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  • Twins Minor League Report (6/3): Prato Paces the Kernels, Strong Pitching Turned In

    Ted Schwerzler

    Anthony Prato continued his hot stretch for the Cedar Rapids Kernels with another good night at the dish, and he was joined in the effort by a few teammates. Both David Festa and Casey Legumina shined on the mound. Take a look at the action from Minnesota’s farm.


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    St. Paul 8, Iowa 7
    Box Score

    With the big league club headed into Canada and needing warm bodies, plenty of roster moves impacted the St. Paul Saints on Friday. Ronny Henriquez drew the start and went 4 1/3 while allowing five runs on ten hits. He struck out five and walked just one.

    Roy Morales started the scoring for St. Paul in the top half of the 1st inning when his single drove in Jake Cave. After Iowa tied it in the 2nd inning, St. Paul jumped back up in the 3rd inning. Solo shots by Elliot Soto and Alex Kirilloff made it a 3-1 score.

    Iowa drew back within one during the bottom of the 3rd inning, but Michael Helman answered with his first Triple-A home run, a two-run blast scoring Cole Sturgeon, in the 4th inning to push the lead up to three. In the 5th inning Kirilloff contributed again, this time with a double plating Soto and making it a 6-3 game.

    After Iowa scored in both the 5th and 6th innings to take the lead 7-6, St. Paul rallied. Morales ripped a double in the 9th inning to score Kirilloff and push things to extras. In the 10th inning Caleb Hamilton used a fielder’s choice to score Helman. In the bottom half of the frame Sturgeon uncorked a dart to home plate nailing the would-be game-tying run and ending the game.

    Kirilloff had a three-hit game with a pair of extra-base hits. Morales and Soto both had multi-hit efforts of their own.

    Frisco 2, Wichita 1
    Box Score

    Wichita turned the ball to Casey Legumina and was rewarded with 5 2/3 innings of strong work. Legumina allowed just two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out seven. The lone damage against him came on a 4th inning big fly.

    Playing a tight contest the night before, Wichita looked for more run support in this one. DaShawn Keirsey Jr. roped his 10th double in the bottom of the 2nd inning to score Matt Wallner. That got the Wind Surge on the board, but that’s where the run production would end.

    After winning a game 2-1 on Thursday, they dropped this contest by the same score. Four hits from the starting lineup wasn’t enough to get it done.

    Cedar Rapids 8, Lansing 5
    Box Score

    David Festa was tonight’s starting pitcher for the Kernels and he continued to turn in strong outings. Working five innings, Festa gave up just two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five. His ERA at High-A now sits at 2.63 on the year.

    Lansing jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the first inning, but that was erased by Aaron Sabato in the 3rd inning. A single to right field scored Anthony Prato and Christian Encarnacion-Strand giving Cedar Rapids the lead.

    Things were knotted once again by the end of the inning, but the Kernels jumped back out ahead in the 5th inning. Prato singled to right pushing Charles Mack across the plate, and then Prato was able to score later after stealing third and scoring on a throwing error.

    The Lugnuts continued to charge back, coming within one in the 7th inning, but Cedar Rapids again had an answer. Mack singled to score Jeferson Morales before Prato ripped his 5th triple to plate Will Holland and Mack. A wild pitch then allowed Prato yet another opportunity to cross the plate. Lansing tired to make a comeback, but the hole was too deep and the 9th inning rally ended with just two runs being made up.

    Sabato had a strong three-hit evening while Prato, Mack, and Wander Javier all contributed two hits apiece.


    The Mighty Mussels and Tarpons were postponed on Friday due to inclement weather. They square off again on Saturday evening.


    Pitcher of the Day – Casey Legumina (Wichita) - 5.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
    Hitter of the Day – Anthony Prato (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, 3B


    We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. 

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

    #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Injured List
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4, K
    #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Did Not Play
    #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch
    #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch
    #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch
    #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-6, 3 K
    #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - Postponed
    #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Postponed
    #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch
    #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch
    #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch
    #13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - 4.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
    #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch
    #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, R, 2B
    #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K
    #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch
    #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 2-5, R, 2 K, 2 B
    #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch
    #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K


    St. Paul @ Iowa (6:08PM CST) - RHP Jacob Faria
    Frisco @ Wichita (6:05PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland
    Cedar Rapids @ Lansing (6:05PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick
    Tampa @ Fort Myers (5:00 PM CST) - TBD

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing. 



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    Drew Strotman has had 2 scoreless outings in 15 appearances, 3 if you count the outing on April 23rd when an unearned run scored. This is after having a 7.33 ERA in 54 IP last season for St. Paul.

    What in the world is going on?

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    Thanks for the report. Sort of a ho hum might across the minors. Didn’t Miranda have two homers last night? I may be mixing up my days. 

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    Nice to see Legumina have a great start.  He has struggled since the call up. 

    Festa was good again but his K rate isn't quite as nice as it was a Low A.  Looks like he is going to have to work a little harder to be dominant at High A. Still the WHIP is good the ERA rock solid probably just a bit more refinement and he could move up to AA at the end of the year yet.

    After slumping for a while Prato has been back with a vengeance.  Sabato with a 3 for 5 night and has finally got his OPS to the .700 level.  Was hoping for more this year from him but at least he is hanging in there.  Fedko with the .860 OPS is trying to take the OPS lead from CES.  Cedar Rapids has a tough lineup pretty much up and down the order.  Hopefully they keep the wins coming.

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    11 minutes ago, Dman said:

    Sabato with a 3 for 5 night and has finally got his OPS to the .700 level.  Was hoping for more this year from him but at least he is hanging in there. 

    Is Sabato really Sano Jr? He starts out cold as ice. Then, he has a very hot stretch when it warms up.

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    Just now, FlyingFinn said:

    Is Sabato really Sano Jr? He starts out cold as ice. Then, he has a very hot stretch when it warms up.

    Possibly,  I had all but given up on him last year and then he really turned it on and had a great second half.  Will have to wait and see but he has been more consistent at the plate recently.  It would be nice to see more contact.  His K rate is certainly Sano-esque at 32%.  He can take a walk though so there is that.  I think he is going to be a slow mover though.

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    5 hours ago, FlyingFinn said:

    Is Sabato really Sano Jr? He starts out cold as ice. Then, he has a very hot stretch when it warms up.

    I'm not convinced Sabato is going to reach the majors leagues, and even if he does, he won't have half the career Sano has had. 

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