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nclahammer

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  1. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Ted Schwerzler for an article, Three Questions Awaiting the 2022 Twins   
    Derek Falvey and Thad Levine will ultimately steer the direction of the 2022 club this offseason. It’s a very stripped-down roster compared to how this season started in terms of expectations, and how the front office decides to rebuild or retool is yet to be determined. However, there are still pieces in place, and answering questions about three key subjects could determine Minnesota’s outlook in the year ahead.
    Max Kepler
    Signed to an extension at the same time as Jorge Polanco, Kepler was given the larger contract. He responded by posting a career-best .855 OPS and was a key contributor on the Bomba Squad. In 155 games since he’s posted just a .737 OPS and 103 OPS+. To say he’s failed expectations would be putting it lightly.
    Still just 28 years old, Kepler does hope for a prime resurgence to be in front of him. Minnesota dreamed of a player ready to take a step forward, and they saw it for just a single season. Much of how the Twins were expected to compete in 2021 and beyond was reliant on the core of Kepler, Polanco, Miguel Sano, and Byron Buxton. Those players reaching the peaks of their potential at the same time was always the developmental hope.
     
    As pointed out by Twins Daily contributors Nash Walker and Tom Froemming, there’s a lot under the hood to like about Kepler. He’s a strong defender, and the inputs still suggest that production has room for positive regression. It’s getting late early, though, and the reality is results must follow. The Twins outfield could be crowded next season, with Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach joining Buxton and Kepler on more of a full-time basis. This winter, the front office may be tempted by dealing the German-born corner. What is the next step for Kepler, and does it happen with the Twins?
    Miguel Sano
    On the books for $9.25 million in 2022, Miguel Sano would seem to be in the Twins plans for the upcoming year fiscally. While there were times he looked essentially unplayable at the beginning of 2021, the reality is that he’s a hulking power hitter that’s always been susceptible to cold streaks. The timing wasn’t there out of the gate, but not playing him has often been fruitless.
    Since July 4, Sano has posted an .865 OPS, which has jumped up to an .895 OPS in September. He’s an asset at the dish while being a patient and potent slugger. The ability at first base leaves plenty to be desired, but there’s an argument to be made that keeps his head in the game rather than just having him hit.
    Presumably, the Twins won’t have a consistent designated hitter in 2022, which would seem optimal when it comes to roster construction. With Kirilloff worth taking time at first base and Josh Donaldson benefitting from days off in the field, rotating through bats makes sense.
    Where Miguel Sano fits into the Twins plans next season remains to be seen. Is he cast entirely as their designated hitter, how much time does he split with Kirilloff at first, and is the club more adequately prepared to ride with him through the low points?
    Starting Rotation
    Surprisingly the Twins bullpen has taken a positive turn down the stretch, and a unit that was a complete zero to start the year has produced in the latter half of the season. There are usable pieces there looking ahead to 2022, and even Alex Colome could wind up finding his option selected by Minnesota.
    When it comes to the rotation, the front office has its hands full. Bailey Ober and Joe Ryan look like future pieces, but counting on either of them to be the Opening Day starter seems like an acceptance of futility. Depth and quality would suggest a need for a higher ceiling option to be brought in, and where or how high Falvey aims should say plenty about the intentions for competitiveness.
    As was the case coming into 2021, Minnesota has plenty of top prospects on the pitching side. Many were shelved at different points throughout this season after having a year off in 2020, and relying on them as more than a bonus seems foolhardy. However, building a group punctuated with retread veterans shouldn’t be expected to move the needle much either.
    Derek Falvey’s calling card in coming to the Twins was pitching prowess, and while he’s helped develop some throughout the system, an overhaul like this will take some serious architecting.
    MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
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  2. Like
    nclahammer reacted to David Youngs for an article, Minor League Report (9/16): Wichita Surges Into Playoffs, Kernels Playoff Push   
    TRANSACTIONS
    Wichita Wind Surge activated RHP Adam Lau from the temporarily inactive list. Cedar Rapids Kernels activated RHP Ryan Shreve from the 7-day injured list. Cedar Rapids Kernels placed RHP Steven Cruz on the 7-day injured list. RHPs Travis Adams and Johnathan Lavallee, both 2021 draft picks, were assigned to the FCL Twins.  SAINTS SENTINAL
    St. Paul 8, Indianapolis 0
    Box Score
    Jose Miranda had another big game for the Saints, but when a team tosses a two-hit shutout, we'll lead with that. 
    Veteran Derek Law could have become a free agent when the Twins DFAd him for a second time this season recently. Instead, he accepted his assignment to the Saints and has been extended. In his career, he had pitched in 231 minor league games, all out of the bullpen. On this night, he made the start and worked a career-high four innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out six batters. Chandler Shepherd came on, and despite walking three batters and giving up a hit, he did not allow a run. Vinny Nittoli tossed two scoreless before Robinson Leyer completed the shutout with a perfect ninth inning. 
    Back to Miranda because, let's be honest, that's what we're all here for. Miranda went 3-for-5 with his 19th Saints double, and his 15th Saints home run (28th overall). He drove in four of the team's runs. Jimmy Kerrigan was also 3-for-5 on the night. BJ Boyd drove in two runs with a double. Mark Contreras his his 25th double of the season. 
    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Wichita 3, Arkansas 2
    Box Score
    Chris Vallimont has had his ups and downs this season, but on Thursday night, he was on the mound with the opportunity to put the Wind Surge in the playoffs. He put together a very solid start. He started with five scoreless innings before allowing a solo homer to Jack Larsen in the top of the sixth inning. Overall, he gave up just the one run in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up just two hits, walked four and struck out four batters.
    Down 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Ernie de la Trinidad gave the Wind Surge a 2-1 lead with a two-run single. Later in the inning, the Arkansas catcher tried to pick off Andrew Bechtold at third base, but he threw it away allowing Bechtold to score and put Wichita ahead by a score of 3-1. 
    Erik Manoah got the final out of the sixth inning and then worked two more scoreless frames. He struck out four and walked none. Adam Lau came off the IL earlier in the day got the ninth inning. He got the first two outs, on a fly out and a strikeout. However, he walked the next batter. That brought up pinch hitter Joe Rizzo representing the game-tying run. Rizzo drove in a run to cut the lead to 3-2 with a bloop single to center. However, the next batter - another pinch hitter - popped out to center fielder Austin Martin to end the game and place the Wind Surge in the playoffs. 
    Trey Cabbage and Jermaine Palacios each went 2-for-4 in the game. Palacios hit his 17th double. Stevie Berman not only caught a great game, but he went 2-for-3 at the plate with his sixth double. 
    Congratulations to the Wichita Wind Surge on making the playoffs in their first season as a Twins affiliate! 
    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 1
    Box Score
    Coming into this game, the Kernels were tied with Lake County for second place in the High-A Central League. They were one game ahead of Great Lakes. Just one of those teams will make the playoffs. 
    The game was pretty quiet early. Through the sixth inning, the Kernels found themselves down by a score of 3-1. However, Edouard Julien came to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered a bases-clearing double to give Cedar Rapids a 4-3 lead. Aaron Sabato then drove in Julien with a sacrifice fly to give the Kernels a 5-3 lead. It was a lead that the Kernels bullpen was able to hold. 
    It was an important win as both Lake County and Great Lakes won their games on Thursday as well. Each team has three games remaining on their schedules. 
    Sean Mooney got the start for the Kernels. He worked the first five innings and did not give up a hit. He was charged with one run on two walks and a hit batter. He struck out seven hitters. Lefty Denny Bentley came in to start the sixth inning. He recorded just one out and was charged with two runs on four hits. Osiris German came on and gave up just one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Zach Featherstone recorded the final out of the eighth inning before striking out the side in the ninth inning for the Save. All four outs he recorded came on strikeouts. 
    Matt Wallner went 2-for-3 with a walk and drove in the team's first run with a single in the fourth inning. Jair Camargo was also 2-for-3 with a walk. 
    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Fort Myers, Tampa (Suspended in 1st inning)
    Box Score
    Rains have won the day most of the time in recent weeks down in Florida. On Thursday, night, right-hander Jackson Hicks made his Mussels debut, but after just seven pitches and a single to the one batter he faced, the game was suspended. It will be continued on Friday. Unfortunately, the second game of Thursday's doubleheader has simply been cancelled. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday night. 
    COMPLEX CHRONICLES
    FCL Rays 6, FCL Twins 4
    Box Score
    Two extra-base hits from Endy Rodriguez wasn't enough to propel the FCL Twins to a win on Thursday afternoon in the Sunshine State. Rodriguez tallied two hits and two runs in the loss. The first of those hits came in the third inning when Rodriguez launched a triple to right field. He scored on the next at-bat thanks to a single from Noah Miller. 
    After walking in the seventh, Rodriguez scored on a groundout fielder's choice from Kal'ai Rosario, who had a double on the day. Rodriguez also doubled with two outs in the ninth inning but did not score.
    Twins starter Travis Adams went 1 1/3 innings in his professional debut. He gave up three runs on two hits while walking two and striking out three batters. Jordan Carr came on and was charged with an unearned run in 1 2/3 innings. Johnathan Lavallee came on for his pro debut. He worked two innings. He gave up one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out three batters with no walks. Erasmo Moreno carried the bulk of the Twins bullpen, tossing four innings of one-run, two hit ball while striking out four hitters.
    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day - Derek Law (St. Paul) - 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
    Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI
    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, BB
    #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain)
    #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI
    #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain)
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List
    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement)
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-3, BB, RBI, K
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-4, BB, K
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 1-4, R, RBI, BB, K
    #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - No Game (Paternity List)
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Rained Out
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4 
    FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Jason Garcia (0-0, 14.40 ERA)
    Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (3-2, 2.63 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (First Kernels Start, 4-2, 3.02 ERA in Ft. Myers)
    Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 1 (6:00 PM CST) - TBD
    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games!
  3. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Ted Schwerzler for an article, Twins Minor League Report (9/15): Varland Does it Again   
    TRANSACTIONS
    Charlie Barnes was returned to the Saints after being the 29th man on Tuesday. 
    SAINTS SENTINEL
    St. Paul 3, Indianapolis 2
    Box Score
    Playing an afternoon matinee in Indianapolis, the Saints sent Beau Burrows to the bump. He tossed 6 1/3 innings of four-hit ball allowing just a single run. Burrows walked two and punched out six in what was among his best outings this season.
    St. Paul scored first as Sherman Johnson singled home Damek Tomscha in the 2nd inning. After allowing an equalizer in the bottom half, St. Paul added again in the 3rd inning. Jimmy Kerrigan drove in Jose Miranda on a single to center. Putting some distance between the clubs, Caleb Hamilton singled in the 4th inning to score Tomscha and make it a 3-1 game.
    Things got a bit dicey in the 9th inning when Yennier Cano allowed some traffic to turn into a run. He loaded the bases with a walk on a 3-2 pitch but generated a ground ball to end the game.
    Miranda continued his amazing season with a 3-for-4 effort and Tomscha had a multi-hit game as well tallying two doubles.
    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Arkansas 10, Wichita 5 (Game 1)
    Box Score
    Suspended yesterday, here’s what Steve had to say about the action that did get played:
    Unfortunately for the Wind Surge, they played much of this game through some drizzle before the conditions became too much for them to continue. They had not yet completed five innings, so the game was suspended in the top of the fifth and will resume tomorrow.
    It had been a mixed bag before the game was paused, as Simeon Woods Richardson delivered a fantastic performance for the first three innings of the game, but upon his exit the Travelers struck to take the 4-1 lead against Ben Gross.
    In his outing, Woods Richardson allowed just two hits while striking out five in his three innings. He definitely looked like a top prospect in this one as compared to his prior outings. Of his 47 pitches in the game, 32 went for strikes (68%), including a whopping 12 swinging strikes. He got those swings and misses on all of his pitches as well, with his changeup especially (to my eyes) looking like it was fooling everyone.
    Wichita got their lone run in the bottom of the second thanks to an RBI infield single from Aaron Whitefield.
    Picking up in the 5th inning, Trey Cabbage made his presence felt launching his 18th homer of the year, a two-run shot that drew Wichita within one at 4-3. A 6th inning grand slam for Arkansas allowed a five-run inning to provide plenty of distance.
    Wichita attempted to make things interesting in the 8th inning when Andrew Bechtold singled in Cabbage and Aaron Whitefield drove in Spencer Steer. That 9-5 deficit was the closest things would get, and with Arkansas adding another run in the 9th inning, this one stayed out of reach.
    Wichita 6, Arkansas 4 (F/7 Game 2)
    Box Score
    Jordan Balazovic was on the bump for game two of this non-traditional doubleheader. It wasn’t his sharpest outing and the Twins top pitching prospect went just 3 2/3 innings allowing four runs on four hits and four walks while striking out five batters.
    Down 2-0 after the first inning, Wichita answered with two runs of their own in the 2nd inning. Jermaine Palacios singled driving in Leobaldo Cabrera, and Andrew Bechtold plated Palacios on a single of his own.
    Again trailing after the 4th inning, the Wind Surge answered with Spencer Steer ripping a bases loaded double to bring everyone home. Grabbing their first lead of the contest, Cedar Rapids was now on top 5-4. During a 6th inning Bechtold walk, Whitefield swiped third base and scored on an error by the Travelers backstop.
    6-4 is where this on would end, and Roy Morales was the lone player to record a multi-hit effort going 3-for-4 on the evening.
    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Peoria 2, Cedar Rapids 1
    Box Score
    Louie Varland has been dominant at the two levels of Class A ball this season, and he turned in another great start tonight for the Kernels. Working six innings, Varland allowed two runs (just one earned) on four hits and no walks. He punched out 11 batters on the evening and dropped his ERA to 2.10. Derek Molina struck out four batters over the final two innings. 
    Jair Camargo drove in Aaron Sabato with a 5th inning single knotting the game at one, but that was the only run production the Kernels could muster and they fell just short. Camargo had a two-hit night and accounted for half of Cedar Rapids total.
    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Fort Myers 5, Tampa 2
    Box Score
    Needing just seven total strikeouts to set a new team record, the Mighty Mussels eclipsed the team total set by the Miracle back in 2019. Starter John Stankiewicz picked up six of the necessary punch outs and worked six innings allowing just a single run on five hits and a walk.
    After getting behind in the first, Charles Mack recorded his second triple of the season plating both Misael Urbina and Will Holland to take the lead. Mack then drew a bases-loaded walk in the third to drive in Alerick Soularie before Jake Rucker was hit and allowed Christian Encarnacion-Strand to score. Kyle Fedko was hit by a pitch and allowed Holland to score. Three runs came across in the inning, and none were generated by a ball put in play.
    Tampa drew closers with a solo shot in the 9th inning, but the left the bases loaded and wound up on the short side of the scoreboard. Despite being scheduled for a twin bill, rain again impacted tonight’s plans and turned this into a one game, nine-inning affair.
    COMPLEX CHRONICLES
    Scheduled Day Off
    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day - Louie Varland (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K
    Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-4, R
    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-2, R, BB, K
    #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 4 H 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K
    #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain)
    #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-4, R
    #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain)
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - No game
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List
    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement)
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - Did not play
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game
    #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play (Paternity List)
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-3, R, BB
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, 3 RBI
    THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Derek Law (1-0, 3.20 ERA)
    Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (5-7, 6.33 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
    Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 1 (6:00 PM CST) - TBD
    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  4. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Steve Lein for an article, Twins Minor League Report (9/14): Woods Richardson Deals, Saints Come Marching In   
    TRANSACTIONS
    LHP Charlie Barnes and RHP Andrew Albers were recalled from St. Paul in advance of the Twins doubleheader with Cleveland. In double-A, RHP Tyler Beck was placed on the 7-day injured list with a right forearm strain. RHP Jackson Hicks was officially promoted from the FCL Twins to the Mighty Mussels. RHP Hunter McMahon joined the FCL Twins on a rehab assignment. SAINTS SENTINEL
    St. Paul 13, Indianapolis 4
    Box Score
    Three days after bludgeoning their opponent 21-4 at CHS Field, the Saints did more of the same to a new opponent on the road in Indianapolis on Tuesday night.
    A six-run second inning got the party started and included home runs from Mark Contreras and Jose Miranda, along with an RBI double from Damek Tomscha. They extended their lead to 8-0 in the top of the fourth thanks to an error and an RBI groundout from Tomas Telis. Tomscha added a solo home run in the sixth that made it 9-1 before a four-run seventh capped off the evening and was powered by yet another Saints home run off the bat of Sherman Johnson.
    In all the Saints lineup pounded out 14 hits with eight of them going for extra bases. Though they were only 5-for-19 with runners in scoring position, those hits were big ones with the home runs and doubles. Miranda (2-for-6, R, HR, 4 RBI), Contreras (2-for-5, R, 2B, HR, RBI, K), Jimmy Kerrigan (3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 K), and Tomscha (4-for-5, 4 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) had multiple hits.
    Right-hander Drew Strotman made the start and delivered a quality outing. Over six innings he scattered five hits and three walks, allowing two runs (on two homers) while punching out four batters. Ryan Mason pitched two perfect innings of relief, striking out one. Ian Hamilton pitched the ninth and was charged with two earned runs thanks to three walks and one hit, but it was far from enough for Indianapolis.
    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Arkansas 4, Wichita 1 (Game Suspended, to be resumed tomorrow at 4:30 PM)
    Box Score
    Unfortunately for the Wind Surge, they played much of this game through some drizzle before the conditions became too much for them to continue. They had not yet completed five innings, so the game was suspended in the top of the fifth and will resume tomorrow.
    It had been a mixed bag before the game was paused, as Simeon Woods Richardson delivered a fantastic performance for the first three innings of the game, but upon his exit the Travelers struck to take the 4-1 lead against Ben Gross.
    In his outing, Woods Richardson allowed just two hits while striking out five in his three innings. He definitely looked like a top prospect in this one as compared to his prior outings. Of his 47 pitches in the game, 32 went for strikes (68%), including a whopping 12 swinging strikes. He got those swings and misses on all of his pitches as well, with his changeup especially (to my eyes) looking like it was fooling everyone.
    Wichita got their lone run in the bottom of the second thanks to an RBI infield single from Aaron Whitefield.
    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 1, Peoria 6
    Box Score
    Cedar Rapids was unable to solve the Peoria pitching staff on Tuesday, resulting in a 6-1 loss that dropped them to 63-52 and just one game ahead of the teams chasing them in the High-A Central playoff race.
    The lineup was only able to manage four hits on the night, with two of those coming off the bat of Matt Wallner. Their lone run came in the fifth inning thanks to a solo home run from DeShawn Keirsey. As a team they struck out 11 times and drew just one walk, while having only two at-bats with runners in scoring position in the game. 
    Cody Laweryson was on the mound to start and went the first 5 1/3 innings. He allowed all six of the Chiefs runs, on eight hits and one walk, while striking out five. Zach Featherston got the Kernels through the seventh inning without allowing a hit, walking one, and striking out two in his 1 2/3 innings. Tyler Palm finished the game with a scoreless eighth, giving up one hit and striking out two batters.
    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Tampa @ Fort Myers, Postponed: Inclement Weather
    The Mighty Mussels game with the Tarpons was postponed on Tuesday as rain was moving into the area.
    COMPLEX CHRONICLES
    FCL Twins 6, FCL Rays 3
    Box Score
    The Twins used a five-run second inning to pull away early, and the pitching staff held the Rays at bay the rest of the way to pick up the win.
    In that second inning, the Twins took advantage of a pair of errors and got RBI singles from Argenis Jiminez, Noah Cardenas, and Ernie Yake before a sac fly from Endy Rodriguez plated the fifth run. They got an insurance run in the top of the ninth thanks to an RBI single from Wilfri Castro to drive in Gregory Duran who had led off the inning with a triple. Yake (2-for-4, 2B, RBI K) had multiple hits in the contest.
    Hunter McMahon got the start in his first game with the FCL Twins and went the first two innings, allowing one hit and striking out four batters. Ryan Shreve allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits in his lone inning, though he did strike out three. Wilker Reyes was credited with his first hold by going the next three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out two Rays. Juan Mendez picked up his first save by finishing the final three innings. He gave up one run on three hits and struck out three hitters.
    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY

    Pitcher of the Day - Simeon Woods Richardson, Wichita Wind Surge (3 IP, 2 H, 5 K)
    Hitter of the Day - Damek Tomscha, St. Paul Saints (4-for-5, 4 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI)
    PROSPECT SUMMARY

    #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Game suspended
    #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 5 K
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain)
    #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-6, R, HR, 4 RBI
    #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 5 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 5 K (left game in sixth after being struck in hand with line drive)
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain)
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List
    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement)
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-3, K
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - W, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
    #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 0-for-5, 2 K
    #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play (Paternity List)
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Game postponed
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Game suspended
    WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    St. Paul @ Indianapolis (11:05 AM CST) - RHP Beau Burrows (2-5, 6.16 ERA)
    Arkansas @ Wichita (30 min after completion of suspended game) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (5-4, 3.38 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland (6-1, 2.17 ERA)
    Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 1 (3:30 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (0-0, 3.12 ERA)
    Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 2 (30 min after Game 1) - RHP Jackson Hicks (Low-A debut)
    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
     
  5. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Nick Nelson for an article, Week in Review: Youth Movement   
    Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 9/6 thru Sun, 9/12
    ***
    Record Last Week: 4-3 (Overall: 63-80)
    Run Differential Last Week: +9 (Overall: -102)
    Standing: 5th Place in AL Central (19.0 GB)
    Last Week's Game Recaps:
    Game 137 | MIN 5, CLE 2: Ober and Pineda Piggyback, Polanco Rakes
    Game 138 | MIN 3, CLE 0: Gant Combines with 4 Relievers in Shutout
    Game 139 | MIN 3, CLE 0: Ryan Flirts with Perfection, Dominates Cleveland
    Game 140 | CLE 4, MIN 1: Quantrill Keeps Twins Bats Quiet
    Game 141 | KC 6, MIN 4: Offense Goes Silent After Explosive First Inning
    Game 142 | MIN 9, KC 2: Twins Drill 5 Homers, Coast to Easy Win
    Game 143 | KC 5, MIN 3: Royals Rally Late, Take Series
    NEWS & NOTES
    If you had to put your finger on just what's gone wrong with the Twins' pitching staff this year, one culprit would be ... well, fingers. 
    Taylor Rogers has officially been shut down for the season with a middle finger sprain that he suffered in late July. While he'll have a full offseason to heal, the nature of this injury for a slider-reliant pitcher turns the team's top reliever (and one of their top trade candidates) into a major question mark. It's hard to fully trust he'll be the same guy when he returns.
    The same is more or less true for Randy Dobnak, who went back on the IL ahead of his planned Wednesday start with renewed soreness in his own middle finger, which previously sidelined him for more than two months. Dobnak, unlike Rogers, was struggling pretty consistently before getting hurt so there's even less assurance with him going forward.
    With Dobnak going down again, Andrew Albers was recalled to start on short notice. He did okay, all things considered, but was returned to St. Paul a couple days later when the Twins promoted (at long last) relief pitcher Jovani Moran.
    The lefty Moran has been a dominant force this year in the minors, piling up whiffs and strikeouts with help from a standout changeup that makes him even highly effective against righties. Moran made his debut on Monday and looked good, notching a pair of strikeouts over 1 ⅓ innings, though his control started to slip a bit in the latter part of the 37-pitch outing.
    HIGHLIGHTS
    Joe Ryan stole the show with a dazzling performance at Cleveland in his second major-league start, carrying a perfect game through six and ultimately allowing just one hit over seven shutout innings. His Game Score of 79 was the second-best for a Twins starter all season, trailing only José Berríos' spectacular first start of the year in Milwaukee.
    The young right-hander showed pretty much everything you'd want to see in his gem. He worked efficiently, needing only 85 pitches to get through seven frames while throwing 71% strikes. He notched only four strikeouts in this one, but induced plenty of weak contact. And while his fastball was good as advertised, Ryan continued to demonstrate he's no one-trick pony, mixing in some very nice low sliders as well.
    Ryan was the star in another strong week for the rotation, which got another member back via the return of Michael Pineda. Needing to build up after skipping a rehab stint, Big Mike appeared in relief of Bailey Ober on Monday, tossing three scoreless innings. He followed up with five innings of one-run ball against Kansas City on Saturday night. 
    This isn't the dominant version of Pineda we've seen in the past, but he's still plenty effective and the velocity appears to have rebounded. His fastball averaged 91.6 MPH on Saturday, which is his highest mark since early June. Personally, I believe that Pineda makes a lot of sense to bring back on a low-cost deal for the back of the rotation, although not everyone agrees.
    Ober, for his part, kept chugging along with a couple more strong performances – albeit in two of his shorter outings in a while. On Monday against Detroit, the big righty tossed four innings of two-run ball, striking out four with no walks. In his following start on Sunday, he was charged with three runs over 4 ⅓ innings, but had his stuff working with six strikeouts and 16 swings-and-misses on 75 pitches (21% SwSt). Ober hasn't issued multiple walks in a start since before the All-Star break, and owns a tremendous 48-to-6 K/BB ratio over 50 innings in his past 10 starts. 
    Toss in a very fine outing on Tuesday from John Gant, who struck out seven over five scoreless, and it was an altogether outstanding week for this mish-mashed collection of starting pitchers.
    Alas, it's not just the rotation holding things down for the pitching staff as this campaign winds down. The bullpen, to its credit, has really come around. Despite lacking its best player in Rogers, the relief corps has quietly been among the best in baseball since the end of July. 
    The past week saw Minnesota's bullpen deliver a 1.56 ERA, with Alex Colomé, Tyler Duffey, Caleb Thielbar, and Luke Farrell chipping in three scoreless innings apiece. Jorge Alcala, Ralph Garza Jr., and of course Moran had solid showings as well.
    Offensively, Jorge Polanco remains the life of the party. He opened his week with a four-hit game in Cleveland that included three doubles and a homer, then launched two bombs against the Royals on Saturday night. The second baseman is putting on a power-hitting clinic here in September, where he's slugging .795 with six doubles and five homers. Perhaps most impressively, he's driving the ball like this without sacrificing much contact. True to form, Polanco has struck out only seven times in 45 plate appearances this month. He's locked in, to put it mildly.
    Byron Buxton isn't quite on Polanco's level right now, but he does show signs of getting back on track offensively. Buck launched three homers last week, including this mammoth blast to straightaway center on Friday night:
    He didn't do a ton otherwise, and his swing still feels pretty all-or-nothing at this point, but it's a good start as the center fielder looks to finish strong in another frustrating, incomplete season. 
    LOWLIGHTS
    Role players vying for opportunities on the 2022 team aren't doing much to help their cases. 
    Brent Rooker came through with a big two-run double on Sunday, but went just 4-for-18 overall with six strikeouts and no walks. Rob Refsnyder – who drew two starts as the No. 3 hitter and one in the two-hole, for reasons unknown – managed three singles in 15 at-bats. Since returning from the IL in early August, he's slashing .208/.313/.236 with two extra-base hits (both doubles) and two RBIs in 83 plate appearances. Jake Cave made one start all week and was 1-for-6 at the plate. In fact, he's started only twice in the team's past 17 games. He's pretty clearly being phased out and his departure this offseason feels like a mere formality.
    TRENDING STORYLINE
    Honestly, there's nothing too compelling happening at the moment. Will the Twins avoid 90 losses? (They'd need to go 10-9 or better in the final 19 games.) Can they steer clear of a last-place finish? (They're currently two games behind the fourth-place Royals). How high of a draft pick will they net in 2022? (As Aaron Gleeman notes, they could realistically get as high as No. 7.)
    Personally I'll be more interested in following some of the noteworthy individual storylines in these last three weeks. I want to see if Buxton can show hints of the player he was back in April. I want to see how Ryan and Ober close out their first impressions in the majors. I want to see how Moran's stuff plays against big-league hitters. The games might not matter much anymore, but there are other implications to this remaining stretch nonetheless.
    LOOKING AHEAD
    For a second consecutive week, the Twins must take a disruptive detour in the middle of their homestand, heading to New York on Monday for an afternoon makeup game against the Yankees. Should be a ton of fun! Right?!
    From there, they quickly turn around and head back home for a double-header against Cleveland on Tuesday. Three games in 35 hours should provide some challenges for Rocco Baldelli in managing a thin pitching staff, but at least there's an off day coming up on Thursday. It's unclear at this point who will take Dobnak's vacant turn with Albers sent back to the minors. Charlie Barnes is a decent bet.
    MONDAY, 9/13: TWINS @ YANKEES – RHP John Gant v. TBD
    TUESDAY, 9/14: CLEVELAND @ TWINS (G1) – RHP Aaron Civale v. RHP Joe Ryan
    TUESDAY, 9/14: CLEVELAND @ TWINS (G2) – RHP Triston McKenzie v. TBD
    WEDNESDAY, 9/15: CLEVELAND @ TWINS – RHP Cal Quantrill v. RHP Griffin Jax
    FRIDAY, 9/17: TWINS @ BLUE JAYS – RHP Michael Pineda v. LHP Hyun Jin Ryu
    SATURDAY, 9/18: TWINS @ BLUE JAYS – RHP Bailey Ober v. LHP Steven Matz
    SUNDAY, 9/19: TWINS @ BLUE JAYS – RHP John Gant v. RHP Alek Manoah
    MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
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  6. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Nash Walker for an article, Minor League Report (9/12): Sterling Sands, Mussels Hold Strong   
    SAINTS SENTINEL
    Storm Chasers 3, Saints 2
    Box Score
    Bryan Sammons: 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 4 BB, 2 K
    HR: Jimmy Kerrigan (19), Drew Maggi (16)
    Multi-hit games: Kerrigan (2-for-4, HR)
    Bryan Sammons started this very tight game for the Saints and allowed two runs in 3 2/3 innings. The Saints’ bullpen, and especially Yennier Cano, was fantastic. Cano and Nick Vincent threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings in relief. 
    Jimmy Kerrigan smashed his 19th homer of the season and Drew Maggi went yard for the 16th time in the seventh inning. Two solo homers was all the offense would provide in the loss. 
    The Storm Chasers broke through in the 10th with an RBI single from Ryan McBroom. St.Paul went down quietly in the bottom half. The Saints fell to 58-56 after the loss. 
    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Wind Surge 6, Naturals 2
    Box Score
    Cole Sands: 6 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K
    HR: D.J. Burt (3), Leobaldo Cabrera (11)
    Multi-hit games: Burt (2-for-5, HR), Spencer Steer (3-for-4, 2 R), Cabrera (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI)
    Cole Sands was terrific in Sunday’s win. He worked six scoreless innings, allowing only one hit while walking two and striking out five. Sands owns a 1.80 ERA with 17 strikeouts over his last 20 innings. 
    D.J. Burt and Leobaldo Cabrera each blasted homers in the third to help the Surge get out to a 4-0 lead. Kody Funderburk allowed two runs in relief of Sands. Funderburk’s ERA with Wichita sits at a tremendous 1.02. 
    The Wind Surge salvaged a series split with the Naturals. They remain in first place by 2.5 games in the Double-A Central - North. 
    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Timber Rattlers 5, Kernels 4
    Box Score
    Tyler Watson: 3 IP, 3 H, 4 R/ER, 3 BB, 3 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Aaron Sabato (2-for-5, 2 R), DaShawn Keirsey (2-for-3, 2 RBI), Jair Camargo (3-for-4, RBI)
    The Kernels failed to record an extra-base hit in its 5-4 loss Sunday. Tyler Watson struggled with his command, allowing four runs on three walks and three hits in three innings of work. Carlos Suniaga also walked three and allowed a run in relief. Steven Cruz supplied three innings of scoreless, hitless work, striking out three. 
    Aaron Sabato continued a very nice weekend with two more hits. Sabato entered today hitting .263/.375/.737 with three homers over his last five games. The slugger absolutely mashed at North Carolina prior to struggling in Low-A, but he’s finally starting to click at the plate after the promotion. 
    Despite the loss, the Kernels won four of six games this week against the Timber Rattlers, improving to 63-51 on the season. 

    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Mighty Mussels 7, Cardinals 6
    Box Score
    Brent Headrick: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, BB, 5 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (2-for-3, 2 RBI), Patrick Winkel (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI)
    The Mussels had a huge second inning, thanks to RBI doubles from Alerick Soularie and Patrick Winkel, an error, an RBI single from Mikey Perez and a sacrifice fly from Jake Rucker. 
    Fort Myers leaned on its bullpen to hold the lead as Logan Campbell, Juan Pichardo, A.J. Labas, and Matthew Swain combined for seven innings and just two earned runs. Brent Headrick started and struck out five in two innings while allowing two runs on four hits and a walk. 
    It was a great week for the Mussels. They took five out of six games from Palm Beach on the back of some great offensive performances and big outs late. Fort Myers is 57-53.
    COMPLEX CHRONICLES
    The FCL Twins did not play Sunday. 
    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day — Cole Sands: 6 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K
    Hitter of the Day — Jimmy Kerrigan: 2-for-4, HR 
    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Did not play
    #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain)
    #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - Did not play
    #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain)
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - On Temporary Inactive List. 
    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement)
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-5, 2 K
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, BB, 2 K
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play
    #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-for-5, 2 R, RBI
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 6 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-4, 2 R
     
  7. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Lucas Seehafer PT for an article, Minor League Report (9/11): YOU GET A RUN, YOU GET A RUN, EVERYBODY GETS A RUN   
    TRANSACTIONS
    LHP Jovani Moran promoted from Triple-A St. Paul to Minnesota Twins
    RHP Andrew Albers optioned from Minnesota Twins to Triple-A St. Paul
    SAINTS SENTINEL
    St. Paul 21, Omaha 4
    Box Score

    Holy runs, Batman! The Saints’ lineup exploded on Saturday evening, particularly prior to the fifth inning, in which they scored 17 of their runs. The 21 runs is the high-water mark for the Triple-A East this season. 

    Shortstop J.T. Riddle set the tone for St. Paul in the bottom of the second inning when he launched his seventh home run of the season to give his squad a 3-0 lead. However, the Saints weren’t done as center fielder Jimmy Kerrigan hit his 18th dinger and first baseman Sherman Johnson his fourth, later in the frame. It was his first hit since he went 3-for-5 on August 26th. He had been 0-for-17, though he had walked seven times in that stretch. Right fielder Mark Contreras joined the fun in the third inning when he smacked his 15th. The ball flew 461 feet. 
    Every Saints batter picked up at least one hit on the evening except for catcher Caleb Hamilton who was a late-game replacement for Tomas Telis, who went 3-for-4. DH Gilberto Celestino led the way, going 4-for-6 with two RBI and three runs scored. B.J. Boyd (3-for-5), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-5), and Kerrigan (2-for-6) also contributed multi-hit games.

    Derek Law, Vinny Nittoli, and Edgar Garcia tossed six innings of scoreless ball out of the pen after Jason Garcia exited after three innings. 
    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Arkansas 10, Wichita 3
    Box Score

    Well, let’s just say that it wasn’t Chris Vallimont’s night.

    The Naturals touched the Twins RHP prospect for nine runs — seven of them earned — in 2 1.3 innings as they cruised to an easy victory. Vallimont was only able to pick up three strikeouts and surrendered nine hits as his ERA ballooned to 6.33.

    However, despite the first couple of frames going poorly, as a whole the Wind Surge’s pitching staff performed quite well. Evan Sisk, Hector Lujan, Erik Manoah Jr., and Mitchell Osnowitz combined to strike out 10 batters and allow one run over the course of their 6 2/3 innings. 

    Right fielder Trey Cabbage led Wichita in hits as he picked up three — all singles — in four plate appearances. Third baseman Spencer Steer went 2-for-3 with a double; however, it was second baseman D.J. Burt’s mammoth home run in the first inning that was the highlight of the game.
    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 5, Wisconsin 4, F/10
    Box Score

    The Kernels took home a close victory over the Timber Rattlers Saturday afternoon. Former Minnesota State University, Mankato Maverick Aaron Rozek started the game on the hill, and although he surrendered all four of Wisconsin’s runs — three coming via the long ball — he was able to put together a strong showing, striking out nine and only walking one. 

    The 26-year-old lefty has made a name for himself after being signed midway through the season thanks to gaudy strikeout numbers and a refusal to issue walks. In 51 1/3 innings across Rookie, Low-A, High-A, and Double-A ball this summer, Rozek has punched out 70 and walked only six batters. That’s a nearly 12:1 K:BB ratio, which is the best in the system among pitchers with at least 50 innings and by a wide margin. Andrew Albers is second with a 8.7:1 ratio and Josh Winder is third with a 6.15:1 ratio.

    Derek Molina and Andrew Cabezas tossed the final five innings with shutout ball, striking out five.

    Catcher Jefferson Morales and shortstop Anthony Prato each went 3-for-5 on the afternoon; however, it was center fielder DaShawn Keirsey who played the role of hero out of the nine-hole, going 2-for-5 with a double and his fourth home run of the season; he finished with three RBI. Second baseman Edouard Julien (2-for-5, BB) and left fielder Michael Helman (2-for-6, triple, RBI) also contributed multi-hit games.
    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Fort Myers 6, Palm Beach 5
    Box score

    The Mighty Mussels pulled off a come-from-behind victory against their cross-state rivals despite only one of their seven hits going for extra bases.

    Fort Myers scored all six of their runs over their final three at-bats, including four runs in the bottom of the seventh. Second baseman Mikey Perez and third baseman Jake Rucker each when 2-for-3, with one of Perez’s hits being the team’s lone double. First baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand kept his hot streak alive as he drove in two of the Mighty Mussels’ runs. While his box score won’t jump off the page, left fielder Alerick Soularie had a productive night going 0-for-1 with three walks, two runs scored, and a stolen base.

    Regi Grace started on the bump for Fort Myers and tossed three innings, striking out three and walking one. RHP Ramon Pineda, brother of Twins’ RHP Michael, was awarded the win after he threw two innings in relief; he struck out two and allowed one earned run. RHP Matt Mullenbach earned the save.
    FCL COMPLEX REPORT
    Game 1: FCL Red Sox 2, FCL Twins 1, F/8
    Game 2: FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 1, F/7

    2021 first-round draft pick RHP Chase Petty made his professional debut Saturday afternoon and performed largely as advertised. Across two innings of scoreless work, Petty surrendered two hits, struck out two, and did not surrender a run. 
    First baseman Wander Valdez clubbed his fourth home run of the season during the Twins’ win, while DH Carlos Aguiar hit his fifth during the loss. As a unit, the Twins’ offense mustered only nine hits between the two games.
    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day — Andrew Cabezas, Cedar Rapids: 3 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K
    Hitter of the Day — Jimmy Kerrigan, St. Paul Saints: 2-for-6, 2B, HR, 4 RBI
    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, RBI, BB
    #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain)
    #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - Did not play
    #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain)
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - On Temporary Inactive List. 
    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement)
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, RBI, BB
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 4-for-6, 2 RBI, 3 R
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 0-for-5, BB
    #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-for-3, 2B, BB
    SUNDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS
    Omaha @ St. Paul (2:05 PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (1-2, 4.96 ERA)
    NW Arkansas @ Wichita (1:05 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (2-2, 2.86 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (12:05 PM CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (2-3, 4.52 ERA)
    Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (11:00 AM CST) - TBD
    Feel free to comment and discuss tonight’s games!
  8. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Cody Christie for an article, What’s Gotten Into Caleb Thielbar?   
    Caleb Thielbar thought his days as a baseball pitcher were over. Following the 2019 minor league season, he accepted a coaching job at Augustana University in Sioux Falls as he finished up pitching for Team USA in the 2019 Premier12. Baseball had a different plan for him. Multiple teams invited him to spring training in 2020, including the Minnesota Twins. He decided to give pitching one more chance, and the decision has paid off. 

    Before the 2020 season, Thielbar hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2015, but this was a much different pitcher taking the mound. He cut his pitch selection down from five in 2015 to three for his big-league return. Gone were his sinker and changeup while he focused more on his fastball, slider, and curveball. 

    After being called up in 2020, Thielbar made 17 appearances (20 innings) with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP with a 22-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Opponents didn’t get a hit against his curveball in over 90 pitches. Against his fastball, he limited batters a .213 batting average and a .234 slugging percentage. It was a small sample size, but he seemed to be trending in the right direction. 

    Thielbar changed his approach again for the 2021 season, and he has continued to evolve in the season’s second half. His fastball usage has dropped by four percent this year, but the change in his breaking pitches is even more drastic. He’s more than doubled his slider usage from 16.4% in 2020 to nearly 35% in 2021. His curveball usage has dropped by over 10%. 
    Thielbar’s fastball is averaging 91 mph for the season, but he seems to have found another level over the last couple of months. During August, he held batters to a .167 batting average and a .292 slugging percentage when facing his fastball. His slider also caused some difficulties for batters as they went 2-for-15 (.133 BA) against the pitch for the entire month. But August wasn’t his only strong month in the second half. 
    In 19 second-half appearances, Thielbar has a 2.66 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP while posting a 23-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Batters are hitting .197/.275/.394 (.669) against him since the All-Star break. Rocco Baldelli has also shown confidence in using him at various times during games, with the bulk of his innings coming in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. He’s moved from college coach to effective set-up man in less than two years. 
     Thielbar will turn 35-years-old in January, and relief pitching can be fickle. It certainly seems like something has changed with Thielbar this season, but there’s no telling what the future might hold. The Twins need to rebuild their bullpen for 2022, and Minnesota will undoubtedly want to keep Thielbar from focusing too much on his college coaching career. 

    What are your thoughts on Thielbar so far this season? What changes have you noticed? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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  9. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Lucas Seehafer PT for an article, Minor League Report (9/5): Close But No Sweep-gar   
    TRANSACTIONS
    RHP Luke Farrell activated from 60-day IL, sent to Twins LHP Andrew Albers optioned to St. Paul RHP Derek Law DFA SAINTS SENTINEL
    Game 1: Columbus 9, St. Paul 8
    Game 2: St. Paul 1, Columbus 0
    The Saints dropped their first game of the day against the Clippers in … unfortunate fashion. They took a 8-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh when Columbus promptly scored five runs against Ian Hamilton and the newly-signed Vinny Nittoli to pick up the win. 
    Jason Garcia started the bullpen game for St. Paul and allowed four runs in two innings. Yennier Cano and Kyle Barraclough combined to pitch four scoreless innings, striking out six, walking two, and allowing two hits.
    The Saints picked up 15 hits as a team, including four from Tomas Telis alone. Caleb Hamilton crushed a home run and went 2-for-4 in his first game at Triple-A. Gilberto Celestino and J.T. Riddle also contributed two hits apiece. 
    Charlie Barnes started the second game for the Saints and pitched five innings of shutout ball. He struck out three, walked one, and gave up only two hits. Nick Vincent pitched a scoreless sixth inning after loading the bases by striking out three. Edgar Garcia solidified the shutout and earned the save.
    Offensively, David Bañuelos went 2-for-2, while Drew Maggi drove in the Saints’ lone run. 
    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Arkansas 2, Wichita 1
    Box Score
    The Wind Surge dropped a low-scoring affair to the Travelers on Sunday, though, at least that means that Jordan Balazovic pitched well. 
    Balazovic struggled during the month of August — “struggle” being relative to his usual dominance — posting a 3.72 ERA with a 22:13 K:BB ratio in 29 innings. Encouragingly, the Canadian pitched a gem against Arkansas as he struck out six and did not allow a walk in 5 ⅔ innings of work. It was the first time since August 10 and only the fourth time all season that Balazovic did not issue a free pass. 
    Although he missed some time earlier in the season with an injury, Balazovic has put together a truly encouraging season. His strikeout numbers are down (92 vs. 129) and his walk numbers up slightly (32 vs. 25) compared to his 2019 season split between Low- and High-A, but overall Balazovic has been one of the more consistent starting pitchers in the Twins farm system. His performance in 2021 should have him on track to debut at some point next summer, which will be his age 23 campaign. 
    However, despite picking up seven hits collectively, Wichita was unable to bring home more than a single run. Roy Morales was the lone Wind Surge player to contribute more than one hit, going 2-for-4 with a double. Trey Cabbage also clobbered a double and rose his OPS to .874 at the Double-A level. 
    Austin Martin, Spencer Steer, Leobaldo Cabrera, and Ernie De La Trinidad all hit singles. Zach Neff and Erik Manoah Jr. pitched 2 ⅓ innings of hitless ball in relief.
    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Quad Cities 6, Cedar Rapids 4
    Box Score
    The Kernels stuck tight to the River Bandits all afternoon, though, in the end, the Quad Cities offense was simply too much to overcome.
    Cedar Rapids rallied with three runs across the sixth and seventh innings to tie the game at 4-4. However, Quad Cities scored two runs in the top of the ninth off the typically robust Zach Featherstone to claim the win.
    Tyler Watson started on the mound for the Kernels and tossed five innings, striking out four, walking three, and allowing four earned runs. Denny Bentely — who has put together a quietly great season out of the pen — tossed the next 2 2/3 innings, striking out five. Featherstone was ultimately handed the loss after striking out two and allowing two earned runs in 1 ⅔ innings. 
    The Kernels mustered only four total hits at the plate, one of each coming off the bat of Edouard Julien (single), Yunior Severino (single), Jeferson Morales (double), and Aaron Sabato (home run).  
    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Fort Myers 10, Daytona 2 
    Box score
    The Mighty Mussels crushed the Tortugas on Sunday to improve their record to .500 (52-52). Fort Myers threw five pitchers — Regi Grace, Zaquiel Puentes, Logan Campbell, Bradley Hanner, and A.J. Labas — who combined to strike out 14 Daytona batters and only walk three. No Tortuga athlete had more than a single hit.
    Conversely, the Mighty Mussels had three athletes contribute multi-hit games. Christian Encarnacion-Strand led the way with three hits, including his fourth home run of the season. Willie Joe Garry Jr. — who picked up two hits — also hit a dinger, his third, while Will Holland crushed his ninth. Kyler Fedko went 2-for-5.
    FCL COMPLEX REPORT
    FCL Twins off day
    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day — Jordan Balazovic, Wichita: 5 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
    Hitter of the Day — Tomas Telis, St. Paul: 5-for-8, 3B
    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4
    #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 5 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
    #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain)
    #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-6, RBI, BB
    #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain)
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - No game
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play
    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement)
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, BB
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-5
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game
    #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-2, 3 BB
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4
    MONDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS
    FCL Twins at FCL Braves — 11 a.m. CST, TBD
     
  10. Haha
    nclahammer reacted to RandBalls Stu for an article, A Celebration of Joe Ryan's Hair   
    Some might say the promise of Joe Ryan's debut (An 8-pitch, all-strikes first inning! Five innings of relative competency!) was marred by the 3-run dinger he surrendered to Frank Schwindel, the only runs scored in yet another Twins loss, this one 3-0 to the Chicago Cubs.
    Some are full of crap. 
    Joe Ryan's truly wondrous hair was the star of Wednesday's game and should be rewarded handsomely. Pun intended. I know the rules say he can't be given the win, as his team lost, he gave up all the runs, and he was the pitcher of record. But! The rules didn't stop the Houston Astros from whaling on garbage cans like a child and their first drum set or the New York Mets from hoovering every drug known to man in 1986. Rules are flexible and our governing bodies impossibly corrupt. Giving both Ryan and the Cubs a win may not be legal, but it feels as right as the shampoo-and-conditioner regimen Ryan follows to give his hair that healthy body and luxuriant shine.
    That said, I understand that this radical, if obviously correct, solution will be seen as too much in some quarters. What I propose instead is a day of recognition for Ryan's remarkable hair and what it's done for the team, the fans, and the entire community.
    Every September 1st, we celebrate Joe Ryan's hair.
    If you normally wear a hat or put your hair in a ponytail, let it go free on Joe Ryan Hair Day. Free like a stallion galloping over the open, untrammeled prairie, with nothing but the wind and the sun as companions. If you're bald or keep it shaved, consider a sassy wig, knowing that even your more hirsute pals will also fail to approach the majesty of Ryan's mane. The Twins could do their part, giving out free combs and hot oil treatments to the first 10,000 customers at Target Field. Give a young Twins fan a novelty baseball cap and they have a hair solution for a day. Teach a young Twins fan to establish a cleaning-and-styling routine with the proper tools and they have a hair solution for a lifetime.
    In a summer filled with disappointment and outright misery, the calendar turned to September and blessed us with Joe Ryan and his substantial, inspiring flow. This rare gift of hope ought not to be squandered. Thank you, Joe and/or your stylist. Thank you.
  11. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Nick Nelson for an article, Week in Review: Steps Forward and Setbacks   
    Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 8/23 thru Sun, 8/29
    ***
    Record Last Week: 3-3 (Overall: 57-73)
    Run Differential Last Week: -9 (Overall: -99)
    Standing: 5th Place in AL Central (18.0 GB)
    Last Week's Game Recaps:
    Game 125 | BOS 11, MIN 9: Jax Runs into a Buzzsaw in Boston
    Game 126 | MIN 9, BOS 6: Twins Explode in 10th for Wild Finish
    Game 127 | BOS 12, MIN 2: Bats Can't Salvage Another Pitching Implosion
    Game 128 | MIN 2, MIL 0: Albers and Bullpen Combine on Shutout
    Game 129 | MIN 6, MIL 4: Twins Fend Off Threats from Brewers, Rain
    Game 130 | MIL 6, MIN 2: Jax Struggles Again, Offense Goes Quietly
    NEWS & NOTES
    The last man standing from the Opening Day rotation is now gone, along with any semblance of stability the Twins may have leaned on when looking ahead to their starting pitching situation in 2022. Kenta Maeda is slated for elbow surgery on Wednesday, and it sounds like Tommy John is the plan. 
    Barring an unforeseen change of course during the procedure, Maeda is looking at a surgery and rehab that will cost him most or all of his 2022 season. He was the only veteran starter under control for next year, meaning the Twins will be essentially starting from scratch in building their rotation.
    On the brighter side, Byron Buxton was finally activated from the Injured List, having played just three games since May 6th due to a hip strain and broken hand. He returned to the lineup on Friday and started all three games against Milwaukee over the weekend. Buck hasn't quite found his stroke yet – he went 0-for-11 with five strikeouts in the series – but it sure is nice to have him back. 
    Other updates from the past seven days:
    To make room for Buxton on the active roster, Mitch Garver was placed on IL due to lower back tightness. A few days later the Twins reinfused some catching depth to account for Garver's absence, recalling Ben Rortvedt from Triple-A and optioning Charlie Barnes. Randy Dobnak advanced to Triple-A in his rehab assignment, starting for the Saints on Thursday and allowing one run over 4 ⅔ innings while progressing to 78 pitches. There's a decent chance he returns to the Twins to take Maeda's vacant turn this week. More churn in the bullpen: Righties Kyle Barraclough and Edgar García were sent to Triple-A, with Jorge Alcala and Ian Gibaut stepping in to replace them. To make room for Gibaut on the 40-man, Luke Farrell was shifted to the 60-day IL, though it doesn't seem he'll be there long as he recently started a rehab assignment with St. Paul. Derek Law also fired up a rehab cent stint with the Saints this past week. HIGHLIGHTS
    The biggest highlight of the past week came at Fenway Park, where Miguel Sanó launched an instantly legendary blast that cleared the stadium and measured as the longest home run by a  major-league hitter this season at 495 feet.
    It was the most memorable moment in another strong week for the slugger, who drove in eight runs in six games. Since the start of June he's slashing .254/.328/.504 with 14 homers and 16 doubles in 66 games, and critically, he has cut his strikeout rate down to the 30% range from the 40% range where he'd mostly sat since the beginning of 2020. In fact, here in August, he's fanned in only 28 of 98 plate appearances (28.7%). That's closer to the league average than where Sanó resided in during his prolonged run of struggles. 
    It really does seem like Sanó is sacrificing the pull-power fixation for a bit more contact and balance at the plate, making him look like the more complete hitter we saw earlier in his career. This is a promising development for 2022 and a much-needed one given all the setbacks. 
    Also in the category of much-needed positives for 2022: Bailey Ober's splendid outing on Wednesday in Boston, where he spun five shutout innings with seven strikeouts. Pitching in a tough ballpark against a very good lineup that otherwise crushed Twins pitching, Ober continued to excel by peppering the upper regions of the zone with fastballs, then going low with the offspeed. It's a formula that works well with his combination of command and physical extension.
    Ober has a 2.35 ERA over his past six starts, and overall, his 4.24 K/BB ratio on the season ranks second among Twins starters, trailing only Michael Pineda. When you're beating out José Berríos and Maeda in that category as a rookie, that's a pretty good sign. 
    At this point, so long as he can stay the course for the rest of the season and maintain his health, Ober is all but assured of a spot in the 2022 rotation. That might be the only thing we can say with confidence about that unit's outlook at the moment.
    Some other noteworthy performances from the past week:
    Josh Donaldson's bat had been stagnating a bit – he was slashing .216/.273/.294 in August entering the week, with a .731 OPS dating back to the start of July – but saw a major revitalization against the Red Sox and Brewers. Starting all six games, Donaldson went 9-for-21 with three homers and six RBIs. He also made his first start at third base in two weeks on Saturday – seemingly a good sign for his balky hamstring. Jorge Polanco just continues to do his thing. He finished the week 6-for-21 with two home runs and two doubles while driving in five. When Polanco is keying a lineup that has Sanó, Donaldson, and others clicking, this is a pretty good offense, as we saw in Boston when the Twins put up nine runs in successive games. I'll be curious to see what they can do in the final month with Buxton back. LOWLIGHTS
    In lineups that feature all the names above, it was a little odd to see Rob Refsnyder drawing multiple starts as the No. 3 hitter last week. I mean I guess it doesn't matter much in the grand scheme of things but ... why? 
    Refsnyder's surprisingly hot start at the plate as a Twin is now a distant memory; he went 2-for-13 with five strikeouts last week and is slashing .188/.278/.208 in August, with three GIDP and one double.
    I think I get it. The Twins are trying to elevate possible 2022 role players into heightened roles so they can get more extensive looks (and maybe a small confidence boost) here in the waning weeks of a lost season. But Refsnyder is one of many in this situation who have failed to seize the momentum of a solid stretch and grasp an opportunity.
    Joining him in this category:
    Brent Rooker has managed two singles in nine games since his big weekend against the Rays earlier this month, and went 0-for-10 this past week. The endless march of strikeouts simply isn't going to cut it, although he's been drawing a bunch of walks lately which is intriguing. Claimed off waivers in early August, García showed promise during his first string of outings in a Twins uniform, but things quickly devolved, and on Wednesday in Boston, the bottom fell out. Over 1 ⅔ innings, the righty was clobbered for seven earned runs on four hits, three walks, and two homers. He threw just 23 of 48 pitches for strikes, inducing a mere two swings and misses. It was one of the worst relief outings of the year for a really bad bullpen, and the kind of performance that can singularly torpedo your belief in a marginal arm. With Buxton returning, the window might have already closed on Nick Gordon to showcase himself, and he didn't make a strong closing statement. Gordon went 2-for-12 with six strikeouts in the Boston series, and is slashing .185/.267/.259 in nine games since returning from Triple-A. I foresee an offseason DFA. Even amidst all this misfortune, no player's struggles were as deflating as those of Griffin Jax, who saw his impressive run in the Twins rotation come to a screeching halt. Against Boston on Monday, the rookie was absolutely pulverized, coughing up nine earned runs over 4 ⅔ innings. Jax didn't fare much better in his following turn on Sunday, with the Brewers running up six earned runs in five frames against him.
    His total line for the week: 2 GS, 9.2 IP, 15 ER, 13 H, 8 BB, 9 K, 5 HR
    This comes on the heels of a stretch in which he allowed only eight earned runs TOTAL over 26 ⅓ innings in five starts.
    It's not that Jax's latest starts were devoid of encouraging signs – he's seen a nice increase in fastball velocity, and there was some skillful execution mixed into the struggles – but there are also fatal flaws showing through. Chiefly: an inability to escape from his susceptibility to the long ball, which ties more broadly to the frequency of loud contact. 
    Statcast data shows that – even with his successful results mixed in over the previous stretch – opposing hitters are squaring up Jax far too often. 

    There are a number of factors playing into this – among them, the lack of a quality third pitch and the tendency for his slider to flatten out. It adds up to a player who might be better suited for the bullpen, which isn't ideal for a Twins team that will be desperately trying to compile capable starters for next year.
    TRENDING STORYLINE
    Forget next year; the Twins are getting pretty desperate for starters now. There are still 32 games left to get through this season. That's a lot of innings to cover for a team with zero veteran starting pitching depth remaining.
    Ober's workload needs to be managed carefully. Jax probably can keep taking the mound every fifth day, but if things continue to trend as they did this week, you have to ask yourself when it becomes counterproductive for his development. (Then again, he turns 27 in November, so maybe they're not too concerned with that.) Trotting out blow-up candidates like Barnes and John Gant runs the risk of running an already overburdened bullpen ragged – not to mention threatening the "respectability" that the front office has spoken of wishing to maintain.
    Unfortunately, the Twins just don't have many other alternatives. But, they do have one pretty good option, who happens to line up pretty nicely for a possible Twins debut in the coming week.
    Joe Ryan, headliner of last month's Nelson Cruz trade, made his second start for the Saints on Wednesday and – much like in the first – he was overwhelmingly dominant. The right-hander struck out eight of the 17 batters he faced en route to four innings of one-run ball. Through two starts in the new organization, he now has a 2.00 ERA and 17-to-2 K/BB ratio in nine innings. 
    While it's fun to see former fringe prospects like Ober and Jax rise above expectations and establish themselves as potential contributors, Ryan would bring a different type of excitement to the table. We've seen a lot of rookies pitch for the Twins this year, but not many with the pedigree of Ryan, who featured as the organization's seventh-best prospect in TD's latest updated rankings. His status as a top prize from the recent deadline would make him an even more compelling figure to follow.
    Twins fans could really use a morale booster like that. 
    Granted, he probably can't be counted on for much length – Ryan hasn't exceeded 83 pitches or 5 ⅓ innings in a minor-league start all year – but I'm not sure that's a luxury the Twins can expect from anyone in their current starting stable anyway.
    LOOKING AHEAD
    On Monday, the Twins travel to Detroit in the middle of their homestand for to play one makeup game against the Tigers, which I'm sure they're thrilled about. They'll return to Target Field on Tuesday for a short series against the Cubs, then head to Tampa to take on Cruz and the Rays. 
    The TBDs for Minnesota in Wednesday's and Friday's probables loom large. Dobnak and Ryan seem like front-runners to take those turns, although Barnes – currently in the minors – could also theoretically be in play. 
    MONDAY, 8/30: TWINS @ TIGERS – RHP Bailey Ober v. RHP Casey Mize
    TUESDAY, 8/31: CUBS @ TWINS – RHP Zach Davies v. RHP John Gant
    WEDNESDAY, 9/1: CUBS @ TWINS – LHP Justin Steele v. TBD
    FRIDAY, 9/3: TWINS @ RAYS – TBD v. RHP Michael Wacha
    SATURDAY, 9/4: TWINS @ RAYS – RHP Griffin Jax v. RHP Drew Rasmussen
    SUNDAY, 9/5: TWINS @ RAYS – RHP Bailey Ober v. RHP Luis Patino
    MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
    — Latest Twins coverage from our writers
    — Recent Twins discussion in our forums
    — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
     
  12. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Ted Schwerzler for an article, Let the Learning Commence for Twins Brass   
    Former Twins World Series MVP brought up the idea that the organization has failed and changed direction due to the results of 2021. He’s not alone in suggesting that narrative, but to say such a result reflects organizational failure also conveniently ignores what took place the previous four years of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine’s tenure.
    There’s no denying that 2021 has gone poorly. Most importantly, the Twins pitching has fallen flat. The front office banked on J.A. Happ, Matt Shoemaker, and some mediocre bullpen additions to supplement a roster looking to rise. As injuries took their toll and ineffective play became prevalent, the entirety of the ship went up in flames.

    Looking back, though, this front office helped to architect a 26-win improvement and Postseason berth in their first season, as well as having won the division in back-to-back seasons before this year. 2019 will forever go down as among the best in franchise history, and the installment of Rocco Baldelli in 2019 has led to a .550 winning percentage through his first three seasons.

    Now that praises have been sung, and reality has been levied, it’s time for the trio to grow.

    For the first time in their tenure, Falvey and Levine fell short. They flopped on Lance Lynn and Logan Morrison previously, but this is a club that had heightened expectations, and virtually every acquisition or move of substance from this offseason went up in flames. Without embarking on a complete rebuild, they’ve traded the club’s ace and now could be without Kenta Maeda in the year ahead as well.

    The Twins don’t have the best farm system in baseball, and although they’ve been ranked closer to the middle, intriguing depth is there. Unfortunately, there’s been a host of arm injuries across baseball following the 2020 shutdown in the minors, and Minnesota’s best prospects have been hit especially hard. Falvey and Levine will need to work with internal staff to ensure those players' health and future projection while not relying solely on them for a return to relevance in 2022 and beyond.

    The duo will need to make a better showing than their track record has proven on the acquisition front. Unfortunately, free agency is often a field of landmines, but some teams avoid hitting them all, and Falvey will need to stop the string of consistent blowups. Spending should remain relatively intact, but supplementing the Twins back to the top won’t come entirely through the dollar on the open market.

    There should be belief in the infrastructure set up since Falvey and Levine have taken over. From baseball operations to the development and coaching staff, there are plenty of talented individuals guiding players down the right path. Putting moldable pieces in front of them should continue to be the goal, and the assumption is that the process will bear positive results.

    In the dugout, Rocco has his first chance to grow as well. Having dealt with adversity that everyone experienced in 2020 is different than fighting through a season in which results consistently left something to be desired. Baldelli has done well to connect with his players, and he’s been praised for decisions when things have gone right. Unfortunately, all of the coin flips went wrong to start the year, and he’s doubled down with some questionable steps at times since.

    For the former Rays star, the expectation should be that new faces (and possibly some younger ones) will filter into Target Field during the final month and into 2022. Baldelli will have to put his best foot forward when maximizing their potential while putting them in a position to best capitalize on the opportunity.

    Right now, the answers aren’t immediately evident, and this writer doesn’t pretend to have them all. That said, it will be on Derek Falvey, Thad Levine, and Rocco Baldelli to show they have the chops to find them. Everyone feels content when things are going well, but through adversity, you’re able to grow and presented with it for the first time that trio has their most significant opportunity yet.
    MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
    — Latest Twins coverage from our writers
    — Recent Twins discussion in our forums
    — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  13. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Allen Post for an article, Twins Minor League Report (8/27): Blowouts and Pitcher's Duels   
    TRANSACTIONS
    Minnesota Twins activate CF Byron Buxton Minnesota Twins activate RHP Jorge Alcala Minnesota Twins place C Mitch Garver on 10-day IL (lower back tightness) Minnesota Twins place RHP Luke Farrell on 60-day IL (oblique strain) Minnesota Twins option RHP Edgar Garcia to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins option RHP Kyle Barraclough to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins select contract of RHP Ian Gibaut from Triple-A St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL
    Toledo 11, St. Paul 1
    Box Score
    It seems that someone forgot to tell the Saints pitchers that batting practice happens before the game, as they allowed four homers and 11 runs in this ugly loss.
    Bryan Sammons was the first victim of the Tulsa offense as he gave up a pair of early runs to the Mud Hens. The first came off an Aderlin Rodriguez RBI single in the first, and the second was the product of a monstrous solo homer from Isaac Paredes in the third.
    Jacoby Jones added on for Toledo in the fourth with a big homer of his own to straightaway center. Jones’s blast counted for two, doubling the Mud Hen lead, 4-0.
    Yennier Cano replaced Sammons for the fifth, but the home run onslaught didn’t stop. Rodriguez added to his RBI total for the night with a two-run shot.
    Chris Nunn got the sixth for the Saints, but he wasn’t the man to slow down the Toledo bats. In fact, it only got worse. Spencer Torkelson drove in two with a double and Paredes added a two-run poke off the foul pole to his solo shot from the third inning. Nunn was taken out after getting only one out in the inning, but one of his inherited runners scored before the Saints finally got back in the dugout, now down 11-0.
    The Saints got a run back in the eighth off a J.T. Riddle RBI single, but never even managed to cut the lead to single digits, and they lose their fifth straight.
    After all the pitching struggles, Andrew Vasquez finally got some outs, going 2 2/3 innings without allowing a baserunner to finish the game. He struck out three. Nobody managed a multi-hit game for the Saints.
    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Tulsa 2, Wichita 1
    Box Score
    Wind Surge pitchers were impressive, striking out 13 batters and keeping the Drillers to two runs in this one, but the Wichita batters were equally unimpressive (they struck out 14 times) and they drop this one, 2-1. 
    The Drillers took an early advantage in this one with two runs in the second inning. Juan Zabala pushed one across with an RBI single, and another scored moments later on a Chris Vallimont wild pitch.
    After that, Vallimont settled down and got through four innings without allowing any more runs, and he added an impressive eight strikeouts. Unfortunately, the Wichita offense continued their recent dry spell and couldn’t get up to speed against the Tulsa pitching as they didn’t manage a hit until the fifth inning. They did score one in that inning, though, off an Austin Martin RBI fielder’s choice, to make it 2-1
    The score was still at 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, when Aaron Whitefield came up with the bases loaded. Whitefield worked a full count and took ball four, only the home plate umpire (who was awful all night) rung him up on a ball three inches off the plate. That call ended the inning and the threat, and the game remained at 2-1.
    The Wind Surge went down quietly in the ninth as they did most of the game (though not without another questionable strike three call). Drillers win 2-1.
    After Vallimont left the ballgame, the bullpen was dominant, allowing only three hits and no runs over the remaining five innings of the game. Jason Garcia allowed two hits and a walk and added a strikeout over the fifth and sixth innings. Alex Phillips went 1 2/3 scoreless with two strikeouts and Jordan Gore got the remaining four outs and grabbed two strikeouts of his own. The Surge managed only three hits as a club so there were no individual multi-hit performances.
    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 2, Beloit 1
    Box Score
    Cody Laweryson was rock solid for the Kernels tonight, and he needed to be. The big righty sprinkled four hits over five full innings and only allowed one run. He added four strikeouts. However, the Cedar Rapids hitters were just as ineffective against Beloit starter Bryan Hoeing. Still, they pushed one across late to grab the W.
    Each starter handled the first time through the lineup easily and this game stayed scoreless until the fourth, when Yunior Severino gave the Kernels the lead all by himself. Actually, he got some help from the Beloit defense. What should have been a bloop single turned into a triple when the Snappers center fielder dove and missed the ball. Then, Beloit shortstop Ynmanol Marinez airmailed a throw home and Severino scampered home for a Little League home run. 
    Beloit got that run right back in the next half inning, though, in very similar circumstances. Thomas Jones tripled and scored in the next at-bat on a wild pitch to tie the game.
    This pitcher’s duel stayed knotted at one apiece until the top of the ninth, when the Kernels loaded the bases with no outs. They got one across with a Seth Gray flare single into left field, but that’s all they managed. 
    Still, that’s all they needed, as Denny Bentley shut down the Snappers in the ninth to secure a win that will leave you without fingernails, 2-1.
    After Laweryson exited, Melvi Acosta picked up right where Cody left off, hurling two innings of work without allowing a baserunner. Of the six outs he got, three were strikeouts. Denny Bentley took over from there and pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, grabbing the win thanks to Gray’s go-ahead knock. That knock was Gray’s second of the ballgame, and he joins Yunior Severino as the only guys with multi-hit games for the Kernels.
    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Game 1: Bradenton 8, Fort Myers 2  (F/7)
    Box Score
    Game one of tonight's doubleheader got under way about two hours late due to troubling Florida weather, and the Mighty Mussels were ready to go right away. However, they melted down as the game went on and they lose in a rout. 
    The Mussels were able to land a solid punch early with a two-run double from Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the first inning. And, John Stankiewicz was excellent in preserving that lead while he was on the mound with four innings of one-hit, scoreless work. He added five strikeouts.
    However, when Juan Pichardo took over for the Mussels, things went sideways. Pichardo allowed a two-run game-tying homer in the fifth to Jase Bowen and allowed three more runs in the sixth before he was removed for Bradley Hanner. 
    Hanner got the Mussels out of the sixth, but he didn’t fare much better than Pichardo. He added two inherited runs to Pichardo’s ERA and allowed a run of his own, and just like that, Bradenton’s lead ballooned to 8-2.
    That lead held steady for the Marauders over the remainder of the scheduled seven innings. On a tough day all around for the Mussels, they only managed two hits as a team and didn’t have a multi-hit night for any player.
    Game 2: Fort Myers 10, Bradenton 2  (F/7)
    Box Score
    After a tough game one, the Mussels bounced back with a solid start from Zarion Sharpe and an explosion from the offense. 
    Christian Encarnacion Strand ripped a single to drive in a run to get the scoring started in the first, and the rest of the squad just took off from there. Fort Myers added three more in the second, with one coming to the plate on a Justin Washington single and two more scoring on Alerick Soularie's homer.
    The third inning brought two runs for Bradenton, but five more for Fort Myers. With the bases loaded, Willie Joe Garry Jr. hit into a fielder's choice that scored two thanks to a throwing error, and he scored a few pitches later on a Will Holland double. Then, another error on a ball to left off the bat of Soularie scored two more to make the lead 9-2. 
    in the fourth, Encarnacion-Strand added to his big day with his first professional homer, a solo shot that brought the lead to 10-2, where it stayed for the remainder of the game.
    Zarion Sharpe went five full innings for the Mussels, and allowed two earned runs on six hits. He pitched with a lead for nearly his whole outing and had a walk and two strikeouts. Carlos Suniaga allowed three baserunners over the last two innings, but kept them from scoring and picked up a pair of strikeouts in the process. Soularie and Encarnacion-Strand had multi-hit games.
    COMPLEX CHRONICLES
    Game 1: FCL Red Sox 6, FCL Twins 5
    Box Score
    The Complex League Twins’ comeback fell just short in the bottom of the ninth in this one and they the first half of today's doubleheader 6-5. 
    The Twins scored the first runs of the game in the bottom of the fourth, taking a 2-0 lead off RBI extra base hits from Endy Rodriguez and Malfrin Sosa. The Red Sox got three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to grab a 6-2 lead but the Twins made some noise in the last frame. Sosa ripped another RBI double and later scored on a wild pitch. Then Ricardo Olivar tripled to drive in a run to make it 6-5, with himself standing on third as the tying run. Unfortunately, the comeback came one run short as Breilin Ramirez struck out to end the game. Sosa, Rodriguez, Olivar all had multi-hit games with at least one RBI.
    The Twins kept the Red Sox offense scoreless through the first four innings thanks to Develson Aria and Regi Grace who both delivered two hitless innings on the mound. Erasmo Moreno took care of the fifth without allowing a run but allowed all six of the Red Sox runs over the next two innings. Cole Bellair grabbed the last out in the seventh and finished the game, allowing only one hit and no runs.
    Game 2: FCL Twins 7, FCL Red Sox 1  (F/7)
    Box Score
    The Twins' complex league club left no room for doubt in the second game, crushing the Red Sox in seven innings. 
    The Twins didn't waste time getting a crooked number up on the scoreboard as they struck for three in the top of the first. An RBI each was credited to Noah Miller and Carlos Aguiar for their singles and another run came in on a Rubel Cespedes triple. 
    The Twins added a run in the third off a wild pitch and another in the fifth off a walk before things got even more interesting in the sixth. 
    The Twins led off the inning with back-to-back home runs but only Emmanuel Rodriguez's left the ballpark. Noah Miller showed off his wheels and made his first professional homer an inside-the-park job. The homer was Miller's second hit of the night, and he was the only Twin to accomplish a multi-hit game.
    On the mound, there was more excitement to be had. Third round pick Cade Povich made his professional debut with two innings of scoreless work to start this one. He allowed only one hit and struck out three. David Festa picked up where Povich left off, as he also hurled two scoreless with only one hit allowed in his pro debut. The only Red Sox run of the night came during Malik Barrington's two innings, but Barrington also got five of his six outs via strikeout. John Wilson got the remaining three outs of this seven inning game without allowing a baserunner. 
    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day - John John Stankiewicz (Fort Myers) - 4.0 IP, H, R, ER, BB, 5 K
    Hitter of the Day - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Fort Myers) - 3-for-7, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR(1), 3 K (over two games)
    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-5, RBI, 3 K
    #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain)
    #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, BB
    #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, K
    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder)
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, BB
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, K
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR(1), K
    #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-5, 2 BB, 2 K
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-5, K
    SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    St. Paul @ Toledo (6:05PM CST) – RHP Drew Strotman (7-3, 4.04 ERA)
    Tulsa @ Wichita (6:05PM CST) – RHP Cole Sands (2-1, 2.93 ERA)
    Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:35PM CST) – RHP Ben Gross (5-1, 3.16 ERA)
    Bradenton @ Fort Myers Game One: (6:00PM CST) – TBD
    Feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games!
     
  14. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Cody Christie for an article, Did the Twins Miss Something With Jake Reed?   
    Reed was originally drafted by the Twins in the fifth round back in 2014 out of the University of Oregon. He made a strong first impression as his college experience helped him to dominate the lower levels of the minors. Minnesota sent him to the Arizona Fall League where he continued to pitch well. Things couldn’t have gone much better in his first taste of professional action.

    During the 2015 season, Reed advanced as far as Double-A and made a return trip to the AFL. Over the next couple seasons, he’d work his way to Triple-A where he compiled some decent numbers. His best Triple-A season came in 2018 as he compiled a 1.89 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP and 50 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings. He seemed on the cusp of being called up to the big leagues for the Twins.

    Things didn’t go as smoothly in 2019 as his ERA and WHIP were career worsts, but he struck out 11 batters per nine innings. Minnesota gave him a non-roster invite to big-league camp in 2020, but the COVID pandemic and no minor league season hurt Reed’s chances. Reed fell into a unique group that became first time free agents last winter even though no season was played.

    Reed signed a minor league deal with the Angels this winter, but he allowed five runs in 10 2/3 innings at Triple-A. His strikeout numbers continued to be through the roof as he struck out 17 batters in eight appearances (14.3 K/9). Organizations with good scouting departments took notice as he signed with the Dodgers and that’s where he’d make his big-league debut. 
    The Dodgers have plenty of pitching depth, so Reed didn’t last long on their 40-man roster. Tampa Bay, another team known for scouting, scooped him up, but he only made one appearance in their organization before being designated for assignment. Now, the Mets have picked him up and it might be a chance for him to stick with an organization.  
    Both his slider and his fastball come in under the league average when it comes to velocity. However, his unique arm action and his ability to generate spin. Batters aren’t prepared to see a ball move the way it does out of Reed’s hand and this makes him more effective. His arm action allows him to release the ball low and then the spin of the ball makes hitters look uncomfortable at the plate. His strikeout rates have continued to rise in recent years and his unique style may be the biggest reason why this has happened. 

    So what does the future hold for Jake Reed? Sometimes changing organizations can make all the difference and he has done plenty of changing this season. On Friday, the Mets placed Reed on the IL with right forearm inflammation, but the hope is he can get back sooner rather than later, especially with the team in the hunt for the NL East title.

    Do you think the Twins missed something with Reed? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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  15. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Seth Stohs for an article, Twins Minor League Week in Review: Debuts, Promotions and Lots of Wins   
    Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. 
    Before we get started, let’s check out the FCL Twins game and the transactions from Monday. 
    TRANSACTIONS
    There were several announced transactions on Monday’s minor league off day, and don’t be surprised if there are more tomorrow. 
    OF BJ Boyd was promoted from Wichita to St. Paul.  1B Aaron Sabato was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids.  IF Christian Encarnacion-Strand, the Twins 4th round pick in the July draft, was assigned to Ft. Myers.  IF Jake Rucker, the Twins 7th round pick in the July draft, was assigned to Ft. Myers. C Kole McKinnon returns to Ft. Myers after rehabbing in the FCL.   OF Max Smith (Cedar Rapids) was released .    C Allante Hall (FCL Twins) was released. RHP Hector Andrade (DSL Twins) was released.  FCL Twins Talk
    FCL Twins 5, FCL Orioles 6
    Box Score 
    This game was shortened to seven innings due to the rains. Jackson Hicks made the start. He was charged with four runs on three hits and a walk over three innings. He struck out four batters. Ricardo Velez went the next two innings and gave up two runs on five hits. He struck out three batters. Cole Bellair struck out four batters over the final two innings. He didn’t give up a hit or issue a walk. 
    Carlos Aguiar went 2-for-2 with a walk and his fourth home run. Emmanuel Rodriguez added his sixth homer of the season, and he threw out a runner trying to advance to third base. Kala’i Rosario had a two-run single. Noah Miller went 1-for-4. Zander Wiel went 1-for-3, and Gabe Snyder went 0-for-2 with a walk, as the first basemen continued their rehab on Monday.  
    With that, let’s look at Week 16 in the Twins minor leagues: 
    RESULTS
    Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (5-2, hosting Iowa), overall (53-43)
    Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (5-1 @ Springfield), overall (57-39)
    High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, hosting Wisconsin), overall (53-43)
    Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-3 @ Dunedin), overall (47-44) 
    Complex League FCL Twins: Week (3-3), overall (12-25)
    IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
    Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. 
    Twins Minor League Week in Review: Wind Surge Power  TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline): Recap Hard Lessons Learned in Trevor Larnach’s Rookie Campaign  Tuesday: We Will, We Will, Walk-Off You  Scouting Twins Prospects: RHP Ben Gross Wednesday: Affiliates Blast Off  Thursday: Oh, ho, ho, it’s Maggi(c)!  Joe Ryan and Byron Buxton Highlight an Eventful Night at CHS Field  Friday: Ryan Dazzles in Saints Debut  Saturday: You Have the Right to be a Hitting Machine  Miranda: 3 Ways to Get Him to Minneapolis  Sunday: Wichita Bats Surge, Buck Go Boom   
    Highlights
    We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 16 performances
    Twins Player of the Week: BJ “Bossman” Boyd, Wichita Wind Surge       
    After spending seven seasons in the Oakland A’s organization, reaching Triple-A in 2018 at 24, BJ Boyd decided to go a different direction. In 2019, he headed to college and played football. He played well enough that he was getting several calls from Division I schools. Then the pandemic hit. This spring, he was sitting at home when the Twins called. He signed and was sent to Double-A Wichita in late May. He has been incredible since. In 66 games, the outfielder has hit .313/.369/.543 (.912) with 12 doubles, 15 homers and 60 RBI for the Wind Surge. 
    And on Tuesday, he will return to Triple-A after earning his promotion. 
    Twins Pitcher of the Week: Joe Ryan, St. Paul Saints   
    He was a strong starting pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays. Then he headed to Tokyo to pitch for Team USA. That’s where he found out he had been traded to the Twins in the Nelson Cruz trade. He responded by going 2-0 and helping Team USA to a silver medal at the Olympics! Then he came back, packed up, came to Minnesota and threw a couple of bullpens before making his first start in the Twins organization on Friday night in St. Paul. I think it’s fair to say that it went well. He struck out the first six batters he faced and nine batters in four innings. He gave up just one run, on a solo homer.  
    Ryan was the Rays seventh-round pick in 2018 out of Cal State-Stanislaus. He appeared in Baseball America’s Top 100 prospect rankings after he led minor league baseball with 183 strikeouts in 2019. That season, between two levels of A ball and Double-A, he went 9-4 with a 1.96 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP. Before heading to Japan, he pitched in 12 games for Triple-A Durham and was 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. In 57 innings, he had 10 walks and 75 strikeouts. 
     
    Other Strong Performances this Week
    St. Paul Saints
    Drew Maggi continues to have a strong showing in 2021. Last week, he played in five games and hit .357/.526/.571 (1.098) with a homer and five RBI. He also stole three bases. Gilberto Celestino played in all six games and hit .294/.478/.588 (1.066) with two doubles and a homer. He also walked six times with just four strikeouts. Tomas Telis also played all six games. He hit .440/.462/.600 (1.062) with a double and a homer. Jimmy Kerrigan played in just three games but hit .364 with a homer.  
    Ian Hamilton worked 5 1/3 innings over three games last week. He went 1-0 with a save. He gave up no runs on one hit. He walked one and struck out seven. Yennier Cano tossed 3 1/3 scoreless and hitless innings. He walked three and struck out four. Chris Nunn struck out four batters over 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Ryan Mason struck out six batters over 3 1/3 scoreless innings.  
    Wichita Wind Surge
    Leobaldo Cabrera played in five games. He hit just .263 (5-for-19), but he hit a double and three homers, and drove in nine runs. He posted a 1.164 OPS. Spencer Steer played in just four of the games. He hit .389/.450/.667 (1.117) with two doubles and a homer. 
    Tyler Beck gave up five hits and two walks over six scoreless innings. He struck out six batters. Jordan Balazovic struck out six batters over six shutout frames. More impressive that he didn’t give up any runs when he also gave up four hits and five walks. Jordan Gore recorded a Save and worked 2 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings. 
    Cedar Rapids Kernels
    Michael Helman continued to show some surprising, and impressive power. Last week, he hit .261/.393/.783 (1.175) with four home runs. He also walked five times and stole two bases. Edouard Julien had a nice week. He hit .412/.615/.529 (1.145) with two doubles and nine walks. He also stole two bags. Matt Wallner played five games and hit .350/.458/.650 (1.108) with three doubles and a homer. No extra base hits, but Wander Javier hit .350 (7-for-20). 
    Sawyer Gipson-Long made one start. In six innings, he gave up only an unearned run on three hits. He walked one and struck out eight. Louie Varland became the first Kernels starter to record an out in the 7th inning when he tossed seven full innings. He gave up one run on six hits. He struck out six batters without a walk. Ben Gross worked five innings and gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits. He walked three and struck out six batters. Denny Bentley made his first two High-A appearances. He gave up two hits over four scoreless innings. He struck out five batters without issuing a walk. Zach Featherstone struck out six batters over 3 1/3 hitless innings. He walked one. Ryan Shreve struck out eight batters over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up four hits and walked none. 
    Ft. Myers Might Mussels
    Jesus Feliz has really come on of late. In six games last week, he hit .333/.481/.762 (1.243) with three home runs. He also walked five times and stole two bases. Patrick Winkel has a strong first full professional week. The catcher played four games and hit .400/.526/.600 (1.126) with a homer and four walks. 
    Steven Cruz had a terrific week. He worked five innings over two outings. He gave up just an unearned run on two hits and a walk. He also struck out ten batters. Randy Dobnak’s rehab appearance was three perfect innings with five strikeouts. Casey Legumina gave up one run over four innings. He struck out seven batters. Juan Pichardo pitched twice and gave up one run over four hits in four innings. He struck out eight batters. 
    FCL Twins 
    Luis Gomez went 5-for-9 (.556) with three doubles in his four games. Carlos Aguiar went 5-for-13 (.385) with three homers and six RBI. Rubel Cespedes went 2-for-9 (.222) over three games this week, but both hits were home runs. Wander Valdez played in five games. He hit .333/.412/.600 (1.012) with a double and a home run. Kala’i Rosario hit .368 with two doubles, a homer and seven RBI. 
    Wilker Reyes went 1-0. He gave up five hits but no runs over five scoreless innings. Giovahnney German threw four hitless, scoreless innings. He struck out three batters. (although he did walk six batters). Malik Barrington recorded a save in his professional debut. He gave up one hit over three scoreless innings. He struck out six batters.  
     
    Lowlights
    We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches.  
    St. Paul Saints
    Ben Rortvedt has certainly had some moments since returning to the Saints. This past week, he went 1-for-13 (.077) with five strikeouts. Sherman Johnson went 1-for-10 (.100), and Drew Stankiewicz went 2-for 16 (.125), though he did have four walks and a homer.  
    Robinson Leyer gave up five runs (4 earned) on four hits and two walks over two innings. Nick Vincent got DFAd by the Twins and then gave up five runs (4 earned) on four hits (2 homers) and a walk in 2 2/3 innings. 
    Wichita Wind Surge
    Ernie de la Trinidad went 2-for-13 (.154) in his three games. Jermaine Palacios played all six games and went 3-for-19 (.158), though he had two doubles.
    Chris Vallimont made two starts last week. He gave up ten earned runs on ten hits (4 homers) and six walks in just nine innings.   
    Cedar Rapids Kernels
    Gabriel Maciel played in four games and went 2-for-14 (.143). Seth Gray went 3-for-20 (.150) over five games. He did have a double and a homer and six RBI. 
    Andrew Cabezas gave up six runs on six hits over 2 1/3 innings in his start. Tyler Watson gave up six runs on eight hits and a walk over 2 2/3 innings. 
    Ft. Myers Might Mussels
    Will Holland played in five games and went 0-for-17. Misael Urbina went 3-for-24 (.125) over six games.
    Trending Storyline 
    Here is a quick look at how Twins minor leaguers rank against all minor leaguers. 
    Jose Miranda: Batting Average (.342, 5th), Slugging Percentage (.590, 10th), OPS (.995, 8th), Hits (135, 1st),  Home Runs (25, 3rd), RBI (72, 11th), Runs (79, 2nd) Extra Base Hits (48, 8th), Total Bases (233, 1st).  BJ Boyd: Batting Average (.319, 16th),  Trey Cabbage: Home Runs (23, 10th), RBI (71, 15th)  Spencer Steer: Home Runs (22, 18th), Runs (70, 17th),  Austin Martin: On-Base Percentage (.429, 15th), Hit By Pitch (22, 3rd),  Wander Javier: Triples (10, 2nd),  Edouard Julien: Walks (90, 1st), Runs (75, 6th), Stolen Bases: (31, 19th), Number of Pitches (1820, 1st)...  Aaron Sabato: Walks (73, 5th),  Yunior Severino: Doubles (27, 13th),  Ben Gross: ERA (3.16, 8th), WHIP (1.19, 18th), Winning Percentage (.833, 3rd),  Drew Strotman: Winning Percentage (.700, 13th),  PROSPECT SUMMARY
    This Prospect Summary shows our updated Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. 
    #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 17 games, .262/.444/.377 (.821) with 4 doubles, 1 home run, 10 RBI, 12 BB, 13 K.
    #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 15 GS, 71.0 IP, 70 H, 29 BB, 78 K, 3.42 ERA, 1.39 WHIP
    #4 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - Has not pitched since the Olympics.
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) 
    #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 95 games, .342/.405/.590 (.995) with 23 doubles, 25 homers, 72 RBI, 36 BB, 58 K
    #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 9 K, 2.25 ERA, 0.50 WHIP
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 5 GS, 21.0 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 43 K, 0.86 ERA, 0.67 WHIP
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Has yet to pitch.
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 54 games, .247/.305/.321 (.626) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 23 RBI, 17 BB, 78 K, 5 SB 
    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 44 games, .277/.354/.549 (.903) with 10 doubles, 2 triples, 11 homers, 35 RBI, 17 BB, 65 K.
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (18 games, .281/.395/.531 (.926) with 4 doubles, 4 homers, 15 RBI, 11 BB, 15 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K)
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 5 GS, 24.0 IP, 28 H, 10 BB, 18 K, 5.63 ERA, 1.58 WHIP.
    #15 - Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 5 games, .222/.286/.222 (.508) with 2 BB, 8 K
    #16 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (32 games, .200/.273/.408 (.681) with 7 doubles, 6 homers, 10 RBI, 8 BB, 41 K)
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 82 games, .190/.289/.294 (583) with 9 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homer, 49 RBI, 41 BB, 65 K, 12 SB)
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 14 G, 13 GS, 55.1 IP, 41 H, 24BB, 75 K, 2.93 ERA, 1.18 WHIP
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 87 games, .262/.363/.515 (.878) with 14 doubles, 2 triples, 22 homers, 53 RBI, 46 BB, 78 K) 
    LOOKING AHEAD
    Bradenton @ Ft. Myers: (Matt Mullenbach, TBD, TBD, TBD, TBD, TBD):
    Cedar Rapids @ Beloit:(Louie Varland, Tyler Watson, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Cody Laweryson, Ben Gross, Louie Varland)
    Tulsa @ Wichita: (Austin Schulfer, Cole Sands, Jordan Balazovic, TBD, TBD, Austin Schulfer)
    St. Paul @ Toledo: (Beau Burrows, Joe Ryan, TBD, TBD, Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows): 
     
    Feel free to ask any questions you like.
     
  16. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Cody Christie for an article, 3 Questions Byron Buxton Can Answer in September   
    1. Is Buxton healthy?
    For Byron Buxton, this seems to be the eternal question. Buxton has been out of action since late June with a fractured hand. This injury came on the heels of a trip to the IL for a hip injury. However, his most recent injury may have been a blessing in disguise because it allowed his hip injury to heal fully. He certainly still looked hobbled the last time he was in a big-league lineup, now those worries may be behind him. 
    2. Can Buxton return to an MVP level?
    There’s no question that Buxton has been playing at an elite level this season. Even during his limited action this season (27 games), he ranks second on the team in fWAR. That may be more of an indictment of the team, but in 110 plate appearances, Buxton has hit .369/.409/.767 with ten home runs and 11 doubles. His swing also looked healthy during his rehab stint with the St. Paul Saints.
    Since 2019, Buxton has seen a noticeable increase in his power numbers even as he has missed time due to injury. During his last 153 games, he has hit .282/.322/.581 (.903) with a 139 OPS+ to go along with 21 steals. Add in his Gold Glove caliber defense, and he certainly fills out the five-tool scouting report that started when the Twins drafted him.

    3. Will the Twins still consider trading him this winter?
    Buxton is among a group of veteran players the Twins can consider trading this winter. Minnesota made multiple contract offers to Buxton in the weeks before the trade deadline. When Buxton and his representation declined those offers, Minnesota said they would look to trade Buxton at some point before his team control expires at the end of 2022. Buxton’s trade value will only increase if he is healthy and playing at an MVP level.

    The Twins also have the opportunity to revisit contract discussions with Buxton this winter. From the team’s perspective, Buxton makes the offense better with his powerful swing, and the pitching staff improves with him roaming the outfield. Minnesota is a better team with Buxton on the field, as the team’s record with him in the lineup is significantly better than when he is absent.

    Following a disappointing 2021, the Twins winning window may have shifted a few years into the future. Will Buxton be part of the next winning Twins team? That may be a question for another day…

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  17. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Nash Walker for an article, Minor League Report (8/22): Wichita Bats Surge, Buck Go Boom   
    TRANSACTIONS
    RHP Luke Farrell added to St.Paul Saints (ML rehab)
    LHP Kody Funderburk activated to Wichita from injured list 
    LHP Adam Rozek promoted to Cedar Rapids
    SAINTS SENTINEL
    Iowa 5, Saints 2
    Box Score
    Drew Strotman: 4 IP, 7 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K
    HR: Byron Buxton (3)
    Multi-hit games: Tomás Telís (2-for-5, 2B)
    Drew Strotman made his fifth start as a Saint and his second straight against the Iowa Cubs. Strotman worked around seven hits and a couple walks, allowing two runs in four innings. He threw 81 pitches and 44 for strikes (54%). 
    Byron Buxton hit a mammoth, 445-foot homer to left in his first at-bat. It was a vintage Buck bomb:
    The Saints trailed 2-1 until David Banuelos scored on an error in the seventh. Yennier Cano and Luke Farrell combined for three scoreless innings and six strikeouts out of the bullpen. Unfortunately, Robinson Leyer and Nick Vincent allowed a run, and the Cubs took a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth. 
    The Saints are now a half-game back of Toledo for first place in the Triple-A East Midwest. They would probably like to keep Buxton for a few more games. 
    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Wind Surge 11, Cardinals 7
    Box Score
    Chris Vallimont: 5 IP, 5 H, 5 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K
    HR: Trey Cabbage (14)
    Multi-hit games: Austin Martin (2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R), BJ Boyd (3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R), Cabbage (3-for-4, HR, 6 RBI, BB)
    The Surge kept it rolling offensively in Sunday’s barrage. BJ Boyd continued his torrid stretch with three more hits and a double. Trey Cabbage also stayed hot and homered. Austin Martin also drove in a run with a double. 
    Chris Vallimont started for Wichita and allowed five runs on five hits and two homers. Vallimont has allowed 28 runs over his last 26 innings. One culprit: he’s given up seven homers over his last six starts. 
    The Surge took five out of six from Springfield and are now in first place by five games over Tulsa in the Double-A Central. 
    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Wisconsin 6, Kernels 2
    Box Score
    Ryan Shreve: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 5 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (2-for-4, BB), Jeferson Morales (2-for-3, 2B, R)
    The Kernels had trouble keeping their offense going Sunday. Wander Javier got things started with an RBI single in the first before Jeferson Morales scored on a wild pitch in the second. Cedar Rapids took a quick 2-0 lead, protected by Ryan Shreve. 
    Unfortunately, that was all for the bats. Wisconsin scored six straight runs on two homers and three RBI singles. The Kernels struck out 17 times and mustered only seven hits in the loss. 
    The Kernels still boast a 53-43 record and sit in second place in the High-A Central, albeit ten games behind the powerhouse Quad Cities River Bandits. 

    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Fort Myers 10, Dunedin 5
    Box Score
    Bobby Milacki: IP, 2 H, R/ER, BB, K
    HR: Patrick Winkel (1)
    Multi-hit games: Alerick Soularie (2-for-6, RBI), Keoni Cavaco (3-for-6, R), Jesús Feliz (3-for-5, 2 R, BB), Winkel (3-for-4, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-5, 2B, 4 RBI), Kyler Fedko (2-for-4, RBI, BB)
    The Mussels recorded 15 hits in Sunday’s thrilling win. Dunedin held a 5-4 lead in the eighth before Willie Joe Garry Jr. busted things open with a bases-clearing double. Garry Jr. drove in four from the seven spot in the lineup, while Patrick Winkel plated four of his own from the six spot.
    The Mussels walked nine times and went 6-for-17 with runners in scoring position, taking advantage of baserunners with good at-bats. Winkel walked twice with the bases loaded, contributing to his big day. 
    Juan Pichardo pitched two scoreless innings in relief, allowing the Mussels to stick around late. Fort Myers is enjoying the spark from their new primary leadoff man Alerick Soularie. Drafted in the second round in 2020, Soularie missed the first half of the season with an injury. 
    Steven Cruz was also outstanding in relief, striking out five over three scoreless innings. 

    COMPLEX CHRONICLES
    THE FCL TWINS DON’T PLAY ON SUNDAY
     
    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day- Steven Cruz: 3 IP, H, R, 0 ER, BB, 5 K
    Hitter of the Day- Trey Cabbage: 3-for-4, HR, 6 RBI, BB
     
    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    Our most recent (post deadline and draft) prospect rankings are up! Check them out here.
    #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Injured List (ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-5, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI
    #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain)
    #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, BB
    #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List 
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 3-for-6, R
    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder)
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, BB
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, 2B, 2 BB
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 4 IP, 7 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K
    #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play
    #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, 2 BB
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Did not play
  18. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Nash Walker for an article, Miranda Mania: 3 Ways To Get Him To Minneapolis   
    The results speak for themselves. Miranda is having a monstrous season in the minors. He’s taken his advanced approach, one of the reasons he was selected 73rd overall as a 17-year-old in the 2016 Draft, and combined it with newly-developed patience and power. 
    The most encouraging aspect of Miranda’s toolbox is that he isn’t selling out for pop. He’s maintained a 13% strikeout rate while consistently making hard contact. Miranda has gone from a .252/.302/.369 slash, empty batting average low-minors hitter to a true damage bat at the highest levels. 
    There are many reasons to be excited. Miranda has power to all fields, makes consistent contact, barely strikes out, and hits the ball with authority.  
    Entering Sunday, Miranda is hitting an insane .343/.405/.593 with 25 homers and 23 doubles in 94 games. He’s split time at Wichita and St.Paul, crushing equally at both stops. 
    Let’s look at three ways the Twins could get Miranda into a full-time role for the final 35 or so games:
    1. DFA Andrelton Simmons, move Jorge Polanco to SS, slot in Miranda at 2B/3B
    I’m confident in saying this is the crowd favorite. Simmons has been abysmal offensively and offers no future value. Even so, the Twins have expressed a desire to keep his glove behind their young pitchers and keep Polanco at second base. At this point, I’d call this unlikely. 
    2. DH Josh Donaldson, move Luis Arraez to LF, slot in Miranda at 3B
    This one makes the most sense. The problem: what happens to Brent Rooker? With Byron Buxton on the mend and Max Kepler in right, Rooker would be the odd man out in this scenario. Plus, the Twins would have to stop playing Jake Cave against righties. Unlikely. 
    3. DH Miguel Sanó, slot in Miranda at 1B
    Miranda has started at first base in 22 games this season. To avoid a part-time DH role, the Twins could give the reigns to Sanó, who will probably fill that spot in 2022. Again, how is Rooker getting at-bats? 
    Ultimately, there is no simple way to promote Miranda. He shouldn’t play in anything but a full-time role. Without an injury, we may not see him in a Twins uniform until next spring.
    MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
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  19. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Cody Pirkl for an article, Revisiting the 60 Day IL   
    The 60-Day IL allows teams to stash an injured player away without holding a 40 man spot. The Twins have utilized this six times this season in the way of four pitchers and two hitters. With young players needing 40 man roster spots to be protected from the Rule 5 draft this winter, it’s worth revisiting these players on a case-by-case basis.
    Alex Kirilloff
    This is probably the easiest one. The Twins former top prospect should be back with a healthy wrist by Opening Day and likely penciled in at first base. There isn’t anything that would change the Twins minds.
    Randy Dobnak
    Despite a nightmare season in which Dobnak put up a 7.83 ERA in 43 innings, he’s an easy add after the Twins extended him through 2026 on a very team-friendly deal. Regarding his role, it’s anyone’s guess at this point how the Twins plan to use him, but he’s been throwing bullpens recently and could even return from a finger injury before the end of 2021. The Twins can’t cut Dobnak loose given their commitment, not to mention his recent success in the MLB.
    Devin Smeltzer
    Smeltzer only threw 4 2/3 innings without allowing a run before being put on the IL with an elbow injury. His 2022 may largely depend on the nature of his injury and whether his health can be counted on. Perhaps his lack of ceiling may give the Twins pause, but he has shown to be a competent Major League pitcher and perhaps deserves a little bit of run in a bullpen role. If he’s ready to pitch for opening day in 2022, I’d expect to see Smeltzer get one more look.
    Edwar Colina
    Colina got shelled in his lone MLB appearance in 2020 but boasts what some call the best slider in the Twins system to go along with his high-90s fastball. Colina was an arm many were excited to see get some real run this year before he underwent elbow surgery which ended his season before it began. As the Twins look to rebuild a bullpen in 2022, it’s hard to imagine them not gambling on the upside of Edwar Colina assuming his injury appears to be recovering as expected.
    Cody Stashak
    It’s possible Stashak was dealing with his back injury longer than the Twins knew, but it was a bit surprising to see him get as much of an opportunity as he did in 2021. With a 91 mph fastball, Stashak’s skillset revolved around his ability to limit walks when he debuted in 2019 which made his 13.3% walk rate this year all the more unacceptable. He upped his strikeout rate to nearly 35% at the expense of every other skill a pitcher could have as he finished with a 6.89 ERA. Stashak will be 28 next year and his ceiling is probably just an okay middle reliever which may make him an easy roster spot to dedicate to protecting another player from the Rule 5 draft.
    Kyle Garlick
    Garlick looked like the Twins best offseason acquisition for awhile and slashed .232/.280/.465 before being shut down with a sports hernia. Garlick does one thing well and that’s mash lefties, something the Twins were unable to set him up for consistently as injuries piled up. Unfortunately for Garlick, the Twins just don’t have a lot to gain from keeping a defensively-challenged 30-year-old with such a niche skillset. It’s hard to see the Twins not parting ways with Garlick unfortunately.
     
    It’s easy to look at this list of players who haven’t been contributing for quite some time and forget about them, but the Twins do have some solid players coming back off injury next year. The tricky part is trying to balance the roster on who is worthy of a return as they try and protect the necessary players to avoid another Akil Baddoo situation. Should any more of these six be definitively kept or let go this winter? Let us know below.
     
    — Latest Twins coverage from our writers
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    — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
     
  20. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Ted Schwerzler for an article, Minor League Report (8/20): Ryan Dazzles in Saints Debut   
    TRANSACTIONS
    Twins placed Miguel Sano on paternity list and recalled Edgar Garcia from Triple-A Nick Vincent cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A SAINTS SENTINEL 
    St. Paul 7, Iowa 4
    Box Score
    Saint Paul was a hot ticket tonight as both Byron Buxton and Joe Ryan were in the starting lineup. The former was kicking off a rehab assignment while the latter was making his organizational debut after being acquired in the Nelson Cruz deal while pitching in the Olympics.
    Returning from Tokyo and his efforts with Team USA, Ryan was every bit as impressive as you could’ve hoped. He worked four innings allowing just a single run on a solo shot, but struck out the first six batters he saw, and nine in total. Ryan Mason also looked great in relief of the Saints starter going 2 1/3 innings giving up a single hit and punching out five.
    The scoring started for the Saints when Byron Buxton drove in Jose Miranda on a sacrifice fly (that replay showed should have been a double). Iowa walked six batters in the first frame, so opportunities were plentiful. Jimmy Kerrigan plated Trevor Larnach on a single before a bases-loaded walk to Ben Rortvedt scored Tomas Telis. Drew Stankiewicz then walked scoring Mark Contreras, and Miranda singled in both Kerrigan and Rortvedt on his first hit.
    After Iowa's run scored in the 4th, Ryan Mason came on to slam the door. He picked up his first Triple-A win working 2 1/3 innings and allowing just a single hit and striking out five. Chris Nunn also extended his scoreless streak with another 1 1/3 innings worked without a run.
    Jimmy Kerrigan drove in Larnach in the 7th inning to match a Cubs run from the fourth frame, and Iowa did make things interesting with three in the 9th, but ultimately St. Paul held on. Kerrigan and Drew Maggi were the only Saints with two hits tonight.
    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Wichita 6, Springfield 4 
    Box Score
    Blossoming Twins prospect Cole Sands took the ball tonight for the Wind Surge, but he was chased after just 1 1/3 innings of work. He allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits and two walks while striking out one. Sands needed 39 pitches to record his four outs tonight.
    After trailing 2-0 through two innings, Wichita picked up their starter. Spencer Steer singled to drive in Austin Martin, and Trey Cabbage plated Roy Morales on a 3rd inning single of his own. The score wouldn't hold with Springfield adding a third run in the bottom half of the inning, but Aaron Whitefield singled in the 4th inning to score Andrew Bechtold and knot things at three.
    Getting behind again in the 4th, Wichita took the lead for good in the 5th. Cabbage reached on a throwing error that scored B.J. Boyd before Leobaldo Cabrera drove in Morales with a sacrifice fly. In the 7th inning, Cabrera hit his seventh longball of the year and gave the good guys two runs worth of breathing room.
    Jordan Gore continues to be great on the bump and worked 2 1/3 innings to close this one out. Morales had a three-hit night while Whitefield picked up two of his own.
    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 3, Wisconsin 1
    Box Score
    The Kernels sent Sawyer Gipson-Long to the bump tonight, and he was great over six strong innings. He allowed just a single, unearned run on three hits and gave up one free pass. He did punch out eight batters on the evening and dropped his ERA to 3.27 since joining the Kernels.
    Michael Helman opened the scoring with a solo shot in the 3rd; his 13th home run of the season. After the Timber Rattlers answered in the 4th, Cedar Rapids went back to work. Wander Javier drove in Yunior Severino with a 5th inning single, and Helman lifted his second solo shot of the game in the 6th to make it 3-1.
    That’s where this one would end with Zach Featherstone (2.0 IP, 4 K) and Melvi Acosta (1.0 IP 1 K, SV) both providing hitless relief efforts. Helman, Javier, and Max Smith all recorded two-hit nights for the Kernels.
    MUSSEL MATTERS
    Dunedin 5, Fort Myers 4 (F/10)
    Box Score
    Taking the ball for Fort Myers tonight was Sean Mooney. He worked 3 2/3 innings and allowed just a single run on three hits and two walks. He punched out seven and his ERA now sits at a miniscule 1.08 on the campaign.
    Getting behind in the first, the Mighty Mussels evened things up on an Alerick Soularie single that scored Justin Washington. Keoni Cavaco then put a run on the board when Willie Joe Garry to score on his sacrifice fly in the 5th. Trailing again in the 7th, it was Cavaco who knotted things at three. A second sacrifice fly plated Justin Washington before Aaron Sabato left the yard for his 11th homer of the season.
    After recording the first out in the bottom of the 9th, Carlos Suniaga gave up a base runner who then came around on the inning’s second single. Tying the game at four. This one was headed to the 10th.
    With Fort Myers coming up short in the top half of extras, Dunedin took advantage with their turn and walked off the Mighty Mussels in the bottom half. 2021 draftee Patrick Winkel had two hits on the evening while Washington added three of his own.
    COMPLEX CHRONICLES
    FCL Twins 7, FCL Red Sox 2
    Box Score
    Erasmo Moreno was on the bump for this one and provided four strong innings of work. He allowed just one run on two hits while striking out two and walking one. Malik Barrington, recently signed as an undrafted free agent from Albany State University, made his professional debut and picked up the save. He worked three innings and struck out six allowing just a single hit.
    The Twins took the lead in the third inning after getting down by one run. 2020 draft pick Kala’i Rosario hit his third homer of the year, a two-run shot, that also plated Zander Wiel. After giving up the lead in the 5th, and 6th inning Wander Valdez solo shot put the Twins back up by a run.
    Rosario was back at it again in the 7th inning as his seventh double scored another run and pushed the lead to 4-2. Two wild pitches in the 8th allowed Valdez and Argenis Jimenez to score before a Luis Gomez double plated Noah Cardenas to push the final tally out to 7-2.
    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day- Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
    Hitter of the Day- Michael Helman (Cedar Rapids) - 2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR(14)
    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    Our most recent (post deadline and draft) prospect rankings are up! Check them out here.
    #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Injured List (ACL)
    #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-3, R, 2 BB, K
    #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain)
    #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-4, R, 2 RBI, BB, K
    #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
    #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
    #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch
    #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-3, 2 RBI, K
    #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder)
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-3, 2B, B, K
    #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-1, K
    #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play
    #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play
    #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-3, BB, K
    #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
    #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-4, RBI, K
    SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – TBD 
    Wichita @ Springfield (6:05PM CST) – RHP Jordan Balazovic (4-2, 3.74 ERA)
    Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Cody Laweryson (1-3, 5.06 ERA)
    Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30PM CST) – TBD
  21. Like
    nclahammer reacted to David Youngs for an article, Joe Ryan and Byron Buxton Highlight an Eventful Night at CHS Field   
    Sticky air, high winds, and a foreboding forecast didn’t stop 8,209 baseball fans from coming out to CHS Field on Friday night to watch highly-touted prospect and Olympian Joe Ryan make his Twins organization debut. Even better? The game marked Byron Buxton’s highly-anticipated return after a lengthy stint on the IL from a hand injury he suffered on June 21st.
    Ryan was electric out of the gate, hitting 93, 94, and 95 MPH in his first matchup of the night, striking out former Twins outfielder Ian Miller on six pitches. The former Rays prospect carried his dominance through the first inning, striking out the side on a total of 15 pitches, 11 of those being strikes. 
    After a perfect first inning, Ryan’s second inning was a carbon copy. The 6’2 gun-slinger needed just 18 pitches to fan the heart of the I-Cubs order. Six hitters, six strikeouts. 
    After two innings of strikeouts, Ryan must’ve realized that it would be selfish not to get his fielders involved in the action. Ryan drew two groundouts to the middle infield and tossed in another strikeout, bringing his total to seven. 
    One of Ryan’s few mistakes came in the fourth inning when he left a pitch up that Cubs’ outfielder Nick Martini hit over the right-field fence. Yet just as he showed in Tokyo, Ryan wasn't phased, striking out two of the next three batters to end the inning and a stellar first outing as a Minnesota Twin. 
    In today’s game, it’s not uncommon to see managers take top prospects out of games early to protect arms and hone in on development. Given that Ryan hasn’t pitched since starting (and winning) the Olympic semifinals for Team USA on August 4th, it’s not shocking that Toby Gardenhire removed his starter after four dominant innings. The organization had developed a plan that included Ryan throwing 60-70 pitches on Friday night. 
    Four innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts, one walk, and 49 strikes on 67 pitches. Not bad for a guy pitching in a new environment that hasn’t thrown in a Minor League game since July 18th. 
    Twins fans knew that Joe Ryan was a talented pitcher when he was acquired in the trade that sent Nelson Cruz to Tampa Bay. As a recent MLB Top 100 Prospect and two-game winner at the Olympics, Ryan’s numbers speak for themselves. 
    Yet like so many other things in life, seeing is believing. Twins and Saints fans got to see arguably the strongest debut performance from a pitcher in the organization this year on Friday night.
    Here are three takeaways from Ryan’s debut in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
    Ryan’s velocity on his fastball ranged from 92-95 MPH all evening, and he was painting the corners of the strike zone. It’s no secret that the heater is Ryan’s pitch, but his ability to consistently nail his spots was impressive. Pitching with a lead is a pitcher’s best friend (Editor's note: It's right up there with the double play and dogs.). The Saints provided that to Ryan by scoring six runs in the first inning. It will be interesting to see how he handles tighter game situations.  Perhaps the most impressive feat of the night for Ryan came after he gave up the mammoth homer over the right-field wall. For many, the situation could have been a slippery slope. Not for Ryan, who struck out the next batter, got a ground ball, and retired the final batter with another strikeout. Ryan’s confidence shows when he’s on the mound. The guy has swagger, and he’s not afraid to show it.  
    Buxton Returns
    Buxton’s performance wasn’t as noteworthy as his last rehab debut with the Saints, when he went 2-for-3 with a triple on June 8th against Omaha (Royals). Buxton went 0-for-2 with an RBI sac-fly and a strikeout before being removed from the game after the fifth inning. Buxton’s sac fly was inches away from being a double but was caught by a sprawling Greg Deichmann in right field. (Editor's Note: Slo-motion replay showed that it likely was a trap, but with no replay in Triple-A, the call stood.)
    No, it wasn’t the April MVP-caliber Buxton that fans had hoped to see but just watching the organization’s centerpiece compete again was a treat for all. Buxton will likely stay with the Saints over the weekend and longer if needed. There’s no rush for the superstar. With the Twins out of playoff contention, it’s crystal clear that getting Buxton healthy is a priority of the organization. 
    For more in-depth recaps from across the Twins minor league affiliates be sure to check out tonight's Minor League Report!
     
  22. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Matt Braun for an article, Twins Minor League Report (8/14): Clean Sweep (But Not In A Good Way)   
    TRANSACTIONS
    INF Anthony Prato added to A+ Cedar Rapids following rehab assignment
    RHP Matt Canterino activated from IL at A+ Cedar Rapids
    RHP Ralph Garza Jr. recalled by Minnesota Twins
    Saints Sentinel
    St. Paul 4, Indianapolis 7
    Box Score
    Starter: Beau Burrows: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
    HR: Tomás Telis (8), Nick Gordon (3)
    Multi-hit games: Nick Gordon (2-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI), Tomás Telis (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI), Damek Tomscha (2-for-4, R)
    St. Paul lost their momentum on Saturday.
    It began with some Beau on Beau action as both starting pitchers were named “Beau” (seriously). Burrows (or BB, as the cool kids call him), held Indianapolis scoreless over his three innings of work with five strikeouts. Burrows then passed the baton to Jovani Moran who, as usual, shut it down. He struck out three over two innings of work, and could be heard muttering “what else did I have to do to get called up?*”
    *I cannot confirm this.
    Offensively, St. Paul jumped out in front first. Tomás Telis plopped his eighth homer of the year in the first inning to give the Saints a quick 1-0 lead. Nick Gordon was not to be outdone, and he sent his third home run of the year over the right field wall.
    Now, usually I don’t point out defense in these games because, well, who cares. But Nick Gordon played at third base while Jose Miranda played in left field. I assume that this was done out of necessity, but if both players can play at those positions in just a passable manner, then their value to the major league club will be just that much more.
    This game revealed one of the problems that can arise in a bullpen game. Burrows and Moran did their part well, but Ryan Mason struggled and it allowed Indianapolis to tie the game in the 7th inning. Indianapolis then jumped on Ian Hamilton in the 8th with a bases-clearing double, and that ended up being all she wrote.
    Wind Surge Wisdom
    Wichita 2, Tulsa 5 
    Box Score
    Starter: Cole Sands: 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K
    HR: B.J. Boyd 2 (11, 12)
    Multi-hit games: B.J. Boyd (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Ernie De La Trinidad (2-for-3, BB)
    The Wind Surge lost on Saturday.
    ...But not due to Cole Sands. The righty was on his game on Saturday. Of the 17 outs he netted, 10 came via strikeouts. Yeah, that’ll work. It was his first start of the season with double-digit punch outs, and it was also his seventh start allowing one or fewer walks.
    They also did not lose because of B.J. Boyd. The free agent signee has been nothing short of elite in his time with Wichita. His OPS on the season is now above .900, and I imagine that one more game like this will finally force Wichita to build a statue in his honor.
    It was not enough to top the Drillers, though. Tulsa took out their frustration on Erik Manoah Jr., and put the game out of reach after the 7th inning. Oddly enough, Tulsa only had one more hit than Wichita. 
    Kernels Nuggets
    Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 7 
    Box Score
    Starter: Sawyer Gipson-Long: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
    HR: None
    Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-for-4, 2 R)
    The Kernels lost to a rehabbing major leaguer on Saturday.
    Miles Mikolas started for the Chiefs and was excellent. He held the Kernels to three runs over seven innings of work with eight strikeouts to boot. Come on man, go pick on players your own age (I’m sure he will soon).
    Sawyer Gipson-Long’s line is misleading. Two of his earned runs came via a two-run homer, while another run scored due to a throwing error by his catcher (not sure why it counts as an earned run, actually). No matter the runs, striking out nine batters over five innings of work is impressive. 
    The bats were a bit quiet on Saturday. Every run was scored off the bat of Matt Wallner (a first inning DP, and a 6th inning two-run single), and Edouard Julien was the only batter to net multiple hits. Of course it was Julien. I swear he gets on base twice every time I check the box score.
    The game slipped away in the 7th inning as the Chiefs ambushed Osiris German to the tune of three earned runs. Much like how the Saints lost, this proved to be too back-breaking for the Kernels to overcome. 
    Mussel Matters
    Fort Myers 1, Bradenton 2
    Box Score
    Starter: Bobby Milacki: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
    HR: Aaron Sabato (10)
    Multi-hit games: Misael Urbina (2-for-5, 2B)
    Fort Myers lost in extra-innings on Saturday.
    Bobby Milacki started the Mighty Mussels off right with an excellent start on Saturday. His six strikeouts tied a personal single-game record, and it was his sixth outing in 2021 that ended without a walk. Not bad for a 38th round pick who the Twins signed out of independent ball.
    John Stankiewicz, Zaquiel Puentes, and Aaron Rozek carried the weight the rest of the way with five combined innings, and just a single hit allowed. They struck out three in total.
    Offensively, things were a bit tough. Misael Urbina was the lone hitter to drop in multiple hits, and just one other batter had an extra-base hit.
    But that one batter was Aaron Sabato who, unsurprisingly now, bopped his 10th homer of the year. He had just four home runs coming into the month of August.
    It has been great to see Sabato turn the corner like this. No prospect dropped as much as him when we at Twinsdaily updated our top prospect list, and a monster August to cap off his season would go a long way towards regaining his old 1st-round pick status. Will he do it? I suppose we shall see. 
    Unfortunately, the Mighty Mussels got Manfred-ed and the very first opposing batter in the bottom of the 10th singled home a run to end the game. I’m sure that they didn’t mind getting out of the way of the tropical storm, though. 
    Complex Chronicles
    The FCL Twins game was suspended on Saturday, and will be finished on Sunday. A quick scan of the box score reveals that Zander Wiel was in the starting lineup working through a rehab assignment.
    TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cole Sands
    Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – B.J. Boyd
    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
    #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL)
    #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, 2 K
    #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch
    #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
    #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain)
    #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-3, BB
    #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch
    #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - 
    #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-5, K
    #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement)
    #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, 2 RBI, K
    #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-3
    #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
    #15 – Noah Miller (Complex) - 
    #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI
    #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery)
    #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 2-5, 2B
    #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5 ⅔ IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K
    #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Did not play
    SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
    St. Paul @ Indianapolis (11:35 AM) LHP Andrew Albers
    Wichita @ Tulsa (12:05 PM) RHP Jordan Balazovic 
    Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (12:35 PM) RHP Matt Canterino
    Fort Myers will not play on Sunday in anticipation of Tropical Storm Fred.
  23. Like
    nclahammer reacted to David Youngs for an article, TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline): 6-10   
    10. SS Keoni Cavaco (20-years-old)
    Season Stats (Low-A): .242/.314/.332, 49 G, 7 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 6 SB, 63/18 K:BB
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: #6
    It's been a rough year for the Fort Myers offense. Cavaco's .242 batting average is something that will need to improve. Yet before we double down on the guy, let's remember, he's 20-years-old! While he played 25 games in 2019, this is Cavaco's first 'true' season. The guy is an incredible athlete and has shown moments of brilliance in the field and at the plate. 
     
    Plagued by injuries this season, Cavaco's 2022 season will be a big indicator of his future with the Twins. There's a lot of potential if he can stay healthy. Check out his interview with Seth Stohs from earlier this year!
    9. RHP Chase Petty (18-years-old)
    Season Stats: No Stats
    Previous Rankings: Not ranked, Minnesota Twins 2021 Top Draft Pick
    Chase Petty may have been the most electrifying pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. The New Jersey-native can hit triple digits, has good off-speed, and name dropped Mike Trout in post-draft interview. 
    Petty was named Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of New Jersey this past year. His fastball speaks volumes but he's also got an excellent slider in his arsenal. 
    Yes, Petty is only 18. Yet he has the confidence of an MLB ballplayer and that is going to work miracles for him as he navigates professional baseball. Expect the Jersey boy to climb the ladder quickly. 
    8. RHP Matt Canterino (23-years-old)
    Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): 5 GS, 20 IP, 0.90 ERA, 0.65 ERA, 16.7 K/9, 1.4 BB/9
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: #4
    Matt Canterino didn't drop on our rankings because of poor performance. The Twins' 2019 second-round draft pick was sidelined by an elbow injury for a majority of the summer and just recently hit the bump again. Canterino recently began rehabbing at Low-A Fort Myers. In his August 8th return he was perfect, striking out two and giving up zero hits or walks in two innings. 
    Prior to his injury Canterino was electric, giving up only two earned runs in 10 innings. In that span, hitters racked up a meager .154 batting average against him. In his young professional career Canterino has a 1.20 ERA and 0.64 WHIP. At 23, the young man has an unbelievable upside and a healthy 2022 season will benefit him as much as anyone on this list.
     
    7. RHP Joe Ryan (25-years-old)
    Season Stats (Triple-A): 57 IP, 3.63 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 11.8/1.6 K:BB
    Previous Rankings: N/A (previously in Rays organization)
    A product of the Nelson Cruz trade with Tampa Bay, Joe Ryan was previously unknown to most Twins fans. That changed when Ryan grabbed the attention of the nation when he helped guide the United States Olympic team to a Silver Medal in Tokyo. Ryan started two games for Team USA, tossing 10 1/3 innings of nine-hit, two-run baseball, while striking out eight and only surrendering one walk.
    It's clear that Ryan can deal. The 2018 seventh-round draft pick has touted a sub-four ERA in each season since his professional debut. Before being traded to the Twins the San Francisco native was 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA on the Durham Bulls staff. Ryan has started 11 games this season with opposing batters hitting .175 against him. With the Olympics serving as a confidence booster, it will be exciting to see what Ryan can do with the Saints for the remainder of the season. 
    6. 3B Jose Miranda (23-years-old)
    Season Stats (Double-A + Triple-A): .342/.406/.596, 21 2B, 23 HR, 4 SB, 65 RBI
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: #5
    Don't be fooled that Miranda is a spot lower than he was a few months back. In fact, Miranda has been as good as he's been all season in the past few days. Miranda recorded a multi-hit game on Thursday night and knocked the go-ahead homer to push the Saints to a win in extra-innings on Wednesday. 
    Miranda has slashed an impressive .338/.402/.606 in just 38 games at Triple-A this season. His numbers were just as strong (if not better) at Double-A Wichita. The best part? Miranda is improving as he increases levels of play. Don't be surprised if the best story of the 2021 Twins organization gets a shot at the MLB level before the 2021 season ends. 
     
     
     
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    nclahammer reacted to Matt Braun for an article, TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline): 15-11   
    15. Noah Miller - INF
    Age: 18
    ETA: 2025
    2021 Stats: n/a
    2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a
    There is little to say about Noah Miller considering the fact that he is just 18, and has not played a game of professional baseball yet. The Twins decided to select Miller with the final pick in the 1st round of the 2021 MLB Draft as they believe in his immense potential as a switch-hitting, athletic shortstop. Oh, and also because he hit .608 as a high school senior. No, that is not a typo. Miller will certainly require a significant amount of time to develop, but the end result could be a truly dynamic middle-infielder who could anchor the top of a lineup for years. Just make sure to keep his name tucked away for future reference.
    14. Drew Strotman - RHSP
    Age: 24
    ETA: 2021
    2021 Stats: 67 ⅔ IP, 3.59 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 4.14 FIP, 22.8 K%, 13.1 BB%
    2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a
    Drew Strotman is perhaps the most polarizing prospect the Twins received at the trade deadline. Fangraphs has him placed optimistically as the team’s 7th best prospect (and on the edge of the top 100 prospect list), while MLB.com ranked him as the franchise's 15th best prospect-a number much closer to what we decided. At any rate, Strotman is an exciting combination of talent and seasoning. A brand new cutter has deepened what was already an intriguing repertoire of major league quality. He has already been added to the 40-man roster so his promotion to the major league club is simply a formality at this point. The walks are high, but Eric Longenhagen wrote that Strotman is “likely a big league starter”. Lord knows that the Twins need as many of those as they can get.
    13. Gilberto Celestino - OF
    Age: 22
    ETA: 2021
    2021 Stats: (MLB): .136 AVG, .177 OBP, .288 SLG, 23 wRC+ (AA/AAA): .259 AVG, .338 OBP, .431 SLG, 107 WRC+
    2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 7
    Gilberto Celestino is the only player from this part of the list to play at the major league level and, well, he certainly seemed overwhelmed. The young outfielder was acquired by the Twins in the Ryan Pressly trade three years ago (holy bleep, it’s been three years already?), and it is quite clear that, while Celestino possesses quality tools, he needs more seasoning before he can succeed in the show. But fear not. Celestino is still just 22 years old and, as we all have seen over the past few years, toolsy center fielders often require an extended amount of time to realize their full potential. Celestino will play out the rest of 2021 at AAA (where he owns a 130 wRC+ in a small sample) and will be better prepared to potentially etch out a role on the 2022 Twins. 
    12. Matt Wallner - OF
    Age: 23
    ETA: 2022
    2021 Stats (A+): .281 AVG, .338 OBP, .548 SLG, 135 wRC+
    2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 10
    Matt Wallner was plucked from the backwoods of Minnesota by the Twins with the 39th overall pick of the 2019 draft. Well, that is not entirely accurate as the Twins neither physically plucked him, like one would with an apple, nor was he taken directly from the state (he played college ball at the University of Southern Mississippi), but the sentence sounds cool so it shall stay. (Editor's Note: Ummmm....) Anyways, Wallner was drafted as a high-strikeout guy with “light tower power,” and so far in his minor league career he has played… like a high strikeout guy with light tower power. He has been frustratingly limited to just over 30 games in 2021 due to a pesky wrist injury that proved to be more serious than previously believed. He had surgery on his hamate bone. But in the time he has played, Wallner has mashed. His nine homers over 148 plate appearances gives him about a 36 home run pace over 600 plate appearances (a typical full season), while his .548 slugging percentage would make him the 11th best qualified major leaguer by that stat. Simply put, a healthy Wallner can absolutely crush. 
    11. Josh Winder - RHSP
    Age: 24
    ETA: 2022
    2021 Stats (AA/AAA): 72 IP, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 3.41 FIP, 29.1 K%, 4.7 BB%
    2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 8
    Perhaps no prospect throughout the Twins’ system has seen his stock rise higher in 2021 than Josh Winder. Even the noted, uh, “strong opinion-holder”, Keith Law, admitted that he was anticipating watching Winder pitch in 2021. So far, Winder has not disappointed. He saw a tangible uptick in velocity while working out in 2020, and the upgrade has rippled throughout his entire pitch mix. The result was an utterly dominant stint at AA Wichita that saw him strike out more than 30% of the hitters he faced, walk less than 5% of them, and earn a trip to the MLB Futures Game. Batters hit a paltry .207 against him, and I can only imagine that hitters in the AA-Central North division threw an absolute rager of a party to celebrate his promotion to AAA. A shoulder injury has cut Winder’s playtime in AAA to just four meager starts, and it appears that the team is in no rush to bring Winder back in 2021; a mix of injuries and a desire to limit his innings total is the culprit here. In any case, Winder should be on everyone's radar as a starter who will make an impact in 2022. 
     
  25. Like
    nclahammer reacted to Cody Christie for an article, TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline): 16-20   
    20. IF Spencer Steer (23 years old)
    Season Stats (A+/AA): 79 G, .255/.363/.497 (.860), 19 HR, 11 2B, 2 3B, 18.9 K%, 12.7 BB%
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 16, 2021 Preseason: NA
    Steer was a 2019 third-round pick out of the University of Oregon. Steer’s drop in the rankings is more about the new players in the organization than about him having a poor performance. He started the year in Cedar Rapids, where he slashed .274/.409/.506 (915) in 45 games. The transition to Double-A has seen his OBP drop by 110 points, but he is still slugging .485. In his professional career, this is the first time he has been a year younger than the average age of the competition. At Cedar Rapids, he made nearly all his defensive starts at second base, and now he has been splitting time between second and third in Wichita.
    19. RHP Cole Sands (24 years old)
    Season Stats (AA): 48.1 IP (12 G), 2.79 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 11.9 K/9, 3.9 BB/9
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 13, 2021 Preseason: 15
    Sands immediately impacted the Twins organization after being taken in the fifth round back in 2018. While pitching at three different levels, he posted a sub-2.70 ERA with a 10.0 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9. Sands missed over a month earlier in the season, and the team has slowly been increasing his workload in recent weeks. Since coming off the IL (5 G), he has posted a 2.70 ERA while holding batters to a .190/.262/.379 slash line. His strikeout totals are up this year which is a positive since he faces older batters in over 60% of his plate appearances.

    18. OF Misael Urbina (19 years old)
    Season Stats (A): 73 G, .193/.295/.294 (.589), 4 HR, 7 2B, 4 3B, 18.6 K%, 11.4 BB%
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 15, 2021 Preseason: 14
    Urbina was signed out of Venezuela during the 2018 International Signing Period for $2.75 million. As a 19-year old, he is making his stateside debut this season, and he has only faced younger pitchers in four out of his 323 plate appearances. Even facing older competition, he has shown an advanced eye at the plate and the ability to draw walks. Defensively, he has split time between center field and left field. Urbina has some of the best tools in the Twins system, and he is a player that should move up this list in the years to come.
    17. RHP Blayne Enlow (22 years old)
    Season Stats (A+): 14.2 IP (3 G), 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 14.1 K/9, 3.7 BB/9
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 11, 2021 Preseason: 10
    Enlow, a 2017 third-round pick, made quick work of High-A to start the season as he mowed down batters with career-high strikeout rate. Unfortunately, he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery and will be out until the second half of 2022. Minnesota added pitching depth that will be ranked ahead of Enlow, but that doesn’t take anything away from his long-term potential.
    16. OF Brent Rooker (26 years old)
    Season Stats (AAA): 61 G, .239/.362/.546 (.908), 19 HR, 8 2B, 1 3B, 30.2 K%, 14.3 BB%
    Season Stats (MLB): 24 G, .168/.225/.358 (.583), 4 HR, 6 2B, 30.3 K%, 5.9 BB%
    Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 14, 2021 Preseason: 12
    Rooker was the 35th overall pick by Minnesota back in the 2017 MLB Draft, and now he’s found himself in a unique spot with the Twins. He has little left to prove at Triple-A as he has posted an OPS north of .900 in 2019 and 2021. His power might be the best in the entire Twins system, but questions remain about how regularly he can make contact. Minnesota is also concerned about him being a defensive liability, but the team has been using him in both corner outfield spots since his call-up. Following the Nelson Cruz trade, Rooker should stick in the Twins lineup for the rest of the season, so that the club can evaluate him for the long term.

    Check back this week for the rest of the Twins post-draft and post-trade deadline top-30 rankings. Feel free to discuss this group of prospects and ask questions.

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    -Prospects 21-25
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