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  • Twins Minor League Report (7/26): Kirilloff Hitting Streak Continues, Tyler Watson Pitches a Gem


    Eric R Pleiss

    Not a ton of hits and runs to go around and only one really decent pitching performance all around, but the Top 20 prospects performed admirably. Take a look below.

    Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Taylor Grzelakowski)

    Transactions – Fort Myers placed Joe Cronin on the DL retroactive to July 24th with a sore wrist, and Victor Tademo was promoted from the GCL Twins to take his place.

     

    RED WINGS REPORT

    Rochester 0 @ Indianapolis 4

    Box Score

     

    Rochester managed just four hits and could not keep Indianapolis off the board. LaMonte Wade and Andy Wilkins both had a double but outside of those two only Kennys Vargas and Jeremy Hazelbaker managed singles. Nick Gordon was 0-for-3 with a walk.

     

    Starter Fernando Romero went 7 2/3 innings, mostly cruising after giving up three runs in the first. He gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out a pair. Luke Bard recorded the final out for the Red Wings, striking out the only batter he faced.

     

    CHATTANOOGA CHATTER

    Pensacola 4 @ Chattanooga 1

    Box Score

     

    Chattanooga outhit Pensacola 7-6 but managed only one run and committed three errors, falling 4-1. Brent Rooker had a solid night, 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. No other hitter had multiple hits, but Chris Paul hit a solo home run as part of his 1-for-4 evening.

     

    Dietrich Enns was tagged with the loss, going seven innings and giving up just three hits and two runs. He struck out six. Andrew Vasquez went 1 inning and gave up another two runs (one earned) and struck out three. Sam Clay pitched a scoreless ninth.

     

    MIRACLE MATTERS

    Fort Myers 9 @ Dayton 8

    Box Score

     

    Alex Kirilloff extended his hitting streak to ten games, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and a pair of RBIs as the designated hitter, helping the Miracle win an 11-inning squeaker. The Miracle scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the lead, but Daytona scored another run in the bottom half of the inning to force extras. Each team scored two runs in the 10th to keep the game alive, and Fort Myers took the lead for good scoring a run in the top of the 11th on a fielding error. Royce Lewis was 2-for-7 with a pair of runs scored. Taylor Grzelakowski had a huge night, 5-for-6 with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. Ben Rodriguez had a pair of hits as well as part of his 2-for-6 night with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored.

    While not terribly effective as a unit, giving up eight runs, the Miracle pitching staff did just enough to guide them to a win. Griffin Jax pitched the first four innings giving up five runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking none. Alex Robinson pitched two and gave up just one one, striking out four. Adam Bray pitched two more innings, giving up no hits, he walked one and struck out four. Ryan Mason earned a blown save and the win with two innings of three-run baseball. Colton Davis kept the Tortugas off the board in the eleventh inning earning his first save of the year.

     

    KERNELS NUGGETS

    Clinton 1 @ Cedar Rapids 9

    Box Score

     

    Cedar Rapids gave the home crowd of 2,327 plenty to cheer about, drubbing the Lumberkings 9-1. The Kernels were led by Michael Davis who was 2-for-3 with two home runs and a walk. He scored two runs and contributed three RBIs. Jared Akins also had a pair of hits and three RBIs of his own.

     

    Starter Tyler Watson went seven innings and gave up just one run on three hits. He walked one and struck out nine. Jared Finkel pitched the final two innings, keeping Clinton hitless and he struck out a pair.

     

     

    Elizabethton Twins Talk

    Elizabethton 0 @ Burlington 5

    Box Score

     

    The Twins struggled to hit and score runs on Thursday night. E-Town managed just three hits, one from Yunior Severino, one from Alex Robles, and one from Tyler Webb. None went for extra bases. As a team the Twins were just 3-for-30 with 3 walks and 5 strike outs.

     

    Starter Andrew Cabezas went six innings and gave up just two runs, one earned, scattering four hits. He struck out five and did not walk anyone. Tanner Howell replaced him for two innings and gave up three runs on three hits.

     

     

    GCL TWINS TAKES

    GCL Rays 3 @ GCL Twins 1

    Box Score

     

    The Twins fell behind early and couldn’t muster enough runs against the GCL Rays, falling 3-1. The GCL Twins managed just four hits, one each from Yeison Perez, Janigson Villalobos, Christian Cavaness and Estamy Urena.

     

    Twins started Landon Leach went five innings, giving up just a pair of hits and an unearned run, but left with the game tied and earned a no-decision. Denny Bentley was tagged with the loss after giving up a pair of runs in 1 1/3 innings, on three hits. Osiris German pitched a clean two-thirds innings and Junior Navas gave up four hits over two innings but kept the Rays off the board.

     

    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

     

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Watson, Cedar Rapids

    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Taylor Grzelakowski, Fort Myers

     

    TOP 20 PROSPECT PERFORMANCE

    1. Royce Lewis (FM): 2-7, 2 R, 1 K

    2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): 3-5, 1 R, 2 RBI

    3. Brusdar Graterol (FM): Did not play

    4. Nick Gordon (ROC): 0-4, 1 BB

    5. Stephen Gonsalves (ROC): Did not play

    6. Trevor Larnach (ET): 0-3, 1 BB

    7. Brent Rooker (CHAT): 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K

    8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 0-2, 1 RBI, 2 BB

    9. Wander Javier: Out of for the season

    10. Zack Littell (ROC): Did not play

    11. Blayne Enlow (CR): Did not play

    12. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 1-4, 1 2B, 1 K

    13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 0-3, 1 K

    14. Lewis Thorpe (CHAT): Did not play

    15. Ben Rortvedt (FM): 1-4, 2 BB, 1 K

    16. Yunior Severino (ET): 1-4, 1 K

    17. Lewin Diaz (FM): Did not play

    18. Ryan Jeffers (ET): Did not play

    19. Jacob Pearson (CR): Did not play

    20. Luis Arraez (CHAT): 1-4

     

     

    FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

     

    Rochester (6:00pm) – Zack Littell (1-4, 3.63)

    Chattanooga (7:15pm) – Lewis Thorpe (5-4, 3.89)

    Fort Myers (6:05pm) – Brusdar Graterol (1-2, 6.20)

    Cedar Rapids (7:35pm) – Bailey Ober (7-1, 3.88)

    Elizabethton (6:00pm) – TBD

    GCL Twins (11:00am) - TBD

     

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

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    Should I be intrigued by this Tademo kid?  Or was this just an emergency deal of convenience?  Or both?  He got subbed in for Blankenhorn--is Blankie okay?

     

    Can't believe you didn't go with a "Strikeouts are Elementary, My Dear Watson" headline.

     

    I hope Alex Kirilloff has a 47 game hitting streak.  Or hits 47 doubles, or homers, or something.

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    Should I be intrigued by this Tademo kid?  Or was this just an emergency deal of convenience?  Or both?  He got subbed in for Blankenhorn--is Blankie okay?

     

    Can't believe you didn't go with a "Strikeouts are Elementary, My Dear Watson" headline.

     

    I hope Alex Kirilloff has a 47 game hitting streak.  Or hits 47 doubles, or homers, or something.

     

    Tademo is ranked #34 on my personal rankings, but he wasn't a Top 40 Twins Daily prospects. He's young a nd in his second GCL year. I think he's intriguing, but this is clearly a move across the parking lot, probably short-term. He'll have to move up the ladder more slowly. 

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    Kirilloff learns quickly:

     

    OPS by Month

    April (CR): .740

    May (CR): 1.063

    June (CR): 1.156

    June (FM): .799

    July (FM): 1.066

     

    Also, he's raking same-handed (lefty) pitchers to the tune of a 1.064 OPS in CR and now .848 in Ft. Myers. 

     

    He probably needs to be a bit more selective at the plate, so it will be interesting to see what happens when he does get the call to Chattanooga. 

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    Kirilloff learns quickly:

     

    OPS by Month

    April (CR): .740

    May (CR): 1.063

    June (CR): 1.156

    June (FM): .799

    July (FM): 1.066

     

    Also, he's raking same-handed (lefty) pitchers to the tune of a 1.064 OPS in CR and now .848 in Ft. Myers. 

     

    He probably needs to be a bit more selective at the plate, so it will be interesting to see what happens when he does get the call to Chattanooga. 

    That's encouraging to see him get challenged and adjust quickly.  Fun to watch, for sure.

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    Nice night for Kirilloff and Grz.  Also, real nice outing for Landon Leach.  Didn't go back to look at each game last year, but this was probably the longest start of his career.And with no earned runs, probably his best.

     

    As for the Kirilloff discussion, my prediction is he stays at Fort Myers before going to the AFL with Rooker. 

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    Had to look up Michael Davis because his named seemed to keep popping up. Someone quoted this previously after the draft but I don't know where it's from.

     

    ---Senior shortstop Michael Davis could be a potential snag in this year’s MLB Draft. The Lubbock local is a versatile baseball player who, over the years, has played multiple positions in addition to shortstop, including second and third-base.

    Davis has a cannon for an arm and unbelievable range making him a good draft prospect. His batting average could be better, but he has the power to knock it out of the park and can be clutch in big game situations. Davis has the experience – he’s played in the 2016 CWS, helped Texas Tech win back-to-back Big 12 conference titles and appeared in more than 200 games for the Red Raiders.

     

    So far this season, Davis has a .290 batting average, 11 home runs and 50 RBIs; however, he has 63 strikeouts which needs to be improved. His fielding percentage is .946 and he has 14 errors on the year. Davis has a chance to increase these numbers this week in the Super Regional.

    Davis isn’t listed on Baseball America’s top prospect list, but don’t be surprised if he’s picked up in the later rounds of the draft. ---

     

    Safe to say the batting average is doing pretty well so far. A little old for low A but he's doing what he should.

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    Great to see prospects playing up to expectations and some exceeding them.  With Sano/Buxton/Kepler/Garver not meeting our hopes we need to continually find those who might go all the way with their talent.

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    I get the SSS approach for Krilloff, but the big league club can't turn away impact bats. Im not paid to make these decisions but I would move the kid to AA and see if he continues to rake. See if he adjusts in Aug and crushes for the remainder of the season. If so, push the kid up to the bigs for the back half of September. 

     

    I never understand why we think struggling at a level ruins a kid. Krilloff obviously is a kid that can handle adversity. Push him until he struggles and then reassess. Who knows, this kid just may be that fast mover. But we will never know if he HAS to stay at a level for a set time. 

     

    FO has been aggressive but the kid obviously isn't being challenged. Every night its 2 or 3 for something with XBH and RBI's. 

     

    FREE KRILLY - (thats obviously his Molitor nickname when he gets up)

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    Great to see prospects playing up to expectations and some exceeding them.  With Sano/Buxton/Kepler/Garver not meeting our hopes we need to continually find those who might go all the way with their talent.

     

    Garver's up to a 111 wRC+, if you've been paying attention .... The Twins will probably needed a defense first tandem catcher who can hit better than Bobby Wilson to pair with him, but he's starting to prove the bat can play.  

     

    Kepler had a dismal June, but he battled through it and is having a solid July with a pretty decent on base streak still going.

     

    I got nothin' on Sano and Buxton, but it's way to early to throw in the towel on these 25 and unders and their 27 yo catcher friend.

     

    I'm hoping these younger players can supplement those four, not replace them.

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    Kirilloff learns quickly:

     

    OPS by Month

    April (CR): .740

    May (CR): 1.063

    June (CR): 1.156

    June (FM): .799

    July (FM): 1.066

     

    Also, he's raking same-handed (lefty) pitchers to the tune of a 1.064 OPS in CR and now .848 in Ft. Myers. 

     

    He probably needs to be a bit more selective at the plate, so it will be interesting to see what happens when he does get the call to Chattanooga. 

     

    It's probably hard to be selective when you're crushing everything. I'd hope we'd find out more if he can be selective once teams start pitching around him.

     

    Though I wouldn't complain too much if he has that Vlad Guerrero/Eddie Rosario gene where he can somehow barrel up any pitch anywhere.

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    I expected Kirrilloff to finish the season in FTM, but at the rate he's going, he might get a taste of AA yet this year.

    Yeah, I would push him along more aggressively than others. The bat appears to be legit, so let's get him up to AA for a month or so.

     

    Other teams have the luxury of finding an advanced bat and pushing them along quickly. Maybe Kiriloff is our guy.

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    Had to look up Michael Davis because his named seemed to keep popping up. Someone quoted this previously after the draft but I don't know where it's from.

    ---Senior shortstop Michael Davis could be a potential snag in this year’s MLB Draft. The Lubbock local is a versatile baseball player who, over the years, has played multiple positions in addition to shortstop, including second and third-base.
    Davis has a cannon for an arm and unbelievable range making him a good draft prospect. His batting average could be better, but he has the power to knock it out of the park and can be clutch in big game situations. Davis has the experience – he’s played in the 2016 CWS, helped Texas Tech win back-to-back Big 12 conference titles and appeared in more than 200 games for the Red Raiders.

    So far this season, Davis has a .290 batting average, 11 home runs and 50 RBIs; however, he has 63 strikeouts which needs to be improved. His fielding percentage is .946 and he has 14 errors on the year. Davis has a chance to increase these numbers this week in the Super Regional.
    Davis isn’t listed on Baseball America’s top prospect list, but don’t be surprised if he’s picked up in the later rounds of the draft. ---

    Safe to say the batting average is doing pretty well so far. A little old for low A but he's doing what he should.

     

    I thought Michael Helman was going going to be the new Brian Dozier but maybe it will be Davis! 

     

    Fourth year college senior middle infielders from major conferences do seem to have a higher than usual rate of becoming mid-round steals. 

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    Great to see prospects playing up to expectations and some exceeding them.  With Sano/Buxton/Kepler/Garver not meeting our hopes we need to continually find those who might go all the way with their talent.

    I think Garver is meeting our hopes.  He was projected to be a decent hitter, for a catcher, who needed work defensively.  Isn't that exactly what he has been?  His bat began the season so-so, but as he has gotten more at bats he is doing a good job at the plate.  

     

    And as for Kepler, we always have known that he would take a bit longer to develop because of his baseball background in Germany.  Will he become the 5-tool star most of us hope for?  That remains to be seen, but I wouldn't call him a disappointment.  At least not yet.

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    Funny, I was kidding when I typed "free Kiriloff".....but looking at Soto and some others, maybe he should move up.

     

    No "maybes" about it. It's often said to be axiomatic that the toughest jump for a prospect is to master High A. Kiriloff is making that "adjustment" look like child's play.

     

    Despite missing a season of development and his youthful disadvantages relative to his peers, the kid appears to be a natural born hitter. Can't wait until he further expands the power aspects to his bat.

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    Kirilloff just keeps on rolling. I keep going back and forth on promoting him. It's been a pretty short time in High A. It's a fairly small sample size. He's only 20. But my goodness he just keeps. on. hitting!

     

    I'm not worried about walks when he's hitting over .380 with an OBP over .400. That seems fine to me.

     

    30 games or so left in the minor league season. Does it make sense to jump him up another level for 30 games? Does it mean anything? Hard to think he shouldn't be starting at AA next season regardless, and going to the AFL sounds like a good idea too.

     

    I dunno, but it's starting to look like we might have a gem here.

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    It's probably hard to be selective when you're crushing everything. I'd hope we'd find out more if he can be selective once teams start pitching around him.

     

    Though I wouldn't complain too much if he has that Vlad Guerrero/Eddie Rosario gene where he can somehow barrel up any pitch anywhere.

     

    Yeah, I mean there are definitely strong similarities to Rosario . . . left-handed hitter, corner outfielder, line-drive oriented swing, ability to make hard contact all over (and sometimes outside) of the zone. It's pretty rare for that last bit to work in the Majors and it did take Rosario 800+ plate appearances to figure it out, but either way I'm not concerned at all with Kirilloff . . . I think he's just a natural hitter who will make whatever tweaks he has to as he moves up.

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    Is there any cause for concern with Romero? His strike outs are down and he’s had 2 subpar starts in a row. He’s at 110 or so innings now so my concern is he’s breaking down just like last year.

     

    The fact that he went 7 2/3 is a good sign compared to last year.  He never went more than 5 innings after June 25 last season.

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