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  • Twins Minor League Report (6/16): Clean Sweep


    David Youngs

    Chandler Shepard was electric, the Wind Surge offense struck early, and the Kernels struck some magic in the Field of Dreams state. Check out all the action from the Twins Minor League Organization. 

    Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily

    TRANSACTIONS

    • Minnesota Twins activatedRHP Shaun Anderson from the IL and optioned him to the St. Paul Saints.
    • Minnesota Twins optioned RHP Griffin Jax to St. Paul Saints.
    • Wichita Wind Surge placed 2B Peter Mooney on the 7-day injured list.
    • Twins signed infielder Wilbis Santiago and assigned him to Wichita. 

     

    SAINTS SENTINEL 

    St. Paul 2, Iowa 0

    Box Score

    A night after losing a 3-1 contest, the Saints responded with a brilliant outing from Chandler Shepard and some timely hitting, tallying a 2-0 win over the I-Cubs. 

    The Saints struck first in their second at-bat, thanks to a solo shot by Tomas Telis in the first inning. The blast was his fourth of the year. 

    After Telis’ shot, both offenses stayed dormant for the majority of the game. Much of that was due to Chandler Shepard’s gem on the mound.

    Coming off perhaps his rockiest start of the year, Shepard was lights out all night, pitching five scoreless innings and striking out three. The outing was the second time that Shepard has gone five or more innings this year. The other performance took place on June 4 when the University of Kentucky alum went 5.2 innings in a win against Louisville.

    The Saints’ offense was resurrected in the seventh inning. Leading 1-0, the Saints put a runner on with no outs thanks to a Drew Maggi single. That was quickly reversed after Sherwin Johnson rocketed a lineout to SS that resulted in Maggi being doubled off. 

    With two outs Jimmy Kerrigan punched a single into RF with hopes of providing some insurance for St. Paul.

    Insert Daniel Descalso. 

    The former World Series champion laced a 2-2 pitch to CF, recording a standup double and scoring Kerrigan all the way from first. 

    And while the insurance helped, The St. Paul bullpen was dominant following Shepard’s exit.

    When Shepard came out, the Saints bullpen continued the dominance. Washington State alum and Birthday Boy Ian Hamilton pitched a scoreless sixth inning. Juan Minaya followed suit with a perfect 1.1. Innings. Fan-favorite Derek Law sealed the deal with a perfect 1.2 innings, securing his fourth save of the year. 

    In addition, RHP Shaun Anderson was reinstated from the 10-day IL following blisters on his pitching hand and was optioned to St. Paul. Anderson has seen time with the Twins this season, posting a 9.35 ERA (8.2 IP, 9 ER) with five walks and eight strikeouts.

    WIND SURGE WISDOM

    Wichita 8, Springfield 2

    Box Score

    The Wind Surge offense touted their offense early on Wednesday night, resulting in an 8-2 win over Springfield. 

    The Surge started the party in the first inning. With two runners on Caleb Hamilton knocked a double to CF that scored Ernie De La Trinidad and Jermaine Palacios. Hamilton would make his way home thanks to a Roy Morales single. 

    And while the offense proved lethal in the first, they would add two more runs thanks to a Palacios RBI single in the second and HR in the fifth. Palacios is now batting .304/.405/.905 on the year. 

    Palacios may have stolen the show at the plate, but the Wichita pitching staff was rock-solid all night. Chris Vallimont was excellent, pitching five innings of one-run ball while striking out seven.. Relievers Jason Garcia, Zach Neff, and Jovani Moran followed suit, allowing only one run in four innings. 

    Moran was the Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Month. Check out his accomplishments here. 
     

    KERNELS NUGGETS

    Cedar Rapids 4, South Bend 3

    Box Score

    Iowa has always had a magical aura surrounding the sport of baseball. That couldn’t have been more true on Wednesday night, as the Kernels earned a 4-3 win thanks to some ninth-inning heroics. 

    Down by the score of 2-3 in the ninth,  Michael Helman knocked a double to RF that would score Gabriel Maciel and Gabe Snyder. 

    And while Helman provided the heroics at the plate, Jon Olsen was very effective on the bump following a three-run first inning. Following the first inning, Olsen gave up only three hits and allowed no runs. 

    That dominance on the bump was continued by the Cedar Rapids bullpen. Jordan Gore pitched a perfect three innings in relief, striking out four. Jonathan Cheshire followed suit with a scoreless ninth inning that put the Kernels in a position to walk off the game in the bottom of the inning.

    “The boys did a good job hanging around. Hats to the pitching staff for keeping us in the game all night after giving up three runs in the first inning,” manager Brian Dinkleman said.

    The Kernels’ lone run early on came thanks to a Wander Javier HR in the sixth inning. The shot was Javier’s sixth of the year. 

    The game-changing night inning was started by a single courtesy of Seth Gray. Two batters later Trey Cabbage drew a four-pitch walk, moving Gray to second. Snyder followed suit with a single that advanced the runners, creating a bases-loaded scenario for the Kernels.

    “Being a two-run game, you just need one guy to get things going,” Dinkleman said. “Seth (Gray) did that with the leadoff hit and next thing you know we’ve got the winning run on base.”

    With the winning run on base,  Alex Isola drew a six-pitch walk, scoring Gray and drawing the deficit to 2-3. The next hitter was Michael Helman, who punched his game-winning hit, scoring two runs. 

    And while the situation was perhaps filled with more pressure than his previous at-bats, Helman kept the same locked-in approach at the plate that he always has.

    “Sometimes things don’t go your way early and that can be tough on you mentality,” Helman said. “But I’ve just been sticking to my approach, I got a good count and I did something with it.”

     

    MUSSEL MATTERS

    Fort Myers vs Lakeland: POSTPONED

    Wednesday evening’s matchup between the Mussels and Flying Tigers was postponed due to inclement weather in the Ft. Meyers area. The game will be made up following tomorrow’s game against Lakeland at 3:30 pm CST. Both games in the doubleheader will be seven innings.

    Florida is known for its occasional inclement weather. It’s also known for Jimmy Buffett music. Here’s a live performance of Margaritaville from 1978 to brighten your day.

    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Pitcher of the Day- Chandler Shepard (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 5 H, 0R, 3K

    Hitter of the Day- Jermaine Palacios (Wichita)- 4-for-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, 4 H

     

    PROSPECT SUMMARY

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

     

    #1 - Alex Kirilloff (St. Paul) – 1-for-4, RBI

    #2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL)

    #3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – 0-for-2

    #4 - Ryan Jeffers (Minnesota) – Game in Play

    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch

    #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Injured List (back)

    #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – Game Postponed

    #8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – Game Postponed

    #9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch

    #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch

    #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – 0-for-3, BB, K

    #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 1-for-4, K

    #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (Wrist)

    #14 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – Game Postponed

    #15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not Pitch

    #16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow)

    #17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – Did not play

    #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A

    #19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) –  1-for-4, 2 R, BB, K

    #20 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch

     

    FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 3.46 ERA)

    Springfield @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) – RHP Austin Shulfer (1-3, 5.28 ERA)

    South Bend @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Andrew Cabezas (2-1, 3.00 ERA)

    Lakeland at Ft. Myers (Game 1: 3:30PM CST) – RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 0.57 ERA)

                (Game 2: Following Completion of Game 1) Miguel Rodriguez (1-1, 1.50 ERA)

     

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    A few additional nuggets after being in attendance for the Wind Surge's 8-2 win over Springfield.

    1.  If not for a questionable scoring decision on Palacios' last AB (ruled an error on throw from 2B), he would have been a perfect 5-5 tonight.  Still a 4-5 night with a 11 total bases ( single, double and 2 solo HRs) was quite impressive. Palacios' 2nd HR to dead center came on a 3-2 pitch after he spoiled several pitches to keep his AB alive.  Add him to the list of hitters that deserve some strong consideration for a long look on the big league roster heading into 2022.  Palacios raised his average to .304 with a strong OPS of .905.

    2.  Was pleasantly surprised to see the performance of Chris Vallimont tonight.  Valilmont consistently worked ahead all night and his command was quite impressive as evidenced by his pitching line:  5 IP, 3 hits, 1 BB, 1 ER with 7 K's.  This was accomplished on 74 pitches...50 of which were strikes. Vallimont is only 24 with nice size---6'5/ 220 lbs. Was 5th rd. pick by Marlins in 2018.

    3. Catcher/1B---Caleb Hamilton also has a nice night drawing 2 walks along with a ringing line drive RBI double in the 1st.  Hamilton looked very good defensively at 1B.  He made a perfect toss (3-1 assist) on a tough play in the 7th and then followed that with a nice pick for a 3unassisted putout and capped the 7th inning tracking a foul pop that he had to run a good distance down the line to catch against the netting. Hamilton also has a strong .902 OPS.  

    4.  Jovani Moran closed the door in the 9th striking out all 3 batters.  His changeup is the real deal. He--as mentioned in other articles also has a quality heater registering 96mph.  He should be joining Cano soon in Saint Paul.

    and finally......a quiet night from Jose Miranda....1-4,,,,,,but had 2 stolen bases on 1 play! He stole 2B in the bottom of 6th with 2-outs and had the presence of mind to continue onto 3B when he noticed with the defensive shift----that nobody was covering 3B.  Great hustle to make that play when he could've been very content to remain at 2B with the Surge leading 5-1.

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    7 hours ago, darwin22 said:

     

    3. Catcher/1B---Caleb Hamilton also has a nice night drawing 2 walks along with a ringing line drive RBI double in the 1st.  Hamilton looked very good defensively at 1B.  He made a perfect toss (3-1 assist) on a tough play in the 7th and then followed that with a nice pick for a 3unassisted putout and capped the 7th inning tracking a foul pop that he had to run a good distance down the line to catch against the netting. Hamilton also has a strong .902 OPS.  

     

    I have been watching Hamilton coming on strong and kind of waiting for his hot streak to end.  He seems to only be getting more locked in.  Starting to wonder if he won't be a rule V pick since hitting catchers are hard to come by.  HIs defense is MLB ready from what I understand just the bat holding him back to this point.  Lots of season left and catchers get injured and it affects performance so will have to wait and see but he is looking really good right now.

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    I was rooting for perfect night from Palacios but it was not meant to be.  Still two more HR's and bumping that OPS to 900 makes you think he has a chance to make it.  Would be nice if they moved him up soon as I am questioning the competition the Wind Surge have faced this year.  The top four guys in the line up all have 900 OPS's.  MIranda, De La Trinidad, Palacios and Hamilton.  The rest of the lineup has a 700 OPS or better so makes me wonder if they are that good or other teams are not quite as good as normal.

    No one at High A has a 900 OPS and Steer who seems to have moved to HR or bust mode has had his share 0 fer's recently dropping his batting average to .248 and while Javier started out hitting below 200 with a 400 OPS he now has an OPS of 748.  He homered again last night bringing his total to 6 he seems to be just getting better and better.  Hope he keeps this up.

    For as much as I dog Rooker he appears to the best hitter they have in AAA right now with a 861 OPS.  Guessing we will see more of him at MLB level this year and I hope his plate discipline is better this time around.  

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    Don't know what to think of Palacios.  Just don't understand Tampa as you don't expect them to make mistakes.  But sure looks like releasing Palacios was a mistake.  Could the Twins be so fortunate to benefit from it?

    Great seeing Wander Javier put his 0 for night behind him with a nice four bagger in his 1-3 night, plus a walk.  Feel like it is almost time to get back on his bandwagon...maybe a couple more weeks of getting a hit or two most nights.

    Great seeing a first hand report from darwin22, thanks.  Sure seems like the Wichita team is the brightest spot in the Twins organization this year.  Also seems like it is time for Moran to be moving on.  Really want to see him in a Twins uniform come August.

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    14 minutes ago, AceWrigley said:

    Looks like Jordan Gore moving to the bump as his place of business has been a good move. Possible future Twins reliever?

    Long ways to go, but the fact that he has three pitches that are decent to good already means there is a chance. Honestly, at this point, he just needs innings! But yeah, definitely could be considered! 

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    14 minutes ago, roger said:

    Don't know what to think of Palacios.  Just don't understand Tampa as you don't expect them to make mistakes.  But sure looks like releasing Palacios was a mistake.  Could the Twins be so fortunate to benefit from it?

    Tampa didn't release him. He just became a 6-year minor league free agent. The Rays, Marlins and Yankees were all teams who contacted him this offseason, but he chose the Twins. 

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    38 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

    Tampa didn't release him. He just became a 6-year minor league free agent. The Rays, Marlins and Yankees were all teams who contacted him this offseason, but he chose the Twins. 

    Thanks, Seth, for clarifying that.  But they could have kept him had they put him on their 40-man, right?  Haven't taken a look at who they did add or didn't.  Do you know anything about the quality/number of their adds last year and if Palacios wasn't at the same level?  Thanks again for the clarification.

    Just went and looked at his numbers the two years he was with the Tampa organization (2018-2019).  Certainly weren't at the level he was while with the Twins.  Considering how well he is now doing at AA, sure is a puzzle, albeit a pleasant one.

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    9 hours ago, darwin22 said:

    and finally......a quiet night from Jose Miranda....1-4,,,,,,but had 2 stolen bases on 1 play! He stole 2B in the bottom of 6th with 2-outs and had the presence of mind to continue onto 3B when he noticed with the defensive shift----that nobody was covering 3B.  Great hustle to make that play when he could've been very content to remain at 2B with the Surge leading 5-1.

    That sounds to me like it probably violates some unwritten rule and he should expect a fastball in the ribs in his next at bat.😁😁😁😁😁

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    9 minutes ago, roger said:

    Thanks, Seth, for clarifying that.  But they could have kept him had they put him on their 40-man, right?  Haven't taken a look at who they did add or didn't.  Do you know anything about the quality/number of their adds last year and if Palacios wasn't at the same level?  Thanks again for the clarification.

    Just went and looked at his numbers the two years he was with the Tampa organization (2018-2019).  Certainly weren't at the level he was while with the Twins.  Considering how well he is now doing at AA, sure is a puzzle, albeit a pleasant one.

    He likes being with the Twins. 🙂

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    13 minutes ago, roger said:

    Thanks, Seth, for clarifying that.  But they could have kept him had they put him on their 40-man, right?  Haven't taken a look at who they did add or didn't.  Do you know anything about the quality/number of their adds last year and if Palacios wasn't at the same level?  Thanks again for the clarification.

    Just went and looked at his numbers the two years he was with the Tampa organization (2018-2019).  Certainly weren't at the level he was while with the Twins.  Considering how well he is now doing at AA, sure is a puzzle, albeit a pleasant one.

    Palacios wouldn't have even been considered. He just didn't hit with the Rays at all. 

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    15 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

    Chatting with him last week, he sure seems to be very happy to be back... 

    Do you know, is he really 6-0 145 as listed at BBref? That's thinner than Nick "nightlite" Gordon.

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    1 hour ago, Seth Stohs said:

    Tampa didn't release him. He just became a 6-year minor league free agent. The Rays, Marlins and Yankees were all teams who contacted him this offseason, but he chose the Twins. 

    On the surface you look at his numbers in 18 and 19 and there are some troubling signs.  Low average, not a great walk rate and a really poor slugging %.  So what makes teams interested in a player like that?  Just hoping for a rebound?  They look at the decent K rate at 20% and low BABIP and say this is a player with a chance to bounce back?  Just curious because he had a couple of rough back to back years and this year his slugging improved from 300 to 500 which is quite a jump.  His BABIP is high right now but with the extra pop in the bat and ability to make contact not a huge concern.  Do teams really see bounce backs like this coming or a solid filler guy for the minors to round out their system?

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    7 minutes ago, Dman said:

    On the surface you look at his numbers in 18 and 19 and there are some troubling signs.  Low average, not a great walk rate and a really poor slugging %.  So what makes teams interested in a player like that?  Just hoping for a rebound?  They look at the decent K rate at 20% and low BABIP and say this is a player with a chance to bounce back?  Just curious because he had a couple of rough back to back years and this year his slugging improved from 300 to 500 which is quite a jump.  His BABIP is high right now but with the extra pop in the bat and ability to make contact not a huge concern.  Do teams really see bounce backs like this coming or a solid filler guy for the minors to round out their system?

    Have to fill rosters... 

    They sign organizational guys all the time. And, of course, teams scout these guys and they want good organizational fillers. 

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    13 hours ago, David Youngs said:

     

    Coming off perhaps his rockiest start of the year, Shepard ...

     

    PerHAPS???? :)  14 hits and 4 walks in 3.2 innings doesn't require ornamentation.  I'm glad he turned it around and showed us his best.

    (No J.A. Happs were harmed in the making of this post.)

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    4 hours ago, AceWrigley said:

    Do you know, is he really 6-0 145 as listed at BBref? That's thinner than Nick "nightlite" Gordon.

    He's not a big guy, but no, he's not 145... probably 180ish. 

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    7 hours ago, AceWrigley said:

    Do you know, is he really 6-0 145 as listed at BBref? That's thinner than Nick "nightlite" Gordon.

    Thats got to be a misprint/old information as the same info is listed in the Wind Surge yearbook I picked up last night. My "eye test"----being within 60 feet of homeplate------his height is accurate (6'0) but he's hot to be at least 180lb.  

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    9 hours ago, roger said:

    Don't know what to think of Palacios.  Just don't understand Tampa as you don't expect them to make mistakes.  But sure looks like releasing Palacios was a mistake.  Could the Twins be so fortunate to benefit from it?

    Great seeing Wander Javier put his 0 for night behind him with a nice four bagger in his 1-3 night, plus a walk.  Feel like it is almost time to get back on his bandwagon...maybe a couple more weeks of getting a hit or two most nights.

    Great seeing a first hand report from darwin22, thanks.  Sure seems like the Wichita team is the brightest spot in the Twins organization this year.  Also seems like it is time for Moran to be moving on.  Really want to see him in a Twins uniform come August.

    Roger:  Thanks for the response.  Despite the heat, it was an excellent road trip, which I'd strongly recommend for any Twins fans hoping to see some well played baseball.  Living on east side of KC metro area (20 minutes from Arrowhead Stadium) it was an easy 3.5 hour drive to Wichita.  Had affordable hotel accommodations (Drury Inn) without the bother of having to drive to the game. 10 minute (0.4 mi) walk to Riverfront Stadium.  However, there is free parking closer if thats a route fans would want to pursue.  

    Wichita's record  (22-16) could be construed as deceiving by some as their 10-4 against Springfield.  Cardinals pitching is pretty poor I'll admit, but they do have some quality hitters.  Wind Surge are playing .500 (12-12) against other teams in the Texas league:  5-7 vs. Tulsa (all on the road) 4-2 vs. Arkansas (SEA) and 3-3 vs. Amarillo (AZ).  Will be interesting to see how team responds with upcoming 2-week/12 game road trip vs. Midland (OAK) and Amarillo.  

    Although I was only able to see Moran pitch 1 inning last night-----he took the 9th in a non-save opportunity-----he dominated striking out all 3 batters with his vaunted changeup and 95+ gas.  I'll be surprised, I wanted to say shocked, but you never know with the decision making of this front office--if Moran is still pitching for the Wind Surge in July.  

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    1 hour ago, darwin22 said:

    Roger:  Thanks for the response.  Despite the heat, it was an excellent road trip, which I'd strongly recommend for any Twins fans hoping to see some well played baseball.

    Mrs Ash and I happen to be about to embark on a driving trip west, which happens on top of that to go through Bartlesville OK and then to Denver.  Wichita is right on the way!  Unfortunately it looks like we will pass through there on July 4, and the Surge is in Amarillo that day, and then Monday is an off day.  Don't know if I can stall to when they host NW Arkansas by offering to sit through two extra days in Chicago with my inlaws. :)

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    3 hours ago, ashbury said:

    Mrs Ash and I happen to be about to embark on a driving trip west, which happens on top of that to go through Bartlesville OK and then to Denver.  Wichita is right on the way!  Unfortunately it looks like we will pass through there on July 4, and the Surge is in Amarillo that day, and then Monday is an off day.  Don't know if I can stall to when they host NW Arkansas by offering to sit through two extra days in Chicago with my inlaws. :)

    As someone that spent over 20 years in Texa, you can skip Amarillo.

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