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Minor League Report (7/24): Some Strong Corn


The Twins’ minor league teams won more than they lost on Saturday, and most teams did better on offense than the Twins. Of course, that isn’t much of a bar to clear, but I digress. Read all about that and more in this edition of the minor league report. 

TRANSACTIONS
INF Tzu-Wei Lin transferred from 7-day IL to 60-day IL

Saints Sentinel
St. Paul 3, Omaha 1
Box Score

Andrew Albers: 5 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
HR: Drew Maggi (11)
Multi-hit games: Tomás Telis (2-for-4, 2 RBI)

The Saints took down the Omaha powerhouse on Saturday.

Andrew Albers was brilliant in his start. The 35-year-old lefty almost completely shut down an offense powered by some serious prospect talent. I hope that some grateful teammates took him out for a nice steak dinner afterwards.

Drew Maggi continued his power surge as he blasted his 11th homer of the year in the 6th inning. The blast gave him a new career high in home runs in any given season over his extensive minor league career. He may end up with the Twins if (when) Andrelton Simmons is traded.

The big hit of the night came off the bat of Tomás Telis. His 7th inning single added two extra-crucial runs for the Saints. 

Jovani Moran threw a pair of scoreless innings with three strikeouts. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he is not pitching for the Twins by September at the latest.

Wind Surge Wisdom
Wichita 5, Arkansas 4
Box Score

Adam Lau: 3 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
HR: Jermaine Palacios (12)
Multi-hit games: Roy Morales (2-for-5, R, RBI), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4), D.J. Burt (2-for-4)

Wichita played an absolute dog fight of a game on Saturday. 

Adam Lau kicked off the game with an impressive start. He was not meant to get many outs, but the ones he got were efficient. It’s hard to criticize a guy who allowed just two baserunners over 11 outs.

The offense was there for Wichita early as Roy Morales singled home the first run of the game in the 3rd inning and Jermaine Palacios bashed a three-run homer in the 5th. 

If Palacios is not the outright most surprising minor leaguer of the year, he’s at least in the conversation. He quietly returned to the Twins after the Rays were unable to work their magic on him. 2021 has been nothing but a rake fest as he came into Saturday with a 120 wRC+. It has been a good year for Palacios.

It was looking like Wichita could set the game to cruise control on their way to an easy W, but things did not shake out that way. Some shenanigans in the 7th inning by Arkansas knotted the game and suddenly upped the stakes.

The game went into extras where the Wind Surge were able to take advantage of Manfredball an honest runner in scoring position with a sacrifice fly by Aaron Whitefield. Zach Neff and Ryan Mason combined forces to hold the Travelers scoreless in the bottom of the inning, and Wichita was able to walk away with a win. 

Kernels Nuggets
Cedar Rapids 10, Beloit 4
Box Score

Ben Gross: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
HR: Michael Helman (9), Matt Wallner (6)
Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, RBI), Michael Helman (3-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, RBI, BB), Kyle Schmidt (3-for-5, R), Gabriel Maciel (3-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-5, RBI)

Something, something, beware the 7th inning, something, something.

Ben Gross, was, uhh, gross in his start on Saturday. The righty struck out eight batters over five shutout innings and was generally the man in charge. I mean, how can a pitcher not succeed when he has such an appropriate last name? He proves the theory of nominative determinism.

The Kernels supported Gross early as Gabriel Maciel knocked home the first run of the game in the 2nd inning, and Michael Helman added on in the 5th frame with a solo shot.

Oh, but did things ever get wacky after that.

The Snappers responded in the 7th inning with four runs off a sacrifice fly and a bases-clearing double. Suddenly, the game was tilted four to two in favor of Beloit.

The Kernels were having none of it. In the bottom half of the inning, a wild pitch brought the game to within a run. Maciel then doubled home two runs to gain the lead before Edouard Julien doubled home two more runs for posterity sake. 

Matt Wallner  homered in the 8th inning just for giggles (and for scoring, I guess). Daniel Ozoria singled home yet another run, and Julien walked in the tenth (and final) run for good measure. Eight hitters for the Kernels reached base multiple times on Saturday.

Mussel Matters
Fort Myers 1, Daytona 4
Box Score

Orlando Rodriguez: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K
HR: None
Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (2-for-3, RBI, BB)

Fort Myers attempted a tribute to the Twins on Saturday, as they also could not find much offense on the day.

Starter Orlando Rodriguez did his job well as he allowed just a pair of earned runs over his five innings of work. He walked three, which is a bit much, but he also struck out seven batters, which is also a bit much. So it evened out in the end.

The offense just could not find anything, however. Will Holland and Nick Anderson were both able to work a pair of walks, and Yunior Severino got on base three times. Outside of them, the box score is quite dusty. Aaron Sabato and Misael Urbina both had especially rough games as they combined for seven strikeouts without a hit. You tend not to win many games when your three and four hitters put up lines like that. 

Matthew Swain and Steven Cruz combined for three shutout innings in relief of Rodriguez.

Complex Chronicles
FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 7
Box Score

Juan Mendez: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
HR: Kala’i Rosario (2)
Multi-hit games: None

The FCL Twins lost on Saturday, but not without a vicious comeback attempt. 

The game was even through four as Juan Mendez did his best to support his team on the mound. He would end with the best line of any FCL Twins pitcher on Saturday.

A double by what I can only assume is someone’s superhero alter-ego, a man named Blaze Jordan, kicked off a run of, well, runs for the Red Sox. They would plate seven over three innings in what ended up being the dagger. 

The FCL Twins did not go gentle into that good night. Kala’i Rosario blasted a 9th inning grand slam that, while awesome, was not enough to turn the game around. 

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Ben Gross
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Michael Helman

PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

#1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL)
#2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain)
#3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch
#4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain)
#5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, K
#6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 0-4
#7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – 0-3, 3 K
#8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch
#9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 0-3, BB, 3 K
#10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 3-5, HR, 2 R, RBI

#11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery)
#12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch
#13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch
#14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-4, 3 K
#15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-4, 4 K
#16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-1, K
#17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play
#18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury)
#19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow)
#20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch

SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Daytona @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) LHP Zarion Sharpe
Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (1:05 PM) RHP Cody Laweryson 
Wichita @ Arkansas (1:10 PM) RHP Jordan Balazovic 
St. Paul @ Omaha (4:05 PM) RHP Griffin Jax


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I keep saying Wallner is going to come down to earth and yet he just keeps hitting and homering his way through games.  I know he might have to finish his year at High A getting him some time at AA would keep him moving.  Maybe thing change after the deadline with players likely to to move up.

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Wallner doesn't seem to have any lingering effects from his time on the IL. The K rate is still way to high for comfort, but he's doing plenty of damage when he does contact the ball.

Palacios is going to contend for a spot on the 40-man this off-season, I think. Very interesting how he's rebuilt his standing this season and recovered his hitting stroke after not playing in 2020 and two rotten seasons in the Rays organization. Looks like he made a smart choice in coming back to the Twins, who have clearly worked with him well. I could see him getting a call up to AAA before the end of the season, but we probably shouldn't get too excited about him seizing the starting SS job in 2022 on the basis of a single rebound season. But there might be something there and it was a smart minor-league signing.

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27 minutes ago, jmlease1 said:

Palacios is going to contend for a spot on the 40-man this off-season, I think. Very interesting how he's rebuilt his standing this season and recovered his hitting stroke after not playing in 2020 and two rotten seasons in the Rays organization. Looks like he made a smart choice in coming back to the Twins, who have clearly worked with him well. I could see him getting a call up to AAA before the end of the season, but we probably shouldn't get too excited about him seizing the starting SS job in 2022 on the basis of a single rebound season. But there might be something there and it was a smart minor-league signing.

I agree he isn't a strong bet to start next year but if they do add him to 40 man then for the first time in a while they would have some SS depth.  His defense looks pretty solid so even if he doesn't hit well at MLB he can at least defend the position well.  With his OPS in the 800's and being a very seasoned player if the Twins don't add him someone will grab him in rule V.  He would easily fit on most any team as a utility player right now.

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I see the Saints are 4.5 games behind Omaha.  Is Omaha still in first place?  A win today behind Jax would keep their momentum going towards catching the Storm Chasers.  Saw your comment that Lin has been moved to the 60-day IL.  He isn't on the 40-man roster, is he?  Didn't know that there was such as thing as a 60-day IL in the minors.

Every day I see Palacios name in these reports I think about the Odorizzi trade.  That's one deal the Twins were the clear winners dealing with the Rays.  Let's hope like heck they end up big winners in the Cruz trade.

Seems like Ben Gross is going to be one of those guys we need to get to know a lot better.  Really like how he has been pitching this summer.  For whatever reason, haven't been a big fan of Wallner ever since he was drafted.  But if he keeps hitting like the last few weeks that may change.

Those Complex Twins sure don't win very often and their pitching staff gives up a lot of runs.  I know that Rosario appears to have good speed as he has several stolen bases.  Looks like he also has some decent power.  May be the best pick of last year's short draft.

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3 hours ago, DocBauer said:

The Twins have questions at SS. Palacios is having a fine year in his return from the Rays where he just couldn't hit AA pitching previously.. How is he not at AAA at this point to see if his bat is even close to being real?

Another good day in the system overall.

Palacios is having a good year at AA but hasn't forced his way to AAA the way Miranda did.

I imagine the trade deadline will force some players up the ladder. The Twins will need to move an infielder from AAA to replace Simmons and that should give Palacios a spot at AAA.

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Palacios being added to the 40 man is a possibility, but there’s so many others who need to be protected it might be difficult to fit the prospects and free agents all on there. At this point I’d protect him over Javier.

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43 minutes ago, Danchat said:

Palacios being added to the 40 man is a possibility, but there’s so many others who need to be protected it might be difficult to fit the prospects and free agents all on there. At this point I’d protect him over Javier.

I agree there is a lot of pitching to protect and already there is Polanco, Arraez and Gordon at 2nd base\utility.  They will have to grab a seasoned shortstop in free agency so there are going to be some tough decisions.

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3 hours ago, roger said:

Seems like Ben Gross is going to be one of those guys we need to get to know a lot better.  Really like how he has been pitching this summer.  For whatever reason, haven't been a big fan of Wallner ever since he was drafted.  But if he keeps hitting like the last few weeks that may change.

Those Complex Twins sure don't win very often and their pitching staff gives up a lot of runs.  I know that Rosario appears to have good speed as he has several stolen bases.  Looks like he also has some decent power.  May be the best pick of last year's short draft.

Rosario's definitely a power guy... 

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