- RHP Kyle Barraclough, St. Paul Saints: 9 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 15 K, 0.00 ERA
- LHP Jovani Moran, St. Paul Saints: 16 2/3 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 10 BB, 24 K, 3.24 ERA
- LHP Aaron Rozek, Ft. Myers/Cedar Rapids: 18 1/3 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 27 K, 2.95 ERA
- RHP Melvi Acosta, Cedar Rapids Kernels: 14 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 19 K, 2.51 ERA
The month of August saw a number of the more well-known relief arms in the Twins' farm system struggle or simply not perform to the level we've become accustomed. However, the four listed above, headlined by sure-fire future big leaguer Jovani Moran, just missed being considered for a spot in the top three. Each had at least one stat that prevented them from reaching the podium. Kyle Barraclough didn't throw enough innings (largely due to spending a week in the big leagues); Jovani Moran walked too many; and Aaron Rozek's and Melvi Acosta's ERA were higher than those above them.
3. RHP Jordan Gore, Wichita Wind Surge
Stats: 13 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 16 K, 1.32 ERA
This isn't the first time Gore's name has appeared on this list, and it likely won't be the last. The lefty's rise from a marginal infielder to one of the Twins' best minor league bullpen arms has been fun to watch and at no point has it appeared as though he's slowing down. Gore owns the farm system's fifth-best ERA (2.54) among pitchers who have tossed at least 40 innings, and his 82 strikeouts — in only 60 2/3 innings — comes in ninth; only Jovani Moran has struck out more batters (105) in a comparable amount of innings (64). Don't be surprised if he finds his way to Target Field at some point next season.
2. RHP Tyler Palm, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Stats: 12 2/3 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 16 K, 0.00 ERA
On the surface, Palm's numbers are arguably better than anyone else's on this list. His 8:1 K:BB ratio was topped only by Kyle Barraclough's 15:1 ratio in fewer innings and Aaron Rozek's 9:1 ratio, which accompanied a much higher ERA. However, what's keeping Palm from claiming the top spot in this month's rankings were his slightly higher number of hits and runs allowed (even if unearned) as well as four hit-by-pitches. It's nitpicking to a degree, sure, but the top guy performed infinitesimally better, and, therefore, he earned the nod.
1. RHP Ryan Shreve, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Stats: 13 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 19 K, 0.69 ERA
Shreve has been quietly one of the stronger bullpen arms in the Twins' farm system this season. Among Twins-affiliated minor league pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings this summer, Shreve ranks fifth in K% at 34.8% as well as in K%-BB% at 24.9%, which places him alongside the likes of Rozek (32.9%), Moran (31.4%), Sawyer Gipson-Long (26.4%), and Louie Varland (25.1%).
After excelling as a starter for Pacific University, Shreve was the Twins' 16th round pick during the 2019 draft. In late May, he was promoted from Low-A to High-A, putting him on track for a potential call to the big leagues next season.
What are your thoughts? Who would get your vote? Congratulations to Kernels' reliever Ryan Shreve.