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Minor League Report (7/28): Bombas Across the Board


Balls were flying all across the Twins' farm on Wednesday night. Check out all the action here!

TRANSACTIONS
There were no reported transactions today.

SAINTS SENTINEL 
St. Paul 10, Indianapolis 5
Box Score

One of just three teams in the Triple-A Midwest Division with a winning record, the Saints looked to gain ground on Toledo (41-30) against Indianapolis on Wednesday night. 

After Indy put two on the board in the top of the first, the Saints responded with a run of their our in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Rob Refsnyder laced a double to right field to continue his red-hot rehab assignment. Ben Rortvedt followed suit with a single to left that scored Refsnyder to cut the lead to one.

And while the run in the first got the party started, the main act took place in the third and fourth innings for St. Paul, racking up seven runs in the two innings. Sensational prospect Jose Miranda led off the third inning with his ninth home run on the season to knot the game at two. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Sherman Johnson knocked his fifth double of the year, plating all three runners to give the Saints a 5-2 lead. 

Miranda once again led the offensive forge in the fourth inning, knocking a double to left. After a Mark Contreras walk, Refsnyder crushed a homer over the right field wall to expand the St. Paul lead to 8-2.

And while extra-base hits and the long ball dictated the Saints’ scoring early on, the club would add two more insurance runs in the seventh thanks to a pair of singles from Rortvedt and Jimmy Kerrigan. 

Miranda, Rortvedt, and Refsynder all tallied multi-hit games for the Saints. Miranda now has a .355 batting average, the highest on the team. 

The offensive at CHS Field was nothing short of spectacular for the Saints on Wednesday night. Yet many fans may wonder why starting pitcher Charlie Barnes only tossed one inning on the night. No, it’s not an injury or trade situation. It’s probable that the Twins will need Barnes’ arm later this week given the excess of pitchers the major league club has used in the past few days and the trade deadline. 

And while Barnes wasn’t amazing in his one inning, the Saints bullpen sure was. Yennier Cano (W, 1-1), Jovani Moran, Ian Hamilton, and Kyle Barraclough combined for eight innings of three run ball, giving up only three hits and striking out nine. Well done, gentlemen!

The Saints’ second straight win puts them at 39-34 on the season. Unfortunately for St. Paul, Toledo also won on the evening, keeping the club three games above the Saints in the standings. Yet if there’s one thing for sure it’s that the Saints are starting to get hot when it matters. 
 

WIND SURGE WISDOM
Wichita 8, NW Arkansas 5
Box Score

A night after scoring a season-high 18 runs the Wind Surge brought the bats to the Walmart-state once again on Wednesday night.

Andrew Bechtold got the frenzy started in the second inning thanks to a leadoff double. BJ Boyd followed that up with his own double, scoring Bechtold from second.  Aussie Aaron Whitefield decided to one-up Bechtold and Boyd with his fourth triple on the year, scoring Boyd. Whitefield scored on the next at-bat thanks to a failed pick-off move. 

Boyd continued his hot night with an RBI single in the third, scoring Spencer Steer from second to make it 4-0.

After NW Arkansas gained a run back in the fourth, the Surge turned on the jets in the fifth for a four-run inning. Spencer Steer knocked a two-run homer to extend the lead to 6-1 and BJ Boyd followed up with a solo-shot of his own. Trey Cabbage finished off the strong inning by doubling in Aaron Whitefield to give Wichita an 8-1 lead.

Starting pitcher Austin Schulfer was excellent through five innings, giving up only three hits and one run while striking out eight. Schulfer ran into trouble in the sixth, giving up back-to-back homers before striking out his final batter of the night. Schulfer has been an absolute workhorse for the Surge all season, leading his team with 16 total starts. 

After Schulfer left the game the Wichita bullpen sprung into action. Zach Neff, Jordan Gore, and Ryan Mason were electric, allowing zero runs in 3.2 innings while striking out six. Mason now has six saves on the year. 

Wichita’s win puts them at 43-31 on the year, a steady 3.5 games ahead of Arkansas for the lead in the Double-A Central North Division. The Surge are 7-3 in their last ten games and have a +46 run differential on the season. 
 

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 9, Wisconsin 6 (8)
Box Score

Three-hit performances from Wander Javier and Matt Wallner propelled the Kernels to a high-scoring win over Wisconsin on Wednesday night in a shortened game due to rain. 

Wallner continued his dominant return with a two-run homer and a double and Javier laced two singles and a triple to push the Kernels to a 42-32 record in the High-A Central West division. 

The Kernels got things going in the second inning thanks to a Jair Camargo double that scored Yunior Severino to put the Kernels on the board. And after Wisconsin plated three of their own runs in the third, Cedar Rapids responded with seven runs in the fifth and six innings. 

Michael Helman led off the fifth with a leadoff first-pitch triple to center field to get the rally started. Two batters later Edouard Julien launched a homer over the right-center field wall to tie the game at three. Seth Gray followed suit with a single and was later scored by Javier’s triple. 

The fifth inning was only a sneak peak to what the sixth inning would offer from the Kernels’ bats. After a Helman walk Max Smith smacked his fifth homer of the year to give Cedar Rapids an 8-5 lead. Matt Wallner would follow suit with his own two-run shot in the inning to add some insurance to the Kernels’ lead. 

Wednesday proved that the Cedar Rapids offense is firing on as good of cylinders as they have all year. Yet there were still moments of brightness on the pitching staff that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Starting pitcher Jon Olsen struck out four batters, and relievers Derek Molina and Osiris German struck out a combined seven on the night. 11 K’s on the night for a staff? Not bad.
 

MUSSEL MATTERS

Game Postponed

Wednesday’s scheduled game at Clearwater was postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Thursday. Game one will begin at 3:00 pm CST and game two will begin shortly after the completion of game one. Both games will be seven innings. 
 

COMPLEX CHRONICLES

No Game 

The Florida Complex League Twins had an off day. However, multiple players have had standout seasons so far.

  • Right fielder Ka’lai Rosario is off to a hot start, slashing .293/.333/.533 (.867) in 75 at-bats. The Hawaii native is among league leaders in a number of stats. He’s tied for fourth-most hits (22), is second in RBI (21),  and leads the league with four triples. 
  • While he doesn’t have the at-bats of Rosario, first basemen Alexander Pena has been electric, slashing .426/.481/.532 (1.013) with 20 hits and five doubles. 
  • RHP Giovahniey German has been solid through his first four starts, going 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Opposing hitters have just a .219 AVG when facing German. Throw 'em the heater, Giovahniey!

The GCL Twins return to action tomorrow afternoon, facing the FCL Pirates Black at noon. 

 

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Pitcher of the Day- Ryan Mason (Wichita)- (S, 6) 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, SO
Hitter of the Day- BJ Boyd (Wichita)- 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, SO

PROSPECT SUMMARY

Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason 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 play 
#4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain)
#5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB
#6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – Game postponed 
#7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Did not play
#8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch
#9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Game postponed
#10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 3-for-5, 2B, HR,  2 R, 2 RBI, SO, 

#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) – 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB
#15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – Game postponed
#16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI
#17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 3-for-5, RBI
#18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury)
#19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow)
#20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch

THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

Indianapolis @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Matt Shoemaker (1-0, 2.77 ERA)
Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05PM CST) – LHP Bryan Sammons (2-3 6.29 ERA)
Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (7:05PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson ( 2-0. 1.87 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Clearwater- Game One (3:00PM CST) – LHP Brent Headrick (3-4, 3.44 ERA)
                                             Game Two (makeup from July 28) - RHP Landon Leach (0-0, 2.25 ERA)


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Likewise wondering about the condition of Miranda after being HBP?  After a home run and double, gotta ask if the beaning was intentional?

Great seeing Ben get three hits after being overmatched with the Twins.  Hopefully, he gets to close out the year in St. Paul to gain both experience and confidence.  Very well may begin next year back with the Saints and then fill in with the Twins when needed.  Contrary to most on this site, I believe Ben will have a solid bat in MLB for a long career.

Great seeing Javier get three hits last night.  He seems to be doing enough this year to restore some hope that he MAY eventually be an average hitting shortstop.  Seth, is his defense so good to be close to another Simmons?  And Wallner sure is making a believer out of me.  Another question for Seth.  Kirilloff's outfield defense is ok and Larnach the same or maybe a bit better.  How does Wallner compare defensively with that duo who are acceptable, at best?  Is he solid, or better?

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6 hours ago, launchingthrees said:

I can't shake the feeling that Jose Miranda is one of the best 50 prospects in baseball. I can't remember a Twins prospect mashing AA/AAA like this at 22/23. 300+ at bats isn't that small of a sample.

Wallner could move up quickly. Can't be long until we see him at AA.

 Agreed. Both Wallner and Miranda were expected to be solid but it's been incredible to see how fast both guys are progressing! Wallner has been so fun to watch after coming back from his injury- playing even better than prior to it. Wouldn't be surprised if Miranda gets a crack at the MLB level by the end of the year.

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2 hours ago, Hippiegirl said:

The pitching for the Mussles and Kernels seems solid and a hopeful vision of the future.

The Mussels staff has been lights out all year! They've got a team ERA of 4.02 (third best in Low-A Southeast) and have held opposing hitting to just a .231 batting average. Hopefully they can wake up the bats...40-33 with a team batting average of .220 (third worst in the Low-A Southeast). Imagine how good they can be when hitting!

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Said it before and will say it again, of all the prospects in the Twins system, Javier may have been most affected by a lost 2020 season. The Twins are going to have a tough time regarding him and the 40 man this offseason. Imagine how much further along he might be and how much easier the decision might be if he had played last year.

Another good day for the system!

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7 hours ago, launchingthrees said:

I can't shake the feeling that Jose Miranda is one of the best 50 prospects in baseball. I can't remember a Twins prospect mashing AA/AAA like this at 22/23. 300+ at bats isn't that small of a sample.

Wallner could move up quickly. Can't be long until we see him at AA.

1 hour ago, David Youngs said:

 Agreed. Both Wallner and Miranda were expected to be solid but it's been incredible to see how fast both guys are progressing! Wallner has been so fun to watch after coming back from his injury- playing even better than prior to it. Wouldn't be surprised if Miranda gets a crack at the MLB level by the end of the year.

I think the main knock on Miranda is that he'll provide minimal defensive value, but I think national evaluators will generally be a bit slow in acknowledging a breakout, even if he was reasonably well regarded early in his professional career.  It hardly matters at this point though, he'll have his chance to prove it soon.

I think an entirely statistically based approach will love his production this season though.  The level of both power (ISO) and contact (K%) just aren't seen very often.  And of course he just turned 23.  I'm going to be very interested to see how ZiPS and some of the other projection systems treat him for next year.

 

I'm still not entirely convinced on Wallner right now given his strikeout rates, though it's been better in the handful of games since returning from the IL.  His left-handedness should give him a better chance of succeeding than a RHB with a similar profile though, and his raw power is undeniable.

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I hope to see Jovani Moran called up as soon as possible. He has struggled in the second inning of some of his appearances for St. Paul, but that won't be as big of an issue if he were with the Twins. He came in last night and struck out the side in his first inning of work. 

Also: why is Josh Winder apparently not scheduled to pitch this week? Is he also on standby like Barnes?

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9 hours ago, DocBauer said:

Said it before and will say it again, of all the prospects in the Twins system, Javier may have been most affected by a lost 2020 season. The Twins are going to have a tough time regarding him and the 40 man this offseason. Imagine how much further along he might be and how much easier the decision might be if he had played last year.

Another good day for the system!

Well, he's only hitting .223/.279 (.695 OPS). I find it hard to justify stashing him on the 40 man when he clearly won't be ready for awhile, but then again we've said that same thing about Akil Baddoo. 

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1 hour ago, Danchat said:

Well, he's only hitting .223/.279 (.695 OPS). I find it hard to justify stashing him on the 40 man when he clearly won't be ready for awhile, but then again we've said that same thing about Akil Baddoo. 

Agreed. But look at the talent and untapped potential still.. And despite some pedestrian numbers, a huge improvement over 2019. And he's had some good streaks and shown his power potential. How much more could we be seeing if he had 2020 to start this rebound? 

I'm not sure the Twins will have the room to protect him this offseason. And maybe they shouldn't. But it could be a dangerous decision not to. Again, I think he and the Twins "lost" more on/for him than any other prospect with the lost 2020 season.

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