Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week.
Before we get started, let’s check out the Transactions and the FCL Twins game on Monday:
- With Mitch Garver activated between the Twins doubleheader games, Ben Rortvedt has been optioned to Triple-A St. Paul. That said, Rortvedt is expected to stay close with the team as Garver and his wife are expecting their first child at any time.
FCL Twins Talk
The FCL Twins scored three runs in the third inning and three more runs in the fifth inning and topped the Pirates Gold squad 8-1 on Monday.
Matt Wallner continued his rehab stint. He went 2-for-4 and scored twice. He played in right field. Wander Valdez went 2-for-3 with a walk. Yonardy Soto went 2-for-4 with a walk and his first double. Luis Baez and Kala’i Rosario each went 2-for-5. Rosario notched his third triple.
Coming off of his no-hitter last week (5 innings), Giovahniey German gave up only an unearned run on four hits and a walk over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out seven. Danny Moreno returned to the mound for the first time since being injured in his second GCL game in 2021. He recorded four outs. Matt Mullenbach tossed two scoreless innings, before Ramon Pineda finished with a perfect ninth.
With that, let’s look at Week 11 in the Twins minor leagues:
Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (5-1, hosting Columbus), overall (33-32)
Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (4-2, hosting Tulsa), overall (37-29)
High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (2-4, @ South Bend), overall (36-30)
Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (2-4, hosting Jupiter), overall (36-30)
Complex League: FCL Twins are 4-10.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles.
- Twins Minor League Week in Review: Kernels with the Sweep
- Tuesday: Rooker Smashes! And Rookie League No-Hitter*
- Wednesday: By the Hair of their Chins
- Twins Prospect Retrospective: LHP Charlie Barnes
- Thursday: Jordy Blazes, Garv Sauce Thrives
- 2021 has been a Big Year for Twins Draft Pick Noah Miller and Family
- Friday: More Late Heartbreak for Kernels
- Saturday: Mark Contreras is the Redemption Story we Need in 2021
- Sunday: Tomas Telis, Saints Battle Back for Walk-Off Win
- Twins Minor League Pitching Report: Notes on Varland, Vallimont and Gore
We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 9 performances
Twins Player of the Week: Brent Rooker, St. Paul Saints
Brent Rooker had a big week for the Saints. In six games, he hit .304/.393/1.000 (1.393) with a double, five home runs and 13 RBI. Three homers and a double came in one game.
Rooker hit one home run in eight games with the Twins earlier this season. In 58 games with the Saints, he has eight doubles and 19 homers. His 20 total homers is most in the organization, one ahead of Nelson Cruz. With the Saints, he is hitting .239/.368/.566 (.934).
Twins Pitcher of the Week: Jordan Balazovic, Wichita Wind Surge
In his start last week, Balazovic was again remarkable. Over seven innings, he gave up just one hit (a single, and the runner was thrown out trying to turn it into a double) and walked one. He struck out 11 batters. He had now tossed 18 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings over his past three starts. In 18 2/3 innings over his first five starts, he had a 5.79 ERA. Now, overall, he is 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA. In 37 1/3 innings, he has nine walks to go with 51 strikeouts. He has certainly reclaimed his spot as the organization’s top pitching prospect. For his efforts, he was also names AA Central Pitcher of the Week.
Other Strong Performances this Week
St. Paul Saints
Mark Contreras played in four games, and he showed some power too. He hit .385/.556/1.077 (1.632) with three homers. He walked one, and he was hit by four pitches. Keon Broxton played in five games. He hit .357/.500/.643 (1.143) with a double and a homer and three walks. Jose Miranda played in all six games. He hit .385/.448/.692 (1.141) with two doubles and two homers. Jimmy Kerrigan hit .308/.357/.769 (1.126) with two homers.
Jovani Moran made his Triple-A debut this week and tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked one and struck out five batters. Matt Shoemaker tossed five shutout innings in his start. Ian Hamilton pitched twice, once as an opener, and gave up just one run on two hits over five innings. Griffin Jax gave up one run over five innings in his Triple-A start last week.
Wichita Wind Surge
Jordan Gore made his first two Double-A appearances, well, as a pitcher, well, not as a position-player-pitching. In 2019, he pitched twice for Pensacola, a combined one inning, but that was in late-inning blowout situations. Now, he is a full-time pitcher and getting some pretty high-leverage situations. So far, so good. In his two games last week, he worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Kody Funderburk also made his first Double-A appearance. He came on in relief of Cole Sands who tossed two innings in his return to the mound. Funderburk gave up only an unearned run over the next five innings.
Andrew Bechtold hit .278/.350/.611 (.961) with three doubles and a home run.
In 17 games with the Kernels early in the season, Chris Williams went 5-for-50 (.100) with 27 strikeouts. He was promoted to the Wind Surge. In 11 games, he is hitting .313/.476/.594 (1.070) with four doubles, a triple and a home run. He also has nine walks and nine strikeouts in 42 plate appearances. Explain that. This past week, he was 4-for-10 with two doubles and a homer.
Also, he is throwing out would-be base stealers left and right.
Cedar Rapids Kernels
Louie Varland was very impressive in his High-A debut, he tossed six shutout innings in South Bend. He gave up four hits, walked two and struck out five batters. Tyler Watson continues to perform in whatever role he is given. This past week, he was asked to come in after a short start, and the lefty responded with five shutout innings. He gave up just two hits, walked two and struck out nine batters! Likewise, Ben Gross came in after a short start and gave up one run on four hits over 5 1/3 innings. Osiris German also made his first Kernels appearance. In that game, he faced six batters and recorded six outs, three on strikeouts.
Max Smith filled out the stat sheet quite well last week. In five games, he hit .294/.500/.706 (1.206) with two doubles, a triple and a home run. He also walked seven times. Gabriel Maciel played in all six games. He hit .353/.476/.529 (1.006) with a home run. He walked four times with just three strikeouts. Jair Camargo went 5-for-17 (.294) with a triple and his 12th home run of the season.
Ft. Myers Might Mussels
Denny Bentley continues to dominate the late innings for the Mighty Mussels. Last week, he was 2-for-2 in save opportunities. In three games and 2 2/3 innings, he struck out three batters. Lefty Aaron Rozek has bounced around in his brief time in the Twins organization. He made one start for Ft. Myers last week. He went five scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, walked none and struck out seven batters. Orlando Rodriguez may have had the start of the week. In his first start in the Twins organization, the Cuban right-hander gave up one run over seven innings. He struck out six batters. Rodriguez and Rozek were both signed recently from the independent Schaumburg Boomers. Mighty Mussels hitting coach Derek Shomon had been the Boomers hitting until spring training when he joined the Twins organization.
Infielder Ruben Santana got a late start, but he had a fantastic week. In five games, he hit. 571/.750/.571 (1.321). He went 4-for-7 but walked five times without striking out at all.
Giovahniey German pitched twice. Last week, he tossed five no-hit innings. On Monday, he gave up only an unearned run over 4 2/3 innings. Combined, he gave up four hits, walked three and struck out 11 batters. Landon Leach tossed three scoreless innings. Matt Mullenbach threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings.
Wander Valdez has big power potential, and in the last week, he played in six games. He hit .389/.500/.611 (1.111) with four doubles in 18 at-bats. Kala’i Rosario played five games. He hit .353/.400/.529 (.929) with a double and a triple in 17 at-bats. Alexander Pena went 8-for-23 (.348) over six games.
We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches.
St. Paul Saints
Ian Gibaut gave up five runs on 10 hits and a walk over just four innings last week.
Wichita Wind Surge
I am bad luck. Last week, I was writing about how good Zach Neff has been this season. And he has, but last week, he gave up three runs on four hits over two innings of work. Chris Vallimont went just 3 1/3 innings in his start. He gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks (though he did strike out seven batters). Adam Lau pitched two innings over two appearances. He gave up five runs on five hits (3 homers).
Jermaine Palacios and Ernie De La Trinidad each went 3-for-18 (.167) on the week. Outfielder DJ Burt went just 1-for-13 (.077) this past week, though he did provide one of the more interesting walk-off winners you’ll see.
Cedar Rapids Kernels
Melvi Acosta worked just one inning. He gave up three runs on four hits. I had to mention. Osiris German is on this list too. His second appearance didn’t go as well. He gave up four runs on two hits and two walks in just 2/3 of an inning. Interestingly, he did strike out three batters, but one reached base still.
Daniel Ozoria and Yeltsin Encarnacion combined to go 0-for-13 on the week. DaShawn Keirsey went 3-for-21 (.143), though he had a big triple .
Ft. Myers Might Mussels
Juan Pichardo had a rough game, though not all of his own doing. He recorded just one out. He was charged with seven runs (just two earned) on one hit, one hit batter and three walks. Steven Cruz gave up five runs on three hits and six walks over two innings. Bradley Hanner gave up seven runs on seven hits and four walks over 3 1/3 innings. Matthew Swain gave up four runs on one hit, two hit batters and three walks in 3 1/3 innings.
At the beginning of the week, Aaron Sabato was so close to getting his season batting average to .200. However, in six games this week, he went 3-for-21 (.143). Yunior Severino and Jeferson Morales each went 3-for-20 (.150).
Elpidio Perez gave up seven runs on five hits, three walks and a hit batter in 2/3 of an inning. Rafael Felix gave up five runs on five hits and three walks in 2 2/3 innings.
Carlos Aguiar, another guy with huge power potential, went 0-for-10 with five strikeouts over his first three games of the year.
There was a lot of doubt about whether there would be a Dominican Summer League this year. It wasn’t until fairly recently that they decided when the season would start. Well, that date was last week and the DSL Twins have played six games already.
It is impossible to make too much for six games, of course. I have also been told many times that the further away from the big-leagues a player is, the less important the stats are, and it’s a lot about the tools, skill development and getting some reps.
That said, I also like to look at who is getting the most at bats. So far, it should come as no surprise who the top two on the team in plate appearances are.
Fredy Michel is another interesting prospect. Last year when the Twins signed him for $1.1 million, he was going by Fredy LaFlor. He was MLB Pipeline’s #28-ranked international free agent. He just turned 17 this month. The switch-hitting infielder leads the team with 23 plate appearances. He is hitting .222/.391/.278 (.669) with a double. He also has four stolen bases.He has four walks and 10 strikeouts. He has split time between the middle infield positions.
Just one plate appearance less is Danny De Andrade leads the team with 20 at-bats in six games. He received a $2.2 million signing bonus last year when he signed as a 16-year-old shortstop. Through six games, he is hitting .200 (.4-for-20) with two doubles. He has one walk and two strikeouts. He has been the primary shortstop, but he’s also played a game at third base.
The other hitters who have played in all six games:
Another January 15, 2021, signing was Junior Del Valle. An outfielder, he has started the season by hitting .471/.500/.588 (1.088) with a triple. Reynaldo Madrigal received a six-figure signing bonus. The Dominican shortstop is 3-for-16 (.188) to start his season. He already has five stolen bases. Luis Rodriguez signed in the same range as Rodriguez. Both are shortstops from the Dominican. He has gone 3-for-14 (.214) through the first six games. Madrigal has played in the outfield. Rodriguez has played the corner spots mostly.
As for pitchers, no one has pitched more than three games, or more than six innings. Way too small of a sample to take anything from.
We have now updated this Prospect Summary to show our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings…
#1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL)
#2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain)
#3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 8 GS, 37.1 IP, 32 H, 9 BB, 51 K, 2.89 ERA, 1.10 WHIP
#4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain)
#5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 65 games, .345/.411/.509 (1.010) with 14 doubles, 18 homers, 54 RBI, 27 BB, 39 K
#6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 38 games, .279/.361/.357 (.718) with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer, 16 RBI, 17 BB, 44 K, 6 SB
#7 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesotal) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), Minnesota (18 games, .146/.180/.313 (.493) with 2 BB, 9 K)
#8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 13 GS, 66.2 IP, 49 H, 13 BB, 77 K, 2.30 ERA, 0.93 WHIP
#9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 65 games, .189/.368/.297 (.695) with 12 doubles, 4 homers, 25 RBI, 59 BB, 87 K
#10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 17 games, .333/.384/.621 (1.005) with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 4 homers, 14 RBI, 5 BB, 28 K. (on IL after having hamate bone surgery)
#11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th)
#12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesotal) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (8 GS, 33.0 IP, 34 H, 11 BB, 37 K, 5.45 ERA, 1.36 WHIP)
#13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 8 GS, 33.2 IP, 24 H, 18 BB, 45 K, 2.67 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
#14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (8 games, .103/.133/.241 (375) with 1 double, 1 homer, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 13 K)
#15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 58 games, .209/.314/.307 (621) with 6 doubles, 3 triples, 3 homer, 40 RBI, 32 BB, 50 K, 9 SB)
#16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 62 games, .254/.373/.483 (.856) with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 15 homers, 36 RBI, 42 BB, 51 K)
#17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 55 games, .223/.289/.431 (.721) with 10 doubles, 5 triples, 8 homers, 34 RBI, 17 BB, 77 K)
#18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (injured - foot)
#19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips)
#20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 10 GS, 41.2 IP, 36 H, 22 BB, 67 K, 3.67 ERA, 1.39 WHIP
Daytona @ Ft. Myers (Aaron Rozek, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Brent Headrick, TBD, Orlando Rodriguez, Zarion Sharpe):
Beloit @ Cedar Rapids:(Tyler Beck, Louie Varland, Jon Olsen, Tyler Watson, Ben Gross, Luis Rijo)
Wichita @ Arkansas: (Jordan Balazovic, Cole Sands (followed byBryan Sammons), Chris Vallimont, Austin Schulfer, Kody Funderburk, Jordan Balazovic)
St. Paul @ Omaha: (Chandler Shepherd, Josh Winder, TBD, TBD, TBD, TBD):
Feel free to provide some feedback below regarding these reports. What do you like to read? What types of information would you like added? Also, feel free to ask any questions you like.