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  • Twins Minor League Report (6/9): Early Arms Dazzle Down South


    Ted Schwerzler

    Starting for Wichita and Fort Myers today, Cole Sands and Louie Varland turned in a pair of dominant performances. Both clubs ended up on the short end of the stick, but day game baseball was highlighted by pitching performances.

    TRANSACTIONS

    • OF Gilberto Celestino recalled from Saints by Twins
    • RHP Erik Manoah Jr. signed by Twins and assigned to Fort Myers
    • OF Anthony Prato placed on IL with left hamate fracture

     

    SAINTS SENTINEL
    Omaha 5, St. Paul 2
    Box Score

    Kenta Maeda was the headliner tonight for St. Paul making a rehab start in his journey back to the Twins. He allowed just a single hit, one that left the yard, but punched out five while walking just one in four innings.

    Top pitching prospect Jhoan Duran came on in relief and went 4.1 innings on his own. He allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks. He did strike out six on the evening.

    Byron Buxton was intending to play the field in this one but did not make the start (due to the wet conditions that led to a delayed start time). The game was tied at two going into the 9th before a throwing error and triple gave Omaha a 5-2 lead. #OldFriend Anthony Swarzak struck out the side for Omaha in the bottom of the ninth inning. 

     

    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Tulsa 1, Wichita 0
    Box Score


    Cole Sands took the mound to start this one and turned in a great performance. He worked into the sixth inning, recording one out, and blanked the Drillers allowing just one hit and three walks. He punched out eight on the day and lowered his ERA to 2.84.

    Jose Miranda kept hitting, and he was joined by Caleb Hamilton in picking up a multi-hit effort in this one. Nothing was strung together for the Wind Surge though, and they entered the bottom of the 9th locked in a 0-0 contest.

    After Jovani Moran worked 1.2 scoreless, Yennier Cano came in to record the final six outs. He came up one short though after a bases loaded single with two outs plated the game’s only run, and the game-winner for Tulsa.
     

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 8, Beloit 2
    Box Score

    Kody Funderburk toed the rubber in this one to start, and he nabbed his first win of 2021 for the Kernels. Turning in five innings of two-run baseball, the Cedar Rapids starter gave up just three hits and a walk while punching out 12.

    Cedar Rapids jumped out to a lead on the game’s first at bat. The hot hitting Spencer Steer ripped his first of two homers on the night. He’d finish 3-for-5 with two runs and four RBI. After Steers second homer, coming in the third, Cedar Rapids added three more in the fourth inning. Gabriel Maciel plated Michael Helman on a sac fly before Steer’s double scored Leobaldo Cabrera and Chris Williams. Providing additional distance, Alex Isola homered in the 7th, and Wander Javier continued his nice stretch with a solo shot in the 9th.

    Isola joined Steer as the only other hitter with a multi-hit effort, grabbing two on the evening. Jordan Gore was incredible in relief throwing three scoreless without a hit or walk and punching out eight. Zach Featherstone then worked a scoreless 9th to close this one out.

    MUSSELS MATTERS
    Jupiter 4, Fort Myers 3
    Box Score

    In the middle of May Louie Varland put up a stinker for the Mighty Mussels. Since then, he’s been nails and was so again today. Throwing six innings of shutout work, the 2019 draft pick allowed just two hits and two walks while punching out 11. His ERA is down to 2.42 on the year, and the 23-year-old could soon be looking for a new challenge.

    Keoni Cavaco scored the game’s first run on a triple from Yunior Severino in the 4th inning. Cavaco had a great day for himself going 3-for-4 with a double at the dish. Jeferson Morales joined him as the only other Mighty Mussels batter to record a multi-hit game. Morales scored on Severino’s triple as well, and that gave Fort Myers the early lead.

    After tallying his third hit of the day, all singles, Morales came around to score on an error in the 9th. Steven Cruz had plunked a batter with the bases loaded earlier allowing Jupiter a run, but Morales got it back and pushed the lead back up to 3-1.

    Unfortunately, it was a tough outing for Mighty Mussels reliever Bradley Hanner. Taking over for Cruz to start the 9th, he walked the bases loaded before a single tied the game at three. Things got wonky with two outs. Hanner got a strikeout on a 2-2 count, but the wild pitch allowed Jupiter batter Aquimedes Cumana to reach first base anyways. Nasim Nunez then walked, Hanner’s 5th of the day, and Fort Myers lost on a walk off walk.


    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day – Louie Varland (Ft. Myers) 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 K
    Hitter of the Day – Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) 3-for-4, R, 2B

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

    #1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – 2-for-4, R, 3B
    #2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL)
    #3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – 1-for-4, 2 K
    #4 - Ryan Jeffers (Minnesota) – 0-for-4, 2 K
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch
    #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch
    #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 3-for-4, 2B, R
    #8 - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, 2 K
    #9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch
    #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain - to have Tommy John surgery)
    #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – 1-for-4, R (first MLB hit)
    #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 1-for-4, K
    #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (wrist sprain)
    #14 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-for-3
    #15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 5.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K
    #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) – 2-for-3, BB, K
    #20 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did Not Pitch 

    THURSDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS
    Omaha @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Chandler Shepherd (1-1, 3.86 ERA)
    Wichita @ Tulsa (7:05PM CST) – RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:35PM CST) – RHP Jon Olsen (0-3, 3.86 ERA)
    Fort Myers @ Jupiter (5:30PM CST) – RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 0.77 ERA)

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!


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    All I want for Cavaco this season is for him to just play a lot. If we get these kinds of flashes, then great, but I just want him playing every damn day.

    Nice outing by Sands. He's an interesting prospect, should be fun to evaluate him later this summer to see where he's progressing.

    Miranda seems to have unlocked something. Team officials have been high on him for a while, so this is nice to see.

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    Took an early look at the Cedar Rapids box score, and the relief outing from Jordan Gore is one of the more impressive ones I’ve ever seen. He pitched 3 perfect innings and 8/9 batters he faced struck out swinging. That’s even more impressive considering he only needed 34 pitches to do it, averaging less than 4 pitches per PA while almost all of them were strikeouts. 

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    9 hours ago, jdoffing11 said:

    Took an early look at the Cedar Rapids box score, and the relief outing from Jordan Gore is one of the more impressive ones I’ve ever seen. He pitched 3 perfect innings and 8/9 batters he faced struck out swinging. That’s even more impressive considering he only needed 34 pitches to do it, averaging less than 4 pitches per PA while almost all of them were strikeouts. 

    Yeah that game had some dominant pitching.  21 of the 27 outs came via K.  12 of 15 for Funderburk, 8 of 9 for Gore and 1 of 3 for Featherstone.  Not sure I have ever seen that many K's in a game before.  Only 6 outs recorded in the field the entire game. less than one per inning.  Pretty crazy when you think about it.  Just 6 guys a way from every out being a strike out.

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    OK so I am finally getting on the Kody Funderburk train.  Can anyone tell me how hard he throws and or what he is throwing to get all these K's?  He wasn't really that great in 2019 but has been dominant to start the year.  He looks like one of the best pitchers in the system right now.  His K9 is 14.4 and he is a starter not a reliever.  He has only walked 9 in 28 innings of work so control does not seem to be an issue.  What changed to take him from Ho hum to essentially elite?

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    Great seeing Javier hit another bomb last night.  Sure seems like he is making adjustments...now keep it up young man.

    Wanted to check on Gore's track record with the Twins after seeing his numbers last night.  Puzzling to see that he was at AA a couple years ago and after last year off is now back at Hi-A.  Can those of you who know a lot more about these guys tell us what you think his future is?

    Watched some of the Saints game last night, although with the rain delay didn't make it until Duran was on the hill.  What I did notice is that the damage done against him was in his 4th inning.  Considering this is his what, third start since coming off the IL, expect his arm may be getting a bit fatigued around the fourth and fifth innings until he builds up his arm strength.

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    41 minutes ago, Dman said:

    OK so I am finally getting on the Kody Funderburk train.  Can anyone tell me how hard he throws and or what he is throwing to get all these K's?  He wasn't really that great in 2019 but has been dominant to start the year.  He looks like one of the best pitchers in the system right now.  His K9 is 14.4 and he is a starter not a reliever.  He has only walked 9 in 28 innings of work so control does not seem to be an issue.  What changed to take him from Ho hum to essentially elite?

    Really just think a lot of it is him just adjusting to professional ball.  I'm sure the ability was already there, just needed to get acclimated and throwing on a consistent basis.

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    41 minutes ago, roger said:

    Great seeing Javier hit another bomb last night.  Sure seems like he is making adjustments...now keep it up young man.

    Wanted to check on Gore's track record with the Twins after seeing his numbers last night.  Puzzling to see that he was at AA a couple years ago and after last year off is now back at Hi-A.  Can those of you who know a lot more about these guys tell us what you think his future is?

    Watched some of the Saints game last night, although with the rain delay didn't make it until Duran was on the hill.  What I did notice is that the damage done against him was in his 4th inning.  Considering this is his what, third start since coming off the IL, expect his arm may be getting a bit fatigued around the fourth and fifth innings until he builds up his arm strength.

    I believe he was drafted as a position player and didn't start pitching until 2019 (3 appearances I believe).  So really it makes sense that if he is a pitcher now, he would be at A instead of AA.

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    1 hour ago, roger said:

    Wanted to check on Gore's track record with the Twins after seeing his numbers last night.  Puzzling to see that he was at AA a couple years ago and after last year off is now back at Hi-A.  Can those of you who know a lot more about these guys tell us what you think his future is?

    He was drafted as a shortstop. Got to AA as a shortstop. He jokes that he just couldn't hit, but that's not entirely true. That said, with a fastball at 95, a changeup and a slider, he's got a chance with his arm. 

    We talked a lot about it in this Twins Spotlight: 

     

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    1 hour ago, Dman said:

    OK so I am finally getting on the Kody Funderburk train.  Can anyone tell me how hard he throws and or what he is throwing to get all these K's?  He wasn't really that great in 2019 but has been dominant to start the year.  He looks like one of the best pitchers in the system right now.  His K9 is 14.4 and he is a starter not a reliever.  He has only walked 9 in 28 innings of work so control does not seem to be an issue.  What changed to take him from Ho hum to essentially elite?

    He was a two-way player in college, 1B and reliever. So I think he's adjusting to being a starter. He doesn't throw real hard, maybe 91-92. Good curveball/slider, changeup. Just needs to be more consistent with all of them. 

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