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  • Twins Minor League Report (9/2): Minor League Season's Final Day


    Seth Stohs

    Hard to believe that the 2019 minor league season is over. Labor Day marks the final day of the minor league regular season. Five months of games have certainly done what we hope. Some prospects have taken big steps forward. There have been injuries. There have been struggles and adjustments. There have been promotions and demotions. There have been major-league debuts.

     

    It has been a lot of fun, and we thank you for following the Twins minor league system each day in our minor league reports. We work hard to bring you the best coverage of the Twins farm system available. Join me in thanking Tom Froemming, Cody Christie, Steve Lein, Ted Schwerzler and Matt Braun for their weekly coverage.

     

    Over the next week to ten days, we will also be unveiling the Twins Daily Minor League Awards. So check back soon to see who our winners will be.

     

    However, you’ll be glad to know that we will keep the minor league reports going for as long as the Twins have an affiliate playing playoff baseball. On Wednesday, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and Cedar Rapids Kernels begin their playoff seasons. And even throughout the offseason, we will cover the winter leagues and the Arizona Fall League as well.

    Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Jose Miranda)

    Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the awards and transactions of the day.

     

    AWARDS

    • Rochester announced their 2019 team awards, voted by their fans. Congratulations to all three!
    • Wilin Rosario was named the team’s MVP.
    • Zander Wiel was named the most popular.
    • Jake Reed was named the Most Civic-Minded for the second straight year for his work in the community. He volunteered his time at various events and programs throughout the Rochester area, including heavy involvement with Rochester Challenger Baseball..

    TRANSACTIONS

    • Rochester announced that infielder Joe Cronin joined them from Pensacola. LHP Denny Bentley was transferred to the Elizabethton roster after pitching on Sunday.
    • Pensacola announced that they have received infielder Jose Miranda from the Miracle for their playoff roster.
    • Darren Wolfson has reported that Trevor Hildenberger will be joining the Twins in Boston on Tuesday. He likely isn’t the last player who will be added to the Twins September roster. (according to Doogie's new The Scoops podcast, the Twins will also recall Ryne Harper and Fernando Romero.)

     

    RED WINGS REPORT

    Rochester 4, Syracuse 8

    Box Score

     

    The Red Wings end their season with a .500 record, 70-70. With several players already up with the Twins, the Red Wings used several players from lower levels to fill their roster.

     

    The game was a bullpen game. Jake Reed made the start. He gave up two runs on four hits over the first two innings. He struck out four batters. Next in was Alex Schick who spent most of the second half of the season in Cedar Rapids. He gave up one run on two hits over three innings of work. Sam Clay came on and gave up five runs on six hits and a walk in just 1 2/3 innings. Trevor Hildenberger allowed two inherited runners to score and then recorded the next four outs, two on strikeouts. Ryne Harper struck out three, and walked one, in the final inning.

     

    Drew Maggi led the offense. He went 3-for-4. Ramon Flores was 2-for-4. The Red Wings had a couple of milestone homers. Brandon Barnes hit his 30th International League home run of the year. Wilin Rosario hit his 20th home run of the year.

     

    https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1168646092780658690

     

    BLUE WAHOOS BITES

    Pensacola 8, Montgomery 0

    Box Score

     

    The Blue Wahoos finished their schedule with a strong all-around game.

     

    As we like to do, if a team throws a shutout, we’ll start with the pitching update. It is most impressive because they only had their starter, Bailey Ober, go three innings before much of the bullpen got an opportunity. Ober continued his impressive run with three scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit and struck out three batters. Anthony Vizcaya gave up one hit and struck out two batters in his inning. Jovani Moran then struck out four batters over two scoreless innings. Andrew Vazquez and Tom Hackimer each struck out the side in their inning. Marcos Diplan finished it off with a scoreless ninth inning.

     

    The bats came out for the final game as well. They also weren’t afraid to take their walks. Trevor Larnach went 1-for-2 and walked three times. Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis each had a single and two walks. Jose Miranda made his Double-A debut and went 3-for-5 with a double. Travis Blankenhorn, Ryan Costello, Caleb Hamilton and Taylor Grzelakowski each had two hits.

     

    Also of note, after playing centerfield on Sunday, Royce Lewis split Monday’s game between second base and third base.

     

    The Blue Wahoos end their regular season with an overall record of 76-63.

     

     

    KERNELS NUGGETS

    Cedar Rapids 9, Beloit 3

    Box Score

     

    Gabe Snyder has had a very strong first full season in professional baseball. He ended his regular season strong. The Midwest League’s postseason All Star first baseman went 2-for-5 with his 19th home run and three RBI. Seth Gray and Chris Williams each had two hits in the game. Wander Javier hit his 11th homer of the season.

     

    It was a bullpen game for the Kernels as they prepare for their playoff run. Brian Rapp gave up one run on three hits over 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three batters. JT Perez came on and gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits and a walk over two innings. Nate Hadley got the next four outs. Austin Schulfer struck out the side in the eighth inning. Dylan Thomas gave up two hits and a walk in the ninth inning but did not allow a run.

     

    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY

     

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Bailey Ober, Pensacola Blue Wahoos

    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jose Miranda, Pensacola Blue Wahoos

     

    PROSPECT SUMMARY

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

     

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-4, 2 BB, R, 2 K

    #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-4, 2 BB, R, RBI

    #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-2, 3 BB, R, 2 RBI

    #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, R, 2 RBI, K

    #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 3-4, 2 R, 2B(13)

    #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, R, K

    #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 2-6, R

     

    TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

     

    Pensacola vs Biloxi - No game on Tuesday. Their series begins in Biloxi on Wednesday.

    Cedar Rapids vs Quad Cities - Not game on Tuesday. Their series begins on Wednesday in Quad Cities. Luis Rijo the likely Game 1 starter.

     

     

    Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like.

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    I'm sorry but but I must point out again that the emperor is currently wearing no cloths.

     

    I voiced concerns about Lewis in May and was told there were no problems. So now that it is September....lets look at AVE, OBP, and SO/BB ratios over time

     

    2018 "A" (last half season): 0.255, 0.726, <2.0

    2019 "A" (first half season): 0.238, 0.665, >3.0 (which earned a promotion ?!?!)

    2019 "AA" (last half season) 0.231, 0.649, 3.0 exactly (so based on history ready for another promotion?!)

     

    This is not the trajectory of a future superstar. I'm not an expert and do not know what is wrong with his swing/approach, BUT it is clear to anyone without bias that something is wrong.

     

    One Theory:  They are trying to revamp his swing for a better launch angle and it is failing miserably. Earlier this year Buck was quoted as saying that he was going to hit HIS way this year (which makes me wonder if they were trying to revamp his swing as well for HR/launch angle...... ) Retooling for a better launch angle is good for some but not all!

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    I'm sorry but but I must point out again that the emperor is currently wearing no cloths.

     

    I voiced concerns about Lewis in May and was told there were no problems. So now that it is September....lets look at AVE, OBP, and SO/BB ratios over time

     

    2018 "A" (last half season): 0.255, 0.726, <2.0

    2019 "A" (first half season): 0.238, 0.665, >3.0 (which earned a promotion ?!?!)

    2019 "AA" (last half season) 0.231, 0.649, 3.0 exactly (so based on history ready for another promotion?!)

     

    This is not the trajectory of a future superstar. I'm not an expert and do not know what is wrong with his swing/approach, BUT it is clear to anyone without bias that something is wrong.

     

    One Theory:  They are trying to revamp his swing for a better launch angle and it is failing miserably. Earlier this year Buck was quoted as saying that he was going to hit HIS way this year (which makes me wonder if they were trying to revamp his swing as well for HR/launch angle...... ) Retooling for a better launch angle is good for some but not all!

     

    Lewis is still young. Also I think surrounding him with guys who are similar in age and have similar major league trajectories, but are more consistent hitters (Larnach and Kirilloff) will continue to help him. It seems like the front office is promoting those guys in tandem. Wouldn't surprise me to see all three of them starting in Rochester next year, and then possibly all three of them starting for the Twins the year after. 

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    Lewis is still young. Also I think surrounding him with guys who are similar in age and have similar major league trajectories, but are more consistent hitters (Larnach and Kirilloff) will continue to help him. It seems like the front office is promoting those guys in tandem. Wouldn't surprise me to see all three of them starting in Rochester next year,

     

    and then possibly all three of them starting for the Twins the year after. 

     

    Some maybe sooner....

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    I'm sorry but but I must point out again that the emperor is currently wearing no cloths.

     

    I voiced concerns about Lewis in May and was told there were no problems. So now that it is September....lets look at AVE, OBP, and SO/BB ratios over time

     

    2018 "A" (last half season): 0.255, 0.726, <2.0

    2019 "A" (first half season): 0.238, 0.665, >3.0 (which earned a promotion ?!?!)

    2019 "AA" (last half season) 0.231, 0.649, 3.0 exactly (so based on history ready for another promotion?!)

     

    This is not the trajectory of a future superstar. I'm not an expert and do not know what is wrong with his swing/approach, BUT it is clear to anyone without bias that something is wrong.

     

    One Theory:  They are trying to revamp his swing for a better launch angle and it is failing miserably. Earlier this year Buck was quoted as saying that he was going to hit HIS way this year (which makes me wonder if they were trying to revamp his swing as well for HR/launch angle...... ) Retooling for a better launch angle is good for some but not all!

     

    He’ll be fine.

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    Thanks guys, all your work is appreciated.

     

    There is an old farmer saying, "the cream always rises to the top."  As the Kernels begin their playoff run, maybe, just maybe that will apply to Mr. Javier.  After what has to have been a most trying season, wouldn't a fantastic finish be wonderfful for this young man.  So let's go, Wander.  Set that stick on fire and lead the Kernels to the promised land!

     

    And Baily Ober for Mayor, or Governor, or President, or something.

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    I don't think worrying about Lewis is unfounded. DC Twins isn't saying Royce Lewis won't be a productive major leaguer. He's saying he won't be a superstar (probably) and his chances of being a star are diminished. All of which is very true.

     

    Superstars generally show themselves early and make level jumps easily. Now, there are those who don't, that is true. But the problem with that logic is that virtually everybody doesn't destroy level after level. To think that Royce Lewis has a chance to become one of these rare hitters among all good prospects is to basically have had that hope for him early and just not let it go.

     

    I think we're looking at a guy who will come to be as his best chance a first-division regular, along the lines of Kubel, Cuddyer in terms of production relative to league.

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    Look up Raul Mondesi. He gets a lot of love and his minor league numbers were putrid but he was always young for his level. 

     

    Lewis is barely 20 and playing in Double A. Give him another year. Also keep in mind minor league numbers offensively were down in the minor leagues besides Triple A. 

    I agree with the "give him another year"...and that the numbers were influenced by a tough league for hitters.

     

    But if Lewis profiled like Mondesi offensively (still TBD, obviously)...that would make me feel worse, not better. Mondesi is not a good offensive player at the major-league level. (Not at this point, anyway.) Meanwhile, nobody is expecting Lewis to be a plus defender at SS. Lewis needs to hit eventually...better than Mondesi has shown so far.

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    "Jose Miranda made his Double-A debut and went 3-for-5 with a double."

     

    Of course he did. Just released from batters' jail (aka, the Florida State League)...where you play 7-inning double-headers every 3 days due to rain-outs, and the air is always laced with 97% humidity...and where Miranda's numbers this season were pretty ugly...even 'worse' than Royce Lewis's.

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    I'm sorry but but I must point out again that the emperor is currently wearing no cloths.

     

    I voiced concerns about Lewis in May and was told there were no problems. So now that it is September....lets look at AVE, OBP, and SO/BB ratios over time

     

    2018 "A" (last half season): 0.255, 0.726, <2.0

    2019 "A" (first half season): 0.238, 0.665, >3.0 (which earned a promotion ?!?!)

    2019 "AA" (last half season) 0.231, 0.649, 3.0 exactly (so based on history ready for another promotion?!)

     

    This is not the trajectory of a future superstar. I'm not an expert and do not know what is wrong with his swing/approach, BUT it is clear to anyone without bias that something is wrong.

     

    One Theory:  They are trying to revamp his swing for a better launch angle and it is failing miserably. Earlier this year Buck was quoted as saying that he was going to hit HIS way this year (which makes me wonder if they were trying to revamp his swing as well for HR/launch angle...... ) Retooling for a better launch angle is good for some but not all!

    First, I am not trying to argue that Lewis is set to be top player around, but there is a reason many outlets have him near top prospect around.  Yes, his numbers are not as good as one would hope, but being over 3 years younger than average comp should be considered.  Finally, pure numbers does not tell the whole story, and sure the FO and coaches have much more of an idea of how he is doing.  Remember Kepler numbers last few years and people were talking platooning him, now he is doing great and no need to platoon.  Kepler had some of hardest contact on the team last year, but had very low BABIP compared to average exit velocity.  

     

    I trust in the Falvene two-headed monster, at least so far. 

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    Lewis is still young. Also I think surrounding him with guys who are similar in age and have similar major league trajectories, but are more consistent hitters (Larnach and Kirilloff) will continue to help him. It seems like the front office is promoting those guys in tandem. Wouldn't surprise me to see all three of them starting in Rochester next year, and then possibly all three of them starting for the Twins the year after. 

    Uh?!  At some point results have to dictate reality right? If Lewis starts in Rochester next year, his new nick name can be Delusion of Granduer! Lewis is light years away from Larnach and Kirilloff based on any metric except wishful thinking for a #1 overall pick.

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    First, I am not trying to argue that Lewis is set to be top player around, but there is a reason many outlets have him near top prospect around.  Yes, his numbers are not as good as one would hope, but being over 3 years younger than average comp should be considered.  Finally, pure numbers does not tell the whole story, and sure the FO and coaches have much more of an idea of how he is doing.  Remember Kepler numbers last few years and people were talking platooning him, now he is doing great and no need to platoon.  Kepler had some of hardest contact on the team last year, but had very low BABIP compared to average exit velocity.  

     

    I trust in the Falvene two-headed monster, at least so far. 

    He has been dropping in rankings overall. And Law expressed concerns in his last assessment. I think the FO has done a fine job overall but step one is to admit you have a problem

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    Thank you Tom Froemming, Cody Christie, Steve Lein, Ted Schwerzler, Matt Braun  and Seth Stohs.

     

    Your work this year has been stellar -- the best since TD started this feature. The reports have been consistently thorough, informative and entertaining. 

     

    Clearly a lot of work went into this and I am very grateful for all that you have done here,

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