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Article: Twins Minor League Report (5/24): 2018 Top Draftees Shine in Rough Night Across the System

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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 09:11 PM

We’re a little over a week away from the 2019 MLB Draft. On a night with very little offense across the system, 2018 top picks Trevor Larnach and Ryan Jeffers put together strong performances. Come see what else happened Friday evening.TRANSACTIONS
-Zack Littell was recalled by the Twins while Austin Adams was designed for assignment.
-Darren Wolfson reported that Randy Dobnak is being promoted to Rochester.

RED WINGS REPORT
Game 1: Pawtucket 6, Rochester 1 (7 innings)
Box Score

Lewis Thorpe: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 63.6% (49 of 77 pitches)
HR: John Andreoli (5)
Multi-hit games: None

Not a whole lot to report from the first game of Rochester’s doubleheader. Lewis Thorpe had a solid, albeit short, start. His ERA has dropped from 8.19 down to 6.31 over his last three starts. Andrew Vasquez also had an encouraging outing, striking out three batters over 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Wings’ only run scored on John Andreoli’s fifth home run of the season.

Game 2: Pawtucket 6, Rochester 1 (7 innings)
Box Score

D.J. Baxendale: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 52.2% strikes (24 of 46 pitches)
HR: None
Multi-hit games: None

Yep, these teams played two games that ended in the exact same score Friday. The Red Wings went with a bullpen game in this one. D.J. Baxendale gave up three runs in his two innings of work and Zack Weiss surrendered three runs in 2 1/3 inning. Ryan Eades followed with 1 2/3 scoreless innings before Trevor Hildenberger pitched a clean seventh inning.

Between the majors and Triple A, Hildenberger hadn’t registered a scoreless appearance in five outings, giving up 14 earned runs over 5 1/3 innings over that stretch. Here’s hoping tonight’s performance results in some positive momentum for him.

The Red Wings mustered just three hits, Drew Maggi’s double being the only one that went for extra bases. Their only run was scored on a Jake Cave bases-loaded double play.

BLUE WAHOO BITES
Tennessee 5, Pensacola 1
Box Score

Jorge Alcala: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 2 K, 68.7% (46 of 67 pitches)
HR: None
Multi-hit games: None

Sam Clay started this game with two shutout innings before Jorge Alcala took over and struggled as the primary pitcher, though only two of the five runs he gave up were earned. On the other hand, the only reason he had unearned runs was because he committed an error. Tom Hackimer did a great job in his two scoreless innings, striking out three batters. He’s give up just one earned run in 21 2/3 innings this season.

Again here, not much to report on the offensive side. The Blue Wahoos combined for just five singles. Their only run scored on an Alex Kirilloff two-out RBI single. Kirilloff also had an outfield assist. Travis Blankenhorn was 1-for-4 and stole his third base of the season.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Daytona 4, Fort Myers 3 (11 innings)
Box Score

Tyler Watson: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 58.2% strikes (56 of 79 pitches)
HR: Ryan Jeffers (4)
Multi-hit games: Trevor Larnach (2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 BB), Ryan Jeffers (2-for-4, HR, BB)

The Miracle trailed 3-0 in the top of the eighth inning, but a Lewin Diaz leadoff triple sparked a three-run rally capped by a Ryan Jeffers home run. Unfortunately, Fort Myers couldn’t scratch across another run. The pitching staff did an excellent job keeping Daytona off the board from the sixth through 10th innings, but finally ceded in the bottom of the 11th.

The 2019 MLB Draft is right around the corner, and it was great to see the first two Twins picks of last year’s draft put together great performances. Trevor Larnach hit two doubles and drew a pair of walks. In addition to his fourth home run, Jeffers had a single and drew a walk.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Peoria 4, Cedar Rapids 1
Box Score

Tyler Palm: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 66.3% strikes (61 of 92 pitches)
HR: None
Multi-hit games: Ben Rodriguez (2-for-4, 2B)

My oh my were runs tough to come by Friday night. Tyler Palm had a very nice start, pitching into the seventh inning while only allowing two runs, but the bats were quiet. Five hits total and the only run came on an Andrew Bechtold sacrifice fly. He also doubled in this game.

STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Palm, Cedar Rapids
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Ryan Jeffers, Fort Myers

TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed

1. Royce Lewis (FM): 0-for-5, 4 K
2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 1-for-4, RBI, 2 K, OF assist
4. Trevor Larnach (FM): 2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 BB, R, K
8. Lewis Thorpe (ROC): 4.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 63.6% (49 of 77 pitches)
11. Nick Gordon (ROC): 2-for-6, R
13. Ryan Jeffers (FM): 2-for-4, HR (4), BB, 2 RBI, R, K
14. Ben Rortvedt (PNS): 1-for-3, BB
16. Gilberto Celestino (CR): 0-for-4
18. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 0-for-4, BB, HBP
19. Jorge Alcala (PNS): 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 2 K, 68.7% (46 of 67 pitches)
20. Jose Miranda (FM): 0-for-5

SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester vs. Pawtuckett. 6:05 pm CT (Randy Dobnak)
Pensacola at Tennessee, 6:00 pm CT (Brusdar Graterol)
Fort Myers at Daytona, 6:05 pm CT (Jordan Balazovic)
Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria, 6:35 pm CT (Cole Sands)

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.

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#2 Seth Stohs

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 09:34 PM

Doogie also reported that Dobnak is going to make his first start for the Red Wings on Saturday as well. 

 

 

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#3 Danchat

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 10:13 PM

Here's a thought... should we start having Alcala throw as a reliever to see if he might be able to crack the majors by the end of the year? Reading his profiles and seeing his performances, methinks he's going to end up as a reliever anyways, so why not try that out now?

 

Lamonte Wade may not be getting many hits this year, but boy, he just finds ways to get on base. I wonder when we'll get to see him as a Twin (not that we need to see him soon, just wondering when).

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#4 SD Buhr

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 10:19 PM

 

Doogie also reported that Dobnak is going to make his first start for the Red Wings on Saturday as well. 

 

Really happy to see Randy get this opportunity! Assume it may just be a spot start, replacing Littell in his scheduled start, but I expect Dobnak to do well and if they need a permanent rotation replacement, they could certainly do worse. Never underestimate him. 

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#5 drock2190

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 10:28 PM

4 strikeout game for Lewis. I know he's young for the level but he is really struggling right now. Maybe that high leg kick hindering him?

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#6 jkcarew

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 10:37 PM

At what point is it acceptable to acknowledge Lewis is having a disappointing season? He started slow. And now has hit .175 in his most recent 10 games, while striking out 13 times and walking twice. Has now played in about the same number of games at Fort Myers in 2019 as he did in 2018, and has regressed offensively across the board. Haven’t heard or read much on how the defense at short is coming along.

Edited by jkcarew, 24 May 2019 - 11:12 PM.

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#7 D.C Twins

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 11:01 PM

Small sample size....pitcher's league....Too much talent.....focusing on defense....and...

 

...when is it OK to express concern about Lewis again? (I was told it was too early last month, so I thought I'd try again)

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#8 jkcarew

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 11:11 PM

Lamonte Wade may not be getting many hits this year, but boy, he just finds ways to get on base. I wonder when we'll get to see him as a Twin (not that we need to see him soon, just wondering when).


I agree, his ability to get on base via the walk is a bit uncanny...especially when you consider he is slugging 299. Usually pitchers will do everything but lob the ball underhanded to avoid walking guys that slug 299. That’s slugging 40 points lower in the International League (a league with the juiced ball) than Ehire Adrianza is slugging in the majors this year.

#9 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:26 AM

 

Here's a thought... should we start having Alcala throw as a reliever to see if he might be able to crack the majors by the end of the year? Reading his profiles and seeing his performances, methinks he's going to end up as a reliever anyways, so why not try that out now?

 

Lamonte Wade may not be getting many hits this year, but boy, he just finds ways to get on base. I wonder when we'll get to see him as a Twin (not that we need to see him soon, just wondering when).

 

Seeing how they are using Littell, I wouldn't be surprised if you see several starting pitching prospects get some extended time out of the pen to learn a bit more how to pitch in higher leverage situations. If they keep running away with things, reserving a role for that makes some sense. My gut feel though is that you'll see this come say September timeframe since he's not on the 40 man.


#10 mikelink45

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 06:22 AM

 

Here's a thought... should we start having Alcala throw as a reliever to see if he might be able to crack the majors by the end of the year? Reading his profiles and seeing his performances, methinks he's going to end up as a reliever anyways, so why not try that out now?

 

Lamonte Wade may not be getting many hits this year, but boy, he just finds ways to get on base. I wonder when we'll get to see him as a Twin (not that we need to see him soon, just wondering when).

I like the Alcala idea.Poor Wade, I have wanted him to get a chance for two years, but I really believe that when he is in the majors he will be with another team.I hope he is part of a trade package this year.


#11 rdehring

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 06:35 AM

Ouch, 0 fer five last ngiht.

 

When I saw how Thorpe did, my words were almost exactly yours, except I used nice instead of solid.Good seeing him with a 'solid' outing after being a bit inconsistent.

 

Can't wait until tomorrow to see how those three starters do tonight.And who knows, maybe we will see Javier in the Kernel's lineup?


#12 Seth Stohs

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 06:38 AM

 

Small sample size....pitcher's league....Too much talent.....focusing on defense....and...

 

...when is it OK to express concern about Lewis again? (I was told it was too early last month, so I thought I'd try again)

 

Hmmm... it is legal to express and even be concerned at this point, if you want.

 

Personally, I won't start worrying about the future of Royce Lewis for a couple of years... 

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#13 Seth Stohs

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 06:41 AM

 

Here's a thought... should we start having Alcala throw as a reliever to see if he might be able to crack the majors by the end of the year? Reading his profiles and seeing his performances, methinks he's going to end up as a reliever anyways, so why not try that out now?

 

Lamonte Wade may not be getting many hits this year, but boy, he just finds ways to get on base. I wonder when we'll get to see him as a Twin (not that we need to see him soon, just wondering when).

 

Alcala (or any starter) will get the opportunity to work in and out of more situations as a starter than as a reliever. 

 

Looks like Littell may now be in the Twins bullpen and maybe that'll be his role going forward. Most of the best relief pitchers in the big leagues were starters in the minors and learned the bullpen out of necessity in the big leagues. 

 

My personal opinion - and I'm not saying it's right or the only way - would be to keep guys starting as long as possible until they get to the big leagues and can be eased in. 

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#14 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 07:14 AM

Well, I'm concerned about Lewis.

 

Even Buxton was not the overall number 1 pick.

 

It's okay to struggle, that's baseball, but at some point, when you are a stud, you snap out of it.

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#15 adorduan

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 07:15 AM

 

Hmmm... it is legal to express and even be concerned at this point, if you want.

 

Personally, I won't start worrying about the future of Royce Lewis for a couple of years... 

So, are you saying he's going to be a 1 level a year guy from here on out?


#16 Seth Stohs

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 07:21 AM

 

So, are you saying he's going to be a 1 level a year guy from here on out?

 

I have no idea what he'll be... maybe... maybe not. I expect he'll play in the FSL All Star game and then move up to AA. 


#17 Aerodeliria

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 07:50 AM

Certainly Wade continues to amaze with the OBP, but he just can't seem to push his BA high enough to get over the last hurdle. This is his third try at AAA (I believe), but it's looking like the other two so far.
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#18 Tom Froemming

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 08:34 AM

 

Here's a thought... should we start having Alcala throw as a reliever to see if he might be able to crack the majors by the end of the year? Reading his profiles and seeing his performances, methinks he's going to end up as a reliever anyways, so why not try that out now?

I'd wager that Alcala ends up in the pen, but using him as a primary pitcher seems like a good compromise for now. He stays stretched out but still gets some experience in coming in after the game has started.

 

 

4 strikeout game for Lewis. I know he's young for the level but he is really struggling right now. Maybe that high leg kick hindering him?

Yes. That swing is almost comical.

 

At what point is it acceptable to acknowledge Lewis is having a disappointing season? 

He's most definitely having a disappointing season. I don't think anybody would dispute that. But ...

 

Small sample size....pitcher's league....Too much talent.....focusing on defense....and...

 

...when is it OK to express concern about Lewis again? (I was told it was too early last month, so I thought I'd try again)

... even though I think the swing needs to change and his performance has been disappointing, I'm not concerned. Not about his future. He should be able to successfully make adjustments.

 

I don't really understand why the org has let him continue with that big of a leg kick for this long, but sometimes it does seem like it's good to let a guy fail. Let him figure out the humongous leg kick's gotta go on his own and maybe that adjustment process will be more successful/he'll buy in earlier.

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#19 jkcarew

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 10:27 AM

 

I don't really understand why the org has let him continue with that big of a leg kick for this long, but sometimes it does seem like it's good to let a guy fail. Let him figure out the humongous leg kick's gotta go on his own and maybe that adjustment process will be more successful/he'll buy in earlier.

This seems very plausible. And my first reaction to Seth's comments above that he thinks Lewis still may be promoted to AA after the FSL all-star game...was how can they promote him as he's struggling so significantly at the A+ level? But, to your point, if he's still strong mentally/emotionally...it might be good for the overall development that he 'fails as hard/fast as possible', and begins making the necessary adjustments.

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#20 Darius

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 10:36 AM

Well, I'm concerned about Lewis.

Even Buxton was not the overall number 1 pick.

It's okay to struggle, that's baseball, but at some point, when you are a stud, you snap out of it.


Concur. When the guy we spent a number 1 overall on is striking out at this rate in A ball, it’s concerning. There can’t really be any other conclusion (certainly not encouraging).

I’m not even sure you can claim small sample size anymore. It’s 200 ABs of sub .650 OPS, .230 BA, 44Ks to 19 walks, 1 home run, 5 CS to 9 SB, and various other alarming statistics. I can’t speak much for his defense, but i’ve gathered he’s not exactly elite there either.

You can make the young argument, I suppose. But, he’s been a pro a couple years now. He’s roughly the same age as guys like Guerrero Jr., Juan Soto, Tatis Jr., who are showing high-level success in the MLB. I know, different career paths, etc.....but my point is the age isn’t really a factor when you’re touted as a phenom.

I’m not sure the people claiming they aren’t concerned are being totally genuine about that. I’m not saying he’s in trouble yet, but if you’re not raising an eyebrow at the anointed future face of the franchise getting blown away for 200 ABs in A-ball, I don’t know what could possibly concern you.
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