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  • Twins Minor League Week in Review: Radcliff Honored,


    Seth Stohs

    This week's Twins minor league players of the week were both 2021 draft picks. On Monday, three more players taken in July's draft made their pro debuts in the FCL. We are down to the final weeks of the minor league seasons. See how the Twins minor league affiliates did this past week, where they are in their division standings, who played well (or didn't), and a Twins legendary executive was inducted into a Hall of Fame. 

    Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Michael Helman)

    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 organization’s transactions and the  FCL Twins game from Monday. 

    TRANSACTIONS

    There were several announced transactions on Monday’s minor league off day. 

    • Several 2021 Twins draft picks debuted in the FCL on Monday. 10th round pick Ernie Yake from Gonzaga, 15th round pick Mikey Perez (UCLA) and 20th round pick Dillon Tatum (UC-Irvine) were activated and made their first starts. 
    • Ft. Myers shortstop Jesus Feliz was placed on the Injured List. 
    • RHP Steven Cruz was activated by the Mighty Mussels. 

    FCL Twins Talk
    FCL Twins 9, FCL Braves 10 
    Box Score 

    Ernie Yake led off and was the second baseman. He went 1-for-2 with three walks, two runs, an RBI and two stolen bases in his pro debut. Mikey Perez had a strong pro debut too. He played third base and batted fifth. He homered in his first pro at bat. He ended up going 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs, two RBI and a stolen base. Finally Dillon Tatum caught and batted ninth. He went 0-for-1 but walked in his first plate appearance. 

    Endy Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with a walk, his second double and his second home run, a three-run shot in the second inning. 

    Niklas Rimmel started and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in two innings. He struck out four batters. Giovahnney German came on and gave up three runs on four hits. In two innings, he walked two and struck out four. Elipidio Perez tossed two scoreless innings. He gave up a hit and a walk and struck out two batters. Jackson Hicks came on and was charged with five runs (2 earned) on three hits. He recorded just one out. Samuel Perez got five outs, two on strikeouts. He gave up just one hit.  

     

    With that, let’s look at Week 18 in the Twins minor leagues: 

    RESULTS

    Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (2-4, @ Columbus), overall (55-53)
    Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (2-4, @ Arkansas), overall (62-46)
    High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (3-3, hosting Quad Cities), overall (59-49)
    Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (2-4, hosting Bradenton), overall (52-52) 
    Complex League FCL Twins: Week (2-4), overall (17-31)

    STANDINGS
    Triple-A East Midwest: Toledo 62-46, Omaha 61-47, St. Paul 55-53. 
    Double-A Central North: Wichita 62-46, Arkansas 59-49, Tulsa 58-50.
    High-A Central West: Quad Cities 70-36, Cedar Rapids 59-49, Wisconsin 52-55.
    Low-A Southeast: Tampa 70-36, Bradenton 65-41, Ft. Myers 52-52. 

    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 18 performances

    Twins Player of the Week: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels        
    Encarnacion-Strand was the Twins fourth-round pick in the 2021 draft after a strong junior season at Oklahoma State. This past week, he played in six games, went 14-for-27 and hit .538/.556/.808 (1.363) with a double, two homers and eight RBI. 

    After spending two seasons at Yavapai College (Arizona), he played in 56 games this year for Oklahoma State. He hit .361/.442/.661 (1.103) with 17 doubles, three triples and 15 homers. Now in 12 total games with the Mighty Mussels, he has hit .420/.431/.700 (1.131) with two doubles and four homers. 

    Twins Pitcher of the Week: David Festa, FCL Twins           
    Festa was the Twins 13th round in 2021 out of Seton Hall. This week, he pitched once out of relief and threw three scoreless innings. He issued no walks and six strikeouts. Overall, he has made two appearances and has given up just one hit and struck out eight batters in eight scoreless innings. 

    This year at Seton Hall, he went 6-4 with a 2.00 ERA. In 72 innings, he gave up just 44 hits, walked 33 and struck out 67 batters. 


    Other Strong Performances this Week

    St. Paul Saints

    Charlie Barnes returned from his month with the Twins and had another strong showing for the Saints. In five scoreless innings, he gave up just two hits and walked one. He struck out three batters. Fellow lefty Bryan Sammons gave up only two unearned runs on four hits and three walks over five innings. He struck out four batters. Yennier Cano had an outing in which he gave up just one hit over 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Derek Law tossed two scoreless innings in his outing, which is good, but then he was DFAd over the weekend.

    Caleb Hamilton made his first appearance with the Saints. He played in just two games but went 2-for-5 with a home run. Drew Maggi played five games. He hit .333/.368/.722 (1.091) with a double, two homers and eight RBI.  

    Wichita Wind Surge

    Simeon Woods-Richardson returned to the mound after not pitching since mid-July. He tossed 40 pitches in 1 1/3 innings. Tyler Beck came on in relief and threw five scoreless innings in relief. He struck out five batters. Jordan Gore struck out four batters over two scoreless innings. Zach Neff tossed 3 2/3 shutout innings. He didn’t even give up a hit. Chris Vallimont gave up one run over five innings in his start last week. While he walked four batters, he struck out nine. Ben Gross struck out seven batters over four innings in relief. He gave up one run. 

    Stevie Berman came to the Twins organization from the Dodgers in exchange for Andrew Vasquez. In his first game, he hit a big, grand slam for the Wind Surge. Roy Morales played in all six games and hit .391/.462/.522 (.983) with three doubles. DJ Burt played in six games and hit .304. 

    Cedar Rapids Kernels

    Aaron Rozek gave up one run on five hits over five innings. Louie Varland gave up one run on three hits and three walks over five innings. He struck out eight batters. Sawyer Gipson-Long gave up two runs on one hit and three walks over six innings. 

    Michael Helman played in all six games. He hit .318/.400/.591 (.991) with three doubles, a homer and five RBI. Alex Isola played four games and hit .278 with a double and two home runs. Also Seth Gray hit .333 (6-for-18) with a double and a triple. 

    Ft. Myers Might Mussels

    Carlos Suniaga worked 3 2/3 one-hit innings and struck out four batters. Casey Legumina came on in relief and tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings on three hits and a walk. He struck out five batters. Regi Grace returned to the mound and gave up just one hit, one walk and one hit batter over three scoreless innings. He struck out five. Logan Campbell struck out five batters over three hitless, shutout frames. He walked one and struck out five batters.  

    Willie Joe Garry played in four games and hit .250/.438/.583 (1.021) with a double and a homer. He walked three batters. Will Holland hit .278/.381/.611 (.992) with a double, a triple and a home run over five games. 

    FCL Twins 

    Develson Aria struck out six batters in three scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and one walk. Juan Mendez also tossed three scoreless innings, and struck out four batters. 

    Lowlights

    We are talking about 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

    Jason Garcia came up and made a start. In two innings, he gave up four runs on four hits and a walk. Ian Hamilton also gave up four runs over two innings. He gave up five hits and walked two batters. Vinny Nittoli made his return to the Saints. He gave up two runs on a walk and a home run. Chandler Shepherd gave up five runs over four innings in his start. He gave up eight hits and walked two batters. 

    Sherman Johnson went 0-for-7. BJ Boyd went 2-for-14 (.143). Jimmy Kerrigan went 2-for-16 (.125) with a double. Trevor Larnach played in just one game before being placed in the IL with a hand contusion. 

    Wichita Wind Surge

    Mitchell Osnowitz gave up four runs on two hits and three walks over just 1 1/3 innings. 

    In five games, Aaron Whitefield went 2-for-16 (.125). Leobaldo Cabrera went 3-for-22 (.136) with 11 strikeouts in six games. Spencer Steer played six games and went 3-for-21 (.143) with 11 strikeouts. Ten of 13 Wichita hitters who played at all last week had a batting average under .200. 

    Cedar Rapids Kernels

    The day that Twins Daily named Ryan Shreve the relief pitcher of the month, he gave up four runs on three walks and recorded just one out. Carlos Suniaga was called up and gave up five runs on four hits (2 homers) and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Osiris German gave up four runs in 2 2/3 innings. In his first High-A start, Sean Mooney gave up five runs on five hits and a walk in four innings. He struck out six batters.

    Jair Camargo went 2-for-12 (.167) with five strikeouts. Matt Wallner went 3-for-18 (.167) with nine strikeouts.   

    Ft. Myers Might Mussels

    Over two appearances, AJ Labas gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk in just 1 2/3 innings. Juan Pichardo gave up three runs on two hits (1 HR), a hit batter and two walks. 

    Justin Washington went 0-for-9 with six strikeouts. Kole McKinnon went 1-for-8 (.125) with three strikeouts. In four games, Charles Mack went 1-for-13 (.077). Patrick Winkel went 2-for-15 (.133) with a double. 

    Radcliff Enshrined in Professional Sports Hall of Fame 
    On Friday in Ft. Myers Twins Vice President of Player Personnel Mike Radcliff was enshrined in the Killebrew Root Beer Professional Scouts Hall of Fame. He is the 16th person inducted into this group. He now has a plaque outside the main entrance at Hammond Stadium. 

    To be considered for induction, a person should: 

    • Strong professional scouting background
    • Represented the scouting community in a professional manner and made contributions to growing the game of baseball. 
    • Made a significant impact within their organization. 
    • Worked and resided in Florida for a significant portion of their career. 

    Radcliff was hired by Terry Ryan in 1987 and remains in the organization. A Kansas City native and resident, he began as the team’s Midwest Area Scout. By 1993, he was named the team’s Scouting Director. He remained in that position until 2007 when he became the Vice President of Player Personnel. 

    He was the scouting director during seasons in which the Twins selected players such as Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter, Denard Span, Todd Walker, Glen Perkins, Michael Cuddyer, AJ Pierzynski, Trevor Plouffe and many more players. 

    Others in this Pro Scouts Hall of Fame include Terry Ryan and Larry Corrigan from the Twins organization, and Marty Scott who was involved in the early days of the St. Paul Saints. 

    Of scouting, Radcliff said “What scouts can offer up most is the vetting of the player, the makeup of the player – what he’s about. His different personality traits are going to impact and affect how he applies his physical tools to the journey of developing. The best teams are incorporating all of that into one giant process. Hopefully we’re one of those teams.”

    Mike Radcliff is such a knowledgeable baseball man. It has always been enjoyable to see him on the back fields in Ft. Myers during minor league spring training, just observing players. He wasn’t afraid to answer questions about players, and very straight-forward. Always nice. Sometimes willing to offer a little more than you would think, and that’s fun. 

    Congratulations to a man who has spent almost 35 years in this Twins organization and had a major impact on the various successes they have had over the years. 

    PROSPECT SUMMARY

    This Prospect Summary shows our updated Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. 

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 26 games, .255/.397/.408 (.805) with 6 doubles, 3 home runs, 17 RBI, 15 BB, 26 K.
    #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 18 GS, 87.1 IP, 94 H, 32 BB, 92 K, 3.61 ERA, 1.44 WHIP
    #4 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - 1 GS, 1.1 IP, 0 H, 3 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 2.25 WHIP.
    #5 - 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) 
    #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 107 games, .333/.396/.557 (.953) with 25 doubles, 25 homers, 76 RBI, 39 BB, 69 K
    #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - St. Paul (2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 17 K, 2.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP), Minnesota (1 GS, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 5.40 ERA, 0.80 WHIP)
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 5 GS, 21.0 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 43 K, 0.86 ERA, 0.67 WHIP (IL, elbow strain)
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Has yet to pitch.
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 60 games, .233/.296/.301 (.597) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 89 K, 5 SB 

    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP (IL, shoulder impingement)
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 54 games, .252/.339/.481 (.820) with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 11 homers, 35 RBI, 22 BB, 82 K.
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (28 games, .277/.376/.475 (.851) with 8 doubles, 4 homers, 19 RBI, 15 BB, 24 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K)
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 7 GS, 31.2 IP, 38 H, 16 BB, 26 K, 7.39 ERA, 1.71 WHIP.
    #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 14 games, .212/.300/.327 (.627) with three doubles, 1 homer, 8 RBI, 6 BB, 15 K
    #16 - Brent Rooker (Minneapolis) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (39 games, .200/.299/.385 (.684) with 7 doubles, 6 homers, 10 RBI, 12 BB, 50 K)
    #17 - 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)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 93 games, .188/.297/.288 (.586) with 11 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homers, 50 RBI, 51 BB, 75 K, 12 SB)
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 16 G, 15 GS, 63.1 IP, 51 H, 28 BB, 82 K, 3.13 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 98 games, .255/.353/.496 (.849) with 15 doubles, 3 triples, 23 homers, 58 RBI, 51 BB, 95 K) 

    LOOKING AHEAD
    Palm Beach @ Ft. Myers: (Zarion Sharpe, John Stankiewicz, Casey Legumina, Cade Povich, Regi Grace, TBD):
    Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin: TBD, TBD, TBD, TBD, TBD, TBD):
    NW Arkansas @ Wichita: (Cole Sands, Austin Schulfer, Simeon Woods-Richardson, TBD, TBD, TBD):
    Omaha @ St. Paul: (Bryan Sammons, Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows, Charlie Barnes, Andrew Albers, Bryan Sammons):


    Feel free to ask any questions you like.

     

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    Spencer Steer, Miranda, Canterino, and Winder stand out among the prospects.   Many look like they are ready to be replaced on the list - if we have some players ready to push to the top.  Rooker must be close to reaching the point where service time will push him off the list - he has now accumulated 162 games in MLB.  Who is next?  

    It is also interesting to see three pitchers listed ahead of Joe Ryan on the prospect list.   I hope that is true and they fill in the rotation between Ryan and Ober next year.   

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    Is great seeing more of this year's draft get their feet wet, Seth.  And they all seem to be doing well, especially Encarnacion-Strand.  You never know when a high draft pick, but not top round, turns out to be the cream of that year's crop.

    Took note when you mention Rodriguez.  For a kid who was signed two years ago and didn't play until this spring in the FCL as an 18 year old, he is having an excellent first season.  Kid seems to also have a bit of pop in his bat.  Should be interesting to see him develop next year and beyond.

    Hurts seeing the Saints struggle since going to Toledo when they were what, a half game out?

    Will second mike's comment above.  Will be great if one of those arms ranked above Ryan can make it to the Twins (healthy) next year and be that future stud.  All three certainly have the promise to do so.  Petty is too far away to help next year, and probably Canterino as well.  But Winder should be a fourth arm who could/should break in next summer.  I have thought all year he could be the best of the crop.

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    I'm not sure that throwing 10 pitches per out can be considered a highlight, but I was glad to see Simeon Woods-Richardson debut. I thought the Twins were going to shut him down, because clearly he was fatigued when he went to the Olympics. But now it looks like he'll have a couple short starts to close out the year, which is better than nothing.

    If nothing else, it'll get him comfortable in Wichita, which figures to be his home next year.

    I had hoped we may see Josh Winder make a return after a similar period of rest, but with every week that goes by, it seems as though he may be done for the season. Perhaps I missed an announcement.

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    45 minutes ago, Alex Schieferdecker said:

    I'm not sure that throwing 10 pitches per out can be considered a highlight, but I was glad to see Simeon Woods-Richardson debut. I thought the Twins were going to shut him down, because clearly he was fatigued when he went to the Olympics. But now it looks like he'll have a couple short starts to close out the year, which is better than nothing.

    If nothing else, it'll get him comfortable in Wichita, which figures to be his home next year.

    I had hoped we may see Josh Winder make a return after a similar period of rest, but with every week that goes by, it seems as though he may be done for the season. Perhaps I missed an announcement.

    The highlight, at least in my mind, was that he debuted. Results weren't good, but good to see him back out there after not pitching in a game in like 6-7 weeks. He didn't pitch in Tokyo, so when he got to Wichita, they just had him work in the bullpen for a few weeks to build up his pitch count again. 

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