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Article: Twins Minor League Report (7/2): Jax Debuts For Kernels

griffin jax brandon lopez jermaine palacios ryan eades levi michael
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 08:36 PM

Despite the fact that the GCL Twins don’t play on Sundays, it was a very busy day in the Twins minor league system. AA Chattanooga finished their suspended game and played their regularly-scheduled game. Ft. Myers played two games against the Tebows, I mean, St. Lucie Mets. The Kernels had a quality prospect make his Midwest League debut.

It was also the first day of the new International signing period. That means that the Twins (and all the other teams) could start signing 16-year-old international players. Most of the top names come from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. But players from Cuba, Australia and other countries will also be signed. While it was posted that the Twins have an agreement with SS Jelfry Marte, they are likely to sign another dozen or more kids from foreign countries. According to Ben Badler from Baseball America, the Twins are also the favorite to sign OFs Carlos Aguilar and Mauro Bonafacio. As for Sunday night, the Twins have not yet actually signed any of these players. That will happen over the course of the next week, and in some cases, over the coming months.Find out everything and more that happened happened in the Twins system on Sunday, starting with the transactions of the day. OK, there was just one transaction. Felix Jorge was returned to Chattanooga following his MLB debut as the 26th man in the Twins doubleheader.

Rochester 0, Lehigh Valley 3
Box Score

David Hurlbut put together another quality start, but the Red Wings offense was unable to score. The left-hander gave up three runs on eight hits over 7.2 innings. He struck out nine without issuing a walk. Alex Wimmers came on and struck out the one batter he faced.

The Red Wings offense had just five hits in the game. Zack Granite went 2-4 and is now hitting .367. Mitch Garver - who played left field again - went 0-3 with a walk which ended his 15-game hitting streak.

Chattanooga 5, Mississippi 3 (completion of suspended game from Saturday)
Box Score

On Saturday, the Lookouts started their game, but after two innings, it was suspended by rain. They completed that game on Sunday. Fernando Romero started on Saturday and threw two scoreless innings. He gave up a hit, walked two and struck out three. Randy LeBlanc started when the game resumed on Sunday. He gave up four runs on five hits and two walks in 5.2 innings. He struck out five. Luke Bard picked up the save by recording the final four outs. He gave up three hits and walked one without allowing a run. He struck out two.

Nick Gordon went 2-4 and drove in a run. Levi Michael went 1-3 with a two-run homer, his third of the season.

Chattanooga 4, Mississippi 0 (regularly-scheduled games)
Box Score

In the regularly-scheduled, now-7-inning game, the Lookouts got some really good pitching. Ryan Eades made the start and threw three shutout innings. He didn’t give up a hit or issue a walk and struck out five. Alex Muren came on and also threw three shutout innings. He gave up four hits, and struck out one. Randy Rosario pitched a perfect ninth.

Edgar Corcino led the offense with a 2-3 game. He stole his second base and scored two runs. They scored three runs in the 6th to solidify their lead. TJ White knocked a two-run double, his tenth of the year. Levi Michael followed with his ninth double to drive in White.

Game 1 - Ft. Myers 4, St. Lucie 5
Box Score

Through the first four innings, Brady Anderson gave up only one run. However, he started the fifth by giving up three singles to load the bases. The bases were then unloaded with a grand slam. That certainly, and quickly, altered Anderson’s pitching line. He gave up five runs on eight hits and four walks in four innings. Jonny Drozd came on and gave up a hit and two walks but no runs over two innings. David Fischer worked a scoreless seventh frame.

The Miracle started slow and made a comeback in the seventh that fell just shy. In that inning, Brandon Lopez and Jermaine Palacios had RBI singles to cut the lead to one, but the team could not get one more hit to extend the game. Lopez went 2-3 with a walk and has hit .438 in his first five games with the Miracle. With a 3-4, Palacios is now hitting .407 through his first seven games since joining the team. Max Murphy went 2-4. Sean Miller was 1-2 with a walk and his second stolen base.

Game 2 - Ft. Myers 12, St. Lucie 1
Box Score

Playing a mid-afternoon doubleheader in early July in Ft. Myers is not advised. With that heat and humidity, it can be difficult. After a close first game, the Miracle were able to put a strong offensive performance together for a big win.

Nearly everyone in the offense contributed in some way. Brandon Lopez stayed hot. He went 3-5 in game two and is now at .476 in six games. Shane Kennedy went 3-3 with a walk and his second triple. Max Murphy went 2-5 with his 16th double. Nelson Molina went 2-4. Tanner English was 1-2 with two walks and his eighth double. Jermaine Palacios hit his second double and drove in three runs. Zander Wiel hit his seventh home run.

Anthony McIver made another start and did well again. He gave up one run on five hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out three. Keaton Steele gave up two hits and a walk over two scoreless innings.

Lopez has enjoyed his time in Ft. Myers and appreciates the coaching he's received. "The adjustment has been easy really thanks to the coaching staff and my teammates. It's a fun group of guys that love to go out there have fun and at the same time get better doing it. Since I got up here I've been working with Doug (Mientkiewicz) and Sing (hitting coach Steve Singleton) in cages on a few things with my swing and I've definitely felt more comfortable in games at the plate."

Cedar Rapids 3, Clinton 0
Box Score

The Kernels made another commuter trip to Clinton and drove home with a nice, clean win. Griffin Jax was terrific in his first Midwest League start. The right-hander drafted a year ago from Air Force worked seven shutout innings. He walked one and struck out four.

Jax was happy with his performance following the game. He said, “I was able to establish my fastball to both sides of the plate for the most part. Our report on them was that they had trouble with the fastball, so that was the game plan moving forward. I had some early-game nerves but after the first inning I settled in.”

Jeff Johnson from The Gazette posted the following on Saturday night regarding Jax.

Assume he does have a 60-day leave, and that he’s been at extended spring training and made a start in Elizabethton, he should be able to spend four to five weeks with the Kernels.

Logan Lombana worked a scoreless eighth inning. Hector Lujan recorded his seventh save of the season.

The Kernels scored one run in each of the first three innings. In the first, Travis Blankenhorn hit a two-out double and scored on a Lewin Diaz single. The in the second, Andre Jernigan walked and scored on a Lean Marrero double, his first since joining the Kernels a week ago. In the third, Aaron Whitefield hit his ninth home run of the season.

Elizabethton 1, Danville 7
Box Score

The E-Twins played an afternoon game in Danville on Sunday. It was a good game until a five-run bottom of the eighth gave Danville a big win.

Charlie Barnes made his second start. In 3.1 innings, he gave up one run on five hits and two walks. He struck out five. Chris Broussard worked 3.2 scoreless innings, but he was able to get just one out in the bottom of the eighth. He was charged with four runs on six hits and a walk. Jared Finkel came on and got the final two outs, though he was charged with two runs (one earned) in that inning as well.

The E-Twins managed just three hits in the game. Wander Javier had two of them including his fourth double. He stole his second base as well.

GCL Twins
Box Score

There are no Gulf Coast League games on Sundays (with some exceptions).


Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Griffin Jax, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Brandon Lopez, Ft. Myers Miracle


Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers
Chattanooga @ Mississippi (6:00 CST) - LHP Matt Tracy
St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) - RHP Cody Stashak
Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:30 CST) - LHP Anthony Marzi
Elizabethton @ Danville (6:00 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina
GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 am CST) - RHP Brusdar Graterol

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.

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  • glunn likes this

#2 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 05:43 AM

The GCL starter for today is Brusdar Graterol, new draft pick Austin Bizzle is also slated to pitch.

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#3 terrydactyls1947


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Posted 03 July 2017 - 08:34 AM

If Griffen Jax is at Cape Canaveral for the next two years, would he be able to pitch for Ft. myers on weekends or evevings?
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#4 Taildragger8791


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Posted 03 July 2017 - 10:13 AM

Any word on when guys like Enlow and Leach will show up in games?

#5 TKGuy


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Posted 03 July 2017 - 11:35 AM

Big start for slegers? Molly seems to have seen enough of Hector Santiago

#6 nater79a


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Posted 03 July 2017 - 12:26 PM

Zack Granite could go 0 for his next 49 and still be hitting .300.  What a season for him.

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#7 jimbo92107


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Posted 03 July 2017 - 12:28 PM

Griffen Jax sounds very mature for a guy pitching in low A ball. 

The door opened. A woman screamed. Someday, my mom would learn to knock.

#8 Seth Stohs

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 12:37 PM


Any word on when guys like Enlow and Leach will show up in games?


Enlow's just working in Ft. Myers. I'm sure he'll get into a game soon.

Leach is still waiting for his visa. Once he gets that, he'll come down, work out some, probably pitch a little out of the bullpen. 

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#9 yarnivek1972


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Posted 03 July 2017 - 12:47 PM

I see Lachlan Wells hit the DL.  Is there actually an injury, or are they just hitting the pause button on his innings?

#10 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 04:04 PM


The GCL starter for today is Brusdar Graterol, new draft pick Austin Bizzle is also slated to pitch.

Well rehabber Beardsley started and went 2 IP, Graterol came in later and went 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 8 K.  Bizzle did not get into the game hopefully he'll throw tomorrow.

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