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Twins Minor League Week in Review: Complex Struggles but Success Everywhere Else


The poor FCL Twins are just struggling to find wins this season, but all four full-season affiliates are over .500 on their season as they are about to cross 80 games played. See which players had a strong week, and how the top prospects are performing. 

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 FCL Twins game on Monday. There were no transactions announced on Monday. 

FCL Twins Talk
FCL Twins 0, FCL Pirates Black 3

Box Score 

On Monday, the FCL Twins fell to 6-18 despite a nice start from a rehabbing Lewis Thorpe. The lefty from Australia tossed three scoreless, hitless innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Danny Moreno came up a run in the fourth on a hit and two walks. Matt Mullenbach gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits in 1 2/3 innings. Cole Bellair got the final four outs, two on strikeouts. The Twins managed just four hits in the game. Yonardy Soto’s double was the lone extra-base hit. 

With that, let’s look at Week 13 in the Twins minor leagues: 

RESULTS

Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (3-3, hosting Indianapolis), overall (40-37)
Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (3-3, @ NW Arkansas), overall (44-34)
High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, @ Wisconsin), overall (44-34)
Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (1-2,@ Clearwater), overall (40-35) 
Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-4), overall (6-18)


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 13 performances

Twins Player of the Week: Michael Helman, Cedar Rapids Kernels      
Helman played in six games last week for the Kernels and hit .435/.500/.652 (1.152) with a triple and a home run in 26 plate appearances. In 71 games this season, he has hit .237/.333/.420 (.754) with 13 doubles and ten home runs. At least twice this season, Helman has ended a game in walk-off fashion. 

Helman was the Twins 11th round pick in 2018 out of Texas A&M. 

Twins Pitcher of the Week: Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels       
It has been a breakout year for St. Paul native and Concordia University alum Louie Varland. He began the season dominating in Ft. Myers, and after throwing five shutout innings this week for the Kernels, he has begun his Cedar Rapids tenure with 16 scoreless innings. He was the Twins choice for Pitcher of the Week, and he was Twins Daily’s choice for Starting Pitcher of the Month for July. Click the link for more information on the hard-throwing right-hander. 

Other Strong Performances this Week

St. Paul Saints

Jimmy Kerrigan was named the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month, and he ended it with a strong week. In six games, he hit .391/.423/.696 (1.119) with a double and two home runs. Rob Refsnyder played four rehab games. He hit .500/.600/1.063 (1.663) with three doubles and two homers. Keon Broxton played four games and hit .333/.412/.800 (1.212) with a double and two homers. Jose Miranda played five games and hit .409/.480/.636 (1.116) with two doubles and a homer. 

On the mound, Matt Shoemaker tossed seven shutout innings in his start. He gave up just two hits, walked two and struck out six batters. Rob Whalen returned and tossed two perfect innings over two games. In his start last Tuesday, Chandler Shepherd gave up two hits over seven scoreless innings. 

Wichita Wind Surge

Spencer Steer had been struggling in Wichita since his promotion, other than home runs. In five games last week, he hit .444/.565/1.056 (1.621) with three doubles, a triple and two home runs. BJ Boyd played all six games and hit .429/.448/.679 (1.127) with a double and two home runs. DJ Burt played in four games and hit .357/.550/.500 (1.050) with two doubles. Chris Williams hit .357 and had a double and a home run. 

Chris Nunn made his Twins organizational debut this week. He struck out seven batters in 3 2/3 innings over two games. 

Cedar Rapids Kernels

Yunior Severino was promoted to the Kernels and in his five games, he hit .412/.524/.647 (1.171) with four doubles and four walks. Matt Wallner played in five games. He hit .304/.304/.783 (1.087) with two doubles and three home runs. Edouard Julien hit just .217, but he posted a .976 OPS because his five hits included two doubles and three home runs. 

Tyler Beck tossed five scoreless innings in his start. He gave up two hits and two walks, but struck out five. Zach Featherstone continues to dominate. He pitched in three games and had a hold and two saves. In four innings, he struck out seven and didn’t allow a run. Tyler Watson gave up only an unearned run over his five innings in his start. Erik Manoah, Jr., struck out eight batters in 3 2/3 scoreless innings. 

Ft. Myers Might Mussels

Obviously when the team played just three games, it’s hard to make too much out of anything. Charlie Mack played in one of the three games, and he went 3-for-4. Keoni Cavaco hit a home run in the game he played. Ruben Santana went 5-for-10 with a double and a walk (1.145 OPS). 

Sawyer Gipson-Long was the league’s pitcher of the week. In his start, he went seven innings and gave up just an unearned run on three hits and a walk. He struck out nine batters. Bobby Milaci tossed three perfect innings and struck out three batters.   

FCL Twins 

Emmanuel Rodriguez had just two hits in nine at bats, but both were home runs. LaRon Smith went 4-for-8 (.500) with his fourth homer of the season. Kala’i Rosario went 6-for-16 (.375) with three walks, a double and a triple. 

Samuel Perez tossed six innings of one-hit baseball this past week. He struck out eight batters. Ramon Pineda struck out four batters in four scoreless innings… and his brother didn’t get traded. Giovahniey German threw three innings and gave up just one hit while striking out three batters. Juan Mendez gave up just one hit over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. ;

LOWLIGHTS

Weekly Reminder: We are talking about very 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

Damek Tomscha went 1-for-12 (.083) over four games. JT Riddle was 2-for-14 (.143). 

In his start on Sunday, Chandler Shepherd again took one for the team. In four innings, he gave up eight runs on 11 hits. 

Wichita Wind Surge

Roy Morales went 3-for-17 (.176). Ernie De La Trinidad went 2-for-13 (.154) over four games. Trey Cabbage went 3-for-16 (.188) with ten strikeouts. 

Chris Vallimont had a tough two-start week. He gave up 11 runs (10 earned) on 10 hits and eight walks in 8 1/3 innings. Byran Sammons gave up seven earned runs on five hits and four walks in four innings in his start. Jordan Balazovic went 3 1/3 innings in his start and gave up seven runs (6 earned) on six hits and four walks. 

Cedar Rapids Kernels

Seth Gray went 4-for-26 (.154) with 12 strikeouts. 

Tyler Palm gave up five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. He was replacing Cody Laweryson who gave up three runs in just 2/3 of an inning before leaving with an apparent injury. The good news is that he is on the schedule to make another start this week. 

Ft. Myers Might Mussels

The lowlight was simply that the team played just three games up in Clearwater because of a COVID situation by their opponent. Games Friday through Sunday were canceled. 
 

TRENDING STORYLINE  

For this week, let’s use this section to ask our readers a couple of questions. Leave your responses or comments below. 

#1a. Who is the Twins top position player prospect? It would appear that it is a choice between Austin Martin and Royce Lewis, but has Jose Miranda done enough to put himself into that conversation?

#1b. Who is the Twins top pitching prospect? This one is pretty challenging. In our preseason rankings, Jhoan Duran was ahead of Jordan Balazovic. Is it one of them? Does either Simeon Woods-Richardson or Joe Ryan enter the conversation? How about Matt Canterino? Maybe even Josh Winder? 

 

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) – 11 GS, 52.2 IP, 47 H, 19 BB, 64 K, 3.59 ERA, 1.25 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) – 76 games, .347/.410/.612 (1.022) with 18 doubles, 22 homers, 62 RBI, 30 BB, 48 K
#6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 43 games, .264/.344/.362 (.706) with 6 doubles, 2 triple, 2 homers, 20 RBI, 18 BB, 52 K, 6 SB
#7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (1 game, .400/.400/1.000 (1.400) with 1 homer, 0 BB, 1 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) – 71 games, .185/.370/.290 (.660) with 13 doubles, 4 homers, 26 RBI, 66 BB, 97 K
#10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 26 games, .330/.381/.680 (1.060) with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 9 homers, 20 RBI, 7 BB, 41 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 (11 GS, 47.1 IP, 46 H, 14 BB, 51 K, 4.94 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)
#13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 10 G, 9 GS, 39.2 IP, 27 H, 19 BB, 53 K, 2.72 ERA, 1.16 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 (16 games, .197/.258/.443 (700) with 3 doubles, 4 homers, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 20 K)
#15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 67 games, .203/.303/.299 (602) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 3 homer, 43 RBI, 35 BB, 56 K, 11 SB)
#16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 73 games, .257/.371/.504 (.874) with 10 doubles, 2 triples, 18 homers, 44 RBI, 45 BB, 63 K)
#17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 71 games, .226/.279/.420 (.700) with 12 doubles, 8 triples, 9 homers, 38 RBI, 18 BB, 102 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) - 14 GS, 59.1 IP, 56 H, 36 BB, 94 K, 4.85 ERA, 1.55 WHIP

 

LOOKING AHEAD

Dunedin @ Ft. Myers (Casey Legumina, Sean Mooney, Landon Leach, Bobby Milacki, TBD, Sawyer Gipson-Long):
Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids:(Jon Olsen, Tyler Watson, Ben Gross, Louie Varland, Tyler Beck Cody Laweryson)
Midland @ Wichita: (Cole Sands, Bryan Sammons, Jordan Balazovic, Chris Vallimont, Austin Schulfer, Cole Sands)
Louisville @ St. Paul: (Matt Shoemaker, Andrew Albers, Drew Strotman, TBD, TBD, Matt Shoemaker): 


Feel free to ask any questions you like.


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Thanks for the weekly update, Seth.

Couple questions.  Is the pitcher they got from Toronto, Richardson something, going to Wichita along with Martin?  If so, should be heck of a boost to the Wind Surge in their march towards a league championship. 

Good seeing Balazovic scheduled to start this week.  Will be watching to see if he can get back on track after a couple less than stellar starts.  Have you heard anything about why he was off in those two starts?  I know Winder didn't get a start last week as he was scheduled for an off day/week.  Do you expect he will be one of the TBA starts this week?

Refsnyder just keeps hitting, whether it is with the Twins or Saints.  Often guys in his situation are released at year end and need to hunt for a job for the next year.  If he keeps this up, do you see the Twins keeping him on their roster for next year?

Was thinking about reasons why the FCL team has such a terrible record.  I know that most of the team are guys that moved up from the DSL after not playing at all last year.  Do you know, are most of the teams they are playing filled with similar players?  Or are they playing teams with older players with more experience?

Thanks, Seth. 

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7 minutes ago, roger said:

Thanks for the weekly update, Seth.

Couple questions.  Is the pitcher they got from Toronto, Richardson something, going to Wichita along with Martin?  If so, should be heck of a boost to the Wind Surge in their march towards a league championship. 

Good seeing Balazovic scheduled to start this week.  Will be watching to see if he can get back on track after a couple less than stellar starts.  Have you heard anything about why he was off in those two starts?  I know Winder didn't get a start last week as he was scheduled for an off day/week.  Do you expect he will be one of the TBA starts this week?

Refsnyder just keeps hitting, whether it is with the Twins or Saints.  Often guys in his situation are released at year end and need to hunt for a job for the next year.  If he keeps this up, do you see the Twins keeping him on their roster for next year?

Was thinking about reasons why the FCL team has such a terrible record.  I know that most of the team are guys that moved up from the DSL after not playing at all last year.  Do you know, are most of the teams they are playing filled with similar players?  Or are they playing teams with older players with more experience?

Thanks, Seth. 

Woods-Richardson is on the Wind Surge's temporary inactive list, so yes, that is where the 20-year-old will go. 

I'm sure Balazovic is fine. 

I hope Winder gets one of those starts. That is worth watching. Not sure why they haven't announced those yet. 

Refsnyder won't keep his 40-man spot, but i'm guessing the Twins would be happy to sign him to another minor league contract, and it would seem to be a good match. 

I haven't looked at other FCL rosters, but I'm sure it's a number of things, primarily that their pitching isn't good. 

 

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If this exercise came down to strictly the best bat Miranda would be my choice hands down and his OPS supports that.  However, Miranda is limited defensively to likely 3rd and 2nd maybe left field.  


I don't know a ton about Martin other than he is a highly ranked prospect with a good eye at the plate and good hit tool. He hasn't hit for power yet and isn't likely to hit for power anytime soon.  From what I read his arm isn't that great at short leaving him at 2nd is his best position and he is fast enough to play center but with a weaker arm not an ideal fit. 

 Lewis has far an away the best defensive upside as he can play all outfield positions and infield positions.  He has an arm that plays at short and center and Buxton type speed for center if needed.  His hit tool is the only thing that is suspect at this point.  He made adjustments late in 2019 that appeared to help but without seeing him play recently hard to say just where he is at with the bat.

Given the info I have I still think Lewis should be number one until he proves he can't hit close to the other two guys. Miranda has the best bat and might be able to play a good third base I just don't know a ton about his defense. I would put him second right now as OPS rules and he has power.  Once I know more about Martin maybe I will have him higher but what I see right now I put him third on my list but since he does have some speed etc he could be number 1 or 2 as well just depends on what you value most.

I don't know who to pick for pitcher.  Winder has probably been the most consistent and he has pitched the whole year so far.  Balazovich when on looks like he might have slightly better stuff.  Duran has the splinker but his results haven't been elite to this point but more slightly better than average.  Don't know much about Ryan reading he doesn't have great secondary's gives me pause. SWR has control problems and backed up at AA.  I think you could make a case for any of them but I still like Balazovich best with Winder next.  I know Canterino has been uber dominant but it is hard to judge when you don't see guys play and Canterino hasn't pitched much at the higher levels.  They all seem pretty close to me though and I could make a case for any of them right now Jordan would be my pick but that could easily change.

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Today's Deep Thought...

I've always felt that most "prospect" lists don't really tell the whole story.  The most glaring flaw, if you want to call it that, is ranking pitchers and position players together.  It's a bit of the ol' apples to oranges argument.

For example, how do you truly "rank" a CF over a pitcher or P over a CF 🤷‍♂️

I've always felt that they should be  separate lists.

No real point to this thought, just talking out loud :).

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Glad to hear that Lewis Thorpe's rehab start went well.  I hope that he makes it back to St. Paul soon, and then back to the Twins for a good look this season.  In this "reset" of a season, he is one of the guys that I think the Twins need to determine if they believe that he can be a contributor next year.  

Also glad to hear that Royce Lewis' rehab is progressing.  Seth, I was wondering if you had any updates on the injury status of the other top prospects.  Specifically, do you think that either of Jhoan Duran or Matt Canterino will be back on the mound this season?  Might either or both of them be candidates for the Arizona Fall League to make up for the missed time?  I"m also curious about Alerick Soularie, last year's second round draft pick.  He has been on the IL all season, and I've seen "foot injury" as the description.  Any word on whether or not we'll see him on the field over the next couple of months?

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6 hours ago, PDX Twin said:

Is it just me? On my screen the list seems to skip from #1 to #11 with a tweet in the gap. Is the tweet covering up #2-10?

I just updated it... it's a bug we're working through when tweets are added... Thanks for pointing it out. 

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2 hours ago, Aaron Noetzelman said:

TD staff y'all do an amazing job! This is my go to site every day for all things Twins. Just wondering if you were planning on updating the prospect list with the new additions, even though I know it was just updated! Keep up the great work!

Thank you very much... in fact, we are currently putting together the Top 30 rankings from our minor league writers. We'll put them together and update the prospect rankings/summaries soon. 

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4 hours ago, MN_ExPat said:

Today's Deep Thought...

I've always felt that most "prospect" lists don't really tell the whole story.  The most glaring flaw, if you want to call it that, is ranking pitchers and position players together.  It's a bit of the ol' apples to oranges argument.

For example, how do you truly "rank" a CF over a pitcher or P over a CF 🤷‍♂️

I've always felt that they should be  separate lists.

No real point to this thought, just talking out loud :).

So I just recently went through all of the Twins minor leaguers and added DSL players and 2021 draft picks. About 200 players. That is a challenge, to be sure. 

I actually had a living ranking of pitchers and of hitters separately, which I agree has value. 

 

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1 hour ago, Seth Stohs said:

So I just recently went through all of the Twins minor leaguers and added DSL players and 2021 draft picks. About 200 players. That is a challenge, to be sure. 

I actually had a living ranking of pitchers and of hitters separately, which I agree has value. 

 

Yeah, it usually always comes back to the amount of work involved in keeping them separate.  For most of us, it is often easier to lump all of them together.  Like I said, really just a deep thought :).

Really appreciate all the work you guys do for the site and us plebes.  Makes this site and community feel more like a (sometimes dysfunctional) family than a fan base :).

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