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  1. Part 4: Seth's Midseason Top 40 Twins Prospects (11-15)

    This group of prospects is a little more experienced than most you’ll find. Four of these five players are at least in AA, with three of them spending most of this season in AAA, one step away from the big leagues. So grab some coffee and check out who is in this section.

    15. Jermaine Palacios, SS, 20
    While he has cooled off from his torrid April in which he was the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month, Palacios has reclaimed his place as a top prospect in the organization. The Twins signed Palacios out of Venezuela in September of 2013. He burst on the scene in 2015 when he hit .421 in the GCL and .336 in Elizabethton as an 18-year-old. Last year, he went to Cedar Rapids and really struggled. Whether it was the adjustment to a full season or the weather in the Midwest League, Palacios hit just .222/.276/.287 (.564) in 71 games before being hit by a pitch ended his season. He is healthy and he returned to Iowa where he has put up strong numbers offensively while also playing a very solid defensive shortstop.

    Preseason Ranking: 32
    Pre-2016 Ranking: 21

    14. Zack Granite, OF, 24
    It’s been an interesting year for Zack Granite. Consider he began the 2016 season in Chattanooga in large part due to an injury to Shannon Wilkerson. But, given that opportunity, he took off and had a terrific season, one commemorated by the Twins with their Minor League Player of the Year award. He hit .295/.347/.382 (.729) with 18 doubles, eight triples and four home runs. He also collected 56 stolen bases. The Twins 14th-round pick in 2013 out of Seton Hall, he was added to the Twins 40-man roster after last season. He made a great impression on teammates and his future manager during spring training. Unfortunately, he missed a little more than a month because of an oblique injury, but after a short rehab stint with the Miracle, he moved up to Rochester. He has hit .247 in his first 21 games since his return to the Red Wings. He has already stolen seven bases in AAA.

    Preseason Ranking: 25

    13. Mitch Garver, C, 26
    Since the Twins made him their ninth-round pick in 2013 after four years at the University of New Mexico, Garver has been a very good hitter. He was the Twins Daily choice for Minor League Hitter of the Year after a strong 2014 season in Cedar Rapids. He moved up to Ft. Myers in 2015. Last year he was a Southern League All- Star for the Lookouts in the first half, and he finished the season by hitting .329/.381/.434 (.815) in 22 games for the Red Wings. He was added to the Twins 40- man roster in the offseason and reported to his third big league spring training (first as a rostered participant). He was sent to Rochester where he had hit .256/.413/.463 (.877) with eight doubles and three homers in his first 26 games. His defense has steadily improved over the years to the point that he’s ready. Now it’s about opportunity as Jason Castro and Chris Gimenez are in the big leagues. He should see big league time in 2017.

    Preseason Ranking: 11
    Pre-2016 Ranking: 24
    Pre-2015 Ranking: 26

    12. Felix Jorge, RHP, 23
    Jorge signed with the Twins in February of 2011 out of the Dominican Republic. The Twins were able to sneak him past the Rule 5 draft following the 2015 season, but they didn’t try it again after a nice 2016 season. He started the season with Ft. Myers where he went 9-3 with a 1.55 ERA in 14 starts. He walked just 11 and struck out 77 in 93 innings. He moved up to Chattanooga where he went 3-5 with a 4.12 ERA in 11 starts. He has made nine starts this season with the Lookouts and gone 5-1 with a 3.48 ERA. Like Stewart, Jorge will need to figure out a way to miss more bats. He attacks the zone, sitting in the low-90s and touching 94 at times. He gets good movement on all of his pitches. He generally has thrown a lot of strikes. Ideally he can spend the full season at Chattanooga though a late season promotion to Rochester is possible.

    Preseason Ranking: 10
    Pre-2016 Ranking: 22
    Pre-2015 Ranking: NR
    Pre-2014 Ranking: 19

    11. Daniel Palka, OF, 25
    Palka came to the Twins from Arizona in the offseason following the 2015 season in exchange for catcher Chris Herrmann. He had a strong debut season in the Twins system and was named by Twins Daily as the Minor League Hitter of the Year. Between Chattanooga and Rochester, he hit .254/.327/.521 (.848) with 24 doubles and 34 home runs. He was added to the Twins 40-man roster in November and impressed the manager during his time in big league spring training. He is currently hitting .261/.316/.452 (.768) with six doubles and eight homers through 41 games. Unfortunately, he is now on the DL with a fractured left index finge and will be out for some time. He is another guy that we could see in 2017.

    Preseason Ranking: 15
    Pre-2016 Ranking: 25

    Starting soon, we’ll jump into the Top 10 Twins prospects. Feel free to discuss this group, your Top 10 or Top 20, and ask any questions you may have.

    • May 31 2017 04:49 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  2. Twins Acquire Jake Odorizzi From Rays For Jermaine Palacios

    One day after Twins fans were frustrated by the signing of Anibal Sanchez, the Twins have acquired a hard-throwing right-hander from the Tampa Bay Rays.

    Odorizzi went 10-8 in 2017 with a 4.14 ERA for the Rays. In his four full major league seasons, he has had ERAs between 3.35 and 4.14. After compiling a 9.3 K/9 rate in his first full season, he has averaged 8.0 K/9 exactly in his last three seasons.

    The Twins acquired a guy who will be fit well at the top of the Twins rotation with Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios.

    Tweet from Twins PR director Dustin Morse:

    The Twins gave up shortstop Jermaine Palacios. The shortstop had a return to prospect status in 2017 after a disappointing and injury-plagued 2016 season. He was just outside of the Twins Daily Top 20 prospect rankings, but was in most Top 30s.

    But the Twins have strong shortstop depth throughout the organization. Jorge Polanco is in the big leagues. Nick Gordon should spend most of 2018 in Rochester. And Royce Lewis and Wander Javier are high-ceiling prospects in the lower levels.

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    Jermaine Palacios was appreciative of the Twins and excited about this trade. Here is what he told Mariana Guzman after the deal.

    One day after the Sanchez signing frustrated Twins fans, the Derek Falvey/Thad Levine Twins pulled off what appears to be a very good trade on its surface.

    What are your thoughts?

    • Feb 17 2018 10:42 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  3. Seth's Preliminary Top 50 Twins Prospects: Part 4 (21-25)

    Previous installments of this prospect ranking:

    · Part 1 (41-50)
    · Part 2 (31-40)
    · Part 3 (26-30)

    As a quick reminder, players eligible to be on this list include players who remain eligible for Rookie of the Year voting in 2016. That is to say, hitters with less than 130 at bats and pitchers with less than 50 innings. (The list is preliminary. Following research for the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook 2016 - which Cody Christie, Jeremy Nygaard and I are working on - I’ll provide my final Top 30 prospects list.)

    Top Prospects 21-25

    #25 – Fernando Romero - 20 – RHP – Did Not Pitch

    Signed out of the Dominican in November of 2011, Romero debuted in the Dominican Summer League in 2012. In 2013, he came to the States and posted a 1.60 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 45 innings. After beginning 2014 in extended pring training, Romero came up to Cedar Rapids where he made three starts before experiencing elbow pain. Soon after, he was shut down and had Tommy John surgery. He missed the entire 2015 season, though he returned for Instructional League. He was again throwing in the mid-to-upper-90s as he had before surgery. He has a couple of different breaking pitches at varying speeds and a changeup, though they are works-in-progress. It will be interesting to see if Romero starts the season in Cedar Rapids, or it they keep him in Florida until the weather warms up.

    Previous Top 30 Rankings: 2015 (25), 2014 (28)

    #24 – Jermaine Palacios - 19 – SS – GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins

    It seems like every minor league season, there is a player or two who jumps from relative obscurity in the lower levels of the minors to an intriguing prospect that people are talking about. Jermaine Palacios fits that category. Signed by the Twins in 2013, he spent the 2014 season in the Dominican Summer League. He came to the States for spring training and began his season in the GCL. In 26 games, he hit a robust .421/.472/.589 (1.061) with nine doubles, two triples and a homer. He was promoted to Elizabethton where he hit .336/.345/.507 (.852) with 14 doubles, two triples and two home runs in 31 games. Palacios can play all three infield positions though he primarily played shortstop in 2015. After having just four errors in 202 innings at shortstop in the GCL, he had 16 errors in 263 innings at Elizabethton. He’s got a lot of developing to do, but he will go into 2016 – likely heading to Cedar Rapids – as one of the more intriguing prospects to watch.

    Previous Top 30 Rankings: N/A

    #23 – Jake Reed - 23 – RHP – Chattanooga Lookouts/Ft. Myers Miracle

    Reed, the Twins fifth-round pick in 2014 out of the University of Oregon, set the expectation bar really high after his debut season of professional baseball. After signing, he posted a 3-0 record with a 0.29 ERA (1 earned run) in 31 innings. He gave up just 11 hits and three walks while striking out 39 batters. He went to the Arizona Fall League where he was again very good. In 2015, he skipped Ft. Myers entirely, starting the season in AA Chattanooga. However, he really struggled and a week into August, he had a 5.56 ERA and a WHIP of 1.54. He was sent down to Ft. Myers for a month and gave up no earned runs in 12.1 innings. He returned to the Lookouts for a couple of games and their playoff run. Blessed with a mid-90s fastball and a bunch of movement on this pitches, Reed can use the 2015 season as a learning opportunity that will hopefully take him to the next level. He will likely return to Chattanooga to start the 2016 season.

    Previous Top 30 Rankings: 2015 (18)

    #22 – Sam Gibbons – 21 – RHP – Cedar Rapids Kernels

    Signed in 2011 out of Australia, Gibbons went 4-1 with a 2.29 ERA as an 18-year-old in 2012. For some reason, he returned to the GCL in 2013 and went 3-3 with a 1.91 ERA. He moved up to Elizabethton in 2014 and was 4-5 with a 3.88 ERA. After beginning the 2015 in extended spring training, he moved up to Cedar Rapids at the end of May. In his first six starts, he was 3-2 but posted a 5.34 ERA. Then in his final nine starts, he was 4-2 with a 1.54 ERA. The keys were that he dropped his walk rate by nearly a walk per nine innings and increased his strikeouts by about 1.5 per nine innings. He has very good mechanics and touches 93 with his fastball. He also has a curve ball and a changeup.

    Previous Top 30 Rankings: N/A

    #21 – Lewin Diaz – 18 – 1B – GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins

    Diaz was the Twins' big international signing in July of 2013. He stands 6-3 and is often compared to David Ortiz. He had been an outfielder, but the Twins immediately moved him to first base. He is big and very powerful with the potential to hit a lot of home runs. He spent the 2014 season in the Dominican Summer League and hit .257/.385/.451 (.836) with 13 doubles and five homers. Though he didn’t come to the States for spring training, he did arrive for extended spring training. He began with 33 games in the GCL where he hit .261/.354/.369 (.724) with seven doubles, a triple and a home run. He was promoted to the Elizabethton Twins for their final 14 games. He hit just .167 but three of his eight hits left the park. Diaz is a candidate to start the season in Cedar Rapids, though it’s also very possible that he will report to extended spring training.

    Previous Top 30 Rankings: N/A

    So, what do you think of Part 4, Prospects 21-25? We'll be back tomorrow with Part 5.

    • Oct 21 2015 07:03 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  4. Part 5: Seth's Updated Top 50 Twins Prospects (16-20)

    We begin a review of our Top 20 Minnesota Twins prospects with prospects 16-20. Below you’ll find five more intriguing prospects with big potential.

    #20 SS Jermaine Palacios

    After a disappointing 2016, his debut with a full-season league in Cedar Rapids, Palacios returned in 2017 and put himself in position to move up prospect lists again. He returned to the Kernels where he .320/.362/.544 (.907) with 13 doubles, six triples and a surprising 11 home runs in 62 games. He earned a mid-season promotion to Ft. Myers and hit .269/.303/.359 (.662) with eight doubles, four triples and two homers in 62 games. Palacios signed with the Twins after the 2013 season so he doesn’t need to be added to the Twins 40-man roster until after the 2018 season. He turned 21 in July. He should spend most of the 2018 season with the Miracle.

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    #19 2B Jose Miranda

    Miranda was the first of two consecutive compensatory following the second round of the 2016 draft. He is a 19-year-old drafted out of the Leadership Christian Academy in Puerto Rico. He spent 2016 in the Gulf Coast League. In 2017, he made the move across the diamond to second base though many still believe that he could eventually move over to third place. With the E-Twins, he hit .283/.340/.484 (.824) with eight doubles, two triples and 11 home runs in 54 games. Miranda is a good athlete with room to grow and continue to add power.

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    #18 RHP Felix Jorge

    In 2017, Felix Jorge received the call every ballplayer dreams of, the call to the big leagues. On July 1st, he made his MLB debut. Through five innings, he gave up two runs. He gave up a single to lead off the 6th inning and was replaced by Buddy Boshers who gave up a two-run homer to Eric Hosmer. So, three runs in five innings in his debut was pretty good. He made a second start that didn’t go quite as well. The 23-year-old went back to Chattanooga and later ended the regular season with a promotion to AAA. In Chattanooga, he went 10-3 with a 3.54 ERA. He made three starts in AAA which is where he’ll begin the 2017 season. He was added to the 40-man roster a year ago, so he has used one option year.

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    #17 2B/3B Travis Blankenhorn

    Blankenhorn was the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. A year ago, he began the season in extended spring training before posting a .900 OPS in 34 games in Elizabethton. That earned him a promotion to Cedar Rapids where he spent the final 25 games and playoffs. He spent the full 2017 season with the Kernels and hit .251/.343/.441 (.784) with 22 doubles, 11 triples and 13 home runs. He also stole 13 bases, including home twice. He just turned 21 in August, and he doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2019 season. He played third base the first half of the season and then moved over to second base in the second half. He could see time in the outfield too.

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    #16 RHP John Curtiss

    Curtiss needed to be added to the Twins 40-man roster before Monday (Nov 20). Instead of wondering for the next few days, the Twins called him up in late August to work out of their bullpen over the final month. Curtiss was the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. He began the season at AA Chattanooga where he didn’t give up an earned run until June 13th. A week later, he was pitching in AAA Rochester. Overall in 49.1 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 68 before getting The Call. The Twins sixth-round pick in 2014. He struggled some in the big leagues, but the 24-year-old showed his repertoire which includes a mid-90s fastball and a potentially great breaking ball. He’ll likely start next season in Rochester, though he will compete for a spot in the big leagues from day one.

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    So there are my choices for Twins prospects 16-20. Just three more parts coming next week and we’ll reach #1. Feel free to discuss these players, ask questions and start contemplating the Top 15.

    Part 1: Prospects 41-50
    Part 2: Prospects 31-40
    Part 3: Prospects 26-30
    Part 4: Prospects 21-25

    • Nov 16 2017 06:45 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  5. Twins 2015 Minor League Short-Season Hitter of the Year - Jermaine Palacios

    Palacios hits so well, having his eyes open is only a recommendation.

    Honorable Mention:

    • Manuel Guzman, Elizabethton Twins: 49-178, .275/.377/.337 (.714), 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 14, RBI, 19-23 SB.
    • Brian Olson, GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins: 32-106, .302/.414/.415 (.829), 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI.
    • Chris Paul, Elizabethton Twins/Cedar Rapids Kernels: 37-131, .282/.343/.443 (.785), 10 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 2-2 SB .
    • Lewis Diaz, GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins: 37-159, .233/.322/.371 (.693), 8 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 2-2 SB.
    Short-Season Hitter of the Year

    Here are the top five places (seven vote-getters) for Twins Minor League Short-Season Hitter of the Year.

    #5 (tie)– Luis Arraez, GCL Twins: 64-207, .309/.377/.391 (.768), 15 2B, 1 3B, 19 RBI, 8-16 SB.

    Arraez, a second baseman, came from Venezuela. After spending the summer of 2014 in the DSL, Arraez made his US debut this season. Arraez got off to a hot start in the short month of June (.333/.407/.458) before having two very similar months in July (.306/.368/.365) and August (.306/.376/.398). The lefty had a higher batting average against RHPs (.311 to .302), but had very similar splits overall (.377 OBP vs RHP; .375 OBP vs LHP; .395 SLG vs LHP; .390 SLG vs RHP).

    Travis Blankenhorn, GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins: 47-193, .244/.321/.347 (.668), 7 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 3-3 SB.

    This year’s 3rd rounder made his debut in the GCL before earning a promotion to the Appalachian League in Mid-July. Blankenhorn struggled both in the GCL in June and in Elizabethton in August, but sandwiched a very nice July in between. In seven games before his promotion in the GCL, Blankenhorn batted .286/.375/.429 (.804) and then continued hitting in Elizabethton, slashing .321/.387/.482 (.869) in 16 games there.

    A.J. Murray, Elizabethton Twins: 42-159, .264/.366/.409 (.774), 11 2B, 4 HR, 0-1 CS.

    The Twins were very happy to pop Murray in the 14th round out of Georgia Tech in this past June’s draft. He hit his first professional home run in only his second game on June 25. He hit two more in early July before cooling off, hitting only one more before the end of the season. Murray had reverse splits, faring much better against same-sided (right-handed) pitchers, slashing .288/.397/.424 (.821) and struggling against lefties (.195/.267/.366, {.633})

    #4 – Christian Cavaness, GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins: 21-65, .323/.421/.538 (.960), 6 2B, 4 3B, 10 RBI, 6-9 SB.

    Cavaness joined the organization as an undrafted free agent, which is unique in that Cavaness had eligibility left. He joined the GCL Twins on the last day of July. After a three-hit game on August 14, Cavaness was enjoying the best stat line he’d have all year: .441/.537/.794 (1.331). Despite cooling off, Cavaness definitely put himself in a position to make prospect-watchers take note.

    #3 – Daniel Kihle, Elizabethton Twins: 39-143, .273/.404/.392 (.796), 7 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 5-6 SB.

    Kihle spent all season as a regular in E-town’s outfield and his presence in the lineup was much needed. After joining the organization as an 18th-round pick in the most recent draft from Wichita State, the former Shocker put up impressive numbers including an OBP of .478 in 16 July games and an OPS over .800 in August (.806).

    #2 – LaMonte Wade, Elizabethton Twins/Cedar Rapids Kernels: 74-245, .302/.418/.486 (.904), 8 2B, 5 3B, 9 HR, 45 RBI, 12-13 SB.

    Wade, who was coming off a broken hamate bone suffered early this spring while at Maryland, hit the ground running as a professional. The lefty hit right-handed pitchers as well as you’d hope, slashing .289/.395/.489 (.884) in 229 at-bats. What’s even more encouraging is that in his 77 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers, Wade put up a .345/.493/.473 (.966) line. All told in the regular season Wade also walked 47 times while only striking out 36 times. These are all signs that point to Wade being a pretty advanced hitter. In the inaugural Twins Draftbook, I noted that Wade had a high floor and that he’s been compared to David DeJesus. Look for frequent recognition of Wade this winter.

    Short-Season Hitter of the Year – Jermaine Palacios, GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins: 87-235, .370/.398/.540 (.938), 23 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 37 RBI, 9-13 SB.

    Nobody did more to propel himself into the prospect spotlight than short-season shortstop Jermaine Palacios. In fact, after spending only one season in the DSL, Palacios came stateside and then made a rare jump to Elizabethton after only playing 26 games in the GCL.

    The 26 games might have been more than was necessary. Palacios absolutely destroyed the GCL. He had 40 hits in 95 at-bats (.421 batting average). He walked almost as many times as he struck out (9 vs. 12) and reached base 47% percent of the time he stepped to the plate. He had 12 extra-base hits and slugged .589. His OPS was a whopping 1.061.

    Examining those numbers even more closely, Palacios started the season 1-for-19. So once the cold streak ended, Palacios batted over .500 for three weeks. This included a stretch of 17 games where Palacios had two or more hits in 14 of them. During that stretch, he went hitless once, but only struck out 5 times. What an amazing run!

    Even after the multi-hit barrage ended, Palacios continued to hit, going 4-for-13 (.308) in his final four games in the GCL. On how many occasions in pro ball do we see a guy bat .308 and have his batting average drop 13 points? I’d guess none after the first week of the season… besides Palacios.

    So how did he do after his promotion? He came out on another tear. He started his E-town career with a 12-game hitting streak. And it wasn’t a cheap streak either: Seven multi-hit games including three three-hit games and a four-hit game. He drove in 13 runs in his first six games.

    Unfortunately, the hot-streak came to an end and Palacios, who was batting .420 with an OPS nearing 1.100 on August 11, finished the year batting 50 points lower with a still-respectable OPS of .938.

    In a system that recently lacked any high-upside shortstop prospects, that system is now flooded with them: Jorge Polanco, Engelb Vielma and Nick Gordon are arguably all Top 15 prospects in the organization.

    “We’ve already got three or four guys we really believe in, and Palacios has been as impressive as the rest,” Twins VP of Player Personnel Mike Radcliff told Baseball America earlier this month.

    The Ballots

    In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers:
    • Seth Stohs – 1) LaMonte Wade, 2) Jermaine Palacios, 3) Luis Arraez, 4) Daniel Kihle, 5) Brian Olson
    • Jeremy Nygaard – 1) Jermaine Palacios, 2) LaMonte Wade, 3) Travis Blankenhorn, 4) Christian Cavaness, 5) Chris Paul
    • Cody Christie – 1) Jermaine Palacios, 2) LaMonte Wade, 3) Christian Cavaness, 4) A.J. Murray, 5) Travis Blankenhorn
    • Steve Lein – 1) Jermaine Palacios, 2) LaMonte Wade, 3) Daniel Kihle, 4) A.J. Murray, 5) Luis Arraez
    • Eric Pleiss – 1) Jermaine Palacios, 2) Daniel Kihle, 3) Jean Carlos Arias, 4) Manuel Guzman, 5) Lewin Diaz
    Feel free to discuss. How would your ballot look?

    • Sep 16 2015 06:15 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard
  6. Twins Daily Top 20 Prospect Countdown: 11-15

    Let’s get to the list.

    15. JT Chargois - RHP
    Age: 25
    2015 Stats (Hi-A/AA): 48.0 IP, 2-1, 15 Saves, 2.62 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 53/25 K/BB
    ETA: 2016

    Chargois (pronounced Shag-waa) was the Twins second-round pick in the 2012 draft out of Rice University. In college, he played first base, DH and was the Owl’s co-closer with current Twins starter Tyler Duffey. He worked 16 innings for Elizabethton that summer and then missed two full seasons with injury including Tommy John surgery.

    He returned to the mound in games in 2015, throwing as hard as ever. “Hard as ever,” for Chargois means frequently hitting 100 on the radar gun. He began the season with the Miracle but spent the second half of the season in Chattanooga where he was the closer for the Southern League champion Lookouts. In November, he was added to the Twins 40-man roster. Blessed with a big fastball, Chargois also throws a slurve and has a change-up. He will occasionally have trouble finding the strike zone, but often is able to work out of trouble with a strikeout. He will compete for a Twins bullpen spot in spring training. Although he is maybe a long shot to be on the Opening Day roster, we can expect to see Chargois pitching for the Twins in the 2016 season.

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    Photo: William Parmeter

    14. Jermaine Palacios - SS
    Age: 19
    2015 Stats (rookie): .370/.398/.540, 3 HR, 37 RBI, 36 R, 9/13 SB
    ETA: 2019

    Signed in July of 2013 out of Venezuela for just $70,000, Palacios was not a highly touted amateur. When he signed Palacios was long, but very thin, weighing in at just 145 pounds. He spent the 2014 season in the DSL where he hit .270/.404/.399 (.802) with 11 doubles and six triples. He had 35 walks to go with 37 strikeouts. The performance allowed him to come to the States in 2015.

    He is stronger now, though still real thin. He was supposed to spend the full short season in the GCL, but through 26 games he was hitting .421 (1.061 OPS) so he was promoted to Elizabethton. In 31 games there, he hit .336. Though he didn’t walk much, he had 18 extra base hits. He committed quite a few errors, but many believe that he can become a solid shortstop, though a move is possible. He should start the 2016 season as a 19-year-old in Cedar Rapids.

    13. Wander Javier - SS
    Age: 17
    2015 Stats: Did Not Play
    ETA: 2021

    In 2009, the Twins signed Miguel Sano, then 16 years old, to a $3.15 million bonus, their largest given to an international player. In July of 2015, the Twins broke that record by handing shortstop Wander Javier a $4 million signing bonus. While Sano was signed as a shortstop too, the general belief is that Javier will be able to stay at shortstop.

    Javier is already 6-0 and 170 pounds. He is described as a plus fielder with a plus arm from shortstop. Though he’s not big now, people talk about his great bat speed which could potentially generate very good power. But he’s very raw and hasn’t played a ton of baseball. Most likely, Javier will spend the entire 2016 season in the Dominican Summer League, but it’s possible he could surface in the GCL late in the year.

    12. Lewis Thorpe - LHP
    Age: 20
    2015 Stats: Did Not Pitch
    ETA: 2019

    Two weeks ago, Lewis Thorpe threw pitches off of a mound. For most pitchers at this time of the year not a big deal, but for Thorpe it was a big deal after having Tommy John surgery last April. His rehab program will continue into the 2016 season. However, he could return to game action by June.

    Thorpe burst onto the prospect scene in 2013 when, as a 17-year-old, he went 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA in the GCL. In 44 innings he walked six and struck out 64. The following season, he was promoted to Cedar Rapids in May and experienced some ups and downs in the Midwest League. However, he struck out 81 batters in 71.2 innings while being almost four years younger than the average player in the league.

    While it’s difficult to know with complete certainty how a player will come back after Tommy John, Thorpe says he is feeling strong and hopefully will be back to what he was. That was really good. He had a fastball that touched 94-95. He has a good curve ball, and his best pitch could be his change-up. In spite of his youth, the southpaw has a very high baseball IQ and knowledge of pitching.

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    Photo: William Parmeter

    11. Adam Brett Walker - OF
    Age: 22
    2015 Stats (AA): .239/.309/.498, 31 HR, 106 RBI, 75 R, 13/17 SB
    ETA: 2016

    The Twins invited Milwaukee native Adam Brett Walker to Target Field days before the 2012 MLB Draft. The Jacksonville University player had posted an OPS of over 1.000 in all three of his college seasons. The Twins selected him in the third round, with the 97th overall pick that year. Since then, the 6-5, 230 pound outfielder has done everything big.

    He has hit with big power. Walker has played at one level in each of the four seasons since signing. He has led that league in home runs and RBI each year. In 2013 in Cedar Rapids, his 109 RBI were one less than Dalton Hicks for most in minor league baseball. Despite his size, Walker is a good base stealer. In college, he was successful in 40 of 41 attempts. In minor league ball, he’s 36 for 45. Walker has also has increased his walk rate each season, from 5.6% to 7.9% to 9.1% in 2015.

    But obviously we have to get to the other thing that Walker does big, strikeouts. While his walk rate has gone up each season, so has his strikeout rate. He struck out 20.8% of the time in Low A. With the Miracle, he struck out 28.2% of the time. In 2014 with Chattanooga, he struck out 34.8% of the time.
    Defense and specifically throwing are also a concern for Walker. Will Walker be able to make an adjustment to cut down on the strikeouts? If so, he can be a solid power producer in the middle of a big league lineup. If not, he will struggle mightily with big league pitching. Most likely, he’ll be somewhere in between.

    • Feb 22 2016 07:41 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  7. Twins 2017 Minor League Hitter Of The Year

    Seven Twins Daily Minor League writers were asked to vote for the various awards. For the hitter of the year, we each voted for eight players. The player who was voted as #1 received eight points, #2 received seven points and so on with the #8 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below.

    Short profiles of our top nine are to follow, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. These players also received votes.

    Honorable Mention

    • Wander Javier – Elizabethton Twins – 41 games, 47-157 – .299/.383/.471 (.855) – 13 2B’s, 3B, 4 HRs, 34 R’s, 22 RBI, 4 SB. Was #4 in our Short Season Hitter of the Year rankings and displayed the plethora of tools that made him an attractive big money international signing in his first year in the states.
    • Max Murphy – Fort Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts – 130 games, 144-506 – .285/.361/.401, (.762) – 29 2B’s, 6 3B’s, 6 HRs, 80 R’s, 62 RBI, 9 SB. Played 78 games with the Miracle to start his season, slashing .307/.390/.430 before being promoted to Chattanooga for his final 52 games.
    • Daniel Palka – Rochester Red Wings – 84 games, 96-350 – .274/.329/.431 (.759) – 13 2B’s, 3 3B’s, 11 HR, 47 R’s, 42 RBI. Also played in six games with the GCL Twins while rehabbing, and had another home run in those 20 plate appearances. Missed time with an injury, otherwise he might have earned a spot on the Twins September roster.
    • Nick Gordon – Chattanooga Lookouts – 122 games, 140-519 – .270/.341/.408 (.749) – 29 2B’s, 8 3B’s, 9 HRs, 80 R’s, 66 RBI, 13 SB. Was a tale of two seasons for Gordon, as he was scorching hot in the first half of the season (.880 OPS), but wasn’t able to keep that up in the second half (.609 OPS). Despite all that, he ranked third in the Southern League in hits and runs scored, fourth in total bases, and led the circuit in triples.
    • Chris Paul – Fort Myers Miracle – 61 games, 80-238 – .328/.380/.471 (.851) – 18 2B’s, 2 3B’s, 4 HR, 35 R’s, 32 RBI. Missed the months of June and July and the first week of August with a broken hamate bone. In the month of May before that injury, he slashed an impressive .383/.459/.585 (1.044) in 26 games.

    Minor League Hitter of the Year

    Here are the top nine vote getters for Twins Minor League Hitter of the Year.

    9. Travis Blankenhorn – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 118 games, 110-438 – .251/.343/.441 (.784) – 22 2B’s, 11 3B’s, 13 HRs, 68 R’s, 69 RBI, 13 SBs.

    Blankenhorn spent the entirety of the 2017 season in Cedar Rapids after amassing a .774 OPS in 25 games with the team in 2016 as a 19 year old. He largely repeated that performance with a .784 mark this season, but got there a different way. His average fell by .035 points, but he increased his slugging percentage by .023 because he racked up 46 extra-base hits to lead the Kernels (tied with Lewin Diaz). That total included double digits in every category (22 2Bs, 11 3Bs, 13 HRs) which is very hard to do. He also led the team with 69 RBI. If you’re into advanced hitting statistics, his weighted runs created (wRC) mark of 72 ranked eighth in the Midwest League on the season and he created 21% more runs than the league average hitter (wRC+, per Fangraphs). Just shy of 15% of his plate appearances in 2017 came against pitchers who were younger than he is and he was selected as a Midwest League All-Star.

    8. Lewin Diaz – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 122 games, 136-466 – .292/.329/.444 (.773) – 33 2B’s, 1 3B, 12 HRs, 47 R’s, 68 RBI.

    Diaz was 20 years old for the entirety of the 2017 season with the Kernels, and 90% of his plate appearances were against pitchers older than he is. What did he do against that competition? He led the Midwest League in doubles with 33. In 2016 he hit .310 with Elizabethton, and didn’t slow down much in Cedar Rapids with a mark of .292, placing him sixth in the circuit. He also led the Kernels with 207 total bases. While the batting average was great for Diaz and he struck out just 80 times in 122 games, he will continue to need to work on his patience as he drew just 25 walks as primarily the #3 hitter in the lineup. Diaz also represented Cedar Rapids in the Midwest League All-Star Game.

    7. T.J. White – Chattanooga Lookouts – 96 games, 101-366 – .276/.358/.484 (.842) – 26 2B’s, 4 3B’s, 14 HR’s, 44 R’s, 65 RBI.

    After missing the opening month of the season with an injury, White proved to be a steady presence in the Lookouts lineup from May 15th onward. His OPS was .912 in the month of June, and 1.010 in August. When patrolling Fangraphs, you’ll find that his wRC+ mark of 144 ranked fifth in the Southern League and trailed only another hitter on this list for the Lookouts team lead. If you’re looking for a “clutch” hitter, White also came through big in that category this year, as his .325/.429/.571 mark with two outs and runners in scoring position was stellar.

    6. Brent Rooker – Elizabethton Twins/Fort Myers Miracle – 62 games, 64-228 – .281/.364/.566 (.930) – 11 2B’s, 18 HR’s, 42 R’s, 52 RBI.

    On the surface Rooker’s numbers are especially eye-popping considering he was just drafted at #35 overall in the 2017 MLB draft on June 12th. In an organizational sense, his 18 HRs on the season ranked second in all of the minors for the Twins despite him playing in only half the games. When you have some #FunWithNumbers after he was promoted to Fort Myers, his 11 home runs in 40 games rivals the pace that Miguel Sano put up with the Miracle in 2013 before he was promoted to Chattanooga. There was some strikeout to his game in his first taste of the pros (26.5% of his plate appearances), but it wasn’t an egregious rate and he also showed an ability to draw a walk (11.3% mark). After being a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award as best college player and his initial success as a pro, Rooker is an intriguing name for me to be added to the Twins stable of players being sent to the Arizona Fall League. The only question might be whether the Twins think he’s all ready played enough baseball this year.

    5. Jermaine Palacios – Cedar Rapids Kernels/Fort Myers Miracle – 124 games, 149-504 – .296/.333/.454 (.788) – 21 2B’s, 10 3B’s, 13 HRs, 82 R’s, 67 RBI, 20 SBs.

    Palacios spent all of his 2016 season with Cedar Rapids, and wasn’t able to match the immense potential he showed in his first season in the States, when he hit .370 in the rookie leagues. He made up for that in 2017 with the Kernels by batting .320/.362/.544 before being promoted to Fort Myers. Like Blankenhorn, he also racked up double-digits in all extra-base hit categories on the season. He wasn’t as successful in the Florida State League (.662 OPS vs .907 OPS), but it’s hard to ignore season-long totals like his as a middle-infield prospect. For his output in the MWL before being promoted, he too, was selected as an All-Star for the Kernels.

    4. LaMonte Wade – Chattanooga Lookouts – 117 games, 124-424 – .292/.397/.408 (.805) – 22 2B’s, 3 3B’s, 7 HRs, 74 R’s, 67 RBI, 9 SBs.

    All Wade has done since becoming a professional is get on base. In fact, he’s walked more than he has struck out in his career (177 vs. 151) and in each of his first three seasons. 2017 was no different, as his .397 on-base percentage and 76 walks ranked third in the Southern League. He also ranked seventh in RBI with 67 on the year alongside a host of other Lookouts players. He also set a career high in extra-base hits with 32 on the season. Wade spent a majority of the season batting #3 in the lineup of the best offense in the Southern League and was especially deadly with runners in scoring position (.955 OPS) and late in close games (1.092 OPS). For his efforts in 2017, Wade was selected as a Southern League All-Star at the midseason break.

    3. Zack Granite – Rochester Red Wings – 76 games, 103-303 – .340/.394/.479 (.872) – 17 2B’s, 5 3B’s, 5 HR’s, 48 R’s, 30 RBI, 18 SB’s.

    Granite followed a breakout 2016 season in which he hit .295/.347/.382 for Chattanooga with an even better 2017 that led to his promotion to the Twins in early July. After having his average fall to .237 on May 31st, Granite went on one of the hottest streaks you will ever see in the month of June. He slashed an otherworldly .470/.527/.667 and raised his average on the season to a high of .371 on June 27th before his promotion. Another impressive stat is he struck out just 36 times in 76 games, a rate of only 11.8% of his plate appearances. His 144 wRC+ ranked sixth in the International League (44% more runs created than average hitter) and he found himself on the ballots of both the midseason and postseason All-Star teams. In his time with the Twins, he’s also shown fans what he is capable of as an outfielder, displaying range more than adequate to back up Byron Buxton in center field.

    2. Jonathan Rodriguez – Chattanooga Lookouts – 124 games, 137-452 – .303/.408/.518 (.926) – 31 2B’s, 22 HR’s, 89 R’s, 78 RBI.

    The 28-year-old first baseman came to the Twins organization in 2017 after spending the first eight years of his career in the St. Louis Cardinals system. He was quite the addition to an already potent Chattanooga Lookouts lineup. He took home the Lookouts Triple Crown as well as leading them in doubles, average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. In the Southern League, he tied for the league lead in average (.309), led in on-base percentage (.414), slugging (.525), and OPS (.939). His 21 home runs ranked second and his 31 doubles ranked third. You really don’t have to go far down the list in many categories to find his name. Although he did not play in the Southern League All-Star Game at midseason after getting off to a slow start in April, he was named as the postseason All-Star at DH. Rodriguez always seemed to come up in the minor league reports as the season wore on, and it was because he kept delivering big time hits. In the second half of the Southern League season he crushed to the tune of a .346/.449/.632 slash line, good for a 1.081 OPS. He was the most valuable hitter in the International League by the measures of wRC, wRC+, weighted runs above average (wRAA), and weighted on-base average (wOBA) per Fangraphs. His wRC+ mark of 173 meant he created an astonishing 73% more runs than the average hitter on the season.

    In many years it would be hard for anyone to best what Rodriguez accomplished this year, but that just makes this awards winner even more impressive.

    Hitter of the Year

    Mitch Garver – Rochester Red Wings – 88 games, 93-320 – .291/.387/.541 (.928) – 29 2B’s, 17 HRs, 56 R’s, 45 RBI.

    The 2017 award marks the second time Garver has taken home Twins Daily’s metaphorical hardware, as he also won the voting in 2014 while playing for Cedar Rapids.

    Drafted in the ninth round of the 2013 draft as a fourth-year senior, Garver’s age (26) may be a barrier for some in considering him as a prospect, but it’s hard to argue with the development path he undertook in making his MLB debut on August 19th. He was on the raw side of the catcher position when he was drafted, but has developed those skills along with his bat as he’s moved up the ladder.

    He spent all of his time in the minors this year with the Rochester Red Wings, playing primarily catcher but also got time in left field (14 games) and at first base (five games) as the organization made it a priority to add versatility to his game. The reason being, they’re going to have to find a place for his bat.

    In that sense, Garver was as consistent as you could possibly be, amassing a .928 OPS in the first half of the International League season, then a .927 mark afterward before his call-up to the Twins. For his exploits on the season, Garver was named the IL’s postseason All-Star at catcher. His on-base percentage (.387) and slugging percentage (.541) marks ranked second in the league, while he also shows up on the leader board for doubles and home runs despite having about 100+ fewer at-bats than those around him. His .291 batting average also ranked in the top five among his peers.

    Also impressive for Garver when you dig into his numbers, were his lack of platoon splits as he hit .304/.427/.557 against lefties and .286/.373/.535 against right-handers. With two outs his OPS was over 1.000. When you venture over to Fangraphs his 166 wRC+ ranked third in the International League, behind only the league MVP Rhys Hoskins (who if you haven’t noticed, has 17 HRs in just 33 MLB games thus far to start his career) and Yandy Diaz, who both also made their MLB debuts this season.

    It’s quite easy to see how exceptional Garver was during the 2017 season at the highest rung of the minor league ladder, and it made him an almost unanimous selection in the award’s voting. But perhaps the greatest reward of all for him after his stellar season is that now all he has left to look forward to is making his impact in the major leagues instead of the minors.

    Congratulations Mitch!

    The Ballots

    In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers:
    • Seth Stohs – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Jonathan Rodriguez, 3) Zack Granite, 4) LaMonte Wade, 5) Jermaine Palacios, 6) T.J. White, 7) Travis Blankenhorn, 8) Lewin Diaz
    • Jeremy Nygaard – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) LaMonte Wade, 3) Jonathan Rodriguez, 4) Brent Rooker, 5) Jermaine Palacios, 6) Zack Granite, 7) Travis Blankenhorn, 8) Lewin Diaz
    • Cody Christie – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Jonathan Rodriguez, 3) Zack Granite, 4) Brent Rooker, 5) Jermaine Palacios, 6) Chris Paul, 7) T.J. White, 8) Max Murphy
    • Tom Froemming – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Brent Rooker, 3) Zack Granite, 4) Jonathan Rodriguez, 5) LaMonte Wade, 6) T.J. White, 7) Jermaine Palacios, 8) Travis Blankenhorn
    • Steve Lein – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Zack Granite, 3) Jermaine Palacios, 4) LaMonte Wade, 5) T.J. White, 6) Nick Gordon, 7) Brent Rooker, 8) Jonathan Rodriguez
    • Eric Pleiss – 1) Jonathan Rodriguez, 2) Mitch Garver, 3) T.J. White, 4) Lewin Diaz, 5) Jermaine Palacios, 6) LaMonte Wade, 7) Zack Granite, 8) Wander Javier
    • Ted Schwerzler – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Zack Granite, 3) Jonathan Rodriguez, 4) Travis Blankenhorn, 5) Lewin Diaz, 6) LaMonte Wade, 7) Daniel Palka, 8) Jermaine Palacios
    Feel free to discuss. What do you think? Do you agree with our rankings? How would your ballot look?

    • Sep 14 2017 09:23 PM
    • by Steve Lein
  8. Twins Minor League Report (7/31): Palacios Continues To Crush

    All that and more can be found as you work your way through today’s minor league report.


    The trade deadline came and passed on Friday afternoon, and the Twins minor league system was affected. The Twins acquired RH RP Kevin Jepsen from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for RHP Chih-Wei Hu and RHP Alexis Tapia.

    With Jepsen joining the Twins on Saturday, along with the return of Trevor Plouffe from the paternity list, the Twins needed to take two players off of the 25-man roster. Danny Santana has been optioned to Rochester and Jorge Polanco has been optioned to Chattanooga.

    Also, hot-hitting GCL shortstop Jermaine Palacios was promoted to Elizabethton. So was catcher Brian Olson. Infielder Ariel Montesino was sent down to the GCL Twins.

    Also, a week ago, the Twins signed outfielder Christian Cavaness. He was an NAIA All-American and Lindenwood University-Belleville player but went undrafted. He was playing for the Bend Elk in the college West Coast League and after a tryout, signed with the Twins. Two years ago, the Twins signed LHP Cameron Booser from the same team as a non-drafted free agent. Cavaness came on as a pinch runner on Saturday, his first pro appearance.


    Rochester 8, Syracuse 3
    Box Score

    Taylor Rogers evened his season record at 8-8 on Friday night. The southpaw gave up three runs on four hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out eight. Mark Hamburger struck out two over two perfect innings. Aaron Thompson walked one in a scoreless ninth.

    The Red Wings got a lot of contributions in this win. James Beresford went 2-5 with his 18th double. Reynaldo Rodriguez was 2-5 with his 25th double and 12th home run. Danny Ortiz had two hits, including his 26th double. Chris Herrmann went 2-3 with his first home run. He also stole his second base. Argenis Diaz was 2-3 with a walk.

    Chattanooga 1, Pensacola 4
    Box Score

    Greg Peavey made his first start since returning from Rochester. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on five hits in 6.1 innings. He walked two and struck out four. Jake Reed pitched an inning. He gave up two runs on one hit and three walks. DJ Johnson got the final five outs.

    The Lookouts managed just five hits in the game. Max Kepler’s tenth triple drove in the team’s lone run. Shannon Wilkerson hit his fourth double.

    Ft. Myers 1, Daytona 8
    Box Score

    Kohl Stewart spent the last several days reading rumors that he might have been traded. His start was pushed back a day to occur after the trade deadline. Finally able to focus on pitching, Stewart had a rough one. He gave up seven runs on seven hits, a walk and two hit batters in 5.1 innings. He struck out one. Zack Jones struck out three of the five batters that he faced. Tyler Jay gave up one run on one hit and a walk in his inning.

    The Miracle mustered just three hits. Engelb Vielma hit his ninth double. Ryan Walker hit his third double.

    Cedar Rapids 1, Kane County 6
    Box Score

    The Kernels had nine hits, but 13 strikeouts ended several threats. Edgar Corcino and Brett Doe each went 2-4. Tanner English hit his 15th double.

    Randy Rosario started and was charged with four runs on six hits. He gave up nine hits, walked one and struck out four. Mike Theofanopoulos gave up one run on two hits in two innings. He struck out two.

    Elizabethton 6, Burlington 12
    Box Score

    After hitting .421/.472/.589 (1.061) in 26 GCL games, Jermaine Palacios was promoted to Elizabethton. He started out with a bang. He went 3-5 with a three-run homer and added another RBI. Of course, it wasn’t all great. He had two errors at shortstop in the game.

    Amaurys Minier went 2-4 with his seventh and eight doubles. Travis Blankenhorn went 2-3 with a walk and his third double. Brad Hartong hit his second double.

    Cody Stashak started and gave up three runs on five hits in just three innings. He struck out three. Anthony Mciver came on and gave up four runs on six hits and a walk in just 1.2 innings. He struck out one. Tyler Stirewalt gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits in three innings. He struck out two. Josh Guyer went the final 1.1 innings. He gave up three runs (two earned) on three hits and a walk in 1.1 innings.

    Game 1 – GCL Twins 0, GCL Red Sox 1
    Box Score

    Williams Ramirez takes the loss in this one, though he continues to pitch great. He gave up one run on two hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out eight. His falls to 3-1 with a 0.57 ERA in 31.1 innings. Again, he will turn 23 in one week, so I asked about him. Turns out that he is a converted third baseman who had done almost no pitching growing up. He has a strong arm and good feel for his secondary pitches, but he’s still quite raw. He’s certainly making a strong impression. Johan Quezada, another strong-armed right hander, came on and struck out two (and walked one) in two innings.

    Unfortunately in the first game, the GCL Twins – like the big league club – managed just one hit, a Ruar Verkerk single. In some good news, infielder Blake Schmidt returned to the field. He went 0-1 with a walk in his first game since he was hit in the face with a pitch in Cedar Rapids. He required surgery and has been working to come back for a month.

    Game 2 – GCL Twins 10, GCL Red Sox 2
    Box Score

    After getting just one hit in the first game, the Twins put up ten runs. They had eight hits but were also helped by 10 walks. Luis Arraez went 2-4 with two RBI. Kolton Kendrick went 1-2 with three walks. Robert Molina and Ariel Montesino each walked twice as well.

    Jose Martinez started and gave up only an unearned run on two hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out two. John Curtiss continues to rehab. He threw two perfect innings.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jose Martinez, GCL Twins
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios, Elizabethton Twins


    Syracuse @ Rochester (6:05 CST) – RHP Tyler Duffey
    Pensacola @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) – RHP Alex Wimmers
    Ft. Myers @ Daytona (6:05 CST) – RHP Aaron Slegers
    Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) – RHP Sam Gibbons
    Burlington @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) – RHP Dereck Rodriguez
    GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox (9:00am CST) – TBD
    Feel free to leave any questions or comments below

    • Aug 02 2015 04:01 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  9. Minor League Promotions Coming Soon?

    There are many reasons for promotions (or for a player to stay at a level). Obviously performance tends to be one of the factors. Also, behind the scene types of things like leadership, growth, maturity and more. In reality, sometimes age factors into the decision of who to move up. There have been guys who have been pushed to a level, maybe without the numbers to justify it, but they’re being given one final opportunity to take off. Sometimes that player does. Other times, it doesn’t pan out. Like the draft, player development and timing of promotions are not science, though more and more there are scientific (or advanced statistical) reasons for them as well.

    In other words, there may be some promotions of players not mentioned below. It is somewhat fun to speculate the reasons for them to try to gain understanding. Or, maybe that’s my way of saying that I don’t know what will happen… Either way… Enjoy and at the end post your thoughts.


    There have already been several players who have taken that direct flight from Rochester to Minneapolis and back. Last week, I chatted with Alan Busenitz in an article stating that he was ready, the next bullpen arm in line for a promotion to the big league club. On Friday night, we learned that would happen, and on Saturday night he made his MLB debut.

    But Busenitz isn’t the only Red Wings player who is deserving of an opportunity. In the Red Wings bullpen, Trevor Hildenberger should be next in line for a spot in the Twins bullpen. He has thrown 29 innings over 20 appearances this year in Rochester. He is 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9 and 10.2 K/9. At 26, the side-winding right-hander has confidence in his ability to throw three or four pitches for strikes at any time, in any count. Frankly, he’s got little more to prove in the minor leagues.

    From an offensive standpoint, the choice for player most ready is pretty obvious. Though he missed the first month of the season with an oblique injury, Zack Granite has returned. In his last 19 games, he has hit .487. In 41 games with the Red Wings, he has hit .349/.410/.485 (.895) with 14 doubles, four triples and a home run. He’s walked 16 times and struck out 18 times. He also has 16 stolen bases. Frankly, his readiness isn’t even about the results and stats. It’s also just about his advanced approach at the plate and the types of at-bats he produces. He has good range all around the outfield. In my opinion, Granite needs to play every day and bat leadoff somewhere. If he’ll get that with the Twins, call him up. If he’s going to sit on the bench, stay in Rochester and keep raking. Either way, he’s ready for the opportunity.


    Right before the All-Star break, lefty Mason Melotakis was moved up to the Red Wings. On Monday, Jake Reed returned to the Red Wings after a short stint with the Lookouts after missing the first six weeks of the season.

    But there are a couple more relievers who should be promoted to the Red Wings too. I think everyone would agree that John Curtiss is ready to move up. He’s playing in the Southern League All-Star Game, but I would think he’d move up right after it. Since some early control concerns, he has been incredible. He didn’t give up a run until his 20th appearance of the year. The superlatives could continue, but we’ve been writing about the 24-year-old’s readiness for over a month here at Twins Daily.

    Luke Bard had several injuries early in his career, but since coming back last year, he’s been a strikeout machine. Maybe it has to do with his incredible spin rate. In 32 innings this year, he has 52 strikeouts to go with just 11 walks. Not that there has to be a rush to promote the 26-year-old, it might be good to push him as he’ll be a potential 40-man roster add. And, those strikeouts sure are intriguing.

    Evaluate just a little bit longer (pitchers): Stephen Gonsalves, Fernando Romero and Felix Jorge are all pitching really, really well for the last month or more, but for various reasons, they should stick in Chattanooga. In my opinion, Gonsalves is the closest to ready for a promotion, but I’d give him two or three more starts before doing that. Fernando Romero has really been good as well, but there is reason for patience. And frankly, if he reaches a pre-established innings count, call him right up to the Twins and put him in the bullpen. And Jorge quietly continues to improve and put up strong start after strong star.

    Evaluate a bit longer (hitter): Nick Gordon has had a terrific season at the plate. He’s walked more. He’s hit for more power. He’s been everything we’d hope for, taking a big step forward. But in my mind, there is little incentive to moving Gordon up. At AA, he’s facing some of the better pitching prospects. There’s nothing wrong with him spending a season playing well all year. If they want, they could call him up directly from AA sometime. But it’s also important for him to keep playing shortstop most every day, and he can do that in Chattanooga. Let Engelb Vielma play shortstop every day in Rochester. Let Jorge Polanco play shortstop most every day in Minnesota. And let Gordon continue to work on things with the bat and in the field in Chattanooga.


    Randy LeBlanc has moved up and down from the Miracle to the Lookouts several times in the last month. Dereck Rodriguez was also moved up to the Lookouts, but after one start, he was sent back to the Miracle and pitched in the Florida State League All-Star Game. I would expect that he will move up to Chattanooga and stick there. Also, relievers Alex Muren and Nick Anderson have moved up recently. So, there isn’t a lot left to promote from the Miracle to the Lookouts. But we’ll figure out a couple of names.

    Soon, and if now, OK… Sam Clay gave up six earned runs in ⅔ of an inning in his first outing of the year. He then went over 24 innings without giving up a run. Overall, he’s 5-0 with a 2.18 ERA. In 33 innings, he has 36 strikeouts, but he’s also got 18 walks. That’s likely the biggest reason for hesitation in promoting him. However, most of those walks have come in just three of his 20 games. If several Lookouts pitchers make their way to Rochester, Chattanooga will need some arms.

    Consideration: In part, some promotions are due to need and roster spots. 24-year-olds Zander Wiel and Max Murphy could be moved up if there is a need. For instance, when Brent Rooker moves up to the Miracle, he can play first base and in the outfield. One of those two could move up to make room.


    The Kernels clinched a playoff spot and now begins their All-Star break. Following the break, I could see a few players promoted. Dominant relievers Tom Hackimer and Andrew Vasquez were already promoted to the Miracle. Colton Davis is another reliever who could move up for the second half.

    The easiest choice would be promoting shortstop Jermaine Palacios. He spent 2016 struggling in Cedar Rapids before his season ended early with injury. Now 20, he has put up a terrific season in 2017 with the Kernels. He’s hitting .322/.362/.549 (.911) with 13 doubles, six triples and 11 home runs. He’s done that while playing a very good shortstop. He’s ready to move up.

    I think that Jaylin Davis should receive strong consideration for a promotion to the Miracle as well. He’s been solid throughout the season and leads the organization in home runs. His 28% strikeout rate is obviously still a little high, but a slight improvement from last year.

    Sean Poppen and Clark Beeker are representing the Kernels starting staff in the Midwest League All-Star Game. Poppen is 5-1 with a 2.80 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. In 74 innings, he has 17 walks and 67 strikeouts. Beeker is 6-2 with a 2.99 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. In 75.1 innings, he has 11 walks and 52 strikeouts.

    Tyler Wells has arguably been the Kernels top starting pitcher this season. In 10 starts and 57 innings, he is 4-1 with a 1.89 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. He has 14 walks and an impressive 80 strikeouts. He missed two starts with some biceps tendinitis, but he has continued to impress since his retur, making arguably his best start on Saturday night when the Kernels really needed a win.


    Elizabethton starts its season on Thursday night. They are traveling via bus as I type this. The GCL season starts on Monday. However, as we don’t yet have the short-season rosters, it is possible that a few players from extended spring training will not go to Elizabethton but instead head to Cedar Rapids.

    Pitchers Henry Centeno and Keaton Steele are in EST and could go to Cedar Rapids or Ft. Myers at some point. Catchers Justin Hazard, Rainis Silva and Brian Olson could go to Cedar Rapids or Ft. Myers. Infielders Andre Jernigan and Amaurys Minier could go to Cedar Rapids. Outfielder Shane Carrier could return to the Kernels, particularly if Jaylin Davis were to move up to Ft. Myers.


    In coming days, we’ll post previews of the Elizabethton Twins and GCL Twins rosters. In our daily Twins Minor League reports, we stay on top of all of the transactions, so keep looking there for more promotions.

    But for today, make some of your predictions about who you would like to see promoted. And feel free to ask about any others that I may have missed.

    • Jun 20 2017 05:48 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  10. Seth's Midseason Twins Top 40 Prospect Rankings: Part 1 (21-40)

    It's always tough to come up with those final prospects not matter if you go with a list of 30, or 40, or 50, or whatever. So, I'm going to go with a tie for #40... I also want to mention a couple of Cedar Rapids Kernels that were very strongly considered for a spot as well.

    1B Zander Wiel is a 23-year-old first baseman out of Vanderbilt. He has heated up since the weather in Iowa warmed up and does a nice job defensively too. Also, catcher AJ Murray has been a very good hitter much of the season. He's still a work-in-progress behind the plate since he caught very little at Georgia Tech. But he's a really hard worker, and Jake Mauer said that he is similar to where Mitch Garver was two years ago. Definitely a couple of Kernels to watch.

    There are many others at each level who fit into the "prospect" category as well, but a Top 40 has to end somewhere. So, here is my Top 40 (or 41, if you will).

    #40 (Tie) - RH RP Williams Ramirez (23 - Cedar Rapids Kernels) and Johan Quezada (21 - Extended Spring Training)

    I didn’t know how to separate them. These are two very hard-throwing right handers who had a lot of success last year in the GCL. Ramirez recently was promoted to Cedar Rapids where he has been terrific, throwing a fastball 94-97 with a really good breaking ball. Quezada is dominating in extended spring training with a fastball 95-99. Quezada has really grown since signing. Literally, he’s added about 8 inches of height and almost 10 mph to his fastball. Ramirez has only been a pitcher for three or four years. In other words, both have plenty of room for improvement.

    #39 - RHP Yorman Landa - 21 - Ft. Myers Miracle

    Landa missed time with shoulder problems in 2014 and 2015, but he showed enough late last year with the Kernels - including a 99 mph fastball - to be added to the 40-man roster for the Twins. He’s had some ups and downs with the Miracle so far this year, but overall, he has pitched well, whether asked to throw one inning or three.

    #38 - 1B Amaurys Minier - 20 - Extended Spring Training

    Minier signed from the Dominican in 2013 and has been moved quite slowly, primarily due to several injuries that cost him time early in seasons. Unfortunately, his bat also has moved along slowly and he will return to the rookie leagues (unless promoted soon) for another year. He’s still very young, and when he works hard, he does have a good swing that could produce a lot of power.

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    #37 - OF Jaylin Davis - 21 - Extended Spring Training

    Davis is a bit of a sleeper, maybe a surprise to even see on this list. He was drafted a year ago out of Appalachian State. He fell in the draft due to injury and did not play a year ago. However, Davis has tremendous power and much more potential. Reports from Ft. Myers indicate that he is crushing home runs all over the field with a powerful swing. He is a solid outfielder, and he is also a guy who could skip Elizabethton and go to Cedar Rapids if there was a need.

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    #36 - OF Tanner English - 23 - Ft. Myers Miracle

    English was the Twins top minor league defensive outfielder in 2015. He began this season in Ft. Myers, but a series of events have slowed things down for him. He was hit in the head with a pitch and missed a couple of days. He had Lasik eye surgery and on the last day of his rehab assignment with the EST squad, someone landed on his foot and hurt his ankle. So he’s been rehabbing that. English is a good top-of-the-order type of hitter who led the minor league system in stolen bases last year. He should be back to the Miracle shortly.

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    #35 - OF Zach Granite - 23 - Chattanooga Lookouts

    Granite had a tough, injury-filled 2014. So he began 2015 with the Kernels. After a strong April in which he was named Minor League Hitter of the Month by the Twins, he was promoted to Ft. Myers where he was solid. This year, he jumped right to Chattanooga and has been their leadoff hitter almost every day since. He takes very professional at-bats and knows his job is to find ways to get on base. He’s doing that, and when he gets on base, he is looking to keep running. He already has 25 stolen bases this season.

    #34 - LH RP Mason Melotakis - 24 - Chattanooga Lookouts

    “Melo” missed all of the 2015 season after having Tommy John surgery the fall before. With reports of him hitting 97 mph in Instructional League last fall, the Twins needed to add him to the 40-man roster or risk losing him in the Rule 5 draft. He went to big league spring training and then reported to the Lookouts. He struggled early, as you would expect, but he has been much better of late.

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    #33 - OF Edgar Corcino - 24 - Ft. Myers Miracle

    One of the best pure athletes in the organization, Corcino signed with the Twins before the 2015 season out of independent baseball. He had been drafted and spent a couple of seasons in the Tigers system. After a strong showing in Cedar Rapids in the second half last year, he moved up to Ft. Myers this year. He started slow, not playing every day in April. In May, the Twins selected him as their Minor League Hitter of the Month. He plays great outfield defense at all three positions. He has good speed. And, he has extra base pop in his bat. Definitely one to watch as he just turned 24 today.

    #32 - LHP Jason Wheeler - 25 - Rochester Red Wings

    In 2014, Wheeler had a solid half-season, repeating in Ft. Myers and carried it into a strong showing in AA. Following that season, he was added to the 40-man roster. He started in Rochester in 2015 for some reason and really struggled. Late last year, he was removed from the 40-man and cleared. He went on to be the MVP of the Southern League championship series. He began this season with the Lookouts and was quickly called up to AAA where he has been lights-out most every outing. At 6-6, he does not throw real hard, but like the other lefties in the Red Wings rotation, he has good control and mixes his pitches well.

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    #31 - OF Travis Harrison - 23 - Chattanooga Lookouts

    Harrison is repeating at AA Chattanooga this year and has been solid in the middle of the Lookouts lineup. His outfield defense has improved and his approach at the plate has improved. He has been productive offensively despite similar numbers to last year. I believe that he is in line for a strong second half. Still just 23, Harrison has time to grow into his potential.

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    #30 - RHP Huascar Ynoa - 18 - Extended Spring Training

    While his brother Michael was signed to a huge free agent bonus (about $4 million) as a 16-year-old, the Twins were able to sign Huscar for around $850K. He pitched in the DSL last year and will be making his stateside debut this year. He has been pitching quite well in EST, flashing a fastball in the 90-95 range with the ability to dominate. He just turned 18 and will likely pitch in the GCL this year.

    #29 - C Stuart Turner - 24 - Chattanooga Lookouts

    Turner was the Twins 3rd-round pick in 2013 out of Mississippi where he was named the top catcher in college baseball. In 2014, he skipped Cedar Rapids and jumped to Ft. Myers. He struggled with the bat. In 2015, he went to Chattanooga where he was good defensively but struggled with the bat. Finally in 2016, he is sticking at the same level, hopefully allowing his bat to catch up. He started out strong with lots of walks and doubles. He’s slowed, but he does have a good approach at the plate. Many still believe he is a top defensive catcher.

    #28 - LHP Lachlan Wells - 19 - Extended Spring Training

    The Australian had a strong debut in 2015 in the GCL, putting up numbers very similar to what Lewis Thorpe put up a couple of years earlier at that level. He even left right before the end of the season to pitch for Team Australia in an international competition, just as Thorpe had. While Wells doesn’t throw as hard as Thorpe can, he does know and understand how to pitch and shows a lot of poise on the mound. He should pitch for Elizabethton.

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    #27 - RH RP Jake Reed - 23 - Chattanooga Lookouts

    The last two offseasons, Reed has dominated in the hitter-friendly Arizona Fall League. However, for the second straight year he has really struggled in the AA Southern League. That said, he has been much better of late. His mid-90s fastball gets a lot of movement, so command has been an issue for him at times. Other times, he can flat-out dominate.

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    #26 - 2B Luis Arraez - 19 - Cedar Rapids Kernels

    One of the biggest surprises, for me, early in the season has been Arraez. I was surprised that he started in Cedar Rapids, and I thought maybe he would just get a little experience before going down to Elizabethton when the short-season started. Though he didn’t play a lot the first week or two, he was given an opportunity and he has fully taken advantage of it. He has been a catalyst at the top of the Kernels’ lineup, hitting over .320 and taking really good, professional at bats.

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    #25 - IF Travis Blankenhorn - 19 - Extended Spring Training

    Blankenhorn was the Twins 3rd-round pick a year ago out of high school. A tremendous athlete, he played for the GCL and Elizabethton teams in 2015. This spring in EST, he has shown some glimpses of his big potential. He has a nice swing and should develop some power over time. Interestingly, drafted as a third baseman, he has spent almost all of his time in EST playing second base.

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    #24 - RH RP Trevor Hildenberger - 25 - Chattanooga Lookouts

    He was our choice for Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year last year with his work in Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers in his first full professional season. He even pitched well in the Arizona Fall League. The side-winding right-hander started with the Miracle this year, but after just a few weeks, he quickly advanced to AA where he has continued to pitch great. Where many have struggled, Hildenberger has put up great numbers and become the team’s reliable closer. A 22nd-round pick just two years ago, he could get to Minnesota yet this year, or certainly put himself into consideration for a spot early in 2017.

    #23 - SS Jermaine Palacios - 19 - Cedar Rapids Kernels

    Palacios burst on the scene last year when he dominated (offensively) in the GCL and Elizabethton in his first year in the United States. The 19-year-old began this season in Cedar Rapids but it has been slow-going for the talented Venezuelan. After hitting a combined .370 last year, he has been hovering around (and mostly below) the Mendoza Line most of this season. Defensively, he’s got a ways to go, but the skills are there. Could he go to Elizabethton when the short-season starts?

    #22 - SS Engelb Vielma - 21 - Ft. Myers Miracle
    Vielma had a solid season in 2015 in Ft. Myers which led to a spring training invite to big league camp. He began the season with the Lookouts, but he has twice been on the disabled list already. In the last week, he was activated and sent back to Ft. Myers just to get more at-bats. He should move up to Chattanooga again soon. The slick-fielding shortstop could hit for average and should play very good defense, though he did struggle early in the season.

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    #21 - C Mitch Garver - 25 - Chattanooga Lookouts

    It has been his bat that has carried Garver through much of his minor league career, but it is his defense behind the plate that is moving him up this list this time around. He has thrown out 64% of would-be base stealers so far this season and is listed among the top catchers in baseball in pitch framing. Pitchers have also enjoyed working with him in the past. His bat has been solid in the Southern League. He’s hitting .265 with 11 doubles and two homers in 40 games. When not catching, he has played some at first base and frequently at DH. He did miss about a week with a concussion.

    So there you have it, a quick glance at my updated prospects 21-40. What are your thoughts? Noticing any trends yet? Tomorrow we’ll dive into prospects 11-20. But for today, consider my list above. Ask questions, and start thinking about how your top 20, 30 or 40 Twins prospect list might look.

    • Jun 07 2016 10:09 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  11. Twins Minor League Hitter Of The Month - July 2015

    Let’s start with a few Honorable Mentions:

    • Danny Ortiz – Rochester Red Wings – (24-98), .245/.302/.469 (.771), seven doubles, five home runs and 18 RBI.
    • Reynaldo Rodriguez – Rochester Red Wings – (31-110), .282/.319/.509 (.828), eight doubles, one triple, home runs and 23 RBI.
    • Tanner English – Cedar Rapids Kernels – (28-102), .275/.362/.441 (.803), six doubles, one triple, three home runs and 14 RBI.
    • Nick Gordon – Cedar Rapids Kernels – (30-97), .309/.349/.423 (.772), seven doubles, two triples, 13 RBI.
    Let’s get to the Top 6 Minnesota Twins Minor League Hitters for July:

    Number 6 – GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins – 3B Travis Blankenhorn - (26-95) .310/.383/.464 (.847) with five doubles, a triple, two home runs and 10 RBI.

    Blankenhorn was the Minnesota Twins third-round draft pick in June, and he makes his debut on the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the month in July. On Monday, he celebrated his 19th birthday. He signed quickly and began with the GCL Twins. He hit .245/.362/.408 (.770) with four doubles and two triples there. On July 11, he was promoted to Elizabethton where he is hitting .288/.347/.424 (.771) with three doubles and two homers in 18 games. Blankenhorn is a terrific athlete and has played four positions already in his young career. However, since moving up to E-Town, he has only played third base.

    Number 5 – Elizabethton Twins – OF LaMonte Wade - (30-102) .294/.381/.510 (.891) with five doubles, a triple, five home runs and 20 RBI.

    LaMonte Wade was another 2015 Twins draft pick. He was the ninth-round pick out of the University of Maryland. He played first base the first two years and was set to play center field this year, but he broke his hamate bone. Since signing, he has hit very well. Overall, the 21-year-old is hitting .308/.400/.511 (.911) with six doubles, three triples, five home runs and 27 RBI.

    Number 4 – Cedar Rapids Kernels – OF Edgar Corcino - (37-107) .346/.412/.449 (.860) with six doubles, a triple, a home run and 10 RBI.

    Corcino was the Tigers 26th round pick in 2009 out of high school in Puerto Rico. He stayed in that organization through the 2012 season (spending three games in AAA). He spent the 2013 and 2014 season in independent leagues. Corcino works out in the offseason with Twins prospect JO Berrios. The Twins signed him to a minor league contract. He began the season in extended spring training, but on May 30, he was promoted to the Kernels. Since then, he has been one of the team’s most consistent hitters. In 55 games overall, he has hit .294/.350/.416 (.766) with 11 doubles, three triples and three home runs. He is a tremendous athlete.

    Number 3 – Rochester Red Wings – OF Oswaldo Arcia - (24-92) .261/.352/.576 (.928) with five doubles, eight home runs and 20 RBI.

    Oswaldo Arcia is not supposed to be hitting mammoth home runs in AAA. He’s supposed to be hitting mammoth home runs in Target Field and all around the big leagues. There was hope that the 24-year-old would take the next step to super-stardom. After starting the season with the Twins, he was hurt and then optioned to Rochester. In 54 games with the Red Wings, he has hit just .240/.303/.439 (.742) with 12 doubles and nine home runs. From July 1 through July 16 (13 games), Arcia hit .367/.446/.918 (1.365) with three doubles, eight home runs and 19 RBI. He’s slowed down since, but that is the type of power that he is capable of.

    Number 2 – Chattanooga Lookouts – OF Max Kepler – (22-72) .306/.412/.556 (.967) with five doubles, two triples, three home runs and 15 RBI.

    Kepler was the choice for Twins Daily minor league hitter of the month in May and runner-up in June. The Twins named him hitter of the month in both May and June. Kepler continued to crush the ball in July despite missing a week with a slight shoulder injury. His name was reportedly requested of the Twins in many trade rumors last week. The Twins moved him to near-untouchable. Signed in July of 2009 from Germany, Kepler has slowly worked his way up the system. In 2015, his immense tools have started turning into skills. Expect to see him debut with the Twins in September, if not sooner.

    The July 2015 Minnesota Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is...

    GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins IF Jermaine Palacios (39-78) .500/.541/.718 (1.259) with seven doubles, two triples, two home runs and 14 RBI.

    The Twins signed infielder Jermaine Palacios out of Venezuela in September of 2013 for $70,000 (hat tip, Jeremy Nygaard). He is long and lanky and a good athlete. He spent 2014 in the Dominican Summer League where he hit .270/.404/.399 (.802) with 11 doubles and six triples. He also stole 14 bases in 17 attempts. He was invited to Twins minor league spring training and started the season with extended spring training. He began the short season in the GCL and hit .421/.472/.589 (1.061) with nine doubles, two triples and a home run. On the final day of July, he was promoted to Elizabethton where he went 3-5 in each of his first two games. He has homered in two of his three games there.

    One Twins-related person said of Palacios that he is a "hard-working kid. He has the ability to play shortstop and has good quickness."

    Palacios has really good bat speed and the ability to hit to all fields.

    As impressive, the just-turned-19-year-old has a very high baseball IQ.

    Palacios had a huge July and has made himself one to watch as the season continues to move forward and beyond.

    There were several strong performances in July. The short season teams played the whole month, so they had their first chance to make these lists.
    What do you think of the choice of Jermaine Palacios? Should Max Kepler have won it again?

    In coming days, we’ll be sharing our choices for Twins Daily Minor League Pitchers of the Month.

    • Aug 04 2015 06:18 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  12. Twins Minor League Report (7/3): Arraez And Hanson Have Huge Hits

    Very early on Friday morning, Darrin Wolfson tweeted that Aaron Hicks was on his way to Kansas City. To make room for him, Shane Robinson was again placed on the Family Emergency List.

    Earlier in the day, the Twins announced the infielder Doug Bernier had been removed from the 40-man roster. He cleared waivers and stayed with Rochester.
    Following the Twins game, Alex Meyer was optioned to Rochester. A corresponding move will be announced on Saturday, but we know that Ervin Santana needs to be activated from the suspended list.

    Rochester 6, Lehigh Valley 5 (16 innings)
    Box Score

    Fans in Lehigh Valley got a lot of extra, free baseball action on Friday night. They also got to see the 2015 AAA debut of JO Berrios.

    The 21-year-old right-hander was charged with five runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk in 5.2 innings. He struck out four. Mark Hamburger came on and gave up a hit in one inning. Ryan O’Rourke got the final out of the seventh inning. Then some bullpen arms got some extended work. Michael Tonkin struck out eight in three perfect innings (read that sentence again). AJ Achter threw two scoreless innings, though he gave up a hit and walked three. He struck out four. Logan Darnell worked four scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, walked three and struck out six to get the win.

    In the top of the 16th inning, Eric Farris singled, and James Beresford advanced him to second with a bunt. Nate Hanson came up and came through with an RBI with a game-winning single. In 16 innings, the Red Wings had just eight hits. Oswaldo Arcia hit his third home run. Eric Fryer walked and added his first homer. He will leave the team now to join Team USA for the Pan-Am Games. Reynaldo Rodriguez hit his 19th double.

    Chattanooga 1, Birmingham 3
    Game 1 - Box Score

    The Lookouts had not played in four days, so they played two games on Friday. The team had a scheduled day off which was followed by two rainouts. The bats cooled off with the delay (and the Miguel Sano promotion possibly, too).

    In Game 1, the team had just five hits. Jorge Polanco went 2-4 and drove in the lone run. Stephen Wickens walked twice. Kennys Vargas batted third and went 1-3.

    David Hurlbut started the first game. The southpaw gave up three runs on six hits and four walks in five innings to take the loss. He struck out three. Alex Muren made his AA debut and threw two perfect innings. He struck out one.

    Chattanooga 1, Birmingham 6
    Game 2 - Box Score

    Game 2 wasn’t any better for the Lookouts. Jorge Polanco went 2-4 in the second game too. He hit his 14th double. Max Kepler struck out three times, but he added his 14th double. Mike Gonzales doubled for the 10th time this year. Kennys Vargas walked twice.

    Alex Wimmers started game two. He gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out three. Jake Reed gave up one run in his innings. JT Chargois gave up a run on a hit in his inning.

    Ft. Myers 3, Palm Beach 4 (10 innings)
    Box Score

    Yet another extra innings game for the Miracle. Unfortunately, they ended up on the losing side of this one.

    Ryan Eades started and was only able to complete four innings. He gave up two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five. Corey Williams came on and gave up one run over two innings. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out one. Matt Summers gave up two hits over three shutout innings. He struck out one. After getting one out, Todd Van Steensel gave up a first-pitch home run to Luke Voit. Voit went 3-5 in the game with two doubles before the walk-off homer.

    Jason Kanzler (The Muscles and Mustache Man) led the offense. He went 2-5 with his sixth double and his sixth home run. Bryan Haar and Aderlin Mejia also had two hits. Mitch Garver went 1-3 with a walk and his 13th double.

    Cedar Rapids 1, Burlington 4
    Box Score

    The Cedar Rapids offense continues to struggle. In this game, they had just five hits. TJ White was 1-3 with a walk. Brett Doe hit his eighth double. Nick Gordon had a single and the lone RBI.

    Jared Wilson had his first rough start of the year. In just 1.2 innings, he gave up three runs on three hits and four walks. Luke Bard gave up three hits over 3.1 scoreless innings. He struck out two without a walk. Cameron Booser was charged with an unearned run over three innings of relief. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out three.

    Greeneville @ Elizabethton
    Box Score

    The game was postponed due to rain..

    GCL Twins 4, GCL Red Sox 3 (13 innings)
    Box Score

    Another extra innings game, but a walk-off win for the GCL Twins on Friday. With two outs in the bottom of the 13th inning, Jorge Andrade walked. Lean Marrero singled, and then Luis Arraez singled him in to end the game.

    Arraez went 3-6 in the game. So did Jermaine Palacios. Lewin Diaz went 1-3 with two walks. Travis Blankenhorn added his third double.

    With the extra innings, pretty much everybody got a chance to pitch (slight exaggeration). Luis Hernandez started and gave up three runs on four hits. He walked two without a strikeout. After that, 11 shutout innings from the bullpen. Miguel Gonzalez struck out four batters in three perfect innings. Callan Pearce gave up a hit and a walk and recorded two outs. Max Cordy walked two and hit a batter, but he got two outs before allowing any runs. Hector Lujan struck out one in a scoreless inning. Chris Mazza returned to the mound and threw two shutout innings. He walked one and struck one out. Yorman Landa rehabbed as well. He gave up two hits over two scoreless innings. Brandon Poulson worked the final inning. He gave up a hit and walked two, but he struck out two and gave up no runs.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Michael Tonkin, Rochester Red Wings
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jorge Polanco, Chattanooga Lookouts


    Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (6:05 CST) – RHP Tyler Duffey
    Chattanooga @ Jacksonville (6:05 CST) – LHP Brett Lee
    St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (5:05 CST) – LHP Mat Batts
    Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (5:05 CST) – RHP Zach Tillery
    Elizabethton @ Greeneville (6:00 CST) – LHP Brandon Easton
    GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox (9:00 am CST) – TBD
    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Friday games.

    • Jul 04 2015 08:45 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  13. Twins Minor League Hitter Of The Month - April 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 6 hitters of the month, but first here are some players deserving of honorable mention.


    • C Mitch Garver (Rochester) - .278/.435/.500 (.935). 10-36 with five doubles, one home run and eight RBI.
    • OF Daniel Palka (Rochester) - .259/.318/.469 (.787). 21-81 with two doubles, five home runs and 13 RBI.
    • 1B/3B Matt Hague (Rochester) - .313/.398/.450 (.848). 25-80 with two doubles, three homers and 12 RBI.
    • 2B/SS Engelb Vielma (Chattanooga) - .320/.373/.387 (.760). 24-75 with five doubles and ten RBI.
    • OF Max Murphy (Ft. Myers) - .297/.402/.432 (.834). 22-74 with four doubles, two homers and eight RBI.
    • OF Jaylin Davis (Cedar Rapids) - .268/.341/.465 (.806). 19-71 with one double, two triples, three home runs and 11 RBI.

    Number 6 – Chattanooga – 2B/SS Nick Gordon - .322/.381/.437 (.818). 28-87 with three doubles, two triples, one home run and 12 RBI.

    Gordon was the Twins top pick, fifth overall, in the 2014 draft out of high school in Orlando. He has gradually worked his way up the system, one step at a time, always well younger than the average player in his league. This year, he is one of the youngest players in the AA Southern League, and he’s off to a terrific start.

    Gordon has been the team’s leadoff hitter most every game. He’s split his time between shortstop (13 games) and second base (8 games) with Engelb Vielma and done well at both spots. Talking to Nick Gordon in spring training, it was clear that he was ready to have a big season. He told me that his confidence was very high following his AFL performance last year as well as his time in big league camp. He’s still got work to do. For instance, I think that more power will come. But at least to this point, he has taken more walks and better plate appearances, something that will help him in the long run.

    Number 5 – Ft. Myers – 1B Zander Wiel - .259/.337/.506 (.843). 21-81 with eight doubles, three triples, two home runs and 18 RBI.

    Wiel was the Twins 12th-round pick in 2015 out of Vanderbilt. He led the Midwest League in RBI in 2016. This year he has moved up to the Miracle where he is off to another solid start. To this point, he has been an extra base hit machine which is always impressive in the Florida State League. The first baseman also had 18 RBI in the month, tops in the Twins minor leagues.

    Last week, Wiel was taken out of a game after being hit by a 95 mph fastball in the face. He had a few stitches put in, missed one game and was back in the lineup. He’s got work to do defensively, but it will be his bat that will have to carry him up the ladder.

    Number 4 – Cedar Rapids – OF Aaron Whitefield - .289/.304/.566 (.877). 22-76 with five doubles, two triples, four home runs and 12 RBI.

    Two years ago, Aaron Whitefield was playing softball internationally for Australia. A Twins scout saw him play and decided the tremendous athlete had good size and speed, and signed him. He played just a few games in the GCL in 2015 after signing. Last year, he was the lone GCL Twins player to be named to the postseason All-Star team. He made the jump from the GCL to the Midwest League, and after some early struggles, he has been very good.

    He has hit mostly first or ninth in Tommy Watkins’ lineup. He has mostly played center field where he has tremendous range and a strong arm. While he will need to be more patient at the plate, He had just two walks to go with 19 strikeouts in the month, he has some natural yet raw abilities that are very encouraging. In time, he’ll hit for more power and can steal some bases. Expect some ups and downs, but the 20-year-old’s talent is immense.

    Number 3 - Rochester – IF Tommy Field - .314/.380/.543 (.923) 22-70 with seven doubles, three homers and five RBI

    Between 2011 and 2015, Field played in a combined 47 big league games for the Rockies, Angels and Rangers. The 30-year-old utility infielder came to the Twins as a free agent during the middle of the 2016 season. He showed an ability to play all three infield positions very well, as well as playing well in some outfield time. In 82 games for the Red Wings last year, Field hit .235 (.726) with 11 home runs.

    Field had a nice showing in big league camp this year before being sent to Rochester again. He had a strong first month. He hit over .300 with ten extra base hits while continuing to be reliable wherever manager Mike Quade puts him in the lineup or on the field.

    Number 2 - Cedar Rapids – C/1B Mitchell Kranson - .324/.351/.535 (.887) 23-71 with seven doubles, one triple, two homers and 11 RBI

    After four years at Cal-Berkeley, Kranson was the Twins ninth-round draft pick last June. He went to Elizabethton and hit. In the offseason, he lost 25 pounds and gained strength. He came to spring training looking like a different person. It’s good to see when a guy works that hard sees immediate success. He’s hit anywhere from two to five in the Kernels lineup and been productive all month. He’s hit for extra-base power. He uses the whole field well. He’s a very professional hitter.

    Defensively, he played first base, third base and catcher this month. He’d like to do more catching in time, though part of his value as he goes forward will be his ability to play multiple positions including behind the plate.

    And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is:

    Cedar Rapids – SS Jermaine Palacios - .393/.432/.573 (1.005). 35-89 with three doubles, five triples, one home run and 11 RBI.

    A year ago, a 19-year-old Jermaine Palacios finished April in Cedar Rapids hitting .186/.256/.214 (.471). It didn’t get better as things warmed up, and his season came to an end after being hit by a pitch in mid-July.

    2017 has been completely different. Now 20, Palacios got off to a fast start and it has continued. With a couple of hits last night, he now has a 14-game hitting streak. He’s hit the ball hard all over the field. He leads the organization in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, total bases, triples, and several other offensive categories. And despite this being his second go-round in the league, 85% of his at bats have come against older pitchers.

    Defensively, he’s played at shortstop every game. He’s been pretty good, posting a .955 fielding percentage. Many believe that he has the ability to stick at shortstop.

    While it is easy to think that the Twins should move Palacios up to Ft. Myers, and that may happen. However, he’s still got things to work on and it doesn’t hurt for him to experience some extended success at this level. Also, he has just four walks to go with 18 strikeouts, so he’ll have to continue to work on his plate discipline. However, to this point, aggressiveness has paid off for him.

    Congratulations to the April Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month for 2017, Cedar Rapids shortstop Jermaine Palacios.

    • May 03 2017 04:51 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  14. Twins Minor League Hitter Of The Month - June 2017

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


    • Mitch Garver - Rochester - 23 G, 29-94, .309/.371/.521 (.893) with eight doubles, four homers, 12 RBI.
    • Nick Gordon - Chattanooga - 22 G, 31-99, .313/.382/.465 (.846) with seven doubles, one triple, two homers, 16 RBI.
    • Brandon Lopez - Cedar Rapids/Ft. Myers - 20 G, 25-67, .373/.427/.433 (.860) with two triples, and nine RBI.
    • Alex Perez - Ft. Myers/Chattanooga - 19 G, 21-55, .382/.507/.418 (.925) with two doubles and four RBI.
    • Ben Rortvedt - Cedar Rapids - 17 G, 21-62, .339/.423/.516 (.939) with five doubles, two homers and 12 RBI

    Number 5 – Chattanooga - TJ White - 24 G, .297/.385/.527 (.912). 27-91 with seven doubles, one triple, four home runs and 17 RBI.

    White returned to the Lookouts lineup in mid-May after starting the season on the disabled list. He made a few mechanical alterations to his swing. He’s come back strong to this point. In June, he hit very well, hitting liners all over the part. He has shown even more power than he has in past years as well.

    White went to high school in Las Vegas where he was a teammate of Joey Gallo of the Rangers. They played against Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper. White stayed home for college, attending UNLV. The Twins made him their 19th round pick in the 2014 draft. He’s gradually moved up the ladder, reaching Chattanooga early in the 2016 season as an injury replacement. Reports indicate that his third base defense has improved as well

    Number 4 – Cedar Rapids/Ft. Myers – SS Jermaine Palacios - .353/.391/.565 (.956). 30-85 with four doubles, one triple, four home runs and 13 RBI.

    What a year it has been for Jermaine Palacios. Just under a year ago, a frustrating season in Cedar Rapids came to an end when he was hit in the wrist by a pitch. He returned to the Midwest League this season, still just 20 until recently, and has been on fire. He hit .400 in April, slowed down some in May, but he took off again in June.

    While he showed in the rookie leagues in 2015 what he could do, this year’s success comes as some surprise. He has never shown the kind of power he displayed in the first half of the Kernels, hitting 11 homers. He was promoted to the Miracle following the Midwest League All-Star Game. He’s hit .348 over his first six games.

    Number 3 - Ft. Myers – OF Max Murphy - .388/.464/.541 (1.005) 33-85 with five doubles, one triple, two homers and 12 RBI.

    Murphy began this season hitting down in the Miracle lineup. But in mid-May, he started hitting well and getting on base. He was moved to the leadoff position and he’s been very good since. As you can see, in June, he hit for average, took a lot of walks (and was hit a bit) and showed some extra-base power.

    Murphy was the Twins ninth-round draft pick in 2014 out of Bradley University. He played his high school ball at Robbinsdale Cooper in New Hope, Minnesota.

    Number 2 - Cedar Rapids – 3B Travis Blankenhorn - .309/.430/.619 (1.048), 30-97 with four doubles, seven triples, four homers and 19 RBI.

    Blankenhorn is used to having big June’s. Last year, he started very quickly in Elizabethton and earned a promotion to Cedar Rapids. That’s where he is this year. He began the year really hot for two weeks, but struggled for about a month. In June, he turned things around.

    He has always had a good eye and a willingness to take walks. That will benefit him going forward. However, he really showed some good power and speed in June. 15 extra base hits are impressive, but seven of them were triples. Of course, most will remember his eventual game-winning steal of home as the Kernels really needed a win to secure a playoff berth.

    And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is:

    Rochester – OF Zack Granite - .470/.527/.667 (1.193), 55-117 with 11 doubles, three triple, two homers and 12 RBI.

    What a month! Even the International League didn’t have to wait to name Zack Granite their player of the month. I’ve been writing about Twins minor leaguers for more than a dozen years, and I can’t remember seeing a guy have a month like Granite just did. He hit .470! Granite started the month with a 17-game hitting streak, had that streak snapped, and then ended the month with an 11-game hitting streak. Putting that all together, he hit in 28 out of his 29 games in June. He had 20 multi-hit games.

    It’s been an interesting past year for Granite. Last year, he was likely heading to Ft. Myers to start the season, but an injury to the likely Lookouts centerfielder meant Granite started in Chattanooga. He stayed there all year and earned the Twins Minor League Player of the Year award.

    In November, he was added to the 40-man roster which meant he was going to his first major league spring training with the Twins. Paul Molitor raved about him throughout spring training. When he was sent down to minor league camp, Molitor said, “I like Zack a lot. I like how he prepares. I like how he competes. It was good to watch him play. He got into actually a lot of games. Made an impression almost every day he played in some capacity.”

    Granite enjoyed the experience and took a lot from it. He told Twins Daily on Saturday, “Big league camp was a lot of fun and a good learning experience for me. It was cool to see how guys go about their business and talking to guys about their approach and working with guys like Torii Hunter and (Michael) Cuddyer.”

    Unfortunately, on the final day of spring training, he pulled a muscle in his side. It cost him a month. He played five games for Ft. Myers before joining the Rochester Red Wings on May 7th. He had two hits that game. He struggled a bit in May, relatively. He was coming back from injury and playing at a new level. And then came June.

    Granite just takes it all in stride. “I'm just trying to keep things simple and get a good pitch to hit, if I start to think too much then I start worrying about things I shouldn't be thinking about.”

    When asked if he’s given much thought to possibly being called up soon, and what it would me, he said, “That's something I can't control. I can't waste my time thinking about things I can't control. I just have to do my job and let the people in charge make the decision. My job is simple. Just play the game. If it happens it happens. But I'm going to go out and have fun playing the game.”

    Fair to say that Granite had a lot of fun playing the game in June!

    Congratulations to the June Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month for 2017, Rochester Red Wings outfielder Zack Granite.

    • Jul 02 2017 06:17 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  15. Twins Minor League Report (7/28): Berrios Makes His Case... Again!

    All that and more can be found as you work your way through today’s minor league report.

    Rochester 13, Toledo 2
    Box Score

    Coming into the day, the Red Wings had lost 13 straight games in Ohio (Columbus and Toledo). This game remained scoreless through five innings. However, the Red Wings scored four in the sixth, four in the seventh, two in the eighth and three more in the ninth to get the big win.

    JO Berrios was on the mound in this game. The right-hander went the first six innings. He gave up one run on five hits. He walked three and struck out eight. He improved to 2-0 with a 3.52 ERA. In his past three starts, he has given up just three runs in 20 innings. Michael Tonkin struck out one over two shutout innings. AJ Achter, an Ohio native, came in and gave up one run in the ninth.

    The offense definitely came up big in this game and many players contributed. Danny Ortiz led the way. The diminutive outfielder went 3-5 with three doubles and three RBI. He now has 25 doubles on the season. James Beresford went 3-5 with a walk and his 17th double. Carlos Paulino went 3-5 with a triple. Argenis Diaz was 3-4. Doug Bernier went 2-4 with a walk and his second home run. Reynaldo Rodriguez hit a three-run triple. Nate Hanson had an RBI double in his lone at-bat.

    Chattanooga 8, Pensacola 3
    Box Score

    Brett Lee made the start and gave up three runs in the second inning. That was it. The southpaw worked five innings. He gave up three runs (two earned) on three hits. He walked three and struck out one. He recorded his first AA win. Jake Reed came on. He threw two scoreless innings, allowing one hit, walking one and striking out one. DJ Johnson gave up two hits but no runs in the 8th inning. JT Chargois struck out one in a scoreless ninth.

    Shannon Wilkerson was the lead-off man and center fielder. He went 3-4 with a walk and two doubles. Stuart Turner had his second straight three hit game. He was 3-4 with a walk and his ninth double. Levi Michael went 2-4 with his fourth triple. Kennys Vargas went 2-5 and drove in two runs.

    Ft. Myers 4, Lakeland 3
    Box Score

    The Miracle were in danger of needing to go to extra innings for the 321st time this season. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Michael Quesada doubled. Tanner Vavra pinch ran for him. With two outs and Vavra still at second, Zach Granite ended the game with a single. However, it was a little more dramatic than that. Granite’s grounder up the middle was fielded by the second baseman who threw late to first. Vavra never slowed down around third and scored from second on an infield hit.

    Granite went 2-4 in the game. Mitch Garver led the way. He went 2-4 with his second homer of the season, a two-run blast. Jason Kanzler went 2-4 with his fourth triple of the year.

    Ryan Eades made the start for the Miracle. He gave up two runs on four hits and four walks over six innings. He struck out three. Dallas Gallant pitched the seventh inning. He gave up one run on two walks. He struck out two. Nick Burdi pitched the final two innings. He gave up two hits, walked none and struck out two.

    Cedar Rapids 4, Clinton 3 (10 innings)
    Box Score

    Through nine innings, the top three hitters in the Kernels lineup (Tanner English, Nick Gordon and Edgar Corcino) walked five times. Unfortunately, the Kernels fourth and fifth hitters (Zach Larson and Tyler Kuresa) went 0-8.

    However, in the tenth, after Tanner English was hit by a pitch and Edgar Corcino walked, Zach Larson came up big with a double. It scored English from second, but Corcino was thrown out at the plate. The team had a 4-3 lead.

    English led the way and he didn’t even have a hit. He was 0-2, but he walked twice and was hit by a pitch. He also stole his 30th base of the year. Brian Navarreto went 1-3 with a walk and his seventh double. Rafael Valera went 2-5.

    Keaton Steele started and gave up no runs in 4.2 innings. He gave up three hits, walked three and struck out one. Mike Theofanopoulos went the next 2.1 innings. He gave up one run on four hits. He walked one and struck out two. Randy LeBlanc worked two innings. He gave up just one hit, but he was charged with two unearned runs which tied the game. With the lead in the 10th, Cam Booser came on. He walked the first batter he faced, just to get people nervous. He then struck out the next two before getting the final out and his 10th save.

    Elizabethton 4, Johnson City 8
    Box Score

    It’s hard to fathom, but the E-Twins were able to score only four runs despite nine hits and ten walks in this game. They left 13 men on base. Chris Paul went 1-5. He was the only Twins player who reached base less than twice. Travis Blankenhorn went 2-4 with a walk. Kamran Young went 2-4 with a walk and his third double. Manuel Guzman and LaMonte Wade each had two hits. Meanwhile, Dan Kihle, Alex Perez, Amaurys Minier and AJ Murray each walked twice.

    Miles Nordgren started for the Twins. He gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits. He walked one and struck out five. Logan Lombana came on gave up four runs on six hits (including two home runs) over two innings. He walked two and struck out four. Josh Guyer gave up a run in the ninth.

    Game 1 – GCL Twins 4, GCL Rays 1
    Box Score

    In this game, the 3-4-5 hitters for the Twins led the way. Those three had all five hits for the team. Brian Olson went 2-2 with a walk. Lewin Diaz hit his fifth double and drove in a run. Jermaine Palacios went 2-3 with his eighth double, first home run and three RBI and is now hitting .422.

    Jose Martinez started and went the first two innings. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk. He struck out three. Lachlan Wells came on and went the final five innings. He gave up just two hits and didn’t walk a batter. He struck out six.

    Game 2 – GCL Twins 2, GCL Rays 0
    Box Score

    The Twins were able to complete the sweep and improve to 16-12 on their season.

    Eduardo del Rosario started and was very good through the first four innings. He hit one, allowed one hit and walked one, but did not allow a run. He struck out nine. John Curtiss struck out three over two perfect innings as he continues his rehab. Johan Quezada picked up his fifth save, striking out one in his perfect inning.

    19-year-old South African Rowan Ebersohn went 2-3 with his first double. Luis Arraez was 2-3. Bryant Hayman went 1-2 with a walk. Trey Cabbage added his second double.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – JO Berrios, Rochester Red Wings
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Danny Ortiz, Rochester Red Wings


    Rochester @ Toledo (11:00 am CST) – RHP Michael Bowden
    Pensacola @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) – RHP DJ Baxendale
    Lakeland @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) – LHP Mat Batts
    Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:30 CST) – RHP Felix Jorge
    Johnson City @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) – RHP Andro Cutura
    GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 CST) – TBD

    Feel free to leave any questions or comments below

    • Jul 29 2015 05:21 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  16. Twins Minor League Report (8/1): Gibbons' Big Day

    All that and more can be found as you work your way through today’s minor league report.

    First, a little injury update. I ran into Trey Vavra at Target Field tonight. He was in a walking boot. He said that he met with Twins doctors a while ago and then had surgery. He'll be in the boot for another three weeks before heading off to Florida to begin rehab. He was clearly disappointed but remains very positive. Looking forward to just being able to play. However, his 2015 season, at least the minor league season, is done.

    Rochester 4, Syracuse 10
    Box Score

    The Red Wings scored some runs, but unfortunately, this one got out of hand early. Not too early though. Tyler Duffey started. He gave up one run on three hits and a walk in two innings. He struck out five. However, it is intriguing that he left the game after just two innings and 36 pitches. I’m sure we’ll learn more soon.

    The Twins did not announce anything following their win. In Rochester, manager Mike Quade was "cryptic" to Rochester Democrat and Chronicle beat writer Kevin Oklobzija following the game. Speculation remains that he could be joining the Twins, but there has been nothing to confirm that at this time.

    Logan Darnell came on to replace Duffey. He gave up six runs on eight hits over three innings. Alex Meyer threw two scoreless innings with four strikeouts, but he left after loading the bases to start his third inning, the eighth. He thought he had a strikeout then and argued with the ump. Manager Mike Quade stood up for his pitcher and was ejected. Cole Johnson came on. He gave up two hits in that inning, allowing Meyer's three runners to score, but gave up no runs of his own over the final two innings. He struck out two.

    James Beresford went 3-4. Reynado Rodriguez went 2-4 with his 26th double. Xavier Avery was 1-17 in his first four games with the Red Wings. He was moved from the leadoff spot to sixth in the order. .He went 3-4.

    Chattanooga 1, Pensacola 8
    Box Score

    The Lookouts had just one hit through seven innings and by then, they were already down big.

    David Hurlbut started. The lefty gave up five runs (four earned) on 11 hits in 4.2 innings. He walked one and struck out three. Alex Wimmers came on and went the next 1.1 innings. He gave up three runs on three hits. He walked two and struck out two. Adrian Salcedo returned from his 80-game suspension. He walked one in a scoreless inning.

    Jorge Polanco played his first game with the Lookouts since June 9. He drove in the team’s run on a single. He drove in Stephen Wickens who had walked.

    Ft. Myers, Daytona
    Box Score

    This game was postponed by rain. The teams will try to play a doubleheader on Sunday.

    Cedar Rapids 7, Kane County 0
    Box Score

    The story in this game was the pitching performance of 21-year-old Australian right-hander Sam Gibbons. He went all nine innings and did not allow a run. You may call that a complete game shutout, if you like! In fact, he gave up just four hits, walked one and struck out a season-high nine batters. The outing increased his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 21.2 innings.

    Alex Real led the way. He went 2-4 with two doubles. He has seven on the year. Rafael Valera went 2-4. Tanner English hit his 16th double. Nick Gordon had a single and walked once.

    Elizabethton 12, Burlington 5
    Box Score

    Terry Ryan is on his way to Elizabethton to check out the E-Twins. Hopefully he can see several games like this one.

    Dereck Rodriguez improved to 4-1 on the season. He gave up four runs, albeit just one was earned, though the error was his own, on four hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out seven. CK Irby pitched the final three innings to pick up his second save. He gave up one run on three hits. He struck out four.

    The Twins had 12 runs on 12 hits and five walks. Burlington also committed four errors to help. Jermaine Palacios continues to impress. After going 3-5 in his Appy League debut on Friday night, he went 3-5 again on Saturday. He added his first double. Chris Paul also went 3-5. Daniel Kihle went 2-3 with a walk and his second triple.

    GCL Twins, GCL Red Sox
    Box Score

    Game postponed due to wet grounds.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sam Gibbons, Cedar Rapids Kernels
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios, Elizabethton Twins


    Syracuse @ Rochester (12:35 CST) – LHP Pat Dean
    Chattanooga @ Jackson (6:05 CST) – TBD
    Ft. Myers @ Daytona (DH @ 3:05 CST) – RHP Aaron Slegers, TBD
    Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (1:00 CST) – LHP Luke Westphal
    Burlington @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) – TBD
    GCL Twins – No Game Scheduled

    Feel free to leave any questions or comments below

    • Aug 02 2015 06:57 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  17. Twins Minor League Report (5/17): Wells Tosses Complete Game

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


    Check out the transactions through the minor league system on Wednesday:

    • Chattanooga placed RHP Todd Van Steensel on the disabled list with a groin strain. Taking his place is RHP Alex Wimmers (who had been sent to extended spring training on Monday from Rochester).
    • Because of the doubleheader Thursday, the Twins are able to call up a 26th man. That player will be RHP Drew Rucinski.
    Rochester 8, Lehigh Valley 11 (11 innings)
    Box Score

    In his first four starts this season, lefty David Hurlbut gave up a total of four runs in 22.1 innings. He had his first clunker of 2017 on Wednesday night. He was charged with seven runs on nine hits (two homers) and a walk in just 3.2 innings. Alan Busenitz came on and was terrific. The hard-throwing right-hander gave up just one hit over 3.1 scoreless innings. He struck out five without issuing a walk. Michael Tonkin came in for the 8th inning, protecting a one-run lead. He gave up a solo homer to tie the game, but he then worked scoreless innings in the ninth and 10th innings. Kevin Chapman came in for the 11th frame. He gave up three runs (two earned) on three hits in the inning to take the loss.

    The offense provided plenty of support. Byungho Park went 3-4 with his fourth double. JB Shuck was 3-4 with a walk and his fifth double. John Ryan Murphy went 2-5 with his third homer, a three-run shot. Matt Hague and Daniel Palka each went 2-5 with a double. It was Palka’s fifth and Matt Hague’s third.

    In the bottom of the 10th, the Red Wings got to go through the Pat Venditte Experience. Venditte is the ambidextrous pitcher who has moved up and down from AAA to the big leagues the last few seasons.

    Posted Image

    The bases were loaded, but John Ryan Murphy grounded into a double play to end the threat to end the game.

    For Lehigh Valley, old friend Pedro Florimon went 5-5 with a double and is hitting .349 on the season.

    Chattanooga 6 Birmingham 8
    Box Score

    It was an early start on Wednesday for the Lookouts. Their fifth and final game of a home series against Birmingham began at 11:15 local time. Following the game, the Lookouts headed to Biloxi for their next five-game series.

    Down 2-0 in the third inning, TJ White, Ryan Strausborger and Nick Gordon hit doubles to tie the score at two. Then in the bottom of the fourth inning, Levi Michael added a two-run homer to put the Lookouts on top. It was his first homer of the season. They added two more on an Edgar Corcino single. But that was it for the offense. In fact, after that fourth inning, they didn’t have another hit. The one base runner reached on a walk and was erased immediately by a double play.

    Felix Jorge was strong through six innings. He gave up an early two-run homer, but that was it. Until the seventh inning. He started the inning with a strikeout, but then he loaded the bases with a walk, a single and another walk. That’s when Mason Melotakis came in. Melotakis gave up a pinch-hit, grand slam and the game was tied. After recording the inning’s second out, he gave up a single which was followed by another home run. That gave the Kernels their 8-6 deficit that ended up being the final score.

    Melotakis worked a scoreless eighth frame. John Curtiss did pitch the ninth inning as well. He has now pitched 13 games this season, and in 14.2 innings, he is yet to allow a run. He has 19 strikeouts. However, he’s also given up nine walks to go with nine hits.

    TJ White was the lone Lookouts hitter with more than one hit. He went 2-4 with his first double.

    Ft. Myers 3, Clearwater 1
    Box Score

    Complete games are a rarity in minor league baseball. Pitch counts are more tightly monitored, and especially in the lower levels, the pitchers are young and will be taken care of.

    However, on Wednesday night, lefty Lachlan Wells delivered a complete game in a Miracle win. Wells gave up a double to lead off the game. After a sacrifice bunt, the run scored on a ground ball. After that, it was eight straight shutout innings. In fact, only one more runner the whole game reached second base. He gave up the one run on four hits and two walks. He struck out four. Most important, he needed just 92 pitches (67 strikes) to complete the game and win his second game of the season and reduce his ERA to 3.51. No surprise. It was the first complete game of his career.

    Offensively, the Miracle offense waited an inning to do their scoring. In the bottom of the second inning, Daniel Kihle launched a three-run homer, his third of the season. That was it for the Miracle offense, at least in terms of runs scored. After hitting a walk-off home run the night before, Chris Paul added two hits on Wednesday. Rafael Valera walked twice.

    Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 4
    Box Score

    It looked as if Wednesday’s Kernels game had the potential to be a long one. Through two innings, a combined ten runs had already been scored. However, just one more run was scored the rest of the game.

    The Kernels got a two-run homer from Lewin Diaz in the bottom of the first inning, his fifth of the season. Sean Poppen gave up three runs in the top of the second frame, but the Kernels put up a five-spot in the bottom of the second inning. Aaron Whitefield drove in a run with a single before Jermaine Palacios launched a three-run homer, his fourth of the year. Two batters later, Mitchell Kranson hit his third homer of the year, a solo shot.

    Palacios had been in a bit of a slump, seeing his average drop from .398 to .326 over the past 13 games during which he hit .196. However, on this day, he went 3-5 with his eighth double, fourth homer and he stole his sixth base. Mitchell Kranson went 3-4 with his 12th double and third home run. That’s two guys who ended the day a triple shy of the cycle.

    Brandon Lopez went 3-4 with his second double. Aaron Whitefield went 3-5. Ben Rortvedt went 2-4 in the game.

    Sean Poppen made the start. The right-hander from Harvard gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out five. He has completed six innings in all seven of his starts this season. Zach Tillery came on for his first appearance of the year and in a year. He gave up a run on three walks in his inning. It was his first appearance since May 7, 2016, with the Kernels. He missed the year with a shoulder injury. Alex Robinson recorded his second save with two shutout innings. He struck out four.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Lachlan Wells, Ft. Myers Miracle
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios/Mitchell Kranson, Cedar Rapids Kernels


    Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (12:35 CST) - LHP Jason Wheeler
    Chattanooga @ Biloxi (6:35 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero
    Clearwater @ Ft. Myers (5:35 CST) - RHP Brady Anderson
    Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35 CST) - LHP Domenic Carlini IV
    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Wednesday’s games.

    • May 18 2017 04:48 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  18. Twins Minor League Report (5/25): Buxton Leads Wings To Win

    NOTE: Seth will be in attendance at the games in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so expect reports and stories from there throughout the weekend. Remember, Cedar Rapids is less than five hours south of the Twin Cities. It’s certainly worth the trip, especially if you’re interested in prospects. Also, the Field of Dreams movie site is less than an hour away. Consider making a trip this summer! You’ll enjoy it! Check the Kernels schedule and get tickets here.

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

    On Wednesday, there were a few transactions in the Twins system:

    • First, the Twins moved LHP Glen Perkins to the 60-Day disabled list. They put OF Darin Mastroianni on the 15-Day disabled list. They purchased the contract of LHP Buddy Boshers and called him up to the big leagues.
    • Mitch Garver was activated from the DL, but RHP Ryan Eades was placed on the DL.
    • RHP Hector Lujan was returned to extended spring training. RHP Nick Anderson was promoted from Cedar Rapids to Ft. Myers. RHP Kuo Hua Lo was brought back to the Kernels from extended spring training.
    Rochester 9, Indianapolis 8
    Box Score

    Byron Buxton has had a tremendous May with the Red Wings which begs the question, how long will (and should) he remain in AAA before coming back to the Twins? It’s a fair question, to be sure. He led off this game with a double. In his second at-bat, he hit his fifth home run, a long blast to the right of center field. He was intentionally walked the next time up. In his final plate appearance, he lined a single up the middle. Altogether, he was 3-4 with his seventh double, fifth homer and two RBI.

    In the first inning, Tommy Field knocked a three-run homer, his third homer in just over a week with the organization. He went 2-3 with a walk and four RBI. Field’s home run was followed by Adam Brett Walker’s tenth home run of the season, a tape-measure shot measured at about 450 feet. Kennys Vargas went 2-4 with a walk. Eddie Rosario went 2-4 with a double. Jorge Polanco added his fifth triple.

    Jason Wheeler was good again. He improved to 3-1 with a 1.86 ERA with six solid innings. He gave up two runs in five hits and a walk. He struck out three. David Martinez came on and gave up one run on one hit and two walks in the seventh. He struck out two. Alex Wimmers gave up a hit in a scoreless eighth.

    The Red Wings went into the ninth inning with a 9-3 lead. Ryan O’Rourke started the inning. He got two outs, but gave up five runs (two earned) on five hits. JT Chargois came in and gave up a hit, but he then got the final out for his third Red Wings save.

    The Red Wings have now won 15 of their last 20 games and are 26-20 on the season.

    Chattanooga 6, Tennessee 2
    Box Score

    Good things come in threes, right? The Lookouts scored three runs in the third inning thanks to two triples. TJ White got things going with a two-run triple. Next up was leadoff man Zach Granite who switched places with him with a triple of his own.

    Ryan Walker went 2-4 with his third stolen base. Leonardo Reginnato went 2-3. Daniel Palka added a triple late in the game.

    DJ Baxendale started and worked the first 6.2 innings. He gave up two runs on four hits. He also hit a batter. He struck out one. Mason Melotakis came on and get the final out of the 7th inning, on a strikeout. Trevor Hildenberger picked up his fourth save. He struck out three over two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits. Baxendale improved to 4-5 with a 3.06 ERA.

    With the win, the Lookouts improved to 20-26 on the season.

    Ft. Myers 4, Palm Beach 10 (10 innings)
    Box Score

    Obviously the tenth inning didn’t go well for the Miracle. Nick Gordon’s third triple tied the score at four in the ninth inning. However, in the tenth, the first eight batters reached for the Cardinals and six of them scored.

    Keaton Steele started. The right-hander gave up one run on six hits and four walks in five innings. He struck out four. Nick Anderson came on for his Florida State League debut. He gave up an unearned run on one hit and one walk in his inning. The unearned run was due to a throwing error by Anderson himself. He struck out two. Raul Fernandez threw two scoreless innings. John Curtiss gave up two runs in the ninth, but when the Miracle scored two to tie it, he returned for the tenth. All three batters he faced reached base. He was replaced by Brian Gilbert who faced five batters and gave up three hits, a walk, and the next batter reached on an error. He was replaced by Todd Van Steensel who gave up a hit but got the final three outs, two on strikeouts.

    Max Murphy and Brian Navarreto each went 3-5 in the game. Tanner Witt went 2-4 with a walk. Edgar Corcino went 2-4 and his fourth home run of the year tied the game at two in the eighth inning. Gordon went 1-3 with two walks and the triple.

    The Miracle fell to 24-23 on the season.

    Cedar Rapids 6, Burlington 7
    Box Score

    Sam Clay had his first rough start of the season. The left-hander gave up seven runs on six hits, five walks and a hit batter in just 2.2 innings. He struck out one. Kuo Hua Lo struck out six over the next 3.1 innings. He gave up two hits and walked two, but no runs. Williams Ramirez then worked two perfect innings, striking out one.

    LaMonte Wade got things going for the Kernels with a home run, his fourth, in the first inning. He didn’t take long to increase his streak of consecutive games getting on base to 25. He went 3-5 in the game. Later, Zander Wiel extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a two-run single. Brad Hartong went 2-4 with his first triple. Jermaine Palacios went 2-4 with his third double and two driven in.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Trevor Hildenberger, Chattanooga Lookouts
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Byron Buxton, Rochester Red Wings


    Indianapolis @ Rochester (10:05 a.m. CST) - RHP Jose Berrios
    Tennessee @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - LHP Nick Greenwood
    Palm Beach @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) – RHP Felix Jorge
    Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (6:30 CST) – RHP Fernando Romero
    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Wednesday games.

    • May 26 2016 08:33 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  19. Twins Minor League Report (8/8): Tiempo Para La Maquina!

    After throwing 139.1 innings totally in 2014, it is likely that he has an innings limit of 160 to 170 innings this year.

    And, there were six other games in the Twins farm system, and plenty of highlights to report in today’s minor league report.


    A few quick notes on the transactions of the day:

    • Caleb Thielbar, DFAd last week, was claimed by the San Diego Padres. He’ll report to their AAA affiliate.
    • Eric Fryer, DFAd on Thursday night, cleared waivers and accepted his outright to Rochester.
    • As we mentioned here last night, Jake Reed was sent down to Ft. Myers.
    • In Chattanooga, Brandon Peterson was activated from the disabled list.
    • Chris Paul promoted to Cedar Rapids from E-Town.
    • Lewin Diaz promoted to E-Town from the GCL Twins.
    • Down in the GCL, Roberto Gonzalez was activated from the DL, while MiLB.com reports Aaron Whitehead was activated from the restricted list.
    Rochester 3, Charlotte 0
    Box Score

    The Red Wings scored two runs in the second inning on a long Oswaldo Arcia, two-run homer. That proved to be more than enough for JO Berrios in this game.
    The right-hander was again terrific, making it difficult for the Twins to not call him up. He threw seven shutout innings. He gave up just five hits, walked one and struck out nine batters. He improved to 3-1 with a 3.02 ERA in AAA; Mark Hamburger and Michael Tonkin each threw a scoreless relief inning. Hamburger struck out one. Tonkin struck out two to earn his 10th save.

    Arcia went 2-4 in the game, and the homer was his tenth with the Red Wings. Byron Buxton was back in the leadoff spot. In his second rehab start, he played center field. He went 1-3 with a walk and stole his first base. James Beresford was 2-4.

    The Red Wings improved to 58-56 on the season.

    Chattanooga 3, Mobile 9
    Box Score

    Aaron Slegers made his AA debut on Saturday and performed adequately. He gave up two runs in the third inning and that was it until the seventh when he gave up two more. In total, he went seven innings and gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk. He struck out three. Adrian Salcedo pitched a quiet eighth inning. He came back out for the ninth and was charged with five runs. DJ Johnson allowed his inherited runners to score before getting the final two outs.

    Travis Harrison was the lone Lookout with more than one hit. Niko Goodrum hit his second triple and stole his 13th base. Max Kepler hit his 11th triple.

    The Lookouts are now 59-49 on the season.

    Ft. Myers 1, Palm Beach 4
    Box Score

    Newcomer Omar Bencomo made his Florida State League and Twins organization debut on Saturday night. He started with three scoreless innings. However, he and the Miracle were done in by a four-run fourth inning. Bencoo went five innings and gave up four runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks. Tyler Jay struck out three in his inning. He gave up a hit and a walk. Jake Reed made his Miracle debut, giving up one hit but tossing a scoreless inning. Nick Burdi struck out two in a perfect ninth.

    The Miracle managed just six hits. Logan Wade went 2-4 and drove in the team’s lone run. Mitch Garver went 1-3 with a triple. He scored the run.

    The Miracle are now 61-52.

    Cedar Rapids 8, Bowling Green 2
    Box Score

    Sam Gibbons’ scoreless innings streak ended at 28.1 when he gave up two runs in the seventh inning on Saturday night in Cedar Rapids. He gave up two runs (just one earned) on six hits and a walk in seven innings. He struck out four. Nick Anderson came on for his Twins organization and Kernels debut and worked a flawless inning. Luke Bard gave up three hits but no runs in a scoreless ninth.

    Tanner English went 2-4 with his 21st double and eighth triple in this game. TJ White went 2-3 with a walk and his 13th and 14th Kernels doubles. The score was cut to 3-2 in the top of the seventh, but Brian Navarreto’s three run home (his second homer of the year) gave the Kernels some cushion.

    The Kernels are 65-47 overall this season.

    Elizabethton 10, Bluefield 4
    Box Score

    It was a good night for the Twins offense. Jermaine Palacios had another three-hit night. He went 3-5 with his fifth double. He also stole his second base. All eight others in the lineup had one hit. LaMonte Wade walked and added his seventh home run, a three-run blast. Chris Paul added his third homer. Brad Hartong and Brian Olson each added a double.

    Onesimo Hernandez started and gave up two runs on five hits over 5.2 innings. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. Josh Guyer gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk in 1.2 innings. Jose Abreu struck out three and walked one in 1.2 scoreless.

    The E-Twins evened their season record at 22-22.

    Game 1 – GCL Twins 0, GCL Red Sox 3
    Box Score

    The GCL Twins are playing a lot of doubleheaders lately after missing nearly a week with Southwest Florida rains.

    In game one, Lefty Lachlan Wells started. He gave up two runs on four hits over three innings. He walked three and struck out four. Moises Gomez came on and gave up a run on two hits and a walk in two innings. Brandon Poulson went two innings and gave up just one hit. He struck out three.

    Not a lot of offense for the Twins in this one. Lewin Diaz went 2-3. Kolton Kendrick was 1-2 with a walk.

    Game 2 – GCL Twins 3, GCL Red Sox 4
    Box Score

    Game 2 was started by Miguel Gonzalez. He went 4.2 innings and gave up three runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out four. Johan Quezada went an inning and gave up one run on one hit and one walk. He struck out two. Callan Pearce got the final out.

    Christian Cavaness went 2-2 with a walk. He stole two bases. Luis Arraez went 2-3 with a walk and his 12th double. Ariel Montesino doubled for the second time. Bryant Hayman added a pinch-hit double, his fifth of the year.

    The GCL Twins are now 21-18 on their season.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – JO Berrios, Rochester Red Wings
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios, Elizabethton Twins


    Rochester @ Charlotte (4:05 CST) – RHP Michael Bowden
    Mobile @ Chattanooga (1:15 CST) – TBD
    Ft. Myers @ Palm Beach (12:05 CST) – RHP Ryan Eades
    Bowling Green @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 CST) – RHP Randy LeBlanc
    Bluefield @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) – RHP Miles Nordgren
    GCL Twins – No Game Scheduled

    Feel free to leave any questions or comments below.

    • Aug 09 2015 06:42 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  20. Twins Minor League Report (7/14): A Day Off To Dream


    Cedar Rapids announced that right-hander Zach Tillery has been placed on the disabled list. Lefty Brandon Bixler was also released. There will need to be other moves made in the lower levels that will likely be announced on Wednesday.

    Friend of Twins Daily Steve Buhr was doing a little review of the Twins minor league rosters and noticed that Brett Doe was no longer on the Cedar Rapids roster. He checked the Ft. Myers Miracle roster which now shows Doe. Buhr tweeted to Doe and it was confirmed that he has been promoted to the Miracle.

    GCL Twins 11, GCL Red Sox 1
    Box Score

    The Twins had an early game on Tuesday. They scored a lot of runs, but it all starts with pitching, right? So, let’s start there.

    Lachlan Wells, an 18-year-old right-hander from Australia made the start. He gave up just two hits and two walks over five shutout innings. He struck out five. Stephen Pryor came on and threw two scoreless innings as he continues his rehab. He has now worked six innings in four appearances. Brandon Poulson gave up one run on one walk and two hit batters in his inning. He also threw two wild pitches. He struck out one. Callan Pearce pitched the ninth. He gave up a hit and a walk, but no runs, in the inning.

    The Twins scored four in the first inning. The big hit came with two outs. Bryant Hayman hit his second homer of the short-season, a grand slam which gave the Twins a 4-0 lead.

    After scoring a single run in the fourth inning on an RBI double from Jermaine Palacios, the Twins put six on the board in the sixth inning. It started with a Hayman walk, followed by walks from Ruar Verkerk and Roberto Gonzalez. A Lean Marrero walk scored Hayman. They added runs on an error and a fielder’s choice, but that brought up fourth-round pick Trey Cabbage. He hit a double to drive in another run. Cabbage scored later on a ground out, and then Palacios drove in one more with a single.

    Shortstop Jermaine Palacios is now hitting .409 after going 3-4 with a walk and his fifth double. Trey Cabbage went 2-3 with a walk and his first professional double. Lean Marrero, the Twins 16th round pick this year out of Puerto Rico, went 2-2 with two walks and his first triple. Roberto Gonzalez went 1-1 with two walks and stole his third base.

    The GCL Twins are now 12-8 on the season.

    Box Score

    All-Star break. The International League All-Star game will be played on Wednesday night. The Red Wings are represented by 2B James Beresford and pitchers AJ Achter and Taylor Rogers.

    Box Score

    No Game Scheduled.

    Ft. Myers
    Box Score

    No Game Scheduled.

    Cedar Rapids
    Box Score

    No Game Scheduled.

    Box Score

    No Game Scheduled.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Lachlan Wells, GCL Twins
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios, GCL Twins


    Rochester – International League All Star Game
    Chattanooga @ Biloxi (7:10 CST) – RHP Alex Wimmers
    Ft. Myers @ Brevard County (5:35 CST) – RHP Chih-Wei Hu
    Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) – RHP Felix Jorge
    Elizabethton @ Danville (6:00 CST) – RHP Alexis Tapia
    GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00 CST) – TBD
    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the transactions and Tuesday game.

    • Jul 14 2015 09:18 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  21. Twins Minor League Report (8/9): Palacios, Wickens, Vargas and LeBlanc Shine

    All that and more can be found as you work your way through Sunday’s minor league report.

    Rochester 6, Charlotte 5
    Box Score

    Michael Bowden made his third start for the Red Wings and got his first win. He gave up four runs on eight hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out six. Alex Meyer walked two but did not allow a run in his inning. Mark Hamburger gave up a solo home run in his inning. Michael Tonkin gave up one hit in a scoreless inning to record his 11th save.

    Xavier Avery went 2-4 with his fourth home run. Argenis Diaz was also 2-4. Reynaldo Rodriguez hit his 13th home run. Byron Buxton went 1-4 with a walk.

    Chattanooga 14, Mobile 2
    Box Score

    The Lookouts bats showed up for this game as they got contributions from almost everyone in the lineup. Stephen Wickens had a very productive day. The infielder went 3-5 with his 11th double. He also drove in six runs. He had a two-run single and a bases-clearing double. Kennys Vargas went 2-4 with a walk and his seventh Lookouts home run. Heiker Meneses went 2-5. Stuart Turner and Niko Goodrum were each 1-2 with two walks.

    The team scored their 14 runs on 11 hits and seven walks. They were ahead 7-1 after just three innings before scoring seven runs in the fourth frame.

    DJ Baxendale was solid and recorded the win. He gave up two runs on seven hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out three. Brandon Peterson gave up one hit in a scoreless inning. Alex Wimmers struck out two over two perfect innings.

    Ft. Myers 2, Palm Beach 3
    Box Score

    Not much offense for the Miracle, but they held a late 2-1 lead. Ryan Eades started. He gave up one run on five hits and a walk in 5.2 innings. He struck out four. Corey Williams got the final out of the sixth and three more outs in the seventh. Holding a 2-1 lead in the eighth, Trevor Hildenberger gave up two runs on three hits to take the loss.

    The Miracle took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when a Marcus Knecht ground out scored Engelb Vielma. In the sixth inning, In the sixth Mitch Garver provided the second run. He doubled in Aderlin Mejia, who had walked. Garver was 2-4 with his 17th double.

    Cedar Rapids 4, Bowling Green 0
    Box Score

    Randy LeBlanc has been one of the top relief pitchers in the Twins system all year. He leads all relievers in Innings pitched. On Sunday, he finally was given the opportunity to start. He came through as hoped. He worked five shutout innings. He gave up just one hit, walked three and struck out two. He recorded ten groundouts to just one fly out. Ethan Mildren and Yorman Landa each pitched two scoreless innings in relief.

    Pat Kelly went 3-4. TJ White hit his first home run of the year, a two-run shot in the seventh inning. Tanner English went 2-4 with a walk and his 35th stolen base.

    Elizabethton 6, Bluefield 5
    Box Score

    Jermaine Palacios continues his incredible season. He went 4-5 in this game to raise his Twins batting average to .455. AJ Murray went 3-5. LaMonte Wade was 2-3 with two walks. He also stole his fourth base. Brad Hartong was 2-5. Amaurys Minier was 2-2 with a walk.

    However, the E-Twins had four errors which kept the game close. Palacios committed his fifth and sixth errors in his ninth game with the E-Twins. Nelson Molina also had two errors.

    Miles Nordgren got the starting nod for the Twins. He gave up just two unearned runs on three hits over 6.2 innings. He walked one and struck out three. Tyler Stirewalt came on and was charged with three unearned runs on three hits in one inning. Kuo Hua Lo struck out three and walked one in 1.1 scoreless innings.

    GCL Twins
    Box Score
    No GCL games scheduled on Sundays.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Randy LeBlanc, Cedar Rapids Kernels
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Stephen Wickens, Chattanooga Lookouts


    Rochester @ Buffalo (6:05 CST) – RHP Tyler Duffey
    Mobile @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) – RHP Tim Shibuya
    Ft. Myers @ St. Lucie (5:30 CST) – LHP Mat Batts
    Cedar Rapids – No Game Scheduled
    Greeneville @ Elizabethton (DH @ 5:00 CST) – RHP Andro Cutura
    GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00 CST) – TBD

    Feel free to leave any questions or comments below

    • Aug 10 2015 05:52 AM
    • by Seth Stohs
  22. Twins Minor League Report (4/21): Wheeler Deals In Wings Win

    Continue on to find out all the specifics on a busy night in the Twins farm system. Be sure to go to the Minor League forum and check out the Adopt-a-Prospect. We’d love to have you adopt a Twins prospect or three and follow them throughout the season.

    Rochester 3, Charlotte 2
    Box Score

    Jason Wheeler has never been described as a strikeout pitcher, but seemingly each year he reaches double digits in strikeouts once. He did so once each year from 2012 through 2015. He didn’t have a ten strikeout game in 2016, but on Friday night the left-hander struck out a career-high 11 batters in seven innings to improve to 2-1 on the season. He gave up two runs on five hits and walked two batters.

    Drew Rucinski got the first two outs of the eighth inning on strikeouts. Buddy Boshers recorded the third out of the inning. Alex Wimmers recorded his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth frame.

    The Red Wings tied the game at two in the fifth inning. A wild pitch on a strikeout with the bases loaded allowed the first run to score. Next, Matt Hague grounded out to score the game-tying run. Then in the eighth inning, Kennys Vargas walked for the second time. Bengie Gonzalez pinch ran for him. Daniel Palka doubled him to third base, and Leonardo Reginnato drove him in with a sacrifice fly.

    Reginnato went 2-3. JB Shuck went 2-4 with his third double. Palka and John Ryan Murphy added doubles.

    Former Twins starter Mike Pelfrey was supposed to start for Charlotte. Instead, he was called up and will make a start for the White Sox this weekend.

    Chattanooga 6, Biloxi 3
    Box Score

    Chattanooga was able to end their series against the Biloxi Shuckers with a nice win. The Lookouts got the majority of their offense from their top two hitters. Nick Gordon went 3-5 with his second double and three RBIs. In the sixth inning with the game tied at three, he hit a bases loaded single. He tried to stretch it into a double but was thrown out at second. In the meantime, the third runner scored all the way from first giving Gordon three RBI on that single.

    The second-spot hitter was Engelb Vielma. He went 3-5 with two RBIs. He gave the Lookouts the early lead when he hit a two-run single in the third inning. The other Lookouts run scored on an RBI single from Ryan Walker in the fourth inning. LaMonte Wade went 2-3 with a walk. Levi Michael, who made another start in center field, went 0-1 and walked twice.

    Paul Clemens was back on the mound for the Lookouts. The veteran right-hander gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out seven. Todd Van Steensel came on and worked 2.1 scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, but no walks and struck out four. John Curtiss recorded the final two outs to earn his second save of the season.

    May have to do a little digging, but lefty Mason Melotakis was ejected from the game in the first inning. UPDATE:

    Ft. Myers 10, Dunedin 4
    Box Score

    A five-run third inning gave the Miracle a lead. They kept adding to it including three runs in the ninth inning to claim a big win. The bats have continued to hit after a very slow start.

    Ehire Adrianza played in his first game on rehab assignment. He started at shortstop and went 3-5 with a stolen base and three runs scored. Max Murphy was also 3-5. Zander Wiel hit his fourth and fifth doubles and drove in three runs. Nelson Molina went 2-4 with his first triple and two RBI. Chris Paul had just one hit, but his three-run homer was the big blow in that third inning.

    Keaton Steele was back on the mound. The right-hander gave up four runs on ten hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out four on his way to his first win of the season. Michael Theofanopoulos struck out four batters over two scoreless innings. Jonny Drozd came on and got the final three outs.

    Cedar Rapids 4, Kane County 3 (12 innings)
    Box Score

    Travis Blankenhorn led off the bottom of the 12th inning with a walk. Two wild pitches advanced Blankenhorn to third base. After Lewin Diaz was intentionally walks, Jaylin Davis singled in Blankenhorn, ending a long night in Cedar Rapids with a 4-3 Kernels win.

    Blankenhorn had the big hit early in the game when his double scored two runs for the Kernels. Jermaine Palacios went 3-6 with his second double. Brandon Lopez was 3-5 in the game. Davis went 2-6.

    Sean Poppen was back on the mound and provided the Kernels with another quality start. The right-hander from Harvard gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out seven. Logan Lombana struck out four over 2.2 scoreless innings. Thomas Hackimer picked up the win with 3.1 scoreless innings, with three strikeouts.


    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Chattanooga Lookouts


    Rochester @ Charlotte (6:05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers
    Tennessee @ Chattanooga - (6:15 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart
    Ft. Myers @ Dunedin (5:30 CST) - RHP Randy LeBlanc
    Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (5:05 CST) - LHP Domenick Carlini
    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday night’s games.

    • Apr 21 2017 10:22 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  23. Minor League Notebook: Injuries And Kernels Report

    I like to encourage fans of the Twins and minor league baseball to make the trek down to Cedar Rapids. From St. Paul, it takes about four hours to get here. Cedar Rapids has such a rich baseball history going back well over 100 years. You’ll want to spend some time in their ballpark gift shop which also holds the Cedar Rapids Baseball Hall of Fame. The ballpark is beautiful. They do a great job with fan interaction and giveaways.

    This morning, I spent about 18 minutes walking around the stadium and talking about Cedar Rapids. Take a few minutes to watch and listen to this Twitter Live/Periscope video from earlier today.


    If you’re a prospect hound, it’s fun to see players before they become big leaguers. Think back to that 2013 Cedar Rapids team, the first year of its affiliate with the Minnesota Twins organization. Players from that team who are now members of the Minnesota Twins include Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Tyler Duffey, Taylor Rogers, Jorge Polanco.

    Which players from this year’s Kernels roster will be future Minnesota Twins? Who knows? But it is likely at least two of them will, and maybe seven or eight of them. It’s fun to watch and see them at this level and try to project for yourself.

    On Thursday night, Tyler Wells started for the Kernels. At 6-7 and 255 pounds, he can be an intimidating guy on the mound. He throws a good fastball in the 91-94 mph range, and he’s got pretty good command of it. He also has a good slider and a mid-70s slow curve ball. He began the inning with five straight strikeouts. He gave up a couple of runs in the third inning, but two scored on a broken bat bloop double that Christian Cavaness dove and missed. I think he’s one to watch.

    On Friday night, Sean Poppen was on the mound. He got hit pretty hard in the first inning, but he settled in and held Ft. Wayne to four runs (three earned) over 6.1 innings. I asked him after the game what adjustments he made. He said, “I like to stick with the fastball, but they came out swinging. I wasn’t locating the ball where I should. The next innings, I started working a little more offspeed just to throw them off balance.”

    Poppen is a control guy, but he also hits 92-93 with his fastball. He is a Harvard guy and obviously smart in a classroom but also on the diamond. “You can’t really judge yourself on wins. You can do your job to get late in the game and get out with a lead, but after that you just have trust in your relievers, and most of the time they pull through. Most of the time we’ve been getting run support and sometimes it doesn’t happen. Today we got plenty of run support.”

    Tonight we’ll see lefty Domenick Carlini start for the Kernels, and it’ll be right-hander Clark Beeker for Sunday afternoon’s game.

    Andrew Vasquez came on in the sixth inning on Thursday. He is impressive .He’s a big man (6-6, 240), and he throws hard. He has good pop and hides the ball well and has a good slider. To my untrained eye, he looks like a guy who has a chance to keep moving up and being a good reliever.

    Tom Hackimer posted a 0.58 WHIP in April yet somehow he has already blown three saves. I wouldn't worry about that as he has some really good stuff, and that side-winding delivery will be able to throw off a lot of hitters.

    The Kernels have three catchers and yet it seems to really work out well. Ben Rortvedt is the 19-year-old high draft pick, so you know he’s going to play. While he hasn’t hit much yet, you can see he’s got a swing that over time will develop well. But behind the plate, he is really impressive. I like to watch catchers, and he just seems to have all the tools. While he’s still got room to grow and will continue to get better, he has the makings of a real fine defender. Let’s start with the arm. He has great throw and catch mechanics, and he threw some absolute ropes to second base to nab would-be base-stealers on Thursday night. As impressive, he really seems to relish the role of leader of the staff. After each inning, he walks in with his pitcher, and I saw them continuing to talk in the dugout. I wouldn’t worry about the offense, though I think that will come. Rortvedt is legit behind the plate.

    Mitchell Kranson caught on Friday night. He’s a hitter first. That’s not to say he’s not a good catcher. I thought he did real well behind the plate. He too communicated well and blocked a few balls in the dirt. His arm isn’t Rortvedt like, but he has a strong and generally accurate arm. But he can hit. While he hasn’t had a lot of hits in these two games, it’s clear that he has a great approach. He knows the strike zone, but he is incredibly aggressive when he gets a strike. He looks like he wants to damage the baseball, and he’s got good power.

    In college, Kranson played all over. One year he did catch over 40 games for Cal-Berkeley. Another year, he played mostly third base. He’s listed at 5-10, but he played a solid first base one year for the Bears. He even got time in the outfield. This past offseason, Kranson worked hard. He lost 25 pounds without losing any muscle through workouts and dietary changes. This spring he’s only caught four or five games. He’s played some first and some third, and he’s in the lineup almost every game because of his ability to hit.

    Caleb Hamilton is another catcher on the roster. He was drafted by the Twins out of Oregon State just last year. He had never caught until last fall at the instructional league. He talked a lot about how much he’s grown to enjoy the position. But he also has played around the diamond. On Friday night, he was at third base. He made a great diving play to his backhand side, near the third base line, Got up and threw a pea across the diamond for the out. He’s played some in the outfield (starting in left field tonight) and first base as well. In college, he played a lot in the middle infield.

    I tweeted that I talked to Lake County starting pitchers Juan Hillman and Brady Aiken on Thursday night because they both have connection with a couple of top Twins prospects (those stories coming this week). There was another connection. The primary catcher for Lake County was Logan Ice. He was the catcher at Oregon State for three years and the roommate of Caleb Hamilton.

    Travis Blankenhorn was hit by a pitch on Thursday night, a slider that seemed to just keep coming in on him. He went down. It hit him in the knee, but he was able to stay in the game. On Friday, he had the marks to show it, a huge black and blue bruise. On Friday, he was back in the lineup, though as the team’s DH. On Saturday, he returns to third base. He’s been slumping since early-season success, but on Saturday, he crushed the ball a few times, lining out to right once and having a ball caught at the wall.

    Lewin Diaz is a big man. He’s not swift, that’s for sure, but he is a very young developing player with a ton of potential. He’s listed at 6-3 and 254 pounds, and that would seem to be accurate. At first base, it’s a work-in-progress, though he does put in the work. He’s a pretty good athlete for his size too. Offensively, he has struggled to connect with some good fastballs, but in the two games, I think he’s got three doubles and a triple. Yes, a triple. I think he’s got a world of offensive potential.

    Brandon Lopez is a pretty solid all-around player. Drafted last year out of Miami, he has a real professional approach at the plate. He knows the strike zone and does a nice job. He also isn’t afraid to take a real big swing and has some pop. He played shortstop at Miami, but he’s played mostly at second base for the Kernels.

    That’s because Jermaine Palacios is back. After what had to be a frustrating 2016 season, he is off to a great start this year. He was the Twins Daily Hitter of the Month. Of course I got here on Thursday and his 15-game hitting streak came to an end. But he has stung the ball, and on Friday night, he had a bases-clearing double off the base of the wall in left center field. Defensively, he has looked real solid too. He just looks much more confident this year, or at least right now.

    I chatted for quite some time yesterday with Aaron Whitefield. It’s still amazing to me that he didn’t play any baseball until he was 17. Before then, it was just fast-pitch softball (and some other sports like soccer and Australian Rules Football). He is a great athlete, at 6-4 and 200 pounds. He can run and he’s got a lot of power. I’ll write up a story on him this week as well. Impressive young man, and he won’t turn 21 until September.

    As I’m typing this, it’s now 4 ½ hours before the game. The relievers are set up in two groups. JP Martinez is hitting ground balls for pitcher fielding practice to one group on the main field with minor league pitching coordinator Eric Rasmussen observing. Down the right field line, LaTroy Hawkins is working with another group of pitchers (looks like the starters maybe) on pick-off plays at second base.

    LaTroy Hawkins has been here since Wednesday, and today will be his last day before he heads back to Minneapolis for a while, but he will be back. The players seem to really enjoy it. I was told by one player that Hawkins had a session with the pitchers and catchers and just had the players feel free to ask him questions about anything. What an opportunity for these kids.

    Brian Dinkelman is back for his second season as the Kernels hitting coach. I learned last night that when he got the job last year, he and his family moved to Cedar Rapids, so he’s hear all year around. He is originally from a suburb just outside of St. Louis, so he was very excited last night watching the Blues hold on to a late lead and win their Stanley Cup series.

    Tommy Watkins is in his first year as manager, and he has this team playing very well right now. While there aren’t a lot of high-end prospects on this roster, they have a good team, and all reports are that Watkins is doing a terrific job. I’ll have a chance to go one-on-one with him later today to see how he’s enjoying this experience.

    Again, if you ever have a chance to get down to Cedar Rapids, try to do it. It’s definitely worth it.


    I got some reports today on several Twins minor leaguers who are currently on the disabled list. Here’s the quick report:

    Stephen Gonsalves threw three innings on Thursday. He’s still getting stretched out and is expected to miss three more weeks.

    That is the same timeline projection for Tyler Jay.

    Jake Reed is starting a throwing program now and will likely be out about another month.

    Byungho Park is playing in extended spring training games now.

    Working his way back from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, Alex Muren is still working his way back to where he was pre-injury, but he’s getting close.
    Lewis Thorpe is also continuing to work. He’s healthy but working to get back to where he was.

    Others who are currently playing in EST and could be back soon, pending roster developments or other moves include outfielder Ryan Strausborger, infielders TJ White and Brian Olson, catcher AJ Murray, and pitchers Cam Booser, Michael Cederoth and Zack Tillery.

    Henry Centeno is rehabbing his elbow. Yohan Pino is still getting stretched out. Nick Greenwood is supposed to throw an inning down in Ft. Myers today.

    Well, this is probably enough ready material for a Saturday afternoon. I’m going to go watch some more infielder/pitcher practice and some batting practice. Again be sure to follow me on Twitter, as well as the Twins Daily Twitter account. And “Like” Twins Daily on Facebook.

    • May 06 2017 08:37 PM
    • by Seth Stohs
  24. Twins Minor League Report (8/1): More Extra Innings, Littell Makes Twins Debut

    To find out how all those extra innings finished on the night, keep reading!


    The Twins made a couple of moves in the system on Tuesday as well.

    They recalled Dillon Gee to the majors and assigned Dietrich Enns to Rochester. Zack Littell was assigned to the Lookouts and made the start.

    To make the room at AA Randy LeBlanc was sent back to Fort Myers and David Fischer was released.

    Lehigh Valley 3, Rochester 1
    Box Score

    With Dillon Gee on his way to the Twins, the Red Wings ended up with a bullpen game against IronPigs on Tuesday night.

    D.J. Baxendale started and pitched the first three innings. He allowed two hits including a solo home run and struck out three. Alex Wimmers added two perfect innings before he ran into trouble in his third. He got two outs but ended up with two earned runs on two hits in 2.2 innings. He struck out two.

    Mason Melotakis allowed an inherited runner to score in the sixth and got the first two outs in the seventh before he was replaced by Michael Tonkin. Tonkin allowed just one hit in his 2.1 innings to finish the game, while striking out three.

    Rochester’s lone run came in the bottom of the first inning, as a throwing error on a Byungho Park single allowed Matt Hague to score. They would collect only one more hit the entire game (a Mitch Garver single) so not much to recap on the offensive side. Park also drew a walk in a 1-3 night and is hitting .324/.368/.577 in nineteen games since the Triple-A All-Star Game.

    Chattanooga 5, Montgomery 6 (10 innings)
    Box Score

    The story in this one for a lot of Twins fans may have been that one of the new prospect additions they received from the Yankees started the game for the Lookouts. It wasn’t one of Zack Littell’s best games this year, but he did finish six innings in his organizational debut.

    The first inning was a rough one for him as a couple of hits, a walk, an error, and a balk led to an early 3-0 lead for the Biscuits of Montgomery.

    It was a good thing for Littell though, that Chattanooga is the best team in the Southern League. They took the lead right back for him in the top of the second with a four-spot.

    T.J. White led off the inning with a homer, and then Travis Harrison, Nick Gordon, and Levi Michael each had run-scoring singles (Gordon’s included a fielding error, so no RBI for him).

    Littell settled in from there with three scoreless frames, though he did hit a couple of batters and walked three. In the fifth, an RBI ground out accounted for his fourth run allowed of the evening. Overall in six innings, Little allowed those four runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out six.

    The Lookouts were facing off against #OldFriend Logan Darnell, and although they knocked him around for twelve hits in five innings, the four runs in the second were all they were able to get as he played Houdini in every other frame.

    Randy Rosario came on in relief of Littell and pitched two innings. He allowed one run on two hits and it was 5-4 biscuits going into the ninth inning. You know how this is going to go, right?

    With two outs and Max Murphy on first base, Carlos Paulino delivered the game- tying hit with a double to right field to drive him in and tie it at five. Luke Bard pitched a one-two-three ninth and Chattanooga was looking at their third extra- inning game in their last four.

    The Lookouts threatened in the top of the tenth, but with Gordon on third base Montgomery elected to intentionally walk Jonathan Rodriguez (wise), and then escaped.

    Bard then got himself into trouble he couldn’t escape in the bottom half, as a two-out double put the winning run across for the Biscuits.

    The two through seven hitters in the Chattanooga lineup amassed fourteen hits on the game and as a team outhit Montgomery 16-9, but going just 4-17 with runners in scoring position and leaving fourteen men on base means you left a lot ducks on the pond. The Lookouts lead the Biscuits in the North Division standings by six games after this one.

    Fort Myers 6, Clearwater 4
    Box Score

    Fort Myers battled back in this one to steal the game late thanks to a big two-out hit from Jaylin Davis.

    Starter Eduardo Del Rosario went the first six innings for the Miracle, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out six. The biggest problem with that line, is the three home runs he allowed. Alex Robinson walked one and struck out two in one inning of relief work and thanks to his offense, picked up his second win of the season.

    Down 4-2 in the top of the eighth, Sean Miller started the rally for Fort Myers with a single to lead off the inning. Zander Wiel moved him to third on a single of his own, and Jermaine Palacios put down a squeeze bunt that scored the first run of the inning. After strikeouts from Brandon Lopez and Brent Rooker, a walk to Kevin Garcia brought Davis to the plate. With the count a 1-0, Davis lined a single into center field to score two and put the Miracle out front 5-4.

    Sam Clay pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning, and Fort Myers added an insurance run in the top of the ninth as Tanner English singled, stole second base (his 23rd steal) and got to third on a throwing error before Palacios drove him in with a triple.

    Clay came back out for the ninth, and worked around a leadoff single to secure his ninth save of the year (he’s also 8-0), striking out the final hitter of the game.

    Miller (2-5, R) and Palacios (3-4, 2 R’s, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, SB) had multiple hits to lead the offense. Zander Wiel scored two runs with a single and a walk in five trips to the plate. Lopez (0-4) and Davis (1-3) each drove in two.

    Clinton 7, Cedar Rapids 8 (11 innings)
    Box Score

    The Kernels jumped out to a 5-1 lead after three thanks to home runs from Christian Cavaness and Caleb Hamilton in the first inning, and a two-run double from Travis Blankenhorn in the third. They extended their lead to 6-1 in the sixth when Cavaness clubbed an RBI double.

    But after that the game turned for the LumberKings.

    Cedar Rapids starter Tyler Beardsley had been cruising for the first six innings. He had allowed just one run on three hits and two walks to that point while striking out four.

    Two singles and a double scored two and ended his night in the seventh with two outs. Overall, Beardsley went 6.2 innings with three earned runs of six hits and two walks, with five K’s.

    Colton Davis came on and got the final out in the seventh, but a bases clearing double with two outs in the eighth tied the game at six. Hector Lujan came out for the ninth and Clinton took the lead after a leadoff walk and error was followed by a run-scoring double.

    The Kernels weren’t ready for the game to end yet though, and mounted a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning after the first two hitters to bat went down on strikes. Jimmy Kerrigan got an infield single, stole second base, and then Blankenhorn delivered a big triple to tie it, but was stranded as Lewin Diaz grounded out to send it into extras.

    Max Cordy came in from the bullpen for the tenth, and allowed a hit but no runs. Same in the eleventh to get his team up to bat again.

    They didn’t need another extra frame. Joe Cronin led off with a double, moved to third on a sac bunt/throwing error play, and scampered home on a passed ball for the not-so-dramatic walk-off victory.

    The top four hitters in the Kernels lineup led the way, with Cavaness (3-5, 2 R’s, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Kerrigan (2-6, 2 R’s), Blankenhorn (3-5, R 2 2B’s, 3B, 3 RBI), and Diaz (2-5) collecting multiple hits. Hamilton drove in two and Cronin scored two runs.

    Kingsport 4, Elizabethton 5
    Box Score

    Elizabethton took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning after Wander Javier led off with his ninth double of the season, and later scored on a single from J.J. Robinson. They had runners on second and third with one out later in the frame, but were unable to add any more runs. The opportunity missed would come back to haunt them.

    Twins starter Nick Brown began the game with four scoreless innings, including retiring eight in a row at one point, but the Mets finally got to him in the top of fifth thanks to an error that was followed by an RBI double.

    Brown would finish 5.2 innings, allowing just that unearned run on six hits while striking out six.

    The offense for Elizabethton got that run back and one more in the bottom of the fifth as Akil Baddoo drove in a run with a double, and later scored on a single from Jose Miranda to put them in front 3-1.

    Juan Gamez replaced Brown in the sixth and got out of the inning, and added a scoreless seventh. He got two outs in the eighth and was replaced by Jose Martinez with a runner on third, who scored on a double to Martinez’s first hitter. Another RBI double and an RBI single followed to put Kingsport in front 4-3. Martinez worked through a single to the leadoff man in the ninth to keep the Twins in striking distance in the bottom half.

    And strike they did.

    Colton Waltner led off the inning with a walk and Mark Contreras followed with a single to put the tying run in scoring position. A sacrifice bunt from Rainis Silva put the winning run in the same position. T.J. Dixon tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center field, and Ariel Montesino ended with a two-out single.

    Martinez ended up with a blown save and win (4-0) in the score book. Javier (2-4, R, 2B) and Montesino (2-4, R, RBI) had multiple hits on the game to lead the offense, but everyone else except Silva contributed with a run scored or an RBI. Silva’s bunt however, was likely most important play in the game (if you like bunts), so it really was a team effort in the walk-off win.

    Game 1: GCL Rays 3, GCL Twins 5
    Box Score

    In the regularly scheduled game of the day, the Twins saw the first in-game action from their 2017 2nd round draft pick, Landon Leach. Although he likely had some nerves and wasn’t great, you have to remember he’s going to be eased into action at this point. He walked his first batter (just like Blayne Enlow) and uncorked a couple of off target pitches that put that runner on third, before picking up his first strikeout as a pro. He then got a ground out that scored the runner and issued another walk before he was removed the game. So just two outs in his debut, but it means literally nothing at this point.

    Pedro Garcia came into the game to get the final out of the first and went the next five innings in total including four scoreless. He got two outs in the sixth before leaving with the bases loaded. Overall Garcia allowed one run on four walks and one hit, and struck out four.

    Joe Rosenstein came on and struck out the batter he faced, but on a wild-pitch so that’s how Garcia’s run scored. Rosenstein gave up one run of his own in the seventh and gave up one hit, walked one, and struck out one in 1.1 innings while picking up his first save.

    The Twins early offense came courtesy of an Alex Robles RBI single in the first and a Benjamin Rodriguez RBI double in the third before they tacked on three more in the fourth for a 5-1 lead. Victor Tademo led off the inning with a solo home run, and later in the inning a Jean Carlos Arias single brought in two.

    Emmanuel Morel was 2-3 with a double, walk, and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot. Kerby Camacho added a double.

    Garcia improved to 5-1 in the GCL season.

    Game 2: GCL Twins 0, GCL Rays 2
    Box Score

    In the makeup game of yesterday’s rainout, the teams combined for just seven hits between them. Unfortunately for the Twins the Rays were the only ones to get any extra-base hits, and they came in the form of back-to-back-to-back doubles in the fifth inning that scored the two runs for the Rays.

    Derek Molina made the start and went two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, walked one, and struck out one. Jordan Balazovic finished the final four innings, allowing the two runs on just those doubles, and striking out four.

    On offense, Arias, Rodriguez, and Robles all went 1-3 for the Twins only hits on the game.


    Pitcher of the Day – Nick Brown, Elizabethton Twins (5.2IP, 0 ER’s, 6 H’s, 6 K’s)
    Hitter(s) of the Day – Jermaine Palacios, Fort Myers Miracle (3-4, 2 R’s, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, SB)
    Travis Blankenhorn, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-5, R, 2 2B’s, 3B, 3 RBI)


    Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – RHP Tim Melville 3-3, 2.44 ERA)
    Chattanooga @ Montgomery (7:05PM CST) – RHP Fernando Romero (10-6, 2.64 ERA)
    Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – LHP Evan Sanders (1-3, 8.53 ERA)
    GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00AM CST) – TBD

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

    • Aug 02 2017 04:29 AM
    • by Steve Lein
  25. 2016 Cedar Rapids Kernels Opening Day Roster Revealed


    Jake Mauer returns for this fourth season as the Kernels manager. Over his eight years as a minor-league manager, Mauer has accumulated a record of 434-373 (.538) and made the playoffs five times, including all three seasons he’s managed the Kernels. Mauer, who played minor league ball in the Twins system, will be joined by former Twin Brian Dinkelman and another former farmhand, J.P. Martinez. Both Dinkelman (hitting coach) and Martinez (pitching coach) will be in the first year with Cedar Rapids after spending their first professional coaching season with the GCL Twins.

    *Spent time with Kernels in 2015

    Cedar Rapids will return many players who played with them in last year’s playoffs. They’ll also welcome in a handful of players who had successful years in rookie ball.

    PROJECTED ROTATION (listed alphabetically):

    P Michael Cederoth*
    LP Sam Clay*
    P Andro Cutura
    P Sam Gibbons*
    P Randy LeBlanc*
    P Dereck Rodriguez*

    Michael Cederoth, who Fangraphs ranks at the Twins #22 prospect, returns to the Kernels rotation after missing an extended period of time last season with an undisclosed illness. Cederoth has recently been dealing with a strained oblique, so his status as the season opens is in question. Andro Cutura will join Cedar Rapids after pitching for Elizabethton. Cutura made an impressive spot start for Fort Myers, a game that was wiped out by rain. After making 15 low-A starts last season, Sam Gibbons could be the first option to be promoted if Fort Myers has a need. Randy LeBlanc led the Kernels in wins (9) last season despite pitching primarily out of the bullpen. Dereck Rodriguez, who made two starts for the Kernels, was named Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year in 2015.


    P Nick Anderson*
    P John Curtiss*
    P CK Irby*
    P Kuo-hua Lo
    P Logan Lombana
    LP Mike Theofanopolous*
    P Zach Tillery*

    The Kernels return a lot of low-A experience to their bullpen, with only two new members. Expect some of these arms to get a few starts. Zach Tillery (13) and John Curtiss (7) both made a number of starts for last year’s Kernels.


    SS Jermaine Palacios
    2B Luis Arreaz
    CF LaMonte Wade*
    3B Chris Paul*
    1B Zander Wiel
    RF Max Murphy*
    DH Jorge Fernandez*
    C AJ Murray
    LF Chris Cavaness

    C Bryant Hayman
    C Rafael Valera*
    INF Sean Miller*

    On the heels of a season that saw him hit .370 with an OPS of .939, Jermaine Palacios is the highest-rated position player on the team, checking into the Top 20s of both Fangraphs (#17) and Baseball America (#18) and just missing MLB.com’s (#21). LaMonte Wade missed most Top 30s, but Fangraphs ranked him #12. Chris Paul (#39) made Aaron Gleeman’s Top 40. Zander Wiel, who missed some time after getting hit by a pitch shortly after signing last season, is an advanced hitter who could open some eyes. Max Murphy was the Appalachian League Player of the Year in 2014. At 19, Luis Arreaz will be the youngest player on the roster after skipping Elizabethton. Rafael Valera played around the infield for the Kernels last year, but is transitioning to behind the dish.


    Here is a quick look at which Kernels found their names in a variety of Twins Prospect Rankings. No Kernels made any national Top 100s.

    Twins Prospect Rankings
    Twins Daily Top 10: None
    Seth Stohs Top 30: Palacios (21)
    Jeremy Nygaard Top 30: Palacios (10), Wade (27)
    Cody Christie Top 30: None
    Nick Nelson Top 10: None
    Steve Buhr Top 15: None
    Baseball America Top 31: Palacios (19)
    FanGraphs Top 25: Wade (12), Palacios (17), Cederoth (22)
    Keith Law Top 20: Rodriguez (14)
    John Sickels Top 20: Palacios (12), Wade (20)
    Aaron Gleeman Top 40: Palacios (16), Cederoth (19), Wad (29), Paul (39)
    Ted Schwerzler Top 15: None
    MLB.com Top 30: Palacios (21), Wade (28)
    Baseball Essentials Top 20: None


    First Hitter Promoted to Fort Myers: 1.) Zander Wiel, 2.) LaMonte Wade
    First Starting Pitcher Promoted to Fort Myers: 1.) Dereck Rodriguez, 2.) Sam Gibbons
    First Relief Pitcher Promoted to Fort Myers: 1.) Mike Theofanopolous, 2.) Zach Tillery


    Rochester Red Wings: @CRKernels
    Radio Voice: @Morgan_Hawk
    Beat Writer - The Gazette: @jeje66
    Retired Super Fan: @jimcrikket

    • Apr 03 2016 04:05 PM
    • by Jeremy Nygaard