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  1. With the deadline to add players onto the 40 man roster affording them protection from being exposed in the Rule 5 draft, the Twins had four locks: Royce Lewis, Jose Miranda, Cole Sands, and Josh Winder. From there, the next most logical addition was Blayne Enlow. His case was an uncertain one, however, as he underwent Tommy John surgery this past summer. Enlow didn’t pitch in 2020 due to the minor league shut down, and he got in just 14 2/3 innings in 2021 before the arm surgery. Having topped out at High-A Cedar Rapids, the 22-year-old is plenty far from the majors as well. Don’t let that fool you, though, as this is an arm Minnesota should’ve had a chance at seeing this year. That would’ve been a monumental leap from Iowa to St. Paul and eventually Minneapolis across one season, but it also highlights this organization's belief in the kid. Minnesota’s front office selected Enlow in the third round of the 2017 Major League Baseball draft, their first with the organization. After taking Royce Lewis first overall, the Twins went with Landon Leach in round two with the hopes of saving slot value and spending more on Enlow. Ultimately agreeing to a $2 million bonus that checked in as the highest mark of the third round and was $600 thousand more than Minnesota gave to the pick before. Steering him away from a commitment to Louisiana State University, the Twins liked the right-handed prep arm. To this point in his professional career, Enlow has proven the Twins front office right. He posted a 3.26 ERA in his first full professional season as a 19-year-old and combined for a 3.82 ERA in 2019 as a 20-year-old. Spending the time working, getting bigger, and fine-tuning his stuff, there was no minor league pitcher I was higher on making a big jump in 2021 than Enlow. The first 14 2/3 innings of work this year came in to the tune of a 1.84 ERA and 23 strikeouts. Enlow’s command has always been the area that could use work, and seeing strikeouts jump up because of it was the expectation. A strong fastball with a plus-bender, Enlow looked the part of someone that could pitch in the top half of a Major League rotation. After going under the knife, we’ll need to see how he responds. The Twins likely won’t see Enlow in action for much of the 2022 season, but he can continue to rehab and do so while being placed on the 60-day Injured List and not occupying a 40-man roster spot. Being able to stash him like this allows Minnesota to reap the rewards of a fully healthy player in 2023. If Enlow’s trends out of the shutdown were anything to be believed, it’s worth getting excited for a kid that could undoubtedly join the ranks of the top organizational arms. Unlike Baddoo before him, no team selecting Enlow in the Rule 5 Draft would’ve been immediately able to see what they had on a big-league field. They could utilize the same Injured List designation, though, and would have added a big talent to the organization at next to no cost. Thankfully Minnesota didn’t pass on the opportunity to protect him solely to save a roster spot for what amounts to a handful of weeks. This is a long-term play that has a chance to pay big dividends. Here’s to hoping Enlow’s rehab continues to go smoothly, he returns quickly, and the results are every bit as enticing as they once looked. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  2. Every November, teams determine which minor leaguers they will add to their 40-man roster and hence, protect from losing in December’s Rule 5 draft. The decisions sometimes are difficult. Who might be selected? Who would be able to stick on the big-league roster throughout the season if they were selected? Twins Daily's Nash Walker breaks it down in the following video: Those decisions were made even more difficult last offseason by the lost minor league season due to the global pandemic. There weren’t as many data points for teams to evaluate, and in some cases, players had been away from team activities for six to eight months. Let’s just jump into it. AKIL BADDOO The Tigers selected outfielder Akil Baddoo with the second pick of the Rule 5 draft. Baddoo was an immensely talented prospect selected in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft. In 2018 at Cedar Rapids, he hit .243/.351/.419 (.770) with 22 doubles, 11 triples, 11 homers and 24 stolen bases. The season showed his skill set. He had a combination of speed and power, and while he didn’t hit for average, he knows the strike zone and took his walks. Unfortunately after just 29 games in Ft. Myers in 2019, in which he hit .214/.290/.393 with three doubles, three triples, four homers and six steals, Baddoo needed Tommy John surgery and missed the rest of the season. As the 2020 season approached, I talked to Baddoo in spring training. He felt great, but he would have started the season DHing and gradually getting more time in the outfield. With outfielders such as Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Brent Rooker, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach and Gilberto Celestino ahead of him on the depth chart, the Twins took a chance by leaving him off the 40-man roster. There’s no doubt the team knew he could be taken, but could he make an opening day roster and stick in the big leagues for a full season after so much missed time, and limited production in A-ball. Baddoo had a big spring training, showing a lot of power, and he made the Tigers Opening Day roster. As important, he got off to a fast start. In his first nine games, he hit .370/.379/.963 (1.342) with two doubles, a triple and four home runs. Of course, Twins fans will recall that he had some huge moments early against his former organization. In his first game against his former teammates, he hit a grand slam. In his second game, he had a walk off single. In his third game, he had a big, RBI triple. The Twins played the Tigers going into the All Star break and then coming out of the break. In the pre-break game, he had a homer and three RBI. In the first game back from the break, he had a triple and three RBI. To say that he has performed well against the Twins might just be an understatement. In 14 games against the Twins, he has hit .327/.340/.673 (1.013) with five doubles, two triples, three homers and 14 RBI. In 97 games against all other teams, he has hit .244/.322/.410 (732) with 29 extra base hits. In 111 total games, Baddoo has hit .255/.324/.448 (.772) with 20 doubles, 12 homers and 49 RBI. He has 14 steals and leads the league with seven triples. At age 23, he has made himself into a key cog in a Tigers team that has a lot of young players and appears ready to start contending in the AL Central in the coming years. TYLER WELLS Baddoo got all of the fanfare early in the season, and understandably so, but the Twins lost a second player in the Rule 5 draft too. With their second pick in the Rule 5 draft, the Baltimore Orioles selected RHP Tyler Wells. Wells had been the Twins 15th round pick in 2016 out of Cal State-San Bernadino. At 6-8, Wells stands out on the mound but also has really good stuff. In 2018, he went 8-4 with a 2.80 ERA in 16 starts at High-A Ft. Myers before making six appearances in Double-A Pensacola where he posted a 1.65 ERA. In 119 1/3 innings, he struck out 121 batters. He was chosen the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2018 as well as the Harmon Killebrew Award winner for the Miracle. Unfortunately, in spring training 2019, Wells hurt his elbow. After trying to rehab, he needed Tommy John surgery and missed the 2019 season. Based on his rehab from surgery, he may have been able to make a few appearances late in the 2020 season, but obviously was unable to do so. So again, the Twins took a chance, leaving him unprotected, and the Orioles took a shot. While Wells started out slowly, getting irregular innings, he has become a bright spot in the Orioles 2021 roster. In 40 games, he is 2-3 with two saves. He has a 4.17 ERA and a 0.93 ERA. In 54 innings, he has given up just 38 hits, walked just 12 and struck out 64 batters. In the past two weeks, Wells has become the Orioles’ closer. He recorded two saves before having two blown saves in his past two outings. However, in a 25 game stretch before those two games, he has a 1.74 ERA, a 0.52 WHIP and opponents hit just .132 against him. In that time, he gave up just 14 hits, walked two and struck out 36 batters in 31 innings. Wells has a mid-90s fastball to go with a changeup, a slider and a slow curveball. With that pitch mix, could he return to being a starter moving forward, or will he remain a potentially-dominant reliever. BAILEY OBER Adding Jordan Balazovic to the Twins 40-man roster last November was the easy decision, to be sure. Ben Rortvedt, as a top catching prospect, was also an easy addition as well. However, I would assume many (or most) Twins fans were probably surprised when they learned that Bailey Ober had been added to the 40-man roster. Like others, Ober missed the 2020 season completely. He was not at the team’s alternate site. He did not participate in the Instructional League. In 2019, he went 8-0 with a 0.69 ERA between High-A Ft. Myers, Double-A Pensacola. In 78 2/3 innings, he walked nine batters and struck out 100 batters. Ober pitched little during spring training and made just four starts at St. Paul before getting called up to the big leagues in mid-May. Since then, he has been terrific. In 18 starts, he is 2-2 with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. In 83 innings, he has walked 17 and struck out 87 batters. As impressive as he has been, the Twins have found a way to keep him healthy following a missed season. He is currently at 99 innings and should make two or three more starts before the end of the season. I’d say that the Twins front office was right in adding Ober to the 40-man roster. JOSE MIRANDA In 2016, the Twins took prep hitters Alex Kirilloff, Ben Rortvedt, Akil Baddoo and Jose Miranda all within the first 74 picks of the draft. Kirilloff and Rortvedt had been added to the 40-man roster. Baddoo was lost in the Rule 5 draft to the Tigers. And, the Twins also left infielder Jose Miranda unprotected. Like others, Miranda was not invited to big league spring training in 2020. He was not a participant at the alternate site last year. He went to Instructional League, and then he put up some big numbers playing winter ball in Puerto Rico last offseason including playing in the Caribbean Series. As the Rule 5 draft was approaching, there were definitely indications that Miranda could be selected. Fortunately, when the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft concluded, Miranda’s name had not been called. Can you imagine if the Twins had lost Jose Miranda in the Rule 5 draft too? Scouting reports always indicated that Miranda had immense power potential. In 2018, he had 27 doubles and 16 homers. In 2019, he had 26 doubles and eight homers. This season, the power has come together. He began the season with 47 games at Double-A Wichita. He hit .345/.408/.588 (.996) with eight doubles and 13 homers. In 67 games since joining the St. Paul Saints, he has hit .341/.395/.564 (.959) with 19 doubles and 15 home runs. Speaking of putting it all together, Miranda has hit .343/.400/.574 (.974) with 27 doubles, 28 homers and 86 RBI in 114 games. Miranda’s prospect stock has increased as much as any hitter in the Twins system in 2021, and he finds himself on the edge of the big leagues. If it doesn’t happen by the end of the season, he is a given to be protected this November. OTHERS I thought it might be fun to take a look at my rankings from last November when I ranked (guessed) which players the Twins would add. Here is how I ranked them: RHP Jordan Balazovic - Easy decision, he pitched at Double-A this year. OF Akil Baddoo - see above C Ben Rortvedt - has split the season between Triple-A and the Twins. SS Wander Javier - had ups and downs in High-A Cedar Rapids. Free agent at the end of the season. RHP Luis Rijo - Had visa issues, and soon after his return had Tommy John surgery. 3B Jose Miranda - see above. RHP Griffin Jax - has made his MLB debut in 2021. 2B Yunior Severino - Started season in Ft. Myers, but has crushed the ball since moving up to Cedar Rapids. OF Gabriel Maciel - Spent the full season in Cedar Rapids. LHP Charlie Barnes - has made his MLB debut in 2021. RHP Bailey Ober - see above. LHP Jovani Moran - recently made his MLB debut. RHP Tyler Wells - see above. LHP Bryan Sammons - has split the season between AA and AAA. 1B/OF Trey Cabbage - has hit 27 homers between Cedar Rapids and Wichita. Free agent at season’s end. I’m sure the Twins would want to bring him back. 1B Zander Wiel - Recently Released SUMMARY Most years, only a handful of Rule 5 picks actually make their team’s Opening Day roster and stick through the season. In an unprecedented 2020, 40-man roster decisions were more difficult than usual. Unfortunately, the Twins lost two players who have been impactful for their new organizations. They were lucky not to lose Jose Miranda or Jovani Moran too. However, they did well in recognizing the need to protect Bailey Ober. As we start the process of thinking about who might be added to the team’s 40-man roster this coming November, it should be a bit easier since there has been a season to evaluate players again!
  3. “I don’t know about other organizations, but it’s unprecedented in our history of the way we’ve drafted over the course of years. To take four high school position players with consecutive picks, I don’t think a lot of teams have done that.” Deron Johnson, Twins Senior Advisor to Scouting, continued, “I’m proud. It’s a bold move, I think.I don’t know many teams that have done that in the past. So far so good with the results.” Johnson, as you recall, became the Twins scouting director in 2008 and held the position through the 2016 season when he received his promotion to the Senior Scouting Advisor role. Alex Kirilloff has been one of the most impressive hitters in all of minor league baseball in 2018. Ben Rortvedt’s development both at the plate and behind the plate has been noticed by the organization. Jose Miranda’s 2018 season started slow in Cedar Rapids, but he’s been raking since and recently earned his promotion to Ft. Myers. Akil Baddoo remains in Cedar Rapids at this point, but he’s been very impressive at the plate and in center field and continues to improve. Deron Johnson insists that the plan coming into the draft wasn’t necessarily to take four high school kids right away. “You have a plan, but being able to watch our system over the years, I knew that we were in need of some position players. It just so happened.” Here is a quick look back at the top four Twins draft picks in 2016 through the eyes of Deron Johnson. ALEX KIRILLOFF “He hasn’t missed a beat since he had that layoff.” That layoff, of course, was missing the 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery. As you know, Kirilloff has not only been arguably the top hitter in the Twins minor leagues this year, but maybe one of the best in all of minor league baseball. He spent the first 65 games of his 2018 season in Cedar Rapids. He hit .333/.391/.607 (.999) with 20 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs and 56 RBI. He played in the Midwest League All-Star Game and then immediately was promoted to Ft. Myers. He represented the Twins on Team USA at the Futures Game, and went 2-for-2. In his 47 games with the Miracle, he has hit .365/.385/.547 (.932) with 19 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 37 RBI. The Twins used the 15th overall pick to take Kirilloff who played high school ball for Plum High School near Pittsburgh. While they drafted him in 2016, they had known about him for a couple of years already. He made a major impression on Johnson at Petco Park in San Diego a year before the draft. Johnson, recalled, “He hit a ball during the Perfect Game All-American Game in Petco. I mean, it was an absolute bomb. Left-handers don’t hit balls out a lot at that park. Mostly right-handers because the ball kind of travels there. That showed me that this guy’s got power.” Johnson saw him again early in the 2016 season. “I saw him a couple of times. I saw him two or three games in Florida early in spring and we identified him as a guy going into the draft.” Shortly before the draft, Johnson traveled to Pittsburgh to see Kirilloff play. Unfortunately, the game was rained out. It ended up creating a great opportunity for the scout. “ I got a chance to see him practice. A lot of times, it’s better than seeing the games. I got a chance to speak with the kid, see how he goes about his business, see how he interacts with his teammates, and that was great. Plus we had a lot of looks on him too.” BEN RORTVEDT There is this perception that players from northern states can’t get seen by scouts as easily as players from southern states. There is some truth to that, but the top prep players now are playing in the summer baseball circuit across the country, and they are the showcases necessary if players want to get drafted. That is where Rortvedt was first seen. Johnson pointed out, “We got a lot of looks in the summer. He played against the best guys. He was on that Perfect Game tour, played in the All-America Game. We definitely relied on Mike Ruth, Mike Radcliff, and Mark Wilson, the scout that had the area at the time. We had a lot of coverage on him. We had a lot of looks.” Rortvedt was the Twins second-round draft pick, the 56th overall pick in the draft, out of Verona High School in Verona, Wisconsin. He split that season between the GCL and Elizabethton. He made the jump to Cedar Rapids in 2017, and admittedly he struggled with the bat. But he was gaining experience and making improvements. He returned to Cedar Rapids to start the 2018 season. In 39 games, he hit .276/.325/.386 (.711) with 12 extra base hits. He has now played 39 games since being promoted to Ft. Myers. He has hit .244/.342/.351 (.693) with eight extra base hits (including a two home run game). Behind the plate, he is blessed with a very strong arm and has gained a reputation for working well with his pitchers. But there is a thought, a hope that he will be able to continue making strides offensively as well. Johnson believes in Rortvedt’s offensive potential. “I think he can. I think he’s strong. For him, I think it’s all about approach .He’s got a nice swing. He’s a very strong young man. A lot of that’s been addressed. Drive the ball. If he can consistently learn to and want to drive the ball, the sky's the limit for him. He’s one of the younger guys again in the Florida State League. He doesn’t strike out much, makes contact. He’s got raw power. There’s no question about that. Is he going to be a 25-home run guy? Well, I’m not going to say he can’t.” But again, his defense is where he can really affect a game. “His defense has improved immensely. He can really throw. He can stop a running game. He’s athletic behind the plate. Someone quoted me after the draft where I said that he looks like he was born to catch. I truly believe that He looks like a catcher. He looks like one of those old school catchers from the ‘50s. The big forearms, the squared jaw. The real strong face. He’s young. He’s still got some immaturity. He’s not grown up yet. It’s going to take some time, but he works at it. He really gives a good effort. His game-calling has really improved. I think all aspects of his game have gotten better.” JOSE MIRANDA The Twins added the 73rd overall pick in the 2017 as part of the compensation round. Miranda was another guy that the Twins had seen quite a bit of, including at a Perfect Game event. Miranda actually grew up in Florida. According to Johnson, “He had played in the States. His mom is a flight attendant located in Florida. He went to high school in Florida his freshman and sophomore years, and then he moved back to Puerto Rico.” He started out this season at Cedar Rapids and like the weather conditions, he was cold. As the temperatures, Miranda’s bat heated up. In 104 total games with the Kernels, he hit .277/.326/.434 (.760) with 22 doubles, 13 home runs and 72 RBI. He has now played in eight games since being promoted to the Ft. Myers Miracle. He had his coming out party, of sorts, at Perfect Game. “We didn’t know who he was. (Delvin) Perez was the main guy. (Long-time Twins scout) Freddie Thon said, let’s take a look at this guy. I kind of like this guy.” “We saw him, and we like everything about him. We’ve always liked his bat. His defense is getting better. He’s found a home at 3B. He’s going to be a big man.” Miranda was drafted as a shortstop, but it was known that he wouldn’t stay there, though he did make one start there since joining the Miracle. He split much of his time in Cedar Rapids between second base and third base. AKIL BADDOO In the 2015 draft, the Twins used their second round pick (73rd pick) on right-handed pitcher Kyle Cody, a Wisconsin native who had spent three years at the University of Kentucky. For a few reasons, Cody did not sign with the Twins. Because they did not sign him, the Twins received the 74th overall pick of the 2016 draft. The Twins went to a familiar place for this selection. They signed a tremendous athlete out of high school in Georgia. In 2010, they drafted Niko Goodrum out of Fayette County High School in Georgia. In 2012, the Twins used the second overall pick in the draft on Byron Buxton who went to Appling County High School in Baxley, Georgia. Akil Baddoo continues that line of Twins great athletes selected by the Twins out of Georgia. Johnson noted, “Akil is coming into his own. He always kind of knew the strike zone as a high school kid. He’s from Georgia and he plays some really good competition. Georgia is one of the few areas in the country, along with Southern California and Florida and Texas, they play a lot of good baseball. It’s been a hotbed, not just for us, but for the industry.” Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State are a couple of powerhouse colleges, but the prep ranks are loaded with great talent. In fact, when the Twins used the 74th overall pick in Akil Baddoo, he became the seventh Georgia high school kid drafted in 2016. Josh Lowe was the 13th overall pick by the Rays. With the 14th pick, Cleveland’s selection was Will Benson. Carter Kierboom was the 28th overall pick by the Nationals. Taylor Trammell went to the Reds with the 35th pick. The Angels selected Brandon Marsh with the 60th overall pick. Alex Speas went #63 to the Texas Rangers. Johnson saw all of them, but he wondered why Baddoo wasn’t always mentioned in the same breath as some of those top picks. “He’s from out in the country, a little town called Conyers. Akil, everyone knew him, but he was the second tier of that group. Taylor Trammell came out that year. Three or four first-round picks come out of Atlanta that year. I was always curious why people weren’t talking about Akil more. We got a lot of looks at him.” He was seen a lot the summer before he was drafted. But it was very late in the summer when Baddoo took another step forward in the eyes of the Twins scouts. “We saw him at a Puerto Rico event the winter before the draft. The Mets put together a showcase where they bring a team from the States, and they play against Puerto Rican kids. It’s a great event. It’s after other events so you don’t get a lot of kids to show up. They’re tired. But Akil was there. He showed his passion for baseball. We liked him during the summer and were excited to see him show up. He went off there. He hit the ball hard, drove some balls, ran hard.” Baddoo was the Twins Daily choice for short-season Minor League Hitter of the Year in 2017 when he split the season between the GCL and Elizabethton. He has now played in 101 games this season for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He has hit .241/.354/.413 (.767) with 19 doubles, nine triples and ten home runs. He also has 21 stolen bases in 26 attempts. Baddoo is a great athlete and has the built of a football player. “He’s strong. He’s like a running back. For me, he’s running better than when we drafted him. He’s a 70 runner. He’s playing way better defense. Mike Quade’s done a really good job with him defensively. He was a little raw defensively, but he’s got a different throwing action, but he can throw the ball. That’s maybe the one negative, the throwing. He’s getting much better. He’s got a chance to be a plus base runner.” ----------------------------------------------------------------- It is certainly not normal for a team to use four draft picks in the top two rounds and use each of them on high school hitters. To this point, the Twins front office has to be thrilled with all four picks. Each has experienced success and advanced up the organizational ladder appropriately, maybe even aggressive in some cases. 2016 was Deron Johnson’s final draft as scouting director, replaced by Sean Johnson. He says he is enjoying his new role where he gets to scout in many places. He was involved in the amateur scouting, the pro scouting and has had a chance to do some work internationally as well. But he has the right to be proud and excited about what the future might hold for his final draft. “I got a chance to see all those guys this summer, and it was fun to see. I got to see Alex. He’s done tremendously. Ben has been doing really well. He’s really improved defensively and his bat is coming on, so that is encouraging. Baddoo, despite his batting average, his peripheral numbers are really good. He’s hitting for some power, a bunch of doubles and stolen bases. And Miranda, I was there when he started heating up too.” Johnson continued. “It’s encouraging seeing those kids play well. I think Alex Is the oldest at 20-years-old. Akil won’t be 20 until the end of the year. It’s awesome seeing those guys have that kind of success this early in their career. ” But what is just as exciting as the top four picks, there are several other players that the Twins drafted in 2016 who remain in the organization and also have a chance to reach the big leagues. Will they? There’s no way to know that yet, of course, but several are on the right path. Soon, we will continue the conversation with Deron Johnson and discuss the rest of the Twins 2016 draft. It is a draft class that the Twins and their front office should be excited about.
  4. Following a series against the Nationals, the Baltimore Orioles flew to Minnesota where they will take on the Twins in a three game series starting tonight. The teams enter the series with an identical 17-29 record. For one member of the Orioles bullpen, the experience will be very special. Right-hander Tyler Wells said this afternoon, “I’m looking forward to moving forward. Even right now, playing the Twins, it’s kind of like a homecoming. It’s a bittersweet thing because I have a lot of friends over there. It’s going to be great to see them, but I’m also looking forward to competing against them.” The Twins drafted Tyler Wells in the 15th round of the 2016 draft out of Cal State-San Bernadino. The Twins scouts saw him and determined they definitely wanted to draft him. Deron Johnson, who was the Twins Scouting Director in 2016, told Twins Daily that he had traveled with Twins area scout and now West Coast Supervisor Elliot Strankman. “Elliot and I were going to see a junior college kid at another college. He said, ‘Hey, I like this reliever at Sonoma State. Let’s go see him on the way there.’ So we go there and they’re playing Cal State-San Bernadino. We see this big giant on the mound throwing up to 94 with a nice breaking ball. John Leavitt, our area scout, had him in (his reports), but he wasn’t a guy for me to see. We just stopped in there on a whim. John had seen him, but he hadn’t seen him throwing that hard. We just kind of had him on our radar after that. We didn’t hide him out, but we didn’t show a lot of interest. We knew there were two other clubs that had interest in him. We targeted him in the draft and thought, let’s not lose this guy.” Wells was the 2018 Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Between High-A Ft. Myers and Double-A Chattanooga, he went 10-6 with a 2.56 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. He also had 121 strikeouts and just 31 walks over 119 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, the next spring training, he felt a pop in his elbow and ultimately had Tommy John surgery which cost him the 2019 season. He would have likely been rehab to come back sometime during the 2020 season, but as we all know, there was no 2020 season. And most likely, that is why the Twins decided not to add him to their 40 man roster in November. The Orioles took Wells with their second round Rule 5 pick. But even then, it didn’t necessarily mean that the Twins would lose him long term. Wells had to make the Orioles big-league roster out of spring training and still has to stay on the big-league roster throughout the entire 2021 season or be offered back to the Twins. Earlier in the Rule 5 draft, Wells’ good friend and fellow 2016 draft pick Akil Baddoo was selected by the Tigers. “We went through Tommy John surgery together and through that whole rehab process. We got pretty close. I was unbelievably happy for him. I hope he continues to absolutely rake and hope to see him up in Detroit.” Wells reported to Sarasota for his first major-league spring training. Wells pitched nine innings over five appearances. He gave up six hits, walked three and struck out 12 batters. He pitched well. Wells said this afternoon, “It was a lot of fun. A lot of the guys were super nice. It took a little time to get my feet wet, to understand how everything is going, how to go about my business. A lot of learning experiences. Got acquainted with a lot of the guys. As I continued to pitch, I learned more about myself and how my arm was feeling. I had an uptick in stuff from before I had Tommy John surgery. Everything went really, really well.” The Orioles decided to keep him on their roster for Opening Day. Getting the news was something that Wells will never forget. “I got called into the manager’s office on the last day of cuts. The GM and the manager are there. The first thing they said to me was ‘You ever been to Boston?’ Wells responded, “Nope.” They said, ‘Would you like to go?” Wells noted, “Obviously right then, I knew I made the team. It was an incredible moment.” On April 4th, the Orioles had an 11-3 lead over the Red Sox heading to the bottom of the ninth. Tyler Wells found himself jogging in from the Fenway Park bullpen to make his big-league debut. He gave up one hit, and he walked one, but he got three outs without allowing a run to end the game. “We were winning by a substantial amount, so they brought me in for the ninth and I got to finish the game. I ran out there and about halfway to the mound, I lost feeling in my feet. I started thinking I’ve got to remember how to do this pitching thing real quick.” In addition, he noted that the Red Sox fans in the right field corner were chanting his name. When he was warming up, fans were razzing him. “Wells… why are you not playing basketball? You should be playing tight end for the Patriots. Why are you even here?” Wells thought those aren’t even insults. “They were compliments. I appreciate that. I was keeping a straight face the whole time, and they liked that I didn’t even blink an eye. So they started chanting ‘Ty-Ler-Wells! Ty-Ler-Wells!’ as I was entering the game.” Since then, he has pitched in four more games against the Red Sox. His second MLB appearance came at Yankees Stadium. Primarily, he has pitched in low-leverage situations. He has completed two innings in seven of his 12 outings. Wells said, “The coaches have been pretty open about my situation. As a rookie, it’s low-leverage situations. I’m starting to get more comfortable in going in and hold games, certainly building more confidence in myself to be able to do that. I think that getting more innings as of late is really helping with that. I’m mostly a two-inning game. They try to bring me in and hold the game. I think they do have a lot of confidence in me doing that. I’m trying to help the team out as much as I can. Trying to help the bullpen as much as I can. Right now, they just want me to get more comfortable.” Overall, he has pitched in 12 games. He has a 5.14 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. In 21 innings, he has given up 16 hits, walked seven and struck out 26 batters (11.1 K/9). One issue he has had is giving up home runs. He has already given up six homers (to Enrique Hernandez, JD Martinez, Jed Lowrie, Clint Frazier, Xander Bogaerts and Mike Zunino). This will not be Wells' first trip to Target Field. He’s been there one other time, but “not for the reasons I wanted to be. With my injury, I had to see the team doctor and got to attend a game.” On Monday night, the Twins will face left-hander John Means. As a rookie in 2019, he was the Orioles representative at the All Star game. In 2021, he has become a legitimate star. To this point, he is 4-0 with a 1.70 ERA and a 0.75 ERA. Means is a guy that Wells has talked to and learned from already. “He’s been a guy that I’ve looked up to a lot. Very level headed. That is really what makes him so go. He’s level headed because of the experiences he’s been through. He considered retiring in 2018. He ended up making his major-league debut that year. Baseball is already difficult enough, and when he got the opportunity, he didn’t waste it. He’s a great leader in the clubhouse. For me, personally, I talked to him a lot in spring training. I’ve talked to him throughout the course of the season so far. He provides a lot of insights to the pitching, the lifestyle, how to take care of yourself. He’s been a huge help for, but he takes the stuff that he tells me and he applies it. Everything he tells me, he does. He doesn’t get too up or too down. He’s just cruising.” Another teammate that Wells really admires is Trey Mancini. As you know, the O’s first baseman first baseman missed the 2020 season fighting colon cancer. He has returned this year, and through 46 games, he is hitting .280/.352/.520 (.872) with 12 doubles, ten homers and a league-leading 41 RBI. Wells says, “You aren’t going to find a lot of better people in baseball than him. He’s such a down-to-earth guy. He’s another leader in our clubhouse. The word to describe him is ‘Incredible!’ He’s pushed. He’s fought. And I think you see a lot of that in his game. He’s continued to push himself and I’m so happy for him. He’s a phenomenal human being. He does everything with a purpose. He’s so resilient. It’s very inspiring, not just for me, but for the entire team, the entire league.” Hopefully Tyler Wells will be able to make an appearance this week on the Target Field mound. One of his best friends from the Twins organization is Twins star rookie Alex Kirilloff. “AK and I have the same type of conversation every week or two. We’ll see what’s going on in our lives. I keep up with him on how his daughter is doing, and see how his wife and the rest of his family are doing. We don’t really talk a lot about baseball, just about life and how things are going. It’s cool to take a step back and realize this game has brought a lot of great people into your life. It’s such a cool thing to see him grow into a bigger person, beyond just baseball. I’m looking forward to reconnecting to him.” He pointed out the the Orioles just finished a series with the Washington Nationals. He had forgotten that another former Twins minor leaguer Sam Clay is working out of the Nationals bullpen this season. He said it was nice to reconnect with him as well. Wells has been teammates with Luis Arraez, Cody Stashak and others. Wells is good friends with Travis Blankenhorn and Aaron Whitefield who are close to Trevor Larnach so he has had a chance to get to know him as well. “It’s going to be hard, with Arraez and AK, as soon as I see them walking into the box, it’ll be hard not to smile at them. It’s cool. It’s a lot of fun. It’s going to up the ante. It’s going to make you want to perform better, and I think it’s going to do the same for those guys. It’s a lot of friendly competition.” Wells noted, “It’s awesome to be able to come back and see everybody. I think that’s what I’m looking forward to most. Baseball is still baseball. I have a job to do. I still compete. It doesn’t matter what stadium it’s in. It’s game time. You lock it in. You go out there and do your thing. I don’t think it’s so much the place as it is the people.” Wells’ goal for the rest of the 2021 season may seem simple, but it’s important. “Stay healthy! That’s the big one because after not pitching for two years and coming from AA straight to the big leagues, it’s certainly a jump, but at the same time, you’re getting more intense innings. You have 162 games a year. You want to stay healthy, and that’s my #1 goal this year. I’d like to avoid any IL stints. And, on top of that, Win some ball games. I want to compete for the team and help the team win. If they ever need a guy, I want to be that guy.” Akil Baddoo understandably caught our attention early in the season when he got off to a fast start, and hit a grand slam, and a triple, and had a walkoff single against the Twins in the season’s first week. But the Twins lost two players in this past Rule 5 draft and both are finding means of success in their rookie big league seasons.
  5. Baddoo was a second-round pick back in the 2016 MLB Draft out of high school in Georgia. He was actually Minnesota’s fourth pick in that draft behind Alex Kirilloff, Ben Rortvedt, and Jose Miranda. All of those players are still in the Twins organization, but Baddoo was left unprotected in this year’s Rule 5 Draft. Baddoo and the Tigers are showing exactly why the Rule 5 Draft was put in place. When a player is close to big-league ready, an organization can’t stash that player in the minor leagues without putting them on the 40-man roster. Baddoo’s hot start is great, but he will need to prove that he is part of the solution in Detroit, who isn’t expected to win too many games this season. During his time in the Twins organization, Baddoo played four professional seasons and reached as high as High-A. In the minors, he combined to hit .249/.357/.422 with 86 extra-base hits in 233 games. There were some clear offensive skills including a tremendous ability to draw walks along with some good power potential. This might all sound good, but there are reasons why the Twins left him unprotected this past winter. He’s been limited to under 115 games in every professional season including only 29 games back in 2019. Also, Baddoo struck out in nearly 24% of his plate appearance in 2018 and that number rose to 29.8% in 2019. So far in his brief big-league career, he has two strikeouts and no walks yet to his credit. He can play defensively in all three outfield positions, so it will be interesting to see what his long-term position will be at the big-league level. At one point, Baddoo was a borderline top-10 prospect in the Twins organization. In the last published Twins Prospect Handbook following the 2019 season, Tom had Baddoo ranked the highest as the 16th best Twins prospect. Seth had him ranked at 17 and I had him ranked as the 23rd best future Twin. Baddoo was certainly viewed as having potential, but the Twins and the Tigers are in very different places. Detroit is in rebuild mold and they can afford to take a flyer on a player like Baddoo. They aren’t expected to win for multiple seasons, so the Tigers can take the ups and downs that come with a younger player that has no experience at Double- or Triple-A. Moving forward, Baddoo’s outlook hasn’t changed significantly. The Twins have a ton of top-tier outfield prospects that were ahead of Baddoo on the team’s organizational depth chart. Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Gilberto Celestino, Brent Rooker, and Matt Wallner are just a few of the outfield prospects that would rank ahead of Baddoo for the Twins. That takes nothing away from what Baddoo might be able to do in his career, but he wasn’t in Minnesota’s long-term plans. What are your thoughts on Baddoo and the storybook start to his big-league career? 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. Check back to this article through the morning for updates as the Rule 5 draft occurs. Minnesota’s current 40-man roster sits with 35 active players which includes 18 pitchers, four catchers, six infielders and seven outfielders. At the end of last month, the Twins added three players to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. These players were catcher Ben Rortvedt and right-handed pitchers Jordan Balazovic and Bailey Ober. Another player to consider is Fernando Romero who spent the entire season on the restricted list due to visa issues and he is not currently on the 40-man roster. With payrolls expected to decrease next year because of the pandemic, inexpensive talent will be at a premium, so we could see more Rule 5 Draft activity than usual this offseason. As you may know, it costs $100,000 to make a Rule 5 selection. Then that player must remain on the draft team's active roster all year or be offered back to the original team for $50,000. Trades can be worked out as well. Who are some members of the Twins organization that have a chance to be selected? Here’s a quick list: OF Akil Baddoo: Baddoo was the Twins second-round pick back in 2016 out of high school. He played all of 2019 as a 20-year old at Fort Myers, but he was limited to 29 games after undergoing Tommy John surgery. His power and speed could be a valuable asset, especially since he can play centerfield. Would a team be willing to use him as a back-up outfielder for the season? SS Wander Javier: Javier has been one of the team’s top prospects since he was signed, but he missed the entire 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery. The Twins left him unprotected last year and he went unclaimed. He has all the tools and that’s one of the reasons the Twins were high on him when he signed with the club. After another missed season, it seems unlikely for a team to claim him, but the talent is there. RHP Luis Rijo: Like Javier, Rijo was left unprotected last winter and he went unclaimed. Back in 2019, he pitched the entire season at Low-A where he posted a 2.86 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 107 innings as a starter. He has three pitches and can hit the mid-90s with his fastball, which could definitely be intriguing to a rebuilding club. Would a team be able to stash him in their bullpen for the year and help him develop? 3B Jose Miranda: Minnesota selected Miranda in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Since that time, he was worked his way through the system as he played nearly all of 2019 at High-A. He’s hit double-digit home runs in two of the last three seasons and he has topped 25 doubles for two consecutive years. His ability to play multiple defensive positions could allow a team to keep him on their bench in a utility role. Other Twins players that could potential be selected include: RHP Griffin Jax, 2B Yunior Severino, OF Gabriel Maciel, LHP Charlie Barnes, LHP Jovani Moran, RHP Tyler Wells, LHP Bryan Sammons, 1B/OF Trey Cabbage, 1B Zander Wiel. ----- Outfielder Akil Baddoo was selected with the third overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft. He will join the Tigers organization after missing nearly two full seasons of competitive play. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019, but he is expected to be healthy for 2021. Right-handed pitcher Tyler Wells was selected in the second round of the Rule 5 Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Like Baddoo, Wells underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019. Before the injury, he had a 2.49 ERA and a 121 to 31 strikeout to walk ratio in 119 1/3 innings between High- and Double-A. Right-handed pitcher Ricky Ramirez was lost to the Orioles in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft. He was the team’s 15th round pick back in 2017. During the 2019 season, posted a 3.80 ERA with a 50 to 18 strikeout to walk ratio in 42 2/3 innings. He has never pitched higher than the Florida State League. Right-handed pitcher Joe Record was selected by the Astros in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. He only made 35 appearances in the Twins organization after being selected in the 28th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Record, a hard thrower, had a 5.07 ERA and a 68 to 16 strikeout to walk ratio over 55 innings back in 2019. In the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, the Twins selected right-handed pitcher Jhonleider Salinas from the Tampa Bay organization. At 6-foot-7, the 25-year old Venezuelan can be an opposing presence on the mound. He split 2019 between High- and Double-A where he had a 3.27 ERA and a 68 to 33 strikeout to walk ratio in 66 innings. Minnesota also picked left-handed pitcher Josh Mitchell from the Royals organization in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. He was a 22nd round pick back in 2017 from the University of Pittsburgh. He pitched all of 2019 at High-A where he had a 3.30 ERA and a 47 to 13 strikeout to walk ratio in 43 2/3 innings. Outfielder Jacob Pearson was picked up by the Atlanta Braves from the Twins organization. Originally, Pearson came to the Twins from the Angles organization for international bonus pool money that was used for signing Shohei Ohtani. During the 2019 season, Pearson hit .233/.303/.338 with 30 extra-base hits in 117 games. Feel free to discuss the Rule 5 draft here as it happens or rumors before and after. The article will be updated after the MLB portion of the Rule 5 and after the Minor League portion of the Rule 5. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. Alex Kirilloff, Brent Rooker and Edwar Colina would have been obvious additions to the 40-man roster on Friday, but the Twins added them during the season. That left Jordan Balazovic as the one easy choice for them to add to their 40-man roster, and on Friday they did. In addition, they added catcher Ben Rortvedt and right-hander Bailey Ober as well. That said, there are a lot of good prospects that were left off of the roster still. The Rule 5 draft will take place December 10th, and players such as Akil Baddoo, Jose Miranda, Yunior Severino, Wander Javier, Luis Rijo, Gabriel Maciel, Griffin Jax, Tyler Wells, and Charlie Barnes were left unprotected. For a more complete list, click here. BACK TO BALAZOVIC The 22-year-old right-hander was the Twins fifth-round draft pick in 2016 out of St. Martin Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario (a suburb of Toronto). His area scout that signed him was Walt Burrows. After an impressive debut in the GCL that summer, he really struggled at the same level in 2017. However, he was a new pitcher in 2018. In late May, he moved up to Ceadr Rapids and was quite impressive. He went 7-3 with a 3.94 ERA. In 61 2/3 innings, he had 78 strikeouts with just 18 walks. The season pushed his prospect status very high, reaching into the top ten among Twins prospects and even into some national Top 100 lists. In 2019, he spent the first month with the Kernels. He went 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA in four starts before moving up to the Miracle. In his first Miracle start, he tossed seven no-hit innings and struck out ten batters. He went 6-4 with a 2.84 ERA in 15 more games. Combined, he had 129 strikeouts and just 25 walks over 93 2/3 innings. His season ended with a playoff start for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1170147185297678336 When Deron Johnson drafted Balazovic, he saw a lanky pitcher with raw ability and a strong understanding of pitching. Johnson later told me that when he saw him again in 2018, he was now touching 95 and his breaking pitches were much sharper. Balazovic was added to the Twins alternate site roster for the final month of the season. Also, it's pronounced (buh-law-zuh-vic)... More on Jordan Balazovic: Seth's Preliminary Top 50 Prospects: Part 2 (31-40) (Sept 2020) Get to Know: Jordan Balazovic (Dec 2016) Why Jordan Balazovic has the Makings of an Ace (Nov 2019) Twins Daily 2020 Top Prospects: #5 Jordan Balazovic (Feb 2020) Three Twins Players Hurt Most Without a Minor League Season (June 2020) Who Should the Twins Protect from the Rule 5 Draft? (Nov 2020) BACKING BAILEY When it comes to putting up numbers, Bailey Ober has done just that. He was the Twins 12th round pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston where he was the country's Freshman of the Year. Unfortunately, the 6-9 righty had Tommy John surgery which cost him a season and his recovery pushed him down in the draft. He has missed time since joining the Twins organization too. However, when he has pitched, he has been really good. In 2018, he went 4-0 with a 1.58 ERA in Ft. Myers before moving up to AA Pensacola where he went 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA. Combined, he struck out 100 and walked just nine batters in 78 2/3 innings. More On Ober Get to Know: RHP Bailey Ober (Jan 2018) Bailey Ober on his 2019 Success (Sept 2019) BACKSTOP BEN Ben Rortvedt has also been added to the Twins 40-man roster. The Verona, Wisconsin, native was the first of two straight second round picks in 2016, one pick ahead of Jose Miranda. He has been invited to big-league spring training the past two seasons. In 2019, he started in Ft. Myers. After 24 games, he moved up to Double-A Pensacola where he played in 55 games. Combined, he hit .239/.332/.355 (.687) with 16 doubles and seven homers before an late-season knee injury ended his regular season. He attempted to play in the Arizona Fall League but was unable to and had knee surgery. Rortvedt is strong and athletic behind the plate. He's got good agility and a strong arm. He's really improved on his pitch framing in recent seasons as well. He's smart, works well with pitchers and is able to call a strong game. More On Rortvedt Twins Select Ben Rortvedt with the 56th Overall Pick (June 2016) Kernels Catcher Ben Rortvedt is Catching On (May 2017) Looking Back: Twins Take Four Prep Bats Atop 2016 Draft (Aug 2018) What are your thoughts on the Twins additions to the 40-man roster? The roster currently has 37 players on it: 19 pitchers, four catchers, six infielders and eight outfielders.
  8. If you missed the first round rounds, you can view them here. A brief primer: We're taking 16 players with "prospect" or "rookie" status. Positions on each team included: Catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, three outfielders, a bench player/hitter, three starting pitchers, three relief pitchers, and an extra pitcher. (Please note that comments under the picks were made by the person making the selection.) Round 5 Seth Stohs - Luis Rijo RH SP When the Twins acquired Rijo in July 2018, he had put up solid numbers and was known for his pitch ability. Then last summer in Cedar Rapids, he was pumping 96! I like that upside. Steve Lein - Akil Baddoo OF Though an injury cut short his 2019 season, Baddoo is an outfielder who can play center, gets on base, and was starting to show some pop. Ted Schwerzler - Griffin Jax RHP Jax isn’t going to be an ace, but he’s more than capable of being a safe and trustworthy arm. He’s performed at every level, and despite some hurdles in getting his baseball career to remain consistent, he’s been as reliable as it gets. Cody Christie - Wander Javier, SS Might as well complete my up-the-middle trifecta. Javier is coming off a rough transition to a full-season league, but he has too many tools not to be able to find success. Injuries have limited his time on the field, but more time and experience will showcase his full potential. Jeremy Nygaard - Will Holland, SS Holland struck out way too much in his pro debut, which came on the heels of a not-so-great junior season at Auburn. But his first two years there, plus a really good Cape performance in 2018, has me believing in both the power and the speed (16 home runs and 23 stolen bases in 2019 between Auburn and Elizabethton). If he can stick at shortstop, that’s just icing on the cake if he realizes his potential with the bat. Matt Braun - Gabriel Maciel, OF Outfielders kind of flew off the board quicker than I anticipated so I’m glad that I was able to snap Maciel. He could be the stereotypical leadoff hitter in the mold of Denard Span who sets the table for guys in the middle of the lineup. Round 6 Matt Braun - Yunior Severino, 2B Severino is a very interesting prospect in his own right. He was snatched up by the Twins after the Braves were busted for shady international practices and he has held his own in the lower level of the minors so far. He brings good upside in raw power that isn’t seen often in middle infielders and is one of the only switch-hitters in the entire system. Jeremy Nygaard - Zander Wiel, 1B/OF I’m not positive that Holland bats higher than sixth… but I know Wiel will bat third or fourth. I finally have my run-producing masher, who I assume will be my primary first baseman, though he does have some experience in the outfield. Cody Christie - Spencer Steer, 3B College experience, check. Power bat, check. Steer can help solidify the left side of the infield with Wander Javier playing up the middle. He will be a leader in the clubhouse and on the field. (Get to Know Spencer Steer here.) Ted Schwerzler - Trey Cabbage 1B The FSL wasn’t all that kind in Cabbage’s debut season there, but the 2015 4th round pick game into his power. He’s now 23 and will need to step up quickly, but he’s got the chops to play an athletic first base and drive the ball out of the yard. Steve Lein - Seth Gray 3B After being drafted in the 4th round last year Gray had a tale of two halves in his first season as a professional. In the months of June and July he hit a combined .201/.314/.373 in 134 at-bats with Elizabethton. Then he turned it on in August and September with a .270/.368/.520 line in his last 100 at-bats, including a promotion to Cedar Rapids for his final four games. Gray possesses a good amount of raw power, so I’m looking for that out of him in my lineup. Seth Stohs - Bailey Ober, RH SP I mean, just look at the numbers. The lanky right-hander pitched in 14 games last year and went 8-0 with a 0.69 ERA. In 78 2/3 innings, he struck out 100 batters and walked nine. He may not throw hard, but he’s doing something right. He knows himself as a pitcher and continued to learn throughout the 2019 season. Round 7 Seth Stohs - Sean Poppen, RH RP He’s mostly been a starter since the Twins drafted him out of Harvard. He’s had a little bit of big league time now out of the bullpen. As noted this offseason, I am a big believer in his upside as a reliever. He throws 97 and gets a ton of movement on his fastball and slider. Steve Lein - Josh Winder SP I’ll finish my rotation with Winder. He threw a ton of innings with the Kernels in 2019 and led the Midwest League with a 2.65 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. He can hit mid-90’s with his fastball and has a full repertoire of secondary offerings, with a few breaking balls showing promise. Ted Schwerzler - Cody Stashak RH RP The MLB debut in 2019 was about as good as it gets. In 25 innings Stashak mowed down opposing hitters and did so while limiting walks in an extremely impressive way. Relievers only have so much value, but I’m stoked to get him here. Cody Christie - Jorge Alcala RH SP I’m going with my best available player here and he happens to fill a need on my roster. Alcala struggled through parts of 2019, but his high ERA might not tell the full story. He has a fastball that can hit in the high 90s and a slider that helps him strikeout batters. If he doesn’t work in the rotation, he could be a tremendous bullpen option with his top two pitch options. Jeremy Nygaard - Chris Vallimont RHSP I thought hard about taking a pitcher instead of Wiel, but there were quite a few I liked and thought I’d get two of them (here and my next picks). I didn’t anticipate Seth kicking off a five-straight-pitchers run. All the pitchers that I considered here are gone, but I’m going to take the next pitcher on my list. Vallimont throws gas, is a little under the radar, and completes my rotation nicely. Matt Braun - Bryan Sammons, LHSP Jeremy taking Vallimont threw me into a fit of words that will not be repeated but I eventually got my bearings back and took Sammons. The walks were a bit high for him at AA this year but he brings great strikeout potential from the left side and rounds out my rotation quite nicely. Round 8 Matt Braun - Willie Joe Garry Jr., OF Garry Jr. and Maciel might make one of the most athletic outfields you can field using Twins minor leaguers. Garry Jr. is very young with a lot of development left but has as much upside as anyone else in the system. Hopefully people stop taking my guys as this continues. Jeremy Nygaard - Emmanuel Rodriguez OF The top “prospect” left on my list and also, having just turned 17, the youngest. Rodriguez will fit into a defensively-strong outfield, playing right field. He’ll also fit into the bottom third of the lineup where he can put his strong hitting skills on display, without pressure. Cody Christie - Tyler Wells, RH SP Wells was due back from Tommy John surgery in 2020 but his last action in 2018 saw him put up some strong numbers at High- and Double-A. He rounds out my rotation nicely and could wind up being one of my best pitchers if he can get back to where he was before surgery. Ted Schwerzler - Edouard Julien 3B Minnesota went with a pair of Auburn Tigers infielders in the 2019 draft. Julien initially decided to go back to school until the Twins convinced him otherwise. He had a bit of a down Sophomore year, but there’s plenty of pop in his bat and he’s got a chance to be a solid contributor on the diamond. Steve Lein - Mark Contreras OF Contreras had a rough season at the plate in 2019 overall, but I'm adding him for a different reason here: his elite defense. He won an MiLB gold glove award for his work in the outfield at all three spots. Seth Stohs - Derek Molina, RH RP Molina is a great athlete, and now that he is a full-time pitcher, he’s taking off. The right-hander split 2019 between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers and had 61 strikeouts and just 11 walks over 41 innings of work. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  9. Along with his work in preparation for his 2020 baseball seasons, Jose Miranda also got to spend a little time with his cousin, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Yes, the same Lin-Manuel Miranda who won awards for his Broadway play In the Heights and later gained international renown for writing and starring in the immensely popular play Hamilton. According to Jose Miranda, “My dad is his dad’s cousin.” While they have only met and conversed a handful of times (the 40-year-old Lin-Manuel grew up in New York but frequently visited Puerto Rico), they had a nice chat this past offseason. “He’s friendly, humble. If you see him, you would never guess he was famous like that.” Photo by Hannah Gaber-USA TODAY “I like music. Not into singing or doing some instrumental, but I like reggaeton, music in Spanish.” Jose Miranda then added, “Sports was my primary thing since growing.” ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jose Miranda grew up in Puerto Rico. He was born in the village of Manati in the north central part of the island. He said he spent one semester of his ninth grade year with his mom in Miami. He returned to Puerto Rico and attended Leadership Christian Academy in Guaynabo, a city just south and west of San Juan and just east of Bayamon. Miranda became well-known as a baseball prospect nationally. He had a pretty good sense of where he might be drafted, and thought he knew which teams were most likely to select him. “I was expecting to go in the second round or the third round. I had communications with three or four teams. I think the Twins weren’t the favorites. I thought I was going to go to the Phillies or the Blue Jays. They were talking to me more.” A lot of times, teams will know who they want and then try to act as if they are uninterested, hoping that the player will get to them. The Twins were thrilled that Miranda was still available when they made their first of two straight Competitive Balance picks after the second round of the 2016 draft. As Twins Hall of Famer Brad Radke said that night, “With the 73rd selection of the 2016 MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins select Jose Miranda, a shortstop from Leadership Christian Academy, Puerto Rico.” Of that night, Miranda noted, “That was my first goal. I worked so hard for that. I wanted to be in the first few rounds. My senior year, I was just working out, working out, working out, working out, playing, playing, and then I got called, and my dream came true, and now my dream is to get to the bigs.” Because of uncertainty in where he might be drafted, the Miranda family did not have a big party. The first two rounds and the Competitive Balance picks are made on the first night of the draft. The third round through the tenth round picks are made on Day 2. So Miranda was at home with his dad and his grandma. However, news of his selection traveled quickly. “My phone blew up. Texts from everyone. Twitter. Instagram.” One pick later, the Twins selected outfielder Akil Baddoo with the 74th pick, the fourth straight high school hitter that the Twins drafted that year. The Twins had drafted outfielder Alex Kirilloff with the 15th overall pick. Their second-round pick was catcher Ben Rortvedt. The group remains close. “We communicate, and we talk a lot. We’re friends.. I talk more with Akil Baddoo, but I talk to every one of those guys. They’re super cool, and they like to work.” ------------------------------------------------------------------ There is a pride that you hear in the voice of players who grew up in Puerto Rico. And the Twins have drafted and signed many players from Puerto Rico. In talking to Jose Miranda, it is quite clear he is proud to be from Puerto Rico. “For me, if I was born again, I’d want to be born in Puerto Rico. It’s my island. It’s where I grew up. I love it. My family is there. It's such a small island. Everyone is rooting for you when you’re here. I love it. ” The Puerto Rican players will often get together for dinners or just hang out and talk about baseball. Having that support from the players who have made it to the big leagues and from the island is motivating. “It’s a motivating thing because we know they were here before. They went from the minors, from rookie ball to the bigs. They tell us, you’ve got to trust the process, and if you do things right, you will get promoted to the bigs. One day, you’re going to play up here with us. That’s the main goal. Jose Miranda has been moving up the Twins organizational ladder one level at a time. Following the draft, he played 55 games for the GCL Twins. In 2017, he played in 54 games for the Elizabethton Twins and hit .283 with eight doubles and 11 home runs. He moved up to full-season ball in 2018. He played in 104 games with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He hit .277/.326/.434 (.760) with 22 doubles and 13 home runs. He ended the season with 27 games in Ft. Myers where he helped the Miracle to the Florida State League championship. He began 2019 with the MIracle. In 118 games, he hit .248/.299/.364 (.663) with 25 doubles and eight home runs. Statistics in the Florida State League always have to be taken with a grain of salt, especially with a 21-year-old. “It’s pretty hard. Sometimes you hit some balls that you think are going to go or they’re going to fall, but they get there and they catch them. Sometimes you get frustrated, but it just is what it is. It’s a tough league, but you have to live with it.” That’s where a player needs more than just tools and physical strength. It’s where players can get challenged with the mental aspects of the game. “Just got to stay hard in your mind, strong. Just stay positive. Keep working. You’ve just got to keep working, and you can’t stop working.” Starting pitchers Jordan Balazovic and Dakota Chalmers were promoted from Ft. Myers to Pensacola for their playoff run. Jose Miranda was the lone hitter that was promoted for the Southern League playoffs. He went 3-for-5 with a double in his one regular season game. Then in five playoff games for the Blue Wahoos, Miranda hit .368/.429/.526 (.955). “I think I had a little more confidence going into the offseason. In my mind, I was like, at least I finished in Double-A. It was a little jump. It was at the end, but I finished at Double-A.” ------------------------------------------------------------------------- In his career, Miranda has split time between third base and second base, with an occasional game played at shortstop. However, he has begun to play more third base. While his third base-second base mix was about 50/50 in 2018, he played third base nearly two-thirds of the time in 2019. Most scouts believe that is the position he is most likely to play. For his part, Miranda doesn’t mind playing either position. “I feel comfortable at both. If you can tell me now which one I want to play, I don’t have an answer right now. I like to play both, or all three. I like to play shortstop too. But right now it’s more third and second. Whatever they want me to play, I’ll play it.” ----------------------------------------------------------------- 2020 will be a big year for Jose Miranda. Following the season, he will be Rule 5 draft-eligible if he is not added to the Twins 40-man roster. To prepare for the season, he really worked hard. “First of all, I was working on my body because I wanted to lose some weight. Last year I felt a little sloppy, a little slow. So I told my trainer we had to work on my weight to get a little faster, to gain a little agility. And then my swing, and my swing mechanics.” When asked for his goals, he didn’t mention numbers and statistics. “One of my main goals is just to stay healthy for the whole year. Stay healthy, and then control what I can control.” Off the field, Miranda has some very exciting news as well. He will soon become a father. “We’re having a baby. Super exciting.” Miranda’s girlfriend is due in April. She is in Puerto Rico but hopefully about a month after the baby is born, mother and child will come to the States to be with Jose. A big year indeed!
  10. Before we look at the 2020 Honorable Mentions, a quick look at last year’s Honorable Mentions shows that 2019 Twins Top Rookie Luis Arraez was mentioned, referred to as a “Hit Machine.” Also, Jordan Balazovic went from Honorable Mention to, well, you’ll see him profiled soon. So which players who received votes this year will climb the prospect ladder in 2020? ALREADY DEBUTED Four players who made their MLB debuts in 2019. These players may not have super-stardom in their futures, but as we saw last year, they absolutely can be contributors to winning teams. Randy Dobnak went from non-drafted free agent who spent all of 2018 in Cedar Rapids to a guy who pitched well at four levels in the Twins system in 2019, including at the big league level, on his way to the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Likewise, Devin Smeltzer pitched in some big games and performed well at various times throughout the year. LaMonte Wade debuted mid-summer, and after an injury, he played most every day in September. Hard-throwing Jorge Alcala moved from a starting role to the bullpen late in the season and received a mid-September promotion to the big leagues. OTHERS ON 40-MAN ROSTER Along with those four players, a few other Honorable Mention players are on the Twins 40-man roster. Nick Gordon was added after the 2018 season. This past November, the Twins added Luke Raley and Dakota Chalmers to their 40-man roster, putting them one call away from the big leagues. In addition, Luis Rijo and Griffin Jax were two guys that Twins fans (and probably the Twins too) were worried about potentially losing in the Rule 5 draft. They were not selected, but as we know, both have the potential to move up this list. RETURNING FROM INJURIES Injuries are a part of the game, any game, and several Twins prospects fought injuries in 2019. Injuries can mean missed time and fewer development opportunities. They can sometimes be played through and affect performance. Ben Rortvedt suffered a knee injury late in the season, but he had surgery and should return at 100% in 2020. Akil Baddoo’s season ended in mid-May. He had Tommy John surgery and is excited to return to the field. Nick Gordon’s season started late due to a stomach ailment. His season ended early because of a knee injury. In between, he played well in Rochester. Luke Raley got off to a fast start for the Red Wings in April but at the end of the month he hurt his ankle and had surgery. He returned for the Arizona Fall League. Bailey Ober fought elbow injuries at times during the season, but when he took the mound, he was great. Yunior Severino fractured his thumb early in the season for Cedar Rapids. He was able to return in August. And Dakota Chalmers returned in the second half from his Tommy John surgery. You see the names, and you know several of them were previously Top 20 prospects, some even Top 10 guys. If healthy, their talent could push them quickly back up the rankings. WE HARDLY KNOW YE Spencer Steer had a strong first impression in pro ball. The Twins third-round pick from Oregon played for Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids in his debut. Chris Vallimont came to the Twins organization along with Sergio Romo (and cash) from the Miami Marlins for Lewin Diaz at the trade deadline. He’s got a big fastball and a solid pitch mix. Willie Joe Garry was a Twins draft pick in 2018 out of high school from Mississippi. He is a tremendous athlete with great speed and improving power. He’s got all the tools and is one to watch in 2020. DEADLINE TRADES 2018 The Twins were not good in 2018, and at the deadline, the front office traded several expiring contracts (and 1 1/4 seasons of Ryan Pressly) for a plethora of prospects. A couple of those prospects will be profiled later in this series, but a lot of them received votes and would appear in the 21 through 35 range of Twins prospect. Clearly that flurry of trade activity has much helped the Twins' prospect depth. From the Dodgers for Brian Dozier, the Twins received both Devin Smeltzer and Luke Raley. From the Diamondbacks for Eduardo Escobar, the Twins received Gabriel Maciel. From the Yankees for Lance Lynn, the Twins received Luis Rijo. From the Astros for Ryan Pressly, the Twins acquired Jorge Alcala. From the A’s for Fernando Rodney, the Twins acquired Dakota Chalmers. Tomorrow, we will begin our look into the Top 20 Twins prospects with prospects 16-20. Be sure to check every day to see where your favorite Twins prospects rank. And feel free to ask questions and leave your comments below. 2020 MINNESOTA TWINS PROSPECT HANDBOOK For more information on these Honorable Mentions, pick up a copy of the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It is available in paperback or PDF (for immediate download). Order your copies today! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  11. Here are our choices for the Nos. 16-20 spots in the system. Make sure to let us know how you feel about these rankings in the comments below. We put a lot of work into compiling these lists, but it is an inexact science. 20. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF Age: 22 ETA: 2021 2019 Stats (AA/A+): .295/.349/.502 (.851 OPS), 15 2B, 0 3B, 14 HR, 71 K, 22 BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: Honorable Mention Seth: 17 | Tom: 19 | Cody: 33 | Ted: 29 | Steve: 17 We should probably come up with a name for the post-FSL breakout. How about the Pensacola push? Whatever you want to call it, that’s what Blankenhorn is doing this season. After posting a .686 OPS over a full season with the Miracle last year, Blankenhorn boasted a .781 OPS in his second time around the circuit and was promoted up to Double-A after just 15 games. He has terrorized Southern League pitching, boasting a .300/.342/.525 line (.866 OPS) in 54 games. He’s among the league leaders in virtually every major offensive category. Blankenhorn has struggled against same-sided pitching over his career, but is making positive steps in that regard. He has a career-high .702 OPS vs. lefties this year. In the field, Blankenhorn has spent 43 games at second base, 25 in left field and just two games at third base this season. Here’s a look at some of his highlights since joining the Blue Wahoos: 19. Misael Urbina, CF Age: 17 ETA: 2024 2019 Stats (Rk-DSL): .269/.371/.442 (.813 OPS), 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 K, 5 BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: Honorable Mention Seth: 20 | Tom: 27 | Cody: 16 | Ted: 21 | Steve: 23 This kid is 17. It’s entirely possible we have him way too low on this list. Then again, might be way too high on this list. The Twins signed Urbina out of Venezuela for $2.75 million last July. He has great speed, which should serve him well in the outfield, but he also came highly regarded for his baseball acumen and makeup. There’s such a wide range of talent in the Dominican Summer League. It can be difficult to try to put much stock into statistical performance down there, but it is encouraging to see Urbina hit the ground running in his first 14 games of pro ball. 18. Jorge Alcala, RHP Age: 23 ETA: 2020 2019 Stats (AA): 71.2 IP, 5.65 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 2.85 K:BB Ratio 2019 Preseason Ranking: 19 Seth: 12 | Tom: 22 | Cody: 35 | Ted: 14 | Steve: 15 It’s starting to appear more likely that Alcala’s future will be in the bullpen, but it’s pretty exciting to think about what he could be in that role. He’s been used as a “primary” pitcher following an opener in four of his outings this year. He has not responded well to that adjustment. As a traditional starter, Alcala has a 4.73 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 3.86 K:BB ratio. As the primary, he’s at 8.35 ERA, 1.96 WHIP and 1.77 K:BB ratio. Alcala has also had a difficult time limiting damage with runners on. He’s limited opponents to just a .666 OPS with the bases empty but they’ve roughed him up to the tune of a .920 OPS with runners on. Opponents also have a sky high .360 BABIP against Alcala in 2019. Taking a look at the breakdown of how our writers ranked Alcala individually, you get a good idea for the range of opinions on Alcala. 17. Akil Baddoo, CF Age: 20 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats (A+): .214/.290/.393 (.683 OPS), 3 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 39 K, 12 BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: 10 Seth: 23 | Tom: 16 } Cody: 14 | Ted: 19 | Steve: 20 Baddoo gets leapfrogged by several prospects in large part because he’s going to lose a year recovering from Tommy John surgery. The dip from 10th to 17th may seem a bit harsh, but all the guys who passed him by are all either brand new to the system or having incredible seasons. It’s still fairly rare for a position player to have to undergo that procedure, but in recent years we’ve seen Miguel Sano and Alex Kirilloff come back and show no ill effects from Tommy John. This injury will cost Baddoo time, but he still has as much potential as always. In the little time he spent with Fort Myers prior to the injury, 29 games, Baddoo was hitting for power (.393 slugging in a league where the average is .356), but his plate discipline slipped a bit. 16. Ben Rortvedt, C Age: 21 ETA: 2021 2019 Stats (AA/ A+): .247/.352/.409 (.760 OPS), 10 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 42 K, 28 BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: 14 Seth: 21 | Tom: 13 | Cody: 17 | Ted: 17 |Steve: 16 Rortvedt’s bat keeps showing more and more as he climbs up the ladder. His OPS has progressed from .559 to .599 to .710 to .760 so far this season. He already has a career-high six home runs this season, and his plate discipline hasn’t suffered. He has a 19.2 K% and 12.8 BB% so far this season. At 21, he’s among the youngest players in Double-A. The Southern League weighted average age for batters is 23.7. Rortvedt’s always had a good arm, but he’s committed to trying to improve on getting the low strike called this season. Moving up the ladder has also meant more competition for reps behind the plate. After appearing at catcher in 97% of his games in 2017, that number dipped to 82% last season and is all the way down to 67%. The drop in time behind the dish has allowed Rortvedt to get more plate appearances to date than any of his prior seasons. Here’s some recent video from Rortvedt’s time with the Blue Wahoos: Twins Daily 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings Prospects 36-40 Prospects 31-35 Prospects 26-30 Prospects 21-25 Prospects 11-15 Coming Soon
  12. Let's get right to the bad news. The Twins announced the following: Brusdar Graterol is going on the IL for Pensacola with a shoulder impingement. While the Twins said that they are bringing many minor leaguers in to Target Field for evaluation - which is 100% true - Graterol was brought in this week to have his shoulder evaluated. A shoulder impingement is not a serious injury in and of itself, but if not diagnosed and treated, it could become worse. Stephen Gonsalves is going back on the IL for Rochester with a left elbow stress reaction. Gonsalves felt a little elbow soreness in spring training and the team decided to be cautious with it. He slowly worked his way up to being able to return to the Red Wings rotation. Last week, he made his first start of the season, but he struggled and left after two innings. A stress reaction in and of itself isn't terrible news, but it will require rest. Obviously the hope is to avoid Tommy John surgery. Akil Baddoo, the talented Miracle outfielder, will miss the remainder of the season with Tommy John surgery. Baddoo went on the IL about ten days ago with the elbow pain. It was further evaluated and the UCL was torn, so Tommy John it is. As a position player, the hope is that he will be ready for spring training in 2020. He will be having the surgery about two months later than Alex Kirilloff had it in 2017. Kirilloff was full go around Thanksgiving. Another outfielder, Rochester's Luke Raley, is going to have ankle surgery. Raley went on the IL a week ago. It is unfortunate because he was playing well and playing hard and really making an impression on those around the Red Wings. It has been a tough season for top prospects and injuries. Royce Lewis went to big league spring training, but he was unable to play for most of camp because of an oblique injury. He was ready by Opening Day and hasn't missed time in the season. Alex Kirilloff, coming off of an incredible 2018 season, hurt his wrist late in spring training and missed about a month at the beginning of the season. Nick Gordon began the season on the IL with a stomach issue. He returned a month later, but after playing really well for a week, he went back on the Injured List for seven more days with a strained adductor. He has returned again and continues to hit. Brent Rooker missed about a week early in the season with a hamstring injury. He is currently on the IL with a wrist injury. Just a handful of games into the Kernels season, Yunior Severino fractured his thumb and tore some tendons as well. Righty Bailey Ober was runner-up for our Starting Pitcher of the Month for April and then went on the IL with another elbow issue. The Twins Daily choice for Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2018, Tyler Wells, has been out all season with an elbow injury. He will be having Tommy John surgery on May 29. DaShawn Keirsey, the Twins 4th-round pick last June, has had a couple of IL appearances already this season. This article isn't to place blame. It's just another reminder that player development isn't linear. Injuries are a factor and they don't have prejudice. They will find highly-ranked prospects or lesser-known prospects. They can bite a pitcher or a hitter at any time. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, though I don't pretend to know a lot of the details behind many of these.
  13. In case you missed any of them, Twins Daily named its Award winners for April. Hitter of the Month - Trey Cabbage Starting Pitcher of the Month - Devin Smeltzer Relief Pitcher of the Month - Ryan Mason All rankings below are from the Twins Daily Top-20 Prospects. 1. Royce Lewis- Fort Myers Last week, the discussion arose about the possibility of Royce Lewis being baseball’s best prospect. Lewis has struggled to start the season. Through his first 28 games, he is hitting .227/.323/.273 with four extra-base hits. He has yet to hit a home run after clubbing 14 a season ago. He has done well against lefties by going 8-for-20 with two extra-base hits and more walks (3) than strikeouts (2). 2. Alex Kirilloff- Pensacola Kirilloff’s wrist injury obviously impacts his start to the season. In his first four games, he has gone 4-for-13 with a double. His three walks in 18 plate appearances have helped him to get on base 50% of the time. In Pensacola, Kirilloff is nearly three years younger than the competition. It seems likely for him to spend the majority of the year at Double-A. However, he could still make his big league debut this season. 4. Trevor Larnach- Fort Myers Larnach is part of a key group of 2018 draft picks populating the Miracle roster. In his first 28 games, he is hitting .279/.325/.369 with 10 doubles. Only one player has more doubles in the Florida State League. During his professional debut, Larnach posted a 28 to 21 strikeout to walk ratio. This season, he already has 25 strikeouts, but he has coaxed only eight walks. 5. Wander Javier- Extended Spring Training Javier hasn’t played since 2017. He missed all of 2018 after having surgery in his non-throwing shoulder. His start to the 2019 season has been delayed because of a right quad strain. He needs to show he can stay healthy. Minnesota will have to add him to the 40-man roster this off-season and he hasn’t played a game above the Appalachian League. 6. Brent Rooker- Rochester During his age-24 season, Rooker is getting on base 27% of the time and he has a .753 OPS. During the 2017 campaign, he posted a .930 OPS across two levels. He clubbed 18 home runs that year and his prospect stock couldn’t have been higher. Last year in Double-A his OPS dipped to .798 and he struck out a whopping 150 times in 130 games. He already has 30 strikeouts this season in 17 games. 10. Akil Baddoo- Fort Myers Baddoo has struggled to make consistent contact during his first taste of the Florida State League. He’s averaged more than a strikeout per game but there has only been one game this season where he faced a pitcher younger than himself. When he has made contact, there has been some power in his swing. He has 10 extra-base hits. Speed has also been part of his game as he has three triples and he has been successful in four of his five steal attempts. Can Kirilloff help to boost this struggling group? Who has the most to prove in the months ahead? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  14. TRANSACTIONS ACTIVATED: C David Banuelos from the 7-day injured list for Cedar Rapids RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Lehigh Valley 6 Box Score Rochester outhit the IronPigs (10 to 7) and scored a late run to make things interesting, but it wasn’t enough. The club didn’t take advantage of some opportunities as they left eight runners on base and went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Kohl Stewart took his bumps and bruises in this one as he couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning. He allowed six runs on six hits including two home runs. He struggled to find the zone for most of the night as he threw 100 pitches and only 52 of them were for strikes. After a promising first start of the season, Stewart has thrown clunkers his last two times out. Rochester continued to rely on the long ball in this game. With three solo shots on Thursday, Rochester has hit 22 home runs to produce 33 of the 62 total runs scored this season. LaMonte Wade, Tomas Telis, and Jordany Valdespin joined the home run parade. Also, Telis and Valdespin each added a double. DJ Baxendale pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings by only allowing one hit. He struck out six and walked one. Matt Magill took the final frame and didn’t allow a runner. He had one strikeout and he has yet to allow a run this season. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola --, Biloxi – (Postponed-Rain) The Blue Wahoos and the Schuckers were postponed on Thursday due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a double-header on Friday, April 19 with first pitch scheduled for 5:35 CST. Pensacola currently has a 9-4 record and they are in first place by two games in the Southern League South. In other news, the Blue Wahoos have teamed up with Silver Airways for a Kazoo- themed airplane. Kazoo is the name of the Blue Wahoos mascot. Silver Airways has flights from Pensacola to Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Orlando. https://twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall/status/1118889858456530944 MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Charlotte 6 Box Score Fort Myers rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but a six-run deficit was too much to overcome. Tyler Watson started and pitched into the sixth inning for the second consecutive game. He allowed two runs on three hits while striking out five and walking one. Anthony Vizcaya took over for Watson and struggled in parts of two innings. He allowed four runs on four hits as Charlotte pushed their lead to 6-0. Calvin Faucher had a very nice bounce back game. In his last appearance, he allowed three runs while only recording one out. Tonight, he pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings with a pair of strikeouts and two walks. In the bottom of the ninth, Akil Baddoo lead off with a triple and was driven home on a Lewin Diaz groundout. Jose Miranda followed with a double before Trevor Larnach singled to put runners on the corners. A double from Ryan Jeffers scored a run and there were still runners on the corners. Ben Rortvedt would ground out to score another run and Michael Helman recorded the game’s final out. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Beloit 2 Box Score Cedar Rapids jumped out to an early 4-0 thanks to some miscues by the Snappers. With one out, Gabe Snyder was hit by a pitch. Trey Cabbage followed and reached base on an error by the shortstop. Jacob Pearson struck out for the second out of the inning and it looked like Beloit might get out without allowing a run. However, Gilberto Celestino and Andrew Bechtold knocked back-to-back singles to push across a pair of runs. Celestino then stole third but it wouldn’t matter because David Banuelos tripled to score two more runs and put Cedar Rapids up 4-0. Cedar Rapids allowed a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning, but the club got those runs back in the bottom of the frame. The Kernels were able to do this without recording a hit. Celestino and Bechtold walked to start the inning. With Banuelos batting, an error by the third baseman loaded up the bases. Michael Davis drew a walk to score one run and a wild pitch put the score at 6-2. Jordan Balazovic pitched five strong innings. He struck out eight, walked one, and limited the Snappers to two runs (one earned). He has allowed two runs or fewer in every start this season. His eight strikeouts tonight were the fewest he’s had all year (nine strikeouts in both previous starts). Jose Martinez pitched two shutout innings and struck out one. Joe Record collected the final six outs with four strikeouts. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Jordan Balazovic, Cedar Rapids (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 8 K, 1 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Tomas Telis, Rochester (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, R) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – Did not play #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - No Game #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, R #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Did not play #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – 1-3, 3B, R, K #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, 2B, RBI, K #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, RBI #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – 1-3, RBI, 2 K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) – Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 2-4, HR, R, RBI, BB #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – No Game #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, 2B, R, K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) – RHP Zack Littell (0-2, 7.71 ERA) Pensacola @ Biloxi (5:35 CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Pensacola @ Biloxi (Game 2) – TBD Fort Myers vs. Charlotte (5:30 CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (1-0, 0.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit (6:35 CST) – RHP Cole Sands (0-0, 3.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games.
  15. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the transactions of the day TRANSACTIONS Rochester announced on Monday that Wynston Sawyer was going on the injured list. Cedar Rapids announced that OF Gabriel Maciel was activated from the IL while OF Jean Carlos Arias was sent back to extended spring training. AWARDS RED WINGS REPORT Rochester, Lehigh Valley Box Score Rains postponed this game. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader in July. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 4, Biloxi 3 Box Score The Blue Wahoos started a new five-game series and won 4-3 to improve to 8-3 on their season. Jorge Alcala started and improved to 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up two runs on four hits and two walks. He struck out seven batters. Jovani Moran came on and was charged with an earned run on two hits, a walk and a hit batter. He struck out four. Dusten Knight came on with two runners on base in the eighth and recorded the final out. He worked a scoreless ninth inning and earned his third save of the year. Brian Schales provided the early offense. He hit a two-run homer, his second of the season. Tanner English went 2-for-4. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 7, St. Lucie 3 Box Score The Miracle got some early runs and more strong pitching to gain a win and improve to 8-4. Randy Dobnak started and threw another six scoreless innings, giving him 11 shutout frames to start his season. He gave up just three hits, walked one and struck out four. Calvin Faucher came on to start the seventh. He gave up three runs on four hits and two walks and recorded just one out. Tom Hackimer came on and got five outs without allowing another run. Johan Quezada walked one in a scoreless ninth. Akil Baddoo went 3-for-4, was hit by a pitch and launched his second home run. Royce Lewis went 3-for-4 with a walk and his second double. Ryan Jeffers also had three hits in four at-bats and walked once. Trevor Larnach hit his fourth double and drove in two runs. Jose Miranda drove in two late runs with his first triple of the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 7 Box Score Trey Cabbage provided some late-inning power, but it wasn’t enough as the Kernels fell to 4-8 on the season. Cabbage hit a two-run homer, his third long ball of the season, in the ninth inning. Gabe Snyder went 1-for-3 with a walk, and Andrew Bechtold added a double. Luis Rijo started for the Kernels. He gave up five runs (three earned) on ten hits. He walked one and struck out two. Derek Molina got the final eight outs. He gave up two runs on two hits while striking out three batters. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Randy Dobnak, Ft. Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Akil Baddoo, Ft. Myers Miracle PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 3-4, BB, 2B(2), 2 R, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2B(4), 2 RBI, K #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Rained Out #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 3-4, HR(2), HBP, 3 R, 2 RBI #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 3-4, BB #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, BB #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 4 K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Rained Out #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (89 pitches, 55 strikes) #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, BB, 3B(1), R, 2 RBI, 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Syracuse @ Rochester (DH @ 4:05 CST) - LHP Justin Nicolino (0-0, 9.00 ERA), TBD Pensacola @ Biloxi (6:35 CST) - RHP Brusdar Graterol (1-0, 0.87 ERA) Ft. Myers @ St. Lucie (5:30 CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (1-0, 0.00 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids* (6:35 CST) - RHP Blayne Enlow (1-1, 9.00 ERA) Reminder: This series of games is at Cedar Rapids, but Quad Cities will be the home team on the scoreboard. Quad Cities ballpark (Modern Woodmen Park) remains surrounded by floodwaters from the Mississippi River. https://twitter.com/Morgart11/status/1115817252505509888 Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games.
  16. 10. Akil Baddoo, CF Age: 20 (DOB (8/16/98) 2018 Stats (-A): 517 PA, .243/.351/.419, 11 HR, 40 RBI ETA: 2021 2018 Ranking: 10 What’s to like? This guy’s not just an athlete. Baddoo has a career .367 on-base percentage and an even more impressive walk rate of 14.4 percent. Only 10 qualified MLB hitters walked more often in 2018. Baddoo’s also not just a strict pull hitter, another common issue among lower-level prospects. That should keep opposing teams from employing any extreme shifts against him. Here’s a look at his spray chart: Most of his home run power is right down the line, but you can see plenty of extra-base hits going to the left of center field. Through the first two months of last season, Baddoo posted a .396 OBP, but that came with a very weak .336 slugging percentage. From that point forward, we started to see him punish pitches on a more regular basis. His OBP was only .329 through the rest of the season, but that came with an impressive .454 slugging percentage. So I think it’s fair to say he’s both shown excellent on-base skills and some nice pop. Is there a way he can balance out those two approaches, or even better yet, manage to maintain the best of both worlds? That’s the part that’s really exciting about Baddoo. He’s shown flashes of so many different skills. But let’s get back to that athleticism. Baddoo led the Midwest League with 11 triples last season and has a stolen base success rate over 80 percent for his career (41-for-51). The speed is real. There’s a lot to like. What’s left to work on? Surprise, surprise, he needs to get better against left-handed pitching. Real original, Akil. After handling southpaws to the tune of an .840 OPS in 2017, Baddoo hit just .220/.304/.339 (.643 OPS) against same-sided pitching this past season. Of his 17 career home runs, all but one of them have come against right-handed pitchers. What else? Baddoo would also benefit from cutting down on his strikeouts. Being comfortable working deep counts is great, but his strikeout rate of 24 percent last season is just a little too high. If anything, that rate figures to rise as he climbs the ladder, so Baddoo may benefit from being a bit more aggressive early in the count from time-to-time. He could also use some refinement in the field. What’s next? After spending the entire 2018 season with Cedar Rapids, Baddoo figures to spend plenty of his time in Fort Myers this year. Not only does the competition become more advanced, but the Florida State League is also a notorious pitcher’s environment. It should serve for a great measuring stick for Baddoo. This is the second straight year Baddoo has slotted 10th in our rankings. With this upcoming season serving as somewhat of a make or break year in terms of his prospect stock, he could shoot up the list or he could drop down, but I’d bet against a three-peat in the 10 spot. Twins Daily 2019 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Jose Miranda 19. Jorge Alcala 18. LaMonte Wade 17. Zack Littell 16. Gilberto Celestino 15. Yunior Severino 14. Ben Rortvedt 13. Ryan Jeffers 12. Nick Gordon 11. Stephen Gonsalves 10. Akil Baddoo 9. Coming Soon Get to know more about these five Minnesota Twins prospects and much more in the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It’s available in paperback or as an eBook.
  17. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Daytona 1 Box Score W: Charlie Barnes (6.2 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) SV: Jovani Moran (2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) HR: Jose Miranda Multi-hit games: Travis Blankenhorn (3-for-3), Jose Miranda (2-for-4, 2B, HR) Game 1 of the Florida State League Championship Series opened up as a pitcher’s duel. Charlie Barnes of Fort Myers and Packy Naughton of Daytona each wiggled out of early jams, Barnes being the beneficiary of some great defense. Daytona opened the third inning with consecutive singles and loaded the bases with one out. A potential sacrifice fly was hit out to Aaron Whitefield in center, but he turned it into an inning-ending double play instead, throwing out the runner trying to score. This game was tied at 0-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth. Naughton retired the first two hitters he faced, but Alex Kirilloff hit a single to extend the inning and Jose Miranda delivered a huge two-run homer. The Miracle added an insurance run in the seventh, as Caleb Hamilton hit a leadoff single, stole second base with two outs and came around to score on a Travis Blankenhorn single. Things got way too interesting in the top half of the eighth inning. With Jovani Moran pitching, the Tortugas’ leadoff batter reached safely on a strike three passed ball. Moran hit the next batter, then gave up an RBI single. The Miracle finally got the first out of the inning on a pop out, but then Moran walked the bases loaded. Luckily, he got things straightened out and struck out the next two batters swinging. Heading into the ninth up 3-1, Ryan Costello committed an error to put the leadoff man on, but Moran buckled down again and struck out the next three batters, all swinging. Game 2 of this series takes place tomorrow evening. Griffin Jax will start for the Miracle. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Beloit 0 (7 innings) Box Score W: Randy Dobnak (7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) Multi-hit games: Akil Baddoo (3-for-4, 2B) There’s nothing better than a dominant outing by a starting pitcher in postseason play. Randy Dobnak surely had the Snappers feeling helpless, as he shut them out for the full seven innings of this game. Dobnak gave up just six hits and a walk and struck out eight. He was effectively aggressive, throwing 72 of his 92 pitches for strikes (78.3 percent). Akil Baddoo was rock solid for Cedar Rapids at the plate. He hit a leadoff double in the first, but was eventually stranded there. In the second, he got the Kernels on the board with a two-out RBI single. He added another single in the middle of what was a two-run fourth inning for Cedar Rapids. This game was only scheduled for seven innings because if the Kernels would have lost, a third and deciding game would have been played later in the evening on Friday. With a victory in Game 2 of their series against Beloit, the Kernels advance to the Midwest League Western Division Championship, and will host Peoria tomorrow night. Bryan Sammons will be on the mound for Cedar Rapids. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Randy Dobnak, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Jose Miranda, Fort Myers TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 1-for-4 2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): 1-for-4, R 6. Trevor Larnach (CR): 1-for-2, BB, RBI, K 8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 3-for-4, 2B, RBI, R, K 13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 3-for-3, RBI 18. Ryan Jeffers (CR): 0-for-3 SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers vs. Daytona, 6:00 pm CT: Griffin Jax (Game 2 of series, Miracle up 1-0) Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria, 6:35 pm CT: Bryan Sammons (Game 1 of series) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  18. TRANSACTIONS To Fort Myers: RHP Edwar Colina To Cedar Rapids: LHP Zach Neff, RHP Carlos Suniaga Also, Jordan Balazovic was placed on the Kernels’ DL and it was reported that Michael Pineda’s rehab assignment has been put on hold due to concerns over some soreness in his knees. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Syracuse 1 Box Score W: Luke Bard (3.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) SV: John Curtiss (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K) SP: Ryan Eades (3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: None Rochester scored all three of their runs on a two-out rally in the fifth inning. It all started with catcher Juan Graterol drawing a walk. Alex Perez followed with a single, which chased Syracuse’s starter from the game. Byron Buxton was hit by a pitch to load the bases, then Nick Gordon drew an RBI walk. Gregorio Petit capped it off with a two-run single. D.J. Baxendale had an impressive night, striking out four of the six batters he faced over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. John Curtiss struggled some with his control, throwing just 17 of his 33 pitches for strikes, but still picked up his ninth save. Buxton was 1-for-3 with a single, a hit-by-pitch and two strikeouts. He also threw out a runner at home to end the sixth inning. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Jacksonville 5, Chattanooga 4 Box Score SP: Tyler Wells (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) HR: Andy Wilkins (8) Multi-hit games: Tanner English (2-for-2, 3B) This game started out as a pitchers duel, with Tyler Wells absolutely dealing for the Lookouts. The first run of the game didn’t come until the top of the eighth inning when Jacksonville took a 1-0 lead. Things got real interesting from there. Chattanooga responded with four runs in the bottom of the eighth, but their bullpen could not make that lead hold up, as they surrendered four runs right back to Jacksonville in the top of the ninth. Andy Wilkins delivered the big hit for Chattanooga, hitting a go-ahead, three-run homer with two outs in the eighth. Circling back to Wells, after six innings of shutout ball, his ERA is down to 1.67 since joining the Lookouts. He threw 63 of his 92 pitches for strikes and punched out seven batters. He’s given up just five earned runs in 27 innings for Chattanooga and has struck out 31 batters in the process. MIRACLE MATTERS St. Lucie 5, Fort Myers 2 Box Score SP: Griffin Jax (5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K) HR: Alex Kirilloff (5) Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR), Robbie Rinn (2-for-4) Griffin Jax had his worst start of the season and the Miracle could not recover. Jax tied a season high with four earned runs and issued four walks in a start for the first time in 24 professional appearances. Alex Kirilloff hit a home run, his fifth with the Miracle and 18th overall this season. Adam Bray pitched the final three innings, giving up one run on two hits to go along with three strikeouts. The Minneapolis native and South Dakota State product has a 1.27 ERA in 17 games with Fort Myers. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Kane County 2 Box Score W: Carlos Suniaga (5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) HR: Michael Davis (7) Multi-hit games: Akil Baddoo (3-for-4, BB), Michael Helman (2-for-5, 2B), Trevor Larnach (2-for-4), Michael Davis 2-for-4, HR) The Kernels had two runs on the board before they even made an out in the bottom of the first inning and cruised to victory. Leadoff man Akil Baddoo filled up the stat sheet, reaching base four times. He also stole his 22nd base of the season. A quartet of 2018 draftees had big games as well. First-round pick Trevor Larnach was 2-for-4, pushing his batting average since joining the Kernels to .310, and drove in two runs. Michael Helman, an 11th-round pick, was 2-for-5 with a double and is hitting .368 in 19 games with Cedar Rapids. Michael Davis, selected in the 24th round, hit a two-run homer, his seventh with the Kernels. Finally, 31st-round pick Zach Neff logged 2 2/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball to go with three strikeouts in his Midwest League debut. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 7, Bristol 5 Box Score W: Josh Winder (5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) SV: Erik Cha (2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) HR: Yunior Severino (7), Gilberto Celestino (1) Multi-hit games: Gilberto Celestino (3-for-4, HR), Yelstin Encarnacion (2-for-4) E-Town jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and fended off multiple comeback attempts by the Pirates to improve their record to 36-26 this season. Josh Winder put together a solid start and Yunior Severino socked a two-run homer in the second inning. Gilberto Celestino, acquired in the Ryan Pressly deal, hit his first homer since joining the Twins and finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Erik Cha, making his Appy League debut, inherited a one-run lead with one out and a runner on in the seventh inning. He gave up one hit and one walk over 2 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the save, striking out five of the 11 batters he faced in the process. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 7, GCL Red Sox 6 (13 innings) Box Score W: Michael Montero (3.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) SP: Kai-Wei Teng (4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) HR: Shane Carrier (1) Multi-hit games: Estamy Urena (3-for-5), Shane Carrier (2-for-5, HR) Michael Montero entered this game with one out in the top of the 10th inning, after the Red Sox had scored the go-ahead run. He got out of a jam, recording the last two outs with runners on first and second base. Charles Mack tied it back up with a sac fly in the bottom of the 10th, and Montero just kept cruising. Despite having a runner start on second base each inning, Montero posted zeros in the 11th, 12th and 13th innings. Finally, in the bottom of the 13th Hunter Lee hit a walk-off single. Shane Carrier hit a three-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Wells, Chattanooga Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gilberto Celestino, Elizabethton TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 1-for-5, R, K 2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): 2-for-4, HR, RBi, R 3. Brusdar Graterol (FM): Did not pitch. 4. Nick Gordon (ROC): 1-for-2, 2 BB, RBI 5. Stephen Gonsalves (MIN): Promoted to the Twins. 6. Trevor Larnach (CR): 2-for-4, 2 RBI, K 7. Brent Rooker (CHAT): 1-for-4, R, K 8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 3-for-4, BB, 2 R, K, SB 9. Wander Javier: Out of for the season 10. Zack Littell (ROC): Did not pitch. 11. Blayne Enlow (CR): Did not pitch. 12. LaMonte Wade (ROC): Did not play. 13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 0-for-4, K 14. Lewis Thorpe (CHAT): Did not pitch. 15. Ben Rortvedt (FM): 1-for-4 16. Yunior Severino (ET): 1-for-3, HR, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 2 R, K) 17. Lewin Diaz (FM): Out for the season. 18. Ryan Jeffers (CR): Did not play. 19. Jacob Pearson (CR): 1-for-4, R, K 20. Luis Arraez (CHAT): 0-for-1, K (as a pinch hitter) SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Syracuse, 12:05 pm CT: Lewis Thorpe Chattanooga vs. Jacksonville, 1:15 pm CT: TBD Fort Myers at St. Lucie, 11:00 am CT: TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Kane County, 2:05 pm CT: Tyler Watson Elizabethton at Bristol, 5:00 pm CT: TBD GCL Twins: Off Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  19. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Wednesday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS Utility man Taylor Motter was released by the Twins. He’d been playing in Rochester. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Pawtucket 7 Box Score Fernando Romero was on the mound for the Red Wings. The right-hander went the first three innings. He gave up three runs on four hits. He walked a batter, hit a batter and struck out two in three innings. Tyler Duffey came on and gave up two runs on four hits in two innings. He struck out three. Ryne Harper gave up two runs on three hits over 2 2/3 innings. He walked two, hit one and struck out two. John Curtiss got the final four outs. Kennys Vargas had another strong game. He went 2-for-3 with a walk and his 16th double. Zander Wiel had a hit in his fist at bat, the first hit of his Triple-A career. Byron Buxton went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Montgomery 3 Box Score Clark Beeker made his first Double-A start for the Lookouts on Wednesday night. The right-hander from Davidson gave up just two hits over four shutout innings. He struck out two without issuing a walk. Anthony Marzi came on and worked the next two innings. The left-hander gave up one run on two hits and a walk. Tyler Jay worked the final two innings and gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits, a walk and a hit batter. The Lookouts had just five hits in this game. Jaylin Davis provided the offense with a two-run, first-inning homer, his sixth with the Lookouts. Brent Rooker had a single and was hit by a pitch. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Palm Beach 1 Box Score Andro Cutura missed nearly two seasons after Tommy John surgery. On Wednesday, he turned 25 and celebrated with a Win. The right-hander gave up just one run on four hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out four. Adam Bray gave up two hits over two scoreless innings to end the game. Taylor Grzelakowski led the way with a 3-for-5 game. He hit his 23rd double. Mark Contreras went 2-for-4 with a walk and his 15th double. Eddie De La Trinidad was 2-for-5 with his second double. Ben Rortvedt went 2-for-4 with his seventh Miracle double. Caleb Hamilton went 2-for-3 with a walk. Ryan Costello also had two hits. Alex Kirilloff extended his on-base streak to 33 games. Jose Miranda also doubled. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Wisconsin 4 Box Score Akil Baddoo paced the way early for the Kernels. In the first inning, he began the game with his 11th triple. An inning later, his 11th home run was a two-run shot that was the big hit in a five-run inning. Baddoo also walked once. Trevor Larnach went 3-for-5 with his sixth double and his second home run. Michael Helman went 2-for-4 with his third double. Michael Davis went 2-for-4 with his eighth double. Trey Cabbage knocked his 19th double, which Ben Rodriguez’s first triple drove in two runs. Blayne Enlow made the start. He gave up one run on four hits over five innings to pick up his third win of the year. He walked one, hit two and struck out eight batters. Jared Finkel went the next 2 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs on five hits and a walk. Derek Molina got the final four outs and gave up just one hit. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 2, Greeneville 1 (11 innings) Box Score Jean Carlos Arias has struggled since being demoted to the E-Twins. He had an early single. In the ninth inning, he singled in the game-tying run. And in the bottom of the 11th inning, he singled in Trevor Casanova with the game-winning run. DaShawn Keirsey had a single and two walks. Tyler Palm had another strong start. The lanky right-hander started with six scoreless innings. His final line was one run over 6 1/3 innings. He walked one, hit one and struck out four. Augustana University’s Jacob Blank came on and gave up just one hit over the final 4 2/3 innings. He intentionally walked one and struck out five to record his first professional win. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins 7, GCL Rays 8 Box Score The Twins played a rare night game in the Gulf Coast League. A six-run fourth inning put the Twins in a hold. However, in the seventh inning, they mounted a comeback. They scored six runs of their own to tie the game. However, in the bottom of the inning, they gave up what proved to be the game-winning run. Prelander Berroa started and gave up seven runs (just two earned) on eight hits and a walk over the first 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four. Denny Bentley came on and finished out the fourth and worked a scoreless fifth inning. Steven Cruz gave up one run on one hit and three walks over the next 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two. Petru Balan got the final four outs. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out one. Shane Carrier had two doubles in the game. Estamy Urena was 2-for-4 with a walk. Victor Tademo also had two hits in the game. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jean Carlos Arias, Elizabethton Twins (3-5, game-tying and game-winning hits). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Jacob Blank, Elizabethton Twins (4.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 IBB, 5 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-5 #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, 2B(23), R, RBI, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-4, R, K #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 2B(6), HR(2), 2 R, 2 RBI #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-3, HBP, R, K #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, BB, 3B(11), HR(11), 2 R, 2 RBI #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 0-4, K #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, 2B(7), R #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 0-1 #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Out for the season (wrist) #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, R #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - 1-3 #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2B(3), R, RBI, K *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pawtucket @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (4-6, 3.63 ERA) Chattanooga @ Montgomery (6:35 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen (5-6, 3.55 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30 CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (1-1, 8.20 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (7:00 CST) - RHP Melvi Acosta (2-4, 2.56 ERA) Greeneville @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-3, 2.95 ERA) GCL Twins - No Game Scheduled Please feel free to ask any questions about Wednesday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  20. "Just score runs. That’s the goal and that’s how you win games." Of course being a consistently productive leadoff hitter at any professional level really is a little more complicated than that. “Just really getting on base,” Baddoo said in an interview late last week. “If I get a walk, I’ll be satisfied with a walk because I know I’ll turn a walk into a double when I end up stealing second base. I’m just trying to find a way to get into scoring position so my third hitter and fourth hitter, which we have studs in the third hole and the fourth hole, just can knock me in.” You also won’t see Baddoo swinging at the first pitch often. His aversion to first-pitch cuts may not be quite as severe as the current leadoff hitter for the parent club Minnesota Twins, but at least in his first at-bat of the game, his approach does appear more than a little bit Joe Mauer-ish. “I’m just seeing what the pitcher has, how his curveball is, what the fastball’s doing,” Baddoo explained. “Then, if I get a base hit, then that’s a good thing, it’s a positive. But mostly it’s like a sacrifice, I’m just trying to figure out what he has, so I’m prepared in my next at-bat and third at-bat and going on. Then I can translate that to my other players. I can tell them, ‘Hey the breaking ball is 12 and 6,’ or ‘it’s side-to-side and the fastball has a little run to it.’ That’s what I kind of do my first at-bat. And then, if I get a hit, that’s good, that’s positive. But I know what he has.” Baddoo’s “just score runs” philosophy has translated to results on the field. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Baddoo052018d-600x401.jpg Akil Baddoo (Photo by SD Buhr) Through Sunday’s 3-2 win at Wisconsin, Baddoo had crossed the plate a team-high 77 times for the Kernels in 2018. That’s 25 more than any of his Kernels teammates and only two players in the Midwest League have scored more runs than Baddoo this season. So how does a guy sporting a modest .238 batting average score so many runs? “Akil is an athlete and a good baseball player,” Kernels hitting coach Brian Dinkelman explained. “ He goes through stretches where he’s really good and he goes through stretches where he has tough times. I think he’s still learning the game and learning himself, to be a consistent ballplayer all the time. But if you look at his numbers, I mean, double digits in homers, doubles, triples, stolen bases. So he can do a little bit of everything.” Indeed, Baddoo’s 10 home runs tie him with Ben Rodriguez for third most among Kernels this season and since both of the guys ahead of them on the list are now playing for the Ft. Myers Miracle, you could say they are the active team co-leaders. His 20 doubles also make him the “active” team leader in that category, tied with Alex Kirilloff and trailing only Royce Lewis and Jose Miranda – and all three have been promoted to Ft. Myers. Baddoo isn’t looking up at anyone on the triples list as his 10 three-baggers not only leads the Kernels, but the entire Midwest League. He’s stolen 21 bases, good enough for second among Kernels this season, and he would look to be in position to claim the team lead soon as he trails the departed Lewis by a single stolen base. And don’t forget the walks. With 69 walks on the season, Baddoo leads his team and ranks fourth on the MWL leaderboard. Not too bad for a guy who just celebrated his 20th birthday last week and is in his first year of full-season professional baseball. Baddoo was a Lottery Round B (74th overall) draft selection by the Twins in 2016 out of Salem High School in Conyers, Georgia – about 20 miles east of Atlanta. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, it took a while for a Georgia kid to adjust to the chilly Midwest as the season got underway, but as the weather warmed up, so did Baddoo. After hitting just .196 in April, he nudged that average up to .240 in May and his .245 batting average in June was accompanied by an OPS of .820. He followed that up by hitting .280 in July, again with an OPS north of .800 for the month. August has not been particularly kind to Baddoo, so it’s possible that the long season is catching up to him. His 105 games played is also a team-high number. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Baddoo060618a-600x400.jpg Akil Baddoo (Photo by SD Buhr) “He’s going through a little rough spell where he’s striking out a little bit more, missing pitches,” Dinkelman observed. “We’re getting late in the season. I don’t know if maybe he’s getting a little bit tired, he’s been playing a lot of games for us. I’m sure fatigue probably is a little bit of a factor. Hopefully, he can find some extra energy the last couple of weeks.” Energy isn’t something the casual observer would ever think the dynamic Baddoo runs low on, but he’s also not all that concerned about his stat line. “I don’t really go too much on stats,” he said. “I know some people do, but it’s mostly about development and I feel myself getting better defensively and offensively. I’ve drawn a lot of walks, I’m getting on base, I’m scoring runs. I’m stealing bases. That’s really the goal and that’s what I’m trying to accomplish. I’m satisfied with what I’m doing, so far.” One thing we know for sure is that it’s not the Iowa summer, with temperatures through most of the past month running consistently in the upper 80s and into the 90s, that’s worn him down. “Exactly like Georgia, I love this weather right now,” Baddoo said. “They told me that, too, they said, ‘Once it dies down and not cold anymore, it’s going to get hot and it’s perfect.’ And they were right. This is amazing. I love it. Great baseball weather!” With just two weeks left in the Midwest League’s regular season, Baddoo said he’s looking forward to the drive toward the postseason, but doesn’t want to change his approach down the stretch. “No, not really, just keep getting after it,” he said. “Just going 110% and that’s what I do. I continue to work hard.” Under the MWL playoff format, teams that finish first and second in each of the league’s two division during the first half of the season already have postseason spots locked up, while the remaining 14 teams battle for the four second-half qualifying spots. With two weeks left, the Kernels hold the top spot in the MWL West Division, but need to hold off at least two of Beloit (3 games back), Kane County (4 games back) and Wisconsin (6 games back) to earn a playoff spot. Baddoo’s smile lights up when the subject of potential for postseason play is the topic and he likes his team’s chances of making a deep postseason run. “Now we’re in a race. We’re in a race for the playoffs,” he said. “I kind of like it though. We have a great team, coaches that have prepared us for this moment and we’ve been playing great baseball lately. “You’ve got to realize that the teams that qualified in the first half, some of those guys aren’t there.”http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Baddoo062418c-600x400.jpg Akil Baddoo with the stolen base (Photo by SD Buhr) It’s the second straight season that Baddoo has been a part of a playoff contender, after playing for Appalachian League champion Elizabethton in 2017. “E-town was great, I enjoyed E-town,” he said, smiling big. “We won it all, that was pretty cool.” Of course, that’s a pretty familiar refrain to Cedar Rapids fans who have heard about Rookie level championship rosters before, only to see many of the same players fall short of a Midwest League title the following year. Cedar Rapids hasn’t won the MWL since 1992. Baddoo hopes this is the year that trend changes. “Maybe this year we’ll pull it off! We’re trying. We’ll try our best.”
  21. In case you missed it. Here is a story on Miracle RHP (And Minnesota native) Adam Bray. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Friday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS It may be an interesting few days of transactions for the Twins and as interesting will be to see how the rosters shape out. Infielder Eduardo Escobar was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for minor leaguers RHP Jhoan Duran, OF Ernie De La Trinidad and OF Gabriel Maciel. Per MLB Pipeline, Maciel was the Diamondbacks #11 prospect with Duran at #19. Per Baseball America, Jhoan Duran was the Diamondbacks #10 prospect. All three players were playing for Kane County in the Midwest League. After their 4-3 loss to Boston on Friday night, the Twins traded RH RP Ryan Pressly to the Houston Astros in exchange for RHP Jorge Alcala and CF Gilberto Celestino. MLB Pipeline ranked Alcala #10 and Celestino #15 among Astros prospects. Additionally, Miguel Sano was recalled to the Twins from Rochester. OF Byron Buxton was activated from the Rochester disabled list with C Juan Graterol being placed on the DL. RH RP Addison Reed was placed on the Rochester roster on a rehab assignment. UT Taylor Motter was outrighted and is now back on the Red Wings roster. Here's what happened to Juan Graterol: https://twitter.com/MorrieSilver8/status/1022808102037606400 RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Louisville 3 Box Score Byron Buxton returned to the Red Wings lineup and in his first at-bat, he hit his third Rochester home run. He went 1-for-4 with a walk, the home run and also stole his fourth base. Willians Astudillo went 2-for-4 with a walk, his 14th double and his seventh stolen base. Nick Anderson was the “opener” for the Red Wings in this game. He responded with a perfect first inning including a strikeout. Zack Littell came on and worked the next five innings. He gave up two runs on three hits and four walks. He struck out six. Addison Reed gave up a run on two hits in his rehab inning. Jake Reed struck out three over two perfect innings to record his first save of the season. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 5, Pensacola 0 Box Score This was a nice all-around game for the Lookouts. A little offense and some terrific pitching. It all starts with pitching, so that’s where we’ll start. Lewis Thorpe went the first seven innings of the shutout. He gave up just two hits, walked one and struck out seven to improve to 6-4 with a 3.61 ERA. Cody Stashak struck out the side in the eighth inning. Ryne Harper gave up one hit in a scoreless ninth inning. Brent Rooker kept his power streak rolling. He went 2-for-4 and hit his 20th home run of the season. Alex Perez drove in two runs with his eighth double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers , Daytona Box Score The only way to keep Alex Kirilloff from a multi-hit game is to involve Mother Nature who provided some rain which postponed this game. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Clinton 2 (10 innings) Box Score The Kernels needed ten innings, but they got a walkoff walk from Ryan Jeffers to pick up the win in this one. Akil Baddoo led the offense. He went 3-for-3 with two walks and stole his 20th base. Jared Akins went 3-for-4. Jeffers went 1-for-3 with two walks and his first Kernels double. Bailey Ober started and was limited to just three innings. He gave up one run on two hits and struck out two batters. Jose Martinez came on and threw three scoreless frames. He had two strikeouts. Kevin Marnon struck out four batters over 2 1/3 innings. He gave up one run. Calvin Faucher recorded the final five outs without giving up a run. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 8, Bristol 5 Box Score The E-Twins got a nice offensive day and won again. Ricky De La Torre led the way. He went 2-for-4 with his sixth double, his third home run and three RBIs. Yunior Severino went 2-for-5 with his fifth double. Lean Marrero went 2-for-4 with his fifth stolen base. DaShawn Keirsey returned to the lineup for the first time in nearly two weeks due to a quad injury. Trevor Larnach had his third straight hitless game, though he walked twice and stole a base. Carlos Suniaga started and gave up four runs (three earned) on nine hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out three. Blair Lakso improved to 4-0 by working the next 2 1/3 innings. He gave up a solo home run, but he struck out four batters. Seth Pinkerton recorded his second save with two scoreless innings. He struck out three. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins 12, GCL Red Sox 2 Box Score It was a good day for the Twins offense as they knocked in 12 runs on 16 hits. Hunter Lee led off and went 3-for-5 with a walk, his second double and three RBIs. Second hitter Estamy Urena also went 3-for-5. He added his fourth double and drove in four RBIs. Charles Mack went 2-for-5 with his second double. Alberoni Nunez went 2-for-4. Willie Joe Garry went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two driven in. Kai-Wei Teng started and gave up two runs on four hits in just 2 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out five. Michael Montero struck out two over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Niklas Rimmel recorded four outs, two on strikeouts. Frandy Torres got the final five outs, three on strikeouts. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Akil Baddoo, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-3, 2 BB). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Lewis Thorpe, Ft. Myers Miracle (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that this Prospect Summary has been updated. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Rained out. #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - Rained out. #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Rained out. #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-4, BB, RBI, K, SB(6) #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch. #6 - Trevor Larnach (Elizabethton) - 0-2, 2 BB, RBI, K, SB(2) #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 2-4, HR(20), RBI, 2 R #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 3-3, 2 BB, R, SB(20) #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 80 pitches, 54 strikes) #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch. #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-4, BB, R #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - Rained out. #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K, (90 pitches, 66 strikes) #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Rained out. #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 2-5, 2B(5), R #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - will have surgery on his wrist soon. #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - 1-3, 2 BB, 2B(1), RBI, K #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, K, R, SB(5) #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - 1-4 #21 - Jose Miranda (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4 *I figured that since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Louisville (5:30 CST) - RHP DJ Baxendale (0-2, 3.42 ERA) Pensacola @ Tennessee (4:00 CST) - TBD Ft. Myers @ Daytona (DH @ 4:00 CST) - RHP Brusdar Graterol (1-2, 6.20 ERA), TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:05 CST) - RHP Blayne Enlow (2-2, 3.16 ERA) Bristol @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (1-0, 4.91ERA) GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (9:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Friday games, or ask any questions you may have.
  22. TRANSACTIONS Chattanooga Lookouts DEL C Brian Olson transferred to DL ADD RHP Ryan Eades transferred from DL RED WINGS REPORT Indianapolis 3, Rochester 1 Box Score Tonight the Red Wings employed the opener strategy again and while Gabriel Moya pitched a scoreless first inning, there just wasn’t enough offense to back Kohl Stewart. Working five innings for Rochester, Stewart allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits while walking two and striking out three. Indianapolis got on the board first with a run in the third inning. Thanks to a solo shot by Willians Astudillo, the lead was erased in the top half of the fourth. Ceding single runs in both the 5th and 6th innings, the Red Wings weren’t able to muster another tally with their five hits on the night. The series is now knotted at one game each with the rubber match scheduled for tomorrow night. LaMonte Wade recorded the lone multi-hit effort with a two-hit game, and Miguel Sano went 1-4 with his first double for the Red Wings. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Pensacola 5, Chattanooga 4 Box Score As has been somewhat of a trend through the Twins minor league system of late, the Chattanooga Lookouts went with the opener strategy in this one again. Paco Rodriguez worked one inning to begin the game, and the three-run deficit was one the home team never found themselves able to overcome. Rodriguez worked into the second inning but recorded just three outs. Chattanooga found themselves trailing 5-0 entering the sixth inning. After taking over for Rodriguez in the second, Sean Poppen turned in seven solid innings for the Lookouts. He allowed just two runs on his own (one earned) and surrendered five hits. The traditional starter also fanned seven while allowing just one free pass. In the bottom of the sixth, Chattanooga tallied their first runs. Jaylin Davis knocked his seventh double of the season to right field. With the bases loaded Luis Arraez, Chris Paul, and Mitchell Kranson all came around to score. Despite entering the inning with a large deficit, Chattanooga had cut the Blue Wahoos lead to just two. Entering the ninth, the Lookouts were up against it needing a rally to extend this one. Recently reinstated from the disabled list, Chris Paul picked up his 21st double of the season to drive in Brent Rooker. Tanner English then took over as a pinch runner and was in scoring position with two outs. After intentionally walking Kranson, Pensacola was able to set down Davis on strikes. The rally came up just short and Chattanooga dropped the contest 5-4. Looking to even the series, Chattanooga plays host again tomorrow night. A win would allow the Twins Double-A affiliate an opportunity to take the series in game five on Friday. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Jupiter 1 Box Score Tyler Wells was on the mound for the Miracle in this one, which means that the Twins affiliate was bound to get a good start. When the dust settled, that’s exactly what Wells turned in. Twirling eight innings of one-run baseball, Wells allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out 10. His dominant outing was backed by just enough offense to get on the right side of the final score tonight. The scoring started in the fourth inning, thanks to a Taylor Grzelakowski double. With Royce Lewis coming around to score on the play, Fort Myers had the first run of the game. Alex Kirilloff then continued his hot hitting, and a single was enough to drive in Grzelakowski. Those two runs were all Fort Myers could muster out of their six hits on the evening. Thanks to Wells’ dominance however, that proved to be enough to get the job done. Kirilloff was the lone Miracle hitter to record a multi-hit effort, and that brings his streak of games accomplishing that feat to five. Now batting .374 through 30 games at High-A, he’s making this level look plenty easy as well. Fort Myers was able to take the series over Jupiter with tonight’s victory, and they’ll head to Daytona Beach for a four game set with the Tortugas beginning tomorrow night. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Clinton 2 Box Score Edwar Colina was on the bump to start this one for the Kernels, and thanks to seven strong innings of work, he picked up his fourth victory on the season. The Cedar Rapids starter allowed two runs on six hits but fanned nine and issued zero free passes. The lineup got Colina some breathing room in their first at-bats of the game. Akil Baddoo led off the bottom half of the inning with his ninth long ball of the season and put the home team on top 1-0. With the scoring ceasing for a few innings, it wasn’t until the middle innings that another run was tallied. Michael Davis hit a solo blast of his own, and the first in his time with Cedar Rapids, to stretch the lead to 2-0. With Baddoo on the bases, Jose Miranda dropped a single into centerfield and picked up an RBI in the process. Leaving the bottom of the fifth inning, the Kernels led 3-0. Looking to add some insurance in the late innings, another spark came for the Kernels in the seventh. Ryan Jeffers singled in David Banuelos, and Miranda drove in Davis on his second RBI single of the evening. Capping off the inning, Robby Rinn got in on the action. Lifting an RBI single to center, Baddoo and Jeffers were able to cross the plate as well. Calling it a night for his start after 89 pitches, Colina gave way to Rickey Ramirez and had him staked to a 7-0 lead. Clinton pushed across two runs in the top half of the eighth inning, but that’s all they’d get and this one was never in doubt. Taking the opener of the series, Cedar Rapids will look for similar success in games two and three the next two nights. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 6, Burlington 5 Box Score Moving to 20-11 on the year, offense has not ever been an issue for the E-Twins in 2018. Picking up six runs on 10 hits today, Tyler Palm was handed a lead and Elizabethton continued to tack on. As the away team, the E-Twins wasted no time in getting on the board. Trevor Larnach drove a sac fly out to left field and Michael Helman came in to score on the play. In the second, Helman did damage on his own, picking up an RBI on an infield single to third. Alex Robles then followed up with a single to center allowing Lean Marrero to cross the plate. Despite giving a run back in the bottom half of the inning, the E-Twins led 3-1 going into the third. Helman, who was 3-for-4 on the day, picked up his second RBI on a fourth inning single to left. As Tyler Webb scored, the E-Twins lead grew to 4-1. In the fifth, an error and a blast allowed Burlington grabbed the lead for the first time. Up 5-4, they’d look to hang on against the powerful Elizabethton offense. Fortunately for the good guys, Marrero ripped his third double of the year in the sixth and Webb scored again. Now knotted up at five all it was time for Elizabethton to regain the lead for good. Robert Molina singled in the top half of the seventh inning, plating Chris Williams and putting the E-Twins back on top. The 6-5 score would hold over the final two innings and was how this one ended. Elizabethton will look for the three game road sweep of Burlington tomorrow evening. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Rays 0 Box Score Hailing from the Netherlands, 18-year-old Donny Breek was on top of his game today for the GCL Twins. He went five scoreless innings and gave up just one hit while walking one and fanning nine. Getting scoreless relief work from the bullpen, including 2018 drafty pick Erik Cha’s first pro save, the Twins blanked the Rays in this one. The scoring started in the second inning of this contest. Charles Mack drew a leadoff walk and was followed by both Hunter Lee and Kidany Silva. Having the bases loaded as he stepped to the plate, Victor Tademo grounded out. On the play, both Mack and Lee came around to score. The GCL Twins couldn’t push anything else across in the inning, but they had grabbed the 2-0 lead. As the GCL Rays were able to muster just two hits in this contest, there wasn’t much in the form of scoring chances. The Twins added another insurance run in the top half of the ninth to push the lead to 3-0. Erick Rivera singled to pick up his second hit on the day, and later came around to score on a LaRon Smith fielder’s choice. These two teams will square off again tomorrow morning, but the Twins will play as the home team in Fort Myers. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Wells 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Akil Baddoo 2-3, 3 R, RBI, HR(9) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 1-3, R #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) – 2-4, RBI, 2B #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-4, K #6 - Trevor Larnach (Elizabethton) – 0-4, R #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-4, R, BB #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 2-3, 3 R, RBI, HR(9) #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 2-4 #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, K #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) – 0-4 #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, R, RBI #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) – 1-2, R, BB THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Indianapolis (6:05PM CST) – RHP Fernando Romero (2-2, 2.66 ERA) Pensacola @ Chattanooga (6:15AM CST) – TBD Fort Myers @ Daytona Beach (6:05PM CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (1-1, 3.08 ERA) Clinton @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (3-4, 4.80 ERA) Elizabethton @ Burlington (6:00PM CST) – TBD GCL Rays vs GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  23. TRANSACTIONS Jeremy Hazelbaker was acquired from Tampa Bay for cash considerations and was assigned to Rochester. Another left-handed hitting outfielder, Hazelbaker has hit .258/.327/.500 (.827 OPS) over 285 plate appearances with the Cardinals and Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old was having a rough go of things for Durham, Tampa Bay’s Triple-A affiliate, hitting .210/.293/.397 (.690 OPS). Cody Stashak was placed on Chattanooga’s temporary Inactive List. Fort Myers placed Tom Hackimer on the 7-Day DL with an ankle sprain. RED WINGS REPORT Game 1: Norfolk 1, Rochester 0 (7 innings) Box Score SP: Kohl Stewart (6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: Nick Gordon Rochester was held to just three hits, two from Nick Gordon, but Kohl Stewart was awesome. Making his fourth Triple-A start this season, Stewart gave up just one run on three hits, all singles, and two walks. He also struck out eight of the 22 batters he faced on the day. Stewart also went six innings and only gave up one run in his last start. Jeremy Hazelbaker was 0-for-2 with a strikeout in his debut in the organization. Game 2: Norfolk 1 Rochester, 0 (8 innings) Box Score SP: D.J. Baxendale (3.1 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: None Yes, Rochester played two games, they lost both and the score was 1-0 in both contests. Also, both runs scored over the 15 innings of baseball were on sacrifice flies. This game was played in Rochester, but it was technically a road game for the Wings, er, they were the Plates tonight, I guess. They were making up a game that was rained out in Norflolk earlier in the season. That meant Rochester was walked off in their own ballpark, which had to feel a little weird. The only hits by the Plates in this one were a Juan Graterol double and a Jon Kremmer single. D.J Baxendale opened things with 3 1/3 shutout innings before Trevor May tuned in 2 1/3 frames of no-hit ball. Gabriel Moya pitched two innings and gave up the game-winner, though it’ll go down as an unearned run since that was the “bonus” runner that started the inning on second base. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 5, Mobile 3 Box Score W: Omar Bencomo (5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) SV: Tyler Jay (1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) HR: Brent Rooker (16) Multi-hit games: Brent Rooker, Mitchell Kranson This one started with a Zander Wiel double followed by Brent Rooker’s 16th home run. The Lookouts built a 4-0 lead thanks to RBI singles from Mitchell Kranson and Rooker, but the BayBears battled back to pull within a run of Chattanooga. Brian Navarretto plated an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a sac fly and the bullpen locked it down. Omar Bencomo (29) gave up two runs and struck out seven batters over 5 1/3 innings. Williams Ramirez (who turns 26 in a few weeks) gave up a run in his inning of work before Sam Clay (25) delivered 1 1/3 innings of scoreless work. Tyler Jay (24) earned his second save by recording the final four outs. He gave up one hit and had three strikeouts. Why yes, the Lookouts do have the oldest pitching staff in the Southern League (second oldest in all of Double A), why do you ask? MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Lakeland 3 (10 innings) Box Score W: Jovani Moran (3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) SP: Griffin Jax (7.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: None Hits were hard to come by for the Miracle, but they made the most of them. They managed to score four runs despite only being able to muster three well-timed hits. Alex Kirilloff hit a single to load the bases in the first inning, Joe Cronin drew a walk to score the first run and then Ben Rortvedt delivered a two-run single to put Fort Myers up 3-0 in the first inning. They didn’t get another baserunner until the seventh. In the meantime, the Flying Tigers stormed back to tie the game at 3-3. Griffin Jax gave up just one earned run over seven innings before handing the game off to Jovani Moran, who was making just his third appearance for the Miracle. Moran managed to fend off Lakeland for three innings, keeping the game knotted up. Things didn’t get off to a very good start in the bottom of the 10th for Fort Myers. Rortvedt was walked to try to set up the double play. To combat that, the Miracle bunted … into a double play. Since offense was impossible to come by, Fort Myers hadn’t recorded a hit since the first inning, they seemed doomed. Instead, Aaron Whitefield delivered a walk-off double that scored Rortvedt from second base. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Great Lakes 3 Box Score W: Tyler Watson (6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) SV: Jose Martinez (2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB 6 K) HR: Ben Rodriguez (8), Jacob Pearson (4) Multi-hit games: Akil Baddoo Tyler Watson set the tone with six innings of shutout ball and Ben Rodriguez mashed a three-run homer that put the Kernels up 4-0 in the third inning, making for a low-stress night, especially when compared to how the other affiliates fared. Akil Baddoo had an excellent game, going 3-for-5 and was a homer shy of the cycle and Jacob Pearson hit his fourth home run of the season. Jose Martinez made sure things remained under control as he absolutely blew through the Loons’ lineup. Martinez faced seven men and he struck out six of them. He threw 21 of his 26 pitches for strikes. Wow. E-TWINS E-NOTES Greeneville 3, Elizabethton 2 (10 innings) Box Score SP: Andrew Cabezas (5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) HR: Chris Williams (8) Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino, Andrew Cosgrove My goodness, is Chris Williams flexing his muscles or what!? The guy now has eight home runs through 26 pro games. Combined that with his numbers at Clemson this year Williams has 25 homers in 88 games this year. Again, my goodness! E-Towns’ other run came on a game-tying single from Trevor Larnach. Andrew Cabazas pitched five shutout innings of two-hit ball. Johan Quezada followed with two no-hit innings to go with four strikeouts. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 6, GCL Orioles 3 (11 innings) Box Score W: Petru Balan (3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) SP: Kai-Wei Teng (5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: Agustin Marte, Charles Mack, Victor Tedemo, Erick Rivera The Twins trailed 1-0 heading into the top of the ninth, but they tied it up on a pretty wild play. Here’s the description from the MiLB play log: “Victor Tademo out on a sacrifice bunt, left fielder Jacob Brown to third baseman Jared Gates. Alberoni Nunez scores. Charles Mack to 3rd. Victor Tademo out at 3rd. Victor Tademo out at 3rd, left fielder Jacob Brown to third baseman Jared Gates.” Uh ... say what now? Things continued to get interesting, as the Twins added another run in the top of the 10th thanks to a passed ball. But the O’s also scored in the bottom of that inning. The Twins really broke loose in the 11th, tallying four runs, the big blow being a Tademo double. Second baseman Agustin Marte was 3-for-5 with a double and Mack was 2-for-4 with a walk. Kai-Wei Tend delivered five frames of one-run ball before J.T. Perez pitched two scoreless innings. Petru Balan gave up an unearned run over his three innings of work and Osiris German also surrendered an unearned run in the 11th STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Jose Martinez, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Brent Rooker, Chattanooga TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that this Prospect Summary has been updated. 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 0-for-3, BB, R, E 2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): 1-for-4, R, K 3. Brusdar Graterol (FM): Did not pitch. 4. Nick Gordon (ROC): 2-for-6, SB 5. Stephen Gonsalves (ROC): Did not pitch. 6. Trevor Larnach (ET): 1-for-3, BB, RBI, K 7. Brent Rooker (CHAT): 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs, R 8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 3-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI 9. Wander Javier: Out of for the season 10. Zack Littell (ROC): Did not pitch. 11. Blayne Enlow (CR): Did not pitch. 12. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 0-for-6, 4 K 13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 0-for-3, K, E 14. Lewis Thorpe (CHAT): Did not pitch. 15. Ben Rortvedt (FM): 1-for-2, 2 BB, 2 RBI, R 16. Yunior Severino (ET): 2-for-5, R 17. Lewin Diaz (FM): 0-for-3, RBI, K 18. Ryan Jeffers (ET): 1-for-4, BB 19. Jacob Pearson (CR): 1-for-4, HR, RBI, R, K 20. Luis Arraez (CHAT): 1-for-4, 2B, R, K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Norfolk, 5:05 pm CT: Ervin Santana Chattanooga at Mobile, 7:05 pm CT: Sean Poppen Fort Myers vs. Lakeland, 6:00 pm CT: Brusdar Graterol Cedar Rapids at Great Lakes, 6:05 pm CT: Bailey Ober Elizabethton vs. Greeneville, 6:00 pm CT: TBD GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox, 11:00 am CT: TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  24. 10. Zack Littell – RHP Age: 22 ETA: 2018 2018 Stats (AA, AAA): 1-6, 3.71 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 80.0 IP, 78 H, 26 BB, 84 K 2018 Stats (MLB): 0-2, 18.90 ERA, 3.90 WHIP, 3.1 IP, 7 H, 6 BB, 1 K 2018 Ranking: 11 | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 14 | Tom: 11 | Cody: 8 Littell joined the Twins as part of the Jamie Garcia trade last July. He made seven starts (41 2/3 IP) in the Twins organization last year and posted a 2.81 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP with a 33 to 18 strikeout to walk ratio. He did this while being over three years younger than the competition in the Southern League. Littell headed back to Chattanooga to start 2018 and didn’t fare as well. He allowed 15 earned runs in five starts (23 IP) as batters hit .308/.364/.495 against him. Things have gone better in Rochester as he has a 2.84 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in 57 IP. Besides Nick Gordon, he is the youngest member of the Red Wings roster. His big league time has been very limited so there is still plenty that remains to be seen for the 22-year old. 9. Wander Javier – SS Age: 19 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (N/A): Out for the Season- Shoulder Surgery 2018 Ranking: 6 | 2017 Ranking: 6 Seth: 11 | Tom: 7 | Cody: 10 Javier injured his shoulder near the end of the 2017 campaign but a regime of rest and rehab was assigned for the off-season. He suffered a setback during spring training and underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. He won’t step on the field during his age-19 season as he is expected to miss 6-9 months. Last season with the E-Twins, he hit .299/.383/.471 with 18 extra-base hits in 41 games. 8. Akil Baddoo – OF Age: 19 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (A): .247/.370/.438 (.808), 15-2B, 6-3B, 8-HR, 16-SB 2018 Ranking: 10 | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 7 | Tom: 12 | Cody: 9 Baddoo was Minnesota’s second-round pick back in 2016 and he spent his first two professional seasons in the rookie leagues. He’s been an on-base machine as he hit .323/.436/.527 last season between the GCL and the Appy League. Baddoo is getting his first taste of full-season ball this year and his batting average took some hits as he failed to hit over .250 in any of the season’s first three months. However, he has drawn double digit walks in those three months to help him get on base 37% of the time. He can play all three outfield positions but he has played exclusively in center field for most of his professional career. His combination of on-base percentage, power, and speed make him an intriguing prospect to follow. 7. Brent Rooker – OF/1B Age: 23 ETA: 2019 2018 Stats (Rookie): .266/.319/.492 (.812), 24-2B, 4-3B, 14-HR 2018 Ranking: 7 | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 8 | Tom: 4 | Cody: 7 The Twins anticipated Rooker could be a fast mover when they drafted him in the supplemental round of the 2017 MLB Draft. It was the second straight year the team had drafted him (38th round of 2016). He has lived up to that anticipation as he is already playing at Double-A. As a right-handed slugger, Rooker has showed a balanced approach against lefties and righties while posting nearly identical batting averages (one point difference) and on-base percentages (seven point difference). Since the calendar turned to June, he has been killing the baseball. He posted 1.038 OPS with 16 extra-base hits in June. If the Twins continue to be out of contention, Rooker could make his debut as early as this September but a second-half promotion to Rochester seems like a likely first step. 6. Trevor Larnach – OF Age: 21 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (College): .348/.463/.457 (.920), 19-2B, 1-3B, 19-HR 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 5 | Tom: 8 | Cody: 6 Larnach, Minnesota’s 2018 first-round pick, was a hero for the Oregon State Beavers on their way to the College World Series Championship. https://twitter.com/NCAACWS/status/1012169906048008193 Larnach and the Beavers survived six elimination games on the way to the CWS title. He also helped the club sign multiple other players since he agreed to a $2.55 million deal which was $570,000 less than MLB’s recommended bonus for the 20th overall pick. Larnach improved in each of his three college seasons and that helped to turn him into a first round selection. His best tool is his bat as he has consistently been able to hit for average. However, this season he has shown the ability to add some pop. He had combined for just three home runs in his first two college seasons before knocking 19 home runs during his junior campaign. His college experience could help move him quickly but his professional debut will start with the E-Twins. What are your thoughts on the latest set of rankings? Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  25. Transactions Taylor Motter promoted to Rochester from Chattanooga, Rochester’s Luke Bard activated from the DL, and Chattanooga’s Todd Van Steensel activated from the DL. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Scranton/WB 1 Box Score Coming off of three-straight extra innings games, the Red Wings were happy to get this one done in regulation, scoring the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and hanging on for a narrow 2-1 victory. Thursday’s victory was the Wings’ 27th road win, the most in the International League. Byron Buxton was 0-for-2 with a strike out, and was forced out of this one due to injury. https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1017556226169765888 Nick Gordon was 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and a strike out, providing all of the firepower. Starter Adalberto Mejia moved to 5-2 with six innings of one-run baseball. He gave up just three hits, struck out three and walked three. Trevor May pitched an inning of relief sending down all three batters he faced. Gabriel Moya earned a six-out save, giving up a hit and striking out two. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 7, Montgomery 6 Box Score Chattanooga had the game well in hand, leading 7-1 after just three innings and their lead slowly trickled almost all the way away and they barely held on for a 7-6 win, including a pretty scary ninth inning that saw Montgomery put three runs on the board with the game-tying run on second base before they were retired. The Lookouts scored seven runs on just five hits and Ryan Walker committed three errors, one throwing and two fielding, but still managed to win. No hitter had more than one hit, but Ryan Walker made up for his defensive miscues with one swing, sending a 3-run home run out of the park in the third inning. Walker was 1-for-3 with a home run, a run scored, four RBIs, and a walk. Six pitchers all helped get the Lookouts a win on Thursday night, with Paco Rodriguez picking up the win with two innings of scoreless relief. Lewis Thorpe started the game and went 1 2/3 innings giving up an unearned run, no hits, and striking out a pair. Ryan Eades came in next and went 2 1/3 innings giving up a pair of hits and another unearned run. Todd Van Steensel fresh off the DL walked a pair and struck out a pair in an inning of work. Ryne Harper gave up four runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings and was replaced by Cody Stashak who earned a save despite giving up a run-scoring double before getting the final out of the game. MIRACLE MATTERS Palm Beach 4, Fort Myers 2 Box Score The Miracle dropped the last game of their four-game set against Palm Beach and lost the series three games to one. The Miracle managed just five hits and three walks against 10 strikeouts and only took four at-bats with runners in scoring position. No one had more than one hit, and Mark Contreras (1-for-4) had the team’s only extra-base hit, a double. Alex Kirilloff was 0-for-4, as was Lewin Diaz (who had a worse line as it also included three strikeouts). Miguel Sano was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and two runs scored. Starter Tyler Wells went six innings and gave up four runs on five hits. He walked two, struck out six and gave up two home runs. Ryan Mason (1.0 IP), Colton Davis (1.2 IP) and Alex Robinson (0.1 IP) kept Palm Beach off the board the rest of the way, but their bats couldn’t dig them out of an early hole. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Fort Wayne 2 Box Score Thursday night belongs to the Cedar Rapids Kernels. The Kernels had Trey Cabbage absolutely destroying baseballs. Cabbage was 4-for-4 with a run scored, a home run, and two RBIs. Meanwhile, on the mound, Bailey Ober turned in 6 2/3 innings, scattering five hits, giving up no runs and STRIKING OUT TEN! On top of those two stellar performances, Akil Baddoo had a pair of hits on a 2-for-5 night that included a double and two RBIs, and Robby Rinn added a pair of hits as well. In the bullpen Jose Martinez threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and Jared Finkel gave up a pair of runs over a full inning of work, but he had a six-run lead to work with and kept the victory intact. ELIZABETHTON TWINS TALK Elizabethton 7, Johnson City 2 Box Score Tyler Webb was 4-for-5 with a run scored and a pair of RBIs, Alex Robles was 3-for-5 with an RBI, and Michael Helmen was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a triple. On top of those three strong days at the plate, Lean Marrero and Michael Davis also had multi-hit nights. On the mound, Carlos Suniaga earned his first win of the season with five innings of one-run baseball. He gave up six hits, walked no one and struck out three. Andrew Cabezas went 3 2/3 innings and gave up an unearned run on three hits, and Seth Pinkerton closed the game out, getting the only guy he faced to fly out to left. GCL TWINS TAKES SCHEDULED OFF DAY TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Bradley Ober, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Trey Cabbage, Cedar Rapids Kernels TOP 20 PROSPECT PERFORMANCE 1.Royce Lewis, Cedar Rapids – 0-3, 1 R, 1 K 3. Nick Gordon, Rochester – 2-5, 2 RBI 5. Alex Kirilloff, Fort Myers – 0-4 7. Brent Rooker, Chattanooga – 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K 10. Akil Baddoo, Cedar Rapids – 2-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K 11. Lewis Thorpe, Chattanooga – 1.2 IP, 1 R, 2 K 13. Lewin Diaz, Fort Myers – 0-4, 3 K 14. LaMonte Wade, Rochester – 0-3 15. Ben Rortvedt, Fort Myers – 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K 17. Travis Blankenhorn, Fort Myers – 1-4, 1 K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester (6:05pm) – Stephen Gonsalves (5-3, 3.86 Chattanooga (6:15pm) – Lewis Thorpe (4-4, 3.95) Fort Myers (5:30pm) – Griffin Jax (1-1, 3.47) Cedar Rapids (6:35pm) – Blayne Enlow (0-2, 3.73) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games.
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