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  • Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month - August 2021


    Lucas Seehafer PT

    Twins Daily concludes our Minor League Player of the Month series by naming a much-deserving athlete Relief Pitcher of the Month.

    Image courtesy of Bri Ostwinkle, Cedar Rapids Kernels

    Before diving into the relievers, here are links to the Twins Minor League Hitter and Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month articles.

    HONORABLE MENTIONS

    • 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. 

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    Did a double take, Lucas, when you were referring to Gore as a lefty (LHP).  I know the guy converted from an infielder to the mound and don't recall ever hearing of a left handed infielder in professional ball...there probably have been some.  Then seeing Seth's tweet that you posted, where he refers to Gore as a RHP confirms it.  

    Shreve seems to have put up great numbers, at least last month.  Must admit my first reaction when reading the photo at the top was who?  After last year's absence I guess I don't follow this like I used to, so that's on me.

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    Thank you - I did not know Shreve, do not remember reading about him so it is a nice surprise.  After Barracloughs 10.80 era in three games with the Twins it would not have been right to have him win the month, but he does show the difficulty in projecting relief pitchers. 

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    39 minutes ago, roger said:

    Did a double take, Lucas, when you were referring to Gore as a lefty (LHP).  I know the guy converted from an infielder to the mound and don't recall ever hearing of a left handed infielder in professional ball...there probably have been some.  Then seeing Seth's tweet that you posted, where he refers to Gore as a RHP confirms it.  

    Shreve seems to have put up great numbers, at least last month.  Must admit my first reaction when reading the photo at the top was who?  After last year's absence I guess I don't follow this like I used to, so that's on me.

    lol good catch. Slip of the finger. Made the change!

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    2 hours ago, Lucas Seehafer PT said:

    lol good catch. Slip of the finger. Made the change!

    You also refer to him as a lefty in the second sentence of the write-up.  Heck, maybe he throws with both, eh?😊

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    I also have to confess that a lost 2020 milb season has me scratching my head once in a while when I read reports and look at box scores. And Shreve is one of those guys I "just don't anything about", unfortunately. Seems most of the entire 2019 draft class is sort of "lost" to many of us and we need to catch up. 

    Thank you all for continuing reports and honors to get us caught up!

    Loved and laughed at "sure-fire future big leaguer Jovani Moran". When does he get his chance? I'm not sure if he has to be protected this offseason or not. Right now, I keep thinking either he doesn't have to be protected so they are playing that game, or, they don't want to "audition" him to the world and hoping to "stash" him away and keep fewer eyes on him. Either way, even with the pen doing so much better these days, I'm still confused he hasn't gotten a shot yet.

    What is up with Gore? He doesn't have a big, long frame, but be brings velocity and just keeps cranking out great performances after transitioning to the mound. IIRC he's yet to win a RP of the month award, but could end up winning the RP of the year award. I'm keeping my eye on him.

     

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    8 minutes ago, DocBauer said:

    I also have to confess that a lost 2020 milb season has me scratching my head once in a while when I read reports and look at box scores. And Shreve is one of those guys I "just don't anything about", unfortunately. Seems most of the entire 2019 draft class is sort of "lost" to many of us and we need to catch up. 

    Thank you all for continuing reports and honors to get us caught up!

    Loved and laughed at "sure-fire future big leaguer Jovani Moran". When does he get his chance? I'm not sure if he has to be protected this offseason or not. Right now, I keep thinking either he doesn't have to be protected so they are playing that game, or, they don't want to "audition" him to the world and hoping to "stash" him away and keep fewer eyes on him. Either way, even with the pen doing so much better these days, I'm still confused he hasn't gotten a shot yet.

    What is up with Gore? He doesn't have a big, long frame, but be brings velocity and just keeps cranking out great performances after transitioning to the mound. IIRC he's yet to win a RP of the month award, but could end up winning the RP of the year award. I'm keeping my eye on him.

     

    Moran needs to be protected, bigtime. He was eligible for the Rule 5 last season, but wasn't taken. He ahs shined at AAA ball and deserves a chance. Cano, now he doesn't need to be protected at all. Old at 27, but just three years in the system.

     

    Was hoping Erik Manoah was going to continue to shine with his advancement. That's why you advance pitchers, challenge them. Ian Hamilton continues to be rock steady, but overlooked. 

     

    Some other names lower down to watch are Donny Bentley, Zach Featherstone, Osiris German and Zaquiel Puentes!

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    18 minutes ago, Rosterman said:

    Moran needs to be protected, bigtime. He was eligible for the Rule 5 last season, but wasn't taken. He ahs shined at AAA ball and deserves a chance. Cano, now he doesn't need to be protected at all. Old at 27, but just three years in the system.

     

    Was hoping Erik Manoah was going to continue to shine with his advancement. That's why you advance pitchers, challenge them. Ian Hamilton continues to be rock steady, but overlooked. 

     

    Some other names lower down to watch are Donny Bentley, Zach Featherstone, Osiris German and Zaquiel Puentes!

    Thank you. I thought he had to be protected and actually forgot he was ,left unprotected last year. 

    All the more reason I'm confused why he isn't getting a shot now. I know the FO is sifting through "do we keep them or invite them back on milb deals" options, but time seems to be running out to get his feet wet. Unless they already know they are going to protect him and just let the other arms continue to audition. 

    Hamilton is another arm I just don't get. We all know his tragic history. But he's been claimed, waived, claimed, waived, etc, over and again because everyone also knows his story. And yet, he also has yet to receive any sort of audition.

    Again, I can see a method taking place here. I'm just worried we might be missing a couple opportunities. 

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