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Twins Minor League Report (5/27): Saints Walk It Off


Twins Daily Contributor

St. Paul rallied to pick up a win in extra innings. Wichita cruises past Corpus Christi. Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers didn't fare quite as well. 

TRANSACTIONS

  • OF Cole Sturgeon was placed on the temporary inactive list (parental leave)
  • LHP Danny Coulombe was returned to the Minnesota Twins from Major League rehab

SAINTS SENTINEL 
St. Paul 9, Indianapolis 8 (F/10)
Box Score


It did not appear as if a win was in the cards for the Saints for the majority of the night, but they rallied to score five runs across their final three at-bats to upend Indianapolis in extras. 

Dereck Rodriguez and JC Ramirez struggled to contain Indianpolis’ bats early in the contest as they served up three home runs and eight runs in six innings. But Tyler Viza, Jordan Gore, and Jharel Cotton struck out five and allowed two hits in four innings of relief to keep St. Paul within striking distance. (Cotton struck out super prospect Oniel Cruz with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the 10th.)

Royce Lewis—who made his first minor-league appearance in centerfield—Alex Kirilloff, and Spencer Steer headlined the top of the Saints’ lineup but combined to go only 2-for-13 at the plate. Lewis looked good in center but admittedly did not encounter any defensive opportunities outside of the routine. Kirilloff continued to take healthy hacks at the plate and laced a single during his second at-bat, adding onto his his recent trend of encouraging play. He’s now hitting .329 with an .875 OPS at Triple-A.

Mark Contreras played hero in the bottom of the ninth, crushing his sixth home run of the season to dead center with two outs to tie the game at eight apiece. Caleb Hamilton (1-for-3) put the game within reach with a dinger of his own—a three-run shot—in the eighth. Jermaine Palacios (2-for-4, BB, 2 R) needed to see only one pitch in the bottom of the 10th and laced it into the outfield for a single, which scored Jake Cave (2-for-5, 3B, 2 R) to seal the walk-off win.

WIND SURGE WISDOM
Wichita 8, Corpus Christi 6
Box Score


Despite the relatively close score, the Wind Surge controlled this game from the start and improved their record to 25-16 overall. Wichita score four runs in the first two innings and added four more in the fifth and sixth.

Matt Canterino started on the hill and threw only 2 1/3 innings. This was due in part to the Twins’ cautious approach to his innings load this season but mostly because of uncharacteristic control issues. He allowed only one unearned run and struck out six, but walked four and gave up one hit. In 30 ⅔ innings at Double-A, Canterino has issued 18 free passes. He accumulated only 12 across his first 58 Minor League innings in 2019 and 2021. 

Austin Martin led off and went 3-for-5 with a double—the team’s only extra-base hit—and three runs scored during the win. Matt Wallner (2-for-5, 2 RBI) and Dennis Ortega (2-for-5, 2 RBI) also contributed multi-hit games. 

KERNELS NUGGETS
Wisconsin 7, Cedar Rapids 3
Box Score


The Timber Rattlers’ offense exploded for six runs across the fifth and sixth innings to give them the win over the Kernels. John Stankiewicz continued his struggles from his previous start, allowing five earned runs and only striking out three in 4 ⅔ innings to earn the loss. He also served up his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fifth.

Offensively, Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and Kyler Fedko (2-for-4, 2B) contributed multi-hit games. Aaron Sabato (1-for-3, RBI, BB) crushed a solo home run—his fifth of the season—in the fourth inning to drive in the Kernels only other run. 

MUSSEL MATTERS
Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 2
Box Score


Marco Raya and the rest of the Mighty Mussels pitching staff performed splendidly on Friday to help lift Fort Myers over the Marauders. Raya started on the bump and threw five innings, striking out seven, walking one, and allowing only a single earned run (it came on a homer). John Wilson, Hunter McMahon, Malik Barrington, and Matthew Swain combined to toss four hitless innings, striking out six.

At the plate, Noah Miller (2-for-4, 2B, BB) and Keoni Cavaco (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB) registered the team’s multi-hit games. Noah Cardenas (1-for-4), Daniel Ozoria (1-for-4, 2B), and Luis Baez (1-for-4) all picked up RBI. 

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day – RHP Marco Raya (Fort Myers): 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
Hitter of the Day – INF Austin Martin (Wichita): 3-for-5, 2B, 3 R

PROSPECT SUMMARY
Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed:

#1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 2B, 3 R
#2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 1-for-5
#6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 2 ⅓ IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 K
#7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
#10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-4, 2B, BB
#12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-for-5, 2 RBI
#15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-5, 2 K
#18 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-for-4

 

SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
St. Paul vs. Indianapolis (7:07 PM CST) - RHP Ronny Henriquez (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
Wichita at Corpus Christi (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (0-1, 8.59 ERA)
Cedar Rapids vs. Wisconsin (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Brent Headrick (4-1, 1.36 ERA)
Fort Myers at Bradenton (5:30 PM CST) - TBD

 


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8 hours ago, FlyingFinn said:

QUIT playing Austin Martin at SS. 2 more errors tonight, one in each of the first two innings and they cost Canterino 20 or so pitches in those innings. Great hitting night for Martin though.

Cavaco continues his one week streak of great hitting.

I agree on Martin at short.  He has 11 errors in 26 games at short and has not looked comfortable there this year.  In addition, while he got three hits last night, he has 9 total extra base hits this year.  If they are trying to get him to drive the ball more this year, I don't think it is working.  He does have 20 stolen bases, so some of those base hits effectively turn into doubles, but he certainly isn't living up to all the hoopla around him on draft day, at least not yet.  It will be interesting to see what the front office does with him going forward.

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9 hours ago, FlyingFinn said:

QUIT playing Austin Martin at SS. 2 more errors tonight, one in each of the first two innings and they cost Canterino 20 or so pitches in those innings. Great hitting night for Martin though.

Cavaco continues his one week streak of great hitting.

 

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9 hours ago, Rosterman said:

Jake Cave is on fire and due to come back to Minnesota soon, right?

In 2018-2018 his wRC+ were 109 and 114. In 2021 he had a significant back injury that might explain performance before and after the 60 day IL.

In the outfield overall he has a positive career OOA(2) and UZR(1.3). Even in CF he has a positive career OOA.

If his recovery from the back injury is full it seems like he can help a major league team.

 

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Martin looks like he could be a really good hitter if he just stuck to slashing line drives for base hits instead of taking huge hacks in an attempt to add power to his game. Once on base he creates a little chaos which is an unused/seldom used portion of the MLB game. It is interesting to see that Witt from KC has speed that he uses as part of his game.

Keep Martin away from shortstop because he is not comfortable there and lacks the tools to fill the position. I think he could be like Arraez as a major league player and there is value in high OBP bats.

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I haven’t seen Martin play but the minor leagues is the place to try to develop your swing and risk poorer performance while making those adjustments. It is also the place to risk defensive errors while pushing a player towards SS.

In Jeter’s first year and a half at SS he had 77 errors in 183 games. Tim Anderson in his first full season had 34 errors in 81 games. I don’t think I would close the door on SS solely based on those error numbers.

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"Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers didn't fare quite as well."  The Mighty Mussels won 6-2, what do they have to do to "fare well?"

Another solid start from Raya.  Yes, it is a long way from the Fort to Target Field, but this kid seems like a good one.  And Miller and Cavaco each had two hits, including a double last night.  As stated above it is only a week, but any turn around in Cavaco's development has to begin somewhere.

No mention in the Wichita write up about solid relief performances from Sisk and Schulfer.  Is it realistic to think that Schulfer could/should move up to the Saints soon and could possibly help the Twins later this fall?  Or am I smoking something?

Not going to get into whether Martin should or should not be playing shortstop.  But his errors are scarry.  Add the fact that the Twins have Correa and Lewis ahead of him with Miller a year or two behind him, seems to me that the prudent decision would be to get him playing elsewhere.  Liked seeing Lewis getting a game in center last night.

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2 hours ago, jorgenswest said:

I haven’t seen Martin play but the minor leagues is the place to try to develop your swing and risk poorer performance while making those adjustments. It is also the place to risk defensive errors while pushing a player towards SS.

In Jeter’s first year and a half at SS he had 77 errors in 183 games. Tim Anderson in his first full season had 34 errors in 81 games. I don’t think I would close the door on SS solely based on those error numbers.

I have seen Martin play at short and while he has the athleticism, he lacks proper technique. His footwork is lackluster and regularly boots makeable plays. Errors aren't a be-all-end-all but this is a trend that has spanned multiple seasons. His arm is below average. His range is decent but he can't get around balls with regularity to field them cleanly. I just don't see it happening.

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3 hours ago, Lucas Seehafer PT said:

I have seen Martin play at short and while he has the athleticism, he lacks proper technique. His footwork is lackluster and regularly boots makeable plays. Errors aren't a be-all-end-all but this is a trend that has spanned multiple seasons. His arm is below average. His range is decent but he can't get around balls with regularity to field them cleanly. I just don't see it happening.

The foot work part is not a surprise. He hasn’t played SS and the foot work is very different. It takes time. It would no be reasonable to expect his foot work would be good. I wonder what the Twins see that would encourage them to continue this development.

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