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  1. A quick reminder. These prospect rankings are meant as a fun look at prospects throughout the Twins organization. In Part 2 today, you'll read about some hitters at various levels of development which can make it difficult to rank and differentiate. After reading about this group of players, enjoy the comments. Participate by asking questions or discussing the players mentioned. When we finish the rankings, I'd like to know your thoughts and your rankings. Let's get started with Twins hitting prospects ranked 21-25. #25 Jermaine Palacios 2021 STATS: .259/.340/.439, 17 2B, 19 HR, 54 RBI, 23.3 K%, 9.8 BB%, 18/26 SB Jermaine Palacios originally signed with the Twins way back in 2013 from Venezuela. By 2017, he had become a very solid Twins prospect, reaching into some Top 10 lists. Before the 2018 season, he was traded to the Rays for Jake Odorizzi. He really struggled in 2019 and 2020, especially in Double-A. He didn’t play in 2020 and became a free agent. He had other options, but he chose to come back to the Twins organization. The plan for him was to play all over the infield, but when Royce Lewis’s season came to an end, he became the almost-everyday shortstop. He was a very stabilizing factor in the Wind Surge infield, a fantastic defensively shortstop with a strong arm and range. In addition, he hit. He got on base, and he really showed a lot of power. Following the season, he very quickly signed to remain with the Twins organization on a minor league contract. He is currently hitting .349/.431/.563 (.994) with 11 doubles and four homers in 40 games in the Venezuelan Winter League. He will not turn 26 until mid-July. #24 Charlie Mack 2021 STATS: .229/.370/.368, 7 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 26.4 K%, 18.3 BB%, 2/2 SB Charlie Mack was the Twins sixth-round pick in 2018 out of high school. He spent time as an infielder but after the 2019 season, he was moved behind the plate. Unfortunately, there was no 2020 minor league season, but Mack continued to work at it and showed progress on defense in 2021 with the Mighty Mussels. His bat really came around in the second half too. Mack has a nice, pure, left-handed swing that should develop more power. He’s got a patient approach as well. He will be 22-years-old throughout the 2022 season and should spend it in Cedar Rapids. His brother Joe was the Marlins first-round pick in 2021. #23 Mark Contreras 2021 STATS: .251/.338/.485, 30 2B, 3 3B, 20 HR, 29.6 K%, 9.1 BB%, 15/20 SB Mark Contreras had a bit of a breakout season in 2021. The former minor league Gold Glove outfielder struggled with the bat in 2019. However, in 2021, he showed a good approach at the plate and really started to drive the ball, as you can see from 53 extra base hits. He remained strong in the outfield and played all three positions which is good since the Twins hope centerfield is pretty well set for awhile. Meanwhile, he will be 27 throughout the 2022 season and continuing to prepare himself in St. Paul for The Call. #22 Will Holland 2021 STATS: .214/.336/.401, 15 2B, 10 HR, 27 RBI, 33.1 K%, 11.0 BB%, 19/24 SB The Twins selected Will Holland in the 5th round of the 2019 draft. He was playing with Auburn in the College World Series. In 2021, he played in Ft. Myers. He missed a little time with injury and played in 76 games. He was a shortstop in college, but this year he spent a lot of time in centerfield. While he didn’t hit for average, as the season went on he took quality plate appearances and showed terrific power. Holland is a great athlete who can play all over the diamond. #21 Seth Gray 2021 STATS: .212/.321/.333, 13 2B, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 28.3 K%, 10.6 BB%, 5/6 SB Seth Gray certainly looks the part of a power-hitting third baseman. He is big and strong, yet he is pretty quick on his first at third base and plays the position pretty well. It was a disappointing season for him offensively. He wasn’t able to really find a run of consistency throughout the year. There were a lot of swings-and-misses, but he also has a patient approach at the plate. It’s important to also remember that with the missed season, he also jumped over Low-A ball. 2022 will be a big year for him, but the talent and strength are certainly there to move up this list rapidly. While Contreras and Palacios could be ready to fill a role in the big leagues in the right situation, Mack was a high school pick changing positions while moving up to the Mighty Mussels. Meanwhile Gray and Holland are college guys who have had their ups and downs but both remain filled with talent and tools to give hope that it can click. Let's not underestimate how much the lost season affected people differently. Discuss... and keep coming back every day throughout the holiday season as we continue to discuss these prospects. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30
  2. Current Catchers: Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers Like most of the Twins roster, Garver and Jeffers struggled out of the gate before the team decided to make some changes. Garver ended April with a .644 OPS while Jeffers sat with a .393 OPS and a Triple-A demotion. In May, Garver raised his OPS by nearly 200 points, with Jeffers out of the picture. Unfortunately, he suffered a gruesome groin injury at the beginning of June that forced him to the sidelines until July 19. Jeffers took advantage of the opportunity to post a .905 OPS in his first 15 games after the Garver injury. The hot streak didn't last as he hit .191/.269/.382 (.651) in his final 59 games. Garver returned from injury with two home runs in his first game back. He looked like the 2019 version of Garver for the season's final 27 games as he posted a .927 OPS. With two MLB caliber catchers, Minnesota has an opportunity to trade one of their controllable assets this winter. However, keeping both catchers allows the team a chance to do what they planned in 2021. Jeffers has an opportunity to prove his season was a fluke, and Garver can continue to mash. 40-Man Roster Options Outside of Garver and Jeffers, Ben Rortvedt is the only other catcher on the 40-man roster. Last season, he made his big-league debut and hit .169/.229/.281 (.510) in 39 games. Rortvedt's scouting report is a defense-first catcher as he has a career .672 OPS in five seasons. Last season, he threw out seve4n of a potential 16 runners for a 44% caught stealing percentage while the league average was 23%. Rortvedt should spend most of 2022 at Triple-A while filling in when needed at the big-league level. On the Farm Options Not all of the players listed below are guaranteed to be on the team's roster at the start of next season. Still, it offers some insight into the organization's catching depth. Minnesota has a slough of veteran catching options populating the rosters in the upper minors. Besides Rortvedt, all four of the projected Triple-A catchers are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. David Bañuelos, Stevie Berman, Caleb Hamilton, and Chris Williams all saw catching time, with multiple players also getting time at first base. Berman was acquired last August from the Dodgers for LHP Andrew Vasquez. Obviously, there won't be five catchers on the Triple-A roster, so some of these players will be used at other levels. At Double-A, Jair Camargo and Jeferson Morales have the potential to be a very good catching duo. Camargo joined the Twins as part of the Kenta Maeda trade, and he collected 21 extra-base hits in 71 games last year. Morales combined for an .808 OPS last season with 12 home runs and 24 doubles between Low- and High-A. Both players will be 23 years old to start next season, and it seems more likely for them to end the season at Double-A. There are a few other names to watch in the minor's lower levels. Charles Mack was Minnesota's 6th round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft out of high school in New York. Last year as a 21-year-old, he spent the entire season at Low-A with a .738 OPS in 73 games. Patrick Winkel and Noah Cardenas were taken in last year's draft's 8th and 9th rounds. Each should debut at Low-A next season. Overall, Minnesota has catching strength at the MLB level with a few prospects to watch during the 2022 campaign. What do you think about the organization's depth at catcher? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  3. Current Third Baseman: Josh Donaldson Donaldson’s first season in a Twins uniform didn’t go exactly as planned as he was limited to 28 games. When he was on the field, he hit .222/.373/.469 with eight extra-base hits in 81 at-bats. Injuries have been the story of the second half of Donaldson’s career. Outside of his 2019 season in Atlanta, he missed time in 2017, 2018, and 2020. Minnesota was well aware of Donaldson’s injury history and now he is under contract for at least the next three seasons. For all players, the 2020 season came with unique challenges and this can impact players in different ways. Minnesota can hope that a more normal 2021 season will allow Donaldson to get back being close to the player he was in Atlanta a few seasons ago. On the other hand, Minnesota is going to need to have some back-up options if Donaldson’s calf issues continue to plague him. 40-Man Options Besides Donaldson, the Twins have other 40-man roster options to play third base even with the possible departures of Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza as free agents. Travis Blankenhorn got a brief call-up last year as he appeared in one game and went 1-for-3 with a double. There is a chance he is given the opportunity to serve in the team’s utility role during the 2021 campaign. Another option for the Twins is to sign or trade for a shortstop and this allows Jorge Polanco to move into a utility role. Polanco has undergone off-season ankle surgery in each of the last two off-seasons and the Twins might want to add some infield insurance On the Farm Options Outside of the options mentioned above, there are other third base options in the minor leagues including some strong prospects. Miranda, a 2016 second round pick, was available to be selected in last week’s Rule 5 Draft, but no other organizations selected him. He showed a good balance of power and plate discipline in 2019, and he can play multiple infield positions. Bechtold, a 2017 fifth round pick, split time between Low- and High-A back in 2019. Both players will see time at Double or Triple-A next season. Mack, Steer and Gray all spent some of the 2019 season in Elizabethton with Gray and Steer making appearances at Low-A before season’s end. Mack was taken out of high school while Gray and Steer have multiple years of collegiate experience. All three players have a chance to reach Double-A by the end of the 2021 season. What do you think about the future of third base in Minnesota? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POST IN THE SERIES - SHORTSTOP MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  4. Charlie Mack was the Twins sixth-round pick of the Minnesota Twins in June of 2018. He attended Williamsville East High School. Williamsville is a small town adjacent to Buffalo, New York. He had an impressive high school baseball career, a career that started when he was on the varsity as a seventh grader. https://twitter.com/TwinsHighlights/status/1004088365787045890 Mack had committed to Clemson, but when the Twins selected him, he signed a pro contract. He spent his first pro summer in the GCL where he hit .216 with four doubles and a triple in 30 games. In 2019, he moved up to the Appalachian League and played 53 games with the Elizabethton Twins. He hit .234 with eight doubles, a triple and eight home runs. We will chat with him about his youth ball days, getting drafted and his decision to sign with the Twins, his adjustments to pro ball, a crazy 2020 season, maybe a position change, and we have to ask him how many times he has been to Niagara Falls. And, we will take your questions, so be sure to join us Live at Lunch, if you are able. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Please watch LIVE at 7:00 tonight on the Twins Daily Twitter, Facebook or YouTube pages live. Also feel free to ask questions in the comments below or on those platforms during the show and we'll ask them. Subscribe to the Twins Daily podcast on Libsyn, Apple iTunes or anywhere you download podcasts. Here is the YouTube link where you can watch the show. More on Charlie Mack: 2018 MLB Draft Day 2 Thread (June 2018) Follow Bailey on Instagram at @CharlieMack34. . Previous episodes Episode 1: Tom Hackimer Episode 2: Matt Canterino Episode 3: Aaron Whitefield Episode 4: Spencer Steer Episode 5: Travis Blankenhorn Episode 6: Cody Laweryson Episode 7: Matt Wallner Episode 8: Brent Rooker Episode 9: Bailey Ober Episode 10: Talkin' Torii (with Jacque Jones, Royce Lewis, Niko Guardado) Episode 11: Top 60 Twins Players in 60 Seasons in Minnesota Episode 12: Charlie Mack
  5. TRANSACTIONS -INF Jose Miranda placed on the temporary inactive list -RHP Sean Poppen optioned to AAA Rochester -RHP Andro Cutura transferred to AA Pensacola -RHP Cody Allen reportedly signed to a minor league deal, no assignment or official announcement yet https://twitter.com/DanHayesMLB/status/1142570022562402304 Not a transaction, but Jordan Balazovic recently moved into the MLB pipeline top 100 list which gives the Twins 5 prospects on the list now (Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, Brusdar Graterol, Trevor Larnach, Jordan Balazovic). https://twitter.com/MLBPipeline/status/1142290230361411584 RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 0, Toledo 2 Box Score Devin Smeltzer: 4 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 66.3% strikes (57 of 86 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Red Wings were involved in a low-scoring affair on Saturday which I thought was illegal to do at AAA this year but evidently it is allowed, go figure. The Red Wings were only able to scratch across three hits along with three walks and a hit-by-pitch with just one of those hits going for extra bases. Devin Smeltzer was unable to complete five innings but Cody Stashak, Gabriel Moya, and Ian Krol were able to pick it up after him by not allowing any runs over 3- 1/3 in relief while punching out five. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 2, Jacksonville 3 Box Score Charlie Barnes: 4 ⅔ IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 67.6% strikes (50 of 74 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Lewin Diaz (3-for-4, 2B, RBI) The Blue Wahoos lost a close one this Saturday by just a single run. Lewin Diaz was promoted a few days ago and naturally he has struggled early as he adjusts to the new level… Or not. Diaz went 3-for-4 and his OPS at AA so far is a blistering 1.230, it would be hard to make a case that any other hitter in the Twins system has had a better year than Diaz as he just continues to rake. Anthony Vizcaya took the hard-luck loss as he worked 2 1/3 in relief and gave up just a single run. Unfortunately, that was the go-ahead run and Vizcaya therefore had to take the loss. He still holds 0.64 ERA on the season at AA however so he should not feel too bad. The starter for the Jumbo Shrimp was top prospect Sixto Sanchez who was acquired by the Marlins over the offseason. Sanchez did not disappoint as he allowed just two runs over seven innings. But this is a report for the Blue Wahoos, so the compliments will end there. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Jupiter 7 Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 64.0% strikes (55 of 86 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Gabriel Maciel (2-for-2, 2 R, BB, 2 HBP), Royce Lewis (2-for-5), Trevor Larnach (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB) The Miracle lost a rough game on Saturday that was not without a few great individual performances. The top of the Miracle lineup got the job done as the first four batters in the lineup reached base a combined eleven times. After that, the 5-9 batters combined for just three times where a base was reached safely and that came with nine strikeouts. No one told Gabriel Maciel that A+ is supposed to be harder than A because he reached base every single time he came to the plate on Saturday and is off to a flaming start at A+ that comes with an OPS of 1.188 in his small sample. Jordan Balazovic labored somewhat but still ended his outing with just a single earned run given up over his five innings of work. Joe Record and Calvin Faucher were not as good as they gave up a combined five earned runs in two innings after Balazovic was taken out. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Peoria 5 Box Score Josh Winder: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 65.2% strikes (60 of 92 pitches) HR: Trevor Casanova (1) Multi-hit games: None Josh Winder was great yet again as he continues to rack up the quality starts with great peripherals. His season ERA now sits at an elite 2.66 which is the sixth lowest among qualified starters in the Midwest league. Trevor Casanova blasted his first home run of the year as the association of hitters in the Twins system named “Trevor” continue to impress this year. Casanova was also the only Kernel batter to reach base multiple times in the game. The game was close late but some sloppiness from the Kernels defense allowed the tying run to score in the seventh thanks to an error and the Kernels were walked-off in the ninth because of a stolen base by Peoria that happened to coincide with a wild pitch that allowed the runner to score. E-Town E-Notes Elizabethton 1, Kingsport 5 Box Score Ryan Shreve: 3 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 77.1% strikes (37 of 48 pitches) HR: Charles Mack (1) Multi-hit games: None The other Twins (junior Twins? Diet Twins? I’ll think of more), fell to Kingsport this Saturday to fall to 2-3 on the season so far. The lone little Twins’ run came from Charles Mack’s first professional home run which came in the first inning. Freshly drafted Spencer Steer recorded his first professional hit in the fifth inning with a sharp infield single. The little brother Twins struck out twelve Kingsport hitters over eight total innings but they just could not quite get the BABIP to go their way. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Josh Winder Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Lewin Diaz PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-5, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, 2B #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB, 2 K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 2 K #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 1-for-3, 2 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Tommy John surgery, out for year #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-for-4, K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3, RBI, BB, K #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-for-3, BB #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, RBI #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - With the Twins-did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 0-for-3, BB #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - Temporary inactive list SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Toledo (3:05 P.M.) - LHP Lewis Thorpe Pensacola @ Jacksonville (2:05 P.M.) - RHP Jorge Alcala Fort Myers @ Jupiter (12:00 P.M.) - RHP Cole Sands Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (5:05 P.M.) - RHP Andrew Cabezas Elizabethton @ Kingsport (3:00 P.M.) - LHP Brent Headrick Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.
  6. TRANSACTIONS -Free agent RHP Drew Hutchison signed, assigned to Rochester. -Fernando Romero placed on the IL (back strain) -RHP Andro Cutura promoted from Pensacola to Rochester. -LHP Kody Funderburk (oblique strain) and SS Ricky De La Torre (hamstring strain) placed on IL for Cedar Rapids. -Added to the Miracle roster is RHP and 2019 draftee Tyler Beck. -Added to the Kernels’ roster are SS Daniel Ozoria and LHP Petru Balan. RED WINGS REPORT Game 1: Toledo 1, Rochester 0 (7 innings) Box Score Drew Hutchison: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 65.9% strikes (56 of 85 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None Welcome to the organization, Drew Hutchison. On the same day his signing is announced, Hutchison throws five shutout innings for the Wings. He’d pitched to a 5.14 ERA in 63.0 innings with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate, making his final appearance with them Jun 11. Jake Reed gave up a leadoff triple in the sixth. Jaylin Davis lost a high fly ball in the sun, recovered to make an effort at a diving catch, but couldn’t come up with it. That was followed by an RBI single. Reed managed to induce a double play, then struck out the final batter he faced. Other than that, not much doing in the first half of this twinbill. Brent Rooker reached base in all three of his plate appearances. He hit a double, drew a walk and was hit by a pitch. Game 2: Rochester 9, Toledo 8 (7 innings) Box Score Andro Cutura: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 59.4% strikes (51 of 69 pitches) HR: Brent Rooker (11) Multi-hit games: Brent Rooker (2-for-3, 2B, HR, BB), LaMonte Wade (2-for-2, 2 BB), Wilin Rosario (2-for-4), Jaylin Davis (2-for-3) Ah, I see now. The Red Wings were just saving all their runs for Game 2. And they needed them all. Andro Cutura had a rough start to his Triple-A debut, giving up four runs in the first inning. But Rochester answered with two runs in the bottom of the first, then added three more to take the lead in the third. Toledo regained the lead in the fifth inning, but the Wings counterpunched again. A big four-run fifth inning was highlighted by a Brent Rooker two-run homer. He’s been on fire, and is now hitting .301/.412/.590 on the season. Here are some highlights of what he's done over the past few days, including today's homer. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 8, Jacksonville 1 Box Score Randy Dobnak: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 70.3% strikes (64 of 91 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Aaron Whitefield (3-for-5, 2B), Travis Blankenhorn (2-for-4, 2B, 2 BB), Lewin Diaz (2-for-5) Pensacola had a 5-1 lead by the middle of the second inning. Randy Dobnak and Tom Hackimer knew what to do from there, as they combined to shut out Jacksonville from there forward. The Blue Wahoos did not issue a walk in this game. Pensacola was 6-for-17 with runners in scoring position. Travis Blankenhorn, Lewin Diaz and Aaron Whitefield drove in a pair of runs each. Blankenhorn also scored three times. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 11, Jupiter 7 Box Score Tyler Watson: 4.1 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 68.4% strikes (54 of 79 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Gabriel Maciel (2-for-4, BB), Royce Lewis (2-for-5), Trevor Larnach (2-for-4, 2B), Ryan Jeffers (2-for-4), Ernie De La Trinidad (2-for-5) This is about a week’s worth of runs in the Florida State League. The Miracle jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the second and never looked back, despite a few nice comeback efforts from Jupiter. The first eight batters reached safely for Fort Myers in that big second inning. Trevor Larnach hit his 23rd double of the year, putting him just one shy of the team-leading mark from last season, which was shared by Travis Blankenhorn and Alex Kirilloff. Gabriel Maciel has gotten off to a hot start in his first exposure to the FSL. He’s reached base five times in his first two games with the Miracle, and stole his first base after swiping eight bags down in Cedar Rapids. Zach Neff pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out four batters to earn the victory in what was his High-A debut. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 2 (11 innings) Box Score Luis Rijo: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 67.1 K% (47 of 70 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Estamy Urena (2-for-3, BB) The Kernels entered the bottom of the ninth up 2-0, but Peoria hit back-to-back solo homers to send it into extras. Gilberto Celestino delivered the go-ahead run with a double in the 11th inning and Alex Schick managed to pitch around the “bonus” runner starting the inning at second base in both the 10th and 11th innings to earn the win. Shick struck out three of the seven batters he faced. Luis Rijo is on quite the roll. He’s pitched five shutout innings and surrendered just one hit in all three of his most recent starts now. E-TWINS E-NOTES Kingsport 7, Elizabethton 2 Box Score Andriu Martin: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 75% strikes (57 of 76 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-for-5), Charles Mack (2-for-5), Seth Gray (2-for-5), Tyler Webb (2-for-4), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, 2B) The Twins had plenty of traffic on the bases and Andriu Martin pitched pretty well for the most part, but Kingsport hit a couple of big homers off him. Charles Mack extended his season-opening hit streak to four games, and Tyler Webb now has recorded multiple hits in three of E-Town’s four games. Seth Gray had his second straight multi-hit game. Matt Wallner was 1-for-4 with a walk. Max Smith, the Twins’ 31st-round pick, picked up his first professional hit tonight. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Alex Schick, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Brent Rooker, Rochester TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 2-for-5, RBI, R, K, E (throw) 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 1-for-5, RBI, R, K 4. Trevor Larnach (FM): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI 5. Wander Javier (CR): 0-for-4, 2 K 6. Brent Rooker (ROC): 1-for-1, 2B, BB, HBP | 2-for-3, 2B, HR, BB 3 RBI, 2 R 11. Nick Gordon (ROC): 0-for-3 13. Ryan Jeffers (FM): 2-for-4, 3 RBI, R 14. Ben Rortvedt (PNS): 1-for-3, 2 BB, R 16. Gilberto Celestino (CR): 1-for-5, 2B, RBI, K 18. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 1-for-3, K | 2-for-2, 2 BB, 2 R 20. Jose Miranda (FM): 0-for-4, HBP, R, K, E (fielding) SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Toledo, 6:05 pm CT (TBD) Pensacola at Jacksonville, 5:35 pm CT (Charlie Barnes) Fort Myers at Jupiter, 4:30 pm CT (Jordan Balazovic) Cedar Rapids at Peoria, 6:35 pm CT (Josh Winder) Elizabethton at Kingsport, 5:30 pm CT (TBD) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  7. Ten years ago, I got the idea of taking my knowledge of the Twins minor league system and turning it into a coffee table book for Twins fans. Think about how often during a Twins game Dick Bremer will mention a minor league player and someone wonders aloud who that player is and when we might see him in the big leagues. Reach down to your coffee table, grab the Prospect Handbook and sound like a genius when you tell him all about that player, his background, his stats and a scouting report on him. That was the original purpose of the book, but now it’s even more than that. First, my “knowledge of the Twins minor league system” wasn’t real high in 2008 relative to now. Second, it’s constantly evolving and I still know only a percentage of all there is to know. We have seen the evolution of the game on and off the field. The Twins have made many changes in their minor leagues. They’ve switched affiliates. They’ve added technology. They’ve added more coaches and coordinators. The goal is to make the players the best they can be and use whatever they can to get them to the big leagues and contribute. Third, and really probably #1 on this point, is the saying that has been included in every single Twins Prospect Handbook since that first edition and will again be in the 11th annual Twins Prospect Handbook as well. Minor league baseball players are doing all the same work that the big leaguers do. They are just doing it with far less fanfare, smaller per diems, less luxurious travel and hotel arrangements, and noticeably lighter wallets due to pay checks with far fewer zeroes. These players deserve to be recognized too. It’s about the players. They deserve the recognition. They work hard, and they earn what they get. Sometimes that means a big league career, and sometimes it means peaking in A-ball. So, here is a quick look at what you will find if you order a copy of the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (which will again be available in paperback and PDF). THE COVER Finn Pearson, who has done a lot of really good graphic work for Twins Daily since earlier this year, did a very nice job on the cover It would be hard for me to explain if we had gone with anyone other than Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis on the 2019 handbook cover. You will also notice that the beautiful stadium in Pensacola is in the background. The home of the new Twins Double-A affiliate sits right along the Gulf of Mexico. THE AUTHORS Seth Stohs - As mentioned above, this is my 11th Twins Prospect Handbook. Hard to believe. I wrote three articles for the handbook this year. I wrote the three Twins Daily Minor League Award winner articles. I had 30+ minute phone interviews with our three winners, Alex Kirilloff, Tyler Wells and Andrew Vasquez and penned an in-depth article on each. There are a lot of similarities in the stories and their are a couple of very solid relationships among these players. And as you saw the other day, they have a lot of respect for each other. Cody Christie - Cody was first a Co-Author on the Prospect Handbook in 2013. He wrote an interesting article looking into the first few seasons of Joe Mauer’s professional career and compared it to whatt Royce Lewis has done. Has there been a passing of the torch? Tom Froemming - This is Tom’s second Prospect Handbook. He wrote an article about how the Twins have brought in so much young talent over the last couple of years since Derek Falvey took the reigns. They have really used every potential means. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dan Hayes - Hayes joined The Athletic as the Twins beat writer almost a year ago, and he has been a terrific writer and a great follow on Twitter this offseason. We are thrilled that he wrote an article for this year’s Prospect Handbook. He wrote about a lot of the changes that happened over the last year or so in the Twins minor league system on and off the field. Chris Blessing - Chris writes about prospects for BaseballHQ.com and several other sites including USA Today Sports Weekly and the Minor League Baseball Analyst. In his scouting, he has seen many Chattanooga Lookouts games in recent years, and he noticed some things about Twins prospects in 2018 that are encouraging. Ted Schwerzler - Ted has contributed an article the last few years in which he projects which prospects will make their debuts with the Twins in 2019 and when. For the first time we have enlisted the help of the Twins minor league affiliates and have an article from each of the affiliates (with the exception of the GCL Twins). Rochester Red Wings media relations director Nate Rowan wrote a great article on the rich history of the Red Wings and baseball in Rochester. Includes some remarkable stories including one from a game the Red Wings played in Cuba in 1959 that got more than a little scary. Daniel Venn did a Q&A for Twins Daily recently. He is the media relations director for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Daniel shared with us the relatively short, but interesting history of the Blue Wahoos. Marshall Kelner is the media relations director for the Ft. Myers Miracle. He wrote an article on the team’s history and the 2018 Miracle Florida State League championship team. A long-time contributor at Twins Daily and of the Prospect Handbook, Steve Buhr met with the Cedar Rapids Kernels front office for a very interesting article on how much winning matters to a minor league affiliate. Mike Gallagher was the play-by-play man of the Elizabethton Twins. He wrote about the E-Twins long history with the Twins organization and recent legislation that hopefully will keep that relationship intact moving forward. Mariana Guzman writes at Twins Latinos. She wrote a good article about the 2018 season in the Dominican Summer League including who some of the better prospects might be on that team. Who could be the guys moving up to the Gulf Coast League in 2019? We admittedly have not covered the Twins Dominican Summer League in the book or on Twins Daily as much as we should, so this is a great addition to the book. THE PROFILES We like to call the prospect profiles the meat and potatoes of the Prospect Handbook. There are over 160 profiles of Twins minor leaguers in the book. I might give you an exact number, but we will update the book after Thursday’s Rule 5 draft to add any players that the Twins select. So, that number is subject to change between now and the book’s release. For those that have purchased Prospect Handbooks in the past, you have an idea of what the profiles look like and the information in each. For those of you who have not purchased previous Prospect Handbooks, well, you can buy previous Prospect Handbooks here. Ha! However, we wanted to include a profile here just to give you an idea of what you are getting. Here is a quick snip of a player profile. The header information includes height, weight, how they were acquired and their 2018 statistics. The 2018 Recaps were written by Tom Froemming and they, well, recap the player’s 2018 season. I (Seth) wrote up the Background section and the Scouting Report. The Background covers their amateur days and previous seasons. The Scouting Report provides, well, a scouting report on the player. We also include a Forecast for ‘19 in which we try to give a good idea of where each player could spend the 2019 season. We have pictures of a lot of the players in the bios. I wish we had all, but we definitely want to thank all the photographers that were willing to let us use their photos. So there you have it. The 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook is coming very soon. Keep checking back to Twins Daily and we will let you know when it is available. It’s something that Tom, Cody and I are really proud of. It just keeps getting bigger and better, and we hope that you will enjoy it too!
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