Iowa 15, St. Paul 2
Whew baby this one got ugly and fast!
In his last start approximately one week ago, Saints pitcher Chandler Shepherd tossed five innings of two-hit shutout baseball against a stout Omaha Storm Chasers offense. Unfortunately, Friday night’s start did not go so smoothly. The I-Cubs touched Shepherd for five runs in the first inning and nine overall en route to clobbering the Saints.
Offensively, Willians Astudillo went 2-for-4, while Damek Tomscha and Roberto Peña added doubles. But other than that, not much went St. Paul’s way tonight. It may be best to just pretend as if this game never happened...
WIND SURGE WISDOM
NW Arkansas 10, Wichita 2
...And it’s probably safe to do so with this one as well.
The Wind Storm only mustered five hits all evening - two coming off the bat of outfielder Ernie De La Trinidad who was later replaced by Trey Cabbage; no word as to why - and did not score beyond the second inning. Leobaldo Cabrera drove in both runs with a double.
Starting pitcher Jason Garcia was removed due to injury after 3 ⅓ innings, in which he walked four, struck out three, and allowed five runs, though only three were earned. Adam Lau tossed 3 ⅔ innings of scoreless ball in relief.
Cedar Rapids 9, Peoria 8
Hey, this game went well!...At least it did until the ninth inning.
The Kernels took an 8-3 lead into the final frame when the Chiefs scored five runs off Zach Featherstone, who had largely been untouchable to this point all season. However, Cedar Rapids quickly scored in the bottom of the inning after Seth Gray walked, Wander Javier was plunked, and DaShawn Keirsey doubled to deep center to end the game.
Starting pitcher Kody Funderburk was on fire to start the game, throwing six innings, striking out six, walking one, and allowing two runs, neither earned. (This one went really late due to an extended rain delay, well, delaying the start of the game as well as the ninth inning chicanery.)
You won’t find Funderburk’s name on any list of the Twins' top or even notable prospects, but his numbers - 3.18 ERA, 59 Ks in 45 ⅓ innings, 3.19 FIP - are pretty difficult to ignore at this point. His stuff won’t blow you away - I’d argue his slider is his best pitch - and would likely be best served as a reliever if/when he makes it to the major leagues, but thus far this season he has been more productive than many of the pitchers in the Twins system, which is pretty much all anyone can ask of him.
Shortstop Wander Javier connected for his eighth home run of the season - and his second in as many days - en route to going 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI. His batting average remains precariously near the Mendoza Line - it’s .217 as of this writing - but his OPS has finally soared north of .700 - if .702 can be considered "soaring - which is rather encouraging. (For reference, the average OPS in MLB is around .715.) Outfielder Max Smith also had himself a night, going 2-for-2 with a home run, double, two walks and two RBI.
Fort Myers 13, St. Lucie 5
This one wasn’t even as close as the scoreboard may suggest, which suggests that it was particularly close.
Ft. Myers put the Mighty in Mussels tonight, scoring 13 runs on 10 hits, led primarily by Yunior Severino, who went 2-for-5 with a double, home run, and five RBI; he has been on a tear as of late, elevating his batting average to .249 and OPS to .771. While Severino has yet to live up to the significant level of hype he garnered when he signed with the Twins back in late 2017, his play lately has been more than encouraging. It’s easy to forget, but he’s only 21-years-old and had one season lost due to COVID and another marred by a controversy that was not of his doing. If anything, his level of play at the moment should be viewed as impressive and encouraging for the future.
Speaking of impressive and encouraging, starting pitcher Louie Varland continued his run of dominance Friday night by striking out 10 batters across five innings while only walking one; his ERA stands at 2.09 after allowing two earned runs to score. At this point, Varland has done enough at the Low-A level to warrant a promotion and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him awarded one after the All-Star break. He has 76 strikeouts with a 4.8 K:BB ratio in 47 ⅓ innings!
FCL Red Sox 6, FCL Twins 1
Aaand back to the losing.
2017 second-round pick Landon Leach got the start tonight for the baby Twins and tossed three scoreless innings, but he walked two and was unable to pick up even a single strikeout.
Luis Baez came off the bench, smacked a double, and later scored on a one of Alexander Pena’s two singles to score the team’s lone run.
TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day – RHP Louie Varland (Ft. Myers): 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K
Hitter of the Day – 2B Yunior Severino (Ft. Myers): 2-for-5, HR, 2B, 5 RBI
Honorable Mention of the Day - LHP Kody Funderburk (Cedar Rapids): 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
#1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL)
#2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain)
#3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch
#4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain)
#5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 1-for-4, 2 K
#6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, BB
#7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Did not play
#8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch
#9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 0-for-2, RBI, 3 BB
#10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (hamate bone surgery)
#11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery)
#12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch
#13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch
#14 – Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 1-for-4
#15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 1-for-3, RBI, BB
#16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-4, K
#17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
#18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury)
#19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow)
#20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch
SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
St. Paul @ Iowa (7:08 PM CST) – (Beau Burrows: 1-1, 5.75 ERA)
NW Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05PM CST) – (Jordan Balazovic: 1-1, 4.44 ERA)
Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – (Jon Olsen: 0-3, 3.65 ERA)
Fort Myers @ St. Lucie (5:10PM CST) – (Bobby Milacki: 0-0, 4.41 ERA)
FCL Twins vs. FCL Red Sox (9:00AM CST) - (TBD)
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