle of the Rafters lineup, striking out all three hitters he faced. 10 of his 12 pitches went for strikes, and they included three swinging strikes and only a few pitches hitters managed to foul off. The K’s came on two high fastballs at 92 MPH, and a curveball in the dirt for a swing-and-miss.

    On Friday, Eades pitched the eighth inning, finishing the game for Surprise in the 6-5 loss. He got two quick outs on just four pitches, including a three-pitch K, before surrendering a single on a grounder through the left side of the infield. He got the next batter to line out, finishing the inning on just seven pitches (six for strikes) and punctuating an efficient and dominant week for the right-hander.

    Tom Hackimer: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, 2 H’s, 2 ER’s, 4 BB, 3 K’s; 4.50 ERA (overall).

    Hackimer came in the game after Jay on Tuesday, pitching the seventh inning in their win against Salt River. Like Eades and Jay before him, Hackimer delivered a scoreless frame to keep the shutout intact to that point. He did give up a one-out double, but followed that with a groundout and a three-pitch strikeout on a 93 MPH fastball to slam the door. Surprise may have felt better about this game if they had another Twins prospect to run out there, as in the ninth the only non-Twins reliever gave up three runs on five hits that made it interesting.

    Since you haven’t read about the prospect who got wild yet, you would be correct in assuming it didn’t go as well for Hackimer in Friday’s 6-5 loss to the Scorpions. Hackimer again followed Jay in this one, coming on for the seventh inning with the Surprise up 5-4. He retired the first batter of the inning before things went off the rails – but I’m not blaming the pitcher after looking hard at what transpired. Two walks book-ended a single to load the bases and it looked like Hackimer might get out unscathed as he got the second out with a big K. Unfortunately for him (and I suggest you check out the Gameday pitch locations), he appeared to continue to be squeezed by the home plate umpire and two more walks brought in two runs before he got the final out with another K. If you don’t want to investigate the link above, I counted nine pitches tracked inside the zone that were called balls by the umpire, and you could argue as many as 17 called balls (17!) were strike-worthy (half his total pitches). Most are borderline I’ll concede, but something is amiss when that many show up in one inning. Here’s the most egregious example, for quick reference:

    Posted Image


    It’s quite amazing how many similar pitches like that were tracked, and is why only 13 of Hackimer’s 34 total pitches went for strikes in the outing. Maybe that ump doesn’t like submariners?! I really don’t know how to explain it beyond that and the result was unfortunate for Hackimer and his Saguaros team.

    Sean Miller: 2 games, 5-7, 2 R’s, 2 RBI, BB, K, SB (1); .346/.393/.385 (overall).

    If I told you Sean Miller was top 10 in the AFL in batting average after week 3, would you believe me?

    Well, I aint lyin’…

    Miller took advantage of his two starts on the week to pile up five hits in seven at-bats, raising his average to .346, which would rank 10th in the circuit if he had enough plate appearances.

    Batting ninth and playing second base in their 4-3 win over Salt River on Tuesday, Miller went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI to help turn his team’s lineup over. He may have gotten a little lucky, as both those hits were deflected by infielders, but you can’t argue with the results. His single in the fifth inning brought in a runner to make the score 2-0, and he followed that by stealing second base (his first SB of the AFL season) and scoring their third run of the frame.

    In Surprise’s 10-5 loss to Glendale on Thursday Miller really stood out, going 3-3 with a walk to reach base each time he stepped in the batter’s box. He drew a walk in his first plate appearance in the third inning, then singled in each of his final three at-bats. He drove in one in the fourth that put his team out front 2-0 before the Desert Dogs pulled away late. In the ninth after his third single, Miller scored along with Wade on a triple that accounted for their final tally of five runs in the loss.

    Other AFL/Minor League Links:

    - John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com started his offseason review of Team Top 20 Prospects lists, with the Minnesota Twins. I have always loved how John looks at prospects and while they may be short on elite talent, there is a ton of depth. I’m not sure I’ll put him that quite that high on a list, but I love where Brent Rooker comes in.

    - Also on MinorLeagueBall.com, Wayne Cavadi takes a deeper look at three Twins prospects you should know. They are the AFL’s Tyler Jay (2018 will be big year for him), Gabriel Moya who saw action late with the MLB team, and Lewis Thorpe who is one of my personal cheeseballs.

    Thorpe was dominant when I watched him in Cedar Rapids and was a great interview, but injury and illness have delayed his timeline a full two years. Don’t forget about him!

    - Moya also was named a winner of one of MiLB.com’s MiLBY awards, for Top Relief Pitcher during the 2017 season. To recap just how dominant he was for two organizations in AA, Moya made 47 appearances, pitching 58.1 innings and allowing just 30 hits and 15 walks while piling up 87 strikeouts on the year. He went 6-1 and converted all 24 of his save opportunities, finishing the season with a 0.77 ERA and WHIP before holding his own in 6.1 innings with the Twins.

    - Check out a great read on Tyler Jay and what he went through this season with injuries. While thoracic outlet syndrome was often in the notes on why he was missing in action, we found out later in the season that wasn’t the case. Jay cites unclean mechanics, and in the most interesting note to me, perhaps the fact he put on 20 pounds coming into the season.

    - Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com looks at all the Twins prospects participating in the AFL, with even more details on Tyler Jay and how starting helped him gain confidence in his changeup and how he viewed being switched to the bullpen for the 2017 season.

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week!

    • Oct 31 2017 04:31 AM
    • by Steve Lein
  11. AFL Report – Week 2: Paul Walks Off to Start Week, Wins Hitting Challenge to End It

    To learn how all the Minnesota Twins prospects fared in week 2, keep reading!

    (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name)

    Tyler Jay: 2 appearances, 1.2 IP, 5 H’s, 2 ERs, BB, K; 4.91 ERA (overall).

    In week two Jay made appearances in the Saguaros 10-3 win over Peoria on Tuesday and their 7-6 meltdown loss to Mesa on Friday, but he wasn’t as sharp as in week one.

    In Tuesday’s victory, Jay came on for the bottom of the fifth inning with his Surprise team up 5-2. He recorded the first out with a swinging K on a 1-2 breaking ball before allowing a double to the next hitter that put a runner in scoring position. This was followed by a single to left field that put runners on the corners and Jay in a bit of a jam. He got exactly what he needed to escape unscathed however, as he induced an inning-ending double play ball to the next hitter.

    On Friday Jay again came out for the bottom of the sixth inning, this time with his team up 3-0, but he ran into trouble right away. The first hitter clubbed a ground-rule double which he followed with an off-target pitch that went for a passed ball to put that runner on third. He got a ground out before walking a batter to put runners on the corners. Consecutive singles then scored two runs to bring Mesa within one and summoned the pitching coach from the dugout. After that visit Jay plunked a batter to load the bases before getting an infield pop-up for his second out and an end to his day. Ryan Eades then came on for the third out.

    LaMonte Wade: 3 games, 4-12, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, K; .231/.333/.423 (overall).

    Wade played right field in three games on the week for Surprise, batting ninth, seventh and second in the lineup in those contests.

    In Monday’s 9-8 come-from-behind victory against Scottsdale, Wade finished 1-4 with an RBI and one strikeout. The RBI came in the fifth inning right after Scorpions starter Justus Sheffield was removed from the game with runners on first and second. His ground ball through the left side closed the gap to 4-2 and Surprise would add another run before the inning was over.

    Wade had a forgettable day in 6-4 loss to Peoria on Wednesday, finishing 0-4 with three ground outs (including a double play) and fly out.

    He came back to close out the week with his best game so far in the AFL season, as he joined in on the show of power from the Saguaros lineup in building a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning against the Solar Sox on Friday. He followed teammate Nicky Lopez’s double to start the game with a double of his own to give the Saguaros the early 1-0 lead. In the fifth inning he added a single to his line on a “pop up to the catcher” (which I’d like to know how that happened), before blasting his first AFL home run in the seventh that made the score 6-2. It was the second solo home run of the inning for Surprise and as a team they dropped four bombs in the game. Unfortunately, for all those offensive efforts, Saguaros reliever Jordan Hicks gave up four runs in the bottom of the ninth to end up on the losing end of a walk off.

    Of local note in Friday’s box score, is Coon Rapids, MN native Logan Shore of the Oakland Athletics organization made the start for Mesa.

    Chris Paul: 3 games, 3-14, 2 R’s, RBI, 5 K’s; .308/.333/.346 (overall).

    Paul saw action in each of the same games as Wade during week two, batting in the middle of the lineup, and got to play hero in their win on Monday versus Scottsdale.

    With the score 8-3 in favor of the Scorpions in the bottom of the eighth, Paul followed a walk by the Saguaros leadoff man with a single for his first hit of the game. They were both driven in by a triple from teammate Kevin Padio that brought them within three before Pidio scampered home on a ground out to put them within striking distance in the bottom of the ninth. A walk, hit by pitch, and bases clearing double brought Paul up again with the game tied and a runner in scoring position. He delivered the walk-off win with a single to center field to complete the five-run comeback for Surprise. The win also marked the first time Paul played third base during the AFL season.

    In Wednesday’s tilt, Paul again had an opportunity in the bottom of the ninth with a runner in scoring position and his team down 6-4, but he didn’t have the same result in this one as he was called out on strikes to end the game. He fared even worse than Wade in this one, finishing 0-5 game with two K’s and multiple missed opportunities.

    In Friday’s walk-off loss to Mesa, Paul led off the fourth inning with an infield single on a slow-roller to third, then promptly trotted home on a two-run shot from Andrew Knizner that gave Surprise a 3-0 lead. Paul finished 1-4 with three strikeouts leading into the Bowman Hitting Challenge on Saturday.

    It was there that Paul bookended his week with another memorable performance. He won the unique contest with a score of 2,750 points, edging New York Mets prospect Tomas Nido. Unlike a true home run derby, points are awarded in the event for hitting obstacles scattered throughout the field, and looks like a blast to participate in! Congrats Chris, and don’t blow all the prize money in one place!

    Andrew Vasquez: Two appearances, 2.2IP, 2 H’s, ER, 3 K’s; 1.93 ERA (overall).

    Vasquez again saw action in two games in week two, going more than one inning for the first time in the AFL on Monday against Scottsdale, and one more inning in a 6-4 extra-inning loss to Mesa on Thursday.

    He came on in the middle of the top of the fifth on Monday after one run had scored and runners remained on first on third. He struck out the first man he faced, but uncorked a wild pitch to the second that allowed an inherited runner to score and make it 4-1 Scorpions. He then got a ground out to end the inning and came back out for the sixth. He did his thing in this frame, setting the opposition down in order. In his 1.2 innings, 13 of his 20 pitches went for strikes, including three swinging strikes on his lone K of the outing.

    In Thursday’s tilt, Vasquez was called upon for the top of the seventh with the Saguaros up 4-3. He was charged with a blown save as he surrendered the tying run before escaping the jam of his own making. The leadoff man singled to start it, then advanced to second base on a balk. Vasquez then got the first out of the inning with a looking strikeout but that was followed by an RBI double. A wild pitch then advanced that runner to third, but he was bailed out on a grounder to the second baseman with the infield in that cut that runner down at home. He then plunked a batter to put runners on first and second before he notched his second K to escape with minimal damage given what had transpired.

    Ryan Eades: 2 appearances, 2.1IP, 3 H’s, K; 0.00 ERA (overall).

    Eades also was summoned from the bullpen in two games during the week, with his appearances coming against Peoria on Tuesday and Mesa on Friday.

    In the 10-3 win against the Javelinas he got the eighth inning, needing just twelve pitches (nine strikes) to record three outs. He struck out the first hitter of the inning and got a ground out for two quick outs before giving up a single, but ended the inning by inducing a grounder to the next hitter.

    In Friday’s heart-wrenching loss to Mesa, Eades picked up his first hold in the AFL with a scoreless 1.1 innings. After Jay had allowed in two runs in the sixth, it was Eades job to escape the bases-loaded jam with no further damage. He did so by getting a fly out to center field then worked around a couple of singles in the seventh for a scoreless inning before the bottom fell out for the Saguaros in the ninth.

    Tom Hackimer: 2 appearances, 3.0IP, 3 H’s, ER, 2 K’s; 2.25 ERA (overall).

    In two appearances on the week, Hackimer totaled 3.0 innings pitched as he also went multiple frames for the first time during the AFL season.

    In Monday’s dramatic win he came on after Vasquez for the top of the seventh inning with the score 4-3 in favor of Scottsdale. The first batter hit a hard ground ball that Paul deflected at third base and that ended up a single, but Hackimer got the next batter to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. Then some hard contact came in the form of consecutive doubles that increased the Scorpions lead to 5-3 before he got a strikeout to end the two-out rally.

    In Thursday’s 6-4 loss against Mesa that included free baseball, Hackimer saw his first multi-inning appearance in the AFL. He was summoned in the top of the eighth inning with the score tied at four and set the Solar Sox lineup down in order, including a swinging strikeout. Back out for the ninth, he made quick work of the 1-2-3 hitters for Mesa, needing just eleven pitches to record another one-two-three inning.

    Hackimer was replaced for the top of the tenth, and with a runner starting the inning on second base, Mesa quickly scored the go-ahead run with a lead off single, and added some insurance with a home run to pull out the 6-4 victory against the good guys.

    Sean Miller: 3 games (2 starts), 3-10, 2 R’s, 2B, BB, K; .211/.250/.263 (overall).

    Miller played in three games during the AFL season’s second week, making the start on Wednesday as the second baseman and batting second, and on Thursday as the DH batting ninth. He entered Tuesday’s contest in the sixth inning as a defensive replacement, and made the most of his hitting opportunities.

    In the seventh inning after entering the game to play shortstop, Miller drew a walk and scored on a double from the next hitter that made the score 8-2 Saguaros. In the top of the ninth he grounded out in his other plate appearance.

    In Wednesday’s 6-4 loss, Miller collected three hits in the top third of the lineup in his best game in the AFL so far. In the bottom of the first Miller followed a single from the leadoff man with a single of his own and got as far as second base. He then led off the bottom of the sixth inning with another single but didn’t move up any further. His biggest hit of the game came when he again led off an inning, this time in the eighth with the score 4-1 in favor of Peoria. He doubled to put himself into scoring position and two batters later another double brought him home to close the gap to 4-2. Like Paul, Miller also came up in the bottom of the ninth and represented the tying run, but flew out to center field for the inning's second out as they fell short of another comeback.

    Other AFL/Minor League Links:

    - After being selected in the third round of the 2017 draft and being given an above slot bonus to pry him away from LSU, Blayne Enlow was fantastic in the Gulf Coast League for the Twins. For his efforts, Baseball America named him to their GCL Top 20 Prospect list.

    - The Minnesota Twins announced their 2017 Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, with Mitch Garver taking home the first honor, and Aaron Slegers the second. Garver finished first in Twins Daily’s Hitter of the Year voting, while Slegers finished third in our Starting Pitcher of the Year tally.

    - After his regular season that was cut short due to injury, Tyler Jay’s performance in the first week of the season was a positive development for the outlook on his health.


    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week!

    • Oct 25 2017 07:56 AM
    • by Steve Lein
  12. AFL Report – Week 1: Paul, Jay, Vasquez Stand Out In AFL Season’s First Week

    With that, let’s check out how Twins prospects fared in the first week of the 2017 AFL season!

    (links provided to each player’s overall stats by clicking their name)

    Tyler Jay: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K’s.

    Jay made two appearances in the first week of the AFL season, pitching in the season opener against the Salt River Rafters on Tuesday the 10th, and the fourth inning on Friday the 13th versus the Glendale Desert Dogs. Both games were losses for the Saguaros, but not because of Jay’s performance.

    Against the Rafters on Tuesday, Jay came out to start the 7th inning and needed just 10 pitches to set the 9-1-2 hitters down in order. The first two outs came on strikeouts, both of the looking variety, before Jay fielded a bunt attempt for the final out on his first pitch to the number two hitter in the Salt River lineup. Covering the AFL for ESPN, Keith Law noted that Jay “looked electric” in the outing and wouldn’t close the door on him starting in the future.

    Against Glendale on Friday, Jay came on for the start of the fourth inning with his squad already down 4-1. It looked like it would get worse than that after the first batter doubled to right field and advanced to third on a fielding error on his first pitch of the inning. But on a 3-2 pitch to the next hitter Jay induced a groundball to third base and the runner was nabbed at home for the inning’s first out. Jay then got a flyout for the second out before picking up another backwards K to end the frame.

    LaMonte Wade: 4 games, 2-14, R, 2B, RBI, 3 BB, 2 K’s.

    Wade played in four of the Saguaros five games during the week, making the start in right field for three of them and DH-ing in the fourth. He batted sixth in the lineup in three of those games, and was in the two-hole for the other.

    In the season opener, Wade picked up his first AFL hit in the bottom of the eighth inning when he doubled to center field with one out. At that point he represented the tying runner for Surprise, but that was as far as he would get and they fell to Salt River 4-3.

    The Saguaros would get back at the Rafters the next day in 3-1 win, and Wade drew his first walk of the AFL season in his first at-bat of the game. His next three plate appearances resulted in a sharp groundout to second, a comebacker to the pitcher, and a fly out to center field as he finished that one 0-3.

    On Thursday as the DH, Wade was 0-4 with a strikeout, a fly out to center, and two ground balls to the right side in an 8-2 loss to Glendale. Of note in this one, is Wade saw just eight pitches in those at-bats, which was very uncharacteristic for such a patient hitter.

    He regrouped on Saturday in an 11-1 drumming of the Scottsdale Scorpions that improved their record as a team in the first week to 2-3. In six plate appearances in the two-hole, Wade drew two walks and saw a total of 26 pitches. His first RBI in the AFL came in the seventh inning for Surprise, when he drew a bases loaded walk for their seventh and final run of the frame. He had singled earlier in the same inning (on the first pitch of that at bat, ironically) and scored a run.

    Chris Paul: 3 games, 5-12, 2 R’s, 2B, 3 RBI, BB, K.

    Playing first base for Surprise, Paul saw action in three games during the season’s first week, and batted cleanup in each.

    In the opening game against Salt River, Wade racked up three singles in four at-bats with RBI’s coming in the first and seventh innings. Had the runner in front of him in the seventh not been thrown out at third for final out on that hit, the Saguaros would have had at least one more at bat with a runner in scoring position to try and tie the game.

    In Thursday’s tilt against Glendale, Paul was 0-4 but the rest of his team didn’t fare much better in the 8-2 loss. They didn’t score a run until the eighth inning and that was the result of a hit-by-pitch, three walks, a throwing error, and a passed ball. Paul did reach base in the fourth inning on a fielder’s choice.

    Paul got back on the hit-parade on Friday in the Saguaros 7-6 loss to Glendale. He finished 2-4 with two runs scored, a double, RBI, and a walk in five plate appearances. His double in the seventh inning closed the Desert Dogs lead to 6-4, and he would later score to bring his team within one. In the bottom of the ninth he drew a two-out walk to put the tying runner on base. He was replaced by a pinch runner that made it all the way to third base, but wasn’t able to scamper the final 90 feet.

    Andrew Vasquez: 2 appearances, 2.0IP, H, 3 K’s.

    Like Jay, Vasquez also made two appearances in the first week of the AFL season, and made short work of his competition in the same games as his counterpart.

    He directly followed Jay for the eighth inning in the season opening loss against Salt River. Of note during his 2017 campaign with Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers, is Vasquez did not allow a single extra-base-hit to a left-handed hitter the entire season (75 plate appearances). It’s notable here as the third hitter he faced in his AFL debut was a lefty, and they connected for a double on an 0-1 pitch. Vasquez recovered from that and picked up his second strikeout of the Fall season to end the inning.

    On Friday Vasquez was the first reliever summoned from the Surprise bullpen in the third inning with the score 4-1 Glendale. He needed just nine pitches in a one-two-three frame and added another K to his early season AFL total.

    Ryan Eades: 2 appearances (1-0), 2.0IP, 2 H’s, R (unearned), BB, K.

    Unlike Jay and Vasquez, the two appearances Eades made during the season’s first week came in victories. He even picked up the first pitching win of the season for his Saguaros team.

    That was on Wednesday in their 3-1 win over Salt River. He came on for the bottom of the fourth inning with the game still tied at zero and pitched a scoreless frame, walking one. His teammates went on to score two in the top of the fifth which put him in line to be credited with that win.

    On Saturday in their 11-1 win against Scottsdale, Eades pitched the eighth inning. The Scorpions one run was scored with him on the mound, but it was unearned due to a missed-catch error by Eades as he went to cover first base. That runner later scored on a double but Eades also picked up his first AFL strikeout.

    Tom Hackimer: 1 appearance, 1.0IP, BB, K.

    The sidewinding righty got in just one game in the first week of the AFL season, and it came on Thursday against Glendale. He was the first reliever in the game for Surprise, coming on for the bottom of the fourth inning.

    He struck out the first batter he faced in his debut and then got a groundout for the first two outs before he had a little trouble. He walked a batter and then gave up a single through the middle that put runners on the corners before coaxing an easy fly ball for the third out and a scoreless AFL inauguration.

    Sean Miller: 2 games, 1-9, 2 R’s, RBI, 3 K’s.

    Miller saw action in two games on the week, playing 2B in each.

    Batting 2nd in the lineup in Wednesday’s 3-1 win for his AFL debut, Miller went 0-4 and struck out twice. On defense he made every play that came his way, including three putouts and three assists.

    Against Scottsdale on Saturday, Miller batted eighth in the lineup and scored the first run of the game in the third inning after he reached base on a throwing error from the Scorpions shortstop. In the seven run seventh inning, Miller picked up his first AFL hit and RBI with a single, and would later score his second run of the game on the walk to LaMonte Wade.

    Other AFL/Minor League Links:

    - In a front office move that I’m extremely excited for, the Minnesota Twins hired Baseball America editor John Manuel to work in their pro scouting department. While I’m disappointed I won’t be able to interact with him in the same way on Twitter and elsewher to talk about prospects, I couldn’t be happier that he’s joining our favorite team!

    - Despite the fact he played in only half the games as most everyone after being drafted in June of this year, Brent Rooker was named MLBPipeline.com’s Minnesota Twins Hitting Prospect of the year. Stephen Gonsalves was is also recognized as their Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season. Here’s to hoping we see both at Target Field during the 2018 season!

    - In the season opener for Surprise, four Twins prospects made an impact on the game.

    - While MiLB.com lists the Saguaros roster dead last in “toolshed power rankings,” Tyler Jay is singled out as their Wild Card due his potential for increased optimism or head scratching heading into the 2018 season depending on his AFL performance.

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the performances during the last week!

    • Oct 17 2017 09:01 PM
    • by Steve Lein
  13. Twins AFL Report: Jay, Wade Lead Twins Contingent In Arizona

    For anyone who doesn’t know, the AFL is a short season league where every team in Major League Baseball sends some of their top prospects in October and is often used as a proving ground for these players who are looking to take the final steps to their MLB dreams. Many of the top prospects in baseball are sent here to make a case for an early call-up next year, but there are also many experienced MiLB-ers on the doorstep who are evaluated whether or not to be placed their team's 40-man roster. These minor league games in October can determine a lot going into the next MLB season for these players, and that’s why I love these games.

    Each MLB team typically sends seven players to the AFL, and they are split up among six teams. This year the Twins are again represented on the Surprise Saguaros roster with pitchers Ryan Eades, Tyler Jay, Tom Hackimer and Andrew Vasquez and position players Sean Miller, Chris Paul and LaMonte Wade. They will join prospects from the rosters of the Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers. It will be the first trip to the league for all of the Twins players, and each them will be looking to accomplish something different with their time there.

    Of players sent to the AFL last fall for Minnesota, three made their MLB debut during the 2017 season. They were catcher Mitch Garver and pitchers Randy Rosario and John Curtiss. So as you can see, a lot of these guys have potential to impact the majors in the following season.

    Each week I’ll be recapping the action for all of the Twins representatives during their time in the desert of Arizona, so who are these guys? What have they done and what will I be watching for in the AFL games this year? Let’s take a look!

    2017 Minnesota Twins Prospects in the AFL:

    The most interesting name may be that of pitcher Tyler Jay. With high expectations coming into the 2016 season after being drafted number six overall the year before, Jay has had trouble staying healthy. That was the case again in 2017 as he pitched just 11.2 innings on the season, essentially losing an entire year of development. In thirteen starts with the Fort Myers Miracle in 2016, Jay did flash a lot of the stuff that made him an attractive pick at the top end of the first round. He went 5-5 with a 3.10 ERA and struck out 8.8/9IP with a 1.22 WHIP. He was even bumped up to the Chattanooga Lookouts roster early in July of that season, but he didn’t finish that month or his season due to a neck injury. Because he has missed so much time, many of the same questions I had when writing his draft preview two years ago remain. We also aren’t quite sure if the Twins new brass thinks he could still be a starting pitcher since before the 2017 season started they moved him into the bullpen with the Lookouts. The main thing I believe Jay will be doing in the AFL is getting some of those missed innings under his belt. It also will intrigue me to see if he makes any starts as typically each team sends at least one starter, but none of the others prospects sent quite fit that role. If Jay can show that his plus-stuff still plays up against the elite competition of the AFL after being out so long, I can envision a scenario where he starts in AAA next season, a phone call away from the majors.

    — All LaMonte Wade has done since joining the Twins organization as a ninth-round draft pick in 2015, is get on base. Across four levels so far in his career, he has a .404 on-base percentage and has drawn more walks than strikeouts. Even more amazing from a comparison standpoint, is the number of walks he has drawn is significantly higher than Joe Mauer did in his MiLB career before debuting (177 in 273 games vs. 129 in 277 games). What Wade hasn’t done so far in his career, is hit for much power but there is some in there. He had 22 doubles, three triples, and seven home runs with Chattanooga this season, and his 67 RBI and .397 OBP ranked second on the team to only team MVP Jonathan Rodriguez. As the year progressed he went from hitting in the middle of the Lookouts lineup to batting in the top third, finishing the year as their number three hitter. He doesn’t have the “wow” tool or tools that many top prospects do, but can do a bit of everything and is not a slouch in any regard. He also doesn’t struggle against same-sided pitchers, as his career OPS vs. left-handers is actually higher than against righties. Wade gets high marks from scouts for his baseball acumen, work ethic, and makeup that they say allows him to outplay his scouting report. There is not much more development needed here as Wade has excelled at every stop, so the AFL will be a good point to judge just how big of an impact he might be able to make in the majors if needed next season. He remind sme a lot of Denard Span at the top of a lineup and we may get to see soon if that is indeed his ceiling.

    — Infielder Chris Paul was a force in the Fort Myers Miracle lineup this year when he was on the field, where he slashed .328/.380/.471 in 61 games. His issue as he heads to the AFL is that it was just for 61 games as he dealt with a wrist injury. Drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 draft from California-Berkeley, Paul was a senior sign and will turn 25 on Thursday so he has been older than his competition to this point. He played primarily third base this year with Fort Myers, but has played in all the corner spots of the field in as he looks for the role best suited for him. In the AFL the Twins likely will want to see some power from him and perhaps a bit more clarity of what role he might be able to fill in the coming season. He will likely start the 2018 season in Chattanooga, with perhaps his position determined by his AFL performance.

    — Reliever Andrew Vasquez goes to the AFL out of the single-A levels and spent most of his time at Low-A which makes his selection intriguing as he’s not as far along as most other prospects who go there. In Vasquez’s case, it is likely deserved as he flat out dominated the Midwest League in 2017. He checked in at number five on Twins Daily’s Relief Pitcher of the Year Award, due to his 1.55 ERA and 85 K’s in 58.0IP on the season. That mark was good for a 13.2K/9 rate, which is elite territory. At 6-foot-6 and left-handed, he looks intimidating, but it’s not a big fastball that he uses to dominate hitters, or anything with velocity for that matter. It’s his big curveball that should probably be classified as a “bugs bunny” type, as it is known to come in below 70MPH. Player’s know it’s coming, but they still can’t hit it and it allows his below 90’s fastball to play up while they sit on it. He is also nearly unhittable against same-sided hitters, as he didn’t allow a single extra-base-hit to them during the 2017 season. It will be really interesting to see how his curveball-centric approach plays against the elite competition of the AFL, and I’ll be watching to see if right-handers are able to figure him out enough to limit his upside.

    — Pitcher Ryan Eades was drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft out of LSU as a guy who held a lot of projection and showed elite “stuff” at times in his collegiate career. He always got mentions about how his stats didn’t live up to his arsenal. As a pro so far in his career, you might say the same thing has held true. He was used primarily as a starter in his first three seasons, spending an entire season at each rung of the ladder until he plateaued during the 2016 with Chattanooga. Late in the year they made the switch to the bullpen where he struggled to keep runs off the board, but he did boost his strikeout rate. In the 2017 season he started off in the bullpen, but whenever a need arose he stepped in as a starter was actually pretty effective at times. He even made a couple of appearances with Rochester in early June where he allowed just one run on six hits in eight innings, while striking out nine. When he was sent back to the Lookouts, he maintained around a mid-3.00’s ERA through the end of the season, finishing with a mark of 3.63 in AA. In front of Jay, Eades is the most likely nominee to get starts in the AFL from the Twins representatives, and the likely outcome from his performances is whether he gets another shot as a starter, or moves to the bullpen full time in 2018.

    — The name Tom Hackimer probably isn’t a well-known one for Twins prospect followers quite yet, but that could be changing very soon. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 draft out of St. Johns, he is a pure reliever prospect who is performing at a level near the top amongst his peers. He began the 2017 season in Cedar Rapids, and was outstanding as evidenced by his 0.58 WHIP. He appeared in 16 games, pitching 24.0 innings with a 28/3 K/BB ratio and pick up the Save in 6 games. After his promotion to Fort Myers, he pitched another 37.1 innings with 43 K’s against 19 walks. He finished the season with a 1.76 ERA and 0.85 WHIP across the two levels. Like Trevor Hildenberger who made a big impact with the Twins this season, Hackimer is a sidewinder who comes at hitters from a drastically different angle. This also allows him to be deadly on right-handed hitters, who managed just a .352 OPS against him in 2017. Like with Vasquez in the AFL, I’m going to be watching if left-handed hitters can negate his effectiveness moving forward, but with a good showing he should be in Chattanooga to start the 2018 season.

    — Infielder Sean Miller came to the Minnesota Twins organization out of the 2015 draft in the 10th round. He has been what you might call a utility player so far in his career, as he has played all over the infield and even got a few games in the outfield with Fort Myers in 2017. After being drafted, he spent a couple of weeks in Elizabethton before moving up to Cedar Rapids to finish the season. He hit .284 in 26 games with the Kernels that season and remained there for the first 90 games of 2016 before being bumped up to the Miracle to finish the year. He spent all of the 2017 campaign with Fort Myers, playing 122 games in the middle of the infield as a steady glove presence with some speed. He hit .262/.299/.322 on the year with 51 runs scored and 38 RBI. The AFL may be a big challenge for Miller but I’m sure that is appealing to him and guys like him are fun to root for and learn about on their journey to the majors.

    Good luck to all of the players in the AFL for the Twins this season, and I’m looking forward to following along with everyone at Twins Daily!

    Please feel free to ask any questions about the AFL and discuss this week’s performances!

    • Oct 10 2017 03:27 PM
    • by Steve Lein
  14. Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - May 2017

    Pitching wins, but only if the hitters score enough runs in that game. There were quite a few hitters that started their seasons strong. Let’s take a look at the Top 5 hitters of the month, but first here are some players deserving of honorable mention.

    HONORABLE MENTION

    • Edgar Corcino - Chattanooga - 25 G, 28-88, .318/.382/.409 (.791) with five doubles, one homer, 21 RBI.
    • Jaylin Davis - Cedar Rapids - 29 G, 29-113, .257/.294/.531 (.825) with seven doubles, eight homers, 18 RBI.
    • Zander Wiel - Ft. Myers - 25 G, 25-94, .266/.337/.489 (.826) with five doubles, two triples, four homers and 12 RBI.
    THE TOP FIVE HITTERS

    Number 5 – Cedar Rapids - Christian Cavaness - .278/.338/.528 (.865). 20-72 with five doubles, two triples, three home runs and 15 RBI.


    Cavaness signed as a non-drafted free agent after a very successful season at NAIA Lindenwood University in Belleville, Illinois. He split 2016 between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids. He began this season with the Kernels and played sparingly in April.


    And then the calendar turned to May. And he started hitting, and Tommy Watkins rewarded him with more and more playing time. He delivered at the bottom of the Kernels order by getting on base and hitting for some power. He can play center field fine. He certainly has the range. But he’s been mostly playing left field and doing a very nice job.


    Number 4 – Chattanooga – SS Nick Gordon - .294/.374/.532 (.906). 32-109 with 11 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 12 RBI.

    Gordon was the Twins first pick in the 2014 draft, and he has continued to progress nicely as he’s moved up a level a year. After a very strong showing last year in the Arizona Fall League, Gordon earned an invitation to major league spring training. He told me shortly after he was sent to minor league camp that he was feeling all kinds of confidence due to the opportunities in Arizona and at spring training.


    He’s been leading off most every game for the Lookouts. He’s been doing a nice job all season, and remained consistent through May. He has started to walk more, showing a much better knowledge or the strike zone. He’s also increased his power this year in terms of doubles and home runs. There continue to be mixed reports on his defense, though most think he can be a major league shortstop.



    Number 3 - Chattanooga – OF LaMonte Wade - .318/.456/.432 (.888) 28-88 with four doubles, two homers and 14 RBI

    Wade had a tough first ten games in Chattanooga, but he quickly adapted to the Southern League and has been very good since. He is doing the things that made him such an intriguing prospect. He began walking more than he strikes out. He has a plan going into every plate appearance, and no one in the system knows the strike zone better.


    Wade was the Twins ninth-round pick in 2015 out of Maryland where he missed a large chunk of his junior season with injury, which probably pushed him down a few rounds in the draft.


    Number 2 - Ft. Myers – 3B Chris Paul - .383/.459/.585 (1.044), 36-94 with 11 doubles, one triple, two homers and 20 RBI.

    Chris Paul was the Twins fifth-round draft pick out of Cal-Berkeley. He had spent a couple of summers playing for the St. Cloud Rox. He began 2016 season in Cedar Rapids though he moved up to the Miracle within the first month due to injuries higher up the ladder. He struggled and his season came to an end early due to his own injury.


    He’s been one of the better hitters in the Twins organization through the first two months of the season.He was good in April, but he was very good in May. He hit for average. He got on base almost 50% of the time, and he hit a bunch of doubles. He had a walk-off, three-run homer and a few days later had a walk-off single for the Miracle. Unfortunately, he ended the month on the disabled list.


    And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is:

    Cedar Rapids – 1B Lewin Diaz - .327/.361/.627 (989), 36-110 with 13 doubles, one triple, six homers and 23 RBI.

    Lewin Diaz signed with the Twins way back in 2013 for $1.4 million of the Dominican Republic. After a year in the DSL, he moved up to the GCL in 2015. Last year, he was the Twins Daily short-season Minor League Hitter of the Year for his efforts in Elizabethton. This year, he made the move to full season and has done a very nice job for the Kernels.


    At 6-5 and roughly 250 pounds, he can be an intimidating batter in the middle of the Kernels lineup. He’s got plenty of room for improvement, but he’s more than held his own, and he’s starting to show even more power than maybe expected. His 20 doubles lead the Twins minor leagues right now. He’s in the Top 3 in home runs and RBI. He’s got some work to do around first base, though he is fairly athletic and smooth around the bag.



    Congratulations to the May Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month for 2017, Cedar Rapids first baseman Lewin Diaz.

    • Jun 04 2017 07:51 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  15. Twins Minor League Report (6/1): Niko Goodrum Doubles Down On Season-Long Hitting Streak

    Transactions: Jake Reed assigned to Chattanooga from Rochester, Ryan Pressly optioned to Rochester from Minnesota, Jason Wheeler designated for assignment from Minnesota, Alex Wimmers promoted to Minnesota from Rochester, Randy LeBlanc promoted to Chattanooga from Fort Myers, Nick Anderson promoted to Chattanooga from Fort Myers, Randy Rosario promoted to Minnesota from Chattanooga, Andrew Vasquez promoted to Fort Myers from Cedar Rapids.Logan Lombana returns to Cedar Rapids from extended spring training.

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 3 @ Durham 6
    Box Score
    Rochester's bullpen has a 1.08 ERA over the last seven games, including 19.2 consecutive scoreless innings headed into Thursday night’s game and Niko Goodrum has a nine-game hitting streak. The scoreless innings streak came to an end as Alan Busenitz gave up a run in the seventh inning, but Goodrum extended his streak on a 3-4 night that included a double and a pair of RBI. Leonardo Reginatto also had a pair of hits, including a double and a walk, but the rest of the Red Wings squad had just two hits. ByungHo Park was 0-3 with two strikeouts and a walk.

    The Red Wings were down 6-0 before they pushed three runs across in the eighth to make the final score look respectable. Red Wings starter Nik Turley gave up five runs over 6.1 innings, including three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Turley struck out seven to go along with just one walk. Busenitz was charged with an earned run over 1.2 innings of work, he struck out three and walked none.


    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 1 @ Birmingham 3
    Box Score

    Nick Gordon entered the game leading the Southern League in extra-base hits (23) and got to enjoy the night off in Birmingham. The Lookouts bats sputtered without him, just 1-11 with runners in scoring position, and scoring just a single run despite FIVE doubles. Ryan Strausborger was 2-3 with a double and a run scored, the only Lookout with more than one hit.

    Lookouts starter Matt Tracy pitched very well, 7.0 innings, just five hits, two runs (both earned) and he struck out four against just one walk. Unfortunately for Tracy, he gave up a pair of solo home runs, and without any run support was tagged with his fourth loss of the season. Mason Melotakis gave up a run on two hits in one inning of relief.

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Fort Myers 1 @ Bradenton 5
    Box Score

    Before the game it was announced that Chris Paul, Dereck Rodriguez, Sam Clay, and Brian Navarreto were all selected to the Florida State League All-Star Game. The Miracle could have used some all-star bats on Thursday night as they stranded 13 runners! The Miracle bunched their hits at the top of the order with leadoff man Max Murphy picking up three singles on a 3-5 night (he also scored the lone run), and the next batter up, Nelson Molina, was 3-5 as well. Zander Wiel the third hitter in the lineup, had a pair of hits and a walk on a 2-4 night. The three combined for 8 of the Miracle’s 10 hits.

    Brady Anderson was tagged with his first loss of the season after giving up four runs (all earned) in 5.0 innings. He gave up nine hits, including a home run, walked two, and struck out three. He was replaced by Tom Hackimer for 2.0 innings. Hackimer gave up three hits, a run and two walks. Michael Theofanopoulos closed out the pitching for the Miracle with three strikeouts in the eighth inning.

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Quad Cities 1 @ Cedar Rapids 11
    Box Score

    The Kernels made up for the lackluster hitter performances in the rest of the system on Thursday night, exploding for 11 runs. Travis Blankenhorn led the way (and hit leadoff, how perfect) with a 2-4 night that included a triple and a home run. Jermaine Palacios had three hits, Jaylin Davis, Mitchell Kranson and Aaron Whitefield each had a pair of hits for the Kernels, and Lewin Diaz and Caleb Hamilton each had a hit of his own. In addition to Blankenhorn’s solo home run in the fifth inning, Aaron Whitefield hit one too.

    Sean Poppen picked up his fourth win of the year to move to 4-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.12 with 6.1 innings of five-hit baseball. He gave up one run, unearned, struck out five, and did not walk anyone. Logan Lombana went 2.2 perfect innings to finish off the River Bandits, striking out five of the seven batters he faced (he induced a double-play to the first batter he faced in the seventh).


    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Matt Tracy, Chattanooga Lookouts
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Niko Goodrum, Rochester Red Wings


    FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Rochester @ Norfolks (6:05pm) – David Hurlbut (2-3, 3.41)
    Chattanooga @ Birmingham (7:05pm) – Felix Jorge (5-1, 3.48)
    Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (5:30pm) - Dereck Rodriguez (3-2, 2.95)
    Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (6:30pm) – Domenick Carlini (2-3, 5.65)

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

    • Jun 02 2017 04:27 AM
    • by Eric R Pleiss
  16. Twins Minor League Report (5/26): Gonsalves Returns to Dominance

    INJURY NEWS


    Here's the Nick Burdi Tommy John Surgery support group ... er, thread.

    TRANSACTION ALERTS


    RED WINGS REPORT
    Indianapolis 11, Rochester 6
    Box Score

    Nick Tepesch had a dud of a start, giving up nine earned runs over 3.1 innings, but at least there were some offensive highlights. Daniel Palka hit his eighth homer of the year, and was 2-for-5 with three RBI.

    Engelb Vielma had his best game for the Red Wings thus far, going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. Niko Goodrum hit his fourth home run of the season and both Mitch Garver and Matt Hague had two hits.

    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 3, Montgomery 2
    Box Score

    In his second start of the season, Stephen Gonsalves turned in an impressive effort and the Lookouts won in a strange fashion. Possibly the most encouraging thing out of Gonsalves was the fact that he threw seven innings, 88 pitches. But he also held the Biscuits to two runs on six hits and no walks while tallying seven strikeouts.

    As excellent as Gonsalves was, this game was tied heading into the bottom of the eighth. Chattanooga scored the game-winning run when Ryan Strausborger struck out. Yes, it’s true. Strausborger went down swinging on a wild pitch that allowed Nick Gordon to score.

    Gordon had a double, a walk and scored twice. LaMonte Wade was 1-for-2 with a sac fly, an intentional walk and threw out what would have been the go-ahead run at the plate in the seventh inning.

    Todd Van Steensil pitched a perfect eighth inning to earn his fourth win of the season. Mason Melotakis followed suit with a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the year.

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Fort Myers 17, Charlotte 1
    Box Score

    Shortstop Sean Miller led the way with four hits, but four more of his teammates had multi-hit games. The Miracle combined for 16 hits, only three of which were for extra bases (a pair of doubles from Chris Paul and a Tanner English homer).

    Second basemen Alex Perez filled up the box score, going 2-for-3 with two walks, three RBI and three runs scored. Paul’s big game (he was 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs) boosted his batting average to an even .350.

    Dereck Rodriguez was the beneficiary to all the offense, and he picked up his third win of the season after surrendering one run over five innings. He gave up just three hits and did not issue a walk while striking out four.

    Nick Anderson had three strikeouts over an eventful, but scoreless ninth inning. The 26-year-old has a 0.93 ERA and 0.83 WHIP on the season.

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Kane County 2, Cedar Rapids 1
    Box Score

    Cedar Rapids fell just short of completing a comeback in the ninth. Trailing 2-0 in the final frame and down to their last out, the Kernels strung together three straight hits: a Jaylin Davis double, a Travis Blankenhorn RBI single and another single from Brandon Lopez. But Ben Rortvedt was not able to keep the conga line moving as he grounded out to end the game.

    It was a night to forget for the young backstop. He was 0-for-4 and had both a passed ball and a throwing error. Ouch. Cedar Rapids got great pitching performances for what was a bullpen game for the team. Max Cordy made his first start of the season, he gave up two unearned runs over three innings and struck out five batters.

    Cordy was followed by newcomers Ryan Mason and Patrick McGuff, who were both making their Cedar Rapids debuts. Mason a 13th rounder in 2016, threw three shutout innings. McGuff, a 36th rounder last year, held the Cougars scoreless over the final two innings.

    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Stephen Gonsalves (7 IP, 2 ER, 7 Ks)
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Chris Paul (3-for-5, 2 2Bs, 3 RBI, 2 R)

    SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    Rochester vs. Indianapolis, 6:05 CT, Nik Turley (3.27 ERA, 1.36 WHIP)
    Chattanooga vs. Montgomery, 6:15 CT, Yohan Pino (has not pitched in 2017)
    Fort Myers at Charlotte, 5:05 CT, RHP Randy LeBlanc (return to the Miracle)
    Cedar Rapids at Kane County, 6:30 CT, Sean Poppen (2.68 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday's games.

    • May 27 2017 08:31 AM
    • by Tom Froemming
  17. Twins Minor League Leaderboard (through Saturday, May 20)

    But first, let’s take a quick look at how the Twins’ affiliates currently stack up in their leagues.

    • Rochester is 19-18. The Red Wings are 6.5 games back in the International League North Division. They’re in fourth place in the division.
    • In the first half, Chattanooga is 23-20. That puts them tied for second place, 2.0 games in the Southern League’s South division.
    • Ft. Myers has won seven straight games and is 23-20 and in second place in the Florida State League’s South division.
    • Cedar Rapids is 25-17 so far this season. They are currently tied with Kane County (19-14) at the top of the Midwest League’s Western Division.
    With that, let’s look at the minor league statistical leader board (through games on Saturday, May 20).

    THE HITTERS
    (Rate numbers- minimum 114 plate appearances)

    Plate Appearances - Chris Paul (179), Nick Gordon (178), Zander Wiel (172), Max Murphy (171), Jermaine Palacios (168).

    Batting Average - Chris Paul (.337), Jermaine Palacios (.325), LaMonte Wade (.314), Edgar Corcino (.303), Nick Gordon (.300).

    On-Base Percentage - LaMonte Wade (.442), Chris Paul (.380), Edgar Corcino (.371), Jermaine Palacios (.369), Nick Gordon (.365).

    Slugging Percentage - Jermaine Palacios (.535), Lewin Diaz (.500), Jaylin Davis (.497), Aaron Whitefield (.477), Nick Gordon (.475).

    OPS - Jermaine Palacios (.904), LaMonte Wade (.896), Nick Gordon (.840), Chris Paul (.828), Lewin Diaz (.815).

    Hits - Chris Paul (55), Jermaine Palacios (51), Nick Gordon (48), Lewin Diaz (45), Max Murphy/Edgar Corcino (40).

    Doubles - Lewin Diaz (16), Chris Paul/Zander Wiel/Mitchell Kranson (12), Tommy Field (11).

    Triples - Jermaine Palacios/Zander Wiel/Nick Gordon (5), Rafael Valera (4), eight with 2.

    Home Runs - Jaylin Davis (9), Daniel Palka (7), Jermaine Palacios/Aaron Whitefield/Lewin Diaz (5), five tied with four.

    Runs Scored - Jermaine Palacios (32), LaMonte Wade (27), Max Murphy (26), Jaylin Davis (24), Jonathan Rodriguez/Chris Paul (23).

    RBI - Lewin Diaz (27), Zander Wiel (26), Jaylin Davis/Nick Gordon (23), Chris Paul (22).

    SB - Zach Granite (9), Tanner English (8), Aaron Whitefield (7), Jermaine Palacios/Jaylin Davis/Max Murphy (6). .

    THE STARTING PITCHERS
    (Rate number - minimum 32.0 innings)

    Innings Pitched: Dereck Rodriguez (50.0), Clark Beeker (45.2), Sean Poppen (45.1), Aaron Slegers (42.1), Randy LeBlanc/Lachlan Wells (41.0).

    ERA: Jose Berrios (1.13), Sean Poppen (2.38), Randy LeBlanc (2.41), Tyler Wells (2.65), Clark Beeker (2.76).

    WHIP: Jose Berrios (0.81), Clark Beeker (0.99), Tyler Wells (1.09), Sean Poppen (1.103), Cody Stashak (1.105).

    K/9: Tyler Wells (11.9), Eduardo Del Rosario/David Fischer (9.6), Jose Berrios (8.8), Sean Poppen (8.7).

    BB/9: Clark Beeker (1.4), Dereck Rodriguez/Sean Poppen (1.6), Tyler Beardsley/Jose Berrios (1.8).

    K: Nik Turley (54), Tyler Wells (45), Sean Poppen (44), Eduardo Del Rosario (43), Dereck Rodriguez/Jose Berrios (39)

    THE RELIEF PITCHERS
    (Rate numbers - minimum 13.0 innings, and less than 2 starts)

    Innings Pitched: Brady Anderson (30.0), Randy Rosario (26.0), Sam Clay (24.0), Anthony McIver (23.0), Williams Ramirez (21.1).

    ERA: John Curtiss (0.00), Nick Burdi (0.57), Nick Anderson (1.04), Williams Ramirez (1.69), Randy Rosario (1.73).

    WHIP: Nick Burdi (0.64), Tom Hackimer (0.65), Nick Anderson (0.75), Alan Busenitz (0.81), Randy Rosario (0.85)

    K/9: Andrew Vasquez (14.3), Luke Bard (13.7), Alex Robinson (13.5), Alan Busenitz (11.8), John Curtiss/Todd Van Steensel (11.7).

    BB/9: Brady Anderson/Tom Hackimer (0.9), Nick Anderson (1.0), Drew Rucinski (1.4), Hector Lujan (1.6)

    K: Luke Bard (31), Andrew Vasquez (26), Alex Robinson (25), Sam Clay (24), Tom Hackimer (22).

    Saves: John Curtiss/Tom Hackimer (6), Alex Wimmers (4), Mason Melotakis/Jonny Drozd/Max Cordy (3).

    Feel free to ask questions about any of the players or teams.

    • May 21 2017 11:43 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  18. Twins Minor League Report (4/11): No Hit Efforts

    To find out how all of the Twins affiliates fared on Tuesday, keep reading!


    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 5, Buffalo 0
    Box Score

    6-10 right-hander and former Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Aaron Slegers took to the hill for the Red Wings Tuesday afternoon, and he pitched like he did for the Indiana Hoosiers back in 2013 when he won that award. In six innings, he walked three and struck out seven in a no-hit effort to keep the Bisons off the board. He struck out three of the last four hitters he faced and ended his day after eighty-one pitches to pick up his first win of 2017.

    When his day was finished the Red Wings were leading just 1-0, but their lineup got to Buffalo’s bullpen for a run in each of the last four innings. Kennys Vargas gave them the lead with his first home run of the year in the sixth and consecutive doubles from Niko Goodrum and J.B. Shuck in the seventh made it 2-0. A Goodrum double with the bases loaded in the eighth scored two more and the shutout win was punctuated with Tommy Field’s first home run of the year in the ninth.

    Travor Hildenberger was the first reliever summoned from the bullpen for the seventh inning, and he pitched two scoreless frames allowing two singles and striking out one. Alan Busenitz came on for the ninth and got a double-play ball after a walk to end the game.

    Goodrum led the offense as he went 3-4 with two doubles, a run scored, and two RBI. He also switched from shortstop to center field in the eighth inning, displaying his ability to be trusted at multiple up-the-middle positions. Ben Paulsen added two hits, including a double.


    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga – Scheduled day off.

    The Lookout’s had Tuesday off as they travel to Florida for a five-game series with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp starting at 6:05PM (CST) Wednesday night. Kohl Stewart will make his second start of the season in the series opener.

    (If the nickname “Jumbo Shrimp” is a new one to you too, they switched to this name for the 2017 season. They were formerly the “Suns” and are the AA-affiliate of the Miami Marlins)


    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Fort Myers 1, Tampa 2
    Box score

    Left-hander Lachlan Wells made his first start of the year for Fort Myers after pitching two scoreless innings of relief on April 6th against the Jupiter Hammerheads. He went the first five innings and despite allowing seven hits and a walk, gave up just two runs (one earned) and struck out six.

    Fort Myers jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Casey Scoggins reached base on an error to start the game, and singles from Chris Paul and Alex Perez got him around the bases. The Miracle bats went pretty quiet after that, as it was Paul and Perez who accounted for all seven of their hits on the game.

    Wells surrendered his two runs in the third inning as a leadoff double was followed by a sacrifice bunt, two singles, and a throwing error from Paul at third base before he took it upon himself to strike out the next two batters and end the threat.

    Sam Clay pitched the sixth and seventh innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out three. Williams Ramirez pitched a scoreless eighth, giving up a double but striking out the next two hitters to keep the Miracle within one.

    Paul went 4-4 with two doubles while Perez was 3-4 with the Miracle’s lone RBI. It is kind of a strange lineup to look at in the box score, as three hitters (Daniel Kihle, Paul, and Perez) have a small-sample-size season average of .400 or above, but no one else above .154. This likely contributes to their 1-5 record on the season.

    The Miracle look to avoid the sweep against the Yankees on Wednesday, as Dereck Rodriguez takes the mound in the series finale.


    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 6, Kane County 1
    Box Score

    Cedar Rapids scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back as they cruised to the 6-1 victory on Tuesday afternoon. It was the first loss of the season for the Kane County Cougars.

    Jermaine Palacios started the game with a single, stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error, and then scored on an error off the bat of Lewin Diaz to start the scoring in the first. A Shane Carrier double and Brandon Lopez single scored two more runs and the Kernels spotted starter Tyler Beardsley a 3-0 lead before he took the mound.

    He retired the Cougar lineup in order the first turn through as the Kernels built their lead to 5-0 with single runs in the second and third innings. It was a Travis Blankenhorn double in the second and a Lopez ground out in the third that scored those runs.

    Beardsley finally gave up a hit to the leadoff man in the fourth and got into some more trouble from there. After a walk and a single brought in the Cougars first run, a passed ball and hit-batter around a strikeout loaded the bases with two outs. Beardsley buckled down and got a ground out to end the inning. Kane County hardly threatened from there.

    Blankenhorn continued his early display of power in the Midwest League (pssst) when he added a solo home run in the seventh inning, his third of the season already to stretch the lead to 6-1.

    Reliever Brady Anderson came on for Beardsley in the sixth inning, and faced the minimum over the final four innings. Only an error in the eighth kept him from a perfect pitching line while picking up the save. He struck out three.

    On offense, Blankenhorn and Carrier led the way with two hits apiece, and Lopez added two RBI.


    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Slegers, Rochester Red Wings (W, 6.0 IP, 0 H’s, 3 BB’s, 7 K’s)
    Hitter of the Day – Travis Blankenhorn, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI)


    WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Rochester @ Buffalo (6:05PM CST) – LHP David Hurlbut (0-0, -.-- ERA)
    Chattanooga @ Jacksonville (6:05PM CST) – RHP Kohl Stewart (0-1, 0.00 ERA)
    Fort Myers @ Tampa (6:00PM CST) – RHP Dereck Rodriguez (0-1, 8.31 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (11:00AM CST) – RHP Eduardo Del Rosario (1-0, 0.00 ERA)


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

    • Apr 11 2017 08:31 PM
    • by Steve Lein
  19. Twins Minor League Report (4/6): Opening Day Washouts And Shutouts

    Find out everything that happened in the Twins minor league system on Thursday, even if it is abbreviated.

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester , Syracuse
    Box Score

    Bad weather in Syracuse not only postponed Thursday’s game, but the forecast pushed their Opening Day game to Saturday. They will play one on Saturday and two games on Sunday. Jose Berrios will start the game on Saturday.

    Earlier in the day, the team announced that Zack Granite had been placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique. He later told me that he suffered the injury on the last day of spring training camp though he doesn’t expect to be sidelined for too long.


    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 0, Mobile 2
    Box Score

    Kohl Stewart was given the Opening Day nod by Lookouts manager Jake Mauer. The right-hander gave the team six innings and was charged only with an unearned run. The stat line looks familiar for the 2013 first-round pick. He gave up three hits, walked three and struck out just one. He needed 86 pitches, and 52 of them were strikes. He had five ground outs and eight fly outs.

    In the seventh inning, Stewart was replaced by Mason Melotakis. The lefty walked one and struck out two in a scoreless inning. “Melo” turned things over to Luke Bard. Bard walked one and struck one out in a scoreless eighth innings. He struck out the side, kind of, in the ninth inning. However, he also gave up a one-out solo homer that pushed the deficit to 2-0.

    The Lookouts were just unable to muster any offense in the game. In the first inning, Edgar Corcino and Travis Harrison each singled, but the team had just one more hit (another Corcino single) the rest of the game. Corcino went 2-4, and Harrison was 1-3 with a walk.


    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Ft. Myers 0, Jupiter 4
    Box Score

    The Miracle were able to get some hits, even some extra base hits. They just were not able to turn them into an runs. Chris Paul went 2-4. Alex Perez was 2-4 with a double. Sean Miller had a double. Luis Arraez hit a two-out triple, but he was stranded too. In the ninth inning, they got two base runners on before the final out.

    Dereck Rodriguez was pretty solid through the first four innings. He had given up just one run. However, he ran into trouble in the fifth inning. His final line? He was charged with four runs on seven hits and a walk in 4.1 innings. He struck out four. Randy Rosario came on in relief and got two outs right away to get out of the fifth inning without any further damage. In the 6th inning, a batter reached by error and then next batter was hit by a pitch. However Rosario was able to get the next three out to keep the game at 4-0. Lachlan Wells came on and gave up just one hit over two scoreless innings. He struck out three without issuing a walk.


    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids, Beloit
    Box Score

    The weather in Beloit was also poor, forcing the postponement of the Snappers/Kernels Opening Night game. The teams will play two games on Friday, starting at 4:30.


    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Kohl Stewart, Chattanooga Lookouts
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Alex Perez, Ft. Myers Miracle


    FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Rochester @ Syracuse - Friday game postponed. Teams will play on Saturday.
    Mobile @ Chattanooga - (6:15 CST) - LHP Matt Tracy
    Ft. Myers @ Jupiter (5:30) - TBD
    Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (DH @ 4:30 CST) – RHP Eddie Del Rosario, RHP Tyler Wells

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's Opening Day games.

    • Apr 07 2017 07:59 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  20. Twins Minor League Report (6/2): Palka Goes Deep Twice - AGAIN!

    Continue reading to find out more detail about Thursday in the Twins farm system:

    Transaction Log: The Twins signed outfielder Logan Schafer to a MiLB deal and assigned him to the Rochester Red Wings.

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester @ Indianapolis Indians
    Box Score

    The Red Wings are now six games over .500 and tied with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for first place in the International League North and just a half game behind the Columbus Clippers for the best record in the league. The Red Wings played to a 1-1 tie through the first three innings, but pulled ahead with a three-run fourth, and never looked back.

    Former Yankee catcher John Ryan Murphy (he of the Aaron Hicks trade) had a 1-3 night out of the 9-hole with a double and an RBI, but is hitting just .162 at AAA after a super disappointing start to the year in Minnesota. The Red Wings received multi-hit games from Wilfredo Tovar (2-4, 2 RBI, BB), James Beresford (2-5), and Eddie Rosario (2-5, HR, RBI). Rosario is now hitting .317 in AAA and likely a little pissed off that the Twins brought up Max Kepler to replace the injured Miguel Sano instead of him. Good on him, get to work and we'll see you back in a Twins uniform before too long.

    Tommy Milone (another Twins castoff, along with nearly 1/3 of this Red Wings roster) earned his third AAA win to move to 3-0 and has a 2.08 ERA on the year. He went 6.1 innings giving up 7 hits, one earned run, one walk, and he struck out a trio of Indians. J.T. Chargois came in and gave up a run in 1.2 innings, and his ERA climbed all the way to 0.90. He also struck out 3 of the 7 batters he faced. Alex Wimmers (couldn't hit a barn because he used to have the yips) pitched a perfect ninth, retiring all three batters he faced, recording a strikeout to boot.

    Final: Red Wings 5, Indians 2

    LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN
    Chattanooga Lookouts @ Birmingham Braves
    Box Score

    Despite giving up a run in the bottom of the first to fall behind 0-1, the Lookouts hung tough and took the lead after scoring runs in back-to-back-to-back innings to pull ahead 3-1 after six innings and then hung on for the victory.

    As a team the Lookouts struck out 12 times to go along with just 2 walks, but still managed to push enough runs across to win a game. Only two Chattanooga hitters had multi-hit games, Zach Granite and Daniel Palka who hit a pair of home runs for the second night in a row! Granite was 2-5 with a double and a strikeout from the leadoff position, while Palka provided a 2-4 night with a pair of solo home runs (and a pair of strikeouts). Palka now leads the Southern League with 11 dingers and is sixth in slugging. Palka, if you recall, was the return on the Chris Hermann to the Diamondbacks trade, completed in November of last year.

    David Hurlbut earned his third win of the year to even his record at 3-3 with 6.1 innings of seven hit, one run ball. He walked one and struck out two. He was replaced by Mason Melotakis who earned his fifth hold of the year by finishing the fifth. Luke Westphal earned a hold as well, his first of the year, despite giving up a run in the eighth. Jake Reed earned his second save of the year, closing out the game with a two-strikeout ninth.

    Final: Lookouts 4, Braves 2


    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Game 1: St. Lucie Mets @ Fort Myers Miracle
    Box Score

    Luckily the Miracle had an opportunity to play two on Thursday night as they managed just a single hit in the first game of the double-dip, a Brian Olson single in the third inning. The rest of the squad, including first-round draftee Nick Gordon were a combined 0-20 with three strikeouts and no walks.

    Miracle starter Keaton Steele had a forgettable outing, going just 3.0 innings and giving up five runs (all earned) in a disaster start on the front end of a doubleheader. Brian Gilbert pitched 1.2 innings of less-than-stellar baseball, giving up two runs on three hits, three walks, and a home run. John Curtiss gave up a run over a four-out outing, and Luke Bard finished things respectably for the Miracle with a quick, scoreless, ninth inning.

    Final: Mets 8, Miracle 0

    Game 2: St. Lucie Mets @ Fort Myers Miracle
    Box Score

    The Miracle used a Chris Paul walk-off single to win the second game of the double- header to earn a split. With one out and a runner on third, a Chris Paul singled scored Tanner Witt from third to win the game.

    After picking up just a single hit in the first game, the Miracle added eight in the second game, with a pair from Chris Paul, including the game winner, and three from Alex Real (3-3, with a double and 2 RBI).

    Felix Jorge pitched a complete game (seven innings) for the Miracle, saving the bullpen after the short start in Game 1, giving up seven hits, three runs (two earned) while walking no one and striking out four. He also gave up a home run. Jorge has a 1.83 ERA on the year to go along with a 4-3 record.

    Final: Mets 3, Miracle 4


    KERNELS KORNER
    Cedar Rapids Kernels @ Beloit Snappers
    Box Score

    It is really hard to have nine hits and score just one run, while outhitting an opponent that scored seven runs on just eight hits, but the Kernels managed to do just that.

    LaMonte Wade remained hot with a 2-4 night, and A.J. Murray had a nice little night as well, going 2-4, including a double and a strike out. Jermaine Palacios was 3-4 out of the 8-hole with a double and a strike out, raising his average to .205.

    Kernels' starter Dereck Rodriguez gave up all seven Snappers runs over the first four innings, givng up up seven hits, a walk, and a home run while striking out just two. After four, D-Rod was lifted for Anthony McIver who went 2.0 innings and gave up just a single hit while striking out three. Sam Gibbons and Michael Theofanopoulos each pitched a scoreless inning to finish the game. Theofanopoulos now sports a nifty little 1.73 ERA.

    Final: Kernels 1, Snappers 7

    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Hitter of the Day - Daniel Palka - Chattanooga Lookouts
    Pitcher of the Day - Felix Jorge - Fort Myers Miracle

    FRIDAY'S PROBABLES

    Rochester @ Louisville Bats (6:05pm) - Andrew Albers (3-1, 3.93) vs. Cody Reed
    Chattanooga @ Birmingham Braves (7:05pm) - Aaron Slegers (2-4, 4.08) vs. David Holmberg
    Daytona Flyers @ Fort Myers (6:05pm) - Tejay Antone vs. Randy Rosario (2-4, 3.53)
    Peoria Chiefs @ Cedar Rapids (6:35pm) - TBD vs. Miles Nordgren (2-1, 2.58)

    Please ask questions and discuss the Thursday games.

    -ERolf

    • Jun 03 2016 04:56 AM
    • by Eric R Pleiss
  21. Twins Minor League Report (5/21): Walker Powers Wings

    For much more on what happened on Saturday in the Twins farm system, please continue.

    TRANSACTIONS
    It is a rare occasion, but there were no transactions.


    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 12, Durham 2
    Box Score

    Hitting a home run is always a pretty cool thing. Hitting a second home run in a game is even cooler. It is pretty rare for a player to hit three home runs in a game. On Saturday night, Adam Brett Walker homered in his first three at bats and drove in five runs. He now has nine home runs on the season and five homers in his last 11 at bats.





    The Red Wings scored 12 runs on 13 hits in the game and also added six walks. Byron Buxton returned to the lineup. In his first at-bat, he singled, stole a base and scored on a Max Kepler single. Buxton went 2-5 with a walk in his return. He also stole two bases. Wilfredo Tovar went 2-4 with a walk. Tommy FIeld pinch hit late and hit a bases-clearing double. Eddie Rosario went 1-5 and is hitting .154 through three games with the Red Wings.

    Jose Berrios made his return to the Red Wings after a month in the big leagues. The control issues that have haunted him all year returned. After a long first inning, he somehow managed to complete five innings. He gave up just one run on three hits, but he walked five and struck out eight. While his season ERA is still just 1.23 with the Wings, he clearly has room for improvement.

    Alex Wimmers gave up one run on two hits over the next two innings. He struck out three. Dan Runzler walked one and struck out three in his inning. Marcus Walden struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth.


    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 2, Jackson 5
    Box Score

    David Hurlbut was terrific through six shutout innings. However, the seventh began with back-to-back doubles. An error led to a big inning. In total, he gave up four runs (one earned) on 10 hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out four. Luke Westphal came in and allowed two of Hurlbut’s runners to score and gave up another run on three hits in the seventh inning. Mason Melotakis gave up a hit and walked one in a scoreless eighth inning.

    The Lookouts managed six hits and walked four times, but they were unable to put together a big inning. Travis Harrison went 2-4 and drove in a run. Dalton Hicks was 1-3 with a walk.


    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Ft. Myers 9, Tampa 8
    Box Score

    The Miracle came to bat in the bottom of the ninth down 8-5. A two-run single from Edgar Corcino got them closer. Chad Christensen then scored on an infield single from Kevin Garcia. With a runner at third, Logan Wade came to the plate and singled in the game-winning run for the Miracle win.

    Stephen Gonsalves made another start and this one wasn’t as good as his previous starts. He gave up four runs on four hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out five. Yorman Landa came on and gave up three unearned runs on four hits and a walk over 1.2 innings. He struck out two. Brandon Peterson came in and worked the final 2.1 innings. He gave up a run on three hits. He struck out two.

    Eduardo Escobar made his second start on his rehab assignment. He went 3-5 with a double and is now 4-8 in two games. Escobar played shortstop again. On Friday night, Nick Gordon DHd. On Saturday, Gordon got an opportunity to start at third base. He did have one error in the game.

    Chris Paul went 3-5 with his second triple. Alex Real went 2-4 with a walk and his fifth home run, a three-run shot. Logan Wade was 2-5 with a walk. Brian Navarreto went 2-4 with his second double. Max Murphy was 2-5.


    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 10
    Box Score

    A quick look at Dereck Rodriguez’s final pitching line is not really indicative of how well he pitched most of the outing. Overall, he went 5.1 innings and gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits. He walked two and struck out six. However, it’s important to note that through five innings, he had only thrown 61 pitches and no base runners had reached third base.

    Williams Ramirez came on and got the next five outs. He walked two, but he limited the damage. CK Irby came on for the 8th inning and gave up three runs on three hits and a walk. Sam Gibbons worked the ninth and gave up one run on three hits. He struck out three.

    Sean MIller led the offense by going 4-4 with his fourth Kernels double. LaMonte Wade was tremendous again, reaching base four times in five plate appearances. He had two singles and walked twice.


    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Marcus Walden, Rochester Red Wings
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Adam Brett Walker, Rochester Red Wings


    SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Rochester @ Durham (4:05 CST) - LHP Tommy Milone
    Chattanooga @ Jackson (2:05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers
    Tampa @ Ft. Myers (3:05 CST) – RHP Kyle Gibson
    Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 CST) – RHP Miles Nordgren

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

    • May 22 2016 05:57 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  22. Twins Daily Minor League Report (4/21): Berrios Dominates And Jay Lights Up Radar

    Transaction Report: The Chattanooga Lookouts activated shortstop Engelb Vielma from the disabled list and to make room for him on the roster catcher Carlos Paulino was promoted to the Rochester Red Wings.

    Continue reading to find out more details about Thursday in the Twins farm system:

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Pawtucket Paw Sox @ Rochester
    Box Score

    Jose Berrios had his best start of the season and helped the Red Wings snap a five-game losing streak. Berrios pitched 7.0 innings, gave up just two hits, walked only one and struck out seven. Berrios' ERA on the year is now just 1.06. Pitching like this, it cannot be much longer before Twins fans see Berrios in the big leagues. Berrios was finished after the seventh and Brandon Kintzler pitched 1.1 innings of shutout ball before handing things over to Taylor Rogers to finish off the game and preserve the shutout. Neither Kintzler or Rogers struck out a batter, nor walked one.

    The Red Wings only needed one run with the way the pitching staff shut down the Paw Sox, but the Wings put up five runs (three earned), for good measure. The Red Wings used a fairly balanced attack as every hitter had either or a hit or a walk, and seven of the nine hitters had either a run scored or an RBI. Kennys Vargas , who was 1-4 on the night with an RBI and a strikeout, hit a double. Vargas has a 16/4 strikeout-to-walk ratio right now, and is hitting just .184 with four extra-base hits all year, all doubles. John Hicks was 2-3 and scored a run on a solo home run. And Heiker Meneses was 1-4 with four strike outs but also recorded a triple.

    Final: Paw Sox 0, Red Wings 5


    LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN
    Chattanooga @ Mississippi Braves
    Box Score

    Not to be totally outdone by Jose Berrios and Tyler Jay, Ryan Eades had a nice evening on Thursday night as well. Eades pitched five innings of one-run ball, struck out five, and gave up just four hits and one run. Despite giving up the one run, Eades was tagged with the loss as the Lookouts' bats were unable to make sense of Braves starter Brandon Barker. After Eades left the game down 1-0, Reliever Brett Lee gave up three runs in the sixth to put Chattanooga in a 4-0 hole with just nine outs left to play with. Brandon Peterson pitched the final two innings for the Lookouts, striking out one and facing the minimum in both the seventh and eighth innings.

    Two Lookouts hitters had multi-hit nights, Daniel Palka who was 2-3 with a walk, and Levi Michael, 2-3 with run scored. The freshly activated Engelb Vielma was 0-4 hitting in the ninth spot. None of the Lookouts seven hits were for extra bases and they managed just three walks against eleven strikeouts.

    Final: Lookouts 2, Braves 4

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Jupiter Hammerheads @ Fort Myers
    Box Score

    Despite throwing gas deep in his start against the Hammerheads, the Miracle's Tyler Jay's first inning sunk Fort Myers on Thursday night, losing the series in the process. Jay was tagged for three runs in the top of the first after a walk to the leadoff hitter and three straight singles to begin the game. Tyler Jay finished the game with 5.0 innings pitched, giving up five hits, three runs, three walks and he struck out six. Raul Fernandez pitched 2.0 innings of scoreless relief before turning things over to Luke Bard for the eighth, striking out two of the three hitters he faced. Todd Van Steensel pitched the ninth and gave up a leadoff walk and eventually balked in a run.

    The Miracle actually outhit the Hammerheads 9-7, but were just 1-9 with runners in scoring position, leaving nine men on base. Chris Paul was 3-5 with two doubles and an RBI to lead the Miracle attack. Trey Vavra, 2-4 with a run scored, was the only other Miracle hitter with multiple hits.

    Final: Hammerheads 4, Miracle 2


    KERNELS KORNER
    Cedar Rapids @ Clinton LumberKings

    Postponed due to rain, the game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Saturday.


    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Hitter of the Day - Chris Paul - Fort Myers Miracle
    Pitcher of the Day - Jose Berrios - Rochester Red Wings

    FRIDAY'S PROBABLES

    Buffalo @ Rochester (5:35pm, MiLB.tv) - Chris Leroux vs. Logan Darnell (0-2, 6.17)

    Birmingham @ Chattanooga (6:15pm) - Tyler Danish vs. Jason Wheeler (0-1, 2.65)

    Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:05pm) - Brent Honeywell vs. Keaton Steele (0-1, 2.53)

    Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:30pm) - Sam Gibbons (1-1, 4.66) vs. Nick Wells


    Please ask questions and discuss the Thursday games.

    -ERolf

    • Apr 21 2016 09:51 PM
    • by Eric R Pleiss
  23. Twins Minor League Report (4/7/16): Opening Night

    Any feedback would be welcomed. What are the key things you'd like to see from these reports? What's included that's good, and what more would you like to read?

    TRANSACTIONS
    There were several pre-Opening Night transactions to get rosters where they needed to be.

    • Rochester placed Infielder Stephen Wickens on the DL.
    • Chattanooga placed pitchers Nick Burdi, DJ Baxendale and Jason Adam on the DL. Also hitters Niko Goodrum, Shannon Wilkerson and Jairo Rodriguez were placed on the DL. (UPDATE - Despite the milb.com site showing DJ Baxendale placed on the DL, he was not.)
    • For the Miracle, Aderlin Mejia and Alex Muren were placed on the DL.
    • Cedar Rapids placed Michael Cederoth, Cam Booser, Lewis Thorpe and Fernando Romero on the DL.

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester 1, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 0 (SUSPENDED)
    Box Score

    This game was delayed a the start for over an hour, but they were able to get it started. They completed four innings before the rains came down again. Following a delay, the decision was made to suspend the game. It will start on Friday at 4:05 (Central Time) and they will complete this game. It will then be followed by a 7-inning game.

    Tyler Duffey started and gave up no runs over four innings. He gave up two hits, walked two and struck out three. 40 of his 56 pitchers were strikes. Jorge Polanco was 2-2 including a first-inning triple. Kepler drove him in with a ground out to second base. In Kepler’s second at-bat, he singled to left field, his first AAA hit.


    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
    Chattanooga 0, Biloxi 4
    Box Score

    The last time the Lookouts played Biloxi, they were celebrating their Southern League championship. Jason Wheeler was named the series MVP. Wheeler was on the mound in this game as well. The tall left-hander gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits. He walked one and struck out five. Three of the runs scored in the first inning. He was replaced by Marcus Walden who struck out two over two scoreless innings. Alex Wimmers pitched a scoreless ninth frame.

    The Lookouts offense emulated the Twins offense in their opening series against the Orioles. They managed just three hits in being shut out and struck out 11 times. Stuart Turner gave the Lookouts their first hit, a double, in the second inning. Travis Harrison walked twice.

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    Ft. Myers 1, Bradenton 3
    Box Score

    It’s not how you start, but how you finish that matters. In this game, Miracle Opening Night starter Stephen Gonsalves finished very strong, but it was the first inning that proved to matter most in the end result of this game. The southpaw from San Diego struggled early. In the first inning, he gave up two singles before allowing a three-run homer to Jordan Luplow. He was terrific after that. He gave up nothing over the final five innings and ended with a quality start. He went six innings and gave up just the three runs on six hits. He walked none and struck out six in the loss.

    The Miracle brought on some power arms after Gonsalves to finish out the game. Brian Gilbert gave up a hit and walked one in a scoreless seventh. He was hitting 94-95. Then Luke Bard pitched the 8th. It was his first appearance in a Miracle uniform since one inning in 2013. He was perfect and struck one out. He sat 94-95 and hit 97 once. Raul Fernandez came on for the ninth. He was a member of the 40 man rosters of the Rockies and White Sox the last two seasons. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning, much thanks to Tanner English who made an incredible running catch deep in the left-center field gap. Fernandez consistently hit 96 and threw a mid-80s slider.

    The Miracle were unable to get much offense going all game. Four of their five hits were from the bats of players in their first Florida State League game. Nick Gordon, Trey Vavra, Edgar Corcino and Tanner English each had one hit. English added two walks and stole his first base of the year. (English led the Twins minor leagues in 2015 with 37 stolen bases and was named the top defensive outfielder in the system.) Trey Vavra went 1-3 with a walk.

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 12, Quad Cities 4
    Box Score

    The Kernels hosted Quad Cities for Opening Night in Cedar Rapids. The River Bandits second and third hitters were 2015 first-round picks Kyle Tucker and Daz Cameron. On this night however, the Kernels dominated the game.

    Randy LeBlanc started. The righty from Tulane went the first five innings. He gave up one run on three hits. He walked two, hit one and struck out two. Michael Theofanopoulos walked two and struck out one in the sixth inning. Zack Tillery gave up one run on one hit and two walks over the next two innings. He struck out two. Kuo Hua Lo threw the ninth inning, and it didn’t go well for him. The 2015 Appy League reliever of the year struggled with his control. On the inning, he gave up two runs on four hits and a walk.

    The Kernels scored runs often, but a six-run eighth inning put this game well out of reach. Chris Paul led the offense. He went 3-4 with a walk and a bases-clearing triple in the eighth frame. AJ Murray had two hits including his first home run. Jermaine Palacios had two hits. Zander Wiel and LaMonte Wade each had two hits and a walk. Eight of the nine starters for the Kernels had at least one hit. Rafael Valera was the only one without a hit, and he walked twice.

    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Randy LeBlanc, Cedar Rapids Kernels
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Chris Paul, Cedar Rapids Kernels

    FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Rochester @ Norfolk (4:05 CST) – LHP Pat Dean will start the full game. TBD on the resumption of the suspended game.
    Chattanooga @ Mobile (7:05 CST) – RHP DJ Baxendale
    Bradenton @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) – RHP Kohl Stewart
    Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) – RHP Andro Cutura
    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games.

    • Apr 08 2016 10:24 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  24. Twins Minor League Report (9/10): Kepler Burns Biscuits, Paul Robs Bandits

    Lookouts Look-In
    Game 1: Montgomery Biscuits @ Chattanooga Lookouts
    Jamie Schultz vs. D.J. Baxendale
    Final: Biscuits 3, Lookouts 4
    Box Score

    In the first game of the best-of-five series the Lookouts secured the victory on a walk-off single from Southern League MVP, Max Kepler. With two on and two out, Kepler hit a line drive single to right scoring a pair of runs and earning the Lookouts the victory.

    In front of a home crowd of 1,279 at AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tennessee, D.J. Baxendale gave the Lookout fans seven and two-thirds innings of hope. Baxendale gave up a pair of early runs in the second, and another in the sixth but pitched into the eighth inning before being lifted after 101 pitches. Baxendale gave up seven hits and three runs all earned. He walked none and struck out four. Baxendale was lifted for Nick Burdi, who struck out three in an inning and a third of work. He had to get four outs in the top of the ninth after a dropped strike three and an errant throw to first base from Stuart Turner. Leadoff man Shannon Wilkerson and cleanup hitter Travis Harrison were both held hitless, as were D.J. Hicks, Adam Brett Walker, Stephen Wickens and Stuart Turner.

    The Lookouts offense generated only five hits, but managed to earn NINE free passes from the Biscuits pitching staff, leaving the Lookouts with plenty of chances to score. Jorge Polanco was 2-4 plus a walk with a run scored. Max Kepler's ninth inning hit was his only one of the game, capping a 1-4 night that include a walk and a pair of strikeouts.

    The Lookouts are back on the diamond Friday night in Chattanooga for Game 2. The series then heads to Montgomery for the conclusion of the five-game series.

    Kernels Korner
    Game 2: Cedar Rapids Kernels @ Quad Cities River Bandits
    Sam Gibbons vs. Brock Dykxhoorn
    Final: Kernels 3, River Bandits 1
    Box Score

    The Cedar Rapids Kernels have advanced to the Midwest League semifinals with a 3 to 1 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits on Thursday night in front of 1,555 fans at Modern Woodmen Park. The Quad Cities River Bandits had the best winning percentage of all full-season teams in minor league baseball prior to being swept out of the postseason by the Kernels.

    Sam Gibbons gave the Kernels everything he had on Thursday night, pitching eight innings of four-hit, one-run baseball. He struck out four and walked none. Yorman Landa pitched two scoreless innings, struck out three, walked none and gave up just a single. Nick Anderson came in to pitch the bottom of the eleventh and shut down the River Bandits to lock up the game and series victory for the Kernels.

    The Kernels went ahead 3-1 in the top of the eleventh inning on a bizarre series of plays, culminating with a Chris Paul single that plated T.J. White and LaMonte Wade. After a T.J. White walk to start the inning, LaMonte Wade dropped down a sac bunt right in front of home plate but the River Bandits' catcher Garrett Stubbs thought he had a chance to nab White at second. But his throw was late and low and bounced into center field. White advanced to third on the throwing error and then Wade advanced to second after the throw to third got by the Bandits, putting runners at second and third for Chris Paul.

    The game-winning hit capped a big night at the plate for Chris Paul. He was 3-4 with all three Kernels RBIs, plus a walk. No other Kernels hitter had multiple hits. Edgar Corcino, who had a chance to win the game for the Kernels in the tenth with two on and two out, struck out for the fourth time in five attempts on the evening, a frustrating 0-5 night for Corcino.

    The Kernels will travel to Peoria, Illinois to take on the Peoria Chiefs in the semi-finals. That series begins on Saturday night.

    TwinsDaily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Chris Paul - Cedar Rapids Kernels
    TwinsDaily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Sam Gibbons Cedar Rapids Kernels

    Friday's Probables
    Montgomery Biscuits @ Chattanooga Lookouts - Jacob Faria vs. Jason Wheeler

    • Sep 11 2015 07:04 AM
    • by Eric R Pleiss
  25. Twins Minor League Report(8/3): Affiliates Swept!

    RED WINGS REPORT
    Rochester Red Wings @ Gwinnett Braves
    Box Score

    The Red Wings struck first, a solo home run in the second inning off the bat of Xavier Avery, to put the Rochester up 1-0. Unfortunately, Rochester had just four other hits the rest of the way. James Beresford, Danny Ortiz, Argenis Diaz and Chris Herrmann had the rest of the hits. Danny Ortiz was the only Red Wings player other than Avery to have an extra-base hit, a double. Danny Santana and Oswaldo Arcia were both 0-4, but neither dude struck out. What are the odds?!

    Jose Berrios pitched seven innings of three-run baseball. He gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out four. Unfortunately he also gave up a pair of long balls, a solo shot in the fourth and a two-run dinger in the sixth, both with two outs. Berrios was replaced by A.J. Achter, who pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, including a strike out.

    Final: Red Wings 1, Braves 3

    LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN
    Chattanooga Lookouts @ Jackson Generals
    Box Score

    The Lookouts had OWNED the Generals this year, holding a 10-1 record against Jackson going into the Monday evening contest. It seemed like the Lookouts would bring that winning attitude again on Monday night, scoring a run in the top of the first on a Jorge Polanco solo home run, but that was the last run the Lookouts scored on Monday, and they recorded just five hits on the evening. No Lookout hitter had multiple hits, though both D.J. Hicks and Stephen Wickens reached safely twice, both 1-3 with a walk. Kennys Vargas was 0-4 with three strikeouts. The big fella is hitting just .232 at AA, but he's still walking a fair amount so his OBP is still north of .350. He has 28 strikeouts in 28 games, which doesn't seem like nearly enough, but he did have a nice stretch of games in the middle of July where he went four games in a row without any whiffs.

    On the mound the Lookouts received a nice performance from D.J. Baxendale (pictured above) who was saddled with a tough luck loss to fall to 4-3. Baxendale pitched seven innings and gave up just four hits and two runs. He walked one and struck out two. He threw just 85 pitches and set down the side in order in the seventh, but was not given a chance to pitch any deeper into the game. J.T. Chargois pitched a clean eighth inning in relief, recording three straight ground balls.

    Final: Lookouts 1, Generals 2

    MIRACLE MATTERS
    SCHEDULED OFF DAY

    KERNELS KORNER
    SCHEDULED OFF DAY

    E-TWINS E-NOTES
    Elizabethton Twins @ Johnson City Cardinals
    Box Score

    Down 9-3 in the top of the eighth inning, the E-Town Twins put up a five spot to crawl within one run, but could not score the tying run in the ninth and fell to 19-21 on the season. Leadoff hitter Jermain Palacios was 2-5 with a pair of doubles and a pair of RBIs and still could not claim to have had the best night for the Twins. That honor goes to cleanup hitter Chris Paul, who was 2-5 with a double, a home run (of the two-run variety) and FOUR RBIs. A.J. Murray (2-5), and Brad Hartong (2-4) also had multi-hit nights for the Twins.

    Twins starter Miles Nordgren gave up three runs on eight hits over five innings before giving way to Nate Gercken. Gercken gave up six runs, all earned, in two innings, including a pair of Cardinals home runs. Kuo Hua Lo pitched the eighth, facing the minimum and picking up a strikeout to boot.

    Final: Twins 8, Cardinals 9

    GCL Twins
    GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles
    POSTPONED DUE TO RAIN

    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Hitter of the Day - Chris Paul, Elizabethton Twins
    Pitcher of the Day - D.J. Baxendale, Chattanooga Lookouts

    FRIDAY'S PROBABLES

    Rochester @ Gwinnett - Michael Bowden (7-3, 2.27) vs. Sugar Ray Marimon

    Chattanooga @ Jackson - Jason Wheeler (2-2, 3.38) vs. TBD

    St. Lucie @ Fort Myers - TBD vs. TBD (Chih-Wei Hu's rotation spot)

    Dayton @ Cedar Rapids - Tejay Antone vs. Keaton Steele (2-3, 3.88)

    Elizabethton @ Johnson City - Andro Cutura (2-1, 1.03) vs. Ramon Santos

    Gulf Coast @ Orioles (Double Header) - TBD vs. TBD, TBD vs. TBD

    • Aug 03 2015 10:13 PM
    • by Eric R Pleiss