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Minor League Report (5/28): Jax, Canterino continue to shove


Twins prospects dominated on the mound...and didn't fair as well at the plate Thursday night.

TRANSACTIONS

  • Shaun Anderson added to St. Paul on rehab assignment
  • BJ Boyd signed and added to the Wichita Wind Surge

SAINTS SENTINEL

St. Paul 4, Iowa 0

Box Score

Griffin Jax improved to 3-1 on the season and his ERA dropped to 3.33 after throwing six innings of one-hit ball. He struck out a career-high 10 batters, which brings him up to 29 on the season through 27 innings of work.

Jax is an intriguing prospect. He was the Twins third round draft pick in 2016 out of the Air Force Academy and was only able to pitch part-time prior to the season due to military commitments. His fastball sits in the low- to mid-90s, though his best pitch is arguably his slider. He doesn’t possess much in the way of a third pitch, so he may end up in the bullpen long-term. 

Yet, it’s hard to argue with his results this season. He’s already 26-years-old, so his days being labeled as a prospect are dwindling, but of the pitchers in the Twins’ system, his performance thus far has, perhaps, been both the most surprising and encouraging.

Mark Contreras and J.T. Riddle each contributed two hits at the plate and drove in two RBI combined. Ryan Jeffers also drove in a run and went 1-for-4.

WIND SURGE WISDOM

Springfield 5, Wichita 2

Box Score

Andrew Bechtold and Aaron Whitefield each hit their third doubles of the season, but it was Jermaine Palacios who contributed the loudest hit of the night for the Wind Surge.

The Wichita pitching staff combined to allow only three earned runs, however, the team’s 11 strikeouts at the plate doomed them in this one.

KERNELS NUGGETS

Wisconsin 6, Cedar Rapids 2

Box Score

Matt Canterino once again pitched like a future star, striking out 10 batters and not issuing a single walk over the course of his four innings of work. His command was better than his previous outing - in which he issued a couple of free passes - and his curveball was particularly sharp.

After the game, Cedar Rapids manager Brian Dinkelman stated that Canterino was pulled after the fourth as he was reaching his pitch limit, though the colder weather was also a factor.

I asked Dinkelman if the Kernels’ pitching staff tries to have Canterino pitch in certain parts of the zone throughout the course of the game, but he said that their focus is more or less solely on having him throw strikes.

“With Matt, I think his big focus is just being in the zone because all of his pitches work so well that he gets a lot of swing-and-misses on pitches that are in the zone,” Dinkelman said. “I know him and the pitching coaches have a plan they go through for each start. So far, he’s done a good job of executing that and getting a lot of swing-and-misses.”

At this point, Canterino doesn’t have much left to prove at the High-A level. He’s struck out 35 batters across 18 innings and owns a 1.00 ERA. The Twins really can’t ask for much more than that. It would be unsurprising to see him elevated in the not so distant future.

The Kernels were only able to amass two hits as a team, both of which went for extra bases. Wander Javier and Leobaldo Cabrera grabbed all four of the team’s total bases.

MUSSEL MATTERS

Lakeland 3, Ft. Myers 2

Box Score 

The Mighty Mussels scored one run each in the first two innings of the game, but were unable to get their offense rolling during their loss. 

Willie Joe Garry, Jr. - the Twins ninth round pick in 2018 - went 2-for-4 and picked up his first double of the season. 

Louie Varland started on the mound and pitched 2 2/3 innings. He struck out five, but struggled a bit with his control as he walked five as well.

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Co-Pitchers of the Day- Matt Canterino: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K, 60 pitches; Griffin Jax: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 90 pitches

Hitter of the Day- Mark Contreras: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI

 

PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

#1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – 0-for-4

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

#3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – 1-for-1, RBI, BB

#4 - Ryan Jeffers (St. Paul) – 1-for-4, RBI, 2 K

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

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

#7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – Did not play

#8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-4, BB, K

#9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K

#10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Injured list (elbow)

#11 - Gilberto Celestino (Wichita) – 0-for-4, 2 K

#12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – Did not play

#13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Injured list (wrist)

#14 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-for-5, 3 K

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

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

#17 - Ben Rortvedt (St. Paul) – 1-for-4, 3 K

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

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

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

 

SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

St. Paul @ Iowa (7:08PM CST) – RHP Chandler Shepherd (0-1, 5.87 ERA)

Springfield @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) – RHP Josh Winder (1-0, 0.93 ERA)

Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (TBD CST) - RHP Jon Olsen (0-2, 4.50 ERA)

Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:05PM CST) – RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-0, 2.13 ERA)

Fort Meyers @ Lakeland (5:00PM CST) – RHP Casey Legumina (1-0, 5.23 ERA)

 

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Nice to see Jax with the 10 K's.  If he can continue that trend I don't see how he can't be a starter at the MLB level.  His control is already good.  His only real issue was giving up too many hits.  If gets that under control then he should be in MLB.

Canterino should have never started at High A.  Hopefully they move him to AA ASAP.

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Jax was someone who really lost an opportunity without a full season last year. Probably would have gotten a MLB opportunity for a spot start or short term callup last year. Now seems other prospects may have caught up or surpassed him. Hope he keeps performing well and gets an opportunity at MLB level this year.

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The Kernels game summary here left out how their 2 runs scored, and I was curious. Neither of the extra-base hits factored in - instead two different opposing pitchers labored to walk the bases loaded and then walk two more batters. That's how an 8th inning can go in the minors, sometimes. Yeesh.

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34 minutes ago, ashbury said:

The Kernels game summary here left out how their 2 runs scored, and I was curious. Neither of the extra-base hits factored in - instead two different opposing pitchers labored to walk the bases loaded and then walk two more batters. That's how an 8th inning can go in the minors, sometimes. Yeesh.

Walks will haunt.

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I just wonder if Jax will be able to get it done as a starter with only 2 pitches in MLB. When you can sit on the fastball and react to curve or vice versa, good hitters can really punish you. (see also, Buxton comma Byron) I'm a fan of his, but I wish he had one more pitch that he could effectively use to keep people off the slider and fastball.

I'm ok with pitch counts on minor league pitchers in development, but 60 pitcher for Canterino is getting near the limit? Seems awfully low for the end of May, weather or no.

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What a fantastic day..  Pitching, pitching and pitching is what wins titles and championships.  Great start by Jax and oh so excited about Canterino.  Now it's time to get him moving up the ladder, or down to Wichita in his case. 

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1 hour ago, jmlease1 said:

I'm ok with pitch counts on minor league pitchers in development, but 60 pitcher for Canterino is getting near the limit? Seems awfully low for the end of May, weather or no.

With all the injuries around baseball, position players and pitchers, it is wise to be cautious... Definitely seems low, but I'm sure they're trying to map it out as much as they can. 

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