The Twins flip-flopped the location of their High-A and Low-A affiliates. Now, the natural progression up the organizational ladder is to move from the Ft. Myers complex to the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels. Certainly much simpler than going from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids and back to Ft. Myers.
Let’s get to know their Opening Day roster, starting with the coaching staff.
The Coaching Staff:
Manager: Brian Meyer
Pitching Coaches: Peter Larson, Carlos Hernandez (Hernandez is currently in Venezuela. Dan Urbina is coaching with the Mussels.)
Hitting Coach: Derek Shomon
Coach: Rayden Ogando
LHP: Denny Bentley (22), Brent Headrick (23), Juan Pichardo (22).
RHP: Steven Cruz (21), Osiris German (22), Sawyer Gipson-Long (23), Regi Grace (21), Bradley Hanner (22), Casey Legumina (23), Hunter McMahon (23), Sean Mooney (23), Miguel Rodriguez (22), Ryan Shreve (22), Matthew Swain (23), Louie Varland (23).
Much of this pitching staff is comprised of pitchers drafted out of college in 2019, making their full season debuts: Gipson-Long (6th), Legumina (8th), Headrick (9th), Mooney (12th), Varland (15th), Shreve (16th), Hanner (21st), Swain (23rd). Bentley, Cruz, German and Rodriguez pitched in Elizabethton in 2019. Bentley pitched two scoreless innings for Triple-A Rochester on the final weekend of the 2019 season. Juan Pichardo pitched in the Dominican Summer League in 2019. Regi Grace was the Twins ninth-round pick in 2018 out of high school in Mississippi. Hunter McMahon came to the Twins last year from the Nationals in the Ryne Harper trade.
Charlie Mack (21), Jeferson Morales (21), Kyle Schmidt (23).
Kyle Schmidt was part of the Twins developmental camp in spring training. He is a very strong defensive catcher. Mack was the Twins fifth round pick in 2018. He has been making the translation from infielder to catcher. He’s got a smooth, left-handed swing. Morales spent 2018 in the DSL and 2019 in the GCL. He’s not a big guy, but a good athlete behind the plate.
Keoni Cavaco (19), Will Holland (23), Edouard Julien (22), Daniel Ozoria (20), Aaron Sabato (21), Yunior Severino (21), Wander Valdez (21).
The past two Twins first-round draft picks find themselves in the Mighty Mussels infield. Aaron Sabato was part of the Twins development camp and played in big-league spring training games. There will be some adjustment to the pro game, but his bat will push him up quickly. Cavaco was the top pick in 2019 and excited to get back on the field. Holland was a top ten round picks in 2019 out of college at Auburn where he teamed with Julien, who is returning from Tommy John surgery. Ozoria came to the Twins in the John Curtiss trade. Severino is still very young and can hit. Valdez is a big lad and has a ton of power potential.
Leobaldo Cabrera (23), Willie Joe Garry (20), Anthony Prato (22), Max Smith (24).
After a few seasons in the Yankees organization, the Venezuelan Cabrera found himself released. In 2019, he hit seven homers in the Empire League, a non-profit, non-paying developmental league. Their purpose is just this, to provide opportunities for players to get signed by affiliated leagues. Garry, Jr. spent 2019 in Elizabethton. He is a really good athlete with speed and developing power. Max Smith spent four seasons at UNLV and was drafted in 2019. Anthony Prato was a top ten pick from Connecticut in 2019 as an infielder. He's moving to the outfield.
LHP Erik Cha (23), IF Ruben Santana (23), 2B/OF Alerick Soularie (21), RHP Carlos Suniaga (23), RHP Dylan Thomas (24).
Feel free to ask questions about the Mighty Mussels or any of the players in the comments below.
Check out these Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels sites and social media:
Minnesota Twins 2021 Top 20 Prospects with the Mighty Mussels
8. Aaron Sabato, 1B:.
7. Keoni Cavaco, SS: