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Article: Twins Minor League Report (4/17): Thorpe Finds His Groove

Twins Daily Contributor

At the highest level, one of the Twins most prized pitching prospects settled into a groove for his best start on the young season. A scary scene in Pensacola halted the action in the midst of a victory. Down in Fort Myers, it was a less than ideal way to end a road trip, but home cooking is on the horizon. Read about all the action below.TRANSACTIONS

Cedar Rapids

OF DaShawn Keirsey Jr. placed on 7-day IL with a right hip strain



Rochester 5, Syracuse 4

Box Score


Coming into 2019 Lewis Thorpe was among my favorite picks for a Twins prospect to debut at the big leagues sooner than anticipated. He’d put together a strong 2018, and looks the part of a rotation contributor at the highest level. Unfortunately his 2019 didn’t get off to a great start, but that changed today.



Finishing one out shy of making it through six complete innings, Thorpe allowed just two runs on four hits while issuing a single free pass. The eye-popping number during his start was the 12 Syracuse batters he set down on strikes. He was also very efficient on the day, throwing 64 of 94 pitches for strikes.


Scoring finally got underway in the middle innings. Randy Cesar drove in both LaMonte Wade and Wilin Rosario on a single to left fielder Tim Tebow. From there, Luke Raley helped to put up another pair of runs on his second homer of the season in the bottom half of the fifth.


Thorpe ceded his two runs in the sixth, and while the Mets closed the deficit with single runs in the seventh and eighth, Rochester responded. Rosario, the former Rockies catcher, launched his fourth long ball of the year to put the good guys in the lead going into the ninth. Preston Guilmet was able to shut it down for the save.



Pensacola 5, Biloxi 2

Box Score


Rolling through his start looking sharp, as he has all of 2019, Devin Smeltzer turned in four strong innings allowing two runs (one earned) while fanning four and walking one. Disaster struck when he was hit in the head by a comebacker sending him to the floor. He was able to walk off the field under his own power, but it was no doubt a scary scene nonetheless.


The Blue Wahoos gave their starter a lead early in this one. Jimmy Kerrigan drew a bases-loaded walk to plate the first run in the top of the first inning. Adding two more in the second, singles from Jordan Gore and Brian Schales scored Joe Cronin and Luis Arraez respectively.


After allowing the Shuckers to draw within one in the bottom half of the second, Pensacola added some distance in the sixth. Tanner English drove in Arraez to score his second run of the night, and a throwing error attempting to nail Schales gave Gore the chance to scamper home. Up by three with three innings to play, that was enough for Adam Bray and Sam Clay to slam the door.



St. Lucie 7, Fort Myers 2

Box Score


Identical organizations squaring off as in the Triple-A action today, this one saw the Mets top the Twins farmhands. Jhoan Duran lasted just one out into the fourth inning, and needed 71 pitches to get there. Five strikeouts was a nice tally, but three runs and three walks while allowing four hits could’ve certainly been better.


St. Lucie put up all of their damage in the fourth inning. Breaking a 0-0 tie, the Mets plated seven runs and raced out to a big lead. A Ryan Jeffers single in the sixth scored Jose Miranda, but the only other run came on Ryan Costello’s second home run of the year in the top of the ninth inning.


Generating just five hits as a team, Fort Myers will look to wake up the offense again tomorrow when they host the Stone Crabs back home.



Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities

Postponed- Rain


Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 12 K

Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Jordan Gore (Pensacola) 2-3, 2 R, RBI, 3 BB



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

#1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 0-5, 2 K

#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List

#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) – Did Not Pitch

#4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 1-5

#5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game

#6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – 1-4, K

#7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – 3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

#8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 12 K

#9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did Not Pitch

#10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, BB, 2 K

#11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List

#12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List

#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, RBI, 2 K

#14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) – Did Not Play

#15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List

#16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – No Game

#17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch

#18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Did not play

#19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch

#20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 0-3, R



Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (5:30PM CST) – RHP Zack Littell (0-2, 7.71 ERA)

Pensacola @ Biloxi (6:35PM CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Charlotte @ Fort Myers (5:30PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (0-1, 4.09 ERA)

Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Jordan Balazovic (1-1, 2.79 ERA)


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


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Duran left the game having given up just one run... but there were two runners on base that Melvi Acosta allowed to score. This was a rough one for Acosta. The two inherited runners scored and then four more that same innings including a big home run off the bat of a rehabbing Todd Frazier. 

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Vasquez. 2 walks and a hit and an earned run and a K. Looks like he is still trying to find the plate after the debacle in the show. Rochester seems to have the same kind of pen as the Twins. 


I am a bit surprised at Lewis' start. Really thought he would murder High A in a return to the same level.


Wasn't it Littell that was something like 19-1 on the year in A+ and AA when we got him in 2017? Our system seems to not be so good for him, or something.

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Great seeing Thrope have an outing like yesterday.  With that many K's, gotta believe his stuff is better than a lot of us claim.  Now, do the same next time out.  Also good seeing Raley do well.  Playing himself into a spot as the next player up should the Twins need another outfielder during the season.


Really hope that Smeltzer is able to get back on the hill soon.  Does anyone know what injury he has, if any?  Was he hit in the face or head?  Will always remember when Herb Score took a line drive to his face.  Was one of the best pitchers in the game and seemed to never be the same.


Another two hit game for Arraez and his average goes down.  See he has only 6 K's in about 50 at bats with 6 walks.  


Looking forward to seeing how Jax and Balazovic do tonight.

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I am a bit surprised at Lewis' start. Really thought he would murder High A in a return to the same level.


Lewis is in a slump.


He has a walk rate over 20%.  I wonder how many pitches to hit he is getting.


He definitely isn't locked in yet but if he's getting pitched around a lot it could make it look worse.

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Wasn't it Littell that was something like 19-1 on the year in A+ and AA when we got him in 2017? Our system seems to not be so good for him, or something.


Scouts never thought he had particularly good stuff and said he thrived on polish vs inexperienced hitters.  So that's probably caught up to him a bit at higher levels.  Then again the Yankees are unfairly good at developing prospects, so maybe there is something to that too.

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Glad Thorpe had a good outing. He's got a real future, i think. Glad Smeltzer is ok.


Not happy Kirilloff and Gonsalves are still on the injured list. Not happy Jeffers and Rortvedt are splitting time in high-A. That can't be great for the development of either of them, can it? Both guys need to catch.

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I am a bit surprised at Lewis' start. Really thought he would murder High A in a return to the same level.



Lewis is in a slump.


FWIW, the Florida State League is playing like the deadball era. .627 league OPS so far this year, down from .691 last year. Lewis is at .675 this year, after .726 last year, so he's at least holding steady, relative to league.


Still, he's not quite 20 years old yet. Definitely room for him to improve.

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