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Article: Wahoos Weigh-In (5/8): Best Start In Team History

blue wahoos alex kirilloff miguel sano luis arraez
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#1 Steve Lein

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 06:12 PM

The last time we weighed-in the big story was how the pitching staff was leading the team to a fast start, and since then the team hasn’t slowed down. The Southern League is known for it’s unique five-game series schedule and they’ve yet to lose a series so far, resulting in the best start in team history.While the pitching has still been fantastic after the promotion of Twins Daily’s starting pitcher of the month Devin Smeltzer, offensive reinforcements have arrived in the form of top prospect Alex Kirilloff and a rehabbing Miguel Sano to help continue that trend.

Kirilloff’s first game of the year came on May 2nd, and it was okay to expect some rust as he finished 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts, but you knew the opposing team respected his efforts last year as he also was intentionally walked. That rust didn’t oxidize for any longer than that however, as in his next five games he has combined to go 8-for-19 with a double, triple, four RBI and three more walks. He’s basically immediately picked up where he left off last season and is also possibly showing some patience he lacked (or didn’t need) during his 2018 campaign. He’s already provided an injection of star performance into a minor league system somewhat lacking in that regard as far as hitters go thus far. Also, as a way to possibly get him to the majors sooner, he’s also gotten most of his starts at first base in the early going.

Sano adds some major league star power to the lineup, and he’s already showed off some of his prestigious power at Blue Wahoos Stadium:


In four games with Pensacola Sano has clubbed two doubles and that home run, good for a slugging percentage of .600 in 15 at-bats. He may not be there much longer or is already on his way to triple-A, but he’s been a big contributor in his brief time. All in all on his rehab stint thus far, Sano is crushing 400/.440/.800 with two homers and eight runs batted in over six games.

In addition to those two, another player just keeps showing he’s a #ProfessionalHitter in the minors. Luis Arraez missed nearly all of the 2017 season after injuring his knee with Fort Myers, but after hitting .298 in 48 games with the Chattanooga Lookouts last year he’s hitting .341 with Pensacola, good for second in the Southern League in batting average and on-base percentage while leading the league in hits. He’s not quite in Willians Astudillo territory when it comes to striking out (nobody is), but his 9% strikeout rate is also virtually unheard of in today’s game.

While pitching got the Blue Wahoos going early, the hitting is starting to catch up, so look out Southern League.

Batting League Leaders (through games completed on 5/8)

-Luis Arraez leads league in hits, is fifth in walks and total bases, and second in batting average and on-base percentage.
-Jaylin Davis’ four home runs lead the team and is tied for fifth in the circuit, while his .370 on-base percentage and .299 batting average rank seventh.
-Taylor Grzelakowski’s 16 RBIs is tied for eighth in the league.
-Tanner English and Jordan Gore have each scored 18 runs, tied for fifth in the league.

Pitching League Leaders

-Griffin Jax’s 0.53 ERA leads the league and his 1.00 WHIP ranks sixth.
-Devin Smeltzer still ranks second in ERA (0.60) after his promotion.

-Brusdar Graterol is tied for second in the league in innings pitched (37.2), is sixth in strikeouts (36), and fifth in WHIP (0.98)
-Jorge Alcala comes in at #2 in strikeouts on the year with 40 in 33.2 innings.
-Reliever Ryan Mason has picked up six saves, good for second in the Southern League

Other Links

-Unfortunately, for a violation of unspecified team rules, backflipper Dusten Knight was removed from the Pensacola roster and subsequently released.

Every few weeks during the season I’ll be looking back at what happened for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and welcome any input our readers may have on what you would like to see in these posts. I consider this space a work-in-progress that will evolve as the season wears on, so please leave a comment and discuss the Blue Wahoos performance thus far!

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Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#2 Harrison Greeley III

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 07:55 AM

Is it time to start thinking about who is tradeable/valuable in June/July? Am I wrong to start looking in Luis Arraez's direction?

AKA: TMW

#3 Steve Lein

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 09:12 AM

 

Is it time to start thinking about who is tradeable/valuable in June/July? Am I wrong to start looking in Luis Arraez's direction?

 

I don't think there would be much of a market for Arraez, on his own. While he's an elite hit tool guy, that's his one trick at this point. It will get him to the majors but he's not a top 10 prospect or anything.

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#4 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 09:49 AM

I want Arraez to be the bridge at second base between Schoop and Polanco (assuming Lewis in 2021 or 2022 pushes Polanco to second).Bat him ninth; a really good hit guy with good plate discipline to turn the lineup over, and give Byron plenty of opportunities to steal bases.

 

After that, he can become the next Marwin/Ehire, and spell everyone in the infield.

 

And even better, he's still only 22, and will be this entire year.

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#5 terrydactyls1947

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 10:03 AM

I would have to believe that the Pensacola baseball fans have to be ecstatic with the Twins coming to town. Not only is the current roster loaded but the Miracle also have a bunch of prospects that will eventually be moved up.
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#6 HrbieFan

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 11:17 AM

Have had a prospect crush on Arraez for a few years now. I don't know where he plays, but I know he can hit.
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#7 Rosterman

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 01:26 PM

I compare the Wahoos to the Red WIngs and it is night-and-day right now. Wow. The pitching especially in AA-land. I do wonder if the Twins should promote Royce Lewis, just to push his skill set, and see if he is more challenged at the higher level. Of course, if still rehabbing, best to be in Ft, Myers.

 

Nick Gordon is coming around...needs more at bats. But don't see much more coming out of Rochester. Was hoping some of the arms (Thorpe, Gonsalves, Littell) would be pushing for major league consideration. Still anothr couple of months to prove they are the future and push the Twins on making decisions on any of their free-agent-to-be arms. 

 

I'm hoping Rooker comes around. 

 

And can't wait to see if Sano can give us something, anything more than before.

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#8 Linus

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 04:39 PM

The exciting thing is guys in double A are potential 25 man adds. Not everyone can hack it but some can
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#9 Trov

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 08:47 AM

It is nice to see Jax get to play ball full time and preform.He may be a dark horse for good rotation arm.He has never been fully committed to baseball until this year.  




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