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  • Minor League Report (7/21): Dingers Galore, Nick Vincent Shines

    David Youngs

    The long ball was flying and gutsy pitching performances shined on Wednesday night across the Twins' farm. Read up on all the action across the organization!

    Image courtesy of Tom Froemming, Twins Daily


    • St. Paul Saints activated RHP Robinson Leyer from the 7-day injured list.
    • The Twins/Surge signed LHP Chris Nunn and added him to the 7-day development roster.
    • Minnesota Twins recalled 1B Willians Astudillo from St. Paul Saints.
    • Tennessee Volunteers 3B Jake Rucker signs contract with Minnesota Twins.
    • Minnesota Twins sign RHP Malik Barrington, LHP Jordan Carr, RHP Jackson Hicks, and RHP Ricardo Valdez from USPBL.


    St. Paul 7, Omaha 6

    Box Score

    A perfect storm of power hitting, small ball, and a gutsy bullpen performance guided the Saints to a exciting win over Omaha on Thursday night. 

    With a one-run lead in the eighth inning the Saints ran into trouble, loading the bases with no-one out.   

    Insert Nick Vincent. 

    Vincent pitched with ice in his veins, striking out the next three batters on 12 pitches to get out of the jam and hold a lead that would prove to be the final score. 

    As a whole it wasn't the prettiest of days for the Saints pitching staff. That didn't matter thanks to the fire that the Saints' offense brought to the plate in the first two innings. Rob Refsnyder and Brent Rooker each recorded RBI's in the first inning to put St. Paul on the board and Sherman Johnson followed suit in the second inning with his second home run on the year.

    The Storm Chasers added their share of runs in the middle innings to take a 5-3 lead going into the seventh inning. The tables then turned courtesy of a whopper inning thanks to Jose Miranda and Keon Broxton. Both men launched two-run homers to take the lead that would hold for the rest of the game. Miranda's shot scored Johnson, who reached on a single to start the inning. Broxton's scored Jake Cave, who also reached on a single in the inning. 

    Cave, Johnson, Rooker, and Refsnyder each recorded multi-hit games on the night. Yet it was J.T. Riddle's two-out triple in the fourth that perhaps provided the most excitement of any hit that stayed in the park. Riddle laced a 1-0 pitch to center field to record his second triple on the year. And while he didn't score, one things for certain. This guy can fly!

    For the first time all season the Saints are now three games above .500 (35-32). They look to continue that success tomorrow night when Matt Shoemaker makes his second appearance on the bump for the Saints.


    Wichita 6, Arkansas 4

    Box Score

    It hasn't been uncommon for the high-powered Wichita offense to tally double digits in the hits column on any given night. That wasn't the case on Thursday night, with only six hits recorded for the Surge.

    That didn't matter because three of those six were home runs. 

    Trey Cabbage, BJ Boyd, and Andrew Bechtold all launched dingers to propel the Surge to win number eight in their last ten games. 

    Cabbage kicked off the Bomba bonanza in the second inning when he mashed a 1-1 pitch over the right field wall for a solo shot and his fifth homer of the year. Boyd opened things up in the fourth with a three-run homer (5) and Bechtold sealed the deal with his two run dinger in the sixth (12). 

    And while the home runs may have been the story line the Surge also saw multi-hit games from Ernie De La Trinidad and Cabbage. De La Trinidad punched singles in both the first and fourth inning and touched home in the fourth thanks to Boyd's homer. The two hits bumped the Canadian's batting average to .300 sharp, the highest on the Wichita roster.

    Cabbage knocked a single in the sixth in addition to his second inning blast. It's suiting that Trey's last name is a vegetable because he's been nothing but healthy at the plate as of late. The Knoxville, TN native has tallied multi-hit games in back to back nights and has completed the feat 17 times this season. And while July hasn't been as fruitful for Cabbage in comparison to June his recent success indicates that he's headed in the right direction. 

    Starting pitcher Cole Sands was excellent in his second start since being activated from the Injured List. Sands tossed three innings of scoreless ball, surrendering only one hit and striking out four. Bryan Sammons picked up a bulk of the relief for the Surge and picked up the win (2-3), tossing three innings and striking out three. Calvin Faucher and Ryan Mason picked up the remaining innings and were both excellent. Faucher pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless ball to hold the Wind Surge lead and Mason closed the door on the Travelers, earning his fourth save in four attempts on the season. 

    Wichita now has a three game lead in the division over rival Tulsa. The Surge look to win three in a row tomorrow night when RHP Chris Vallimont (2-4, 4.71 ERA) takes the bump.


    Beloit 1, Cedar Rapids 0 (11)

    Box Score

    Minnesota native Louie Varland was absolutely spectacular on the bump against former Twins affiliate Beloit. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to squeak out a win on Thursday evening at Perfect Game Field. 

    The Snappers scored a run in the top of the 11th to edge past the Kernels in a pitching extravaganza that included 18 strikeouts from the Cedar Rapids pitching staff.

    Varland pitched five innings of nearly perfect baseball, striking out nine, walking two, and only surrendering one hit. Since being promoted to high-A Varland has only given up five hits in two starts and has yet to give up a run. Relievers Ryan Shreve and Erik Manoah Jr put together five perfect innings to follow up Varland's act. The two men struck out a total of nine batters and failed to give up a walk or a hit. Well done!

    And even though Osiris German received the loss in the stats column he was far from bad, striking out one and only giving up one hit. If this year's extra-inning format was nonexistent the game outcome could have been very different. 

    Wander Javier, Matt Wallner, Jair Camargo, Kyle Schmidt, and Gabe Maciel all recorded singles for the Kernels. Yet while the team saw runners on base all night they were unable to convert, leaving 11 men on base and going 0-10 with runners in scoring position. 

    On a positive note, star hitter and Forest Lake, MN native Matt Wallner hit safety once again since being reinstated from the Injured List on Wednesday. Welcome back, Matt! 


    Daytona 7, Fort Myers 1

    Box Score

    A quality night of pitching from Sawyer Gipson-Long wasn't enough to wake up the Mussel bats in a loss to the Tortugas on Wednesday night in Fort Myers. 

    Gipson-Long (L, 4-4) tossed a career-tying 11 strikeouts in six innings of two-run ball while surrendering six hits on the night. The Georgia native was electric early on, striking out six of the first nine batters. He now has 80 strikeouts on the year and a 1.38 WHIP. 

    The Mussels actually struck the scoreboard first thanks to a string of base hits in the second inning. Yunior Severino led off the inning with a single and was then moved to second thanks to a Will Holland sacrifice bunt. Charlie Mack then ripped an RBI single to left field that scored Severino. Mack now has 16 RBI on the year. 

    Misael Urbina and Aaron Sabato recorded the only other hits on the night for Fort Myers. And while hits were few and far between, the pair made sure that theirs counted. Urbina ripped a sixth inning pitch to center field for his fourth triple of the year. Sabato followed suit in the seventh with a double to right field, his 13th on the season. The extra-base hit was an absolute rocket, clocking at 105.4 MPH off Sabato's stick.

    Fort Myers kept the train on the tracks through the sixth, trailing by a score of 2-1. Things changed in the seventh when the Tortugas came out of their shells, scoring five runs in the final three innings. 

    The Mussels will look to turn things around tomorrow night when LHP James Headrick (3-4, 3.65 ERA) takes the bump against Daytona at 6 PM CST.


    Did not play.


    Pitcher of the Day- Louie Varland (Cedar Rapids)- 5 IP, 0 R, H, 2, 9 K

    Hitter of the Day- Sherman Johnson (St. Paul)- 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI


    Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:

    #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL)

    #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain)

    #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch

    #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain)

    #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 1-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K

    #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – Did not play

    #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Did not play

    #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HR

    #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 1-for-3, 2B (13), BB, K

    #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-4, BB, 2 K

    #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery)

    #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch

    #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – 3 IP, H, 0 R, 4 K

    #14 – Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 2-for-4, RBI, K

    #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, 3B (4)

    #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-4, 2 K

    #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5, K

    #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury)

    #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow)

    #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch


    Omaha @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Matt Shoemaker (1-0, 0.00)

    Wichita @ Arkansas (6:10PM CST) – RHP Chris Vallimont (2-4, 4.71 ERA)

    Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (6:05PM CST) – RHP  Jon Olsen (0-3, 3.78)

    Daytona @ Fort Myers- (6:00PM CST) – LHP Brent Headrick (3-4, 3.65 ERA)



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    Varland has been crazy good for a good long time now.  I don't know what he throws but it must be some nasty stuff.  Another great game for him.

    Gipson Long pitched really well, too,  He hasn't quite been Winder good but he sure has that K factor going for him.  He can definitely miss bats.

    Nice to see Sands pitching well but I see they are easing him back into it.  I wonder he will be low innings the rest of the way.  

    Winder didn't have his best night giving up 2 HR's and 4 ER's with only 2 K's.  Moran wasn't lights out either.  Welcome to AAA boys.


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    Watched a couple innings of the Saints while flipping back and forth to the Seattle expansion draft.  Saw Winder's first tough inning when everything seemed to be hit hard, real hard.  Looking at the box score, see that Moran also got roughed up a bit.  Welcome to AAA where they have the opportunity to fail and learn from it.

    Although the Kernels didn't score, saw that Javier had one of their five hits.  Also see that Urbina had another triple.  Seeing him with frequent doubles or triples is an indication that he must have good speed.

    What do those who know more about these pitchers feel about Sands?  Does he have mid-rotation or better talent?

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    21 minutes ago, roger said:

    What do those who know more about these pitchers feel about Sands?  Does he have mid-rotation or better talent?

    Thus far Sands has shown a good feel for pitching at the pro level.  He's got quality stuff and should be a quality major league arm.  Where he ends up (pen or rotation) seems more a matter of where they would need him rather than his ability to pitch. 

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    A reliever that comes into a tough spot and steps up to the task?  How refreshing!  That would have been fun to watch.  Nerve wracking, but fun when it was over.

    In a sense, it's good to see Winder get roughed up a bit.  Nothing wrong with a reality check now and then.  

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    Not that the stats matter, but poor Jovani Moran got a rough deal with 2 ER last night. The first one came from a walk, a balk, (not idea if it was the right call or not, but it got Toby Gardenhire tossed), a stolen base, and a groundout . The second was an inherited runner. Moran walked a guy, and then Ian Gibault came in and was just unbelievably awful (walk, walk, single).

    In between that, Moran worked around an error with a huge K of Witt Jr. He struck out three of his five outs. He was really good, the statline doesn't really tell the story.

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    Good write up, but I was surprised the performance of a top prospect (good or bad) was omitted. It seems Winder's had the long ball get to him early in AAA.  The other numbers still look really good.

    1 hour ago, Seth Stohs said:

    Here is Bobby Witt, Jr.'s first Triple-A homer, an inside-the-parker... by the way, didn't realize how fast Witt is! that's crazy! 


    That was a terrible throw by the CF!

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