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  1. It’s not wise to overreact to a robust 15 games in the Puerto Rican Winter League, especially for a Minor Leaguer who hit just .252/.302/.369 in the prior season. For Jose Miranda, though, it was a glimpse into the future. His strong showing for Caguas was no mirage: he was improving. Miranda always possessed an elite ability to make contact, evidenced by his solid batting averages and low strikeout rates throughout his first handful of years in the minors. That’s why his power surge is so exciting. Starting the year with Wichita at Double-A, Miranda came out firing. He began the season going 13-for-32 (.406) with a double and three homers and never looked back. Miranda’s last 20 games before his promotion were outstanding. He hit .386 with a 1.085 OPS with seven homers and two doubles. Miranda’s ultimate statement came on June 29th in his debut for the Saints. He hit three homers, drove in six runs, and added a double in one of the best Triple-A unveilings you’ll ever see. Miranda proved that his great stretch in Wichita was no mirage. Miranda’s 153 wRC+ at Triple-A is the third-highest for a Twin since 2006 (min. 300 plate appearances). His 162 wRC+ at Double-A is tied for the third-best in that span. Miranda added patience to his profile while still maintaining a strikeout rate below 13%. He’s walking more, hitting for elite power, and spraying the ball all over the field. There are very few flaws to point out in his 2021 campaign. The 23-year-old leads the minors with 292 total bases, 176 hits, and 568 plate appearances. He’s started 48 games at third base, 29 at second base, 26 at first base, and 12 at Designated Hitter. He offers the infield versatility that the Twins value. So what does the future hold? Well, it’s interesting. While Miranda seemingly has nothing left to prove in the minors, there’s a log jam on the Twins’ roster. Josh Donaldson and Miguel Sanó (option) are both under contract at the corners until 2023. Alex Kirilloff impressed in his debut at first base, and Jorge Polanco had an MVP-level season at second. If that’s not enough, Luis Arraez needs a spot too. These things tend to work themselves out, so for now, let’s appreciate this incredible season from Jose Miranda. His future looks bright and offers hope that more contact-oriented prospects (like Austin Martin) can develop power in this system. While the Twins struggled to win games throughout the 2021 season, many fans found hope in the minors, especially in Jose Miranda. Congratulations, Jose! Below are the Top 8 Twins Minor League Hitters in 2021 (according to our 10-person, Twins Daily minor league writing staff) as well as others who received votes. If you click on their names, you will be directed to the search results for that player and find several other articles they are tagged in. TOP 8: 1. IF Jose Miranda - (.342/.400/.568 with 29 doubles, 29 homers at AA/AAA) T-2. 1B/OF Trey Cabbage - (.264/.346/.535 with 20 doubles, 27 homers at High-A/AA) Cabbage blasted 27 homers in 108 games and finished his season with a .535 slugging percentage. He posted an OPS over .880 for both Cedar Rapids and Wichita. T-2. IF Edouard Julien - (.266/.434/.480 with 28 doubles, 18 homers at Low-A/High-A) Julien stole 34 of 39 bases, hit 18 homers and walked 110 times in a breakout season. Julien mashed for Fort Myers before hitting .247/.397/.494 in Cedar Rapids. 4. IF Spencer Steer - (.254/.348/.484 with 18 doubles, 24 homers at High-A/AA) Steer found his power in 2021, stroking 24 homers across two levels. Steer posted a .915 OPS at Cedar Rapids and hit 14 homers for Wichita. 5. OF Mark Contreras - (.253/.341/.488 with 29 doubles, 19 homers at AA/AAA) Contreras is quietly hitting .253/.341/.488 and improved after a promotion to St. Paul. It was his best season as a Minor Leaguer. 6. OF BJ Boyd - (.294/.352/.491 with 15 doubles, 16 homers at AA/AAA) Boyd posted a .923 OPS in Wichita and earned a late season promotion to Triple-A. Boyd hadn't played professional baseball since 2018 but impressed in his return. 7. OF Jimmy Kerrigan - (.265/.336/.487 with 16 doubles, 19 homers at AA/AAA) Kerrigan is a steady force for the Saints, hitting .265/.336/.487 in over 100 games. Kerrigan has tallied 169 total bases, the most in his career. 8. OF Brent Rooker - (.245/.367/.564 with 8 doubles, 20 homers at AAA) Rooker destroyed at Triple-A before another promotion to Minnesota, where he's working himself into a 2022 role. "Rook" hit 20 homers in 62 games for the Saints. OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: OF Gilberto Celestino - (.280/.379/.431, 7 HR, 16 2B at AA/AAA) OF Matt Wallner - (.264/.350/.508, 15 HR, 14 2B, 2 3B at A+) IF/OF Drew Maggi - (.255/.358/.470, 16 HR, 13 2B, 2 3B at AAA) IF Yunior Severino - (.273/.372/.430, 8 HR, 29 2B, 2 3B at A/A+) IF/OF Michael Helman - (.246/.336/.462, 19 HR, 21 2B, 4 3B at A+) SS Jermaine Palacios - (.259/.340/.439, 19 HR, 17 2B at AA) C/1B Alex Isola - (.243/.342/.425, 17 HR, 15 2B at A+) C/OF Jeferson Morales - (.255/.370/.438, 12 HR, 24 2B at A/A+) C/1B Tomás Telís - (.292/.336/.411, 11 HR, 11 2B, 2 3B at AAA) 1B/3B Andrew Bechtold - (.239/.328/.459, 18 HR, 23 2B at AA) OF Ernie de La Trinidad - (.266/.344/.415, 9 HR, 12 2B, 2 3B at AA) PREVIOUS WINNERS: 2012 - Oswaldo Arcia 2013 - Miguel Sano 2014 - Mitch Garver 2015 - Max Kepler 2016 - Daniel Palka 2017 - Mitch Garver 2018 - Alex Kirilloff 2019 - Trevor Larnach
  2. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Iowa 1 Box Score Some nights, great pitching and Jose Miranda is all you need to secure a win. Tonight was one of those nights. Charlie Barnes got the start on the mound for St. Paul tonight and he was excellent in a shortened outing. He went four innings and allowed only one run, while accumulating four strikeouts. Barnes threw 70 pitches in this one and wasn’t showing signs of slowing down, so his removal from the game is likely to keep him fresh for potential major league service in the future. The one Cubs run came in the top of the third on an Abiatal Avelino RBI single off Barnes. Fortunately, though, the Saints struck in the bottom of the inning when Jose Miranda belted a no-doubter three-run shot. That blast proved to be all the Saints would need. After Barnes was removed, Beau Burrows entered the game in the fifth, charged with getting the fifteen-out save (not a thing). Burrows was even more fantastic, though, as he didn’t allow a hit until the ninth inning and struck out six Cubs. He did allow two hits in the ninth, but did not allow a run over all five of his innings, and the Saints took the game 3-1. St. Paul improves to 2-1 in the Triple-A Final Stretch. WIND SURGE WISDOM Double-A Central Championship Series Game 3: NW Arkansas 6, Wichita 2 (NW Arkansas wins series 3-0) Box Score Needing a win after their top two arms got roughed up in games one and two, the Wind Surge put the ball in the capable right hand of Austin Schulfer tonight in Riverfront Stadium’s playoff debut. However, a fourth inning grand slam ruined the night for Schulfer and the Surge, and their comeback hopes in this game and in the series never got started. The packed home crowd was amped up early and Jermaine Palacios gave them something to cheer about in the second when he stroked a ball 400 feet the left and bat-flipped the Surge to a 1-0 lead. The Naturals grabbed that run back in the third with a sac fly scoring Blake Perkins, who advanced two bases on an errant Schulfer pickoff attempt. After a close out call at the plate kept Wichita from retaking the lead, Brewer Hicklen, who made a game-saving catch in Game 1, pumped a grand slam over the left field wall to take the air out of the Wichita crowd and give NW Arkansas a 5-1 lead. Spencer Steer doubled and later scored on an Andrew Bechtold groundout in the fourth, but the offense couldn’t build on that and the next run of the game came in the seventh in favor of the Naturals, making it 6-2. In fact, the Surge didn’t put together a meaningful threat the rest of the game and that 6-2 scoreline was enough to earn the Naturals a dog-pile on the infield grass. Schulfer ended up pitching four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) while striking out four. He gave way to Kody Funderburk, who allowed just one run in three innings. Jordan Gore finished the game with two innings of scoreless work. On offense, the Surge grabbed seven hits but, as they have for much of the stretch run, they struggled to bring runs in. Jermaine Palacios and Austin Martin had multi-hit games. KERNELS NUGGETS High-A Central Championship Series Game 3: Cedar Rapids 8, Quad Cities 4 (Cedar Rapids leads series 2-1) Box Score After splitting the first two games, the Kernels endured a lengthy delay and turned to the long ball, bopping 4 homers en route to a crucial 8-4 Game 3 victory. Quad Cities opened their account in the first inning with a Logan Porter RBI single, but DaShawn Kiersey Jr. had an answer in the form of a two-run homer that gave the Kernels a 2-1 second-inning lead. In the third inning, the Kernels loaded the bases but their threat was interrupted by a rain delay. Well over an hour later, the game picked up again and Kiersey flew out to end the threat, permanently this time. In the fourth, though, Edouard Julien doubled the Cedar Rapids lead with a solo homer, and a few batters later, Alex Isola followed suit. Isola’s blast was worth three though, and the Kernels took a 6-1 lead. Quad Cities got a run back in the fifth, but Julien was back at it again in the sixth, with another solo bomb. And, Michael Helman added on another when he doubled and later scored on a Matt Wallner sac fly. Quad Cities got two runs back in the seventh to cut the lead to 8-4 that was as close as their comeback attempts would get and the Cedar Rapids Kernels are one win away from the title. Casey Legumina got the start for Cedar Rapids and allowed one run in two innings but after the lengthy delay, this one became a bullpen game. Adam Rozek matched Legumina, allowing one run over the third and fourth innings. Derek Molina took over and pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed two runs, though only one was earned. Carlos Suniaga allowed a few hits, but finished the game with two scoreless innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Beau Burrows (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day - Edouard Julien (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR, BB, K PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-3, BB #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, BB, HR (16), 3 RBI #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, RBI, 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-3, BB #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, K #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, 2B, R, 2 K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Drew Strotman (9-4, 5.13 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (3-3, 4.55 ERA in regular season) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games!
  3. TRANSACTIONS INF Drew Maggi selected by Twins from AAA St. Paul Saints Sentinel St. Paul 5, Indianapolis 9 Box Score Bryan Sammons: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Tomás Telis (3-for-5), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-4, RBI) The Saints lost on Saturday. Bryan Sammons had a rough day at the office. He allowed seven runs as Indianapolis put up back-to-back four-run efforts in the 3rd and 4th innings. The score was close at times. The Saints originally took the lead in the 2nd inning thanks to singles by Sherman Johnson and Drew Stankiewicz, but that lead did not last for long. Indianapolis instantly responded with five runs over the next two innings; runs that were capped off with a bases-clearing double from Taylor Davis. Damek Tomscha brought the game within striking distance with a triple and eventually came around thanks to a balk. The good news ends there as Indianapolis piled on four more runs in the 4th inning and essentially ended the game there. Mitch Garver went 1-4 with a single and a strikeout in his rehab appearance. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 3, Arkansas 5 Box Score Austin Schulfer: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Wind Surge lost a close one on Saturday. Offensively, Wichita was limited to only singles and walks, but the team was able to scrap themselves to a few runs. Austin Martin, Aaron Whitefield, Jermaine Palacios, and Leobaldo Cabrera all stole a base on Saturday (and Palacios stole two). The steals directly to the three runs the Wind Surge scored. Three runs would not be enough to win. Austin Schulfer allowed two runs in his start, but Evan Sisk matched that total in relief of Schulfer. The Travelers tacked on another run, but that proved to just be unnecessary breathing room. Wichita put together a rally in the 9th inning as Palacios and Trey Cabbage both took walks, but Whitefield and Andrew Bechtold were unable to bring any more runners home. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 6, Peoria 3 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long: 6 1/3 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K HR: Edouard Julien (14), Aaron Sabato (8) Multi-hit games: Alex Isola (2-for-4) The Kernels won a close game on Saturday. Sawyer Gipson-Long continued his ridiculous strikeout streak by punching out eight Chiefs. He now has 134 punchies on the season, which, by my count, is pretty darn good. Gipson-Long might still fly under the radar on prospect lists, but he certainly is a name that should be kept track of. Offensively, the Kernels dominated. Only one hitter had multiple hits but that was because every other hitter was too busy taking walks. The team walked eight times with Aaron Sabato leading the way with three free passes on top of his homerun. Let’s talk about his homer. Sabato’s 5th inning shot was his eighth in 92 plate appearances with the Kernels. Over a 600 plate appearance season (a traditional full year of play), that would be good for 52 blasts. I don’t think you need me to tell you how good that is. Not to be outdone, Edouard Julien blasted his 14th homer with the Kernels in the 3rd inning. Julien has seen a dramatic boost in home runs since his promotion (three with Fort Myers, 14 with Cedar Rapids over a comparable amount of playing time), and the new power is quite intriguing. If he can find the perfect mix of discipline and power, then we may be looking at a great hitter for the Twins. Osiris German and Tyler Watson combined to end the game for Cedar Rapids with 2 2/3 clean innings of work between the two pitchers. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 5, Tampa 6 (7 innings) Box Score Jackson Hicks: 0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K HR: Willie Joe Garry Jr. (4) Multi-hit games: Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI) The Fort Myers Miracle lost their paused game on Saturday. Cade Povich took over for Jackson Hicks and performed admirably. He struck out five batters over his two innings of work without allowing an earned run. Povich now has 16 strikeouts over eight innings with Fort Myers, not a bad start at all. Fort Myers held the lead late in the game thanks to Willie Joe Garry Jr’s. two-run homer, Misael Urbina’s double, and some early-inning shenanigans from Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Kole McKinnon. The 6th inning proved to be the back-breaker, though. A single from Tyler Hardman, with the aid of a Garry Jr. error, scored the game-ending go-ahead run. The Mighty Mussels had three total errors in the game. The three errors, along with going 1-9 with RISP, proved to be too much for Fort Myers to overcome. Game two: Fort Myers 3, Tampa 0 Box Score Regi Grace: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Mighty Mussels threw a no-hitter* in game two. ...Kind of. MLB already established that a seven-inning no-hitter does not technically count, but I find that to be lame, so Fort Myers threw a no-hitter on Saturday (as declared by Matt Braun.) Regi Grace was astonishingly efficient in his start. Landon Leach, Bradley Hanner, and Matthew Swain combined to complete the game in relief of Grace. In total, the Mighty Mussels struck out 11 batters, allowed no hits (duh), and walked just one batter. That lone walk proved to be the sole blemish on the night. The Fort Myers offense, to their credit, did their part as well. Will Holland doubled home a run, Jake Rucker brought in another with a sacrifice fly, and Patrick Winkel added on with a run-scoring double. Those three runs were more than enough for the Mighty Mussels in game two. Quotes following the game: Matthew Swain, who struck out the side in the ninth inning, said, "I just focused and took it pitch-by pitch. Just trying to get strike one and eliminate hitters. Just wanted to finish out the season strong, on a good note. I had a little chip on my shoulder this game." Tonight's starter, Regi Grace, said of the group, "It's just our organizational philosophy; throw nasty (stuff) in the zone. I guess all four of us were all a little extra nasty tonight." Catcher Patrick Winkel said, "(Manager) Brian (Meyer) told us before the week, this might be the last time you guys play together, so try to have fun with it, and that's exactly what we're doing. That just comes through on the field, the level of energy and the focus we have. We're just trying to enjoy these last few days as a group. We don't know if or when we'll ever play together again. Just trying to go out on a good note." Winkel said of his pitchers, "Regi was dominating with his fastball and then going to his curveball, keeping them off balance. Leach came out and was working really fast, not giving them a chance to breathe and catching them off guard. Working down and away. Putting the ball where he wanted to put it. Hanner came in and had great energy and focus. He didn't back down. He had the top of the order, some of the best hitters in this league, and obviously Swain came in and closed the door by just blew fastballs by them." Hanner said, "I just wanted to end the season on a high note, and I can't think of a better way to do it." Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 3 (7 innings) Box Score Mike Paredes: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: Kala’i Rosario (5) Multi-hit games: Kala’i Rosario (2-for-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Gregory Duran (2-for-3, 2B) The FCL Twins won their paused game on Saturday. Technically, Kala’i Rosario kicked off the game yesterday with a monstrous first-inning home run. But, because the game did not end until today, I am commandeering the content for today’s write-up. Here it is: Mike Paredes mowed through the FCL Red Sox offense to begin the game before Chase Petty took over to carry the torch. His second professional outing resulted in three earned runs over his three innings of work-not the best performance on the surface, but he also struck out four batters. Those three earned runs turned the tide of the game against the FCL Twins as they now found themselves down by a run. The team was not finished, though. A 6th inning double-steal brought home the tying run, and a 7th inning single from Ricardo Olivar ended the game for good. The Twins and Red Sox were supposed to play a second game, but that game was canceled. Today was also the last day of the season for the FCL and it appears that the team will not make up the game on Sunday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Aaron Sabato PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4, K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, 2B #7 – Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - 3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, R, 2 K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-3, 2 R, K #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 1-3, RBI, BB, 2 K #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-3, BB, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-6, R, RBI, 2B, BB, K #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Tampa @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) LHP Zarion Sharpe St. Paul @ Indianapolis (11:35 AM) RHP Drew Strotman Arkansas @ Wichita (12:05 PM) RHP Simeon Woods Richardson Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (12:35 PM) TBD
  4. TRANSACTIONS Wichita Wind Surge activated RHP Adam Lau from the temporarily inactive list. Cedar Rapids Kernels activated RHP Ryan Shreve from the 7-day injured list. Cedar Rapids Kernels placed RHP Steven Cruz on the 7-day injured list. RHPs Travis Adams and Johnathan Lavallee, both 2021 draft picks, were assigned to the FCL Twins. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 8, Indianapolis 0 Box Score Jose Miranda had another big game for the Saints, but when a team tosses a two-hit shutout, we'll lead with that. Veteran Derek Law could have become a free agent when the Twins DFAd him for a second time this season recently. Instead, he accepted his assignment to the Saints and has been extended. In his career, he had pitched in 231 minor league games, all out of the bullpen. On this night, he made the start and worked a career-high four innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out six batters. Chandler Shepherd came on, and despite walking three batters and giving up a hit, he did not allow a run. Vinny Nittoli tossed two scoreless before Robinson Leyer completed the shutout with a perfect ninth inning. Back to Miranda because, let's be honest, that's what we're all here for. Miranda went 3-for-5 with his 19th Saints double, and his 15th Saints home run (28th overall). He drove in four of the team's runs. Jimmy Kerrigan was also 3-for-5 on the night. BJ Boyd drove in two runs with a double. Mark Contreras his his 25th double of the season. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Arkansas 2 Box Score Chris Vallimont has had his ups and downs this season, but on Thursday night, he was on the mound with the opportunity to put the Wind Surge in the playoffs. He put together a very solid start. He started with five scoreless innings before allowing a solo homer to Jack Larsen in the top of the sixth inning. Overall, he gave up just the one run in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up just two hits, walked four and struck out four batters. Down 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Ernie de la Trinidad gave the Wind Surge a 2-1 lead with a two-run single. Later in the inning, the Arkansas catcher tried to pick off Andrew Bechtold at third base, but he threw it away allowing Bechtold to score and put Wichita ahead by a score of 3-1. Erik Manoah got the final out of the sixth inning and then worked two more scoreless frames. He struck out four and walked none. Adam Lau came off the IL earlier in the day got the ninth inning. He got the first two outs, on a fly out and a strikeout. However, he walked the next batter. That brought up pinch hitter Joe Rizzo representing the game-tying run. Rizzo drove in a run to cut the lead to 3-2 with a bloop single to center. However, the next batter - another pinch hitter - popped out to center fielder Austin Martin to end the game and place the Wind Surge in the playoffs. Trey Cabbage and Jermaine Palacios each went 2-for-4 in the game. Palacios hit his 17th double. Stevie Berman not only caught a great game, but he went 2-for-3 at the plate with his sixth double. Congratulations to the Wichita Wind Surge on making the playoffs in their first season as a Twins affiliate! KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 1 Box Score Coming into this game, the Kernels were tied with Lake County for second place in the High-A Central League. They were one game ahead of Great Lakes. Just one of those teams will make the playoffs. The game was pretty quiet early. Through the sixth inning, the Kernels found themselves down by a score of 3-1. However, Edouard Julien came to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered a bases-clearing double to give Cedar Rapids a 4-3 lead. Aaron Sabato then drove in Julien with a sacrifice fly to give the Kernels a 5-3 lead. It was a lead that the Kernels bullpen was able to hold. It was an important win as both Lake County and Great Lakes won their games on Thursday as well. Each team has three games remaining on their schedules. Sean Mooney got the start for the Kernels. He worked the first five innings and did not give up a hit. He was charged with one run on two walks and a hit batter. He struck out seven hitters. Lefty Denny Bentley came in to start the sixth inning. He recorded just one out and was charged with two runs on four hits. Osiris German came on and gave up just one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Zach Featherstone recorded the final out of the eighth inning before striking out the side in the ninth inning for the Save. All four outs he recorded came on strikeouts. Matt Wallner went 2-for-3 with a walk and drove in the team's first run with a single in the fourth inning. Jair Camargo was also 2-for-3 with a walk. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers, Tampa (Suspended in 1st inning) Box Score Rains have won the day most of the time in recent weeks down in Florida. On Thursday, night, right-hander Jackson Hicks made his Mussels debut, but after just seven pitches and a single to the one batter he faced, the game was suspended. It will be continued on Friday. Unfortunately, the second game of Thursday's doubleheader has simply been cancelled. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday night. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Rays 6, FCL Twins 4 Box Score Two extra-base hits from Endy Rodriguez wasn't enough to propel the FCL Twins to a win on Thursday afternoon in the Sunshine State. Rodriguez tallied two hits and two runs in the loss. The first of those hits came in the third inning when Rodriguez launched a triple to right field. He scored on the next at-bat thanks to a single from Noah Miller. After walking in the seventh, Rodriguez scored on a groundout fielder's choice from Kal'ai Rosario, who had a double on the day. Rodriguez also doubled with two outs in the ninth inning but did not score. Twins starter Travis Adams went 1 1/3 innings in his professional debut. He gave up three runs on two hits while walking two and striking out three batters. Jordan Carr came on and was charged with an unearned run in 1 2/3 innings. Johnathan Lavallee came on for his pro debut. He worked two innings. He gave up one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out three batters with no walks. Erasmo Moreno carried the bulk of the Twins bullpen, tossing four innings of one-run, two hit ball while striking out four hitters. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Derek Law (St. Paul) - 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, BB #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-3, BB, RBI, K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-4, BB, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 1-4, R, RBI, BB, K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - No Game (Paternity List) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Rained Out #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4 FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Jason Garcia (0-0, 14.40 ERA) Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (3-2, 2.63 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (First Kernels Start, 4-2, 3.02 ERA in Ft. Myers) Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 1 (6:00 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games!
  5. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the organization’s transactions and the FCL Twins game from Monday. TRANSACTIONS There were several announced transactions on Monday’s minor league off day. With Brent Rooker going on the Paternity List, the Twins called up RHP Kyle Barraclough. Also, for Tuesday’s Twins double-header, LHP Charlie Barnes will be called up to start Game 2 after Joe Ryan starts Game 1. RHP Melvi Acosta promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. RHP Casey Legumina promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. SS Wander Javier placed on the IL. RHP Ryan Shreve sent to Ft. Myers to begin a rehab assignment. RHP Jackson Hicks has been promoted from the FCL Twins to Ft. Myers. He was signed in July out of the USPBL. 2021 draft picks, RH Pierson Ohl and LHP Jaylen Nowlin were assigned to the FCL Twins… and they made their pro debuts on Monday in the below game. FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 4, FCL Pirates 10 Box Score The Twins fell behind 3-0 before they scored four runs in the top of the fifth frame. Luis Gomez walked with the bases loaded. Rubel Cespedes and Dillon Tatum scored on a fielder’s choice and error on a ground ball. Luis Baez then singled in one run. That was it for the Twins scoring. Their three and four hitters (Emmanuel Rodriguez and Kala’i Rosario) combined to go 0-for-8 with eight strikeouts. Niklas Rimmel made a start. He was charged with an unearned run on one hit. Pierson Ohl gave up three runs on five hits over 1 2/3 innings in his pro debut. He was replaced by Jaylen Nowlin making his debut. He gave up four runs (3 earned) on two hits, two walks and a hit batter. Elipidio Perez gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in two innings. Danny Moreno pitched one perfect inning. With that, let’s look at Week 19 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (3-3, hosting Omaha), overall (58-56) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (3-3, hosting NW Arkansas), overall (65-40) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, @ Wisconsin), overall (63-51) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (5-1, hosting Palm Beach), overall (57-53) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (2-4), overall (19-35) STANDINGS Triple-A East Midwest: Toledo 67-47, Omaha 64-40, St. Paul 58-56. Double-A Central North: Wichita 65-49, Arkansas 62-52, NW Arkansas 60-53. High-A Central West: Quad Cities 73-39, Cedar Rapids 63-51, Wisconsin 54-59. Low-A Southeast: Tampa 72-40, Bradenton 70-43, Ft. Myers 57-53. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Radcliff Honored Tuesday: Wallner Grand Slams, Saints Walk-Off Wednesday: Homers and Hits Abound Thursday: Legumina and Varland Roll, Sticks Cookin’ in Low and High A Joe Ryan is Better than His Scouting Reports Friday: Balazovic Pulled from No-Hitter Saturday: You Get a Run, You Get a Run, Everybody Gets a Run Sunday: Sterling Sands, Mussels Hold Strong HIGHLIGHTS We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 19 performances Twins Player of the Week: Alex Isola, Cedar Rapids Kernels Alex Isola had a huge week for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Over his six games in Wisconsin, he hit .286/.333/.714 (1.048) with four homers. In 93 games on the season, he has hit .247/.351/.435 (.786) with 13 doubles, 17 home runs and 51 RBI. He has caught 43 games and played 29 games at first base. He has also DHd 21 times. Isola was the Twins 29th round pick in 2019 from Texas Christian. He played at Utah in 2017 and at a junior college in 2018. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Cade Povich, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Cade Povich made his second Mighty Mussel start. He gave up just one hit (and a hit batter), or three scoreless innings. He struck out five batters. Over his two starts for Ft. Myers, he has a 1.50 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. In six innings, he has given up four hits, walked one and struck out 11 batters. Before that, he made one appearance in the FCL. Povich was the Twins third-round pick in July out of the University of Nebraska. This season, he went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA. In 15 starts and 81 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 88 batters. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints The highlight for the offense was setting the high-water mark for runs scored in a game on Saturday when they scored 21 runs against Omaha. And while it was just one game, the Saints had a lot of strong offensive performances this week! JT Riddle has had a tough year, but this week, he hit two homers, drove in seven and posted a 1.203 OPS. Tomas Telis played six games and hit .407/.448/.704 (1.152) with two doubles and two homers. Gilberto Celestino hit .444/.500/.630 (1.130) with two doubles and a homer. Jose Miranda hit .421/.421/.632 (1.053) with a double and a homer. Drew Maggi hit .278/.381/.611 (.992) with two homers. David Banuelos played in two games. In one of those games, he had three hits, including two home runs, one of which was a grand slam. (1.569 OPS) Sherman Johnson hadn’t had a hit since August 26th (0-for-17) until Saturday night when he hit a home run. Now, that was his only hit of the week, in just six at bats, but the incredible thing is that he still managed a 1.282 OPS because he walked seven times to go along with the homer. Mark Contreras hit two doubles and two homers including a 461 foot blast! Charlie Barnes, Robinson Leyer and Nick Vincent each gave up one run on two hits over 3 1/3 innings this past week. Barnes did so in a shortened-start so that he can make the Game 2 start for the Twins on Tuesday night. Leyer over two appearances, and Nick Vincent did that over three outings. Yennier Cano threw twice and gave up a total of one run on two hits in 5 1/3 innings. Derek Law had a scoreless, one-hit three inning appearance. Jovani Moran pitched two scoreless innings in his outing last week, and then had the highlight of the week for any player. He was called up to the big leagues and made his MLB debut. I was at CHS Field on Friday and Saturday nights. On Saturday, the Saints had a tremendous pregame show that culminated with three former Navy Seals parachuting into the stadium. Wichita Wind Surge His season has been filled with ups and downs, but Jordan Balazovic’s outing this week earned him the league’s pitcher of the week honors. He tossed six no-hit innings. He gave up an unearned run and walked two batters while striking out five batters. Cole Sands was also really, really good in his two starts last week. He tossed 12 innings and gave up only an unearned run on five hits and four walks. He struck out ten batters. Jordan Gore worked twice and gave up only one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Evan Sisk gave up only an unearned run on two hits over 3 2/3 innings. Austin Schulfer threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his start. He gave up two hits and struck out six, despite walking five batters. DJ Burt finally got some more playing time recently, and he has done quite well. Last week, he played all six games and hit .458/.480/.833 (1.313) with three doubles and two homers. Cedar Rapids Kernels Cody Laweryson had arguably his best start of the season. He struck out nine batters over six shutout innings. He gave up three hits and two walks. Andrew Cabezas worked twice out of the bullpen and gave up just one run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out eight batters. Osiris German struck out five batters over 3 2/3 scoreless innings over his two outings. Denny Bentley struck out four batters over 2 2/3 shutout innings. It was a really good week for the Kernels’ hitters. Edouard Julien played six games and went .391/.576/.783 (1.358) with three homers. He also walked 10 of his 23 plate appearances. Anthony Prato played in just two games, but he went 4-for-8 (.500) with a double, two walks and a game-winning single. Matt Wallner hit .320/.433/.760 (1.193) with two doubles, three homers and nine RBI. Michael Helman hit .346/.393/.654 (1.047) with a double, two triples and a homer. He also stole five bases. Jeferson Morales hit .353/.476/.529 (.1006). Aaron Sabato hit .300/.400/.600 (1.000) with two homers. DaShawn Keirsey played four games in his return from the IL and hit .313/.368/.563 (.931) with a double and a homer. Also, the Kernels played in Wisconsin and got to face the TimberRattlers wearing one of their alternate uniforms, which are fantastic! Ft. Myers Might Mussels Regi Grace made his second start since returning from the IL. He tossed three scoreless innings. He struck out three, walked one and gave up two hits. Juan Pichardo struck out four batters over three scoreless innings. Casey Legumina gave up just one run on two hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and was rewarded with a promotion to Cedar Rapids. Charles Mack played in three games and hit .417 (5-for-12) with a double and two home runs (1.417 OPS). Mikey Perez moved up to the Mussels quick, and he responded by hitting .529/.600/.706 (1.306) with three doubles. Christian Encarnacion-Strand’s 15-game hitting streak ended, but for the week, he hit .391/.462/.478 (.940) with a triple. Will Holland hit .300/.462/.450 (.912) with a home run. Jake Rucker hit .450/.458/.450 (.908). Alerick Soularie hit .273/.448/.455 (.903) with a double, a homer and seven walks. FCL Twins Wander Valdez played in five games and hit .400/.500/.733 (1.233) with two doubles and a home run. Noah Miller also played five games. He hit .400/.455/.650 (1.105) with a triple and a homer. Carlos Aguiar had a two-homer game. Top pick Chase Petty made his pro debut on Friday. He tossed two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked none and struck out two batters while showing really good stuff. LOWLIGHTS We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints Jason Garcia was the starting pitcher in the 21-4 win against Omaha. Unfortunately, he gave up four runs on five hits and two walks and went just three innings. Caleb Hamilton went 0-for-7 for the week. Wichita Wind Surge It was a highlight in last week’s report that Simeon Woods Richardson made his first appearance in the organization. It was a lowlight that he only went 1 1/3 innings. He had control issues, but didn’t give up any runs. This week, Woods Richardson is just in this list. In his second start, he gave up six runs on three hits and three walks over just 1 2/3 innings. Chris Vallimont had another rough start. He gave up nine runs (7 earned) on nine hits (3 HR) and two walks in 2 1/3 innings. Zach Neff gave up two runs on two hits and a walk and got just two outs in his outing this week. Catchers Chris Williams and Stevie Berman each had one hit in seven plate appearances. Jermaine Palacios and Austin Martin were each 3-for-17 (.176). Leobaldo Cabrera went 4-for-23 (.174). Cedar Rapids Kernels A week after being the Twins minor league pitcher of the week, Sawyer Gipson-Long had a tough start. He gave up six runs on three hits and three walks and only recorded one outs. He needed 38 pitches. He left with the bases loaded and all three runs scored. Tyler Watson gave up four runs on three hits (2 HR), three walks and a hit batter in three innings. Gabriel Maciel and Yunior Severino each played just two games. Severino went 1-for-8 (.125) and Maciel went 1-for-9 (.111). Ft. Myers Might Mussels Kole McKinnon went 1-for-11 (.091) with seven strikeouts. Willie Joe Garry went 2-for-16 (.125) with seven strikeouts. Patrick Winkel went 3-for-16 (.188). PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our updated Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 31 games, .243/.385/.374 (.759) with 6 doubles, 3 home runs, 19 RBI, 17 BB, 27 K. #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 19 GS, 93.1 IP, 94 H, 34 BB, 97 K, 3.38 ERA, 1.37 WHIP #4 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - 2 GS, 3.0 IP, 0 H, 6 BB, 4 K, 18.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP. #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 111 games, .337/.397/.560 (.957) with 26 doubles, 26 homers, 78 RBI, 39 BB, 71 K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - St. Paul (2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 17 K, 2.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP), Minnesota (2 GS, 12.0 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 9 K, 2.25 ERA, 0.42 WHIP) #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 5 GS, 21.0 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 43 K, 0.86 ERA, 0.67 WHIP (IL, elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - 1 GS, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP. #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 60 games, .233/.296/.301 (.597) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 89 K, 5 SB (Temporary Inactive List) #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP (IL, shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 60 games, .260/.349/.506 (.855) with 13 doubles, 2 triples, 14 homers, 44 RBI, 26 BB, 91 K. #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (34 games, .313/.401/.508 (.909) with 10 doubles, 5 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 29 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 7 GS, 31.2 IP, 38 H, 16 BB, 26 K, 7.39 ERA, 1.71 WHIP. #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 18 games, .275/.346/.435 (.781) with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer, 13 RBI, 7 BB, 19 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (44 games, .203/.291/.392 (.683) with 8 doubles, 7 homers, 13 RBI, 12 BB, 56 K) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #18 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 97 games, .192/.299/.288 (.587) with 11 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homers, 51 RBI, 52 BB, 78 K, 13 SB) #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 18 G, 17 GS, 75.1 IP, 56 H, 32 BB, 92 K, 2.63 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 104 games, .258/.354/.489 (.843) with 16 doubles, 3 triples, 23 homers, 58 RBI, 53 BB, 100 K) LOOKING AHEAD Tampa @ Ft. Myers: (John Stankiewicz, TBD, TBD, Regi Grace, Brent Headrick, TBD): Cedar Rapids @ Peoria: (Cody Laweryson, Louie Varland, Sean Mooney, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Aaron Rozek, Tyler Watson): Arkansas @ Wichita: (Simeon Woods-Richardson, Jordan Balazovic, Chris Vallimont, Cole Sands, Austin Schulfer, Simeon Woods-Richardson): St. Paul @ Indianapolis: (Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows, Andrew Albers, Jason Garcia, Bryan Sammons, Drew Strotman): Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  6. 25. RHP Chris Vallimont (24-years-old) Season Stats (High-A + Double-A): 4-4, 4.76 ERA, 64 1/3 IP, 102 K, 40 BB, 6 HR Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 20, 2021 Preseason: NR Chris Vallimont has the physical profile of a modern day pitcher. He stands nearly 6-foot-6-inches tall with an athletic 220 pound frame that he uses to generate fastballs in the mid-90s to go along with a hammer curve (as well as the occasional slider and changeup). When he's on, there's a strong argument to be made that he has some of the most dynamic stuff in the Twins' system. However, he is a bit of an enigma. His peripheral numbers suggest that he is a better pitcher than what the surface-level stats say, the main anchor dragging him down being his walks. If he hones his command, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he develops into, say, a No. 3 starter. If he doesn't, he may wind up in the bullpen long-term. There are few prospects in the Twins' system with more future outcome variance than Vallimont. 24: RHP Louie Varland (23-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): 6-2, 1.70 ERA, 69 IP, 98 K, 25 BB, 2 HR Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR Louie Varland is one of those Twins prospects who has shot up the rankings this season due to sustained dominance. Varland was an unknown prospect when the Twins selected him in the 15th round of the 2019 draft out of Concordia-St. Paul. He started out the 2021 season with the Low-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels before earning a promotion to the High-A Cedar Rapids Kernels where he rattled off nearly 20 straight innings of scoreless ball to begin his run at that level. Varland primarily relies on a fastball-curveball pitch mix. His fastball plays well both up and low in the zone; it presents with decent rise when elevated and greater sinking action when down. His most likely future role is as a reliever, but he has the raw stuff — and performance, to this point — to suggest he'll be effective in the high minors and, possibly, the big leagues. 23: UTIL Nick Gordon (25-years-old) Season Stats (MLB): .250/.301/.333, 37 G, 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 SB, 26/5 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NR, 2021 Preseason: NR To say that Nick Gordon was an after thought on the minds of Twins' fans entering the 2021 season would be an understatement. However, a strong showing at Triple-A combined with a fast start when promoted to the parent squad quickly got him back into people's minds. Gordon primarily played shortstop in the minors; however, the rash of injuries suffered by Twins' outfielders thrust Gordon into some minutes in centerfield. While he didn't provide Gold Glove caliber defense, he did show enough to suggest that he may have a brighter future as a true utility man than most thought. Gordon doesn't do anything great, but also doesn't do anything well-below average. He may not be an everyday-type of player, but he should find himself with a role in the majors — though perhaps ultimately not with the Twins — for years to come. 22: 1B/DH Aaron Sabato (22-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A): .181/.365/.309, 75 G, 13 2B, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 101/67 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 9, 2021 Preseason: 8 The tale of Aaron Sabato is virtually the opposite of that of Varland and Gordon. Sabato was known as a bopper with a good eye at the plate when the Twins selected him with the 27th overall pick in the 2020 draft but so far only his peepers have translated. Sabato has struggled to keep pace with Low-A pitching. His strikeout numbers are through the roof and his power has evaporated compared to what he displayed while with the Tar Heels. To put it bluntly, not many minor leaguers have struggled as much as he has to date and proceeded to carve out a productive major league career. Sabato's walk totals are encouraging, but he needs to show more the rest of the way. 21: INF Edouard Julien (22-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): .251/.423/.449, 78 G, 21 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 47 RBI, 25 SB, 98/73 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR Alright, back to being positive. Edouard Julien is an on-base machine with some pop who has displayed the ability to play multiple positions defensively, though he is probably best at second base. He's also stolen far more bases this year than many thought possible when he came out of Auburn University. Julien's overall productivity has declined some since his promotion to Cedar Rapids — and, thus, the removal of Robo-umps — however, he has done more than enough to justify his placement on this list. Not bad for a former 18th round pick. What do you think of this set of five prospects? Future big-leaguers? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. Jose Miranda may just be the best thing to ever happen to the Minnesota Twins since the invention of sliced bread. After a downright stellar month of May, Miranda shifted into Mach 5 come June, producing arguably one of the best single months that the Twins organization has seen from a minor league prospect. For that reason, he’s our June Hitter of the Month. 3B/2B/1B Jose Miranda (Wichita/St. Paul) 25 G, 43-111, .387/.438/.694 (1.132) with 4 doubles, 10 homers, 9 BB, 15 K, 23 R, 20 RBI. Miranda, who’s been at Double-A Wichita for most of the month, caught the public eye last night in his Triple-A debut with the Saints. The Puerto Rico native gave himself the best birthday present a guy could ask for, launching three HR (including a grand slam) and tallying 6 RBI in a 15-4 win over Omaha. The thing is, one night doesn’t do Miranda justice. He’s been damn good all month (and season) long. In 23 games with Wichita this month the slugger slashed an incredible .370/.427/.610 (1.037) with three doubles, seven homers, nine BB, 19 runs, 14 RBI, and only 14 strikeouts. That stat line will only go up thanks to his stellar night in St. Paul. Successful hitting is grounded in consistency. Miranda has passed that test with flying colors, hitting safely in 19 of 24 games this month with 12 of those games being multi-hit endeavors. In addition to his ability to bring his bat to the ballpark every day, there are a few pinpoint performances that have inked the word stardom to his name. On June 24 he went 5-for-6 with a run and RBI in a win against Omaha. And while that game consisted of four singles and a double, Tuesday night wasn’t the first time that Miranda has flexed the longball with a multi-homer game. On June 20 he went 3-for-4 with two homers and nine total bases in a win against Springfield. He followed that up the next day with a 4-for-5 showing at the plate with a homer, three runs, and eight total bases. Given his success so far this year it wouldn’t be shocking to see Miranda at the MLB level later this season. And while that’s a whole new ballgame it’s tough not to root for the guy after his hot start. Check Out: Miranda Searches for New Heights in 2020 Rounding out the Top Five Outfielder Ernie De La Trinidad (Wichita) 19 G, 24-70, .343/.439/.614 (1.053) with 5 doubles, 1 triple, 4 homers, 5 BB, 11 K, 9 ER, 17 RBI. Jose Miranda may have stolen the show in regard to the Wichita offense but De La Trinidad was nothing short of brilliant this past month. In fact, De La Trinidad and Miranda may be one of the best 1-2 punches in all of minor league baseball. Similar to Miranda, De La Trinidad’s month of May was nothing to be ashamed of. The Phoenix native slashed .302/.370/.429 in 17 games throughout the month. In a relatively similar number of June games, De La Trinidad’s numbers skyrocketed. And while he may not be a power hitter he doubled his number of extra-base hits from five in May to 10 in June, including four homers. De La Trinidad hasn’t played a game in over a week due to a hamstring injury but hopes to be back in the lineup soon. Jose may be up in St. Paul but don’t be surprised if De La Trinidad continues to put up high-quality numbers. 3B/2B/1B/LF Edouard Julien (Fort Myers) 25 G, 22-77, .286/.481/.468 (.949) with 5 doubles, 3 homers, 25 BB, 23 K, 23 R, 11 RBI. Julien, an Auburn product and Twins Daily Top 20 Prospect has been heating up as the summer has progressed. After 47 games in Fort Myers he was called up to Cedar Rapids on June 28 thanks to a .299 average with the Mussels. What perhaps sticks out the most is Julien's ability to hit in all way, shapes and forms. Of his 44 hits with Fort Myers 16 were extra base hits (12 2B, 3 HR, 3B). Yet his greatest weapon might be his speed. The Quebec native has stolen 21 bases so far this year and has only been caught stealing twice. Buxton-esque one might say. Julien still has a way to go before cracking the bigs but his progress has been spectacular. For a kid who was drafted in the 18th round of the 2019 draft, Julien is making his presence known throughout the organization in his first full season. 2B/3B/SS Spencer Steer (Cedar Rapids) 26 G, 28-98, .286/.421/.612 (1.034) with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 9 homers, 21 BB, 22 K, 25 R, 21 RBI. An electric defender, Steer has proven his offensive prowess in the last month with the Kernels. In his final three games before being assigned to Wichita the Oregon Duck alum knocked four hits and scored two runs. That offensive talent transitioned well to Wichita to say the least. In just his second Double-A game Steer went 2-for-4 with three runs and three RBI thanks to moonshot over the left field wall. Despite a wealth of power, Steer's money maker is his ability to get on base. He drew 20 walks in June and hit safety in 18 of 26 games. Expect him to continue to put up big numbers as he gets acclimated to Double-A ball. OF/1B Trey Cabbage (Cedar Rapids) 23 G, 27-89, .303/.364/.618 (.982), with 10 doubles, 6 homers, 9 BB, 29 K, 13 R, 23 RBI. Similar to De La Trinidad, Cabbage isn’t exactly what you’d call a home run hitter. That wasn’t the case on June 24, when the Tennessee native tallied his first multi-homer game since rookie ball in a win over Lansing. That and his ability to drive runs in earned him a promotion to Double-A Wichita earlier this week. The Cabbage Patch Kid has shown that he’s a jack of all trades at the plate and in the field. He's been rock-solid in the outfield for the Kernels and his versatility on offense was one of the main reasons while he was brought up to Wichita. With certain Wichita players being brought up to St. Paul, look for Cabbage to fill some of the offensive holes for the Wind Surge. Honorable Mention C/1B Tomás Telis (St. Paul) 19 G, 23-77, .299/.341/.468 (.809), with 1 double, 4 homers, 5 walks, 11 K, 10 R, 13 RBI, 2 SB OF Aaron Whitefield (Wichita) 25 G, 27-91, .297/.381/.374 (.785), with 4 doubles, 1 homer, 13 BB, 18 K, 15 R, 15 RBI, 8 SB OF Gabriel Maciel (Cedar Rapids) 20 G, 19-63, .302/.375/.381 (.655), with 1 triple, 1 homer, 7 BB, 7 K, 12 R, 8 RBI, 5 SB SS Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) 9 G, 11-32, .344/.400/.438 (.838), with 1 double, 1 triple, 3 BB, 8 K, 3 BB, 6 R, 3 RBI
  8. Edouard Julien grew up in Quebec, Canada. He went to Cardinal Roy Secondary School in L’Acienne-Lorette, a suburb just west of Quebec City. He starred on the Canadian national teams as he grew up. He played with current Twins prospects Jordan Balazovic and Landon Leach and former Twins minor leaguer Matt Jones. Julien said, “I played on the junior national team at 16-years-old. I was pretty lucky to be a part of it. I don’t think I would be where I am today without being on that team.” In 2017, he was selected in the 37th round of the MLB draft by the Phillies. Instead of signing, he chose to attend Auburn University. “I had different opportunities, but Auburn was a pretty good spot for me because Coach Bohanan at the time was a recruiter there and he usually recruits a lot of Canadians. He’s got a pretty good connection with the Team Canada coach, so it made me pretty comfortable to go with him because I knew he had a lot of Canadians before. And I liked the place. Auburn was a good fit. It’s a good conference, and I wanted to go play college and get my game a little bit better for the next level.” As a freshman in 2018, he hit .275/.398/.556 (.954) with seven doubles and 17 homers. He broke Frank Thomas’s freshman record with 69 RBI. He didn’t have quite as strong a season in 2019. He hit .258/.388/.453 (.841) with 14 doubles and ten homers. Individually, he was disappointed, but his team played in the College World Series. “It’s one of the coolest experiences that I’ve had. To play in front of a lot of people. To play for your school and compete for the NCAA championship, that was pretty cool. I enjoyed it a lot.” One of his teammates is a current teammate and fellow 2019 Twins draft pick Will Holland. “I played two years with him. He’s a very, very good shortstop. He’s a five-tool player. He can run. He can hit. He can throw. He’s very, very good.” The Twins drafted Julien in the 18th round as a draft-eligible sophomore. He didn’t think he would sign. He wanted to go back to Auburn and have a better season. However, the Twins came to him late in the process and gave him 4th round money. He signed. “In my head, I was going to go back to college and have a better year because my sophomore year wasn’t very good. Just before the signing date, they offered me and I decided to sign. It was kind of crazy, but I’m happy I did, and I’m happy I’m here now.” Soon after, he went to Lima, Peru, to represent Canada in the Pan-Am Games. Unfortunately, he didn’t even get to play. “First practice there, we were doing cuts-and-relays. I cut a ball from right field and tried to throw it to home plate. It just flew to the right, and I heard a pop in my elbow. I knew something happened to my arm. I was scared and stressing a lot because there were no doctors in Peru that could tell me what I had. It was pretty stressful. When I came back to Florida, I had an MRI and it told me I had a tear in my UCL. As a position player, it is likely he would have been ready to play sometime in the middle of the 2020 season. Instead, there was no 2020 season, so he went back to Quebec. “I went back home. It was cool. I’d never really had a summer with my family, my friends. I enjoyed it. I hung out with my friends.” So as you can imagine, Julien was very excited to get the 2021 season started. The 22-year-old made his professional debut with the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels. “It was special. I had goosebumps. I was stressed. I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I was ready to go and attack and play the best baseball I can. I play 100% every time I go out there and that’s what I’m trying to do every day.” After missing so much time, you might think that his approach or plate discipline might take some time to come back. According to his Mighty Mussels Manager Brian Meyer, he’s maintained that all along. “He’s shown that plate discipline even going back to spring training games. You can always tell when Eddie’s up, especially having this automated strike zone system, if there’s a ball that’s off the plate and it’s called a ball, it’s probably a ball. You’re not really guessing or questioning the human umpire, because he does have such a good eye at the plate.” He has an On-Base Percentage over .500 as he is approaching 100 plate appearances on the season (and in his career). However, Meyer added, “He’s a multifaceted hitter and defender. He puts together really quality at bats every time out there. He takes his fair share of walks, but when he gets a pitch in the zone, he gets his swing off and he’s trying to do damage on it.” Julien has walked 22 times and has 23 hits including seven doubles, a triple and on Tuesday, he hit his first professional home run. Julien notes that he’s just trying to keep it simple. “I’m not trying to do too much. Trying to put the ball in play and be locked in and not throw many at bats away as I did in college, and to be more concentrated.” He continued, “I try to take my walks. Essentially I try to make the pitcher beat me, and if he throws it over the plate and it’s something I think I can handle, I’m going to try to put a barrel on it. I think that’s the type of player I am, a little bit of power and I’m going to try to get on base.” The goal is just to try to maintain it over the course of a 120-game season. “Of course I’m trying to cut down on my strikeouts and put the ball in play more. I’m pretty happy with what I’m doing right now, and I’m just trying to have good at bats and being focused, and that’s my main thing, to be 100% locked in on every at bat and not throw any at bats away. It’s a long season. I know it’s going to be hard, but I’ve got to take care of every at bat.” He began the season hitting third or fourth in the Mussels lineup. Recently, he has been hitting at the top of the lineup and continues to thrive. “There’s a lot of college hitters, and we’ve been helping each other. We have a lot of good hitters on this team. I have protection in the lineup. I go up there. I just try to get on base because I know somebody’s going to drive me in.” He’s also continuing to adapt his game, to add elements. For instance, in his two seasons at Auburn, he had ten stolen bases in 127 games. In his 21 games with Ft. Myers, he already has nine stolen bases without being caught. His manager admits, “I didn’t really know about his speed or base running ability coming into the season, and watching him over the first 10-12 games, it was evident, he’s a really good baserunner, very instinctive. I wouldn’t say he’s the fastest, if you put him on a watch, but he does get really good jumps at first base, pays attention to what the pitchers are doing, tries to pick up little tendencies to where he can steal a base and that’s why he’s been so successful with it so far.” For Julien, it’s not necessarily something new, it’s just something that wasn’t a focus in college. “When I was younger, I was more of a slap hitter who could run a lot and I stole a lot of bases. Then I went to college and they changed my swing and made me a power hitter. I think the speed of the game was taken away from me. I feel free here. They’re letting me go and I have the green light. I just like to be aggressive and take everything I can.” And where will he play defensively? Following Tommy John surgery, that’s certainly a question to ask, but like many in the system, his goal is to be versatile enough to keep his bat in the lineup. According to Meyer, “I think more on the defensive side, with the throwing part, he does look very comfortable at second base, and he played third base in college, and we ran him out in the outfield and he held his own out there. He’s played a little bit of first base too. So just a versatile guy, so if he keeps hitting and he keeps that versatility defensively, he could be a very valuable asset to the organization.”” Julien acknowledges, “I’d say I’m more comfortable at second base, but I’m aware that I can be more of a utility guy and my bat is what’s going to keep me in the lineup. I’m comfortable at second. I played left field the other day and I liked it too. I’m ready to play outfield, second base, third, first, wherever the coach wants me to play, I’ll be ready.” And after nearly two years away from baseball, Julien appears ready to take on anything. He hasn’t played since Auburn was eliminated from the 2019 College World Series because of injury and then a pandemic, but he hasn’t missed a beat. Coming into Friday’s game, Julien is hitting .338/.505/.515 (1.020) with seven doubles, a triple, a homer, 18 runs scored and 14 driven in and is nine for nine in stolen base attempts through the first 21 games.
  9. According to the newspaper article (using the "Translate" tool to translate from French to English), Julien first injured his elbow while playing for Team Canada in the recent Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru. In the article, Julien notes that during a pre-game round of infield, he was manning second base (he played mostly third base at Auburn).He noted that during the work "in my elbow, I felt a pop." Julien tells the reporter that trainers thought maybe it was a displaced nerve, but an MRI showed the tear in the ulnar ligament. Instead of participating in the Twins instructional league work and offseason strength and conditioning programs, Julien said he expects to undergo about an eight-month rehab process. Much of the rehab will be done with Twins trainers in Ft. Myers. According to the article, Julien will have the procedure done by Dr. James Andrews in early September. ---------------------------------------------------------- Julien was a freshman All-American as a freshman in 2018 when he hit .275/.398/.556 (.954) with seven doubles and 17 home runs. His 69 RBI set the school's freshman RBI total set by Hall of Famer Frank Thomas over 30 years ago. Julien was arrested that summer for public intoxication, a misdemeanor. In 2019, he hit. 248/.378/.435 (.812) with 14 doubles and nine homers. Julien, along with Twins fifth-round pick Will Holland, manned the left side of the infield and helped Auburn to the 2019 College World Series. The Twins drafted him in the 18th round in June. It came as a surprise to many when Julien signed on the final day that he could. A couple of weeks earlier, he had tweeted a pledge that he was going to go back to Auburn for another year. However, after the draft-eligible sophomore played six games in the Cape Cod League, the Twins had some bonus money available as the deadline approached and ultimately signed Julien for $493,500, nearly $375,000 over the $125,000 limit for players drafted after the 11th round. He never did get a plate appearance after signing and before going to the Pan Am Games. The Twins have had their fair share of Tommy John surgeries by position players. Miguel Sano and Alex Kirilloff have missed a season due to the surgery. Akil Baddoo had Tommy John surgery earlier this season and is expected to be ready for spring training.
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