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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/03/2021 in all areas

  1. He has played what, three months of AA ball after sitting out a year following college and some are downgrading his potential. And he is playing while dealing with an injured hand. Bah Humbug! I am amazed that the Twins were able to pry him away from Toronto. Why you ask? Looked at Toronto's draft last year. They paid this kid $7.0M to sign, which was $820,000 over the allotted slot of $6.18M. That was the second highest bonus paid last year, which ties to some who maintain he was one of the top two prospects in the draft. The result was that the Jays ended up around 5% over their allotted pool, ie, they paid a hefty tax. With everything Toronto paid to get this kid, I doubt their opinion slipped, especially considering he is playing with that injury. So why were the Twins able to get this kid and a top notch young pitcher? Easy, they traded one hell of a great young pitcher who will help the Jays battle for the playoffs this year and next. Berrios just may be an ACE, but most of us here have nitpicked his talent apart for the past whatever years. Why, probably in part because the bloody Twins haven't been able to satisfy our yearning for some playoff success. None of us knows what the future holds for this young man. But odds are pretty darn good that he is gonna be heck of a good one.
    11 points
  2. I think these points are not anything to be too worried about at this point. Contact: I don't think it's overly surprising for Martin's strikeout rate to increase being thrust straight into AA. He's more than held his own at AA as a 22 year old and think his offensive profile as an OBP machine has not changed. Let's get more of a minor league sample size without the injury before we worry too much here. Impacting the Baseball: This to me will be something to keep an eye on, but I think it's still too limited of a sample size (including the hand injury), to overly speculate with. If he can get to Starling Marte level power then he will be a very helpful player. His college exit velos were excellent, and there's no reason one year away should change that perception too much. Keith Law mentioned that his swing with the injury has caused more of an inside out swing, which naturally would create less power. Let's see where things go once the hand injury heals in the offseason. Defense: I think we have a tendency to over analyze defense on these forums to the point where we begin playing a player who can't hit just for the sake of SS defense. I think Martin has a lot of utility (like Arraez) to have defensive flexibility at CF/2B/3B/LF. He does not profile well as a corner outfielder, but would still be a great addition for days where Kepler/Larnach need a day off. Polanco and Arraez will probably be in the ballpark of 3+ WAR players for the forseeable future, but leveraging where they play with Martin could create an incredible top of the lineup. Even if we re-sign Buxton, we know he will miss time so this is a nice player to have who can be a 2-3 WAR swiss army knife who may be a slightly better version of Arraez. In my opinion, Martin (like Arraez) fits a huge need for the future offense in having table setters for our power hitters. The 2020 and 2021 Twins have had issues with having to out-homer there competition, which to me is not good baseball. I think Arraez, Polanco, and Martin will be excellent future compliments to the way Falvine wants to build out the middle of the order, and I don't think these shortcomings listed by scouts are anything to be too worried about at this stage.
    11 points
  3. I think it is hard to say they bought low on a guy that is in his first season of pro ball, and has improved each month in terms of average and OBP. He is also 2 years younger than average age level he is at. He also has reduced his K's each month. May, was 24k to 9 walks. June was 19K to 13 walks and July was 10K to 15 walks, with a .500 OBP. Yes, slugging is an issue, and lack of clear defensive position, but for a guy that is young for the league, had not played pro ball, with wood bat before, and had long time off, he is making big strides each month. Personally, I would not say this is buying low on a guy. It is not like he has spent a few years in pro ball and never had a breakout. Hopefully he can increase his power some, but that OBP is crazy good, and having more walks than K's is always a plus too.
    10 points
  4. How do you buy low on the 13th ranked prospect in all of baseball?
    10 points
  5. Austin Martin is a highly-regarded prospect and has been since well before he was drafted 5th overall by Toronto in 2020. Many evaluators even saw Martin as the top hitter of the entire draft. He was arguably the most talented prospect to change jerseys at this year’s deadline as well. Making it all the more incredible is the Twins not only received Martin in their Berrios deal, but also another top 100 prospect in right handed pitcher Simeon Woods-Richardson. It seemed too good to be true at the time, and it may be worthwhile to consider how the Twins talked the Blue Jays into parting with a player who was drafted 5th overall just a year ago. Contact Concerns In his senior season at Vanderbilt, Austin Martin struck out just twice in 69 plate appearances against some of the best collegiate pitching in the country. It set him apart from the typical college masher as a savant when it came to bat-to-ball skills. Such a skillset comes with a high floor which is likely why Toronto was aggressive enough to assign Martin to AA in his professional debut in 2021. His 2021 season hasn’t been a complete disaster, but it has raised some eyebrows. Martin has struck out over 20% of the time which was an outcome not many scouts saw coming. Some attribute it to his passive approach which while leading him to a near 15% walk rate, may also get him unnecessarily deep into counts that he can’t battle his way out of. Martin may need to find a happy medium between drawing his walks and being just aggressive enough to take advantage of hittable pitches early in counts. Impacting the Baseball: You typically hear of prospects “flashing plus power”, whereas Martin has been cited to flash average power. Given his eye at the plate and impressive bat-to-ball skills, the Twins won’t need him to become a 40 home run hitter in order to be a success. That being said, his .383 slugging % in 2021 paired with an 8 mph drop in average exit velocity has been enough to cause worry among some scouts. It’s easier to develop power as a player ages than it is elite contact ability, and the Twins will be counting on Martin to do so to some extent as he continues to inch closer to the Major League level. Defensive Future: By almost all accounts, Martin is not the Twins shortstop of the future. While athletic and soft handed, his arm may be lacking for the most important position in the infield. While listed as a shortstop, he played third base for much of his senior year before being moved to center field due to throwing issues by year’s end. Scouts have yet to come to much of a conclusion in regards to Austin Martin the center fielder. The Twins will surely get a closer look at their new top two prospect at shortstop, but don’t be surprised to see them pivot to trying him as an heir to the center field position in the case of a Buxton departure. A player of such a skillset just doesn’t slot in well to the traditionally power-heavy corner positions in the outfield. Such a lack of clarity on a defensive future is enough to rub some of the prospect shine away on a 22 year old. Austin Martin is certainly an incredibly exciting prospect and one that isn’t too far off from the Majors in all likelihood. There are further questions that have been raised in the last year about his ceiling however that without a doubt contributed to the Twins ability to receive both him and a highly-regarded pitching prospect. The front office admitted they were enormous fans of Martin during the 2020 draft but had no shot at drafting him. While his stock hasn’t crashed, Falvine and company have bought relatively low on a prospect that caught their eye a year ago and now have the opportunity to develop a possible cornerstone of the next great Minnesota Twins team. Can the Twins come out on the winning end of the gamble they made on trading away their home grown ace? — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
    5 points
  6. You are aware that every single player, prior to playing a major league game, is considered a prospect, right? These are 2 very good, young players. Believe it or not, Berrios was once a prospect!
    5 points
  7. They're buying low if you agree with FanGraphs downgrade on Martin, I guess? the Twins FO doesn't seem too concerned about his power production this year (he may have adjusted his swing to compensate for a hand injury) and they're right that it's a lot easier to add power to a guy with high bat skills and great control of the strike zone than it is to add average and contact to a player with big power. Small tweaks in elevating his swing, pulling the ball more, using his legs better, adding muscle, etc are all thing that could add additional pop to his bat. I heard on Gleeman & the Geek the comp of "Shannon Stewart with more walks" right now. That would be a pretty nice player, as Shannon Stewart was a borderline all-star a couple of times and a quality starter for the better part of a decade. add in more walks and you have a player who is a multiple all-star and a building block for your team. I really didn't expect the twins to get a player of this quality and a high-upside pitcher for Berrios, which was part of my resistance to trading him (the other part is I would have preferred to sign him long-term...but I'm increasingly of the belief that absent a substantial overpay the Twins had no shot of extending him. I think the same is true for Toronto: I believe Berrios is serious about wanting to be a free agent and see what happens.) Martin is really good as a player. They'll find a position for him defensively; this isn't a case of needing to stash him somewhere where he won't do any damage.
    5 points
  8. I like the Arraez comparison and I think it's a good one, although Martin's bat will be a lot better in the long run. I'm not really worried about him, Toronto is pretty aggressive with their prospects. Most teams probably wouldn't have dropped him in AA to start his career so it made sense that he struggled a bit. He's going to be really good.
    5 points
  9. He's so easy to root for. Glad his bat has bounced back!
    5 points
  10. I think the timeline depends on their willingness to go with prospects as opposed to filling spots with free agents. I agree they are not contending next year but they could put a team on the field next year that would project to be close.
    4 points
  11. Except, he spent 2020 doing just that. He worked really hard on his motion/delivery to alleviate the aches and pains he felt previously after pitching. No reports this season of any recurring issues. And his velocity has jumped from high 80's to touching low 90's to being a consistent 92-94 with amazing extension and hiding. For him, now, it's all about working on secondary stuff and building up his arm for IP. Funny how we are so desperate for internal development for SP but we forget how bad Gibson and Berrios looked initially. And Ober, just the 1st rotational piece to reach the majors, is such a question mark when his initial numbers are better than either of them. Instant gratification happens so seldom. I predict nothing for Ober, at this point, other than just maybe being a solid back end option. Just surprised how few look at what he's done thus far and dismiss him.
    4 points
  12. Guys, I think Ober's development is clearly a success. He's getting better every start and showing signs of being a consistent back end starter - 4 or 5 spot. Those guys do not grow on trees and are pretty valuable. Yes, he's not a #1 or #2 but that doesn't mean he isn't important. I can absolutely see him as the 4th or 5th starter at the beginning of next season. There is one thing that puzzles me. I understand that we're watching his innings but why 4-5 innings for another 10-12 starts instead of 6 plus innings for another 7-8 starts? that's what we need next year - starters that can go 6 plus innings. Let's see if he can be one of those guys and whether he can navigate that 3rd time through the lineup. Yes, that mans shutting him down in early September but that might be a good thing. We have a lot of potential starters to evaluate THIS YEAR - Ober, Jax, Barnes, Ryan, Winder, Thorpe, Balazovic, at the very least. Leave a few starts for those guys. run piggy back starts - e.g., Jax as long as he can go followed by Barnes hopefully to the end of the game - but get these guys on the mound and find out if they're ready for the big time. Commit to the re-tool NOW, don't waste this year.
    4 points
  13. It’s been a few days since the Minnesota Twins allowed the dust to settle on their 2021 Trade Deadline moves. With some big names leaving the organization, and some big prospects entering, it’s time to take a look at the talent that moved places. The headliner was obviously the Jose Berrios move. As a fan, this one was always going to be hard to stomach. Berrios was drafted by the organization, developed, and became one of the best pitchers in Twins history. As it became increasingly evident that he would not sign a long-term extension with the club, moving him made more and more sense. Derek Falvey had to maximize the return on Berrios is there was going to be a deal, and he did absolutely that. I noted Austin Martin being my desired target should a swap with the Blue Jays be the plan of action. Still though, getting controllable pitching needed to happen considering Minnesota was moving an ace. To get both Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson was an absolute coup, and it was the strongest return any swap generated during the deadline. I wrote up the Cruz swap last week and getting Joe Ryan looks like a very strong return for a guy that’s an impending free agent and had limited suitors. While Nelson Cruz is great, there was never a point in which I thought he’d bring back much to work with. Instead, the Twins got Team USA’s game one starter in Ryan, and a flier that’s close to major league ready in Drew Strotman. No matter how Falvey organized this one, he did incredibly well. Flipping J.A. Happ to the Cardinals was impressive as well. I’ve kicked the notion that he could be seen as valuable to someone for weeks. That always was tongue in cheek with how poorly he’s pitched but leave it to St. Louis to make me look smart. John Gant is under team control in 2022, and that gives the Twins a veteran arm with a longer runway to decide a future on. He can both start and relieve, although he’s currently in Rocco Baldelli’s pen. Gant has pitched well above expectations this year, and his FIP suggests some massive regression is coming. That said, if the Twins can unlock another tier, they may have something to work with down the line. It wasn’t unexpected to see Hansel Robles moved, although I did think that Alex Colome may wind up being the more coveted reliever. Boston sent back a non-top 30 arm in Alex Scherff, but the 23-year-old has big strikeout numbers and is already at Double-A. Although he’s a reliever, that’s still a useful arm to add for an organization needing to develop pitchers for the highest level. There has to be some criticism directed at Falvey and Thad Levine, although none of it should be for what they did. Instead, not trading Michael Pineda or Andrelton Simmons looks like a missed opportunity. Both are impending free agents and serve no purpose to this club down the stretch. I’d like to see Pineda back next season, but that could happen on the open market anyways. There’s no reason for this team to hold onto any semblance of respectability and turning the results over to youth makes more sense than ever. Simmons has been fine defensively, but he’s non-existent at the plate and some contender could’ve parted with a bag of balls for a shortstop upgrade. When the bell run on July 31, we had seen the most exciting trade deadline in Major League Baseball history come to an end. The Minnesota Twins bettered their future, and made some high impact moves that both Falvey and Levine should be praised for. Now it’ll be up to the organizational infrastructure to develop and best position these talents in an opportunity to bear fruit and turn the tides of the big-league club. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
    3 points
  14. Jorge Polanco must have been riding high back in 2019 as he made his first All-Star Game as the American League’s starting shortstop. He finished that season with career highs in nearly every offensive category, and the Twins were at the top of the AL Central. Life was good. In each of the last two offseasons, he underwent ankle surgery. Polanco’s clearly-hampered swing was evident as he played through the injury. During the 2020 season, he played in 55 of the team’s 60 games, but his slugging percentage dropped over 130 points compared to 2019. Over the team’s final 15 games, he posted a .167 batting average with two extra-base hits. Entering the 2021 season, Minnesota’s offseason plan included moving Polanco from shortstop to second base. He has always been stretched defensively at shortstop, and the switch may also take some pressure off his ailing ankles. He has been good defensively as he ranks just outside the top-3 AL second basemen when it comes to SABR’s Defensive Index. While the defensive switch has worked, his offensive numbers are what really needed to improve. Quietly, Polanco has rediscovered his swing during the 2021 season. Over the team’s last 70 games, he is hitting .297/.355/.524 (.879) with 15 home runs and 17 doubles. If the season ended today, there’s a good chance he would be named the team MVP. On a last-place team, that might not mean a lot, but it might be a sign of him being healthy for the first time in multiple seasons. Polanco is signed through 2023 as part of his 5-year, $25.75 million extension, but vesting/team options can keep in Minnesota through 2025. If he stays with the Twins, he will turn 31-years old in 2025, and the team would control the majority of his prime years. By being with the organization for this long, he also has the opportunity to be the veteran presence on a team that will include a young core of Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and other prospects yet to debut. Over the last decade, veteran players like Nelson Cruz, Brian Dozier, and Torii Hunter took on the team leader role to help nurture young players and be the contending team's voice. Polanco hasn't taken on that role yet, but looking into the future makes it easier to imagine him taking on the leadership role the future Twins will need on and off the field. Do you think Polanco is the right veteran leader for the Twins turnaround? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
    3 points
  15. After Mitch Garver and Nelson Cruz took home the prestigious title in May and June, respectively, we will have a new award winner for the month of July. Before we announce the winner, let’s look at a group of honorable mentions for the month. Honorable Mention #3: Luis Arraez Arraez missed some time in July, otherwise he’d be higher on this list, but he was still one of the most productive Twins of the month. In the month of July, he had the highest batting average (.373) and on-base percentage (.415) of his career in months where he had at least 40 at-bats. Due to the time he’s missed this year, he’s currently about 50 plate appearances short of being a qualified hitter but he would rank 13th in the league in batting average if he had the minimum number of plate appearances. He gets bonus points for the crafty slide he showed on July 19th against the Chicago White Sox Honorable Mention #2: Josh Donaldson At 35-years-old, it’s safe to assume that Donaldson’s MVP days are behind him but that was probably an unfair bar to hold him to in the first place. Over the last two months, Donaldson has been one of the Twins best hitters smashing 11 homeruns with a .929 OPS. Although Donaldson slowed a bit in July and missed some time, he still accrued 0.5 fWAR with three homeruns and a .854 OPS. Included in his three home runs from the month was this 446 foot moon shot against off of José Cisnero where he broke through some career milestones. Honorable Mention #1: Max Kepler Kepler has struggled since his impressive 2019 season, but he hit well in July hitting one double, one triple, and a team-leading eight homeruns. He ended the month slashing .228/.290/.522 with a wRC+ of 118. Most notably, he became the all-time leader in walk off hits with this bloop against the Tigers that scored utility pinch runner Kenta Maeda in extras. Many thought that Kepler might get traded at the deadline and it even sounds like they had some preliminary talks with the Yankees. Alas, he’ll keep manning Centerfield and Right Field for the foreseeable future as the Twins begin a (hopefully) mini rebuild. Hitter of the Month: Jorge Polanco This was quite easy. In the month of July, Polanco slashed .327/.366/.548 with a wRC+ of 149 and this is now two plus months of solid play from the Twins second baseman. It seems that part of Polanco’s rebound can be thanks to a healthy ankle, and I wonder if shifting to second is a little easier on the joint. Regardless, this is an important development for a player who is under contract until 2024-2025 and could theoretically be a contributor to the next competitive window for the Twins.
    3 points
  16. THAT'S WHAT I AM TALKIN' (apparently to myself) ABOUT!!!!!
    3 points
  17. The FO manipulated his service time, they leaked information about Buxton not signing, and then they tried to trade him. So, yeah, they might not expect him to be here much longer. I'd rather lose this FO than Buxton but others may disagree.
    3 points
  18. In their quest to try out all former Twins pitchers, the Rays are giving Dietrich Enns a shot.
    3 points
  19. The Blue Jays got exactly what they wanted in Jose Berrios and thus the Twins were able to receive two highly rated prospects in return. Austin Martin may develop, quickly, into a real fine MLB player and we hope he does as soon as next season. However, Martin was not going to play ahead of Bichette or Springer and thus his value was higher for others than to Toronto. I don't think Toronto was down on Martin as a prospect. The Twins could use Austin Martin in LF if Buxton returns to full health. Byron has had a real tough time with injuries but most of them are unrelated and he could, absolutely, bounce back to be a 140+ games per year star. Power in CF allows for a line drive hitter in LF, and Martin could be that player. The Twins still need two pitchers though.
    3 points
  20. Right on brother! Let's not let ourselves get so desperate for a Berrios replacement that we judge all of the new SP candidates with that lens. They are all going to struggle initially before they improve. Ober is actually on a good course compared to most, so while Ii think he should go 6 innings a start for fewer starts rather tan 4-5 for more, I don't want to lose sight of the fact that he may be developing into a solid 4/5 starter as early as next year. And that's a very good thing. By the way, Jax has actually looked better than at least I expected this early. Is it possible that our AA/AAA pitching development folks are actually competent? We'll see as the next wave comes up but the early returns are better than I expected. Now let's see some of the mid 20s bullpen guys. Like NOW.
    3 points
  21. I may be one of the few who like Simmons for a team that wants to be respectable. He will probably win a gold glove again this year. Although his batting numbers are not good he has had many timely hits. Unless we have a major league caliber defender at shortstop for next year, I would bring him back if the price is right.
    3 points
  22. I'm very bullish on Ober. Command is everything, he's got it. Plus the deception. So, a five inning playoff start down the road is something I look forward to.
    3 points
  23. For the month of July Sano had a wRC+ of 126 and struck out exactly 1/3 of his ABs. He will be moveable if he repeats or improves upon that performance in August. However, he is no longer a big problem and he won't be a problem at all if he continues to trend up. Why not just let him play at this point, especially with Kirilloff out and see what happens. Maybe he regains some value to trade this off-season.
    3 points
  24. Lewis Thorpe should be done with his rehab stint soon. He's going to have to make a good impression or he'll be cut this offseason because he's out of options.
    3 points
  25. Sad? Becoming a #4 starter is a fantastic outcome for a 12th round pick. And if they were to go on a playoff run, he could move to the pen and possibly gain a couple ticks on his fastball, likely increasing his K rate. This organization has a woeful track record with starting pitching, but Ober could be a sign of things to come.
    3 points
  26. Following a non-existent 2020 minor league season, the line between reliever and starter continues to be blurred for prospects. That being said, a few pitchers were used more regularly out of the bullpen and were able to separate themselves statistically. Before exploring the top four relievers, here are three Honorable Mentions: Jordan Gore, Cedar Rapids Kernels/Wichita Wind Surge - 8 G, 2.77 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 8 H, 8 walks, 21 strikeouts Osiris German, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels/Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 2.40 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 9 H, 6 walks, 23 strikeouts Ryan Mason, Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 0.82 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 10 H, 5 walks, 14 strikeouts. THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - RHP Derek Molina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 3.06 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 17.2 IP, 12 H, 5 BB, 22 K Molina was drafted by the Twins in the 14th round back in 2017. He ended the 2019 season at High-A and that’s where he’s spent all of 2021. Things didn’t start off great for him during the 2021 campaign as he entered the month of July with a 5.46 ERA with opponents getting on base over 33% of the time against him. There were some positive signs as his strikeout totals were high (40 K in 29 2/3 innings). He seemed to put it all together in July as was asked to pitch two innings or more in every appearance. Opponents were only able to hit .190/.257/.286 (.543), and his five walks were the fewest he’s had in any month. Righties really struggle against Molina as he has held them to a .190 average with 35 strikeouts in 100 at-bats this season. His numbers could have looked even better if he hadn’t allowed two earned runs on the last day of the month. #3 - LHP Jovani Moran - Wichita Wind Surge/St. Paul Saints - 8 G, 2.41 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 18.2 IP, 6 H, 7 BB, 34 K Moran joined the Twins in 2015 as a 7th round pick from Puerto Rico, and the development of his dominant changeup have made him a reliever to keep an eye on. He made his first five appearances at Triple-A during July, where he is over three years younger than the average age of the competition. He posted some dominant numbers during the month as he faced a total of 71 batters and compiled 34 strikeouts. Yes, he struck out nearly 50% of the batters he faced during the month. Also, he was asked to pitch more than one inning in every appearance during July. Batters struggled to do anything against him as he held them to a .094/.183/.203 slash line. With him now in St. Paul, it is not hard to imagine him making his big league debut before season’s end. #2 - LHP Denny Bentley - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels - 11 G, 1.65 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 8 H, 8 BB, 21 K Bentley, a 33rd round pick back in 2018, was the June Relief Pitcher of the Month, so it’s no surprise to see his name back near the top of the list. For the second straight month, batters hit under .145 against him and got on base only 25% of the time. All three of his earned runs this month came in one appearance as he was asked to make a spot start back on July 6. That means he ended the month with eight straight scoreless appearances. Even as a lefty, Bentley allows a .705 OPS against left-handed hitters, which is nearly 240 points higher than his OPS versus righties. Since he’s pitched at Low-A for the entire season, one has to wonder if he will make the jump to High-A during the season’s second half. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: RHP Erik Manoah Jr. - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 0.60 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 20 K Manoah might not be a familiar name to Twins fans because he wasn’t even in the organization at season’s start. He began the year pitching in independent baseball as part of the Atlantic League, but he impressed enough to catch the eye of the Twins organization. Originally, he was a 13th round pick of the Mets and he pitched parts of three seasons for that organization before joining the Angels organization. He topped out at High-A with Los Angeles and ended 2019 pitching in the American Association. As the calendar turned to July, Manoah was promoted to Cedar Rapids where he made an immediate impact. Across nine appearances, he only allowed one run and he held batters to hitting .140/.241/.180 (.421). Lefties have only been able to combine for a .313 OPS when facing Manoah. Also, he seems to buckle down in pressure situations as he has 24 strikeouts in 43 at-bats with runners on base. Because of his stints in independent leagues, all but one of his at-bats this season has come against younger batters. Other players might have quit after multiple years in independent leagues, but now he is back on the professional map. And yes, his younger brother Alek pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays. As the Twins have seen this year, an organization can never have too much relief pitching. All of these players had strong month and some may be worthy of promotions in the weeks ahead. Congratulations to Erik Manoah Jr., the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for July 2021.
    2 points
  27. The reverse bremergasm! What a rarity!
    2 points
  28. 2 points
  29. The bringer of lame. Constant disappointment in the big situation
    2 points
  30. I could have sworn a seeing-eye- service dog guided kepler to the batting box last time up.
    2 points
  31. Before the pandemic hit last year I had the chance to drive down the road to Hawkins field and watch the commodores. This guy looked like a man among boys which judging by his stats to start the season he truly was! This guy is gonna be an OBP machine. On a team of elite players in the country he was by far the best player. No questions. He’s gonna be fine and I can’t wait for him to get the call because he’s a gamer for sure! He’s calm in the box. You can tell he’s got a plan. He was watching the pitcher intently in the on deck circle. He worked the count and when he got his pitch which he knew was coming he attacked the pitchAnd barreled it! He looked like a right handed Mauer in the box. In his prime that is. That kind of hitter! In college!
    2 points
  32. 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 FCL Twins game on Monday. There were no transactions announced on Monday. FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 0, FCL Pirates Black 3 Box Score On Monday, the FCL Twins fell to 6-18 despite a nice start from a rehabbing Lewis Thorpe. The lefty from Australia tossed three scoreless, hitless innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Danny Moreno came up a run in the fourth on a hit and two walks. Matt Mullenbach gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits in 1 2/3 innings. Cole Bellair got the final four outs, two on strikeouts. The Twins managed just four hits in the game. Yonardy Soto’s double was the lone extra-base hit. With that, let’s look at Week 13 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (3-3, hosting Indianapolis), overall (40-37) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (3-3, @ NW Arkansas), overall (44-34) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, @ Wisconsin), overall (44-34) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (1-2,@ Clearwater), overall (40-35) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-4), overall (6-18) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Second Half Success Scouting Twins Prospects: Jose Miranda Tuesday: Everybody Hits, Sometimes… Wednesday: Bombas Across the Board Thursday: Saints Hold Serve Twins Prospect Joe Ryan Excels in Olympic Debut Twins Acquire Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson Twins Acquire Evan Sisk Twins Claim Edgar Garcia off Waivers Twins Acquire Alex Scherff Friday: You Win Some, You Lose Some, Sometimes There’s COVID 5 Things to Know About Twins Deadline Centerpiece Austin Martin The Twins Have Got to Make Their Loaded Farm System Count 5 Things To Know About Twins Pitcher Simeon Woods-Richardson Saturday: A New Prospect Approaches Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - July 2021 Sunday: Tyler Beck Dazzles for Kernels, Surge Win a Thriller Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - July 2021 HIGHLIGHTS 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 13 performances Twins Player of the Week: Michael Helman, Cedar Rapids Kernels Helman played in six games last week for the Kernels and hit .435/.500/.652 (1.152) with a triple and a home run in 26 plate appearances. In 71 games this season, he has hit .237/.333/.420 (.754) with 13 doubles and ten home runs. At least twice this season, Helman has ended a game in walk-off fashion. Helman was the Twins 11th round pick in 2018 out of Texas A&M. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels It has been a breakout year for St. Paul native and Concordia University alum Louie Varland. He began the season dominating in Ft. Myers, and after throwing five shutout innings this week for the Kernels, he has begun his Cedar Rapids tenure with 16 scoreless innings. He was the Twins choice for Pitcher of the Week, and he was Twins Daily’s choice for Starting Pitcher of the Month for July. Click the link for more information on the hard-throwing right-hander. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints Jimmy Kerrigan was named the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month, and he ended it with a strong week. In six games, he hit .391/.423/.696 (1.119) with a double and two home runs. Rob Refsnyder played four rehab games. He hit .500/.600/1.063 (1.663) with three doubles and two homers. Keon Broxton played four games and hit .333/.412/.800 (1.212) with a double and two homers. Jose Miranda played five games and hit .409/.480/.636 (1.116) with two doubles and a homer. On the mound, Matt Shoemaker tossed seven shutout innings in his start. He gave up just two hits, walked two and struck out six batters. Rob Whalen returned and tossed two perfect innings over two games. In his start last Tuesday, Chandler Shepherd gave up two hits over seven scoreless innings. Wichita Wind Surge Spencer Steer had been struggling in Wichita since his promotion, other than home runs. In five games last week, he hit .444/.565/1.056 (1.621) with three doubles, a triple and two home runs. BJ Boyd played all six games and hit .429/.448/.679 (1.127) with a double and two home runs. DJ Burt played in four games and hit .357/.550/.500 (1.050) with two doubles. Chris Williams hit .357 and had a double and a home run. Chris Nunn made his Twins organizational debut this week. He struck out seven batters in 3 2/3 innings over two games. Cedar Rapids Kernels Yunior Severino was promoted to the Kernels and in his five games, he hit .412/.524/.647 (1.171) with four doubles and four walks. Matt Wallner played in five games. He hit .304/.304/.783 (1.087) with two doubles and three home runs. Edouard Julien hit just .217, but he posted a .976 OPS because his five hits included two doubles and three home runs. Tyler Beck tossed five scoreless innings in his start. He gave up two hits and two walks, but struck out five. Zach Featherstone continues to dominate. He pitched in three games and had a hold and two saves. In four innings, he struck out seven and didn’t allow a run. Tyler Watson gave up only an unearned run over his five innings in his start. Erik Manoah, Jr., struck out eight batters in 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Obviously when the team played just three games, it’s hard to make too much out of anything. Charlie Mack played in one of the three games, and he went 3-for-4. Keoni Cavaco hit a home run in the game he played. Ruben Santana went 5-for-10 with a double and a walk (1.145 OPS). Sawyer Gipson-Long was the league’s pitcher of the week. In his start, he went seven innings and gave up just an unearned run on three hits and a walk. He struck out nine batters. Bobby Milaci tossed three perfect innings and struck out three batters. FCL Twins Emmanuel Rodriguez had just two hits in nine at bats, but both were home runs. LaRon Smith went 4-for-8 (.500) with his fourth homer of the season. Kala’i Rosario went 6-for-16 (.375) with three walks, a double and a triple. Samuel Perez tossed six innings of one-hit baseball this past week. He struck out eight batters. Ramon Pineda struck out four batters in four scoreless innings… and his brother didn’t get traded. Giovahniey German threw three innings and gave up just one hit while striking out three batters. Juan Mendez gave up just one hit over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. ; LOWLIGHTS Weekly Reminder: We are talking about very 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 Damek Tomscha went 1-for-12 (.083) over four games. JT Riddle was 2-for-14 (.143). In his start on Sunday, Chandler Shepherd again took one for the team. In four innings, he gave up eight runs on 11 hits. Wichita Wind Surge Roy Morales went 3-for-17 (.176). Ernie De La Trinidad went 2-for-13 (.154) over four games. Trey Cabbage went 3-for-16 (.188) with ten strikeouts. Chris Vallimont had a tough two-start week. He gave up 11 runs (10 earned) on 10 hits and eight walks in 8 1/3 innings. Byran Sammons gave up seven earned runs on five hits and four walks in four innings in his start. Jordan Balazovic went 3 1/3 innings in his start and gave up seven runs (6 earned) on six hits and four walks. Cedar Rapids Kernels Seth Gray went 4-for-26 (.154) with 12 strikeouts. Tyler Palm gave up five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. He was replacing Cody Laweryson who gave up three runs in just 2/3 of an inning before leaving with an apparent injury. The good news is that he is on the schedule to make another start this week. Ft. Myers Might Mussels The lowlight was simply that the team played just three games up in Clearwater because of a COVID situation by their opponent. Games Friday through Sunday were canceled. TRENDING STORYLINE For this week, let’s use this section to ask our readers a couple of questions. Leave your responses or comments below. #1a. Who is the Twins top position player prospect? It would appear that it is a choice between Austin Martin and Royce Lewis, but has Jose Miranda done enough to put himself into that conversation? #1b. Who is the Twins top pitching prospect? This one is pretty challenging. In our preseason rankings, Jhoan Duran was ahead of Jordan Balazovic. Is it one of them? Does either Simeon Woods-Richardson or Joe Ryan enter the conversation? How about Matt Canterino? Maybe even Josh Winder? PROSPECT SUMMARY 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) – 11 GS, 52.2 IP, 47 H, 19 BB, 64 K, 3.59 ERA, 1.25 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) – 76 games, .347/.410/.612 (1.022) with 18 doubles, 22 homers, 62 RBI, 30 BB, 48 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 43 games, .264/.344/.362 (.706) with 6 doubles, 2 triple, 2 homers, 20 RBI, 18 BB, 52 K, 6 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (1 game, .400/.400/1.000 (1.400) with 1 homer, 0 BB, 1 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 71 games, .185/.370/.290 (.660) with 13 doubles, 4 homers, 26 RBI, 66 BB, 97 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 26 games, .330/.381/.680 (1.060) with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 9 homers, 20 RBI, 7 BB, 41 K. #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 (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (11 GS, 47.1 IP, 46 H, 14 BB, 51 K, 4.94 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 10 G, 9 GS, 39.2 IP, 27 H, 19 BB, 53 K, 2.72 ERA, 1.16 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 (16 games, .197/.258/.443 (700) with 3 doubles, 4 homers, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 20 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 67 games, .203/.303/.299 (602) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 3 homer, 43 RBI, 35 BB, 56 K, 11 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 73 games, .257/.371/.504 (.874) with 10 doubles, 2 triples, 18 homers, 44 RBI, 45 BB, 63 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 71 games, .226/.279/.420 (.700) with 12 doubles, 8 triples, 9 homers, 38 RBI, 18 BB, 102 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (injured) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 14 GS, 59.1 IP, 56 H, 36 BB, 94 K, 4.85 ERA, 1.55 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Dunedin @ Ft. Myers (Casey Legumina, Sean Mooney, Landon Leach, Bobby Milacki, TBD, Sawyer Gipson-Long): Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids:(Jon Olsen, Tyler Watson, Ben Gross, Louie Varland, Tyler Beck Cody Laweryson) Midland @ Wichita: (Cole Sands, Bryan Sammons, Jordan Balazovic, Chris Vallimont, Austin Schulfer, Cole Sands) Louisville @ St. Paul: (Matt Shoemaker, Andrew Albers, Drew Strotman, TBD, TBD, Matt Shoemaker): Feel free to ask any questions you like.
    2 points
  33. Not going to defend either party here, as there's no way of knowing what really happened, but I think its fair to bring up whether Twins were thin-skinned here in this release. Many of us have questionned this FO's(and their coaching staff's) ability to find and develop pitching talent. No doubt, the Shoe was in the twilight of his career, but that doesn't mean we can totally dismiss his comments as "sour grapes". There are just too many failures on the part of Falvine in identifying real pitching talent, not only in FA but in minor league development, as well. How many nuggets have they unearthed in their almost 5 years at the helm? How many prospects who they let go who have flourished elsewhere? I have always complained about this FO's hubris. They think they are smarter than old school GM's, not because of their talent evaluation, but because of their mastery of new technology. How far has that gotten us? They first selected a pitching coach, Alston, who had no discernible skills when hired. They quickly jettisoned him for a college whizkid in Wes Johnson who had some initial success but has failed to develop even one prospect. On the offense side, they seem to have struck pay dirt in James Rowson, but didn't retain him. This whole Shoemaker episode smacks of small-mindedness(on both sides) and sheds little credit on Twins management.. I can only hope they succeed in turning things around quickly, but have lost confidence in their abilities.
    2 points
  34. Look, if Toronto is able to extend Berrios in the offseason at market rate (or less), then we'll know that either the FO botched this or was never serious about keeping Berrios. But I suspect that Toronto will be no more likely to extend Berrios than the Twins, absent a substantial overpay. Now...what constitutes an "overpay" for Berrios? YMMV. I think the market rate on him as a free agent is AAV of $25-28M with a term length of at least 5 years. (Wheeler is the floor; while Wheeler had been better than Berrios at the time of his FA, Berrios is younger and healthier, and the best ability is availability. but he's not going to get Cole money unless he wins the Cy next year) How many people want to give Jose Berrios 5 years and $150M? That might have gotten it done, but tell me it doesn't make your palms sweat.
    2 points
  35. Berrios was not interested in signing with the Twins likely at or below market value. That was clear. Would you be okay with 8 years and $280MM for Berrios? An absolute massive and guaranteed overpay so he had no choice but to sign the worst contract in Minnesota Twins history? A contract which would utterly cripple the franchise for the next decade? If so, I'm not sure you're much of a Twins fan. If not, then the Twins had 2 options: 1. Let Berrios walk at the end of 2022 with (maybe) a comp round pick for 2023 or 2. Trade him. The Twins chose number 2 and now have 2 top 50 level prospects in the high minors with super high ceilings and expected low floors.
    2 points
  36. In all seriousness, it's barely been over a week. Also, while it seems like Rogers and Santana injured the same area, that's where the similarity ends. Rogers has a strained pulley tendon, which is almost exclusively seen in activities like rock climbing. Since Rogers evidently must use one heck of a grip, haha. Visiting a rock climbing site shows the only time surgical treatment is recommended for them is when it's pretty dang bad. Based on what I'm seeing, I can't imagine he'll be back this year, but the good news is return to full sport activities, even in the worst case of injury and surgical repair, shows Rogers would be ready for spring training next year. https://gripped.com/indoor-climbing/the-dreaded-finger-pulley-injury/ Santana had no tendon damage, but it had built up scar tissue due to a long term chronic stress which resulted in his surgery to perform a capsular debridement on his knuckle. Basically, "trigger finger" surgery. Santana elected to wait until February to have the procedure performed and it generally takes 6 weeks to 3 months (sometimes longer) to heal up from what I've read. It sounded like Santana's surgery recovery wasn't as quick as he was hoping and he lost an entire spring training so his shoulder and arm strength weren't built up for MLB action. He lost 4mph on his fastball as a result. Santana gained 1mph back in 2019, but was a pretty late signing. He's throwing at his pre-surgery speed this year.
    2 points
  37. True, true. But think of the weird pitches he could develop and be known as "three finger" Rogers. Nah . . . rehab and recovery is probably better. Get well Lefty.
    2 points
  38. I had the same reaction but he has not quite lived up to expectations in his first season of professional baseball so if you squint, it makes some sense, maybe, sort of, kinda. Yep.
    2 points
  39. He's lucky. Two lifetimes as an MLB pitcher. I'll probably be an emaciated cow.
    2 points
  40. You hit the nail on the head with the statement I highlighted. It's understandable that fans don't want to wait. We want to be charging ahead. Trade for superstars and sign elite free agents. This team is not in that position. That expectation is going to disappoint of the next year plus as the development of Ober and a few more prospects is going to be part of the landscape. What's not to like with Ober. He is a 12th round pick that looks to have a floor of a solid back-end starter. He has very good mechanics for such a tall guy. Perhaps he can add strength and even more velocity. Then, if he can improve just one of his breaking pitches ... what's his ceiling? He is one of th bright spots in a dismal year for twins fans. Let's hope Ryan / Winder / Jax and/or a couple others show us their promise the rest of the way.
    2 points
  41. I liked about every comment here because right or wrong the opinions are just smart! I applaud Shoemaker for being open and honest and taking at least some responsibility for not performing. He should. But just being a realist, not every single pitcher, or player, "fits" with an organization. We've seen it time and time again. It's reality. The Twins have COMPLETELY revamped their milb system when it comes to treating pitchers and players as individuals and tailoring their developmental approach. And we've heard from current players and previous players in regard to the massive change within the system. But I have NO PROBLEM saying Rocco, Johnson, scouts and the FO may have just made a mistake on a guy. They THOUGHT they had a really good plan for an experienced back end SP that would work. Sorry, s**t happens and you aren't always right. But then again, as Shoe states, he could have said no. And he has the right to also shake off signs. And shouldn't he be doing well at AAA as a healthy and experienced pitcher? But have to admit I'm curious why he took the milb assignment instead of going elsewhere. Makes little sense to me unless NOBODY was knocking on his door. IF the Twins think think this was bad communication and a mistake that can be rectified, I have no problem. IF Shoemaker really likes the organization, no problem. We need a couple veteran SP for 2022, which MIGHT include Pineda. But could Shoe, previously quality in his career when healthy, be an option? Please. Shoemaker is trying to get a contract for 2022 and not really blaming anyone because he doesn't want to rock the boat. He's at AAA FOR THE MOMENT, because he's a good guy and provides IP. He's probably gone a week from now due to additions and promotions. Over and done, it was a really smart flier for a talented but frequently injured SP that just didn't fit.
    2 points
  42. Kind of tough seeing no Sands, Canterino, Duran, Winder etc. in these lists but congrats to the guys who made it. Louie has been outstanding from day one. His current dominant stretch just adds to the legend at this point. Not sure how he is doing it with mainly just the fastball and some control issues at least to start the season. Still he has the best pitching line in the system. Congrats well deserved recognition. Been pretty surprised by Watson as I thought he might be done. I think a reliever role suits him best and we could really use lefties so would be nice if he can be dominant in short bursts. Had already asked Seth about Rozek because of the great success he has had and was stunned he didn't have a fastball in the 90's. Not sure if he can continue to make his stuff work all the way up but he sure pitched well this month and caught my attention. Gross is another guy who exceeded my expectations and I would like to see him move up to AA and see if he can handle some of the best hitters in the minors. He has been too good to keep at High A.
    2 points
  43. I do not like the way we have used Ober. Pitch him as long as he is doing well, extend him, let him be a starter. If he starts to wear down then shut him down, but no more 4 inning starts. Keep bringing up the young guys. I like Ober's story and I hope the other pitchers are so good that he does not make the rotation.
    2 points
  44. All I know is that Twins' fans better get used to just enjoying having a MLB team for its own sake and not worrying about wins and losses. When the predictions for a rosier future are all based upon unknowns and generalities like "a bunch of good arms" and "do a better job with free agency" the word "hope" comes to mind.
    2 points
  45. Excellent write-up, Matthew. Well-researched and fair-minded. A home run. I think this story hit some of us hard because it fits one of the fear narratives we have about this organization under Falvey/Levine and Baldelli/Johnson - that they've got a dogmatic approach, they think they're the smartest people in baseball, and they pay more attention to numbers than to players. Plus, us fans have been hit hard by the reality that the team we had dreamed of seeing win a championship is now breaking apart and sinking to the bottom of MLB. "We had a 100-win pace ballclub for two years and all I got was this lousy AL Central Division Title T-Shirt." But, as some cooler heads have posted here, it is possible that the Twins can adjust quickly. It is possible that some of the problems are internal, but some are maybe from the new players themselves and some are just a matter of terrible luck with regard to injury and recovery. And as you note here, in the case of Shoemaker, maybe it's all three. That said, the Twins better be very open to criticism. They've traded away top players, they've given away new young stars for absolutely nothing, and, outside of Cruz, their FA signings performed terribly. They've got a lot of fair criticism coming this offseason - from fans and from players within the organization. Time to listen and to learn some hard lessons now.
    2 points
  46. None of us have enough first hand knowledge to know the real story. But thanks for all the information, Matt. What concerns me is whether or not the Twins are trying to get all pitchers to focus on some of the same things, ie,, throw X pitch high in the zone, throw more sliders, etc. Every pitcher is different, would expect the best staff would be one that gets the most out of each pitcher based on his individual strengths.
    2 points
  47. Huh, if only I had thought of that mentoring thing.....
    2 points
  48. Yeah, I view this as a disappointment. Not a huge failure but not good and rather perplexing, especially after moving Happ. I understand why Simmons wasn't dealt (and Donaldson as well), there were so many position players left without a market today. Something of a surprise the market shook out that way.
    2 points
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