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Article: Twins Minor League Report (6/4): Javier Powers Kernels Comeback

wander javier blayne enlow travis blankenhorn jimmy kerrigan jorge alcala
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#1 Steve Lein

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 10:23 PM

Minnesota Twins affiliates finished Tuesday with a 3-1 record as several hitters throughout the system had multiple hit efforts. A top international signing infield prospect led a comeback win with his first home run of the season, while another big international pitcher signing of a few years ago made his full season debut, and another top pitching prospect delivered his second quality start in as many games with his new affiliate after his recent promotion. It was also a busy day for transactions with player movement at every level.To find out everything that happened in the minors on Tuesday, read on!

TRANSACTIONS

It was a busy day for player movement in the Minnesota Twins organization on Tuesday:
  • In Rochester RHP Chase De Jong was activated from the injured list while left-handed reliever Andrew Vasquez was placed on the injured list due to a shoulder strain.
  • In Double-A the Blue Wahoos added several new names to their roster, including first baseman Ryan Costello from Fort Myers, shortstop Michael Davis from Cedar Rapids, and RHP Zack Weiss from Rochester.
  • In exchange for Costello, the Miracle received back center fielder Ernie De La Trinidad who had some struggles after starting the year in Double-A after just 27 games in the Florida State League last season.
  • In the Midwest League the Cedar Rapids Kernels were assigned shortstop Ricky De La Torre who will be making his full season debut after spending his first two years in the rookie leagues.
RED WINGS REPORT
Rochester 9, Syracuse 3
Box Score

Rochester scratched the first run of the game across in the top of the third thanks to a Luis Arraez RBI single in his first game back in Triple-A. They later found themselves down 2-1 until the sixth when they took the lead for good after Jake Cave led off the inning with a triple. Wilin Rosario promptly drove him in with a single and would later score the go-ahead run on an error.

Starting the game on the mound for the Red Wings was RHP Chase De Jong, who was making his first appearance since May 10th. He went three innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks, along with notching two strikeouts. He threw 58 pitches with 34 of them going for strikes. Zack Littell also made his first appearance back in Triple-A and picked up the win by finishing the fifth inning before his teammates took the lead back. He went two innings, walking just one and striking out three.

The Red Wings offense blew this one open with six runs in the top of the seventh as they loaded the bases with one out. Rosario scored two with a double and was followed by a 2-RBI single from Brent Rooker. Randy Cesar and Tomas Telis then added RBI singles of their own to make the final of 9-3.

Jake Reed got the defense through the seventh with two scoreless frames. He allowed three hits and struck out one. Fernando Romero then finished the final two innings, allowing one run on three hits and a walk.

Cave, Rosario, Rooker, and Wade Jr., and Jordany Valdespin all had multiple hits. As a team they were 6-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Arreaz also drew two walks in addition to finishing 1-for-4.

BLUE WAHOOS BITES
Jacksonville 5, Pensacola 7
Box Score

The Blue Wahoos got multiple hits from four hitters including Travis Blankenhorn, Jimmy Kerrigan, Jaylin Davis, and Caleb Hamilton en route to a 7-5 victory on Tuesday. They scored runs in each of the second, fifth, sixth, and eighth innings to outlast their seafood brethren in the Southern League.

Blankenhorn slugged his seventh and eighth doubles of the year while scoring two runs with a 3-for-4 night at the dish, while Kerrigan was 2-for-5 and drove in three to lead the offense. Ben Rortvedt also scored two runs and drove in another with a 1-for-2 night at the plate that included a walk.

Jorge Alcala got the start on the mound and went 5 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four. Of his 95 pitches, 66 went for strikes (69%) with 12 of them the swinging variety. Tom Hackimer picked up his second win of the season by finishing 1 2/3. He walked one and struck out two. Jeff Ames came on in the eighth with one out and escaped a jam with two men on base. Back out for the ninth he gave up two runs and was replaced by Sam Clay with the tying run coming up to bat. Clay shut the door with a three-pitch strikeout to pick up his fourth save.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Florida 8, Fort Myers 2
Box Score

While the Miracle outhit the Fire Frogs 8-6 on the game, it was the eight free passes they surrendered that made the difference as the visitors took advantage of their pitching mistakes.

Right-hander Blayne Enlow made his second start since being promoted to the FSL, and delivered his second quality start. He lasted 6+ innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on just two hits and two walks. He struck out five and threw 63 of his 94 pitches for strikes (67%) including 12 swinging. He left the game responsible for two runners on base and his team up 2-1.

Johan Quezada came on for him and proceeded to give up two bases-loaded walks, a two-RBI single, and a run-scoring wild pitch before they could get another reliever warmed up. That was Tanner Howell who got the final out of the inning, but the damage was done. Howell then got bit by the same control bug in the eighth and allowed two more runs for Florida’s final tally. Joe Record came on in the eight and finished the final 1 1/3. He walked one and struck out two.

Royce Lewis was the only batter in the lineup with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-5 with an RBI and his 12th double on the season. Ernie De La Trinidad contributed a double and scored a run in his first game back with the Miracle. As a team they finished 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 8, Clinton 6
Box Score

Making his full season debut for the Kernels in this one was starting pitcher Kai-Wei Teng who the Twins signed in December of 2017 out of Taiwan for a $500,000 international signing bonus. He had a solid rookie league debut in the GCL last year and skips the Appalachian League with this promotion.

It was a mixed bag for him, as the first three hitters he faced got hits, with a 2-RBI double putting Clinton up 2-0 before he recorded an out. But he got the next three to limit the damage, including his first strikeout, added two more Ks in the second, then had a one-two-three third before more trouble found him in the fourth. An error from Wander Javier cracked opened the floodgates, and another from Andrew Bechtold blew them open. The LumberKings capitalized with four runs, all unearned, to take a 6-1 lead. Teng finished 3 2/3 innings, allowed six runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks. He struck out four.

Reliever Zach Neff calmed it down after that going the next 2 1/3 scoreless innings and striking out three.

That’s when the Kernels lineup also woke up. They cut the lead to 6-4 in the top of the fifth behind a two-out, three-run blast from Javier, his first home run of the season. In the eighth inning Bechtold led off with an infield single and advanced to second base on an errant throw, before Gabe Snyder drove him in to cut the lead to 6-5. Gabriel Maciel then delivered a game-tying triple before scoring the go-ahead run on an error off the bat of Gilberto Celestino.

Jose Martinez had relieved Neff to start the seventh and had a one-two-three inning on just seven pitches. Back out for the eighth he got one out before he deflected a comeback toward short and was removed from the game due to injury (since there was no update provided from the Kernels, it may have been just for precautionary reasons). Derek Molina replaced him and finished the game to pick up his sixth save. He allowed one hit and struck out two. With the win Cedar Rapids moved to above .500 for the first time this season at 29-28.

The Kernels added an insurance run in the ninth for the final score and Maciel, Javier, Snyder, and Estamy Urena finished the game with two hits. Ben Rodriguez also clubbed his fourth home run of the year.

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Pitcher of the Day – Blayne Enlow, Fort Myers Miracle (6+ IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)
Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-5, R, HR, 3 RBI)

PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, K
#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured list
#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list
#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4
#5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-5, R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K
#6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 2-for-3, R, 2 BB, K
#7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch
#8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch
#9 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - 6+ IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
#10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured list (Tommy John surgery)
#11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did not play
#12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list
#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-3, BB
#14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-for-2, 2 R, RBI, BB
#15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list
#16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-5, R, 2 K
#17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - W, 2.0 IP, BB, 3 K
#18 - LaMonte Wade Jr. (Rochester) - 2-for-3, R, BB, K
#19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 5.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, BB, 4 K
#20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4

WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Rochester @ Syracuse (9:35AM CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-3, 6.27 ERA)
Jacksonville @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) - TBD
Florida @ Fort Myers (12:00PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 4.24 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfur (4-2, 2.95 ERA)

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

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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 h2oface

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 03:53 AM

Javier, the slick SS..... had 2 throwing errors in his game, and now has 3 already. Good thing he hit a 3 run dinger, eh? 


#3 rdehring

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 07:12 AM

Will always be happy with a 3-1 record for the day.Well, 3-2 if you count the DSL Twins 2-1 loss in which lead off hitter Misael Urbina had his first 0-3 day while playing center field.

 

With Cave and Wade heating up, Rooker healthy and Arraez back in the lead off spot, maybe the Red Wings can get back to .500 (21-33) by late-July?If they are to do so the pitching will have to cooperate.Littell had his moments during his recent stay with the Twins.Does his relief appearance last night indicate that is where the Twins see him in the future?

 

And isn't it a beautiful day when Blayne Enlow was Pitcher of the Day and Wander Javier Hitter of the Day?In just seven games, Javier has shaken off the rust of not playing for over a year with his average and OPS edging close to .300 and .800, respectively.When everyone was doing their lists of top prospects this past winter/spring, I asked whether Javier should be ranked up with Lewis/Kirilloff.Have a feeling that come next winter we may see Javier in one of the top two spots...but first he needs to show us what he's got and that begins by staying on the field.

 

Yes, all is good in Twins country! 

 

 

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#4 Steve Lein

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 07:51 AM

 

Javier, the slick SS..... had 2 throwing errors in his game, and now has 3 already. Good thing he hit a 3 run dinger, eh? 

 

I don't think I've ever penalized a player when making the hitter of the day selection for errors committed in a game. Especially when his bat was a big reason his team came back to win it :)

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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)


#5 Steve Lein

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 07:53 AM

 

Littell had his moments during his recent stay with the Twins.Does his relief appearance last night indicate that is where the Twins see him in the future?

 

I believe that the Twins have confirmed they plan to use Littell in this role for now.

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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)


#6 rdehring

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 07:58 AM

 

I believe that the Twins have confirmed they plan to use Littell in this role for now.

I can't remember, but think it was his first appearance after getting called up.Littell looked good, really good hitting 95 with his fastball and a breaking ball that was right where it was effective.Then he had the clunker last Friday.But he recovered and gave the Twins a lot of innings. 

 

I remember thinking back to when Joe Nathan joined the Twins as a former reliever in the Giants organization.Thought I saw some similarities, yet, will admit that was so long ago my memory isn't real clear.We can hope, can't we?

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#7 MMMordabito

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 08:04 AM

Great to see Enlow with some early success in the FSL ... I know it's a pitcher's league, and he probably hasn't been as good as his ERA, but he's not going to be old enough to order a beer until next March.Good stuff!

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#8 jkcarew

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 08:12 AM

Promoted a SS to Pensacola. Michael Davis from Cedar Rapids. I'm guessing that wasn't the plan. Is this a concession to Lewis's struggles? That would make some sense. Although, I was wondering if they might have continued to shove him up...following the theory that the faster/harder he fails, the faster he makes the adjustments.


#9 Shaitan

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 08:16 AM

 

Javier, the slick SS..... had 2 throwing errors in his game, and now has 3 already. Good thing he hit a 3 run dinger, eh? 

 

Aren't errors basically a part of A-level ball? The old joke being that the best place for a souvenir ball is to sit behind first base for all the throws that go into the bleachers.

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#10 JLease

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 08:54 AM

not thrilled to see Kirilloff back on the injured list.

 

Blankenhorn continues to club the ball. never been so happy to be wrong on a guy.

 

Love what I'm seeing from my guy Rortvedt. He has to have improved his prospect status, right?

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#11 Steve Lein

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 09:01 AM

 

Aren't errors basically a part of A-level ball? The old joke being that the best place for a souvenir ball is to sit behind first base for all the throws that go into the bleachers.

 

Yes. From time to time I actually go back and look at these numbers for the guys we consider studs in the majors at the position right now. Almost nobody had "great" fielding numbers in A-ball. Not even Andrelton Simmons.

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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)


#12 rdehring

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 09:09 AM

 

not thrilled to see Kirilloff back on the injured list.

 

Blankenhorn continues to club the ball. never been so happy to be wrong on a guy.

 

Love what I'm seeing from my guy Rortvedt. He has to have improved his prospect status, right?

Not in my mind, JLease.That's because I have always seen Rortvedt as a future starting catcher for the Twins.Might have to change that a bit as Garver is looking like a lot more than a backup.Now see Garver and Rortvedt sharing the catching duties beginning sometime in late 2020 or more likely in 2021.As Rortvedt's bat improves, expect he will see some DH duties on off days while Garver will also DH or play some first base.  

 

Didn't mention it, Steve, but in addition to a 1-2 night with a walk...he got on base a third time when he was plunked with a pitch.

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#13 Monkeypaws

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 09:09 AM

Happy Birthday Royce Lewis - in another year you'll be able to buy yourself a cold glass of beer.

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#14 MMMordabito

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 09:11 AM

 

Happy Birthday Royce Lewis - in another year you'll be able to buy yourself a cold glass of beer.

 

My daughter's birthday is today as well, so this will be an easy one to remember. I just saw this checking BR.

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#15 Aerodeliria

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 09:43 AM

Hackimer is back to what is becoming standard operating procedure. Strikeouts and no runs.

Was he injured last year? I noticed his walk/strikeout ratio was not that good last year and of course ERA and WHIP were also not so good. Or maybe he is just that much better this year? Thoughts?
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#16 Steve Lein

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 10:16 AM

 

Hackimer is back to what is becoming standard operating procedure. Strikeouts and no runs.

Was he injured last year? I noticed his walk/strikeout ratio was not that good last year and of course ERA and WHIP were also not so good. Or maybe he is just that much better this year? Thoughts?

 

Yes, he had a shoulder issue last year. In the offseason it was pretty cool seeing him posting videos of himself pitching left-handed because he couldn't throw righty at the time:

 

 

 

He was always a quick-mover candidate as a pure reliever with the deception/stuff to dominate younger minor leaguers.

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 05 June 2019 - 10:31 AM

Yes, he had a shoulder issue last year. In the offseason it was pretty cool seeing him posting videos of himself pitching left-handed because he couldn't throw righty at the time:





He was always a quick-mover candidate as a pure reliever with the deception/stuff to dominate younger minor leaguers.


That's wild. He can throw convincingly with his left hand!
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#18 caninatl04

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 10:34 AM

Per the Red Wings Box Score, some guy named Tebow is hitting .159


#19 caninatl04

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 10:38 AM

Happy Bday to your daughter.

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#20 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 10:48 AM

That's wild. He can throw convincingly with his left hand!

Exactly what I thought !
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