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  • Twins Minor League Week in Review (9/11-9/17): And Then There Were Two

    Jeremy Nygaard

    One minor league affiliate is entering the final week of their season, with the playoffs now out of reach.

    Another minor league affiliate is trying to end their season as quickly as possible... and bring home some hardware.

    The last affiliate saw their season end on Sunday.

    Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge (Photo of Marco Raya)

    Twins Video

    Here we are: the final minor league weekly recap of the season.

    Read all about the Twins week in   Nick’s Week in Review .  

    Triple-A: St. Paul Saints

    • Overall: 37-32 (1-5 last week) in the second half; second in the IL West by 1.5 games; tied for seventh overall in the International League.
    • Overview: The Saints ended their week on a five-game losing streak, which quickly eliminated the idea that they were going to make one last push for the playoffs. 
    • 🔥QzUqC--xbEejfY05xnGoMSUUmdUVeE9JLIpSZkS2: It wasn't a pretty week for the Saints, but you can always count on Yunior Severino to hit some home runs (and strike out). Severino hit two more, bringing his season total to 34 (in 451 at-bats). In his first 1,189 minor league at-bats (five years), he hit 39. (He also struck out 10 times... and 164 times on the year).
    • 🔥U3JDLA4siDWRzQ6WGCXvGtZsmFhgsWWyN43lX7_H: Simeon Woods Richardson struck out five in five innings, allowing only one run on three hits and three walks.
    • 🔥5aV6FFsblDVT-PoZH2Zphw5hPyfNL3SHQYJDDJEA: Trevor Larnach led the Saints with seven hits (including a home run). Larnach got significantly more at-bats in the minors this year (258) than last year (44), though his big-league at-bats were almost exactly the same from last year to this year. He was able to stay mostly healthy, but he'll be 27 when he reports to spring training next year... so it's do or die time for Larnach. 
    • 🤔cUme9qDWRfalCvZ2HTg419xAy_ABnCRIYaVIe3ZQ: Nick Gordon started rehabbing with the Saints. He struck out in two of his seven hitless at-bats.
    • 🥶wbFu-Mrw3HUxoFeVDYtzpMoM6Xmpusj3n6EZJU8t: Randy Dobnak struggled in his lone start, allowing six runs on nine hits. He struck out four over 5 2/3 innings.
    • 🥶FqORTcSriTBJD3IgA4wulOeUVj6B6vMhCjcCJ9tF: DaShawn Keirsey , who has had a better season than anyone anticipated he would, went hitless this week (13 at-bats). His batting average dropped from .298 to .265 over the course of the week. Keirsey has batted only .188 in the month of September
    • What's Next: The Saints season will end their season by hosting Toledo.  

    Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge

    • Overall: 36-33 (2-4 last week) in the second half and finished two games behind Springfield in the division.
    • Overview: Entering the final day of the regular season, there was a still a chance: a win and help. Wichita failed to get the win and their season was over.
    • 🔥Xdd8hK4tbLuYEPgfLkMvPy2X1JRFeMgwVJPw7Wpp: Jake Rucker and Alex Isola led the Wind Surge offense with ten and nine hits, respectively. Both doubled and homered.
    • 🔥g7Me1E3sNKdTOdpjWWsadnWWlCdSB-RZPgO59ouc: Pierson Ohl and Marco Raya had very good starts. Ohl allowed three hits, a walk and hit two batters in his start, but lasted 5 1/3 innings without giving up a run. Ohl struck out five. Raya gave up a hit and walk while striking out four in four innings. 
    • 😏SQxUkNi2nI-Ob9lJYS8ylUkHpAPLzSZmMAWoSkxU: Chris Paddack struck out six in four innings as he works his way towards potentially joining the Twins for the playoffs.
    • 🥶_cyXmDPw7RQcXcxVQk17OsrXY7e9dRyVWOk-TzNo: Jaylen Nowlin had a poor ending to his season, allowing four runs on three hits (and two home runs) in three innings. Nowlin figures to start next season in Wichita's rotation and still has a chance at the big leagues, which is a victory in itself when you're a 19th round pick. 
    • 🥶PeuQiOssP0kwOxeGoCzGLxlOU55FzVIKcZ9osNTW: After his promotion to Wichita in mid-July, Tanner Schobel got off to a slow start - it took him until September to get his batting average over .200 - so his 5-for-22 week to end his season isn't a terrible outlier, but he also didn't take any walks or get an extra base hit. It was his first full professional season, so you'll take some struggles with the 126 games and 479 at-bats.

    High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels

    • Overview: After losing the opener of the West Division Championship Series to Peoria, the Kernels returned home and won their next two games to advance to the Midwest League Championship Series. Then they used a comeback win to take a one-game lead on Great Lakes. 
    • 🔥if2PGOwQup3_MNkihT7uUDYDYCamP_oRYu8sxaYZ: Noah Cardenas had a champion-type box score for the past week. He was 4-for-10 with a double, three runs scored and batted in. Most impressively, though, he drew seven walks and didn't strike out. While the big hit might get the highlights, it's the great plate appearances that help teams win big games. 
    • 🔥Tui95VOOjEWwtwF684CuwhQPo-FVt2LMNFnjmK1Q: C.J. "Big Game" Culpepper struck out eight and only allowed one run on four hits and a walk over five innings to earn a playoff win.
    • 🤨t4yv1u3nYUbOYyeV7Mn2AmvoWIUgtCbAq9KjJjgh: Maybe Jose Salas has just been holding it in until the games were really, really important. He may have only had three hits in 15 at-bats, but he managed to drive in six runs by homering and tripling. 
    • 🥶4Byq5d5EIMRsdurj28iST9UzoId8hqlVzW7m_Yuh: Christian MacLeod allowed four runs on three hits and three walks (and a hit batter) while striking out three and recording only four outs. (Luckily, the offense came through in that game.)
    • 🥶eQ-v51JgexZHbRwmjgsq5OFb8SXjyMKpFKuUQuYW: Emmanuel Rodriguez has always used walks to beef up his OBP. This week he was 2-for-20 with no walks and nine strikeouts. (But maybe the freezing emoji is the wrong call because he hit two huge home runs on Sunday.)
    • What's Next: One more win and the players will get a new piece of jewelry. Or two more losses and an offseason full of disappointment.

    This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week. The Prospect Tracker will be updated periodically throughout the season. Notice that these pages now include stats and splits, as well as past article links, video and more. Season-long stats will be in parenthesis. 

    • 20. Brent Headrick, LHP, St. Paul: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.1 IP, HB, 4 K. (1.30 WHIP, .254 BAA). (1.44 WHIP, .267 BAA ),
    • 19. Cory Lewis, RHP, Cedar Rapids: 0-0, 2.25 ERA, 4 IP, 4 H, ER, HB, 4 K (1.06 WHIP, .198 BAA).
    • 18. Jose Rodriguez, OF, FCL Twins: (.262/.325/.412. .737 OPS)
    • 17. Danny De Andrade, SS, Fort Myers: (.244/.354/.396. .750 OPS), played five games (90 total games) at shortstop and committed two errors in 18 chances (15 errors in 326 total chances). Previously played one game at third base and had no errors in four chances. 
    • 16. Jordan Balazovic, RHP, St. Paul: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 K. (1.70 WHIP, .267 BAA); Minnesota: (1.56 WHIP, .274 BAA).
    • 15. Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP, St. Paul: 0-0, 1.80 ERA, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 5 K (1.49 WHIP, .249 BAA); Minnesota: (1.56 WHIP, .274 BAA).
    • 14. Yunior Severino, 3B, St. Paul: 4-18, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 10 K. (AA/AAA combined .275/.352/.550. .902 OPS).
    • 13. Kala'i Rosario, OF, Cedar Rapids: 3-15, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 4 BB, 7 K. (.252/.364/.467. .831 OPS).
    • 12. Yasser Mercedes, OF, FCL Twins: (.196/.248/.381. .629 OPS)
    • 11. Connor Prielipp, LHP, Cedar Rapids: Prielipp underwent season-ending elbow surgery. (1.75 WHIP, .294 BAA)
    • 10. Luke Keaschall, 2B, Cedar Rapids: 4-13, 2 RBI, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K. (rookie/l-A/h-A combined .288/.414/.477. .891 OPS), played four games (24 total) at second base and committed two errors in 22 chances (three errors in 83 total chances), played one game in centerfield (four games total) and committed no errors in no chances (no errors in two total chances), and played one game at third base (two total) and committed no errors in one chance (one error in three total chances). 
    • 9. Brandon Winokur, OF, FCL Twins: (.288/.338/.545. .883 OPS), played nine games at shortstop and committed two errors in 34 chances and played seven games at centerfield and committed no errors in 19 chances. 
    • 8. Tanner Schobel, INF, Wichita: 5-22, RBI, 3 K. (high-A/AA combined .265/.352/.424. .776 OPS), played four games (58 total) at second base and committed one error in 12 chances (10 errors in 224 total chances), played one game (59 total) at third base and committed no errors in no chances (four errors in 115 total chances), previously played five games at shortstop and committed no errors in 14 total chances.
    • 7. Austin Martin, 2B/OF, St. Paul: 4-15, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R, 8 BB, 3 K, 2 SB. (rehab/AAA combined .266/.389/.408. .797 OPS), played two games (38 total) at second base and committed no errors in 8 chances (four errors in 152 total chances), played two games (13 total) in left field and committed no errors in eight chance (no errors in 35 total chances). Previously played 11 games in centerfield and committed one error in 28 total chances.
    • 6. David Festa, RHP, St. Paul: 0-1, 3.38 ERA, 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. (AAA/AA combined 1.39 WHIP, .246 BAA)
    • 5. Charlee Soto, RHP: Did not pitch.
    • 4. Marco Raya, RHP, Wichita: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.0 IP, H, BB, 4 K. (AA/Hi-A combined 1.07 WHIP, .197 BAA)
    • 3. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF, Cedar Rapids: 3-13, 3B, 3 RBI, 3 R, 7 BB, 6 K. (.240/.400/.463. .863 OPS)
    • 2. Walker Jenkins, OF, Fort Myers: 6-19, 2 3B, 4 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 K, SB, CS. (FCL/low-A combined .362/.417/.571. .988 OPS)
    • 1. Brooks Lee, SS, St. Paul: 4-23, 2 2B, RBI, 7 R, 4 K. (AA/AAA combined .277/.349/.460. .809 OPS), played three games (106 total) at shortstop and committed no errors in 7 chances (18 errors in 437 total chances) and played one game (seven total) at third base and committed no errors in five chances (one error in 19 chances total chances). 

    In this week's episode, Jeremy and JD tackle a variety of topics. Lots of Twins talk, especially regarding their 2023 draft class. Below is a quick out-take from the show.  Click here to watch the full episode. You can find Destination: The Show on all major podcast platforms including Spotify, iTunes, iHeartRadio and Amazon Music. The show is available on Libsyn, our podcasting platform, in addition to YouTube.


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    The prospect list looks like it will have a major rearrangement when you next do it.  Emmanuel Rodriguez stock has slipped.  What is the condition of Charlie Soto?  Mercedes has a big drop coming.  Headrick and Balazovic are either passing the prospect appearances of dropping because of lack of production.

    Schobel needs a bounce - the promotion exposed him. Prielipp looks like he could drop and Severino and Rosario are on the rise. 

    Who are the players in the next ten that might be pushing into the top ranks?

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