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Article: Twins Minor League Report (6/21): Brent Rooker is Burning

brent rooker alex schick randy dobnak charles mack trevor larnach
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 09:34 PM

That fire? Oh, don’t worry, that’s just Brent Rooker. In today’s doubleheader for Rochester, Rooker reached safely in six of his seven plate appearances. Hit hit a home run for the fourth straight day and added a pair of doubles for good measure.

Come see what else happened across the system Friday.TRANSACTIONS
-Free agent RHP Drew Hutchison signed, assigned to Rochester.
-Fernando Romero placed on the IL (back strain)
-RHP Andro Cutura promoted from Pensacola to Rochester.
-LHP Kody Funderburk (oblique strain) and SS Ricky De La Torre (hamstring strain) placed on IL for Cedar Rapids.
-Added to the Miracle roster is RHP and 2019 draftee Tyler Beck.
-Added to the Kernels’ roster are SS Daniel Ozoria and LHP Petru Balan.

RED WINGS REPORT
Game 1: Toledo 1, Rochester 0 (7 innings)
Box Score

Drew Hutchison: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 65.9% strikes (56 of 85 pitches)
HR: None
Multi-hit games: None

Welcome to the organization, Drew Hutchison. On the same day his signing is announced, Hutchison throws five shutout innings for the Wings. He’d pitched to a 5.14 ERA in 63.0 innings with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate, making his final appearance with them Jun 11.

Jake Reed gave up a leadoff triple in the sixth. Jaylin Davis lost a high fly ball in the sun, recovered to make an effort at a diving catch, but couldn’t come up with it. That was followed by an RBI single. Reed managed to induce a double play, then struck out the final batter he faced.

Other than that, not much doing in the first half of this twinbill. Brent Rooker reached base in all three of his plate appearances. He hit a double, drew a walk and was hit by a pitch.

Game 2: Rochester 9, Toledo 8 (7 innings)
Box Score

Andro Cutura: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 59.4% strikes (51 of 69 pitches)
HR: Brent Rooker (11)
Multi-hit games: Brent Rooker (2-for-3, 2B, HR, BB), LaMonte Wade (2-for-2, 2 BB), Wilin Rosario (2-for-4), Jaylin Davis (2-for-3)

Ah, I see now. The Red Wings were just saving all their runs for Game 2. And they needed them all. Andro Cutura had a rough start to his Triple-A debut, giving up four runs in the first inning. But Rochester answered with two runs in the bottom of the first, then added three more to take the lead in the third.

Toledo regained the lead in the fifth inning, but the Wings counterpunched again. A big four-run fifth inning was highlighted by a Brent Rooker two-run homer. He’s been on fire, and is now hitting .301/.412/.590 on the season. Here are some highlights of what he's done over the past few days, including today's homer.


BLUE WAHOO BITES
Pensacola 8, Jacksonville 1
Box Score

Randy Dobnak: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 70.3% strikes (64 of 91 pitches)
HR: None
Multi-hit games: Aaron Whitefield (3-for-5, 2B), Travis Blankenhorn (2-for-4, 2B, 2 BB), Lewin Diaz (2-for-5)

Pensacola had a 5-1 lead by the middle of the second inning. Randy Dobnak and Tom Hackimer knew what to do from there, as they combined to shut out Jacksonville from there forward. The Blue Wahoos did not issue a walk in this game.

Pensacola was 6-for-17 with runners in scoring position. Travis Blankenhorn, Lewin Diaz and Aaron Whitefield drove in a pair of runs each. Blankenhorn also scored three times.

MIRACLE MATTERS
Fort Myers 11, Jupiter 7
Box Score

Tyler Watson: 4.1 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 68.4% strikes (54 of 79 pitches)
HR: None
Multi-hit games: Gabriel Maciel (2-for-4, BB), Royce Lewis (2-for-5), Trevor Larnach (2-for-4, 2B), Ryan Jeffers (2-for-4), Ernie De La Trinidad (2-for-5)

This is about a week’s worth of runs in the Florida State League. The Miracle jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the second and never looked back, despite a few nice comeback efforts from Jupiter.

The first eight batters reached safely for Fort Myers in that big second inning. Trevor Larnach hit his 23rd double of the year, putting him just one shy of the team-leading mark from last season, which was shared by Travis Blankenhorn and Alex Kirilloff.

Gabriel Maciel has gotten off to a hot start in his first exposure to the FSL. He’s reached base five times in his first two games with the Miracle, and stole his first base after swiping eight bags down in Cedar Rapids.

Zach Neff pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out four batters to earn the victory in what was his High-A debut.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 2 (11 innings)
Box Score

Luis Rijo: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 67.1 K% (47 of 70 pitches)
HR: None
Multi-hit games: Estamy Urena (2-for-3, BB)

The Kernels entered the bottom of the ninth up 2-0, but Peoria hit back-to-back solo homers to send it into extras. Gilberto Celestino delivered the go-ahead run with a double in the 11th inning and Alex Schick managed to pitch around the “bonus” runner starting the inning at second base in both the 10th and 11th innings to earn the win. Shick struck out three of the seven batters he faced.

Luis Rijo is on quite the roll. He’s pitched five shutout innings and surrendered just one hit in all three of his most recent starts now.

E-TWINS E-NOTES
Kingsport 7, Elizabethton 2
Box Score

Andriu Martin: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 75% strikes (57 of 76 pitches)
HR: None
Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-for-5), Charles Mack (2-for-5), Seth Gray (2-for-5), Tyler Webb (2-for-4), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, 2B)

The Twins had plenty of traffic on the bases and Andriu Martin pitched pretty well for the most part, but Kingsport hit a couple of big homers off him. Charles Mack extended his season-opening hit streak to four games, and Tyler Webb now has recorded multiple hits in three of E-Town’s four games.

Seth Gray had his second straight multi-hit game. Matt Wallner was 1-for-4 with a walk. Max Smith, the Twins’ 31st-round pick, picked up his first professional hit tonight.

STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Alex Schick, Cedar Rapids
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Brent Rooker, Rochester

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

1. Royce Lewis (FM): 2-for-5, RBI, R, K, E (throw)
2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 1-for-5, RBI, R, K
4. Trevor Larnach (FM): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI
5. Wander Javier (CR): 0-for-4, 2 K
6. Brent Rooker (ROC): 1-for-1, 2B, BB, HBP | 2-for-3, 2B, HR, BB 3 RBI, 2 R
11. Nick Gordon (ROC): 0-for-3
13. Ryan Jeffers (FM): 2-for-4, 3 RBI, R
14. Ben Rortvedt (PNS): 1-for-3, 2 BB, R
16. Gilberto Celestino (CR): 1-for-5, 2B, RBI, K
18. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 1-for-3, K | 2-for-2, 2 BB, 2 R
20. Jose Miranda (FM): 0-for-4, HBP, R, K, E (fielding)

SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Rochester at Toledo, 6:05 pm CT (TBD)
Pensacola at Jacksonville, 5:35 pm CT (Charlie Barnes)
Fort Myers at Jupiter, 4:30 pm CT (Jordan Balazovic)
Cedar Rapids at Peoria, 6:35 pm CT (Josh Winder)
Elizabethton at Kingsport, 5:30 pm CT (TBD)

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

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#2 ScooterDance

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 09:39 PM

So many warm fuzzies here. Rookersmash. Lewis with three great games out of the break. Larnach mashing. Blankenhorn is ruthian.

Oh and some guys were out slangin’ in the bump?

Good day for twins baseball*

*as I typed this Astudillo dropped a fly ball. I meant minor leagues.
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#3 ScooterDance

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 09:43 PM

Whew off the schneid there. Thought I blew it for everyone.

#4 etwinsfan

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 09:53 PM

Double check ypur schedules please. Elizabethton is playing in Kingsport for game 2 of their 3 game series.

#5 Seth Stohs

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 10:02 PM

Updated:

 

Added Saturday's Elizabethton game... not sure who is starting. 

 

Also changed the transaction... Tyler Beck was moved up to Ft. Myers. 

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#6 james2334

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 10:35 PM

Am I the only one who thinks that maybe Cave should go back down and Rooker take his place? Rooker seems to have earned a shot and Cave just doesn't look good right now. 

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#7 jrod23

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 11:07 PM

 

Am I the only one who thinks that maybe Cave should go back down and Rooker take his place? Rooker seems to have earned a shot and Cave just doesn't look good right now. 

 

All for it.Our outfield is solid, even w/out Buxton.Rooker getting a deserved shot will not hurt us.Maybe it'll give Cron a deserved day off if we plug him in at 1B as well.

 

 

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#8 Tom Froemming

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 11:31 PM

Just updated to include some highlights of what Rooker's been doing the past few days.

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#9 Seth Stohs

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 01:56 AM

 

Am I the only one who thinks that maybe Cave should go back down and Rooker take his place? Rooker seems to have earned a shot and Cave just doesn't look good right now. 

 

Buxton will be back on Tuesday... they could call Rooker up for 3 days, but he'd have to be added to the 40 man (and someone DFAd)... they could just call up Wade and send down Cave... Of course, Wade didn't hit anywhere close to as well as Wade in AAA. 


#10 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 05:39 AM

 

Am I the only one who thinks that maybe Cave should go back down and Rooker take his place? Rooker seems to have earned a shot and Cave just doesn't look good right now. 

 

Not quite sure I'm ready to see him yet, especially knowing how poorly he does when tested with a new level. I'd rather that be a September thing... but that's me. 

 

Probably worth noting that his K rate presently sits around 37%... That's Sano territory, and he's in AAA.

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#11 DutchFarmer

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 07:24 AM

I love that we have a player with 4 first names (Willy Joe Garry Junior). It's a battle between him and Badoo for best name in the system, IMHO.
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#12 Aerodeliria

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 08:09 AM

Thanks Seth for setting us straight on the negative side of calling up Rooker. We'll just have to ride it out with Cave. I still think Cave is a much better hitter than he has been showing. Maybe he needs to relax a bit?

#13 rdehring

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 08:13 AM

Great lead today, Tom.

 

Add me to those who are more than happy to wait for Rooker.Sure don't want to call him up for a few games then burn an option.Seeing he doesn't need to be added to the 40-man this year, expect it is 50-50 he will be a September callup.

 

The Twins have a pleasant problem.Rooker and Kirilloff are both corner outfielders who can play first base.Larnach is a corner outfielder.Diaz is a first baseman.All four are hitting well, very well.With three outfielders who will hopefully be the starters for the next 5-7 years, there isn't a lot of playing time available in the outfield.Probably will have an opening at DH in 2021.There should also be some time available to split with Cron at first base. 

 

But there isn't going to be enough playing time for all four....maybe two at the most.Expect the Twins are going to have to move at least two of this group at some point in the next two to three years.They will keep whomever appears to be the best, but should get a nice return for the other two.Will one of them be included in a July trade this year?Or next winter?  

 

Curious why you chose Schick as Pitcher of the Day over Rijo who threw 5 shutout innings with only 1 hit?Also excited to see if Lewis can extend this hot streak beyond a handful of games.

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#14 Seth Stohs

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 08:51 AM

 

Thanks Seth for setting us straight on the negative side of calling up Rooker. We'll just have to ride it out with Cave. I still think Cave is a much better hitter than he has been showing. Maybe he needs to relax a bit?

 

Cave was crushing the ball in AAA, similar to Astudillo and Rooker. He was the right choice. It's just nice to have the depth there with him and Wade and now Rooker making a case. 


#15 Seth Stohs

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 08:53 AM

 

Great lead today, Tom.

 

Add me to those who are more than happy to wait for Rooker.Sure don't want to call him up for a few games then burn an option.Seeing he doesn't need to be added to the 40-man this year, expect it is 50-50 he will be a September callup.

 

The Twins have a pleasant problem.Rooker and Kirilloff are both corner outfielders who can play first base.Larnach is a corner outfielder.Diaz is a first baseman.All four are hitting well, very well.With three outfielders who will hopefully be the starters for the next 5-7 years, there isn't a lot of playing time available in the outfield.Probably will have an opening at DH in 2021.There should also be some time available to split with Cron at first base. 

 

But there isn't going to be enough playing time for all four....maybe two at the most.Expect the Twins are going to have to move at least two of this group at some point in the next two to three years.They will keep whomever appears to be the best, but should get a nice return for the other two.Will one of them be included in a July trade this year?Or next winter?  

 

Curious why you chose Schick as Pitcher of the Day over Rijo who threw 5 shutout innings with only 1 hit?Also excited to see if Lewis can extend this hot streak beyond a handful of games.

 

I think you could make a case for Dobnak and Neff for pitcher ofthe day. Rijo too. 


#16 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 09:03 AM

I don't think Rooker will play the outfield in a MLB game.
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#17 Splash45

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 09:06 AM

Man Rooker has a really nice looking swing. If he can get that strikeout rate down he’s gonna be a heck of a player.
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#18 JLease

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 09:08 AM

The reality is Jake Cave may in fact be a AAAA player: good enough to smack around AAA pitchers, but not good enough to perform at MLB consistently. It's too early to be sure, but it's not an uncommon thing.

 

Rooker is really impressing right now. Yes, the K rate is a bit scary, but everything else is elite. The power absolutely plays, he's finding enough ways to get on base (dude has gotten hit a LOT already to go with the walks)...he's having his best season as a pro. I dunno if his future is with us or with another team (not a lot of room for him right now) but he sure looks like he has one.

 

Glad to see Kirilloff back in the lineup. Hope he stays healthy.

 

Blankenhorn clearly seems to have figured something out, he's showing terrific power now. Would like him to start showing a bit better discernment at the plate; if he can trade a few Ks for BBs he's going to be a scary player. Is he getting much time in the infield?


#19 Tom Froemming

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 09:10 AM

 

Probably worth noting that his K rate presently sits around 37%... That's Sano territory, and he's in AAA.

He really did struggle in his first taste of Triple A at the start of this season. But so far in June, that's down to a 26.7 K% and it's coming with a 20.0 BB% (!!!).

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#20 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 09:48 AM

 

He really did struggle in his first taste of Triple A at the start of this season. But so far in June, that's down to a 26.7 K% and it's coming with a 20.0 BB% (!!!).

yeah, that's been his MO... his Ks ratchet up every time he goes to a higher level and as he figures it out, they drop.

 

I suspect you'll see that in MLB too for what that's worth. The question to me is whether or not we will have the patience of watching some truly horrible at bats for a couple months until he figures it out.




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