Today's portion of the draft, which will include rounds 3 through 10, will begin at 1 p.m. CT.
Keep up to date with the new Twins Draft Tracker.
Yesterday, the Twins added these three players, and the Twins are thrilled with Day 1!
But before we get to the player, here is an interesting new rule that will put these drafted players on the field much sooner than in the past.
1 (8) - Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
21 years old. 6-2, 205. Switch-hitter.
Hit: 60. Power: 50. Speed: 45. Field: 50. Arm: 55
Slot money: $5,439,500
Profile / Draft Tracker / Rapid Reaction Video / Draft Article
2 (48) - Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama
21 years old. 6-2, 210. Left-handed pitcher.
Fastball: 60. Slider: 70. Change-up: 50. Control 55.
Slot money: $1,621,900
Profile / Draft Tracker / Rapid Reaction Video / Draft Article
CB (78) - Tanner Schobel, SS, Virginia Tech
21 years old. 5-10, 170. Shortstop.
Hit: 50. Power: 40. Speed: 50. Field: 50. Arm: 50
Slot money: $1,001,500
Profile / Draft Tracker / Rapid Reaction Video / Draft Article
3 - With their third-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins chose SS Carlos Correa. OK, that's not officially how it works, but when the Twins signed Correa in March, they forfeited their third-round pick in this draft. I would say that's another excellent choice.
Minnesota Twins selected the contract of RHP Tyler Thornburg from the St. Paul Saints.
RHP Hunter Wood assigned to St. Paul Saints from FCL Twins.
St. Paul 5, Rochester 1
Coming into a series against former Triple-A affiliate Rochester, the St. Paul Saints were sitting with a bleak record of 24-29. Yet after five straight wins over the Red Wings, the Saints broke out the brooms for some Sunday cleaning with a 5-1 win and a series sweep over Rochester.
Alex Kirilloff led the Saints with two hits, including a first-inning home run to bring the Saints to 30-29 on the year. On a full count in the first, Kirilloff crushed a ball over the right-center field wall to give the Saints a 1-0 lead.
St. Paul added two more runs in the second inning thanks to an RBI double from David Banuelos (4) and an RBI single from Kirilloff. Banuelos' double scored Elliot Soto, who has served as a rock for the Saints' clubhouse this season. Twins Daily's Theo Tollefson wrote about Soto's valuable role recently, check it out!
The Saints would strike again in the fifth inning. With two runners on, Jermaine Palacios tallied a two-run RBI single to score Jake Cave and Mark Contreras to give St. Paul a 5-1 lead that held to the final pitch.
Starting pitcher Jake Faria (W, 1-2) was excellent for St. Paul, allowing just one run on five hits through five innings while striking out two. Following his departure, the bullpen crew of Hunter Wood, JC Ramirez, Drew Strotman, and Yennier Cano were stellar, tossing four innings of scoreless ball with a combined five strikeouts and just one hit.
WIND SURGE WISDOM
Arkansas 6, Wichita 1
Slated up against a Texas League foe, Wichita fell short in the series finale against Arkansas on Sunday afternoon.
Despite knotting the game at one early on, the Surge left seven runners on base and succumbed to two breakout innings from the Travelers.
Wichita scored their only run in the second inning thanks to an RBI single from Dennis Ortega. The Valencia, Venezuela native now has 23 RBI on the year and four hits in his last two games.
Starting pitcher Blayne Enlow (L, 0-1) didn't have his best day at the office, giving up three runs (1 earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out two through 3 1/3 innings. Enlow has struggled with an elbow injury and Sunday was his first start since May 31. While the results weren't there, expect Enlow to ease his way back into his dominant self in weeks to come.
The Wind Surge are still in excellent shape despite the loss. Wichita sits at 32-23 and atop the North division of the Texas League with a game-and-a-half lead over Tulsa. Arkansas (31-26) is just half a game behind Tulsa. The Wind Surge will head to Tulsa to take on the Drillers in a six-game series starting on Tuesday.
Cedar Rapids 9 South Bend 3
Like Tom Cruise in a fighter jet, the Cedar Rapids Kernels hit early, often, and everywhere on Sunday afternoon in a dominant victory over South Bend.
Combined with a lights-out performance from Cade Povich on the bump, the Kernels used four extra-base hits, three singles, and eight walks to pummel the Cubs and move to 37-20 on the 2022 season.
Cedar Rapids got the party started with a pair of two-run innings in the opening two frames. With Aaron Sabato on first, Seth Gray launched a 1-1 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Kernels a 2-0 lead in the first. Gray's homer was his sixth of the season and second of the series against the Cubs.
Just an inning later the Kernels mounted a two-out rally to double their lead. Will Holland kicked off the campaign by lacing his seventh double of the year to left field. In the next at-bat, Dylan Neuse punched a single to the left side of the infield that allowed Holland to score thanks to a fielding error.
The Cubbies would pay for the error.
On the very next pitch, Alerick Soularie doubled to right field and scored Neuse all the way from first base. The former Tennessee Volunteer now has four doubles on the season and three in the month of June.
The red-hot Kernels weren't done yet. With the bases loaded and one out, Christian Encarnacion-Strand put the nail in the coffin with a grand slam over the left-field wall to give Cedar Rapids an 8-1 lead. Incredible would be an understatement to describe Encarnacion-Strand's 2022 campaign. The Twins Daily Top 20 Prospect now has 13 homers on the young season and is slashing .298/.389/.769 in the month of June. It wouldn't be shocking to see the 22-year-old get the call up to Wichita sooner rather than later!
And while the bats will certainly get the storyline, Kernels starting pitcher Cade Povich was stellar on the afternoon, earning his fourth win of the season. Povich allowed just one run on four hits through six innings while striking out five batters. Walking just two batters, Sunday's matinee masterpiece was the Nebraska Cornhusker's longest outing of the season.
Daytona 11, Fort Myers 4
Despite a pair of second run innings the Mussels dropped the first of two games against the Tortugas on Sunday afternoon in the Sunshine State.
Trailing 2-0 in the second with a runner on first, Nelson Roberto launched his first homer of the year over the left-center field wall to put Fort Myers on the board and tie the game at two.
The Mussels would score on the long ball again in the fourth thanks to a solo shot from Carlos Aguiar (1) that would bring Fort Myers within one run.
The Tortugas broke it open in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs followed by two more in the fifth and one more in the sixth.
After a lengthy weather delay, the Mussels hoped to wane the deficit but were only able to plate one more run thanks to an RBI walk from Rubel Cespedes in the top of the seventh.
Fort Myers starter Pierson Ohl (L, 2-3) gave up five runs (three earned runs) on five hits while striking out four through three innings. Anthony Escobar and Samuel Perez were the only two Fort Myers pitchers that didn't give up a run, each pitching 2/3 of an inning.
Daytona 3, Fort Myers 1
After a blowout loss in game one, the Mussels played the Tortugas tight in game two of the Sunday afternoon doubleheader. Unfortunately the Fort Myers bats' ran dry and a solid pitching outing from Mike Paredes wasn't enough to propel the Mussels to a win.
Starting pitcher Mike Paredes lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out two. Paredes is now 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA on the year. Relievers Jackson Hicks and Malik Barrington pitched well enough to keep Fort Myers in the game but the Mussels' offense failed to prevail.
Despite tallying only four hits in the game, Fort Myers left a whopping 12 runners on base and were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. The team's lone run came on an RBI single in the fifth inning from LaRon Smith that scored Rubel Cespedes.
TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Hitter of the Day: Christian Encarnacion Strand (Cedar Rapids)- 1-for-4, HR (Grand Slam), 4 RBI
Pitcher of the Day: Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids)- W, 6 IP, 4 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Check out the Prospect Tracker for much more on the new Twins' Top 20 prospects after seeing how they did on Sunday.
#10 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 0-for-5, 2 BB, K
#15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-3, K
#16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, BB, 2 K
#18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, Grand Slam, 4 RBI
In the past, the beginning of the short-season, rookie leagues was right near the time of the MLB Draft. However, now that the draft has been pushed back to July, Opening Day of the short-season leagues came up in a hurry. On Monday, the Florida Complex League and the Dominican Summer League seasons began. At Twins Daily, we will be providing reports on those teams in our daily Minor League Reports. Below you can see how the two Twins affiliates played on Monday.
If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week.
With no Monday Minor League Report, here are the transactions from later on Sunday and on Monday:
RHP Ian Hamilton, RHP Jharel Cotton and OF Mark Contreras back to St. Paul.
IF Daniel Robertson began rehab stint with FCL Twins.
Twins signed RHP Aaron Sanchez to minor-league deal and assigned him to St. Paul.
IF Ernie Yake was placed on the Wichita Injured List.
Previous Week in Review (5/24-5/30):Mighty Mussels Out-Muscle Marauders
Tuesday: Another No-No in Ft. Myers and Stranger Things for St. Paul
Wednesday: Offensive Fireworks in Cedar Rapids and Emmanuel Rodriguez is On Fire
Thursday: Rodriguez Rakes as Mussels Mount Comeback
Friday: Prato Paces the Kernels, Strong Pitching Turned In
Saturday: Alerick Soularie Hits For the Cycle! Wind Surge Win in Walk-off!
Sunday: Steer, Kirilloff, Hamilton Power Home Run Record for Saints
MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT
Prospect Retrospective: Jermaine Palacios
Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - May 2022
Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - May 2022
Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month - May 2022
Reviewing the Jose Berrios Trade
It was opening day in the short-season leagues on Monday as both the Dominican Summer League Twins and the Florida Complex League Twins played the first game of their seasons. We are going to include these teams in our daily Minor League Reports.
FCL Twins 2, FCL Pirates 7
Starting Pitcher: Develson Aria (3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)
Multi-Hit Games: Alexander Pena (2-for-2, R, 2 RBI), Ismael Perez (2-for-3, R, SB)
2B: Alexander Pena (1)
HR: Alexander Pena (1)
Rehab Players: Daniel Robertson (0-for-2, K)
Top Prospects: Danny De Andrade (0-for-4), Fredy Michel (0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K, SB).
DSL Twins 5, DSL Rockies 6
Starting Pitcher: Julio Bonilla (3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K)
Multi-Hit Games: Anderson Nova (2-for-4, RBI, K), Daniel Pena (2-for-4, R, RBI, K), Javier Roman (2-for-2, HBP)
Top Prospects: Bryan Acuna (0-4)
WEEK IN REVIEW
Triple-A: St. Paul Saints:
Week: 4-2, @ Iowa
Season: 24-29 overall, 9th place out of ten teams in the International League West. They are 10 games behind Nashville.
After putting up 49 runs in seven games the previous week, the Saints scored 57 runs in six games. Three times the Saints scored more than a dozen runs in a game. The Saints pitching staff gave up 50 runs in seven games the previous week. Last week, they gave up 41 runs in the six games. The Saints hit 18 home runs including a franchise-record seven homers on Sunday afternoon. Seven hitters had an OPS over .960. It was a good week for the Saints, and now they head home to take on the former Twins Triple-A affiliate, the best team in the whole International League. Get your tickets here!
Alex Kirilloff was named the Twins Minor League Player of the Week and the International League Hitter of the Week. In four games, he went 8-for-17 and hit .471/.571/1.353 (1.924) with three doubles, four homers, and eight RBI. He walked four times with just three strikeouts.
Caleb Hamilton played in three games and went 4-for-8. He hit .500/.667/1.375 (2.042) with a double, two home runs, and six RBI. He also had four walks.
Tim Beckham finally made his way to St. Paul. He played in four games and went 8-for-17. He hit .471/.526/.882 (1.408) with a double, two homers, and seven RBI.
Spencer Steer was one of two Saints to play in all six games. He went 7-for-30 and hit .233/.303/.700 (1.003) with two doubles, four homers, and 11 RBI.
Jake Cave played in five games and went 8-for-22. He hit .364/.440/.682 (1.122) with two doubles, a triple, a homer, and three RBI.
Elliot Soto went 4-for-16 in five games. He hit .250/.400/.563 (.963) with two doubles and a home run. He also walked four times.
Michael Helman was the second Saint who played in all six games. He went 7-for-26 and hit .269/.367/.462 (.829) with two doubles, a home run and three RBI.
The best start for a Saints pitcher last week came from Mario Sanchez. He gave up two runs on five hits over an impressive 7 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out two and deserves bonus points from the whole team and front office for getting through that many innings.
Tyler Viza pitched in three games, and finished two of them. He gave up one run on two hits over five innings. He struck out six batters without a walk.
Austin Schulfer worked 3 2/3 innings over two appearances. He allowed an unearned run on two hits. He walked two and struck out four batters.
What’s Next? #OldFriend ALERT! The Rochester Red Wings, the long-time Twins Triple-A affiliate, will be making their first appearance at CHS FIeld to take on the Saints this week. The 35-19 Red Wings are managed by former Twins C/DH Matthew LeCroy.
Pitching Probables (RHP Daniel Gossett, RHP Aaron Sanchez, RHP Ronny Henriquez, TBD, TBD, TBD)
Double-A Wichita Wind Surge
Week: 4-2, hosting Frisco
Season: 30-19 overall, 1st place in the Texas League North Division. They remain just 1 1/2 game ahead of Tulsa (28-20).
The Wind Surge continue to win and find different ways to do it. Sometimes they score. Sometimes they pitch. This week, the games were mostly low scoring, but Wichita had another winning week. Over the six games, they outscored Frisco 23-17. The pitching staff was fantastic. They gave up more than three runs only once during the week.
Here are some of the top performances for the Wind Surge this past week:
Matt Canterino tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked four and struck out four.
Steven Cruz and Osiris German each pitched twice and worked 3 1/3 innings. German gave up just one hit and struck out five batters. Cruz gave up two unearned runs and struck out four batters.
Kody Funderburk pitched twice, including one start. In six innings, he gave up just one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out six bases.
Matt Wallner played in all six games. He went 8-for-22 and hit .364/.417/.545 (.962) with a double and a home run. He stole two bases.
Jair Camargo played in three games before going on the IL. He went 3-for-12 (.250) with a double, two homers and five RBI. Likewise, Alex Isola went on the IL after just one game last week. He had a double and a homer, and he walked once.
Chris Williams had just three hits and batted .188, but he had a double and two homers.
2021 draft pick Ernie Yake went 3-for-9 (.333) and hit two doubles, including a huge bases-clearing double on Sunday against Frisco.
What’s Next? The Wind Surge travel to Arkansas for six games against the Mariners’ affiliate. The Travelers are 27-24 and in third place in the North Division.
Pitching Probables (RHP Blayne Enlow, RHP Matt Canterino, RHP Casey Legumina, RHP Louie Varland, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Blayne Enlow)
High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels
Week: 4-2, @ Lansing
Season: 33-18 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League West Division, 2.0 games ahead of Wisconsin (31-20). They are 5.0 games ahead of South Bend (28-23).
In the first half of the week, the Kernels went 1-2, though their win was by a score of 10-2. They went on to win the final three games of the series and scored eight or more runs in each game. Overall, they outscored the Lugnuts 39-28 and were able to increase their division lead by a game. Several Kernels’ hitters had big weeks. Pitching wasn’t quite as strong, but you just have to see what Sean Mooney did.
Alerick Soularie has had a tough start to his 2022 season, but he had a big week last week. In five games, he went 6-for-17 and hit .353/.560/.882 (1.442) with a double, a triple, two homers, and six RBI. He also walked eight times. He hit for the cycle on Saturday.
Aaron Sabato was named the Midwest League Hitter of the Week. He played in five games and went 8-for-16. He hit .500/.619/.813 (1.432) with two doubles, a homer, and five RBI. He also walked four times.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand played in all six games. He went 8-for-27 and hit .296/.387/.704 (1.091) with five doubles, two homers, and four RBI.
Yunior Severino returned to the field from the IL. In four games, he went 6-for-16 and hit .375/.474/.563 (.1.037) with a double and a triple. He also walked three times.
Anthony Prato played in three games for the Kernels before being promoted to Wichita. In that time, he went 4-for-15 (.267) and had a double, triple, home run and four RBI. He also stole two bases.
Sawyer Gipson-Long had the top start of the week for the Kernels. He gave up one run on three hits with two walks over six innings. He struck out three batters.
Sean Mooney was the piggyback arm in one game. He tossed four shutout innings. He did not give up a hit. He walked one and struck out ten batters.
Cody Laweryson also worked once out of the bullpen. In 2 2/3 scoreless innings, he gave up one hit, walked two and struck out three batters.
What’s Next? The Kernels will travel to South Bend to take on the Cubs.
Pitching Probables (RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP John Stankiewicz, RHP David Festa, LHP Brent Headrick, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich)
Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels
Week: 4-2, hosting Tampa
Season: 34-16 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, 8.0 games ahead of Clearwater (26-24).
Ft. Myers was able to increase their lead in the division with a 4-2 week. The Mussel bats outscored the Tarpons 33-17 on the week. It was a terrific week for the pitchers as well, with the team’s second no-hitter of the season on Tuesday. And Emmanuel Rodriguez put together arguably the greatest week of production that I can recall!
Emmanuel Rodriguez had a huge week. In five games, he went 7-for-12 and hit .583/.700/1.500 (2.200) with a double, two triples, two homers, and six RBI. He also had seven walks to go with just one strikeout! And he stole a base. No surprise he was named the Florida State League Hitter of the Week.
Luis Baez played in five games. He went 4-for-9 and hit .444/.545/.444 (.989) with two walks. He also stole two bases.
Kala’i Rosario played in five games and went 6-for-16. He hit .375/.474/.500 (.974) with two doubles and two walks.
Mike Paredes was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. In his start, he tossed six scoreless innings. He gave up no hits, walked two, and struck out five batters.
Pierson Ohl made a start and threw three scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and walked two batters. All nine outs he recorded came on strikeouts.
Ariel Jurado made his first start, a rehab appearance after having Tommy John surgery. He gave up no runs on one hit. He walked two and struck out four batters.
Hunter McMahon pitched two games and three innings. He gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out seven batters.
Juan Mendez pitched twice and threw two perfect innings. Five of the six outs came on strikeouts.
Matt Swain made two appearances with the Mussels before his late-week promotion to Cedar Rapids. In two innings, he struck out four batters.
Travis Adams gave up one run in five innings in his start. He struck out eight batters without issuing a walk.
What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels make the long trek to Daytona (19-31) for a six-game series.
Pitching Probables (LHP Steve Hajjar, TBD, LHP Jaylen Nowlin (vs Chase Petty), TBD, TBD, TBD)
This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week. The Prospect Tracker will be updated on the first of each month throughout the season. Notice that these pages now include stats and splits, as well as past article links, video and more.
#1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - Did Not Play (Season: 34 G, .313/.405/.534 (.940), 12-2B, 1-3B, 5-HR, 30 R, 14 RBI, 18 BB, 32 K)
#1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Did Not Play (.000), 0-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (Season: 12 G, .300/.317/.550 (.867), 4-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K)
#2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 6 G, 4-for-23 (.174), 0-2B, 1-3B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K (Season: 46 G, .247/.361/.324 (.685), 7-2B, 2-3B, 1-HR, 34 R, 14 RBI, 23 BB, 28 K, 21 SB, 2 CS)
#3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - In MLB (Season: 21 G, .256/.295/.442 (.737), 10-2B, 2-HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 14 K)
#3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 5 G, 5-for-18 (.278), 1-2B, 2-HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K (Season: 25 G, .202/.237/.405 (.641), 6-2B, 4-HR, 8 R, 11 RBI, 3 BB, 22 K)
#4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.1 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 5 K (Season: 5 GS, 16.1 IP, 21 R, 16 ER, 27 H, 12 BB, 17 K, 0-2, 8.82 ERA, 2.39 WHIP, 6.6 BB/9, 9.4 K/9)
#5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 2 GS, 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 8 K (Season: 10 GS, 48.0 IP, 17 R, 16 ER, 37 H, 17 BB, 50 K, 2-2, 3.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 9.4 K/9)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Emmanuel Rodriguez, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels
This is the second consecutive, and third overall player of the week honor for Rodriguez this season. He was the choice for Hitter of the Month in April. He was solid again in May, and he has started June on fire. Two weeks ago, he went 0-for-12 for the week, but he walked 10 times, continuing to show his much-improved strike zone management. In the two weeks since then, he has played in ten games. He had gone 13-for-30 and hit .433/.591/1.000 (1.591) with a double, two triples, four home runs and 11 RBI. He has also walked 13 times and struck out ten times.
Rodriguez played in five games last week at Hammond Stadium against Tampa. He went 7-for-12 and hit .583/.700/1.500 (2.200) with a doubles, two triples, two home runs, and six RBI. He also had seven walks to go with just two strikeouts. Those numbers are just crazy!
Overall, he has played in 45 games for Ft. Myers in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. He has hit .280/.495/.568 (1.063) with five doubles, three triples, nine home runs, and 25 RBI. He is also 11-for-15 in stolen base attempts, and plays a solid center field.
Rodriguez signed with the Twins in July 2019 for $2.5 million out of Santiago. He was unable to make his debut until 2021. Last year, in 37 FCL Twins games, he hit .214/346/.524 (.870) with five doubles, two triples, and 10 home runs. He also stole nine bases.
Pitcher of the Week: RHP Mike Paredes, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels
Mike Paredes was the Twins 18th round draft pick in 2021 out of San Diego State University. He went to college about 10 miles from where he went to high school, San Diego High School where he was a strong two-way player. As a freshman, he worked mostly out of the bullpen and struck out 56 batters in 51 innings. He also went 1-for-2 with an RBI double. He made four starts in the shortened 2020 season. In 2021, he went 4-0.
Upon signing, he pitched in two games for the FCL Twins. He gave up one run on one hit and one walk in four innings. He struck out six batters. This season, he began the season in the Ft. Myers bullpen. Gradually he got extended and then did some piggybacking before entering the team’s rotation. He has made four starts now. Overall, he is 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA. In 31 1/3 innings, he has walked just five batters while striking out 31 batters.
In his start last week against Tampa, he struck out five batters over six scoreless, hitless innings. He walked two. Hunter McMahon got the final three outs to keep the no-hitter, the Mussels third no-no over the past nine months, and second this season.
In his four starts, he has gradually worked more and more. In his first start, he threw three no-hit innings. In his second start, he threw four, one-hit innings. He went five innings in his third start (two runs on three hits). And, six innings of no-hit ball in his fourth start. What is next for the 21-year-old right-hander?
Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the players and the teams in the COMMENTS below.
To give some perspective to this trade, it is important to note that Jose Berríos was under team control through the 2022 season. Since acquiring him, Toronto has signed him to a 7-year, $131 million deal that buys out the prime of his career. Minnesota traded 1 1/2 years of Berríos for Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson.
2022 Stats: 5.62 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 69 ERA+, 36 K, 14 BB, 49 2/3 innings
Berrios got what he wanted from Toronto. They paid him as if he were one of baseball's most consistent pitchers through the first six years of his career. His new contract ties him to the Blue Jay through the 2028 season when he will be in his mid-30s. There were no signs that Minnesota was willing to give him that kind of contract, which was one of the main reasons the team was willing to trade him last season.
Unfortunately, Berríos is in the middle of his worst start to a season since his rookie campaign. He has allowed three runs or more in six of his ten starts while averaging less than five innings per outing. Two of his most significant issues have been home runs and a steep decline in strikeout rate. He's allowed at least one home run in all but two appearances this year. Entering the season, he averaged more than one strikeout per inning, but he has a 6.5 K/9 so far in 2022. Pitching in the AL East is an entirely different beast from seeing the AL Central's bottom feeders. That being said, Berríos still has time to figure it out this season.
2022 Stats: .258/.377/.333 (.710), 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 25 K, 22 BB, 40 G
Austin Martin was the top-ranked prospect the Twins got from the Blue Jays. He was a consensus top-55 prospect entering the season. Minnesota sent Martin back to Double-A this season which is where he made his professional debut in 2021. Last season, he posted a .796 OPS, which was tied mainly to his .414 OBP. He was touted for his powerful swing in college, but that power hasn't been evident over the last two seasons.
So far in 2022, Martin's OPS has dipped over 85 points even with a return trip through the Texas League. He is still over a year younger than the average age of the competition at that level. The vast majority of his defensive innings have come at shortstop, but he has also played second base and all three outfield positions. Martin's stock has certainly dropped since the Twins acquired him, but he is only 23-years-old, and he can still make adjustments as he gets closer to Target Field.
Simeon Woods Richardson
2022 Stats: 3.02 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 42 K, 14 BB, 41 2/3 innings
Baseball America and MLB.com included Woods Richardson on their pre-season top-100 prospects, so it's not like he was just a throw-in player in the trade. During the 2021 season, Woods Richardson struggled to adjust to Double-A, but he was over 4.5 years younger than the average age of the competition at that level. In 15 appearances (53 1/3 innings), he posted a 5.91 ERA with a 1.54 WHIP and a 77-to-34 strikeout to walk ratio. It was a choppy season for him because he was also on Team USA's Olympic team in Beijing.
In his second stint at Double-A, Woods Richardson has looked like a completely different pitcher this season. He has only faced older batters in eight plate appearances this year, but he has still been one of the Texas League's best starters. In eight starts (41 2/3 innings), he has posted a 3.02 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP and a 42-to-14 strikeout to walk ratio. His strikeout rate has dropped this season, but he has been more effective at limiting hits and home runs. This season, Woods Richardson's performance has moved him up the TD Top-20 Prospect List.
It will likely be multiple years before a winner can be declared in this trade. However, the Twins were able to acquire two highly-regarded prospects for a pitcher they weren't going to keep long-term.
What are your thoughts as you look back on the trade? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
Back in mid-April I wrote about Trevor Larnach’s process. That was just five games into the season and he had just a .616 OPS. Twins Daily’s Seth Stohs quipped that making much out of such a small sample (3 games) was likely nothing, but the hard-hit rates were impossible to ignore. Fast forward to the end of May, and the process has turned into results.
On the season Larnach has been worth 1.3 fWAR, the highest total on the Twins. His .886 OPS is already a strong number considering the state of offense across the league this season. Over his last 18 games though, Larnach has slashed .339/.424/.625 with seven doubles and three dingers. The 161 OPS+ on the season is indicative of an offensive threat nearly twice that of the league average.
What’s also impressive is that Larnach isn’t simply generating hard contact, but he’s reigned in some of the swing and miss as well. After being at a nearly 17% whiff rate last season, Larnach has dropped that to 13.9% in 2022. That’s helped to slightly increase his walk rate but has also added to his overall contact ability. Larnach has been a good hitter everywhere he’s gone, and he’s been more choosy this season as well. Shaving nearly 5% off his chase rate, pitchers are having to attack him within the strike zone.
The scouting report on Larnach has never changed. He’s going to make loud contact and do damage because of it. Dealing with lower-body injuries last season, there’s reason to believe that hampered performance. His 41.9% hhard-hitrate in 2022 is nearly 10% higher than what it was a season ago. Larnach has also dropped points off his ground ball rate adding both to fly ball and line drive production, both outcomes providing a better opportunity for success.
It’s been a game of adjustments for Larnach as well, and being the extremely smart player he is, he’s handled them well. Pitchers have basically tried throwing slop at him since he entered the league. The book on him, and teammate Alex Kirilloff, was that they could handle velocity. Larnach has seen four-seam fastballs just 27% of the time this season. Slider has been the most common offspeed offering, but the pitch selection runs the gambit when looking at breaking balls. Because of the work he’s put in, there’s a drastic shift in how the production looks, specifically against the slider, compared to last season. Being able to sit on breaking pitchers, Larnach has made it so there’s nothing he can’t handle at the dish.
If there’s something somewhat unexpected it’s on the defensive side of things. Larnach was never going to be a hack in the outfield, but I’m not sure his arm was expected to play as it has. He’s already generated three outfield assists this season and it shouldn’t be too long before runners stop testing him. Larnach also has 7 defensive runs saved (DRS) in left field with an additional added in right. That number leads all Major League left fielders.
When Minnesota took Larnach they were keyed in on a powerful college bat that was set up to do damage any time he made contact. He was already an advanced hitter that didn’t simply swing to launch or miss, but there was refinement needed. Now getting to the big leagues, Larnach looks the part of a player that can anchor the heart of a lineup and put up a thirty-homer season in his sleep. It’s still early in his career, but multiple All-Star game selections don’t seem like a lofty expectation anymore.
No doubt Minnesota hopes this new core will blossom together. Larnach is starting to see that take shape. If Kirilloff, Royce Lewis, and Jose Miranda can follow suit, they’ll experience plenty of victories along the way.