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After dropping their opener yesterday, the St. Paul Saints won convincingly on Wednesday afternoon marking the first victory as an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The production was highlighted from some longballs by big name prospects.TRANSACTIONS

• Lewis Thorpe recalled by Twins with Brandon Waddell optioned to Triple-A

• Caleb Hamilton moved from Rochester to Wichita.

 

SAINTS SENTINEL

St. Paul 10, Omaha 4

Box Score

 

For years, the partnership between the Minnesota Twins and St. Paul Saints has been something of desirability for fans across the metro. That reality came true this offseason, and now the new Triple-A club has their firs affiliated victory. Lefty Charlie Barnes was on the bump and got the win with a quality start allowing just three runs on seven hits across five innings of work.

 

 

The Saints to a lead on a Ryan Jeffers sacrifice fly in the first inning. After giving it back briefly in the bottom half, Toby Gardenhire’s squad would regain it before running to hide the rest of the way. Drew Maggi, Tzu-Wei Lin, and Rob Refsnyder all drove in runs during the second inning, and then the boppers stepped in.

 

 

Heralded Twins outfield prospect Trevor Larnach was playing in just his second Triple-A game, and he launched a three run homer in the fourth inning extending the lead to a 7-2 mark. Brent Rooker would follow that with a solo blast of his own and this one was all but over. Refsnyder did more damage in the 6th adding a solo shot for St. Paul’s 10th run of the game.

 

Although Zander Wiel and Lin didn’t record a hit, St. Paul racked up 12 of them as a team. Juan Minaya and Ian Gibault struck out two and three respectively in their relief work.

 

WIND SURGE WISDOM

Wichita 5, Springfield 4

Box Score

 

In their second game as an established franchise, as well as second game as an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, Wichita won in comeback fashion. Now 2-0 in history, the question really becomes whether or not they'll ever actually lose a game.

 

 

Jose Miranda opened the scoring in this one with a two-run homer scoring Gilberto Celestino in the top half of the third inning. After giving a run back in the bottom half, the Wind Surge tacked on another thanks to a wild pitch that allowed Aaron Whitefield to scamper home in the 5th.

 

Facing a one run deficit in the 7th, Wichita again leaned on Whitefield. First his triple allowed Damek Tomscha to score, and then yet another wild pitch gave him the opportunity to cross the plate again. Ryan Mason came on to record his first save of the year and punched out three while getting four outs in the contest.

 

KERNELS NUGGETS

Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 6

Box Score

 

Welcome to the Matt Wallner show. The 39th overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft put up quite a performance going 3-for-4 with a pair of big flies tonight for the Kernels. His first contribution in the bottom half of the third inning with Cedar Rapids down by three. A sacrifice fly opened the scoring and it was off to the races.

 

 

After Peoria tacked on two more in the 4th inning, Wallner came to bat in the bottom half of the 5th. He sent this ball over the fence, plating Seth Gray, for a two-run shot. Then again in the 7th Wallner stepped up and delivered his second blast of the evening, this one being of the three run variety, scoring Spencer Steer and Gray to give Cedar Rapids a 6-5 lead.

 

With the game tied in the bottom of the 9th Gabe Snyder doubled to score Gray for the third time, and allow a home team walkoff.

 

MUSSEL MATTERS

Fort Myers 13, Bradenton 4

Box Score

 

The artist formerly known as the Miracle got out to a big lead early in this one, and they made sure to never leave it in doubt. A five-run first inning was punctuated by a Max Smith grand slam that brought in Aaron Sabato Edouard Julien, and Kyle Schmidt.

 

 

After giving two back in the bottom half, the Mighty Mussels had a quick answer. Smith was plunked with the bases loaded and earned the RBI driving Keoni Cavaco in from third base. An uncorked wild pitch gave Julien an opportunity to score, and a Yunior Severino single added two more. When the dust settled on the second Fort Myers had a 9-2 lead.

 

In the 5th inning Anthony Prato would plate the 10th run on a wild pitch before Cavaco drove in the 11th following a Willie Joe Garry Jr. steal into scoring position. Will Holland launched his first homer of the year in the 6th inning, and yet another wild pitch gave Severino an opportunity to race home before the inning was done.

 

Hunter McMahon got the win and was impressive in relief. Working 4.2 innings of two hit ball, he punched out six for the Mighty Mussels while allowing just a single free pass.

 

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Pitcher of the Day – Hunter McMahaon (Fort Myers) - 4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

Hitter of the Day – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 3-for-4, 2 R, 6 RBI, 2 HR(2)

 

PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

 

#1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – Did not play

#2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL)

#3 - Trevor Larnach (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR(1)

#4 - Ryan Jeffers (St. Paul) – 1-for-4, RBI

#5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch

#6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Injured List (back)

#7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, BB, K

#8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-4, R, 2 BB 2 K

#9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch

#10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch

#11 - Gilberto Celestino (Wichita) – 0-for-3, R, 2 BB, 3 K

#12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, R, RBI, HR(1)

#13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 3-for-4, 2 R, 6 RBI, 2 HR(2)

#14 - Misael Urbina (Complex) – N/A

#15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch

#16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow)

#17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – Did not play

#18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A

#19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 1-for-4, R, 2 RBI, BB, HR(1)

#20 - Bailey Ober (St. Paul) – Did not pitch

 

THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

St. Paul @ Omaha (6:35PM CST) – RHP Randy Dobnak

Wichita @ Springfield (7:05PM CST) – RHP Cole Sands

Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Blayne Enlow

Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:05PM CST) – RHP Sean Mooney

 

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

 

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I was wondering about Cavaco's bat and he is off to a good start.  I was also curious about Juliens eye at the plate and he had three walks yesterday so happy to see he has some plate discipline.  Holland has been good to start the season as well.  Hopefully those guys keep it going.  Hunter McMahon was really working the corners of the zone last night.  He looked good for his first time out.  

 

It was the Wallner show for Cedar Rapids as he had all the RBI's until the 9th inning.  That was a heck of a game for him and I haven't been his biggest fan, but don't forget about Steer either as he has been an on base machine to start the year.

 

Good to see Miranda finally getting those balls over the fence.  That is what we have been waiting for.

 

It is early but nice to see some of the top prospects doing well.

 

 

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I am most interested in following Keoni Cavaco this year.  He did terrible in his short season then no season so I want to see how much he developed.  I hope he gets up to high A by end of season.  He is the biggest wild-card of prospects right now in my opinion. 

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I was wondering about Cavaco's bat and he is off to a good start.  I was also curious about Juliens eye at the plate and he had three walks yesterday so happy to see he has some plate discipline.  Holland has been good to start the season as well.  Hopefully those guys keep it going.  Hunter McMahon was really working the corners of the zone last night.  He looked good for his first time out.  

 

It was the Wallner show for Cedar Rapids as he had all the RBI's until the 9th inning.  That was a heck of a game for him and I haven't been his biggest fan, but don't forget about Steer either as he has been an on base machine to start the year.

 

Good to see Miranda finally getting those balls over the fence.  That is what we have been waiting for.

 

Wallner was fantastic. After the game, he talked about simplifying his approach. He took some huge swings in his first at bat and struck out. He said that he tried to homer that at bat and "you saw how that worked out." But to get the homer off the lefty and then a huge three-run homer in a huge spot to turn a two-run deficit into a one-run lead was fantastic. That one left the bat at 107 too... Just crushed!

 

I asked Dinkelman about Steer too, about his professional at bats. He's just a good player. Asked if he profiles as a utility player (because he played 2B the first game and SS the second game), Dinkelman said that he probably profiles as a second baseman going forward, but they're obviously going to make sure he's comfortable at all three infield spots and get him time at each. His at bats are incredible. 

 

I came away impressed with Jordan Gore as well. Yes, he gave up a game-tying homer, but it was on a 97 mph fastball in. So, not even a bad pitch. But, he was also throwing a bunch of changeups and curve/sliders that looked good. Easy to see why he's getting this opportunity to pitch. Spin rates are good. Just very impressive. 

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I am most interested in following Keoni Cavaco this year.  He did terrible in his short season then no season so I want to see how much he developed.  I hope he gets up to high A by end of season.  He is the biggest wild-card of prospects right now in my opinion. 

 

I don't think anyone in the organization has more tools than him... He's really impressive. 

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Great night when the home teams are 4-0.

 

Watched the Wichita game, well almost all of it. Although they won, was not excited about what I saw. Yes, Miranda had the one big hit. Aaron Whitefield had two hits and his speed in left field held two batters who hit hard balls down the left field line to singles. Other than that, nothing stood out as players that I would be excited about as future Twins. Heck, the only reason they won was because the Springfield pitchers walked 8 batters.

 

Lujan had a very nice inning plus and I didn't see their closer in the ninth...who struck out the side.

 

 

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Would like to see Ryan Mason moved up swiftly if he continues to have dominant late inning outings like what seems to have happened last night.

 

Yeah, I think that can happen. He was at the alternate site and only went to Wichita when the season opened, but he (and Hackimer) could certainly be the guys to move up when needed. 

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Great night when the home teams are 4-0.

 

Watched the Wichita game, well almost all of it. Although they won, was not excited about what I saw. Yes, Miranda had the one big hit. Aaron Whitefield had two hits and his speed in left field held two batters who hit hard balls down the left field line to singles. Other than that, nothing stood out as players that I would be excited about as future Twins. Heck, the only reason they won was because the Springfield pitchers walked 8 batters.

 

Lujan had a very nice inning plus and I didn't see their closer in the ninth...who struck out the side.

 

But... those guys didn't go outside the strike zone, which is good too... That is part of it. I look forward to getting home so I can spend time watching more of those games. 

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I'm ready for Larnach, Rooker and a healthy Kirilloff to replace Cave, Kepler and Sano.

 

The fact that two of the vets got extensions doesn't much bother me; maybe bench time in favor of the rookies will motivate them.

 

I have no interest in Rooker....he won't even come close to Sano's production, and not Kepler's either (esp. if you factor in defense). Lanarch? He should be up in a month, give or take. It's not like he's 19 years old.....

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Wallner was fantastic. After the game, he talked about simplifying his approach. He took some huge swings in his first at bat and struck out. He said that he tried to homer that at bat and "you saw how that worked out." But to get the homer off the lefty and then a huge three-run homer in a huge spot to turn a two-run deficit into a one-run lead was fantastic. That one left the bat at 107 too... Just crushed!

 

I asked Dinkelman about Steer too, about his professional at bats. He's just a good player. Asked if he profiles as a utility player (because he played 2B the first game and SS the second game), Dinkelman said that he probably profiles as a second baseman going forward, but they're obviously going to make sure he's comfortable at all three infield spots and get him time at each. His at bats are incredible. 

 

I came away impressed with Jordan Gore as well. Yes, he gave up a game-tying homer, but it was on a 97 mph fastball in. So, not even a bad pitch. But, he was also throwing a bunch of changeups and curve/sliders that looked good. Easy to see why he's getting this opportunity to pitch. Spin rates are good. Just very impressive. 

 

Seth thanks so much for providing greater context to those players.  I was down on Wallner to some degree because of his 2019 K rate.  Not permanently down but had my concerns about contact so it was great to see him have such a special game.  I hope he keeps that swing simple and keeps the K rate down. If can do that he will be a very dangerous hitter.

 

I got see Steer in 2019 in Beloit and he went 0 for 3 that night.  Still he took great at bats.  Didn't appear to swing at anything outside the zone and was one of the few batter to make contact and not K.  It was a tough night as I think they lost 11 to 0 or something like that but even at 0 for 3 he was a bright spot.

 

I don't know much about Gore as a pitcher but have to admit I was a little disappointed with the HR ball.  I know it happens but it did spoil his debut a little.  I hope he is the next Joe Nathan but guessing he has a ways to go. 

 

Thanks again for the insight you provide on the players.  It is easy to get lost in the statistics and lose sight of the human player.  I appreciate that you bring that back to stat watchers like me.

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Great night when the home teams are 4-0.

 

Watched the Wichita game, well almost all of it. Although they won, was not excited about what I saw. Yes, Miranda had the one big hit. Aaron Whitefield had two hits and his speed in left field held two batters who hit hard balls down the left field line to singles. Other than that, nothing stood out as players that I would be excited about as future Twins. Heck, the only reason they won was because the Springfield pitchers walked 8 batters.

 

Lujan had a very nice inning plus and I didn't see their closer in the ninth...who struck out the side.

 

I tend to agree with your assessment.  There isn't much for hitters at AA but the pitching is likely the best in the system so there's that.  Gonna need to hope some of those HIgh A hitters perform well and move up quickly as there lot's of bats in AA that have a history of struggling.  Granted they still have a chance to come around it is just that it appears unlikely to change or be good enough.  Would love to see David, Ernie, Aaron, Andrew and Jermaine turn things around but they have pretty much been bat liabilities to this point. They will need to step up if this team is going to win games.  It is mainly Celestino and Miranda with the greatest chance to do well but even they have struggled at times.  Like I said earlier AA looks starved for elite bats.

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Seth thanks so much for providing greater context to those players.  I was down on Wallner to some degree because of his 2019 K rate.  Not permanently down but had my concerns about contact so it was great to see him have such a special game.  I hope he keeps that swing simple and keeps the K rate down. If can do that he will be a very dangerous hitter.

 

I got see Steer in 2019 in Beloit and he went 0 for 3 that night.  Still he took great at bats.  Didn't appear to swing at anything outside the zone and was one of the few batter to make contact and not K.  It was a tough night as I think they lost 11 to 0 or something like that but even at 0 for 3 he was a bright spot.

 

I don't know much about Gore as a pitcher but have to admit I was a little disappointed with the HR ball.  I know it happens but it did spoil his debut a little.  I hope he is the next Joe Nathan but guessing he has a ways to go. 

 

Thanks again for the insight you provide on the players.  It is easy to get lost in the statistics and lose sight of the human player.  I appreciate that you bring that back to stat watchers like me.

 

Thanks for the comments. 

 

I did ask Dinkelman about the difference in Wallner between late 2019 and now. We talked about it being at the end of a long college season. However, he also spoke to what Wallner spoke about later, that his swing is more compact, simpler... But he also notes that Wallner takes a vicious cut. He's going to strike out some, but he hits the ball hard. 

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Glad to see Cavaco get off to a good start, even if it has only been two games. I'm sure that was a very long wait for him after his performance in the GCL.

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I have no interest in Rooker....he won't even come close to Sano's production, and not Kepler's either (esp. if you factor in defense). Lanarch? He should be up in a month, give or take. It's not like he's 19 years old.....

 

I don't really care about defense with the offense this bad. Rooker has been very good at every level and was good in his call up last year too. I'm not sure where the dismissal is coming from after only 8 games this year.

 

But really, I just want the young guys up to see if the incumbents will fight back and try to make a stake for their jobs. It's been since 2019 now since those three batters who got extensions have looked like they deserved them.

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Great night when the home teams are 4-0.

 

Watched the Wichita game, well almost all of it. Although they won, was not excited about what I saw. Yes, Miranda had the one big hit. Aaron Whitefield had two hits and his speed in left field held two batters who hit hard balls down the left field line to singles. Other than that, nothing stood out as players that I would be excited about as future Twins. Heck, the only reason they won was because the Springfield pitchers walked 8 batters.

 

Lujan had a very nice inning plus and I didn't see their closer in the ninth...who struck out the side.

 

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Late posting to Wind Surge 5-4 win on Wednesday night as I didn't have my account log in info with me.

Anyway, attended game with my spouse (Cardinal fan) after driving down from KC area.  

 

I would echo many of your sentiments as Surge definitely benefited from poor defense (2 errant pick off throws for errors) and the 8 walks you mentioned.

 

I would add the following impressions:

Hitters

 

Celestino:  Had a rough game going 0-3 with 3 K's with 2 of those whiffs coming with a runner on 3B with less than 2 outs.  He did draw 2 walks though.

 

Jose Miranda:  Showed some serious "oppo power" with his 2-out,  2-run HR to RF to give 2-0 lead in top of 3rd.  Also drew a walk.

 

Aaron Whitefield:  Had a nice game going 2-3 with an RBI triple in the 7th. Drew a walk and also stole a base.  He had a "sip of coffee" with the Twins in 2020 getting 1 AB.  Looks like he's added some weight without sacrificing any of his speed.

 

Team RISP:  Not good......1-7

Team K's:  Also not good-----13 whiffs in 34 AB's--------sounds like another team many of us know...huh??

 

Pitching

SP Bryan Sammons: Big LH (6'4/235lb) was 8th rd pick in 2017 out of Western Carolina.  He pitched well in 2019 starting 24 games between high A (Fort Myers) and AA Pensacola.

 

Pitched much better than his final line indicated (3 ER in 4.1 IP).  Sammons was pulled in 5th with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out after his pitch count hit 70.  When hooked, he allowed 5 hits, but had ZERO walks and had struck out 6.  His final line---2 additional ER was due to RP Neff allowing a 2-out, 2 strike 3-run HR to Cardinals 9-hole hitter.

 

RP:  Ryan Mason:  A little older dude-------26, drafted in 2016 out of Cal.  RHP with good size like Sammons (6'6/215) who pitched to a 2-0 record in 2019 with AA Pensacola recording 7 Sv's in 8 opportunities over 15 games.

 

I was impressed with Mason as he recorded the SV getting the final 4 outs of the game--3 by strikeout.  Mason consistently hit 95mph on the gun. He struck out  #3 Cardinal prospect (#38 overall MILB) Nolan Gorman to end the 8th with a runner on 1B.  Then had a solid 9th with 2 more K's and a popup to end the game.
 

 

 

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