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Front Page: Twins Minor League Report (9/6): Balazovic, Chalmers Boost Blue Wahoos While Winder, Snyder Advance Kernels


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They’re alive! Both Pensacola and Cedar Rapids were facing elimination tonight, but both Twins affiliates managed to survive. A couple of new faces shined in their Double-A debuts for the Blue Wahoos to force a game 4 in the Southern League semifinals. Meanwhile, a few familiar faces pushed the Kernels ahead to clinch a series victory in the Midwest League Quarterfinals.BLUE WAHOO BITES

Pensacola 3, Biloxi 2 (Biloxi leads best of five series 2-1)

Box Score

 

Jordan Balazovic: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches)

HR: Alex Kirilloff, Ryan Costello

Multi-hit games: Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR)

 

Facing elimination tonight, Pensacola turned to a pair of pitchers making their Double-A debuts. The element of surprise paid off. Jordan Balazovic struck out seven batters in his 4 2/3 innings of work, allowing two runs on three hits.

 

 

Dakota Chalmers finished off the fifth inning for Balazovic and ended up pitching 3 1/3 no-hit innings while striking out four batters. Quite the first impressions in Pensacola for Balazovic and Chalmers.

 

 

ALex Kirilloff opened the scoring with a solo home run in the third inning, his third homer in as many postseason games for the Blue Wahoos.

 

 

Ryan Costello added a solo homer of his own in the fourth inning. Biloxi tied the game in the top of the fifth inning, but Travis Blankenhorn delivered a key two-out, go-ahead single that plated Royce Lewis and would prove to be the difference in this game.

 

Anthony Vizcaya struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn the save and keep the Blue Wahoo’s 2019 season alive. They still trail in the series 2-1, so they’ll have to win the next two games in order to advance.

 

KERNELS NUGGETS

Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 2 (Cedar Rapids wins series 2-1)

Box Score

 

Josh Winder: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 71.4% strikes (55 of 77 pitches)

HR: Gabe Snyder

Multi-hit games: Snyder (2-for-4, HR, 2B), Wander Javier (2-for-4, 3B), DaShawn Keirsey (2-for-4, 2B)

 

Behind big efforts from familiar faces, the Kernels won Friday night to advance in the Midwest League playoffs. Starting pitcher Josh Winder and first baseman Gabe Snyder set the tone in this game.

 

Winder provided Cedar Rapids with six shutout innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter. This is the fourth time in 2019 Winder has gone at least six innings and surrendered zero runs.

 

Winder was pitching with a lead the entire night thanks to Snyder’s home run in the top of the first inning. He added a double in the fourth inning and came around to score on a Chris Williams hit. Winder led the Kernels in virtually every pitching stat while Snyder was the top dog on the team in nearly every hitting stat, so it seemed fitting those two were the catalysts who pushed Cedar Rapids' season into the next round.

 

Wander Javier had a two-hit night that included a triple and an RBI single. DaShawn Kerisey led off the top of the ninth inning with a double and scored a huge insurance run on a Tyler Webb RBI single. Austin Schulfer pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to earn the save.

 

STARS OF THE DAY

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Josh Winder, Cedar Rapids

Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids

 

TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

 

1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 1-for-4, R, K, E (fielding)

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

4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 1-for-3, 3B, BB, K

5. Wander Javier (CR): 2-for-4, 3B, R, RBI, K, E (fielding)

6. Jordan Balazovic (PNS): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches)

13. Ryan Jeffers (PNS): 0-for-4

15. Matt Wallner (CR): 0-for-4, 3 K

20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 1-for-3, BB, RBI

 

SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Pensacola at Biloxi, 6:35 pm CT (TBD)

 

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

 

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I’m pretty excited for a few of these less ballyhooed prospects like Chalmers, lawyerson, winder et al. Their start is pretty similar to guys like balazovic, Ober, graterol and others in that they will be future TD household names. I’m looking forward to their write ups and progress next year!

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Chalmers is an interesting player. Real talent, but also real issues with control and injuries (21 games in 3 years? yikes). The stuff is real, but until he cuts down on the free passes consistently I don't see him rising. Balazovic is absolutely the real deal, though. I think he's got a real chance to start the year at AA next season, and he could rise very quickly.

 

Great to see Kirilloff ending the year strong, and I'm glad he's going to the AFL. The injuries were tough this year, but healthy he's the best hitter in the Twins Minor league system and I think we'll see him in MLB at some point in 2020.

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Did I see somewhere that Kirilloff won't be going to the AFL?  Was he replaced by Raley?

 

What a run for Kirilloff.  If the Twins lose Cave and Cruz, could it be possible they call up Kirilloff this weekend?  Kind of like they did with Kubel back when.

 

What a night with two big wins.  Are the Midwest League semi-finals a 5 game series?  You haven't listed it above, but will Ober be starting for P'Cola tonight?

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Did I see somewhere that Kirilloff won't be going to the AFL?  Was he replaced by Raley?

 

What a run for Kirilloff.  If the Twins lose Cave and Cruz, could it be possible they call up Kirilloff this weekend?  Kind of like they did with Kubel back when.

 

What a night with two big wins.  Are the Midwest League semi-finals a 5 game series?  You haven't listed it above, but will Ober be starting for P'Cola tonight?

 

Yes. Here, yesterday. Yes.

 

MWL is best of three, so Cedar Rapids advanced to play Clinton starting tonight. 

 

I would think that Ober would be the Wahoos starter tonight. 

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