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Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/13): Baller-Zovic

jordan balazovic trevor larnach royce lewis jorge alcala ryan mason
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#1 Steve Lein

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 10:02 PM

While only three of the Minnesota Twins four full season affiliates were in action on Monday, two of them had doubleheaders on the schedule thanks to the weather that’s been wreaking havoc seemingly every day so far this season. A pair of starting pitchers had solid outings, including one who set a personal strikeout record, and a top prospect hitter finished his day with four hits. An under-the-radar reliever also continued an impressive scoreless streak to start 2019.

To find out who those players were, and how the rest of your favorite Twins prospects performed on Monday night, read on!TRANSACTIONS
  • Hopefully Tyler Duffey hadn’t already boarded a plane back to Rochester, NY after being the 26th man on Saturday and officially being returned yesterday, as he was recalled Monday.
  • To make room on the 25-man roster, Jake Cave was optioned to Rochester.

RED WINGS REPORT
Scheduled Day Off

The Red Wings got the day off on Monday to travel as they end six-day homestand where they went 2-3 and had another game rained out that will be made up on June 21st against the Toledo MudHens. They begin a three-game series on Tuesday against the Charlotte Knights with righthander Zack Littell on the mound, coming off a six-inning scoreless outing his last time out.

BLUE WAHOOS BITES
Game 1: Pensacola 1, Chattanooga 0
Box Score

Starter Jorge Alcala was brilliant for 5 2/3 innings to pick up his fifth win of the year and needed to be as his offense was able to scratch across just one run on the game.

Alcala retired nine men in a row from the third through the sixth inning, but a two-out single after consecutive strikeouts to open the sixth inning brought an end to his outing. He allowed just two hits and two walks, struck out four, and threw 49 of his 82 pitches for strikes, including seven swinging.

The Blue Wahoos scored the only run of the game in the fourth inning after Taylor Grzelakowski drew a leadoff walk, moved to third on an Ernie De La Trinidad double, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Tanner English. Luis Arraez had three of their eight total hits on the game, a trio of singles but never got farther than second base as Pensacola was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Ryan Mason finished the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing a two-out double in the seventh to make it somewhat interesting, but bookending that with a pair of strikeouts to pick up his seventh save of the year. For those keeping track, Mason has now appeared in 11 games, totaling 16 1/3 innings pitched, allowing zero runs on eleven hits and two walks, while striking out 23. That means his ERA is a perfect 0.00, and his WHIP a stellar 0.80 so far on the year. He’s also struck out multiple hitters in his last nine appearances.

Game 2: Pensacola 4, Chattanooga 5 (9 innings)
Box Score

The Blue Wahoos got on the scoreboard first in the fifth inning, taking a 2-0 lead after a couple of walks were followed by consecutive two-out RBI singles from Joe Cronin and Jaylin Davis. They extended that lead to 4-0 in the seventh when Luis Arraez drove in two with a two-out bases-loaded single.

Those insurance runs wouldn’t be enough however, as in their final chance the Lookouts got one big swing of the bat to extend the game. After Alex Phillips loaded the bases, lefty Tyler Jay was brought in from the bullpen to face Chattanooga’s cleanup hitter, and he sent an 0-1 pitch into the seats for a game-tying grand slam. Jay was later saved from losing the game by a ground-rule double for escaping to send it to extra innings. He would remain in the game and delivered a scoreless eighth, but the first hitter of the ninth snuck a base hit into center field and the winning run came home.

Pensacola took a bullpen approach to game two, with Adam Bray making the start and getting through 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He allowed four hits and struck out three. Sam Clay pitched the next 1 2/3 giving up a hit and a walk while striking out one. Phillips was responsible for most of the comeback, as he was charged with three runs on two hits and three walks in 1 1/3. He struck out one. Jay allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in his 1 2/3 innings, striking out two.

The lineup for the Blue Wahoos tallied just six singles and three walks on the day and were 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Bradenton 2, Fort Myers 8
Box Score

Fort Myers poured it on late to put away the Marauders, but before that newly minted pitching phenom Jordan Balazovic chewed through his opposition. For his second start in a row, Balazovic struck out double-digit hitters, but in this one also set a new career high for K’s in a game with 12. He did run up a bit of pitch count to get there, as he only finished five innings with his 94 pitches and also walked four, but is hard to complain about two runs allowed when it’s all said and done with that amount of punchouts. He struck out three hitters in a row on two separate occasions and all three outs via K’s in two other frames. Of his 59 strikes, an astounding 22 were of the swing and miss variety.

Calvin Faucher and Anthony Vizcaya combined to toss four innings of scoreless relief (two innings apiece), allowing four hits and a walk while striking out five between them. Faucher notched his fourth hold, while Vizcaya picked up his fourth save.

The Miracle took the lead 3-2 in the fourth after a solo home run from Michael Helman, extended it to 4-2 after a Trevor Larnach RBI-double in the seventh, then blew it open with a four run eighth. Helman (single), Royce Lewis (double), Larnach (single), and Ryan Jeffers (double) all drove in a run in the inning.

On the game Larnach led the charge by going 4-for-5 with two RBI, while Helman and Ryan Costello each also added two hits to the effort. Lewis scored three runs by chipping in a walk and two stolen bases to go along with his double in a 1-for-4 night at the dish. After hitting just .209 in the month of April, Lewis is at .292 so far in May with five multiple hit games in his last eleven.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Game 1: Quad Cities 4, Cedar Rapids 9
Box Score

Righthander Josh Winder took the mound for the Kernels in game one and followed his eight-inning gem on May 6th with a complete game in this one. Because of the doubleheader it was *only* seven innings, but he kept the River Bandits in check when it mattered, finishing by allowing four earned runs on five hits and four walks, while striking out three. Of his 102 pitches on the game, 65 went for strikes (64%).

The Cedar Rapids lineup put things at ease for Winder with two big innings, including the bottom of the first. Three of the first four batters of the game for the Kernels reached by via walk or a hit-by-pitch, then an RBI groundout from Gabe Snyder, an RBI single Gilberto Celestino, and two-RBI single by Gabriel Maciel made it 4-0. In the fourth, a three-run bomb from Snyder and two-RBI double from Andrew Bechtold added five more runs for the home team’s final tally.

Game 2: Quad Cities 7, Cedar Rapids 0
Box Score

Cedar Rapids wasn’t able to continue their offensive barrage from the first game of the day, as they were being no-hit through 4 2/3 innings. Gabriel Maciel broke that bid up in the fifth with a two-out single, but that would basically be it for the home team on the game. They had just four chances with runners in scoring position and were unable to capitalize. Gabe Snyder added his fifth double of the year and Yeltsin Encarnacion added a single to account for their three hits in the nightcap.

Austin Schulfer got the start for the Kernels and finished three innings. He was hit for three runs in the third after a two-run triple and an RBI single to end his day. He allowed those three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out one. Carlos Suniago chipped in two scoreless innings, striking out three to keep his team within striking distance, but Jose Martinez followed by allowing three more runs in the sixth on two hits and three walks to make it 6-0 Quad Cities. Moises Gomez came on for the final frame, and a leadoff triple led to a sac fly before finishing the game. He struck out one.

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Pitcher of the Day – Jordan Balazovic, Fort Myers Miracle (W, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 12 K)
Hitter of the Day – Trevor Larnach, Fort Myers Miracle (4-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI)

PROSPECT SUMMARY

Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, 3 R, 2B (6), BB, K, 2 SB (8)
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-for-8, K (2 games)
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did not pitch
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 4-for-5, R, 2B (12), 2 RBI
#5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No game
#6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - No game
#7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch
#8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - No game
#9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Did not play
#11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - No game
#12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, 2B (5), RBI BB, K
#14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Did not play
#15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List
#16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-6, 2 R, BB, K
#17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - No game
#18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - No game
#19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - W, 5.2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K
#20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-5, RBI

WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Rochester @ Charlotte (6:04PM CST) – RHP Zack Littell (2-2, 3.82 ERA)
Pensacola @ Chattanooga (6:15PM CST) - RHP Brusdar Graterol (4-0, 1.91 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:30PM CST) – RHP Edwar Colina (0-1, 11.57 ERA)
Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (0-3, 4.05 ERA)

Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Monday’s games!

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  • nicksaviking and h2oface like this
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 h2oface

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 12:41 AM

Tyler Jay. Man, I just don't see the reason to not release him. I mean, he is still in AA! And even though he can have a good game, and has..... add the 3 inherited runners scored to his line and he really tanked another. Don't ya love how a 9 inning game in the minors can be extra innings?

 

12 Ks in 5 innings. Jordan Balazovic is a monster.

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#3 beckmt

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 05:42 AM

My question with Tyler Jay is velocity, if it is back up, if not I can see the Twins cutting ties.


#4 rdehring

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 06:19 AM

Ryne Mason is another member of that 2016 draft who has a chance.All of the first seven picks have become legitimate candidates to make it.Speaking of that draft, any word on what Benninghoff is doing?

 

Is Balazovic now the second best pitching prospect in the organization?Graterol should be in Minnesota by mid-to-late next year.Will Balazovic follow in 2021 to form a trio to be reckoned with?

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#5 blindeke

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 06:30 AM

 

My question with Tyler Jay is velocity, if it is back up, if not I can see the Twins cutting ties.

 

The next two picks after Jay were Benintendi and Carson Fulmer.

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#6 Dman

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 06:57 AM

Most of the guys on this site hated the Jay pick but I defended it.He was supposed to have two plus pitches with a floor of elite reliever.From day one he was hit hard or allowing hard contact.He just never seemed to have the stuff to make it from day one.

 

I kept hoping he would turn it around but he seems to be the same unreliable pitcher pretty much every game every year.I mean Ryan Mason an after thought pick is pitching better than he is.I am finally starting to come around that Jay was bust a pick.

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#7 birdwatcher

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:06 AM

 

The next two picks after Jay were Benintendi and Carson Fulmer.

 

 

Yes, we know.;)

 

Fulmer is back in AAA after posting about a 7 ERA, a 2 WHIP, and -1.1 WAR over about 100 IP. No one is much more excited about Carson in Chicago than we are about Tyler here, or than the Orioles are about the #4 pick, Dillon Tate, who is also floundering in AA.

 

The lesson: we're gonna win more than we lose, but we're gonna lose occasionally. Like everyone else.

Edited by birdwatcher, 14 May 2019 - 07:08 AM.

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#8 Seth Stohs

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:31 AM

 

Ryne Mason is another member of that 2016 draft who has a chance.All of the first seven picks have become legitimate candidates to make it.Speaking of that draft, any word on what Benninghoff is doing?

 

Is Balazovic now the second best pitching prospect in the organization?Graterol should be in Minnesota by mid-to-late next year.Will Balazovic follow in 2021 to form a trio to be reckoned with?

 

The 2016 draft is certainly shaping out very well at this point!

 

Balazovic is certainly the #2 Twins pitching prospect and Keith Law's pre-season ranking of Balazovic ahead of Graterol is not looking silly at all at this point. 

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#9 Steve Lein

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:36 AM

 

Most of the guys on this site hated the Jay pick but I defended it.He was supposed to have two plus pitches with a floor of elite reliever.From day one he was hit hard or allowing hard contact.He just never seemed to have the stuff to make it from day one.

 

I kept hoping he would turn it around but he seems to be the same unreliable pitcher pretty much every game every year.I mean Ryan Mason an after thought pick is pitching better than he is.I am finally starting to come around that Jay was bust a pick.

 

I was a big fan of the pick. I also wrote the draft profile for him here.

 

The big issue, is the questions there were when he was drafted, came to fruition and haven't really improved. 

 

I saw a similar path to Glen Perkins for him, but there's not much time left for him.

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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)

#10 Jacks02

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:38 AM

Adam Bray is quietly putting up some really good numbers. He's now 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in nine appearances with 25 K's in 22.2 IP. Had a nice season at Ft. Myers last year as well.

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#11 rdehring

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:56 AM

 

Adam Bray is quietly putting up some really good numbers. He's now 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in nine appearances with 25 K's in 22.2 IP. Had a nice season at Ft. Myers last year as well.

Yes he is.I see he was traded to the Twins from the Dodgers a year ago.Don't remember who/what we traded to get him.Anyone?


#12 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:58 AM

I gotta keep giving love to Arraez too.He just turned 22 in April, is at AA, and is hitting .342 with a .415 OBP.Almost no power to speak of (no homers, and only one triple), but that makes the fact that he has more walks than strikeouts even more impressive.He's played games at second, third, short and even left field.He has a real shot to make this team straight out of spring training next year.

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#13 spycake

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 09:03 AM

 

Yes he is.I see he was traded to the Twins from the Dodgers a year ago.Don't remember who/what we traded to get him.Anyone?

A trade return was never announced. Probably a marginal amount of cash? I'm guessing the Dodgers did it as a favor to give him an opportunity.

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#14 Mike Sixel

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 09:03 AM

Ryne Mason is another member of that 2016 draft who has a chance. All of the first seven picks have become legitimate candidates to make it. Speaking of that draft, any word on what Benninghoff is doing?

Is Balazovic now the second best pitching prospect in the organization? Graterol should be in Minnesota by mid-to-late next year. Will Balazovic follow in 2021 to form a trio to be reckoned with?


Late next year for Gaterol? I hope not. Because with their lack of depth, that means a lot of starts by lesser pitchers.

If Balazovic is dominant for two months, promote him again. He could be up next year.
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It's IL now, btw, not DL.....


#15 JLease

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 09:14 AM

 

The 2016 draft is certainly shaping out very well at this point!

 

Balazovic is certainly the #2 Twins pitching prospect and Keith Law's pre-season ranking of Balazovic ahead of Graterol is not looking silly at all at this point. 

 

Balazovic is really impressing. You have to assuming the K/9 is going to regress somewhat, but the control fits fine with a guy who doesn't give up tons of hits & gets the Ks. KLaw had him on a 4 pitch mix: mid 90's fastball, plus slider, change that needed some work and a curve...anyone know how the change & curve are progressing?

 

It will be interesting to see how he handles a full season of work (only 61.2 innings last season) and if his velocity and control stay in place for a full year. The stuff and approach seem to be there, so let's hope the stamina goes along with it.

 

He's certainly a prospect to get excited about.

 

Larnach doesn't seem to be having any trouble moving up to Ft. Myers, very nice stats for the FSL. I think there's still some more power to unlock there, but some of that regression is likely due to league/park effects. He's on a very good path, it will be interesting to see if he gets an aggressive push this year at midseason.

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#16 Steve Lein

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 09:15 AM

 

Ryne Mason is another member of that 2016 draft who has a chance.All of the first seven picks have become legitimate candidates to make it.Speaking of that draft, any word on what Benninghoff is doing?

 

Is Balazovic now the second best pitching prospect in the organization?Graterol should be in Minnesota by mid-to-late next year.Will Balazovic follow in 2021 to form a trio to be reckoned with?

 

Certainly looking like a solid draft class! They still have to get to the majors, but the minors returns are great so far, especially in the top 10 picks.

 

I think Balazovic is on his way to being that #2 guy. I still have a lot of love for Lewis Thorpe, but both are solidly in my top 10 at this point. Balazovic is on his way to top 5. I think Keith Law went out on a limb putting him at #3 based on where he's at and where's he's been, but he looks like an oracle so 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)

#17 Aerodeliria

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 09:49 AM

I'm always so impressed by these discussions. I can learn more in 2-3 minutes of reading here than I could get from ESPN in a year.

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#18 Jaykay

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 09:56 AM

Larnach deserves a lot of credit for hitting the way he is in that league. 

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#19 Seth Stohs

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 09:57 AM

 

Yes he is.I see he was traded to the Twins from the Dodgers a year ago.Don't remember who/what we traded to get him.Anyone?

 

Roger, this has nothing to do with this comment... but I figured you should know that Ben Rortvedt was just promoted to AA Pensacola... 

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#20 ashbury

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 10:10 AM

A trade return was never announced. Probably a marginal amount of cash? I'm guessing the Dodgers did it as a favor to give him an opportunity.

Releasing him, letting him sign as a minor-league free-agent with whomever he pleased, would also have accomplished this. Do the Dodgers still need cash? :)

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