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Twins Minor League Report (6/24): Nary A Win To Be Found


Twins Daily Contributor

The Twins weren't the only team to lose Friday night. Literally the entire farm system did as well!

 

TRANSACTIONS

  • RHP Josh Winder was optioned to the St. Paul Saints after being activated from IL
  • RHP Jake Faria was released by the Minnesota Twins organization
  • RHP Cody Laweryson was promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. 
  • RHP Hunter McMahon was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. 
  • RHP Jonathan Lavallee joined the Mighty Mussels from the Complex. 

SAINTS SENTINEL
Buffalo 5, St. Paul 4, F/10
Box Score


Home runs by John Andreoli (two-run) and Spencer Steer—a solo and his 11th of the Triple-A season—gave the Saints a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning, but St. Paul was unable to drive in any more runs as they ultimately fell in extra innings.

Despite coming out on the losing end, the Saints pitching staff by and large pitched phenomenally as a group. Cole Sands took the rubber to start and pitched five innings, striking out six and surrendering only three hits. Unfortunately, an error by Jermaine Palacios resulted in the Bisons scoring three runs, though none of them were earned.

Hunter Wood and Evan Sisk eached tossed a scoreless inning in relief, but Yennier Cano and Ian Hamilton gave up one run apiece in the eighth and 10th innings, respectively, to give Buffalo the win. In total, the St. Paul pitching staff struck out 11 batters and allowed only a single earned run.

WIND SURGE WISDOM
San Antonio 11, Wichita 2
Box Score


The Wind Surge were handed a good old-fashioned beat down at the hands of the Missions on Friday in Wichita. San Antonio touched Casey Legumina and Melvi Acosta for five runs each across the second, sixth, and seventh innings.

Matt Wallner was the only Wind Surge batter who put up a fight, going 2-for-4 with a double, home run, and two runs scored. Wallner’s batting average and OPS have risen to .286 and 1.007, respectively, since beginning the season 3-for-41. He is another Twins prospect who is due for a promotion to the Twin Cities. 

KERNELS NUGGETS
West Michigan 10, Cedar Rapids 8
Box Score


Despite a strong offensive night and with lefty Cade Povich on the mound, the Kernels were unable to overcome the Whitecaps on Friday.

Alerick Soularie led off the bottom of the first innings with his seventh home run of the season; he finished the night 2-for-5 and now owns a .704 OPS after getting off to an extremely slow start to begin the season. Wander Javier also went 2-for-5—he contributed a double and a triple—and drove in two runs.

But it was Christian Encarnacion-Strand who led Cedar Rapids at the dish, going 2-for-4 with a double, home run, and three RBI. Thirty-eight of his 76 hits have gone for extra bases and the former Oklahoma State slugger possess a .923 OPS in 64 games at High-A. Don’t be surprised if he earns a promotion to Double-A in the not so distant future.

Cade Povich struggled to miss bats across his 4 ⅔ innings of work. His fastball sat in the low-90s according to the broadcast and the Whitecap batters did a good job of not chasing his breaking stuff outside of the zone. He finished with five strikeouts and two walks and surrendered seven runs with five of them earned. 

MUSSEL MATTERS
Fort Myers @ Lakeland, PPD

COMPLEX CHRONICLES
FCL Red Sox 1, FCL Twins 0
Box Score
FCL Red Sox 4, FCL Twins 1
Box Score


Fredy Michel’s solo home run—his second of the season—drove in the FCL Twins' lone run in 14 innings of play.

Righty Tomas Cleto tossed four innings of scoreless ball to begin the second game of the double-header, striking out five and walking none. Prospect Luis Rijo—who is on rehab assignment—threw two innings in the first game, in which he allowed two hits, walked one, and struck out three. 

DOMINICAN DAILIES
DSL Angels 8, DSL Twins 7
Box Score


Starting pitcher Cristian Jimenez was dominant for the Twins across four innings of work, striking out seven and surrendering only one walk, hit, and run. Unfortunately, the bullpen gave up seven runs—only three earned—over the course of the final three innings.

Shortstop Isaac Pena (2-for-4, 2 R) was the lone Twin to pick up an extra-base hit, his third double of the young season. Second baseman Rafael Cruz also picked up a multi-hit game, going 3-for-3 with an RBI, walk, and two runs scored. Catcher Daniel Pena (1-for-3) led the team with three RBI.

TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day – Cole Sands (St. Paul): 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
Hitter of the Day – Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids): 2-for-4, 2B (20), HR (15), 3 RBI

PROSPECT SUMMARY
We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed:

#2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4
#3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-3
#7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-for-5, HR, RBI
#15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-for-4, 2B (13), HR (16), RBI, 2 R
#18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2B (20), HR (15), 3 RBI

FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
St. Paul @ Buffalo (3:05 PM CST) - RHP Aaron Sanchez (1-0, 4.62 ERA)
Wichita vs. San Antonio (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland (6-1, 3.27 ERA)
Cedar Rapids vs. West Michigan (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (2-2, 2.40 ERA)
Fort Myers @ Lakeland (3:00 PM CST) - TBD
Fort Myers @ Lakeland (TBD) - TBD

 


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Wallner's 3-41 start also including 23 K's. He's rebounded from that incredibly well. Still gets a lot of Ks, which makes me nervous about how sustainable his production is long-term, but until other teams prove that it isn't...time to move him up and let him keep showing. That many walks plus all that power...

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I was surprised to see that Wallner has been approximately at league average for age for most of his stops.  Nonetheless I think he is getting old to be a prospect at AA and he's a year older than Brent Rooker was at AA.  I hope they move him up to St. Paul soon.

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I know that A. Pena has been ripping the cover off the ball for the FCL Twins.  Have wondered why he hasn't moved up to the Mussels?  Now I see that there are TWO Pena's playing for the DSL Twins, and both are hitting very well.  Are these guys related?  Or is Pena a common name down in the Islands?

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10 minutes ago, roger said:

I know that A. Pena has been ripping the cover off the ball for the FCL Twins.  Have wondered why he hasn't moved up to the Mussels?  Now I see that there are TWO Pena's playing for the DSL Twins, and both are hitting very well.  Are these guys related?  Or is Pena a common name down in the Islands?

A. Pena and D. Pena are both from Venezuela, which I suppose has islands.   Their listed locales are 450 miles apart, though they could be "distant" cousins.  :)

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For the record the names of the Pena's are Alex, Isaac, and Daniel.

I remember Alex Pena's name from last year. He is repeating the complex league right now. Last year he hit well for average but no power. He appears to have added some power which is good because I think he basically plays 1B.  Hopefully he will get a chance in low A soon. Given his age and experience level it would be good to give him an opportunity against tougher competition.

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3 hours ago, RpR said:

Jake Cave just seems to motor on with .262 batting average plus or minus a couple week after week afte week....

He's a perfectly fine "break glass in case of emergency" OF to stash in the high minors. If Buxton had gotten hurt for a long period of time, Celestino had been awful again, Gordon showed he couldn't really play CF, and another OF was injured...then you've got a guy with MLB experience to step in. Fortunately, we haven't needed him.

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7 hours ago, FanFromPhilly said:

I was surprised to see that Wallner has been approximately at league average for age for most of his stops.  Nonetheless I think he is getting old to be a prospect at AA and he's a year older than Brent Rooker was at AA.  I hope they move him up to St. Paul soon.

It was a little surprising the Twins had Wallner at Rookie ball level, especially for so long in 2019 after being drafted out of college. The loss of 2020 likely really slowed him down, especially with the broken hamate bone last year shutting him down for a couple months.

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6 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

I was really excited about all the great performances at the Milb level earlier this year.  Not so much lately.

Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers won their leagues in the 1st half. 

Individually, I'm still excited about Lewis (what he did in coming back this year and will do again), Steer, Wallner, Julien, Encarnocion-Strand, E.Rodriguez (another injury which does make things less exciting) along with these pitchers - Festa, Hajjar, Raya, Gipson-Long, Headrick, and SWR. I look at most of minor league starting pitchers and think we have a good chance to win.

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