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Front Page: Twins Minor League Report (8/9): Chris Vallimont Flirts With No-No, Pensacola Goes On Homer Binge

Chris Vallimont carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning, Donny Breek had another outstanding start in the GCL, and the prospect-packed Pensacola lineup hit five home runs. Come check out what else happened across the Twins minor league system Friday.TRANSACTIONS

Twins recalled RHP Cody Stashak from Rochester.

LHP Charlie Barnes promoted to Rochester.

RHP Bailey Ober promoted to Pensacola.



Louisville 3, Rochester 1

Box Score


Adam Bray: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 59.7% strikes (40 of 67 pitches)

HR: Tomas Telis (8)

Multi-hit games: None


A great pitching performance from the Red Wings staff was squandered by a quiet night from the bats and a slip up from Fernando Romero.


Adam Bray pitched four shutout innings before Jake Reed followed with a pair of clean frames of his own. Romero gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits over 1 2/3 innings. The only Rochester run came on a homer from catcher Tomas Telis.



Pensacola 8, Mobile 5

Box Score


Edwar Colina: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 56.7% strikes (51 of 90 pitches)

HR: Alex Kirilloff (7), Trevor Larnach (4), Ryan Costello (5), Mark Contreras (8), Royce Lewis (1)

Multi-hit games: Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR, HBP), Larnach (2-for-4, HR, BB), Travis Blankenhorn (2-for-5, 3B), Jordan Gore (2-for-4)


What a first inning for Pensacola. Alex Kirilloff led things off with a home run, Travis Blankehorn added a one-out triple and Trevor Larnach brought him around on a two-run homer. The Blue Wahoos continued to serve up tater trot hotdish, as Ryan Costello, Mark Contreras and Royce Lewis would all also homer. It was Lewis’ first Double-A home run.


Edwar Colina lasted just 3 1/3 innings, but the Pensacola pen stepped up. Jovani Moran (five outs), Jorge Alcala (six outs), Andrew Vasquez (two outs) and Jonathan Cheshire (four outs) combined to cover the final 5 2/3 innings. That quartet gave up just three hits and Vasquez was the only one of them to surrender a run.



Jupiter 9, Fort Myers 1

Box Score


Chris Vallimont: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 67.9% strikes (55 of 81 pitches)

HR: Ernie De La Trinidad (3)

Multi-hit games: None


Life comes at you fast. Chris Vallimont carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and the Miracle ended up getting blown out. Baseball can be cruel sometimes.


Vallimont, who came over from Miami along with Sergio Romo in the Lewin Diaz trade, didn’t make the best first impression with his new org, giving up six runs over 2 2/3 innings in his first start. Tonight, he was brilliant.


Entering the eighth inning, the only baserunner Vallimont allowed reached on a walk. Unfortunately, his first pitch of the eighth inning was hit into left field for a single. The next batter hit a double and that was it for Vallimont.


Joe Record, who was recently named Twins Daily’s Reliever of the Month for July, couldn’t stop the skid, and the Hammerheads ended up scoring eight runs that inning. Ouch.



Kane County 10, Cedar Rapids 9

Box Score


Matt Canterino: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 62.3% strikes (38 of 61 pitches)

HR: Gabe Snyder (14)

Multi-hit games: Tyler Webb (4-for-5), Snyder (2-for-5, HR)


Cedar Rapids entered the top of the ninth inning trailing 6-4. Spencer Steer hit a two-run double to tie the game and Gabe Snyder added a sacrifice fly to put the Kernels up. The Cougars managed to answer and these two teams continued to go blow-for-blow in extras.


Both teams scored in the 10th inning, Cedar Rapids added another run in the 11th, but Kane County answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to win on a walk-off.



Johnson City 8, Elizabethton 7

Box Score


Ryley Widell: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 K

HR: Willie Joe Garry Jr. (4)

Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (3-for-5, 2B), Janingson Villalobos (2-for-4), Charles Mack (2-for-5)


This was a back-and-forth affair. E-Town fell behind 4-1, stormed back to take the lead in the fourth inning, gave it up and fell behind 7-5 in the sixth, tied the game in the bottom of that inning thanks to a Willie Joe Garry Jr. two-run homer, but then relinquished the lead for good in the top of the seventh.


Frandy Torres did his best to keep the E-Twins in it, closing things out with four strikeouts over three no-hit innings.



GCL Twins 5, GCL Red Sox 2 (8 innings)

Box Score


Donny Breek: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

HR: None

Multi-hit games: Malique Ziegler (2-for-4), Francisco Martinez (2-for-4, 2B)


Scheduled to be Game 1 of a doubleheader, this game was only supposed to go seven innings. The Red Sox managed to knot things up at 2-2 in the bottom of that inning, forcing this one into extras. Though it was only the eighth inning. Minor league doubleheaders get weird.


Anyway, Victor Heredia, Malique Ziegler and Franscico Martinez all recorded hits to open the top of the eighth and the Twins managed to tally three runs that inning. Donny Breek gave up one unearned run over his 5 1/3 innings, dropping his ERA to 0.59. Bradley Hanner gave up one run over the final 2 2/3 innings.


To make things all the more weird, game 2, which was the makeup of a game originally scheduled for last Sunday, was suspended in the bottom of the first inning and will be completed tomorrow. Third time’s the charm?



Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Chris Vallimont, Fort Myers

Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Alvor Larnilloff, Pensacola (I couldn't pick one, you decide between Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach)



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


1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 1-for-4, HR, BB, R, 3 RBI, 2 K

2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 2-for-4, HR, HBP, 2 R, RBI, K

4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 2-for-4, HR, BB, R, 2 RBI

5. Wander Javier (CR): 1-for-4, 2 BB, 2 R, E (throw)

7: Keoni Cavaco (GCL): 0-for-4, R, K

15. Matt Wallner (ELZ): 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, K

16. Ben Rortvedt (PNS): 0-for-4, BB, 2 K

18. Jorge Alcala (PNS): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 59.0% strikes (23 of 39 pitches)

20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 2-for-5, 3B, R



Rochester vs. Louisville, 6:05 pm CT (Charlie Barnes)

Pensacola at Mobile, 7:05 pm CT (TBD)

Fort Myers vs. Jupiter, 5:00 pm CT (Blayne Enlow)

Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit, 6:35 pm CT (Tyler Palm)

Elizabethton vs. Johnson City, 5:30 pm CT (Tyler Benninghoff)

GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox, 9:00 am CT (TBD)


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


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Was at the game tonight and had a very solid 7 inning treat.  (My son wanted to go, so when the lead off batter in the 8th broke the no-hitter we left).


Vallimont was very solid.  He has a very nervous mound presence.  Has an above average number of ticks and takes all of these tiny baby step movements before he gets into his wind up.  He throws from a half stretch- half wind up type of movement but he seems to get enough hip turn to be solid and has a good compact throwing motion that is mostly repeatable and smooth.


His command is not as solid as Jordan Balazovic and he does not have the same velocity.  In the start I watched Balazovic he was literally unhittable.  Vallimont was not quite in that category as there were a few hard hit fly balls to the outfield with Jacob Pearson making a nice running catch in left and there were a few hard hit liners to Aaron Whitfield in center that basiclaly were hit right to him.


Vallimont started the game strong, striking out the side in the first inning.  I use a little measure to demonstrate his pitch speeds and he started the game at 93-93-94 on his fastball meaning the vast majority were 93 mph on the gun, touching 94.   


But his most effective pitch is his slider which to start the game he threw 87-88 with real late movement and solid arm action.  It baffled the A+ hitters tonight and he got a  lot of swings and misses on the slider.


Vallimont was solid through innings 2-3-4 with a very consistent fastball that literally clocked at 93mph on  every pitch.   His slider was consistent and then he brought in a very nice curveball at 79-80 mph that had good late break and he threw it consistently for strikes.  I do not record the pitches, but I would guess in the first 6 innings that his curve ball was a called strike 75% of the times he threw it.  It really kept the A+ hitters off balance.  His arm action on the curve isn't as solid as it is on his slider-fastball so maybe higher level hitters will be able to pick that up but no one tonight had a chance.  The 12-6 action and high spin rate befuddled the hitters.


He tired a bit in the 5th and still got out of the inning.  He was more in the 92-92-93 and his slider velocity dropped to the 86-85 range along with some misses.  I think the 5th inning was the first 3 ball counts he ran into the entire game.


He rallied in the 6th but you could tell he was tiring.  He pumped his fastball back up to 93 for the whole inning but he was pushing his off speed pitched more.  I


I can't remember if it was the 6th or 7th inning when he walked his first base runner, but the fact is the umpire squeeeeeeeezed him on a 3-2 93 mph fastball that in my view from behind the plate was a clear strike.  Vallimont and Chris WIlliams were both walking to the dugout when the umpire called it a ball.  He still managed to get out of the 7th wiht the no-hitter intact but he was clearly reaching the end of the tank.


IF this would not have been a no-hitter there was no way he comes out for the 8th inning.  I think Toby left him in to pursue the no-hitter.  There is no pitch count tracker at Hammond but looking at the box score he was having a very efficient pitch count night (it was 81 total including the 8th inning).


There is a lot to work with in Chris Vallimont and I can see why the front office wanted him included in the latest trade. Again, he isn't a top level prospect yet.  I think he needs to work at getting the ball down a bit more with his fastball but if he stays ahead in the counts like he did tonight, his slider and curve can really come into play and he can be an effective pitcher.  He also needs to keep his slider velocity consistent at the 87-88 mph level.  Again, he carried a no-hitter into the 8th inning (and like I said it should have been a perfect game) but the Hammerhead hitters were able to catch up to the slider when it lost a bit of velocity.


But, if he makes some improvements to his curve ball I think he has the chance to be a major league pitcher some day.

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Great report, mlhouse, thanks.  And who the heck does Vallimont think he is, Duran?


Don't know if you saw this Tom, but after Kirilloff led off the Pensacola game with a home run, the next time up he was hit by a pitch.  No way for me to know if it was an intentional fast ball or the pitcher lost a curve ball or something.  Regardless, I don't like seeing that BS, especially with the young man I believe is our #1 prospect.  The good news is that he got another hit later on and the Blue Wahoos won.


And isn't Matt Wallner having a nice start to his professional career.  Haven't compared it to Rooker, but seems similar.

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