In case you missed them here are the previous June winners:
Hitter of the Month: Daniel Palka, Chattanooga Lookouts.
Starting Pitcher of the Month: Felix Jorge, Ft. Myers Miracle.
So, who will join them in the June Twins Minor League Awards? Continue reading to find out.First, a couple of relievers worthy of mention:
- RHP Todd Van Steensel (Ft. Myers Miracle) – 6 G, 1-1, 2 saves, 0.00 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 8.1 IP, 2 H, 7 BB, 11 K
- RHP Marcus Walden (Rochester) - 12 G, 0-0, 1 save, 2.57 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 12 K
Number 5 - Cedar Rapids/Ft. Myers – LHP Michael Theofanopoulos - 10 G, 0.84 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 10.2 IP, 6 H, 5 BB, 11 K
Theofanopoulos was the recipient of this award last month when he put together a really strong May. He was very good again in June despite the fact that he was promoted around the middle of the month. In fact, he went five outings in the FSL before allowing a run to score. The 23-year-old lefty was the Twins 30th round pick in the 2014 draft out of Cal-Berkeley. Overall this season, he is 3-1 with three saves, a 1.91 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He has struck out 11.5 per nine overall on the season.Number 4 – Cedar Rapids – RHP Kuo Hua Lo - 7 G, 0.82 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 8 K
Lo has been a bit under the radar as a prospect signing signing with the Twins in 2011 from Taiwan. After a year in the GCL, he spent three seasons in Elizabethton. Last year, he finished with a 1.44 ERA and was the top relief pitcher in the league. Overall this year, he is 0-0 with a 1.10 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP for the Kernels in 32.2 innings. He has 30 strikeouts, but he also has 22 walks. He can be tough to hit. His fastball will touch 92-93 mph, but he throws a variety of pitches, some barely registering 70 on the radar gun.Number 3 – Chattanooga – RHP JT Chargois - 10 G, 1.38 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 12 K
Yes, I admit, I took out his disastrous MLB debut in which he struggled to throw strikes and when he did, it got hit hard. I included only his Rochester numbers since this is a minor league award. Chargois continued to be very good. He hasn’t allowed runs. He hasn’t hurt himself with a lot of walks. The 25-year-old has generally been dominant all season. In 30 total minor league game this year, he has a 1.57 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP, just 2.6 BB/9 and 11.5 K/9. The 2012 second round pick is finally healthy and really there is no reason that he shouldn’t spend the entire second half of the season in the Twins bullpen.Number 2 – Ft. Myers – RHP Yorman Landa - 7 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 9.0 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 12 K
The Twins signed Landa from Venezuela in 2010. Following a successful return to action in Cedar Rapids last year, he was added to the Twins 40-man roster. Though he didn’t pitch much in June, he was tremendous when he was on the hill. In fact, he was a late add to the FSL All-Star Game roster and pitched in the game at Hammond Stadium. He pitched a scoreless inning, but as notable, he hit 100 mph on the radar gun on four pitches. The last time he gave up a run was May 26th, ten outings ago. He has given up just one hit over his past nine innings (six outings). Overall this season, Landa is 2-1 with seven saves. He has a 2.39 ERA, a 1.38 WHIP, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.0 K/9.And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is:
Chattanooga Lookouts – RHP Trevor Hildenberger - 9 G, 0.87 ERA, 0.58 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 14 K
For the second straight month, a Cal-Berkeley alum is our choice for Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month. It’s an award that Trevor Hildenberger has won several times.
Hildenberger was the Twins Daily Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2015. Some may have thought that he was just successful in the low minor leagues due to his age. However, he pitched well in the Arizona Fall League last year against (and with) guys his own age. This year, he quickly moved from Ft. Myers up to AA Chattanooga and his success has just continued.
He made just six appearances and needed 9.1 innings of 0.96 ERA to convince the powers-that-be to move him up to Chattanooga. He has now pitched 28.1 innings over 23 games with the Lookouts. He has a 0.95 ERA and an incredible 0.67 WHIP in the Southern League. He has walked just four batters and struck out 31. He has to have the Twins brass thinking about him as a possible option for Rochester at this point. Who knows? We may see him at Target Field yet this year.
As you can see from his June stats, he was tremendous. He worked a lot of innings and allowed very few base runners. He walked just one and struck out 14 in 12.2 innings. He also represented the Twins and the Lookouts at the Southern League All-Star Game and, as you’d expect, didn’t give up a run.
The former 22nd round pick from Cal-Berkeley had a win or a save in all nine of his outings during the month. He may fit into that mold of Pat Neshek or Darren O’Day in that he throws from the side, and from multiple angles. He gets good movement on his breaking pitches, but also a lot of run on his fastball. He is the rare side arm pitcher who often can touch 93 on the radar gun.
While he may not show up on Top 10 prospect lists, Trevor Hildenberger is a guy who has a chance to be a big-time contributor to the Minnesota Twins in the not-too-distant future.There were several very strong relief pitcher performances in June. Feel free to agree or disagree with the order, if you like, but congratulations to each of these individuals on an excellent month of may.
Congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for June 2016, Trevor Hildenberger.
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