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  1. In today’s rankings, there are some interesting names. There are a few college draft picks that had some ups and downs throughout the season, but their tool set remains quality and clear. There is a former highly ranked international free agent who came to the team in a trade and made his unexpected debut in 2021. And there is a young player that hasn’t spent a lot of time in the organization yet but who is really exciting. Here are my choices for the 6-10 hitting prospects in the Minnesota Twins organization. #10 1B Aaron Sabato 2021 STATS: .202/.373/.410, 18 2B, 19 HR, 57 RBI, 32.1 K%, 19.8 BB%, 1/1 SB Aaron Sabato was the Twins first-round draft pick (27th overall) out of the University of North Carolina in 2020. Over 83 college games, he hit .332/.459/.698 (1.158) with 31 doubles and 25 homers. He was added to the Twins depth camp at 2021 spring training and then began the season with Low-A Ft. Myers. It was certainly a struggle for him, especially in the first half of the season. Only one player in all of minor league baseball had more walks than Sabato, but he also struck out a lot more than was expected. However, late in the summer he started showing a little more power. In 85 games with the Mussels, he hit .189/.365/.357 (.722) with 15 doubles and 11 homers. He was promoted to Cedar Rapids and played in 22 games. He hit .253/.402/.613 (1.015) with eight homers. He had 92 walks and 149 strikeouts on the season, certainly more than was expected from a strong college bat. But, getting out of the former Florida State League and experiencing the success in Iowa reminds us of the immense power potential that he does have. #9 IF Edouard Julien 2021 STATS: .266/.434/.480, 28 2B, 1 3B, 18 HR, 72 RBI, 28.0 K%, 21.4 BB%, 34/39 SB Edouard Julien grew up in Quebec. Out of high school, the Phillies drafted him in the 37th round in 2017. He declined and went to Auburn where he (and teammate Will Holland) led Auburn to the 2019 College World Series. The Twins took him in the 18th round of the 2019 draft. While he really wanted to go back to Auburn, the Twins gave up fourth-round money and he decided to sign. Unfortunately, he went to Peru for the Can-Am Games but hurt his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. He likely would have missed at least half of a 2020 season either way. So, his professional debut came in May in Ft. Myers. He played 47 games and hit .299/490/.456 (.946) with 12 doubles, three homers and 21 steals (in 23 attempts). Yes, a .490 on-base percentage. He moved up to Cedar Rapids for 65 more games. He hit .247/.397/.494 (.891) with 16 doubles, 15 home runs and 13 more stolen bases. On the season, he struck out 144 times, but he led minor league baseball with 110 walks. In college, he was a power hitter and upon joining the Kernels, he showed that again. But he added the speed dimension back to his game. He’s got a great eye and with those things combined, he becomes a very intriguing prospect. We just don’t know where he is going to play. #8 IF Spencer Steer 2021 STATS: .254/.348/.484, 18 2B, 3 3B, 24 HR, 66 RBI, 21.5 K%, 11.3 BB%, 8/12 SB A southern California native, Spencer Steer headed north to the University of Oregon despite being drafted by Cleveland in the 29th round of the 2016 draft. He was a starter all three years in Eugene. He hit .349/.456/.502 (.958) with 20 extra base hits as a junior, and the Twins selected him with their third round pick. He played 20 games in Elizabethton before ending with 44 games in Cedar Rapids. Following the lost 2020 season, Steer was a late addition to the Twins depth camp during spring training in 2021. He homered in a game against the Atlanta Braves. It was a sign of things to come. In an interview with Twins Daily following the 2019 season, Steer said, “I’m not the most powerful guy, but I think I can be a guy who drives in runs. For that reason you can stick me at the top of the order and I’ll find ways on base and draw a lot of walks. I think at this level, I’m more of a top of the order guy, but that can always change as I get older and put on more weight.” He began the season with High-A Cedar Rapids and hit .274/.409/.506 (.915) with seven doubles and ten home runs in 45 games. He was promoted to Wichita where he hit .241/.304/.470 (.773) with 11 doubles and 14 more homers. As Torii Hunter would have said, his man-muscles arrived. Defensively, he played 46 games at second base, 38 games at third base and 15 games at shortstop. Asked early in the year if Steer was a future utility player, Kernels manager Brian Dinkelman said no. He thinks he can be an everyday second baseman, but they will continue playing him around the infield. Steer should start 2022 with the Wind Surge, but he could get a chance to play in St. Paul in the season’s second half. He just turned 24 in December. #7 OF Gilberto Celestino 2021 STATS: .277/.371/.423, 18 2B, 7 HR, 31 RBI, 21.8 K%, 11.4 BB%, 4/5 SB 2021 MLB STATS: .136/.177/.288, 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 22.2 K%, 4.8 BB%, 0/0 SB First and foremost, Twins fans need to realize that what they saw from Gilberto Celestino isn’t necessarily the player that he is or certainly will become. Frankly, the 22-year-old looked like a guy who had only played eight games of High-A baseball in 2019, missed all of 2020 and had just 21 games in Double-A before being called up to the big leagues. What we saw late in the year in St. Paul. We saw a guy who takes good plate appearances and is willing to walk. He can hit for some average, and he does have a little pop in his bat. Defensively, despite some nervous issues in his first stint with the Twins, he is a plus defensive outfielder, fully capable of play centerfield well. He has good (though not great) speed. He typically takes good routes, and he has a strong and generally accurate arm. Expect that he will spend most of the 2022 season at age 23 and in St. Paul. He should mostly play in centerfield, but with Byron Buxton locked in, he really should play all three outfield spots and be ready when needed. #6 OF Kala’i Rosario 2021 STATS: .277/.341/.452, 10 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 40 RBI, 31.7 K%, 9.1 BB%, 4/4 SB There were just five rounds in the 2020 draft due to the lockout. The Twins drafted Kala’i Rosario from Waiakea High School in Hawaii with their fifth round pick. It was noted that, along with Red Sox early pick Blaze Jordan, Rosario had as much power as any prep player from that draft. He signed, but of course, there was no season for him to report to Ft. Myers. In 2021, he stayed at the complex and then played most everyday for the FCL Twins once their season. With solid all-around offensive numbers, Rosario was named the Twins Daily short-season Minor League Hitter of the Year. He played in 51 games and showed off the extra base power. He also walked at a decent clip. Clearly he will need to keep working and try to reduce that strikeout rate, but the bat is legit and the power is legit. Defensively, he will be a corner outfielder. He spent about 75% of his innings in right field and the rest in left field. He also still has work to do with the glove and arm, but he does have the potential to an average corner outfielder. Obviously he has several levels to work through on his way up the organizational ladder. He’s going to be fun to watch. Presumably, he will spend the majority of the 2022 season in Ft. Myers again, this time with the Mighty Mussels. If he is able to show much power in that league (he’ll turn 20 in July) next year, his prospect status should go up even further. And if he doesn’t, but he shows an improved eye and produces more contact, it will be very exciting to see how he does when he moves up to Cedar Rapids. I think this is another interesting group. The first three listed above are college bats. Sabato certainly had his struggles early, but he came on late and his power is legit. Julien showed off all of his skills, his ability to know the strike zone and get on base, use his speed and also hit for a lot of power. Steer’s power certainly arrived and has moved up quickly. Celestino remains really young, and certainly was not at all ready for the big leagues when he was called up, but he has upside both offensively and defensively. Finally, Rosario is very young, and a long way from the big leagues, but he has a lot of potential with his bat that will be fun to watch. So there are hitting prospects 6-10. What do you think of this group? Please feel free to discuss and ask questions. And also try to guess how the Top 5 will be ranked when that is posted later this week. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Hitters Part 3: 16-20 Hitters Part 4: 11-15 Hitters Part 5: 6-10 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 3: 16-20 Pitchers Part 4: 11-15 Pitchers Part 5: 6-10
  2. Entering the 2021 season, it's not as if Miranda was a completely unknown commodity. Minnesota selected him in the second-round pack in 2016, and his first two professional seasons were spent in the rookie leagues, where he posted a .722 OPS. In 2018, most of his season was at Low-A as Miranda combined for a .760 OPS. Before the pandemic, he played at High-A and was limited to a .663 OPS. Minnesota eventually left him unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft, but he luckily stayed in the organization. Miranda's 2021 production is what an organization hopes can happen as a player develops through their system. He was a surprise player that produced big power numbers in the minor's upper levels. Here are three prospects that can follow Miranda's footsteps this year for various reasons. Power Production: Austin Martin One of the knocks against Martin throughout his professional career has been his lack of power. When the Blue Jays drafted him, he was coming off a collegiate career where he posted a 1.007 OPS. Last season, he made his professional debut and played the entire season at Double-A. In 93 games, he combined for a .796 OPS with 25 extra-base hits. Before his 30 home run explosion, there were questions about Miranda's power development. After 2021, Miranda's power concerns have been put to rest, and Minnesota hopes for the same kind of transformation from Martin in 2022. Surprise Production: Yunior Severino Initially, the Braves signed him, but MLB granted his free agency after Atlanta was punished for illegal infractions on the international market. Atlanta's loss was Minnesota's gain. Like Miranda, Minnesota left Severino unprotected from the Rule 5 Draft. Last season, he hit .273/.372/.430 (.802) between Low- and High-A. He was younger than the average age of the competition at both levels. Next season, he will be 22-years-old, and he should reach Double-A. There is a chance a team selects him in the Rule 5 Draft, but it's tough to imagine him sticking as a big-league utility player for the entire 2022 season. Upper-Level Production: Aaron Sabato Things didn't go perfectly for Sabato in his first professional season. Minnesota selected him with their first-round pick in 2020, so expectations for him entering the year were high. At Low-A, he hit .189/.365/.357 (.722) with a 117 to 73 strikeout to walk ratio in 85 games. After being promoted to High-A, he posted a 1.015 OPS with 11 extra-base hits in 22 games. Based on his college experience, Sabato should be penciled in to spend the bulk of 2022 in the upper-levels of the minors. Can Sabato duplicate his production from Cedar Rapids as he moves up the organizational ladder? Which player do you think will be this year's Miranda? Are there other players that should be on the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  3. 6-10: 10. LHP Jovani Morán 9. LHP Steve Hajjar 8. RHP Marco Raya 7. RHP Chris Vallimont 6. OF Kala’i Rosario 5. RHP Simeon Woods Richardson Predicting a breakout for a global top-100 prospect seems odd. For Woods Richardson, you could describe it as more of a bounce back. The Twins received the tall, well-regarded right-hander and Austin Martin in the blockbuster that sent José Berríos to Toronto last July. Woods Richardson had a forgettable season, posting a 5.91 ERA and 14% walk rate in just over 53 innings at Double-A. Even with those numbers, Woods Richardson used his (fluctuating) mid-90s fastball and sharp slider to strike out 77 of the 240 batters he faced. He just turned 21, and his future remains bright. 4. LF/OF Alerick Soularie The Twins picked Soularie in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft after he hit a remarkable .336/.448/.586 in 76 games at Tennessee. Soularie’s 1.068 OPS in 2019 was the third-highest mark in the SEC, behind only JJ Bleday (Marlins No. 5 prospect) and future teammate Austin Martin. Soularie’s future position is questionable, and he’ll likely fill multiple spots as he moves up the system. He was limited with a broken foot early in 2021 but returned to hit .240/.367/.360 in 34 games, mainly for Fort Myers. I’ll take the over on Soularie’s projected impact for 2022. 3. 1B Aaron Sabato It was a rough professional start for Sabato, whom the Twins selected with their first-round pick during the COVID-19 shutdown. The slugging Sabato hit just .189 for Fort Myers but buoyed it with a .365 On-Base Percentage, walking in nearly 20% of his plate appearances. The Twins promoted Sabato despite his shoddy numbers, and he responded hugely. The former North Carolina star hit .253/.402/.613 for an OPS over 1.000 in 97 plate appearances for the Kernels. He bashed eight homers in just 22 games, finally taking advantage of strikes he received for getting ahead in the count. He has a chance to move up quickly in 2022. 2. RHP Jhoan Duran Duran was undoubtedly on his way to Minnesota before an elbow injury derailed his season. Standing 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Duran is an imposing presence with the stuff to boot. He reaches 100 MPH with his fastball and pairs it with a devastating “splinker” hybrid, a pitch that should help him get both lefties and righties out in the majors. The Twins have a slew of potential threes or fours in their system. They only have a few who possess the repertoire to become a true No. 1 starter. Duran fits that bill, and it’s not out of the question that he could operate a spot in the Twins’ rotation as early as mid-2022. 1. OF Emmanuel Rodríguez It’s ill-advised to project teenagers as future stars, but if there’s one player in the Twins’ system who could warrant that excitement, it’s Rodríguez. Signed as an international free agent in 2019, Rodríguez quickly established himself during his first professional season. The 18-year-old left-handed swinger slugged .524 in 37 games for the FCL Twins. Rodríguez posted an .870 OPS despite striking out in nearly 40% of his plate appearances. More consistent contact and an adapted approach would turn Rodríguez, who plays a strong centerfield, into a true force. That could happen in 2022. Who are you most excited about? Comment below! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  4. Current First Baseman: Miguel Sano In his seventh big-league season, Sano played over 120 games for the first time in his career. Offensively, he hit at least 28 or more home runs for the third time, and he has posted an OPS+ of 105 or higher in six of his seven seasons at the MLB level. For his career, Sano has a 119 OPS+ and an .819 OPS. Last season, he made major-league history by becoming the fastest to 1,000 career strikeouts, which broke the record by 86 games. At first base, Sano is one of the worst defenders in baseball. In 2021, he posted a -5.6 SDI, and only Boston's Bobby Dalbec ranked lower than him among AL first basemen. With Nelson Cruz gone, it seems likely for Minnesota to shift to a rotational system at DH, which includes Sano getting more time at that position. 40-Man Roster Options Last season, the Twins used three different players at first base besides Sano. Alex Kirilloff and Mitch Garver both seem like logical options to get more reps at first base. Kirilloff is likely the Twins' long-term solution at first base as he should be a cornerstone of the team's line-up for years to come. In fact, Kirilloff ranked as the third-best defensive first baseman through the middle of last season. If Garver hits like last season, the Twins need him in the line-up more often, and playing him at first base allows that to happen. On the Farm Options Not all of the players listed below are guaranteed to be on the team's roster at the start of next season. Still, it offers some insight into the organization's first base depth. Minnesota has multiple first base options populating the rosters in the upper minors. The Twins signed Curtis Terry to a minor league deal in November. He'll play at Triple-A. Last season, he made his big-league debut with the Rangers and went 4-for-45 with two doubles. He has posted an OPS of .882 or higher in his last three minor league seasons while averaging over 20 home runs per season. Besides Terry, Minnesota also has a variety of catchers in the high minors that see some time at first base, including some names below. There is a trio of first base options at Double-A. Roy Morales signed out of independent baseball in March 2021, and last year he posted a .379 OPS but didn't have much power. Gabe Snyder was a 21st round pick back in 2018, and he was limited to 46 games last season as he dealt with a broken hamate. Alex Isola, a 22-year-old, split time between catcher and first base at High-A. He was younger than the average age of the competition at his level, and he hit .243/.342/.425 with 32 extra-base hits in 98 games. Aaron Sabato is probably the most highly-regarded prospect among the first base prospects because he was a former first-round pick. He struggled to start the year in his professional debut. He had just a .679 OPS at the end of June. In his final 59 games, however, he posted a .877 OPS with 17 home runs and ten doubles while also being promoted to High-A. He only played 22 games in Cedar Rapids, so he seems likely to start at that level. Like Sabato, Christian Encarnacion-Strand is another college masher with a lot of pop in his bat. Minnesota selected him in the fourth round of the 2021 MLB Draft, and he made his debut at Low-A. In 22 games, he hit .391/.424/.598 (1.022) with eight extra-base hits. These totals are very similar to what he produced at Oklahoma State, so he will be a player to watch in the years to come. Overall, Minnesota may have a new first baseman at the MLB level with a few prospects to watch during the 2022 campaign. What do you think about the organization's depth at first base? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Catcher
  5. All three of these players currently don't rank in the team's top-10 prospects. Selecting them as a breakout prospect means they have a shot at being ranked in the team's top-10 by the end of next season. Drew Strotman, RHP Current TD Prospect Rank: 14 Minnesota acquired Strotman along with Joe Ryan from Tampa in exchange for two months of Nelson Cruz. Fans saw Ryan's impact in 2021, and now they can hope for Strotman to impact the rotation in 2022. As a 24-year-old, he pitched all of 2021 at the Triple-A level, where he was three years younger than the average age of the competition. After being traded to the Twins, his ERA rose over four runs, but he pitched more than double the number of innings he had thrown in any other professional season as he returned from Tommy John surgery. Scouting reports have him with three-four pitches ready for the big leagues, which is one of the biggest reasons the Twins targeted him. Spencer Steer, INF Current TD Prospect Rank: 20 Minnesota drafted Steer in the third round back in 2019 out of the University of Oregon. During the 2019 season, he hit .280/.385/.424 (.809) with 25 extra-base hits in 64 games. As a 23-year old, he spent time at High- and Double-A this season and a hit combined .254/.348/.484 (.833) with 45 extra-base hits in 110 games. The Twins' front office has focused on college bats in previous drafts. During the 2022 season, projections have him playing at Double- and Triple-A, putting him on the doorstep to the big leagues. Both of those levels are where Miranda found success this season, and Steer will look for a similar jump next season. Aaron Sabato, 1B Current TD Prospect Rank: 22 Sabato, a 2020 first-round pick, struggled at the beginning of 2021 as he got his first taste of professional baseball. In 85 games at Low-A, he hit .189/.365/.357 (.722) with 26 extra-base hits. Also, he was over half a year older than the average age of the competition in his league. Based on his college experience, Minnesota wasn't afraid to be aggressive with him in the second half. After being promoted to High-A Cedar Rapids, he posted a 1.015 OPS with 11 extra-base hits in 22 games. Minnesota drafted him because he was known for his powerful swing, and there were signs he was starting to put it together at the end of 2021. Can he carry those changes over to 2022? Which of these prospects stands out the most to you? Who do you think will have a breakout 2022 campaign? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  6. SAINTS SENTINEL Saints 4, Cubs 3 Box Score Drew Strotman: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R/ER, BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Saints willed their way to victory Friday after being out-hit by the Iowa Cubs. St. Paul scored twice via hit-by-pitch, sandwiched between a Jimmy Kerrigan RBI single. The Saints recorded zero extra-base hits but walked four times and went 7-for-30 at the dish. Drew Strotman started and worked around eight hits and a walk en route to a quality start and win. It was Strotman’s second quality starts in his last three outings. Jason García, Chris Nunn and Vinny Nittoli combined for three scoreless innings and three strikeouts. St. Paul has a chance to take four-of-five from Iowa with a win Sunday. Andrew Albers will make the start. KERNELS NUGGETS River Bandits 2, Kernels 1 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long: 4 2/3 IP, 3 H, R/ER, 2 BB, 9 K HR: Aaron Sabato (1) Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-for-5), Jair Camargo (2-for-4) This outstanding Championship Series continued with another tight ballgame Friday. The Kernels led this series 2-1 and had plenty of opportunities to pull away and win it all in Game Four. Sawyer Gipson-Long was absolutely fantastic, striking out nine and allowing just one run on an double in the fifth. Osiris German followed that up with five strikeouts in three innings of scoreless relief. The staff gave the Kernels every chance to win. Aaron Sabato blasted a solo homer to take a 1-0 lead, but the Kernels left 23 runners on base, failing to score more than the lone run. In the bottom of the ninth, Logan Porter hit a walk-off homer to left off Zach Featherstone to force a decisive game five Sunday. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Sawyer Gipson-Long (4 2/3 IP, 3 H, R/ER, 2 BB, 9 K) Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (1-for-5, HR) PROSPECT SUMMARY #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, R, BB #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-3, BB #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, R, BB #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - IN PROGRESS (0-for-2) SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St.Paul (12:05 p.m.) - LHP Andrew Albers Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 p.m.) - TBD
  7. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. Is it just me, or was that season quick. Twenty weeks of minor league ball complete. The Saints have a couple of weeks to go, to match the Twins schedule. Wichita and Cedar Rapids begin their playoff runs on Tuesday. The Mighty Mussels and FCL Twins seasons are complete, but Tuesday also begins Instructional League. But, before we get to any of that, let's look back at Week 20 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (3-3, @ Indianapolis), overall (61-59) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (4-2, hosting Arkansas), overall (69-51) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, @ Peoria), overall (67-53) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-1, hosting Tampa), overall (60-54) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (2-3), overall (21-38) STANDINGS Triple-A East Midwest: Toledo 69-51, Omaha 66-54, St. Paul 61-59. Double-A Central North: Wichita 69-51, NW Arkansas 64-55, Arkansas 64-56. High-A Central West: Quad Cities 77-41, Cedar Rapids 67-53, Wisconsin 59-60. Low-A Southeast: Tampa 73-43, Bradenton 71-48, Ft. Myers 60-54. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week's Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: One Week To Go Baseball Down Under: The Unique Journey of Aaron Whitefield Tuesday: Woods Richardson Deals, Saints Come Marching In Wednesday: Varland Does it Again Thursday: Wichita Surges Into Playoffs, Kernels Playoff Push Friday: Kernels Edge Closer Twins 2020 Rule 5 Rewind A 32-Year-Old Rookie, Twins Promote Drew Maggi Saturday: A No-Hitter?!* Kernels Klinch with Huge Win Highlights We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week and mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 20 performances. Twins Player of the Week: Aaron Sabato, Cedar Rapids Kernels Aaron Sabato has had an up and down season, but the 22-year-old has been much improved since the beginning of August, especially with the power numbers. In the final regular-season week, Sabato hit .333/.500/.833 (1.333) with three homers. He also walked seven times and had just four strikeouts. He was terrific over the final weekend when the team needed to win. In his first pro season since the Twins made him their first-round pick in the 2020 draft out of North Carolina, he began in Ft. Myers. In 85 games, he hit .189/.365/.357 (.722) with 15 doubles and 11 home runs. In just 22 games with the Kernels, he has hit .253/.402/.613 (1.015) with three doubles and eight home runs. Overall, in 464 plate appearances, he has 92 walks and 149 strikeouts. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Louie Varland was terrific again this week. The 23-year-old from St. Paul struck out 11 batters in six innings in his start this week. He gave up just two runs (1 earned) on four hits and did not issue a walk. Varland was the team's 15th round pick in 2019 out of Concordia University in St. Paul. Varland began the season in Ft. Myers, where he pitched 47 1/3 innings over ten games (8 starts). He went 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He was promoted to Cedar Rapids, where he's made ten starts. He is 6-2 with a 2.10 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. In 103 total innings, he has struck out 142 batters while walking just 30. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints The Saints had some really strong performances, especially from bullpen types. Robinson Leyer, Ryan Mason, Vinny Nittoli, and Chris Nunn each tossed three scoreless innings over two outings. Jason Garcia tossed four innings of shutout ball in his start. Derek Law made the first start of his professional career, and he gave up just one hit and struck out six batters over four shutout innings. Also, Beau Burrows had his best start since joining the Twins organization. He gave up just one run on four hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six batters. Damek Tomscha had not been playing much recently, but this past week, he played in all six games and responded by hitting .375/.400/.708 (1.108) with three doubles, a triple, and a home run. Drew Stankiewicz also played more. In five games, he hit .385/.438/.615 (1.053) with a homer. Of course, Jose Miranda had another excellent week. He played six games and hit .357/.357/.643 (1.000) with two doubles, two homers, and eight RBI. Jimmy Kerrigan hit .400/.423/.560 (.983) with four doubles. Wichita Wind Surge The week's highlight has to be that the Wichita team clinched a playoff spot and the best record in the Double-A Central Division. They begin their championship series on Tuesday. The individual highlight probably is the performance of Simeon Woods Richardson. After two rough, unintentionally short outings, he made two appearances. He made one start and tossed three scoreless innings. On Sunday, he worked two scoreless innings out of the bullpen to prepare for the playoffs. Chris Vallimont had a nice start this week. He gave up one run on two hits over 5 2/3 innings. Cole Sands was terrific again. He tossed five scoreless innings in his start. In his past three starts, he has given up only an unearned run over 17 innings. Right-hander Hector Lujan became a first-time father, and he got four outs in a perfect outing. Melvi Acosta gave up zero earned runs on one hit over three innings. Erik Manoah pitched some big innings and was terrific. He allowed just one hit and one walk over 3 1/3 innings. He struck out five batters. Trey Cabbage had another solid week. Over five games, he hit .429/.500/.714 (1.214) with a double and a home run. Ernie de la Trinidad hit .308/.400/.615 (1.015) with a double and a big home run. Aaron Whitefield played five games and hit .375/.474/.438 (.911) with a double, three walks, and six stolen bases. Austin Martin hit .316/.480/.421 (.901) with two doubles. He also walked six times. Andrew Bechtold played in six games and hit .294/.357/.417 (898) with a double and a home run. I'm guessing a personal highlight for him was getting to catch a game. The day after the Wind Surge clinched their playoff spot and the top seed, Bechtold found himself behind the plate for a game. It is something that he has been working on throughout the season, trying to give himself more versatility. He caught the game that Cole Sands threw. There were no passed balls or wild pitches, and Sands tossed five scoreless innings. He must have done just fine. Cedar Rapids Kernels Not only did the Kernels have to finish with the second-best record in the High-A Central League, but they also had to win that spot by a game because Lake County and Great Lakes had the tiebreakers. The Kernels came up big and won their final three games to make the playoffs for the eighth time in eight seasons as a Twins affiliate. On Sunday, Aaron Rozek made the start, and the team couldn't have asked for more. He worked five shutout innings and gave up only a hit and a walk. Sean Mooney was outstanding too. He gave up one run on two walks and a hit batter over five innings. He did not allow a hit and struck out seven batters. Zach Featherstone worked in three games and had a big save. He worked 3 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings. He walked two and struck out seven batters. Osiris German also was crucial. He came into two big situations and gave up only one hit over four scoreless innings. He struck out six batters without issuing a walk. Carlos Suniaga and Tyler Watson each had a save as well. Edouard Julien hit just .231, but he posted a .964 OPS with two doubles and three home runs. DaShawn Keirsey had two home runs in Sunday's playoff clincher and three home runs this week. Matt Wallner went 7-for-23 (.304) with a double and a home run. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Fair to say that the highlight of the week was Saturday night's combined no-hitter. Regi Grace worked the first three innings. Landon Leach followed with two innings before Bradley Hanner and Matthew Swain each worked a hitless inning. Swain blew fastballs by the three hitters he struck out in the final inning. Regi Grace struck out four batters in his three innings. Since returning from the shoulder impingement, he has worked nine scoreless innings over three appearances. Brent Headrick struck out seven batters over three scoreless innings in his final start of the season. Cade Povich struck out five batters over two innings in his outing. He gave up an unearned run. John Stankiewicz had a strong start. In six innings, he gave up one run on five hits and a walk. He struck out six batters. Charlie Mack played in three games. He went just 2-for-6 (.333), but he walked five times (.636 OBP) and had a big triple. Patrick Winkel went 3-for-8 (.375) with two doubles and two walks to give him a 1.170 OPS. Mikey Perez has been fantastic since debuting a couple of weeks ago. In four games this week, he hit .444/.500/.667 (1.167) with two doubles. Willie Joe Garry hit .385/.385/.769 (1.154) with a triple and a home run. FCL Twins The FCL Twins concluded their season on Saturday morning. The highlight(s) of the week involved more players getting just a taste of pro ball before the end of the season. 2021 draft picks, right-handed pitchers Christian McLeod, Travis Adams, and Johnathan Lavallee made their pro debuts. Righty Hunter McMahon returned to the mound for a rehab appearance and struck out four batters in two scoreless innings. Mike Paredes, another 2021 pick, made another appearance and struck out five batters over two perfect innings. Wilker Reyes gave up just one hit over three scoreless innings. Kala'i Rosario ended his season strong. He went 4-for-10 (.400) with a double and a home run. Rubel Cespedes and LaRon Smith each hit a homer during the week. Lowlights St. Paul Saints Bryan Sammons struggled in his start. He was charged with seven runs on seven hits (2 HR) and three walks in 3 1/3 innings. Ian Hamilton gave up four runs on five hits and four walks over 2 2/3 innings (though he did strike out six of the eight batters he got out). Yennier Cano gave up three runs on four hits and four walks over 2 1/3 innings. Tomas Telis has been terrific again for the Saints this season. In five games last week, however, he hit .136/.208/.136 (.345). BJ Boyd hit .150/.190/.200 (.390) in five games. Wichita Wind Surge Ben Gross made two appearances, one out of the bullpen and then his first Double-A start on Sunday. Combined, he gave up nine runs (8 earned) on 11 hits and six walks in just 5 2/3 innings. Jordan Balazovic gave up four runs on four hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings. Zach Neff pitched once, but he gave up five runs (4 earned) on three hits and two walks. No player with more than five plate appearances had an OPS under .619. Cedar Rapids Kernels Cody Laweryson gave up six runs on eight hits, a walk, and a hit batter over 5 1/3 innings. Denny Bentley gave up two runs on five hits and got just four outs. Seth Gray had a tough week overall. He had two hits in 20 at-bats (.100) in six games. However, his home run on Saturday night gave the Kernels a 7-6 lead in the ninth inning. Anthony Prato went 2-for-14 (.143). Alex Isola as 4-for-22 (.182). Ft. Myers Might Mussels Jake Rucker went 0-for-9 for the week. Alerick Soularie went 1-for-14 (.071). Misael Urbina went 2-for-13 (.154), though he did have a double. 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) - 37 games, .254/.399/.381 (.779) with 8 doubles, 3 home runs, 19 RBI, 23 BB, 30 K. #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 20 GS, 97.0 IP, 98 H, 38 BB, 102 K, 3.62 ERA, 1.40 WHIP #4 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - 4 G, 3 GS, 8.0 IP, 6 H, 8 BB, 10 K, 6.75 ERA, 1.75 WHIP. #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) – 117 games, .338/.394/.565 (.959) with 28 doubles, 28 homers, 86 RBI, 39 BB, 72 K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - St. Paul (2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 17 K, 2.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP), Minnesota (3 GS, 17.0 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 14 K, 2.12 ERA, 0.53 WHIP) #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 5 GS, 21.0 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 43 K, 0.86 ERA, 0.67 WHIP (IL, elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - 2 G, 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 5.40 ERA, 1.40 WHIP. #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 60 games, .233/.296/.301 (.597) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 89 K, 5 SB (Temporary Inactive List) #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP (IL, shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 66 games, .264/.350/.508 (.858) with 14 doubles, 2 triples, 15 homers, 47 RBI, 28 BB, 98 K. #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (39 games, .310/.405/.490 (.894) with 11 doubles, 5 homers, 24 RBI, 20 BB, 33 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 10 GS, 47.0 IP, 55 H, 25 BB, 38 K, 7.28 ERA, 1.70 WHIP. #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 22 games, .238/.316/.369 (.685) with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers, 14 RBI, 9 BB, 26 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (46 games, .206/.294/.413 (.707) with 9 doubles, 8 homers, 15 RBI, 13 BB, 58 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) – 101 games, .191/.299/.286 (.585) with 12 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homers, 52 RBI, 54 BB, 82 K, 16 SB) #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 19 G, 18 GS, 80.1 IP, 59 H, 35 BB, 96 K, 2.46 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 110 games, .254/.348/.484 (.833) with 18 doubles, 3 triples, 24 homers, 66 RBI, 55 BB, 105 K) LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers Season is Complete. High-A Central League Championship Series: Cedar Rapids vs. Quad Cities: (Louie Varland, Sean Mooney, Casey Legumina, Sawyer Gipson-Long, TBD) Double-A Central League Championship Series: Wichita vs. NW Arkansas: (Jordan Balazovic, Cole Sands, Austin Schulfer, TBD, TBD): Iowa @ St. Paul: (Derek Law, Bryan Sammons, Beau Burrows, Drew Strotman, Andrew Albers): Also, Instructional League/camp starts on Tuesday in Ft. Myers for some players, particularly those who have lost time due to injury. Good luck to the Wind Surge and the Kernels this week!
  8. TRANSACTIONS INF Drew Maggi selected by Twins from AAA St. Paul Saints Sentinel St. Paul 5, Indianapolis 9 Box Score Bryan Sammons: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Tomás Telis (3-for-5), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-4, RBI) The Saints lost on Saturday. Bryan Sammons had a rough day at the office. He allowed seven runs as Indianapolis put up back-to-back four-run efforts in the 3rd and 4th innings. The score was close at times. The Saints originally took the lead in the 2nd inning thanks to singles by Sherman Johnson and Drew Stankiewicz, but that lead did not last for long. Indianapolis instantly responded with five runs over the next two innings; runs that were capped off with a bases-clearing double from Taylor Davis. Damek Tomscha brought the game within striking distance with a triple and eventually came around thanks to a balk. The good news ends there as Indianapolis piled on four more runs in the 4th inning and essentially ended the game there. Mitch Garver went 1-4 with a single and a strikeout in his rehab appearance. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 3, Arkansas 5 Box Score Austin Schulfer: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Wind Surge lost a close one on Saturday. Offensively, Wichita was limited to only singles and walks, but the team was able to scrap themselves to a few runs. Austin Martin, Aaron Whitefield, Jermaine Palacios, and Leobaldo Cabrera all stole a base on Saturday (and Palacios stole two). The steals directly to the three runs the Wind Surge scored. Three runs would not be enough to win. Austin Schulfer allowed two runs in his start, but Evan Sisk matched that total in relief of Schulfer. The Travelers tacked on another run, but that proved to just be unnecessary breathing room. Wichita put together a rally in the 9th inning as Palacios and Trey Cabbage both took walks, but Whitefield and Andrew Bechtold were unable to bring any more runners home. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 6, Peoria 3 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long: 6 1/3 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K HR: Edouard Julien (14), Aaron Sabato (8) Multi-hit games: Alex Isola (2-for-4) The Kernels won a close game on Saturday. Sawyer Gipson-Long continued his ridiculous strikeout streak by punching out eight Chiefs. He now has 134 punchies on the season, which, by my count, is pretty darn good. Gipson-Long might still fly under the radar on prospect lists, but he certainly is a name that should be kept track of. Offensively, the Kernels dominated. Only one hitter had multiple hits but that was because every other hitter was too busy taking walks. The team walked eight times with Aaron Sabato leading the way with three free passes on top of his homerun. Let’s talk about his homer. Sabato’s 5th inning shot was his eighth in 92 plate appearances with the Kernels. Over a 600 plate appearance season (a traditional full year of play), that would be good for 52 blasts. I don’t think you need me to tell you how good that is. Not to be outdone, Edouard Julien blasted his 14th homer with the Kernels in the 3rd inning. Julien has seen a dramatic boost in home runs since his promotion (three with Fort Myers, 14 with Cedar Rapids over a comparable amount of playing time), and the new power is quite intriguing. If he can find the perfect mix of discipline and power, then we may be looking at a great hitter for the Twins. Osiris German and Tyler Watson combined to end the game for Cedar Rapids with 2 2/3 clean innings of work between the two pitchers. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 5, Tampa 6 (7 innings) Box Score Jackson Hicks: 0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K HR: Willie Joe Garry Jr. (4) Multi-hit games: Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI) The Fort Myers Miracle lost their paused game on Saturday. Cade Povich took over for Jackson Hicks and performed admirably. He struck out five batters over his two innings of work without allowing an earned run. Povich now has 16 strikeouts over eight innings with Fort Myers, not a bad start at all. Fort Myers held the lead late in the game thanks to Willie Joe Garry Jr’s. two-run homer, Misael Urbina’s double, and some early-inning shenanigans from Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Kole McKinnon. The 6th inning proved to be the back-breaker, though. A single from Tyler Hardman, with the aid of a Garry Jr. error, scored the game-ending go-ahead run. The Mighty Mussels had three total errors in the game. The three errors, along with going 1-9 with RISP, proved to be too much for Fort Myers to overcome. Game two: Fort Myers 3, Tampa 0 Box Score Regi Grace: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Mighty Mussels threw a no-hitter* in game two. ...Kind of. MLB already established that a seven-inning no-hitter does not technically count, but I find that to be lame, so Fort Myers threw a no-hitter on Saturday (as declared by Matt Braun.) Regi Grace was astonishingly efficient in his start. Landon Leach, Bradley Hanner, and Matthew Swain combined to complete the game in relief of Grace. In total, the Mighty Mussels struck out 11 batters, allowed no hits (duh), and walked just one batter. That lone walk proved to be the sole blemish on the night. The Fort Myers offense, to their credit, did their part as well. Will Holland doubled home a run, Jake Rucker brought in another with a sacrifice fly, and Patrick Winkel added on with a run-scoring double. Those three runs were more than enough for the Mighty Mussels in game two. Quotes following the game: Matthew Swain, who struck out the side in the ninth inning, said, "I just focused and took it pitch-by pitch. Just trying to get strike one and eliminate hitters. Just wanted to finish out the season strong, on a good note. I had a little chip on my shoulder this game." Tonight's starter, Regi Grace, said of the group, "It's just our organizational philosophy; throw nasty (stuff) in the zone. I guess all four of us were all a little extra nasty tonight." Catcher Patrick Winkel said, "(Manager) Brian (Meyer) told us before the week, this might be the last time you guys play together, so try to have fun with it, and that's exactly what we're doing. That just comes through on the field, the level of energy and the focus we have. We're just trying to enjoy these last few days as a group. We don't know if or when we'll ever play together again. Just trying to go out on a good note." Winkel said of his pitchers, "Regi was dominating with his fastball and then going to his curveball, keeping them off balance. Leach came out and was working really fast, not giving them a chance to breathe and catching them off guard. Working down and away. Putting the ball where he wanted to put it. Hanner came in and had great energy and focus. He didn't back down. He had the top of the order, some of the best hitters in this league, and obviously Swain came in and closed the door by just blew fastballs by them." Hanner said, "I just wanted to end the season on a high note, and I can't think of a better way to do it." Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 3 (7 innings) Box Score Mike Paredes: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: Kala’i Rosario (5) Multi-hit games: Kala’i Rosario (2-for-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Gregory Duran (2-for-3, 2B) The FCL Twins won their paused game on Saturday. Technically, Kala’i Rosario kicked off the game yesterday with a monstrous first-inning home run. But, because the game did not end until today, I am commandeering the content for today’s write-up. Here it is: Mike Paredes mowed through the FCL Red Sox offense to begin the game before Chase Petty took over to carry the torch. His second professional outing resulted in three earned runs over his three innings of work-not the best performance on the surface, but he also struck out four batters. Those three earned runs turned the tide of the game against the FCL Twins as they now found themselves down by a run. The team was not finished, though. A 6th inning double-steal brought home the tying run, and a 7th inning single from Ricardo Olivar ended the game for good. The Twins and Red Sox were supposed to play a second game, but that game was canceled. Today was also the last day of the season for the FCL and it appears that the team will not make up the game on Sunday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Aaron Sabato 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) - 1-4, 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) - 1-5, 2B #7 – Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - 3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, R, 2 K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-3, 2 R, K #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 1-3, RBI, BB, 2 K #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-3, BB, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-6, R, RBI, 2B, BB, K #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Tampa @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) LHP Zarion Sharpe St. Paul @ Indianapolis (11:35 AM) RHP Drew Strotman Arkansas @ Wichita (12:05 PM) RHP Simeon Woods Richardson Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (12:35 PM) TBD
  9. Transactions Minnesota Twins select the contract of RHP Nick Vincent from Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins option LHP Andrew Albers to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins sent C Mitch Garver on a rehab assignment to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins promote IF Ernie Yake to Triple-A St. Paul from Twins Complex SAINTS SENTINEL Indianapolis 2, St. Paul 0 Box Score The Saints' never got in gear in this one, spoiling a solid pitching performance across the board. Jason Garcia got the start for Saint Paul and was effective over four full innings. He allowed four hits and walked one but did not allow a run and struck out one. Unfortunately, the Saints’ bats struggled early as well and this contest stayed scoreless until the fifth, when Indianapolis got on the board first. Now facing reliever Edgar Garcia, Indianapolis grabbed a run in the fifth off a Bligh Madris double and another in the sixth from an Ethan Paul single. Those turned out to be the only runs of the game, spurring Indianapolis to a 2-0 win. The Saints only managed multiple base runners in the first and ninth innings and didn’t score in either inning. Miguel Yajure sailed through six against St. Paul before turning it over to the bullpen that was just as effective. Gilberto Celestino had a big 3-for-3 night, but he was the only Saints hitter with more than one knock. Chris Nunn pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth innings but the damage was done during Edgar Garcia’s outing. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Arkansas 1 Box Score Fresh off clinching a spot in the playoff, Wichita gave the ball to Cole Sands and Twins Daily’s #19 prospect was dominant, as he and Kody Funderburk keyed a pitcher’s duel victory. Sands went five full innings and only allowed three hits while striking out four. He did allow three walks but did not allow any of them to score. In fact he, didn’t allow anyone to score. From there, Funderburk took over and it was as if nothing changed. Kody cruised through three hitless innings, and though he ran into some trouble and allowed a run in the ninth, he still closed out the win. On the offensive end, the Surge didn’t do a lot, but it was just enough. The first run of the game came in the second, when a Jermaine Palacios single finished off a rally that brought Leobaldo Cabrera to the plate. Hours of scoreless baseball later, Ernie De La Trinidad blasted a shot into the bullpen to grab Wichita’s second run of the game. Those runs proved to be all the Surge needed, thanks to the dominant pitching. D.J Burt and Ernie De La Trinidad had the only multi-hit games for Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 6 Box Score With a playoff berth very much in the balance, Cedar Rapids turned to Casey Legumina tonight for his debut start for the Kernels. Legumina allowed three runs and struck out seven in 4 ⅔ innings, keeping the Kernels in it and allowing their late offensive explosion to carry the day. The Kernels didn’t wait to take the lead in this one as Michael Helman came to the plate on a throwing error from Peoria third baseman Jacob Buchberger. Peoria answered in the bottom of the third with a run coming in on a Jhon Torres double, but the Kernels took their lead right back off a massive solo homer from Aaron Sabato. Unfortunately, the Chiefs took the lead for themselves in the fifth with two runs, with Torres and Pedro Pages registering RBI singles. Cedar Rapids still trailed 3-2 heading in the eighth inning, but then they decided they’d had enough of that. The offense blasted three homers in the inning for four runs to take a strong three-run lead. The bombs came from Edouard Julien, Michael Helman, and Aaron Sabato for his second of the night. However, the Chiefs took that punch and responded with one of their own in their half of the eighth. They strung together four straight hits and put up three runs to tie the game, with RBI going to Tommy Jew (2) and Tyler Reichenborn. But, as if to spit in the face of Peoria’s comeback, Seth Gray hit a go-ahead bomb to dead center to lead off the ninth inning. And, though the bottom of the ninth inning didn't go smoothly for Cedar Rapids, no runs were scored and the Kernels secured a massive win. Coming into this game, the Kernels were tied with Lake County for the second playoff spot in High-A Central and both teams were just one game up on Great Lakes with three to play. With losses tonight from both of their playoff rivals, this Kernels win gives them a one-game lead over Lake County. Cedar Rapids trails both Lake County and Great Lakes in the playoff tiebreaker, so that one-game lead is crucial as they'll need it to secure a spot against Quad Cities in the playoff. MUSSEL MATTERS Tampa 0, Fort Myers 0 (postponed top first) Box Score The Mussels were scheduled to finish last night’s postponed game against Tampa tonight. Unfortunately, the rain continued to create problems in Fort Myers and no baseball could be played today. The game that had been scheduled for today has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. The Mussels and Tarpons will play a doubleheader tomorrow, weather permitting. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Game 1: FCL Red Sox 10, FCL Twins 2 Box Score It’s Friday, so you already know that the FCL Twins lost to the Red Sox. In the first half of a scheduled doubleheader the Twins struggled on both sides of the ball, losing 10-2. The Twins only managed four hits in this one and no hitter had a multi-hit game. The runs scored on two solo homers, one from LaRon Smith in the second, and the other from Rubel Cespedes in the fifth. The Red Sox offense scored runs in all but two innings and built their substantial lead with a four-run second inning and a three-run second. On the mound for the Twins, Giovahniey German started the game and struggled, allowing five runs (four earned) in less than two innings. Control was an issue for German, as he walked three batters and allowed a run to score on a wild pitch. Danny Moreno took over from German and was better, allowing a run and striking out three in two innings of work. Cole Bellair’s 2 ⅔ innings was the longest outing of the night, though he was touched for four earned runs during his time on the bump. Ricardo Velez took care of the seventh and was the only Twins pitcher to not allow a run. Game 2: FCL Twins 2, FCL Red Sox 0 (postponed, bottom second) Box Score TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR (7) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4 #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 #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) - 0-for-5, 3 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 3-for-3, BB, 2B #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR (8) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Rained Out #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-3, BB, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (1-2, 5.49 ERA) Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (6-7, 4.37 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (2-3, 4.63 ERA) Tampa @ Fort Myers, Doubleheader (Game 1: 3:30 PM CST, Game 2 to follow) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games!
  10. TRANSACTIONS No transactions today. SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 6, St. Paul 3 Box Score Omaha touched St. Paul for four homers in this one and led wire-to-wire, taking the game 6-3. Bobby Witt Jr. got the game started for the Storm Chasers with a solo homer in the first frame, and Ryan McBroom matched his teammate three innings later to make it 2-0. Omaha added on in the sixth and Witt was involved again. The Royals’ top prospect doubled in a run and later scored on an M.J. Melendez sacrifice fly. The Saints offense finally got off the mark in the sixth, when a Gilberto Celestino double started a rally that scored two and featured an RBI each from Mark Contreras and Jimmy Kerrigan. The Saints’ momentum stopped there, though, as Robinson Leyer gave up a solo bomb to the first batter of the next inning to make it 5-2, and a second McBroom homer in the eighth stretched the Omaha lead one notch further. Tomas Telis homered in the eighth to cut the deficit to 6-3, but the Saints went down quietly in the ninth and lose to that score. Charlie Barnes got the start for the Saints tonight and made just the one mistake to Bobby Witt Jr. over 3 ⅓ innings. Barnes’ early hook didn’t seem to serve any purpose for the Saints in this game, but manager Toby Gardenhire may still have taken him out for a reason: As Seth noted in his tweet, Chandler Shepherd took over from there, but he struggled, allowing three runs in 1 ⅔ innings. Leyer allowed just a solo homer in his two innings, as did Nick Vincent in his only inning of work. Chris Nunn took the ninth and was the only Saint pitcher to not allow a run. Telis and Celestino were the Saints with multi-hit games tonight. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, NW Arkansas 3 Box Score Jordan Balazovic did a lot to confirm his title as the Twins’ top pitching prospect with a truly special outing on the mound that keyed tonight’s victory for Wichita. Balazovic allowed a run on an RBI groundout in the third, but he went six full innings, struck out five, and, most notably, did not allow a hit. Balazovic, who had thrown 88 pitches when he left the game, was showing no signs of slowing down, but manager Ramon Borrego evidently didn’t see the benefit in stretching his top asset’s limits. Still, enjoy Balazovic’s six innings of dominance: Meanwhile, the Surge offense was having quite the interesting game as well. Wichita got their first two runs in the third, thanks to Austin Martin. The Wichita star shortstop came to the plate with men on first and second and poked a weak grounder to right side, but he busted out of the box and forced an overthrow (allowing one to score), and then got in a rundown that allowed the second run to score. Just watch: In the fifth, Trey Cabbage (who else?) also drove in two runs, but in a very, very different way: The Surge added another run in the fifth off a Roy Morales single that scored Chris Williams. The Naturals got their first hits of the game in the eighth off Zach Neff, and they scored two as well. Clay Dungan doubled in Kevin Merrell and later scored on a Vinnie Pasquantino sac fly to cut the lead to 5-3. Jordan Gore was rock solid in the ninth inning, though, and put away the two-run W. After Balazovic’s six no-hit innings, Adam Lau pitched a no-hit inning of his own, though he did walk two batters. Neff allowed the two runs (and the Naturals’ only two hits) in the eighth and only managed to get two outs. Gore grabbed the last four outs of the game without allowing a base runner. Cabbage and Roy Morales had multi-hit games for the Surge. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids X, Wisconsin X Box Score This game was an absolute nail-biter until it wasn't: the Kernels explode for four runs in the ninth to take it 7-3. Matt Wallner and Aaron Sabato struck first for the Kernels with back-to-back solo homers in the top of the first: However, Sean Mooney allowed that lead to slip away immediately by allowing a three-run shot to Joey Wiemer in the bottom of the inning. In the third though, Alex Isola pumped a homer of his own well over the fence in the left center to tie the game for Cedar Rapids. Both teams built and squandered numerous chances over the middle innings of this game, but it stayed tied at three into the late innings. Like they had in the fifth, the Timber Rattlers loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, and, just like the fifth, they couldn't bring even one run across. And, unlike in the fifth, this time Wisconsin's lack of clutch hitting really hurt them. While the Timber Rattlers were likely still cursing their failures in the eighth inning, Aaron Sabato came up with a man on and blasted his second bomb of the night to give the Kernels a two-run lead. Then, not to be outdone, Isola followed up with his second homer of the night, and the Kernels still weren't done. Gabriel Maciel ripped an RBI single up the middle to make the score 7-3 and effectively seal the game for Cedar Rapids. However, seemingly just to torture themselves, the Timber Rattlers loaded the bases one more time in the bottom of the ninth, and, one more time, they failed to score. But hey, it's hard to be that upset when you're dressed like this: Other than his three-run mistake, Sean Mooney hung tough on the mound for Cedar Rapids. Those were the only runs he allowed in four innings of work and he struck out six, though he did walk three. Denny Bentley was rock solid again in his 2 ⅔ innings of work, striking out four and working around three hits and two walks. Zach Featherstone got the Kernels into trouble with three walks in the eighth, but Osiris German got them out of the eighth. German went out for the ninth, too and got two outs but was removed from the game with two runners on. Melvi Acosta came on for the last out, and walk the bases loaded before finally closing out the game. MUSSEL MATTERS Palm Beach 2, Fort Myers 0 Box Score The Fort Myers’ arms, led by Cade Povich in his second Single-A start, were excellent in this game. However, the Palm Beach pitchers were two runs better and the Mussels drop this one, 2-0. Povich, the Twins’ latest third round draft pick, was very impressive in his three innings to start this game, allowing only one hit and no runs, while striking out five Cardinal batters. Miguel Rodriguez took the middle three innings of the game, and only allowed one run, a home run off the bat of Ryan Holgate in the fourth inning. Zaquiel Puentes took over from there and allowed only one run over the seventh and eighth innings, as he, too, fell victim to Holgate, this time through an RBI single. Bradley Hanner hurled a scoreless ninth inning to finish off a solid outing from the Mussels pitching staff. Still, despite the successes of their pitchers, Fort Myers never looked like winning this game because their offense fell flat. They did get seven hits – and even loaded the bases in the fifth – but they couldn’t string knocks together and their clutch hitting was atrocious. Alerick Soularie and Mikey Perez got multi-hit games, but the Mussels’ hitters might owe the pitching staff dinner after this 2-0 loss. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Red Sox 16, FCL Twins 10 Box Score The bats came out to play for the FCL Twins tonight, but unfortunately, they came out in greater force for the FCL Red Sox and Minnesota’s complex leaguers drop this one 16-10. Leading the offense for the Twins was Carlos Aguiar, who bopped two homers for a total of four RBI, and Kala’i Rosario, who was 3-for-5 with three runs, two RBI, and a homer of his own. The Twins scored two in the top of the first, but never had the lead again despite plating seven runs over the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. They added one in the ninth, but fell well short of the offensive output from the Red Sox. Other than Aguiar and Rosario, Wander Valdez was the only other Twin with a multi-hit game. It goes without saying that it was a struggle on the mound for the FCL Twins tonight. Giovahniey German started the game and allowed seven runs (six earned) over 2 ⅓ innings. His outing was low-lighted by three different wild pitches and five walks. John Wilson replaced German and was the most effective pitcher for the Twins, allowing only two runs (one earned) in 2 ⅔ innings of work. Danny Moreno followed Wilson, but followed more in German’s footsteps as he was touched for five runs in an inning and a third. Rafael Feliz finished the game by allowing two earned run in 1 ⅔ innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, R, ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, BB, K PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4 #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, R, ER, 0 H, 2 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) - 1-for-4, K #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) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, 2 R, RBI, HR, 2 BB, K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, R, 2B, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 1-for-5, 2 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-5, 3 K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Did not play #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-4, K SATURDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (6:05 PM CST) - TBD NW Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (5-6 5.75 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (1:05 PM CST) - LHP Aaron Rozek (0-1, 4.38 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Regi Grace (1-0, 3.47 ERA) Feel free to comment and discuss tonight’s games!
  11. 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 organization’s transactions and the FCL Twins game from Monday. TRANSACTIONS There were several announced transactions on Monday’s minor league off day. RHP Jason Garcia was promoted from Wichita to St. Paul. Catcher Kyle Schmidt was promoted from Cedar Rapids to St. Paul. RHP Ben Gross was promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. RHP Sean Mooney was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. RHP Regi Grace was activated from Ft. Myers’ Injured List. LHP Cade Povich was moved from the Complex to the Ft. Myers roster. RHP Steven Cruz was placed on the 7-Day IL. (right middle finger injury) FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 3, FCL Pirates 8 Box Score The big story on the positive side in this game was another home run for outfield prospect Emmanuel Rodriguez, his ninth of the season. Rubel Cespedes hit his second triple. Noah Cardenas had a single and a walk in his two plate appearances. Wilker Reyes gave up three runs on two hits over three innings. He walked three and struck out three batters. Jackson Hicks worked the next three innings. He gave up four runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out three. Elipidio Perez gave up one run on two hits and a walk in two innings. He struck out four batters. With that, let’s look at Week 17 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (0-6, @ Toledo), overall (53-49) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (3-3, hosting Tulsa), overall (60-42) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (3-3, @ Beloit), overall (56-46) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-4, hosting Bradenton), overall (50-48) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (3-2), overall (15-27) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Debuts, Promotions and Lots of Wins Predicting Minnesota’s Next 4 Top Prospects to Debut Tuesday: Saints Begin Battle for Division Lead Wednesday: Ryan Cruises, Sabato’s Kernels Debut Thursday: Pitching, Hitting, and Everything in Between Getting Jhoan Duran Back on Track Friday: Blowouts and Pitcher’s Duels Jordan Balazovic’s Development is Critical Scouting Twins Prospects: RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long Saturday: Offensive Explosions and a Curfew-ed Game Sunday: First-Place Surge Find a Way 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 17 performances Twins Player of the Week: Trey Cabbage, Wichita Wind Surge For the second time this season, Trey Cabbage is the hitter of the week. He played all six games and hit .263/.462/.579 (1.040) with two homers and seven walks. He has had a powerful month of August and now has a combined 25 homers between Cedar Rapids and Wichita. Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He has slowly worked up the organizational ladder and is currently breaking out as the power hitter that he has always had the potential to become. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Sawyer Gipson-Long, Cedar Rapids Kernels Gipson-Long was the choice for pitcher of the week for the second time this season. The first came when he was in Ft. Myers. He was recently promoted to Cedar Rapids and has continued to pitch well. Last week, Gipson-Long went six shutout innings in his start. He gave up six hits and struck out nine without issuing a walk. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints When the team goes 0-6 for the week, it’s hard to find too many positives. However, there were a couple. Lefty Andrew Vasquez pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings over two games. He gave up just one hit, though he hit two batters. He struck out five batters. Chandler Shepherd gave up one run on two hits over 5 1/3 innings in two relief appearances. Joe Ryan gave up one run on four hits in his start. He also walked one and struck out eight batters. He now has 17 strikeouts in nine innings as a Saints starter. Randy Dobnak made a rehab start for the Saints. He gave up one run on five hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. Not a great performance, but on Sunday, Rocco Baldelli said that Dobnak’s next appearance will be in the big leagues. Later, it was announced that Dobnak will start on Friday for the Twins. Drew Maggi continues to be very productive and sure would be a fun story to see him called up to the Twins in September. In five games last week, he hit .429/.500/.571 (1.071) with a triple. Wichita Wind Surge First highlight is that Twins Photographer Brace Hemmelgarn spent some time in Wichita last week and got some great photos! Jordan Gore continues to impress. Last week, he pitched in three games. In four innings, he gave up no runs, no hits, walked none and struck out five. He was 2-for-2 in save opportunities. Adam Lau pitched three scoreless innings over two appearances. He gave up no hits, walked none and struck out three. Evan Sisk had a good week. He tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out three. He may not play a lot, but Leobaldo Cabrera had another impressive week. In three games, he went 3-for-7 with a triple, two homers and five walks. His OPS for the 12 plate appearances was a fun 2.238. Austin Martin played in all six games and hit .280/.333/.600 (.933) with two doubles, two homers and seven RBI. Cedar Rapids Kernels Denny Bentley, Andrew Cabezas, Osiris German, and Tyler Palm each threw two scoreless innings. In four innings, Melvi Acosta gave up two unearned runs on just one hit in four innings. He struck out four. Ryan Shreve gave up an unearned run over 3 1/3 innings.. He also recorded a save. Cody Laweryson gave up one run on four hits and a walk in five innings. Wander Javier played in four games and hit .462/.500/1.000 (1.500) with a double and two home runs. Yunior Severino hit .294/.429/.529 (.958) with two doubles and a triple. Aaron Sabato played in five games. He had four hits, two doubles and two home runs and a 1.000 OPS. Alex Isola started the week 0-for-11, but his 5-for-5 performance on Sunday included a home run. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Casey Legumina made two appearances. He gave up one run on two hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out seven batters. Sean Mooney struck out ten batters in four innings. He gave up one earned run and just two hits. John Stankiewicz gave up just one hit over four scoreless innings in his start. He walked one and struck out five batters. Will Holland played six games and hit .444/.524/.556 (1.079) with two doubles. Christian Encarnacion-Strand played his first six games as a pro ballplayer. He hit. 292 with a double and two home runs. FCL Twins Lefty Samuel Perez pitched twice. In 4 1/3 scoreless innings, he gave up two hits, walked none and struck out four batters. 2021 draft picks Cade Povich and David Festa made their pro debuts. Each gave up one hit over two scoreless innings. Danny Moreno gave up only a hit and a walk over 2 1/3 shutout innings. Elipidio Perez struck out eight batters in five innings. He gave up one run on three hits and three walks. 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 Lefty Chris Nunn pitched twice. He recorded four outs and gave up five runs (4 earned) on three hits and five walks. Drew Strotman went 2 2/3 innings in his start. He gave up six runs on three hits and six walks. Ian Hamilton also pitched twice during the week and recorded four outs. He gave up four runs (3 earned) on four hits and two walks. Beau Burrows made two starts. In eight innings, he gave up ten runs on six hits (3 HR) and eight walks. BJ Boyd spent his first week with the Saints. He played in five games, a couple of times as a pinch hitter. He went 1-for-16 (.063). Jimmy Kerrigan played in all six games and hit .182/.217/.172 (.399) with 11 strikeouts in 23 plate appearances. Trevor Larnach went 2-for-14 (.143). Ben Rortvedt went 3-for-16 (.188) with eight strikeouts, though he was also promoted to the Twins on Sunday to back up Ryan Jeffers while Mitch Garver is on the IL. Wichita Wind Surge Lefty Zach Neff pitched 3 2/3 innings over two appearances. He gave up five runs on six hits (2 HR), hit two and walked two batters. DJ Burt played in five games and went 1-for-15 (.067) with seven strikeouts. Cedar Rapids Kernels Zach Featherstone had a rough week. He pitched twice and gave up three runs on two hits, both home runs, in 1 2/3 innings. He walked two also. Ben Gross gave up six runs on ten hits in five innings. Jair Camargo went 1-for-10 (.100) on the week. Matt Wallner went 2-for-19 (.105). Jeferson Morales had just two hits in 16 at bats (.125), but both hits were home runs. Aaron Sabato had a 1.000 OPS and four extra base hits. He also had 11 strikeouts in 18 at bats. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Juan Pichardo recorded four outs in his appearance. He gave up seven runs on six hits and two walks. Miguel Rodriguez returned from the IL to make a start. In one inning, he gave up four runs on four hits and three walks. Landon Leach was charged with nine runs (4 earned) on four hits, two hit batters and four walks in 2 2/3 innings. In two appearances, Matt Mullenbach gave up seven runs (6 earned) on 13 hits in five innings. Keoni Cavaco played in four games and went 1-for-14 (.071) with six strikeouts. Kyler Fedko went 1-for-11 (.091) with a double. Charles Mack went 2-for-13 (.154) with eight strikeouts in 13 at bats. TRENDING STORYLINE Originally, the minor leagues were not going to have any playoffs in 2021. Because the minor league regular season started a month later, the thought was that all teams being able to play two or three more weeks of games, rather than just a few teams getting a few extra games. Soon after the season started, minor league baseball reversed course. Low-A, High-A and Double-A will all have Best of 5 playoff series between the top two teams in each league, regardless of division. There will be no playoffs in Triple-A this year. The Triple-A teams will continue their normal schedule so that players can continue to play games and be ready for a call-up if needed. At Double-A, Wichita is currently five games ahead of Arkansas and Tulsa atop the division. In the High-A Central, Cedar Rapids is currently in second place, 12 games behind Quad Cities. However, they are eight games ahead of third-place Beloit. In the Low-A Southeast West Division, the Mighty Mussels are 16 games behind first place Tampa, and 11 games behind second-place Bradenton. 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) - 23 games, .267/.417/.442 (.858) with 6 doubles, 3 home run, 17 RBI, 14 BB, 25 K. #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 16 GS, 77.0 IP, 79 H, 30 BB, 83 K, 3.62 ERA, 1.42 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) – 101 games, .336/.397/.572 (.969) with 25 doubles, 25 homers, 75 RBI, 37 BB, 66 K #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - 2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 17 K, 2.00 ERA, 0.78 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) – 58 games, .236/.295/.306 (.600) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 24 RBI, 17 BB, 84 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) – 49 games, .260/.338/.505 (.843) with 10 doubles, 2 triples, 11 homers, 35 RBI, 19 BB, 73 K. #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (23 games, .289/.385/.506 (.891) with 6 doubles, 4 homers, 17 RBI, 12 BB, 19 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 6 GS, 26.2 IP, 31 H, 16 BB, 20 K, 7.09 ERA, 1.76 WHIP. #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 10 games, .243/.310/.378 (.688) with two doubles, 1 homer, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 12 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) – 88 games, .188/.293/.287 (.580) with 9 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homers, 49 RBI, 46 BB, 69 K, 12 SB) #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 15 G, 14 GS, 58.1 IP, 47 H, 26 BB, 78 K, 2.93 ERA, 1.25 WHIP #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 92 games, .261/.361/.511 (.872) with 15 doubles, 2 triples, 23 homers, 56 RBI, 48 BB, 84 K) LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers @ Daytona: (AJ Labas, Bullpen Game, John Stankiewicz, Casey Legumina, Cade Povich, Regi Grace): Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids: (Louie Varland, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Cody Laweryson, Sean Mooney, Aaron Rozek, Tyler Watson): Wichita @ Arkansas: (Jordan Balazovic, Chris Vallimont, Cole Sands, TBD, TBD, Jordan Balazovic) St. Paul @ Columbus: (Jason Garcia, Joe Ryan, Chandler Shepherd, Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows, Charlie Barnes): Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  12. TRANSACTIONS: C Ben Rortvedt recalled to the Minnesota Twin LHP Charlie Barnes optioned to the St.Paul Saints SAINTS SENTINEL Game one: Mud Hens 10, Saints 9 Box Score Drew Strotman: 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 R/ER, 6 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (2-for-7, 2B, 2 RBI, R), Tomás Telis (3-for-7, 2B, R), Gilberto Celestino (3-for-7, RBI, R), Ben Rortvedt (2-for-6, RBI, R), Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-5, 2 R, BB), Drew Maggi (3-for-4, R, 2 RBI) This wild affair finally finished Sunday afternoon, unfortunately in a loss for St. Paul. The game was halted Saturday night in the 14th inning due to curfew. No inning could start after 1:30 am local time. Drew Strotman started and once again struggled with his command. Strotman has walked nearly 13% of batters he’s faced since being traded to the Twins. Offensively, the Saints got plenty. Eight of their nine starters recorded a hit and three recorded three hits each. The Saints issued 14 walks and pitched with runners in scoring position 27 times. Game two: Mud Hens 9, Saints 8 Box Score Beau Burrows: 4 IP, 4 H, 8 R/ER, 4 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (2-for-5, RBI), Tomás Telis (2-for-5, RBI), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-5, 2 R), JT Riddle (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB), David Bañuelos (2-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI) This one came down to the wire with the tying run on second in the ninth. Jose Miranda and Tomás Telis each drove in a run with singles in the eighth, but the Saints couldn’t get Miranda back to the plate in the ninth. Twins fans may need to get used to watching Riley Greene do damage. The top Tigers prospect blasted a two-run homer off Beau Burrows in the first. Greene is ranked as the No. 7 prospect in baseball via MLB Pipeline. His teammate, Spencer Torkelson, is ranked No. 4. The Saints fell to 53-49 after the losses. WIND SURGE WISDOM Surge 8, Drillers 6 Box Score Austin Schulfer: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 3 BB, 4 K HR: Austin Martin (3), Leobaldo Cabrera (9), Caleb Hamilton (8) Multi-hit games: Martin (3-for-4, HR, 2B), Cabrera (2-for-3, HR, 3B, 3 R, RBI, BB), Aaron Whitefield (2-for-4, 2 2B, R, RBI) The Drillers got out to a 2-0 lead before Austin Martin hit his second homer in as many days. Martin is six for his last nine with two homers, a double and five runs driven in. Leobaldo Cabrera stayed hot with a triple and a homer. Cabrera entered the game hitting .255/.371/.509 in 35 games with the Wind Surge. Austin Schulfer came into the game with a 2.84 ERA over his last four starts. He battled through five hits and three walks in Sunday’s win, providing five innings. Schulfer’s ERA on the season rose to 4.38. The first-place Surge have shown incredible fight and tenacity, especially over the last few weeks. The offense is clicking on all cylinders and Martin’s ability to sparkplug at the top of the lineup is benefitting the group. KERNELS NUGGETS Snappers 9, Kernels 8 Box Score Aaron Rozek: 3 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: Aaron Sabato 2 (2), Alex Isola (11), Jeferson Morales (4) Multi-hit games: Sabato (2-for-4, 2 HR, BB), Isola (5-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) Alex Isola was three for his last 28 entering Sunday’s game. He turned it around in a big way. Isola homered in his first at-bat, drove in a run with a single in his second, singled in his third and singled again in his fourth. Oh, and he singled again in the 10th inning. Aaron Sabato also had a great day at the dish, hitting his first two home runs for the Kernels. Sabato earned a promotion after a hot start to the month in Fort Myers. He’s now hit nine homers in 19 August games. The Kernels are 56-46 after the walk-off. They still sit 11 games behind the Quad Cities powerhouse (67-33) in the High-A Central. MUSSEL MATTERS Marauders 22, Mussels 5 Box Score Landon Leach: 2 2/3 IP, 4 H, 9 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K HR: Christian Encarnación-Strand (2) Multi-hit games: Jesús Feliz (2-for-4, RBI), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, R) Yes, you read that right. The Mussels gave up 22 runs while allowing zero home runs. The Marauders went 21-for-49 (.429) with eight doubles and 20 runs driven in. Bradenton went 14-for-30 (.467) with runners in scoring position. It was a hitting clinic. It was out of character for the Mussels to pitch so poorly considering they have the second-lowest ERA (4.03) in the Low-A Southeast. Third baseman Christian Encarnación-Strand, the Twins’ fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, hit a solo homer in the ninth. He’s recorded a hit in all six games since debuting. Struggles continued this week for Twins’ top prospects Keoni Cavaco and Misael Urbina. Cavaco went 1-for-14 with a single and no walks while Urbina went 3-for-18 with three singles and five walks. Both are sporting an OPS at .600 or below. COMPLEX CHRONICLES The FCL Twins did not play Sunday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Adam Lau (1 ⅔ IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 2 K, 0 BB) Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Alex Isola (5-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) 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) - 3-for-4, HR, 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 (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 4-for-12, 2B, 3 RBI, R #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - 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) - 0-for-4, RBI, R #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) - 3-for-7, RBI, R #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - No game #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-4, 3 K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-for-3, BB #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, R, RBI
  13. TRANSACTIONS IF Zander Wiel was activated from the St. Paul Injured List and released from the Twins organization SAINTS SENTINEL Toledo 4, St. Paul 2 Box Score Joe Ryan took the ball for the Saints tonight and continued his impressive performance since joining the Twins organization. He worked five innings and allowed just a single run on four hits and a walk. Continuing to rack up strikeouts, he punched out eight on the evening. Luke Farrell began his rehab stint for the Twins and worked 1 2/3 innings giving up two runs on two hits but did strike out three batters. Mark Contreras tallied St. Paul’s first runs on a two-run blast in the 6th inning. His 13th homer of the year scored Byron Buxton and gave the Saints a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, Toledo took the lead back in the 7th, and top prospect Spencer Torkelson launched his first homer for the Mud Hens in the 8th. Contreras contributed a multi-hit effort and was joined by the rehabbing Buxton who was also 2-for-4. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 3, Wichita 2 Box Score The Wind Surge sent Tyler Beck to the bump tonight, and he contributed 5 2/3 of solid work. Giving up three runs on four hits, he was burned by the longball with three leaving the yard. Beck did record six strikeouts on the evening to balance out the three free passes. Wichita kicked off the scoring in the 4th inning when Trey Cabbage homered for the 15th time with Wichita, his 24th overall this season. The 1-0 lead was erased in the 5th inning before Tulsa added two more runs in the 6th inning. Roy Morales looked to make things interesting when he plated Chris Williams in the 7th inning, but that’s when the rally fell short. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1: Beloit 3, Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score It was Louie Varland’s turn in the rotation tonight, and he put up a solid effort. Working five strong innings allowing just two runs on six hits, he limited the damage by fanning five and walking just one batter. Cedar Rapids trailed after the 1st inning, but it was Wander Javier who singled to drive in Aaron Sabato and tie things up in the 2nd inning. Mustering just two more hits the rest of the way, Beloit’s additional two runs were never matched. No one recorded a multi-hit effort for the Kernels in this one, but Sabato did register his first hit, a double, in his first at bat. Game 2: Cedar Rapids 6, Beloit 4 Box Score Looking to split the doubleheader the Kernels turned to Tyler Watson in the nightcap. He lasted only four innings, but gave up just three runs on two hits and two walks. Watson did strike out two batters but was burned by a home run. Derek Molina worked two innings in relief and earned his seventh win of the season. Cedar Rapids jumped out to the early lead in this one after Wander Javier jacked a solo shot, his 11th of the season, in the 2nd inning. Trailing following a 4th inning three-run blast, the Kernels went to work in the 6th inning. Javier started the scoring again by driving in Sabato with a single. Jeferson Morales then crushed a three-run homer to score Seth Gray and Javier while recapturing the lead and providing some distance. Edouard Julien doubled up the Snappers score when his single allowed Gabriel Maciel to score the sixth run for Cedar Rapids. This was an equal effort with only Javier providing two hits on the evening. Sabato did hit his second double in as many games, and started his High-A exposure by going 2-for-6 in the doubleheader. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1: Bradenton 7, Fort Myers 0 Box Score Fort Myers went with a bullpen effort in this one as Casey Legumina took the ball in the 1st inning. He struck out two batters and walked one but left the inning unscathed. Unfortunately, Bradenton put up a three spot in the third inning, and with a run in between, replicated that in the 6th inning. The Mighty Mussels mustered just two hits in the front half of the doubleheader, and it wasn't going to be enough to catch the Maurauders. Game 2: Fort Myers 12, Bradenton 1 Box Score Matt Mullenbach was on to make his Low-A debut and worked four innings, allowing just one run on six hits while punching out four batters. Despite this one going into the early hours of Thursday morning, he was as sharp as can be expected. Charles Mack scored on a 2nd inning wild pitch to give Fort Myers their first lead before Patrick Winkel drove in Justin Washington in the 3rd inning. The Mighty Mussels were flexing again in the 4th inning as Alerick Soularie drove in Washington and Will Holland to double up their output. In the 7th inning, still leading 4-1, Fort Myers added on in a big way for good measure. Jesus Feliz hit his sixth homer of the season, a three-run blast, that pushed the lead to six. A bases loaded walk for Willie Joe Garry scored Mack, and a Holland Single scored Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Washington worked the second bases loaded walk of the inning, and that was followed by walks for Soularie and Winkel. The Mighty Mussels added eight total in the frame, and four came by way of the free pass. Soularie, Winkel, and Holland all posted multi-hit efforts on the nightcap that stretched into the early morning hours. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Scheduled day off TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 4 H, R, ER, BB, 8 K Hitter of the Day - Mark Contreras (St. Paul) - 2-4, R, 2 RBI, HR(13) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, BB, 2 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) - 1-5, 2B, K #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 4 H, R, ER, BB, 8 K #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - No game #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-3 #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-6,BB, 3 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-1, K (PH) #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) - 0-3, K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (5:35 PM CST) - RHP Randy Dobnak (0-1, 3.38 ERA) Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (4-2, 3.42 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (1-1, 3.27 ERA) Bradenton @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 1.08 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games
  14. Minnesota Twins Top 30 Prospects 30. Marco Raya, RHP: Four-pitch mix has the Twins excited about his future. 29. Jovani Moran, LHP: Dominant change-up has him close to the big leagues. 28. Steve Hajjar, LHP: 2021 Second Round Pick that led the Big 10 in Ks. 27. Wander Javier, SS: Five-tool potential that hasn’t put it all together yet. 26. Alerick Soularie, 2B: One of the best athletes in the Twins system. 25. Chris Vallimont, RHP: Has dynamic stuff, but can his command improve? 24. Louie Varland, RHP: Had dominant stretches at Low- and High-A this season. 23. Nick Gordon, UTL: May have a bright future as a true utility man. 22. Aaron Sabato, 1B: 2020 First Round Pick, whose power is now showing up. 21. Edouard Julien, INF: An on-base machine with some pop and defensive flexibility. 20. Spencer Steer, INF: Powerful infielder with college experience. 19. Cole Sands, RHP: Striking out nearly 12 batters per nine at Double-A. 18. Misael Urbina, OF: Showcasing advanced approach even against older competition. 17. Blayne Enlow, RHP: Tommy John surgery will keep him out until 2022. 16: Brent Rooker, OF: Already 26-years old, but has the system's best power tool. 15. Noah Miller, INF: 2021 Compensation Pick that will take time to develop. 14. Drew Strotman, RHP: Intriguing repertoire of major league quality pitches. 13. Gilberto Celestino, OF: Rushed to the MLB level this year but has plenty of tools. 12. Matt Wallner, OF: High strikeout guy with light-tower power. 11. Josh Winder, RHP: He struck out more than 30% of batters he faced at Double-A. 10. Keoni Cavaco, SS: 2019 First Round Pick with five-tool athleticism. 9. Chase Petty, RHP: 2021 First Round Pick with an electric fastball. 8. Matt Canterino, RHP: Recently returned from injury and racking up strikeouts. 7. Joe Ryan, RHP: Acquired for Cruz, he figures to be in the mix for the 2022 rotation. 6. Jose Miranda, 3B: Likely the organization’s minor league player of the year. 5. Jhoan Duran, RHP: Has immense potential if he can stay healthy. 4. Simeon Woods-Richardson, RHP: Newly acquired pitcher is very young for Double-A. 3. Jordan Balazovic, RHP: Strikeout rate is improving. Triple-A might be his horizon. 2. Austin Martin, SS/CF: Newly acquired prospect is an OBP machine, but will the power come? 1. Royce Lewis, SS: Has one of the highest ceilings of any prospect in baseball. DEBATE AT THE TOP Austin Martin will be ranked higher than Royce Lewis on many national prospect lists, especially with Lewis missing the entire 2021 season. Both players have tremendous potential, but they each come with their own flaws. Martin’s stock might have been low when the Twins dealt for him. He has been getting on-base over 40% of the time this season, but the power he showed in college hasn’t shown up during his pro career. Defensively, he has a lot of flexibility, but that also means there are some questions about his defensive future. Lewis dominated the 2019 Arizona Fall League, but this came on the heels of a season where he struggled offensively at High-A and Double-A. He made strides at the team’s alternate site in 2020, and then a fluke injury put him on the sidelines for all of 2021. Like Martin, there are questions about his defensive future, but he has the athleticism to play in multiple spots. Overall, Lewis may have the higher ceiling, and Martin has the higher floor. MOVEMENT ON THE LIST Because of the influx of new prospects, most prospects on this list dropped from their midseason rankings. Jordan Balazovic and Jose Miranda are two prospects that have seen their stock rise the most during the 2021 season. Miranda has been dominating the upper levels of the minors this season, and he should make his big-league debut before the season’s end. Balazovic started the year on the IL, but he has been healthy since then, and his strikeout rate continues to rise. One of the most significant drops this season has been Aaron Sabato. When the Twins drafted him in 2020, scouting reports touted his powerful swing and advanced approach. His power hadn't made much of an appearance in his first professional season as he was limited to four home runs entering August. Now, he's clubbed six home runs in eight August games. If he continues this powerful pace, there's certainly potential for him to move up this list during the offseason. TOP 30 POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN C- 0 IF- 10 OF- 5 RHP- 13 LHP- 2 Back in February, Nick identified two deficiencies in the Twins system, high-level infield talent, and left-handed pitching. Minnesota has seen some changes in those two categories this season. Austin Martin adds to the team’s high-level infield talent even if he ends up at second base. Jose Miranda’s emergence also adds to the team’s long-term infield plans. As far as left-handed pitchers, there weren’t any on the Twins Daily Top-20 list entering the season, and there weren’t any in the top-20 listed above. However, Jovani Moran (29th) looks like he can be a dominant big-league reliever. Steve Hajjar brings in college experience with the potential to move quickly through the minors. What are your thoughts on the changes to the team’s top prospects? How do you feel about the system as a whole? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion
  15. TRANSACTIONS The Wichita Wind Surge removed Simeon Woods-Richardson from the Temporary Inactive List as he returned from Team USA action. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 11, Indianapolis 9 Box Score Making his third start since coming to the Twins organization, Drew Strotman was on the bump for the Saints tonight. He worked six innings allowing five runs on six hits. He did strike out seven while walking just two. Behind 2-0 after one, Keon Broxton put the Saints on the board with their first run on a sacrifice fly, scoring Drew Maggi. Trailing 4-1 in the 4th inning, Jimmy Kerrigan brought St. Paul back within one launching his 14th home run of the year, this one a two-run shot, scoring Maggi once again. St. Paul took their first lead of the game in the 5th inning. A Nick Gordon double play allowed David Banuelos to score, and a Gilberto Celestino two-out double drove in Tomas Telis and moved the tally to 5-4 good guys. Kerrigan then homered in the 6th inning, his second of the night, and St. Paul doubled their lead. Unfortunately the 6th inning also saw Indianapolis take things over against lights out Saints reliever, Jovani Moran. Telis quickly bailed out the stud pen arm though, as a 7th inning double scored Gordon and drew things back even at 7. This one went to extras and things continued to be bonkers. The Saints scored two in the top half of the 10th on a Telis single and a Kerrigan ground out, but Indianapolis answered with two of their own in the bottom half. Needing to score in the 11th with hopes of a victory, St. Paul got heroics from none other than the man himself, Jose Miranda. Minnesota’s most prolific offensive prospect in 2021 blasted a two-run homer to give the Saints an 11-9 victory. Multi-hit efforts in this one came from Miranda, Telis, and Kerrigan. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 10, Tulsa 5 Box Score Bryan Sammons was tonight’s starter for the Wind Surge, and he was nails. Going five strong, he allowed just a single hit and one walk while punching out five batters. It was nothing short of dominant in a start where offensive run support was in excess supply. Wichita kicked things off in a big way during the first inning. Roy Morales hit his first homer of the season. He was followed by dingers from Spencer Steer (10th with Wind Surge, 20th overall) and Jermaine Palacios (17). Before the first three outs were recorded, the Wind Surge led 3-0. B.J. Boyd then got into the act with his ninth dinger, a solo shot in the third inning, and followed it up with a three-run blast in the 4th inning. Allowing Tulsa to come back in the 7th inning, Wichita's lead was decreased to just three at 8-5 entering the 8th inning. In the 9th though, they got some breathing room. Newly-acquired Austin Martin hit his first home run for the Twins organization, and Trey Cabbage went yard for his 11th home with the Wind Surge (20th overall). With the lead back up to five runs, the Wind Surge slammed the door and put a bow on this one. Boyd, Morales, Cabbage, and Palacios all had two-hit efforts for the Wind Surge tonight. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Peoria 4 Box Score Ben Gross got the call tonight for Cedar Rapids, and he was nothing short of amazing. Going six innings, he allowed just two runs on six hits, he punched out a whopping 13 batters while walking just one. Cedar Rapids struck first as Edouard Julien blasted a home run on a 3-0 pitch in the 3rd for his eighth homer since joining the Kernels. Jeferson Morales then singled in Yunior Severino and Matt Wallner to put the Kernels ahead 3-0. After giving two runs back in the 4th inning, Cedar Rapids had another answer. Seth Gray hit his eighth homer to make it 4-2, and Max Smith singled in Wander Javier extending the lead to 5-2 after five innings. Things got tight late with Peoria plating two in the 8th, but Zach Featherstone was able to slam the door and record his eighth save of the season. Both Gray and Morales had two hits on the evening. MUSSEL MATTERS Bradenton 8, Fort Myers 2 Box Score Dealing with some errant command tonight, Landon Leach gave up three runs without allowing a hit for the Mighty Mussels. The three walks and five hit batters (Yes, five!) burned him, but he did battle for two strikeouts on the evening. Fort Myers jumped out to an early lead on the scorching bat of Aaron Sabato. His first inning dinger was his ninth of the season and gave the Mighty Mussels a 1-0 lead. They trailed 5-1 entering the 8th before Sabato plated Misael Urbina while grounding into a double play. Bradenton then added another three runs in the bottom of the 8th and the deficit grew to six. The Mussels scattered four hits on the evening, but no one recorded more than one. Sabato continues to swing a hot stick, and he’s pushed the OPS to .711 despite a .191 average on the year. COMPLEX CHRONICLES No Game Scheduled TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Ben Gross (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 13 K Hitter of the Day - Jimmy Kerrigan (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 HR(15) PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-5, R, 2 RBI, BB, K, HR(10) #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-4, K #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-4, RBI, BB, 2 K #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder impingement) #9 - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) - 1-4, R, RBI, HR(9), K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, RBI, BB, 2 K #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) - 5.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #14 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-4, 4 K #15 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-4, R, K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, R, 2 K #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) - No game #19 - Edwar Colina (rehab) - Injured List (elbow) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - Did not pitch THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05PM CST) - RHP Chandler Shepherd (5-5, 5.88 ERA) Wichita @ Tulsa (7:05PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (4-4, 4.99 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland (2-0, 0.83 ERA) Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:05PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (2-1, 5.31 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  16. Keep reading to find out how all your favorite Minnesota Twins prospects fared in Tuesday nights series opening action! TRANSACTIONS The Minnesota Twins selected the contract of 35-year old RHP Nick Vincent from the St. Paul Saints, and optioned RHP Beau Burrows back to triple-A. St. Paul released 1B Roberto Pena and RHP Rob Whalen, while calling up LHP Chris Nunn from Wichita and activating RHP Joe Ryan, fresh off his stint with the United States Olympic team. In double-A, the Wind Surge released RHP Joe Kuzia and activated RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, also recently returned from the Olympics in Tokyo. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 8, Indianapolis 9 Box Score St. Paul and Indianapolis traded leads a few times on Tuesday with big innings, but the Saints came out on the losing end with two-outs in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a walk-off blast. Starting for the Saints was left-hander Andrew Albers, and while he finished five frames, one of those big innings for Indy was the fifth, where they scored five to take a 7-4 lead. In all, Albers allowed seven runs (three earned) on six hits while striking out four on the game. After Indianapolis took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third thanks to a home run, St. Paul answered with a three-run top of the fourth behind back-to-back jacks from Gilberto Celestino and Ben Rortvedt. Celestino’s was of the two-run variety to tie the game. Nick Gordon added an RBI single in the fourth to give the good guys a 4-2 lead before the big five-run inning for the bad guys. The recently claimed Ralph Garza Jr. also made his second appearance with the organization to start the sixth inning and went two scoreless frames. He hit one batter and struck out two. The Saints offense tied the game at seven in the seventh inning with another three-run frame. Three straight singles from JT Riddle, Jose Miranda, and Nick Gordon plated the first run of the inning. That was followed by a hit-batter to load the bases, then a walk to Celestino and another hit batter to score the other two runs. St. Paul took the lead 8-7 in the eighth frame thanks to a Tomas Telis RBI single. Yennier Cano was summoned from the bullpen to start the eighth inning and recorded five outs, including three strikeouts, until major leaguer Michael Chavis stepped to the plate with a runner on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Chavis didn’t miss the first pitch he saw, sending a middle-out fastball over the fence in left-center for the walk-off win. Cano was charged with the blown save and loss in allowing the two runs on three hits and two walks in his 1 2/3 innings pitched. The Saints got multiple hits on the night from six hitters in their lineup, including Miranda (2-for-5, R, K), Gordon (2-for-5, R, RBI, 2 K, SB), Telis (2-for-5, R, RBI), Celestino (2-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, K), Drew Maggi (2-for-4, 2B, BB, SB), and Riddle (2-for-4, 3 R, 2B). WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, Tulsa 1 Box Score Coming off a pair of outings where he allowed six earned runs in each, starting pitching Jordan Balazovic was looking to get back on track like he’d been when he delivered 25 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings earlier in the year. Mission accomplished. Balazovic started a new streak with six shutout innings, scattering five singles and zero walks, along with punching out four Drillers. He finished his game after 87 pitches, with 59 going for strikes (67.8%), including thirteen swinging. He was up to 97 MPH on the radar gun with his fastball during the game in picking up his fourth win of the season. After a pair of singles in the first, he faced one batter over the minimum through the fifth inning, retiring six men in a row before an error in the third, and then seven in a row after a leadoff single in the fourth. The Wind Surge offense spotted Balazovic a nice lead before he even took the mound, when cleanup hitter Trey Cabbage clubbed 19th home run of the season (10th in double-A) in the top of first, a three-run shot that left the stadium. That was it for the offenses on both teams until the late innings, when Wichita added a couple of insurance runs thanks to an errant throw on a steal attempt in the seventh, and an Ernie De La Trinidad solo home run in the ninth. Jason Garcia was the first man out of the bullpen to start the seventh, but recorded only one out before being lifted as he loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter. Jordan Gore escaped that jam by inducing a double play ball to end the inning with the shutout still intact. Back out for the eighth, the Drillers finally got on the board with a solo homer, but Gore also struck out two in the frame. Erik Manoah Jr. came on in the ninth for his Double-A and Wichita debut and delivered a scoreless frame. He gave up one walk and struck out two. While there were no hitters to collect more than one hit in the game, there were five different batters who scored a run for the Wind Surge and four who reached base twice via a walk or hit-by-pitch (Austin Martin, Roy Morales, Cabbage, Aaron Whitefield). Spencer Steer added a double to the effort and Whitefield stole his 22nd base of the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Peoria 7 Box Score The Kernels offense was outhit 10-3 by the Chiefs in this one, and the final scoreboard reflected that disparity. Starter Tyler Watson was roughed up in the third inning for five earned runs before his night came to an early end with one out. In 2 1/3 innings, he allowed six hits, walked two, and struck out four. Andrew Cabezas came on from the bullpen and allowed two inherited runners to score in addition to one of his own in the fourth to put Peoria out front 6-1 after four innings. Cabezas allowed two hits, walked one, and struck out two in 1 2/3 innings. Relievers Melvi Acosta and Tyler Palm then steadied the ship for the final four innings. Acosta allowed one hit and struck out one in his two frames, and Palm surrendered an unearned run on one hit while striking out four Chiefs in his two innings. Edouard Julien (single), Yunior Severino (home run), and Matt Wallner (double) accounted for the Kernels three hits. Wallner drove in the other Kernels run. As a team they managed just three at-bats with runners in scoring position on the game and left only three men on base. Julien also stole his fifth base with the Kernels, and 26th on the season. Julien also drew a walk and continues to lead the minors in that category this season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 5, Bradenton 8 Box Score The Mighty Mussels built a 5-0 lead after the top of the sixth inning behind a slugger who has been struggling most of the year, but the rest of the lineup and bullpen was unable to hold it on Tuesday. Starter Sean Mooney was fantastic for the first three innings in this one, allowing no hits and striking out six Marauders. He was extremely efficient as well, throwing just 38 pitches, with 29 going for strikes and falling behind in a count only once among the nine batters he faced. In the top of the fourth, Aaron Sabato got Fort Myers on the board with his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot to open the game’s scoring. He added another home run in the sixth, this one of the two-run variety, to extend the Mussels lead to 5-0. Misael Urbina drove in two others earlier in the inning with his eighth double of the season. Unfortunately, the offense had just one other hit on the game, a single from Will Holland. The team had just three at-bats with runners in scoring position in the game and drew only two walks. Not much you can do beyond home runs when other opportunities never surface. The bullpen duo of Orlando Rodriguez (2 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, BB, 4 K) and Matthew Swain (1 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, K) combined to allow eight runs in the sixth and seventh innings that put the game well out of reach. Denny Bentley finished off the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing four hits but being charged with no runs. He walked one and struck out one as the Mussels fell to the team in front of them in the standings by 5.0 games. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 2, FCL Braves 3 Box Score The Twins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to consecutive walks to start the game that were followed by a balk, a Wander Valdez RBI single, and a successful double-steal attempt. Unfortunately for the offense they were unable to scratch any more runs across the plate the rest of the game. Valdez (2-for-4, RBI, K) collected two of the team's five hits, Argenis Jiminez had the only extra-base-hit with a triple, and Alerick Soularie drew two walks out of the leadoff spot, but also struck out three times. As a team they were just 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position, left seven men on base, and struck out 18 times. Left-hander Wilker Reyes made the start for the Twins and went the first four innings. He scattered six hits and allowed two earned runs while striking out four batters. Matt Mullenbach came on for the next three innings and kept the game tied, surrendering two hits while also striking out four Braves. Ramon Pineda finished the game with two-plus innings, but allowed the Braves to easily get the winning run in the 10th inning after a pair of wild pitches to the leadoff man. He gave up one hit, walked one, and struck out three in taking the loss. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Jordan Balazovic, Wichita Wind Surge (W, 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K) Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - W, 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, R, K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, 3 K #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, K #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List #9 - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, K #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #14 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-3, K #15 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, 2B #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 3 K #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) - 0-for-3, R, BB, 3 K #19 - Edwar Colina (rehab) - Injured List (elbow) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - Did not pitch WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05PM CST) - RHP Drew Strotman (7-3, 3.59 ERA) Wichita @ Tulsa (7:05PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (2-4, 7.18 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35PM CST) - RHP Ben Gross (4-1, 3.27 ERA) Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:05PM CST) - RHP Landon Leach (0-1, 4.85 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  17. 25. RHP Chris Vallimont (24-years-old) Season Stats (High-A + Double-A): 4-4, 4.76 ERA, 64 1/3 IP, 102 K, 40 BB, 6 HR Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 20, 2021 Preseason: NR Chris Vallimont has the physical profile of a modern day pitcher. He stands nearly 6-foot-6-inches tall with an athletic 220 pound frame that he uses to generate fastballs in the mid-90s to go along with a hammer curve (as well as the occasional slider and changeup). When he's on, there's a strong argument to be made that he has some of the most dynamic stuff in the Twins' system. However, he is a bit of an enigma. His peripheral numbers suggest that he is a better pitcher than what the surface-level stats say, the main anchor dragging him down being his walks. If he hones his command, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he develops into, say, a No. 3 starter. If he doesn't, he may wind up in the bullpen long-term. There are few prospects in the Twins' system with more future outcome variance than Vallimont. 24: RHP Louie Varland (23-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): 6-2, 1.70 ERA, 69 IP, 98 K, 25 BB, 2 HR Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR Louie Varland is one of those Twins prospects who has shot up the rankings this season due to sustained dominance. Varland was an unknown prospect when the Twins selected him in the 15th round of the 2019 draft out of Concordia-St. Paul. He started out the 2021 season with the Low-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels before earning a promotion to the High-A Cedar Rapids Kernels where he rattled off nearly 20 straight innings of scoreless ball to begin his run at that level. Varland primarily relies on a fastball-curveball pitch mix. His fastball plays well both up and low in the zone; it presents with decent rise when elevated and greater sinking action when down. His most likely future role is as a reliever, but he has the raw stuff — and performance, to this point — to suggest he'll be effective in the high minors and, possibly, the big leagues. 23: UTIL Nick Gordon (25-years-old) Season Stats (MLB): .250/.301/.333, 37 G, 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 SB, 26/5 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NR, 2021 Preseason: NR To say that Nick Gordon was an after thought on the minds of Twins' fans entering the 2021 season would be an understatement. However, a strong showing at Triple-A combined with a fast start when promoted to the parent squad quickly got him back into people's minds. Gordon primarily played shortstop in the minors; however, the rash of injuries suffered by Twins' outfielders thrust Gordon into some minutes in centerfield. While he didn't provide Gold Glove caliber defense, he did show enough to suggest that he may have a brighter future as a true utility man than most thought. Gordon doesn't do anything great, but also doesn't do anything well-below average. He may not be an everyday-type of player, but he should find himself with a role in the majors — though perhaps ultimately not with the Twins — for years to come. 22: 1B/DH Aaron Sabato (22-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A): .181/.365/.309, 75 G, 13 2B, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 101/67 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 9, 2021 Preseason: 8 The tale of Aaron Sabato is virtually the opposite of that of Varland and Gordon. Sabato was known as a bopper with a good eye at the plate when the Twins selected him with the 27th overall pick in the 2020 draft but so far only his peepers have translated. Sabato has struggled to keep pace with Low-A pitching. His strikeout numbers are through the roof and his power has evaporated compared to what he displayed while with the Tar Heels. To put it bluntly, not many minor leaguers have struggled as much as he has to date and proceeded to carve out a productive major league career. Sabato's walk totals are encouraging, but he needs to show more the rest of the way. 21: INF Edouard Julien (22-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): .251/.423/.449, 78 G, 21 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 47 RBI, 25 SB, 98/73 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR Alright, back to being positive. Edouard Julien is an on-base machine with some pop who has displayed the ability to play multiple positions defensively, though he is probably best at second base. He's also stolen far more bases this year than many thought possible when he came out of Auburn University. Julien's overall productivity has declined some since his promotion to Cedar Rapids — and, thus, the removal of Robo-umps — however, he has done more than enough to justify his placement on this list. Not bad for a former 18th round pick. What do you think of this set of five prospects? Future big-leaguers? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  18. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 12, Louisville 2 Box Score Andrew Albers took the ball for the Saints, and he twirled an absolute gem. Working seven strong, he allowed eight hits but limited the damage to just a single run on a solo shot. Albers also punched out five and walked just one batter. Trailing after the top half of the first, the Saints quickly erased the deficit on a Mark Contreras two-run blast, his 11th of the year. In the third, Damek Tomscha doubled with the bases loaded and brought everyone home, pushing the St. Paul lead to 5-1. Contreras wasn’t done adding for St. Paul as his sac fly in the 5th inning allowed Tomas Telis to scamper home. Jose Miranda then continued his hot hitting and contributed an RBI single to score Roberto Pena. Up 7-1 in the 7th inning, Jimmy Kerrigan blasted his 13th home run of the season and was followed by a Tomscha dinger making it back-to-back jacks. After a Louisville run scored in the 8th inning, the Saints added further distance. Gilberto Celestino crushed his second dinger for St. Paul, a three-run shot, and the final tally sat at 12-2. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 7, Midland 6 Box Score On the mound for Wichita was Bryan Sammons. He lasted 4 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on four hits and four walks. Sammons struck out six in the contest. Trailing 1-0 after the top of the first inning, the Wind Surge answered in a big way. An Austin Martin double was followed by a B.J. Boyd single to plate Wichita’s first run. Andrew Bechtold drove in Boyd on a sacrifice fly before Jermaine Palacios sent a ball over the wall for his 14th home run of the year and pushed the lead to 4-1. Spencer Steer lifted his ninth homer for the Wind Surge (19th overall) in the 3rd inning and gave Wichita a 5-2 lead. After Midland took the lead in the 5th inning, Steer drove in Martin on a sacrifice fly in the 8th inning to tie the game at six. In the bottom of the 9th inning, the newly-acquired Martin stepped to the dish and drove in Leobaldo Cabrera with a single to right field to walk things off for the good guys. Martin had two hits in this one and was joined by the game’s designated hitter, Trey Cabbage. John Bonnes was also in attendance for this one. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 8, Cedar Rapids 5 Box Score Tyler Watson made the start for Cedar Rapids tonight and lasted just 3 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs on four hits while striking out two and walking two batters. It was a tough night for a guy who’s been great in 2021. Cedar Rapids got on the board first with Alex Isola recording his 12th double of the season to drive in Edouard Julien. A DeShawn Keirsey homer then answered a Quad Cities two-run blast in the 2nd inning to bring things back even. Getting down 8-2 by the the inning, Cedar Rapids had quite the hill to climb. Yunior Severino chipped away with a two-run double in the 6th inning, and Max Smith homered on a solo shot in the 7th inning. That three-run deficit was as close as they’d make it, however, and 8-5 is where this one ended. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1: Dunedin 5, Fort Myers 4 (F/7) Box Score Scheduled for a pair of games Wednesday after a postponement on Tuesday, Casey Legumina took the mound in game one. He worked two innings allowing one run on one hit and one walk while striking out two batters. Fort Myers saw the bullpen give up a total of four runs in relief, but just a single run was earned. Ruben Santana gave the Mighty Mussels their first tally on a 3rd inning sacrifice fly to score Willie Joe Garry Jr. Trailing 5-1 entering the home-half of the 6th inning, Aaron Sabato blasted his fifth homer of the season, a three-run shot, to bring the Mighty Mussels back within one run. That’s where the rally ended, and Fort Myers came up short. Game 2: Fort Myers 6, Dunedin 5 (F/7) Box Score These two clubs tried making up for the weather issues last night, but a full second tilt wasn’t in the cards. Sean Mooney worked 2 1/3 innings and gave up two runs, just one earned, on a hit and three walks. He also struck out three batters. Down first again in this one, Sabato blasted his second of the evening, a two-run shot this time, to give Fort Myers the lead. Trailing 3-2 in the 3rd inning, Misael Urbina roped his fourth homer which scored Justin Washington and put the Mighty Mussels back on top. Sabato followed with a sacrifice fly to provide some breathing room. After the Mighty Mussels lead disappeared, Will Holland put them back on top for good with a solo shot, his seventh of the season, and the 6-5 lead held in the nightcap. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Orioles Orange, FCL Twins Postponed - Rain TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Andrew Albers (St. Paul) - 7.0 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) - 2-5, R, 6 RBI, 2 HR(6), 2 K PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-5, R, RBI #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-3, R, K #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR(2), BB, K #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #9 - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) - 2-5, R, 6 RBI, 2 HR(6), 2 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, R, BB, K #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #14 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-5, 2 K #15 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR(4), BB, 2 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, R, 2 RBI, HR(9), K #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 3 K #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) - N/A (foot injury) #19 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - Injured List (elbow) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - Did not pitch THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Louisville @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) - RHP Drew Strotman (7-2, 3.73 ERA) Midland @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (3-2, 3.59 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Ben Gross (4-0, 2.48 ERA) Dunedin @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - RHP Landon Leach (0-0, 3.38 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  19. So keep reading to find out just how crazy the night was for your favorite Twins prospects! TRANSACTIONS Minor League Gold Glove OF Mark Contreras was promoted to St. Paul from Wichita In Fort Myers recent free agent signing OF Justin Washington was assigned from the GCL Twins, 3B Wander Valdez was sent back to the GCL Twins roster, and SS Ruben Santana was activated from the disabled list. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 17, Iowa 6 Box Score The Saints took advantage of some wildness from double-A’s 2019 strikeout king, Corey Abbott to jump out to an early lead. They got to the Cubs prospect for six runs in the first two innings, with a three-run Tomas Telis homer doing the bulk of that damage. They would tack on four more in the fourth after an RBI double from Ben Rortvedt was followed by another three-run blast, this one off the bat of JT Riddle, his first with the Saints. In all St. Paul hitters mashed seven hits (five for extra bases) and drew five walks against Abbott, taking full advantage of the extra baserunners and opportunities they were given. As far as the Saints starting pitcher went, it was Bailey Ober’s first appearance since making his MLB debut, and he dazzled. In five innings he allowed just one earned run on four hits, striking out five. It was good for his first win of the 2021 season. While watching the game the opposing broadcast’s announcer was excited to see Abbott on the mound, but Ober was the one who left a mark on him. “I’m very impressed so far with Bailey Ober. You understand why he posts zeroes so often [and] can see why he is tough to pick up. Six-foot-nine, long reach, and hides the ball very well.” With the big lead Ober’s day was done after just seventy pitches, with Ian Hamilton coming on for the sixth. Hamilton was hitting high 90’s with his fastball in his inning and struck out two. Robinson Leyer delivered two scoreless frames, allowing one hit and striking out one. Another RBI double from Ben Rortvedt and RBI single from Jimmy Kerrigan added a few more runs in the sixth, then Ryan Jeffers and Brent Rooker added insult to injury with home runs in the seventh and ninth innings, respectively. Jeffers was a three-run no-doubter, and Rooker’s a two-run blast to dead center that made the score 17-1. They were the fourth home run of the season for each player. Tom Hackimer would come on for the ninth but made the game last quite a bit longer than it should have. The bases were loaded before he recorded an out, then he was not able to finish it off. In all, Hackimer allowed 5 runs on three hits, four walks, and a hit batter. St. Paul was forced to go to Andrew Vasquez for the final out, and he made sure it went as quick as possible, getting a strikeout to end the game. WIND SURGE WISDOM Springfield 7, Wichita 2 Box Score Unlike the rest of their affiliate brethren, the Wind Surge were unable to pile on the runs on Tuesday, falling to the Cardinals in Wichita. Starter Bryan Sammons went the first four innings and surrendered all the damage Springfield would need as their pitchers allowed just six hits and three walks to Wichita’s lineup. In total he allowed four earned runs on five hits and a pair of walks in his time. While he struck out six, three of his hits allowed were home runs. Dakota Chalmers came on for the fifth and went two innings. He allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits (including a homer of his own) while striking out two. Jonathan Cheshire was the only Wind Surge pitcher without a blemish, pitching a scoreless seventh, though he did walk two. Hector Lujan finished the final two frames, allowing a solo home run and striking out one. Jermaine Palacios led the way hitting for Wichita with a 2-for-4 night. Andrew Bechtold hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the fourth. Jose Miranda contributed an RBI single in the third. As a team the Wind Surge had just three at-bats with runners in scoring position and left only five men on base. KERNELS NUGGETS Wisconsin 2, Cedar Rapids 9 Box Score Cedar Rapids slugger Seth Gray put the Kernels on the board early with a two-run blast in the first. He and Michael Helman would add to that lead in the third with a pair of RBI doubles, Helman’s of the 2-run variety for a 5-0 lead after three. Starter Tyler Beck ran into some trouble in the top of the fourth, allowing a run to score after three singles and a walk, and exiting with the bases loaded. In all he went 3 1/3, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out four. Jordan Gore came on and allowed one inherited runner to score on a groundout but would stop the bleeding there by picking up a strikeout. He would add a scoreless fifth inning and add another K to his ledger. Lefty Tyler Watson would keep Cedar Rapids out front three scoreless innings. He scattered one hit and two walks while striking out three. The Kernels bats went pretty silent for the middle innings, but in the seventh Spencer Steer woke them up again with a leadoff double. Wander Javier drove him in with a single that was misplayed by the center fielder and allowed another runner to score that made it 7-2. Leobaldo Cabrera’s first home as a Twins prospect would make it 9-2 after eight. Lefty Zach Featherstone would finish the game for Cedar Rapids with three strikeouts in the ninth around a walk. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 13, Lakeland 0 Box Score After losing four in a row to the Tampa Tarpons by a combined score of 53-13, the Mighty Mussels have unleashed some frustration the past two games. In the final game of their series with the Tarpons they won 9-3 and were even more impressive in the opening tilt with the Flying Tigers. Fort Myers also got the scoring started early in this one courtesy of a slugger, in their case Aaron Sabato. His first inning home run was his second of the season and gave them the early 2-0 lead. They added another run in the second after loading the bases on a Misael Urbina sac fly but were just getting started. Starter Brent Headrick went the first five innings and was dominant. He threw just 67 pitches (43 for strikes), allowing only two singles and one walk while striking out five to pick up his second win of the season. Juan Pichardo went the next two scoreless innings, walking one and striking out two. Matthew Swain would finish the shutout for the Saints going the final two innings. He allowed one hit, a walk, and struck out two. The Mighty Mussels broke the game open in the top of the sixth with quite a bit of help from Lakeland pitchers. Consecutive singles were followed by two four-pitch walks to score the first run of the inning. After a strikeout of Sabato another four-pitch walk scored another run before the bullpen was summoned for the Flying Tigers. It was greeted by a Kyle Schmidt double on their first pitch, scoring two more. Then two more walks, an RBI single from Anthony Prato, and a 2-run double from Edouard Julien would push Fort Myers’ lead to 11-0 before the inning was over. They would add a few more in the top of the ninth on a Yunior Severino two-run single for the final of 13-0. In all the Mighty Mussels racked up fourteen (!) walks and twelve hits against Flying Tigers pitching. Julien (2-for-3, 3 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K), Schmidt (3-for-4, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI), and Prato (2-for-4, 2 R, RBI) had multiple hits. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Brent Headrick, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (W, 5.0 IP, 2 H, BB, 5 K) Hitter of the Day – Tomas Telis, St. Paul Saints (4-for-6, 3 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – 2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, K #2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #3 - Trevor Larnach (Minnesota) – 0-for-3, 2 K #4 - Ryan Jeffers (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, 3 R, HR, BB, 2 K #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Injured List (back) #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – Did not play #8 - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 1-for-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K #9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Wichita) – 0-for-3, BB #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 2-for-6, R, HR, 3 RBI, K #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play #14 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K #15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow) #17 - Ben Rortvedt (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A #19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 1-for-3, RBI #20 - Bailey Ober (St. Paul) – W, 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 5 K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Iowa (12:08PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (1-0, 3.95 ERA) Springfield @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) – RHP Cole Sands (0-0, 3.00 ERA) Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – LHP Kody Funderburk (0-0, 1.32 ERA) Fort Myers @ Tampa (5:30PM CST) – RHP Regi Grace (1-0, 4.50 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  20. Triple-A: Trevor Larnach, OF Larnach sometimes feels like the forgotten prospect with names like Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis in the organization. He projects to be a very good big-league regular and his timetable made have changed over the last couple days with news that Kirilloff might miss time due to a wrist injury. The Twins have been getting very little production from their corner outfield spots and fans have started to get frustrated watching Jake Cave take uncompetitive at-bats. Larnach was likely on pace to debut in 2021 and now he might be needed in Minnesota sooner rather than later. Double-A: Gilberto Celestino, OF Celestino was originally acquired by the Twins in the Ryan Pressly trade along with Jorge Alcala. He was part of the team’s 60-man player pool last season, which meant he spent of the bulk of the year at the team’s alternate training site. Back in 2019, he spent nearly the entire the year at Cedar Rapids, and he finished by hitting .277/.349/.410 (.759) with 41 extra-base hits in 125 games. He’s a very strong defender in the outfield, so it will be interesting to see if his bat can continue to develop. Byron Buxton is only under contract through next season and Celestino might be his heir apparent. High-A: Matt Canterino, RHP Even amidst a pandemic, Canterino was able to see his prospect stock rise significantly because of reports that came out throughout last year. The velocity on his fastball rose more than a couple miles per hour as he can now hit in the mid-90s on a consistent basis. He should easily be able to stick as a starter when you add in a slider and a changeup that both project to be plus pitches. He was a second round pick out of college in 2019, but he’s only pitched 25 innings as a profession due to last year’s minor league cancellation. Now, he needs to prove his rising stock is legitimate and that might be dangerous for opposing batters in the Midwest League. Low-A: Aaron Sabato, 1B/DH Sabato was Minnesota’s first round pick in 2020, so he will be making his professional debut in 2021. There’s one reason the Twins drafted Sabato and that’s because of his powerful bat. Entering the season, he projected as one of the team’s top power prospects. In two seasons at North Carolina, he hit .332/.459/.698 with 25 home runs and 31 doubles in 83 games. He is going to need to show he can adjust to professional baseball, but he is expected to be a quick riser if he can continue to show plus power at the plate. What are your thoughts on these players? Are there others you will keep an eye on? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  21. 5. Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B Current/Future Power: 55/60 Kirilloff has the potential to be on of the best Twins prospects in quite some time. He can power the ball to all fields, and some think he can hit upwards of 30 home runs. He might be the best pure hitter in the Twins system and there will certainly be power with his smooth swinging approach. His power comes from a swing that has a scooping motion that creates line drives and a better launch angle. Twins fans hope Kirilloff is hitting near the top of the line-up for most of the next decade. 4. Matt Wallner, OF Current/Future Power: 55/65 Wallner, a Minnesota native, is a big boy at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds and he fits the mold of players drafted by the current regime. He hit for power in all three years of college as he posted a .652 SLG and a 1.113 OPS. Because of these numbers, scouts ranked him as one of the best power bats in the 2019 MLB Draft with some giving him 70 or 80 grades. What’s crazy to consider is the fact that he was still being used as a pitcher in college. In 65 games during his pro debut, he collected 31 extra-base hits and posted an ISO of .194. 3. Trevor Larnach, OF Current/Future Power: 55/65 For some fans, Larnach almost feels like a forgotten prospect because of the presence of Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff. Since being draft, Larnach has been a half step behind Kirilloff, but that takes nothing away from what Larnach can mean to the Twins line-up in the up-coming years. He’s the organization’s reigning Minor League Player of the Year. As a left-handed power hitter, Larnach has connected with Justin Morneau to be his hitting mentor. It’s clear that Larnach loves to work on his swing and he’s going to make sure Twins fans don’t forget about him after he makes his big-league debut at some point in 2021. 2. Aaron Sabato, 1B/DH Current/Future Power: 60/65 Sabato is trying to buck a trend, because right-handed hitting college players with limited defense haven’t found much professional success. There’s one reason the Twins drafted Aaron Sabato and it was because of his powerful bat. As a college freshman, he won ACC Rookie of the Year after knocking 18 home runs. He has a rare combination of exceptional strength, bat speed, and launch angle that led to off the charts raw power. Scouts were confident in Sabato’s ability to hit throughout the upper-minors especially with his track-record against elite college pitching. 1. Brent Rooker, OF/1B Current/Future Power: 60/65 Rooker spent his college years putting up impressive power numbers in the college baseball’s best conferences, the SEC. In his junior season, he hit .287/.496/.810 with 23 home runs. Scouts saw some him post some of the best exit velocities in the 2017 draft class and his raw power was off the charts. Minnesota has been aggressive with him as he spent his entire second full professional season at Triple-A where he posted a .928 OPS. Since he is already 26-years old, there’s a good chance he breaks camp on the big-league roster, and this should give him the opportunity to prove his powerful swing translates to baseball’s highest level. How would you rank these players? Does someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  22. Age: 21 (DOB: 6-4-1999) 2020 Stats (UNC): .292/.478/.708 (1.185), 6-2B, 7-HR (in 19 games) ETA: 2023 2020 Ranking: NR National Top 100 Rankings BA: NR |MLB: NR | ATH: NR |BP: NR What’s To Like Shortly after the Twins selected Aaron Sabato last June, Scouting Director Sean Johnson said, "We thought he was the best offensive player left on the board from every standpoint possible. Going back to his season last year, if you look at him analytically, he lined up with some of the guys who went at the very top of the board." A quick look at the stats of Sabato and top overall pick Spencer Torkelson in 2019 and the shortened 2020 season, shows that the two put up very similar numbers. Those were Sabato’s freshman and sophomore seasons at North Carolina compared to Torkelson’s sophomore and junior seasons at Arizona State. Torkelson: 74 games, .349/.480/.719 (1.199) with 21 doubles, 29 homers. Sabato: 83 games, .332/.459/.708 (1.158) with 31 doubles, 25 homers. So while there is a lot more that goes into scouting than just these offensive numbers, it certainly illustrates the offensive firepower of Sabato. He fits into the mold of recent Twins draft picks such as Brent Rooker, Ryan Jeffers and Matt Wallner. Sabato pointed out a few days later that he feels that his hitting philosophies closely match the Twins hitting philosophies. He recalled a conversation with Twins minor league hitting coordinator Donegal Fergus. “We want you to swing at strikes. We want you to take balls, and we want you to hit the ball a long way and do it at a high rate without striking out and walking a ton. For me, that’s what I base my hitting about. I’m trying to do the most damage on every pitch, but also be disciplined enough to take my walks and spit on the good pitches.” He continued, “Right there, (I realized) that I was in a pretty good spot with the organization that had just drafted me.” Sabato may not possess all of the baseball tools, but he has a plus hitting tool, and plus-plus power potential. What’s Left To Work On Sure, Sabato will have to adjust to the pro ball game, even offensively. But really, it’s about that continued development and improvement, and this year, it’s about just getting at bats again. Sabato is not a speed guy, so don’t expect him to be stealing a lot of bases. Defensively, there have been assumptions made that he will be limited to first base, and he will need to improve there as well. It is possible that he ultimately will be a Designated Hitter, but the Twins will work hard with him at first base. What’s Next Sabato gets to make his actual professional debut. Sure, he went to the Twins instructional league in October, but 2021 will be his debut. Because of the missed time, it will be interesting to see where he starts the 2021 season when it begins in May. Because he hasn’t played in an official game, they could start him in Low-A Ft. Myers and get some at bats under his belt. It’s also possible that he will jump straight up to High-A Cedar Rapids. While the general belief is that Sabato has a very advanced bat, the Twins have the luxury of being patient with him. He will be given time to work on the other aspects of his game. Twins 2021 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Bailey Ober, RHP 19. José Miranda, 3B/2B 18. Alerick Soularie, UTIL 17. Ben Rortvedt, C 16. Edwar Colina, RHP 15. Cole Sands, RHP 14. Misael Urbina, OF 13. Matt Wallner, OF 12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B 11. Gilberto Celestino, OF 10. Blayne Enlow, RHP 9. Matt Canterino, RHP 8. Aaron Sabato, 1B 7. Coming tomorrow!
  23. All but one of the players below was acquired during the current front office regime. This speaks volumes to how the organization’s player development system has evolved. Teams need their high draft picks to 10. Keoni Cavaco- SS/3B (19-years old) Acquired: 2019 1st Round Pick ETA: 2024 Cavaco was an intriguing prospect from the time the Twins drafted him. He was left off many of the summer showcase rosters entering his senior season because he was undersized, and he wasn’t expected to be a first-round pick. A growth spurt during his senior year saw his draft stock improve immensely and the Twins jumped at the opportunity. His professional debut was a disaster as he posted .172 BA with strikeouts on 38% of his plate appearances. He has the tools and the power projection to make him a player to be excited about. 9. Blayne Enlow- RHP (21-years old) Acquired: 2017 3rd Round Pick ETA: 2022 Enlow was part of the current front office’s first draft class as the Twins were able to work out an over-slot deal to keep him from going to LSU. His fastball typically sits in the mid- to low-90s, but it has some tremendous spin that can make it tough on hitters. His slider/cutter might be his best pitch when he is able to control it near the zone. He has shown the ability to throw four different pitches, but he continues to work on his secondary pitches. Enlow turns 22-years old in March, and he is a player I expect to have a big 2021 season. 8. Matt Canterino- RHP (23-years old) Acquired: 2019 2nd Round Pick ETA: 2022 Canterino is a strike thrower and he might have gotten more dangerous in 2020 as he developed a changeup at the team’s alternate site. His slider and curveball were already good pitches so adding a changeup can solidify him as a mid-rotation starter. At 6-foot-2 and 222 pounds, he is stocky on the mound and this can make some believe that he will end up as a reliever. He will get plenty of opportunities to stick as a starter with his college experience and his continued pitch development. 7. Aaron Sabato- 1B (21-years old) Acquired: 2020 1st Round Pick ETA: 2024 In a draft unlike any other, the Twins went with Sabato, a relatively safe pick. He projects to only be able to play first base or be a DH, but his bat might have been the one of the only sure things in the 2020 Draft. He can control the strike zone even with his powerful swing. MLB.com ranks him as baseball’s seventh best first base prospect and he will move up multiple spots this year as players graduate off the list. It’s hard to get too excited about a player with limited defensive skills, but his bat might be good enough to forget about the other side of the ball. 6. Jordan Balazovic- RHP (22-years old) Acquired: 2016 5th Round Pick ETA: 2021 Looking back on the 2016 draft and many teams are going to be sorry (say it with a Canadian accent) they passed over Balazovic. He can control the strike zone with four different pitches and all of them can be used to coax strikeouts. Also, the pandemic might have helped his development as he added weight to fill out his 6-foot-5 frame. When the Twins drafted him, he weighed 175 pounds and now he is north of 215 pounds. He was added to the team’s 40-man roster this off-season and that should give him a chance to make his debut in 2021. Which of these players makes it to Target Field first? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Prospects 16-20 — Prospects 11-15 — Prospects 1-5 Coming Tomorrow MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  24. Current First Baseman: Miguel Sano Last winter, the Twins locked up Miguel Sano to a three-year, $30 million contract extension that includes a $14 million team option for 2023 or a $2.75 million buyout. Sano struggled early in the 2020 season as he missed most of Summer Camp after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Through his first 13 games, he went 5-for-45 (.111 BA) with 23 strikeouts and a .504 OPS. He led all of baseball with 90 strikeouts, but he was able to hit double digit home runs for the sixth consecutive season. Sano’s defensive transition had its ups and downs as one would expect. There were games where it was a little more obvious that his footwork and approach were lacking at first base, but that can certainly be expected at a position where he lacked familiarity. According to SABR’s Defensive Index, only two AL first baseman had a lower SDI total. Sano can move to DH depending on what the Twins decide with Nelson Cruz. 40-Man Options Besides Sano, the Twins have other 40-man roster options to play first base. Two of the team’s top prospects, Alex Kirilloff and Brent Rooker, made their debuts last season. During the 2019 campaign, Kirilloff hit .283/.343/.413 with 29 extra-base hits in 94 games while playing nearly 42% of his defensive innings at first base. This came on the heels of a tremendous 2018 campaign where he posted a .970 OPS and was named MiLB’s Breakout Player of the Year. Minnesota’s front office has a lot of trust in him and he seems like a likely candidate to take over for Eddie Rosario in the outfield. Rooker got off to a tremendous start last season before suffering a fractured forearm that ended his season. In seven games, he hit .316/.381/.579 with three extra-base hits and five RBI. Back in 2019, he made his Triple-A debut and hit .282/.399/.530 with 30 extra-base hits, but he was limited to 67 games while dealing with a wrist injury and a groin injury. Rooker should be ready for season’s start and there are multiple roles he can fill on the 2021 Twins. On the Farm Options Outside of the options mentioned above, there are other first base options in the minor leagues including some strong prospects. Minnesota took Gabe Snyder with their 21st round pick back in 2018 after he spent four years at Wright State. His 2019 campaign was spent entirely at Low-A where he hit .259/.338/.462 with 44 extra-base hits in 114 games. With his college experience, he has been old for each level he has played at during his professional career. Snyder turns 26 in March and the team should push him to Double-A. In the 2020 MLB Draft, Minnesota took Aaron Sabato with the 27th overall pick after two impressive seasons at the University of North Carolina. Sabato was known as a slugger after hitting .332/.459/.698 (1.158) with 57 extra-base hits in 83 games. The jury is still out on if he will have the defensive skills to play a position in the big-leagues or if he will be limited to playing DH. Weiss was the Twins 23rd round pick in 2018 out of Cal State-Northridge. He played at three different levels in 2019 with High-A being the highest level he reached. Weiss was also older than the competition at every stop in his professional career. Phillips is roughly a year behind Weiss as he was taken out of college in 2019. It will be interesting to see how aggressive the Twins are with these two players following the absence of a 2020 minor league season. What do you think about the future of first base in Minnesota? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES -Shortstop -Third Base MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  25. 5. RHP Matt Canterino 2019 Stats (Rookie, Low-A): 1.44 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 31 K, 8 BB, 25 IP After being a three-year starter at Rice, Canterino was the Twins second-round pick in 2019. He saw limited time during his first professional season because of the innings he had accumulated in college. He struck out 11 batters per nine innings and he only allowed earned runs in two of his five appearances after being promoted to Low-A. He controls the strike zone and his college experience could help him to move through the Twins system. 4. RHP Blayne Enlow 2019 Stats (Low-A, High-A): 3.82 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 95 K, 38 BB, 110 2/3 IP Enlow pitched nearly 2/3rds of his innings as a 20-year old in the Florida State League where he was nearly three years younger than the average age of the competition. For players like Enlow, missing the 2020 season was critical to developing towards the big-league level. Next spring, he will turn 22 and he has yet to pitch an inning above High-A and there are no guarantees a minor league season will happen in 2021. He’s the second-best pitching prospect in instructional camp and he should get a lot of work in over the next month. 3. 1B Aaron Sabato 2020 Stats (College): .292/.478/.708 (1.185), 7 HR, 6 2B, 16 K, 22 BB, 19 G Unlike the other players on this list, Sabato got to play a handful of games in 2020 before the pandemic shutdown most of the amateur baseball world. He destroyed the ball during his sophomore year at the University of North Carolina before becoming a draft eligible sophomore. His bat is legit and the biggest knock against him entering the draft was his lack of defensive position. Minnesota’s brass still felt like he was worth of a first-round selection and now the team will get a chance to work with him for the first time. 2. SS Keoni Cavaco 2019 Stats (Rookie): .172/.217/.253 (.470), 1 HR, 4 2B, 35 K 4 BB, 25 G Cavaco was the Twins first round pick back in 2019 and his first taste of professional baseball didn’t go exactly to plan. Teams saw him as late riser entering the draft and the Twins were intrigued by his combination of tools. He had to be chomping at the bit to get back on the field because of those initial struggles and the lack of a 2020 campaign. He’s still only 19-years old and he has a lot of development left to prove the Twins were right to make him the 13th overall pick. 1. RHP Jordan Balazovic 2019 Stats (Low-A, High-A): 2.69 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 129 K, 25 BB, 93 2/3 IP Balazovic has seen his stock consistently rise since joining the Twins organization as a third-round pick back in 2017. Entering the 2020 season, both Baseball America and MLB.com had him ranked in their top-100 prospects. Minnesota didn’t include him in their original 60-man player pool, but he was added to the alternate site near the beginning of September. He’s only pitched 73 innings above Low-A, so it seems unlikely for him to debut in 2021 but working with the Twins coaching staff can only help his stock moving forward. Click here to see who else made the instructional league roster. Which prospects benefit the most from this shortened instructional league setting? Leave a COMMENT and join the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
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