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Twins Minor League Week in Review: Second Half Success


We are officially past the halfway point in the minor league season. By the next time we provide a Week in Review, the trade deadline will have passed, we will post our July minor league awards, and it is likely the Twins will add more prospects to the organization. .

 Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. 

Before we get started, let’s check out the Transactions and the FCL Twins game on Monday: 

  • Infielder Yunior Severino was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. 
  • Right-Handed Pitcher Cole Bellair was sent from Ft. Myers to the Complex. 

FCL Twins Talk

On Monday, the FCL Twins game against the FCL Orioles Black was suspended in the first inning. 

With that, let’s look at Week 12 in the Twins minor leagues: 

RESULTS

Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-2, @ Omaha), overall (37-34)

Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (4-2, @ Arkansas), overall (41-31)

High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, hosting Beloit), overall (40-32)

Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-3, hosting Daytona), overall (39-33) 

Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-4), overall (5-14)


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT... 

Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. 

Highlights

We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 12 performances

Twins Player of the Week: Trey Cabbage, Wichita Wind Surge      

Trey Cabbage was the Twins choice for Hitter of the Week. He played in all six games for the Wind Surge. He hit .304/.320/.652 (.972) with two doubles and two home runs. 

Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He began the season in High-A Cedar Rapids. In 40 games, he hit .266/.342/.538 (.880) with 10 doubles and nine home runs. In 25 games for Wichita, he has hit .231/.317/.451 (.768) with five doubles and five more home runs. His 15 doubles this season is fifth in the Twins system, and his 14 homers ranks fourth. His 49 RBI ranks third in the organization this year. 

Twins Pitcher of the Week: Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels       

In his second start with the Kernels, Varland tossed five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out nine batters. In his first start for Cedar Rapids, he threw six shutout innings. Overall this year, he is 4-2 with a 1.70 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In 58 1/3 innings, he has walked 20 and struck out 90 batters. 

Varland, who has a diploma from  North St. Paul High School, was the Twins 15th round pick in 2019 out of Concordia University in St. Paul. His brother Gus Varland pitches for Tulsa, the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. 


Highlights 
St. Paul Saints

It’s the highlights list, so of course Jose Miranda needs to be here. In six games last week, he hit .321/.345/.714 (1.059) with two doubles, three homers and six RBI. Roberto Pena doesn’t play a ton, but he went 3-for-9 with a double and a homer. He also walked three times. Jimmy Kerrigan played in five games and hit .300/.533/.800 (1.333) with two doubles, a homer and five walks. 

Andrew Albers gave up one run on six hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six batters. Chandler Shepherd gave up one runover five innings in his outing. He struck out six as well. Andrew Vasquez came out of the Saints’ bullpen three times and recorded seven outs, three on strikeouts. 

Wichita Wind Surge

Along with Cabbage, the Wind Surge’s top performers last week were hitters signed to minor league contracts before or during the season. Catcher/First Baseman Roy Morales played in all six games and hit .500/.571/.636 (1.208) with a double, a triple and five walks.  Jermaine Palacios was limited to three games, but he hit .308/.357/.769 (1.126) with two home runs. DJ Burt played four games and went 8-for-15 (.533) with a double and a triple. 

Adam Lau made a spot start for the Wind Surge. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings and gave up just one hit and walk. He struck out six. Continuing his return to the mound, Cole Sands struck out four batters over three shutout innings. Chris Vallimont was very good in his start. He tossed six scoreless innings, gave up three hits, three walks and struck out eight batters. On Tuesday, Jordan Balazovic tossed seven shutout innings to extend his streak to 25 2/3 consecutive scoreless frames. He wasn’t as strong in his second start of the week. He gave up three runs on five hits and five walks in five innings. 

Cedar Rapids Kernels

The highlight of the week for the Kernels, at least from a Twins/Player Development standpoint, has to be the return of Matt Wallner from his hamate bone injury. He played in five games and hit .278/.381/.611 (.992) with two home runs. Gabriel Maciel played in four games and hit .500/.571/.583 (1.155) with a double and three big RBI. Kyle Schmidt played in three games and went 5-for-11 (.455). 

Along with Louie Varland, the Kernels had some really good starts. Ben Gross struck out eight batters in five shutout innings. Jon Olsen gave up just three hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Cody Laweryson and Tyler Watson both gave up one run on three hits in their five-inning starts. The sixth Kernels starter, Tyler Beck gave up two runs (and struck out seven batters) in five innings. 

Melvi Acosta struck out six batters in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up only an unearned run. Zach Featherstone struck out six batters in 2 2/3 one-hit innings. Erik Manoah struck out five batters in three no-hit innings. 

Ft. Myers Might Mussels

Charlie Mack played in five games last week. He hit .333/.429/.500 (.929) with three walks, a homer and four RBI. Jesus Feliz posted an .807 OPS, but he also provided the team with a walk-off homer on Sunday.  

Lefty Zarion Sharpe had his best start. He gave up two hits over five shutout innings. He struck out five. Sawyer Gipson-Long had a Quality Start. He gave up two runs on six hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out 11 batters. 

Denny Bentley pitched in three games. He got a Win and two Saves. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up one hit, walked three and struck out seven batters. 

FCL Twins 

Luis Baez went 6-for-15 (.400) with a double and a triple last week. Alexander Pena went 5-for-11 (.455) with a double. LaRon Smith, Malfrin Sosa, Argenis Jimenez and Kala’i Rosario each hit a home run. 

Develson Aria and Juan Mendez each tossed three scoreless innings. Aria struck out six and gave up only one hit. 

 

Lowlights

We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches.  

St. Paul Saints

It has certainly been a struggle of late for JT Riddle. He played all six games last week, but went just 1-for-19 (.053). 

Ian Hamilton has been fantastic for the Saints for a couple of months, but he had a rough week. He came into three games and was charged with four runs on one hit and four walks. That said, he also was 2-for-2 in Save Opportunities. Yennier Cano gave up five runs (4 earned) on nine hits over just 3 2/3 innings. 

Wichita Wind Surge

Last week, we highlighted catcher Chris Williams. This week, he only played twice and went 0-for-8 with five strikeouts. Aaron Whitefield went 2-for-17 (.118, .308 OPS). Spencer Steer went 3-for-22 (.136) with a homer (.409 OPS). 

Bryan Sammons gave up four runs on two hits and four walks in three innings in his appearance. Joe Kuzia made one appearance and gave up three runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batter in just 2/3 of an innings. 

Cedar Rapids Kernels

A lot of Kernels struggled at the plate last week. Wander Javier went 2-for-20 (.100) with eight strikeouts. Edouard Julien went 2-for-24 (.083) with 11 strikeouts. Max Smith went 1-for-11 (.091). DaShawn Keirsey went 1-for-12 (.083). 

Luis Rijo made one appearance out of the bullpen. In 1 2/3 innings, he gave up four runs on five hits and a walk. 

Ft. Myers Might Mussels

Justin Washington played four games and went 1-for-12 (.083). Willie Joe Garry was hitless in 14 at bats, but he did walk five times for a .300 on-base percentage. Keoni Cavaco played in four games in his return to the lineup after missing a week. He went 3-for-19 (.158) with eight strikeouts. Aaron Sabato went 2-for-16 (.125) with ten strikeouts in five games. He did walk seven times and had an on-base percentage of .391. 

Bobby Milacki gave up five runs (4 earned) on five hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Juan Pichardo gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk in two innings. 

FCL Twins 

31-year-old lefty Sean Gilmartin pitched in 81 games in the big leagues from 2015 through 2020. The Twins signed him a few weeks ago, probably with the plan of getting him up to the Double-A or Triple-A level soon. In three games and 4 1/3 innings, he has given up nine runs (8 earned) on ten hits, two walk sand eight strikeouts. 

It’s been a tough season for righty from The Netherlands, Donny Breek. He pitched in four games with the Mighty Mussels earlier this year. He gave up 11 runs on six hits and 12 walks in just 3 2/3 innings. For the FCL Twins, he has now worked 1 2/3 innings and gave up nine runs (4 earned) on zero hits and seven walks. Overall, that’s a 25.31 ERA and a  4.69 WHIP in 5 1/3 innings. He’s given up six hits, walked 19, hit four and struck out three batters. 

 

Trending Storyline 

The trade deadline is Friday afternoon at three o’clock. The team has already made one trade, acquiring Triple-A right-handed pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman from the Rays for Nelson Cruz. There is a good chance that by the next time you read this, the Twins will have acquired several more prospect for us to research and discuss. 

Along with the draft picks that have signed, we may even be in need of a new prospect rankings. 

 

PROSPECT SUMMARY

We have now updated this Prospect Summary to show our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings… 

#1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL)
#2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) 
#3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 10 GS, 49.1 IP, 41 H, 15 BB, 61 K, 2.74 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
#4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain)
#5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 71 games, .342/.405/.610 (1.015) with 16 doubles, 21 homers, 60 RBI, 28 BB, 43 K
#6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 42 games, .264/.343/.346 (.689) with 6 doubles, 2 triple, 1 homer, 19 RBI, 18 BB, 52 K, 6 SB
#7 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K)
#8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP
#9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 70 games, .185/.370/.290 (.660) with 13 doubles, 4 homers, 26 RBI, 66 BB, 97 K
#10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 24 games, .322/.380/.600 (.980) with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 6 homers, 16 RBI, 7 BB, 36 K.

#11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th)
#12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (10 GS, 43.1 IP, 42 H, 13 BB, 45 K, 5.19 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)
#13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 9 GS, 36.2 IP, 25 H, 18 BB, 49 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
#14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (12 games, .136/.191/.386 (375) with 2 double, 3 homers, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 18 K)
#15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 64 games, .208/.310/.308 (618) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 3 homer, 42 RBI, 34 BB, 56 K, 10 SB)
#16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 68 games, .244/.356/.465 (.821) with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 16 homers, 37 RBI, 42 BB, 59 K)
#17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 66 games, .215/.274/.400 (.674) with 11 doubles, 5 triples, 9 homers, 36 RBI, 18 BB, 96 K)
#18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (injured)
#19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips)
#20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 12 GS, 51.0 IP, 46 H, 28 BB, 82 K, 3.88 ERA, 1.45 WHIP


LOOKING AHEAD

Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (Sawyer Gipson-Long, Brent Headrick, Landon Leach, TBD, TBD):
Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin:(Louie Varland, Jon Olsen, Tyler Watson, Ben Gross, Cody Laweryson, Tyler Beck)
Wichita @ NW Arkansas: (Chris Vallimont (Cole Sands), Austin Schulfer, Bryan Sammons, Jordan Balazovic, TBD, Chris Vallimont)
Indianapolis @ St. Paul: (Beau Burrows, Charlie Barnes, Matt Shoemaker, Griffin Jax, Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows): 


Feel free to ask any questions you like. 

 


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Thanks for the notes and the updated prospect list.  I look forward to seeing how you juggle the new players with the ones now on the list.  I assume that Ober will come off soon and before the season is over so will Rooker.  I am disappointed in Sabato and like Wallner better so I would love to see another take on them.

So many names to keep track of.  Thanks for doing the heavy lifting Seth. 

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Thanks for another excellent update, Seth.  Great seeing all four teams with nice records.  But the FCL team sure has problem winning games and many of the losses are by huge scores.  Expect that could soon change as some of these draft picks get involved.

Talk to me about Gabriel Maciel.  I know he came over to the Twins in one of those trade deadline deals a few years ago.  Don't remember which.  Really nice week with his bat.  Has he been hitting well all year and could be expected to continue as he moves up the ladder?  Does he have good speed and is he an above average outfielder?  I know he has been around for awhile, shouldn't he be expected to be past Hi-A by this time?  Or with the off year last year is this about where he should be?

Any word, Seth, on the status of those injured pitchers, Canterino, Enlow and Duran?

Kind of interesting thinking about the over/under for the number of trades before Friday afternoon.  I would put it at 2.5 (not including Cruz)?

 

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47 minutes ago, roger said:

Thanks for another excellent update, Seth.  Great seeing all four teams with nice records.  But the FCL team sure has problem winning games and many of the losses are by huge scores.  Expect that could soon change as some of these draft picks get involved.

Talk to me about Gabriel Maciel.  I know he came over to the Twins in one of those trade deadline deals a few years ago.  Don't remember which.  Really nice week with his bat.  Has he been hitting well all year and could be expected to continue as he moves up the ladder?  Does he have good speed and is he an above average outfielder?  I know he has been around for awhile, shouldn't he be expected to be past Hi-A by this time?  Or with the off year last year is this about where he should be?

Any word, Seth, on the status of those injured pitchers, Canterino, Enlow and Duran?

Kind of interesting thinking about the over/under for the number of trades before Friday afternoon.  I would put it at 2.5 (not including Cruz)?

 

Maciel came from the Diamondbacks in the Escobar trade. He's not a big guy. He's got good speed. Can play center, probably better in left. Switch-hitter. Line drive hitter. He's not a Top 20 Twins prospect, but he is talented and should move up for a bit. He isn't a 6-games-a-week guy, but he usually plays 4, sometimes 5. He's been around, but he's so young still. 

Canterino's getting close to a return, from what I hear. He's still in Ft. Myers. Enlow was just recently able to remove his brace and start moving his arm more. it's a slow process. No updates on Duran, but I think they said they were just going to shut him down for 4-6 weeks and then see where he's at. 

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Hey Seth, 

Love reading about our projects in the minors  ....

 

Has Spencer steer cooled off some ??? , not seeing his name much this past month ...

Is it possible to add the box scores to the games along with the highlights ??? ,,, kind of would like to see who played each game 

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Man MIranda has been rock solid all year this year.  Honestly I never thought he could be THIS good.  Certainly expected him to be a good prospect but the numbers he is putting up are crazy, they are elite.  He could be a star player in the end.

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1 hour ago, Blyleven2011 said:

Hey Seth, 

Love reading about our projects in the minors  ....

 

Has Spencer steer cooled off some ??? , not seeing his name much this past month ...

Is it possible to add the box scores to the games along with the highlights ??? ,,, kind of would like to see who played each game 

Not Seth, but I can jump in here. 

Steer has really struggled with Double-A pitching after starting off hot. He's slashing .189/.245/.389 in 23 games. The biggest issue has been strikeouts. At High-A he had a 32/35 K:BB ratio. At Double-A it's 27/7. I doubt they'll demote him, but he's definitely going threw some growing pains. Turns out, not everyone can be like Jose Miranda! 

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1 hour ago, Blyleven2011 said:

Hey Seth, 

Love reading about our projects in the minors  ....

 

Has Spencer steer cooled off some ??? , not seeing his name much this past month ...

Is it possible to add the box scores to the games along with the highlights ??? ,,, kind of would like to see who played each game 

We have Minor League Reports every day (Tuesday through Sunday) with game highlights and stars and pitchers and transactions and more. 

As for Steer, in 23 games since moving up to AA Wichita, he is hitting .189/.245/.389 (.634) with 0 doubles, 0 triple and 6 home runs. Three of those homers game in his first five games, so in the past 18 games, he is hitting just .143/.187/.271 (.458) with 3 homers. In his past 7 games... .115/.115/.231 (.346) with one homer. 

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Trey Cabbage was the Twins choice for Hitter of the Week. He played in all six games for the (AA) Wind Surge. He hit .304/.320/.652 (.972) with two doubles and two home runs.

Jose Miranda - six games last week, he hit .321/.345/.714 (1.059) with two doubles, three homers and six RBI (for AAA St. Paul). 

 

What. Are you just getting tired of giving Miranda more recognition? 😇

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14 hours ago, KirbyHawk75 said:

Is it to early to be worried about Sabato and Urbina?  And where is Cavaco's power?

Yes it's too early for all three. For Cavaco he was raw and couldn't even get a piece of the ball last year. It is a good sign that he has improved to moderate production this year. If he keeps progressing that is a good sign.

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On 7/27/2021 at 5:57 PM, KirbyHawk75 said:

Is it to early to be worried about Sabato and Urbina?  And where is Cavaco's power?

IMO - you should be worried about Sabato, and much less so with Urbina. Aaron is 22 and Misael is 19, which explains most of my reasoning. Compare Sabato's numbers to Rooker's in his first full year in the Twins system:

Year Age AgeDif Tm Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
2017 22   2 Teams A+-Rk MIN 62 261 228 42 64 11 0 18 52 2 2 27 68 .281 .364 .566
2017 22 -0.8 Fort Myers A+ MIN 40 162 143 23 40 6 0 11 35 0 0 16 47 .280 .364 .552
2017 22 1.7 Elizabethton Rk MIN 22 99 85 19 24 5 0 7 17 2 2 11 21 .282 .364 .588

(I chose Rooker because they are two very similar prospects coming out of the draft)

It's not even close. Sabato should be hitting well at Fort Myers. I'm not ruling him out as a prospect, but I find it hard not to sour on him since his only value is going to be as a hitter... and he hasn't even hit for power.

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