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Article: Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher Of The Month - July 2016

jose berrios brady anderson randy leblanc lachlan wells fernando romero
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 07:46 AM

One more month left in the minor league season. It is hard to believe. Today we hand out our final award of the month to the top starting pitcher in the Twins system in July. It is another familiar name in these awards, but it is a deserving recipient.

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
THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS

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.

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#2 nytwinsfan

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 08:48 AM

Who among these other than Berrios has the most upside? Romero, Ynoa?

 

Also, Seth, any more word on Tyler Jay's injur(ies?) would be really really appreciated.I'm really worried about his shoulder.


#3 Jaykay

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 08:55 AM

 

Who among these other than Berrios has the most upside? Romero, Ynoa?

 

Also, Seth, any more word on Tyler Jay's injur(ies?) would be really really appreciated.I'm really worried about his shoulder.

 

Romero for sure. I'd have him above Kohl Stewart and on par with Jay and Gonsalves. 

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#4 ThejacKmp

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 09:46 AM

Ack! Don't say that about Wells and Thorpe! Bad omens on the injury front!


#5 goulik

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 09:47 AM

Love love love those K's thrown up by Gonsalves!
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#6 birddog

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 10:09 AM

So nice to see the numbers of the top 5, but even better to see the competition was stiff as the honorable mentions also put up great numbers. Wish more of these guys were MLB ready but for now we'll have to hope Berrios is up to the challenge.


#7 Seth Stohs

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 11:10 AM

 

Romero for sure. I'd have him above Kohl Stewart and on par with Jay and Gonsalves. 

 

I agree with that, and Romero might have the highest ceiling of the three.


#8 roger

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 04:32 PM

Great group, Seth.Hopefully, a couple will make it to the Twin Cities over the next couple years and give the Twins 8-10 years of solid pitching.

 

Any further news on the progress Thorpe is, or isn't, making.Gonna be real head scratcher whether he should be added to the 40-man this fall.This is the year he needs to be, isn't it?


#9 Jordan1212

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 09:43 PM

Seth, the Romero kid I've heard many things about him does he throw hard? What kind of pitches does he offer? I love Tyler Jay I don't agree with the shut him down he's pitched 80 innings. They need to build them up to the 240 mark in my mind as my nephew is an up and comer left hander and he was throwing 80-90 a game as a 12 year old in wood bat league. But anyways great article as always. Also little more info on the Wells kid another interesting prospect.

#10 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 11:46 AM

 

Great group, Seth.Hopefully, a couple will make it to the Twin Cities over the next couple years and give the Twins 8-10 years of solid pitching.

 

Any further news on the progress Thorpe is, or isn't, making.Gonna be real head scratcher whether he should be added to the 40-man this fall.This is the year he needs to be, isn't it?

 

Yes, he would need to be added to the 40 man roster or potentially be lost in the Rule 5. The fact that he hasn't pitched all year (or last year) and last pitched in Low A would likely mean he won't be drafted which saves the Twins a year on adding him. 


#11 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 11:51 AM

 

Seth, the Romero kid I've heard many things about him does he throw hard? What kind of pitches does he offer? I love Tyler Jay I don't agree with the shut him down he's pitched 80 innings. They need to build them up to the 240 mark in my mind as my nephew is an up and comer left hander and he was throwing 80-90 a game as a 12 year old in wood bat league. But anyways great article as always. Also little more info on the Wells kid another interesting prospect.

 

Romero is 94-96 with the ability to hit 98. He's got a really good breaking ball and a solid changeup. I ranked him 7th in my midseason rankings and was told by someone whose opinion matters to me that I might not have him high enough. 

 

The Jay thing may have more to do with his shoulder after all. I'm trying to figure out how much I should be concerned about Jay's "injury."




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