Before jumping to our starting pitcher honorable mentions and top five for July, a quick reminder that we have handed out awards to Kernels 1B Zander Wiel as Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month, and to Lookouts closer Trevor Hildenberger as Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month. Check out those articles if you missed either of them.Let’s get to the starters, and before going to our Top 5 starting pitchers for the month of July, here are a few others who deserve to be recognized for a strong month.
- LHP Stephen Gonsalves (Chattanooga) - 6 GS, 3-1, 2.67 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 33.2 IP, 22 H, 18 BB, 41 K
- RHP Kohl Stewart (Chattanooga) - 5 GS, 4-1, 2.28 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 27.2 IP, 32 H, 13 BB, 17 K
- RHP Eduardo Del Rosario (Cedar Rapids) - 5 GS, 3-0, 2.83 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 28.2 IP, 23 H, 13 BB, 30 K
- RHP Dereck Rodriguez (Cedar Rapids) - 5 GS, 2-2, 3.13 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 31.2 IP, 24 H, 9 BB, 27 K
- LHP Taylor Clemensia (GCL) - 5 G, 4 GS, 0-1, 1.66 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 21.2 IP, 8 H, 12 BB, 25 K
- RHP Miguel De Jesus (GCL) - 5 GS, 2-1, 2.52 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 25.0 IP, 20 H, 10 BB, 25 K
- RHP Huascar Ynoa (GCL) - 5 GS, 0-3, 2.82 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 22.1 IP, 19 H, 6 BB, 29 K
Number 5 – Ft. Myers – RHP Randy LeBlanc - 5 GS, 3-2, 2.53 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 32.0 IP, 26 H, 6 BB, 24 K
LeBlanc was spectacular the first two months this season, his first in the organization as a full-time starter. He went 6-2 with a 0.74 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP in nine starts. In early June, he was promoted to Ft. Myers where he experienced some rough starts. He has made some of the necessary adjustments and had a really nice month of July. While he isn’t a big strikeout pitcher, he is known more for his ability to get ground balls. For the month, opponents hit .224/.270/.267 (.537) off him. In ten starts now with the Miracle, he is 4-5 with a 4.25 ERA. Those numbers will look much better if he can end the season with another strong month in August.Number 4 - Cedar Rapids – LHP Lachlan Wells - 6 GS, 2-3, 2.57 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 35.0 IP, 29 H, 7 BB, 29 K
The career to this point of 19-year-old Lachlan Wells is lining up pretty closely with the career of fellow Australian lefty Lewis Thorpe. Wells was in the GCL last year where he went 5-2 with a 2.09 ERA before leaving to play for Team Australia. He began this season in extended spring training, but just as the short-season teams were starting, he was promoted to Cedar Rapids. He made one start in June before putting together a very nice July. He had one start of six shutout innings with eight strikeouts. He had another start where he went eight shutout innings with nine strikeouts. It was an impressive debut in the Midwest League where he is almost three years younger than the average player. Opponents hit just .227/.277/.328 (.605) off him.Number 3 – Ft. Myers – RHP Fernando Romero - 5 GS, 2-1, 2.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 27.0 IP, 23 H, 5 BB, 26 K
After missing about two seasons due to Tommy John surgery and a knee surgery, Romero came back strong. He returned to Cedar Rapids in mid-May and stayed there for a month. He went 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA in five starts before being promoted to Ft. Myers. He has now made seven starts for the Miracle. In his five July starts, opponents hit just .230/.274/.300 off him. He continued to miss bats while throwing a lot of strikes. Still just 21 years old, I may have ranked him too low when I had him at #7 in my mid-season Twins prospect rankings. He should shoot up that list and national lists this offseason.Number 2 - Gulf Coast League – RHP Brady Anderson - 6 G, 4 GS, 2-0, 1.08 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 25.0 IP, 17 H, 1 BB, 22 K
The Twins signed Brady Anderson as a non-drafted free agent following the draft this June. No surprise that he did well against Gulf Coast League kids, but it was the dominance that makes you wonder why he went undrafted out of Florida Gulf Coast. In his final three starts with the GCL Twins, he gave up no runs on six hits and no walks in 17 innings. For the month, GCL hitters posted a .187/.213/.209 (.422) line against him. In fact, he pitched well enough that when the Cedar Rapids Kernels needed a starter last night, it was Anderson who they had skip Elizabethton and jump to the Midwest League where he gave up three runs in five innings. Anderson is already 23 and will turn 24 in November, but this isn’t a prospect ranking. It’s about performance, and Anderson was tremendous in July.And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is:
Rochester – RHP Jose Berrios - 5 GS, 3-2, 2.08 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 34.2 IP, 25 H, 8 BB, 38 K
Berrios is no stranger to winning ‘awards’ from Twins Daily. He has won numerous monthly awards the last three seasons and has won the Pitcher of the Year Award in 2014 and 2015.
The 22-year-old was the 32nd overall pick in the 2012 draft out of his high school in Puerto Rico. His rise has been impressive and the Twins have moved him up quite quickly (though not quickly enough for many fans). He was given an opportunity to make the Twins Opening Day roster this year but his control and command were not good. After three starts in Rochester, he was called up to the Twins. Things didn’t go terribly well for him in four starts and he was sent back to Rochester. Most notably, he just walked too many batters.
Back in Rochester, he continued to struggle a bit for about five starts. However, since mid-June, he has turned things around and been quite good. The walks were down. The strikeouts were up. He flirted with a no-hitter into the 7th inning in one game. He threw a nine inning, complete game shutout in another. Opponents hit just .207/.254/.314 (.568) off of him in July.
He’s been another pitcher in his final eight starts in Rochester, and that’s why it was an easy choice to call him back up to start on August 1st. His return was strong. After allowing three runs in the first inning, he calmed down and gave up just those three runs over six innings. Hopefully his days in Rochester are behind him for good.There were several strong starting pitching performances in July, but the choice of Jose Berrios was pretty clear. Feel free to discuss below. Feel free to agree or disagree with the order, if you like, but congratulations these individuals on a terrific month.
Congratulations to the July Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month for 2016, Jose Berrios.
Click here to view the article