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  1. Still, the outfielder acquired from the Houston Astros as part of the Ryan Pressly trade displayed enough talent, particularly at the minor league level, in 2021 to warrant excitement about his prospects. Celestino is an athletic and speedy outfielder whose defense projects best in centerfield but would be a viable option in right. Across the three levels (Double-A, Triple-A, and MLB), he played at this season, he appeared in 57 games in center, 25 in right, and five in left. With Byron Buxton (temporarily?), Austin Martin, and perhaps even Royce Lewis either in or near the majors, Celestino’s long-term outfield home remains up in the air. While his defense was worth -2 outs above average — albeit with a small sample size — while with the Twins, he made several two- and three-star caliber catches, which is suggestive for possessing good range. This assessment is backed up with the eye test as he made many highlight-reel catches during Spring Training and in the minors. Celestino boasts solid doubles power at the plate (29.3 per 140 game pace for his career), but his home run power remains a work in progress; his .153 ISO was the third-best of his career, while his nine home runs in 93 games pace represented a career-best. Although his average exit velocity (87.2 mph) and launch angle (5.4 degrees) were both below the MLB average, he achieved a maximum exit velocity of 111.4 mph — good for the 80th percentile — which suggests he may have hidden power potential. He possesses a decent eye and approach to batting, as evidenced by his walk rate (11.5% at Double-A; 11.4% at Triple-A), which is above average. His strikeout rate (25.0%; 20.4%), by comparison, hovers closer to the mean. Celestino’s bat-to-ball skills — as indicated by his average exit velocity — could use some refinement. This was particularly exposed at the major league level, where he had difficulty catching up to higher speed fastballs and could not hit offspeed or breaking ball offerings to save his life (combined: 2-for-20, 10 K). To their credit, the Twins recognized this and often made in-game adjustments to Celestino's stance, likely in an attempt to better position his hands to catch up to the increased velocity. As things currently stand, Celestino's median outcome would likely be the fourth outfielder on a playoff-caliber Twins team. He can play all three positions at least an average clip, which makes him a suitable replacement for the likes of Buxton, Trevor Larnach, and Max Kepler in 1-3 game intervals. However, hitting from the right side of the plate limits some of his and the Twins' lineup versatility as the roster is currently constructed. If his power progresses to the point where he's hitting home runs at a 20 per 130-140 game pace, his ceiling progresses to that of a solid everyday centerfielder. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email — Read more from Lucas here
  2. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE AWARD WINNERS 2021 was a wild year across the Twins organization. Yet through the ups, downs, and everything in between there were a few individuals that stood out. Congrats to all of our award winners! Twins Daily 2021 Minor League Hitter of the Year: Jose Miranda Twins Daily 2021 Starting Pitching of the Year: Louie Varland Twins Daily 2021 Relief Pitcher of the Year: Jovani Moran Short Season Awards Twins Daily 2021 Short Season Hitter of the Year: Kala'i Rosario Twins Daily 2021 Short Season Pitcher of the Year: Samuel Perez TRANSACTIONS Twins recall LHP Charlie Barnes from Triple-A St. Paul. Barnes will start Sunday's season finale for the Minnesota Twins. John Gant was placed on the Injured List. SAINTS SENTINEL Toledo 8, St. Paul 5 Box Score A leadoff homer from Jose Miranda and a ninth-inning rally weren't enough to light a flame for the Saints to overcome the Mud Hen bats on Saturday. On the very first pitch of the game Miranda launched a high fastball over the left-center field wall to give the Saints an early 1-0 lead. Miranda's shot was his 30th on the season. He's now one of only 12 players across Minor League Baseball with 30 or more homers this season. Despite the early momentum, Miranda's blast would be one of only the five runs plated for St. Paul. The other four runs came in a ninth inning two-out rally with the Saints trailing 8-1. Miranda led off the inning with a double (24) and eventually scored thanks to a bases-loaded walk from Drew Maggi. B.J Boyd followed that up with a two-run RBI single that scored Mark Contreras and Gilberto Celestino. Sherman Johnson kept the magic alive by following Boyd's lead with an RBI single that scored Maggi from third. Yet some happy endings are just too good to be true. In the next at-bat Drew Stankiewicz grounded out to end the valiant comeback effort. The Saints out hit Toledo drastically (11 to 5) but were plagued by runners left in scoring position (4-for-15) and a decade of walks from the pitching staff St. Paul starter Drew Strotman lasted only one inning, giving up four walks, three runs, and two hits while striking out one. The performance was Strotman's shortest outing since June 3rd when he was still pitching for the Durham Bulls. The eye sore shouldn't be dwelled on too much as Strotman is 3-1 in five starts in September minus today's outing. Strotman wasn't the only St. Paul pitcher that struggled against an electric Toledo offense. Relievers Edgar Garcia and Chris Nunn gave up a combined five runs on two hits and three walks in five innings. Yet despite the struggle reliever Vinny Nittoli provided a bright spot for the Saints pitching staff. Nittoli pitched the final two innings and was perfect, not allowing a single run or hit and striking out four batters. Saturday was Nittoli's best outing for the Saints in his young tenure with the Twins organization. The 30-year-old RHP was signed by the organization on August 31st after a year-long stint with the Mariners organization. While it may not have shown in the final score the Saints saw three players record multi-hit games. Miranda and Drew Stankiewicz both recorded two-hit games, with Stankiewicz roping his first triple of the year in addition to a single. Twins Daily Top 20 Prospect Gilberto Celestino tagged two singles and a double on the night, his seventh three-hit game of the 2021 season. Despite already being eliminated from playoff contention the Saints look to end their historic season on a high note in tomorrow's season finale. TWINS DAILY SAINTS PLAYERS OF THE GAME Hitter of the Game: Jose Miranda- 2-for-5, 2B, HR (30), 2 R, RBI Pitcher of the Game: Vinny Nittoli- 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #6 Jose Miranda (St. Paul)- 2-for-5, 2B, HR (30), 2 R, RBI #13 Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul)- 3-for-4, 2B, R, BB, K #16 Brent Rooker (Minnesota)- 0-for-3, K SUNDAY'S STARTING PITCHER St. Paul @ Toledo (12:05PM CST) LHP Andrew Albers (7-4, 3.75 ERA)
  3. SAINTS SENTINEL Iowa 4, St. Paul 1 Box Score Entering their final stretch of games on a balmy evening, the Saints grounds crew busted out some new field artwork. David Youngs recently wrote up a great piece on the guys the get things ready in St. Paul. Derek Law made the start tonight for St. Paul but unfortunately recorded just two outs before being lifted. He gave up a run on one hit and two walks while striking out one. Former Twins outfielder Ian Miller scored the run on a 1st inning wild pitch. After a three-run blast in the 2nd inning put Iowa up by four, it was on the Saints to chip away. Ben Rortvedt came through with the first tally for St. Paul on a 6th inning single that scored Tomas Telis. Despite out hitting Iowa 6-to-5, St. Paul couldn’t push across another run. Jose Miranda continued his great season with a two-hit night after signing autographs on the off day. He was the long batter to record a multi-hit effort. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 2: NW Arkansas 5, Wichita 1 Box Score After the Wind Surge dropped game one of the series with Jordan Balazovic on the mound, Cole Sands took the ball in game two. Wichita’s starter went five innings allowing five runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out four. The bullpen did their job blanking the Naturals over the next three innings, but the Wind Surge were able to generate just one run off of their seven hits. Giving up three runs in the 4th inning, Wichita needed to rebound fast. D.J. Burt scored Aaron Whitefield with a sacrifice fly in the 5th inning to trim the deficit, but that was the lone run production available on the evening. Catcher Chris Williams kept the base paths in order for Wichita all night. Nabbing three would-be base stealers, he shut the Naturals running game down. As Northwest Arkansas tacked on, the Wind Surge saw their hill to climb steepen, and they’ll now face the test of winning three straight should they want to capture a title. Austin Martin and Jermaine Palacios both had two-hit nights for Wichita. The Wind Surge didn’t have anyone record an extra-base hit in this one. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 2: Quad Cities 6, Cedar Rapids 0 Box Score Jumping out to a 1-0 series lead last night, Cedar Rapids turned to Sean Mooney for game two. He went three innings allowing three earned runs on three hits. Mooney did fan six while allowing just a single free pass. Two long balls are what did him in for an early exit. The River Bandits scored first on a two-run blast in the 1st inning, and they added on with a solo shot in the third. Another run crossed in the 4th inning before a pair were plated in the 7th inning. Cedar Rapids was held to just three hits in the contest, and DaShawn Keirsey was responsible for two of them. The Kernels didn’t have a player reach third base, and Michael Helman was the lone player to touch second after his single was followed by an Aaron Sabato walk. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 11 K Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-4 PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-5, K #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-4 #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 11 K #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, 2K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-2, BB #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-3 #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Bryan Sammons (1-3, 6.50 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the playoff games from Wednesday!
  4. Transactions Minnesota Twins select the contract of RHP Nick Vincent from Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins option LHP Andrew Albers to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins sent C Mitch Garver on a rehab assignment to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins promote IF Ernie Yake to Triple-A St. Paul from Twins Complex SAINTS SENTINEL Indianapolis 2, St. Paul 0 Box Score The Saints' never got in gear in this one, spoiling a solid pitching performance across the board. Jason Garcia got the start for Saint Paul and was effective over four full innings. He allowed four hits and walked one but did not allow a run and struck out one. Unfortunately, the Saints’ bats struggled early as well and this contest stayed scoreless until the fifth, when Indianapolis got on the board first. Now facing reliever Edgar Garcia, Indianapolis grabbed a run in the fifth off a Bligh Madris double and another in the sixth from an Ethan Paul single. Those turned out to be the only runs of the game, spurring Indianapolis to a 2-0 win. The Saints only managed multiple base runners in the first and ninth innings and didn’t score in either inning. Miguel Yajure sailed through six against St. Paul before turning it over to the bullpen that was just as effective. Gilberto Celestino had a big 3-for-3 night, but he was the only Saints hitter with more than one knock. Chris Nunn pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth innings but the damage was done during Edgar Garcia’s outing. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Arkansas 1 Box Score Fresh off clinching a spot in the playoff, Wichita gave the ball to Cole Sands and Twins Daily’s #19 prospect was dominant, as he and Kody Funderburk keyed a pitcher’s duel victory. Sands went five full innings and only allowed three hits while striking out four. He did allow three walks but did not allow any of them to score. In fact he, didn’t allow anyone to score. From there, Funderburk took over and it was as if nothing changed. Kody cruised through three hitless innings, and though he ran into some trouble and allowed a run in the ninth, he still closed out the win. On the offensive end, the Surge didn’t do a lot, but it was just enough. The first run of the game came in the second, when a Jermaine Palacios single finished off a rally that brought Leobaldo Cabrera to the plate. Hours of scoreless baseball later, Ernie De La Trinidad blasted a shot into the bullpen to grab Wichita’s second run of the game. Those runs proved to be all the Surge needed, thanks to the dominant pitching. D.J Burt and Ernie De La Trinidad had the only multi-hit games for Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 6 Box Score With a playoff berth very much in the balance, Cedar Rapids turned to Casey Legumina tonight for his debut start for the Kernels. Legumina allowed three runs and struck out seven in 4 ⅔ innings, keeping the Kernels in it and allowing their late offensive explosion to carry the day. The Kernels didn’t wait to take the lead in this one as Michael Helman came to the plate on a throwing error from Peoria third baseman Jacob Buchberger. Peoria answered in the bottom of the third with a run coming in on a Jhon Torres double, but the Kernels took their lead right back off a massive solo homer from Aaron Sabato. Unfortunately, the Chiefs took the lead for themselves in the fifth with two runs, with Torres and Pedro Pages registering RBI singles. Cedar Rapids still trailed 3-2 heading in the eighth inning, but then they decided they’d had enough of that. The offense blasted three homers in the inning for four runs to take a strong three-run lead. The bombs came from Edouard Julien, Michael Helman, and Aaron Sabato for his second of the night. However, the Chiefs took that punch and responded with one of their own in their half of the eighth. They strung together four straight hits and put up three runs to tie the game, with RBI going to Tommy Jew (2) and Tyler Reichenborn. But, as if to spit in the face of Peoria’s comeback, Seth Gray hit a go-ahead bomb to dead center to lead off the ninth inning. And, though the bottom of the ninth inning didn't go smoothly for Cedar Rapids, no runs were scored and the Kernels secured a massive win. Coming into this game, the Kernels were tied with Lake County for the second playoff spot in High-A Central and both teams were just one game up on Great Lakes with three to play. With losses tonight from both of their playoff rivals, this Kernels win gives them a one-game lead over Lake County. Cedar Rapids trails both Lake County and Great Lakes in the playoff tiebreaker, so that one-game lead is crucial as they'll need it to secure a spot against Quad Cities in the playoff. MUSSEL MATTERS Tampa 0, Fort Myers 0 (postponed top first) Box Score The Mussels were scheduled to finish last night’s postponed game against Tampa tonight. Unfortunately, the rain continued to create problems in Fort Myers and no baseball could be played today. The game that had been scheduled for today has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. The Mussels and Tarpons will play a doubleheader tomorrow, weather permitting. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Game 1: FCL Red Sox 10, FCL Twins 2 Box Score It’s Friday, so you already know that the FCL Twins lost to the Red Sox. In the first half of a scheduled doubleheader the Twins struggled on both sides of the ball, losing 10-2. The Twins only managed four hits in this one and no hitter had a multi-hit game. The runs scored on two solo homers, one from LaRon Smith in the second, and the other from Rubel Cespedes in the fifth. The Red Sox offense scored runs in all but two innings and built their substantial lead with a four-run second inning and a three-run second. On the mound for the Twins, Giovahniey German started the game and struggled, allowing five runs (four earned) in less than two innings. Control was an issue for German, as he walked three batters and allowed a run to score on a wild pitch. Danny Moreno took over from German and was better, allowing a run and striking out three in two innings of work. Cole Bellair’s 2 ⅔ innings was the longest outing of the night, though he was touched for four earned runs during his time on the bump. Ricardo Velez took care of the seventh and was the only Twins pitcher to not allow a run. Game 2: FCL Twins 2, FCL Red Sox 0 (postponed, bottom second) Box Score TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR (7) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4 #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4 #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-5, 3 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 3-for-3, BB, 2B #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR (8) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Rained Out #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-3, BB, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (1-2, 5.49 ERA) Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (6-7, 4.37 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (2-3, 4.63 ERA) Tampa @ Fort Myers, Doubleheader (Game 1: 3:30 PM CST, Game 2 to follow) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games!
  5. TRANSACTIONS LHP Jovani Moran promoted from Triple-A St. Paul to Minnesota Twins RHP Andrew Albers optioned from Minnesota Twins to Triple-A St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 21, Omaha 4 Box Score Holy runs, Batman! The Saints’ lineup exploded on Saturday evening, particularly prior to the fifth inning, in which they scored 17 of their runs. The 21 runs is the high-water mark for the Triple-A East this season. Shortstop J.T. Riddle set the tone for St. Paul in the bottom of the second inning when he launched his seventh home run of the season to give his squad a 3-0 lead. However, the Saints weren’t done as center fielder Jimmy Kerrigan hit his 18th dinger and first baseman Sherman Johnson his fourth, later in the frame. It was his first hit since he went 3-for-5 on August 26th. He had been 0-for-17, though he had walked seven times in that stretch. Right fielder Mark Contreras joined the fun in the third inning when he smacked his 15th. The ball flew 461 feet. Every Saints batter picked up at least one hit on the evening except for catcher Caleb Hamilton who was a late-game replacement for Tomas Telis, who went 3-for-4. DH Gilberto Celestino led the way, going 4-for-6 with two RBI and three runs scored. B.J. Boyd (3-for-5), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-5), and Kerrigan (2-for-6) also contributed multi-hit games. Derek Law, Vinny Nittoli, and Edgar Garcia tossed six innings of scoreless ball out of the pen after Jason Garcia exited after three innings. WIND SURGE WISDOM Arkansas 10, Wichita 3 Box Score Well, let’s just say that it wasn’t Chris Vallimont’s night. The Naturals touched the Twins RHP prospect for nine runs — seven of them earned — in 2 1.3 innings as they cruised to an easy victory. Vallimont was only able to pick up three strikeouts and surrendered nine hits as his ERA ballooned to 6.33. However, despite the first couple of frames going poorly, as a whole the Wind Surge’s pitching staff performed quite well. Evan Sisk, Hector Lujan, Erik Manoah Jr., and Mitchell Osnowitz combined to strike out 10 batters and allow one run over the course of their 6 2/3 innings. Right fielder Trey Cabbage led Wichita in hits as he picked up three — all singles — in four plate appearances. Third baseman Spencer Steer went 2-for-3 with a double; however, it was second baseman D.J. Burt’s mammoth home run in the first inning that was the highlight of the game. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Wisconsin 4, F/10 Box Score The Kernels took home a close victory over the Timber Rattlers Saturday afternoon. Former Minnesota State University, Mankato Maverick Aaron Rozek started the game on the hill, and although he surrendered all four of Wisconsin’s runs — three coming via the long ball — he was able to put together a strong showing, striking out nine and only walking one. The 26-year-old lefty has made a name for himself after being signed midway through the season thanks to gaudy strikeout numbers and a refusal to issue walks. In 51 1/3 innings across Rookie, Low-A, High-A, and Double-A ball this summer, Rozek has punched out 70 and walked only six batters. That’s a nearly 12:1 K:BB ratio, which is the best in the system among pitchers with at least 50 innings and by a wide margin. Andrew Albers is second with a 8.7:1 ratio and Josh Winder is third with a 6.15:1 ratio. Derek Molina and Andrew Cabezas tossed the final five innings with shutout ball, striking out five. Catcher Jefferson Morales and shortstop Anthony Prato each went 3-for-5 on the afternoon; however, it was center fielder DaShawn Keirsey who played the role of hero out of the nine-hole, going 2-for-5 with a double and his fourth home run of the season; he finished with three RBI. Second baseman Edouard Julien (2-for-5, BB) and left fielder Michael Helman (2-for-6, triple, RBI) also contributed multi-hit games. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Palm Beach 5 Box score The Mighty Mussels pulled off a come-from-behind victory against their cross-state rivals despite only one of their seven hits going for extra bases. Fort Myers scored all six of their runs over their final three at-bats, including four runs in the bottom of the seventh. Second baseman Mikey Perez and third baseman Jake Rucker each when 2-for-3, with one of Perez’s hits being the team’s lone double. First baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand kept his hot streak alive as he drove in two of the Mighty Mussels’ runs. While his box score won’t jump off the page, left fielder Alerick Soularie had a productive night going 0-for-1 with three walks, two runs scored, and a stolen base. Regi Grace started on the bump for Fort Myers and tossed three innings, striking out three and walking one. RHP Ramon Pineda, brother of Twins’ RHP Michael, was awarded the win after he threw two innings in relief; he struck out two and allowed one earned run. RHP Matt Mullenbach earned the save. FCL COMPLEX REPORT Game 1: FCL Red Sox 2, FCL Twins 1, F/8 Game 2: FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 1, F/7 2021 first-round draft pick RHP Chase Petty made his professional debut Saturday afternoon and performed largely as advertised. Across two innings of scoreless work, Petty surrendered two hits, struck out two, and did not surrender a run. First baseman Wander Valdez clubbed his fourth home run of the season during the Twins’ win, while DH Carlos Aguiar hit his fifth during the loss. As a unit, the Twins’ offense mustered only nine hits between the two games. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day — Andrew Cabezas, Cedar Rapids: 3 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day — Jimmy Kerrigan, St. Paul Saints: 2-for-6, 2B, HR, 4 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, RBI, BB #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - Did not play #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - On Temporary Inactive List. #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, RBI, BB #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 4-for-6, 2 RBI, 3 R #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 0-for-5, BB #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4 #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-for-3, 2B, BB SUNDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (2:05 PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (1-2, 4.96 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (1:05 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (2-2, 2.86 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (12:05 PM CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (2-3, 4.52 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (11:00 AM CST) - TBD Feel free to comment and discuss tonight’s games!
  6. TRANSACTIONS In Cedar Rapids, RHP Steven Cruz was promoted to the Kernels from Fort Myers, and OF DaShawn Keirsey was activated from the injured list. In low-A Fort Myers, RHP David Festa and SS Mikey Perez were assigned to the Mighty Mussels from the FCL Twins, and LHP Brent Headrick was activated from the injured list. For the FCL Twins, RHP Orlando Rodriguez was sent on a rehab assignment from Fort Myers. SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 5, St. Paul 6 Box Score With lefty Bryan Sammons getting the start, the Saints found themselves down 5-1 after the top half of the fifth inning. That was due in large part as Sammons couldn’t keep the ball in the yard, with four of those five runs coming courtesy of the longball. He made it through 4 2/3 innings in total, allowing those runs on seven total hits while striking out two Storm Chasers. Lucky for him, his offense wasn’t going to let that be the story of the game, as they put together a rally in the bottom of the fifth that ended with the score tied. Drew Stankiewicz got it started with a one-out double, then Tomas Telis drove him in with a two-out single to score the first run of the frame. A Gilberto Celestino single was then followed by a Mark Contreras three run blast to knot the game up at five. It remained that way until the bottom of the ninth inning, as the bullpen trio of Robinson Leyer, Jovani Moran, and Kyle Barraclough combined to hold Omaha to just one hit over the final 4 1/3 innings. Leyer struck out two in 1 1/3 while Moran walked two and punched out two in two innings. That led into Barraclough coming on for the top of the ninth and he delivered two huge strikeouts after a leadoff double and sac bunt put the go-ahead run just 90 feet away. The Saints lineup was likely energized by those pitches, and Stankiewicz started the bottom of the frame with a walk, Jose Miranda and Telis followed with singles to load the bases, then Celestino walked it off with a high chopper that allowed Stankiewicz to beat the throw home. Take it any way you can get it when you’re at home, St. Paul Saints! In all the offense racked up thirteen hits, with the top four in the lineup of Miranda (2-for-5, R), Telis (3-for-5, R, RBI, K), Celestino (3-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI, K), and Contreras (2-for-3, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, K) collecting multiple knocks. Stankiewicz also added a double, walk, and two runs scored to the effort out of the nine-hole. Barraclough picked up his eighth win of the season thanks to the walk-off. WIND SURGE WISDOM NW Arkansas 1, Wichita 3 Box Score It was a low-scoring affair in Wichita on Tuesday, with the teams combining for just four runs on 12 hits in the game. The Naturals got on the board first against Wind Surge starter Cole Sands thanks to a double and single from the first two hitters, then a throwing error on a steal attempt that allowed the runner on third to score. But Sands recovered and got himself out of that jam by getting a pop-out, fielder's choice that nabbed a runner at home, and a lineout to keep the damage to just one run (unearned) in the top half of the first. Sands then settled in from there and dominated for six innings, allowing no more runs on just two hits and two walks, while striking out five hitters. He was replaced by Kody Funderburk to start the seventh inning with the score tied at one so he’d finish with a no-decision for his efforts. Wichita tied the game at one in the third inning when Austin Martin drove in D.J. Burt, who had doubled earlier in the inning, with a single to left field. In the bottom of the seventh the Wind Surge finally took the lead on Andrew Bechtold’s 17th home run of the season, a solo blast to the opposite corner of the field. That was followed by consecutive doubles by Burt and Aaron Whitefield to put them out front 3-1. Funderburk kept the score that way for the rest of the game, holding the Naturals to just one hit in three innings pitched, and striking out two along the way, to pick up his third win with Wichita. Burt led the offense with a 3-for-3 night at the dish, scoring two runs and picking up his seventh and eighth doubles on the year. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Wisconsin 8 Box Score Kernels starter Sawyer Gipson-Long came into this game on a streak of three straight starts where he pitched six innings and just two total earned runs, while striking out 21 hitters compared to issuing just four walks. Two of those starts were included in a fantastic month of August where he took home Twins Daily’s Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month award. He started this one off on the same foot, striking out the first batter he faced, but unfortunately that was the only out he’d record on the night. The next six hitters went double, walk, single, triple, walk, walk and three runs were on the board before he was replaced by Andrew Cabezas. Three more runs would be charged to Gipson-Long before the inning was over and his ERA with Cedar Rapids in five starts ballooned from 2.35 to 4.63. Cabezas would steady the ship for the next 3 1/3 innings, allowing only a single run (on a home run) of his own on four hits and two walks, while he struck out four Timber Rattlers hitters. While Cabezas was on the mound, the Kernels closed that early gap in a big way thanks to the bat of Matt Wallner, who laced a grand slam to right in the third inning, his 12th home run of the season. Reliever Tyler Palm recorded one out in the fourth inning before Cedar Rapids cut the lead back to two in the top of the fifth when Edouard Julien launched his 10th homer with Kernels to make it 7-5. Palm was back out for the bottom of the fifth in which Wisconsin scratched across an insurance run that would prove the difference maker in the end. In all Palm completed two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one batter. Osiris German was brought on with two outs in the sixth and would finish 2 1/3 scoreless innings to keep the game in reach. He allowed two hits and struck out two. Things continued to look up for the Kernels when they closed the gap to one in the top of the sixth thanks to a two-run shot from Seth Gray, but weren’t able to cash in a two-out double from Wallner in the seventh. In the ninth, Julien drew a one-out walk and Aaron Sabato singled to put him in scoring position with Wallner coming up, but the comeback was not meant to be completed as he was struck out swinging to end the game. The Kernels got multiple hits in the game from Sabato (2-for-5, R, 3 K) and Wallner (3-for-5, R, 2B, GS HR, 4 RBI, 2 K). Julien also finished 1-for-2 with two runs scored, an RBI, three walks, and a stolen base, but as a team they also struck out 15 times, hurting their chances to take advantage when it counted. With a record of 59-50, the Kernels are tied with the Lake County Captains in the High-A Central League standings, one game back of the Great Lakes Loons for a playoff spot. MUSSEL MATTERS Palm Beach 2, Fort Myers 6 Box Score The Fort Myers lineup used a big fifth inning to put Palm Beach away in this one, but also got some excellent work from their pitchers to keep them at bay. Left-hander Zarion Sharpe got the start for the Mighty Mussels and mowed through the Cardinals lineup for the first four innings, allowing only one walk and a double through that point in the game while striking out five hitters. A two-out single in the fifth finally got Palm Beach on the board, but the third out of the inning was also recorded on the play so any rally was cut short. That run had tied the game at one as Fort Myers got on the board first in the second inning thanks to a Willie Joe Garry ground out that scored Charles Mack, who had doubled earlier in the inning and advanced to third on a Jake Rucker single. The home team didn’t strike again until the fifth inning, but they made sure it was a big one. It didn’t really get started until there were two outs, as a Christian Encarnacion-Strand triple scored Will Holland from first before a combination of walks, a wild pitch, and a throwing error made it 4-1. Charles Mack then delivered the big blow, a two-run homer to the opposite field and a 6-1 lead for the Mighty Mussels. Sharpe allowed another run in the top of the sixth after a leadoff double, but finished his day with six quality innings. He allowed just two runs while scattering five hits and two walks, and punching out eight total Palm Beach hitters, improving to 6-2 on the season along the way. Matthew Swain was summoned to start the seventh and finished off the Cardinals in the final three innings, allowing only one hit, one walk, and striking out five to pick up his second save of the season. The Fort Myers offense was led by multi-hit efforts from Encarnacion-Strand (3-for-3, R, RBI, BB) and Mack (2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, K), which was plenty of a one-two punch on the game. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Braves 7, FCL Twins 3 Box Score The Braves used a four-run seventh inning to overcome a 3-2 deficit at the time, pulling away from the Twins late in Fort Myers. The Twins got a solid start from left-hander Wilker Reyes, who allowed just one run (unearned) on one hit and a walk in five innings. He struck out two. Orlando Rodriguez got saddled with the loss as he allowed four runs on two hits and two walks in his 1 1/3 innings pitched. John Wilson allowed an unearned run in 2/3 of an inning, and Erasmo Ramirez finished the final two innings allowing one run on one hit and three walks while striking out one hitter. The Twins offense had just five hits on the game, and the big one was a two-out solo home run from Nelson Roberto in the sixth inning. LaRon Smith scored the first run of the game in the second inning thanks to a bases loaded wild pitch. And their third run came right before Roberto's home run in the sixth thanks to a sac fly from Noah Cardenas to score Smith. Smith and Alexander Pena each drew three walks on the game, and Pena and Emmanuel Rodriguez each also stole a base in the loss. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands, Wichita Wind Surge (6 IP, 4 H, R, 2 BB, 5 K) Hitter of the Day - Matt Wallner, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-for-5, R, 2B, GS HR, 4 RBI, 2 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4, RBI #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, R #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 3-for-5, R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI, K, walk-off single #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, R, HR, RBI, K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, R, BB, 2 K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R (zero earned), 2 BB, 5 K #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (1:05 PM CST) - RHP Drew Strotman (7-3, 4.80 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (6-7, 4.56 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (12:05 PM CST) - RHP Cody Laweryson (1-4, 4.94 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:05 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (0-0, 2.70 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  7. TRANSACTIONS RHP Joe Ryan was officially promoted to the Twins, and made his MLB debut Wednesday night against the Chicago Cubs. Ryan was excellent besides a one inning blip, as he set the Cubs down in order in four of his five innings, striking out five and walking just one in the process. RHP Vinny Nittoli was assigned to the St. Paul Saints, rejoining them after pitching with the Saints during the 2017-18 season while in the American Association. He joins infielder Drew Stankiewicz and LHP Chris Nunn as players to suit up for the Saints as independent and affiliated players. C Stevie Berman was assigned to the Wichita Wind Surge roster after being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for reliever LHP Andrew Vasquez. SS Ruben Santana was released from the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels roster. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 9, Columbus 2 Box Score St. Paul's lineup jumped all over Columbus starter Kirk McCarty with a five-run first inning that would prove to be more than enough for Bryan Sammons and the Saints bullpen on Wednesday night. Jose Miranda and Trevor Larnach got a rally started from the jump, with both delivering a single on the first pitches of their at bats. Mark Contreras got the first run on the board with a sac fly to score Miranda two batters later, then Gilberto Celestino made it 2-0 with a double to score Larnach from first. Jimmy Kerrigan then reached on an error and a Drew Maggi walk loaded the bases before Damek Tomscha and JT Riddle delivered back-to-back singles to score three more for the 5-0 lead. Sammons recorded 1-2-3 innings in the first and third, sandwiching the second inning where he struck out three and walked one, before facing his first challenge in the fourth. A walk, and two one-out singles loaded the bases before an awkward swinging bunt resulted in a force out at home, but a throwing error from catcher Tomas Telis to third then allowed two unearned runs to score. Sammons dusted himself off and struck out the next batter to keep the score at 5-2. Sammons would finish five innings on the night to pick up his first triple-A win, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out four Clippers. The bullpen trio of Luke Farrell, Derek Law, and Robinson Leyer then finished the game with a combined four scoreless innings. Farrell walked one in his one inning, Law allowed two hits and two walks in two frames, and Leyer walked one and struck out one in the ninth inning. The Saints added two runs to their final total in each of the third and seventh innings. Drew Maggi hit his 13th home run of the season in the third, a two-run shot, and in the seventh Celestino delivered an RBI double that was followed by a sac fly from Kerrigan. In all the good guys collected ten hits and four walks on the night, with Miranda (2-for-5, R) and Celestino (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K) collecting multiple hits. Maggi and Tomscha also added two RBI to the effort. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Arkansas 4 Box Score The Wind Surge were able to build a 2-0 lead for starter Chris Vallimont after four innings, thanks to an RBI double from Roy Morales in the third to score Aaron Whitefield, and an RBI groundout from Jermaine Palacios in the top of the fourth. Vallimont was solid in his five innings, allowing only a single run on three hits and four walks, while striking out nine Travelers. He worked around some walks over the first four innings with some big strikeouts, and struck out the side in the fourth inning. Evan Sisk was brought on to start the sixth inning, and struck out three in the frame although one of those reached base as his pitch got past the catcher. Back out for the seventh, a single and a walk put an end to Sisk’s outing, and Erik Manaoh gave up a two-run double to the first hitter he faced allowing Arkansas to tie the game at three. He would then escape that inning with the game still tied after inducing a double-play ball and a pop out to the next two hitters. Wichita had taken a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth thanks to a sacrifice fly from Spencer Steer to score Morales, who had singled to lead off the inning, before Arkansas was able to tie it up. Manoah remained in the game for the bottom of the eighth and after a one-out double, he sent an errant throw toward second base on a comebacker that allowed the go-ahead run to score. Trey Cabbage and Aaron Whitefield drew walks in the ninth to put the tying run in scoring position, but Caleb Hamilton’s 103 MPH line drive with two outs found the shortstop’s glove to end the game. Both teams collected six hits on the game, but the Travelers drew seven walks compared to three from the Wind Surge, and had three hits with runners in scoring position while the good guys were 0-for-8. Morales led the way for Wichita with three hits out of the leadoff spot, including a double. He scored a run and drove in one. Spencer Steer also added a triple to the effort and scored a run. Wichita still remains the top dog in the Double-A Central Texas League, with a four game lead over Arkansas in their division. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 4, Cedar Rapids 0 Box Score The Cedar Rapids Kernels and their second best record in the High-A Central Midwest League faced off against the team ahead of them in the standings in the West Division, the Quad Cities River Bandits on Wednesday night. While there’s very little hope for them to catch the River Bandits in the division standings over the last three weeks of the season (11.0 games behind entering play tonight), the series is still big in terms of securing a playoff matchup with them as the Kernels hold a one game lead over the next team in the league standings, the Great Lakes Loons of the East Division. Cedar Rapids had right-hander Sawyer Gipson-Long on the mound for his fourth start with the team, and he did as much as he could to keep his team in second place in the standings. Over six total innings he allowed just one hit, but it was a big one for Quad Cities as it left the yard for a two-run shot in the fifth frame. He also walked three and struck out four on the night and retired the first twelve men he faced, including three K’s in the second inning. Unfortunately, he was bettered by his opposing starter, Christian Cosby, who held the Kernels lineup to just two hits and struck out six over six shutout innings. The home team got leadoff hits from Edouard Julien (single) and Michael Helman (double) in the fourth and fifth innings but were unable to make anything else happen afterward. Reliever Denny Bentley was the first man up from the bullpen to start the seventh inning and worked around a pair of walks for a scoreless inning. Back out for the eighth he immediately ran into trouble however, loading the bases with one out before a single made the score 3-0 and Osiris German was summoned. He escaped that jam without allowing another run, but in the ninth also allowed a run of his own. Bentley went 1 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits and three walks, while German finished the final 1 2/3 innings, allowing one run on one hit and a walk along with picking up one strikeout. Alex Isola tried to get a two-out rally started in the bottom of the ninth with a double, but Matt Wallner would swing-and-miss on three straight pitches to end the game. In all, the Kernels managed just three hits, were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, and left only three men-on-base for the game. They also did not draw a single walk compared to seven for the River Bandits. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Daytona 3 Box Score The Mighty Mussels went with a bit of a bullpen game on Wednesday night, with right-hander Matthew Swain making his first start of the 2021 season. He went the first three innings, allowing one run on three hits and three walks, while punching out six Tortugas hitters. Matt Mullenbach went the next three innings and was just as good, allowing only one run on four hits and a walk while striking out four. Zaquiel Puentes got the final two innings, and allowed just an unearned run on three walks while striking out four more Daytona hitters, while being saddled with the loss. That was because the Mighty Mussels were unable to put any further runs on the board outside of the third inning, when Christian Encarnacion-Strand delivered a two-run home run that scored Alerick Soularie, who had doubled to lead off the inning. Jake Rucker added another double to the effort, but Fort Myers had just six hits as a team, were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, and left seven men on base for the game. They drew just one walk compared to 16 strikeouts on the night, with six of their nine hitters striking out two or more times on the night. Soularie, out of the leadoff spot, was the only hitter in the lineup not to be sent walking back to the dugout on the game. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Chris Vallimont, Wichita Wind Surge (5 IP, 3 H, ER, 4 BB, 9 K) Hitter of the Day - Gilberto Celestino, St. Paul Saints (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4 #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, R #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - MLB Debut: L, 5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, BB, 5 K #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4, 2 K #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 2-for-2, HBP #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, 2 K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-3, R, 3B, RBI, 2 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (11:05 AM CST) - RHP Chandler Shepherd (6-5, 5.56 ERA) Wichita @ Arkansas (7:10 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (2-1, 2.93 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Cody Laweryson (1-4, 4.75 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (0-0, 2.45 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  8. 15. Noah Miller - INF Age: 18 ETA: 2025 2021 Stats: n/a 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a There is little to say about Noah Miller considering the fact that he is just 18, and has not played a game of professional baseball yet. The Twins decided to select Miller with the final pick in the 1st round of the 2021 MLB Draft as they believe in his immense potential as a switch-hitting, athletic shortstop. Oh, and also because he hit .608 as a high school senior. No, that is not a typo. Miller will certainly require a significant amount of time to develop, but the end result could be a truly dynamic middle-infielder who could anchor the top of a lineup for years. Just make sure to keep his name tucked away for future reference. 14. Drew Strotman - RHSP Age: 24 ETA: 2021 2021 Stats: 67 ⅔ IP, 3.59 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 4.14 FIP, 22.8 K%, 13.1 BB% 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a Drew Strotman is perhaps the most polarizing prospect the Twins received at the trade deadline. Fangraphs has him placed optimistically as the team’s 7th best prospect (and on the edge of the top 100 prospect list), while MLB.com ranked him as the franchise's 15th best prospect-a number much closer to what we decided. At any rate, Strotman is an exciting combination of talent and seasoning. A brand new cutter has deepened what was already an intriguing repertoire of major league quality. He has already been added to the 40-man roster so his promotion to the major league club is simply a formality at this point. The walks are high, but Eric Longenhagen wrote that Strotman is “likely a big league starter”. Lord knows that the Twins need as many of those as they can get. 13. Gilberto Celestino - OF Age: 22 ETA: 2021 2021 Stats: (MLB): .136 AVG, .177 OBP, .288 SLG, 23 wRC+ (AA/AAA): .259 AVG, .338 OBP, .431 SLG, 107 WRC+ 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 7 Gilberto Celestino is the only player from this part of the list to play at the major league level and, well, he certainly seemed overwhelmed. The young outfielder was acquired by the Twins in the Ryan Pressly trade three years ago (holy bleep, it’s been three years already?), and it is quite clear that, while Celestino possesses quality tools, he needs more seasoning before he can succeed in the show. But fear not. Celestino is still just 22 years old and, as we all have seen over the past few years, toolsy center fielders often require an extended amount of time to realize their full potential. Celestino will play out the rest of 2021 at AAA (where he owns a 130 wRC+ in a small sample) and will be better prepared to potentially etch out a role on the 2022 Twins. 12. Matt Wallner - OF Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (A+): .281 AVG, .338 OBP, .548 SLG, 135 wRC+ 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 10 Matt Wallner was plucked from the backwoods of Minnesota by the Twins with the 39th overall pick of the 2019 draft. Well, that is not entirely accurate as the Twins neither physically plucked him, like one would with an apple, nor was he taken directly from the state (he played college ball at the University of Southern Mississippi), but the sentence sounds cool so it shall stay. (Editor's Note: Ummmm....) Anyways, Wallner was drafted as a high-strikeout guy with “light tower power,” and so far in his minor league career he has played… like a high strikeout guy with light tower power. He has been frustratingly limited to just over 30 games in 2021 due to a pesky wrist injury that proved to be more serious than previously believed. He had surgery on his hamate bone. But in the time he has played, Wallner has mashed. His nine homers over 148 plate appearances gives him about a 36 home run pace over 600 plate appearances (a typical full season), while his .548 slugging percentage would make him the 11th best qualified major leaguer by that stat. Simply put, a healthy Wallner can absolutely crush. 11. Josh Winder - RHSP Age: 24 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (AA/AAA): 72 IP, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 3.41 FIP, 29.1 K%, 4.7 BB% 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 8 Perhaps no prospect throughout the Twins’ system has seen his stock rise higher in 2021 than Josh Winder. Even the noted, uh, “strong opinion-holder”, Keith Law, admitted that he was anticipating watching Winder pitch in 2021. So far, Winder has not disappointed. He saw a tangible uptick in velocity while working out in 2020, and the upgrade has rippled throughout his entire pitch mix. The result was an utterly dominant stint at AA Wichita that saw him strike out more than 30% of the hitters he faced, walk less than 5% of them, and earn a trip to the MLB Futures Game. Batters hit a paltry .207 against him, and I can only imagine that hitters in the AA-Central North division threw an absolute rager of a party to celebrate his promotion to AAA. A shoulder injury has cut Winder’s playtime in AAA to just four meager starts, and it appears that the team is in no rush to bring Winder back in 2021; a mix of injuries and a desire to limit his innings total is the culprit here. In any case, Winder should be on everyone's radar as a starter who will make an impact in 2022.
  9. Keep reading to find out how all your favorite Minnesota Twins prospects fared in Tuesday nights series opening action! TRANSACTIONS The Minnesota Twins selected the contract of 35-year old RHP Nick Vincent from the St. Paul Saints, and optioned RHP Beau Burrows back to triple-A. St. Paul released 1B Roberto Pena and RHP Rob Whalen, while calling up LHP Chris Nunn from Wichita and activating RHP Joe Ryan, fresh off his stint with the United States Olympic team. In double-A, the Wind Surge released RHP Joe Kuzia and activated RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, also recently returned from the Olympics in Tokyo. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 8, Indianapolis 9 Box Score St. Paul and Indianapolis traded leads a few times on Tuesday with big innings, but the Saints came out on the losing end with two-outs in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a walk-off blast. Starting for the Saints was left-hander Andrew Albers, and while he finished five frames, one of those big innings for Indy was the fifth, where they scored five to take a 7-4 lead. In all, Albers allowed seven runs (three earned) on six hits while striking out four on the game. After Indianapolis took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third thanks to a home run, St. Paul answered with a three-run top of the fourth behind back-to-back jacks from Gilberto Celestino and Ben Rortvedt. Celestino’s was of the two-run variety to tie the game. Nick Gordon added an RBI single in the fourth to give the good guys a 4-2 lead before the big five-run inning for the bad guys. The recently claimed Ralph Garza Jr. also made his second appearance with the organization to start the sixth inning and went two scoreless frames. He hit one batter and struck out two. The Saints offense tied the game at seven in the seventh inning with another three-run frame. Three straight singles from JT Riddle, Jose Miranda, and Nick Gordon plated the first run of the inning. That was followed by a hit-batter to load the bases, then a walk to Celestino and another hit batter to score the other two runs. St. Paul took the lead 8-7 in the eighth frame thanks to a Tomas Telis RBI single. Yennier Cano was summoned from the bullpen to start the eighth inning and recorded five outs, including three strikeouts, until major leaguer Michael Chavis stepped to the plate with a runner on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Chavis didn’t miss the first pitch he saw, sending a middle-out fastball over the fence in left-center for the walk-off win. Cano was charged with the blown save and loss in allowing the two runs on three hits and two walks in his 1 2/3 innings pitched. The Saints got multiple hits on the night from six hitters in their lineup, including Miranda (2-for-5, R, K), Gordon (2-for-5, R, RBI, 2 K, SB), Telis (2-for-5, R, RBI), Celestino (2-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, K), Drew Maggi (2-for-4, 2B, BB, SB), and Riddle (2-for-4, 3 R, 2B). WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, Tulsa 1 Box Score Coming off a pair of outings where he allowed six earned runs in each, starting pitching Jordan Balazovic was looking to get back on track like he’d been when he delivered 25 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings earlier in the year. Mission accomplished. Balazovic started a new streak with six shutout innings, scattering five singles and zero walks, along with punching out four Drillers. He finished his game after 87 pitches, with 59 going for strikes (67.8%), including thirteen swinging. He was up to 97 MPH on the radar gun with his fastball during the game in picking up his fourth win of the season. After a pair of singles in the first, he faced one batter over the minimum through the fifth inning, retiring six men in a row before an error in the third, and then seven in a row after a leadoff single in the fourth. The Wind Surge offense spotted Balazovic a nice lead before he even took the mound, when cleanup hitter Trey Cabbage clubbed 19th home run of the season (10th in double-A) in the top of first, a three-run shot that left the stadium. That was it for the offenses on both teams until the late innings, when Wichita added a couple of insurance runs thanks to an errant throw on a steal attempt in the seventh, and an Ernie De La Trinidad solo home run in the ninth. Jason Garcia was the first man out of the bullpen to start the seventh, but recorded only one out before being lifted as he loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter. Jordan Gore escaped that jam by inducing a double play ball to end the inning with the shutout still intact. Back out for the eighth, the Drillers finally got on the board with a solo homer, but Gore also struck out two in the frame. Erik Manoah Jr. came on in the ninth for his Double-A and Wichita debut and delivered a scoreless frame. He gave up one walk and struck out two. While there were no hitters to collect more than one hit in the game, there were five different batters who scored a run for the Wind Surge and four who reached base twice via a walk or hit-by-pitch (Austin Martin, Roy Morales, Cabbage, Aaron Whitefield). Spencer Steer added a double to the effort and Whitefield stole his 22nd base of the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Peoria 7 Box Score The Kernels offense was outhit 10-3 by the Chiefs in this one, and the final scoreboard reflected that disparity. Starter Tyler Watson was roughed up in the third inning for five earned runs before his night came to an early end with one out. In 2 1/3 innings, he allowed six hits, walked two, and struck out four. Andrew Cabezas came on from the bullpen and allowed two inherited runners to score in addition to one of his own in the fourth to put Peoria out front 6-1 after four innings. Cabezas allowed two hits, walked one, and struck out two in 1 2/3 innings. Relievers Melvi Acosta and Tyler Palm then steadied the ship for the final four innings. Acosta allowed one hit and struck out one in his two frames, and Palm surrendered an unearned run on one hit while striking out four Chiefs in his two innings. Edouard Julien (single), Yunior Severino (home run), and Matt Wallner (double) accounted for the Kernels three hits. Wallner drove in the other Kernels run. As a team they managed just three at-bats with runners in scoring position on the game and left only three men on base. Julien also stole his fifth base with the Kernels, and 26th on the season. Julien also drew a walk and continues to lead the minors in that category this season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 5, Bradenton 8 Box Score The Mighty Mussels built a 5-0 lead after the top of the sixth inning behind a slugger who has been struggling most of the year, but the rest of the lineup and bullpen was unable to hold it on Tuesday. Starter Sean Mooney was fantastic for the first three innings in this one, allowing no hits and striking out six Marauders. He was extremely efficient as well, throwing just 38 pitches, with 29 going for strikes and falling behind in a count only once among the nine batters he faced. In the top of the fourth, Aaron Sabato got Fort Myers on the board with his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot to open the game’s scoring. He added another home run in the sixth, this one of the two-run variety, to extend the Mussels lead to 5-0. Misael Urbina drove in two others earlier in the inning with his eighth double of the season. Unfortunately, the offense had just one other hit on the game, a single from Will Holland. The team had just three at-bats with runners in scoring position in the game and drew only two walks. Not much you can do beyond home runs when other opportunities never surface. The bullpen duo of Orlando Rodriguez (2 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, BB, 4 K) and Matthew Swain (1 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, K) combined to allow eight runs in the sixth and seventh innings that put the game well out of reach. Denny Bentley finished off the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing four hits but being charged with no runs. He walked one and struck out one as the Mussels fell to the team in front of them in the standings by 5.0 games. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 2, FCL Braves 3 Box Score The Twins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to consecutive walks to start the game that were followed by a balk, a Wander Valdez RBI single, and a successful double-steal attempt. Unfortunately for the offense they were unable to scratch any more runs across the plate the rest of the game. Valdez (2-for-4, RBI, K) collected two of the team's five hits, Argenis Jiminez had the only extra-base-hit with a triple, and Alerick Soularie drew two walks out of the leadoff spot, but also struck out three times. As a team they were just 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position, left seven men on base, and struck out 18 times. Left-hander Wilker Reyes made the start for the Twins and went the first four innings. He scattered six hits and allowed two earned runs while striking out four batters. Matt Mullenbach came on for the next three innings and kept the game tied, surrendering two hits while also striking out four Braves. Ramon Pineda finished the game with two-plus innings, but allowed the Braves to easily get the winning run in the 10th inning after a pair of wild pitches to the leadoff man. He gave up one hit, walked one, and struck out three in taking the loss. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Jordan Balazovic, Wichita Wind Surge (W, 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K) Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - W, 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, R, K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, 3 K #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, K #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List #9 - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, K #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #14 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-3, K #15 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, 2B #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 3 K #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) - 0-for-3, R, BB, 3 K #19 - Edwar Colina (rehab) - Injured List (elbow) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - Did not pitch WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05PM CST) - RHP Drew Strotman (7-3, 3.59 ERA) Wichita @ Tulsa (7:05PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (2-4, 7.18 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35PM CST) - RHP Ben Gross (4-1, 3.27 ERA) Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:05PM CST) - RHP Landon Leach (0-1, 4.85 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  10. TRANSACTIONS RHP Hector Lujan was activated from the 7-day Injured List. RHP Joe Kuzia was moved to the development list. Mighty Mussels reinstated RHP Sean Mooney from the 7-day injured list Mighty Mussels placed LHP Brent Headrick on the 7-day injured list (right oblique strain) SAINTS SENTINEL Indianapolis 12, Saints 5 Box Score SP: Chandler Shepherd: 4 IP, 11 H, 8 R/ER, 0 BB, 2 K HR: Gilberto Celestino (1), Keon Broxton (9) Multi-hit games: Celestino (2-for-5, HR), Drew Maggi (2-for-4, R, BB), Sherman Johnson (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R, BB), Broxton (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB) Chandler Shepherd had trouble early in Sunday’s start. He allowed two three-run homers in the first, including one to a rehabbing Colin Moran. The Saints then fell down 7-0 in the third on an RBI single. Finally making his debut at Triple-A, Gilberto Celestino homered in the third and added a single in the fifth. Celestino jumped from Double-A to the Twins and moved back and forth in the transaction wire before finally debuting for the Saints Sunday. The Saints left 21 runners on base, scoring only five runs on 12 hits and five walks. Keon Broxton continued his torrid stretch with two more hits and two RBI. Broxton entered Sunday hitting .297/.403/.656 over his last 22 games. Both Sherman Johnson and Drew Maggi also posted an OPS over 1.000 in July. WIND SURGE WISDOM Surge 11, Naturals 10 Box Score SP: Chris Vallimont: 4 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 6 R/ER, 5 BB, 6 K HR: Hamilton (6) Multi-hit games: BJ Boyd (3-for-6, 2 RBI), Caleb Hamilton (2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-5, 2B, BB), The Wind Surge jumped out to a 4-0 lead thanks to a Roy Morales RBI single and a Caleb Hamilton three-run homer. Things began to unravel in the third. Chris Vallimont walked five and allowed six runs in 4 ⅓ innings. Vallimont has walked 18 over his last five starts, contributing to a 7.48 ERA over that span. The Naturals scored nine unanswered runs and buried the Surge by the fifth inning. Or that’s how it looked until Wichita’s offense put together a threat in the seventh, loading the bases with one out. Leobaldo Cabrera and Caleb Hamilton each drew bases-loaded walks before BJ Boyd singled in two more runs to pull the Surge within one. Wichita wasn’t done. In the eighth, D.J. Burt drove in two more with a double to take the lead. Aaron Whitefield later singled to put the Surge up 11-9. An RBI single for the Naturals pulled them back within one, but Wichita held on for an 11-10 win. The Surge recorded 12 hits and walked 12 times, including three walks each for Burt and Cabrera. Note: SS/OF Austin Martin, acquired from Toronto in the José Berríos trade, is expected to join the team Tuesday in Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Kernels 3, Timber Rattlers 0 Box Score SP: Tyler Beck: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Michael Helman (2-for-5, R), Alex Isola (3-for-4, 2B), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R) Tyler Beck entered the game with a 1.91 ERA over his last 28 1/3 innings with 33 strikeouts and an opponent OPS of .509. He continued his dominance Sunday in a sterling start. Beck threw five strong innings, allowing only two hits and zero runs with five strikeouts. Beck, a 30th round pick by the Twins in the 2019 Draft, could be a candidate for a promotion to Wichita soon. Matt Wallner has picked up right where he left off after missing extended time with a wrist injury. Wallner started the day hitting .324/.375/.784 in nine games since his return. He drove in another run in the first on a groundout. Daniel Ozoria had a very nice afternoon, notching two hits and an RBI groundout himself. The Kernels’ bullpen was outstanding in relief, with Erik Manoah Jr., Osiris Germán and Zach Featherstone combining for four scoreless innings and seven strikeouts. MUSSEL MATTERS The game today between the Mighty Mussels and the Clearwater Threshers was cancelled due to COVID-19 issues within the Threshers organization. COMPLEX CHRONICLES The FCL Twins did not play Sunday (off-day). TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Beck: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Caleb Hamilton: 2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB 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 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - Did not play #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – No game #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, HR, RBI, R #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – No game #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, RBI, K #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-for-4 #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – No game #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – Did not play #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – 4 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 6 R/ER, 5 BB, 6 K
  11. The Call-Up: Gilberto Celestino (AAA) Celestino, the team's top center field prospect, has spent nearly all of 2021 at Double-A, but he was recently promoted to St. Paul. He never made it into a game with the Saints as he was needed at the big-league level. Entering the season, Celestino had only played 11 games above the Low-A level and three of those contests were back when he was in the Houston organization. In his last full season (2019), he hit .277/.349/.410 (.759) with 41 extra-base hits in 125 games. So far this season, his .725 OPS is 20 points lower than his career mark, but every at-bat has come against older pitching. He’s inclusion on the 40-man roster made him the easiest call-up choice as the team dealt without a true center fielder at the big-league level. Triple-A Journeyman: Keon Broxton (AAA) When Buxton was injured, some fans were clamoring for Keon Broxton to be called up. He played on three different teams back in 2019 and combined for a .517 OPS. Some of the positivity surrounding Broxton was based on his performance this spring with the Twins. He played in 22 spring games and hit .286/.394/.464 with three extra-base hits. Unfortunately, his time at Triple-A has been unmemorable so far in 2021. Through his first 20 games, Broxton is hitting .159/.224/.203 (.427), which is the second lowest OPS among qualified players in the Triple-A East. Also, he’s not on the 40-man roster and he hasn’t exactly played himself into a role with the big-league club. Other Options: Jimmy Kerrigan (AAA), Aaron Whitefield (AA) Another option at Triple-A is Jimmy Kerrigan who has played all three outfield positions this season. In 19 Triple-A games, he has hit .217/.304/.400 (.704), which is a higher OBP than his career average. He spent four seasons at the collegiate level before the Twins signed him back in 2017. Through most of his professional career, he has been older than the average age of the competition. At Triple-A this year, he is 27-years old and still looking for a big-league opportunity. Aaron Whitefield is another intriguing name because he got a brief cup of coffee with the Twins last season. He appeared in three games and only registered one plate appearance. He was removed from the team’s 40-man roster, but he passed through waivers and stayed in the organization. So far in 2021, he has played the entire year at Double-A and he is batting .310/.367/.460 (.827) with seven extra-base hits in 23 games. His current OPS is 177 points higher than his career mark in the minors. Which centerfielder gets the most playing time for the rest of the season? 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
  12. Triple-A: Trevor Larnach, OF Larnach sometimes feels like the forgotten prospect with names like Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis in the organization. He projects to be a very good big-league regular and his timetable made have changed over the last couple days with news that Kirilloff might miss time due to a wrist injury. The Twins have been getting very little production from their corner outfield spots and fans have started to get frustrated watching Jake Cave take uncompetitive at-bats. Larnach was likely on pace to debut in 2021 and now he might be needed in Minnesota sooner rather than later. Double-A: Gilberto Celestino, OF Celestino was originally acquired by the Twins in the Ryan Pressly trade along with Jorge Alcala. He was part of the team’s 60-man player pool last season, which meant he spent of the bulk of the year at the team’s alternate training site. Back in 2019, he spent nearly the entire the year at Cedar Rapids, and he finished by hitting .277/.349/.410 (.759) with 41 extra-base hits in 125 games. He’s a very strong defender in the outfield, so it will be interesting to see if his bat can continue to develop. Byron Buxton is only under contract through next season and Celestino might be his heir apparent. High-A: Matt Canterino, RHP Even amidst a pandemic, Canterino was able to see his prospect stock rise significantly because of reports that came out throughout last year. The velocity on his fastball rose more than a couple miles per hour as he can now hit in the mid-90s on a consistent basis. He should easily be able to stick as a starter when you add in a slider and a changeup that both project to be plus pitches. He was a second round pick out of college in 2019, but he’s only pitched 25 innings as a profession due to last year’s minor league cancellation. Now, he needs to prove his rising stock is legitimate and that might be dangerous for opposing batters in the Midwest League. Low-A: Aaron Sabato, 1B/DH Sabato was Minnesota’s first round pick in 2020, so he will be making his professional debut in 2021. There’s one reason the Twins drafted Sabato and that’s because of his powerful bat. Entering the season, he projected as one of the team’s top power prospects. In two seasons at North Carolina, he hit .332/.459/.698 with 25 home runs and 31 doubles in 83 games. He is going to need to show he can adjust to professional baseball, but he is expected to be a quick riser if he can continue to show plus power at the plate. What are your thoughts on these players? Are there others you will keep an eye on? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  13. 5. Misael Urbina, OF Current/Future Speed: 60/50 Urbina was the Twins top international signee back in the 2018 and he has continued his physical development since joining the organization. He currently comes in at 6-foot-0 and 175 pounds, which is stocky when it comes to the speed tool. Most scouting reports peg him as being a plus runner and he has shown the ability to steal bases and play terrific outfield defense. He has yet to make his debut in a stateside league, but that will likely change in 2021. 4. Keoni Cavaco, SS Current/Future Speed: 60/55 When the Twins drafted Cavaco, his athleticism was something that saw him rise quickly into the first round. He flashed plus speed entering the draft and those skills translated to his first professional season. According to reports out of the instructional leagues, Cavaco spent last year’s shutdown working on his conditioning and physical make-up. Now he is leaner this should only help his athleticism. It’s also scary to think what that could mean for his plus running skills. His body is going to continue to grow, and this can lead to him to losing some speed. The Twins are going to try and keep him at shortstop, but his size might result in a shift to third base. 3. Gilberto Celestino, OF Current Speed: 60/60 Celestino is a name Twins fans will get very familiar with in the coming years, especially since Byron Buxton’s future is up in the air. Celestino can be the heir apparent to Buxton since the team’s current centerfielder only has two more years of team control. Celestino’s stock has really taken off since coming to the Twins as part of the Ryan Pressly deal. He uses his speed to exhibit plus range in the outfield and he can play all three outfield positions. As gets more experience, his ability to steal bases should improve and he continues to add speed as he has grown into his body. Out of the players on this list, he has the best chance to keep his current speed ranking long-term. 2. Will Holland, SS Current/Future Speed: 65/60 Holland fell to the Twins in the fifth round of the 2019 Draft, but it might have been a blessing in disguise for the organization. He dropped in the draft because of a poor performance during his junior season at Auburn and his pro debut didn’t go much better. His speed helps him on both sides of the ball as his physical tools allow him to play shortstop and second base. Currently, Holland might be the fastest player in the organization because the top player on this list will be out for all of 2021. He has worked with his swing throughout the minor league shutdown, so he has plenty to prove when the new season gets underway. 1. Royce Lewis, SS Current Speed: 70/60 Twins fans may have gotten spoiled with Buxton as he is one of the fastest players at the big-league level. Lewis might not be quite at the same level as Buxton, but he still has blazing fast speed (see Tom’s highlight video below). His recent knee injury might be cause for concern because he might lose a step or two as he recovers. Even considering his injury, he is head and shoulders above the rest of the players on this list when it comes to speed. His best runs times from home to first are under four seconds and there are few players that can do that in professional baseball. How would you rank these players? Does someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Hit Tool Prospects -Power Tool Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  14. 5. Alerick Soularie, OF Current/Future Hit Tool: 35/50 Scouts have differing views when it comes to Soularie and his hitting skills. In parts of two seasons at Tennessee, he hit .336/.448/.586 with 31 extra-base hits and more walks than strikeouts. These numbers were compiled in what is considered the toughest college baseball conference after starting his collegiate career at a community college. His short, compact swing can help him adjust to different hitting environments and he has enough raw athleticism to make adjustments throughout his career. There’s also a chance his swing can’t adjust to the higher levels of the minors and he fizzles out. 4. Gilberto Celestino, OF Current/Future Hit Tool: 35/55 Celestino was part of the Twins return in the Ryan Pressly trade and his stock has been rising in recent years. He puts the bat on the ball, and he hits it hard on a consistent basis and that trait is only going to improve as he moves up the organizational ladder. Celestino can be the heir apparent to Byron Buxton in centerfield, especially since Buxton only has two years left of team control. On his current path, Celestino projects to a terrific defender in center field and his hitting skills should be more than enough to make him a regular in the Twins outfield. 3. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B Current/Future Hit Tool: 45/50 Blankenhorn is entering his seventh professional season and he is trying to solidify a role at the big-league level. Last year, he appeared in one game and went 1-for-3 with a double. There’s a potential for him to get more use this season, but it will take an injury or two to get him regular at-bats. In the minors, he’s shown the ability to hit at every level and he’s more advanced than other’s below him on this list. He’s on the fringes of being part of the Twins roster, but he might need to shift to another organization to get more regular playing time. 2. Trevor Larnach, OF Current/Future Hit Tool: 45/55 Larnach might not be as advanced as the number one hitter on this list, but he has the potential to be an above average MLB hitter. Some powerful hitters need to swing with max effort to generate their swing, but Larnach isn’t one of those players. His naturally smooth swing allows him to spray balls to all fields. Also, Larnach isn’t afraid to tinker with his swing by watching video and asking questions to coaches and players. “I tease him about being a psychopath in terms of his pursuit of perfection,” Twins minor-league hitting coordinator Donegal Fergus said. “He wants good conversation, and honest feedback and ideas.” https://twitter.com/NoDakTwinsFan/status/1369318691142332422?s=20 1. Alex Kirilloff, OF Current/Future Hit Tool: 50/60 As Minnesota’s top prospect, Kirilloff’s known for his offensive prowess. He already projects as a league average hitter with a chance to be above average before all things are said and done. He has great plate coverage, and like Larnach, he can spray the ball to all fields. The Twins were confident in him last season and he showed his professional approach while debuting in one of the highest-pressure situations, an elimination game. He hits lefties. He hits righties. He just plain out hits. Fans can hope that he showcases a rare combination of hitting and hitting for power that can make him a generational talent. How would you rank these players? Does someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Power Tool Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  15. 15. Cole Sands, RHP Age: 23 (DOB: 7/17/1997) 2019 Stats (A/AA): 97.1 IP, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 10.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 ETA: 2022 2020 Ranking: 19 The lack of a minor-league season in 2020 hurt many prospects, and Sands is certainly among them. He was just beginning to ramp up his workload – from 75 ⅓ innings during his final year at Florida State to 97 ⅓ in his first year with the Twins – and then it all got shut down. Now, the former fifth-round draft pick will try to pick up where he left off. Prior to the pandemic, he had quite a bit of momentum going. Sands was extremely impressive during his first professional season in 2019, posting a 2.68 ERA along with a brilliant 108-to-19 K/BB over 18 starts. He started out at Low-A and ended in Double-A. Solidly built at 6-foot-3 and 215 lbs, Sands brings a fastball in the mid-90s and his changeup is rated by Baseball America as the best in the Twins system. The mission for Sands in 2021 is to rebuild his workload and get back on track toward a full starter's regimen, while also translating his early success into the high minors. It's a tall task, but all signs suggest the right-hander is up to it. He's a sleeper candidate to debut in the majors this year. 14. Misael Urbina, OF Age: 18 (DOB: 4/26/02) 2019 Stats (Rookie): 217 PA, .279/.382/.443 , 2 HR, 26 RBI ETA: 2024 2020 Ranking: 17 Urbina was considered one of the best international prospects available in 2018 when the Twins landed him with a $2.75 million signing bonus. The toolsy outfielder arrived with an exceptional pro debut the following year, slashing .279/.382/.443 over 50 games in the Dominican Summer League. In 217 plate appearances, Urbina showed excellent plate discipline (23 walks, 14 strikeouts), hit for power (21 extra-base hits), and flashed standout speed (19 steals and five triples). He also played a very sharp center field defensively. The Twins signed Urbina as a scrawny 16-year-old, and now he's going to be challenged to grow up in a hurry. He's still young, but turns 19 in April and hasn't been exposed to a full-season league. That'll happen now. If the uber-athletic teenager can come anywhere close to replicating his 2019 performance as he presumably graduates to A-ball, he'll climb these rankings quickly. 13. Matt Wallner, OF Age: 23 (DOB: 12/12/1997) 2019 Stats (Rookie/A): 291 PA, .258/.357/.452, 8 HR, 34 RBI ETA: 2022 2020 Ranking: 14 Like Urbina, Wallner was a highly touted young outfielder who made an impressive debut in 2019, posting an .810 OPS in 65 games between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids after being selected in the supplemental first round of June's draft. But unlike Urbina, time is not on Wallner's side. The Twins took him out of the University of Southern Mississippi with the 39th overall pick, valuing the Forest Lake native as a polished and potentially fast-moving collegiate lefty bat. Now, after the lost 2020 season, he's 23 and has played 12 games above rookie ball. To put that in context: Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler were all established as full-time major-league outfielders at 23, and Alex Kirillloff will probably do so for himself this year at the same age. None of this is damning for Wallner, who faces the same need to make up for lost time as his minor-league peers, but it leaves him with little margin for error. If he struggles at all to acclimate in A-ball, he'll quickly fall behind the curve. Conversely, if he hits the ground running, Wallner is in line to move quickly as a relatively advanced hitter. 12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B Age: 26 (DOB: 11/1/1994) 2020 Stats (MLB): 21 PA, .316/.381/.579, 1 HR, 5 RBI ETA: 2021 2020 Ranking: 9 Rooker is different from almost every other prospect we'll rank on this list, in that he gave us some actual, concrete performance to evaluate in 2020. Granted, it was an absurdly small sample: 21 plate appearances with the Twins before a fractured forearm ended his season in mid-September. But what we saw mostly confirmed what we've come to believe about Rooker: he's a quality right-handed bat with real power potential, and ready for the big leagues. The Twins called up Rooker in early September after Kepler went down with a groin strain. He wasted no time at the plate, collecting six hits including a home run and two doubles. "I don’t want to say he’s got Miguel Sanó power, but it’s that type of power to the big part of the field,” said hitting coach Edgar Varela of the slugger. Rooker's defensive limitations were also on display during brief action in right and left field, and while he is ostensibly an option at first base, he hasn't played it since 2018. With Nelson Cruz returning in 2021, Rooker doesn't have much of a path to regular playing time at the moment, but he's useful as a rotational righty bench bat. To become more than that, he'll need to cut down the strikeouts, prove his defensive viability, and above all, find an opportunity. 11. Gilberto Celestino, OF Age: 21 (DOB: 2/13/99) 2019 Stats (A): 536 PA, .277/.349/.410, 10 HR, 54 RBI ETA: 2023 2020 Ranking: 12 Celestino was on a roll before his 2020 season got wiped out. After a slow start at Cedar Rapids in 2019, the outfielder pressed the pedal to the medal, slashing .357/.427/.550 in 43 games after July 1st and earning a late-season call-up to Ft. Myers. After the season, Minnesota added him to the 40-man roster, fearing that another club might try to snap him up in the Rule 5 draft. For a 20-year-old who had barely skimmed High-A, it was a rather extraordinary move, setting Celestino's options clock in motion at a very early stage. Clearly, the Twins like this kid, and with good reason. He was seeing plenty of early action in spring training last year before the shutdown. Celestino was on Minnesota's extended 60-man roster last summer, and got his work in daily at the alternate site in St. Paul, so his development was impeded less than many ohter prospects who weren't so lucky. That might give him a leg up heading into the coming season. He's probably the best center fielder in the system after Byron Buxton, which is noteworthy given Buxton's proneness to injury. Although Celestino is not a candidate to be called up early in the 2021 season, he could quickly enter the conversation with a fast start and a major-league opening. The combination of speed and power, combined with improving discipline and strong defense in center, makes him a multi-dimensional prospect with big impact potential. Although Ryan Pressly became an All-Star after the Twins traded him to Houston, it's still looking like the Twins – with young fireballer Jorge Alcala penned into their bullpen and Celestino fast on the rise – might end up getting the best of that 2018 trade. Twins 2021 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Bailey Ober, RHP 19. José Miranda, 3B/2B 18. Alerick Soularie, UTIL 17. Ben Rortvedt, C 16. Edwar Colina, RHP
  16. Evaluating prospects in a pandemic certainly presents multiple challenges. Two of these players made their MLB debut last season and others on this list continue to rise. Minnesota’s system is deep and any of these names can impact the big-league roster in the years ahead. 15. Edwar Colina- RHP (23-years old) Acquired: 2015 International Free Agent ETA: 2021 Colina made one lone big-league appearance in 2020, but it didn’t go so well. Obviously, this is a small sample size, and it doesn’t take anything away from his potential big-league impact. He can consistently hit in the upper-90s with his fastball, but it doesn’t have a lot of movement. His slider is his best secondary pitch, and he can control in different parts of the zone. He moved to the bullpen at the end of the 2019 campaign and that might be his best role at the big-league level. 14. Matt Wallner- OF (23-years old) Acquired: 2019 First Round Pick ETA: 2022 Power is the name of the game for Wallner. He fits the current regimes draft mold of finding experienced college hitters with a lot of pop in their bat. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, he is an opposing force in the batter’s box. Because of his college experience, the Twins can be aggressive with him in 2021 as he has yet to appear in a game above Low-A. That being said, he is only 23-years old, so the team can give him a chance to find his swing as he moves up the organizational ladder. 13. Misael Urbina- OF (18-years old) Acquired: 2018 International Free Agent ETA: 2023 Urbina was one of the highest ranked prospects during the 2018 international signing period. He is still projected to play center field, but if he continues to add muscle, his destination might be a corner outfield spot. For his age, he shows skills that are very advanced at the plate. Since the Twins minor league affiliates were reorganized, Urbina can spend 2021 at Low-A in Fort Myers, where the team will be housing many of their younger players. 12. Brent Rooker- OF (26-years old) Acquired: 2017 First Round Pick ETA: 2020 Twins fans got a brief glimpse of Rooker last season as he made a positive impression before being hit by a pitch that ended his season. Throughout his professional career, he has been able to crush fastballs, but he has struggled to adjust to breaking pitches. He’s already 26-years old, so the Twins are going to have team control of him through the prime of his career. If Minnesota doesn’t sign a DH, Rooker is a player that can slide into this role. Most likely, he will start the season at St. Paul, where he will be a quick phone call away from being back in the Twins line-up. 11. Gilberto Celestino- OF (21-years old) Acquired: Along with Jorge Alcala in the Ryan Pressly trade ETA: 2021 When the Twins acquired Celestino, defense was his calling card, but his offensive skills have developed quite nicely since the trade. He continues to be one of the best outfield defenders in system. His size likely means he won’t hit for a ton of power. However, he makes consistent contact, and his other skills will likely allow him to fit into a regular role at the big-league level. This winter, he played in a handful of games in the Dominican Winter League and went 1-for-7 at the plate. Which of these players has a brighter future? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Prospects 16-20 — Prospects 1-10 Coming Soon MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  17. Current Center Fielder: Byron Buxton Since he made his debut, there have been times when Byron Buxton was the best player on the Twins roster. His elite defensive abilities, speed, and offensive talent make him the true definition of a five-tool player. Unfortunately, he has played fewer than 92 games in all but one professional season. Buxton is a second-year arbitration eligible player, so the Twins have team control over him for the next two seasons. Would the Twins be willing to extend him this winter? 40-Man Options Jake Cave, LaMonte Wade Jr. and even Max Kepler have seen time in centerfield. Cave and Wade might be a little stretched up the middle, but Kepler has shown the ability to fill-in nicely for Buxton when needed. All three fit into the team’s corner outfield projections with Kepler and Cave line-up to be the Opening Day starters if the club wants to hold off on having Alex Kirilloff make his regular season debut. Outside of Buxton, Gilberto Celestino might be one of the purest centerfielders in the Twins organization. He was acquired from the Astros as part of the Ryan Pressly trade and he was added to the 40-man roster after a breakout season in 2019. He has always been a strong defender, but he hit .303/.374/.464 with 38 extra-base hits over his last 98 games that season. If Buxton suffers an injury, Celestino’s defense is big-league ready and his bat might not be far behind. On the Farm Options Outside of the options mentioned above, there are other corner options in the minor leagues including some strong prospects. Kerrigan is an interesting story as he went undrafted after four-years of college and started playing independent baseball. He’s got a good power and speed, but he might be a little stretched defensively in center field. Whitefield got a brief taste of the big leagues last season as he appeared in three games, but the Twins removed him from the 40-man roster. He’s one of the best defensive outfielders in the system. Maciel came to the Twins as part of the Eduardo Escobar trade and he split time between Low- and High-A back in 2019. He can drive the ball to all fields and he’s not overmatched in center. Keirsey was a fourth-round pick back in 2018 and he topped out at Cedar Rapids in 2019. His speed and college experience should help him play all over the outfield. Urbina is an intriguing prospect with lightening fast speed. He was signed as part of the 2018 international signing period out of Venezuela and he made his first professional starts in the 2019 Dominican Summer League. He has all the tools, and he is a prospect to watch in the years ahead. Garry Jr. was young for the E-Twins back in 2019, but he showed that he can hold his own. He continues to improve on both sides of the ball. What do you think about the future of centerfield in Minnesota? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES -Corner Outfield -Catcher -Second Base -First Base -Third Base -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
  18. Time can change the view of a trade, so here’s what was said back in 2018 at the time of the deal. What Did People Say at the Time of the Trade? Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said, "We had ranked all the relievers that we had interest in a few weeks ago taking a really deep look at all of them (and) we felt Pressly was the best combination for stuff, control — how much time he would be with us — and acquisition cost and ability to plug right into our bullpen. We like his stuff a lot." At the time, Twins general manager Thad Levine said, both scouts and data analysts found the team’s haul in the deal “very exciting.” When referencing the Eduardo Escobar trade and the Pressly deal, he said, “I believe four of them will go right into our top 30 prospects, and that’s meaningful. What we were able to accomplish yesterday may not pay dividends tomorrow, but on the horizon, that just got brighter.” Alcala was still starting in the Astros organization at the time of the trade. Here is what Baseball America said, “Alcala has a plus-plus fastball, but there are times as a starter where he gears down to try to maintain his stamina. At his best, he’s reached triple digits in the past. There are days when Alcala looks like a one-pitch pitcher trying to start, but seen on the right days, he has the makings of being a devastating bullpen option.” When looking at Celestino, Baseball America projected him to “end up as a plus defender in center with the ability to hit .270 with 15-20 home runs, with a fourth-outfield future as a decent fallback option.” When the Twins acquired them, Alcala and Celestino were among the top-15 prospects in the Astros' farm system, according to MLBPipeline.com. Pressly’s Houston Success Pressly has pitched a grand total of 78 1/3 innings in an Astros uniform over the course of three seasons. He was a first-time All-Star last season at the age of 30 after posting a 1.36 ERA in the first half. During that same stretch, he held opponents to a .176/.208/.282 slash-line with 47 strikeouts compared to six walks. He was one of the best relievers in the game, but things haven’t gone as perfectly since then. In 2019’s second half, Pressly ran into some struggles and dealt with an injury. His ERA jumped to 4.91 and his WHIP rose from 0.78 in the first half to 1.23 in the second half. He was forced to undergo arthroscopic right knee surgery and didn’t pitch in a game from August 15-September 21. He’d make the team’s postseason roster, but his ERA was 9.00 or higher in every round of the playoffs. So far in 2020, Pressly was in line to become Houston’s closer in place of Roberto Osuna. Pressly had a finger blister during Summer Camp and he has been dealing with elbow soreness. He left his only appearance of the year early with a cut on the cuticle above his thumbnail. The team seems optimistic that he will be able to avoid any extended time on the injured list. Minnesota’s Trade Return Jorge Alcala split time as a starter and reliever in 2019 and the Twins were aggressive with him after switching him to the bullpen. He made six relief appearances (10 2/3 innings) at Double-A and allowed two earned runs while holding opponents to a .502 OPS. At Triple-A, he did even better as he didn’t allow an earned run and he struck out 11 batters in 7 2/3 innings. He made two big league appearances as a September call-up and only allowed one hit. Since switching to the bullpen, Alcala has been able to focus on using his best two pitches, his fastball and his slider. His fastball is constantly in the mid-90s and so far this season it is averaging 96.8 mph. His slider has also ticked up a few miles per hour from 85.9 mph last year to 88.0 mph in 2020. He’s looking like he could be Minnesota’s closer of the future. Gilberto Celestino was added to the Twins 40-man roster this off-season after a breakout season. He was always seen as a strong defender, but his offensive improvements helped put him on the prospect map. He changed his base at the plate and started his swing earlier after working with Kernels hitting coach Ryan Smith. From May 9 through season’s end, he hit .303/.374/.464 with 38 extra-base hits in 98 games. Who Won the Trade? It will probably be multiple years before Twins fans will know if the organization “won” this trade. Houston got what they wanted out of the deal with Pressly turning into one of baseball’s best right-handed relief pitchers. He set an MLB record for consecutive appearances without giving up a run, the team has signed him to an extension, and he could be the team’s closer this season if he proves to be healthy. Minnesota got two players in return that could impact the big-league roster for multiple years. MLB.com updated their top-30 prospects this week and both Alcala (27) and Celestino (16) make the list. Alcala missed more bats than previous seasons and seems destined for a bullpen role. Celestino is one of the best defenders in the Twins system, but if his offensive improvements could make him an impact player at the big-league level. Looking back, what do you think about the trade? 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
  19. 5. RHP Matt Canterino 2019 Stats (Rookie, Low-A): 1.44 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 31 K, 8 BB, 25 IP After being a three-year starter at Rice, Canterino was the Twins second-round pick in 2019. He saw limited time during his first professional season because of the innings he had accumulated in college. He struck out 11 batters per nine innings and he only allowed earned runs in two of his five appearances after being promoted to Low-A. He controls the strike zone and his college experience could help him to move through the Twins system. 4. RHP Blayne Enlow 2019 Stats (Low-A, High-A): 3.82 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 95 K, 38 BB, 110 2/3 IP Enlow pitched nearly 2/3rds of his innings as a 20-year old in the Florida State League where he was nearly three years younger than the average age of the competition. For players like Enlow, missing the 2020 season was critical to developing towards the big-league level. Next spring, he will turn 22 and he has yet to pitch an inning above High-A and there are no guarantees a minor league season will happen in 2021. He’s the second-best pitching prospect in instructional camp and he should get a lot of work in over the next month. 3. 1B Aaron Sabato 2020 Stats (College): .292/.478/.708 (1.185), 7 HR, 6 2B, 16 K, 22 BB, 19 G Unlike the other players on this list, Sabato got to play a handful of games in 2020 before the pandemic shutdown most of the amateur baseball world. He destroyed the ball during his sophomore year at the University of North Carolina before becoming a draft eligible sophomore. His bat is legit and the biggest knock against him entering the draft was his lack of defensive position. Minnesota’s brass still felt like he was worth of a first-round selection and now the team will get a chance to work with him for the first time. 2. SS Keoni Cavaco 2019 Stats (Rookie): .172/.217/.253 (.470), 1 HR, 4 2B, 35 K 4 BB, 25 G Cavaco was the Twins first round pick back in 2019 and his first taste of professional baseball didn’t go exactly to plan. Teams saw him as late riser entering the draft and the Twins were intrigued by his combination of tools. He had to be chomping at the bit to get back on the field because of those initial struggles and the lack of a 2020 campaign. He’s still only 19-years old and he has a lot of development left to prove the Twins were right to make him the 13th overall pick. 1. RHP Jordan Balazovic 2019 Stats (Low-A, High-A): 2.69 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 129 K, 25 BB, 93 2/3 IP Balazovic has seen his stock consistently rise since joining the Twins organization as a third-round pick back in 2017. Entering the 2020 season, both Baseball America and MLB.com had him ranked in their top-100 prospects. Minnesota didn’t include him in their original 60-man player pool, but he was added to the alternate site near the beginning of September. He’s only pitched 73 innings above Low-A, so it seems unlikely for him to debut in 2021 but working with the Twins coaching staff can only help his stock moving forward. Click here to see who else made the instructional league roster. Which prospects benefit the most from this shortened instructional league setting? Leave a COMMENT and join the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  20. 10. Gilberto Celestino, OF 2019 MiLB Stats (A, A+): .277/.349/.410, 10 HR, 28 2B, 85 K, 50 BB, 125 G Celestino came to the Twins along with Jorge Alcala as part of the Ryan Pressly trade. He played almost the entire 2019 campaign in Cedar Rapids with a handful of games in Fort Myers at season’s end. He destroyed the ball in July by hitting .369/.430/.563 with 12 extra-base hits in 26 games. Things didn’t slow down much from there as he posted a .896 OPS in August and this included his promotion to a higher level. While he showed strong offensive ability last season, Celestino might be one of the best outfield defenders in the entire Twins organization. He’s played all three outfield positions, but his defense in centerfield will be his ticket to the big leagues. If he can continue to make offensive improvements, he could move quickly through the system in the years ahead. 9. Aaron Sabato, 1B 2019 NCAA Stats: .343/.453/.696, 18 HR, 25 2B, 56 K, 39 BB, 64 G Minnesota just took Sabato with their first-round draft pick last week and he has the power potential to slide into their top-10 prospects. He could be higher on the list, but many don’t see him as having much defensive value, so the Twins must hope his bat is what powers him throughout his professional career. His 2019 season was his lone full season at the collegiate level, because he was a draft eligible sophomore. He posted a 1.149 OPS that year and he might have been on track for an even better season in 2019. In 19 games during the 2020 season, Sabato had a .478 OBP and a .708 SLG with seven home runs and six doubles. This year’s draft certainly had some quirks with only five rounds and the first round saw a lot of teams select college players because they have a longer track record. Sabato is going to hit no matter what level he plays at and the Twins took him as a safe pick with plenty of upside. 8. Lewis Thorpe, LHP 2019 MiLB Stats (AAA): 5-4, 4.58 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 119 K, 25 BB, 96.1 IP 2019 MLB Stats: 3-2, 6.18 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, 31 K, 10 BB, 27.2 IP It might seem like Thorpe has been around the Twins organization for ages, especially since Minnesota signed him all the way back in 2012. He put up strong numbers in his first two professional seasons but missed all of 2015 and 2016 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Luckily, Thorpe was young enough where he was still back on the mound by his age-21 season and he spent the last two seasons moving through the upper levels of the minors. Across 114 innings at Double-A, he posted a 3.71 ERA with a 1.25 WHIP and a 10.9 K/9. His WHIP is over four points lower in 118 innings and his strikeout rate is higher (11.1 K/9). Thorpe was primed for a breakout season in 2020 with many in spring training were discussing the club’s high hopes for the southpaw. While his ERA and WHIP were high last season, he continued to strikeout batters and that’s something Twins fans can be excited about. He could be part of the Twins pitching staff for most of the next decade. 7. Keoni Cavaco, SS 2019 MiLB Stats (RK): .172/.217/.253, 1 HR, 4 2B, 35 K, 4 BB, 25 G One year ago, the Twins took Cavaco with the 13th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. He was seen as a player that rose on team’s draft boards in the months and weeks leading into the draft. A player like him might not have even been taken in 2020 because of the limitations on scouting and the shortened high school season. He didn’t see the same type of competition as other top high school players because he wasn’t invited to a lot of the showcase events leading into his senior season. Still, his tool set was hard for the Twins to ignore. His arm strength and speed are currently his two best tools. There were some obvious struggles at the plate last season, but he has plenty of power potential. As he continues getting experience against tougher competition, many believe he will be able to showcase the skills that put him on team’s draft radars. The Twins will give him every opportunity to stick at shortstop, but he has shown the ability to play third base during his amateur career. 6. Ryan Jeffers, C 2019 MiLB Stats (A+, AA): .264/.341/.421, 14 HR, 16 2B, 83 K, 37 BB, 103 G Mitch Garver might not want to look too closely in his rearview mirror because Jeffers might be closer to the big leagues than most would think. Minnesota took Jeffers in the second round back in 2018 and many viewed him as a bat-only player. He has refined his defense behind the plate since joining the Twins and his bat has certainly lived up to the hype he was receiving going into the draft. In his pro debut, Jeffers hit .344/.444/.502 with 24 extra-base hits in 64 games between the E-Twins and Cedar Rapids. Last season he spent almost 80 games in Fort Myers and hit double digits in home runs and doubles. He finished the year with 24 games in the Southern League and saw his OPS rise 124 points over what he compiled in the Florida State League. At 23-years old, he is the Twins catcher of the future and that future might not be that far away. PREVIOUS TOP-20 POSTS — Prospects 16-20 — Prospects 11-15 MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  21. Although MLB and the Player’s Association is still working on economics and structure of said season, some of the finer details have been agreed to. There’s a good assumption that in an effort to avoid injury an expanded roster will be implemented. With there being no formal minor league season on the horizon, an expanded taxi squad will also likely be adopted. In a traditional year prospects are developed through the course of game action on the farm. Now they’ll be put through the wringer under a different set of circumstances, and the eventual call-up could be out of necessity rather than readiness. Additional bodies coming from the 40-man roster makes the most sense, and three players jumped out to me as being near-ready prior to the curveball a global pandemic has thrown. Travis Blankenhorn – Utility Blankenhorn was a third-round selection back in 2015 and is now 22 years old. He topped out at Double-A Pensacola last season and posted a .786 OPS. He can play all over the diamond and his positional flexibility is what makes him interesting for Minnesota in 2020. Coming into his power during 2019, Blankenhorn launched 18 dingers in 93 Double-A games. He was a guy I was extremely excited to watch during spring training, and there was definitely opportunity present for him to impress. Right now, Rocco Baldelli has utility types in the form of Ehire Adrianza and Willians Astudillo. Blankenhorn falls somewhere in the midst of that group. He’s a better defender than Willians and could be a better bat the Adrianza. If either of them goes down, he’d be a worthy guy to call upon. Nick Gordon – 2B Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2014, fifth overall, has yet to make it to the big leagues. Nick Gordon isn’t a clone of his brother Dee, but he’s moved over to his old position. Once a shortstop, Nick is now fully entrenched on the right side of the diamond. Although the bat hasn’t come along as much as expected, he’s got a strong track record of success the second time through a level. After posting a .544 OPS at Triple-A in 2018, he rebounded to the tune of an .801 mark a season ago. Nick doesn’t have the same speed that Dee used to but has good quickness and acceleration. He’s an OK fielder that would be able to handle second well. Playing nine innings at third with over 5,000 between 2B and SS in his pro career, it’s fair to assume his home is up the middle. Again, he’d factor into the same conversations that Blankenhorn would, but it appears the time could be now for the son of the man nicknamed Flash. Gilberto Celestino – OF When Minnesota flipped Ryan Pressly to the Houston Astros it was assumed that Jorge Alcala was the prize return. Instead, it may be Celestino that bears the most fruit. A high-profile international free agent, Celestino played most of his 2019 at Low-A Cedar Rapids. He did hit 10 home runs in 2019 but posted just a .759 OPS. Power isn’t much his game, but he can draw walks, is plenty fast, and is among the best defenders in Minnesota’s system. It would seem odd for a player yet to establish himself at A-ball to jump all the way to the big leagues. That said, it’s not uncharted waters and it wasn’t long ago that Jorge Polanco was doing that same thing for the Twins. Celestino could be called upon more for his defense in 2020. Should something happen to one of the starting outfielders, Celestino would represent an ideal centerfield candidate. Jake Cave was stretched there in 2019, and while Max Kepler was great, the position took a toll on him. The bat won’t be ready this soon, but the glove and instincts absolutely are. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  22. By nature, entering the 40-man roster puts prospects in position for a somewhat imminent arrival in the big leagues. Once added, a player can only be optioned in three different seasons before the club is essentially forced to keep him in the majors or lose him. So the clock is now ticking for Jhoan Duran, Dakota Chalmers, Luke Raley, Gilberto Celestino, and Travis Blankenhorn. Technically, the Twins could keep all five in the minors through 2023 without risk of losing them, but recent history tells us they'll be arriving much sooner. Last year, Minnesota's 40-man additions ahead of the Rule 5 protection deadline were Luis Arraez, LaMonte Wade Jr., and Nick Gordon. Two of those guys reached the majors in 2019, with one breaking out as a rookie, and Gordon is poised to do so in early 2020. The prior year's wave of additions – Stephen Gonsalves, Zack Littell, and Lewis Thorpe – all received call-ups within two years of being selected. As I look at the pivotal impacts made by Arraez and Littell this year, I can't help but ponder how soon, and to what extent, this new class might begin to factor in. None are premier, nationally touted prospects at this point, but then, neither were the aforementioned duo. Peering through an optimistic lens, here's a look at what these five new 40-man roster additions could potentially bring to the table: Jhoan Duran, RHP Age: 21 2019 Stats (A+/AA): 115 IP, 3.76 ERA, 10.6 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 1.19 WHIP There was a lot of buzz around Duran and his standout changeup in spring training. He lived up to the hype during his first full season in the Twins system, piling up strikeouts with an overpowering arsenal and finishing the year in Double-A as a 21-year-old. Like Brusdar Graterol, the right-hander can touch triple digits, and he has developed his "splinker" into a weapon along with the quality change-piece. The depth of his arsenal and relatively advanced workload build (he's thrown 100+ innings in each of the past two years without showing obvious wear) keep him on a starter's track. In that capacity, he truly does have front-of-rotation potential – and if he reaches it, oh MAN what a get for renting Eduardo Escobar to the D-backs last year – but he might take a bit longer to enter the MLB mix. If the Twins elect to slide him into a bullpen role, temporarily or permanently, his arrival could come early in the 2020 campaign. Dominant back-end reliever looks like his floor right now. Dakota Chalmers, RHP Age: 23 2019 Stats (A+/Rk): 34.2 IP, 3.63 ERA, 12.5 K/9, 6.0 BB/9, 1.24 WHIP Dominant back-end reliever is more realistically the ceiling for Chalmers, but it's an achievable one in the short term. This hard-throwing right-hander was even more of a coup than Duran, having been acquired in August of 2018 for aging Fernando Rodney. It was a little surprising to see the A's give up on Chalmers, who they went significantly overslot to sign out of high school as a third-round draft pick in 2015, but not that much. He hasn't been too effective in the minors, besieged by injuries and erratic control, and the latter has definitely been present since he switched organizations. Still, the Twins felt compelled to protect him because the potency of his arm is easy to see. Clearly they felt another team might be inclined to give him a shot in their bullpen straightaway. It only stands to reason that Minnesota might take a look soon, should Chalmers come out firing at Double-A next year. Thus far he's worked exclusively as a starter in the Twins system, but that feels like a fanciful plan for a guy who has worked 35+ IP once in five seasons since being drafted, and never anywhere close to 100. If he switches to relieving, he could be on the fast-track, with closer potential if he can stay healthy and rein in his command. Luke Raley, OF Age: 25 2019 Stats (AAA/Rk): 158 PA, .310/.361/.517, 8 HR, 23 RBI, 29 R Raley isn't a guy that screams "upside" but he exudes plenty of "useful" vibes. Acquired alongside Devin Smeltzer at the 2018 deadline for Brian Dozier, Raley has been a steady offensive force since the trade. There's nothing flashy about his skill set – a decent corner outfielder who can hit for average with a bit of pop from the left side – but he's polished and basically MLB-ready. In fact, he likely would've already debuted in 2019, had he not suffered an ankle injury requiring surgery in May. Raley is a seemingly redundant presence on the roster, stuck behind two lefty-swinging corner outfielders (Wade and Jake Cave) who are stuck behind two lefty-swinging corner outfielders (Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario). But the Twins saw fit to add him anyway, which says something. Of note: Raley has considerable experience at first base, which could quickly come into play should the Twins bring back C.J. Cron, who put up a .685 OPS against right-handed pitchers this year. With benches getting deeper in 2020, it's not hard to envision Raley making a fast impact in a platoon role. Gilberto Celestino, OF Age: 20 2019 Stats (A/A+): 536 PA, .315/.385/.491, 8 HR, 54 RBI, 58 R Perhaps the most surprising and intriguing addition of this batch, given that Celestino is 20 and has played only eight games above the Low-A level. In a sense it's hard to imagine any MLB club rostering such a young and raw player, but then again maybe not: Celestino is a toolsy center fielder with good speed who flashed his offensive upside during a spectacular second half at Cedar Rapids. Hitting just .219/.299/.290 at the end of May, he upgraded to .315/.385/.491 over the next 69 games before earning a late-season promotion to High-A. Although Minnesota justifiably felt the need to shield Celestino from a bottom-rung team that might've tried to Rule 5 him and stash him, he's the only one on this list that doesn't realistically have a shot at figuring into the semi-immediate picture. His potential down the line, however, is enormous. Around the same time Oakland invested heavily in Chalmers out of high school, the Astros spent $2.5 million to sign a teenaged Celestino out of the Dominican Republic. His tools and athleticism have long been lauded and they all came together last summer at Cedar Rapids. Travis Blankenhorn, IF Age: 23 2019 Stats (A+/AA): 471 PA, .277/.321/.466, 19 HR, 54 RBI, 56 R Among the five players on this list, Blankenhorn is the only one who wasn't brought in by the new front office – in fact, he's the only one who wasn't added around the deadline last year. He's an increasingly rare remnant of the previous regime, but one that could stick for some time. Drafted in the third round out of a Pennsylvania high school in 2015, Blankenhorn didn't storm the minors, following a more traditional progressive curve. His production has consistently been solid, outside of a rough 2018 in the pitcher-friendly FSL, but never outstanding enough to merit top prospect status; in our latest midseason rankings at Twins Daily, we had him at No. 20, and he peaked on our list at No. 9 in 2017. But that doesn't mean much. Arraez never gained much traction on top prospect lists either, up until he burst onto the scene as a Rookie of the Year contender for the Twins this season. Blankenhorn's circumstances are somewhat similar to those of Arraez a year ago: somewhat fringey prospect still learning the ropes in Double-A. Blankenhorn hasn't posted an .800 OPS anywhere north of rookie ball. But the decision to protect him, amidst a slew of their own guys, tells us not only that this front office is high on the blatantly athletic 23-year-old, but that they suspect others are too. His innate strength has always been evident – Blanknhorn won the FSL Home Run Derby in 2018, amidst a season where he struggled to a .686 OPS – and is now starting to transfer into games. He launched 18 homers in 93 games at Double-A this year, while bouncing capably between second base and left field. The defensive versatility, and blossoming power, set him up to provide value in the near future. He's a very different player than Arraez, but it's not implausible Blankenhorn could be a functionally similar rookie asset – left-handed bat that you want in the lineup, capable of being used at second, third, or left – as soon as 2020.
  23. Jhoan Duran was the obvious choice. He split the 2019 season between Ft. Myers and Pensacola. He is touted for his fastball which has hit triple digits on multiple occasions. He is viewed as a starting pitcher. The Twins acquired him in July 2018 from the Diamondbacks in the Eduardo Escobar trade. Dakota Chalmers came to the Twins in August 2018 from the A's in exchange for Fernando Rodney. Chalmers had recently undergone Tommy John surgery, but he is touted for having a big fastball. He also has the makings of plus change up and curveball. He returned to action in the second half of 2019 for the Ft. Myers Miracle. When their season ended, he and Jordan Balazovic were promoted to Pensacola for their playoff run. Gilberto Celestino joined the Twins in July 2018, with Jorge Alcala who was added to the roster in September, in the Ryan Pressly trade. After a slow start, he was on fire his final two-plus months in Cedar Rapids. He ended the season with a couple of weeks in Ft. Myers where he continued to hit. He also plays an elite caliber centerfield. Luke Raley came to the Twins with Devin Smeltzer in the July 2018 Brian Dozier trade from the Dodgers. He missed most of the 2019 season but returned to play in the Arizona Fall League. Travis Blankenhorn was the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pennsylvania. He spent about two weeks in Ft. Myers this year before hitting 18 homers for Pensacola. The biggest name left off of the roster is Wander Javier. The Twins signed the shortstop from the Dominican Republic in 2015 for a $4 million signing bonus. Griffin Jax and Luis Rijo are two starting pitchers who could potentially be lost in the Rule 5 draft. Share your thoughts on the Twins decisions. Here is our listing of players who were eligible to be protected.
  24. With Stephen Gonsalves, Kohl Stewart and Martin Perez removed from the Twins 40-man roster on Monday, as well as six Twins players being free agents, the Twins 40-man roster is currently at 31 players. Here’s the quick version: Pitchers (16): Jorge Alcala, Jose Berrios, Randy Dobnak, Tyler Duffey, Brusdar Graterol, Ryne Harper, Trevor Hildenberger, Zack Littell, Trevor May, Sean Poppen, Taylor Rogers, Fernando Romero, Devin Smeltzer, Cody Stashak, Lewis Thorpe, Matt Wisler. Catchers (2): Willians Astudillo, Mitch Garver Infielders (7): Ehire Adrianza, Luis Arraez, CJ Cron, Marwin Gonzalez, Nick Gordon, Jorge Polanco, Miguel Sano Outfielders: (5) Byron Buxton, Jake Cave, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, LaMonte Wade DH(1): Nelson Cruz Recall that the players who are added to the 40-man roster can’t be DFA'd until spring training, so the team will likely not want to fill up their roster now. But as you can see, there are still players on this list that need to be offered arbitration (or not) and there are several players who could be DFA'd for when the team signs free agents. ---------------------------------- Last year, the Twins added three players to their 40-man roster. The “givens” at that time were Nick Gordon and LaMonte Wade. We included Luis Arraez as the first “on the bubble” name. The third “on the bubble” name mentioned here a year ago was RH RP Nick Anderson who was traded to the Marlins and pitched tremendously for the Marlins and the Rays as a rookie in 2019. ---------------------------------- So, let’s get to the players that the team will consider adding to their 40-man roster. As a reminder, here are some of the criteria for who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft if not protected. Here is this year’s criteria: Players who signed when they were 18 or younger in 2015 (during the minor league season). Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2016. Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again. Players drafted or signed during the 2013 season became free agents after the World Series was complete. That includes Johan Quezada and Jose Martinez. That is why Kohl Stewart, who went unclaimed on Monday, was able to become a free agent. If the Twins signed them (or other minor league free agents) before the Rule 5 draft, they would be eligible for the Rule 5 draft. But back to the players needing to be added or risk losing to the Rule 5 draft, I’ll break them into a few categories. The Givens are players that I think have to be added or there is a high likelihood that they will be selected by another team. The next group is a group of players that I think will probably be added, though not quite as obviously. The final group includes players that I would consider On The Bubble. It will be interesting to see which of these guys are added later this month. How many spots will be available on the team’s 40-man roster at that time? The Givens Several players that would have been Givens were already added to the 40-man roster and called up late in the season. In fact, there were several guys who may have been borderline who were added already. For instance, Brusdar Graterol and Jorge Alcala were going to be added. No question. Here are a couple more. RHP Jhoan Duran - He came to the Twins in July 2018 from the Diamondbacks in the Eduardo Escobar trade. Duran throws hard. He hit triple-digits with a fastball several times in many of his starts. He went just 2-9 despite a 3.23 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) for the Miracle. He had 95 strikeouts in 78 innings.He moved up to AA Pensacola where he went 3-3 with a 4.86 ERA in seven starts. He struck out 41 batters in 37 innings. The 21-year-old stands 6-5 and has the potential for a starting pitcher’s mix. RHP Dakota Chalmers - Chalmers was a third-round pick of the Oakland A’s in 2015 out of high school in Georgia. He throws hard, but he has often struggled with control. He also fought injury and had Tommy John surgery early in 2018. The Twins acquired him in August in the Fernando Rodney trade. He returned to the mound in the second half of the 2019 season. After rehabbing in the GCL, the 23-year-old finished the regular season in Ft. Myers with the Miracle. He pitched for the Blue Wahoos in the playoffs and then headed to the Arizona Fall League to get more innings. He has a mid-90s fastball and good spin on his curveball. He also throws a changeup that is good when on. The Probables 2B/3B Travis Blankenhorn - The 23-year-old struggled in 2018 in Ft. Myers, as many do in the Florida State League, so he began 2019 with the Miracle. After just 15 games, he was promoted to AA Pensacola. He took off from there. In 93 games with the Blue Wahoos, he hit .278 with 18 doubles and 18 home runs. He was the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pennsylvania. He is one of the best athletes in the organization and has power and speed. OF Gilberto Celestino - The same year Javier signed with the Twins, the Astros signed Gilberto Celestino to a $2.25 million signing bonus. He came to the Twins in 2018 in the Ryan Pressly trade (with Jorge Alcala). He began 2019 by really struggling in Cedar Rapids, but he was on fire the final three months of the season and ended the year with the Miracle. And there, in 30 at-bats, he hit .300/.344/.433 (.767) OF Luke Raley - Raley was the Dodgers seventh-round pick in 2016 out of Division 2 Lake Erie College. He played well, and in July 2018, he came to the Twins with Devin Smeltzer in the Brian Dozier trade. He started 2019 in Rochester and was playing well when he hurt his ankle and needed surgery. It ended his season though he did play in the Arizona Fall League. He has power, and can play all three outfield positions, though center field is a stretch. On the Bubble RHP Luis Rijo - He came to the Twins from the Yankees in the July 2018 Lance Lynn trade. In 2018 in Cedar Rapids, he impressed by often hitting 95 and 96 mph with his fastball. He went 5-8 with a 2.86 ERA over 107 innings pitched. If he had spent time in Ft. Myers, he would probably be a Given, but could a team stash him for the full 2019 season? SS Wander Javier - When you sign an amateur to a $4 million signing bonus, you’d like to think that this decision would be easy, and maybe it is. But Javier has unfortunately missed nearly two seasons because of injury (most of 2016 in DSL and all of 2018). His 2019 started late and in 80 games, he hit just .177 with nine doubles and 11 home runs. He also had 17 errors. So, could he play in the big leagues today? Probably not. But he has as much talent as anyone in the organization, so a team might be willing to stash the 20-year-old on their big league roster for his potential. RHP Griffin Jax - The Twins third-round pick in 2016 out of the Air Force Academy. He signed and while he had commitments to the military, he pitched each summer. He has been able to pitch consistently since early in the 2018 season. He spent most of the 2019 season in Double-A Pensacola but made a couple of starts at Triple-A Rochester too. In 23 starts, he went a combined 5-7 with a 2.90 ERA. In 127 1/3 innings, he walked just 27 and struck out 94 (6.6 K/9). The Next This is a group that contains some intriguing names. While they aren’t obvious choices, there could be a team that likes them enough to take a shot with a Rule 5 pick. 1B Zander Wiel - The 26-year-old hit .254 with 40 doubles, five triples and 24 RBI at AAA Rochester in 2019 while performing adequately at first base. IF/OF Trey Cabbage - The 22-year-old was the Twins 4th round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He is incredibly strong and hit a combined 15 homers in 2019 between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. LHP Sam Clay - Fourth round pick in 2014 from Georgia Tech, Clay reached AAA in 2019. In 123 2/3 innings above High A, he has not given up a home run. In 69 1/3 innings in 2019 (2/3 of the innings in AA), he walked 28 and struck out 72 batters. RHP Moises Gomez - The 22-year-old Venezuelan posted a 1-4 record with 10 saves and a 2.91 ERA this season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He also struck out 15 batters in 11 innings in the Arizona Fall League (we won’t mention the nine walks). RHP Jake Reed - We have brought him up as a Must-Add each of the last few seasons. He hasn’t been added, and he hasn’t been selected. Now 27, he is coming off of a 2019 season in which he posted a 5.76 ERA in Rochester (though he struck out 92 batters in 75 innings). RHP Tom Hackimer - The side-winding 25-year-old was the Twins 4th round pick in 2016 from St. John's. When healthy, he has been very productive. In 56 2/3 innings in 2019, he struck out 75 batters. The Rest Here is a list of other players who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft in the Twins organization. LHP Alex Robinson RHP Miguel De Jesus LHP Lachlan Wells RHP Yancarlos Baez RHP Melvi Acosta RHP Adam Bray RHP Andro Cutura LHP Zach Featherstone RHP Randy LeBlanc RHP Hector Lujan RHP Andriu Marin RHP Ryan Mason LHP Jovani Moran RHP Alex Schick RHP Carlos Suniaga LHP Andrew Vasquez LHP Tyler Watson RHP Tyler Wells IF Joe Cronin SS Yeltsin Encarnacion C Caleb Hamilton 3B Brian Schales OF Aaron Whitefield OF Malique Ziegler In the comments below, discuss my ranking and rank them by how you would protect them. We saw in 2019, and in 2018 too, that the Twins front office will make moves and keep that Rochester Connection quite active, so being on the 40-man roster is a big deal, but we have also seen that it can be altered frequently throughout a season. So, who do you think will be added? Does the fact that the Twins 40-man roster is currently at just 31 and there are others who could be DFAd still make you think they will add as many as eight players in two weeks?
  25. TRANSACTIONS Rochester Cibney Bello joins coaching staff as assistant pitching coach C Willians Astudillo rehab assignment transferred from Pensacola RHP Zack Littell optioned by Minnesota LHP Jeremy Bleich placed on IL with hamstring strain Fort Myers OF Gilberto Celestino promoted from Cedar Rapids INF Michael Davis placed on IL with meniscus tear Cedar Rapids OF Matt Wallner promoted from Elizabethton RED WINGS REPORT Buffalo 7, Rochester 4 Box Score Charlie Barnes had the starting duties for Rochester tonight. He recorded one out in the fifth inning and gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits while walking two and doubling that amount in strikeouts. Down 4-0 by the middle of the fifth inning, it would be on the home team to mount a comeback. Wilin Rosario continued his hot hitting with his 22nd double to open up the scoring in the eighth. Zander Wiel then roped his 34th double to drive in two, pulled the Red Wings within one. Unfortunately three Bison batters scored in the top of the ninth, and a Rosario RBI single in the bottom half was all Rochester could muster. Likely eyeing a September return to the Twins, Willians Astudillo went 1-for-5 with an RBI in this one. Brusdar Graterol worked two innings of relief. He struck out three, walked one, and gave up a single. It’s a double dose of Stewart on the mound in the series finale tomorrow night. https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1164358776369156101 BLUE WAHOOS BITES Pensacola 8, Mississippi 2 Box Score Bailey Ober is having one of the best seasons on the Twins farm, and you still may not know it. He made his second Double-A start tonight and turned in seven-shutout innings of three-hit ball while fanning 12 and walking none. He’s now 2-0 with Pensacola and owns a 0.64 ERA. With their starter on cruise control, the Wahoos lineup went to work. A three-run third featured RBIs from the prospect trio of Alex Kirilloff, Royce Lewis, and Trevor Larnach. Mark Contreras and Jimmy Kerrigan went back-to-back in the 4th before Larnach drove in two more. The fourth inning came to a close and Pensacola was already on top 7-0. The Wahoos added an insurance tally in the eighth that was wiped out by two from the Braves in the bottom half. That’s where this one finished though. Early offense and dominant starting pitching was the theme. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 7, Charlotte 5 Box Score Tyler Watson wasn’t exactly economical tonight for the Miracle, but he was good in what he gave them. Needing 84 pitches to make it through four innings turned it into a short outing. He left with a no-hitter though, and had struck out six while walking three. The Miracle bats came ready to work tonight as well. Pushing across seven runs on eleven hits, they scored in four straight innings from the fourth through the seventh. Brian Schales notched an RBI single to grab the game's first lead, and a Jacob Pearson double knotted it at two in the fifth. Ernie De La Trinidad tallied an RBI single in the sixth, and then Schales grabbed his first double to drive in two in the seventh. De La Trinidad added another on a sac fly before a Yeltsin Encarnacion single pushed the margin to five. Facing a very good Stone Crabs team the Miracle would need to hang on until the end. Three runs came across between the eighth and ninth, but the opposing rally ended two runs short. Phenom Wander Franco got his in a 2-for-3 night, but Schales and newly promoted Gilberto Celestino matched the effort. Celestino led off in his first Florida State game, and he turned in a 3-for-5 effort with two runs and a double. KERNELS NUGGETS Clinton 9, Cedar Rapids 0 Box Score Luis Rijo has been nothing short of lights out all season, but Clinton figured him out in this one. He lasted just one out into the sixth inning and had given up five runs (all earned) on seven hits. The lone bright spot was a 7/0 K/BB ratio on the evening. Cedar Rapids got behind by three in the first, and then allowed a six run inning in the sixth to seal the deal. The Kernels only put three hits on the board tonight, so not much of a comeback could’ve been expected. Recently promoted 2019 draft pick Matt Wallner picked up a hit in his second at-bat, and drew the start in right, batting sixth. E-TWINS E-NOTES Johnson City 3, Elizabethton 2 Box Score After Brent Headrick opened with an inning of scoreless work, Ryan Shreve got the next 4 2/3 innings. He gave up just a single run on five hits while walking two and striking out three. Elizabethton held Johnson City to just three runs, and outhit them seven to six, but the rally run never came. Kidany Salva launched his third homer of the year to open the scoring in the third, and Seth Gray knocked another in on a sac fly. After giving back a run in the sixth, the Twins watched the lead evaporate on a two-run Cardinals eighth. Only four E-Twins batters would come to the plate in the ninth, and Ruben Santana couldn’t advance beyond his two-out single. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Orioles 2, GCL Twins 0 Box Score Still working his way back on a rehab assignment, Stephen Gonsalves began this one on the mound. He turned in two strong innings allowing a single hit, fanning four, and walking none. He’s missed a significant amount of time this season, but is looking closer and closer to making a return. The Twins squad tallied just four hits, and Alec Craig was responsible for two of them out of the leadoff spot. Keoni Cavaco was back in the lineup after dealing with a quad injury, however he was lifted after an 0-3 start. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Bailey Ober (Pensacola) 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K Hitter of the Day – Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 3-5, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 2-4, 2B, R, RBI, BB, 2 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-4, 2 R, RBI, BB #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Rochester) - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 3-5, 3 RBI #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 2 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) - 0-3, K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List (groin) #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Injured List (hamstring) #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (leg contusion) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - 0-5, K #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 0-3, K #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-3 #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did not play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) - Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) - 2-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Did not play THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart (7-5, 5.56 ERA) Pensacola @ Mississippi (6:35PM CST) - TBD Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (6-2, 2.98 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:30PM CST) - RHP Matt Canterino (1-0, 0.90 ERA) Elizabethton @ Johnson City (5:30PM CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
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