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Minor League Report (6/19): Walk-off in Cedar Rapids, Saints Blister Bats


Twins Daily Contributor

The Kernels walked it off thanks to an unlikely hero and the Saints got the last laugh in an offensive shootout against Dayton. Read about all the action from the across the farm on Sunday!

 

TRANSACTIONS
No transactions across the organization today!

SAINTS SENTINEL
St Paul 11, Columbus 10
Box Score

Despite losing Alex Kirilloff to the parent club a few days ago, the St. Paul offense didn't miss a beat on Sunday afternoon. 

A monster day at the plate, the Saints used 12 hits to plate 11 runs and sneak past the Clippers in a Father's Day shootout in Columbus. The scoring wasn't isolated; St. Paul scored in six of nine innings and touted multi-run frames in the first, second, third, fifth, and seventh innings. Even better, the scoring didn't come from one player. Led by a four-hit showing from Mark Contreras, seven Saints recorded hits and five tallied RBI on the day. 

Michael Helman and Mark Contreras got the party started in the top of the first with a pair of key hits to put the Saints on the board. With Caleb Hamilton on the pond, Helman laced a single to the first run of the game. Since being promoted to Triple-A at the end of May, Helman has been red hot, hitting safely in seven of his last eight games and touting a team-leading .423 batting average. 

Just two batters later, Contreras notched his first of four singles of the day to score Helman (who advanced to second on a fielding error) to put the Saints up 2-0. 

It was rinse and repeat for St. Paul in the second and third inning. Following John Andreoli walk and Elliot Soto double (9), Spencer Steer smothered a liner to center-field to score both runners and double the lead. Curtis Terry kicked off the third inning with a solo homer (7) to left and was followed by a pair of singles from Contreras and Jermaine Palacios. Contreras would eventually score thanks to a double-play groundout from Roy Morales

And while the RBI didn't count for Morales, he would score two runners in the fifth inning on a beautifully struck double that clipped the third-base bag. 

Given the run support, St. Paul starter Aaron Sanchez was solid on the day, pitching 4 1/3 innings of three-run (two earned), five-hit ball while striking out four and walking two. Austin Schulfer cleaned up the final two outs of the fifth inning and earned the win on the day for St. Paul. 

In what looked like a blowout, the Clippers mounted a massive seventh inning off of St. Paul reliever Jake Faria. In 1 2/3 innings, Faria allowed six runs on four hits, including a grand slam. Luckily for the Saints, Mark Contreras added an insurance run in the top of the eighth with an RBI single that scored Curtis Terry. 

Sunday's Father's Day win was especially special for Saints skipper Toby Gardenhire. On paternity leave for the birth of his first child Bodie, Sunday marked Gardenhire's 100th win as manager of the St. Paul Saints. Congrats to Toby on the feat but more importantly, to him and his wife Sarah and the birth of their first child!

 

WIND SURGE WISDOM
Tulsa 3, Wichita 2 (10)
Box Score

 

Despite a solid pitching performance from the Wichita staff, the Wind Surge fell just short in an extra-inning heartbreaker to Tulsa. 

Wichita outhit the Drillers but failed to convert, leaving 12 men on base and going 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position. 

Cole Sturgeon and Edouard Julien both tallied multi-hit games and Sturgeon recorded one of Wichita's two RBI on the day. With two outs in the third, Sturgeon knocked a single to center field to score Matt Wallner from second and put the Surge on the board. Wichita plated its only other run in the sixth inning when Deshawn Keirsey Jr. scored from third on a groundout from Anthony Prato

Wichita starting pitcher Casey Legumina was solid through 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out two. Limiting the damage himself, the Surge bullpen did everything they could to follow Legumina's adequate outing. Andrew Cabezas pitched two perfect innings with three strikeouts and was followed by 2 1/3 scoreless innings from Denny Bentley and Jordon Gore. 

 

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 4, Dayton 3
Box Score

 

Assigned from the FCL Twins to Cedar Rapids on Friday, there's a good chance most Twins fans don't know the name Frank Nigro

They should now. 

Knotted at three in the bottom of the ninth, Nigro punched a 2-2 pitch to right field to score Kennie Taylor and walk the Kernels off to a league-leading 41-22 record. 

In his first game with Cedar Rapids, Nigro's walk-off single would have sufficed just fine on its own. Yet on top of the game-winner, Nigro laced a single in the second inning and was one of two Cedar Rapids players to record a multi-hit game. 

The Kernels scored their first run in the first inning. Following an Alerick Soularie double (6), Yunior Severino reached out a fielding error that allowed Soularie to score from second. The Kernels would strike again in the second thanks to an RBI single from Kyler Mack that scored Kennie Tayor. After a few innings of silence, Alerick Soularie notched his second hit of the game in the seventh with an RBI single that scored Taylor. 

The Cedar Rapids pitching staff was stellar from the game's first pitch to its last. Starter Sean Mooney was dominant through five, striking out six while allowing just two runs on five hits. The combo of Bobby Milacki and Matthew Swain took the bulk of relief, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out a combined four batters through 3 2/3 innings. Ryan Shreve (W, 1-0) pitched the final out for the Kernels and earned his first win of the year. 


 

MUSSEL MATTERS 
CANCELLED

Turns out it rains (a lot) in Florida. Due to inclement weather, Sunday's game was canceled. 

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Hitter of the Day: 
Mark Contreras (St. Paul)- 4-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB
Pitcher of the Day: Sean Mooney (Cedar Rapids)- 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 K, 2 BB

PROSPECT SUMMARY

Take a look at how our Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects did today! For a weekly recap of prospects and the entire farm system, check out Seth's Minor League Week in Review!

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

#7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, 3 RBI, 3 K
#15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-2, R, 2 BB, 2 K
#16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-5, K

UP NEXT
Mondays are off for minor leaguers, get prepared for a full slate of games on Tuesday!
 

 

 


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Anyone have anything on Michael Helman? He put together a solid season last year at A+. Now so far this season he is putting up pretty good numbers across AA/AAA. The Twins had him play in the Arizona Fall League after last year too. I would think that would mean the Twins have a positive opinion about him.

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55 minutes ago, Tibs said:

Anyone have anything on Michael Helman? He put together a solid season last year at A+. Now so far this season he is putting up pretty good numbers across AA/AAA. The Twins had him play in the Arizona Fall League after last year too. I would think that would mean the Twins have a positive opinion about him.

Certainly. Drafted as an infielder, he can play all over. He has become a really good defensive outfielder and has always been a good defensive infielder. Definitely something clicked for him offensively last year in Cedar Rapids, along with better strike zone knowledge and strength, and approach. 

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12 hours ago, Tibs said:

Anyone have anything on Michael Helman? He put together a solid season last year at A+. Now so far this season he is putting up pretty good numbers across AA/AAA. The Twins had him play in the Arizona Fall League after last year too. I would think that would mean the Twins have a positive opinion about him.

Helman looks like minor league depth to me. He struggled in his AFL trip, and while he's been doing well this season, he's also 26, so this is the first time in his entire professional career he hasn't been old for the level. I wouldn't get too excited about him. He's off to a really great start this season, but if he hadn't hit well at high A last season at 25 he might have been out of the organization. 

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Don't want to jinx him but just want to point out that so far in June Wander Javier has an .890 OPS.  His K rate is under 30% and his walk rate could be better but not horrible.  In June he is slugging .491 with a 400 OBP.  almost three weeks of very good offense and he has come up big with men on base as well.  Certainly not the black hole bat he has been.  Still need to see more but maybe just maybe he is a bit of a late bloomer?  Maybe he has figured things out more at the plate?  His full season numbers still are not good but a strong finish could give us hope that he is a viable option in the system.

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5 hours ago, jmlease1 said:

Helman looks like minor league depth to me. He struggled in his AFL trip, and while he's been doing well this season, he's also 26, so this is the first time in his entire professional career he hasn't been old for the level. I wouldn't get too excited about him. He's off to a really great start this season, but if he hadn't hit well at high A last season at 25 he might have been out of the organization. 

Fair enough, but one can also say,  he is taking full advantage of the opportunity currently in front of him, and someone must have a little faith in him to put him at the higher levels.  he may do enough to force himself onto the 40 man, I believe he will need to be protected.  A possible trade piece or another player that may be at risk for the rule V draft.  

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