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  • Twins Minor League Report (7/1): Kennys Vargas Powers Rochester

    Eric R Pleiss

    June is over and the first games of July are in the book for the Minor League affiliates. While the Big League team continues to slide further out of contention, let’s take a look at how things are going down on the farm.

    Image courtesy of Kim Klement, USA Today (photo of Kennys Vargas)

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    Lehigh Valley 6 @ Rochester 7

    Box Score


    The Red Wings went ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning but then gave up two runs in the third and fourth, and another in the fifth falling behind 5-3. The Red Wings tied the game in the bottom of the sixth before falling behind in the top of the next inning. In the bottom of the eighth, Cameron Rupp homered to tie the game and then Gregorio Petit struck out but advanced to first on a wild pitch. Petit would eventually come around to score on a Nick Gordon line drive to put the Wings ahead for good. Kennys Vargas was 3-for-4 with two runs, two doubles and a strikeout. The only other Wings hitter with multiple hits was Byron Buxton, 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a strike out.


    Giving up six runs means that the pitching staff wasn’t great, but they did enough to help the team win. Start Kohl Stewart made it through 6.0 innings but gave up 10 hits and five runs, all earned. He walked one and struck out six. Nick Anderson came in for 2.0 innings and got the W thanks to those late runs the Red Wings scored, even though he gave up a solo home run, the only hit he allowed. Alan Busenitz earned his third save of the year for Rochester with a scoreless ninth inning.



    Chattanooga 3 @ Tennessee 5

    Box Score


    After the lead swapped hands a couple of times in the first few innings, the Smokies pulled ahead in the fifth inning for good to drop the Lookouts a game below .500, 39-40. The Lookouts managed just seven hits, one apiece from everyone except Brent Rooker, Jaylin Davis, and pinch hitter Sean Miller. Andy Wilkins made the most of his hit, a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning to get the Lookouts close enough for a bloop and a blast to tie the game.


    Anthony Marzi was tagged with the loss, giving up three runs on five hits over 5.0 innings. He walked two and didn’t strike anyone out. Paco Rodriguez gave up a run in the sixth inning, he gave up a hit, struck out one, and walked three in 1.0 innings of work. Todd Van Steensel pitched the final two frames, giving up a run on a hit and two walks. He struck out two.



    Lakeland 11 @ Fort Myers 3

    Box Score


    The Miracle gave up 19 hits and four walks, falling to Lakeland 11-3 on Sunday, dropping the Miracle to 34-44 on the season. Alex Kirilloff was 2-for-4 with a strike- out and Miguel Sano was 2-for-4 with a two-run home run. Ben Rortvedt also had a pair of hits, both singles. Travis Blankenhorn was just 1-for-3 but put his lone hit over the fence.


    The whole of the pitching staff struggled except for Adam Bray, who pitched the final 1.2 innings and keeping the Lakeland Flying Tigers off the board. All other Miracle pitchers gave up at least two runs. Brusdar Graterol gave up five runs on nine hits in just 3.0 innings. Brady Anderson also pitched 3.0 innings and was just a bit better than Graterol, giving up four runs on seven hits. Colton Davis managed 1.1 innings and gave up two runs on three hits before turning the ball over the Bray who finished things up.





    Cedar Rapids 8 @ Burlington 0

    Box Score


    Bryan Sammons turned in the best pitching performance of the night across the Twins affiliates. Sammons went 6.0 innings, struck out six, gave up six hits, walked zero, and kept the Burlington Bees off the board. Jose Martinez was the first man up in relief, going 2.0 innings. He gave up three hits, struck out three and kept the shutout intact. Calvin Faucher finished the game for the Kernels, giving up one hit in 1.0 inning.


    The Kernels scored eight runs on Sunday, five in the third and three more in the seventh. The Kernels actually scored more runs (8) than they had hits (7), and were outhit by the Bees who had 10 hits. Akil Baddoo led off for the Kernels and was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two runs scored. Jose Miranda was the only other Kernels hitter with multiple hits, 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, and three RBIs. Royce Lewis was 1-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI.



    Elizabethton Twins Talk

    Elizabethton 7 @ Princeton 8Box Score


    Four errors hampered the E-Town Twins and their ninth inning comeback came up a run short, despite putting a five-spot on the board. Chris Williams led all hitters going 3-for-5 with two home runs and FIVE RBIs. Alex Robles was 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles and Albee Weiss and Ariel Montesino each added a pair of hits as well.


    Starting for the Twins was Brian Rapp, who managed just 3.2 innings before he was replaced by Christian Broussard. Rapp gave up two runs, one earned, and six hits. Broussard gave up four runs on six hits over 2.1 innings. Juan Gamez finished the game with 2.0 innings, giving up a pair of runs on two hits and a walk.




    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Bryan Sammons, Cedar Rapids

    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Kennys Vargas, Rochester



    1. Royce Lewis, Cedar Rapids – 1-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K

    1. Nick Gordon, Rochester – 1-5, 1 RBI, 2 K

    1. Alex Kirilloff, Fort Myers – 2-4, 1 R, 1 K

    1. Brent Rooker, Chattanooga – 0-4, 2 K
    2. Brusdar Graterol, Fort Myers – 3.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

    1. Akil Baddoo, Cedar Rapids – 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB

    1. Ben Rortvedt, Fort Myers – 2-4, 1 2B

    1. Travis Blankenhorn, Fort Myers – 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
    2. Yunior Severino, Elizabethton - 1-5, 1 K



    Rochester (6:15pm) – TBD

    Chattanooga (6:00pm) – Lewis Thorpe (4-4, 4.06)

    Fort Myers (5:35pm) – TBD

    Cedar Rapids (7:05pm) – Tyler Watson (2-2, 3.96)

    Elizabethton (6:00pm) – Kody Funderburk (0-0, 0.00)


    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday's games.


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    Kirilloff in 2016, Rooker last year and Larnach this year.  That trio all have potential to be middle of the order big league hitters.  Will be interesting to see which of the three actually makes it to an elite level, if any.  And all look to be corner outfielders, although Rooker could also be at first base.  


    Sounds like Larnach should sign by mid-week giving the Twins a few days to try to get that high school third baseman's name on the dotted line.

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    Watched Larnach in the CWS.   The kid can rake, is a lot more athletic than I initially thought and also seemed to possess a plus arm in the outfield.   All in all I think the Twins got a pretty good player in that pick.   But as we all know, nothing is given in baseball... only earned.


    So Godspeed and good luck Mister Larnach.   We wish you well on your journey.  

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    Baddoo has had a pretty nice week. His BA hasn't been pretty all year but with his peripherals it wont take much to get that OPS over .800

    Hitting .333 (.976 OPS) in the 10 games since 2nd half of season started. Current 6 game hitting streak. Current 5 game streak with at least one XBH. current 4 game streak with multiple hits.  


    Sure, small sample size caution applies, but we've been waiting for Akil to break out all season, so this is pretty encouraging.

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    I like the potential, but I liked Buxton and Sano.  What can this club do to get the prospects to take the MLB step?

    At one point even Vargas had some of that highly valued "potential" too. You just never know in this darn game.

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