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  • Minor League Report (8/13): Edouard Julien Is Not of This Planet

    Matt Braun

    It's not every day that one seriously debates whether a player who went 4-4 with a walk was deserving of the hitter of the day award, but today was that kind of day. Read all about that and more in this edition of the minor league report.

    Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge (photo of Alex Isola)

    LHP Samuel Perez promoted to Cedar Rapids
    RHP Tomas Cleto promoted to Fort Myers

    Saints Sentinel
    St. Paul 6, Columbus 5
    Box Score
    Devin Smeltzer: 4 ⅓ IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
    HR: Matt Wallner (3), John Andreoli (11)
    Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (2-for-3, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB)

    The Saints escaped by a slim margin on Saturday.

    On a day when the team retired Kevin Millar’s #15 jersey, Matt Wallner guided the lineup to victory. The powerful lefty smoked a two-run homer and added a double for good measure; he also walked. It’s been a rough first go at AAA for Wallner, so an oasis day like this was perfect for him.

    It appears that Devin Smeltzer has lost his early-season magic; the lefty allowed seven hits in 4 ⅓ innings of work with a single strikeout to his name. Hopefully, this start is a blip on his radar, not a sign of things to come.

    John Andreoli didn’t let Wallner have all the fun; facing off against old friend Ian Hamilton, he unloaded a momentous blast to left field to tie the game.

    Jovani Moran, inexplicably not wearing a Twins uniform, struck out a pair of batters in a clean 8th inning. Brad Peacock nearly matched his effort but punched out just a lone batter.

    Wind Surge Wisdom
    Wichita 7, Corpus Christi 6
    Box Score
    Daniel Gossett: 2 ⅓ IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K
    HR: Edouard Julien (15)
    Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (4-for-4, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, BB), Cole Sturgeon (2-for-4, 2B)

    Wichita won a thriller on Saturday.

    Daniel Gossett, always wanting to be startin’ somethin’, received the opening nod. His performance lagged; the well-traveled righty struggled with control as the Hooks mostly allowed him to dig himself into a hole. Gossett will find better days ahead of him.

    If Edouard Julien sets the standard, it’s almost impossible for any other hitter to beat it. The on-base machine added to his legend, reaching base in all five plate appearances with a lead-off home run to boot. Oh, he also stole a base. The lefty infielder is probably the purest hitter active in the system at the moment; he should be a major league force shortly.

    Julien wasn’t the only extra-base force on Saturday; Ernie Yake, Leobaldo Cabrera, Cole Sturgeon, and Anthony Prato added doubles to the 12-hit effort; Prato also walked three times. It appears that having your 1-2 combo reach base nine times is conducive to winning ballgames. More at 11. 

    Kernels Nuggets
    Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 2
    Box Score
    Luis Rijo: 4 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
    HR: Seth Gray (12), Kyler Fedko (8)
    Multi-hit games: Alerick Soularie (2-for-2, 2B, 3 R, 2 BB), Seth Gray (2-for-5, HR, R, 4 RBI, Jake Rucker (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Kyler Fedko (2-for-5, HR, 2 R, RBI), Dylan Neuse (2-for-5, RBI)

    Cedar Rapids never lost control of Saturday’s game.

    Luis Rijo—the non-bicepy individual acquired in the Lance Lynn trade four years ago—shutout the River Bandits for four frames. It wasn’t the cleanest outing; the righty allowed five hits while striking out two, perhaps revealing that his defense should receive credit for their work as well.

    A few core batters carried the torch; Alerick Soularie set the table, Seth Gray cleaned it off, and Jake Rucker started the process all over again. The three batters combined for six hits, nine bases reached, and a mirror four runs and RBIs. Kyler Fedko scored two runs and knocked another one in. The team stole five bases.

    Bobby Milacki whittled the game to its finishing out, falling one out shy of an auto-save with 2 ⅔ innings of work. He struck out two and didn’t allow a hit.

    Mussel Matters
    Fort Myers 4, Jupiter 1
    Box Score
    Pierson Ohl: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
    HR: Rubel Cespedes (4)
    Multi-hit games: Kala’i Rosario (2-for-4, R)

    The Mighty Mussels won a nondescript game on Saturday. 

    Pierson Ohl stood out from the crowd, however; the under-appreciated righty pitched six clean, scoreless innings with five strikeouts and three base-runners allowed. He needed just 77 pitches. Ohl may not be a big prospect name, but his 3.81 season ERA speaks for itself.

    While Ohl silenced Jupiter’s bats, Fort Myers’ hitters couldn’t find much more luck. The team scrapped together six hits—three for extra bases—but bunched their effort together in the 5th inning, gaining four runs despite their general offensive malaise.

    Misael Urbina crushed again; the outfielder smoked an RBI double and worked a walk for one of the more fruitful batting lines for either team.

    Kyle Barrington—the owner of a 2.96 ERA—worked two scoreless relief innings; Niklas Rimmel—the owner of a 2.08 ERA—ended the game with a clean 9th inning.

    Complex Chronicles
    FCL Twins 16, FCL Red Sox 10 
    Box Score
    Ryan Horstman: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
    HR: Dalton Shuffield (1)
    Multi-hit games: Austin Martin (2-for-5, 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB), Danny De Andrade (2-for-6, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Dalton Shuffield (2-for-5, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB), Wilfri Castro (2-for-5, 2 R, RBI, BB), Ismael Perez (2-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, BB)

    The FCL Twins won a barn-burner on Saturday.

    It was a classic low-minors game; the FCL Red Sox committed five errors, FCL Twins pitchers walked more batters than they struck out, and there was just one homer. If you don’t like that, then you don’t like minor league baseball.

    Austin Martin emerged from the shadows of the IL, starting at shortstop while dropping in two hits: a double and a single. He also stole a base and committed an error. 

    Brayan Medina shouldered a plurality of the earned runs on Saturday; the young forgotten member of the Taylor Rogers trade couldn’t find the strike zone, walking three batters while netting two outs. The FCL Red Sox knocked him for five earned runs.

    Dominican Dailies
    DSL Twins 4, DSL KC Glass 1
    Box Score
    Cesar Lares: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Daniel Pena (2-for-3, R, RBI), Harold Grant (2-for-3, 2B, R, RBI), Isaac Pena (2-for-4)

    The DSL Twins easily beat the DSL KC Glass. Yes, there’s a team named “DSL KC Glass.” Welcome to the minors.

    Cesar Lares continues to be unshakable; the young southpaw walked away from Saturday with a deflated ERA and an inflated strikeout total. Lares has now punched 66 tickets in 41 innings. Julio Bonilla and Jose Ojo combined for four shutout frames in relief; the Royals netted a single hit in the entire game.

    No one player dominated the offensive side of the ball, as each starter earned a hit; Junior Marino—probably unrelated to Dan—collected two RBIs with a 6th-inning single.  

    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Pierson Ohl
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Edouard Julien

    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
    #4 - Austin Martin (Rehab) - 2-for-5, 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB, K
    #7 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, RBI, K
    #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 2-for-3, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB
    #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 4-for-4, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, BB
    #19 - Alerick Soularie (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-2, 2B, 3 R, 2 BB
    #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, RBI

    Columbus @ St. Paul (2:07 PM) - RHP Aaron Sanchez 
    Corpus Christi @ Wichita (1:05 PM) - LHP Kody Funderburk
    Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (1:00 PM) - TBD
    Fort Myers @ Jupiter (11:00 AM) - TBD


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    Julien has played 1B/2B/3B/LF previously. It would be nice if he could continue to do so as his bat could stay in the lineup daily without having to necessarily have ONE spot in the lineup.

    Past rumblings about his defense make me wonder if he's better at a single position (or 2), of that means he's actually better served moving around?

    I know that bat is going to play and he could be a real force at the top of the order with Arraez.

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    Moran was at his best again.  Seems he dominates a game, until he doesn't.  And then it isn't because he gets hit, rather because of walks.  If this kid can improve his command just a bit, he could be special.  And we all know how badly the Twins need a few more relievers.

    Will be fourth man in jumping on the Julien bandwagon.  When you think you have seen it all, he puts up a night like last night.  Trying to think of a former Twin he reminds me of.  Keep thinking a faster version of Brian Dozier.  Maybe not 40 home run power, but if he hits 20 this year maybe?  Don't know where the Twins play him in the future because I expect they will be keeping Polanco at second and they had better extend Arraez for the next 5-7 years.  He isn't a shortstop and Miranda has third locked down.  Guess that means they had better start working him into the outfield.  

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    I continue to watch the Sabato AA 'experiment' in awe, sprinkled with morbid curiosity... 

    It would be fascinating to hear from the FO what they saw in his A ball performance that screamed "this guy needs a bigger challenge!"

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    5 minutes ago, Rosterman said:

    The Twins have to be thinking hard about adding Julien to the 40-man in the off-season. Moving Steer opened a spot for him. But they also have to consider, say, Michael Helman, too.

    I'm guessing Helman will be more of a utility guy and Julien is a starter type guy. So if both have to be on the 40 man, Julien comes first because of his future production hopes and his age (23 vs 26). 

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    Correction, Wallner had a rough start at AAA, but that seems mostly luck related. 
    First 10
    .105/.227/.105, OPS .332, 13.6% BB, 37.4% K
    Last 11
    .286/.412/.619, OPS 1.031, 15.7% BB, 25.4% K

    Wallner's plate discipline is MUCH improved this year. He's become a dangerous hitter.

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    13 minutes ago, dougd said:

    Nice go see Martin playing again. I wonder how long the wrist was bothering him before he went on IL

    Wasn't his wrist. Hurt his elbow diving for a ball.

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    22 hours ago, D.C Twins said:

    I continue to watch the Sabato AA 'experiment' in awe, sprinkled with morbid curiosity... 

    It would be fascinating to hear from the FO what they saw in his A ball performance that screamed "this guy needs a bigger challenge!"

    I think him being 23 years old had a lot to do with it. Just see what he can do in AA at this point. But he sure looks like a bust. 

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