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  • Minor League Report (9/18): DSL Twins Continue to Rake, Sabato Goes Yard Again

    Nash Walker

    Rain interrupted a couple games down on the farm but it didn’t stop the heart of the DSL Twins’ lineup from raking. Let’s get you caught up!

    Image courtesy of Tim Grubbs, Wichita Wind Surge

    Twins Video


    - RHP Jake Jewell claimed off waivers, assigned to Triple-A St.Paul
    - FCL Twins activated OF Reynaldo Madrigal from the 7-day injured list
    - C Nate Baez assigned to Low-A Fort Myers
    - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels transferred 2B Jorel Ortega from the 7-day injured list to the 60-day injured list.
    - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels released C LaRon Smith.
    - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels activated RHP A.J. Labas from the 60-day injured list.

    The game between the St.Paul Saints and the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders was postponed due to inclement weather. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Saturday. 

    Wind Surge 3, Drillers 7
    Box Score

    The Wind Surge were quiet offensively until the late innings, as Drillers’ starter Nick Nastrini took a no-hitter into the seventh. Aaron Sabato hit a solo homer to right center to break it up. 

    Sabato’s home run is his second is as many days, as he walked off the game last night with a grand slam. It was a slow start for Sabato at Double-A but it’s possible he’s starting to hit his stride. 

    Brent Headrick started for the Surge and struck out 10 over five innings. Headrick gave up a three-run homer in the fifth but otherwise was fantastic. Cole Sturgeon drove in two runs in the ninth on a single but it wasn't enough. The Surge are 62-48 and lead the Double-A Central by 1.5 games over the Drillers. This is a big weekend. 

    Kernels 1, Timber Rattlers 0
    Box Score

    Four Kernels pitchers combined to shutout the Timber Rattlers in a 1-0 victory Thursday. Tyler Palm started and pitched three scoreless innings, giving way to six more outstanding innings from Jon Olsen, Matthew Swain, and Bradley Hanner. The Kernels allowed only three hits and three walks. 

    Mikey Perez broke a scoreless tie with a solo homer in the fifth, his first of the season. Stunningly, it was the Kernels only hit of the night. They went 1-for-25 and won the game! On the whole, both offenses went 4-for-54. 

    What a game. It was over in two hours and two minutes. The Kernels improved to 66-45. It's been a great year in Cedar Rapids. 

    Mussels 2, Cardinals 1 (Game suspended in in third)
    Box Score

    The Mighty Mussels will resume this game Friday and lead 2-1. Ben Ross hit a solo homer in the first, his second of the season. Alec Sayre drove in Kala’i Rosario on a sacrifice fly in the second. Rosario doubled for the 19th time this season.

    Mike Paredes gave up one run on a solo homer and struck out three. Paredes has a 2.92 ERA on the season. 

    FCL Twins 4, FCL Orioles 3
    Box Score

    The FCL Twins rode a strong fifth inning to their 24th victory of the season. Trailing 2-0 in the fifth, the Twins scored four runs on an RBI single from Ishmael Pérez and three bases-loaded walks. The Twins held on thanks to two scoreless innings from Miguelangel Boadas

    Making his fourth start on the year, José Olivares gave up two runs on a homer and an RBI single in three innings of work. Olivares struck out five and walked only two. He has a 4.01 ERA. 

    The Twins are working back toward .500 and improved to 24-27 with this win over a scuffling FCL Orioles squad (12-38). 

    DSL Twins 7, DSL Rockies 6
    Box Score

    The middle of the Twins’ order continued their excellence in a tight, one-run victory Thursday. It was another banner day for José Rodríguez, who went 3-for-5 with two homers and 5 RBI. Rodríguez's second homer was a three-run shot that gave the Twins the lead. Rodríguez owns a .989 OPS with 13 homers in 52 games.

    Bryan Acuña went 3-for-5 with a double, bringing his season line up to .313/.415/.403. Isaac Peña also notched a multi-hit game, including a double. Peña is hitting .364/.455/.458. The Twins are crushing the ball. 

    On the mound, the Twins did just enough to win while striking out seven. The Twins are 32-24 and continue to wow with their lineup. 

    Twins Minor League Hitter of the Day - José Rodríguez: 3-for-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI
    Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Tyler Palm: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, BB, 3 K

    #4 Austin Martin - 1-for-4, R
    #14 Edouard Julien - 0-for-3, BB
    #20 Kala’i Rosario - 1-for-1, 2B, R

    Saints - TBD (7:07 p.m.)
    Surge - RHP Daniel Gossett (7:05 p.m.)
    Kernels - TBD (6:35 p.m.)
    Mussels - RHP Pierson Ohl (5:30 p.m.)
    FCL Twins - TBD (10:00 a.m.)
    DSL Twins - TBD (11:00 a.m.)

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    I know we have had some talented players come through the DSL, but it seems like a long time since they have had so many players hitting like crazy. Makes me think back to like the Rosario / Sano days IIRC.

    Really trying not to get my hopes up too soon. But sure would be nice if they were dominating low A in the next two years. 

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    2 hours ago, Monkeypaws said:

    Mercedes, Rodriguez and Acuna look great.

    Hitting on some of these guys would be a nice boost.

    Came here to post this.  

    Mercedes seems like the real deal. Doing a bit of everything including stolen bases.  


    Acuna struggled early but now his numbers look great.  He has a very pretty swing like his brother. 

    Jose Rodriguez… I could have sworn he was a big signing but whenever I Google him, seems like just an after mention when he initially signed.  Hanging around the top of the league in Home runs.  One of the most impressive performers in the league.  Hope he can continue developing and proving my initial thought that he was a big signing.


    These guys are going to be fun to follow next year and perhaps a reason why the team was more college orientated in the draft to stagger the talent a bit.

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    I am going to echo that Jose Rodriguez was not someone I was expecting to be "this" good. I can't remember anyone with that much power in the DSL.  Those guys are so young they don't usually develop power that early.  For 17 years of age he sure looks special.  As high on the top three signings as I am one thing I do know is that DSL numbers are pretty meaningless.  When they hit the FCL those numbers are likely to come way down.  Still looking good early is way better than looking lost.  We will know a lot more about those three once they hit the FCL though.

    Ross with another Home Run.  I am really hoping  he can stick at short although I read that he is likely to move off of short so who knows.  At any rate if the bat is for real they will find a place for him and if he has HR power that would be an amazing find coming from a D2 school.



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    Cedar Rapids gets one hit and wins, 1-0, in a game that lasted 2:02 hours.  

    There may be something special brewing down in the DSL.  Mercedes, 17, Acuna, 17, Rodriguez, 17, and Pena, 18 are all hitting around .300 or better.  And that's in a league that if memory serves hasn't had a lot of .300 hitters over the years, at least from the Twins teams.  Acuna hit .077 in June and now has his average up to .313 with a .818 OPS.  Mercedes OPS is .969 and Rodriguez, .989.  

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    9 hours ago, TwinsAce said:

    I know we have had some talented players come through the DSL, but it seems like a long time since they have had so many players hitting like crazy. Makes me think back to like the Rosario / Sano days IIRC.

    Really trying not to get my hopes up too soon. But sure would be nice if they were dominating low A in the next two years. 

    Rosario never played in the DSL.  He was drafted and is from Puerto Rico.

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    Seeing how Jose Rodriguez is performing this year, I could see a Twins lineup in a few years featuring Jose and Emmanuel Rodriquez.  Actually, they both play much better than their years which is always a good harbinger of future success.

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    12 hours ago, Monkeypaws said:

    Mercedes, Rodriguez and Acuna look great.

    Hitting on some of these guys would be a nice boost.

    It would be nice if their foreign scouts could find pitchers as often as they find outfielders.

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    5 hours ago, roger said:

    Rosario never played in the DSL.  He was drafted and is from Puerto Rico.

    Right - 2011 was rookie Elizabethton when he had the 21 homeruns.  That year was pretty good.  Rosario, Sano, JD Williams, Vargas, etc.

    Otherwise, I really don't remember a short season hitting dominance in the past 20 years like we are currently seeing in the DSL Twins.  Especially at the DSL level.


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    Okay - it was bugging me too much.  I had to take a look at the rookie and summer league stats for the past 20 years.

    In 2011, Elizabethton Twins hit .782 OPS as a team. (Rosario, Sano, Koch, JD Williams, Vargas, etc.)
    In 2008 and 2009, they hit .823 and .808 as a team. (2008 was a bunch of names that never made it to MLB, 2009 included Danny Rams, Tyler Ladendorf, Pinto, Liddle, Dozier, Herrmann, etc.)

    Meanwhile, the DSL was typically batting .600-.670 OPS as a team while GCL Twins were closer to .650-.700.

    GCL in 2000 batted .751 thanks to Justin Morneau batting 1.143 in 52 games. (Also Kubel was on the team with .739.)  2008 GCL was also pretty good at .753 with Pinto & Aaron Hicks leading the way.

    2014 DSL Twins batted .702 OPS. On their team, they had Lewin Diaz, Arraez, and Palacios all hitting .800 OPS or better. But their team had almost no power - Lewin Diaz had 5 of the 7 homeruns the team hit!

    2017 DSL Twins finally hit .771.  Unfortunately, I don't think any of these players made top 20 lists. But the best performers were 18-20 vs. 17-18. 2018 was similar with .775 (Jeferson Morales, Victor Heredia, Luis Gomez, Luis Milla, etc.)

    Jump to this year, and the DSL Twins are batting .820 OPS as a team! Rafael Cruz, Rodriguez, Mercedes, Nova, Pena, Acuna, Pena #2, etc.  (Pena #3 is only at .701.) 

    Since 2006, the most homeruns hit in the DSL has been 15 in 2016 by Brian Sanchez.  Then there are 2 with 13 and a few more with 10-11.  But most years, 8-9 is tops in the league.  Oddly enough, this year there are already 4 with 10 or more home runs...makes you wonder.

    I guess to summarize - We have seen some good team hitting at the rookie level, but rarely at the summer league (DSL/GCL) level.  For better or for worse, some of the best DSL years are by players who mostly topped out at low A and were older.  This year should be more encouraging given the ages (17.3 average age!) and a few more higher profile players.  Fingers crossed!




    2017 DSL:


    2022 DSL:


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    6 hours ago, Omgbenji said:

    Whoa, are these DSL-ers actual prospects? Good enough to make our top 30?

    Mercedes definitely is.  Acuna might be fringe.  Publications will probably wait on Acuna and Rodriguez to see success at a higher level before putting in top 30.

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