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Front Page: Twins Minor League Report (7/30): Hitters Gonna Hit

Steve Lein

There were a bunch of top performances from hitters on Tuesday in the Minnesota Twins minor league system, so many in fact, I’m going to let you choose the hitter of the day. Leadoff men also showed their power as two games began with a blast in favor of the good guys. There was also a slobber-knocker in the Florida State League where the Miracle landed the biggest punches, and a player from the opposition got the short end of the stick facing his former teammates in double-A.To find out everything that happened with your favorite prospects on Tuesday, keep reading!



  • Recent international signing, Yennier Cano out of Cuba, was assigned to the Fort Myers Miracle from the Gulf Coast League.

Rochester 10, Buffalo 8

Box Score


Nick Gordon opened this game for Rochester with his 28th double of the year and would score on a single from Jake Cave to draw first blood early. A two-out single from Tomas Telis brought in Cave for a 2-0 lead before Devin Smeltzer took the mound.


The first inning wasn’t kind to him however, as he hit his first batter with a pitch, then three singles and a double later the Red Wings found themselves down 4-2.


Smeltzer’s offense got those runs right back in the second however, as Caleb Hamilton clubbed his first triple-A home run, a two-run shot, and was later followed with an RBI triple from Jake Cave to go back up 5-4. They extended the lead to 6-4 in the fourth thanks to RBI single from Gordon.


After his rough first inning, Smeltzer was only able to finish three total, allowing those four runs on four hits and three walks while striking out just one. He ran his pitch count up to 69 (40 for strikes) in his abbreviated start. D.J. Baxendale came on for the fourth and went the next 1 1/3 innings. He was charged with two runs on three hits and two walks. Fernando Romero got them through the sixth, allowing a run on two hits and two walks in 1 2/3. Newly acquired Jeremy Bleich came on for the seventh and finished two innings. He was charged with a blown save but also got the win by allowing a run on three hits and a walk, striking out three. The Red Wings finally got a scoreless outing from Ian Krol, who picked up his ninth save by walking one and striking out one.


The Rochester lineup got single runs in the sixth and seventh inning thanks to a Wynston Sawyer home run and RBI single from Telis, before Alejandro De Aza accounted for the difference on the scoreboard with a two-run homer in the ninth.


Gordon (3-for-5, R, 2B, RBI), Cave (4-for-5, 2B, 3B, 3 R, 2 RBI), and Telis (3-for-5, 2 RBI) collected multiple hits.



Pensacola 1, Jacksonville 0

Box Score


Hard throwing righthander Edwar Colina took the mound for the Blue Wahoos and was brilliant again for the first 5 2/3 innings of the game. He allowed just three hits and a walk on the day, while punching out seven Jumbo Shrimp. He was pulled at 80 pitches in the bottom of the sixth, as the tying runner was on third base and former teammate Lewin Diaz was stepping into the batter’s box.


Using some likely self-scouting, manager Ramon Borrego went to lefty Gabriel Moya, who got Diaz swinging on a changeup to end the only threat of the game for Jacksonville, who finished just 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and left only three men on base for the game.


While the Blue Wahoos offense wasn’t much better, collecting only four hits and four walks and finishing 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, they got the big hit in the form of a solo homer from Ryan Costello in the fifth inning. Costello also just missed another blast in the sixth, with the centerfielder catching the ball against the wall and the announcers on the broadcast remarking that anywhere else in the Southern League, it was a goner.


Colina picked up his second win in double-A, while Moya finished 2 1/3 hitless innings and struck out three. Alex Phillips notched his third save with a one-two-three ninth, striking out Diaz to end the game.



Dunedin 6, Fort Myers 11

Box Score


Fort Myers found themselves down 5-0 after the top of the second but went on to outhit Dunedin 13-5 on the game, countering the Blue Jays initial haymaker with two of their own to make the decision unanimous on the scorecards in the end.


Dakota Chalmers was making his first career high-A start in this one, and came out throwing gas:


The second inning didn’t go so well. Two walks to start it, then two singles scored two runs before weather came into play. When play resumed Chalmers was responsible for the two runners on base and Johan Quezada was on the mound with nobody out. Two singles later and both those runners had scored, leaving Chalmers with four runs allowed on two hits and two walks in his one-plus innings. Quezada allowed a run of his own in the second as the Jays delivered the first big blow, but settled in after that to finish three total innings. He allowed the one run on two hits and a walk while striking out three and while he was on the mound his teammates connected with their first counter.


The Miracle landed a jab in the second inning with a David Banuelos RBI single, then connected with a big straight-left & right-hook combo in the third in the form of a Trey Cabbage RBI single and Andrew Bechtold three-run blast. The teams remained even on the cards until the sixth, when Fort Myers came out swinging and landed a flurry of punches with a Michael Davis RBI single, Gabriel Maciel sac fly, and Aaron Whitefield RBI single before staggering Dunedin at the bell with a devastating uppercut from Jose Miranda, a three-run bomb that put the game out of reach 11-5.


Zach Neff picked up his second win with the Miracle with three scoreless innings after Quezada, dodging blows to wear out the opposition as the Blue Jays connected for just one hit and one walk while he struck out three. Moises Gomez danced around everything the visitors had left to close out the nine-round bout with three strikeouts, allowing one run on two walks, a hit batter, and two-wild pitches in the final two innings.


Aaron Whitefield finished the game 4-for-5 with two runs scored, his 15th double, RBI, and two stolen bases. Bechtold was 3-for-3 with three runs scored, his second home run, a walk, and three RBI. Trey Cabbage also added multiple hits with a 2-for-4 night, scoring two runs, drawing a walk, and stealing a base.



Cedar Rapids 5, Beloit 2

Box Score


Cedar Rapids struck early with two runs in each of the first and third innings to put this one out of reach despite their pitchers walking nine hitters and striking out only six. With all their opportunities, Beloit was unable to take advantage as they collected only four hits and finished 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.


Brian Rapp made the start in a bullpen game for Cedar Rapids and finished the first three scoreless innings. He walked two and struck out three. Jose Martinez went the next three frames to pick up his seventh win, allowing one hit and walking three. Nate Hadley went the next 1 2/3, allowing one run on two hits and three walks while striking out two. J.T. Perez picked up his first career save by finishing the final 1 1/3, he allowed a run on one hit and a walk, striking out one.


Gilberto Celestino led off the game with his seventh home run of the year, and Gabe Snyder decided to go back-to-back with him for his twelfth and the early 2-0 lead. For their encore in the third inning, Celestino led off with a single and moved to third on Snyder’s 19th double before Trevor Casanova drove them both in with a single. Celestino tacked on an insurance run in the sixth with an RBI single and finished his day 4-for-4. Joining him and Snyder with multiple hits on the game were Jared Akins (2-for-4, BB) and Casanova (2-for-4, 2 RBI, BB).



Elizabethton 8, Burlington 9 (10 innings)

Box Score


The Twins and Royals went back and forth throughout this one, leading to extra innings in the Appalachian League.


Elizabethton starter Ben Gross was roughed up in the third, allowing five runs on six hits and two walks in his 2 2/3 innings. He struck out four. Osiris German got the next nine outs, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk, striking out five. Steven Cruz got them through the seventh inning, giving up two hits and a walk along with striking out two in a scoreless outing. Frandy Torres came on for the eighth and got them into extra innings before allowing the runner starting on second to score the walk off for the Royals. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out two.


Matt Wallner (2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Charles Mack (2-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI), and Will Holland (1-for-5, R, HR, 3 RBI), and Kyle Schmidt (2-for-4, RBI, BB) did most of the damage for the E-Twins. Max Smith added his sixth double, drew two walks, stole a base, and scored a run. They scored four runs in the eighth thanks to one of Mack’s doubles and Hollands three-run blast, then tied it at eight to send it to extras in the top of the ninth when Anthony Prato drove in Wallner, who led off with a double.



GCL Twins 6, GCL Rays 5

Box Score


The Twins scored two in the first and three in the ninth to bookend a 6-5 victory on Tuesday afternoon.


Yunior Severino led off the game for the Twins with a home run, his first of the year, and would think he could find himself back on his way to Cedar Rapids soon. Three walks and a single later and the Twins were up 2-0.


Starter Miguel Rodriguez went the first four innings, keeping the Rays scoreless on four hits while striking out three. Niall Windeler got the fifth frame and allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits, striking out one and the Twins were down 3-2. Matthew Swain went the next three innings, allowing an unearned run on two hits and a walk. He struck out two to pick up his first career win. Evan Gillespie picked up his first career save by finishing the ninth, allowing a run on two singles and a wild pitch, but working around any further damage with two K’s.


With the score 4-3 Rays going into the top of the ninth, the Twins used three singles and a walk to score three runs, including a two-out, two-RBI single from Jeferson Morales that scored the final two.


Severino (2-for-5) and Victor Heredia (2-for-5) each had two hits to lead the way, with Taylor Grzelakowski and Alec Craig each drawing two walks and scoring a run.




Pitcher of the Day – Edwar Colina, Pensacola Blue Wahoos (W, 5.2 IP, 3 H, BB, 7 K)

Hitter of the Day – You Pick:


Jake Cave, Rochester Red Wings (4-for-5, 2B, 3B, 3 R, 2 RBI)

Gilberto Celestino, Cedar Rapids Kernels (4-for-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI)

Andrew Bechtold, Fort Myers Miracle (3-for-3, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB)

Aaron Whitefield, Fort Myers Miracle (4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI, 2 SB, K)




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


#1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 0-for-4, 2 K

#2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-for-4, K

#3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Rehab assignment with GCL

#4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-for-3, BB, K

#5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-5, 3 K

#6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch

#7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) - Did not play

#8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List (groin)

#9 - Jhoan Duran (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch

#10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch

#11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) - Did not pitch

#12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 3-for-5, R, 2B, RBI

#13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - Did not play

#14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 0-for-4, 2 K

#15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI

#16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-for-3, BB, K

#17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery)

#18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch

#19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) - Did not play

#20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Injured list




Scranton/Wilkes-Barre @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) - RHP Adam Bray (1-0, 4.00 ERA)

Pensacola @ Jacksonville (6:05PM CST) - TBD

Dunedin @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (4-2, 2.41 ERA)

Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:30PM CST) - LHP Kody Funderbunk (0-1, 3.18 ERA)

Elizabethton @ Burlington (5:30PM CST) - RHP Andriu Marin (1-2, 4.91 ERA)

GCL Twins @ GCL Braves (11:00AM CST) - TBD


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


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With 3 open spots on the 40 man - if we don't make 3 deals today, which youngsters are slated to get a shot at our 25 man before the end of the season? I'm sure Falvey has his eye on someone in Pensacola. Why not a flamethrower like Colina? Not sure on his rule 5 eligible list status but if we need to protect him this winter why not? 

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I don't have Twitter, however, my vote goes to Bechtold.  Although not putting up big numbers, he is having a nice year at the plate.  If reports are true about his gold glove level defense, he just may be giving us reason to watch him more closely.


Great night for the win column at 5-1.


Which of the trio of Graterol, Duren or Colina is going to have a big major league career?  Any of the three?  Will one of the three no longer be a Twin later this afternoon? 

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How far does Gilberto Celestino shoot up the prospect rankings for next year?


I ranked him #29 in my midseason rankings. At the time he was OPS-ing just .612 on the season.


He's come alive in July with a .993 OPS on the month, but his high before that was .694. I'm probably not moving him very far unless he keeps it up.

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Which of the trio of Graterol, Duren or Colina is going to have a big major league career?  Any of the three?  Will one of the three no longer be a Twin later this afternoon? 


I think all three can. I watched the last half of the Pensacola game last night, so I missed most of Colina's outing, but it looked to me when he threw hard he didn't know where it was going. But he also had a sharp downward breaking ball. Probably was better before I started watching.


I might put the odds on Duran being the best starter when it's all said and done, but all of them have floors of high-leverage relief I think.

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Another nice start for Colina. I get the concerns of Colina’s height but as of now Colina owns a 1.04 ERA in AA (3 games 2 starts) and overall owns a 2.07 ERA overall. It seems Colina is improving and is transitioning very well from A+ ball to AA ball.

I do not understand when people talk about height for prospects.  Sure, some players that are taller use that to their advantage, but if a guy can pitch, or hit who cares how tall they are.  Scouts had same concerns for Jose Berrios, he seems to be doing well. 

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Juiced-ball or not want to send some recognition to Nick Gordon!  He has not slowed down in the second half and his slash line is currently up to:







His per 162 game pace stats are:


116 runs

68 doubles

7 triples

10 homers

95 runs batted in

34 stolen bases


He may get traded, but I think he'd be a valuable addition to the big league line-up next year in a rotation with Polanco and Arraez at 2B/SS! 

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Nick Gordon is improving his trade value with another nice day.   Gotta think some team wouldn't mind getting Nick as a piece in a trade today.  Meanwhile, the Twins have a glut of good middle infielders. 


Gordon is a really good baseball player... I think he'll have a long MLB career. He's been a doubles machine this season!

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Gordon is a really good baseball player... I think he'll have a long MLB career. He's been a doubles machine this season!

How's his defense at SS, though? Last time I saw him in person he had several opportunities to shine and did not make the play on any. I hope he's in the lineup Friday night because I might be able to get to Pawtucket to watch the game. (Of course maybe he'll be a Giant or a Pirate by then. :) )

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How's his defense at SS, though? Last time I saw him in person he had several opportunities to shine and did not make the play on any. I hope he's in the lineup Friday night because I might be able to get to Pawtucket to watch the game. (Of course maybe he'll be a Giant or a Pirate by then. :) )


What he is now and what he could be remind me a lot of Jorge Polanco's tragectory when it comes to defense. 


This is a comment I would have after watching some of Lewis there last night. Gordon is better than Lewis at this point in time (which is not unexpected).

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