The Twins have won 14 of their past 17 games. Some of the organization's top prospects have found their way to the big leagues and contributed. All the while, three affiliates find themselves in first place. As we all know, Player Development is the most important aspect of minor league baseball. However, "winning" is not a bad thing either. Learning how to win and contribute to a team are part of the development process as well. Nothing wrong with learning how to win and making that a priority.
Disclaimer (kind of): Be sure to use these weekly reports for what they are. A look at the week. We want to highlight deserving prospects. They have earned it. Celebrate the successes throughout the whole season.
If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week.
There have been no official transactions from later on Sunday and on Monday.
- Previous Week in Review (4/26-5/2): Prospect Movement, Strong Performances, and Wins
- Tuesday: Dreary Tuesday on the Farm
- Wednesday: Headrick Fans Ten, Bats Burst in Lowertown
- Thursday: Stankiewicz Stays Hot, Miller Mussels Up
- Friday: Promotion Season is Here
- Saturday: Top Pitching Prospects Galore
- Sunday: Kernels Win in a Walk-off, Martin Homers on Mothers Day
MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT
- The Next Twins Prospect Promotion
- Is It Time to Start Worrying About Austin Martin?
- Twins Promote Top Prospect Royce Lewis
- Prospect Retrospective: Royce Lewis
- Three Questions With… Mighty Mussels OF Kyler Fedko (Video)
WEEK IN REVIEW
Triple-A: St. Paul Saints:
Week: 3-3, hosting Iowa
Season: 15-13 overall, 3rd place in the International League West. They are 4 1/2 games behind Nashville (20-9) and Columbus (18-12).
The Saints split their six games last week against the Iowa Cubs. The Cubs came to St. Paul with former Twins Stephen Gonsalves, Luke Farrell, John Hicks, Ildemaro Vargas, and Andrelton Simmons made his first rehab appearances for the Cubs too. Each team won three games. The Saints outscored the Cubs 31-29. Yet none of the games was settled by less than three runs.
When the week started, and really up until the weekend, the Saints roster included Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff, but both were called up on Friday. Jose Godoy was called up Sunday after playing four games in St. Paul.
- Mark Contreras played in all six games. He went 8-for-21 and hit .381/.500/.714 (1.214) with two doubles, a triple, and a home run. He also walked four times.
- 32-year-old veteran Elliot Soto played all six games too. He went 6-for-21 and hit .286/.423/.524 (.947) with a triple and a home run. He also walked five times.
- Curtis Terry had a nice week. In six games, he went 5-for-18 and hit .278/.500/.444 (.944) with three doubles. He also had eight walks to go with just two strikeouts.
- Great to see Jordan Balazovic back after starting the season on the Injured List with a knee injury. He made one rehab appearance in Ft. Myers and then started for the Saints on Saturday. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings despite giving up five hits and two walks. He struck out four batters.
- Yennier Cano pitched in three innings over three games. He didn’t give up a run. He allowed just one hit, walked two and struck out four batters.
- JC Ramirez came out of the bullpen after Balazovic’s start. He gave up just one hit and walked one batter over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out four batters.
- Daniel Gossett threw three scoreless, hitless innings in a relief appearance. He walked one and struck out four.
- Devin Smeltzer has been that stalwart of the Saints’ staff all season. He finally had a rough start. He gave up six runs on eight hits over two innings in his start.
Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge
Week: 3-2, hosting Tulsa
Season: 16-10 overall, 1st place in the Texas League North Division with Tulsa. They are 1.0 game ahead of Tulsa (15-11).
It was billed as the week when Louie and Gus Varland would make history as brothers pitching against each other in a minor-league game. They were supposed to match up on Tuesday and again on Sunday. Instead, the teams were rained out on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They played doubleheaders on Friday and Sunday. The Varlands pitched against each other on Friday. The offense scored just over six runs per game.
Here are some of the top performances for the Wind Surge this past week:
- Let’s start on the mound. Matt Canterino made another start. Previously he had been working three innings. This week, he went four shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out four batters.
- There were several really strong bullpen performances. Atop that list is Austin Schulfer who finished two games last week. In 2 1/3 innings, he gave up just one hit and struck out four batters.
- Bryan Sammons came out of the bullpen and gave up only a solo homer over three innings. He struck out three batters.
- Matt Wallner backed up last week’s player of the week performance with an even better week. In five games, he went 8-for-16 and hit .500/.579/1.063 (1.642) with three doubles, two homers and eight RBI. He also walked three times.
- Spencer Steer had a good week too. In five games, he went 8-for-20 and hit .400/.381/.900 (1.281) with a double, three homers and eight RBI.
- Edouard Julien played in four games and went 6-for-12. He hit .500/.563/.667 (1.230) with two doubles. He also had three walks and stole two bases.
- Michael Helman played in all five games. He went 6-for-15 and hit .400/.471/.600 (1.071) with a homer and two walks. He had three stolen bases.
- Andrew Bechtold played in three games. He went 3-for-10 (.300) with a double and a home run.
- Leobaldo Cabrera went just 2-for-12 (.167) in five games. Well, hey, a week ago, we wrote that he started the season 0-for-32. In the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday, he got out the first two at-bats, but in the sixth inning, he hit a solid single to center, ending the hitless string at 34. Two hits are a start!
High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels:
Week: 4-2, hosting Quad Cities
Season: 19-8 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League West Division, 2.0 games ahead of Wisconsin (17-10).
The Kernels have found a lot of ways to win games. Last week, they needed strong pitching and got it. They won four of the six games, but they only outscored Quad Cities 21-15. Offense has been a struggle for the Kernels the past couple of weeks.
- Five Kernels bullpen arms did not allow a run last week. Bradley Hanner worked twice and gave up just one hit and one walk over four innings. He struck out six batters. Andrew Cabezas had five strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings in two perfect appearances.
- John Stankiewicz made his High-A debut last week out of the bullpen. In five scoreless innings, he gave up only one hit and no walks. He struck out seven batters. In 26 2/3 innings, he has 38 strikeouts to go with just five walks.
- Brent Headrick went six shutout innings in his start. He struck out ten batters and one gave up one hit and one walk.
- On Sunday, Sawyer Gipson-Long worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and struck out six batters without a walk.
- Cade Povich moved quickly past his first rough start. This past week, he gave up an unearned run on four hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out eight batters.
- Cody Laweryson also made his first start of the season. He went four shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked none, and struck out four batters.
- Jeferson Morales went 5-for-10 (.500) in the three games he played. He had a double and a walk.
- Anthony Prato played in all six games. He went 6-for-22 and hit .273/.346/.636 (.982) with a triple, two homers, and five RBI. He also walked twice. On Sunday, he had a walk-off sacrifice fly.
- Aaron Sabato also had two homers and five RBI on the week.
- Alerick Soularie’s struggles continued. On the week, he went 0-for-15 and is now hitting just .137 in his first 21 games of the season.
What’s Next? The Kernels will be traveling to Peoria to take on the Chiefs.
Pitching Probables (LHP Brent Headrick, RHP Sean Mooney, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich, RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP Cody Laweryson)
Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels
Week: 3-3, at Lakeland
Season: 14-10 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, but just 1/2 game ahead of Bradenton (15-12) and 1.0 game ahead of Clearwater (13-11).
The Florida State League is typically not known for much offense. While the Mussels scored a combined four runs over their first two games last week, they scored 32 runs over the final four games. The team gave up 26 runs on the week. However, 12 of those came in just one game.
- The best start of the week for Ft. Myers came from RHP Pierson Ohl. He was charged with one run on four hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out four batters.
- Nine Mighty Mussels starters worked last week without giving up an earned run. Regi Grace, Hunter McMahon, Juan Mendez, Matthew Swain, and John Wilson each worked twice and worked between 2 2/3 innings and four innings.
- Steven Hajjar had an interesting start. In three innings, he did not give up a run or a hit. He struck out eight batters (in nine outs). But he also walked four batters.
- The worst start of the week came from Blayne Enlow. He gave up seven runs (3 earned) on five hits and a walk in just 1 2/3 innings. Sure, that’s a minimal negative, but it was Enlow’s first rehab start since he had Tommy John surgery last year. He got through it, and he felt good on Sunday. The better news? He is expected to make his next start for Wichita.
- Offensively, Noah Miller had a great week! In six games, he went 11-for-23 and hit .478/.556/.783 (1.339) with two doubles, a triple, a home run, and four walks. He also stole three bases.
- Jake Rucker also played in six games. He went 10-for-22 and hit .455/.500/.682 (1.182) with three doubles and a triple. He also walked four times and stole three bases.
- Daniel Ozoria played in five games and went 7-for-17 (.412) with two steals.
- Mikey Perez had four hits last week including one double and one home run. He added three walks.
What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels will return to Hammond Stadium to take on the Palm Beach Cardinals.
Pitching Probables (RHP David Festa, RHP Travis Adams, RHP Pierson Ohl, RHP Mike Paredes, RHP Marco Raya, LHP Steven Hajjar)
This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week (April 26 - May 1). You may have noticed that the Prospect Tracker has been updated, and will be updated on the first of each month throughout the season.
#1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 3 G, 3-for-12 (.250), 2-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K (Season: 24 G, .310/.430/.563 (.993), 11-2B, 1-3B, 3-HR, 21 R, 11 RBI, 17 BB, 20 K)
#1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 3 G, 3-for-10 (.300), 1-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (Season: 3 G, .300/.300/.400 (.700), 1-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 0 R, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K)
#2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 5 G, 4-for-17 (.235), 0-2B, 1-HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 0 K (Season: 25 G, .242/.376/.337 (.713), 6-2B, 0-3B, 1-HR, 22 R, 8 RBI, 15 BB, 16 K, 14 SB, 0 CS)
#3 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 4.2 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 3 K (Season: 5 GS, 27.2 IP, 5 R, 16 H, 7 BB, 28 K, 3-1, 1.63 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 9.1 K/9)
#4 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 5 G, 6-for-18 (.333), 2-2B, 1-HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1K (Season: 21 G, .256/.295/.442 (.737), 10-2B, 2-HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 14 K)
#4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Week: 6 G, 4-for-22 (..182), 2-2B, 1-HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K (Season: 7 G, .154/.214/.346 (.560), 2-2B, 1-HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K)
#5 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Week/Season: 1 GS, 3.2 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K.
#6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K (Season: 5 GS, 27.0 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 12 H, 8 BB, 24 K, 2-0, 1.33 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 8.0 K/9)
#7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 8 K (Season: 5 G, 2 GS, 22.1 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 12 H, 4 BB, 20 K, 2-0, 1.61 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9, 8.1 K/9)
#8 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 G, 2.2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K (Season: 10 G, 14.2 IP, 6 R, 10 H, 3 BB, 24 K, 0-1, 2 Saves, 3.68 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 14.7 K/9)
#9 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K (Season: 6 GS, 16.2 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 11 BB, 22 K, 0-1, 1.62 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 5.9 BB/9, 11.9 K/9)
#10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 5 G, 3-for-16 (.188) , 0-2B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 9 BB, 6 K (Season: 22 G, .229/.450/.486 (.936), 3-2B, 5-HR, 17 R, 9 RBI, 27 BB, 28 K)
#11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 11-for-23 (.478), 2-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 4 BB, 6 K (Season: 23 G, .287/.426/.379 (.805), 3-2B, 1-3B, 1 HR, 14 R, 6 RBI, 19 BB, 28 K)
#12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K (Season: 5 G, 4 GS, 25.2 IP, 12 R, 9 ER, 18 H, 11 BB, 28 K, 3-1, 3.16 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 9.8 K/9)
#13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 6 K (Season: 5 G, 4 GS, 15.2 IP, 15 R, 22 H, 5 BB, 18 K, 0-4, 8.62 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 10.3 K/9)
#13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - Season: 1 G, 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K
#14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.1 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 4 K (Season: 3 G, 2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 R, 9 H, 6 BB, 9 K, 0-1, 5.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 6.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9)
#15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 2 G, 1 GS, 4.2 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, (Season: 4 G, 3 GS, 15.0 IP, 6 R, 4 ER, 11 H, 3 BB, 19 K, 2-1, 2.40 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 11.4 K/9)
#16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 5 G, 8-for-20 (.400), 1-2B, 3-HR, 8 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K (Season: 25 G, .320/.395/.570 (.965), 11-2B, 1-3B, 4-HR, 19 R, 21 RBI, 10 BB, 19 K)
#17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 8 K (Season: 4GS, 19.0 IP, 9 R, 7 ER, 18 H, 5 BB, 31 K, 2-1, 3.32 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 14.7 K/9)
#18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 5 G, 4-for-18 (.222), 1-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K (Season: 25 G, .364/.423/.586 (1.009), 5-2B, 1-3B, 5-HR, 16 R, 25 RBI, 11 BB, 28 K)
#19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 4 G, 6-for-12 (.500), 2-2B, 0-HR, 3 BB, 4 K (Season: 17 G, .281/.394/.439 (.833), 4-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 11 R, 10 RBI, 12 BB, 15 K)
#20 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL (elbow): Rehab start with Ft. Myers. 1.2 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Matt Wallner, Wichita Wind Surge
Noah Miller was the Twins' choice for player of the week, and he had a big week. The 2021 first-round pick hit .478 with two doubles, a triple, and a home run. He posted a tremendous OPS of 1.339.
However, Matt Wallner hit .500/.579/1.063 (1.642) with three doubles and two home runs in his five games. That 1.642 OPS is about as good as you can get.
It has been a tale of two, two-week stretches for former first-round pick and Forest Lake alum, and that’s why we have to remember that it is a long season, and talent is talent. Matt Wallner is immensely talented. Experts will often say that Double-A is where a lot of players really struggle. If that’s the case, Matt Wallner figured some things out really quickly, and for the second straight week, he is the Twins Daily Hitter of the Week.
- First 2 weeks (4/8 - 4/24): 12 G, 5-for-45, .111/.222/.178 (.400), 0-2B, 1-HR, 13.0% BB%, 44.4% K%
- Past 2 weeks (4/26 - 5/8): 11 G, 15-for-35, .429/.535/.971 (1.506), 4-2B, 5-HR, 18.6% BB%, 27.9% K%
Baseball is all about adjustments, and it’s pretty impressive that it appears Wallner has been able to adjust quickly. Few, if any, have as much power potential as Wallner.
Pitcher of the Week: LHP Brent Headrick, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Headrick was a solid candidate for his award last week after he tossed five shutout innings against Beloit. He had given up just three hits, walked none, and struck out seven batters. He was even better this past week in his start against Quad Cities. He threw six more scoreless innings. He gave up only one hit, walked one, and struck out ten batters.
Overall, the 24-year-old has made five starts for the Kernels this year. He is 3-1 with a 1.90 ERA. in 23 2/3 innings, he has given up just ten hits, walked five, and struck out 38 batters. Those numbers result in a miniscule 0.63 WHIP and an impressive 14.5 K/9.
Headrick was the Twins' ninth-round pick in 2019 out of Illinois State where he pitched for former Twins catcher Steve Holm. As a junior, he had gone 9-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 16 starts. He pitched in just three games for Elizabethton that summer. Like most, he missed the entire 2020 season. In 2021, he pitched in 15 games and made 14 starts. He went 3-5 with Ft. Myers with a 3.82 ERA. But this year, the southpaw has pitched at a new level.